The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce

Volume XII: In Motley


Little Johnny
(Edited to a Low and Variable Degree
of Intelligibility by the Author’s
Uncle Edward.)


RATS is radiants and the little ones is a mouse, and thats the feller which pursues the women folks up into a high tree and blankets on her blood! But the old he rat eats bread and cheese like a thing of life.

One day my mother she baited a trap with Dutch cheese, for to catch a rat. My father he looked on a while, and then he said, my father did: “I guess there isnt any doubt about the rat finding that deadly invention if he follers his nose, and I foresee his finish, but what is the trap for?”

Rats is two kinds, the common and the mush. The common is the scourge of the world, but the mush he lives in the water and is highly respected. The fur of the mush is a article of commerce and keeps your hands warm when winter stalks abroad like a devouring kangaroon. If I was a mush I would keep my fur for my own self and say: “You fool humans can stay in the house and stand by the fire.” But Uncle Ned he says that would be bad for athletical sports, why not let them go out of doors but keep their hands in one a others pockets as usual?

He says one time in Arizona there was a show, and the show man he stood in the door of his tent and hollored: “Walk up, walk up, ladies and gents, and see the fierce Canadian beaver, which is the 8th wonder of the world and the anchor of hope to them which is afflicted with the dumps. He roams the rivers of the frozen north, from Dan Couvers island to Sammy Quoddys bay in the state of Maine, and his voice is ever for war. When he throws his eye upon a tree the doom of that monarch of the forest primeval is sealed, its caroar at a end and its name a by word in the mouths of men, for he ganaws it down while you wait, and as it thunders to earth he raises the song of triump and lashes the air to foam! His house is fathoms five under the glad waters of the deep blue sea, and the steam boats pass above him as he pursues the evil tenor of his way, in maiden meditation, fancy free. At midnights holy hour he arises to the surface for to communicate with his kindreds in a far country, and the slap of his powerful tail is heard around the world. The dams which he builds with his teeths and feets turns aside the Father of Waters, and mighty cities are with the eternal past! Yet this wonder worker is endowered with a domestical mind and a sociable dispusition, and he is never so happy as when surounded by such friendly and congenual spirits as I see before me, generously eager for to cheer him in his campaign of education. Walk up, walk up, only fifty cents for to bring the balm of Gulliad to this lonely exiles heart.”

I asked Uncle Ned was it a mush rat, and he said, Uncle Ned did: “I dont know, Johnny, I dont know. I hadnt time to go in and cheer up the lonely exile, for having the misfortune to wear a stopipe hat and look like maybe I would steal horses, I feared that if I went in the show I might be too much absorbed in admiration to the beaver to mark the laps of time, and would be late at the boundry.”

Beavers is mammals, but the mush is amfabulous and lays eggs. And thats why I say every feller to his own taste and the tiger for us all.

The mush he lives in the river, and when he is attempted to be caught he swims across and whisks his tail, real contemptible, much as to say: “No you dont.”

But if you have a gun you do.

Injins eats the mush every little tiny bit up, fur and all, and, then the white man he says: “You uncivilize galoot, aint you a shamed of yourself for to be so filthy, why dont you eat oysters, like you was folks?”

But, if I was Injins I wouldnt care what I et, just so it was pizen. Franky, thats the baby, he eats everything which is in the world and is made sick. One time Mary, thats the house maid, she come to my mother ablubberin like she had been licked, and she said, Mary did: “O, if you please, mum, I gave Franky his fathers pocket knife for to play with, and Ime afraid he will make a improper use of it.”

Mother she said: “Go and take it away from him this minute!”

But Mary she only just cried harder and said: “He won’t give it up, for he has swollered it.”

Girls is fools, but Billy, thats my brother, he can stand on his head, and Jack Brily, which is the wicked sailor, he can climb the mast and fling defiance into the teeths of the storm!

Jack says one time a other sailor hired out as mate of a ship which the captain of had a pet kangaroon. One day fore the ship sailed the mate was lyin in his bunk, and the kang it come in and looked around the room, but the mate he let on for to be asleep. So the kang it stole a shirt and stuffed it in the pouch on the stomach of its belly. Then it took a comb and a hair brush and put them in too. Bime by it see the mate’s new shoes, and his toothbrush and a railroad guide and took them all. Then the roon it hopped away.

The mate he got up and went to the captain and sed, the mate did: “If you are willing, sir, Ide like to be set ashore to once, cause we are doomed for to sink in the bowel of the sea.”

The captain said how did he know, and the mate said: “By a infaluble sign. I seen that big French rat of yourn a packin up for to forsake the ship.”

Rats is every where, but the kang is a native of Illinoy and leaps from crag to crag!

My sisters young man he says the women has rats in their hair, so you better keep away from them, but my sister says why dont he?

When he comes to see her he asks how I am gettin on with my natural histry, and then he tells me things which I am welcome for to put into it, but she says what a fib, and I must not believe a word which he says, and looks right in his eyes with hern, real reproachy, but he isnt a bit afraid. Hern are brown, but hisn is gray.

Rats is bipeds, but the hi potamus has got hair on its teeths and can swoller a native nigger like he was a capsule. And that is why I say do into others the same as you would be done to by them your own self.


THERE is billygoats and nannygoats and they are all butty if you dont look out, for when they are made fun of they will act in the most responsible manner.

Uncle Ned he says one time there was a little boy which was a havin his own fun with a goat, by gettin down on his all 4s and stampin his hands and shakin his head like it was the goat’s head, but the goat it didnt seem for to mind, but went round behind him, like it said: “I wont have nothing to do with this business.”

But when it got to where it wanted to be it let drive, real cruel, where the boy sat down. The boy he lit in the open door of a house, and a old man come out and saw the boy, and then he looked all around, but didnt see nobody else, and then he looked up to the sky and said: “Heaven be praised, which has sent us a son!”

But I guess he knew.

The Bible it says for to be frightful and multiply.

When he was movin out of the other house into this one, Billy, thats my brother, had took a big lookin glass to the wagon and stood it up against a wheel, and a goat he see himself in the glass, and that was more than he would stand, so he backed off and took a run and jump with his head down, like it was a cow catcher on a engine. The glass it was smashed, but the goat was catched between the spokes of the wheel and held fast a long time. When he got out he run round to the other side of the wagon and viewed the land scape oer, and shook his head mighty brave, like saying: “Well, you got away this time, you ugly feller, but you wouldnt if it hadnt been for that wagon in the way, and you better not let me see you in this part of the country again, mister!”

Goats is mollusks, but the centipede is infantry. The pede is found in the torpid zone, but the rhi nupple dinkey is a three legger and makes the welkin ring! Jack Brily, which is the wicked sailor, swears and chews tobacco, and every thing, says the dink is the gem of the ocean and can swaller 2 men to once. One day Jack seen a dink a follering the ship which he worked on, and he told the captain. The captain he said: “That is mighty mournful, cause the dinky is bad luck unless he is fed a sailor every day. We are 6 days from the port where we are bound for, and there is just seven of us. The way I figure it out I shall have to take this ship into port pretty short handed. Go forwerd and unship the cook.”

Jack he said: “I, I, sir,” and went and flang the cook over board and the dink et the cook.

Next day the captain made Jack thro over the mate, and next day the carpenter, and the dink et both. Jack he begun for to be mighty nervous, but on the 4th day, as he was about to heave a able bodied seaman into the ragin deeps, they sighted a wreck and rescued the crew. That enabled them for to give the dink 2 men a day and save 4 human lifes.

Billy says there isnt any such thing as a rhi nupple dinky, but Jack he says Billy is prejudiced cause Jacks father is nothing only but just a humble butcher, but ourn wears a stopipe hat.

Jack says he pines like a caged eagle on this dull, unchangin shore, but my sisters young man he says that the briny deep which Jack knows most about is his fathers barrel of pickled pork. But I know Jack was one time a pirate, for his arm is tattered red and blue with a picture of a angel and a labm.

Jakey Epstein, which is the curly headed Jew, he says pork is pizen, and one day when my sisters young man was eatin a sausage Jakey’s father he spoke up and sed: “I rather die than eat that.”

My sisters young man stopt eatin awhile, and looked at him sollem out of his eyes, and bime by he said: “Ide rather you would.”

But it is wicked to sass back, for the Bible it says a soft answer turneth away rats.

Uncle Ned he said: “Johnny, did I ever tell you about the buttigoat which had never saw a mule? One day it saw one a standin in the sun, like it was asleep. The butty it looked awhile and then it walked around to the last part of the mule, a lookin mighty sly, much as to say: 'When he cant see me I’ll sock it to him good and plenty.’

“But the mule knew what was doing, and when the butty tried to sock it to him he kicked him in the forehead real cruel, and the butty turned a flip flop and lit on his back with his feets in the air. Bime by he got up and shook his self, and stomped the ground, and looked at the mule a long time, which was a chewin his cud real peaceful. After a while the butty he said to his self: 'Ide like for to know which end that feller buts with. I know which I do by the ache.’”

The horse is the noblest animal which scours the plain, but the buttigoat can knock out a dog like the dog hadnt been there, for the butty was give dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the foul air and everything that is born of woman.


AFELLER which had took a unfurnished bed room in a lodgin’ house, he said one evening to a friend which had called on him: “Now I got my room, and I have bought this bed and chair, but my money has give out, wot am I to do for a water pitcher, and a lamp, and a hair brush, and other little articles of luxury such as a man of refined taste likes to see about him?”

Then his friend he spoke up and said: “Just give me that old cat and come along o me, and we will get all them things mighty quick.”

So they took the cat into the back yard of a other house and pinned her tail to a cloes line, where she swung free to the sport of the wind and owled awful! Then the fellers friend he said: “Now we will get plenty water jugs, and lamps, and hair brushes, and old shoes, and all things which is nice. All we got to do is just hide ourselfs till they come down like manna from Heaven.”

They stayed all night till the cat had singed herself into the better land and they was most froze, and no manna. While they was a lookin up to a window a feller in his night shirt opened the window and looked out for to see the sun rise. Then one of them said to the shirt feller: “It is a nice mornin, gum dast you!” But the man at the window he didnt say nothing. So the other feller he hollered: “How do you like music, old stick-in-the-mud?” but the man didn’t say nothin a other time. Then the feller which the cat was hisn he shook his two fists real terible and hollered: “Ile get even on you for this, you darned thief!”

The man in the house took notice and went away from the window, but pretty soon come back with a enormous ear trumpet, which he stuck in his ear and leaned out and shouted: “What?”

Old Gaffer Peters, which has got the bald head, he had a big Maltese cat, and the cat had a hole in its ear. One day it come in to Mister Brilys meat shop, which is the fat butcher, and Jack Brily, he catched it and shut it up. But first he cut off its ear which had the hole in it. Bime by Missis Doppy, which is old Gaffer’s daughter and has a red head, she come in for to buy sausage meat. Jack he sneaked the cat ear into the sausage meat and Missis Doppy she took the meat home, but Jack he said, just as she left the shop:

“That is the dandiest sausage meat which we have ever made, you look at it when you get home, and see if it aint.”

When she was gone Jack he shut the cat up in the box which catches the ground up meat as it comes out of the machine, and waited. Pretty soon Missis Doppy she come boilin in, real furious, and handed back the meat and showed Jack the cat ear with the hole in it and said: “Young man, do you know what that is?”

Jack he looked at it a long time, and then he said: “Looks like it might maybe be a washer off of some kind of machine. Where did you get it?”

Missis Doppy said: “I got it out of that meat. You made our cat in to sausage, you wicked thief!”

Just then old Mister Brily come in and asked what was up, and while Missis Doppy was a weepin and sayin what a mean man he was Jack said: “I dont see how that cat could get in the machine without our guilty knowledge, lets see if we can find the other ear.”

So he flang open the box of the grinder and the cat jumped out, and made a dash for the door and most knocked Missis Doppy down and busted out of the shop like it was a whirl wind, and scampered up the street, toward home, you never have see such a circus! Missis Doppy she fainted dead away and Mister Brily he hurled a beef bone at Jack, which dodged and walked away, a singin about war with its wide dissolution.

But Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, he says it is wicked for to poke fun at the women, cause they cant poke back. Mister Pitchel he can pray real fine, but if me and Billy was preachers I rather be a pirate like Rinard the Red Revenger, which declaimed war with the whole world and had ships and a castle and no goin to school.

When cats is roarin like distant thunder it makes a feller awful fraid unless he is a sleepin with his sister.

The pig it is a native of the Holy Land, and dogs is French, but cats is known from the earliest times and can pur. Missis Dumberly, which has eleven children, she was to our house, and she said, Missis Dumberly did, that she just couldn’t bear cats. Then Uncle Ned he spoke up and said: “That is mighty lucky for the mice.”

Missy, thats my sister, she doesnt like cats too, but girls is quadderpeds and cant climb trees, and when they are mad they spit and swear and hunch their backs up like they was camomiles.

Cats and taggers is the same thing, only the tagger he is bigger and can thrash the lion, and is the king of the jingle. If I was a tag Ide rather be a rhi nosey rose, for the rhi it has got a sticker, and when it fights the ephalent it jabs its sticker in to the stomach of the ephs belly. And that is why the cracky dile says: “Suffer little children to come into me.”

Ephalents was one time used in battle, but once when the king of Rome was a chargin with ten thousand hundred ephs the enemies they turned loose a ton of rats, and the ephs all fled amain as one man! The king of Romes neck was broke and ephalents have ever since pursued the arts of peace and eats pea nuts. Mister Jonnice, which has the wood laig, he was one time a soldier in the war, and thats the way he got it, cause the enemies they shot it off with cannons for to keep him from runnin away. But he says he done some mighty good hoppin.

Mose, which is the cat, and Bildad, thats the new dog, they are good friends, but when Mose is give a saucer of milk Bildad he jumps in and swallers it in 3 or 4 gulps. Then he looks around at Mose, like he was astonished, and shakes his head, much as to say: “Well, well, if I had knew there wasnt no milk in that saucer I wouldnt have took the trouble for to come and see.”

Bildad has got a bushy tail, and Mose he can blow hisn up like a balloon wen he is mad, but the Manx cat it hasnt got any. And that proves that all is for the best, cause man was made in six days and rested on the 7th and went a fishin.

When cats fight they spit fire and sword! One night 2 tom cats was fightin and a woman she put her head out of the window and said to a police man: “Poor things, why dont you part them, you wicked man?”

The police man he spoke up and said, the police man did: “I thought of that, mum, but I guess it aint worth while, cause it looks to me like they would part one a other.”

I think he was afraid, but it is nice for to be brave like Billy, which says if there wasnt any soldiers the Millennium would be upon to us and we would all have to flee to the mountains!

My sisters young man says that once there was a cat, and there was a dog, and there was a lamb, and there was a ox. The dog it said to the ox: “Thats a mighty long tail you got there, mister, with a nice duster to the end of it, but you cant waggle it when you meet your master carryin a beef steak.”

Then the cat it said to the ox, too: “No, indeed, and you cant blow it up and spit fire wen you meet a other ox.”

The lamb it said: “And you aint able for to twinkle it when you think of some thing funny.”

The ox he thought awhile and then he said: “I played hookey when I was a little boy so much that I didn’t learn them vain acomplishments, thats a fact, but I have got a tolerbly fair business education, and I guess maybe you fellers would have to come to me for to help you out if you had to fill a order for ox tail soup.”

Mary, thats the house maid, she has wrote some poetry about cats, which my mother says is mighty fine. Here it is:

The cat it has 4 feet,
And it has got a tail,
And purs when you stroke it the right way,
But beware its toe nail!
There is nothing beautifuller than cats
When they are little kits,
But some day they grow up to be big toms
And hunches up their backs and spits.
Cats catches mice, which if they wasn’t caught
Would be drownded in the honey,
And the preserves, and the jams, and the jellies,
And maybe poison Billy and Johnny.

I never have saw such rot, but Uncle Ned he says: “I beg for to remind you, fair youth, that you have yet to peruse the work of Ella Wheeler Wilcox.”

If I was a poet I would not write about spitcats, no, indeed, it would be all about the eagle, which is the king of beasts and fixes its eye on to the sun, and soars aloof into the blue imperial, and defies the lion and her welps!

Once there was a eagle which was a show, and a man which was to the show dropped a twenty dollar gold piece and it rolled into the eagles cage. The eagle it looked at it a while, and called his wife and said, the eag did: “That feller threw his poker check in here, and I guess he thought I would swaller it cause it has a chicken on one side, but Ide blush for to have such a nasty lookin rooster cut out of my craw.”

My sisters young man he says when he was a boy and went to school him and a other boy had a readin lesson about animals. The teacher, which was near sighted, he had lost his spettacles and couldn’t tell one word from a other, and they knew it. So when they stood up for to read, my sisters young man he begun and said: “The cat is the loftiest centipede which sweeps the horizon and scowers the plain.”

The teacher he said: “What’s that, whats that?”

Then my sisters young man he looked at the book, real atentive and said it again. The teacher he said: “Lemmy see that book, youngster, just lemmy see it.”

When he got the book he poked his long nose in it and pretended for to read, and then he scratched his head where it didn’t itch and told the other boy to go on and read too. The other boy he looked at the book and said, like he was readin: “The cat is found in every country of the globe, but it likes republics the best, and when it soars aloft the nations of the earth tremble so that you can see them shake.”

The teacher looked at the book a other time, close to, but bime by he give it back and said, the teacher did: “Young men, that readin lesson looks to the yuman eye jest like it has looked for twenty years, but I guess I have got to get some spettacles for my ears.”

But the ears of the jackus are a spettacle their selves, for the jack he is a bird of bray.


I ASKED Uncle Ned what makes the crane stand on one foot for to sleep, and he spoke up and said: “Johnny, you have opened the door of optunity to my waitin soul and I will come out into the light and make everything clear.

“One day in the Garden of Eden Adam he see a lot of animals playin. There was all your old friends, the ephalent, the lion, the tagger, the hi potamus, the giraft, the kangaroon, the rhi naughty furious and some of the little fellers. Adam he looked on a while, real sad, for he knew, Adam did, that some day they would be tearin one a other to rags and sheddin gore excessive, such being the ordained consquences of his own sins. Bime by he flang away his gloomy reflections and said: 'You fellers is mighty playful, but you are terible clumsy. I bet there isn’t one of you which can stand on one laig.’

“They all tried, but they fell every time. Then the crane, which was a standin by a pond a little way off, talkin to a frog, he tossed his bill up, real contemptible, and strutted in to their midst, and liftin up one leg stood on the other like a statute.

“Adam he looked a while and then he said: 'Impudence is the king of badfulness. The athletical test which I proposed was for quadpeds, and any gam doodled creepin thing which butts in takes his life in his hand, for I am give dominion over all the beasts of the field, and all the fishes of the sea, and all the birds of the foul air, and every thing which was made in 6 days.’

“The crane tossed his head scornful and said: 'We have had all that before; give us a rest.’

“Adam he said: 'Motion is the mother of fatigue. You jest stand like you are till tomorrow morning and maybe you will be rested.’

“So the crane he had to do it, and it made him so tired out that to this day he sleeps frequent, and he always has to do it on one laig. And that ought to teach little boys for to not butt in.”

When Uncle Ned had told me a bout the crane I asked him did he know what makes the loon laugh.

He said: “Yes, indeed, Ime jest the feller which can whack up the desired infmation, to the queens taste. Most peoples they think it is because he has a comical disposition, but they are mistook, for generally speakin he is the solemest aquatical bird which sails the seas over, but he is cursed with a fatal memory.

“One time, a little while after the world was made, Adam and Eve was a sittin by the side of a lake, and there was a loon hid in the reeds which grew in the water. Adam he held Eves hand, and stroked it, and patted her on the shoulder, and ran his fingers through her hair, and done all them things which crazy folks do and sensible fellers like me and you dont understand. Bime by Eve she up and said: 'Adam, do you love me?’

“Adam he said, Adam did: 'How couldnt I, when you are the sweetest woman in the world?’

“Eve she smiled real bright, and after a while she said a other time: 'Forgive me, dearest, if I pain you, but I have been worryin so much about some thing. Was you ever in love before?’

“Adam he look at her real solem out of his eyes, and then he rose his right hand up and said: 'No, darling, I swear it, never till I met you.’

“Then Eve she snuggled down close to him and murmured: 'O Adam, it gives me such joy for to hear you say that!’

“It give the loon joy too, and his laughture rang out over the waters, loud and shrill and echo answered from the hill. And to this day he laughs whenever he thinks of the women folks.”

But if me and Billy had been there we would have ringed the loons neck, cause the Bible it says that scoffers shall be casted into Abrahams bosom. Loons is mammals, and the walrus is poultry, and cracky diles is ally gaters, and the camel is the sheep of the desert and is hunted for its plumes. And thats why I say how wonderful is the works of Man!


THE fish is a animal and the bird is a beast, but snakes is a fo to man. The snake he is the same as serpents, only he hasnt no feets, and that makes him mad and he bites every thing which is in the world. Snakes is pizen, but the hog he says: “I dont care, it wont do you any good for to bite me.”

Then the snake he says: “It dont do me no good for to bite any kind of feller, that aint why I do it, I aint selfish.”

So he whacks away at the hog and hollers hooray! But the hog he catches him by the middle and makes 2 snakes of him in a minute and says: “I’m pretty bitey my self, thank you.”

Hogs is pork, but Jakey Epstein he says he would rather be one than eat one. But give me a sucker nice roasted, with plenty mashed potatoes, and apple sauce, and pickles, and hot cakes, and mince pie, and walnuts, and you will see a boy which knows his own mind. Hogs is bristly, but the ally gater has notches in the spine of his back and eats niggers.

Uncle Ned, which has been in Indy and every where, he says the Gangee river is over flowin with gaters, and one time he see a gater a lyin on the bank asleep, and he told his servant, which was a natif nigger: “Take a ax and chop up that dead tree into stove wood,” cause thats what Uncle Ned thought it was. The servant he thought so too and said: “Yessir,” and Uncle Ned he went away to shoot rabbits in the jingle. When he come back he went in the bungaloo and found the servant covered up nice and warm in bed. Uncle Ned said: “You lazy feller, did you chop up that log, like I told you?”

The feller he said: “I tried to, sir, but it come to life.”

Uncle Ned he spoke up, real sarcastical, and said: “O sure, and I suppose it put forth some limbs, didnt it?”

The feller said: “Yessir, it put forth some on each side.”

Uncle Ned said a other time: “It blossomed too, maybe.”

The nigger feller said: “Yessir, bout 3 feet wide, you ought to have saw it open like it was a morning glory!”

Then Uncle Ned, which was still ironical, he said: “Did it take root?”

The nigger feller thought a while and then he said: “I was a bit upset and can’t recollect that it took any thing only but jest my laig.”

But if a gater wanted Billys laig he would cut its head off with a long sword and say: “That will teach you for to not ask for it, cause I want it to go to school with.” Billy is the bravest boy he ever saw, and licks Sammy Doppy every little while.

A other time in Indy Uncle Ned was a walkin in the jingle and a long slender snake jumped at him and bit him on the hand and ran away. Then Uncle Ned he run as hard as he could for to get home and die in the bosom of his club. While he was a runnin and a prayin for his sins to be forgave he see a natif nigger a sittin by the road side, and the natif nigger had three jest such snakes twisted all round his naked arms and bitin, real cruel, but he had got all their tails into one hand.

Then Uncle Ned he stopped and said: “Poor feller, I have been bit too. As there isnt any hope for us now, we will sell our lifes as dear as we can to them deadly cobrys.”

So he threw off his coat and pitched in and grabbed the snakes tails too. Then the native nigger he sed: “Thankee, sir, I guess we will be able for to manage them now. There is to be a party tonight, and I have been tryin for more than half a hour to braid these fellers into a necklace for the stomach of my wife’s belly, but they are so squirmy I thought I would have to give it up.”

Uncle Ned he was a stonished, and he said: “What! isnt them reptiles pizen?”

The natif nigger he said: “How can I know? Do you suppose I ever et one?”

One day my father he spoke up and said: “Johnny, did you ever hear about the good man which found a frozen snake and warmed it in his bosom, and when the snake got nice and comftable it bit him?”

I said: “Yessir, every fool has heard about that.”

Then my father he said: “My boy, the goodness isnt all on one side, for one time a snake found a man which was cold, and the snake warmed the man in its bosom too.”

Then I said: “What did the man do when he had got the chill off him?”

My father he said: “Well, Johnny, he digested.”

Once there was a big snake which was a show, and the show man he put a dog in the cage for the snakes dinner. The dog he looked at the snake a while, and then he said: “That is the biggest sausage that I ever saw. I dont believe it could be et all to one meal by any dog which roams the palmy plain.”

But bime by he was et his own self, and when he was nice swallered the snake he wank his eye, and said to his self: “The man which invented self stuffin sausages wasnt no friend to dogs.”

A other snake which was a show swallered its blanket, and when the show man missed it he said, the show man did: “Ide jest like to catch the gum dasted thief which steals folkses bed clothes!”

He give the snake a other blanket, but watched for to catch the thief. When he see the snake a swollerin that one he went and fetched a pillow and threw it to the snake and said: “If you are makin up your bed for to sleep in side your self you will need this, and when you have turned in I will pass down a hot water bottle for your feets, and make you comftable. What time would you like to be woke in the mornin?”

Snakes eats hop toads and snaps at the hand which feeds it, but dogs is all rite. Snakes skins their selfs once a year, and one time me and Mister Brily, thats the fat butcher, we see one do it. When it was all done Mister Brily he said to the snake, Mister Brily did: “So far, so good, my fine feller, but how are you goin to get your innards out unless you got a knife?”

The boa conscripter is a snake, but the rattler he makes the welkin ring! I asked Uncle Ned what was snakes made for, and he said: “I dont know, Johnny, honest, I didnt have nothing to do with it, but bein a mighty eloquent speecher I flatter my self I have made a shoreless sea of Demcrats. Your honorable father, which is a Repubcan, like you, he says that is about the same thing, but he is a child of darkness and disdain. I can tell you, though, about the snakes in the Garden of Eden, all exceptin the one which was tempted by Eve. When they had all been made, Adam he called them together and give them their names, and then he waved his arms and said: 'Now go 4th into all the waste places of the earth and multiply.’

“They all slided away only but jest one, which lay still and shook its head, real sad. Then Adam he said: 'Why dont you do as I said? Off with you to once!’

“But the snake, it spoke up and sed, the snake did: 'If you please, sir, Ime willing to go 4th, but I cant multiply. Ime a adder. You told me so your self.’”

I asked Uncle Ned what makes the rattler have rattles, and he said: “Johnny, he doesnt. That is a optical delusion due to idleness in the observer. What they mistake for rattles is the last joints of the spine of his back bone, and it come about this way. The rattler he was created so ugly that it strangled him for to look at his self, and when he drew near any thing for to be sociable it fled amain. Well, one day in the Garden of Eden, he shedded his skin like all snakes had been told to do, and a other snake it shedded its skin too. So the rattler he backed into the other snakes skin for to hide his ugly, but it was too short, so the rattler bit off a inch or two and let a few joints of the spine of his back stick out, and they rattle when he shakes with fright, which is frequent. What scares him the worst is when a boy is about to step on him with bare feets. Johnny, you should be kind to the poor rattler and not step on it if there is plenty of room.

“And now, my lad, I will tell you about a feller which drinked whiskey, which is equal bad. Me and the feller and a doctor was a campin in the forest, and the doctor had brought along a jug of whisky for to cure snake bites. One day him and me went out for to shoot bears, and when we come home to camp the feller he was lyin down in the tent, so dead drunk that he didn’t know a thing and was to the point of death! Johnny, it is awful to see a drinkard when he is himself, so I tore my hair and bewailed loud and shrill, but the doctor he sat down for to think, and bime be he said: 'I got it, I got it!’

“Then he rushed away into the jingle, and pretty soon he come back with a rattler in the end of a long split stick, which he poked at the feller and it bit him many a time and oft. Johnny, it sounds like a mystery, and I wouldn’t ask you to believe it if I didnt tell it myself, but them snake bites they beat the fell intent of that whisky, for the feller he sprang up and evanished into the bosky fastness, and is now holdin a office of trust and profit in Kansas.”

I asked Uncle Ned what became of the rattler, and he said, Uncle Ned did: “Thats a mighty sad story, Johnny and I don’t like to dwell up on it. We took the snake outside the tent and let it go, and the first thing it done was to tie itself in a double bow knot and stick the ends through. Then it raveled it self out, and stood on its head, and waved its tail in air, and said it was the Queen of Sheby.”

Injins eats snakes, but give me a pie, with lots of spice, and a apple dumplin, and some stewed squash, and plenty spunge cake, and a lot of sossage, and some more spunge cake, and some pickles, and all I can eat of chicken gizards, which is the stuff of life!


FROGS was one time catter pillers. When you have et a catter in your salad it would have been a frog if you didnt. A feller named Esop says there was a ox which tried for to be a frog and busted. If it didnt bust it would have et hay and hooked and give milk. The best place to find frogs is after a rain, but they jump before you can get your hands on them, and them which dont will slip through your fingers like they was buttered, but when they fall on the ground you can see their white bellies if you look real quick.

One night there was a lot of frogs in a lake, and there was a fire on the shore, and they all stuck their heads up for to see the fire, and the water froze, and when they tried to take their heads in they couldnt. So they held a council, and each laid his views before the king frog, which was in the middle, and there was jest as many plans for freein the whole lot as there was frogs which couldnt move a inch. The king he didnt say nothing, but looked mighty wise. When the sun melted them out in the mornin they said: “What a good and wise king we have, for to get us out of trouble! Let us go and thank him.”

But when they went to thank him they couldn’t find nothing to thank, only but jest his head, for a cat fish had bit off the king’s body early in the session. Then they said the king had died for his peoples.

Uncle Ned he said, Uncle Ned did: “Johnny, frogs is fine and gay, but the batrakian is a monster of the ocean blue. He has a mouth like a cavern in a hill, and a eye accordin. He is green as a meadow in spring time, exceptin the stomach of his belly, which is as the winter land scope. His voice is like the music of a saw mill and nations hear entranced. When he arises in his wrath his course is as the eagles flight, and when he revisits the earth whence he sprang from, the waters receive him with a roar which makes the heavens be mute!”

Then I spoke up and said: “Thats what a frog does too.”

Uncle Ned he said: “All animated nature has points of resemble. The postage stamp is like the sword fish, cause it is a sticker, the polly wog is like the feller which writes short stories, cause his tail is not to be continued, and the wife is like the tagger, cause she roars like distant thunder. I forgot to tell you that the batrakian is a hunch back, but it isn’t good luck for to touch his hunch, for you will get your feets wet if you try to, for he is the slickest citizen you ever seen and departs this life for a other and wetter world at a moments notice, automattical.”

I said: “Thats like frogs too.”

Uncle Ned he looked mighty hurt and shook his head, and bime by said: “Johnny, you got a bad habit of interruptin for to say some fool thing just as a feller is gettin truly eloquent, but since you mention frogs I will tell you a story.

“One time a feller from Kansas was casted away on the coast of New Jersey and was a starvin, when he found a bushel of oysters and sat down for to eat them every little bit up. Then he see a native nigger a little way off, a sittin by a fire, and went to him for to be sociable, takin the oysters along. The native nigger was cookin frogs, and he said, real polite: 'Have some.’

“The Kansas feller he said: 'What! are you going to eat them gum dasted reptiles?’

“The native nigger said: 'Pardon me, they are very good, what are you eatin your self?’

“The feller pointed to the oysters, and the nig turned white like he was a sheet and said: 'O Lordy, take them nasty things out of my sight, or I shall die of the flops!’

“Then the Kansas feller he said: 'I cant take them away, nor eat them either, cause the sight of your diet has give me the colly wobbles in my lap!’

“In a low green valley where the jay bird sings his requiem by the sad sea waves 2 grassy mounds mark the spot where these beautiful youths perished in their prides, each poisoned by the vituals that he didn’t eat. Let it teach you, my boy, for to not despise any food which a bountiful Providence has supplied for to sustain the lifes of his meanest cretures.”

But if it was me and Billy we would et the oysters and give the frogs to the poor, cause frogs is fossils, but oysters is pork and makes the face of man to shine!

Oysters is natives of the tropics, and is found only in high latitudes, but the rhi nosey rose is a brother to the ox.

Mister Brily, which is the fat butcher, he can slaughter a ox real fine, and his son Jack, which is the wicked sailor, says it was the sight of the beautiful blood that made him be a pirate. If I had saw Jack a piratin I would rang out my voice across the billows and said: “Heave too, you naughty man, or I will belch 4th a broad side this minute!”

Then Jack would come to my ship, mighty pale and trembly, and I would embrue my hands in his gore!

I asked Uncle Ned what for the bull frog had sech a horse voice and he said: “One day in the Garden of Eden, when Adam was passin by a pond, he heard a voice a singin sweet and clear, like a lark at the dawning of the day. He looked a long time, and bime by he seen the bull frogs head stickin out of the pond, and it was it singin. But Adam he said: 'Here, you, what for did you play truant wen I was naming all the animals? You come right out of that and be give a name.’

“So the singster come out on the bank and Adam named it bulbul frog, cause bulbul means nightingale, and then Adam said: 'I cant deny my self the happiness to hear you sing some more.’

“The bulbul frog it started for to sing again, but it couldn’t utter a note, only but jest a harsh croak, for it had took cold by comin out of the water in to the sun shine. Then Adam said: 'I was mistook. I thought it was you which I heard singin before. Ime sorry I give you that name, or named you at all, for not any name is bad enough for a feller with a voice like that.’

“So Adam he kicked it clear into the middle of the pond, but it has the cold to this day.”


DOGS is many kinds, but the Newfoundlin feller is the king of the ocean and saves babies from bein drowned in the briny deeps. The spotty one which has the swear name he trots along under his masters coach, and when a man is run over he finishes him. The dog is called a quinine for to distinguish him from the fox, which is a squid. Dogs is desiduous, for they have got 4 feets and leaps from crag to crag. When some feller is a dyin the dog howls mornful, but the under taker he says the doctrin of mortality is a sublime faith.

One time there was a dog which hadnt any tail, cause it was cut off, but its naughty for to cut them off, for the Bible it says: “Him that sheddeth his brothers bleed his own bleed shall be sheddeth.” There was a other dog which had a long slick tail, like a whip lash, and thems the jockies for me. The dog which had a tail it said to the dog which didn’t: “When your master gives you a bone what do you waggle?”

The other one he said: “I waggle the bone.”

Then the tail feller said: “When he kicks you for bein so ugly what have you for to put between your legs to show that your feel is hurt?”

The bob feller said: “I put half a mile between my legs and hisn, what more could I want, exceptin, maybe, the other half of the mile?”

The dog which had the tail it thought a while and then it wiggled its ear, much as to say: “This cripple hasnt any tail, but he has got a head thats no mere toy.” But pretty soon he began for to smile, and bime by said: “What have you for the boys to tie a tin can onto?”

Then the other one shook his head, real sad and said: “You got the advantage of me there, thats a fact. This no tail of mine is jest as good as any for business, but in matters of pleasure and sociableness it fails lamentable!”

One time in Mexico, where the dogs dont have no hair, there was a traveler, and he called his man and said: “James,” for that was his mans name, “Ime going for to adopt the fashion of the country. You take my dog and shave it all over, every little bit of hair off.”

James said he would, but he was afraid the dog would bite him, so he swopped it off for a Mexican dog, same size, and took that one to his master, which said: “What a difference that makes! It looks almost like a other dog.”

Pretty soon after, the traveler took a walk down town, mighty proud of his fashionble dog, which James led with a string. Bime by they come to a Mexican man sittin in a open door hollerin: “Walk up, gents, walk up, only ten cents for to see the show, walk up!”

When the new dog heard the show man it busted away from James, like it was shot out of a cannon, and jumped right onto the show man, tickled most to death to see him, cause he was its old master. The show man he hollered wild and shouted: “Outch, outch! Your savage dog has bit me cruel, and I got a large family to suport!”

The traveler said to James: “Take the dog home this minute, shavin has spoiled its temper.”

When the dog had gone he said to the man which had the big, helpless family: “Dont cry, my good feller, heres 10 dollars for you, what have you got in your show?”

The show man he said: “Walk right in and see, sir, you are on the free list cause you paid me for my awful pain.”

The traveler he went in the show, and there wasn’t any thing to see only but jest his old dog, which was in a cage, and there was a sign board which said in big black letters:

The Wonderful Canine Miracle!
Exibited before the Queen of England
and all the
Principal Nobobs.
Native of Japan, Where It was Brought From
in 2 Ships by
The Empror Maximilian.
The only Dog in the World which
has got Hair!

Mister Gipple he says that one time he had a mighty homely dog and the dogs name was Calamity. One day Mister Gipple was took sick and sent for the doctor and when the doctor had come in and said “Good mornin, I hope you are well,” Calamity came in too. Mister Gipple, for to be playful, said: “Doctor, what will you give me for my dog?”

The doctor he looked at Calamity a while, real thoughtful, and then he said: “I will give you some thing for your leprosy if you have it, but I dont think I have any medicine strong enough to cure you of that dog. I am a old doctor, but I never have seen such awful symptoms.”

My father, which is absent minded and cant see very well when he has left his spettacles in his other coat, he was a walkin, my father was, and there was a big dog which he was acquainted with. It was chewin a short stick, which was in the corner of its mouth, like it was a cigar. When my father see the stick in the dogs mouth he took the cigar that he was smokin his self, and knocked off the ashes with his little finger, and held it down to the dog and said: “Have a light?”

But when the dog didn’t do any thing my father seen what a jackus he had made of his self, and he got red in the face like he was a rose, and made a bow and said: “O, I beg your pardon.”

My father he is a Repubcan, jest like me, but Uncle Ned says Repubcans is engaged in a nofarious conspuracy for to over throw the liberty of the peoples and prevent him bein a post master.

One day my sisters young man, wich hates dogs, he was goin along the street, and there was a woman and a little wooly dog. When he come up behind for to pass them the dog it dropped back and made a face at him, which made him awful mad, so he kicked it way up in the air, like it was a bird, and it sang like eagles as it flew. The woman surveyed its flight with horrify, and when it come down on the other side the street she turned around for to sass some body, but my sisters young man he was mighty absorbed in a news paper. But the woman she said: “You aint no gentle man!”

He looked up, awful innocent and real hurt, and said: “Why not?”

Then the woman she hestated and stamered and blushed, but bime by said: “Because you read news papers in the public street, and that isnt good manners.”

So he folded the paper real careful up and put it in his pocket and said: “I beg your pardon, madam, I was only but jest glancin at the semi annual report of the Society for Entertainin Heavenly Visitants When They Light on this Mundane Sphere, cause I am the presider of it. I think I jest now saw one of them fellers light right over there. I go for to seek my duty.”

Then he crossed to the other side of the street, where the wooly dog had come down in the weeds and was lost to view, and the woman she said she never in all her life!

But if he would kick Bildad, thats our new dog, Bildad would rend him limb from limb, for Bil he is the king of beasts, and is give dominion over every creepy thing.

Dogs live to a green old age and are much esteemed, but hogs waller, and Mister Pitchel, which is the preacher, he prays and takes up a colection. And thats why the Bible it says be of good cheer, for ye shall all be casted into the lake of fire and brim stone.

One day a womans dog it bit a tramp and she said: “Poor feller, Ime so sorry my dog et you.”

The tramp he said: “Thats all right, lady, I et his brother.”

When a dog waggles his tail, that makes him happy, but when a man is happy he shakes hands and stomps on his hat. Every boy ought to have a dog, cause boys are masculine, but girls are efemeral.

There was a man had a dog which was a biter, the dog was, and one day it bit the butcher which brought the meat. So when the butcher come with the meat next day he brought along a ox liver and threw it to the dog and said: “You eat that and let honest folks be.”

But the liver was so bad the dog wouldn’t eat it and slank into its kennel and the butch he went away. Bime by the man which had the dogs wife she come out for to feed the chickens and she see the liver. So she called the man which had the dog, and rang her hands and said: “O Jacob, some thing awful has happened!”

The man which had the dog he could smell the liver, and he said: “It is a happenin now.”

But his wife she weeped and said the dog had tore the butcher every little tiny bit up. Then the dog sticked its head out of the kennel and waggled its ear, much as to say: “You dont see no signs of a streggle, do you?”

Then the butch he come back along the road, and the woman she see him. She was furious mad and she said to her husband: “Jacob Brown, if you cant think of nuthing better to do than harrow your wifes feelins up mornin, noon and night, jest for to go and tell it to your low drinkard friends, I am a goin home to my mother.”

Uncle Ned he says they are all jest like that, but my sisters young man says she is different. He says the yuman eye is the mirror of the soul and when he looks in to hern he sees a holy angel. Then she is happy.

The colly is a dog of great inteligence and folds up the sheeps, but when the ole ram shakes his head and stomps his feets the colly says: “I guess I will knock off work now, for I have got the wobbles real bad.”

Then the sheepherd he kicks the colly, and the ole ram he buts the sheepherd, and the little labms they gambol on the game.

A man in Indy he lived in a lonely cabin in the jingle, and one dark night he was woke up by a awful poundin on his door and loud calls for help. When he opened the door a feller he jumped in and closed it and held it fast and hollered: “Keep him out, keep him out!”

The house man he lit a candle, and said what under the sun, and goodness gracious, and for the lands sake, and whats up?

The scary feller he said: “Its a tagger, thats whats up! He was a lurkin around your door, and spranged at my throat, but I clutched him and flang him afar. Jest look at the fur which I tored out of him!”

The house feller he looked real close, and then he said, the house feller did: “My friend, that is wool off of my pet lam.”

The other chap spoke up and said: “Thats jest it, thats jest it! I renched it out of the taggers teeths. You better go out to once and rub some hair restorer on to your gum dasted lam.”

Then he said good night and went away fearless in to the jingle.

Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, he says a naughty boy tied a tin can to a dogs tail and the dog it ran through a Sunday school, in at one door and out at a other, howlin like its heart was broke, and the boys all jumped up and hollered hooray! Then Mister Pitchel he spoke up and said: “My children, it is wicked for to cheer, cause the boy which done that will come to a bad end.”

Then a old deacon he said: “I guess thats so, but it looks like the dog would get there first.”

Uncle Ned he said: “Johnny, when the dox hoond was created it was a roly poly feller, like a foot ball. One day Adam he told it for to go and round up the rhi nosey rose, and the hi potamus, and the beasts of the field, and the fools of the air, and the fishes of the sea, and bring them in for to be give their names. And Adam he added: 'Dont be long about it.’

“But the dox, which was lazy, said to itself: 'Ile be as long as I please.’

“Adam over heard it, and called the dox back and said: 'On the contrary, you will be as long as I please.’

“Then the dox hoond it begun for to shrink at the equater and grow at the poles, and bime by it was as it is saw to-day, a towerin horizontle monument to the sin of dissobedience.”

Mister Gipple he was a missionnary preacher in Madgigasker, and one time it was Sunday. Mister Gipple is a good man and he said he would go to church. So he went, and there was ten thousand hundred natif niggers, all worshipin a big wood idol, which was the ugliest thing he ever seen. Mister Gipple he was just a goin for to tell them it was wicked to worship sech a homely god, when he see his big yellow stump tail bull dog walk into the church and sit down longside the idol and look his worst. Then the king of the natif niggers he come over to Mister Gipple and nudged him and said: “See here, you ungrateful feller, I been mighty nice to you, and give you a dozen wives, and made you a duke, and let you wear a pecox feather, and havnt threw up your color to you, nor et you. But there cant be only but jest one religion here, and if you dont take that gum dasted god of yourn out of this diocese Ile cut his ears off!”

I asked Uncle Ned why dogs has a tail, and he said, Uncle Ned did: “The first one, which was created in six days, hadnt one. It was a bull dog, like the one that Mister Gipple has told you of. One day Adam met the bull dog and said, mighty polite; 'Good mornin.’

“The bull said: 'Good mornin your self, I am glad to see you.’

“Adam said: 'You dont look it, you are the maddest lookin feller which I ever met. Why dont you smile?’

“So the bull dog braced his self against a tree and drew a deep breathe and smiled. Johnny, if you have ever had the bad luck for to see a bull dog smile I neednt dwell on that painful perform. Adam he jumped back out of range and said: 'Is that the best that you can do?’

“The bull he answered: 'Yessir, but I could do better if I had more teeths.’

“Adam said: 'I guess there aint any more.’

“Then he thought a while, and bime by said: 'Ole man, if you will promise not to smile any more only but jest when you are furious mad I will give you some thing for to xpress your lighter emotions with and draw the observers atention away from where you look like you have a grouch.’

“The dog said it was a whack and Adam give him a tail for to waggle when feelin good. But mostly man kind believes the tail is lying, and cuts it off.”

Taggers is cats and birds is reptiles, but the dog is a manual and brings forth his young alive.


PIGS is from ancient times. When a pig is fed it slobbers. But my father he says that when you are a going to be killed in the fall of the year whats the use of bein a gentleman jest for such a little time? Some pigs which go to fairs are so fat that you cant tell which is the head till you set down a bucket of slops, and then the end which swings around and points at it like a campus, that is it.

One time a feller was drivin a pig through our town with a string tied to one of its hind feets. The feller fastened the string to a telegraph pole and went in a saloon for to get some beer, and Jack Brily he let the pig loose and tied a smoked ham in its place. When the feller come out he untied the string from the telegraph pole and wound it around his wrist, and then he looked in the weeds for his pig. He looked at the ham, and then he looked up at the telgraph wire, and then he said: “Lectricity is gum dasted fire! Ide jest like to get my hands on to the man which sent that last dispatch!”

One day a boy which went in a butcher shop had busted a button off his jacket and was playin with it. He snapt it in some sossage meat and then he didnt dare to ask for it out. Next day the boys father was to the butchers house for dinner and they had sossage, cause the butcher he knew the boys father was crazy fond of it, but the boys father he got the brass button in his mouth. He took it out and looked at it a long time, and then he said: “Excuse me, but where did you get the pig which this sausage is made out of?”

The butch he said: “I disremember.”

Then the man he weeped and said, a other time: “Excuse me, but I guess you got the wrong pig by the ear and have chopt up my little Charley.”

The butch he was astonish, but he thought the man was crazy and must be yumored, so he said, the butch did: “Thats a fact, but it was a mistake, and if you wont say nothing about it I will give you a other boy.”

The man he brightend up and said: “Thats pretty fair, but excuse me, fore we talk business I will jest help my self to a other plate of this one.”

Big pigs is hogs and the she one is a sow, but if I was a hog Ide look a little higher for a wife, cause the Bible it says they shall be one flesh.

Mister Gipple which was one time a missionary preacher in Afca, he said: “Johnny, di ever tell you about Mumboogla?”

I said no he didnt, and he said: “Mumboogla has ten thousand hundred folks and is noted for its king, which is the fattest and blackest in the world. When I went there for to spread the light the king he sent for me and said: 'What new fangle religion is this which you are a preachin?’

“I xpounded the livin faith to him a long while and he listened mighty polite, but when I had got done he spoke up and said, the king did: 'If you had come last week I would have made all my peoples be Christians, but it is too late, for the scales have fell from our eyes and we are now worshipers of the Ever Lastin Truth!’

“Then the king called his high priest and said: 'Take this feller and show him the Ever Lastin Truth.’

“So the high he took me and shaved my head and washed me with rose water and anointed my whiskers with oil of hummin birds and put a nice new breech cloth on me and led me to the temple. Then he told me for to crawl on the stomach of my belly under a star spangle curtain, and there in the dim religious light of tallow candles held by 3 other priests was the Ever Lastin Truth! Johnny, it was jest a great big, shovel nose, screw tail, razor back Arkansaw hog!

“I never felt so insulted in my life, but the Bible it says blessed are the meek, for they shall inhabit the earth. I arose my self up to my full statute and said: 'Is it possible that you heathens in your blindnesses worship that gum dasted reptile?’

“The high he said: 'We sure do, cause it is a god.’

“I said how did he know it was, and he said: 'Cause it is the only one which is in the world. One night last week it come ashore in the howlin of the storm and stampeeded a whole village. Then it put the kings army to flight and et a major general. Then it turned to and licked a rhi nosey rose, 3 taggers and a cracky dile, and after dessolatin 7 provinches with fire and sword, it moved on the capital with measured tread, and pausin a while for to scratch it self against the great Idol of Hope and Slaughter, it entered the Temple of Black Despair, and puttin both fore feets in the never failin fountain of maidens blood, drinked it every drop up. By all them signs, which my holy office enabled me to interpret, I knew it wasnt a yuman being, but a awful god, and the king done the rest.’

“Then, Johnny, I remembered that a ship from Peory, Illinoy, was over due at Mumbassy, 100 miles up the coast, and I knew that this monster was the sole surviver. But what was the use? What kind of a chance had Reason against Faith, in minds which had never knew the light of Revelation? So I felt called for to deliver some other land from errors chain, and buyin 9 camel loads of ephalents teeths with a pound of glass beads, I sailed for Indianas coral strand.”

But if Billy, thats my brother, had been there he would have slew the high priest and the fat king and weltered in their gore!

There was a pig and it was a rootin up a mans cabbage garden. The man which owned the cabbages he snook up behind the pig and catched it by its hind feets for to throw it over the fence. But the pig it got hold of a cabbage stalk with its mouth and wouldnt let go. The man which owned the cabbages said to his self: “What can I do? If I let go it will run over my flowers, and if I dont it will pull up the cabbage.”

Bime by the man which owned the cabbages wife she come out and see how things was, and women dont know nothing, so she got a bucket of scaldin hot water, and threw the water on the pig and the cabbage too, and it killed them both, they was so boiled. The man he let go and thought a while, and then he said to his wife: “Thank you, now jest bring the vinigar and mustard and help your self to what you see before you.”

I asked Uncle Ned if he knew what made pigs have a curly tail, and he said: “Its mighty singlar about that, Johnny, and I was jest a goin to tell you. One time in the Garden of Eden the pig it see a apple fall from a tree and made off for to eat it. But Adam he said: 'Hold hard, there, my friend, apples is mighty bad medicine, cause I know how it is my self. If you eat it you will know good from bad, and your wife wont seem half so nice as she does now.’

“But the pig it wouldnt stop, so Adam catched it by the tail, but couldnt hold it, for the tail slicked out of his hand. So he twisted the tail round his finger and drew the pig back out of mortle peril, but when he pulled his finger out of the twist the tail stayed curly unto this day.

“And now, my boy, havin give you the sientificle explain of that phenomnon, I will tell you about the dove, cause doves is pigs too, when it comes to eatin. One day Adam was a walkin in the Garden and he see a dove sittin on a tree, a cooin real mornful, like it hadnt a friend in the world, and it hadnt, for there was lots of feathers under the tree, and Adam knew it had et its mate. But he said: 'Poor little feller, where does it hurt you?’

“The dove it said: 'I have lost my wife, thats where it hurts me.’

“Adam went on without sayin any more, but about a hour later he past that way again and seen the dove. It was all dubbled up, and its wings was crost on the stomach of its belly, mighty sick, and makin a doleful sounds, same as it did before. Adam he said: 'What are you a grievin about now, have you lost your wife again?’

“The dove it said: 'Worse than that. I have found her!’

“Then Adam he said: 'You cantankrous little cuss! You shall moan and wail for ever and ever, particlarly when you are happy.’”

Doves is the symblem of peace cause they are fraid cats, and every livin thing can lick them easy. But the eagle he is a minister of the upper deep!

When the eag has et too much dove he has the colic too, and moans awful. When Franky, thats the baby, has it mother gives him cat nip tea and ginger and pepmint and tobasco and pain killer and perry gorick and mustard and burnt brandy. Then the doctor he comes and gives him a emettic, real quick, and when it is all over he says: “Madam, your inteligence and promptness saved your childs life.”

And that is all which is known to sience about pigs.


THE wood chuck lives in a hole and is fat like he was butter, but the kangaroon leaps upon the fo and rends him lim from lim! Chucks is mammals but the kang is a grass hopper and moves in a mysterious way. The she one has a pocket on her belly and puts every thing in it which dont belong to her. One time a kang which was a show she got out of the cage and stole some black smith tools and hid them in her pouch. When she was put back in the cage the black smith come and told the show man that some gum dasted thief had stole his kit. The show man he knew how it was, and went in the kangs cage and took out his knife and made believe to rip her open. Then he put his arm in her pouch and pulled out a hammer and a tongs and some other things, and said: “Is them yourn?”

The black he was a stonish. He looked a while at the tools and then he looked a while at the kang, which was eatin a wisp of hay, real peaceful and happy, and then he looked at the show man, and bime be he said: “No, you gam doodled hipnotist thems opticle ilusions, but mine was real, sure enough, flesh and blood tools.”

The show man he said: “Is that so? Then I guess we better go and open the ostridge.”

But the black he was mad and left the sceene with slow and stately tread.

Now Ile tell you a other, which Uncle Ned told me. A scientificle feller went to the zoo and seen a kang which was out of doors. He looked at it a long time and then he said to a keeper, the scientificle feller did: “You got a jewel here, cause it is a xtinct specie, which I cant rightly name off hand. Of course it cant walk with such legs as them, and it may be what the Scriptures call a creepin thing.”

The keeper he said: “Maybe it will help you identify him if I tell you his name is Rickoshay. Make a effort, Rick, and creep for the gentman.”

Then the show man he whacked the roon on the tail with his stick, and the roon it went away like it was shot out of a gun and in a half dozen leaps was lost to view in a long cloud of dust. Then the other feller he shooked his head, real wise, and said: “Once more has Science demstrated the falibility of the Scriptures and over threw Religion.”

A traveler in the torpid zone, where the kangaroon is to home, he see one sittin by the road side on its haunches, and its fore paws was hangin down on its breast like a little dogs which has been taught to beg. The traveler had a kind heart and he said: “Here you poor hungry thing, what ever you are, take a biscit.”

But when he threw the biscit the kang it jumpt like lightnin a awful distance, and when it had lit it looked back and twinkled its ears, much as to say: “Never touched me!”

The traveler he took out his note book and wrote: “This country is subject to great convulshions of nature, which cause some of the most sudden and remarkble up heavels known to science and baffles the generous instinckts of the yuman heart.”

But my sisters young man, which told me the story, he says the greatest up heavle known to science is when the hi potamus rises from his beauty sleep and salutes the dawn.

The old he kangaroon is a stag and the she feller is a duck bill and the little ones is katy dids, and thats why I say variety is the staff of life. The kangs tail is the biggest in the world and is highly respected for soup, but Jack Brily, which is the wicked sailor, says give him plum duff and a spankin breeze!

Jack says he was one time ship wreck on a island, and was caught by some native niggers which took him before their king and said: “If you please, here is one of them gods which is some times washed ashore when the wind is west.”

The king he loocked at Jack a while, and bime by he said: “Take him out and lick him till he gives us good weather for the coco nuts.”

Jack he spoke up and said, Jack did: “I aint that kind of god. The one which could rule the weather was et by a shark jest fore he reached the land. Ime the feller which bestows good government.”

The king said: “Then we havnt no use for you, cause we are mighty well off that way.”

But one of the natif niggers he said: “I dont know about that. I guess we better lick him any how and see what comes of it.”

Jack he said: “Never mind about the lickin, I will waive all pomp and ceremony and give you good govment any how if you do as I say, jest like they have in America, where I am worshipt the hardest. What kind of a king is that feller?”

The Prime Minister he said he was a mighty good one, cause he had been kingin all his life.

Jack he said: “Then what you need is rotasion in office. Turn him out to once and put in a new man which nearly one half the peoples have said they didn’t want.”

The natifs said there wasn’t any sech man, cause when ever a bad man was seen he was took up and skinned alive. Jack he thought a while, and bime by he said: “Got any of them skins?”

They said they guessed the last one took was in the rogues galery, and Jack said: “Stuff it and make it Presdent, and you will have liberty.”

A nigger he spoke up and said: “We have liberty, what is a Presdent?”

Jest then a other nigger come up, with a grip sack in his hand, and he said: “Where I come from we have a Presdent, what is liberty?”

Then Jack walked over to that feller and shook his hand and said: “I am dog gone glad for to see you, old man, how was things goin when you left New York?”

Patrick Henry he said: “Give me liberty or treat me mighty well in jail,” but George Washington he waved his big sticker and shouted the bottle cry of fredom!


EPHALENTS is the biggest thing in the world, and it has got a proboscus with a hole through it. Some times the eph it gets its proboscus full of muddy water and blows it sky high and would put out a fire if there was one. The eph he has got a ear like the star spangle banner, but he cant wave it oer the home of the brave. Billy he says once a man put his head in a ephalents mouth, but their teeth is outside, so the feller which didnt was braver.

The ephs proboscus is its nose, and old Gaffer Peters has a long one too. One night old Gaffer was to our house and his shadow was on the wall, and Uncle Ned he said for him to sit still and he would draw his profile. So Uncle Ned drew it on the wall, and made the nose about a foot long, you never seen such a nose! My father he said: “What a strikin likeness, I would have knew it with my eyes shut,” but old Gaffer he didn’t say nothing. But pretty soon he pulled out his hankchef and blew his nose, and said: “I got a mighty bad cold.”

Bime by he blew it again and said: “This cold of mine is a goin to carry me to my grave.”

After a while he blew it some more and said: “What a dredfull swell up nose a bad cold gives a man in this gum dasted climate!”

Mister Gipple he says that one time in Mully Gatawny there was a battle be tween the wites and the natif niggers, and the wites licked. Then the wite general he said to his mahoot, which is the feller which rides a ephalent and jabs its ears: “Here, Kibosh, you take your quadped and ride over the battle field and count the slained and the wounded of the enemy, never mind ourn. I want to make a roarin good report to the Govment. You will have to be mighty careful or you will miss some of them.”

The mahoot he said: “Yessir, my eph is mighty sharp sighted with his feets.”

Late in the evenin the mahoot came a jabbin his eph up to head quarter, and the poor thing was so tired that it wobbled, and its feet and laigs was red, like they was painted. The gen he said: “Kibosh, I fear there was a accdent to some poor feller. Didnt I tell you that menaggery of yourn would have to be careful about steppin on the wounded?”

Ki he sed: “Yessir, so he was, sir, I dont think he missed a single nigger.”

The general, which was a good man, was awful shocked, and he wrote in his report: “I am sorry for to have to add that after the battle all of the wounded natifs, bein exposed to the open air, was atacked by a disease pecular to this climate, and phisicians was in vain. This scurge of the tropics is known as elphantiasis, or flatty degeneration of the chest. Make me a duke.”

But the Bible it says we are all worms of the dust where there is any dust for to be a worm of.

A other time Mister Gipple said: “Johnny, di ever tell you about the great king of Googum? I was in Googum when he died, and I asked the Prime Minister and the High Priest might I make a few remarks at the grave. The Prime said he guessed it would be all right if I wouldnt take up a colection, and the High said he would be mighty glad if I would relieve him of a sacred duty, cause he wanted to go a fishin. So on the day of the funeral I went to the grave. Johnny, you have frequent saw in the news papers a large audience discribed as 'a sea of up turned faces.’ It was that way there. But, Johnny, the up turned faces was all detatched from their respective bodies!

“Bime by the Prime came. I swallered my feel as well as I could and said: 'I spose this is the custom of the country.’

“The Prime he said: 'Yes, when the king dies we try for to make it a occasion of public sorry.’

“Then I said: 'Where is my audience?’

“The Prime he said: 'Ime him.’

“I said: 'How about the mourners?’

“The Prime he said: 'All them which we could catch are here, exceptin the public executor, which is tired and has gone home. Ile fetch him if you would like to make his acquaint.’

“I thought a while, then I said: 'No, dont deprive him of his much needed rest. I met him in Illinoy.’

“Then the Prime looked at his watch and said: 'It is time for you to begin the remarks.’

“Then I rose my self up to my full highness and looked him in the eye, like I was a eagle, and said: 'The only remarks which I feel inspired for to make is that of all the gum dasted galoots and cantankers that I ever met you are the head center the xtreme limit, the farthest north! If I had had you over in New Jersey, where your cries couldnt be heard up at the mercy seat, Ide lambaste you til your unbelievin soul would quit its tennement of mud and fly to evils that it knows not of!’

“Then, Johnny, I departed out of that place of wrath and tears by leaps and bounds and came back to the land of the free, where a feller which behaves hisself neednt hold his head on with both hands, where the Repubcan party scatters peace and plenty of offices oer a smilin land, and where if the Presdent was to die every day of his life a other would be elected without sacrificial rites.”

But if the public xecutor would come for to cut my head off cause the king died I would cleave him into twain!


UNCLE NED he said: “Johnny, you have wrote about all the other quadpeds which roam the plain, but I guess you have forgot the tootsy wootsy.”

I said what was it like, and Uncle Ned he said, Uncle Ned did: “It isnt like any thing which is on the earth, or in the heavens under the earth, or in the whisky and water which is all over the earth, but jest get your pencil and write what I say about it, for I have been in Pattigony and seen it in its natif wild.”

So Uncle Ned he lit his pipe and laid the blazin match real careful on Mose which is the cats back, which springed away like he was shot out of a gun, and said, Uncle Ned did: “The tootsy wootsy is found in many lands, for it is mighty audible and you cant miss it.”

I said: “Is it a animal, or a bird, or a fish, or only jest a inseck?”

Uncle Ned he said: “It is in a class by it self, though it is some like all them fellers, and snakes too. The color of the tootsy is unknown to science, for, as Shakspeare says, it is subdude to what it works in, which is mostly dirt. When it is washed with hydrate of soap it is fire red from xertion and howl. It is a domesticle beast, same as the hi potamus, and roars like distant thunder. You will naturally want to know what it lives on, and that is the most singlar thing, cause it hasnt got much teeth, as a general rule, yet it is a beast of prey. Every thing which it can catch goes in to its mouth, and it is frequent pizened.

“The tootsy wootsy doesn’t live to a great age, like the ephalent, the turtle and the testator, but when 3 or 4 summers has past over its head it changes from a quaderped into a brat.”

I said what was brats, and he said: “A brat, my boy, is the frog of which the tootsy is the tad pole, or polly wog.”

Then I asked him did the toot drop its tail, like the wog, and he said: “I cant jest recollect whether it has a tail or not, but if it has I guess it better drop it, cause when it becomes a brat its mother, which is a great imitator of yuman being’s will wear it off with her palm.”

Then I said: “If I met a tootsy wootsy I would draw my big sword and cut its head off, and smash the spine of its back, and holler hooray!”

Uncle Ned he said: “Yes, I know you would, cause you are brave like soldiers, but jest now I guess you better go and wipe Frankys nose and slick him up a bit, poor little feller, cause his father is a comin home pretty soon, and we will give him the supprise of his life.”

So I washed Franky up, real nice and white, which howled, and Uncle Ned comed his hair. Bime by my father he come in, and while he was a takin off his over coat he see Franky and stopped with it half off. He looked a while and then he took the over coat the other half off and hung it up and came back and said: “That child looks quite a little like our Franky, doesnt it, Edard? Whose is he?”


MISTER GIPPLE he says in Africa the natif niggers eats nothing only but just grass hoppers, and one time a nig he see a hopper sittin on a stone, with its feets pulled in, all ready for to jump. The natif nigger he smiled sad, like a hi potamus, and said: “How mournful to think that fellers which is like 2 brothers should distrust one a other jest cause I am a nigger, which has a black skin, how can I help that?”

But the hopper it wiggled one whisker, much as to say: “It isnt the color of your skin, old man, but the un neighborly way which you have of tuckin it out.”

Bildad, thats the new dog, was sick one day and et a blade of grass for to make hisself throw it up, but there was a hopper on the grass and before Bildad chewed it he noticed that some thing was the matter and he opened his mouth again and stood real still for to see what would happen, but the hopper it kept a jumpin in Bildads mouth. Then he started in and shook his head so fast you couldnt see it, but it was no use. Pretty soon he stopped to see if it was all right, but it wasnt. Then he got down on his knees and rubbed his hed on the ground, first on one side and then on the other, and my father he spoke up and said, fore he thought: “Look at that dog a stroppin his razor!”

The Bible it says awful things will happen to them which eats grass like Nebbicudnezer. I asked Jack Brily, which is the wicked sailor, what was the awfulest thing which ever happened to him. Jack he thought a while and then he said, Jack did:

“Johnny, a feller which his life is on the ocean wave has a lot of blood cuddling adventers that he hasnt got time for to classify accordin to their awfulness, and maybe I am mistook in thinkin that the one which I am about to relate is the limit, but it made me stop follerin the sea and stay home for to help my father in the meat shop.

“One time I was on a ship which was casted away, and I was the only man which wasn’t drownded, cause I had stole the boat. The wind it blew me right toward a great wall of rock where I knew I would be smashed to frogments, but Provdence, which watches over good men, directed the boat into a cave, where the water was smooth. I couldnt row out and if I stayed there I would starve, so I jest pulled further in. But the cave didnt have no end, and it was pitch dark. I kept on rowing for many days, maybe, till I see a light, and bime by I came out into a open sea again. The wall of rock was jest like it was on the other side where I went in, and seein that I couldnt climb it I steered for a island which I seen in the offing, and there I set my feets on tera firmly once more.

“After offerin up thanks to the god of that country and makin a bountiful repast off a dead fish which lay on the beach describin itself with great loquacity in the language of flowers, I started inland for to find the natif niggers, but pretty soon I seen a sailor which had sea weed in his hair and eyes like them of the fish which I had et. I said: 'Hello, shipmate, what country is this?’

“The feller he stared at me a long time out of his fish eyes, real spooky, and bime by he said: 'This is the Land of Drownded Sailors.’

“Then I seen about a thousand million drownded sailors which I hadnt noticed, some like him and some worse. They all had sea weed in their hair and eyes like hisn, but some was black and some was yellow and some was white and some was French, and they all wore the clothes they was drownded in. They didnt say much, but they spoke in every tongue which is known to man, and Dutch too. Some was a playin cards, and some was a splicin ropes, and some was makin believe to scrub the decks, and some was a tattooin the others arms, and some was a carvin pictures on walrus teeths, and some was a fightin mity solemn to inattentive audiences, and every thing which sailor men do for to pass the time. When they see me they all knocked off work and arose up as one man and crowded around me and pointed their fingers at me, unmovin, like I was a show! And that is the awfulest thing which has ever befel me except bein born.”

I asked Jack what did he do for to escape. Just then Uncle Ned, which had come in and heard the last part of the story, he spoke up and said, Uncle Ned did: “Johnny, you will have to excuse the witness, for he cant be compelled to say any thing which will disgrace him, so I will jest answer that question my own self. He escaped from them terrible fellers by lyin down and sleepin it off.”


HENS is good to eat, but not the old he ones, which is a fighter. They lay eggs and cackle. Some boys can cackle as good as a hen, but no eggs. Hens dont lay eggs on Sunday, but the minister he preaches. Billy says if the hens didnt lay eggs they would bust and if the minister didnt preach he would be sick. Our old hen she wanted for to set, but father he didnt, so he boiled a egg real hot and laid it in her nest. She went and straddled it and looked up at father like he was a fool. Then she shaked her self together and shut up her eyes and settled down to her work, much as to say: “You see I am a havin my way about this thing.”

But pretty soon she gave a awful squok and jumped up and run round and round, like her head was cut off and she couldnt see her way. After that she was so afraid of eggs that when she couldnt help layin one she would run and fly, and some times the egg was lain in one place and some times it wasnt. One time she laid it on the roof of the church and it rolled off and busted on a toomb stone close to where my father stood a talkin to old Gaffer Peters. Old Gaffer he looked up to the weather cock on the steeple and shook his head and said: “Ive been agin that dam thing from the first.”

Mister Gipple he says a boy found some owl eggs and put them under a settin hen, cause they wasnt good for to suck. When they was hatched the old hen was mighty proud of them, like my mother is of Franky, thats the baby, but Mary, thats the house maid, she likes the butcher boy which brings the meat. One day the old rooster he said to the old hen: “Did you ever take notice what eyes them chicks of yourn has?”

The old hen she said: “Yes, they look so wise I am afraid they arent long for this world, poor darlings.”

The old rooster he shook his head and went away, but a other day he come back and said: “Them gum dasted chickens of yourn, which aint long for this world, are playin the old Nick while they stay. They jest now piled on to the yellow leg pullet and et her up in a minute, poor darlings.”

The hen she thought a while, and then she said: “Thats a mighty good disposition for them to have, for they will protect me from owls.”

Then a other hen she spoke up and said: “Judgin from the looks of some folkses chicks I guess they aint so fraid of owls as they make believe.”

But if I couldnt tell a better story than that I would teach school.

One day a feller a plantin potatoes see a hawk a sittin on a hens nest and there was lots of feathers around, like a pillow had broke open. The feller he looked at the hawk a while, and then he said: “Well, Ile be gam doodled! You will make a nice mother for a brood of young chickens, wont you?”

The hawk he said: “Well, what kind of a mother be you for a field of new potatoes?”

Mister Jonnice, which has the wood leg, he says it was mighty thoughtful in the Creator to provide chickens for the hawks, but Uncle Ned he says it wasn’t quite so thoughtful in him to provide hawks for the chickens. One night when Mister Jonnice stayed to our house he hung his wood leg on the knob of his bed room door, out side, for to have fun with Mary, thats the house maid, cause his wood leg looks just like it was a meat one, only whiter. In the morning Mary she came to my mother and said: “O, if you please, mam, I guess the gent which slept in the spare room cant get his door open, cause he is a comin out through the key hole.”

A other time when Mister Jonnice was to our house Missis Doppy was here too, which has got the red head, you never seen any thing so red. When she had gone home Mister Jonnice he said: “If I was that womans husband Ide use her head for the parlor fier.”

Then Missy, thats my sister, she spoke up and said: “I suppose you would use your leg for a back log.”

One day Missis Doppy was here and stayed a long time, and bime by she went in my mothers bed room and was a combin her hair. Uncle Ned past the door and looked in, and then he came down stairs and said: “I guess she is a firin up to be off, I seen her a rakin out the cinders.”

Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, he says it is wicked to make fun of folkses miss fortunes, cause it is all for some wise purpose, and Uncle Ned he says yes, and Missis Doppys head is a mighty conspicus instance and a shiny xample.

Hens is some time stole, and one time some wicked fellers which was in jail they kept a breakin out at night and stealin hens. So the man which kept the jail he said he would put a stop to that, and he had a other coat of paint put on the jail for to make it stronger. But the painter had put salt in the paint and the cows licked it off and the fellers broke out a again and stole more hens. That made the jail man mad and he said: “This aint no place for thiefs, and you fellers has got to behave your selfs or Ile put you out of here and you will have to rustle round for your livin the best way you can.”

Roosters crow, but when there isnt any rooster the old hen she crows for to teach the little fellers how. But such crowin!—just like a sufferget hollerin hip, hip, hooray!

My father he said to Mister Gipple, my father did: “I guess you and Johnnys Uncle Edard is mighty hard worked a tryin to see which can tell him the biggest lie. Maybe you better give your selfs a good long rest.”

Mister Gipple he thought a while and then he said: “May I tell him jest one about my marriage in Africa, cause it is true?”

My father he said: “O, you be dratted, I have knew Missis Gip ever since she was a little feller, and I know you married her in Illinoy.”

Mister Gipple said: “I hope to die if it isnt so, jest as I said.”

Then my father he said: “All right, you may tell him, but I dont want to hear it, so Ile read this news paper.”

So Mister Gipple told me for to come closer, so as not to interupt a man which was readin, and father he took out his spetacles and wiped them real careful, and put them on his nose, and begun for to read the paper just like he had never saw a other paper, only but just that one. Then Mister Gipple he said: “Johnny, one time while I was a missionary preacher in Africa I was mighty lonely and said to the king of the natif niggers: 'All you fellers is married, but I havnt got any, cause she is in Illinoy. Spose you let me have a wife too.’

“The king he said: 'You aint nothing but a gum dasted white man, but you have been pretty decent about givin me rum and tobacco and showin me how to save my soul, so Ile give you all the wives that you can eat.’

“I thanked him and went to my shack and lay down for to dream of conjuggle happiness, but about mid night I was awoke by a awful yellin and hammerin on gongs, and when I looked out the whole horizon was lit up with bon fires and I could see all the natif niggers a dancin and a carryin on like they was crazy drunk.

“Next mornin I went to the king and asked him what was the trouble, and he said, the king did: 'No trouble at all, the high priest he married you last night and my loyal subjects was a cellebratin the nupitals. Every thing has been done proper, acordin to your station in life and you now have wives enough for to last a long time if you are economicle. There they are.’

“Johnny, that bad man pointed to a cage of monkeys! Yes, my boy, they had made a gam doodled poligamer of me by marryin me to a lot of long tail, rib nose, jabberin apes and baboons. And me a piller of the Methody church in good standin! Johnny, my domestical life was unhappy, for I dont like monkey any way which it can be cooked.”

Then my father he spoke up and said: “What did you do with them?”

Mister Gipple he said: “Hello! aint there any news in that paper? I thought you was a great reader, which makes a man mighty wise. But if you want to know, I got a divorce on the ground of failure to provide.”

But if me and Billy was married to monkeys we would cumber the earth with heaps of slain, for the Constution it says man and wife are one flesh, which is grass.


THE buf is found in all the big eastern cities. The she ones is called a cow cause she bellows loud and shrill, but the little one he is a sucker. The buflo is a natif of Omaha, but the peoples there they said: “O, whats the use, for the mooley cow is more milky and cant gore.”

The buf has got a mane like a lions mane, but when he springs onto his prey and wrenches it from the earth the sheeps they laughf and say they could have done that thir own selfs.

One time some soldiers they lay down in the prairie for to sleep. Their guide was a young feller which wore 3 revolvers and a big boy knife and had long yellow hair. In the middle of the night he was heard to holler like he was cats, cause some bufs had strayed in to camp for to eat grass, and thats what made the guide wish his self back in Boston. The captain of the soldiers he asked him what was up, and the guide said: “Some bodys gum dasted cow took me by the hair and swang me round till it pulled out thats whats up!”

The captain he said: “Well, what you kickin about? Animals which pulls up grass always has to shake the dirt off the roots, don’t they?”

My sisters young man he says once there was a buf in the Zoo, and a Injin came for to see him. The buf he looked at the Injin, too, and bime by he said, the buf did: “How is the dusky chieftain of the Galoots, and how does it feel to wear the stopipe hat and frock coat of the Paleface?”

The Injin he thought a while, and then he said: “If me and you was to home you would have some thing else to think about than the spring styles of gents cloes.”

The buf he sighed and said: “The words of the great Swaller-His-Blanket brings back the light of other days most peculiar, the days when we roamed the plain together and you was always a little ahead.”

The Injin spoke up and said: “Yes, events did move pretty rapid them days, but it wasn’t real progress like 20 dollars a week, for to do a scalp dance in a show.”

The buf he wank his eye and said: “Ime fairly comfortable too, only but jest when I have a pain in the stomach of my belly from too much clover.”

But if I was a buflo I rather be a rain deer and gallop oer the snow beneath the aurory boryalis, hooray!

Uncle Ned he said: “Johnny, do you know how Mister Jonnice, which has the wood leg, lost his meat one?”

I said: “Yessir, it was bit off by a cracky dile, and pulled out by a shark, and amptated for to cure the go out, and flang off when he ran after the fleein enemies at Gettysburg.”

Uncle Ned he said: “My boy, you have been listenin to him instead of consultin the best authoritys. Mister Jonnice was one time huntin bufloes in Wyoming, and he had slottered so many he was tired, so he lay down on a rock for to rest. Pretty soon a kioty came along, and the ki showed his teeths and said, ironicle: 'Lets hunt together.’

“Mister Jonnice said: 'Ide like to, but the fact is Ime about to go away, a leavin you so far behind that we cant.’

“Then Mister Jonnice he departed, mighty awkward but surprisin fast, and disapeared over the horizon. The ki he looked a while, and then he said: 'All right, if I cant get what I want Ile take what I can get, and a half of a loaf is better than nothing to eat.’

“So the ki it et Mister Jonnices leg every little tiny bit up.

“You see, Johnny, when the convsation began the leg was asleep, and Mister Jonnice hadnt time for to wake it up, but bein a brave man he had hopped away without it.”

But the zeebry is the swiftest thing which is in the world, and the hi potamus roars like he was a brigdier general, and then the rhi nosey rose winks his eye, much as to say: “Hark, I hear a angel sing.”


THE he sheep is a ram and the she is a you and the little feller is lambs. Lambs is playful, and when the sun is shinin warm in the spring they turn out and have a stunnin good time, and thats why The Bible it says for to go it while you are young. When a sheep has been sheared it doesnt look very civilized, more like it was sick. Mister Gipple says one time a scientifical feller he surprised a young you which had been sheared the first time, and she blushed so rosy that he wrote to the presdent of his college: “I have discovered a new specie of red dog, which I have named Canis rubicutis, make me a professor of animals, with a salary of one thousand hundred dollars a year and board.” But my sister she can turn real red too when I tell her that bitin her young man isnt fair play.

A old you she had a labm, and one day she was sheared. When the labm it came to her for to get its dinner it stopped and looked at her a while, and then it backed away and made a bow, much as to say: “I beg your pardon, I didnt know you was that way. I will wait.”

Uncle Ned he said to my sister: “Missy, I have some mighty bad news for you, but you must brace up and try for to bear it. Me and Mister Gipple was out in the country yester day, and we caught your young man eatin a dead sheep.”

Missy she most fainted, and she said: “You wicked man, it isnt so, where was it?”

Then Uncle Ned he said, Uncle Ned did: “It was in the dining room of a way side inn.”

I never have see such a furious girl like Missy was, but Uncle Ned he says every woman is a fo to the truth and I better be ware how I tell it.

Dead sheeps is mutton, but canibles eat their selves and is happy. When Jack Brily was casted a way on a island he seen 2 canibles meet, and one said to the other how did he do, and the other he said: “O, Ime jest fine—fit for to set before a king.”

A other time Jack was ship wreck, and him and the captain was threw on a bare rock, where they came near starvin to death. So they drawed lots to see which one should be et by the other, and the captain he lost. Then he said, the captain did: “Well, my man, you didnt think me and you would ever be mess mates, did you?”

Jack he said: “No sir, I sure didnt expect sech a honor as to meet you at dinner, and the worst of it is that I havnt my ditty bag and cant slick my self up a bit.”

There was a old ram which licked all the other rams which are in the world, so one day a feller which the old ram had licked hisn he see him comin, and he took a big lookin glass, the feller did, and set it up on the river bank long side the road. The ram he see it and shook his head and said: “You gum dasted homely galoot, if you think you can hide behind that picture frame you are mistook.”

So he backed off and let drive like he was shot out of a cannon and busted through the lookin glass and went down in to the river. Bime by he was washed a shore and stood up on his feets with the cold water a runnin out of his wool, like he was a spunge. Then he shet up his eyes for to think, cause he was all mixed up in his mind, and bime by he said, real thoughtful: “Braveness is the soldiers hope. I wont never again hide behind a picture frame for to sass a other feller which is goin a long the road a mindin his own business.”

Missis Doppy she says her little Sammy is a labm, but I dont see no wool, nothing only but just dirt. One day Sammy tore his trousers, which was brown, and she put a blue patch on the place. Pretty soon after she and him was to our house, and my father he said: “Missis Doppy, that is a mighty fine boy of yourn.”

Missis Doppy was real pleased, and she said: “Yes, indeed, he is just a little angel right down from Heaven.”

My father he smoked his pipe in silents for a while, then he said: “That little angel of yourn seems to have brought a piece of the sky down with him.”

You never seen such a furious woman as Missis Doppy was in your life, and Billy didn’t in hisn, but the Bible it says we shouldnt ever let our hungry passions arise, cause them which takes up the sword shall be for ever exalted.

Labms is so famous that they have statutes in all the grave yards, just like soldiers in Washington, and now I will tell you a story which my sisters young man told me.

One time General Grant, which was the greatest man in the world, was a bein showed the statutes which adorn the city of Washinton, and he said, General Grant did: “I never seen such a lot of gam doodled scare crows!”

Then a good man which was a preacher he spoke up and said: “General, you oughtnt to swear, cause the wicked shall be casted in to Hell.”

The General he said: “Thank you, I shouldnt mind that so very much, but I sure dont want to be casted in to bronze.”

Statutes is made by sculptors, and thats why I say every creepin thing brings 4th after its own kind and multiplies excessive.


I SAID did Uncle Ned know what makes water run off a ducks back, and he said: “Yes, my boy, thats about the only thing that I am prepaired for to take a examnation on with out cribbin from the tex book. One time in the garden of Eden, Adam, which was takin home a bucket of coal oil, see the frog a sittin a sleep in the grass, and then he see the duck. The duck it snook up and pecked the frog real cruel on the spine of its back. If you catch a frog you will see the hump where its back was broke.

“Adam he said: 'You gum dasted beast of the field, why did you do that?’

“The duck tost its head contemptible and sed: 'Cause he makes me tired, he is so disgustin clean, always takin a bath.’

“Adam said: 'Dont you ever take a bath your own self?’

“The duck it said: 'No, I dont, cause cleanity is only but jest a habit, and water is pizen.’

“That made Adam so mad that he flang the whole bucket of oil on the duck, which smelt awful and has been aquaticle ever since. It swims and dives and splashes all the life long day for to wash the oil off, but the water wont take hold.”

I said why didnt the ducks wash their selfs with soap, but Uncle Ned he shook his head real mournful and said: “No, no, I have suggested that reform to them many a time and oft, but the march of mind is mighty slow in this world and, so far, they wont do any thing only but just eat the soap.”

Ducks quack and the eagle he screams, and the high eany it laughfs when there isnt any thing funny, the cammel he snorts out of his nose and Franky, thats the baby, he gets soap in his eye and is like the battles roar! Frankys eyes is blue, but my sisters young mans is gray, and when she looks into hisn he looks into hern. And thats why I say how wondful are the works of Provdence!

One day when him and her was to the picture gally she seen one which she liked real well and she said: “Isnt that a duck of a paintin?”

Then he said: “Yes, indeed, I seen the other side of it. It is a canvas back.”

But Uncle Ned says if he couldn’t make better jokes than that he would write for the comicle papers and defy detecktion!

Mister Jonnice, which has the wood leg, he says one time he went to New Jersey for to be an editor of a comicle paper, and the second day a feller came in the office, wearin a long black coat and lookin like his heart was broke. He said good mornin mighty solemn and Mister Jonnice he said: “Welcome to the Temple of Meriment, cheer up and have a chair, hows buisness?”

The feller he said: “That depends a good deal on you.”

Mister Jonnice he spoke up a other time and said: “All right, Ile go home and ring the neck of my little girl and pizen my wife and discumbowel my father.”

The sollemn feller said: “You fill me with horrible! I beg you for to pawse and consider what a wicked thing that would be to do.”

Then Mister Jonnice he thought a while and bime by he said, soft and low: “Yes, I guess maybe it might be looked at that way, and I wouldnt do sech things only but for to help you.”

The feller he looked like he didnt under stand, then he said, the feller did: “Excuse me if I seem hard for to please, but how would them actions help me?”

Mister Jonnice said: “Why, aint you a a under taker?”

The feller he looked mournfuller than ever and said: “Alas, no, I am Rollickin Ralf, your chief contributer. God willin, me and you will make the Temple resound with gle.”

The Bible it says thou shall not kill, cause them which is killed they shall be casted in to a lake of milk and honey, where the worm tieth a knot and the fire is not quenched.


MISTER GIPPLE he said: “Johnny, di ever tell you about the numporaucus?”

I said he didnt, and then he said: “The nump is by many considered the king of beasts, for its roar is like the voice of doom, and when it is heard at midnights holy hour the heathen in his blindness says he must put up a lightnin rod first thing in the mornin. But when the day dawns bright and fair like a angels face he knows it was only just the nump a talkin in his sleep. Johnny, as you justly say, the cracky dile is a microbe and the skin of the rhi nosey rose isnt made to measure, but the nump is a one legger and skowers the plane like a thing of life.”

I said where was it found, and he said, Mister Gipple did: “There is a dispute about that among scientificle fellers, cause no body which has found a nump has come back for to tell the tale. Some believes it to inhabbit the equator, but others say it is a scallywag. The one which I seen was in New Jersey, where I was a missonary to the natif niggers. One day I catched a natif and was a lickin him for bowin down to wood and stone, when a big black shadow fel a thwort the scene of spiritual contversy. With a few well choosen words I brought the services to a close and looked up for to pronounce the bennediction and there, between me and the noondy sun towered a giant numporaucus! It was as big as a house of the same size and its eye was as the full moon when lovers whisper their vows of ever lastingness.

“Johnny, I was mighty scary for a man which was married and had met the lightnin eye to eye quite frequent, and I couldnt think of a word to say. The nump it stood on its lonely leg and looked at me a while, mighty reticent, and then it stept forward and took my neck between its teeths and I knew no more! When consience returned I was in my own country, a runnin for office, to which I had the bad luck to be defeated by a over weening majority.

“The years rolled on and one day I read in the paper that on the polmy plains of New Jersey a skulleton had been found with its neck bit in 2! A natif niger which would carry to his grave the marks of his conversion to the Bible was asked what he knew about it. He wank his eye mighty mournful, much as to say he could tell a good deal more if he wanted to, and I guess he could, for he was a dandy talker and had arose to high distincktion in the church.”

I asked Mister Gipple who the natif nigger was and he said: “Never mind that, Johnny, for it doesnt matter much. What worries me is who I am my own self.”

But if me and Billy met a nump we would fall up on him with fire and sword and strech him dead up on the plain! The Bible it says to resist evil and it will fle as a bird, and thats why I say be up and doin, for the sluggerd goes to the ant and is bit.

Mister Gipple says that one time Mister Jonnice, which has the wood leg, was a sittin by the road side in the Cannible Island and a big natif nigger came a long with nothing on but a stopipe hat. The stumach of the natif niggers belly it stuck out be fore him, real round, and he was a drummin on it with his 2 hands, mighty cumftable. When he see Mister Jonnice he stopt and looked at him a while, and then he said: “Poor feller, you seem to have lost your laig.”

Mister Jonnice he spoke up and said: “Yessir, and you seem for to have found it and et it.”

My sisters young man says if he had a wood leg he would take it to a massadger and tell him to put some ginger in to it.

Ginger bread, nice and sticky is the stuff of life, and makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.


UNCLE NED he said: “Johnny, you have pained me by your indifference to the mole. I can only lay it to your ignance, cause maybe you don’t know there is such a feller.”

Then I spoke up and said: “The mole is amphibious and lives in the ground. It hasent got any eyes, but its nose is like a awger, cause it can bore through the solid rock and come out on the other side and holler hooray! The fur of the mole is slick and shiny and makes good mufs. Girls wears mufs but boys is kings and can stand on their head. Girls is cry babys, and if I was a girl I rather be a fellers wife and roar like distant thunder.”

Then Uncle Ned he said: “Johnny, I see that I was mistook. You are not ignant about moles, and you are mighty well informed about girls. My charge of indifference arose out of the fact that you never asked me why the mole doesnt come out of the ground for to bask in the light of day and survey mankind with comperhensive view. I should think a bright, scientificle boy like you would want to know that same as to learn why the beaver has a flat tail, and how the cammle got his hunch and what makes the buttigoat have whiskers.”

I asked him why was it, and he said: “Thats what I knocked off work a plantin potatoes, to come in and tell you, for knowlidge is power.

“One time Adam he was a diggin post holes in the Garden of Eden, when the mole it come along and said good mornin, cause the mole it was created real sociable. Adam he was grouchy, cause Eve had sassed him, and he dident say any thing. Then the mole said: 'If I was give dominion over ol the beasts of the field, as you be, I wouldnt be diggin holes, Ide make the woodchuck do it for me, which is more skillfle.’

“That made Adam furious, like he was a wet cat, and he said: 'I dont want advice from any gun dasted squirel of the air.’ So he catched the mole and flang it in to the post hole which he had dugged, and said: 'Ile be gam doodled if I dont burry you alive for your impidence!’

“Then he begun for to fill up the hole, and the mole it spoke up real solemn and said: 'Ime laid here in the shure and certain hope of a blessed resuraction.’

“But Adam he said: 'That hope will be blasted. You shant ever arise from the dead till Gabrial blows his horn and eccho ansers from the hill.’

“And, Johnny, thats why the mole, which tils the soil real industrious, never comes up for to view the land scape oer.”

One day Billy he come home a holdin up a mole by the tail, which some boy had give him, and the mole it was a live.

When my mother she see him she said: “O you cruel, cruel boy! Throw it in the fire this minute!”

One Sunday Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, he was to our house, and mother she read out of a paper about Doctor Tanner, which didn’t eat any thing for 40 days, and she said, mother did: “Stuff and non sense, he would have died.”

Father he said: “I dont know about that. Bears stay in hollow trees all winter and live by suckin their feets.”

Mister Pitchel he thought a while, and bime by he looked up at the ceilin a while, real sollemn, and then he said: “There was a greater than Docktor Tanner, and He fasted forty days and forty nights in the wildness. Does any of you know what it was which sustained Him?”

Then Billy he spoke up real quick and said: “Sucked his feets!”


THE GOFURIOUS is the monarck of the mountains, and Uncle Ned he says its roar is like ocean on a western beach. The go rises with the lark, and when he shakes hisself the stars shoots madly from their spheres! But the rhi nosey rose looks up from his dinner and says: “Nothin doin.”

One day a rhi met a go and the go it said: “If I had such a potuberence on my nose like that Ide wear a vail.”

The rhi he thought a while and then he said, the rhi did: “Some folks has horns on their noses and some others is gum dasted iddiots, its all a matter of taste. I know I aint beautifle for to look at, but this sticker of mine is mighty handy for to search the innards of the sick, and I guess you aint a feelin very well this mornin, are you?”

Then the go it moved away and sed it thought maybe it better take a pill.

The gofurious is a natif of the equator, which it devastates from pole to pole! Its food is niggers, and it is the joy of its sweet young life to stain it plumadge with their gore! The she one is called a scow, but the little feller is a slob. The old he one has got three horns, one on its neck, and one on its back, and a little sharp one on its tail, and when it is poked it whacks this one in to the poke feller, which turns purple and swells up like he was a baloon and xplodes with a loud report.

Sheeps is carnivories, and the tagger it is a mollusk, but the go has got a white belly and only but just one leg, which is like a blasted pine and defies the storm! Its lonely foot is like the talent of a eagle, and when it skowers the desert so much dust is threw up that the natif niggers cant see which way to run, so the go catches them and they perish in their pride. When the go sees a hi potamus it gnashes its teeths once, twice, thrice, and raises a protestin voice. The hi he says he guesses he knows his own business and aint a goin to knock off bein a hi potamus for any snouty galoot which roams the plain. But the go envelps him in a cloud of dust and clasps him to its bosum, and when the weather clears up the hi is no more! Then the go it utters a long mournful wail, much as to say: “Alas, am I doomed never to know the pleashures of a peaceful life? Why am I cursed with a unsociable disposition?”

When my sisters young man had read about the go, and the hi, and evrything, he said: “Johnny, I wonder, O, I wonder how did them facts become known to you. Can it be possible that you inherit them from your gifted uncle?”

I said, “Yes, I did.” Then he said: “Well, well, well, who would have thought it? This is the worst case of trance mission which I have ever knew about. Yes, indeed, it beats the ever lastin Dutch!”

Some folkes bears false witness, but Uncle Ned he knows every thing which is in the world, and he is increddible.


MY father he told me why didnt I write about the unicorn. I said I would, so I set down and wrote about its 1 horn, and how it had a mane like horses, and how it stood on its hind feets for to fight lions, and every thing I could think of, but when I come to its tail I said did it have a tassel. Then my father he said: “If you have got to the end of your subject why dont you stop?”

But my sisters young man says the unicorn is nothing only but just a rhi nosey rose. Pretty soon after that Uncle Ned he said: “Johnny, I know you are just dyin for to know something about the rhi nosey rose.”

Then I spoke up and said: “The rhi nosey rose is the most powful beast which is known to man. He is found in the jingles of the Nile, but the feller which finds him is lost his own self, for ever and ever, amen. The rhi is a 4 legger and gamles oer the green with whirl wind speed to catch the natif nigger as he flies afar. But the travler meets him eye to eye and fels him to the plain and writes a book about it. The lion roars like distant thunder, the gorillys song is as the wind among the pines, the long lament of the hi potamus is mournful for to hear, and the harpsicord cracky dile sobs out his heart on the evenin blast, but the rhi nosey rose hasn’t a word to say. He is all buisness.”

Uncle Ned said: “My boy, you are eloquenter than preachin, and I have listened to your perioration with delight and profit cause I know that them gloing periods come straight from the heart of your sisters young man, which wrote them for you. Cherish him, Johnny, cherish him as the apple of your eye, for he is a realy genuine bombastic, but when it comes to rhi nosey roses he isnt in it with your uncle Edard, not by a heap! Frexample, can he tell you how the rhi came to have a horn on his nose? I trow not.”

I asked how it was, and he said: “When the distinguished naturaler which you have just quoted wrote about the lions roar, and the gorillys song, and the quiring of the flopdoodle, and so 4th, he was mighty close to a great discuvery, but he missed it pretty slick. One day in the Garden of Eden them fellers was a showin off their voices, and it made the rhi feel mighty lonely.” So he said to Adam: “If you please, sir, Ide like for to be frightful my self.”

Adam said: “Well, you aint particlarly reassurin to them which has good eye sight, as you are, but come to me to-morrow and we will see what can be done.”

That night, while the rhi was a sleep, Adam made a big horn grow on the rhi, and when the rhi came next day he said, Adam did: “Now you can be just as alarmin to the blind as them other chaps. All you got to do is to blow your horn.”

“Johnny, when you go to the zoo and see the rhi a liftin up his lip and twistin it round in such a awfle way dont you be afraid, cos he is only just a tryin for to blow his horn to beat the resoudin lion, put to shame the deafening hyena and parolyze with envy the hoo-hooing rhododandrum. He dont always succeed, but if you go frequent you will some day be rewarded with a blast which will make the heavens be mute.”

I asked Uncle Ned what makes the snale have a shell always on his back, and he said: “It dident use to be so. The snale was created all right, but it sought out many inventions and told them without turnin a hair. One day Adam he seen the snale creepin along the gravel walk, and he said, Adam did: 'You lazy worm of the dust, why don’t you get a move on you?’

“The snale it said: 'Ime the swiftest quodped which flies a long the plain, when I try. I devours distance like it was a string of maccarony, and there is only a imadginary line between the place where I am and the place where I want to be. I over take the kangaroon as he flies for his life, and the pigeon in the sky weeps to see me vanish below his horizon. When I go west it is always the same time of day with me, but when I turn east it is mid night before I have took a half dozen jumps.’

“Adam said: 'My, but you are spry when you are in a hurry. I spose you aint goin any where in particklar today.’

“The snale it said: 'Ime sick today, and have jest dragged my self out of the house for to get a breath of fresh air.’

“Adam he said: 'Where do you live, when you are to home?’ and the snale said: 'In that curly house away over there on the other side of the gravel walk.’

“Adam he thought a while, and bime by he said: 'It would be a great pity if the swiftest quodped which skowers the plain should take cold and die. You just go right in to your house again, and dont you leave it till I tell you.’

“Then Adam he walked a way and wank his eye, to his self and said: 'I have such a bad remember, may be Ile forget to tell him.’

“Johnny, that’s just what happened, so the fool snale, bein forbid to leave his house, has to take it along with him where ever he goes. And that will teach you never to brag about what you can do if you cant do it.”

But if Adam would scold me and Billy we would say: “You bad old man, what for did you eat that apple and make us all go to Sunday school?”

But a apple dumplin, plenty sugar on it, is as musicle as Apoloes loot.

In Madgigascar the natif niggers build their houses on the tops of posts for to keep the snakes out, and one day 2 natifs was a settin on the floor playin cards, and a rhi nosey rose he had gone under the house. Then he stuck his horn up through the floor between the niggerses legs. One of them said: “Whats that?”

But the other feller, which had just played a card, and was a studdyin his hand, and didnt see the horn, and he said: “You know what it is well enough have you got any thing to beat it? Thats the question.”

The other feller said he didnt believe he had, and arose his self up and jumped out of the window. Then the rhi walked away with the house on his head, and you never have saw such a astonish feller as the one which was a studdyin his hand!

When the rhi meets the ephalent he roots him with his sticker in the stumach of the belly, like the rhi was a hog, and the eph he wollups the rhi with his proboscus, like beatin a carpet for to get the dust out. My picture book it says that when the rhi has got the eph on his sticker the ephs grease runs in to the rhis eyes and puts them out. I asked Mister Gipple, which has been in Africa, if that was so. Mister Gip he thought a while, and bime by he said: “Yes, that was true a long while ago, but one day the rhi nosey roses they held a public meetin to see if something couldnt be done about it. There was a hundred ways pointed out for to stop it, but all them which had the best plans and made the longest speeches was the blind fellers. Bime by a old rhi which hadnt said any thing he rose hisself up and said: 'Mister chairman, I have give this matter much atention, and while I aint sure that the trouble can be untirely stopped, I think mebby some thing might be done toward it by keepin away from the ephalents.’

“Then they all rised in wrath and gored him with their stickers, and put him out, cause they said this was a pratticle matter and they didnt want nobodys fine spun theories.

“After a while a rhi which had been away he come in and asked what was the objek of the meetin, and when he was told he spoke up and said: 'You gam doodled idiots, why dont you stickum in the back? Grease don’t run up hill.’

“Then they all hollered: 'Hooray! thats jest what we was a goin to say our selfs. We will make this feller our king!’

“So they put a gold crown on his head, and give him a jacknife with 4 blades, and a kite, and a peg top, and some fire crackers, and all the candy which he could eat.

“And now, Johnny, Ile tell you a other. One time a rhi it got mired in the mud of the Nile, which had overflew its banks, and the rhi was about to be drownded in the water. While he was thinkin of all the sins which he done, how he had gored the poor little hi potamuses, and trampled down the niggerses corn, and hadnt looked like the pictures on the circus posters, and every thing naughty, there was a cammel. Then the rhi he hollered: 'Bully for you! I thought no body would come along, but I see that the righteous is never forsook.’

“The cammel he looked a while, real solemn out of his eyes, as you so graphicle say, and then he said: 'What special advantage do you promise your self from my knowin that there is the remains of a rhi nosey rose under the mud of this river?’

“The rhi he seen the cammel wasnt a goin for to do anything for him, so he said: 'I don’t care what you know, nor what you dont know, but when a feller is departin this life he goes more willin and lamb like if he sees at his bed side one of them objeks which makes life so everlasty disgustin.’”

But if I was a rhi nosey rose I rather be a eagle, cause the eag is the umblem of the land of the free, and has the stars and strips embludgeoned on his breast!


AMAN which had a swan his boy was home from colledge, and one day the boy he come in with a gun and said, the boy did: “A awfle big snake stuck its head up out of the grass in the pond in the lawn, and I knew it was a lookin for your swan, for to bite it, so I shot it, now give me some spendin money, cause I saved your swan.”

But it was the swans neck which he had shot, and his father said: “I sent you to Yale for to learn what swans is, and now I got to send you to Harverd for to learn what snakes is, and fore you know every thing its a goin to mighty xpensive to your poor old father.”

Little swans is signets and my sisters young man he says their tracks in the mud is their signetures, but that isent so, cause signetures is writtin “Johnny” real plain on a piece of paper and showin it to your mother.

Today while Uncle Ned was in the parlor my mother she come in and said: “Edard, since Johnny took to writin them animal stories, and you took to sendin them to that nasty news paper, we havent been any thing but just a famly of jokers, like we was clowns in circusses, and you have been the head of it all. I blieve every body in town is a laughfin at us. If you havnt got any self respeck for your own self you ought to have some for me and your niece.”

Uncle Ned he got up and put his hand in his waist coat and bowed and said, real sollemn: “The subjeck on which I have had the honor to be addressed is of national importance, and one in which I take the deepest intrest, and I thank the delegation for the able manner in which it has been presented. Appreciatin the dificultys of my position, you will not xpect me to say more at present, but I can ashure you that what it has been my privlege to hear shall be submited to my colleags and will recieve the most atentif considderation.”

My mother she was astonish, like Uncle Ned was out of his head, and she looked at him a while, and then she walked slow out of the room, a sayin: “Well, I never!” But the minute the door was shut Uncle Ned he said: “Quick, Johnny, jump to your work, once there was a dog, or a horse, or a hipporaucus, or a 3 leg rammidoodle, or any thing which you can think of, theres your paper and heres a pencil, spring, I tell you, look alive!”

But I was so xcited that I couldent think of any thing for to write, so I jest busted out a cryin, and Uncle Ned said: “One time there was a weepin willow.”

About a hour after wards my mother, which was a knittin, she looked up and said: “Edard, why is a ephalent like a man which is a goin on a jurney?”

Uncle Ned, which was a readin a book, he shut it up, and stood up on his feets, and then he laid it away, and walked over to where my mother was, and looked her in the face and pretty soon he fetched 3 chairs and set them before her, and she said: “What do you mean, Edard, I have never seen such actions.”

But Uncle Ned he went and got Billy, and set him in one of the chairs, and then he put me in a other, and give me a pencil and a piece of paper. Then he set his self down in the other chair, and Bildad, thats the new dog, it come and set down long side of Billy. After we was all put, and nobody had spoke, cause me and Billy thought it was some game which was to be played, Uncle Ned he looked at mother and said: “I give it up, now for the answer. Be sure you get it right, Johnny.”

But my mother she was a gettin redder and redder, like beets, and bime by she got up and flounced out of the room, furiouser than any thing which I have ever saw in all my life, or Billy ever seen in hisn. There was never such a dizzy pointed man as Uncle Ned was, but he says they are all just that way, in Indy and every where.


MISTER GIPPLE, which has been in Africa, he said: “Johnny, if your ungennerous kinsman hadent saw fit for to impeech my credibility, which is the most precious juel in my crown, Ide tell you about the hipporippus.”

I said what was it like, and he said: “It is a little like a ephalent, cause it has got teeths mighty plain to see, and a little like a cammel, cause it has got a back, and a little like a giraft, cause it has got a neck, and a little like a jackus, cause its voice is heard in the stilly night, and a little like a man, cause it is pizen. It is a off spring of the thunder and the grave, and is distant related to the surf beat shore. When it winks a black shadow sweeps across the face of the world, and when it opens its eye again light breaks upon the land scope like dawn over the eastern hills. It walks a merridian of longitude and, lo, the east is parted from the west for to make room! It laughfs in fiendish glee and the milk sours in the cows of all nations. Yet this tempestilent creature can be as gentle as a suckin whirl pool and coo like laughture in a toomb.”

I asked where was the hip found. Mister Gipple thought a while, and bime by he said: “A contented mind is better than great riches, but if you cant smuther your curosity you may look for it just out side the scruburbs of most any Afcan village, for it is mighty sociable and loves the fellership and communion of yuman beings better than pie. But when you go for to find the hip you better empty your pockets of your marbles, and your peg top, and your kite string, and your jack knife, and your base ball, and your 12 inches of rusty chain, or you will know them no more for ever.”

I said would the hip take them away from me, and he said: “No, it wont, it will take you away from them.”

But if I met a hip I would roll my sleefs up, and spit on my hands, and thunder: “You cowerdly feller, if you come a step nearer I will go home and tell my father!”

And thats why I say courage is the stuff of life, and none but the brave deserts the fair!

Mister Gipple says one time Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, was a mitionary in Africa, like he was his self, and he converted all the peoples in a town, and they jest doted on him. But one night a natif nigger snook in to Mister Pitchels hut and said, the natif nigger did, “You better leave here mighty quick, for they are a goin to boil you.”

Mister Gipple, which was astonish, he said: “I guess there is a mistake, cause Ime so popular.”

The natif nigger he said: “Thats jest the reason, for they say you are a saint and it would bring a blessin to the town for to have a few of your rellics, jest your shin bones, and a half dozzen of the nuckles of the spine of your back, and maybe the skull of your head.”

I asked Mister Gipple if them rellics of Mister Pitchel, would have done any good, and he said: “Well, Johnny, not bein a church feller, Ime not shure about it, and Ime particklar scepticle about the head, seein it has never done him any good his own self, but them shin bones surely did work a mirracle when he was a pullin out of that town.”

Mister Gipple says there was a other mitionary preacher, and he had only but just one leg, like Mister Jonnice. One day the king of the cannibals asked him to dinner. So he slicked his self up and went. The king said: “Ime glad to see you, now take your close off.”

The 1 legger he said: “Yessir, I see Ime not in the fashion, but I thought you would be indulgent to a benighted forreign feller which is your guest at dinner.”

The king he spoke up and said: “You dont seem for to under stand. You are the dinner.”

The one legger he seen how it was, but he smiled real polite and said: “O, I beg pardon, how many of you are to eat me?”

The king said there was 2, countin the dog which was to be give the bones. Then the mitionary said what was the choice parts of a feller like him, and the king said: “You chaps is like frogs. Unless fammin stalks abroad in the land we dont care for anything you have only but just the hind legs.”

The mitionary said: “Ime mighty glad for to hear you say so, cause Ide like to keep my head a while. I need it in my business. Here is one of my hind legs, which will last you till midnights holy hour, and to morrow I will bring you the other.”

So he reached under the table and took off his cork laig and laid it fore the king, which was so rattled that fore he knew what to do the mitionary had hopped away.

Mister Jonnice says when he gets rich he is a goin to buy a leg of sandal wood with the sandal on it, but I say blessed is the poor, for they shall go through the eye of a needle, hooray!


AFELLER was a ridin one, and every little while it would stop and bray. The feller he said: “For goodness sake, dont be 2 nusances to once. If you are a goin to sing you must trot along same time, but if you prefer to stop you got to hold your tongue. Ime a long way from home, and my wife is lyin at the point of death, and night is comin on, and I havent had my supper, but tween you and me I dont care which plan you adopt.”

One day when my father was in Nevady he met a Cornish miner comin up the grade to Virgina City, carryin a jackus on his shoulders, and my father he said: “Poor little animal! What broke its leg?”

The miner he said: “Ta blessit moke have luggit I all ta way from Reno, and I be givin he a bit of a rest fore ridin in to town, thats what brakit uns lag.”

Old Gaffer Peters has got a son which was a sailer, like Jack Brily, and the boy stopped in Spain and got married. One time he wrote to old Gaffer and sent the letter to my father for to be give him, but my father opened it his self, cause he thought it was hisn. The letter had a photy grap in it of old Graffers little grand son. But my sisters young man he snook out the picter and put in a other one, which was a baby with the head of a jackus. My father he dident know, and he give the letter to old Gaffer, which looked at the picter, and then read the letter, and then thought a while real sollemn, and bime by he said: “When a young feller makes a fool of his self and marrys a wild Spainard his boys dont look like his home folks one bit.”

But father he said: “Why, Gaffer, I never see such a spekin likeness as that pictur is of you.”

Old Gaffer he put his spettacles on again and looked at it a other time, real long, and then he shook his head and said: “Ole age is onorable, but it makes a feller look like a dam rabbit!”

Jackusses looks like mules, and Franky, thats the baby, looks like he would bust, and Missy she looks at her young man, and says to her self: “How nice!”

But if she had saw him when he wank his eye at Mary, thats the house maid, she wouldnt think so, for winkin is pligamy and thats trigonomatry.

I ast Uncle Ned did he know what makes the Jackus bray, and he said: “Yes, I do. In the Garden of Eden Adam had a field of barly, and he told the animals that if they didnt keep out of it he would cast them all in to a lake of ever lastin fire. Now the jackuses tail was created up right, like it was the mast of a ship, so one day the jack he come to Adam and said: 'Ide like you to make my tail hang down like the other fellerses tails, cause they say Ime proud.’

“Adam knew that the jackus was really proud and he wondered, Adam did, why he wanted his tail down, but he done it and the jack thanked him and went away. Bime bi Adam he seen the jackuses trackx all thrugh the barly field, and it had et barly. Then he knew the jack had ask him to let down his tail so it wouldn’t show above the barly and be tray him. So Adam he said: 'You are a mighty smart feller for a thief. Ile keep my sacred word about that tail, but you will wish you hadent spoke.’

“So the tail hangs down, to this day, but evry little while the jackus yields to a inate ambition and primevle desire for to set it up like it was made, but when ever he tries to arise it it hurts him so awfle that he utters his soul in mournful song.

“Johnny, you just let the morral of this story sink deep into your heart and you will grow up a good man and some day be Presdent.”

If I was Presdent I would take my big sword and cleave the wicked Demcrats in twain, for the Bible it says them which is sinners shall have ever lastin life!

I said did Uncle Ned know what for Mexican dogs havent got any hair, and he said: “Yes, I learnt it from a old man script which I found in a Hindoo temple in Kansas. One day soon after the creation Adam he was a walkin in the Garden and he seen a dog with long curly hair which hung clear down to the ground. Adam he said: 'My! what a beautiful back of hair you have got.’

“Now, the dog was a fool and prouded his self on his hair, so he answered: 'You ought to seen it fore I had that fever. It hasent been the same since.’

“Adam he knew there hadnt been no fever, cause there wasnt any sin, for it is sin which makes a feller sick.”

I ast Uncle Ned was it sin which made Franky sick the time he had a pain in his lap and howled like he was cats. Uncle Ned said: “Yes, it was, cause the sins of the father shall be fisted on to the childern, and you are mighty lucky it was Franky in stead of you which sufferd for my wicked brothers Repubcan afiliations. It will be you next time if you dont stop encurrigin him to support a Presdent which eats with niggers. But I was tellin you about that dog.

“When Adam heard him lie he made a jump at him for to kick him over the garden wall, but the dog he lit out for Mexico so fast that the friction of the atmisphere set him afire and burnt his hair every little bit off. He lived for to found a large famly in the land of his adoption, but they are all bald just like he was.

“Now, my boy, you go and tell your angel sister about this, cause there never was a woman which dident say her hair used to be longer fore she had a fever. They are mighty funny, women be, and have got to be crushed out with a ironicle hand!”

Yesterday Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, he was to our house, and he said to Uncle Ned: “Brother Edward, have you read in the paper a bout the cruelty of the warden at the Sing Sing penitentionary?”

Uncle Ned he said he did, and it was just like him, for he is a Repubcan.

Then my father spoke up and said: “Politics hasnt got any thing to do with it. Its cause the prisners is Demcrats.”

Mister Pitchel he said: “Surely, Robert, you don’t justfy mistreatin convicks be cause of their politicle faiths!”

My father said: “Yes, I do. When a fellers politicle faith makes him burgle, and garote, and bigam, and larcen, and shoot, and go to the theater with a other mans wife I say shut him up in a dark, unwholesome cell and give him fits three times a day with a black snake whip. If I was that warden and any news paper man come around pokin his nose in to none of his business Ide take him by the scruf of his pants and the seat of his neck and chuck him into the bay. I respeck the preachin trade much as any body, Mister Pitchel, but I bedam if I wouldent!”

Then Uncle Ned he said: “Robert, your eminent services in reformin the geography of this state entitle you to a respectable hearin, even when you dont swear, and I should like to have your views on penology more at length.”

My father he said: “What is penology?” and Uncle Ned said it was the sience of punishment. Then my father he said: “My views on penology is to lickum.”

Mister Pitchel he said: “Then you blieve in the eficacy of phisical torture?”

My father he said: “I blieve it hurts, and that is all I want to know about it. But come to think, I guess it does a heap of good too. When Billy and Johnny gets it, and they dont have to ask me twice for it, it isnt necessary for me to waste any time after ward a pointin out the wickedness of dizzy bedience and expoundin the beauty of a godly life. They seem to get on to all that their own selfs, and to remain in a proper state of mind for quite a little wile. What is good enough for my boys is good enoughf for stealers, and cheaters, and assassinaters, and fellers which buy ice cream for other fellers wifes, like I said be fore. My further views on penology is that when a gum dasted galoot is sent to prison I dont care a ding what is the nature of his xperence there, nor whether at the end of his term he comes 4th alive or not. If he didnt like the way the house is conducted he neednt have gone into it. The warden isnt a standin outside the front door invitin any body in for to share the ospices of the place. The sons of guns invites their selfs!”

When my father had got done he looked all round for some thing to kick, but Bildad, thats the new dog, he knew what was up and snook under the sofa, and Mose, which is the cat, he fled afar.

But the Bible it says dont let your angry passions rise up and call you blest. And thats why I say man is of few days and full of woman.


SOLJERS isent animals, but they can lick the hi potamus and the tagger, and the rhi nosey rose, and evry thing which is in the world. When I grow up Ime a going for to be a soljer, and then Ile draw my long sticker and cut off all the fellers which I dont likes heads and say: “Hooray! that will teach you that Columby is the gem of the ocean.”

Then the Presdent will say: “What a brave soljer, make him a major General and give him all the candy which he can eat!”

One time there was some cannon soljers a shootin off cannons at a target, and one of them was out in front, bout a hundred feet to one side of the target, for to see if it was hit, but it wasent, cause the cannon balls they kept a comin real close to his self and makin him duck and dance lively, you never seen such a frighten soljer!

Just as he was a goin to run away, cause he couldnt stand it, bang went a cannon ball right through the bulls eye of the target. Then he took his pipe out of his pocket, and fild it, and while he was a feelin for a match he said to his self: “Ime all right now, cause they have got mad and are a shootin at me.”

One day while our front door was a standin open, my father, which had just come in, he met Mary, thats the house maid, in the hall, and he said: “Mary, I know what you like, there is some soljers comin down the street with a brass band, and—” but fore he could say a other word Mary just vannished like she was shot out of a gun and was a flyin down the street for to see the soljers, and my mother she stepped out of the parlor with Franky in her arms. My father he looked at her, and then he looked at Franky, and then he took off his spettacles and wiped them, real careful, and put them on again, and took a other look, and said: “Why, bless my soul, I would have swore it was Mary! You go in the kitchen and tell her to take off her apron, and put on her jacket and her hat, and slick her self up a bit, and go and see the soljers.”

I ast Mister Gipple wasnt he proud when he was a soljer, and he said, Mister Gipple did: “I wasnt proud only but one time. One day a ungenerus fo took a mean advantige of me and come at me with his sticker when my hands was full. I turnd my back on him, real scornful, for about a mile, then he fleed and I entered my camp in triump!”

I said what was Mister Gippleses hands full of, and he said: “Johnny, if you had ast me at the time, I couldnt have told you, but when my captain pinted it out to me I remembered. They was full of revolvers.”

But if me and Billy was there Billy would met that cowerd fo, eye to eye, and laughfed him to scorn! When he is a man he is a goin for to be a captin of milishes, and ride a majesticle black steed, and cut Demcrats heads off and fling them to the Presdents feets, a shoutin the battle cry of fredom! But give me a home on the ocean wave, with a nice Sunday school book and plenty pirates for my pray!

Jack Brily, which is the wicked sailor, swears and chews tobaco and every thing, he says once when he was a pirate there was a other ship which looked like it was about to flounder. Jacks captin he said: “That ship is dangerously over manned. Jack, you take all our men and board her and make all hern walk the plank.”

So Jack and all the other pirates xcept the captin they give 3 cheers and got in their boat, with their cutlashes drawed, and boarded the ship, insted of which about a thousand jolly, jolly mariners arosed up from the deck and pointed blunder busters at them, and the captain of the ship come forwerd and said: “In reply to this funny way of hailin a strange craft I have to say that this is the Nancy Ann, 7 days out from Boston, and over loaded with apple pies. We was just a goin for to jettison some of the cargo, but I guess you fellers will do just as well.”

So Jack and his mates was made to sit down and eat apple pies till they was most busted and dead sick. That made the ship so light that she walked the waters like a thing alive, and the pirate captin was left lamentin.

I ast Jack why that didnt make a honest man of him, and he said: “It did, Johnny, it did. I resolvd for to repent and lead a bitter life, and I havnt been a apple pirate from that memorable day. Mince and helpin in my dads butcher shop is good enoughf for me.”

Uncle Ned he says he guesses that is true, for Jack is mighty well qualified for to swear off and on.

Mister Gipple said did I know about the battle of Gettyburg. I said no, I didn’t, and he said: “Well, Johnny Ile tell you, for it was the dandiest battle which ever was. I was there my self or it maybe would have been diferent.

“You see, Johnny, our soljers was on a hill, and Mister Lees was on a other, but ourn was the best hill and they wanted it. But Mister Mead, which was our captin, he was a brave man, and he sent for me to come over behind our hill, where he was readin a novel, and he said, Mister Mead did: 'General Gipple, if them misguided fellers which are in arms again our country and the Repubcan party come over our way and want to get on this side the fence you shut the gate in their gum dasted faces and tell them to clear out.’

“So I went back, and pretty soon I seen Mister Picket a comin, follerd by ten thousand hunderd rebbel soljers, and I shut the gate. When they had come real close up Mister Picket poked his ugly head over the fence and said: 'Hello, Yank, we want to get in for to bile some coffy. The feller which we are on his farm he wont let us light fires.’

“Then I spoke up in thunder tones and said, real sarcostic: 'You havnt got the price of admition.’

“Mister Picket he said: 'Dont you dare to taunt us with our povity! Its true we aint rich, cause you have stole all that we had, but we are mighty many, for the angels is on our side.’

“Then I spoke up real sneery, and said: 'If you have any regments of angels I guess they are sort of hangin back. I dont seem to see any of their wings a floppin in the breeze.’

“Just then Mister Hancock rode up behind me and said: 'Generl Gipple, stand firm, we got some angels of our own. Mister Mead ordered me to report to you with my whole dam celestial out fit.’

“I said: 'Thank you, Mister Hancock, they will be right handy for to carry to Heaven the souls of the Confedit slane just as fast as I can supply them.’

“And then, Johnny, I roled my sleefs up and that memorble slotter was began! I dont need to give you the bleedy details. Suffice it that when I was done that host lay withered and strew and Mister Picket was a hikin back to his base as fast as his 2 laigs could carry him, and our soljers was a singing the dogs ology real tuneful, like they was canarys.”

I asked Mister Gipple did he do it all his own self, and he said: “Nuthin but only just the killin, Johnny. Far be it from me for to deprife my comrads of the glory which justly blongs to the sons of hope and faith. If it hadent been for the morl sport which they give me by cheerin me on, and by their xclamations of wonder and delight, it would have took me longer.”

The Bible it says that thou shall not kill unless you are smote on one cheek or the other, but Uncle Ned he says a feller which would smite Mister Gipple on either cheek would skin his nuckles.

A other time Mr. Gipple said: “Johnny, there is a other great warior in this town, and it is Mister Pitchel, which is the preacher, as you truly describe him. He was the chaplin of the army wen it was in Cuby. One day there was a real hard fight, and when he run away he got lost in the forest primevle. Then he see a feller down on his knees behind a tree, a prayin loud and shril. So Mister Pitchel he joind him and prayed too, but pretty soon he noticed that the feller was a prayin in Spanish, so Mister Pitchel he said amen mighty quick and got up for to resume his go. Then the Spainard he said amen too, and picked up a gun and hollered: 'Come back, ye dom herry tick, or if I dont make buzzerds meat of yer dhirty caircase may I nivver see ould Tiperary again!’

“Mister Pitchel he went back and was took prisner. Then he said: 'I guess you was a prayin for the sucksess of the Spainish arms, wasent you?’

“The feller said: 'The divel a bit, they have been licked and I was prayin for the sucksess of their legs, as is the duty of me holy office. Ime their chaplin, bedad.’”

Mister Pitchel says he will pray for Mister Gippleses sinful soul, but Mister Gip he says: “Jest let me catch him at it, thats all!”

A captin of soljers he went to the camp of the enemies and said: “Some of you fellers has been a sassin some of us, what for did they do that?”

The captin of the enemies he said: “O go long about your business, we havent got any thing agin you.”

The other captin he said: “Then why do you come in to this neck o woods and sass us?”

The captin of the sassers said: “Why dont you move in to a other county fore we are drove by a relentless fate for to lick you like blazes?”

The captin which had come over he said: “A destiny which is deaf to our prayers compels us to remain and wollup the innerds out of you.”

And Mister Gip says that when the relentless fate stacked up aginst the destiny which was deaf to prayer the earth was piled with hetty combs of slain!

But if any body would sass Billy he would cleeve him to the chine!

My father was a readin a news paper, and all to once he give a long wissle and said he would be gum dasted! Uncle Ned he looked up and said what was it, and my father he said by cracky, that was the awfulest which he ever in his life!

My mother she jumpt up, and so did me and Billy, and Missy, and Bildad, the new dog, and Mose, which is the cat. My father he was so xcited that his spettacles fell off and he couldnt read no more till they was found, and all the wile he kept a sayin we was in for it, shure, and it was just what he had been xpectin, and he had always told us it would come. Bime bi my mother put his spettacles on his nose again, and he found the place and read, “The war broke out again. The Solid South in battle aray! The nations capitle in flames! Dredful massaker of the colored peoples in Virginy! Thousands of United States troops shot dead in their trackx!”

Then he seen it was nothing only but just a advertisement of a patent tooth brush and cloes pin combined, and he stopt and got red in the face, and wiped his spettacles with his thum, and put the paper in the fire, and said: “Edard, you better stay to home and look after the women and children, and mebby keep my memry green if I fall. Ime a goin for to march against the fo!”

Then he went out and stayed a week. And thats why I say be it ever so humble, theres no place like home.

Uncle Ned, which has been in Indy and every where, he says one time in Siam the king said to his captin of soljers: “I been supportin you and your lazy fellers for 20 years, and you havnt done nothing for your keep, only just eat and drink your heads off.”

The captin he said, the captin did: “Why, we have a inspecktion every little while, and 2 drills a month, and a dress parade evry day, with a brass band.”

The king said: “Yes, I know, but you dont do no fightin.”

The captin he said: “The drummer he knockt the bugler silly only jest yesterdy, the 1st sargent has a black eye most of the time when he isnt drunk, and I punches the corples head my self, quite frequent.”

But the king he said: “That aint enoughf, you got to go and thrash the fellers army which is a kingin on the other side of the boundry. If you suckceed in piercin his lines I will make you a earl.”

So they marched away with banners a flopin, and a long time after werd the king got a letter from the captin of soljers, and the letter said:

“Dear Madgesty,

After a good deal of skilful manoover I have pierced the enemys lines without a man killed, but the number of missin is considerable. In fact, my whole army is missin. I guess it is about where it was when I begun for to move on the enemys works single handed, but I dont know. You neednt make me a earl, for the king over here has made me a duke.

Yourn for Progresiveness,
Hop Sing.”


MY sisters young man he said: “Johnny, di ever tell you about Jony and the wale?”

But I said: “You cant fool me, you want me to say yes, and then you will say taint so, cause the Bible dont say it was a wale, but a big fish, and a wale isnt a fish.”

Then he said: “No, Johnny, it was a wale, I give you my honor, cross my heart and hope to die, and what I wanted for to pint out is the Bible says Jony was threw up by the wale after bein swollered, but it stands to reason it wasn’t so. No, Johnny, he must have digested and become a part of the wale, for when he was shut up in the stumach of its belly the thought of home and friends would naturly make him blubber.”

Then my sister she said: “Any one which falsifys the Scripter and puts his word against a Bible truth to make such a silly joke as that will go where the worm dieth not, so there!”

But her young man he said: “Ile take along a early bird and have some fun with that feller.”

Jack Brily he was a tellin old Gaffer Peters one day how he was to a mining town, and how he fished down a shaft, with a line 20 hundred feet long. Gaffer he said: “What a whopper, I been to mines my own self, and I know the water in a mine is blazin hot.”

Jack said: “Thats what makes it easy for to catch the fish, you only got to use ice cream for bait. Them poor fish is crazy for ice cream.”

Then old Gaffer said: “Why, Jack Brily, do you think Ime a iddiot jest cause my hair aint curly like yourn? If there was fish in that water they would be boild.”

Jack said: “Thats just it, Gaffer, thats just the idee, cause I dont consider fried fish is fit to eat.”

But give me plenty potatos, and mints pies, and peserves, and some do nots, and molasses, and apple dumps, and Ile take them fried and boild too.

A other time Jack was a tellin old Gaffer how he was a travelin once when he had been ship wreck and didn’t have nothin for to eat, and bime bi he come to a big lake of oil. So he upped and baited his fish hook and threw in his line, and in a little while he had cetched a wagon load of shads.

Gaffer he said: “How could shads live in oil?”

Jack he thought a wile, and pretty soon he said: “Thats a fact, Gaffer you have raked me fore and aft. Them fish was sardeens.”

And old Gaffer hasnt never got done braggin about how he caught Jack in a lie and made him own up.

One time a nigger fell off a ship and the sailors threw him a rope, which he caught, and they was a haulin him up when a shark snapped him in 2. Just then a Southern planter, which was a pasenger, he come on deck and looked over the side of the ship and seen the shark do it. He was xcited and hollered: “It has took your hook boys, it has took your hook! Bring a other one and get a fresh nigger!”

Some folks thinks niggers is just as good as white men, cause God made us all in 6 days and was arrested on the 7th.


UNCLE NED he said: “Johnny, do you know about the pol patriot?”

I said: “Yessir, it can be tought for to talk, just like gerls, and says, 'Polly wants a cracker,’ frequent.”

Uncle Ned he thought a wile, and bime bi he said: “This appears to be a case of mistaken eye dentistry, though there really is a resemble tween the pol parrot and the pol patriot, particlar in their cast of mind and their deplorable habit of saying what you have got tired of hearin. But the patriot he frequent makes the welkin ring, where as the other sport she only just shreeks like laughfter in a toomb. Both is 2 leggers, but the patriots is hind ones, and wen he wants to think he mounts them like a step ladder and does the trick with his toung, mighty awdible.”

I ast did the patriot have wings, and Uncle Ned said: “Wings is used for to go some where, but the patriot isnt migratary. He never gets very far away from his mouth, cause that is his place of business. No, my boy, the patriot never deserts his country, for he loves it and it is easy for to digest. He admires its instutions like they was pretty girls in white muslin gowns, servin pie. Its pocket is the haven of his hand, and the fat on his kidneys is public property dedicated to private use.”

But what he meant by all that rigmy roll is what floors me, and Billy is the same way. And thats why the Bible it says that wisdom is the root of all evil and flys from the rwath to come.

My sisters young man he said: “Johnny, if you was a sniposquatamus what would you rather be?”

I said it would be nice for to be a pirate, and he said: “Yes, I spose it would if it wasnt for the hangin, but I was thinkin mebby you would like to be a brother in law, which are usually acquited.”

Then Missy she spoke up and said he ought to be a shamed of his self, puttin wicked thoughts in to a inocent childs head, and tryin to break up a happy home, you never seen sech a dresin down as that feller got!

When it was all over he looked at her real sorroful and said: “Yes, I see I have went to far, dear, so if you dont mind I will just step in to the kitchen and take a carvin knife and cut my heart out. Johnny you come with me for to hear my last words and wipe up the gore.”

But when I begun for to cry he said: “Never mind, Ime a awful firm chap, but not stuborn, and rather than pain your young soul Ile postpone the rash deed and content my self with slayin your Uncle Ned.”

Then Missy said he was a riddiclous old thing and wouldnt hurt a fly.

Flys are insecks, and a wops is a be, but butter flys is a catter piller at first, and then it is a crisanthemum.

And now I will tell you a story about Mister Gipple when he was a mitionary preacher in Madgigasker and had amast a considable frotchune in ephalents tushes. Mister Gip is always bragin about the kings he has met, and he says one day he met the king of Madgigasker, which said: “Ime told that you are a preachin aginst the gods of my fathers and have busted the heads off of some of them. Is that so?”

Mister Gipple he said: “Yes, brother, it has been a joy to me to spread the light quite wide, and Ime thankfle to say that a few of the ugly idles which you fellers bow down to have suckummd to the power of the everlasty truth as it is give me to see it.”

The king said: “Ime a little tired of them idles my self, dont you think it would help along the good mitionary work for you to convert Me?”

Mister Gip he was just happy half to death, and he said: “Yes, indeed, and if you have time we will begin right now. First you must stop cuttin your wives noses off for every little thing which they do.”

The king he said, the king did: “I stopt that this morning. They are all off.”

Mister Gipple he wiped away a tear and said: “You must bless them which hate you.”

Then the king he said: “The darn galoots darent come near enough to me for to hear the blessing.”

So Mister Gip he said: “Well, we will pass that for the present. When your dog dies you must not discumbowel your high priest on its grave.”

The king said: “All right, my priminister will do just as well.”

Mister Gipple he was mighty discuraged, but he said: “You mustnt have any of your nevews and nieces buried alive when you are took sick.”

The king said: “No fear of that, I have been in mighty poor health all summer.”

That shocked Mister Gip so much that he hardly knew what he was a sayin, and he showted: “Poor miserable worm of the dust!”

Then the king, which had been sittin on his hawnches, he rose his self up, mighty magesticle, and said: “I have made every resonable consession and tried to meet you half way, but when you call me names you are a goin too far. You jest put new heads on them idles, and give up all the wealth of ephalents teeths in which you waller, and take your gum dasted new fangle religion out of my kingdom, or I will skin your legs!”

But if any old nigger king would skin mine I would hurl him from the throne, for the Bible says that all men are created equal, and endowered with unavailable rights. And thats why the people are the sores of power.

Uncle Ned he said: “Johnny, one time in Indy I knew a natif nigger named Jejybehoy Bilk. He lived just out side the village of Ipecack-in-the-Jingle and had a mighty nice wife. She didnt wear much cloes, cause they was poor, but one day I see her a wearin a taggers skin, and I ast Jej what for she drest so warm in the summer. Jej he said: ‘Cause a tagger has arived in these parts and is makin quite free with the peoples. Me and Mary Ann thinks that if she wears a taggers skin when she has to go out to gether sticks mebby the tag will think her a other tag, and spare her life.’

“I told him I thought it a good idee, and pretty soon after, when I met him again, I said: 'Good mornin, how is Mary Ann, and is she still wearin a taggers skin?’

“Jej he looked sollemn and said: 'Yes, Edard Sahib, a taggers skin and a taggers ribs too, in fact, she is wearin a whole tagger.’

“Johnny, she had been et.”


THERE was a feller which had a cow, and the cow had some burs in the tossel of her tail, and the feller he tried for to pick them out. He put his fingers through the tossel, like they was a comb, and jest then the cow she got afraid and started for to walk away. The feller he couldnt hold her, and he couldnt get his fingers out, so he had to go too. He said “wo,” and “steddy, now,” and “no occasion for to hurry,” and evry thing which he culd think of, but the cow she just kept right on, a goin round and round the field, and him a follerin.

Pratty soon a big savvage bul dog it come, and after it had showed its teeths and looked on a while it fell in behind the feller and follered too. So they kept a goin, the old cow and the feller and the bull dog, the dog a smellin the mans legs and makin up its mind where to take hold. The feller he didn’t know whether he would rather have the dog bite him or bite the cow, but he kept a sayin “wo, bossy,” and “good doggy,” mighty polite.

Bime by a other man he see them and he brought a bucket of slop and set it down, and when they got round to it the cow she stopt for to have some, and when her tail was slack the fellers fingers come loose all right. Then he turned round to the dog, which was settin down a grinnin, an he shooked his fist at the dog, the feller did, and said: “You worthless brute, you must take them by the tail, like I have told you 100 thousand times! If its a goin to take a half a year for me to teach you how to drive a gentle cow like this Ile sell you, for what ever I can get.”

But it was the man that brought the slops dog.

Some cows is hooky, but the mooly she buts, and thats why I say beware the awfle avilantch!

Uncle Ned he says why dont I write about Mister Jonnice, which has the wood leg. I ast him why Mister Jonnice wasent made Presdent for loosin his leg so many times for his country, and he said: “He isnt eligible, for he wasnt borned of American parents. His father was Conshience and his mother was Truth, and when he was a little feller like you he lived with her at the bottom of a well. So he dident come to this country till one day he was axidental drew up in a old oaken bucket. Johnny that man inherits from his mother. He is so truthfle that when he says a thing is so, why, it wouldnt be any more so if he rwote it down in red ink and swore to fore a bald headed notary. He is so truthfle that he faces east when he wants to tell a lie north west. Do you remember that story of his about the bear? He was one day goin through the woods when a big black bear arose itself up before him and began for to hug him real cruel. Mister Jonnice he said: 'Why, darling, this is a unexpected hapiness. When did you get in?’

“Then he threw his 2 arms around the bear and squeezed it so tight that when he let go it lay down and turned so white with sick that Mister Jonnice toted it to a circus and sold it for a polar.

“A other time Mister Jonnice was attacted by a lion which came a rushin at him with its mouth wide open and all its teeths on parade. Mister Jonnice he just stood still and lifted his wood leg up and stuck it strait out toward the lion, and the lion went on every side of it like a bottle around a cork. So the immoral spirit of that monark of the desert winged its way to a other and bitter world fourth with. Mister Jonnice says that was the first step in his honable career as a lion tamer. I guess the second is still to be took.

“Such, my boy, is Mister Jonnice, but the jasky foozle is a other animal. It inhabbits the crags of the Gangee river and its fluty warble is heard along with the song of the whipperwil when the natf niggers pay poker in the gloaming. Its one tooth is white as the soul of a unborn babe and the shine of its eye is like moon beams on the water of deep Galalee. When it arises its golden locks above the horizon a lovely shadow is flung athwort the land and the chickens go to roost a singing their sweetest songs. It is a six legger, and each leg has a brass hoof, so the sound of its feetsteps is like chimes of church bells on a Sabath morning in Normandy. But beware, Johnny, beware the jasky foozle when summer is green, for it is crueler than the butcher buisnes and pizen as the grave! When it points its nose your way your mother wants to see you mighty bad and your legs should be ship shape for to perform their office.

“Much more might be said, but I see old Gaffer Peters a comin over to have a smoke with me, and I guess I better go out behind the barn and plant some coco nuts.”

I guess if there was a fight tween the jasky foozle and the rhi nupple dinky and some others of them fellers which Uncle Ned and Jack Brily and Mister Gipple tells about it would be mighty hard for to say which was which, and a picture of one would do for them all.

One day Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, he seen a picture which shocked him, cause it repsented a drunk man, but my father he said: “Well, dont men get drunk, what you growlin about?”

Mister Pitchel he said did my father aproove every thing in art which is true to nature, and my father he said: “Mister Pitchel, you have knew me all my life for a onest man which pays his debts and votes the straight Repubcan ticket, like he is told, and loves his neibor as his dog, and wears a stopipe hat quite frequent. Yet you ask me sech a question as that! As I under stand it, the feller which is always objectin to naturlness in art is always a sweepin the horizen with a spy glass and a bendin his self doubble over a microscape for to find some thing to objeck to. He wants to snuffle or to blush, cause if he dont he will be sick.”

Uncle Ned, which is a batchelor, he said he guessed folks like that was mostly women.

Then my father he said: “I havnt got a word to say about any but the he ones, for Johnny has pointed out in his writins that woman is the noblest animal which roams the plain and roars like distant thunder. But, Edard, the he ones is decendents of them old Puritans which come to this country when it was little, because in their own they wasnt let sing hyms through their noses. They landed on Plymuth Rock when it was jest as easy to step a shore on the grass, and they expect us to cellebrate it. They liked rocks, particklar to fire at other folkes. They used to lick the Injens, too, cause the Injens looked sort of naturel, and came to prayer meeting in their breech clouts, jest as they was created.

“Edard, them Puritan 4 fathers of ourn were a gam doodled bad outfit. When ever one of them had loaded up his old bell mouth blunder bust with led enoughf for to sink a shot goose, and had got it rightly pointed at a Injen which mebby wanted his land back, he shet his eyes up a minute, the Pu did, and, said: 'O Lord of Love, I am about to discharge a sacred duty, and if any fo to religion gets his self in the way let my light so shine that it will shine right through his benighted innards, and thine shall be the glory, but Ile take his blanket and his beads my self. Yours truly, Worm-o-the-Dust Muggins.’”

Then my father he kicked Mose, which is the cat; and Bildad, thats the new dog, jumpt through the window. And thats all I know about cows.


I AST my sister: “Dont you think buzards is awfle nasty fellers for to eat sech things as they do?”

My sister she said: “What can you xpect of birds that live on a carry on diet?”

Thats like old Gaffer Peters, which has got the bald head. My mother she said to him: “Gaffer, the sun is mighty hot to day.”

Old Gaffer he said: “Yes, mam, there aint nothing like a warm day for to heat up the sun.”

There is folks in Pershia which worships the sun, and one day one of them fellers was down on his kanees a worshipin as hard as he culd, and a good mitionary preacher come a long and said: “What a poor ignant heathener, for to worship some thing that you can see!”

But the feller which was to his devotions he said: “I aint sech a fool as you think, for Ime as blind as a bat.”

There was a hum bird a sippin neckter out of a hunny suckle and there was a buzerd, and the buz he said to the hum: “I would rather starv than eat sech stuff as that.”

The hum said: “I am drove to it. When ever I try for to eat a dead horse one of you fellers says: 'Let that a lone, sonny, for it is pizen. It hasnt been long enoughf dead.’”

The buz he said: “Well, if you want to pizen your self you may as well do it with hunny suckles as by spilin our dinner fore it is ready.”

But fore I would eat any thing which is dead Ide live on salt pork.


ARRABS drink cammels milk, and have 4 stumachs, which makes them go a long time with out water.

One day I was a readin a wondful story about a cammel and a Arrab, and my father he spoke up and said I mustnt blieve only but half of what I read. Jest then the story ended by sayin that the half wasent told, and my father he said: “Thats the half to blieve.”

A Arrab chief was a leadin his cammel by the halter and a thinkin real hard, but the cam hadnt any thing in particklar for to ocupy its mind, so after a wile it snook up and lifted the chiefs turban in its teeths and et it. Bime bi the chief he begun for to feel the sun a bakin his head like it was a potato in the uven, cause they shave their hair evry little bit off, and he stopt and looked around at the cam. The cam started like it was shot, and puld the holter out of the Arrabs hand, and stared at him and walked away and stared again, much as to say: “I never have seen you before in all my life, dont you come near me.”

But after a long time it let it self be cought, and when the Arrab had turned his back for to resume the voyge the cam drawed the 2 ends of its mouth up to its ears and wank its eye repeated.

Mister Gipple he says a other Arrab, which was a travisin the dessert, lay down for to sleep, and in the middle of the night he woke, and set up, and rubbed his eyes, and looked again, and final said: “Allah be praised for grantin His servant this vizion of the Holy Mountain!”

Then he lay down in the sand with his face toward the Holy Mountain, which he could see real plain on the horizen against the stars. He knocked his fored against the ground and prayd all night, but in the mornin he see it was only just his cammel a kneelin between him and the ski. So he took a stick, the Arrab did, and beat the cam, and said it wasnt fit for to carry a True Bliever.

But the Bible it says that cammels can go through the knee of a idol.

I ast Uncle Ned what makes the cam have a hunch on his back, and he said, Uncle Ned did: “One day, in the Garden of Edin the animals was a showin off what they culd do, and the kangaroon he said he could jump high upper than any other thing which was made in the immage of its Maker. The cammel curled his lip up, real scornfle and said: 'Why, you gum dasted creepin thing, I dont blieve you can leave the ground by 10 inches. Jest try for to jump over me and you will find out what a many rooted vegtable you are.’

“So the cam, which was made long like a dox hoond and had a straight back, it stood still, and the kang he took a few hops and then soared aloft to go over the cam. But the cam he wank his eye to the other fellers, much as to say, 'See me fix him!’ and then he huncht his back up real sudden, and tript the kang, which turned a flip flop and lit on his head an pretty near broke the spine of his back.

“When Adam was told about it he said to the cammel: 'Let me see how you done it.’

“The cam he huncht his self up again, the same way, and Ad he lifted up his hands and made some passes in the air and said: 'Presto, abricadabbry, whee! You jest stay that way while the stars hold their courses in the fermament and the seasons on earth is bad for the crops.’

“So the cammel is hunchy to this day, and his countnence is deep graven with lines of care and sorry.”

But if Adam had saw Billy lick Sammy Doppy for his doin that to me when we played leap frog he would have said, Adam would: “What simpleness! Why didnt I think to do that to the cam?”


FLIES is 3 kinds, butter, and fire, and jest flies. The butter he is first a tadpole, and then he is a crisanthmum, and bime bi he is a real butter, but not a goat. Mister Pitchel, thats the preacher, he says that the butter fly a bustin out of the crisanthmum state in to a new life prooves that we have imortle souls, but my father he says what is prooved by the butty dyin pretty soon after?

Once me and Uncle Ned and Missy, thats my sister, we was in the garden and there was a butter fly, and Missy she said why was they like girls, meanin that they are fond of flowers, or is pretty, or some sech rot.

Uncle Ned he spoke up and said: “Cause its good fun to chase them, but it spiles them to catch them.”

He says 2 men which had been in a election riot was goin to their homes in the country one night, and one said to the other: “Let me lean on you, and what ever happens dont you desert a old friend.”

When they had gone a mile or 2 that way the other feler he said: “Dont you feel any better now?”

The staggery man he said: “No, not much, Ime a fraid I will drop. It must been a awfle blow, not any pain for to speak of, but Ime a seein stars till this minute!”

Then the other feller he seen how it was, cause it was only jest the fire flies, which was evry where, and he said to his self: “A wise man cant make no body wise, but a fool can make a fool of a other man.”

When it is a hot day my father he lies down for to sleep. He snores a while, and then he wakes up and says: “Cuss them flies! Johnny, bring me the Tribune,” and puts it over his face like it was a tent and his nose was the center pole. One day I give him the Times, which Mister Brily, thats the fat butcher, had sent around a calfs toung, and when my father he waked and seen what paper it was he said: “Johnny, dident you know what paper this thing is?”

I said I did, and he said: “Dont you know that flies is better than the Times?”

Then I said: “Yes, father, but there was a wops.”

Father he thought a long time, and final he said: “Well, my son, you know what I think of flies, and you know what I think of news papers, and particklar you know what I think of the New York Times, but, Johnny, if there was a wops, and you heard it say that it was a goin to sit on your fathers nose and sting him deep in both his beutiful eyes, and your sister was a wearin the Tribune for to improve her figgure, I will over look your fault this time if you get out of this real quick.”

So I jumpt out of the door jest as he flang a book at me.

The Bible it says thou shall be kind to thy father, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven, but the wicked shall have eternle life.


AMAN had a pet munky, and the mans boy hated the munky cause it done every thing which he done his self. One terrible cold winter evenin the boy got 2 buckets of water and set them out doors. Then he got a piece of rope and tied it around him under his jacket and let the end hang down like it was a tail, and then he set down on the edge of one bucket and let the rope hang in the water. The munky it looked on, and then it tost its head, contemptible, much as to say it could do that too, and it went to the other bucket and done it. Then the water it froze and the boy he untied the rope and went in the house, but the munky couldent untie its tail, and it stayd there and in the mornin it was froze to death.

When the man found the dead munk he swore awful, cause he liked him, but the boy he come up and put his kanuckle in his eye, like he was cryin, and said: “Poor little feller, what a pity he died jest as he had got most out.”

Mister Gipple he says there was a painter, and he painted a picture of a awfle hiddeous babboon, and he was mighty homely his own self. His wife she hadnt see the picture, cause she was pretty and didnt care for art. One day the painter he looked in the parlor where his wife was, and said: “Ime a goin out, and shant be back till a long time,” for he was takin the picture of the bab to the mans house which had bought it. But when he got there the man was too sick abed for to look at it, so he brought it back home, the painter did, and as he was a passin the parlor window he looked in and seen his wife a sleep in her chair, facin the window.

Then the painter he said to hisself: “I will give her a good scare.” So he set the picture on the window sil out side, like it was a lookin in, and then he let his self in the house with a lach key, and set down by his wife, and took her hand and prest it mighty lovin, and she smiled in her sleep and mummered “Dear Henry,” which wasnt his name. After a while she opend her eyes and seen the picture of the bab a lookin in to the window. She started like she was shot dead, and with out lookin round she cried out: “O my! he has come back. Get under the piano!”

Now what is the sense of sech a story as that? But the rhi nosey rose is the king of beasts.

Jack Brily, which is the wicked sailor, he says one time him and the captin of his ship and the bosen they went a shore on a savvage iland for to look for coco nuts. While Jack was a little way from the captin and the bosen the natif niggers they come and catched them fellers and took them away and sinked the boat. Then they come back and run towards Jack for to catch him too, but Jack he stood on his head and made frightfle faces. So they said he was a god, and led him to their king, which showed him great respeck and took his cloes off and had him painted green and yellow, and set him on a clay throne and worshipt him while he continude to make mouths frequent.

That night the natif niggers made a great feast of stew and Jack, which set by the king said: “What is it made of?”

The king said: “It is horse, which is the noblest of birds.”

So Jack, which was mighty hungry, he took a big wood spoon and fished round in the stew pot, and pretty soon brought up a lether belt, and a shoe string and a finger ring. Then he suddenly leeped to his feets like a thing of life, and turned a hand spring, and roled his eyes awful, and shouted: “Rash mortle! Horse is forbid to be et by gods, and you have stewed it with the harness on! Fetch me some roasted munky this minute, with the tail on, or I will make your nose grow to your hand!”

Jack says he stayed on the iland 5 years and was fed so much munky that when he excaped to a ship he scampered up the riggin and leeped from mast to mast and chattered srill!


BEARS spend the winter in hollow logs and dont eat any thing till they come out in the spring. One fine spring day a bear come out of a farmers barn yard and the farmer he see him. Then the farmer said to his boy: “Jim, you go and tackle that feller and we will have his hide. He will be easy prey, for he is so thin that he cant cast a shadow.”

The boy said: “Of course Ile do it if you say so, but he is castin a mighty black shaddow all the same.”

The farmer he said: “Non sense, that is the shadow of one of our calfs. He has et it.”

One time me and Billy was to the Zoo, and Billy went to the bears den. The bear sat up and made a lap and Billy he lit a fire cracker and threw it in the bears lap. The bear looked down at the cracker, which was a smokin in his fur, and then cocked his head, real knowin, much as to say: “You cant fool me, that aint no pea nut.”

But when the cracker went off you never have saw such a crazy bear!

Fire crackers is fine, but give me the canons roar, and the chargers nay, and the flags a floppin in the breez, and heaps of slain!

Uncle Ned says once in Indy when him and his dog was a strolin on the bank of the Gangee a bear come out of the jingle and started for to swim across. When the dog seen some thing in the water he jumpt in for to fetch it out, with out thinkin particlar what it might be, but it was the bears head. But when the dog had pretty near catched up with it it turned round and give him a smile, like sayin: “Its awfle good of you to take sech a friendly intrest in a stranger. When we get to the other side Ile ask you to dinner, and we will have dog.”

But when the dog seen how things was he rememberd a previous engagement, and Uncle Ned says there wasnt never any body which tried so hard for to be punctual.

Yestday was Valentines day and some wicked feller he sent me one which was the ugliest ever see. It is drew with a pen, and its me a settin on a Noays ark with wooden animals before me, and me a writin about them with my toung out and my legs twisted to gather like grape vines but not a bit like me, more like Billy. There is a big jackus a standin behine me with his mouth to my ear, like he was a whisperin in school, and this is the poetry which is under the pictur, bad spellin and all, I never see such fool poetry!

Now here you are, Johnny, and heres Uncle Ned,
Composing your stories all out of his head.
With Genius behind you and Nature before,
No truth can “kanock” you, no mystery “flore.”
You’re true as a clock to your subject—at least,
You write about beasts, and you write like a beast.

When I got that I took it strait to Uncle Ned, and when he had read it he looked mighty mad. Then I said: “Uncle Ned, what becomes of wicked fellers souls when they die?”

Uncle Ned he said: “Johnny, that is a question which will keep till you have a optunity to see for your self. This gum dasted villin says no mystry can flore you, but I guess its just as well not to go out of your way for to tackle mystries which are peaceful disposed. I respeck your motive in askin the riddle, cause it is the same which under lies the holy religion of the Pattigonions, but the Bible it says for us to love our enmies, cause they dont know any better. So I move we forgive this feller and content our selfs with the hope that what ever is done to him in a other and bitter world it will be good and plenty.”

Thats all I know bout bears to day, but Billy he can crow like a cockadoodle, and the Bible it says let us be up and doin.


UNCLE NED he said yesterday did I know what was up. I said the girafts head was upper than any thing. Then he said, Uncle Ned did: “Thats so, Johnny, but what I mean is do you know what is a goin for to happen in this house, right under your 2 eyes?”

Then I looked at my sister to see if she knew, but she was red in the face, like she was a lobster, and I said why didnt she set further away from the fire, but mother she said: “Never mind your sister, Johnny, your uncle is talkin to you, why dont you anser?”

So I told him no, I didn’t know what was goin for to happen, less Billy was a goin to get a lickin, and he said: “That’s a safe guess, but what I mean is you are to have a new brother.”

I said: “Hooray, I vote we name him Tommy!”

Uncle Ned he beganned for to laugh, and mother she said: “Edard, if you have got any thing to say to Johnny why dont you say it like you was a man of sense Johnny, you hush this minnute, where did Billy put them sizzors, I think baby is awoke, and that roast has got to be took out of the uven fore it burns.” And then she walked out of the room like a thing of life.

When she was gone, and Missy too, Uncle Ned he stoppd laughin and said: “Johnny, you have made a mess of this thing. Its nothin but jest only that your sister is a goin to be married.”

I said would it be for long, and after a while he said: “I give it up, ask me a easier one.”

Last night we had supper late, but I was let stay up, and I et so much frute cake that I fell a sleep in my chair at the table, and what do you bet I dreamed? I thought I was a settin all alone at a other long table, and pretty soon all the animals which I had wrote about come in and set theirselfs down in the chairs. There was a ephalent, and a rhi nosey rose, and a giraft, and a wale, and a hi potamus, and a eagle, and a cammle, and a ostridge, and a big snake, and a rat, and a cow, and a ri nupple dinky, and a dog, and a cracky dile, and a munky, and evry kind of feller which roams the plain. I said to my own self: “I guess this is Noahs ark and its beginnin for to rain.”

Each animal had its feed before it, what ever it liked best. The ephalent had pea nuts, and the bear had ginger bread, and the giraft had a wether cock off a steeple, and the ostridge had some black smith tools, and the rat it was a eatin some Dutch cheese on a trap, and the cow had a holly hock, and the tagger had a cow, and the snake had a tagger, and the cracky dile had a natif nigger, you never seen such a fine dinner, and Missy was a waitin on the gests with a white veil on and some orang owtang blossoms. Jest as she was a passin Jack Brily to the shark, the wale, which was eatin scum longside of me at the head of the table, stood up on his tail, the wale did, and he had a boat full of wine under his fin, like it was a cup. The wale he blowed a while, and then he bellerd like a organ, and bime by he spoke up and said: “Ladys and gents, it isent any use me tellin you why we have met together to night, cause you know all about it. You know, too, that we havent ever had a square deal from the relatives of our friend the gorilly, which calls theirselfs yuman beins. They have been aginst us from the first, and shiver my timbers if I dont believe thay would send us all to the bottom if they had the power! Blow me tight, if I wouldnt rather be a native of Nantucket than any one of them! We hav had only but just 2 friends in the whole damb outfit. One was old Noah, which wasent any use to me, and the other we have with us this evening, our distingished guest, a true friend which under stands us, the only yuman bein which has ever saw the point of our jokes and the beauty of our moral charackters. Ime sure we all hopes that his yarns mark the dawn of a new ery, and men will larn from them that we aint sech bad fellers as some of us looks—meanin no offense to my friend the pecock; though I dont go so fur as to say that I approove certain dishes which I see bein et at this table, particklar by that shark. And now, ladys and gents, I have the honor to ask you to join me in drinkin a bumper to our ship mate, our guest, our friend, Little Johnny.”

Then they all stood up and drinked, and then a old rooster, which was to the other end of the table, he flopped his wings and crowed out “Three cheers for Little Johnny!” which was give by all present, each feller in the languidge that he had been teached at his mothers knee. This made such a awful noise, that it woked me up, and my sister was a pullin my ear for time to go to bed.

When I was in my bed and she was in hern the door between us was open and I said “Missy.”

She said: “Hold your tungue, you bad boy, what was you a going to say?”

I said: “Missy, are you a goin to be married?” and she said: “No, you little goose, why not?”

Then I said: “Missy, I know you are, and marryin is poligamy and means movin into a other house. When you have done it I want you to do me a partickler favor.”

She said no, indeed she wouldnt, what was it?

Then I spoke up and said “Missy, when you go for to live in your other house I want you to take your young man and let him live there too, cause he comes here so much to see Uncle Ned that he is a gum dasted nusance!”

And she said she would if she died for it.

The Bible it says that fellers which are nusances shall arise from the dead. And thats why I say eat drink and be merry, for to-morrow you dont. But a pigs tail, nice roasted is the king of beasts.



McKinley, a President. Sagasta, a Prime Minister. Aguinaldo, a Patriot.

Sagasta—Señor Presidente, you are very good, and you will find that Spain is not unreasonable. I have instructed my peace commissioners to concede quite a number of the demands that yours will probably make.

McKinley—And the others?

Sag.—Why, of course, Señor, a demand that is not conceded is refused.

McK.—But if my commissioners have the sorrow to insist?

Sag.—In that case Spain knows how to defend her honor.

McK.—How, for example?

Sag.—If need be, with the naked breasts of her sons!

McK.—My good friend, you err widely. The thing which there may be a dispute about is not Spanish honor, but Spanish soil.

Sag.—In every square foot of which, Senõr Porco—I mean Presidente—Spanish honor is rooted.

McK.—Sir, I shall consult my Secretary of Agriculture as to the desirability of annexing land which produces a crop like that. But this is your day to be dull: can you really suppose that in permitting you to have peace commissioners I expected them to claim the right of dissent? However these matters may be debated, there is but one deciding power—the will of the American Executive.

Sag.—Señor, you forget. Supreme over all, there is God!

McK.—O, I don’t know. He’s not the only——

Sag.—Holy cats!

(Enter Aguinaldo.)

McK.—First of all, Señor Prime Minister, you must renounce the island of Luzon, and——

Aguinaldo—Yes, Señor, that being the most important island of the group, and the one in which you have not now even a foothold, its renunciation will naturally precede that of the others, as my great and good ally is pleased to suggest. With regard to Luzon you have only to say, “We renounce”; I, “We accept.”

McK.—Please have the goodness to hold your tongue.

Ag.—With both hands, your Excellency.

McK.—Second, Señor, you must assure a liberal government to the other islands.

Sag.—With great pleasure, your Excellency; quite cheerfully.

McK.—Please do not wink. Third, there must be——

Ag.—Excuse me; I was brought up a Spanish subject. What is a liberal government?

McK.—That is for Spain to decide.

Ag.—I don’t see what Spain will have to do with it.

McK.—My friend, you slumber—peaceful be thy dreams. Third, there must be complete separation of church and state.

Sag.—What! a Diabolocracy? You shock me!

McK.—Fourth, none of the islands, nor any part of them, is to be ceded to any foreign nation without the consent of the United States.

Ag.—You understand, Señor—you hear that! Spain can never again acquire a square foot of these islands, not even by reconquest or a corrupt bargain with a recreant Filipino dictator, for she will again have to reckon with our powerful protectors whom may the good God reward!

McK.—The trouble with you is, you talk too much. Fifth, the United States must have in the Philippines equal commercial privileges with Spain.

Ag.—Equal? May I never again run amuck if they shall not have superior! Why, I have it in mind to issue a proclamation closing every port to the ships of Spain. As to the United States, commercial primacy is a small reward for their assistance in the closing scene of our successful rebellion.

Sag.—Of course, as you say, I shall have to accept whatever terms you have the great kindness to offer. As I understand your proposal, Spain retains all the islands but Luzon; that is to belong to the United States, and——


Sag.—This worthy Oriental appears to be laboring under a misapprehension.

McK.—I know of nothing else that could make an Oriental labor.

Ag.—Señores, the language of diplomacy is to me an unfamiliar tongue: I have imperfectly understood—pardon me. Is it indeed intended that the United States shall take Luzon and Spain take all else?

McK.—“Retain” is the word.

Ag.—“Retain?” Why, that means to keep, to hold what is already possessed. What you gentlemen have in possession in this archipelago is the ground covered by the feet of your soldiers. Now, what right have you, Señor Presidente, to the island of Luzon? The right of conquest? You have not conquered it.

McK.—My dear fellow, you distress me. I conquered this gentleman, and he is going to be good enough to give me the island as a testimonial of his esteem.

Ag.—But he doesn’t own it. I had taken it away from him before you defeated him—all but the capital, and by arrangement with your man Dewey——


Ag.—I assisted to take that. Why, he supplied me with arms for the purpose!

Sag.—Arms with which I had had the unhappiness to supply him.

Ag.—What is my reward? I am driven from the city which I assisted to conquer, and you take not only that but the entire island, which you had no hand in conquering.

Sag. (aside)—Faith! he’ll conquer it before he gets it.

McK.—My friend, you are a Malay, with a slight infusion of Chinese, Hindu and Kanaka. Naturally, you cannot understand these high matters.

Ag.—I understand this: We Filipinos rebelled against Spain to liberate our country from oppression. We wrested island after island, city after city, from her until Manila was virtually all that she had left. As we were about to deprive her of that and regain the independence which, through four hundred years of misrule, she had denied us we experienced a dire mischance. You quarreled with her because she denied independence to Cuba. Spanish dominion, which we had stabbed, was already dead, but you arrived just in time to kick the corpse while it was yet warm, and for this service you propose to administer upon the estate, keeping the most valuable part for your honesty. You will then revive the dead, buried and damned and reinstate him in possession of the remainder!

McK. (aside)—O, will I?

Sag.—Apparently, Señor Presidente, this worthy person is afflicted with a flow of language. (Aside) The Porco Americano has the habit of blushing.

McK. (to Sagasta)—Yes, the Filipino always has his tongue in his ear. (To Aguinaldo) Proceed with the address.

Ag.—It is as if the French, having assisted your forefathers to independence, had kept Boston and all New England for themselves and restored the other colonies to Great Britain. If the Good Samaritan, arriving while the man fallen among thieves was still struggling with them, had assisted him to beat them off, had then taken his purse and delivered him to the thieves again you would have had a Scriptural precedent.

Sag. (writing in a notebook)—“At a certain temperature the Porco Americano can sweat.”

McK.—My great and good friend, you seem to have your climate with you, as well as your chin. I must beg you to abridge your oration against manifest destiny.

Ag.—Destiny was a long time manifesting herself, but she has not been idle since. In the last four months you have torn up the three American political Holy Scriptures: Washington’s Farewell Address, the Monroe Doctrine and the Declaration of Independence. You now stand upon the fragments of the last and declare it an error that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. In Hawaii you are founding a government on the consent of less than three per centum of the governed. In my country you propose to found one government and restore another against the unanimous dissent of eight millions of people whom you cheated into an alliance to that end. You cajoled them into assisting at the cutting of their own throats. Your only justification in making this war at all was Spain’s denial in Havana of the political principle which you now repudiate in Honolulu and Manila. Señores, we shall resist both the American and the Spanish occupation. You will be allies—embrace!

(Exit Sagasta.)

McK.—My dear boy, you are unduly alarmed: the notion of letting Spain keep those other islands is merely a Proposal Retractable—in undiplomatic language, an offer with a string to it.

Ag.—And your plan of holding Luzon—after taking it?

McK.—Rest in peace: that is only what we call an Intention Augmentable.

Ag.—Ah, Señor, you make me so happy!


The Incumbent. The Born Candidate.
The Ambitious Mariner.

Sir Admiral, ’twas but two years ago
I turned you loose against a feeble foe,
Gave you a chance to write your unknown name
In shouting letters on the scroll of fame,
Stood by you with a firmness almost sinful,
Fed you with honors till you had a skinful,
Plied you with praise till drunk as any lord—
And this, George Dewey, this is my reward!
So drunken with success you seem to be
That you have visions of succeeding—Me!

Ambitious Mariner:
Why, blast my tarry toplights! what’s this row?
And which of you is speaking, anyhow?

Incumbent (aside):
He thinks I am beside myself. Alas,
He sees, as through the bottom of a glass,
Darkly. Strange how this pirate of the main
With an eye single to his private gain
Beholds things double! Would that I, poor worm,
Could see in duplicate my four years’ term.
The fellow’s looked too long upon the cup—
I’ll get behind his back and trip him up,
Break his damned neck, and then the tale repeat
Of how, poor man, he fell o’er his own feet.
That’s politics.

(Enter Born Candidate.)

Good Heavens, I am caught!

Born Candidate:
Hello, McPresident!

Did you see aught
Suspicious in my actions?

Born Candidate:
Well, I guess
There might have been an aspirant the less
If I had longer stayed where I was “at.”

And may I venture to ask where was that?

Born Candidate:
Along the roadside, hidden in the rye
To see the famous Admiral go by.
A look had done me good if I had got one
It happened, by the by, I had a shotgun.

Ambitious Mariner (to Born Candidate):
Shiver my timbers! you’re a dandy crimp—
That figure-head of yours would scare a shrimp.

Incumbent (to Born Candidate):
Let’s try less candid measures to remove him:
Moral dissuasion would perhaps improve him.
We can (when he’s not full of “old October”)
Appeal from Dewey drunk to Dewey sober.

Born Candidate (to Incumbent):
Said like a lawyer (’tis a grand profession!)
But that appellate court is ne’er in session.

Ambitious Mariner (aside):
They think me half seas over. That’s all right—
I’m full, but what I’m full of is just fight.
(Aloud, scowling):
Some sailor men—rough fellows from the fleet—
Followed me here. They’re waiting in the street.
They’re loyal, but in temper they’re unsteady
(goes to the window and speaks out)
Gridley, you may fire when you are ready.
(Cannon within. Exeunt, hurriedly, Incumbent and Born Candidate.)
That’s all—I never had the least intention
Of facing a political convention.


Toral. Shafter.

Ah, Señor, it was an anxious night—that of July 2. The angel of sleep did not visit me, and my pillow—I shame not to say it—was wet with tears.

Me too. I never swore so much in my life. I tried every way to sleep, but couldn’t make it go.

How sad! Señor, we are no longer enemies, and we are alone. May I hope that Heaven will put it into your heart to tell me why you slept not that unhappy night?

That’s an easy one: I had made up my mind to demand your surrender.

Ah, what a tender heart; what sensibility! It pained you, the thought of humiliating me.

Not a bit of it; what worried me was the fear that you would refuse.

And then there would be such—what you call effusion of blood. You are all compassion.

Effusion of nothing. If you did not surrender to me I was going to surrender to you. My army was rotten with fever. Now what kept you awake, old man?

The fear that you would surrender first. God o’ my soul!—we could not eat you!


Hay, Secretary of State. Root, Secretary of War. Long, Secretary of the Navy.

Ah, glad to see you, gentlemen; punctuality is the politeness of princes. I feared we should have to postpone this Conference.

Perhaps it would have been better. The newspapers have learned about it. As I entered there were seven hundred and fifty correspondents outside the door!

The Navy Department is ever liberal in its estimates.

I’ll swear there are not fewer than a dozen; you saw them yourself.

Not I. I entered by way of the chimney.

It is useless to try to conceal our movements; they learn everything.

It is to be hoped they will not learn the purpose of this Conference.

That will depend on your discretion; mine is unquestionable.

Is the door locked?

Sure, and the keyhole stuffed. We are absolutely inaccessible to the curiosity of the vulgar.

Blast their tarry——

Mr. Secretary, I beg that you will not swear. Remember that the President is a pillar of the church.

What church?

Hay (scratching the head of the State Department)
I’m damned if I know. I belong myself to the Church of England.

Let us proceed to business; the crisis waits.

Gentlemen (opening secret drawer in table), I have the honor to put before you a—(tumult within and beating of sticks on the door.) What’s that?

The Filipinos!—the Filipinos! Where is Corbin?

Sounds like the Democratic party.

Ah, I forgot; it is the correspondents. I have the honor to put before you, with appropriate glasses, a bottle of pure Kentucky Bourbon fifty-five years old—a gift from Governor Taylor to the President. As the President drinks nothing——



He drinks nothing from this bottle. I intercepted it.

(They drink and repeat. The Conference adjourns. Exeunt omnes. Enter the Public Press.)

The Public Press
There was a consultation at the State Department this afternoon among Secretaries Hay, Root and Long, the latter two of whom had been sent for in great haste. Extraordinary precautions to secure secrecy were taken, but it is understood that German aggression in Brazil was discussed, and nothing is more certain than that the next few days will witness grave and startling movements of our war ships in both the North and the South Atlantic. Senator Lodge’s recent alarming speech on the Navy Appropriation Bill is recalled, in connection with this subject, as is also Senator Pettigrew’s significant silence. Nor is it forgotten that last week there was a persistent rumor that the Government was about to consider the advisability of taking a step of which the importance could be determined only by its character and result.


McKinley, the President. Hay, Secretary of State. The Czar of Russia. The Sultan of Turkey. Ali Feroush Bey, the Turkish Minister.


John, have the goodness to say to the Turkish Minister that unless his Government pays up we shall send a fleet to the Dardanelles.

Yes, but would it not be better to say through the Dardanelles?

I don’t know about that. One does not like to promise more than one may be able to perform. Admiral Dewey tells me there is a doubt about getting through; the strait is fortified at every turn.

Why, Admiral Dewey said àpropos of the Nicaragua canal, that fortifications were worthless—that they only invited attack!

That was when he was standing by the Administration. He is now an aspirant to the Presidency, and dares to say what he thinks.

H. (aside)
Great Scott! I’d give ten years of life—nay, more: six weeks of office—for the same courage.

John, what are you muttering in your beard?

A prayer for your health.

McK. (aside)
Ah, yes, I suffer from Hay fever.

(Observing him about to sneeze, Hay gives himself the happiness of taking snuff.)


I greet your Excellency with rapture.

Ali Feroush Bey
May your wives be as the leaves of the forest.

May it please your Excellency, the President says that if your august master finds it inconvenient to pay that little account he need not hurry.

A. F. B.
Allah forbid that the Light of the Universe should hurry about anything!

The matter will keep, and an ultimatum delivered about the first week in November would——

A. F. B.
May jackasses sing on your grandmother’s grave! Do you think you can use the Brother of the Prophet to further your cursed election schemes? I shall advise that the bill be paid at once.

Exalted sir, I fear you are pleased to talk through your turban. But I pray that you will permit me to withdraw. I must acquaint the President with your answer.

(Exit Hay.)

A. F. B.
The devil go with him! If I had him in Stamboul he’d be walking on wood!


John, did you deliver my ultimatum to the Turkish Minister?

Aye, that I did! And not only did I say we should send a fleet into the Dardanelles, but I ventured to add that Colonel Bryan would go into commission at once.

And did he say that he would advise his august what-does-he-call-him to pay down on the nail?

I am pained to say that he did not. He said that he would see you in Helfurst.

Where is that?—it sounds Dutch.

Yes; it is a town in Pennsylvania.

Well, I’ll meet him there and talk it over if you think the character of our ultimatum permits.

Certainly; it is the Ultimatum Tentative.


The Sultan (by telegraph)
Your Majesty, would you be so good as to lend a poor fellow the price of a few American missionaries?

The Czar
God forbid! You must be more economical. Do you think I’m made of money?

But really——

Yes, yes, I know. Your creditors are pressing you, and all that. And you’ll promptly repay the loan—in a Golden Horn. I’ve heard it before.

By the toe-nails of the Prophet! if I get not the money, that dog of darkness, the American President, will be after me with a sharp stick; and he’ll do, and he’ll do, and he’ll do! He has already delivered his ultimatum.

What! Is it so serious as that? My poor friend, I am sorry for you. You are in for it, sure! In American diplomacy the ultimatum is a prophecy of doom; you will be talked to death!

Then lend me the money.

It is decreed otherwise. Kismet.

But what am I to do? Talked to death!—that is disagreeable.

Build a mosque in which to pray that Heaven may put it into his heart to send a fleet to Constantinople and commute your punishment to bombardment.

May jackals whelp in his harem!—that is what he says he will do.

Build two mosques.


President McKinley. Envoy Fischer.
Secretary Gage. Voices.

President McKinley
Well, Meinherr, what can we do for each other?

Envoy Fischer
Haf your Egcellenzy not vas inform of vhat I vants?

P. McK.
My Secretary of State says you bear a petition for promoting missionary work in Africa, but he is a great diplomat and not always to be believed.

E. F.
Your Egcellenzy, I coom to ask for Amerigan onterventionings between der Soud Ofrigan Ropoobligs und der dom Preetish.

P. McK.

E. F.

P. McK.
Did my Secretary of State know that? And he let you in?

E. F.
Yaw, your Egcellenzy.

P. McK.
Well, I’ll be gam doodled!—pardon; I mean I’ll be delighted. We call it gam doodled.

E. F.
Yaw, I shbeak der Amerigan longvidge very goot meinself all der vhile somdimes yet.

P. McK.

E. F.
Der Soud Ofrigan Ropoobligs dey sooffer demselfs mooch. As your Segretary of Shtate he say, Gread Bridain she don’d do a teeng to us. Sheneral Yowbert——

P. McK.

E. F.
Yowbert he is die of belly ache again, und Sheneral Cronje gif oop som more, und Sheneral Botha he droonk like a fittler’s——

P. McK.
And larrups the soldiers with a slambangbok.

E. F.
Yaw, yaw, und Bresident Kruger he vas vun olt ladies, und der Preetish is aferyvheres, und Vebster Dafis don’d vas wort his monies, und——

P. McK.
“Oond,” in short, you fellows are licked out of your boots.

E. F.

P. McK.
I was saying that, in the sympathetic judgment of this country, your admirable people are experiencing an unforeseen adversity.

E. F.
Lort Roperts haf onvaded our sagred soil und he vil nod led go.

P. McK.
My great and good friend, pardon me, but didn’t your people begin that?

E. F.
We haf tvice unpology made, but Lort Soolsbury he vill not occept.

P. McK.
How strange!

E. F.
Ve oppeals on der great und goot Yongee heart, vich lofes us. It vas vun grand receptions vich der Amerigan beobles vas gif us under Ny Yark som day!

P. McK.
Yes, it was. I have here a list of names of the Reception Committee, which (enter Secretary Gage) I will read to you. (Reads).

Secretary Gage
Mr. President, may I ask if that list of names was copied from the books of the Commissioner of Immigration at Ellis Island?

P. McK.
O, no: they are names of exponents of American public sentiment. They “received” this honest gentleman.

S. G. (eyeing honest gentleman)
Well, I fancy it would be more blessed to give him than receive.

E. F.
But, your Egcellenza, shall ve haf der onterventionings alreaty yet? I burn mit ombatience!

P. McK. (to servant)
The gentleman burns. Put him out.

(Exit Envoy Fischer, pursued.)

Voices (within)
Hurrah! Hurrah for the Boer Republic!

P. McK.
There must be an unusual number of Congressmen in the waiting room.


An Historian. Clio.

Historian (writing)
“The Yanko-Spanko war was brief, but very destructive. In the two or three months that it lasted the Americans had more than three thousand soldiers and a half-dozen sailors killed by the Spaniards and—”

Tut-tut! no romancing; less than three hundred were killed.

H. (writing)
“Their own officers. Armed with repeating incompetences, the latter were indeed formidable.”
Did you speak?


H. (writing)
“An effort was made to hold the commanding officers of the expeditionary forces responsible for the mortality among their troops, but ended in failure, for it could not be determined who was in command.”
Clio, dear, who was in command at Santiago?

First Linares, then Toral.

I mean, who commanded the Americans.

I don’t know.

What are you the Muse of History for if you don’t know such a thing as that?

Ask me who really built the Great Pyramid, and why. Ask me who wrote the “Junius” letters. Ask me who was the Man in the Iron Mask. Ask me what Browning meant. Ask me anything in reason, but don’t ask me who commanded the American army in the Yanko-Spanko war. Settle it by turning a coin. You’ll be as likely to be right as wrong, and in History that will give good results. The historian who in the long run tells the truth half the time is a great historian.

H. (turning coin)
Head, Miles; tail, Shafter.


It is a smooth coin! (Writes) “The army before Santiago had no commander.”


McKinley, President. Hay, Secretary of State. Mark Hanna, Senator and Dictator Politicus.

John, I am greatly troubled.

Permit me to send for the head of the Bureau of Exculpation and Avoidance.

Not to-day; it is another kind of matter.

Ah, then; the Lord High Disheartener of the Importunate——

No, no, John, it is about you.

About me? Surely, you do not mean—you cannot think that another change in the Cabinet——

May you be Secretary of State for a thousand years.

Then speak it out. I have a heart for any fate except one.

Well, it is this: I have not seen nor heard of anybody who seems to want you for Vice-President. Actually, your name has not been mentioned except by myself.

And to whom were you pleased to mention it, if I may ask?

To Senator Hanna.

And am I worthy to know what he said?

It will pain you, John. Mr. Hanna is a strong, coarse man who says what he thinks and never stops to think what he says.

What did he say?

That you would make a good running mate for a lame tortoise.


He added that you had been drowned by the British Ambassador in the Nicaragua Canal.

Anything more?

He said that you parted your beard on the Greenwich meridian.


He said that if asininity had not been invented you would invent it.

(Enter Mark Hanna. Exit, McKinley.)

Mark Hanna
Good-morning, Mr. Secretary.

What is your business with me, sir?

M. H.
Why, John, I came to ask you if you would accept the nomination for Vice-President.

After what you said to the President on that subject, sir——

M. H.
It has never been mentioned between us.


(Falls in a fit of shivers.)

M. H.
The gentleman appears to be indisposed. Guess he was struck by a draft from the Open Door.


McKinley, President. Roosevelt, Vice-President. Hay, Secretary of State. Doorkeeper.

Mr. President, I have come to consult with you about——

Why, yes, of course. I expect always to consult with the leading men of the party—you and the others.


In the great scheme of the universe Heaven has provided others.

There are also snakes and flies, but we do not accord them a voice in the ordering of large affairs.

There is my Cabinet.

Nice chaps—they will, no doubt, be glad to carry out any policy that we may decide upon.

Then I understand that in the guidance and direction of this administration you have the goodness to care to be the Whole Thing?

You do me the greatest injustice (lifting his eyes to the sky and reverently pointing in the same direction). There is a greater than I.

Have you any other news?

I have read your message from start to finish.

Indeed! And what do you think of it?

The worst I ever! It does not at all express my views on the——

The views expressed are supposed to be those of the President.

The devil!

I beg pardon. The President.

But where do I come in?

Into what? The White House? Where the cat does, I think. The other entrances are guarded.

Look here, pardner, I mean to be a part of this administration.

With that hat?

What’s the matter with the hat?

The head. (Rings bell, enter Hay.) Mr. Secretary, this gentleman has the goodness to wish to resign and become a part of the administration. Is there a vacancy in the Cabinet?

You can easily make one, sir, by appointing him.

(Exit Roosevelt, swearing.)

The Russian Ambassador has called to talk of a concerted movement on Peking, to rescue the besieged legations.

Never mind that now
let us have peace.

(Enter Doorkeeper, pale and agitated.)

O, if you please, sir, the gentleman with the teeth!


He—he showed ’em!


He—he drawed a bowie knife! If you please, sir, I—I’d like another place.

You are right, my good man. You shall be Minister to China.


Hay, Secretary of State. Morgan, a Southern Senator. Telephone.

Mr. Secretary, I have startling and important news: the State of Panama has seceded from Colombia!

You don’t say so!—this is so sudden!

Yes, sir, it is true.

Well, well! Who would have thought it?

I trust, sir, this removes the last scruple that the Administration may have had against immediate construction of the Nicaraguan Canal. The war down there will——

War? Is there also a war?

Sir, you astonish me! Am I to suppose that you do not know that secession entails war? I learned that more than forty years ago.

Dear me! Then we shall have to protect American interests. How do you think it would do to send word to our Consul at Colon to be duly vigilant in the matter? Or perhaps it would be better to have our Minister at Bogota notify Colombia that there must be no bloodshed.

I think, if you want to know, that that would be taking the side of Panama.

We cannot, of course, do that: it would look like a violation of neutrality. Really, the situation is embarrassing. I wish those hot-headed southern Republics would be good.

Well, sir, if you have nothing to propose, I shall speak of the matter in the Senate.

Oh, thank you so much. I promise you that we will await the conclusion of your remarks before taking any action in the Nicaraguan matter.

Mor. (aside)
Hoist with my own petard!

(Exit Morgan; Hay goes to telephone.)

Hello! Give me the Secretary of the Navy.


That you, Moody? Have you sent those fifteen warships to the Isthmus?—and the two thousand marines? And have they orders that if any Colombian soldier set foot on the sacred soil of Panama they are to shoot him on the spot?

Br-r-r-r-rzz—spot him on the snoot.

All right. I’ll draft a canal treaty with the Panaman Junta at once. The President has his ear to the ground and says that there is a pretty strong sentiment down there in favor of admittance into this Union. Truly this is a wonderful century.

People are saying that we fomented this Panama rebellion.

Oh, Moody; how unjust!


President Roosevelt. Shonts, Engineer of the Panama Canal. Loeb, Private Secretary to the President. The Adversary of Souls. The Press.


President (solus):
There!—’tis to be a lock canal. Now let
The dirt fly.

(Enter Shonts.)

Very well, sir, don’t you fret;
It will, right speedily, I’m sure. But I—
I’m getting out of this concern. I fly!

(Exit Shonts.)

Now let the heathen rage: their pet sea-level
Canal has gone a-glimmering to the devil.

(Enter Loeb with a card.)

What’s this? “The Adversary.” Just my luck—
Without a rake I get all kinds of muck.
Always that Democrat appears if I
But mention him—I really wonder why.
Of one too many he’s the one. Go say
That I’ll not see him—I’ve seen Shonts to-day.

The gentleman is in the waiting room.
I think he wants to talk about your “boom.”

Wants an appointment in my Cabinet,
And there’s no vacancy.

O you forget—
There’s Hitchcock.

(Enter Adversary.)

Ah, good morning, sir. Delighted!
The fellow never waits till he’s invited.

Sir, we have overlooked the unwritten law
Forbidding a third term. You must withdraw.

President (aside):
Come to torment me! How this horrid shape,
Grinning behind his hand like any ape,
Maddens to candor. (Aloud) Brute! you might delay
Your triumph until I have had my day
And nations weep, in slow procession walking——

For him who dug the great canal by talking!
’Twere long to wait unless your tongue were made
By miracle divine into a spade.

Take that, you beast!

(Beats him and chases him off the stage, losing his temper in the scuffle.)

Loeb (solus):
The rogues fall out—sic semper.
As honest man, I will annex his temper.

(Puts President’s temper under his coat and exit.)


The Press (solum):
The President “received” last night—all smiles,
Charming the throng with amiable wiles.
But Loeb, with flaming eyes and flying feet,
Sprang in and kicked them all into the street!


Wood, a Medicated Warrior. Miles, a Soldier. Satan, a Statesman. Chorus of Citizens.
Miles (to Wood):
Sir, I have ventured to observe with what
I hope is a becoming modesty, that not
In vain have been your sacrifices, nor
Quite thrown away your aptitude for war.
Service and genius—these are things that count,
With (if you’re cavalry) the skill to mount.
Somewhat, too, doubtless, it promotes your gains
In rank and honors to possess the brains
To know enough to go in when it rains.

Some know enough to note the fine effect
Of sunshine on their uniform.

I’ve keener joy to see the daybeam smite
My gay attire than you to see it light
Your military record. Let’s get through—
I’d rather bandy swords than words with you.
But you’re a man of peace—a doctor, sir;
To save life, not to take it, you prefer;
And in the Spanish War your taste was shown
In saving with consummate skill your own.
By that you earned, according to my notion,
More leather medals, not so much promotion.

Chorus ff Citizens:
By that he earned, according to our notion,
More leather medals, not so much promotion.

When you’re a general in chief command,
May peace dwell ever in this happy land!

Chorus ff Citizens:
When he’s a general in chief command,
May peace dwell ever in this happy land!

From Santiago’s veins I drained the fever.

When shown by Lawton how to make it leave her.

I washed Havana.

Yes, you made the mud flow
Right lively when you had been taught by Ludlow.

My service——

’Twas of silver, was it not?—
Given you by gamblers for the Lord knows what!
Well, take your honors—they’re well earned, I think,
By working for yourself with printer’s ink
And feats of fawning—all the arts, in fine,
Whereby our peace-time heroes rise and shine.
Rather than witness more of your intrigues
I’ll mount a bronco and ride thirty leagues!

Well, two Administrations, you’ll agree,
I have been served and honored by.

Dear me,
I’ve had the favor and support of three.


President Roosevelt. Secretary of State Hay.

The President
Say, John, I wish you would see the Chinese Minister and tell him that Russia is complaining that China does not observe a strict neutrality. Tell him that she is imperiling her administrative entity.

Secretary Hay
I have already done so, sir; and I ventured to add that an oyster schooner that had just arrived from below had a very large mast.

The P.
What the dickens had that to do with it?

S. H.
Ah, you are not skilled in the language of diplomacy; it was an oblique reference to the “big stick.” The Chink understood; he was born on one of the days before yesterday.

The P.
And what did he say?

S. H.
Everything: put his hands into his long sleeves, crossed them on his breast and bowed three times, profoundly silent. Then he retired.

The P.
I am from Wyoming and you’ll have to explain.

S. H.
It’s all right. I at once summoned the other Ambassadors (except the Russian and the Japanese) and told them that you had made the most forcible representations to the Chinese Empress regarding her Majesty’s breaches——

The P.
Her what? You said that?

S. H.
Of neutrality. They were greatly impressed.

The P.
What did they say?

S. H.
What could they say? They bowed and went out, one by one, leaving the door open. The Open Door is what we stand for. It is all over.

The P.
Except the shouting.

S. H.
Secretary Loeb will see to that. He has prepared a statement of the incident for the press.

(Tumult within—cheers and fishhorns.)

The P.
What’s that?

S. H.
The shouting.


The President. Root, Secretary of State.

O world-power President, strenuous, mighty-mouthed, audible, able,
Director of destiny arbiter morum, compeller of princes,
Why this dejected demeanor, this sighing that signifies something
Gone wrong with the organ wherewith you were happy aforetime? O, keep me
No longer a-guessing: divulge to your faithful Elihu the hidden
Vermicular monster that gnaws at the core of the executive bosom—
Nay, feeds on the damask of that which mainly attests your distinction.

Alas, ’tis no worm that is secretly plying the hardy incision;
From troubles intestinal I and my country have present exemption—
Albeit the Democrats, turbulent ever and always disloyal,
Continue to shout of political contributions, demanding
A needless accounting, and some hint at restitution. My sorrow
Has better foundation. King Edward of England has joined the Mikado
In making a shameless alliance to tighten their grip upon Asia!

Why, surely, my master, we have the advantage: this compact secures us
Continuous peace in the Orient, gives us the door that is open.
Prevents the partition of China—in brief it establishes firmly
All that my great predecessor
(whom the Angel of Death, in his wisdom,
Removed from my path to the White House)
so gallantly strove to accomplish.

What’s that got to do with it, idiot? A broad-minded statesman (behold him!)
O’erlooks, like a man on a stepladder, trivial and transient advantage,
Discerning the meaning and menace of methods that mark the achievement.
Not once in all the proceedings that led to this hardy alliance
Was uttered, or written, or thought of, the name of Theodore Roosevelt!


Root (solus):
O, dammit! why should they consult him?— there wasn’t a roasting chestnut
To pull from the fire—and his fingers still smart from the Peace of Portsmouth.


Roosevelt, President. Hay, Secretary of State. Cassini, Russian Ambassador.

Good morning, Count. Sir, are you well to-day?

Quite well, I thank your Excellency. Pray
Inform me if your physical condition
Is satisfactory to your physician.

O no, indeed: I’m sounder than an apple.

Cassini (aside):
The fellow’s wormy.

Now, then, let us grapple
With “Bessarabian outrages” and such.
Some recent—ah—um—er—have pained us much.
Christians and Jews alike are up in arms
Here in America, and this alarms
The President. He tells me I’m expected
To take a firm stand till the thing’s corrected.

So good of him! That means there’s trouble brewing:
If we stay wicked there’ll be “something doing.”
If, for example, we ignore your cross talk
You’ll send a monitor to Vladivostok.

O no, my friend, it might mean more than play
If public sentiment could have its way.
Our people are so wroth it might mean war
Did naught prevent—but that’s what I am for.
As ’tis, it means that an election’s coming,
And to succeed we’ve got to keep things humming.

In other words, it means just nothing.

That is about the size of it, I guess.
The Jewish vote, you understand——

I see:
To help you get it you apply to me;
And my Imperial Master is the cat
To pull your chestnuts from the fire. Well, “Scat,
You beast!” is not the right command.

My noble friend, you do not understand.
What I shall offer to you for transmission
Is nothing but a courteous petition,
Which if you pocket (winking) on your own head be it.
I shall have done my duty as I see it.

But how about your master?

He’s all right;
He must make faces, but he need not fight.

Hand in the document without delay—
’Twill go on file. I bid you, sir, good day.

(Exit Cassini; enter Roosevelt.)

Well, John, I trust you broke no bones. Did you
Caution that candle-eater what we’ll do
If one more Hebrew they annoy? Does he
Clearly perceive they’ll have to deal with Me?

Well, I should say so! Sir, I plainly said
You’d heap their land with tumuli of dead;
Hang by the heels the Czar until he’d weep
His shoes full; load the sanguinary deep
With battleships until ’twould overwhelm
The seaboard cities of their monkey realm;
Encumber it with wrecks and floating carcasses!

That programme is more strenuous than Marcus’s—
Hanna, my master. He would never dare
To twist the tail of the fierce Russian bear.
I’m big enough to tackle any brute!

(Exit Roosevelt.)

Hay (solus):
I too am quite a sizable galoot.


The President. Miles, Commander of the Army. Root, Secretary of War. Loeb, Private Secretary to President. Hull, Chairman of Committee on Military Affairs. An Orderly.


Headquarters of the Army.

Miles (in bed):
What ho, there! orderly—I say, I say!
Bring in my breakfast. What’s the time o’ day?
What? six o’clock!—and day’s already broke?
I’m too late to escape him. Holy smoke!
I think I hear his footstep on the stair—
But no, it is not his: there is no blare
Of a great trumpet strenuously blown—
That veritable tuba mirum known
To have sounded once the charge at Kettle Hill
(After ’twas made) and to be sounding still.

Perhaps he will not come.

Perhaps, perhaps—
Yet well I know those War Department chaps
Have told him of my novel plan that places
The Army on a military basis.
Ne’er mind the breakfast; I’ll get up and fly
Before the sun’s another minute high.
If I can by a masterly retreat
Escape him trust me to come back and eat.

There’s some one, sir, a-tryin’ to break in.

O Lord, forgive my every little sin!
Seeing that I was going to be late
Developing my Plan, he would not wait,
He’s risen with the lark, alas, and brought
His answer to my unperfected thought.
He always was forehanded.

(Enter President.)

I’ve no time
To let the punishment await the crime.
Take that, and that, and that! (beating him.)

Of course, of course;
I’m firm in judgment, but I yield to force.
“Submission is a military virtue,”
The Regulations say, “howe’er it hurt you.”
I’ll now submit to buffets with sobriety,
And, later on, my view of their propriety,
Together with some pertinent suggestions
Touching important military questions.

You may, and touching civil ones to boot;
Submit them, though, to Secretary Root.

(Enter Root.)

Yes, but ’twould hearten me if you’d agree
To signify your mind to him, not me.
Seeing him lame I’ll know the views I deem
Correct are held by you in light esteem.

Don’t rub your bruises, man; that’s mutiny!

And it demands official scrutiny.
I’ll summon a court-martial, sir, to “fire” you;
And if it finds you guiltless I’ll retire you.
You huff me anyhow. Dashnation, man,
The battle spirit, like a black-and-tan
Ranch dog, sits up and howls within my breast,
And it’s O, to bust a bronco in the West!
Fetch me that broomstick, soldier. Golly me!
I must ride something or I die.

Root (on hands and knees):
Ride me.


The White House

O Mr. President, depress your ear
Till it enfold me, so that you may hear
Strange news of one departed—one that you
Have done to death: old Nelson Miles.

Go to!
There is no news of him; he’s dead as nails.

About him, though, they tell alarming tales.
’Tis said that he has moved an inch or so.

Go put a heavier stone upon him—go!
Confound the fellow! will he ne’er stay dead?

The worst is yet to come: they say his head
Is half-protruded from the tomb!

Quick, quick!
Go rap it roundly with the big, big stick.

Nay, that’s a weapon I’m too weak to wield.
For anything I know, the corpse is “heeled.”

Where’s Colonel Hull? Command him to attack.
He’s brave and generous enough to crack
The skull of any dead man living. Take the stick.

(Exit Loeb.)

That rogue’s obedient, but he makes me sick.

(An hour elapses. Enter Hull.)

The work is done: again he is no more—
He was half out. These red stains are his gore.

I trust you gave him a conclusive whack.

Well, not exactly, but—I bit his back!


The President. Root, Secretary of State. Taft, Secretary of War. Bonaparte, Secretary of the Navy. Metcalf, Secretary of Commerce and Labor. Dewey, an Admiral. Loeb, Private Secretary to the President.


The White House, October, 1906.

Mr. President, the Japanese Minister complains that the children of his countrymen in California are denied admittance to the public schools.

That will be bad for their education.

He regards this as an unfriendly discrimination.

I should suppose that would be a painful conviction.

He says his countrymen in Japan are greatly excited about it.

What a jabbering they must make.

He is making a good deal of noise himself.

Dare say. Let’s ask Metcalf about it; he’s from California. (Taps the bell nine times—enter Secretary Metcalf.) Mr. Secretary, how about the exclusion of Japs from the Californian public schools, poor little things!

There are separate schools for them. The average age of the poor little things is about thirty years.

How affecting! Many of them must be orphans. I was once an orphan.

Root (aside)
His levity fatigues. (To the President) Among the Japanese there are no orphans: those of them that have lost their parents have an official father in the Minister of War.

What’s that?

Their actual guardian is the ranking admiral of the navy.

The devil!

No; Togo.

This is a mighty serious matter, as I said. Go at once to the Japanese Minister and disavow everything. (Exit Secretary Root, smiling aside.) Metcalf, tell Loeb to prepare apologies for Japan, for publication in the newspapers. Take the first train to California, and——

(Exit Secretary Metcalf. Enter Secretary Bonaparte, breathless.)

Mr. President, the J-J—the Mapanese Jinister is in the offing with all his s-suite! He is sailing up the gravel walk this very m-minute! For heaven’s sake, go to the window and show your teeth.

(Exit Secretary Bonaparte, running. Tumult within: “Banzai! Banzai!”)

Pres. (solus)
What under the sun can I say to appease the pirates? This is what comes of the Peace of Portsmouth! It is this to be a world power with a contumacious province.

(Has had a bad half-hour.)


The Same, August, 1907.

Mr. Secretary, it is reported that the Japanese in Hawaii are rising.

You don’t say so! Why, it is hardly six o’clock by their time. They are early risers.

I learn from Secretary Root that Admiral Togo’s battleships are coaling. Now, what can that mean?

Let us ask Dewey. (Enter, thoughtfully, Admiral Dewey.) Admiral, the President has learned that the Japanese battleships at Tokio are taking on coal. What, in your judgment as a sailor, are they going to do with it?

Burn it.

(Enter Secretary Root.)

Mr. President, California is about to secede—we shall lose Metcalf! The entire Pacific Coast will follow. I go to glory or the grave!

(Exit Secretary Root. Enter Secretary Taft, with bottle.)

In this supreme crisis of the nation let us fortify our souls (filling glasses) for any trial.

Pres. (lifting glass)
Here’s confusion to the memory of the late Commodore Matthew Perry!

(They drink. Tumult within: “Banzai! Banzai!” Enter Loeb.)

Mr. President——

Where’s Root?

In the East Room, playing draw poker with the Japanese Minister. (Renewed tumult within: “Banzai Nippon!”) The Jap seems to be winning.


The President. Hay, Secretary of State. Bowen, Minister to Venezuela.

John Hay, where are you on the great, gray sea?
I beg you will at once return to me.
This wireless business is the devil’s own,
And Castro’s playing him with me alone!
Venezuela sneering at my threat;
Santo Domingo more and more in debt;
Their foreign creditors dispatching fleets
With duns and guns and sons of guns—it beats
The Dutch, the devil and the band! I swear
From sheer distraction I could pull your hair!
’Twixt Castro and the Doctrine of Monroe,
My fears are nimble and my wits are slow.
I know not where to go nor how to stop—
Stand fast or, like old Saul of Tarsus, “flop.”
Nothing I know, and everything I doubt—
Dear John, in God’s name put your prow about!

Though the skies fall upon the hills beneath
Be resolute. If needful show your teeth.

Dear Bowen, go to Castro. Tell him straight
He must make up his mind to arbitrate.
Say if he won’t—here swing the big, big stick—
We’ll do a little stunt to make him sick.

Your words I’ve put into his ear. Said he:
“I’m sick already—to the mountains, me.”

Tell him again; then if he won’t, why, add
We’ll give him ninety days to wish he had.

I’ve told him that, sir, and he says if you
Are pressed for time a single day will do,
For he’s a rapid wisher. What shall I
Say further, to provoke a coarse reply?

Tell him that when the time allowed is up
We’ll press against his lips the bitter cup.
We’ll waste no further words in this. Don’t fail
To send the scalawag’s reply—by mail.


First American Sovereign
Hurrah! Hooray! Hurroo!

Second American Sovereign
What’s the matter with you?

F. A. S.
What’s the matter with me? What’s the matter with all of us? Don’t you see the President’s train? Don’t you hear him speaking from the rear platform?

S. A. S.
What’s to prevent?

F. A. S.
Nothing could prevent—not all the crowned heads of Europe, nor all their sycophant courtiers and servile subjects!

S. A. S.
No, nothing—just nothing at all—excepting personal self-respect and a decent sense of the dignity of American citizenship.

F. A. S.
What! You think it base and undignified to pay honor to the President’s great office?

S. A. S.
It is easy to call it “honoring his great office.” I believe we commonly do give the name of some virtue to our besetting vice. I observe that the President, too, honors our own great office by the most sickening flattery of the people every time he opens his mouth. His reasons are better than ours, for we really rank him: his great office is of our own making and bestowal. But I wish he wouldn’t lick my boots.

F. A. S.
Sir, you have no right to use such language of the ruler of the nation!

S. A. S.
It is “ruler” when you want an excuse to grovel; in your more austere moods it is “servant of the people”—and that is his own name for the thing that he has the distinction to be. I don’t cheer my butler, nor throw flowers at my coachman, nor crush the hand of my cook.

F. A. S. (aside)
This must be a millionaire! (Aloud) I see great wisdom, sir, in what you say. I’ll never again abase myself before any one. Listen to the senseless applause! (Aside, as loud as he can bawl) Hooray! Hooray!

S. A. S.
Ah, that was the fellow’s expiring platitude. He has finished waving the red flag and is coming this way.

(President passes, shaking hands with both.)

F. A. S. (gazing at his hand with deep emotion)
God bless him!

S. A. S.
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!




From “The First Man in Rome.”
NO sooner had Cæsar crossed the Rubicon than all Rome was ablaze with excitement and terror. Horatius, who all by himself had held the bridge until outnumbered, retreated to the Tiber, where he was joined by the new levies, imperfectly armed and equipped, and some of the Prætorian Guards. There, behind such defenses as they could improvise, they swore to resist until all were dead. Sacrifices were offered to the gods, and the augurs, removing the hearts of the victims, consulted the auricles.

Meantime Cæsar’s leading legion, with Scipio Africanus marching proudly at its head, came into view beyond the Tarpeian Rock—the same from which the unhappy Sappho, one of the most prominent poets of her time, had cast herself—and advanced without delay in a shower of catapults.

Precisely what occurred during the next half-hour we are without the data to state with confidence: all the historical novels of the three or four centuries immediately following were destroyed in the accident at Pompeii; but at three o’clock in the afternoon of that fateful day Brutus lay dead upon the field of honor and the beaten forces of Horatius were in tumultuous retreat along the Claudian aqueduct. Then Cleopatra came forth from her place of concealment, resolved to throw herself at the feet of her conquering lover and intercede for the doomed city.

From “Court and Camp.”
Through a tangled wild as dense as death the martial forced his way, despite the wounds that the Russian forces had inflicted upon his aged frame. Suddenly he departed from the undergrowth and found himself in an open glade of inconsiderable dimensions, and before his vision stood the widely known figure of Napoleon, with folded arms and in a greatcoat falling to his heels. The king was apparently oblivious to his environment, but instinctively “the bravest of the brave,” ever considerate and genteel, drew back into cover, unwilling to interrupt the royal revery. Apparently Napoleon was immersed in meditations.

What these were we have not the temerity to conjecture. Waterloo had been fought and lost!—the last die had been cast to the winds and the dream of universal empire had gone down in gloom! Did he realize that all was over? Was he conjuring up the future and forecasting the judgment of posterity—the figure that he was destined to cut in the historical novels of a later age? Did visions of St. Helena float before his prophetic gaze? Alas, we know not!

At the sound of a breaking twig beneath the martial’s foot the king started from his revery and said in French: “Live the France!” Then, deriving a slender stiletto from his regalia, he plunged it into the left ventricle of his heart and fell dead before the martial, who was greatly embarrassed, could summon medical assistance.

Josephine was avenged!

From “The Crusader.”
It was midnight beneath the walls of the beleaguered city. Sir Guy de Chassac de Carcassonne leaned heavily upon his great two-handed sword, fatigued with slaughter. Hardly had he closed his eyes in slumber when the seven Saracens chosen by Saladin for the perilous emprise stole forth from the postern gate and stealthily surrounded him. Then at a preconcerted signal they flashed their scimitars in air and rushed upon their prey!

But it was fated to be otherwise. At the first stroke of the Toledo blades Sir Guy awoke. To pluck his long weapon from the soil was the work of a comparatively short time; then with one mighty circular sweep of the steel he clove them all asunder at the waist!

Jerusalem was delivered and remains a Christian city to this day!

From “Blood and Beer.”
The booming of the cannon awakened Bismarck with a start. Vaulting into the saddle with remarkable grace, he was soon in the thickest of the fray, and many a foeman fell beneath his genius. Yet even in the terrible din and confusion of battle his mental processes were normal, and he thought only of the countess, while absently dealing death about him. Suddenly he was roused from his revery by the impact of a battle-axe upon his helmet, and turning his eyes in the direction whence it seemed to have been delivered, he beheld the sneering visage of De Grammont on a black steed.

Here was an opportunity that might satisfy the most exacting—an opportunity to rid his country of a traitor and himself of a rival; to serve at once his ambition and his love. His noble nature forbade. Waving his enemy aside, he thoughtfully withdrew from the field, resolved to press his suit otherwise.

From “The Iron Duchess.”
As Wellington rode moodily away from the fatal field of Blenheim, meditating upon the wreck of his ambition, he encountered the seer whom he had met the day before.

“Wretch!” he exclaimed, drawing his scimitar, “it is you that have done this! But for your accursed predictions I should have won the battle and the Swiss king would now be flying before my victorious legends. Die, therefore!”

So saying, he raised his armed hand to smite, but the blow did not fall. Even while the blade was suspended in the air the seer’s long black cloak fell away, the white hair and concealing beard were flung aside, and the Iron Duke found himself gazing into the laughing eyes of Madame de Maintenon! Speechless with astonishment, he thundered: “What is the meaning of this?”

“Ah, monsieur,” she replied, with that enchanting smile which had lured Louis XIV to the guillotine, “it means that I amuse myself.”

From “The Noddle of Navarre.”
When Henry of Navarre saw the ruin he had wrought he elevated his helmet from his marble brow and stepped three paces to the rear. The priest advanced with flashing eyes and, lifting both hands to the zenith, explained that vengeance was the Lord’s—He would repay!

“It is better so,” assented the king—“I prefer it thus.”

But even as he spake a shot from the moat pierced his brain and he fell, to reign no more!

From “Louis the Luckless.”
Observing that his presence was not suspected, Richelieu remained with his eye glued to the keyhole. It was well that he did so, for the conspirators now laid off their masks, and among them he recognized the king himself! Here was a situation that he believed unique; in all his experience in court and camp there was no precedent A sovereign conspiring for his own overthrow, his assassination! Richelieu was deeply affected by so striking an instance of unselfishness. He reeled and fell to the floor in an agony of admiration.

From “The Road to Tusculum.”
No sooner did Cicero perceive his legions retreating than he spurred impetuously from the field, thundering that all was lost. Passing swiftly across the Tiber by a secret bridge, he proceeded to the Forum, and entering the senate unannounced, communicated the news of the disaster. This was Pompey’s opportunity; he rose in his place and extending his index finger in the direction of the defeated warrior exclaimed in sarcastic accents: “Romans, behold your liberator from the chains of the Volscians! Behold the orator-general to whom you owe so much! Let him hereafter (if we have a hereafter) oppose to his country’s armed invaders the power of his matchless tongue. The sword is too heavy for a hand trained in the light calisthenics of gesticulation!” Maddened by this artful arraignment, the senators rose as one Roman and, headed by Marcus Aurelius, fell upon the unfortunate commander, tearing him limb from limb!

From “The Loves of Cromwell.”
Night fell darkly over the city of Worcester.

Cromwell had marched all day to reach it by seven roads, and at nine in the evening besieged it with a hundred thousand men.

A desperate struggle ensued, at the close of which Cromwell rose from his knees victorious over the forces of his king.

“Bring that son of Belial before me!” he roared, “that I may deal with him according to his sins.”

Charles, pale and trembling, with manacled hands and bowed head, was led in.

The lord protector eyed him haughtily, then addressing a brief prayer to Heaven sprang forward and with one stroke of his blade severed the royal head from the royal shoulders.

Thus ended the War of the Roses, and England was again a republic.


From “One Woman.”
GLADYS climbed to the balustrade of the bridge and, adjusting her skirts, plunged into the gloomiest forebodings.

“Why,” she said, “should the future look so dark to one possessing all that fortune can donate?”

She added a number of profound reflections on the vanity of life, ending with a brilliant epigram. It had scarcely died upon her lips when Armitage arrived upon the tapis and took in the situation at a glance. Striding hastily forward, he bowed gracefully and signified a desire to know the cause of her abstraction. She burst into tears and complied with his wish. Then she flung herself about his neck and accorded full expression to her grief, which he delicately professed not to observe; for this noble figure had been educated in the best schools of European gentility.

From “But a Single Thought.”
Seeing her proceeding away from him, perhaps forever, Auvergne intercepted her with an expression of regret for his rudeness, coupled with a plea for pardon. For a breathless instant she stayed her progress as if uncertain as to the degree of his offense, then resumed her pace till she reached the river’s brim. With an unconscious prayer she sprang swooning into the breakers and was with difficulty prevented from meeting a watery grave.

From “A Belle of Castile.”
Josephina had progressed but a brief distance into the garden when some inner sense proclaimed that she was followed: the crunching of a gentleman’s heel upon the gravel was indisputable. Partially terrified, she sought concealment in the shrubbery that bordered the path on the one side and the other. It passed by her there in the moonlight, that dreadful sound, yet no one visible! It went on and on, growing fainter and fainter, like herself, and was lost to hearing. Then she remembered the tradition of the Invisible Knight and her heart smote her for the absence of faith with which she had so often greeted it.

“I am fitly punished,” she conceded, “for my sceptical attitude. Henceforth, so far as the constitution of my mind will permit, I will be more hospitable to the convictions of the simple.”

How she adhered to this expiational resolution we shall behold.

From “The Queen’s Chaperon.”
The duke stepped from his carriage to a neighboring hill and cast his eye athwart his ancestral domain. “All this,” he mused, “I must renounce if I comply with the queen’s royal suggestion to fly with her to Rome. Is she worth the privation? I must have time to consider a transaction of such great importance.”

Hastily entering his carriage, he haughtily bade the coachman drive him to some expensive hotel, whence he dispatched a delicately perfumed note to her Majesty, saying that he should be detained a few days by affairs of state, but assuring her of his uncommon fidelity. Then he retired to his couch and thought it all over in Italian. The next day he arose and fled rapidly.

From “The Uplifting of Lennox.”
On hearing the terrible news Myra fell supine to earth without delay!

“Is it nothing?” inquired Lennox. “Is it only a temporary indisposition?—will it soon pass?”

But Myra replied only with a significant pallor which told all too plainly what the most accomplished linguist would vainly have striven to express.

How long she lay unconscious we know not, but promptly on becoming her previous self she let fall a multitude of tears.

Lennox yielded to the requirements of etiquette and stole away.

From “Bertha of Bootha.”
As they strolled along the Riviera the setting sun was just touching the summit of the Alps and firing them with an electrical glow. Turning to her, he looked into her beautiful eyes and thus expressed himself:

“Dearest, I am about to make an important statement.”

She almost instantly divined the character of the communication that he referred to, and it affected her with perturbation. It was so sudden. “If,” she remarked, “you could postpone the statement above mentioned until a more suitable occasion I should regard your forbearance with satisfaction.”

“Very well,” he replied, with coldness, “I will wait until we are not alone.”

“Thank you, ever so much,” she blushed, and all was silence. Later in the season he explained to her the trend of his affections, and she signified the pleasure that she derived from his preference.

From “Hertha of Hootha.”
The moon rose in the east without a sound and the ripples on the bosom of the main ran silently to the beach. Hertha and Henri, having similar sensibilities, were equally overcome by the solemnity of the scene, and neither inaugurated a conversation. Their love was too true for utterance by human tongue. Thus they paced for a considerable period, when suddenly the silence was cut asunder by a woman’s scream!

“I know that voice,” cried Henri, hastily divesting himself of as many of his upper garments as, under the circumstances, he deemed it proper to do; “it is Minetta committing suicide!”

He immediately plunged into the Atlantic, while Hertha stood rooted to the sand, endeavoring to regulate her emotions. In a few moments, which seemed an age, he emerged from the deep, bearing the deceased, whom he tenderly flung at her rival’s feet.

Then the survivors knelt and prayed in both English and French.

From “Ethel Shanks.”
Ethel hastened slowly along the path leading to the cliff above the lake. The full moon was rising in the east, for the hour was midnight, and her warm radiance bathed the landscape in a blue languor.

To Ethel the sky had never seemed so blue, nor the Polyanthes tuberosa in her corsage so white. She drank joy with her every breath, and she breathed quickly from her exertion in climbing the eminence on which she stood. Hearing footprints approaching, she turned, and the baron stood before her! “I was hasty,” he explained. “I should not have disclosed my love with such abruption. Permit me to withdraw my inconsiderate declaration.”

Ethel’s heart sank within her! She could not refuse him the desired permission; that would not have been genteel: and Ethel was under all circumstances the lady. So she beat back the tears and said:

“Please, sir, dismiss it from attention.”

The cry of her broken heart was unheard by that callous ear, unaccustomed to the sad, sweet chords evoked from the harp of a dead hope. The nobleman lit his pipe and, his cruel errand performed, returned to his ancestral mansion. For one or two moments Ethel stood on the brink of eternity. Precipitating herself from the extreme edge, she awaited death with composure; she had done her full duty and had no fear of the Hereafter.... At the base of the precipice she came into violent contact with a large granite boulder and was no more.

They found her body at the feet of the cliff, and the baron was torn by conflicting emotions, for the head lay at some distance from the trunk, a truly melancholy spectacle.

“Can it be possible,” he remarked, “that she is no more?”

Assured by the physician that such was the fact, he signified a high degree of regret and strode from the spot unattended; and to this day his fate is cloaked in the impenetrable waters of oblivion.

From “A Demising Love.”
James endeavored ineffectually to ascertain the trend of her affections: her expression remained a blank. He erroneously attributed his failure to poor skill in physiognomy and inwardly bewailed his youthful neglect of the advantages of education. While so engaged he fancied he detected in her look something significant of an interest in his personality. Could he be mistaken? No, there it was again!

Arising from his sedentary attitude to the full stature of his young manhood, he crossed the intervening Persian rug and possessed himself of her hand.

“Mabel,” he inquired, “do you not experience the promptings of a dawning tenderness for one to whom you are much?”

Receiving no negative answer he kissed her simultaneously on both cheeks, and, falling rapidly upon one knee, poured out his soul in beautiful language, mostly devoted to commendation of her fine character and disposition.

Mabel did not at once respond. She was deceased.

From “March Hares.”
Mrs. Rorqual deposited her embroidery on the sofa by her side and, slightly changing color, said, “No, my ideals are not unchangeable; they have undergone memorable alteration within the last hour.”

“Let us hope,” said D’Anchovi, uncrossing his hands, and putting one forefinger into a buttonhole of his coat, “that they are still high.”

She resumed her embroidery and, looking at a painting of the martyrdom of St. Denis over the mantel, replied, “Would it matter?”

“Surely,” said he, lightly beating the carpet with the heel of his well-fitting shoe; “for ideals are more than thoughts. I sometimes think they are things—that we are their thoughts.”

She did not immediately reply. A curtain at an open window moved audibly. A sunbeam crept through the lattice of the piazza outside and fell upon the window-ledge. The fly previously mentioned now walked indolently along the top of the Japanese screen, then fearlessly descended the face of it to within an inch of the mouth of a painted frog. D’Anchovi, with a lifting of his eyebrows, maintained a determined silence.

“I should think that an uncomfortable creed,” Mrs. Rorqual said at last, withdrawing the tip of her shoe, which had been visible beneath the edge of her gown, and shifting her gaze from St. Denis to one of the crystal ornaments of the candelabrum pendent from the ceiling.

He passed the fingers of his right hand through his hair, slightly shifted his position on his chair and said: “Mrs. Rorqual, I have to thank you for a most agreeable hour. Shall I see you on the golf-links to-morrow?”

So they parted, but when he was gone she toyed thoughtfully with a spray of heliotrope growing in a jardinière and then ran her forefinger along a part of the pattern of the wallpaper.

From “A Study in Dissection.”
Captain Gerard introspected. He spread his heart, as it were, upon the dissecting-table of conscience and examined it from several points of view. It is a familiar act—we call it analysis of motive. When he had concluded he knew why he had accepted the invitation of the countess to dinner. He knew why he had insulted the count. Equally obvious were his reasons for mentioning to Iphigeneia the holy bonds of matrimony. In all his conduct since his last introspection but one act baffled him: why, alas, had he spoken to Iphigeneia of the bar-semester in his crest?

As he pondered this inexplicable problem a footfall fell upon his ear and he shuddered as if the hand of death had stepped in.

It was the countess!

From “Her Diplodocus.”
“Sir!” Miss Athylton drew herself up to her full height and looked her interlocutor squarely in the visage. For an instant he returned her scrutiny; then his eyes fell to the earth, stammering apologies. With a sweeping curtsey she passed out of the room, hand over hand.

From “L’Affaire Smith.”
As they sat there wrapping their arms about each other, she advanced the belief that they had loved in a former state of existence.

“But not as now, Irene, surely not as now.”

She was well content to let him feel so about it, and did not seek to alter the character of his emotion. To have done so would have cut her to the heart. On the contrary, a little bird perched in the passion-vine above them and sang several thrilling passages.

From “Clarisse.”
He gazed into her beautiful eyes for a considerable period, during which he did not converse; then he said, with an effort to be sociable: “It has been represented to me that you are a lady of great wealth. May I inquire if I have been rightly informed?”

Blushing energetically at the compliment, she replied in silence, and for a few minutes there was an embarrassing hiatus in the exchange of thought and feeling.

Fearing that he had offended her, the duke arose, and striding to the grand piano began to improvise diligently. At that moment there came in through the open window a sound of wheels on the gravel outside.

He ceased in the middle of a nocturne and would have left the room, but she restrained him:

“It is only my father returning from India,” smiled she; “I shall be so glad to introduce you.”

The full horror of the situation burst upon him like a thunderbolt out of a clean sky.

“Madam,” he thundered, “your father is dead! He died of the plague in Bombay, and I attended the funeral, although he had cursed me with his last breath. I cannot—cannot meet him!”

With those words falling from his white lips he flung himself out of the room. A servant entered and handed Clarisse the visiting card of Mrs. Delahanty.

From “Mary Ann & Co.”
As they neared each other on the narrow bridge Paul observed that she was profoundly agitated.

“Darling,” he said, “please to signify the cause of your perturbation. It is not impossible that I may be able to remove it. You know,” he added, “that I have studied medicine.”

She blushed deeply, then turned pale and continued to tremble. He seized her hand and laid two fingers upon her wrist.

“The pulse,” he said, “is abnormally frequent and irregular.”

With a barely audible expression of disapproval, she withdrew her hand and endeavored to pass him on the narrow footway of the bridge. A misstep precipitated her into the stream, from which with no small difficulty she was taken in a dying condition, a half-mile below. The person that drew her forth from the waters was Paul’s aged uncle.

“Tell Paul Dessard,” she said with her last breath, “that I love him, die for him! Tell him how I strove successfully to hide my love from him lest he think me unmaidenly; but it cannot matter now if he know it. Tell him all, I pray you tell him all, and add that in that Better Land whither I go my spirit will await him with impatience, prepared to explain all.”

The good old man bent over her, placed his open hand behind his ear and ejaculated:


She shook her head with an infinite pathos and suspired.

From “Ideals.”
Where the grand old Hudson river rolls its floods seaward between the rugged Palisades and the agricultural country of its eastern bank Janey Sewell dwelt in a little vine-covered cottage in one of the most picturesque spots of the latter.

Janey was beautiful all day long. Her hair was as dark as the pinion of a crow, and her brown eyes rivaled in lustre the sheen of the sunlight on the bosom of the river. She was also a fine French scholar.

Janey’s parents had dwelt in Yonkers from time immemorial, and sweet to her was her native environment, whence no proffers of a marriage into the aristocracy or nobility of England could entice her. Many coroneted hearts had been flung at her feet—many were the impassionate pleas that ducal lips had poured into her ear; she remained fancy free, determined to bestow her affection upon some worthy member of an American labor union or die a maid. We shall see with what indomitable tenacity she adhered through disheartening trials to that commendable policy.

From “Oopsie Mercer.”
For a long time—it seemed an eternity—they sat there hand in hand, in the gloaming. The sheep-bells tinkled faintly in the glen, and from an adjacent thicket the whip-poor-will sang rapturously. The katydid grated out her mysterious accusation from the branch of an oak overhead; the cricket droned among the glow-worms underfoot. All these vocal efforts were conspicuously futile; in their newly found happiness the lovers heeded nothing but each other. O love!

Suddenly, on the dew-starred sward, a loud oath rang out behind them. Harold rose promptly to his own feet, the lady remaining in session on the log, her hands demurely folded in her lap. The report of a firearm illuminated the gloom, and ere Harold could intercept the deadly missile it had pierced Miss Mercer’s heart! She fell forward and died without medical assistance.

Harold mounted the log and obtained a fairly good view of the aggressor; it was James Wroth, and he was engaged in taking a second aim. With the lightning-like intuition of a brave man in an emergency Harold inferred that he was the intended victim.

“Fiend!” sprang he, and a death struggle was inaugurated without delay.

Let us go back to the time when we left James Wroth nourishing the fires of an intellectual tempest implanted by Miss Mercer’s rejection of his suit, and embarking for Europe in another tongue.

From “Lance and Lute.”
The faint booming of the distant cannon grew more and more deafening; the thunder of the charging cavalry reverberated o’er the field of battle: the enemies were evidently making a stand.

Plympton arrived at the scene of action just as the commanding general ordered an advance along the entire front. Spurring his steed to the centre of the line he rang out his voice in accents of defiance and was promoted for gallantry.

Bertram who was an eye-witness, immediately withdrew his objection to the marriage. This took place shortly afterward and was attended with the happiest results.

From “Sundry Hearts.”
When presented to the object of his devotion the earl could not suppress his sentiments. The Lady Gwendolin saw them as plainly as if they had been branded upon his brow. Her agitation was comparable to his. All the pent-up emotion of her deep, womanly nature surged to her countenance and paralyzed her so that she was unable to offer her hand. She consequently contented herself with a graceful inclination of the head. The Earl was excessively disappointed. Turning upon his heel he bowed and walked away.

Gwendolin retired to the conservatory and uttered a deep-drawn sigh, then, returning to the ballroom, flung herself into the waltz with an assumed ecstasy that elicited wide comment.

From “La Belle Damn.”
Under the harvest moon, now at its best, the corpse of Ronald showed ghastly white, the frost sparkling in its beard and hair. Clementine’s consciousness of its impulchritude was without a flaw. Had she ever really experienced an uncommon, an exceptional, tenderness for an object boasting so little charm? She was hardly able to take that view of the matter. All seemed unreal, indistinct and charged with dubiety. A sudden rustling in the circumjacent vegetation startled her from her dream, suggesting considerations of personal safety. Surveying the body for the last time, she impelled the stiletto into a contiguous tarn and left the scene with measured tread.

From “The Recrudescence of Squollander.”
“Clifford,” said Isabel, earnestly yet softly, “are you sure that you truly love me?”

Clifford presented such testimony and evidence as he could command, and requested her decision on the sufficiency of what he had advanced.

“Oh, Clifford,” she said, laying her two little hands in one of his comparatively large ones, “you have extirpated my ultimate uncertainty.”


New York, July 2, 1895.—The strike of the American Authors’ Guild continues to hold public attention. No event in the history of trades-unionism since the great railroad strike of last year has equaled it in interest. Nothing else is talked of here. In some parts of the city all business is suspended and the excitement grows more intense hourly.

At about 10 o’clock this morning a non-union author attempting to enter the premises of D. Appleton & Co. with a roll of manuscript was set upon by a mob of strikers and beaten into insensibility. The strikers were driven from their victim by the police, but only after a fight in which both sides suffered severely.

New York, July 3.—Rioting was renewed last night in front of the boycotted publishing house of Charles Scribner’s Sons, 153–157 Fifth avenue. Though frequently driven back by charges of the police, who used their clubs freely, the striking authors succeeded in demolishing all the front windows by stone-throwing. One shot was fired into the interior, narrowly missing a young lady typewriter. Mr. William D. Howells, a member of the Guild’s board of managers, declares that he has irrefragable proof that this outrage was committed by some one connected with the Publishers’ Protective League for the purpose of creating public sympathy.

It has been learned that the non-union author so severely beaten yesterday died of his injuries last night. His name is said to have been Richard Henry (or Hengist) Stoddard, formerly a member of the Guild, but expelled for denouncing the action of President Brander Matthews in ordering the strike.

Later.—Matters look more and more threatening. A crowd of ten thousand authors, headed by Col. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, is reported to be marching upon the Astor Library, which is strongly guarded by police, heavily armed. Many book-stores have been wrecked and their contents destroyed.

Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, who was shot last night while setting fire to the establishment of Harper & Bros., cannot recover. She is delirious, and lies on her cot in the Bellevue Hospital singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Boston, July 3.—Industrial discontent has broken out here. The members of the local branch of the American Authors’ Guild threw down their pens this morning and declared that until satisfactory settlement of novelists’ percentages should be arrived at not a hero and heroine should live happily ever afterward in Boston. The publishing house of Houghton, Mifflin & Co. is guarded by a detachment of Pinkerton men armed with Winchester rifles and a Gatling gun. The publishers say that they are getting all the manuscripts that they are able to reject, and profess to have no apprehension as to the future. Mr. Joaquin Miller, a non-union poet from Nevada, visiting some Indian relatives here, was terribly beaten by a mob of strikers to-day. Mr. Miller was the aggressor; he was calling them “sea-doves”—by which he is said to have meant “gulls.”

Chicago, July 3.—The authors’ strike is assuming alarming dimensions and is almost beyond control by the police. The Mayor is strongly urged to ask for assistance from the militia, but the strikers profess to have no fear of his doing so. They say that he was once an author himself, and is in sympathy with them. He wrote “The Beautiful Snow.” In the mean time a mob of strikers numbering not fewer than one thousand men, women and children, headed by such determined labor leaders as Percival Pollard and Hamlin Garland, are parading the streets and defying the authorities. A striker named Opie Reed, arrested yesterday for complicity in the assassination of Mr. Stone, of the publishing firm of Stone & Kimball, was released by this mob from the officers that had him in custody. Mr. Pollard publishes a letter in the Herald this morning saying that Mr. Stone was assassinated by an emissary of the Publishers’ Protective League to create public sympathy, and strongly hints that the assassin is the head of the house of McClurg & Co.

New York, July 4.—All arrangements for celebrating the birthday of American independence are “off.” The city is fearfully excited, and scenes of violence occur hourly. Macmillan & Co.’s establishment was burned last night, and four lives were lost in the flames. The loss of property is variously estimated. All the publishing houses are guarded by the militia, and it is said that Government troops will land this afternoon to protect the United States mails carrying the manuscripts of strike-breaking authors, in transit to publishers. The destruction of the Astor Library and the Cooper Union and the closing of all the book-stores that escaped demolition in yesterday’s rioting have caused sharp public distress. No similar book-famine has ever been known in this city. Novel-readers particularly, their needs being so imperative, are suffering severely, and unless relieved soon will leave the metropolis. While beating a noisy person named E. W. Townsend last night, one Richard Harding Davis had the misfortune to break two of his fingers. He said Townsend was a strike-breaker and had given information to the police, but it turns out that he is a zealous striker, and was haranguing the mob at the time of the assault. His audience of rioting authors, all of whom belonged to the War Story branch of the Guild, mistook Mr. Davis for an officer of the peace and ran away. Mr. Townsend, who cannot recover and apparently does not wish to, is said to be the author of a popular book called The Chimney Fadder. Advices from Boston relate the death of a Pinkerton spy named T. B. Aldrich, who attempted to run the gauntlet of union pickets and enter the premises of The Arena Publishing Company, escorting Walter Blackburn Harte. Mr. Harte was rescued by the police and sailed at once for England.

Philadelphia, July 5.—A mob of striking authors attacked the publishing house of J. B. Lippincott & Co. this morning and were fired on by the militia. Twenty are known to have been killed outright—the largest number of writers ever immortalized at one time.

New York, July 5.—In an interview yesterday Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton, treasurer of the Guild, said that notwithstanding the heavy expense of maintaining needy strikers with dependent families, there would be no lack of funds to carry on the fight. Contributions are received daily from sympathetic trades. Sixty dollars have been sent in by the Confederated Undertakers and forty-five by the Association of Opium-Workers. President Brander Matthews has telegraphed to all the Guild’s branches in other cities that they can beat the game if they will stand pat.

New York, July 6.—Sympathy strikes are the order of the day, and “risings” are reported everywhere. In this city the entire East Side is up and out. Shantytown, Ballyspalpeen, Goatville and Niggernest are in line. Among those killed in yesterday’s conflict with the United States troops at Madison-square was Mark Twain, who fell while cheering on a large force of women of the town. He was shot all to rags, so as to be hardly distinguishable from a human being.

Chicago, July 7.—John Vance Cheney was arrested at 3 o’clock this morning while placing a dynamite bomb on the Clark-street bridge. He is believed to have entertained the design, also, of setting the river on fire. Two publishers were shot this morning by General Lew Wallace, who escaped in the confusion of the incident. The victims were employed as accountants in the Methodist Book Concern.

New York, July 8.—The authors’ strike has collapsed, and the strikers are seeking employment as waiters in the places made vacant by the lockout of the Restaurant Trust. The Publishers’ Protective League declares that no author concerned in the strike will ever again see his name upon a title-page. The American Authors’ Guild is a thing of the past. Arrests are being made every hour. As soon as he can procure bail, President Brander Matthews will go upon the vaudeville stage.



MANY years ago I lived in Oakland, California. One day as I lounged in my lodging there was a gentle, hesitating rap at the door and, opening it, I found a young man, the youngest young man, it seemed to me, that I had ever confronted. His appearance, his attitude, his manner, his entire personality suggested extreme diffidence. I did not ask him in, instate him in my better chair (I had two) and inquire how we could serve each other. If my memory is not at fault I merely said: “Well,” and awaited the result.

“I am from the San Francisco Examiner,” he explained in a voice like the fragrance of violets made audible, and backed a little away.

“O,” I said, “you come from Mr. Hearst.”

Then that unearthly child lifted its blue eyes and cooed: “I am Mr. Hearst.”

His father had given him a daily newspaper and he had come to hire me to write for it. Twenty years of what his newspapers call “wage slavery” ensued, and although I had many a fight with his editors for my right to my self-respect, I cannot say that I ever found Mr. Hearst’s chain a very heavy burden, though indubitably I suffered somewhat in social repute for wearing it.

If ever two men were born to be enemies he and I are they. Each stands for everything that is most disagreeable to the other, yet we never clashed. I never had the honor of his friendship and confidence, never was “employed about his person,” and seldom entered the editorial offices of his newspapers. He did not once direct nor request me to write an opinion that I did not hold, and only two or three times suggested that I refrain for a season from expressing opinions that I did hold, when they were antagonistic to the policy of the paper, as they commonly were. During several weeks of a great labor strike in California, when mobs of ruffians stopped all railway trains, held the state capital and burned, plundered and murdered at will, he “laid me off,” continuing, of course, my salary; and some years later, when striking employees of street railways were devastating St. Louis, pursuing women through the street and stripping them naked, he suggested that I “let up on that labor crowd.” No other instances of “capitalistic arrogance” occur to memory. I do not know that any of his other writers enjoyed a similar liberty, or would have enjoyed it if they had had it. Most of them, indeed, seemed to think it honorable to write anything that they were expected to.

As to Mr. Hearst’s own public writings, I fancy there are none: he could not write an advertisement for a lost dog. The articles that he signs and the speeches that he makes—well, if a man of brains is one who knows how to use the brains of others this amusing demagogue is nobody’s dunce.

If asked to justify my long service to journals with whose policies I was not in agreement and whose character I loathed I should confess that possibly the easy nature of the service had something to do with it. As to the point of honor (as that is understood in the profession) the editors and managers always assured me that there was commercial profit in employing my rebellious pen; and I—O well, I persuaded myself that I could do most good by addressing those who had greatest need of me—the millions of readers to whom Mr. Hearst was a misleading light. Perhaps this was an erroneous view of the matter; anyhow I am not sorry that, discovering no preservative allowable under the pure food law that would enable him to keep his word overnight, I withdrew, and can now, without impropriety, speak my mind of him as freely as his generosity, sagacity or indifference once enabled me to do of his political and industrial doctrines, in his own papers.

In illustration of some of the better features of this man’s strange and complex character let this incident suffice. Soon after the assassination of Governor Goebel of Kentucky—which seemed to me a particularly perilous “precedent” if unpunished—I wrote for one of Mr. Hearst’s New York newspapers the following prophetic lines:

The bullet that pierced Goebel’s breast
Can not be found in all the West.
Good reason: it is speeding here
To stretch McKinley on the bier.

The lines took no attention, naturally, but twenty months afterward the President was shot by Czolgosz. Every one remembers what happened then to Mr. Hearst and his newspapers. His political enemies and business competitors were alert to their opportunity. The verses, variously garbled but mostly made into an editorial, or a news dispatch with a Washington date-line but usually no date, were published all over the country as evidence of Mr. Hearst’s complicity in the crime. As such they adorned the editorial columns of the New York Sun and blazed upon a bill-board in front of Tammany Hall. So fierce was the popular flame to which they were the main fuel that thousands of copies of the Hearst papers were torn from the hands of newsboys and burned in the streets. Much of their advertising was withdrawn from them. Emissaries of the Sun overran the entire country persuading clubs, libraries and other patriotic bodies to exclude them from the files. There was even an attempt made to induce Czolgosz to testify that he had been incited to his crime by reading them—ten thousand dollars for his family to be his reward; but this cheerful scheme was blocked by the trial judge, who had been informed of it. During all this carnival of sin I lay ill in Washington, unaware of it; and my name, although appended to all that I wrote, including the verses, was not, I am told, once mentioned. As to Mr. Hearst, I dare say he first saw the lines when all this hullabaloo directed his attention to them.

With the occurrences here related the incident was not exhausted. When Mr. Hearst was making his grotesque canvass for the Governorship of New York the Roosevelt Administration sent Secretary Root into the state to beat him. This high-minded gentleman incorporated one of the garbled prose versions of my prophecy into his speeches with notable effect and great satisfaction to his conscience. Still, I am steadfast in the conviction that God sees him; and if any one thinks that Mr. Root will not go to the devil it must be the devil himself, in whom, doubtless, the wish is father to the thought.

Hearst’s newspapers had always been so unjust that no injustice could be done to them, and had been incredibly rancorous toward McKinley, but no doubt it was my luckless prophecy that cost him tens of thousands of dollars and a growing political prestige. For anything that I know (or care) they may have cost him his election. I have never mentioned the matter to him, nor—and this is what I have been coming to—has he ever mentioned it to me. I fancy there must be a human side to a man like that, even if he is a mischievous demagogue.

In matters of “industrial discontent” it has always been a standing order in the editorial offices of the Hearst newspapers to “take the side of the strikers” without inquiry or delay. Until the great publicist was bitten by political ambition and began to figure as a crazy candidate for office not a word of warning or rebuke to murderous mobs ever appeared in any column of his papers, except my own. A typical instance of the falsification of news to serve a foul purpose may be cited here. In Pennsylvania, a ferocious mob of foreign miners armed with bludgeons marched upon the property of their employers, to destroy it, incidentally chasing out of their houses all the English-speaking residents along the way and clubbing all that they could catch. Arriving at the “works,” they were confronted by a squad of deputy marshals, and while engaged in murdering the sheriff, who had stepped forward to read the riot act, were fired on and a couple of dozen of them killed. Naturally, the deputy marshals were put on trial for their lives. Mr. Hearst sent my good friend Julius Chambers to report the court proceedings. Day after day he reported at great length the testimony (translated) of the saints and angels who had suffered the mischance “while peacefully parading on a public road.” Then Mr. Chambers was ordered away and not a word of testimony for the defence (all in English), ever appeared in the paper. Instances of such fair-mindedness as this could be multiplied by the thousand, but all, I charitably trust, have been recorded Elsewhere in a more notable Book than mine.

Never just, Mr. Hearst is always generous. He is not swift to redress a grievance of one of his employees against another, but he is likely to give the complainant a cottage, a steam launch, or a roll of bank notes, if that person happens to be the kind of man to accept it, and he commonly is. As to discharging anybody for inefficiency or dishonesty—no, indeed, not so long as there is a higher place for him. His notion of removal is promotion.

He once really did dismiss a managing editor, but in a few months the fellow was back in his old place. I ventured to express surprise. “Oh, that’s all right,” Mr. Hearst explained. “I have a new understanding with him. He is to steal only small sums hereafter; the large ones are to come to me.”

In that incident we observe two dominant features in his character—his indifference to money and his marvelous sense of humor. He who should apprehend danger to public property from Mr. Hearst’s elevation to high office would err. The money to which he is indifferent includes that of others, and he smiles at his own expense.

If there is a capable working newspaper man in this country who has not malgre lui, a kindly feeling for Mr. Hearst, he needs the light. I do not know how it is elsewhere, but in San Francisco and New York Mr. Hearst’s habit of having the cleverest (not, alas the most conscientious) obtainable men, no matter what he had to pay them, advanced the salaries of all such men more than fifty per cent. Possibly these have receded, and possibly the high average ability of his men has receded too—I don’t know; but indubitably he did get the brightest men.

Some of them, I grieve to say, were imperfectly appreciative of their employer’s gentle sway. At one time on the Examiner it was customary, when a reporter had a disagreeable assignment, for him to go away for a few days, then return and plead intoxication. That excused him. They used to tell of one clever fellow in whose behalf this plea was entered while he was still absent from duty. An hour afterward Mr. Hearst met him and, seeing that he was cold sober, reproved him for deceit. On the scamp’s assurance that he had honestly intended to be drunk, but lacked the price, Mr. Hearst gave him enough money to re-establish his character for veracity and passed on.

I fancy things have changed a bit now, and that Mr. Hearst has changed with them. He is older and graver, is no longer immune to ambition, and may have discovered that good-fellowship with his subordinates and gratification of his lone humor are not profitable in business and politics. Doubtless too, he has learned from observation of his entourage of sycophants and self-seekers that generosity and gratitude are virtues that have not a speaking acquaintance. It is worth something to learn that, and it costs something.

With many amiable and alluring qualities, among which is, or used to be, a personal modesty amounting to bashfulness, the man has not a friend in the world. Nor does he merit one, for, either congenitally or by induced perversity, he is inaccessible to the conception of an unselfish attachment or a disinterested motive. Silent and smiling, he moves among men, the loneliest man. Nobody but God loves him and he knows it; and God’s love he values only in so far as he fancies that it may promote his amusing ambition to darken the door of the White House. As to that, I think that he would be about the kind of President that the country—daft with democracy and sick with sin—is beginning to deserve.


ALITTLE bit of romance has just transpired to relieve the monotony of our metropolitan life. Old Sam Choggins, whom the editor of this paper has so often publicly thrashed, has returned from Mud Springs with a young wife. He is said to be very fond of her, and the way he came to get her was this:

Some time ago we courted her, but finding she was “on the make” we threw off on her after shooting her brother. She vowed revenge and promised to marry any man who would horse-whip us. This Sam agreed to undertake, and she married him on that promise.

We shall call on Sam to-morrow with our new shotgun and present our congratulations in the usual form.—Hangtown “Gibbet.”

* * * * *

The purposeless old party with a boiled shirt who has for some days been loafing about the town peddling hymn-books at a merely nominal price (a clear proof that he stole them) has been disposed of in a cheap and satisfactory manner. His lode petered out about six o’clock yesterday afternoon, our evening edition being delayed until that time by request. The cause of his death, as nearly as could be ascertained by a single physician—Dr. Duffer being too drunk to attend—was Whisky Sam, who, it will be remembered, delivered a lecture some weeks ago, entitled “Dan’l in the Lions’ Den; and How They’d a-Et Him If He’d Ever Been Thar”—in which he overthrew revealed religion.

His course yesterday proves that he can act, as well as talk.—Devil Gully “Expositor.”

* * * * *

There was considerable excitement in the street yesterday, owing to the arrival of Bust-Head Dave, formerly of this place, who came over from Pudding Springs. He was met at the hotel by Sheriff Knogg who leaves a large family. Dave walked down to the bridge, and it reminded one of old times to see the people go away as he heaved in view, for he had made a threat (first published in this paper) to clean out the town. Before leaving the place Dave called at our office to settle for a year’s subscription (invariably in advance) and was informed through a chink in the logs, that he might leave his dust in the tin cup at the well. Dave is looking much larger than at his last visit, just previous to the funeral of Judge Dawson. He left for Injun Hill at five o’clock amidst a good deal of shooting at rather long range. There will be an election for Sheriff as soon as a stranger can be found who will accept the honor.—Yankee Flat “Advertiser.”

* * * * *

It is to be hoped the people will turn out to-morrow, according to advertisement in another column. The men deserve hanging, no end, but at the same time they are human and entitled to some respect; and we shall print the name of every adult male who does not grace the occasion with his presence. We make this announcement simply because there have been some indications of apathy; and any man who will stay away when Bob Bolton and Sam Buxter are to be hanged is probably either an accomplice or a relation. Old Blanket-Mouth Dick was not the only blood relation these fellows had in this vicinity; and the fate that befell him when they could not be found ought to be a warning to the rest.

The bar is just in rear of the gibbet and will be run by a brother of ours. Gentlemen who shrink from publicity will patronize that bar.—San Louis Jones “Gazette.”

* * * * *

A painful accident occurred in Frog Gulch yesterday which has cast a good deal of gloom over a hitherto joyous community. Dan Spigger—or, as he was familiarly called, Murderer Dan—got drunk at his usual hour and, as is his custom, took down his gun and started after the fellow who went home with Dan’s girl the night before. He found him at breakfast with his wife and children. After dispersing them he started out to return, but, being weary, stumbled and broke his leg. Dr. Bill Croft found him in that condition and, having no wagon at hand to convey him to town, shot him to put him out of his misery. His loss is a Democratic gain. He seldom disagreed with any but Democrats and would have materially reduced the vote of that party had he not been so untimely cut off.—Jackass Gap “Bulletin.”

* * * * *

The dance-house at the corner of Moll Duncan street and Fish-Trap avenue has been broken up. Our friend the editor of The Jamboree succeeded in getting his cock-eyed sister in there as a beer-slinger and the hurdy-gurdy girls all swore they would not stand her society. They got up and got. The light fantastic toe is not tripped there any more, except when the Jamboree man sneaks in and dances a jig for his morning pizen.—Murderburg “Herald.”

* * * * *

The superintendent of the Mag Davis mine requests us to state that the custom of pitching Chinamen and Injins down the shaft will have to be stopped, as he has resumed work in the mine. The old well back of Jo Bowman’s is just as good, and more centrally located.—New Jerusalem “Courier.”

* * * * *

There is a fellow in town who claims to be the man that killed Sheriff White some months ago. We consider him an impostor seeking admission into society above his level, and hope people will stop inviting him to their houses.—Nigger Hill “Patriot.”

* * * * *

A stranger wearing a stovepipe hat arrived in town yesterday, putting up at the Nugget House. The boys are having a good time with that hat this morning. The funeral will take place at two o’clock.—Spanish Camp “Flag.”

* * * * *

The scoundrel who upset our office last month will be hung to-morrow and no paper will be issued the next day.—“Sierra Firecracker.

* * * * *

The old gray-headed party who lost his life last Friday at the jeweled hands of our wife deserves more than a passing notice at ours. He came to this city last summer and started a weekly Methodist prayer-meeting, but being warned by the police, who was formerly a Presbyterian, gave up the swindle. He afterward undertook to introduce Bibles and, it is said, on one occasion attempted to preach. This was a little too much and at our suggestion he was tarred and feathered.

For a time this treatment seemed to work a reform, but the heart of a Methodist is above all things deceitful and desperately wicked: he was soon after caught in the very act of presenting a hymnbook to old Ben Spoffer’s youngest daughter, Ragged Moll. The vigilance committee pro tem. waited on him, when he was decently shot and left for dead, as was recorded in this paper, with an obituary notice for which we have never received a cent. Last Friday, however, he was discovered sneaking into the potato patch connected with this paper and our wife, God bless her! got an axe and finished him then and there.

His name was John Bucknor and it is reported (we do not know with how much truth) that at one time there was an improper intimacy between him and the lady who despatched him. If so, we pity Sal.—Coyote “Trapper.”

* * * * *

Our readers may have noticed in yesterday’s issue an editorial article in which we charged Judge Black with having murdered his father, beaten his wife and stolen seven mules from Jo Gorman. The facts are substantially as stated, but somewhat different. The killing was done by a Dutchman named Moriarty and the bruises that we happened to see on the face of the Judge’s wife were caused by a fall, she being, doubtless drunk at the time. The mules had only strayed into the mountains and have returned all right.

We consider the Judge’s anger at so trifling an error very ridiculous and insulting and if he comes to town he will not come again. An independent press is not to be muzzled by any absurd old duffer with a crooked nose and a sister who is considerably more mother than wife. Not so long as we have our usual success in thinning out the judiciary.—Lone Tree “Sockdologer.”

* * * * *

Yesterday as Job Wheeler was returning from a clean-up at the Buttermilk Flume he stopped at Hell Tunnel to have a chat with the boys. John Tooley took a fancy to Job’s watch and asked for it. Being refused, he slipped away, and going to Job’s shanty, killed his three half-breed children and a valuable pig. This is the third time John has played some scurvy trick, and it is about time the superintendent discharged him. There is entirely too much of this practical joking amongst the boys. It will lead to trouble yet.—Nugget Hill “Pickaxe of Freedom.”

* * * * *

The stranger from Frisco, with the clawhammer coat, who put up at the Gage House last Thursday, and was looking for a chance to invest, was robbed of three hundred ounces of clean dust. We know who did it, but don’t be frightened, John Lowry; we’ll never tell, though we are awful hard up, owing to our subscribers going back on us.—Choketown “Rocker.”

* * * * *

The railroad from this city northwest will be commenced as soon as the citizens get tired of admonishing the Chinamen brought up to do the work, which will probably be within three or four weeks. The carcasses are accumulating about town and begin to be unpleasant.—Gravel Hill “Thunderbolt.”

* * * * *

The man who was shot last week at the Gulch will be buried next Thursday. He is not dead yet, but his physician wishes to visit a mother-in-law at Lard Springs and is therefore very anxious to get the case off his hands. The undertaker describes the patient as the longest cuss in that section.—Santa Peggy “Times.”

* * * * *

There is some dispute about land titles at Little Bilk Bar. About half a dozen cases were temporarily decided on Wednesday, but it is supposed the widows will renew the litigation. The only proper way to prevent these vexatious lawsuits is to hang the judge of the county court.—Cow-County “Outcropper.”

THE A. L. C. B.

ASOCIETY of which I am the proud and happy founder is the American League for the Circumvention of Bores. With a view to enlisting the reader’s interest and favor and obtaining his initiation fee, I beg leave to expound the ends and methods of the order.

The League purposes to work within the law: Bores can be circumvented by killing; which may be called the circumvention direct; but for every Bore that is killed arises a swarm of Bores (reporters, lawyers, jurors, etc.) whom one is unable to kill. The League plan is humane, simple, ingenious and effective. It leaves the Bore alive, to suffer the lasting torments of his own esteem.

The American League for the Circumvention of Bores has the customary machinery of grips, pass-words, signs, a goat, solemn ceremonials and mystic hoodooing; but for practical use it employs only the Signal of Eminent Distress, to preservation of the secret whereof members are bound by the most horrible oath known to the annals of juration. It is a law that any member duly convicted in the secret tribunals of the League of failing promptly to respond to the Signal of Eminent Distress shall suffer evisceration through the nose.

The plan works this way: I am, say, on a ferry-boat. Carelessly glancing about, I see—yes, it must have been—ah! again: the Signal of Eminent Distress! A Brother of the League is in articulo mortis—the demon hath him—the beak of the Bore is crimson in his heart! I go to the rescue, choosing, according to my judgment and tact, one of the Ten Thousand Forms of Benign Relief which I have memorized from the Ritual.

“Ah, my dear fellow,” I perhaps say to the victim, whom I may never have seen before, “I have been looking all over the boat for you. I must have a word with you on a most important matter if your friend”—looking at the baffled Bore who has been talking into him—“will have the goodness to excuse you.”

Possibly, though, I say to the signaling victim: “Sir, pardon me, but is not your name—?”

“Jonesmith,” he replies, coldly; “may I ask—?”

“Ah, yes; I hope you will not think me intrusive, but a gentleman on the lower deck, who says he is your uncle, has fallen and broken his neck.”

As Mr. Jonesmith with a grateful look moves off, the Bore, full of solicitude, starts to follow for assistance and condolence. I lay my hand on his arm. “Pardon, sir; the physician prescribes absolute quiet: the splendor, charm and vivacity of your conversation would unduly excite the patient.”

Before the wretch can round-up his faculties the Brother in Distress has escaped and I am walking away with the 368th Aspect of Superb Unconcern, as laid down in the Ritual.

The League has been in existence in New York city for about six months. There is a younger branch at Hohokus, and another is forming at Podunk. I am the Supreme Imperial Inimitable, though every member has high rank and office. Applications for membership must be made personally to the Grand Dictatorial Caboodle, which will judge whether the applicant is himself a Bore.



Candid Publisher.
Sir, I am proud to meet you. Your book is admirable; it is exquisitely touching and beautiful.

Reasonable Author.
Your commendation is most pleasing to me. I was at no time in doubt of your favorable action in the matter.

C. P.
You did not hear me out. Publication of a book entails a considerable expense.

R. A.

C. P.
The money does not always come back.

R. A.
I have been so informed. Publishers sometimes accept work that is very bad literature.

C. P.
Yes, we try to.

R. A.
Try to? You cannot mean that you prefer such work.

C. P.
We must publish what will sell. Do you read the most popular books of the year—the “best-selling” novels?—nearly all “best sellers” are novels.

R. A.
God forbid! I sometimes look at them.

C. P.
Do you ever find one that has any literary merit?

R. A.
Certainly not. I did not expect my book to be popular, but hoped that it might have a steady and perhaps increasing sale and eventually become famous. You sometimes publish new editions of the great works in our language—“the English classics.” Do you lose money by them?

C. P.
Not usually. They have had the advantage of generations of advertising by scholars and by critics whose words had weight in their time and have in ours. If your excellent book finds a publisher pretty soon and is kept going until the year 2100, we shall be glad to put it on our list. You see it is very simple: you have only to conform to the conditions of success.

R. A.
I see. But are these the only conditions? Some great work succeeds in its author’s time—that of Tennyson, Thackeray, Dickens, Carlyle, and so forth, in England; and in America that of—m, er, huh.

C. P.
Is it surely great work? The ink is hardly dry. The literary fashions determining its form and substance are still with us. Posterity will have to pass judgment upon it, which posterity will indubitably do without reference to our view of the matter. Then, if you and I happen to be in communication with this vale of tears we shall know if these noted authors were mining the great mother-lode of human interest, or, occasionally touching some of its dips, spurs and angles, taking out barren rock. It looks to us like a rich enough ore, but it is a long journey to where there is an assaying-plant capable of dealing with that particular product. When it is “heard from” we shall not be here. Those who mined it are gone already.

R. A.
Then there can be no valuable contemporary criticism?

C. P.
None that any one can know to be valuable.

R. A.
And no man can live long enough to know if he is a good writer?

C. P.
The trade of writing has that disadvantage.

R. A.
We are getting a long way from business. Am I to understand that you reject my book because, as you say, “it is exquisitely touching and beautiful”?

C. P.
You outline the painful situation with accuracy.

R. A.
Well, I’ll be damned!

C. P.
Sure!—if you find a sentimentalist who will publish your book. He will do the damning.


Glad to see you, sir. Take a chair.

I am the proprietor of The Prosperous Monthly.

Take two chairs.

I called to congratulate you on the extraordinary success of The Waste Basket. I should not have thought it possible for you to break into our field and play this game as well as we. And with so fantastic a title!

For my success I am greatly indebted to yourself.

Vis.—Not if I know it: we have fought you, tooth and nail.

Oh, that is all right; if it had been expedient we should have fought back. Our prosperity depended on yours.

Heaven has withheld from me the intelligence to understand.

Have any of the contents of this magazine ever seemed familiar to you?

I am not much of a reader; my editor has fancied that some of your articles lacked originality, but has confessed that he could not quite identify their authors.

Just so; I accept nothing for my magazine that has not been first submitted to yours. If it has not been when offered, I require that to be done.

That is monstrous nice of you. Such knightly courtesy to a senior competitor is most unusual. I thank you—come and dine with me to-morrow at seven (handing card).

With pleasure. Good day.

Good day. (Exit Visitor.)

Ed. (solus).
If he thinks it out, I shall miss a dinner.


“DO you believe that?” said Dr. Dutton, passing a newspaper across the table to Will Brady and taking needless pains to point out “that” with his thumb. Brady read the discredited paragraph. It was as follows:

Mr. John Doane, of Peequeegan, Maine, has received seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars from the estate of an old man whom he protected from the abuse of a rowdy fifteen years ago, and whom he never afterward saw nor heard from. In the will the old man apologized for the smallness of the bequest, explaining that it was all that he had.

“Believe it?” said Brady; “I know it to be true. I was myself the—”

He paused to think.

“Now, how the devil,” said Dutton, “can you ring yourself into that story? You are not John Doane, and you certainly are not the late old man.”

“I was about to say,” resumed Brady, composedly, “that I was myself the legatee in a somewhat similar case. In the year—”

“Waiter,” said Dutton, “bring me twelve cigars, three bottles of champagne and, at daylight, a cup of powerful coffee. When the fellows come in from the theater ask them not to come into this room—say there’s a man in here who is engaged in being murdered.”

“In the year 1892,” Mr. Brady went on to say, “I was living in Peoria, Illinois. One night while walking along the railroad track just outside of town I saw a man making the most violent exertions to release himself from the 'frog’ of a switch, into which he had incautiously wedged the heel of his shoe. He was steaming with perspiration and the look of agony on his face was worth a long walk to see. You have probably seen such a look on the countenance of many a patient undergoing the operation of receiving your bill. The express train was due in two minutes, and we had not so much as a match to signal it with—the night was tar-dark.”

“The look of agony, I suppose, shone by its own inherent light.”

“The man was facing away from the approaching train—the thunder of which was now audible between his groans and cries. Just in the nick of time I stepped up to him and introducing myself begged pardon for the intrusion and suggested that he unlace his shoe and remove his foot from it, which he did. When the train had passed he thanked me and handed me his card. I have carried it with me ever since—here it is.”

Taking out a bit of pasteboard he handed it across the table without looking at it. It read:

Oopsie.Dearie,—I could not come: I was watched. To-morrow—same time, at the other place.

The Doctor read the card and quietly handed it back. The story proceeded:

“A moment later the man had disappeared, but in a week or two I received a letter from him, dated at Chicago. He said he owed his life to me and should devote it to my service. Being childless, friendless and heretofore without an aim or ambition, he should pass the rest of his days in acquiring wealth, in order to testify his gratitude. It would be a labor of love to trace me wherever I might wander—I need not apprise him of my address, nor in any way bother myself about him. If I survived him I would be a very rich man.

“Well, sir, you may believe it or not, but if there is any name which deserves to be held by me in high honor for truth and simple good faith it is the name of—”


Mr. Brady was visibly affected. For a moment he was fitly comparable to nothing warmer and livelier than a snow bank under the bleak stars of a polar midnight. The Doctor toyed absently with the ash-holder. It was a supreme crisis. It passed.

“That man died in 1901 and left me, by will, an estate valued at more than nine hundred thousand dollars. The will was properly probated and never contested.”

“But, my dear fellow,” said Dutton, taking at last a genuine interest in the narrative, “you never told us—nobody has ever heard of this, and you certainly do not pass for a very rich man. Did you really get the property?”

“Alas, no,” said Brady, with a solemn shake of the head, as he rose from the table and glanced at his watch. “It is true, just as I have told you—on my honor: the man left me that property and all was square, regular and legal, but I did not get a cent. The fact is, I died first.”


MR. GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE, the air-brake man, did a cruel and needless thing in going out of his way to try to destroy humanity’s hope of being shot along the ground at a speed of one hundred miles an hour. There is no trouble, it appears, in building locomotives able to snatch a small village of us through space at the required speed; the difficulty lies in making, with sufficient promptness, those unschedulary stops necessitated by open switches, missing bridges, and various obstacles that industrial discontent is wont to grace the track withal. Even on a straight line—what the civil engineers find a pleasure in calling a tangent—the prosperous industrian at the throttle-valve cannot reasonably be expected to discern these hindrances at a greater distance than one thousand feet; and Mr. Westinghouse sadly confessed that in that distance his most effective appliance could not do more than reduce the rate from one hundred miles an hour to fifty—an obviously inadequate reduction. He held out no hope of being able to evolve from his inner consciousness either a brake of superior effectiveness or a pair of spectacles that would enable the engine driver to discover a more distant danger on a tangent, or to see round a curve.

All this begets an intelligent dejection. If we must renounce our golden dream of cannonading ourselves from place to place with a celerity suitable to our rank in the world’s fauna—comprising the shark, the hummingbird, the hornet and the jackass rabbit—civilization is indeed a failure. But it is forbidden to the wicked pessimist to rejoice, for there is a greater than Mr. Westinghouse and he has demonstrated his ability to bring to a dead stop within its own length any railway train, however short and whatever its rate of speed. It were unwise though, to indulge too high a hope in this matter, even if the gloomy vaticinations of the Westinghouse person are fallacious. Approaching an evidence of social unrest at a speed of one and two-thirds mile a minute on a down grade, even in a train equipped by a greater than Mr. Westinghouse, may not be an altogether pleasing performance.

This possibility can be best illustrated by recalling to the reader’s memory the history of the Ghargaroo and Gallywest Railway in Bumbassa. As is well known, the trains on that road attained a speed that had not theretofore been dreamed of except by the illustrious projector of the road. But the King of Bumbassa was not content: with an indifference to the laws of dynamics which in the retrospect seems almost imperial, he insisted upon instantaneous stoppage. To the royal demand the clever and prudent gentleman who had devised and carried out the enterprise responded with an invention which he assured his Majesty would accomplish the desired end. A trial was made in the sovereign’s presence, the coaches being loaded with his chief officers of state and other courtiers, and it was eminently successful. The train, going at a speed of ninety miles an hour, was brought to a dead stop within the length of the rhinoceros-catcher and directly in front of the blue cotton umbrella beneath which his Majesty sat to observe the result of the test. The passengers, unfortunately, did not stop so promptly, and were afterward scraped off the woodwork at the forward ends of the cars and decently interred. The train-hands had all escaped by the ingenious plan of absenting themselves from the proceedings with the exception of the engineer, who had thoughtfully been selected for the occasion from among the relatives of the projector’s wife, and instructed how to shut off the steam and apply the brake. When hosed off the several parts of the engine he was found to have incurred a serious dispersal of the viscera.

The King’s delight at the success of the experiment was somewhat mitigated by the reflection that if the train had been freighted with bona fide travelers instead of dignitaries whom he could replace by appointment the military resources of the state would have suffered a considerable loss; so he commanded the projector to invent a method of stopping the passengers and the trains simultaneously. This, after much experiment, was done by fixing the passengers to the seats by clamps extending across the abdomen and chest; but no provision being made for the head, a general decapitation ensued at each stop; and people who valued their heads preferred thereafter to travel afoot or ostrichback, as before. It was found, moreover, that, as arrested motion is converted into heat, the royal requirement frequently resulted in igniting and consuming the trains—which was expensive.

These various hard conditions of railroading in Bumbassa eventually subdued the spirits of the stockholders, drove the projector to drink and led at last to withdrawal of the concession—whereby one of the most promising projects for civilizing the Dark Continent was, in the words of the Ghargaroo Palladium “knocked perfectly cold.”

I have thought it well to recall this melancholy incident here for its general usefulness in pointing a moral, and for its particular application to the fascinating enterprise of a one-hundred-miles-an-hour electric road from New York to Chicago—a road whose trains, intending passengers are assured, will be under absolute control of the engineers and “can be stopped at a moment’s notice.” If I have said anything to discourage the enterprise I am sorry, but really it is not easy to understand why anybody should wish to go from New York to Chicago.


I—The Dispersal

SO sombre a phenomenon as the effacement of an ancient and brilliant civilization within the lifetime of a single generation is, fortunately, known to have occurred only once in the history of the world. The catastrophe is not only unique in history, but all the more notable for having befallen, not a single state overrun by powerful barbarians, but a half of the world; and for having been effected by a seemingly trivial agency that sprang from the civilization itself. Indeed, it was the work of one man.

Hiram Perry (or Percy) Maximus was born in the latter part of the nineteenth century of “the Christian Era,” in Podunk, the capital of America. Little is known of his ancestry, although Dumbleshaw affirms on evidence not cited by him that he came of a family of pirates that infested the waters of Lake Erie (now the desert of Gobol) as early as “1813”—whenever that may have been.

The precise nature of Hiram Perry’s invention, with its successive improvements, is not known—probably could not now be understood. It was called “the silent firearm”—so much we learn from fragmentary chronicles of the period; also that it was of so small size that it could be put into the “pocket.” (In his Dictionary of Antiquities the learned Pantin-Gwocx defines “pocket” as, first, “the main temple of the American deity;” second, “a small receptacle worn on the person.” The latter definition is the one, doubtless, that concerns us if the two things are not the same.) Regarding the work of “the silent firearm” we have light in abundance. Indeed, the entire history of the brief but bloody period between its invention and the extinction of the Christian civilization is an unbroken record of its fateful employment.

Of course the immense armies of the time were at once supplied with the new weapon, with results that none had foreseen. Soldiers were thenceforth as formidable to their officers as to their enemies. It was no longer possible to maintain discipline, for no officer dared offend, by punishment or reprimand, one who could fatally retaliate as secretly and securely, in the repose of camp as in the tumult of battle. In civic affairs the deadly device was malignly active. Statesmen in disfavor (and all were hateful to men of contrary politics) fell dead in the forum by means invisible and inaudible. Anarchy, discarding her noisy and imperfectly effective methods, gladly embraced the new and safe one.

In other walks of life matters were no better. Armed with the sinister power of life and death, any evil-minded person (and most of the ancient Caucasians appear to have been evil-minded) could gratify a private revenge or wanton malevolence by slaying whom he would, and nothing cried aloud the lamentable deed.

So horrible was the mortality, so futile all preventive legislation, that society was stricken with a universal panic. Cities were plundered and abandoned; villages without villagers fell to decay; homes were given up to bats and owls, and farms became jungles infested with wild beasts. The people fled to the mountains, the forests, the marshes, concealing themselves from one another in caves and thickets, and dying from privation and exposure and diseases more dreadful than the perils from which they had fled. When every human being distrusted and feared every other human being solitude was esteemed the only good; and solitude spells death. In one generation Americans and Europeans had slunk back into the night of barbarism.

II—Rise and Fall of the Aeroplane

The craze for flying appears to have culminated in the year 369 Before Smith. In that year the aëroplane (a word of unknown derivation) was almost the sole means of travel. These flying-machines were so simple and cheap that one who had not a spare half-hour in which to make one could afford to purchase. The price for a one-man machine was about two dollars—one-tenth of a gooble. Double-seated ones were of course a little more costly. No other kinds were allowed by law, for, as was quaintly explained by a chronicle of the period, “a man has a right to break his own neck, and that of his wife, but not those of his children and friends.” It had been learned by experiment that for transportation of goods and for use in war the aëroplane was without utility. (Of balloons, dirigible and indirigible, we hear nothing after 348 B. S; the price of gas, controlled by a single corporation, made them impossible.)

From extant fragments of Jobblecopper’s History of Invention it appears that in America alone there were at one time no fewer than ten million aëroplanes in use. In and about the great cities the air was so crowded with them and collisions resulting in falls were so frequent that prudent persons neither ventured to use them nor dared to go out of cover. As a poet of the time expressed it:

With falling fools so thick the sky is filled
That wise men walk abroad but to be killed.
Small comfort that the fool, too, dies in falling,
For he’d have starved betimes in any calling.
The earth is spattered red with their remains:
Blood, flesh, bone, gristle—everything but brains.

The reaction from this disagreeable state of affairs seems to have been brought about by a combination of causes.

First, the fierce animosities engendered by the perils to pedestrians and “motorists”—a word of disputed meaning. So savage did this hostility become that firing at aëroplanes in flight, with the newly invented silent rifle, grew to the character of a national custom. Dimshouck has found authority for the statement that in a single day thirty-one aëronauts fell from the heavens into the streets of Nebraska, the capital of Chocago, victims of popular disfavor; and a writer of that time relates, not altogether lucidly, the finding in a park in Ohio of the bodies of “the Wright brothers, each pierced with bullets from hip to shoulder, the ears cut off, and without other marks of identification.”

Second in importance of these adverse conditions was the natural disposition of the ancients to tire of whatever had engaged their enthusiasm—the fickleness that had led to abandonment of the bicycle, of republican government, of baseball, and of respect for women. In the instance of the aëroplane this reaction was probably somewhat hastened by the rifle practice mentioned.

Third, invention of the electric leg. As a means of going from place to place the ancients had from the earliest ages of history relied largely on the wheel. Just how they applied it, not in stationary machinery, as we do ourselves, but as an aid to locomotion, we cannot now hope to know, for all the literature of the subject has perished; but it was evidently a crude and clumsy device, giving a speed of less than two hundred miles (four and a half sikliks) an hour, even on roadways specially provided with rails for its rapid revolution. We know, too, that wheels produced an intolerable jolting of the body, whereby many died of a disease known as “therapeutics.” Indeed a certain class of persons who probably traveled faster than others came to be called “rough riders,” and for their sufferings were compensated by appointment to the most lucrative offices in the gift of the sovereign. Small wonder that the men of that day hailed the aëroplane with intemperate enthusiasm and used it with insupportable immoderation!

But when the younger Eddy invented that supreme space-conquering device, the electric leg, and within six months perfected it to virtually what it is to-day, the necessity for flight no longer existed. The aëroplane, ending its brief and bloody reign a discredited and discarded toy, was “sent to the scrap-heap,” as one of our brightest and most original modern wits has expressed it. The wheel followed it into oblivion, whither the horse had preceded it, and Civilization lifted her virgin fires as a dawn in Eden, and like Cytherea leading her moonrise troop of nymphs and graces, literally legged it o’er the land!

III—An Ancient Hunter

In the nineteenth century of what, in honor of Christopher Columbum, a mythical hero, the ancients called the “Christian era,” Africa was an unknown land of deserts, jungles, fierce wild beasts, and degraded savages. It is believed that no white man had ever penetrated it to a distance of one league from the coast. All the literature of that time relating to African exploration, conquest, and settlement is now known to be purely imaginative—what the ancients admired as “fiction” and we punish as felony.

Authentic African history begins in the early years of the twentieth century of the “era” mentioned, and its most stupendous events are the first recorded, the record being made, chiefly, by the hand that wrought the work—that of Tudor Rosenfelt, the most illustrious figure of antiquity. Of this astonishing man’s parentage and early life nothing is certainly known: legend is loquacious, but history is silent. There are traditions affirming his connection with a disastrous explosion at Bronco, a city of the Chinese province of Wyo Ming, his subjugation of the usurper Tammano in the American city of N’yorx (now known to have had no existence outside the imagination of the poets) and his conquest of the island of Cubebs; but from all this bushel of fable we get no grain of authenticated fact. The tales appear to be merely hero-myths, such as belong to the legendary age of every people of the ancient world except the Greeks and Romans. Further than that he was an American Indian nothing can be positively affirmed of Tudor Rosenfelt before the year “1909” of the “Christian (Columbian) era.” In that year we glimpse him disembarking from two ships on the African coast near Bumbassa, and, with one foot in the sea and the other on dry land, swearing through clenched teeth that other forms of life than Man shall be no more. He then strides, unarmed and unattended, into the jungle, and is lost to view for ten years!

Legend and myth now reassert their ancient reign. In that memorable decade, as we know from the ancient author of “Who’s Whoest in Africa,” the most incredible tales were told and believed by those who, knowing the man and his mission, suffered insupportable alternations of hope and despair. It was said that the Dark Continent into which he had vanished was frequently shaken from coast to coast as by the trampling and wrestling of titanic energies in combat and the fall of colossal bulks on the yielding crust of the earth; that mariners in adjacent waters heard recurrent growls and roars of rage and shouts of triumph—an enormous uproar that smote their ships like a gale from the land and swept them affrighted out to sea; that so loud were these terrible sounds as to be simultaneously audible in the Indian and Atlantic oceans, as was proved by comparing the logs of vessels arriving from both seas at the port of Berlin. As is quaintly related in one of these marine diaries, “The noise was so strenuous that our ears was nigh to busting with the wolume of the sound.” Through all this monstrous opulence of the primitive rhetorical figure known as the Lie we easily discern a nucleus of truth: something uncommon was going on in Africa.

At the close of the memorable decade (circa “1919”) authentic history again appears in the fragmentary work of Antrolius: Rosenfelt walks out of the jungle at Mbongwa on the side of the continent opposite Bumbassa. He is now attended by a caravan of twenty thousand camels and ten thousand native porters, all bearing trophies of the chase. A complete list of these would require more pages than Homer Wheeler Wilcox’s catalogue of ships, but among them were heads of elephants with antlers attached; pelts of the checkered lion and the spiny hippopotentot, respectively the most ferocious and the most venomous of their species; a skeleton of the missing lynx (Pithecanthropos erectus compilatus); entire bodies of pterodactyls and broncosauruses; a slithy tove mounted on a fine specimen of the weeping wanderoo; the downy electrical whacknasty (Ananias flabbergastor); the carnivorous mastodon; ten specimens of the skinless tiger (Felis decorticata); a saber-toothed python, whose bite produced the weeping sickness; three ribnosed gazzadoodles; a pair of blood-sweating bandicoots; a night-blooming jeewhillikins; three and a half varieties of the crested skynoceros; a purring crocodile, or buzz-saurian; two Stymphalian linnets; a skeleton of the three footed swammigolsis—afterwards catalogued at the Podunk Museum of Defective Types as Talpa unopede noninvento; a hydra from Lerna; the ring-tail mollycoddle and the fawning polecat (Civis nondesiderabilis).

These terrible monsters, which from the dawning of time had ravaged all Africa, baffling every attempt at exploration and settlement, the Exterminator, as he came to be called, had strangled or captured with his bare hands; and the few remaining were so cowed that they gave milk. Indeed, such was their terror of his red right arm that all forsook their evil ways, offered themselves as beasts of burden to the whites that came afterward, and in domestication and servitude sought the security that he denied to their ferocity and power. Within a single generation prosperous colonies of Caucasians sprang up all along the coasts, and the silk hat and pink shirt, immemorial pioneers and promoters of civilization, penetrated the remotest fastnesses, spreading peace and plenty o’er a smiling land!

The later history of this remarkable man is clouded in obscurity. Much of his own account of his exploits, curiously intertangled with those of an earlier hero named Hercules, is extant, but it closes with his re-embarkation for America. Some hold that on returning to his native land he was assailed with opprobrium, loaded with chains, and cast into Chicago; others contend that he was enriched by gifts from the sovereigns of the world, received with acclamation by his grateful countrymen, and even mentioned for the presidency to succeed Samuel Gompers—an honor that he modestly declined on the ground of inexperience and unfitness. Whatever may be the truth of these matters, he doubtless did not long suffer affliction nor enjoy prosperity, for in the great catastrophe of the year 254 B. S. the entire continent of North America and the contiguous island of Omaha were swallowed up by the sea. Fortunately his narrative is preserved in the Royal Library of Timbuktu, in which capital of civilization stands his colossal statue of ivory and gold. In the shadow of that renowned memorial I write this imperfect tribute to his worth.


WE all remember that the sound of a trumpet has been described as scarlet. The fact that we do remember it is evidence that the incident of a physical sensation masquerading in a garment appropriate to the guest of another sense than the one entertaining it is a general, not an individual, experience. Not, of course, that a trumpet-call impresses us all with a sense of color, but the odd description would long ago have been forgotten had not each mind recognized it as the statement of a fact belonging to a class of facts of which itself has had knowledge. For myself, I never hear good music without wishing to paint it—which I should certainly do with divine success if I understood music and could paint. The hackneyed and tiresome fashion of calling certain pictures “symphonies” in this or that color has a basis of reason—which will somewhat discredit it in the esteem of those whom it has enslaved. I never hear a man talking of “symphonies” in gray, green, pepper-and-salt, crushed banana, ashes-of-heretic or toper’s-nose without thinking with satisfaction of the time when he will himself be a symphony in flame-color, lighting up the landscape of the underworld like a flamingo in the dun expanse of a marsh in the gloaming.

I have in mind a notable instance of a sensation taking on three dimensions—one for which I am not indebted, probably, to the courtesy of some forgotten experience producing an association of ideas. It will be conceded that it is at least unlikely that one should ever enjoy simultaneously the double gratification of eating a pine-apple and seeing a man hanged; such felicity is reserved, I fancy, for creatures more meritorious than poor sinful human beings. Nevertheless, I never taste pine-apple without a lively sense of a man with his head in a black bag, depending from his beam. It is not that I am at the same time conscious of the fruit and of that solemn spectacle; it simply seems to me that a man hanging is the taste of that fruit. It is needless to add that when thinking of those unworthy persons, my enemies, I derive a holy delight from consuming generous slices of pine-apple.

There is a class of mental phenomena which, so far as my knowledge goes, has never been “spread upon the record.” Possibly they are peculiar to my own imperfect understanding, and a saner consciousness is innocent of them. If so it will gratify my pride of monopoly to admit the public to a view of my intellectual chattels. The mental process of enumeration is with me a gliding upward in various directions from 1 to 100; not along a column of successive figures, like a cat scampering up a staircase, but along a smooth, pale-bluish, angular streak, with the hither-and-yon motion of a soaring snipe. From 1 to 10 the line runs upward, and to the right at an angle with the horizon of about sixty degrees. There it turns sharply back to the left and the grade to 20 is nearly flat. Thence to 30 the ascent is vertical. From 30 to 50 there is an ascent of 10 degrees to the right and slightly away from me. The course to 60 is to the left again, the angle, say 10 degrees. From 60 to 90 there is no break, the course, too, is almost level and directly away; thence to 100 nearly vertical. It will be observed that the angles are all at 10 and its multiples, but there is no angle at 40, none at 70, nor at 80. I may explain that the interval between 10 and 20 is greatly longer than it ought to be, and I venture to protest against the exceptional and unwarrantable brevity of that between 90 and 100.

Every time I count I am compelled to ascend some part of this reasonless and ridiculous Jacob’s-ladder, with a “hitchety, hatchety, up I go” movement, like Jack mounting his bean-stalk; and it is ludicrously true that I feel a sense of relief on arriving at the more nearly level stages, and on them am conscious of an augmented speed. I can count from 60 to 70 twice as quickly as I can from 90 to 100. Investigation and comparison of such conceptions as these can but result in unspeakable advancement of knowledge. If any gentleman has similar ones and a little leisure for their discussion I hope he will consent to meet me in Heaven.


MY death occurred on the 17th day of June, 1879—I shall never forget it. The day had been uncommonly hot, and the doctor kept telling me that unless it grew cooler he would hardly be able to pull me through. He said he was willing to do his best and prolong my life to the latest possible moment if I wished him to, but in any case I should have to die in a few days. I directed him to keep on prolonging, but the heat grew greater and finally overcame him, and I died. That is to say, while he was absent at an adjacent saloon after a sherry cobbler one of my “bad spells” came on and I fell a victim to inattention. Things turned out exactly as medical science had foretold.

The funeral was largely attended and a society reporter was good enough to describe it as an “enjoyable occasion.” I had been a prominent member of one hundred and fifty societies, including the Sovereigns of Glory, the Confederated Idiots, Knights and Ladies of Indigence, Gorgeous Obsequies Guarantee Fraternity, Protective League of Adult Orphans, Ancient and Honorable Order of Divorced Men, Society for Converting Lawyers to Christianity, Murderers’ Mutual Resentment Association, League of Persons Having Moles on Their Necks, Brotherhood of Grand Flashing Inaccessibles, Mutual Pall Bearers, and Floral Tribute Consolation Guard. All these societies, and many more, were represented at my funeral, some in “regalia.” I was buried under more auspices than you could count. Soon after, I was ushered into the Other World.

It is not like what you have been told, but I am forbidden to say what it is like. Suffice it that its inhabitants know all that goes on in the world we have left. Imagine, then, the delight with which I read in all the daily papers the various “resolutions of respect” adopted by the societies of which I had been a member. The Sovereigns of Glory said:

Whereas, Providence has found a pleasure in removing from among us His Majesty, Peter Wodel Mocump, our Order’s Serene Reigner over the Records; and

Whereas, Our royal hearts are deeply touched by this exercise of the divine prerogative;

Resolved, That in all the relations of life he was truly majestic and imperial.

_Resolved_, That we tender our royal sympathy to his surviving Queen and the Princess and Princesses of his dynasty.

Resolved, That in testimony to his worth these resolutions be engrossed on parchment and publicly displayed for thirty days in the windows of a dry-goods shop.

The Protective League of Adult Orphans held a meeting before I was cold, and passed the resolutions following:

Whereas, The flower that bloomed under the name of Peter Wodel Mocump has been ruthlessly cut down by the Reaper whose name is Death; and

Whereas, He was a pansy; be it, therefore,

Resolved, That in his removal this League has lost a sturdy champion of the rights of orphans; and be it further

Resolved, That a general boycott be, and hereby is, declared against all orphans outside this Protective League.

The Ancient and Honorable Order of Divorced Men eulogized me in the strongest language as one who had possessed in a high and conspicuous degree every qualification for membership in their Order. By the Murderers’ Mutual Resentment Association I was described as one whose time, talent and fortune were ever at the service of those injured in the world’s esteem by the judicial practice of alluding to the past. The League of Persons Having Moles on Their Necks said that, apart from the unusual size of my mole, I had ever shown a strong zeal for the public welfare and the advancement of civilization.

I gathered up these various evidences of worth. I got together all the obituary notices from the newspapers, which showed with a singular unanimity that I was greatly addicted to secret almsgiving (how did they know it?) and that I was without a fault of character or disposition. I copied the inscription on my headstone and the verses in the death-column of the Morning Buglehorn—some of its death editor’s happiest and most striking lines. Altogether, this literature made a pretty large volume of eulogy. I had it printed and bound (in the Other World sense) and copiously indexed. It was the best reading I ever saw.

The time arrived for me to appear at the gate of Heaven and make a personal demand for admission. I was notified of the hour when I would be heard, and was on hand. St. Peter received me with a smile and said:

“We are full of business to-day; be brief and speak to the point. What do you know of yourself that entitles you to a seat in the blest abodes?”

I smiled rather loftily but without hauteur, and silently handed him the volume, bearing in golden letters on the cover the title: “My Record.” St. Peter turned over the leaves deliberately, read a passage here and there and handed it back, saying:

“My friend, you have run into a streak of hard luck. The persons who have given you so good a character—the societies, newspapers, etc.—are unknown to me, and I don’t wish to say anything against them. But they have been backing a good many applicants lately, and I have let in a few on their judgment. Well, this very morning I got this note. I don’t mind letting you read it if you won’t say I showed it. You will see I can’t do anything for you.”

He handed me a letter with about half the envelope torn off by careless opening. It read as follows:

Dear Peter,—There has been quite a number of disturbances in here lately, and three or four cases of scandalous misconduct on the part of the saints, one of whom, in fact, eloped with an angel. Another was arrested for pocketing some of the golden pavement, and some have been trying to become famous by cutting their initials in the bark of the Tree of Life. Inquiry shows that in every instance the offender is a recent arrival, always a prominent citizen and a member of a number of “societies.” I won’t overrule your action, but really the character of this place is changing. I must ask you to stick to the old tests—a godly life and a humble acceptance of the Christian religion.

When I saw the Name that was signed to that note I could not utter a word. I turned away and came Here.


(Bits of Dialogue from an Unpublished Morality Play)


I have a question for you.

I have many, for myself. Do you happen to have heard that a fool can ask what a philosopher is unable to answer?

I happen to have heard that if that is true the one is as great a fool as the other.

What presumption! Philosophy is search for truth; folly is submission to happiness.

But happiness is the sole desire and only possible purpose of man.

Has virtue no other end?

The other end of virtue is the beginning.

Instructed, I sit at your feet.

Unwilling to instruct, I stand on my head.

You say that happiness is the sole desire of man. This is much disputed.

There is happiness in disputation.

But Socrates says—

He was a Grecian. I hate foreigners.

Wisdom is of no country.

Of none that I have observed.

Let us return to our subject, happiness as the sole desire of man. Crack me these nuts. (1) The man that endures a life of toil and privation for the good of others.

Does he feel remorse for so doing? Does he not rather like it?

(2) He who, famishing himself, gives his loaf to a beggar.

There are those who prefer benevolence to bread.

(3) How of him who goes joyfully to martyrdom at the stake?

He goes joyfully.

And yet—

Did you ever talk with a good man going to the stake?

I never saw one going to the stake.

Unfavored observer!—you were born a century too early.

You say that you hate foreigners. Why?

Because I am human.

But so are they.

I thank you for the better reason.

I have been thinking of the pocopo.

So have I; what is it?

The pocopo is a small Brazilian animal, chiefly remarkable for singularity of diet. A pocopo eats nothing but other pocopos. As these are not easily obtained, the annual mortality from starvation is very great. As a result, there are fewer mouths to feed, and by consequence the race is rapidly multiplying.

From whom had you this?

A professor of political economy.

Let us rise and uncover.

A foreign student of the English language read the report of a colloquy between a fool and a philosopher. The remarks of the fool were indicated by the letter F; those of the philosopher by the letters Ph—as ours will be if Heaven raise up a great, wise man to report them.


Nothing. Ever thereafter the misguided foreign student spelled “fool” with ph and philosopher with an f.



If I were a doctor—

I should endeavor to be a fool.

You would fail—folly is not achieved, but upon the meritorious it is conferred.

For what purpose?

For yours.

I have a friend who—

Is in need of my assistance. Absence of excitement, absolute quiet, a hard bed and a simple diet; that will cure him.

Hardly. He is dead—he is taking your prescription.

All but the simple diet.

He is himself the diet.

How simple.

What is the nastiest medicine?

A fool’s advice.

And what the most satisfactory disease?

The most lingering one.

To the patient, I mean.

Paralysis of the thoracic duct.

I am not familiar with it.

It does not encourage familiarity. Paralysis of the thoracic duct enables the patient to overeat without taking the edge off his appetite.

What an admirable equipment for dining out! How long does the patient’s unnatural appetite last?

The time varies; always longer than he does.

As an hypothesis, that is imperfectly conceivable. It sounds like a doctrine.

Anything further?

You attend a patient; nevertheless he recovers. How do you tell if his recovery was because of your treatment or in spite of it?

I never do tell.

I mean, how do you know?

I take the opinion of a person interested in such matters: I ask a fool.

How does the patient know?

The fool asks me.

You are very kind; how shall I prove my ingratitude?

By close attention to the laws of health.

God forbid!


Sir Cutthroat, how many orphans have you made to-day?

The devil an orphan. Have you a family?

Put up your iron; I am the last of my race.

What!—no more fools?

Not one, so help me! They have all gone to the wars. By the way, you are somewhat indebted to me.

Let us arbitrate your claim: arbitration is good for my trade.

The only arbiter whose decision you respect is on your side. It hangs there.

It is impartial: it cuts both ways. For what am I indebted to you?

For existence. Prevalence of me has made you possible.

Possible? Sir, I am probable.

Why do you wear a cap and bells?

The civic equivalent of a helmet and plume.

Go “hang a calf-skin on those recreant limbs.”

’Tis only wisdom should be bound in calf, for wisdom is the veal of which folly is the matured beef.

S.—Then folly should be garbed in cowskin.

F.—Aye, that it may the sooner appear for what it is—the naked truth.

S.—How should it?

You would soon strip off the hide to make harness and trappings withal. No one thinks what conquerors owe to cows.

Tell me, hero, what is strategy?

The art of putting two knives to one throat.

And what is tactics?

The art of drawing them across it.

Fine! I read (in Joinville, I think) that during the Crusades the armament of a warship comprised two hundred serpents. These be strange weapons.

What stuff a fool may talk! The great Rameses used to turn loose lions against his enemies, but no true soldier would employ serpents. Those snakes were used by sailors.

A nice distinction, truly. Did you ever employ your blade in the splitting of hairs?

I have split masses of them!

Speaking of the Crusades—at the siege of Acre, when a part of the wall had been thrown down by the Christians the Pisans rushed gallantly into the breach, but the greater part of their army being at dinner, they were bloodily repulsed. Was it not a shame that those feeders should not stir from their porridge to succor their allies?

Pray why should a man neglect his business to oblige a friend?

But they might have conquered, and the city would have been open to sacking and pillage.

The selfish gluttons!

Why is a coachman’s uniform called a livery and a soldier’s livery a uniform?

Your presumption grows insupportable. Speak no more of matters that you know nothing about.

Such censorship would doom all tongues to inactivity. Test my knowledge.

What is war?

An acute stage of logical politics.

What is peace?

A suspension of hostilities. An armistice for the purpose of digging up the dead.

I do not follow you.

Then I have security without exertion.

You damned half-ration!



THE party given on Tuesday evening last at the residence of the Puffers was an enjoyable occasion. Next door to the residence is a church, and the festivities were frequently interrupted by an old-fashioned prayer meeting that was going on in the sacred edifice—the “amens” and “God-grant-its” being distinctly audible in the midst of the dance. The nuisance was finally abated by the police, but not until many of the guests had left the Puffer mansion in disgust.

The week has been prolific of social gaieties. The hospitable mansions of the genteel, which were thrown shut during Lent, have been thrown open again, and all has gone merry as a married belle. The list of successful and long-to-be-remembered occasions is too long for publication and too important for abbreviation. It can only be said here, in a general way, that Society whooped it up great!

The engagement is announced of Mr. Dreffeldude P. Milquesoppe to Miss Enameline Stuccup, the least-young daughter of our distinguished townsman, Impyqu Stuccup, Esq., familiarly known as “the Golden Pauper.” The wedding is to take place as soon as the old man can sell his pigs.

On Wednesday H. Grabberson Tump led to the altar Miss Toozifoozle Bilc, and having got her there, married her alive. The bridal presents were gorgeous, being the famous “Set No. 3” from the well and favorably known establishment of Pasticraft, Nickelgilt & Co.—the same set that graced the showtable on the memorable occasion of the Whoopup-Hurroo nuptials last fall.

The Society Editors’ League has purchased a new evening coat and appointed a committee to arrange a uniform vocabulary—a social Esperanto. The phrases, “palatial mansion,” “the hospitable doors were thrown open,” “the rank, beauty and fashion,” “the festivities were prolonged into the wee sma’ hours,” “Terpsichorean exercises were indulged in,” “the elegant collation was done ample justice to,” “joined in the holy bonds of wedlock,” will stand without revision.

A fancy-dress ball was given by the inmates of the insanity asylum last Monday night. The only outmate present was the society editor of the Technologist, who took the character of “The Lunatic,” and sustained it with such fidelity that he was a marked man. They marked him “3397” and kept him there.

Our distinguished townsman, the Hon. Dollop Gobb, whose public-spirited investments in unimproved real estate have done so much to make this city what she is, was received everywhere with great consideration while in Europe. The brigands who captured him near Athens demanded the largest ransom for him that has ever been exacted for an American. When he ascended the Great Pyramid he was detained at the top until all that he had excepting his underclothing had gone as backsheesh to the downtrodden millions of Egypt. Innkeepers, couriers, guides, porters and servants vied with one another in paying homage to success in the person of this self-made American. Mr. Gobb believes that genuine worth is better appreciated under monarchical forms of Government than it is here.

Mr. Joel Hamfat is reported engaged to Mrs. John Bamberson, whose husband is lying at the point of death. It is a genuine case of love at first sight, Mr. Hamfat being the head of the measuring department of the United Undertakers.

On Monday, at the Church of St. Iniquity (Episcopalian), the Rev. Dr. Mammon Godder joined in the holy bonds of matrimony Jacob Abraham Isaacson, of the firm of Isaacson, Isaacson & Isaacson, proprietors of the Seventh Commandment Bazaar, to Miss Rebekah Katzenstein, daughter of Aaron Levi Katzenstein, Esq., of Katzenstein, Abramson & Lubeckheimer, gentlemen clothiers, No. 315 Little Kneedeep street. The wedding—including breakfast, wines, decorations, carriages and everything—cost more than a thousand dollars, but as the bride’s father felicitously remarked, “Monish is noddings ven it is a qvestion of doing somedings in a drooly Ghristian vay, don’t it?” It undoubtedly does.

Old man Snoop has returned from Mud Springs much improved in age. His daughter, Mrs. Major and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Straddleblind, has engaged lodging and board for him at the Alms House, where his private system of grammar will excite greater enthusiasm than it does at Humility Hill, as the charming villa of the Straddleblinds is called.

The wedding of Miss Euphemia de Genlis Bullworthy-Clopsattle, the second charming daughter of our distinguished fellow citizen, the Hon. Aminadab Azrael Bullworthy Clopsattle, of “The Pollards,” to Jake Snoots will not take place at once; the bride-to-be will first be “confirmed.” She is wise—if anybody needs the consolation of religion she will.

A reception in honor of the composer who wrote Johnny, Get Your Gun was held on Thursday evening last at the pal. man. of Mrs. Macpogram, who is herself a musician of no mean ability. The guest of the evening—whose name we do not at this moment recall—sang the composition which has made him famous from Maine to California. Afterward Miss Castoria Hamfat rendered Yow che m’ rumpus in excellent style, and Mr. —— (the gentleman who composed the other thing) was tickled half to death. We wish she had sung the whole opera.

Mr. and Mrs. Whackup have returned from Europe, bringing many objects of art, some of which cost a great deal of money. Among them is Turner’s “Boy Eating an Apple,” of which the distinguished critic, Col. Twobottle, of Georgia, said that it would live as long as the language. Another treasure of the Whackup collection is Titian’s portrait of Mrs. Whackup’s aunt, painted by Signor Titian at one sitting. It is the intention to have the frame made of real ormolu and set with brilliants.

The elegant entertainment last Tuesday evening at the palatial mansion of our distinguished townsman, J. Giles Noovoreesh Esq., was shorn of its intended proportions by the unexpected arrival of Mr. Noovoreesh himself. Some of the gentlemen who graced the occasion with their presence have not yet obtained their hats and overcoats. The scene that followed the irruption of Mr. N. into the grand hall where Terpsichorean festivities were eventuating is said by an eye-witness to have been the grandest spectacle since the retreat from Waterloo.

A series of “Saturday morning soirèes” is announced at the suburban residence of Mrs. Judge of the Court of Acquittal Smythe. It is Mrs. Judge of the Court of Acquittal Symthe’s opinion that the uncommon hour will enable her to invite the persons whom she does not want, as well as the ladies and gentlemen whom she does.

Mrs. Lowt has had her ears pierced. It was done by the singing of her second daughter, Miss Loobie.

From the list of persons whose presence added interest and charm to the splendid obsequies of the late Mrs. Bangupper, on Thursday last, we inadvertently omitted the name of the beautiful and accomplished Miss Chippie Hifli. She was lovely in a costume from Chicago, and divided honors with the remains.

Mrs. Suds will give a literary entertainment at her residence on Angel avenue next Thursday evening, when her beautiful and gifted niece, Miss Simpergiggle, will read Poe’s Raven. She is an élocutioniste of remarkable powers, having twice received the highest honors in Professor’s Drumlung’s class and once driven an audience mad. Her rendering of The Charge of the Light Brigade is said to be unlike anything ever heard, and on one occasion it so fired the heart of a young man who was engaged to her that he instantly broke off the match, resolved to dedicate himself to the sword in the next war.

One of the most enjoyable parties of the season was given on Thursday evening last by the hoodlumni of the little university around the corner. The guests comprised nearly all the gentlemen who have graduated during the past two years.

Miss Adiposa Brown wishes us to say that among those present at the Sucklebuster wedding we observed Miss Addie P. Brown, who looked enchanting in white silk and diamonds. We strive to please.

Last Thursday’s post-mortem reception at the costly mansion of the Jonesmiths was a tasteful affair. The body of the hostess, in one of Grimdole & Grewsums popular caskets, wore a magnificent moire-antique Mother Hubbard and a look of serene peace adorned with pearls. The coiffure was a triumph of the hair-dresser’s art. Too great praise cannot be given to the skill and artistic taste of Miss Nobbie Chic, under whose supervision the gorgeous apartments had been decorated with all manner of griefery: a skull-and-cross-bones in black spatter-work on a scarlet ground being particularly pleasing. The vegetable tributes, including a skeleton in orange blossoms, were mostly from the floral emporium of Jickster & Gonkle. When the lid of the casket was screwed down there was noisier weeping than has ever been heard on any similar occasion in this city: the guests literally weltered in woe.

Physicians declare that the apparently innocent habit of kissing lap dogs is a fruitful source of contagion. They point to the recent mortality among the dogs as confirmatory evidence.

Last Wednesday evening’s reception at the Slumsprung residence was marred by the unexpected return of the old man. As it was understood that he was in Milpitas, and would not be invited anyhow, many of the guests had not taken the precaution to be armed, and for some time the festivities were one-sided. Luckily the tide was turned by the opportune arrival of Col. Spotshot. Silas Edward Slumsprung was born at Dawkinsville, Missouri, October 3, 1845. Educated as a blacksmith and fired with the spirit of adventure, he came to this state in 1870, since which time his fame is familiar to even the most lowly: no name has more prominently adorned the advertising columns of this journal than that of the distinguished remains. We mourn our loss.

A successful party at Tarrytown—John D. Rockefeller.

Among the most honored guests at the Hull-Caboodle reception last Thursday evening was Mr. Moriarty Monaghan, the distinguished inventor of the steam chaperon.

At Mrs. Fastiddio’s musicale last Thursday evening the harmony of the occasion was somewhat marred by the sound of a desperate squabble in the entrance hall as Professor Schwackenheimer was singing his famous solo Dere’s moosic eferyvheres. The fair hostess signified a wish that the festivities should not be suspended, but even beauty is unable to muzzle the press, and our reporter left the room to see what it was all about. The hall porter, whose hair and clothing were greatly deranged, explained with some excitement, between his gasps of fatigue, that he’d been “a firin’ out another one o’ them dam antecedents.”

The Jacksprats are in Jebigue. They live there.

The engagement is announced of Hunker Gowk to the widow Jonesmith, who will be remembered in connection with the road-house scandal of ten years ago. The engagement having revived public interest in that unfortunate episode in the life of the lady, it is related in full in another column.

Our reporter was contumeliously treated at last Wednesday evening’s hoe-down at the Robinson mansion. This is the more surprising because the hostess is one of our oldest and most esteemed landmarks and is sincerely devoted to study of books on etiquette to make up for her early disadvantages. We forgive it as a mere reversio ad naturam.

Miss Enameline Cartilagina Cmythe is visiting the mummy of Rameses II, in Cairo. They were schoolmates.

They are telling (under the breath) of a clever thing which Mrs. Rooley said the other day. “My dear,” said an old schoolgirl friend whom she had not met since her marriage, “how could you venture to marry Mr. Rooley with that awful scandal hanging over you?” “The most natural thing in the world,” was the placid reply. “People were beginning to talk, and I married Mr. Rooley at once to keep him from hearing about it.”

The Princess Bulli-Bulli is at the Golden Hotel. She will be remembered as the lady who kept the peanut parlors at 9276 Cobble street in the old days. Since she has got royal blood in her veins her Highness is, of course, somewhat haughty and cold in her manner, and has on two or three occasions inflicted severe injuries on the hotel servants; but she is at heart a true American lady and has six dogs.

Mrs. Excrusia Blogg gave a party last Tuesday in celebration of her thirtieth birthday. Among the names of those not invited was that of the fair hostess’ daughter Mrs. Rougeline Blogg-Dumperton, who with her five lovely children lives just over the way. The particulars of the estrangement are not known.

In diamonds it is the fashion to have the breakfast sets entirely different from those worn at dinner. Nothing so conspicuously distinguishes the true lady as the jewelry she wears at breakfast. Mrs. Bluegore, the wife of the Hon. Asa Bluegore, M. C., is a model in this way; her diamonds always look as if she had slept in them, they are worn with so negligent a grace.

At five-and-half o’clock teas it is en règle for the hostess to stir each cup of the beverage with her forefinger before administering it to the patient. This assures so low a temperature that the tea is retained in the system.

Miss Exquisitia Multiboodle and father are registered at the Majestic hotel.

The Tooquites, the Culcherfads and the Refinings are at the Divine.

Old Mumchortle and his mahala are at the Squaremeal.

There will be another musicale next Tuesday evening at the residence of Mrs. Jonas Goard. Professor Henrj Beerbellj will be present with his violin, and will play some choice selections from Schopenhauer, Mazzini, Gambetta and Murillo. Mrs. Goard says it is her intention to make her weekly musicales the most peerless that money will collar.

The Hiflungs are at the Splurge House. Their health has not been good since their return from Europe, Colonel Hiflung, Miss Hiflung, Miss Phlebotomy Hiflung and Masters Thanatopsis and Epithalamium Hiflung all suffering more or less acutely from brain failure.

Gargoyle Squutney has arrived from Paris, where he had the distinction of ascending the Eiffel Tower. The Emperor paid him a great deal of attention and he met the Tuilleries.

Society is justly indignant at the threatened publication of an Èlite Directory with an “Appendix of Antecedents.” Strenuous efforts at suppression have resulted in nothing, so far, but hopes are entertained of conciliating the author and publisher with an invitation to the Pursang luncheon next week. In the mean time that hardy and desperate man speaks of the ladies and gentlemen whom he weakly maligns in the columns of an infamous daily newspaper as “Our Sore Hundred.”

The fashion of leaving the dog’s card with that of the mistress is obtaining favor again.

The new spring-style coffins have oxidized silver trimmings.

Our distinguished townsman, the Hon. Mr. Col. Samuel Jiggs, Esquire, is understood to deprecate Society’s attitude toward him. He has confided to a prominent society man the fact that he is tired of attending his wife’s entertainments and hearing himself addressed by her guests as “Sam” and “Jiggsy.” He purposes, he says, to make certain radical improvements in the next galoots as allows they kin prosper withouten good manners.

At the funeral of Miss Nobbie Skihi, last Thursday, the corpse was attired in a Directoire costume from Worth’s, and wore a diamond and sapphire necklace valued, according to the tag, at $15,000. In removing this at the close of the entertainment, the mother of the deceased was overcome with emotion, which found audible expression. The lady’s voice is a clear soprano of remarkable power.

The Lalligaggs have taken rooms at the Hotel Paradise for the winter and the Mollicoddles for the storm. The Von Doodles are reported as storming at Hohokus.

At the Rodaigent-Cadje wedding reception a new and admirable feature was introduced. On one end of a table were displayed the wedding presents, with the donor’s names attached. On the other end was a large number of wooden naughts, gilt and variously decorated. These bore the names of friends and acquaintances who gave nothing. It is said that some of the persons blacklisted have applied to the police for protection.

Mrs. Wollysnopple is in town again, where, being at present afflicted with smallpox, she has a wide circle of acquaintances.

The beautiful and accomplished Miss Vaseline Upshoot damaged one of her toes last week in alighting from a street car. It was the sweetest little accident in the world, and the fair sufferer underwent a charming amputation.

The Impycu family, who are at Gophertown, Hog Valley, wish us to state that they are traveling in Europe. So are we.

Mrs. Breezy O’Blairney has offered the Academy of Sciences a magnificent oil portrait of her late husband, the Hon. Moriarty Fitz Flaherty O’Blairney. It is reported that the Academy is willing to compromise.

A pleasing incident in high life occurred the other evening at a conversazione given by Mrs. Fastidiana Rushereeeee nèe Scroggins. The fair hands of the distinguished and wealthy hostess had worked in violets on a yellow ground the following chaste and elegant lines, which adorned one of the walls:

Here mind meets mind on the occasion
Of an intellectual conversazione.

A gentleman of some literary pretensions from Boston enticed the hostess aside, and in the most cowardly manner intimated that she had erred in pronunciation, or else had a bad ear for rhyme. The insulted lady apprised the other gentlemen present of what had been said to her in her own house, and the fellow was energetically booted abroad, returning not any more to that place. And that is the pleasing incident above referred to.

Mrs. Follyswaddle’s reception in honor of Lord 'Arry Chortle of Wapping was enjoyable until his lordship was taken drunk; then the festivities were parted in the middle.

The Tollipoodles are Octobering in Sprouleville—all except the old man, who is Tollipoodling here, in the regular way. In him there is neither change nor shadow of turning—such as creation’s dawn beheld he Tollipoodleth now.

The wake of Malone Finucain last Thursday night was marred by but a single untoward incident—the corpse got up and kicked everybody out of the house. The widow desires us to say that the second wake of the series will take place at a date not now determined, and each guest will be supplied at the door with an attested copy of a physician’s certificate of death.

One of the most interesting souvenirs of royalty that this country can boast is in the possession of Miss Celeritie Hifli of this city. It was given to Miss Hifli by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who greatly admired her beauty. The souvenir is a Bank of England ten-pound note, which Miss Hifli has had framed and exhibits with pardonable pride. After the first few shocks, it is quite charming to observe her ingenuous way of speaking of his Royal Highness as “Al.”

Society is discussing a shocking scandal. It is difficult to get the particulars from an authentic source, but they are believed to be about as follows: Three weeks ago, on the death of Miss R——, the body was placed in the handsome tomb of Colonel H——, an old friend of the family, the fine mausoleum of the R——s being incomplete. The only occupant of the tomb when the body of Miss R—— was placed there was the remains of Colonel H——’s brother, but for the sake of propriety Mrs. X——, a friend of both families, had the mortal part of her mother conveyed there from another place. But on Tuesday last Mrs. X——, without notifying the R——s, had her mother’s body removed and sent East. From that day until yesterday the remains of Miss R—— were without a chaperon. Great indignation is felt against Mrs. X——, and it is thought that her action will seriously affect her social standing.


The festivities last Wednesday evening at the Turveypool mansion scooped the ranch. It was the slickest outfit of the season, and will shine in the annals of society worse than a new tin pan. The genial hostess was as affable as a candidate for coroner, and pitchforked her smiles about without caring a cuss where they struck and stuck. She’s the whitest woman in this social camp, and don’t you forget it.

Mrs. Flyorbust gave a reception on Friday evening, which in point of pure elegance knocked everything perfectly cold and was a regular round-up of beauty rank and fashion. The fair hostess’ long residence in the social centers of Europe, where she experted some of the niftiest occasions, has taught her how to do such things white. Among those present we observed Mr. Flyorbust, Miss Flyorbust, Miss Georgiana Glorinda Flyorbust, and Master Tom Busted.

The engagement is announced of Mr. Megacephaloid Polliglot Paupertas, the distinguished and popular scion of the Munniglut stock, to a lady of acceptable fortune but humble birth, who is not at present in society and is therefore nameless in these columns. The wedding is expected to take place as soon as this person can dispose of some property in Hangtown. If the sale is auspiciously consummated the nuptials will eventuate with unscrupulous grandiosity.

Society is unaffected by Lent: Mrs. Vulgaria de Binks-Browne says that she means to give a dizzy party next Wednesday evening and put on as much dog as anybody or bust a-trying. Those near to Mrs. Binks-Browne hope that she will succeed.

We were honored yesterday by a call from the eminent statesman, the Hon. Braygong Bumble, and his distinguished dog. They remained an hour and left, going in the direction of our loathsome contemporary The Squeege. It is to be hoped they did not tarnish their respective escutcheons by calling on the presiding felon of that gang, and they probably did not, for the voice of fame has not pointed the finger of discovery at him.

Old man Blivens wants the public to get onto the racket that his fat girl, Piggy Jane, is effectuating. As nearly as we could tumble to it from the elderly party’s prospectus, it is to be a lavender feed. The guests are not expected to eat that herb of the field, unless they want to, but its color will pervade the occasion like an undertone of garlic in a Dago Christmas. Ladies whose rinds don’t hitch well with lavender had better stay at home and go to the circus.

Mrs. Colonel Pompinuppy’s Wednesday evenings will henceforth eventuate on Thursday afternoons. At the next one Signora Fahertini, a Dutch cantatreechy, will squawk up some classical music that will make the hair curl.

Pimply Johnson is pinching out at his Burro street shack. The medicine man has tooted his doom, but says he may possibly pull through the week. Keep your northwest eye open for an enjoyable funeral if it is Christian weather. The remains will be cached in the natty mausoleum erected by them during life.

The services last Sunday evening at the Church of the Holy Jones were enlivened by the presence of the beautiful Miss Marie Jeanne Hodj, who brandished the most paralyzing follyswaddles of any hen in the kaboodle. Her leading figleaf was of nun’s-unavailing, with a demi-train which responded rhythmically to every lateral impulse of her willowy figure. The rest of her outfit we didn’t slate. Miss Hodj looked sweet enough to eat!

At the reception, last Tuesday evening, at the Loftinudle mansion, the many guests gracing the occasion with their presence were profoundly affected by the costliness and elegance of everything in the house and its appointments. No one thing knocked them silly, but there was a general allroundishness that laid ’em out like dead! It is universally admitted that the Loftinudle shack is uncommonly tough to tackle, and it is not thought that any of the shanties now going up in Smith’s Addition will be able to hold a candle to it. There are some persons, however, who expect old Loftinudle will himself hold a candle to it, as the insurance is significantly heavy.

The Squuljees are now established in their new Malaria county villa, Skunkmead. The house, which is of the Renuisance style, is fitted with all the ancient and modern conveniences, and the whole place has been happily described by a reporter of the Malarian as strongly resembling Mr. Elysian’s fields. Mrs. Squuljee, Miss Squuljee and Miss Carameline Squuljee were in the city yesterday and were seen at a distance by our reporter. Unluckily they had seen him first.

The Bachelor’s Club is madder than a wet cat. It was first flung to the breeze to enable the unmarried roosters to return-match the old hens who entertain them at the henneries; but the chaps do it so white that now the o. h.’s don’t put up at all. We plank down our in’ardest sympathy in the business, but that’s all we can do; owing to the death of a heavy advertiser the o. h. appertaining to our loathsome contemporary isn’t branching out into social gaieties much at the present writing.

Mr. James O’Squander and Mrs. Jane McMillion are to be married next Hangman’s day—that day being selected in memory of the bridegroom’s sainted father. It was of this engagement that the Bard of Tar Flat, Ferd Anderson Snooks, penned his brutal couplet, published by a disgusting contemporary:

Jim will tie to Jane in the holy bonds of wedlock,
But ere a year is gone he’ll be scraping round on bedrock.

A Leap Year party was given on Monday evening at the Coyote District school-house, Potato county. The Temple of Science was beautifully decorated, the words “Leep Yeer,” tastily executed in colored chalks on the black-board, being conspicuously pleasing. They were the work of the teacher.

The McCorkle crowd is Novembering at Iron Springs. That summer place of last resort does not advertise in this journal, but we know enough about it from other sources to whack up our deepest dollar on the proposition that the essence of latch-key which Mother Earth spits out at that place will knock the McCorkle livers galley west.


ON a calm evening in the early summer, a young girl stood leaning carelessly against a donkey at the top of Plum Hill, daintily but with considerable skill destroying a biscuit by mastication’s artful aid. The sun had been for some time behind the sea, but the conscious West was still suffused with a faint ruddiness, like the reflection from an army of boiled lobsters marching below the horizon for a flank attack upon the stomach of Boston.

Slowly and silently the ruby legion held its way. Not a word was spoken; commands given by the general were passed from mouth to mouth, like a single bit of chewing gum amongst the seven children immortalized by Edward Bok, who was more than usually active this evening, if that were possible.

And it was possible; in no spirit of bravado, but with firm reliance on the blanc mange he had eaten for dinner, and which was even now shaping itself into exquisite fancies in the laboratory of his genius, the great editor had resolved to reach a higher excellence, or perish in the attempt, as the tree frog, baffled by the smooth bark of the beech, falls exhausted into the spanning jaws of the serpent biding his time below.

Having swallowed the frog, the reptile turned to go away, and by a sinuous course soon reached the highway. Here he stood up and looked about him. There was no living thing in sight. To the right hand and the left the dusty white road stretched away without a break in its dreary, mathematical sameness. Beyond a belt of pines on the opposite side rose a barren, rounded hilltop, resembling the bald crown of a game keeper thrust upward from behind a hedge to offer a shining mark for the poacher.

Grimly the poacher raised and sighted his gun, charged with a double quantity of heavy slugs. There was a moment of silence—a silence so profound, so deathlike in its intensity, that a keen ear might have heard the spanking of an infant in a distant village.

This infant had come, no one knew whence. The story went that it had tramped into town one cold morning, with its cradle slung across its back, and after being refused admittance to the hotel, had gone quietly to the back door and lain down, having first written and pinned to its gown the following placard: “This unfortunate child is the natural son of a foreign prince, who until he shall succeed to the throne of his ancestors begs that the illustrious waif may be tenderly cared for. His Royal Highness cannot say how long his own worthless father may continue to disgrace the realm, but hopes not long. At the end of that time, his Royal Highness will appear to the child’s astonished benefactor, crusted as thickly with gems as a toad with warts.”

These troublesome excrescences had given the poor toad much pain. Everything that science had devised, and skill applied, had been a mere waste of money; and now at the age of four hundred years, with life just opening before him, with other toads reveling about him in all the jump-up-and-come-down-hardness of their hearts he was compelled to drag himself nervelessly through existence, with no more hope of happiness than a piano has of marriage.

It was not a nice piano; the keys were warped, the mainspring was relaxed, the cogwheels would not have anything to do with one another, and the pendulum would swing only one way. Altogether a disreputable and ridiculous old instrument. But such as it was, it had stood in that dim old attic, man and boy, for more than thirty years. Its very infirmities, by exciting pity, had preserved it; not one of the family would have laid an axe at the root of that piano for as much gold as could be drawn by a team of the strongest horses.

Of these rare and valuable animals we shall speak in our next chapter.


“DOUBTLESS we have all great gratitude this night of Thanksgiving. Doubtless, too, we have ample cause and justification, for the dullest crack-brain of us all knows that life might have gone harder with him had the Power that compounds our joys and pains proportioned differently, to that end, the simples of the mixture.”

So reading, I fell asleep, for I was full of bird. Straight appeared to me an angel, the dexter half of whom was white, the sinister, black—the line of division parting him from the hair down. Two skins of wine he bore; one wine was clear and sweet, and one was dark and bitter exceeding, such as would make a pig squeal. I saw, also, at his feet as he stood, some large glass vessels of even size, marked from bottom to top with a scale, the divisions numbered upward from 1 to 100.

“Son of Mortality,” said he, “I am the Compounding Power—behold my standard mixture.” So saying he poured into one of the vessels 50 parts of sweet and the same of bitter. “This,” he said, “is without taste. It is for him whom Heaven doth neither bless nor afflict. There is but one such that liveth.”

“The devil!” I cried, for indeed I greatly marveled that this should be so.

Said the angel: “Guess again.”

“Compound now, I beseech thee,” I said, “the best that thou hast use for in thy business: a tipple of surpassing richness—one which maketh the hair to curl.”

Thereupon he put into the second vessel 1 part of bitter and 9 of sweet. And he looked upon it saying: “It is the best that it is permitted to me to do.”

“Show me,” I said, “the worst; for truly it must be exceeding fierce, slaying at eighty rods.”

“It is bad to take,” he answered, and straightway poured into the third vessel 10 parts of sweet. Then, upraising the other skin, he filled the vessel to the brim, and a great compassion fell upon my spirit, thinking on the unhappy man who should get himself outside that unholy tope.

“Behold,” said the angel, “Heaven is just! The ratio of pain to joy in the lot of the happiest mortal is the same as that of joy to pain in his who is most wretched. It is 1 to 10.” And after some little time he spake again:

“I’m a dandy for fairness.”

“True, O Dandy Allotter,” I said: “the proportions are only reversed. But these two vessels, the second and the third, holding the good draught and the bad—lo! the good is but a tenth part full, whilst the latter overfloweth the vessel. Is each quantity a dose?”

And the angel said: “Each is a dose.”

Wherefore I raised my voice against him, and called him out of his name, and cast my pillow upon him, and he departed out of that place with a loud cry. Then they that came in haste to my chamber, unbidden, looked one upon another and said: “He ate of the bird.”


GENDER is the sex of words. But either this matter of sex is imperfectly understood, or Nature has made faulty provision for the duality of things; for history and speech show many melancholy examples of natural celibacy, and Shelley’s dictum that “nothing in the world is single” must be accepted with the large limitation of a comprehensive denial. Who ever heard of an alligatrix? The spinster—has she anywhere a femaler mate, the spinstress? I am told there is an article, a garment, if I have rightly understood—called a garter, and that it has commonly a mate, yet I know not if any one has seen a gartress. Nor, for that matter, a garter. Has the cypress a lord and master known as the cypor? We hear of personal encounters, but a personal encounter between two ladies is not an encountress. Every one knows that an epistle is a female apostle, but why the male mate of the unlisted himmit should, except for consistency in perversion, be called a hermit, who can say? Oddly enough, the shero is unknown to fame. Is there a place beyond the grave of the sinner, called Heol, and was its existence hinted at in the old name for Sheol? In Irish folklore is no mention of the banhee. An ornithologist of even the widest attainments will assure you that the queenfisher is an undiscovered fowl. Ancient history, sacred or profane, is vainly questioned concerning the King of Heba—whom nevertheless, I love to figure to myself as making a long journey to lay countless camel loads of gifts at the feet of the very wisest sovereign in all the world—the queen of the Shebrews.


PERSONS who have not had the advantage of hearing about the Hon. Henry Vrooman in the past ten or twelve years will be surprised to learn that he is still living. The man has more lives than a ship-load of cats from Malta. In the past few years he has been dying of heart disease so fast that he is in danger of becoming extinct. His death-rate is appalling! He has died in every voting precinct in this part of the state, and his last words are about to be compiled in three volumes. Whenever Mr. Vrooman wants “the suffrages of his fellow-citizens” he gets them together in a hall, makes them a speech, assures them that his sands of life are pretty nearly run out, closes with some neat and appropriate patriotic sentiment suitable to the sad occasion, and then flops down and dies all over the floor. Just before the vital spark is extinct the meeting is adjourned by turning off the gas and the corpse is at liberty to rise and go home. The next morning Mr. Vrooman’s political organ relates how he was snatched from the jaws of death, though his condition is still critical; and the sovereign electors say: “Well, poor feller, he’s on his last legs anyway—guess it won’t do much harm to elect him.” The wretch never drew a cent of salary without committing the crime of obtaining money by false pretenses; he is always elected on the understanding that he is to die.

But he doesn’t die—he is immortal. The moment that the “innumerable caravan” has passed the polling place he drops out of the procession and hangs about for his certificate of election. Then we hear no more about his poor heart until his term is about to expire, when it begins to trouble him again. He and his term generally manage to expire together in the sure and certain hope of a blessed resurrection.

In the closing hours of the last session of the state senate somebody made a motion to limit all speeches to ten minutes. This brought Mr. Vrooman to his hind feet forthwith. “Mr. President,” he said, “standing as I do upon the threshold of the Unknown, and turning back to address my fellow-citizens for the last time, I feel grateful indeed that an all-wise Providence has so ordered it that my final words can be spoken in advocacy of the righteous and beneficent principle of free speech, and in denunciation of the reptiles who would limit the liberty of debate. With a solemn sense of my responsibility to Him from whom I received my mental powers, and to whom I am so soon to give an account of my stewardship; gazing with a glazing eye upon the transitory scenes of earth, about which 'the dark Plutonian shadows gather on the evening blast’; conscious that the lute-string is about to snap and the pitcher to be broken at the well, I adjure you, friends of my former days, as in a whisper from the dark, not to let that motion prevail.”

Wiping a light froth from his lips, the failing senator, with a friend under each arm and a half-dozen volunteer pall-bearers following, solemnly left the chamber to the sound of a dozen busy pens drafting resolutions of respect.

A moment later Senator Moffitt walked into the hall, dexterously caught the presiding officer’s eye, and said: “Mr. President, it is my mournful duty to apprise this honorable body of my distinguished colleague’s continued existence. Born of poor but thoughtless parents and educated as a blacksmith; gifted with a penetrating intelligence which never failed in the darkest night to distinguish a five-dollar piece from a nickel, yet blessed with an impartial soul which loved the humbler coin as well, in proportion to its value, as the nobler one; blessed with a benevolence which relieved alike the rich man and the poor—the one of his coin, the other of his character; reared in the principles of religion and giving to the worship of himself an incredible devotion—this great man moved among the property of his neighbors, a living instance of the power of personal magnetism and the strength of political attachment. He was a generous man: one-half of all that he took with his right hand he bestowed upon his left. He was a respecter of Truth, and did not profane her with his lips. He was a patriot: other nations might be more powerful in arms, or more glorious in history, but America was good enough for him if he could get it. Withal, he had a tender heart acutely responsive to indigestion and closely identified with the political history of this state. Mr. President, I move that when the senate adjourn to go to luncheon it do so out of respect to the memory of Henry Vrooman. True, he is no deader than he was when he began to die ten years ago, but, sir, a memorial adjournment may have a deeper and better significance than is visible in a mere conformity to fact: it may entoken a pious people’s readiness to submit to a tardy bereavement.”

Senator Moffitt’s motion was peremptorily and contumeliously declared out of order, and that erring statesman dejectedly took his seat a sadder and a nicer man. It saddens to add that he solaced himself by consuming the public stationery in composing the following discreditable epitaph:

Step lightly, stranger, o’er this holy place,
Nor push this sacred monument aside,
Set by his fellow-citizens to grace
The only spot where Vrooman never died.