Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, December 26, 1890, Image 2

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Demonic Yan
Bellefonte, Pa., December 26, 1890.
It was the night before Christmas, when all
through the house
Not = creature was stirring, not even a mouse:
The stockings were hung by the chimney with
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their
While visions of sugar plums danced through
‘their heads ;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and Iin my
Had just Settled our brains for along winter's
When out on the lawn there arose sucha clat-
I sprang from the bed tosee what was the
matter :
Away tothe window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen
Gave the lustre of mid-day to object below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should ap-
pear, ;
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
- More rapid than eagles the coursers they
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them
by name ;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer!
now, Vixen! :
On. Comer, on ! Cupid, on! Donder and Blixen—
To the top of the orch I to the top of the wall!
Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all I”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle,mount to the
8n, up ue house top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys—and St Nicholas
And then in a twinkling [ heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I draw in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a
bound. :
He was dressed all in fur, trom his head to his
oot, .
And his clothes were all tarnish’d with ashes
and soot ; :
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, 2
And he looked like a peddler just opening his
pack. Hn
His eyes—how they iwinkled his dimples, how
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a
His droll
And the beard on his chin was as white as the
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a
He had a broad face, and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laugh’d, like a bowl full
of Jolly, -
He was chubby and plump; a right jolly old
idtie mouth was drawn up like a
And I iened when I saw him, in spite of my-
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his
And filled all the stockings ; then turned with
a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his” team gave a
And away they all flew like the down of a
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good
night I”
It was three days before Christmas,
and the baker of the little village of
Barnbury sat ir the room behind his
shop. He was a short and sturdy bak-
er, a good fellow, and orninarily of a
jolly demeanor, but this day he sat
grim in his littie back room.
“Christmas indeed,” he said to him-
self, “and what of Chrismas? “Thank
you, baker, and a merry Christmas to
you,’ and every one of them goes away,
with the present of a raisin-cake, or a
horse ginger cake, if they like that bet-
ter- All this for the good of the trade,
of course. Confound the trade, I'm
tired of trade. Is there no good in this
world, but the good of the trade? ‘Oh,
yes,’ they'll say, ‘there’s Christmas and
that’s good.” ‘But what is the good of
it to me? say I. Christmas day is a
family day, and to a man without a
family it's no day atall. I'm not even
fourth cousin to a soul in the town.
Nobody asks me to a family dinner.
‘Bake, baker!’ they cry, ‘that we may
eat and lcve each other.’ Confound
them. I am tired of it. What is
Christmas to me? I have a mind to
skip it.”
As he said this a smile broke out on
his face. “Skip Christmas.” said he,
“that is a good idea. They did not
think of me last year ; this would make
them think of me this year.”
As he said this he opened his order
book and ran his eye over the names.
“Here's orders from every one of them,”
said he, “from the doctor down to Cob.
bler John. All have families, all give
orders. It's pastry, cake or sweet
meats, or it's meat or fowl to be baked
What a jolly Christmas they will have
without me! Orders from all of them,
every one; all sent in good time for
fear of being crowded out.”
Here he stopped and ran his eye
again over the list.
“No, not all,” he said, “the Widow
Monk is not here. What is the mat-
ter with her, I wonder? The only
person in Barnbury who bas not or
dered either pastry, cakes or sweet.
meate; or fowls or meat to be baked,
If I skip Christmas, she'll not mind i,
but she'll be the only one—the only
one in all Barnbury. Ha! ha!”
The baker wanted some fresh air,
and, as this was supper time for the
whole village, he locked up his shop
and went out for a walk. The night
was clear and frosty. He hked this;
the air was so different from that in
his bakery. !
He walked to the end of the village,
and at the last house he stopped.
“It's very odd,” said he to himself ;
“no cakes, pastry or sweetmeats ; not
even poultry or meat to be baked. I'll
look in and see about this,” and he
knocked at the door.
The Widow Monk was at supper.
She was a plump little body, bright
and cheerful to look upon, and not
more than thirty.
“Good evening, baker,” said she, |
“will you sit down and have a cup of
tea ?"
The baker put down his hat, un-
wound Lis long woolen comforter, took
off his overcoat, and had a cup of tea.
mas,” he said to her.
“Fine enough for the rest of you,”
she raid, with a smile, “but I shall not
have any Christmas this year.”
“How’s that?” cried the baker; “no
Christmas, Widow Monk ?”
“Not this year, baker,” said she,
and she poured him another cup of
tea. “You see that horse-blanket?”
said she, pointing to one thrown over a
“Bless me, Widow Monk,” cried the
baker, “you're not intending to set up
a horse?”
“Haraly that,” she answered, with a
smile‘ ‘but that's the very very last
horse-blanket that I can get to bind.
They don’t put them on horses, but
they have them bound with red, and
use them for door curtins® That's all
the fashion now, and all the Barabury
folks who can afford them have sent
them to me to be bound with red. That
one is nearly finished, and there are
no more to be bound.”
“But haven't the Barnbury folks
any more work for you?’ cried the
baker; “haven't they shirts or gowns,
or some other sort ot needling?’
“Those things they make them-
selves,” answered the widow, “but this
binding is heavy work and they give it
to me. The blankets are coarse, you
see, but they hang well in the door-
“Confound the people of Barnbury !”
cried the baker. “Every one of them
would hang well in a doorway if I had
the doing of it. Andso you can’t af-
ford a Christmas, Widow Monk ?"
“No,” said she, setting herself to
work on her horse-blanket, “not this
year. When I came to Barnbury,
baker, I thought I might do well, but
I have not done well.”
“Did not your husband leave you
anything ?”’ he asked.
“My husband wasa sailor,” said she
“and he went down with his brig, the
Mistletoe, three years ago, and all that
he left me is gone, baker.”
It was time for the baker to open his
shop, and he went away, and as he
walked home snow drops and tear
drops were all mixed together on his
“I couldn’t do this sort of thing be-
fore her,” he said, “and I am glad it
was time to go and open my shop.”
That night the baker did all bis
regular work, but not a finger did he
put to any Christmas order. The next
day, at supper time, he went out for a
On the way he said to himself, “If
she is going to skip Christmas, and I
am going to skip Christmas, why
should we not skip it together ? That
would truly be most fit and gladsome,
and it would serve Barnbury aright.
I'll go in and lay it before her.”
The Widow Monk was at supper,
and when she asked him to take a cup
of tea he put down his hat, unwound
his woolen conforter, and took off his
overcoat. When he sat down his
empty cup he told her that he, too, had
made up his mind to skip Christmas,
and he told her why, and then he pro-
posed that they shonld skip it together.
Now, the Widow forgot to ask him
to take a second cup of tea, and she
turned as red as the binding she had
put on the horse-blankets. The baker
pushed aside the teacups, leaned over
the table, and pressed his suit very
When the time came for him to op-
en his shop she said that she would
think about the matter, and that he
might come again.
The nextday the sun shone golden,
the snow shone silvery, and Barnbury
was like a paradise to the good baker.
For the Widow Monk had told him he
might come again, and that was almost
the same thing as telling him that he
and she would skip Christmas togeth-
er! And not a finger, so far, had he
put to any Christmas order,
About noon of that day, he was so
happy, was that good baker, that he
went into the village inn to have a
taste of something hot. In the inn he
found a tall man, with rings in his ears.
A sun-browned man he was and a
stranger, who had just arrived and
wanted his dinner. He was also a
bandsome man, and a sailor, as any
one could see.
As the baker entered, the tall man
said to the inn-keeper:
“Is there a Mrs, Monk now living in
this village 2"
“Truly there is,”” said the inn-keep-
er, “and I will show you her house.
But you'll have your dinner first 2”!
“Aye, ave,” said the stranger, “for
I'll not 2o to her hungry.”
The baker asked for nothing hot,
but turned him and went out into the
cold, bleak world. As he closed the
door behind him he heard the stranger
“On the brig Mistletoe.”
It was not needed that the baker
should hear these words; already he
knew everything. His soul had told
him everything in the moment he saw
the sun-browned man with the rings in
his ears!
On went the baker,hishead bowed on
his breast, the sun shining like tawdry
brass, the snow ghsfening like a slimy,
evil thing. He knew not where he
was going ; he knew not what he in-
tended to do, but on he went.
Presently a door opened and he was
“I saw you coming,” said the Wid-
ow Monk, “and I did not wish to keep
you waiting in the cold,” and she held
open the door for him,
When he had entered and had seat-
ed himself before the fire, she said to
him : :
“Truly, you look chilled, you ‘need
something hot,” and she prepared it
for him,
The baker took the hot beverage. |
This much ot good he might at least
allow himself. “He drank it and he
felt warmed.
“Now, then,” said he to himself, as |
he pat down his cup, “if she d ask me
to dinner I wouldn't ski
and the whole v
and bless her.”
“We are like to have a fine Christ
p Christmas,
illage might rise up
“And now," said the Widow Monk,
seating herself ou the ocher side of the
fireplace, “I shall speak as plainly to
you as you spoke to me. You spoke
very well yesterday, and I have been
thinking about it ever since and have
made up my mind. You are alone in
the world and I am alone, and if you
don’t wish to be aloneany longer, why,
[ don’t wish to be either, and so—per
haps—it will not he necessary to skip
Christmas this year.” :
Alas for the poor baker! Here was
paradise seen through a barred gate!
But the baker's heart was moved; even
in the midst of his misery he could not
bat be grateful for the widow’s words.
There flashed into his eyes a sudden
brightness. He held out his hands.
He would thank her first and tell her
The widow took his hands, lowered
her bright eyes and blushed: Then
she suddenly withdrew herself and
stood up.
“Now,” she said, with a pretty smile
“let me do the talking. Don’t look «0 |
downcast. When I tell you that you
have made me very, very happy, you
should look happy too. When you
came to me yesterday and said what
you said, I thought you were in too |
much of a hurry, but now I think that
perhaps you were right. and that when
people ot our age have anything im-
portant to do, itis well todo itat once,
for in this world there are all sorts of
things continually springing up to pre-
vent people from being happy.”
The whole body of the baker was
filled with a great groan, but he denied
it utterance. He must hear what she
would say.
“And so I was going to suggest,”
she continued, “that instead of skip-
ping Christmas together we keep it to-
gether. That is all the change I pro-
pose to your plan.”
Up sprang the baker, so suddenly,
that he overset his chair. Now he
must speak. The widow stepped quick-
ly toward the door, and turning with a
smile held up her hand. :
“Now, good friend.” she said, “stop
there! At any moment some one
might come in. Hasten back to your
shop. At 3 o'clock I will meet you at
the parsons. That will surely be soon
enough, even for such a hasty man as
The baker came forward and gasp.
ed, “Your husband!”
“Not yet,” said the widow, with a
laugh, and kissing the tips of her fin-
gers to him she closed the door behind
Out into the cold went the baker.
His head was dazed, but he walked
steadfastly to his shop. There was no
need for him to go anywhere; to tell
anybody anything. The man with the
earrings would settle matters for him-
self soon enough.
The baker put up his shutters and
locked his shop door. He would do
nothing more for the good of trade; no-
thing more for the good of anything.
Skip Christmas! Indeed would he.
And, moreover, every holiday and
every happy day would now be skip-
ped straight on for the rest of his life.
He pat bis house in order; he arrang-
ed his affairs ; he attired himself mn his
best apparel ; locked his door behind
him ; and went out into the cold world.
He longed now to get far away from
the village. Before the sun set there
would not be one soul there who would
care for him.
As he hurried on he saw before him
the parson’s house.
“I will take but one thing away
with me,” he said, “I will ask the good
old man to give me his blessing. That
will I take with me.”
“Of course he is in,” said the par-
son’s maid, “there, in the parlor.”
As the baker entered the parson’s
parlor, some one hastened to meet him.
It was the Widow Monk.
“You wicked man,” she whispered,
“you are a quarter of an hour late.
The parson is waiting.”
The parson was a little man with
white hair. He stepped toward the
couple standing together, and the wid-
ow took the baker's hand. Then the
parson began the little speech he al-
ways made on such occasions. It was
full of good sense and very touching,
and the widow’s eyes were dim with
tears. The baker would have spoken,
but he had never interrupted a clergy-
man and he could not do it now.
Then the parson began his appointed
work, and the heart of the baker swell-
edi as the widow’s hand trembled in
his own.
“Wilt thou have this woman to be
thy wedded wife?” asked the parson.
“Now for this,” quoth the poor bak-
er to himself, “I may bake forever, but
[ cannot draw back nor keep the good
man waiting.” And he said, “Yes.”
Then it was that the baker received
what he had come for, the parson’s
blessing; and, immediately, his fair
companion, brimming with tears,
threw herself into his arms.
“Now,” said the baker to himself,
“when I leave this house, may the
devil take me, and right welcome shall
he be.’,
Dearest,”’she exclaimed,as she look-
ed into his face, “you cannot know
how happy Iam. My wedding day,
and my brother back from the cruel
Struck by a sudden blast of bewilder-
ing ecstacy the baker raised his eyes,
and beheld the tall form of the sun-
browned stranger who had been stand-
ing hehind them.
“You are not a sailor-man,” quoth
the jovial brother, “like my old mate,
who went down n the brig Mistletoe,
but my sister tells me you are a jolly
good fellow, and I wish you fair winds
and paying cargoes.” And after giv-
ing the baker a powerful handshake,
the sailor kissed the bride, the par-
sou’s wife, the parson’s daughter, and
the parson’s maid, and wished the
family were larger, having just returned
from the cruel seas.
The onljy people in the village of
| Barnbury who thoroughly enjoyed the
Christmas of that year, were the bak-
er, his wife and the sailor brother.
And a rare good time they had, for a
' big sea chest arrived, and there were
curious presents and a tall flask of rare
old wine, and plenty of time for three
merry people to cook for themselves.
The baker told his wife of his soul-
harrowing plight of the day before.
“Now, then,” said he, “don’t you
think that by rights I should bake all
the same 2”
“Oh, that will be skipped,” she said
with a laugh, “and now go you and
make ready for the cakes, pastry, and
sweetmeats, the baked meats and the
poultry, with which the people of
Bartbury ere to be made right happy
on New Year's day.
Dear Santa Claus keeps a bower of birds
To carol his Christmas glees,
And every year their joyous notes
Resound through the Christmas trees.
Good Santa’s birds are children dear,
They kecp our hearts in tune,
Aud mind us of a better world
As roses tell of June.
Oh ! what a dreary world this were,
How barren, bleak and cold,
| Ifchildhood’s harmless mirth were hushed,
| Ifall the young were old.
TT en blessings be on Santa's birds,
| And blessings on their lays,
For childhood is a glimpse of Heaven,
In the sunshine cf our days.
—Good Housekeeping,
“Its rather hard,’ said Kitty Penflax,
as she scalded the milk-pail with boiling
water, and carefully wiped out the seams
and depressions of the shining tin pans
until not a drop of the moisture could by
any possibility linger—“especially dur-
ing holiday week, when there are so
many little gayeties going on at home,
and when cousin Paul Penflax has al-
ready telegraphed three times for one of
us to s nooth his dying pillow. But of
course mother couldn’t come, and Se-
lina’s sprained ankle puts it out of the
question for her—and Lizzie has her
drawing and penmanship pupils, and
it’s very mean and selfish for me to
grumble and repine like this! Yes,
Cousin Penflax, yes, I'm coming |” as a
vigorous thumping of a cane or umbrel-
la, or some other blunt-ended instru-
ment signified the presence of a domin-
ant will in the room upstairs. And she
hastened to attend the summons, pull-
ing down her dress sleeves and flinging
off her green checked work apron as she
Paul Penflax lay among his pillows,
a little yellow, dried up effigy of a man
with fretful curves to the corners of his
mouth, sharp, bead-black eyes, and
hair of that peculiar sandy that fades
but never turns gray.
“Kitty,” said he, ‘what time is it?
Who has taken away my clock ?”’
“It is five o’clock, Cousin Paul.”
“You're deceiving me, Kitty! It’s
dark, ain’t it—pitch dark ?”
“But it’s a snowy evening, Cousin
Paul, and the days are short. And you
know you gave the clock to Zenas
Throgg to repair.”
“But I didn’t expect he was going to
keep it always.”
“Shall I send for it ?’?
“No-0-0 !” snarled the yellow-faced
invalid. “I don’t suppose he’s touched
it yet. He's the slowest snail going.
Get some one to move the hall-clock in
bere. I'm losi without the time of
day 1” \
“Yes, Cousin Paul,” meekly answer-
ed Kitty.
“Because you know,” said old Mr.
Penflax lugubriously, “every minute is
of value to me now. My days are num-
“The doctor says—"'
“I don’t care what the doctor says,’
interrupted Paul® Penflax. “He can’t
see an inch farther than his own drugs.
All the Penflaxes die on New Year's
eve! It’s the family fate.”
“Oh, no, Cousin Penflax, because—"
“Your father died on New Year's eve,
didn’t he 7”
“Yes, but—"’
“And Zachariah Penflax, down in
Massachusetts Bay, was blown off the
‘Lively Sallie,’ in a squal, ten years ago
on New Year's eve 7
“They didn’t know whether it was
the thirty-first of December or the first
of January, because—"'
“But I know,” solemnly interrupted
Mr. Penflax. “And there was your
cousin Maria.”
“She wasn’t a Penflax 1”
“But she married one. It’s all {ke
same. The Penflaxes all go on New
Year's eve.”
“All these are only coincidences,
Cousin. Paul,” pleaded Kitty, as she
tenderly straightened the sheets and
smoothed the pillow cases.
“Hump!” grunted the sick man,
“When you see me in my coffin you'll
say it was ‘only a coincidence,” I sup-
pose ?”’
“Please don’t talk so,” soothed Kitty.
‘Here is your gruel, nice and hot.’
“You'll see!” said Paul Penflax.
“Shall I make you a cup of tea 2”
“You see !” he mournfully reiterated
“Or would you prefer coffee 7’?
“You'll see!”
“I'm going to stew down a chicken
for you to-night,” cheerfully went on
Kitty. “And Owen French says
there’s such a nice little red calf out in
the barn. A New Year's present.
“Calves and chickens don’t signify to
me now,” groaned Mr. Penflax. “But
I want the clock brought in, where I
cun see it and hear it tick. Every sec-
ond is of importance to me now. It’s
five o'clock, isn’t it? Very well.
Before midnight the Penflax doom will
have descended on me. You've been
' very good to me, Kitty. TI wish I had
a fortune to leave you, but I've only the
farm and— and the big diamond ‘stud
that old Captain Blossom gave me be-
fore he committed suicide in the garret
ten years ago. 1'm calculating to give
that to Mary, my niece, who is so poor,
down on Beverick Beach. Mary's fath-
er helped me years ago, when I needed
help badly. It’s all written in a paper
somewhere, And the stud is sewed up
in a bag of chamois skin leather in the
lining of my pillow-tick. Don’t let any
one get at the diamond stud, Kitty, un-
til the lawyer comes.”
“No. cousin Penflax, I won’t” pro-
tested Kitty.
‘And now bring me the big Bible
and my spectacles,” said Paul. “And
call Owen French to move the clock at
“Won’t you eat your gruel, Cousin
Paul 77
“No,” said Penflax. “What hasa
dying man to do with gruel? Isn't it
New. Year's-eve? Isn't the Penflax
doom approaching ?’’
Kitty crept down stairs, with sn odd
prickly sensation in every nerve. She
knew that an old sea captain had board-
ed with Paul Penflax years ago, but she
never had heard of the suicide in the
garret—the great, dark, echoing garret
with its angles full of shadows and the |
mysterious creaking, scufiling sounds,
which might be rats, or might be the
wind under the loose shingles, or rus-
tling the bunches of dried herbs that
hang from the beams, or might be—
She was glad when she saw Owen
French’s stalwart form by the cooking
wood and water, Kitty,” said he.
snowing so that we shan’t know where
the well is to-morrow morning! Now
Kitty, haven’t I earned a kiss?”
“Don’t Owen!” said the girl —and
yet she smiled a little as she added:
“Please go up and move the big hall
clock into Cousin Paul's room He
wants it there,”
“Bound to die. is he?’ said Owen,
shrugging his shoulders. “Well, [ sup-
pose we’ll have to humor him!”
He went cheerily up stairs, moved in
gilt sun never left oft rising behind a
grove of painted poplars above the face,
and the huge brass pendulum swung
drowsily to and fro,
“Now what else can I do for you,
squire,” said he, with alacrity.
“Nothing,” said Paul. “Or stay.
I can gain.”
“Is it this bottle ?’’ said Owen.
Mr. Penflax nodded without turning
his head —swallowed his medicine, and
folded up his glasses.
“II rest a little now," said he—and
honest Owen tiptoed out of the room,
painfully conscious of his squeaking
tated gloomily over past, present and
future. a
“I've been a miserable sinner,” said
he; “but I don’t know, if I was to live
my life over again, that—I wonder,
now, if this is imagination—-this strange
drowsy feeling? I’ve heard doctors tell
that death was only a sort of o’ falling
asleep, used up sensation. Yes, it’s the
Penflax fate. It’s New Year's eve, and
I'm dying! I wonder-—what—Kitty—’
Only a minute, as it seemed, and
there were footsteps and voices in the
room. But he lay there, unable to stir
hand or foot—even lift an eyelid.
“I suppose they’ll lay me out now,’
said he to himself. “I'm dead. And
it wasn’t so painful ® after all ? T can’t
see em, but I can hear ’em talk.”
“I found him lying just so,” said Kit-
sy’s soft voice,;when I came upstairs.
Oh, dear! oh, dear i do you suppose he’s
dead ?”
“As a door nail,” said Peter Penflax,
a distant cousin who lived next door.
“Must a’ died just on the stroke of
“I told them so. The Ponflax fate!’
was the reflection in cousin Paul’s mind.
‘Dreadful cold weather for a funer-
al!” said Peter.
“Where is Owen ?"’
“Gone for the doctor,” sobbed Kitty.
“For the doctor! That's only money
thrown away: He charges a dollar a
visit,” growled Peter “You'd a’ deal
better fetch the undertaker! By the
way, Kitty, where’s that diamond stud
of his? And all his papers? I'd bet-
ter take charze of ’em at once.”
“I don’t know,” said Kitty, thankful
that the mention of the papers enabled
her to speak truly. “The lawyer—"
“Lawyers cost money,” said Peter.
“I'm lawyer enough, and I’m the na-
tural heir. Paul was nothing but an
old miser—rnever helped nobody but
himgelf. If he could, he'd took his
money with him, he would. And I
mean to find that diamond if—"
“You shall not touch a thing !” cried
Kitty, as Peter began to open the draw-
ers of the ancient mahogany desk in the
corner and pry around in various direc-
tions. “He was good to me, and I
won’t have his wishes disregarded |”
“I’m bound to have that stud,” said
Peter, “or I’ll know the reason why 1”
“And I'm dead and can’t interfere |’
thought poor Paul.
“Sitdown I” said Peter Penflax, «I
ain’t goin’ to be domineered over by no
woman! That diamond stud is here,
and I’m the next kin—sit down, T say,
or I'll choke you like you was a
chicken!” .
“Oh, if Owen French were here!”
gasped Kitty, wringing her hands,
“Let go my throat! You burt me!
“Let go her throat or TIl be the
death of you!” brawled a voice behind
Peter Penflax; and the interlsper jump-
ed back to behold the yellow visage and
flannel bed-gown to match of the sup-
posed dead man close to him.
“What's them bells? said Paul
“The old South Church ringing in the
New Year! And I am not dad!
Then I shan’t die this year, the Lord be
praised! Get out of this, Peter Penflax!
You ain’t heic to my diamond stud yet,
and I don’t mean you shall be! T'm
powerfnl drowsy, and my legs feel like
cracked pipe-stems; but I’m as live as
ever I was! Getout, I say!”
“Your a ghost,” smd Peter,
ghosts have no legal rights.”
“I’m alive!” retorted Paul. “Kitty,
hand me the tongs! Yes, I thought
that would scatter Lim. And the old
clock stopped at eleven, did it ? Every-
thing’s combined agin the Penflax fate,
I do believe. And now, Kitty, help me
back to bed, and give me a swallow of
my tonic! It’s there on the table!”
No, Cousin Penflax, it isn’t,” said
Kitty. “Tbis is the laudanum liniment
for your back 1”
Paul Pentax opened and shut his
mouth like a piece of newly invented |
“The laudanum liniment !”” said he.
“That accounts for it! Owen French |
i diamond, after all!
| live another year I may as well be com.
| fortable about it”
gave me a big dose of it last night— |
reckoned it was the tonic! It must!
have put me dead asleep, and I supposed |
of course I was dead! But I wasn't, |
I was alive enough to come to your res- i
cue, Kitty | And you shall have the!
You've earned it!
my girl! Put wood on the fire, Set’
the clock going. Fetch on that chick- ;
en stew you told me about. If I'm to
But after that night Paul left off talk.
ing about the Penflax doom. He died
‘comfortably in his bed, some xhere in
August, that year; but previous to this
he sold the big diamond stud and divid- |
ed the proceeds equally between his cous- |
in Kitty and the widow down on Bev-
erick Beach. His room is empty now,
and the old clock in the corner has
never ticked a tick since that New
“I’ve brought you a fresh supply of |
To's |
the big cherry-wood clock, where the
My tonic, please, I need all the strength
Paul Penflax shut his eyes and medi- |
Year's eve when it stopped at eleven |
“I declare,” said Kitty French—for
' she married Owen and settled down in
her inherited home by that time—¢[
don’t know which I miss most—the old
clock or Cousin Paul!’
! And Peter, the miser, has never once:
left off railing at bis destiny.
Sitting Bull's Career.
Sitting Bull, the most noted Indian
since Black Hawk, was between 56 and
, 58 years of age. His father was Jump-
| ing Bull, a warrior of no particalar
| prominence, except for his position at
| the head of one of the innumerable
factions of the Sioux nation. Up to
‘his 14th year Sitting Bull had been
called the Sacred Stand, but when he
“had killed and scalped a young buck
{ about his own age his name was chang-
"ed to Tattanka-Yan-Tanka, orin En-
glish the name which he now bears.
Before he reached his 15th year he
' began those traits which afterward
| made him a terror. He was lazy and
| vicious, and never told the truth when
a lie would serve better. But he was
| fearless under all circumstances, a mag-
nificent rider, an accurate shot and ca-
pable of enduring an extraordinary
amount of fatigue.
It was not until after the close of the
| war of the rebellion that Sitting Bull
began to attract any attention. In 1867
he was known as a “Blanket warrior”
by the soldiers at Fort Buford, on the
Missouri River, and one who despised
| the whites. General Morrow was in
| command of the fort, and in 1868 or
| 1869, when numerous depredations oc-
curred Sitting Bull was accused. He
denied the charge, and not long after
one of his men was killed. He
| charged that the killing was unprovoked
rand made a demand for some sort of a
settlement, displaying such powers of
argument that General Morrow piled
up blankets on the dead Indian until
the chief declared himself satisfied.
This e)ncession drew around him some
of the holder members of the tribe, who
had before held aloof. From that day
forward Sitting Bull became a great
chief among his people. He began at
once to display a deliberative turn of
mind altogether at variance with his
previous character. In a few months
his perspicacious view of events became
so well known that he held every buck
in the tribe under bis thumb, and those
who had been bold enough to consider
themselves possible rivals were heard of
no more. As soon as he felt that his
power was absolute he gave orders to
strike camp and go down to Yellowstone
River. Sitting Bull set up a claim to
all the land for forty rods on both sides
of the Yellowstone and all its tributa-
In the latter part of 1875 a party of
£fty white men from Montana invaded
Sitting Bull's territory and built a fort.
The chief ordered them to leave and en-
forced the demand by killing one of the
party. Then Sitting Bull put the fort
under fire, and there were desultory at-
tacks daily, lasting through the months
of Decemberfand January. Six white
mer: were killed and eight wounded.
Five hundred warriors surrounded the
fort, and their i persistent patience soon
convinced the besieged that the intention
was to starve them to death. Two of
the imprisoned men managed to reach
Fort Ellis, and re-enforcements were
sent to the besieged. Sitting Bull with-
drew, but after the fort was evacuated
the Sioux chief had the bodies of six
men dug from their shallow graves and
The story of the Custer massacre, in
June, 1876, has been told again and
again, but to this day no person can tell
just what part Sitting Bull took in that
fearful scene of carnage, although it is
pretty certain that he was the leader in
it. Sitting Bull himself was evasive
and ambiguous. After he became a
show Indian, and posed as a relic of the
mighty aborgine in Sunday schools and
on lecture platforms, the old rascal sim-
ply went back to his boyhood habit of
lying, and blandly explained that he
wasn’t responsible for the killing, and
really knew nothing of it. The public
is familiar with his part in the recent
Indian troubles.
An Early Spring Predicted.
Coester county’s eminent weather
prophet, J. Williams Thorne, has writ-
ten his usual weather predictions for
the winter, according to his “Lunar
Cycle Rule,” and the Village Record has
printed it. The interesting portion of
the predicticn is contained in the fol-
lowing :
“The winter of 1890-91 will be a mod-
erate one, with about three weeks of
good sleighing. Tce will be sufficiently
abundant to furnish a full supply in
eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The navigation of the Delaware, at
Philadelphia, will be obstructed with
ice buttemporarily, ifatall, In Ches%
ter county the thermometer will but
rarely’indicate a temperature at or be-
low zero. The spring will be of mors
than average earliness. The summer
following will be sufficiently warm and
moist to make good crops of grain and
hay generally. Apples, pears, peaches
and cherries will be more than usually
BE ——
Seven Babies in Two Years.
Mrs. Blume of Pittsburg, Beats All
Fecundity Records.
PrressurG, Dee. 14.—Mrs. Joseph
Blume, of No. 220 Frauklin street, Al-
legheny City, has astonished her neigh-
bors and her husband during the past
two years by givingbirth to seven child-
ren in that time. Within the last few
days Mrs. Blume has presented her hus-
band with triplets, plump, healthy
youngsters, two boys and a girl.
Not quite a year ago the Blume fam-
ily was blessed by the birth of twins,
and during the preceding twelve months.
{ Mrs. Blume gave birth to her two first
babies. The triplets and their prolific
mother are doing well. The Yabies are
described as chipper. Mrs. Blume 1s a
woman of ordinary build.
—————— ————
They are cutting a good deal of ice
down in Maine nowadays. Maine pa-
pers declare that it is very fine ice, re-
markably clear and sound. There is
every indication of a big crop.