Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, December 25, 1896, Image 3

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    Democratic; Watchman
There's a little old man with silvery hair,
An’ a long white beard at flies ‘in the air;
With twinklin® black eyes an’ a rosy, red face,
An’ onc’t a year he comes to our place.
An’ our little maid
An’ our little man
Ez anxious to see 'im soon's they can!
In the dead 0’ night when all's asleep,
An’ the cold frost snaps in the snow ez deep
With a reindeer tean an’ a silver sled
He comes straight from fairyland, ‘tis said ;
So our little man
An’ our little maid
Ez anxious to see 'im—they ain't afraid !
But you better take keer, fer some folks say
*At ef yer naughty he'll fly away ;
An’ quicker’n you kin whistle—phew !
Away he's gone up the chimney flue!
So our little maid
An’ our little man
Ez tryin’ to be jest ez good's they can!
But ef your good an’ "bey ver pa,
An’ don't never cry an’ vex your ma,
He'll fill yer stockin's with games an’ toys,
An’ nuts an’ sweets an’ all sorts o’ joys.
So our little maid
An’ our little man
Wants Santy to come jes as quick's he can!
—New York Sun.
The passengers on the through train were
all more or less interested when they saw,
waiting at the little rustic station, a half
dozen double sleighs, each with its pranc-
ing horses, and one larger one with four
black beasts, which the master himself had
in hand, into which the gay group that had
half filled a car were hurried, rolled in bear
skins to the chin, and then all swept swift-
ly away, tothe jingling of bells. ‘The
house warming of some young millionaire,”
the conductor said to those that asked.
And then the sleighers heard the two sharp
whistles as the engine plunged across a
highway, and neither the people in the
train nor the gay people out of it thought
of one another again.
But there were two people in the sleighs
not quite so gay as the rest. Don Hollis-
ter had carried his hurt a good while, and
the other—well, pretty Polly Templeton
knew best what she had to be sorry for;
the red dyed her cheek ina more vivid
stain than the frosty air could give as she
saw Don Hollister’s eyes resting a moment
upon her. But it was Elise Bonney, their
chaperon, who had indicated her place,and
the groom had moun‘el her there out
of hand, beside Don on the high seat of the
big sleigh. It occurred to Polly to wonder
what Elise Bonuey thought, for all her
tinkling laugh, when seeing this splendid
Don Hollister, holding his four-in-hand
like the charioteer of an Olympic race, and |
then looking at the pale starveling of a |
man beside her whom she had chosen to |
marry—chosen, some said, because his re-
fined and scholarly character had charmed
her ; chosen, others said, because, although
a clergyman, he could afford not to preach,
having been born heir to the Bellington |
and Bingley Railroad, with all its rev- |
enues, which meant for Elise a palace in a!
mountain park and a house in town, where
she was regiuant over witand worth and
wealth. |
But it was only a moment’s thought |
with Polly. Don was busy with his horses |
who appeared to have some idea of flying,
as they leaped and plunged and stood up
in their traces ; the next moment the last |
time she had heen beside Don Hollister |
flashed before her.” It was in the foyer!
during one of the interminable waits of
the opera. He had come and asked her to |
go out, and she had risen, in spite of her |
atep-mother’s frown—the more quickly, |
perhaps, for Mrs. Templeton’s hurried |
whisper, ‘‘He meant Elise, not you!” She |
knew by the color that swept over the face !
of Elise, sitting on her other hand, that she |
also had heard ; and it was not till they |
were standing aside and letting the pro- |
cession go by, while she sipped her iced |
water, that she looked up and said : *‘Now
you have been very kind, and I have had
a breath of air, and we will go back, and
you shall take out Elise, for I know you!
meant to ask her all the time. But the |
fact is, the air was so close I had to take!
the chance—"'
“The fact 1s nothing of the sort,” said
Don. ‘‘The fact is that you are as inac-
cessible as a Grand Llama. And it does
me good to take you out directly under
Mamma Templeton’s eyes— How are you
Berkeley ?"’
“I don’t know what Mamma Templeton
has ever done to yon,” said Polly, pouting
into her fan, for Mr. Berkeley had looked
round at them, and so had Rosamond Beale,
they passed.
*‘Do you not? All the same I bear no
enmity. It is quite true I am not her pat-
tern of a desirable purti—a young broker
making his commissions. How can she tell |
you on what day a Incky deal may—She |
doesn’v believe in lucky deals ? Nor yqu, !
aon plus. Why, let me tell you, there fre
as many currants of luck and ill luck as
there are of cold air and warm air. And I
am in one of the lucky currents. I keep
in it, too—straight sailing. You do not be-
lieve it?’ he said, returning the glass
and going along beside her. ‘‘Mrs. Tem-
pleton’s frown is proof to the contrary?
But what do I care for Mrs. Templeton’s
frown ?”’ his voice very low, but close be-
side her ear as he bent his head. ‘‘You do
not frown on me."’
The color flamed over Polly’s face, so
that she had to stoop and adjust the ribbon
of her slender shoe and let the posture ex-
cuse the blush. “I think,”” she said,
straightening herself with a pretty hauteur
‘“‘we will go back now.” .
‘Oh no, I think not.
scrape of a fiddle yet.
deal more to say.”
“If you please, I will go back.”’
“Then I shall say it on the way.”
“What good does it do you to talk so?"
half under her breath.
“All the good in the world !—Fine house
again,” as Tom Perkins stopped to speak
to them. ‘‘Eames in great shape to-night.
Seen Calve? In Mrs. Houghton’s box,
down the left? Black and pink.—All the
the good in the world !”” as Mr. Perkins
took himself off.
‘‘Have you seen Calve ?”’ asked Polly.
‘No, I have not. Iasked him if he had.
I see something infinitely more delighttul
to me to look at, and you know it!"
‘But if you please, Don—"’
“Yes? I please anything, Polly, when
you speak so.”’
“Oh the orchestra are taking their places!
Don’t you Bear! See; every one is go-
ing in.”
‘All the better. One can breathe a free
breath,’’ said Don, planting himself against
There isn’t the
And I have a great
| her back her seat ou the other side of Polly.
a // J
A enacralic
“Nol. 11
BELLEFONTE, PA., DEC. 25 1896.
the wall, and taking her fan as if he were
examining the painting, but bending his
keen glance over it and upon her. ‘‘You
are guarded so like blue china, and you
will be forbidden to speak to me after we
go back, and it is now or never with me,
Pauline.” :
“It will have to be never,’”’ said Polly,
looking down, and very white.
‘‘Great heavens, Polly! You are going
to faint !”’ he exclaimed.
“No. I am not,”’ she said, getting her-
self together with an effort. ‘Why should
I faint—"’
“Be:ause Dolly darling—because your
heart is stronger than your will—"’
“People faint only with weak
hearts. No, no, Don, don’t be foolish. Oh,
the curtain is going up—"’
“All right—"’
“We shall miss tne scene !"’
*‘Well, the scene is here. and your part
is to tell me here now if you aregoing to
marry Mr. Goldmarck—"’
.*You have no right to ask me! ”’
“Every right ! The right of the love I
“You can’t say I haven’t tried to prevent
your saying this ?"’
*‘I don’t intend to say anything about it.
But I can’t endure the life you lead me any
“The life I lead you !"’ Exclaimed Polly,
still in their undertone. ‘‘And I should
lead you a better one if—'"
“If you agreed to find life with love bet-
ter than life with a thousand useless lux-
uries—"’ :
“But I am used to the luxuries. I don’t
know how todo without them. If—oh,
if—"’ her cheeks a rosy red.
‘‘then you admit it all, Polly ?"’
“I admit nothing—give me my fan,
please—except that I am a worldling. Oh,
I know it,”’ retreating before his joyous ac-
cent. “But I can’t do without the carriage
and servantsand dinners and dances. All
the love in the world won't buy season
tickets to this place—"’
‘‘Beastly place, anyway !”
“Won't buy gowns—Ilike this- -a fan like_|
‘But you have the fan alreac ,.”’
‘‘Never to have another ! Oh, really, it is
quite absurd, our losing the music so !”
‘No. If yousaid what I believe is in
your heart it would be infinitely sweeter
music to me. It ought to be as sweet to
you to hear me say T love you—" |
For a moment a passionate glow suffused |
Polly’s great gay eyes, lifted to meet his |
own ; the swift glow of a tender smile
swept over her face. ‘‘Oh, it isn’t fair,”’
she said. “with this heavenly love-music
going on I"! ;
“It might be heavenly love music all our
lives 1’
“It could not be Romeo and Juliet very
often. And I really must go back—I don’t
know what mamma will say !”’ And she
began to move forward so rapidly that per-
force he had to join her.
“We can’t go down now,’’ he said, “in
the middle of the scene, unless we want
the house to rise at us. You will have to be
patient with me a few moments more. I
am not patient with you when you confess
that the ideal is so unimportant to you, the
material so all in all, that you prefer money
to love."
‘Not money,’ said Pauline, lifting her
head quickly, ‘‘but the pleasure that money
‘It is spoken,’’ said Don. ‘‘Remember,’’
he added, presently, ‘‘that money has
‘So has love. There is a song—'' And
she hummed, in self-supporting bravado,
‘“ ‘Love plumes his wings to fly away.’ ”’
And then she began to grow red and redder
under his eyes and their look, half passion,
half contempt ; and in another moment—
who knows ? —she held out her hand—
‘“Thereit is,” said Don. “I think we
may venture.” And he went hurriedly
down with her. “*Mrs. Templeton,” he
said, leaning over, ‘*we have been hearing
the music further out. Not quite up to
Faust, but very sweet. You have no idea
how the sound goes over the head in this
part of the house. Won’t you come and try
it yourself ? These seats are torture-cham-
bers ! And it’s my last chance—I am off,
you know, to Honolulu to-morrow.”” And
Mrs. Templeton rose with much commo-
tion, giving this one and that a cold glare
of recognition ; and when he brought her
down the aisle again Mr. Goldmack gave
It was just then that Mrs. Arlington's voice
rose over the tuning of the fiddles : ‘Yes,
it’s a pity ; she is so charming, and Don is
tremendously epris; and any one can see
she is in love ; and neither of them worth a
penny ! But Elise—"’ And as the fiddles
began to scrape again Polly was struck
with a wild wonder if Don Hollister could
have been acting a part with her out there
in the foyer, and if, after all, it might be
That was all two years ago. Her step-
mother had taken her over seas that spring,
and there had been a gay career at a foreign
court, more than one impecunious prince in-
quiring about her dot, and withdrawing
when told that she had only her step-moth-
er’s good will. And she had come home to
learn that Don Hollister had made a lucky
deal in sugar, and another in P. D. Q.
bonds, and none knew how many more in
State loans, in telephone, in real estate—
caught in a current of luck, in fact, for he
could write his name to six ciphers; and
not the least spoiled—same old Don—first
to put his hand in his pocket, hardest rider
to hounds. And had she heard—it was Tom
Perkins talking—that Goldmack had gone
all to flinders? And wasshe bid to the
house-warming? Don had an old house—
miserly dead and gone uncle’s-—been an
elephant on his hands—the house, not the
uncle. - Some old grandfather bought an
abandoned fort of the government down
the coast, and had built a dwelling-house
on the front, and used the rest for ware-
houses in his West India trade, and others
had built on gables and wings. And now
Don had it restored ; everything the best
old colonial—days of considerable splendor,
you know ; stahles full of thorough-breds,
kennels full of hounds, eld drawing-rooms
tapestried and damasked. Quite a change
for Don.
“Yes,” Polly said, her mother had an
invitation for her, but she had half prom-
ised to be maid of honor at Nanny Dunce's
wedding in Rhode Island, and she rather
‘Of course you will go, Polly” puffed
her step-mother. ‘“There is no rather think
about it. I haye written Mr. Hollister so.
He ought to have asked me too. But Elise
Bonney makes a good chaperon. A very
snitable marriage hers, I hear,” said Mrs.
‘Well, yes, some thought so,” said Tom.
And here she was, on the high seat of the
sleigh, beside Don Hollister ;and the whole
thing had flashed over her before he had
brought his horses down to earth. and they
were sweeping along over the crisp snow,
the wind rushing by them, the sunset dy-
ing out in red, the twilight coming in pur-
ple, here a young new moon, and here a
half-guessed star, and showers of bell-
tones scattering all about. ‘Well,’ said
Don at last, turning to look at her, “‘isn’t
this fine ? Isn’t this better than that close
car? [sn’t this sweeping along on the tail
of a comet—a cold comet? Why, Polly, is
this you 2’
He hadn’t known her, then! He had
forgotten how she looked in these two years!
He hadn’t supposed she would come ! Why
had she? What a fool—she had been to
come! “I wasso busy with the horses,”
he explained. Idon’t know what difference
Christinas weather makes to them. ~ Bug it
seems to make some. You know, there's
a tradition that the beasts in the stalls fall
on their knees at the first cock-crow in the
Christmas night. You are shivering. Not
half enoagh wraps, coming out of that
steaming Pullman. We will take the short
cut of the bay road.” And aware that he
was talking against time, ina nervous
dread of his dropping his reius—of any-
thing, everything—she stammered out that
she was warm, too warm, and how lovely it
was—sunset and twilight and moonligat
and starlight, perfection of all the hours in
one ; and what superb horses—black Has-
sans, every one; and how good this
wind was, and this motion. And
she thought to herself the drive would
never end, and wished to goodness
she had n«ver come, and could not have
told if she were in the middle of her pre-
sentdtion to Qneen Margarita or of the
storm she had encountered at sea, when
the grooms jumped down and began run-
ning along beside the horses, the gates
were thrown open, and they drew up where
brick and stone and timber were mingled
in a low pile of picturesque outline upon
the darkening sky, lights and flres blazing
from windows, and ‘*Welcoue to the Old
Fort I’ Don said, as he lightly swang her
down, and was gone to receive the rest of
the laughing and exclaiming party.
“Isn’t it all as I'said 2” asked Tom Per-
kins, as they stood in the great hall, trans-
formed by the Christmas green into a hem-
lock forest, with here an antler reaching
out of it, and here a mailed hand and arm,
and looked down room after room with
blazing fires, wich flower-laden tables, and
far beyond, as a heavy curtain swayed and
parted, with glitter of gold and silver ves-
sels. Servants were passing round some
hot cup of greeting, and Elise Bonney, tear-
ing off her gloves, was already hrewing tea
at a little table inside the mantel of the
great chimney. Don himself stood before
Polly with a cup, saying, I must bring you
the first thing that passes your lips in this
house.”” And then, still half dazed, she was
with the rest flocking up the broad low
stairs, and in her room alone at last look-
ing out on a steely stretch of starlit sea
close at hand, half without seeing it, and
wholly wishing she had delied her step-
mother and staid at homa.
The fire un her hearth was crackling ;
her box was unstrapped ; a maid came to
offer help. The tolling of the hell-buoy on
the reef startled her. Presently she heard
them flocking down the stairs again. What
were they going to wear? She opened her
door a crack tosee. Yes, that was Elise
Bonney in a low black waist, a black chif-
fon boa half hiding her snowy neck and
her diamonds. Then she could wear her
white one, only half as low, and her little
white ostrich-feather cape. And while she
hurried she wondered why the sight of
Elise Bouncy was so vexing— why Elise
was down here anyway. The bells of a
church in the town a mile away came
down the wind, ringing the peal for Christ-
mas eve ; the bell-buoy on the reef seemed
to mock and mock them with curious spite,
in tune with her feeling regarding that
look in Elise’s face ; she remembered Mrs.
Arlington’s gossip ; she wondered, as
many a time before, if Don had been play-
ing in those old days, that night in the
foyer ; if Elise had chosen the diamonds
and let the love go, if she had had a chance
to do so—they seemed on such terms. And
while the bell pealed insistently on the
frosty air, its message of good-will began
to prick her conscience for ill-feeling,- and
her conscience became as unruly as her
usual emotions. She forgot she had dis-
missed Mr. Goldmarck. It is you,’’ she
exclaimed to the girl in the glass, tossing
up her dark hair, cheeks red as an autumn
leaf, eyes glittering like the stars outside—
‘it was you who chose the diamonds, who
sold yourself for a mess of pottage and
never got it !”’ And then, the parish bells
coming again, she stayed her thoughts,
and in a humbler frame said a little prayer
to be delivered from evil, and went down
as calm as Polly Templeton of old, and a
trifle more magnificent, and she presently
found herself beside Dr. Bonney at the
table, at whose head sat Don, with Elise
Bouney and Mrs. Applethorpe on his right
and left ; and when she observed that she
sat directly opposite Mr. Hollister, at first
she thought it was an accident of the cards,
and then a stupid joke of Tom Perkins’s,
and then that at a round table, and such a
huge round table, it might have no signi-
ficance ; and angry with herself for notic-
ing it at all, she turned to Dr. Bonney
with the sweetest interest in his remarks
concerning frozen oxygen,and never glanced
at Don, and had no idea 1f she were eating
terrapin or mutton. But now and then
Don’s voice rose across the murmur of the
other voices. ‘‘Yes,’’ she heard him say,
‘‘the place is honeycombed with under-
ground passages and cells, except the more
recent parts. There were chambers to
store powder, with long narrow corridors,
and these the old forefather who bought
the fort made use of and extended—con-
duct explainable only on the supposition,
smuggler with a monopoly of the busi-
‘Monopolies early in the family,” said
Tom Perkins.
“Some of the corridors run out under the
sea—whether to blow up hoats of enemies’
ships, or whether a way of escape—for they
are said to make out as far as the reef of
the bell-buoy—"’
“We have never thoroughly examined
them. I should get lost in them myself.
They will be walled up solidly by-and-by ;
but a man can’t do everything at once.’
“This is delightful,” said Elsie.
‘‘How very interesting!’ cried Mabel
Palmer. “Why, we’re not safe in our
beds !?
“Oh, I think so,’’ said Don.
‘Oh, how I should like to explore them !
sighed Mabel.
“Why not?” asked Harry Boylston.
‘Oh, nonsense !”’ said Don. ‘“We have
something better to do.”
“You can’t have,” cried Mabel. “I
move we adjourn to-the underground pas-
“The motion is seconded and carried,”
said Harry.
**No, no, no,” said Don. “I vetoit. I
veto it. Itisall a folly. No, no.”
“Now, Mr. Hollister.” said Mabel, “I
“I really think we shall have to organ-
ize an exploring party,’’ said Mrs. Apple-
“And then a relief party,” said Mr. Hol-
“For my part,”’ said Mrs. Bonney, “I
will hold the fort above stairs.”
And Polly said nothing. But when the
gay party had disappeared with lanterns
and torches, the dignified Bullion and the
superior footmen leading the way, she re-
mained sitting beside the hall fire with
‘It was so nice that
said Elsie, presently.
What affair was that of hers, Polly
asked herself. And before she could con-
trol ber tongue she had answered, ‘but
one would have supposed you were to be
the mistress here to welcome us!”
“1?! suid Elsie. ‘Why in the world
should one suppose that ? Why, I was en-
gaged to Dr. Bonney—""
‘Before I went away ?”’
“Of course I was. To the best, the—"’
“Why, Polly Templeton, I believe—I
really—I declare—I ought to shake you !”’
she said, laughing. ‘So you suppose I
don’t _love my husband with my whole
heart! Why, I always have. There!”
*Aud not—"’
‘Stop, stop, stop, Poily, before I get so
angry 1 shall never speak to’ you again.
Don Hollister, indeed, with Roland Bonny
in the world! Why, what’s the matter
with you Polly ?"
**‘Oh. nothing, nothing,”’ said Polly.
“Only I didn’t mean to come. But mam-
ma hurried me off co I hadn’t a chance—"’
“Why, there's Don himself! I thought
you were miles underground !”’
“Not I. With a warm fire and lovely
ladies besides it, to spend my Christmas eve
in subterranecous seclusion ! They won’t go
far. Oh, I knew they’d go. But I had
the lamps hung along the first passages,
and I told Bullion to keep to the left and
bring them back on a circle—"’
“Oh !? said Polly springing to her feet.
“If I had known that ! I thought it would
you could come,”’
be so dark and so far—’’ And she
flashed across the hall to the door
through which = Don had come, where
a flight of stairs with lanterns hung along
the walls was disclosed, and gathered up
her skirts and disappeared.
“What possesses the girl ?”’ cried Elsie,
and ran in pursuit.
“What possesses both of you?’ cried
Don, following. ‘‘Where are you? Re-
member keep to the left !”’
Polly heard him. But she had now
wrought herself up to such a hysterical
pitch with the idea that Don Hollister
would think she had come down there,
now the outlook had changed, to give him
another chance, that she would not have
been sorry if an earthquake had come and
extinguished every lamp in these dreadful
galleries. Why hadn’t she known—why
hadn’t she thought? and then she never
dreamed the old charm of personality could
be so strong! As she heard him come
springing after them she saw the dark arch
of another passage and stepped into it,
and with her hand on the wall ran a half
dozen yards that he might run by and miss
the glimmer of her white gown. And she
had turned a corner without knowing it;
and, looking back over her shoulder, there
was no light to be seen—nothing but
pitchy blackness.
She stood still a moment, trying to take
her bearing, to think just how much she
had turned, just how many steps she had
taken ; it could be but few. She turned
again, and groped her way—no, it must be
to the left—he said the left ; she would re-
gain the main passage and be in the hall
when they came back. And she took a
dozen steps more, and paused, and veered
unawares, and went on a little farther, and
suddenly a wall seemed to be closed be-
hind her—she heard no sound. And all
at once the wall was wet beneath her hand.
She stopped short, with a new terror.
There was a sound all about her—singing
in her ears, a low regular rhythm, a muffled
beating of surf : it was the ooze of the sea
under her hand—the house was close upon
the brink, and this was one of the long sea
galleries ! And there came another sound—
the boom of a bell, droning, heavy close at
hand and far away—mystical terrible ! Oh,
what a Christmas bell, what a Chrismas
eve! If at any moment this roof of wet rock
should crash in she would drown like
a rat in a hole.
She stood stone-still, not daring to stir,
a thousand fears clutching at her heart
-——the slimy thing her foot might fall on,
the evil apparition of the long dead smug-
glers, the overwhelming sense that she was
lost and would perish there. Hadn’t he
said they had never thoroughly examined
the place? She was faint and dizzy —she
was going to drop—no, no, no, she must
not let herself ! She must call up all her
strength. She dared not move, for she
knew not what might be at her feet—what
sea-pool what ledge. She could not move.
She could not breathe. She wondered how
long she had been there—she was so tired
I grieve to say, that he was a first-class | —she seemed to have thought of everything
in her life—she was so young ; she might
have been so happy—oh, what misery !
And then she took heart and opened her
mouth, giving one halloo and another,
that went sailing like bats from roof to
roof of countless caverns. And suddenly
another cry came—a clear call, answering
hers, all confused with echoes : ‘Where are
you?” and then a light and that was Don
himself hurrying towards her. And all
she could to was do put up her two arms
for him to take her like, a child. “My
darling I” he said. “I will never let you
go again!” And when he loosened his
grasp about her it was just before he
reached the vaulted spot where Elise and
Dr. Bonney and old Bullion had stumbled
on one another in their various searching.
And waiting a few moments, Polly vain-
ly trying to gather her wits, still clinging
to Don, half laughing, half sobbing, they
went back to~the hall, where the others
had gathered and Bullion superintended
the filling of a huge loving-cup with some
sweet and spicy draught, to be sipped as
the tower clock tolled twelve.
“I wish you a happy Christmas,’ said
Don, where he stood leaning on the back
of the chair, in whose depths Polly
sat, white and radiant,—‘‘as happy a
Christmas as mine, if that were possible.
Perhaps you did not think I had any pur-~
pose at dinner in placing the lady opposite
myself. It is the place belonging to the
mistress of the house. And afew moments
ago Dr. Bonney, in the presence of witness-
es, made that lady my wife. Polly, I wish
you joy.” And touching the cup to his
lips he passed it to his wile.
The tower clock tolled the half hour in
the middle of the gay congratulations.
“Oh,” exclaimed Polly was [ down there in
the dark only a half hourafter all? I don’t
know when I can hear a bell again without
trembling. That bell buoy—"’
‘It is the most tuneful of all the Christ-
mas bells that ever rung. We will give
the light house board a louder and a better
bell, and have that one hung in the tower
to ring in all Christmases and every happy
day and doing at the Old Fort. You had
better grow used to it, Mrs. Hollister,
for we shall have to keep it ringing all the
time.”’—Harper's Bazar. ’
Her Wish Came True.
An Incident of a Recent Christmas Which May
Be Repeated To-day.
The snow fell in Spruce street as softly
as the kisses of angels drop upon the lips
of a dying saint. It was an ideal Christ-
mas morning—as white almost as the man-
tle of purity that wrapved the occupants of
Eden before the great transgression.
Inside the house every arrangement for
a joyous holiday had cvidently been made.
An emerald tree, upen which a thousand
articles of varying size sparkled in the some-
what subdued light, stood in the centre of
the room. Wreaths of holly were in a
dozen nooks and corners, and some deft
hand had twined fir and evergreen into fes-
toons whose grotesque shadows gave a
weird appearance to the room. Half-hid-
den by the bending branches of the tree
stood a comical figure of Santa Claus, the
patron saint of every Christmas delight.
The mistletoe had not been forgotterf
either. “Everybody who is caught under
it will be kissed,”’ said the sweet voiced
woman who stood upon the table to sus-
pend it from the high chandelier; ‘‘the
children and husband with the rest. And
possibly some one will kiss me too.”” A
Bible lay open on the mantel, at the story
of the Wise Men and the Star.
And still the air of the house did not
seem in exact keeping with the festive en-
vironment. The shutters, instead of being
flung wide open so as to adinit the reassur-
ing sun, were partially drawn and bowed.
The wax tapers on the tree looked in vain
for the kindling match. Not one of the
gifts, each bearing the prospective recipi-
ent’s name with the season’s greeting from
the donor, had been disturbed. The min-
iature fountain at the tree, which had
played musically the night before, was
now as mute as a stone. It was as if some
creating power had fashioned an exquisite
image hut had forgotten to endow it with
the breath of life. More beautiful, bec tuse
of its seasonableness and suggestion, than
Galatea at her loveliest ; it was on account
of the absence of the vital spark, more in-
animate, more ominous and more chilling.
The nurse came in with the three little
tots, but in the presence of some dread in-
fluence they could not open their lips,
Neither the figure of Santa Claus nor the
bead work on the trees aroused their enthu-
siasm. The dolls stared at them with wide
open eyes, but the appeals were futile
Behind the group stood the dark figure of a
man, about whose eyes still darker circles
were seen. The animate and inanimate
objects in the room were in accord. Both
were pathetic in their despair.
The snow outside fell as softly as the
kisses of angels upon the lips ofa dying
saint, folding the earth in a mantle as fine
as that which wrapped the occupants of
Eden before the great transgression, but
there was no Christmas cheer within. Be-
tween the moment that the midnight stars
blazed more brightly in reiteration of their
holiday message, and the rising of the sun
that not even the snowflakes could hide,
the sweet-voiced woman whose deft hands
had twined the evergreen and fir, and sus-
pended the mistletoe in the air, had sighed
just once and begun her long journey
alone. Her presentiment had ébme true.
Some one—Death—sweet angels—had kiss-
ed her as she stood under the mistletoe.
——The White House will not be tee-
totally dry under the new administration.
The whine of the oflice-seeker will abound.
Don’t give your husband a pair of
Jace curtains unless you wish him to recip-
rocate by giving you a new shaving stand.
Coats are worn longer thali usual.
This is not a fashion note. It’s an indica-
tion of hard times.—Philadelphia Record.
——Now comes the merry time of year
When boys on fish-horns toot
An | grown up folks not fur from here
Spawls from the Keystone.
—A switch engine killed aged Mrs. John
Carey, a coal picker, at Plymouth.
—The President has appointed A. J. Mo
Quiston are postmaster at Saltsburg.
—Berks county, which a century ago had
2000 Quaker residents, now has less than 50.
—J. D. Franklin, of Sedalia, Mo., was
awarded to York county mail route con-
-—President Dolan expects all miners of the
Pittsburg districts to be in line next week
accepting the 60-cent rate.
—Franklin county will have a great fair
next year if the enthusiasm at a preliminary
meeeting in Chambersburg is a criterion.
—Fifteen imrrisoned drunkards at Read-
mg have petitioned the mayor to shorten
their sentences so they can enjoy Christmas.
—For murderous assault on Henry McCoy
at Hagerstown, Md., Thomas Bird and
Charles Turner, colored, have been arrested
at Columbia.
—Trinity Lutheran church, Chambers-
burg, has called to its pulpit Rev. J. Henry
Harms, of Savannah, Ga., who has accepted
the call.
—John Fetterman, of Banks township, In-
diana county, had several ribs broken and
sustained other injuries froma log rolling
on him.
—Young Vincenzo Friezo died at Beth-
lehem of wounds accidentally inflicted by
his friends, Benedetto Safliero, while out
gunnir g.
—In the icy Allegheny river at Pittshurg
15 colored converts were baptized, and one
of them, a woman, fainted when she return-
ed to the shore.
—Burglars blew open the safe at Samuel
Swartz’s creamery at Spring Grove, near
York, and secured about $11. The explosion
wrecked the office.
—Abraham §. Whitman, of Reading, whe
began work on the Jefferson Democrat im
1838, celebrated the seventy-sixth anniver-
sary of his birth on Monday.
—In a fit of absent-mindcdness and ap-
parently half asleep, Mrs. Calvin Garlick
walked against a moving freight train at
Carlisle on Monday and was nearly killed.
—Mother McCloskey, of Farmington town-
ship, Clarion county, is probably the oldess
living person in Pennsylvania, and one of
the oldest in the state. Like most persons
who lived to be very old, she is of Irish par-
centage. ’
—At Big Run, Jefferson county, Saturday
afternoon, William Britton, an Englishman,
was stabbed to death by an Italian during »
quarrel at the hotel in that place. After he
killed the man, the Italian fled, and has not
yet been captured. 5
—A 17-year-old boy named Welleroth has
been dismissed from the Williamsport schools
for practicing hypnotism on the other schol-
ars, with demoralizing effect. Welleroth dis-
covered his hypnotic power during Prof.
Day’s stay in that city. :
—Rev. John H.;Prugh, of Pittsburg, has
been appointed one of 50 clergymen to visit
Mujor McKinley at Canton, O., on December
30 and urge him to be careful to appoint the
best ministers and consuls to fields where
there are Christian foreign missions.
—Clinton G. Hancock, the well knowe
general passenger agent of the Philadelphia
and Reading railroad company, died at
Philadelphia Sunday night of rheumatism of
the heart. He had been in the employ of
the Reading company for thirty years.
—Rev. C. S. Long and Rev. Mr. Cooper im-
mersed five converts in the Bald Eagle creek
at Flemington, Friday evening. The im-
mersion was witnessed by a large crowd of
people. The baptized converts are the re-
sult of the revival services that have been im
progress in Flemington for several weeks.
—Bertha Roderman, a pretty young miss,
aged 19, was arrested at McGee's Mills, Clear-
field county, Friday, while on her journey
from Punxsutawney to Altoona, in search of
a lover who had deserted her. Before leav-
ing Punxsutawney shoe stole fifteen dollars
from her mistress and also took a suit of
clothes from an inmate of the house. She
then had her hair cropped short, put on the
male attire and started on her journey. The
girl broke down when arrested and confessed
that she was a girl instead of the fashionable
young man that she looked.
—One evening last week, Preston Sipes, of
Licking Creek township, Fulton county,
turned one of his cows into the garden to eat
the loose cabbage leaves which were there.
Shortly after turning her in they noticed she
dead. William Vallance skinned the animal
and upon investigating the cause of her death
found sixteen inches of the I'utt of a buggy
whip in her throat. As there were no tooth
marks on the part of the whip swallowed, it
is a mystery how it got there. Some are in-
clined to think it was run down her throat
by an evil disposed person.
—In the report of railway statistics
appears the statement that therc were
thirty-two passengers killed on the
street railways in the State during the
year ended June 30th last. The number of
passengers killed on the steam railways op-
erating in Pennsylvania with a mileage of
over 19,000 was only 37. On the street rail-
ways in the United States there were more
than three times as many passengers killed
as employes, while on the steam railways
there were thirteen times as many empl yes
killed as passengers. These figures indicate
that the danger to employes on street rail-
ways is much less than on steam railways,
while the danger to passengers is much
—Another terrible warning against child-
ren playing with or around fires comes from
Beverdale, a small village near Mt. Carmel.
A few days ago the 4-year-old daughter of
William Morgan was standing near a fire of
chips that had been thrown on hot ashes
which had been emptied on the ground by a
neighbor. The child’s dress caught fire and
in a moment she was enveloped in flames,
and despite the efforts of a 2 and a 6-year-old
brother, they were unable to quench the
flames, and then notified their parents, bus
before they arrived on the scene the little
girl was so badly burned that she dicd at five
o'clock the next morning, after suffering un-
told agony. Her body, from head to foot,
was s0 badly blistered that it was almost im-
pussible to remove the child to her home, the
Begin to resolute.
pain being so intense. hie
would not eat, and in a short time she was