Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, August 22, 1919, Image 2

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

"Bellefonte, Fa.,, August 22, 1919.
Keep pushing, ’tis wiser
Than sitting aside,
And dreaming and singing,
And waiting the tide.
In life's earnest battle
4 They only prevail
Who daily march onward
And never say fail!
With an eye ever open,
A tongue that’s not dumb,
And a heart that will never
To sorrow succumb—
You’ll battle and conquer,
Though thousands assail;
How strong and how mighty
‘Who never say fail!
In life’s rosy morning,
In manhood’s firm pride
Let this be your motto
Your footsteps to guide,
4 In storm and in sunshine,
3 Whatever assail,
We'll onward and conquer,
And never say fail!
Forbes’ Magazine.
It was mid-afternoon of a vivid
April day in the year 1850. Along
the wooded shore of the St. John’s
River the sunlight, falling through
masses of brilliant green foliage, cast
light upon a world voluptuously deck-
ed and blossomed; for this was in
Florida, where the spring comes
swiftly, in a storm of color, and where
April is a child with full breasts.
Even the distinctive Spanish moss,
which makes the landscape drip and
gives to nature the quality of a dry-
point etching, had taken a softer tone
of gray, and was like a virgin’s dra-
pery, half concealing, half adorning
the beauty now approaching the mo-
ment of its bridal adventure.
Upon the bank of the stream—
which the Indians called “strange,”
because it flowed north—stood, in a
templing grove of live-oak trees, a
stately white-pillard house, whose
broad portico overlooked a rank green
lawn. Beyond the house, and across
a bright extent of flower-garden,
showed the slave quarters, an exten-
sive cluster of buildings in which liv~
ed some two hundred blacks, nor
counted their lot an unhappy one; for
they were the property of a man who
considered that harshness to an in-
ferior was as unbecoming the tenets
of a gentleman as servility to an
In the distance, as far as the eye
could see, extended the peach and or-
ange groves, the broad fields of sugar-
cane, of indigo, of cotton—all belong-
ing to Colonel Philip Gardiner, ex-
soldier of the Seminole wars and the
lordliest planter in northern Florida,
whose five thousand acres stretched
for miles’ along the river-front; whose
house was filled with mahogany fur-
niture, oil-paintings, fine linen and
rare silver fetched from England by
former Gardiners, and whose youth-
ful Spanish wife was the most beau-
tiful woman in the country. One
would have said that here was a man
doomed to a veritable monotony 3
good fortune; for there is no drama
in magnificence. But Colonel Philip
had a weakness. He loved the hazard
of the game-table with the ardor of
one in whose veins flowed the blood
of adventurers and pioneers. Preiod-
ically, he would betake himself to
town, and, in company with divers
congenial spirits, would indulge in a
poker game whose proportions were
nothing short of epic.
On the aftrenoon mentioned, in the
shadow of the dock that reached from
the lawn’s edge to the clear water,
floated the Colonel’s private dugout—
a craft hewn from a single cypress
log, some thirty-five feet long by
three feet wide. Seated in the dugout
and lolling on their oars were six gi-
gantic negroes, three to a side, who
laughed and conversed in lazy, mu-
sical voices, while keeping an expec-
tant watch upon the shore. One who
had been chewing a piece of seed-cane
spat out the white pith, displaying a
set of teeth whiter still, and in a deep
bass voice sang:
“Yalligater sunnin’ in a cypress bog,
Long come a nigger en fell off de log.
‘Whar dat nigger now ?”’
And the five others, in z doleful
chant, repeated the refrain:
“Whar dat nigger now ?”’
Suddenly, however, the inquiry
concerning the fate of the incautious
nigger ceased and decorum settled
upon the boat’s crew. Down the steps
of the house and across the lawn
came, with his lady on his arm, the
lord of this terrestrial paradise. Tall,
slender, erect, with deep-set black
eyes, long, drooping mustaches and a
hooked nose, Colonel Philip Gardiner
was a figure typical of old Florida, a
living example of the gentleman
planter of the fifties. He was clad in
immaculate white linen—the Colonel’s
suits furnished exclusive employment
for one stout negro laundress—and
wore a low, turn-over collar with a
black stock.
At his side, and almost as tall as
he, walked his wife, the beautiful
Sophia. She, too, was dressed in
white, but had thrown over her head
and shoulders a black lace mantilla
that gave infinite grace to the move-
ments of her lithe, willowy body. The
soft frame of this mantilla accentu-
ated the pure olive of her face, with
its exquisite golden pallor, its huge
dark eyes fringed with heavy lashes,
its delicate, sensitive nose and red
mouth slightly drawn up at the cor-
ners. The effect of this characteris-
tic was to give her the appearance of
being continually about to smile, an
effect that was at once baffling and
agreeable. Moreover, she had a hab-
it of looking up from beneath the
half-lowered eyelids that invested her
with a certain mysterious detachment,
as though she walked behind a lovely
mask. It must be confessed, that she
was something of an enigma to her
husband, who, though finding her a
faultless wife, a superb hostess and a
fascinating ornament to his home,
had never been able to assure himself
that he possessed the fealty of her
soul. Sometimes he doubted whether
she had a soul; she was almost too
beautiful to have one.
Near the river's edge and directly
in the path of the approaching couple
stood a magnificent live-oak, decked
out now in its new coat of green; a
veritable monarch, whose vast limbs,
sweeping the ground at their extrem-
ities, were hung with majestic stalac-
tites of Spanish moss. As they pass-
ed beneath the branches of this tree,
the Colonel paused abruptly and
pointing upward exclaimed:
“The orchid, madam! It has
bloomed.” :
Sophia raised her lovely, languid
eyes and saw drooping above her a
remarkable flower, an orchid, some-
what larger than a lily, the heart of
which was a pale gold. For some
moments she remained thus, gazing
up at the strange blossom with an in-
terest that was more than curiosity.
“This, then,” she asked finally, “is
the famous orchid of your family,
Philip ?”
“Yes,” answered the Colonel, and
added lightly, but with an undertone
of serious conviction, “As long as
this flower blooms, Sophia, no harm
can befall us!”
She laid her hand impulsively upon
his arm, “Do not go to town today,
Philip! Stay at home with me!”
“My dear Sophia, are you not
well 7”
“Oh, yes, Philip; I am perfectly
well. But as I stood here just now,
I thought that-—I thought that a
shadow had fallen upon us »
Colonel Philip’s black brows con-
tracted in a frown.
“That is not unlikely, since we are
standing beneath a tree.”
“It was not a shadow of the tree,
“Come, come, madam! How often
must I request you not to vex me
with your little superstitions? What
man worthy of the name would per-
mit himself to be turned aside by
shadows 7”
Sophia remained silent for an in-
stant, then said in a low tone, “For-
give me, Philip; I know it was only a
foolish faney.”
Her voice with its quaint precision
of phrase and charm of accent fell
reassuringly upon the Colonel’s ears.
He took his wife’s hand in his and
bowed low over it, sweeping off his
hat as he did so. Then he turned and
walked at a leisurely gait to the land-
ing-float, stepped into the waiting
dugout, and took his place in the
stern sheets. The canoe drifted out
into the stream. The Colonel grasp-
ed the tiller-rope and leaned forward.
“Give way!” he said gently, and the
boat, at the word, leaped half its
length through the water. The six
negroes, each wielding a twelve-foot
ash oar arranged upon an outrigger,
fell easily into a long swinging
stroke, their half-naked black bodies
swaying back and forth like so many
parts of a smoothly working machine;
and as they rowed they sang:
“Pat-rollers standin’ by de co’t house do,’
Long come a nigger, en stub he toe,
‘Whar dat nigger now?”
Colonel Philip, his broad-brimmed
hat pulled down over his eyes, laid
his course for the town wharf, some
six miles away, and gave himself up
to various reflections. His thoughts
were chiefly of his beautiful wife, of
her charm and grace, of her exqui-
site breeding, of her subtle mystery.
What a picture she had made, stand-
ing there beneath the oak, with her
face lifted to the flower! How the
golden tint of the orchid had matched
the soft glow of her flesh! She, her-
self, was like some rare plant magic-
ally glowing in his home.
He had met her at Havana during
the course of a business voyage to
that city in the previous autumn; had
seen her standing tall and wonderful
on a balcony in the Malecon—one of
those marvelous grilled balconies that
the Cubans put upon their houses,
like so much fine iron lace. For days
following he had ridden to and fro
beneath her window, and she had
looked down at him, slowly fanning
herself with a huge silver fan, and
apparently smiling. Eventually, he
had sought an introduction to her
father, a wealthy Spanish nobleman,
and thereupon had presented his suit
in formal fashion. He had conducted
his courtship under prescribed diffi-
culties—wooing his lady in a cavern-
ous tiled room filled with Sophia’s
relatives, who sat facing one another
in two long rows of chairs placed
down the center of the chamber and
who poured out interminable floods of
Spanish—Sophia alone spoke English
—meanwhile waving their fans in
unison, as though to brush the air of
spent words. :
He had married Sophia upon her
twentieth birthday—he, himself, was
twelve years older—and had sailed
with her to Florida, there to establish
her as the mistress of his estates. She
had taken her place in his life with
the dignity of a queen assuming a
throne, and in all matters had arrang-
ed her tastes to conform with his.
Yet, at times, he felt that she was
still an utter stranger to him, as ex-
otic and unaccountable as the golden
orchid that, next to Sophia herself,
was the chief treasure of his exist-
This orchid had bloomed for gener-
ations upon the body of the great oak
at the foot of the Gardiner place. So
far as was known, it was the only or-
chid to grow in that section of Flori-
da and was one of the marvels of the
countryside. The story was that the
first Gardiner, landing on this shore
after many trials by land and water,
had looked up to see smiling upon
him the golden orchid and had accept-
ed it promptly as a good omen. Since
that day, the flower had remained the
inviolate talisman of the Gardiner
heirs and was considered generally to
exert a mystic influence upon the
family fortunes. There was a legend
that so long as the orchid bloomed
undisturbed and was not picked, so
long the house of Gardiner would
prosper. Colonel Philip, though not
of a superstitious turn of mind, be-
lieved implicitly in this legend, and,
indeed, regarded the orchid as an ob-
ject almost sacred.
In exactly half an hour after leav-
ing its own dock, the dugout, driven
by the tireless energy of the blacks,
reached the town wharf. The Colo-
nel disembarked, and tossing a hand-
ful of silver to his crew, bade them
wait till his return. The negroes dis-
patched one of the number with the
money to buy food and sweetmeats;
the others promptly curled up and
went to sleep. The Colonel might re-
turn in an hour, or he might return in
a week—he would find them waiting
just where he had left them.
Colonel Philip walked slowly up the
wharf and through the main street of
the town, pausing to answer the salu-
tations of such citizens as greeted
him, or sweeping off his hat in re-
sponse to a lady’s smile of recogni-
tion. Finally, however, he entered
the door of the Planter’s Hotel, bowed
to the several gentlemen sitting in
the lobby (each gentleman had a
brass cuspidor beside him), bowed in
just the proper degree to the white-
haired negro scraping in his path,
and stopping at the desk, bowed to
the clerk on duty. The latter, in re-
ply, leaned forward and said gravely:
“Good evening, Colonel Gardiner!
A fine evenin’, sir!”
The Colonel drew himself up as
though acknowledging a personal
“Sir, a fine venin’. A d——d’d fine
evenin’, if I may say so—yes, sir!”
The row of gentlemen seated in the
lobby nodded their heads approving-
ly and spat as one into their several
receptacles. The Colonel passed on
up the broad, red-carpeted flight of
Arriving at the second floor he
walked down the corridor until he
came to a door marked “Salon.” This
he pushed open and stepped directly
into a spacious, high-ceiled room ha-
zy with tobacco smoke. In the center
of the chamber four gentlemen sat
playing cards about a round mahog-
any table. At a sideboard against the
wall, a negro in a white apron was | <
let me present to you, Mr. Ramon
pouring liquor out of a cut-glass de-
As the Colonel entered, the gentle-
men at the table rose and bowed. The
Colonel bowed in return, and advanc-
ing, shook hands with the first three.
“Good evenin’, Mr. Preble. Good
evenin’, Mr. Hobbs. Good evenin’,
Judge Oldmaster.”
“Good evenin’, sir.”
The last individual, a big, blooming
man with steel-rimmed spectacles set
low upon a large crimson nose, with a
wave of the hand indicated the fourth
member of the party.
“Colonel Gardiner, sir, I have the
honor to present Mr. Ramon Alvarez,
fo'm’lly of St. Augustine, but now,
sir, of this community. Mr. Alvarez
has purchased some land down the
river and purports to raise indigo. Mr.
Alvarez—Colonel Gardiner.”
“I am happy to meet you, senor,”
said Alvarez smiling.
“Sir, I am your servant,” replied
the Colonel, grasping the hand of the
other and measuring him with a keen
glance. He saw a young man, small
and elegant, with the dark complex-
ion of a Spaniard and the delicate
features of an aristocrat. He had a
black mustache, white teeth that
gleamed when he smiled and a pair of
bold, flashing brown eyes. His man-
ner was one of careless gaiety, and
his charm and good humor were in-
contestable. :
“Boy,” said the judge, “liquor!”
The negro in the white apron ap-
proached with a tray from which each
gentleman took a glass of whiskey,
and remarking, “Your health, sir!”
downed it without the degenerate aid
of water. After which, the four orig-
inal players sat down once more at
the table and waited for the Colonel
to complete the preliminaries contin-
gent upon his participation in the
These were simple, but inviolable. |
SHR si
First, he removed his hat and gave it |
to the negro; then he removed his
coat and placed it over the back of
his chair. Next, he took from his
pocket a small clay pipe which he fill-
ed and lighted. Finally, he sat down
in his chair, picked up the hand that
had been dealt him and said. “Gentle-
men, if the pot is open, I will come in;
if it is not open, I will open it!”
The game, from that moment, pro-
ceeded without interruption until six-
thirty o’clock p. m., when an adjourn-
ment was taken for refreshments.
After these had been consumed, the
gentlemen renewed their poker. At
midnight a light supper was served,
following which the gentlemen renew-
ed their poker. The Colonel was in
excellent fettlee He had smoked a
sack of first-rate Cuban tobacco, had
drunk a quart of good whiskey and
had won ten thousand dollars.
But his luck was short-lived, for
when the game ended by agreement
at dawn he had lost thirty thousand
dollars to Ramon Alvarez, the young
_ “Sir,” said the Colonel, rising and
inclining his tall figure in the young
man’s direction, “I congratulate you.
Your luck was phenomenal, sir. Phe-
“It would need to be senor,” return-
ed Alvarez, laughing, “to defeat such
playing as yours.”
The Colonel howed once more, and
then, with rare delicacy, approached
thé matter of payment. He said that
he had not, unfortunately, so much
cash in hand, but that if Alvarez
would come to his plantation he might
select thirty slaves worth one thous-
and dollars apiece. Ramon readily
agreed to this plan, and the Colonel
invited him to come with his overseer
the following afternoon. Then, bid-
ding a formal farewell to his friends
Preble, Hobbs and Oldmaster, Colonel
Philip left the hotel as he had entered
it, calm, unruffled, dignified, with only
a slightly flushed cheek to betray the
extent of his gentlemanly dissipation.
Walking down to the wharf he roused
his negroes, got into his dugout and
was rowed home through the early
morning at a pace that would have
done credit to a contemporary steam-
An hour later, having bathed, shav-
ed and donned fresh linen, he break-
fasted with his beautiful wife, who
received him as usual, presenting her
cheek to be kissed and smiling across
the snowy table whenever she met his
“There will be a gentleman to visit
‘this evenin’,” said the Colonel, as he
heaped his plate with steaming spoon-
fuls of hominy; “he will have tea with
us and stay the night.”
“Ah!” exclaimed Sophia,
consciously uttered a sigh. :
“Are you displeased, madam?” in-
quired the Colonel rather sharply.
“Oh, no, Philip. I am not displeas-
ed at anything you do. It is merely
that I like best to be alone here with
you. Then it is most like a paradise
to me, Philip.” $
“You are a model wife, Sophia!
But you will enjoy meeting this young
man. He is charming and, more than
that, a countryman of yours!”
That afternoon Ramon Alvarez ar-
rived, accompanied by his overseer, in
a handsomely appointed flatboat. The
and un-
' light deepened and the candles grew
Spaniard was welcomed by Colonel |
Philip in person and was conducted to |
the spacious veranda of the house,
where a statuesque negro butler serv-
ed mint juleps in glasses as fine as
“You may tell your factotum, sir,
to go out to the quarters and take
what pleases him. He will find my :
creatures a sound lot, I believe. Is
your julep sugared to suit you, sir?”
“It is excellent,” repeated Alvarez '
with a little wave of the hand. |
Thus, while the two men sat upon |
the porch sipping their juleps and |
talking of inconsequential matters,
some thirty negro slaves were remov- |
ed bodily from the Gardiner quarters, |
were fastened together with a rope |
and marched down to the river bank, |
where they were compelled to man |
the lighter. This vessel, thereupon, |
amid lamentations, put forth and was |
soon lost to view.
She had no more than disappeared, |
however, when the Colonel, glancing |
up, saw Sophia standing in the door- |
way, evidently much perturbed. :
“Oh, Philip,” she exclaimed, “what
does it mean? They have taken!
Zacharias, the husband of my maid,
Harriott!” |
Then she perceived Ramon, and her
agitation changed to a very pretty
“I am sorry!
she murmured.
“Madam,” said the Colonel coldly,
I did not know—" :
Alvarez, a friend of Judge Oldmaster,
and therefore—of mine! Mr. Alva-
rez is the gentleman of whom I
Alvarez bowed gracefully, then
straightening up, locked at the Colo-
nel’s wife. “I regret, senora,” he
said, “that I have been unintentional-
ly the cause of your unhappiness. 1
shall be more than glad to return to
you the slave, Zacharias.”
“Thank you, senor,” replied Sophia
simply. “That is most kind of you.”
Alvarez turned to the Colonel.
“With your permission, senor?” i
Colonel Philip said stiffly, “Your
generosity does you honor, sir. Butl
must insist, in such a case, that you
take two slaves in place of the one
you intend to return.”
The Spaniard smiled, showing is
white teeth. “As you will!” he said,
and lecoked again at the Colonels
wife. |
Henceforth he continued to look at
her with his bold brown eyes, as |
though she were some marvel which '
he would imprint upon his memory.
When tea was announced, and Sophia
appeared in a gown of corn-colored
silk that displayed to advantage her :
slender arms and lovely shoulders, her |
firm smooth neck rising from the gen- .
tle slope of her bosom, Alvarez could !
‘not repress a start of admiration. All |
through the meal, which the Colonel
signalized by delivering an extensive
homily upon the art of cooking rice, !
Ramon kept watch of the radiant
beauty of his hostess, noting its var-
ious moods and transitions, closely
observing the play of emotions upon !
that fair face, while lending an atten-
tive ear to the Colonel’s discourse.
After tea, they repaired to the
drawing-room, through whose tall!
windows fell the spent shafts of the
departing day, long fingers of light |
that struck rich fires from silver and
old mahogany and made wan the
flames of the candles burning in their
sconces. Sophia seated herself at the
massive rosewood piano, and played
tinkling waltzes lazily, while the twi- |
as bright as so many little swords.
Finally, she struck into a certain air. |
“Ah!” exclaimed Alvarez, springing
j up, “I know the words to that!” And
i going to the piano, he sang in a pleas-
ing tenor voice the song that she had
begun. For the next hour he remain-
ed at Sophia’s side, rendering innu- !
merable Spanish ballads, to which she
improvised graceful accompaniments.
The Colonel sat in an armchair and
pulled his mustache, listening with a
rather grim expression of countenance '
te the music whose meaning he un-'
derstood but little. His manner as he
bade Alvarez good-night, however, !
was one of unqualified courtesy and,
good-will. i
Two days later, Ramon Alvarez
made a second visit to the great house
on the shore of the St. John’s. His
ostensible purpose was to return the |
slave, Zacharias; but he confessed to |
Sophia, with a charming, ingenious
air, that he had come chiefly in the
hope of seeing her again. “It is such |
a pleasure to meet a countrywoman |
in this land which is no longer Spain,” |
he confided to her with his gleaming !
smile; but his eyes said boldly: “You !
are the most beautiful creature that |
I have ever seen. I dream of you. I!
long to possess you.”
As it happened, the Colonel was not
present at this meeting, having gone
to ride over his vast estate. Hence, it
fell to Sophia’s lot to entertain Ra-
mon until her husband should return.
This she did by showing him about
the premises. by conducting him
through her flower garden and by
walking with him along the edge of
the river, where ran a delightful little
path canopied over with Spanish moss.
Finally they came to the great oak,
and Ramon, letting his gaze rove for
an instant from the person of his
companion, saw the marvelous golden
Jroad growing upon a branch of the
“Look, senora! There is a flower
that might be your face reflected from
heaven. - Let me climb up and get
for you?”
“No, no!” cried Sophia, in horror.
“You must not! It is not to be pick-
ed, that flower! My husband would
kill us——"
Then, rather breathlessly, she told
Ramon the history of the Gardiner
orchid. When she had finished he
looked at her with his bold, flashing
eyes, and said that a flower was a
frail talisman upon which to impose
so large a faith. “Especially,” he
added, “as beautiful flowers are meant
to be picked!”
“Is that true, senor?” 3
“Is it not, senora? Of what use is
a blossom that grows unnoticed in the
gloomy shade of an oak tee? What
purpose does it serve, or what joy
does it taste, hidden there in cold
chastity from the warmth of admir-
ing eyes?” .
Sophia glanced up at him sidelong.
“Ah, senor,” she said, with a sigh,
“how well you understand the nature
of flowers.”
(Concluded next week).
~——Subseribe for the “Watchman.”
Predicts Hard Winter.
Hazleton.—Jake Butler
valley’s famous 80 year old weather |
prophet, issued his predictions for
next winter, as follows:
“What do I think of the long spell :
of rainy weather? Well, it beats all
records I have heard of; but I am not
worrying so much over the rain as I
am over the correspanding snow that
is likely to come to this part of the
country next January. In my obser-
vations I have never known it to fail.
Every time there has been a long
i spell of rain in July we have lots of
snow and sleet in January. So I
would advise you to have your coal
bins filled and do as we do in the
founiey lay in a good supply of edi-
Live stock is a
causes a natural
short production.
sumer requires it.
these figures show:
cured in the
pean needs.
for over-seas
Meats in Storage
Not “Hoarded’’
cereals and grains.
It is “ripe” and is marketed in larger
quantities in certain months.
time and a natural shortage atanother.
During the time of oversupply Swift
& Company places some of the meat in
cold storage, against the season of
This isa necessity in order that the nation’s
ration of meat=-58,000,000 pounds every day
in the year—~may be forthcoming as the con-
This is not hoarding, not price manipuiation,
not market control. It is mere common sense.
United States Bureau of Markets’ figures of
stocks of frozen and cured meats July 1 are
being used as a basis for Department of Justice
investigations in many cities. When properly
analyzed, based on Swift & Company’s stocks,
62 per cent (approximate) is pork and
beef cuts, etc., cured and in pro-
cess of curing. It takes 30 to 90
days in pickle or salt to complete
the curing process.
per cent is frozen pork, of which
more than three-quarters is to be
7 per cent is lard. This is a normal
supply and only four-fifths of a
pound per capita, and much of it
will have to go to supply Euro-
per cent is frozen beef and lamb,
and miscellaneous meats, part of
which is owned by the Govern-
ment and was intended chiefly
were all diverted to domestic
trade channels it would be only 2Y5
1bs. per capita=—a 5. days’ supply.
From this it will be seen that “meats in
storage” represent unfinished goods in process
of curing and the working supply necessary to
assure the consumer a steady flow of finished
Swift & Company, U.S. A.
seasonal crop — like
oversupply at one
next few months.
shipment. If this
Every farmer should have one or
more Ford Trucks because of the prof-
itable results that will follow their use.
There is not any
this statement.
on thousands of farms.
guess work about
It has been proven
If you farm,
come in and let us tell you more about
the Ford Truck’s value to you in sure
dollars and cents saving.
sonal matter to every farmer.
Ford Truck is a
It is a per-
business necessity.
Orders should be left with us at once
in order to get early delivery. Price
8550.00, without body, F. O. B, Detroit