The New Bloomfield, Pa. times. (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1877-188?, May 18, 1880, Image 1

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atlon. Beledt Poetry.
The devil sat by the river's side
The stream of time, where yon.ll always And him
Casting his line in the rushinK tide,
And landing bis fish on the bank behind him.
He sat at ease in a cosy nook.
And was fllliiiK bis basket very fast,
While yon might have seen that bis deadly hook
Was differently baited for every cast.
He caught 'em as fast ss a man could count ;
Little or big it was all the same ;
One bait was a eheck for a round amount,
A congressman nabbed it, and out he came.
He took a gem that as Saturn shone,
It sank in the water without a sound ;
A woman caught it who long was known
As the best and purest for miles around.
8omelimes he would laugh, and sometimes sing,
For better luck no one cqild wish ;
And he seemed to know to a dead sure thing
The bait best suited to every fish.
Quoth Satan: "The fishing Is rare and tine!"
And he took a drluk, somewhat enthused ;
But now a parson swam 'round the line.
Who e'en the moat tempting of baits refused.
He baited with gold, and with flashing genis ;
He hung fame and fortune upon the line.
And dressing gowns with embroidered hems
But still the Dominie made no sign.
A woman s garter went on the hook,
" I nav him at last," quoth the devil bright'ning.
Then Satan's sides with laughter shook.
And he landed the preacher quick as lightning.
I AM no politician. I am a provision
dealer a wholesale provision dealer
doing business la New York city. Hav
ing commenced my veritable history
with the above assertion it is necessary
that I should inform the reader how it
was that I was a member of the New
York delegation to the democratic con
vention held in Baltimore some time
One evening in the latter part of May
I was seated with my wife in our pretty
house on Eight street, enjoying a fra
grant cup of tea for if there is one
thing I am a good judge of it is tea. My
wife had been shopping, and while I
was sipping my Hyson flavored with
orange, Pako she was showing me her
purchases. She was expatiating on a
" love of a bonnet," when we were both
startled by a violent ring at the bell,
and in a minute or two afterward a
servant entered, informing me that Mr.
Lawrence Ardew wished to see me
immediately. As Ardew was a particu
lar friend of mine I immediately ordered
him to be admitted.
" Gunby," said Ardew, as soon as he
had paid his respects to my wife I
should have told you before that my
name in Jonathan Gunby" Gunby, I
want you to do me a great favor."
" What is it, my dear fellow V" I re
plied. I could afford to be affectionate,
for I knew that Ardew was too rich to
want money.
"You know I am a politician V" said
' I know you are," I returned, "and
not much good has it done you. To my
certain knowledge you have not received
a cent's benefit from It ; on the other
hand you have spent a good many hun
dred dollars."
" Just wait till is elected presi
dent, and then you will see; but that is
not the question. I am a delegate to the
Baltimore convention, and I want you
to act as my substitute."
" What!" I cried, Jumping up from
ray chair in excitement. " I, Jonathan
Gunby, wholesale provision merchant,
act as a member of a political conven
tion! never, my dear friend, never!"
" But you must. I will pay all ex
penses and the trip will do you good. I
have noticed that you seem to be thin
ner than you used to be; a change is the
very thing for you. The fuct la, I have
an important lawsuit going on and it is
utterly impossible that I can lrave New
York. You must do this favor for me,
my dear Uunby.
" But, Ardew, I never attended a
political meeting In my life," I replied,
somewhat softened by the fact that all
my expenses would be paid. " I should
make a blockhead of myself, for I know
nothing of the rules and regulations of
such assemblies."
" You don't want to know anything ;
all that you have to do is to vote
through thick and thin for ."
" But I don't like the man."
" You have nothing to do with that.
I do like him, and you will be voting
for me.
"You are right I forgot that."
" Jonathan shall not go to that awful
rowdy city, Baltimore," said my wife.
" He will be killed by the 'Plug Uglies,'
Blood Tubs' or 'Black Snakes.' It is
not safe to walk the streets there. I'll
never consent to his going."
"You need have no fear on that head,
madam," said Ardew,; " they have got
a new police there, and Baltimore is one
of the quietest cities in the Union."
I need not detail any more of the
conversation ; suffice it to say that
Ardew persuaded me to act in his place,
and the hint of a handsome present
from the monumental city so mollified
my wife that she gave her consent.
On the appointed day, provided with
the necessary vouchers, I started on my
journey, having first faithfully promised
my wife that I would not venture In
the streets of Baltimore after dark. I
shall not detail the particulars of my
journey. Were I to do so I might de
scribe how crowded we were ; how we
wereanuoyed by a squalling infantthat
it was utterly impossible topilence ; how
we were delayed in the crossing of the
Susquehanna by some accident to the
ferryboat ; how I tried to read but could
not on account of the perfect Babel
around me ; how I endeavored to make
fun of the boys who sold apples, and
had the laugh turned against me by
those youthful venders of that whole
some fruit. All this and a great deal
more I might tell, but as every traveler
goes through the same experience it
would only be repeating an old story.
We reached Baltimore at last, and I
was immediately driven to Barnum's
hotel, I had some difficulty in making
my way to the clerk's counter, the hall
was so crowded with people.
"All full, sir," said the gentlemanly
clerk, as I pulled the book , toward me
to enter my name. There was no help
for it. I went round to the Gilmore
house and received the same reply. It
was the same with the Eutaw, and the
Howard house and half a dozen other
hotels. It was getting dark, and I began
to think I should have to sleep in the
hack all night.
"Try Old Town, Bill," said a friend to
the hackman, who saw my dilemma.
" They are only third and fourth rate
inns, there," said the driver, "and per
haps the gentleman would not like to
lodge there for a night?"
"Anywhere that I can get a bed, my
good fellow," I returned. " It is no
use being particular at such a time as
The horses heads were turned round
and we proceeded down Baltimore street
over a bridge which spanned a muddy
stream of water called Jones' falls, I
believe. We then plunged into a mass
of intricate narrow streets, and at last
stopped before the door of a very ordina
ry looking tavern.
It bore a nondescript-looking sign,
which I was told represented a Golden
Angel, by which name the tavern was
I entered and made my stereotyped
inquiry whether I could have a bed
therefor the night. The landlord, a
thick, burly-looking man, with a gleam
of latent humor In his face, shook hia
head, and repeated the hateful words :
"All full."
I turned to go away, but was recalled
by the voice of the host.
" Would you mind sharing a bed with
another party V" said he.
" If there is no help for it I suppose I
must," I replied, "although to tell the
truth It la by no; means agreeable to
me," and I inwardly heaped denuncia
tions on Ardew'a head for persuading
me to be his substitute.
"Your bedfellow Is a quiet fellow
when he is asleep, although I must say
he is violent when annoyed. He sleeps
very soudly and all you have to do Is to
be careful hot to wake him. He has
been in bed some time."
I roust make a humiliating confession
to the reader : I am not a brave man. I
have often tried to persuade myself that
I am, but truth compels me to state that
a greater coward does not exist than
myself. The landlord's description of
my bedfellow was anything but assur
ing, and I was on the point of declining
when the proprietor of the Golden
Angel, no doubt reading what was
transpiring in my mind, exclaimed :
" You are not afraid, are you V"
"Afraid ! I should think not, Indeed,"
I replied, for I was too much of a coward
to brave being thought one. "I accept
youroiTerof half a bed. Bring mesome
brandy and water and a cigar."
I eat down at one of the little tables
in the bar room, and pulling away at
my cigar I tried to persuade myself that
I was very Jolly. It was a miserable
attempt, however. I had previously
supped at a restaurant In a more modern
part of the city. After my cigar was
finished I asked to be shown to my
chamber. The landlord took upon
himself the task of being my conductor,
and I followed him up a narrow, rickety
staircase. We kept on ascending until
we reached the top of the house, when
he entered a moderate sized room, but
cleaner than I had expected to find it.
The celling was very low, and inclined
In front to the slope of the roof. The
apartment contained but one bed, which
was placed against the wall near the
door. At the opposite end of the cham
ber was a table, placed between two
windows, which looked upon the roof.
The landlord placed the lamp upon
the table, and then I noticed that he
shielded the light with his hand, as he
passed near the bed.
"Be sure and don't take the light
near him," whispered the proprietor of
the Golden Angel," nothing wakes him
sooner than that. You see I don't know
how he might like my putting another
man with him ; and he is a very ugly
customer when he's riled, I can tell
" I shall be careful," I replied.
"That's right! Good night," he
whispered and left the room.
He had no sooner gone than I cau
tiously sat down, taking care not to
make the least noise. I then calmly
surveyed my position. It was certainly
not a very enviable one. According to
the landlord's account my companion
for the night was anything but an
amiable character. If I should chance
to awaken him I knew not what might
occur. He might assault me danger
ously before I could enter into any
explanation, I half resolved to pass the
night in the chair. But it was one of
the old-fashioned, high-back chairs, and
made such an uncomfortable seat that I
soon tired out. I then ventured to
glance around the room. My eyes
naturally fell on the bed. There was
one thing that consoled me ; my com
panion appeared to be in a deep sleep,
for he did not even move. I could see
the ridge made by his feet at the end of
his bed, and that was all. I also noticed
that the bed was a very large one. The
man who had possession of it lay near
the wall, and there was plenty of space
between him and the outside for me to
lie without touohing him. I screwed
my courage up and began to undress
but I suddenly remembered the land
lord's words, that the stranger was an
"ugly customer when he was riled,"
which made me desist. The thought
struck me that I might manage to lie
on the floor, but a moment's examina
tion settled the question in the negative,
for the floor was entirely bare, and the
air blew very cold through the wide
chinks in the planking. I cast my eyes
to the ceiling, and noticed for the first
time that a heavy beam studded with
numerous hooks ran thiough the apart
ment; but as I was not a bird and could
not perch there, this discovery was of
little use to me.
Half an hour passed away In this state
of indecision. I stole cautiously to one
of the windows, and gazed on the btau
tiful city bathed in the light of a full
How quiet and calm everything look
ed. But the air felt fresh and cold, and
I closed the window and resumed my
seat la the chair. I then found myself
wondering what avocation my friend in
bed followed. I suddenly cast my eyes
on a heap of clothes which lay on a
trunk, covered over with a handker
chief, no doubt belonging to the sleeper.
My curiosity got the better of my polite
ness, and before I scarcely knew what
I was about I found myself examining
his apparel. The handkerchief which
covered them was a coarse cotton one,
and hi clothes of coarse homespun, and
were such as are usually worn by
drovers. My companion, then, was
evidently a drover "a . rough class of
men who usually stand upon very little
Partly undressed as I was, I began to
feel very cold but before venturing into
bed I determined to try an experiment
to see If the drover slept soundly or not.
I had taken the precaution to leave the
bed room door open so that I could
make a run of it if necessary. I fixed
my eyes on the bed as I let my boot fall.
The drover was evidently a sound
sleeper, for although the noise made was
considerable he did not make the slight
est motion. This decided me, and I
hastily finished undressing and crept
into bed.
Of course, I was careful not to touch
my companion. I do not known how
long I lay awake, but the novelty of the
situation drove sleep from my eyes for
some time. By degrees, however, the
strangeness of my position wore off. I
felt reassured by my bedfellow's sound
sleep, and the gentle murmuring of the
breeze outside caused me to follow his
I have no idea how long I slept before
I commenced to dream. I suddenly,
however, thought that my companion
woke up and sat upright in bed ; that
he glared around him and at last his
eyes fell on me. He uttered a terrible
cry and threw himself upon me. In
spite of my natural cowardice, I saw if I
did not struggle I should be killed. I
thought I seized him by the throat, and
tightening my grasp, I saw him getting
black in the face. His hands fell power
less by his side, a smothering groan
escaped him, but still I pressed bis
throat tighter, tighter his face grew
blacker and blacker.
In agony of fear I awoke, and what
was my horror and dismay to find that
my hand was really pressing my com
panion's throat. He did not move nor
stir and his body felt as cold as ice.
"Great God!" I exclaimed aloud.
"Can he be dead?"
I jumped out of bed. Morning had
dawned although the sun had not yet
risen. I rushed to the window and
pulled back the curtain. I then ran to
the bed again and looked at my com
panion. My worst fears were realized.
He was dead, black in the face, strangled
in my sleep.
I shall not attempt to describe my
sensation at this horrid spectacle. My
body was bathed in a cold presplration,
my hands trembled, and for a few
moments I believe 1 was bereft of my
senses. I recovered by degrees but it
was only to realize in a more acute
degree the horrors of my situation.
There lay my victim, and I was a mur
derer ! My trial, conviction and the
hideous gallows all passed in rapid
review before me. Who would believe
me If I sat down, buried my face in my
hands,and sobbed like a child. My wife,
my own comfortable home should I
ever see them again V
What was to be done? Should I
arouse the house and make a clean
breast of it Y But what could I say ?
tell them I bad killed a man in my
sleep V Not a soul would believe the
story. Could I effect my escape r" Im
possible; the crime would be discovered
before I ' could leave the city, and I
should be arrested ; then the law would
take ita course and I should be hanged
by the neck until I was dead.
Hanged by the neck ? Yes, that
would be my fate; As this terrible
thought crossed my mind I cast my eyes
around the chamber, and they fell upon
the beam with the hooks in it. From
thence they wandered to the handker
chief covering the dead man's clothes.
A means of safety suggested itself to
my mind. Suppose I could make it
appear that the man had committed
suicide. Yes, that was my only chance,
and I determined to put . it into execu
tion. I took the dead man's handkerchief
and advanced to the corpse with a
deal of repugnance-, but with more cour
age than I could have anticipated. My
own fearful situation no doubt animated
me to an extent that I should never
otherwise have dreamed of. I made a
noose in the handkerchief and slipped It
over the dead man's neck. I then lifted
the body out of bed, and standing on a
chair fastened the other end of the
handkerchief to a hook in the beam. I
now let the body go, and it swung in
I Jumped into bed and shut my eyes
to close the horrid sight from my gaze.
I determined to wait there until some
body should come into the room, and
then pretend that I knew nothing at all
about it, but that the man must have
got up in the night and hanged him
self. I lay quaking and trembling for over
an hour. It grew broad daylight. I
felt the sun shining directly on the bed,
but I dare not open my eyes for fear
that I should encounter the dangling
corpse. Suddenly I heard the step of
two men on the stairs. They appeared
to be carrying something heavy between
them. The long anticipated moment
was approaching. In a few seconds
more they would discover the body.
My life depended in a great degree upon
their opinion. If they were deceived by
my ruse, others might be.
The door opened, and two men enter
ed the chamber, placing something
heavy on the floor.
" Well, I'm blessed if the man hasn't
hanged himself again," exclaimed a
voice which I knew to be the landlord's.
"By golly! that's true," said the
other man. " No, I see how it Is ; the
stranger found out the trick you played
on him, and not liking the idea of
sleeping with a corpse, he tucked him
up there to get him out of the way."
" You're right," replied the laudlord ;
"well, he's a cool 'un, anyhow, and
would you believe It, last night I
thought he was a coward that only
shows how easy it is to be mistaken in
people. And now he sleeps as soundly
as a church ; let's be careful not to wake
I breathed freely, for I immediately
understood the whole matter. The
laudlord had put me to sleep with a
dead man. I heard them take down the
body and put it into a coffin tor it was
what they had brought with them.
They carried it away and I was left to
myself. With my mind thus relieved I
fell asleep, and enjoyed two hours'
delicious slumber. I then got up, dress
ed myself and proceeded down stairs.
" Good morning," said I to the land
lord who was behind the bar.
"Good morning, sir," he replied,
sheepishly ; " I hope you slept well."
"Splendidly," I returned; "my bed
fellow gave me trouble at first, but I
soon got rid of him."
" I know you did," returned mine
host, with a knowing wink. " Well, 1
must say you are the coolest chap I ever
Not another word passed between us
with reference to the affair. And I after
ward learned from the conversation of
the people while I was at breakfast that
my companion for the night was a
drover, who, having made a ruinous
speculation in cattle, had committed
suicide by hanging himself in the cham
ber the night before.
I left the Golden Angel that morning,
having obtained quarters at Barnum'a
hotel. I went to the convention, voted
six buudred times for , and re
turned home, having given full satisfac
tion to Mr. Ardew.
I told my adventure to my friends
not as I have told it to you, dear reader,
but with the same construction that the
landlord of the Golden Angel put upon
it. Everybody thought that I had dis
played extraordinary coolness and in
trepidity. There is one thing, however,
to which I have fully made up my
mind, and that is, I will never attend
another political convention as long as
I live, nor sleep with a corpse it I ran
avoid it.
C2TThe treasure house of a man's
life is his heart, and he who has noth
ing there is poverty-stricken, though he
roil in gold ; while he who has a good
deal there is rich, whether he has a roof
over his head or not.