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NEW BLOOMFIELD, IJA., TUESDAY, JANUARY IB, 1881.
" I j AX ffv i V J iff XL V Wfl A. V. J
lu Independent Family Newspaper,
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THE PROFESSOR'S STORY.
THERE were six of us seated around
the fire, eaoh trying to do his share
to make the evening pass pleasantly.
It was now the professor's turn to tell
us a story and after much pressing he
"Gentleman," said he, gravely, "no
man cares to gain for himself the repu
tation of a liar or a manlao. Yet this Is
exactly what you are pressing both of us
to do. I have no doubt that the experi
ence which I am about to relate, and in
which my friend the doctor bore no
unimportant part, will appear absolute
ly incredible to persons of your advanced
There was a touch of sarcasm in the
worthy professor's tone, but in our
eagerness to hear his story we found . it
convenient to disregard this.
" However," he continued, " I shall
risk it. If you choose to disbelieve it,
why I shall endeavor to have charity
for your ignorance and conceit. Now,
doctor, if you will hand me the tobacco
and one of the pipes the ranker and
blacker the better I will proceed."
Having filled his pipe and settled him
self comfortably in his chair, he began
"It must be fully ten years ago that
the doctor and myself were engaged
upon a geological survey of the northern
part of this State. We had labored dill
gently during the summer and fall,
when toward the close of a cold Novem
ber day we shouldered our knapsacks
and turned our faces homeward.
"Our way led through a chain of
black and rugged hills towards a frontier
town, twenty miles distant, where we
intended to take the railroad. A more
forbidding region it has never been my
misfortune to Bee. It was a perfect
chaos, blackened and warped by prime
val fires, and destitute of the smallest
trace of vegetation. Tall cliffs towered
a thousand feet above our heads, shut
ting out the light of the dull . November
sky. Sluggish streams filtered between
the crevices of the .rocks, and poured
noiselessly into deep and motionless
pits. It seemed that the blight of
death had fallen upon the whole coun
try. " Well knowing the peril of attempt
ing to proceed through Buch a region
after nightfall, we halted at Bunset, and
building a fire at the foot of a crag, dis
posed ourselves to rest as well we might.
Exhausted with the toils of the day, the
doctor was soon asleep, and I was not
long in following his example.
" How long I had slumbered I knew
not, when I found myself sitting up
right, peering nervously in the darkness
around me. It seemed to me that some
one had uttered a wild appealing cry In
the very portals of my ears. For some
moments I sat so, wondering and
anxious. Then I reflected that as there
could be no human being in the
neighborhood except ourselves, the
sound which had alarmed me must
have been the shriek of some bird or
animal. Explaining the matter thus, I
was on the point of lying down again,
when I was arrested by - a repetition of
the cry. This time there could be no
mistake. Wild, long, and, it appeared
to me, full of intolerable anguish, it
re-echoed among the crags with fearful
shrillness. With an uncontrollable
start, I turned and shook the doctor to
"'Be quiet,' he muttered, 4 1 am
awake and beard it all.'
" What can it be V I asked anxious
ly. ' Surely, nothing human ; no one
lives in this region for miles around.
Perhaps it is a wild-cat.'
" 'No,' he said, between his teeth1
'such a sound never came from the
throat of a wild-cat. There it is again.
"Theory wag repealed. It was a
woman's voice, but it expressed such
supreme misery as I believe woman
never felt before. It came ringing up
the gorge with a weird and mournful
intonation that chilled the blood In my
heart. By the doctor's quick breathing,
I could tell that he was as much affected
as myself. Neither of us spoke or mov
ed ; both waited for a renewal of the
cry, in the hope of arriving at some
rational explanation of It.
"Again it came; but now like a low,
tremulous sob. I am not a superstitious
man, gentlemen, but I confess that I
sat there shivering with a species of
horror that was utterly new to me.
What could it be ? Not a living woman,
surely; alone and suffering in an Inacces
sible fastness where we were mortally
certain nothing human dwelt. And
then what misery was it that gave itself
such uncanny expression V Not fear,
nor bodily pain, but something terrible,
something nameless to us. While we
were debating these questions in smoth
ered tones, the cry came once again.
This time in words we understood :
"'HelpI Oh.Godl help!'
"At this intelligible appeal to our
manhood, our superstitious weakness at
once disappeared. Seizing a torch from
our smouldering fire, we made our way
hastily toward a pile of rocks a few
hundred yards dlstant,whence the sound
seemed to have proceeded. Scrambling
up the height we came suddenly upon a
strange and mournful scene. Before us
stood a small, wretched-looking hut,
evidently constructed by hands unused
to such labor, unglazed, and without a
chimney. There was a dull light with
in, and through the open door we saw
the body of a man apparently lifeless,
lying prone upon tho earthen floor.
Beside blra, with arms flying wildly
over her head, knelt the figure of a
woman, evidently the one whose cries
had alarmed us. It need but a, glance to
assure us that some strange tragedy had
taken place, and without a moment's
hesitation we entered the hut.
" The woman raised her eyes as we
approached, but gave no further heed to
us. Apparently her great sorrow had
driven her distracted. She was a young
creature, hardly twenty, I should judge,
and, despite the signs of hardship and
sorrow visible on her features, very
beautiful. Her form was slight and even
attenuated, but in Its shabby dress pre
served traces of former refinement.
" Her companion, a young man of
about her own age, attired in a coarse
woodman's suit, had evidently suc
cumbed to hardship or disease, and was
either insensible or' dead. His pinched
and ghastly countenance must have
been once very handsome, but now it
looked old and worn as that of a man of
sixty. He had apparently fallen in his
present position, and the girl had been
unable to raise him.
"My friend, the doctor," continued
the worthy professor, "surly, uncouth
and cynical as he commonly appears,
has as kind a heart as ever beat in a
man's breast no flattery, my dear fel
low, for it must be 'confessed that you
have faults that more than counterbal
ance your one good trait. Well, gentle
men, he bent over the poor creature,
and in a voice as gentle as a woman's
endeavored to arouse the girl from her
" ' Who are you J" he said, 'and what
has happened V
"'He is dead dead!' she muttered,
" ' Perhaps it is not as bad as that,' he
rejoined. ' Tell us all about it. We are
friends, my dear, and medical men, and
may be able to assist you."
" ' He died this morning, before my
very eyes,' she moaned, 'died, oh, my
God I of starvation. And I never knew
that he was depriving himself for my
sake. Oh, my husband ; why did you
not let me die with you? And she
threw herself across the body, sobbing
as if her poor heart would break. There
were tears in the doctor's eyes as he
looked at me," added the professor, with
a tremor in his voice, "and the rascal
has always sworn that my own were
not dry. That, however, is aside from
" Though we knew nothing of these
two poor children for they were but
little more we felt that we had chanced
upon a strange sad story of love, pride
and suffering, such as is rarely told,
even in this unhappy world.
" The doctor stooped down and felt at
the heart of the prostrate man.
" ' He Is dead,' he whispered, motion
ing me to imitate his example.
" ' Yes, dead,' I replied, after examin
ing the corpse.
" How we made the truth known to
the poor wife I do not remember. It
would seem that she had preserved some
faint remnant of hope until our assur
ance destroyed it utterly. With a low
groan she fell suddenly at our feet, in
sensible. Although at a loss as to what
course to pursue, we felt it more than
our duty to remain in the hut for the
night; and on the morning to make the
best arrangements for the poor girl's
comfort that were possible.
"Fortunately the doctor bad his med
ical case in his pocket. Administering
a powerful sleeping potion to her, he
placed her in happy unconsciousness of
the events that were to follow. We then
proceeded to a more careful examination
of the man.
" Without vanity I can say that both
the doctor and myself have received
some few testimonials as to our scientifie
ability from the world. You will proba
bly believe that we are capable of decid
ing upon a very simple case of death by
starvation!1" He paused and looked
gravely around. "Very good, remem
ber then, that I assert upon my profes
sional reputation that the man was
" Yes," added the doctor, who had
hitherto remained silent, "the life must
have been extinct more than five hours
when we found him."
" Well," continued the professor, with
increasing gravity, "having satisfied
ourselves upon this point, we covered
the corpse decently and sat down to wait
for morning. Though in no mood for
conversation, the startling experience of
the evening kept us both awake for
several hours. But at length, com
pletely overcome with weariness and
exoitement, I fell into a light slumber.
"Almost immediately, it seemed, I
was awakened with a shock. The .doc
tor was bending over me witli an ex
pression of wonder and alarm upon his
" ' Wake up,' be said, in a troubled
whisper, 'something very strange has
been going on in this room for many
" ' What is it V I asked, I thought I
heard some one speaking.'
" ' You did,' he replied, ' I have dis
tinctly heard a voice close beside us, yet
there is no one in the room except our
selves and these two poor people."
"' Perhaps the woman has been talk
ing in her sleep,' I suggested, 'or it may
be that the man is not dead after all.'
" ' No, I have looked to both,' he re
turned. ' One sleeps soundly, and the
other will never speak again in this
world. So satisfy yourself.'
" I arose, jtnd, trimming the lamp,
proceeded first to the couch where the
girl lay. She at least could not have
spoken, for all her senses were locked in
a profound stupor. I then examined
the corpse and found It as we had left it,
except that the features were more
shrunken and sallow than before. No
voice could have come from those rigid
lips. Concluding that we had both
dreamed or had mistaken some nocturn
al cry for a human voice, I replaced the
light, and was about to resume my seat,
when my movements were arrested by a
very singular voice.
" There it Is again !" muttered the
"A low, confused murmur, resembling
nothing that I had ever heard before,
arose in the room, and seemed to circu
late in the air for an Instant and die
away. Again it arose, .coming from a
point over, our heads, and gradually
descending until it appeared to emanate
from some invisible source immediately
beside us. I know of nothing with
which to compare the intonation, except
it nyiy be tbe articulation of the tele
phone, or that of a ventriloquist.
" The first words we caught were,
Oh, my poor wife 1'
" It would be Impossible to describe
the effect that these words produced
upon us. It was not so much tbe tone,
wierd and uncanny as it was, as tbe
startling significance of the words that
am a ed us.
" Who could have spoken them but
the husband of the woman lying etu pi
fled upon the couch V Yet be bad been
dead many hours. Full of' the repug
nance of the horror of the idea, we start
ed up and again examined not only
every nook and cranny of the hut itself,
but even (he space outside for many
yards around. There was no human
being besides ourselves ra the vicinity.
" We again scrutinized the corpse. It
had neither changed its position nor Its
appearance. The flesh had grown per
fectly cold and the muscles rigid ; there
was not a trace of vitality in it. Now,"
continued the professor, wiping his
forehead nervously. " I have arrived at
what I imagine will be the limit of your
credulity. I do not expect you to credit
what followed ; but I swear to you, on
tbe word of an honest man, that I do
not deviate from the truth as much as a
syllable when I say, that while we bent
above the body we again heard the
voice proceeding from a distant part of
tbe room, saying audibly :
" ' In the name of God, assist me back
to life I'
" With hearts beating thick and fast,
we stood gazing at each other absolutely
thunderstruck. An experience so terri
fying, so utterly without precedent,
completely unnerved us. While we
remained stupefied with horror, the
voice was again audible.
" ' Oh, have pity 1' it said, 'aid me to
return to life.'
" It was some minutes before either of
us could recover from our amazement
sufficiently to make any reply.
" ' Who is It that speaks to us ?' asked
the doctor, in a low tone.
" ' The soul of the man who lies dead
before you I' it replied.
" ' It is impossible that the dead can
speak,' answered the doctor.
" ' No, for the Intelligence never dies,'
replied the voice. 'My body is indeed
dead, but that with which I lived and
thought and loved Is still in this room.'
" ' What is that you desire V asked the
doctor, carrying on this strange colloquy
with Increased wonder.
" ' To be aided to resume my former
existence,' was the rejoinder. 'I dare
not leave my poor wife unprotected in
this wilderness. I cannot Bee her Buffer.
I love her beyond all my hopes of a
future life, and by the power of my love
I have remained near her, and have
been able to communicate with her. I
cannot, I will nut, be separated from
her. I must return to her in my human
" Whether the doctor's courage desert
ed him at this point or not I cannot
say ; but he spoke no more ; and as the
voice was no longer audible, we remain
ed silent in a state of mind that baffles
" I am morally certain that both of us
would have fled instantly from the place
had It not been for the poor creature
sleeping upon the bed. We would not
leave her to face alone a mystery that
shook even nerves as toughened as ours.
After a hasty consultation as to what
course we ought to follow, we resumed
our former seats and waited in breath
less expectation for what was next to
" Some hours had passed in this way,
and the first dim traces of dawn were
shining upon the eastern horizon,
when with a simultaneous start we
sprang to our feet. The voice had again
spoken. This time it had proceeded, not
from some Indefinite point in the atmos
phere, but from beneath the sheet en
veloping the corpse :
"'Help!' it cried, in faint, but distant
accents, 'for Christ's sake, helpl'
"For an Instant we hesitated and
who would not ? then hastened to the
body and removed the covering. There
was no alteration in its pallor and
rigidity, but we perceived that the Hps,
from which a faint murmur was issuing,
trembled slightly. Here our instincts
conquered our weakness. Whatever tbe
mystery involved in the matter, a hu
man being was struggling to regain
existence, and our Impulse was to aid
without question. A powerful restora
tive was administered, and, before many
moments had passed, we saw the color
coming back to thtf wan cheeks and the
Bhrunken muscles re-shaplng themselves
with the current of warm blood. Then
with a faint sigh the eyes opened and
gazed at us inquiringly. In a word,,
gentlemen, the dead was restored to
" It Is needless-to detail what followed.
In the meeting which occurred between,
these two poor young creatures, we felt
ourselves more than repaid for the start
ling experiences of the previous night.
It can do no harm to add that we claim- '
ed and exercised tbe right of securing
their future prosperity out of our ample
means. We learned no more of their
former history than that the persecution,
of those whose wishes their marriage
had opposed, bad driven them to. hide
their poverty and misfortune In the
wilderness. We have heard of them,
" The young man, as we discovered'
on questioning him, remembered noth
ing of bis sensations while unconscious,
except a vague, dreamlike, and' yet
intense sorrow for his young wife. He
had no knowledge whatever of the voice
which had. addressed us, and appeared'
to believe that he had labored under
temporary suspension of animation
arising from starvation. We did not
combat his belief, for we believed that
he was actually dead, and that he only
returned to life through his great love.
Who will deny that love -is- stronger
than death, and that it goes with us
even beyond the grave '("
Brother Gardner on Dancing.
" What I was gwlne to remark," said .
the old man as- the meeting opened,
"wastode effect dat a sartln cull'd
clergyman, who has charge of a flock in
de western part of dis State, has written
me a letter axin' dat dis club sot Its face
agin' dancln'. It am his oplnyun dat a
pusaon who stands at de head of de line
when de Virginny reel am called off am
on clus terms wld old Satan. Now, den,.
I don't say dat I would take de ole
woman on my arm an' walk off to a
public hall to jlne la a dance wid Tom,
Dick and Harry, but de odder night
when Sir Isaac Walpole gi-a a little
party we war dar, an' we shook de foot
in de liveliest sort o' style. What harm
kin come from elidln' across a pine floo'
to de music of fiddles am past by grip.
De music can't be wicked, an if it am
wuss for a man to glide dan walk den I
am ready to believe anything. An
exmember of die club sot down by bis
own fireside one night an' talked 'nnff
lies and scandal in one hour to last de
cull'd folks of Detroit for six months.
Could dancln' do any wuss 't- People
who doan' dance or play or attend
games am de werry pussons who have
time to gossip an' start scandals, an' we
all know it. ' I want dis clergyman to
go on doin' good in buildin up de
church, but when he axes me to help
choke down de social feelin' an' da Jolly
speert which de Law J gin mos men, I
must refuse. Heaven must be a werry
gloomy place if it am peopled wid only
dose pussons who am 'fraid to open der
moufs when day laff fur fear de evil one
will jump down der froats. I say to
every man in dis hall to go ahead an
enjoy hisself as best ho kin, an' as much
as he kin widout doin' injury to his
fellow men. Stop at de limits in all
lings an you'll break no laws nor add to
your Bins. Let us now purceed wid de
His Unknown Friend.
. The Sarina Observer says : " A good
joke is being told just now of an old res
ident, living not a hundred miles from
Sarina. Col. F came, to town and
went to one of the leading hotels for
dinner. A new feature bad been intro
duced into the hotel since the Colonel's
last visit, in the shape of a waiter in full
dress, swallow-tail coat, etc. The
Colonel came in and seated himself at a
table, and tbe waiter came up and said :
'What will you have, sir?' The Colonel,
who is a little deaf, shook him cordially
by the band, and rising, said : 'Really,
you have the advantage of me, sir, er-er,
where was it I met you before ? Toron
to "r" Then leading bim to a window,
and turning him ao that the light would
fall on his face, again remarked that 'the
countenance was familiar, but really he
could not place him,' etc. The waiter
blushed, of course, and repeated the re
mark, 'What will you have, sir ?' The
Colonel thanked him, 'Really I never
take anything before dinner,' he said
and returning to his seat he asked the
waiter to be seated. The waiter, of course
excused himself, and sent a pretty din
ing-room girl to wait on the Colonel.
The Colonel went home and 1 still
wondering who his distinguished friend