The New Bloomfield, Pa. times. (New Bloomfield, Pa.) 1877-188?, April 05, 1881, Image 1

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A a Independeat Family Newspaper,
P. MOltTIMEll & CO.
ft.S PER TF.4II, POSTAGE 1111.1'..
cts. foii e morains.
To i:bwlber residing In titis couutt, where
we hare a postage to par, a discount ot emits
from tli abe terms will ba in ail e II payment In
mads In advance.
r- Adrertlslng ratei furnlnbed upon appllca
" The Queer Old Man.
WE kept a little variety shop, sister
Margie and I, the profit of which
wag quite as small as the wares we sold.
But, then, we had n rent to pay ; own
ing the small, brown, old-fashioned
house In which we lived, and which
looked strangely out of place among the
stately-looking modern dwellings that
crowded up against It on either side,
quite putting it out of countenancf by
their superior height and appearance.
Grandfather built it when the place
was new, and he a young man, and
when all that brick and mortar were
verdant fields and -well-kept gardens,
dotted here and there by houses as low
and modest as his own. He owned a
large farm, and was considered a
wealthy man for those days ; but acre
after acre had been sold until nothing
' was left except the house In which my
father had been born, and which was
the only inheritance of his children.
But we made the most of it, Margie and
I, as you will see.
I hardly think we should have dared
to do such a thing while father lived,
who would have considered It a sort of
sacrilege; but soon after his death we
turned the front part of the house into
a shop, with show-windows which
opened out upon the street, in which to
display the articles we kept for sale.
This was a matter of necessity rather
than choice, it being all that I could do
at home; and I could not leave Margie.
Poor Margie was a cripple; she had
received a fall when only four years old,
and had never walked since. She had
been a great care to me for many a year,
but never a burden. She was so thought
ful, patient and cheerful, that in the
event of our separation I think I should
have missed her quite as much as she
would me. She was very useful, too ;
lying all day on the lounge in her little
sitting-room, her hands were never idle,
crocheting tidies, mats, mittens and
edging, and, doing various kinds of
fancy-work, for which I found sale in
the shop, and though the price asked
was only moderately in excess of the
cost of material, it helped tis not a
Margie kept all the accounts, too;
having a clearer head than I, and a
knowledge, or rather intuition, of cnar
acter that was wonderful, considering
bow secluded her life had of necessity
been. I never thought of taking any
step without consulting Margie.
We two lived very quietly, having
few acquaintances, and no near relative
or friend except John. John was ray
lover, and no girl ever had one more
kind and true. He was poor in worldly
goods, but oh 1 so rich in goodness and
manly worth. He might have seemed
plain to those who knew him not I
cannot tell how he looked to other eyes
but there was more than beauty, to
me, in that frank, honest face, aud in
the big, brown hands that were so strong
and helpful.
We had been engaged ever since I was
181 was 3 now and no nearer to
being married, as I could see, than we
were five years before. But still we
loved on and hoped on. John had a
widowed and InQrm mother, and I Mar
gie, and, though she was auy thing but
burdensome to me, I could not think of
adding any further weight to the hands
that were full enough already.
Trade not being very brisk during the
summer, Margie and I decided to eke
out our Blender income by renting the
room over the shop. It was low, and
the slant of the roof on one side and big
chimney made it full of nooks and cor
1SJ133W liLOOJSlFIlSLD, I A.., TUESDAY, A-l'llIL 5, 1881.
ners. The furniture was old, being
some that grandfather had when he was
married, but with the help of John,
whd could spare me an hour or two
evenings, I furnished It up so that it
looked very well. By dint of piecing
and contriving, I covered the Moor with
a neat carpet, the bed aud windows were
draped with white, some pretty prints
hung upon the wall, and on the whole t
was very well satisfied with the result
of our lubor.
When all was done, John wrote a
notice: "Boom to let. Inquire within."
But though 1 placed It In the shop
window, where it could be plainly seen
from the street, nearly three weeks
passed and we had only two applica
tions for the room, and from persons
who only looked at It, and then went
One morning, as I was dusting the
counter and putting the' shop to rights,
I saw a queer-looking, oddly-dressed old
man standing In front of the window,
his eyes fixed upon the notice in it, and
his moving lips slowly syllabifying each
word. He wore shoes with big buckles
on them, and a snuff-colored coat, with
short waist aud long skirts, and which
looked as if it might have been his
grandfather's. But the oddest thing
about him was the long white hair
which fell upon his shoulders, and the
heavy beard of the same color which
touched his breast. A broad-brimmed
hat completed his quaint, Quaker-like
The door being ajar, before I had time
to lay aside my duster he was at the
He stared at me for some moments
without speaking, and then pointing to
the notice with his cane, said :
" Will thee let me look at It V"
Inwardly hoping that this application
would not share the fate of those that
had preceeded It, I led the way up stairs.
To my great relief, our prospective
lodger, far from objecting to the sloping
roof and old-fashioned furniture, seemed
to regard them with feelings of positive
interest and admiration.
" It Is like the chamber that I used to
sleep In when I was a boy," he said, as
he looked around, and speaking more to
himself than me.
As I wanted Margie to see him before
I decided, I took him down through the
sitting-room where she lay.
" This gentleman thinks of taking our
room, sister," I said, as she glanced up
at us.
"If within my means," interposed
the stranger. " I am a poor man."
Margie's clear, soft, penetrating eyes
were quietly reading the face of the
speaker. What she saw seemed satis
factory, for she nodded in reply to my
questioning look.
In spite of his threadbare apparel, he
looked so thoroughly respectable that I
was half ashamed of the question that I
felt compelled to put:
"I suppose you have references,
"No; all are dead who might speak
for me If they could. You will have to
take me on trust."
I looked at Margie again, who, giving
me another nod, said :
" Perhaps the gentleman will mention
what he fells able to pay V"
The stranger did so, adding :
" I am poor and cannot pay one penny
The sum named, though not large,
was more than we were intending to
ask, as I told him.
The old man frowned and shook his
" Thee shouldn't have told me that.
I've half a mind to give thee no more."
Then counting out upon the table
the amount he had stated, he pushed it
toward me adding :
" My name is Thomas. I'll be here
to-morrow morning with all my traps."
The traps mentioned consisted of an
old-fashioned hair-trunk and a Jarge
chest, the latter being mainly filled with
books. We were not long in finding
out that our lodger was very odd, though
his oddities were of the most Innocent
and harmless nature. He asked me to
substitute a patchwork quilt for the
white counterpane on his bed, and spent
a whole day rummaging auction rooms
to find some old-fashioned chintz to take
the place of the pretty muslin curtains
on which I had spent so much time and
labor. I had taken a rocker for him
from the sitting room, hut, spying, one
day, an old, leather-bottomed chair that
hud belonged to my grandfather, he
asked me to exchange with him, which
I wiu very glad to do. Not long after, a
chest of drawers, that was my grand,
father's, found its way back to the old
place, together with the quaint, brass
niounted mirror that always hung over
It ; so that, at lant, the room looked very
much as It did before we re arranged it
with so much care and lubor.
John aud I had quite a laugh over It,
but, so long as It suited the present oc
cupatit, we did not mind, and It seemed
to suit him completely. He spent much
of his time reading. No one called to
see htm, or wrote to hi in, though he re
ceived quantities of papers aud limgu.
It was Margie that first suggested that
we Invite hlui to take tea Willi us one
day when we had some unusual delicacy
early strawberries, I think.
."He must be very lonely, poor man !"
said my gentle-hearted sister. "Per
haps he doesn't have enough to eat. He
r poke about being poor you kuow."
After this he dropped In occasionally,
bringing some new magazine or paper,
and reading to us as we sat at work.
Finally, it became an established cus
tom with him to take lea with us twice,
and sometimes three times a week ; fre
quently Inviting himself though we al
ways knew when he was coming by the
advent of the market boy with a liberal
supply of provisions, all of the best
This troubled Margie's tender con
science, and she remonstrated with him
one day.
" It is wrong," he said, with a grave
shake of the head. "I'm a poor man,
aud ought to be more prudent."
But he continued on the same way,
and we finally got so used to his oddities
of speech and action as to think little of
He and John were apparently on the
best of terms, and yet he was always
fluding fault with him to me.
" To think of his taking entire charge
of his mother, when she has other chil
dren, and sending money to his brother's
widow beside 1" he said to me one day.
" He is a poor man, and always will
Now, I never could endure the slight
est reflection upon John, and I defended
him with a spirit and indignation that
seemed to please Mr. Thomas not a
" With thy pretty face and ways, thee
ought to do better, Ruth," he resumed,
when I paused for want of breath.
" Not but what John Is good, but he is
poor. I've heard that thee refused Mr.
Hart, who is worth tl,000,000. What
made thee do sucli a foolish thing . as
that, child V"
" Because I didn't love Mr. Hart ; aud
I do love John."
The silence that followed made me
glance up at my companion, who had
turned toward the door. It was grow
ing dusk, and the face was partly avert
ed, but I was almost sure that the eyes
were full of tears.
Mr. Thomas generally used the plain
language, almost Invariably so when
speaking to me or Margie, and, until I
saw that he was a regular attendant at
Ht. Luke's, I supposed him to be a
Quaker. When I alluded to this Im
pression, he said :
" I was brought up to that faith ; and
it comes back to me now that I am
growing old, and the end Is near."
It was nearer than I thought. He
had been feeble all winter, though it
seemed more like the gradual loss of
strength than actual disease. In the
early spring he was knocked down by
a runaway horse, sustaining some inter
nal injury from which he never recover
ed. John and I took turns in nursing
him ; it was pleasant, afterward, to re
member that he wanted for nothing.
John, Margie and I were there. He
,had been lying in a stupor for some
hours ; now he roused himself and began
to talk, startling us not a little by his
strange expressions and allusions.
" I was born in this room," he said,
glanclug around; "and I shall die
here I"
Thinking his mind was wandering, I
laid my band gently on his.
He smiled as he looked at me.
" Thee hast thy mother's name, Ituth,
and her kind heart at well, but thy eyes
are like thy father's. He has been here
thanking me for providing for his
orphan girls. This was our room when
we were boys, thee knows. Dear old
Joel before the dawning of auother day
we shall meet."
John and I looked at each other In
wondering awe. Two years before t
stood at my father's dying bed ; was It
the same mysterious shadow that made
their faces look so strangely a alike?
The dying man continued :
" Thy father aud I were brothers.
Did he ever speak to thee of his brother
Tom, who forsook home aud country
because a girl, false as fair, broke her
troth to wed a richer suitor V You have
been kind to the poor old man who
came to you as a stranger. I have not
forgotten It as the papers lu my desk
will show."
An examination of the papers alluded
to not only proved that my poor uncle
spoke truly, but that he died In the pos
session of bonds and stock to the
amount of $20,000 ; " to be divided
equally so between his two nieces,
ltuth and Margaret Gray."
Of course, John and I married. Ills
mother and Margie live with us, and a
happier home it would be hard to find.
A Joke on the WrongChap.
MB. WAGON was the victim. His
.sou Johnny is a mischievous lad,
and the other day resolved to play a
trick on his brother. He arranged cer
tain attachments to that brother's bed,
worked by cords running to his own
room, and then went off fishing. While
he was gone bis brother was sent away
to be absent over night, and a lot of
company arriving at the house Mr.
Wagon gave up his own room to them
and occupied the absent son's bed.
Johnny got home late at night, and
wholly ignorant of this change of ar
rangements, went to his room, which
was next to his mother's, and prepared
to perpetrate his designs upon his
brother. The first proceeding was to
haul on a cord which ran between the
blankets and spread on his brother's
bed, and, being fastened at the top
would pull the clothes off the bed. Mr.
Wagon was comfortably tucked lu,
when suddenly the clothes began to slip
and he found himself uncovered. He
thought he might have kicked them off,
and sat up and took hold of the clothes
to pull them back. Meanwhile Johnny
bad yanked another cord which pulled
the pillow off the bed. Mr. Wagon dis
covered his loss and, reached for the
pillow, and when he got it the clothes
went oil again. He was much excited
at that aud again went after the clothes
and again lost his pillow. That time
the pillow went under the bed and Mr.
Wagon went under after it, and imme
diately came out again and swore pro
digiously, for the floor was strewn with
chestnut burrs, and be bad gotten into
them. He resolved to scold the cham
bermaid for leaving so many pins on
the floor. Once more he made an
attempt to get the pillow, and, as it
was way under, he made a frantic dive
for it, and just then Johnny, who was
shaking with laughter, pulled the last
cord and the whole bed came down upon
Mr. Wagon and jammed him upon the
burrs. Ills frantic howls brought his
wife and friends to the rescue, and he
was fished out. And then the gas was
lighted and somebody discovered the
cords running to Johnny's room. Mr.
Wagon at once hastened there. The lad
explained that be thought his brother
was in the bed, but it didn't make any
difference. His yells were mistaken by
a man sleeping half a mile away for a
cry of fire, and he jumped out of bed so
hard he sprained a toe. And the next
day when Johnny went to school he
got spanked again because he wouldn't
sit down, and Is now resolved to run
away from home, the first chance he
.can get, as this part of the county is
a mighty discouraging region for a boy.
In Self-Defense.
A Galveston Germau was very much
annoyed by a neighbor's dog that Jump
ed over into his garden aud scratched up
things generally. The aggrieved party
swore he would shoot the dog. Next
day the dog came Into the garden as
usual. The German rushed for bis gun.
The dog saw what was coming and
jumped back over the fence, but not in
NO. 14.
time to avoid a load of shot. The owner
of the dog brought suit, and the German
became soared and consulted a friend as
to what be should say when brought up
In court.
" You must say," said the friend,
"that you shot the dog In self-defense."
"I must say I shoot him In bis self
defense. Den de tog's self-defense Ish
on de same end vere bis tall vash
don't it V"
Soldier Birds.
THESE are the storks of India, where
they are much valued, and In tome
parts of that country they are kept in
large flocks like the ostrich In South
Africa, for the sake of their beautiful
During the wet season, or lu times of
Inundation, these birds do good service
to the natives and owners of property;
for they consume vast numbers of rep
tiles, which are driven from their haunts
by the rising water. Itats.toads, lizards,
snakes, all disappear down their Im
mense beaks at a surprising rate.
In some towns it Is unlawful to hurt
them, as they consume the refuse which
Is thrown luto the streets, which in
such a hot country might produce
They will sometimes hurry in
through an open window, and swallow
a slice or two of bread and butter, or
anything else that may happen to be
left unguarded on a table ; while even a
puppy or kitten playing by the wayside,
has, ere now furnished them with a
dainty lunch.
One traveler lamented the loss of his
milk-white Persian kitten, which waa
seized by one of these feathered warriors
as it lay basking on the sunny veranda
of his house, and swallowed In an In
stant. They are commonly known by the
name of " Adjutant birds," because
they are mostly found near the barracks
or an encampment of soldiers, where
they go In search of refuse and waste
pieces of food.
Many a furious battle has taken place
in front of the regimental cook's quar
ters for the possesion of the bones and
other spoils throw out; and while the
Adjutants have fought, the nimble
crows have rushed In and carried off the
An Adjutant which had been set upon
by a flock of crows, for a long time bore
their tormenting without much disturb
ing himself. At last his patlenoe gave
way, he made a sudden dash, caught
one of the Impertinent fellows in bis
huge beak, and In an Instant swallowed
him whole, while all bis brother crows
setup a tremendous cawing, as If to
express their horror at his fate.
A Wife Worth Having.
She was a plucky woman, the wife of
a Bradford oil speculator, who saw her
husband's fortune pass away almost in
the twinkle of an eye by a sudden and
heavy fall in the price of illuminating
fluid. Walking into a store she took off
her sealskin saque and sold It. From
that place she went to the jeweler's and
disposed of her diamonds and all ber
silver. When her husband returned
home, disconsolate and downcast, she
met him In the door dressed in a neat
calico wrapper. He bad been a clerk
before fortune smiled upon him, and she
a modest school teacher. She informed
him that she had discharged all the
servants, and they would live as former
ly, she doing the work. She handed
him $5,000 as the result of selling her
Jewelry, and told him to use it. Joy
and hope beamed In his eyes, and found
a place in bis heart again. He went
again to his business, in one month he
had regained bis former position.
, cy George Arnold, u Texas farmer .be
lieving he would go mid from the bite of
a dog, bought a twelve foot trace chain
and strong lock and went into the woods.
After writing a letter to his wife, in
which he told her what he felt would
happen,- and giving directions aa to cer
tain things he wished ber to do after his
death; he ran the chain round a tree,
drew it through the large ring at the
end, and then wound the other end
around his ankle so tight that it would
not slip the foot, locked it securely, and
threw the key far beyond his reach. Two
days after bis dead body was found
chained to the tree, and there was evi
dence that he had died, of hydrophobia,