Friday, February 29, 2008

An Iowa Fish Story


Here is an Iowa yarn that raises the limit on fish stories:

"We wet our lines in Shell Rock river, a few miles below Cedar Falls, and caught a catfish that weighed 190 pounds. Being without fish, flesh or fowl at the camp, we put a pole through its gills and shouldered it half a mile for dinner. On opening it we found that it had swallowed a smaller cat that weighed about 15 pounds, so we said we'd eat the latter for dinner instead of the big fellow, as it was perfectly fresh. But when we opened No. 2 there was a still smaller cat in its gullet, one that weighed five pounds, and as the party consisted of only three we made a dinner on that. I have abundant witnesses."

Penny Weddings


The Scotland penny weddings were so called, although the guests contributed shillings and occasionally half crowns, toward the wedding feast.

The penny wedding of Germany is on a different basis. The bride receives her guests with a basin before her, in which everybody deposits a jewel, a silver spoon or piece of money. In some parts of Germany the expense of a marriage is met by each guest paying for what he eats and drinks, and, moreover, at a very high rate, so that the young couple obtain a sum sufficient to start them nicely in life. As many as 300 guests often assemble.

In Poland a girl is not eligible for marriage until she has not only made her own trousseau, but the garments for the friends that will accompany the bridegroom to the altar.

Charms and Witchcraft


The Malay is a Firm Believer In Their Efficacy

The Malay is a firm believer in the efficacy of charms. He wears amulets, places written words of magic in houses and sports a tiger's claw as a preventive of disease. If he is specially primitive and backwoodsy, when he enters a forest he says: "Go to the right, all my enemies and assailants! May you not look upon me; let me walk alone!" To allay a storm he says: "The elephants collect, they wallow across the sea. Go to the right, go to the left, I break the tempest." When about to begin an elephant hunt, according to Thompson, he uses this charm: "The elephant trumpets, he wallows across the lake. The pot boils, the pan boils across the point. Go to the left, go to the right, spirit of grandfather (the elephant); I loose the fingers upon the bowstring."

The Malay believes in witches and witchcraft. There is the bottle imp, the Polong, which feeds on its owner's blood till the time comes for it to take possession of an enemy. Then there is a horrid thing, the Penangalan, which possesses women. Frequently it leaves its rightful abode to fly away at night to feed on blood, faking the form of the head and intestines of the person it inhabited, in which shape it wanders around.

Such beliefs may perhaps have their origin in metempsychosis, which in other ways has some foothold among the common people. For instance, elephants and tigers are believed sometimes to be human souls in disguise, and so the Malay addresses them as "grandfather" to allay their wrath and avoid direct reference to them. Crocodiles also are often regarded as sacred, and special charms are used in fishing for them. One such, given by Maxwell, is as follows: "Oh, Dangsari, lotus flower, receive what I send thee. If thou receivest it not, may thy eyes be torn out." — R. Clyde Ford in Popular Science Monthly.

Two Coincidence Stories


Told In Good Faith In a Club Where All Romancing Is Barred

It was the secretary's turn to tell a yarn to his fellow members of the Coincidence club. The Coincidence club, by the way, has no cumbersome machines. It has members and officers, meets once a week to tell queer stories along the line suggested by its name, and everything but the strict truth is barred.

"I've got two stories, much alike, to tell. There's nothing dramatic or sensational about them. They struck me as queer, though. You know I'm a lawyer. One day a man named Dodge brought in a letter of introduction to me from a friend out west. He had a simple sort of a case, and I asked him to come back at 3 o'clock that afternoon. Then I went over to the criminal court on business that kept me till within a few minutes of 3 o'clock. As I entered my office there was a man sitting in the shadow. Without really looking at him, and with my mind full of the appointment, I said, as I went to my private office:

"How are you, Mr. Dodge. I'll see you in a minute."

"Pretty soon I rang and told the office boy to show in Mr. Dodge. The man came in, and he wasn't my Mr. Dodge at all. Imagine my surprise when he said:

"How did you know my name?"

"At the same time he handed me a letter of introduction from a friend. His name was Dodge all right, and he had a case. I gasped over the oddity of the situation, explained the coincidence to my visitor and even showed him the other letter of introduction. But the man did not believe me. He evidently thought I was a liar and left without putting his case in my hands. A few minutes later in came the first Mr. Dodge, and we had a good laugh over it.

"The other coincidence was this: I got letters from two friends, one west of Chicago and one south, asking me to collect claims against a big Chicago firm and a big insurance company with an agency in Chicago. I telephoned and made appointment with representatives of each of the concerns, one at 12 and the other at 12:30 o'clock. I went out on an errand and was delayed till 12:30 o'clock. When I came in, both men were waiting. Strange as it may seem both men were named Rose. I introduced them. One was originally from Rhode Island and the other from Connecticut As far as they could figure out they were not related. I've used false names, but otherwise the stories are strictly true and can be proved by evidence that will pass muster in a court of law." — Chicago Inter Ocean.

Strangely Illuminated


Weird Effect of Phosphorescence on a Ship In Bering Sea

"I have often heard of the wonderful phosphorescence of southern seas," remarked a traveler from the north, "and I have seen some pretty fair samples of it in the Atlantic between New York and English ports but I did not know until recently that it prevailed to any extent in northern waters.

"Last August I was on board a revenue cutter in the Bering sea, about 63 degrees north latitude, bound north, when one night about 10 o'clock I happened to go on deck, and I was almost frightened by the sight of the sea. The wind was blowing sharp enough to raise the whitecaps, and the whole sea looked as if it were lighted from its depths by a million arc lights, throwing their white rays upward and under the flying foam. The hollows of the waves were dark, but every crest that broke showered and sparkled as if it were filled with light. From the sides of the ship great rolls of broken white light fell away, and she left a broad pathway of silvery foam as far back as the eye could reach.

"But about this hour was the most striking display. Here it was as if the ship were plowing through the sea of white light, and as the water was thrown back from her prow it fell in glittering piles of light upon the dark surface beyond and was driven far down below, lighting the depths as if all the electricity of the ocean were shooting its sparkles through the waves and turning itself into innumerable incandescents that flushed a second and then shut out forever. I stood on the forecastle deck looking down into the brilliant white turmoil of the waters until I began to feel as if we were afloat upon some silver sea, and a really uncanny feeling took possession of me. The white ship was lighted by the phosphorescence of the waters, so that as high up as the deck there was a pale, weird white that made one feel as if the 'Flying Dutchman' were abroad upon the seas and had passed by us. The masts towered in ashy gray above the decks, and every rope and line stood out distinctly in the light, but cast no shadow. It was all as ghostly as if we had gone up against the real thing, and it was a positive relief to get back into the wardroom, where there was something more human. I don't know how long it lasted, but when I went to bed at 11 o'clock I could still see the silver shining through the air port in my stateroom." — Washington Star.

Hunting Giraffes


No Danger Attends This Sport Except From the Animal's Heels

A good giraffe skin is worth from $10 to $20 in South Africa and much more in Europe. On their hunting trips 10 or 15 years ago it was a common matter for one hunter to kill 40 or 50 of these graceful animals in one day. The reason for this is that the giraffe is the most innocent of animals and easily hunted. They are absolutely defenseless, and there is hardly a case on record where a wounded giraffe turned upon the hunter. It is true, they bare great powers of speed, and they can dodge rapidly from tree to tree in the woods, but they offer such a fair mark that these tactics hardly ever save them.

Not until it is unusually frightened does the giraffe make its best speed, and when it is often too late, for the hunter is upon it. There is really no element of danger connected with this sport, and that makes it less exciting and attractive to a true sportsman. Under certain circumstances it is possible to be injured with the powerful legs of the giraffe, which are capable of kicking a blow that would kill a lion. The latter beast, for this reason, takes good care to attack the giraffe at unexpected moments.

It takes a good horse to run down a giraffe, and if the least advantage is permitted the wild creature the race is lost. Its peculiar gait is very ungraceful and deceptive, but it covers the ground with remarkable facility. In the open veldt the hunters have always the best of the race, but the giraffe, when surprised, makes instantly for the forest, where tough vines and intermingling branches make travel difficult for the hunter. The bushes and thorns tear and lacerate the skin of the horses, but the tough skin of the giraffe is barely scratched. The creature will tear a path through the toughest and thickest jungle and never suffer in the least.

This skin, or hide, of the animal is its chief article of value. No wonder that the bullets often fail to penetrate this skin, for it is from three-quarters to an inch thick and as tough as it is thick. This skin when cured and tanned makes excellent leather for certain purposes. The Boers make riding whips and sandals out of the skins they do not send to Europe. The bones of the giraffe have also a commercial value. The leg bones are solid instead of hollow, and in Europe they are in great demand for manufacturing buttons and other bone articles. The tendons of the giraffe are so strong that they will sustain an enormous dead weight, which gives to them pecuniary value. — Scientific American.

Sweating Gold Coins


This Trick of Swindling is Easily Performed

Sweating a coin is merely robbing it of a portion of its legal weight without in any manner altering its appearance. Manifestly gold coins alone would hardly appeal to the sweater, for silver would hardly pay for the trouble. In countries where paper money in employed, sweating has taken no root. Also in countries like England, where the largest gold coin is a sovereign, the practice would hardly become epidemic.

On the Pacific slope at one time the nefarious business assumed such proportions that the government found it necessary to pass measures against coin sweating, but even then the manifest injustice of arresting a person for merely "passing" such a coin, such person being almost certainly quite innocent, appealed to legislators to such an extent that the law was made only to affect the actual manipulator of the unlawful process. The consequence of this has been that the authorities have had the greatest difficulty in securing convictions against the malefactors, who have debased no end of coins.

The process of robbing a coin of a part of its metal is simple. The goldpiece is merely immersed, or suspended, in aqua regia, a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, which attacks the metal at once. The manipulator keeps the piece in the bottle only a short time, for a few minutes suffice for the mixture to absorb and hold in solution as much as a dollar's worth of the gold from a $20 piece. The coin is then washed in water and polished with whiting, as otherwise its surface would betray the ordeal through which it had been passed, showing "pockmarks" in great variety.

The process is continued with other coins until the acid is "saturated," when it will absorb no more of the metal. The coins are exchanged for silver or other currency, as only an expert could detect the small subtraction in weight, and the silver is then re-exchanged for more gold, upon which the operator performs his little game in due course. It is only necessary for the villain to boil down his acid to complete evaporation, when the residue in the kettle will be found in the shape of a gleaming button of pure gold, varying in size according to the amount of acid and the charge it carries in solution.

In San Francisco the government secret agents have waged a long and bitter war with sweaters. They have captured many who were guilty enough in all conscience, but against whom no conviction could be obtained for lack of evidence, and they have placed others beyond all worldly temptation for various terms of years.

One of the lone kings of this nefarious business, who finally was obliged to sojourn for a rest in the penitentiary at San Quentin, was named Goodrich. He was an exceedingly modest and retiring man. He occupied an ordinary dwelling and conducted his operations on the roof. After many long weeks of vigil on the part of government detectives he was taken into custody, not redhanded, but at least black fingered by the acid. His apparatus was found most cleverly concealed behind movable bricks in the chimney on top of his house. At the time of his capture a small bottle of greenish fluid was found, and this, upon being carefully reduced in fumes, yielded up a button worth fully $10. A few coins were discovered in the man's pockets and also in his residence. These, to all appearances, were honest coins. Under the microscope they were found to be fairly cross hatched with tiny lines, which had been produced by the process of polishing to remove the traces where the acid had eaten away the metal.

Insidious as this acid thieving may appear, it might be regarded as crude by those who are acquainted with the "tricks that are vain" exercised by the "heathen Chinee." John Chinaman is numerous in California. He gets his long hands on many a golden disk, and with great reluctance does he ever relinquish his grip, He has never learned the "art" of sweating the coins with acid, but he accomplishes his purpose in his characteristically patient manner. He simply places many coins together in a buckskin bag and then proceeds to shake and toss and otherwise agitate that receptacle by the hour or by the week until he has worn off by abrasion $10 or $20 worth of fine dust of gold. The coins wear one another. They present the appearance when at length they emerge from the sack of having been regularly abraded by pocket to pocket circulation, and therefore to all intents and purposes nothing illegal has been done. As a matter of fact, no Chinese has ever been apprehended or put on trial for this work. It is doubtful if the authorities have ever taken cognizance of the practice. Only a few people ever realized what the sly Celestials were at when witnessing the hourly agitation of the coins. It is of course unlawful to bore a hole through a gold coin or to perform any other mutilation, but Mr. Chinaman cannot be said to mutilate the money he wears out so artfully, and therefore he pursues his course serene and unmolested.

There have been clever rogues from time to time who employ a slender tool with which to "gut" a coin. Their method is to make a small incision in the edge of a coin and then patiently dig out the inside, after which they refill the hollow space with baser metal. "High art" like this has become almost obsolete, for the acid business has frequently proved safer and less difficult of performance. Laws will multiply and detectives will wax more and more like Sherlock Holmes, but the makers and administrators of penal regulations will be obliged to arise early in the morning to prevent for all time the effort of man to accumulate his "pile" for "nothing."

Whistling Buoys


Valuable Aids to Navigation and Repairers Keep Them In Tune

One of the most interesting aids to navigation is the whistling buoys. There are several of them off the cape, and their dull, hoarse groaning may often be heard for miles.

They are clumsy affairs of steel, ranging in length from 30 to 35 feet, with an air tank shaped like a pear about 10 feet high and 9 feet in diameter from which an 18 inch pipe 20 feet long protrudes.

These buoys may be seen at the lighthouse department storehouses on Diamond island, where buoys of all kinds and shape are kept ready to be placed over some rock dangerous to navigation or to replace any which may be damaged or adrift.

This long pipe which runs down into the water is what furnishes the power for the whistle.

When the buoy is in the water, the rolling of the waves up through pipe and the pressure on the air in the tank forces it out through the whistle, and the well-known dismal sound is the result.

Whistle buoys in different ports of the coast are given a different pitch in order that the mariner may, on a thick night be able to know his locality by the difference in the sound.

It is the duty of the officers to adjust the pitch of these whistles when they get out of tune, And they have become so expert at it that they can detect and remedy the slightest variation from the correct pitch.

The adjustment of these whistles must be made while they are in place, and sometimes the great necessity of the marks on dangerous rocks obliges the men on the buoy boats to make these repairs in very rough weather.

The repairing crew usually includes the mate and one man, who are rowed up to the buoy until they are able to grasp the rings on the side and clamber up over the side to the cage which protects the whistle.

Perhaps the most dangerous duty which falls to the lot of the buoy tenders is that of replacing the heavy buoys during a storm or while a heavy sea is running.

With the steamer rolling her rails under the greatest care must be taken to avoid accident, and many are the stories of narrow escapes related by strong, rugged men who perform this dangerous work. — Augusta (Maine) Journal.

He Made a Study of Mice


And Concludes That They Have a Keen Sense of Humor

Few people understand the mystery of mice. I think I can, without immodesty, claim to understand mice, for I have made them a study for many years. I used to think that nature supplied mice, wherever there seemed to any call for them. For example, if you live in a house where there are no mice and in a rash moment provide yourself with a mouse trap or set up a cat mice will immediately make their appearance. To the superficial observer this looks as if nature, perceiving that you have a mouse trap, proceeds to supply mice for it, or, noticing that you have a cat, sends mice enough to satisfy the animal. But this is not the true explanation. In order to understand mice you must grasp the fact that the mouse is an animal with a keen sense of humor and a love of excitement. With this key in your possession you can readily unlock the mystery of mice.

That the mouse has a sense of humor is conspicuously shown by the way in which he will rattle a newspaper in your bedroom at night. The mouse does not eat newspapers, nor does he put them to any domestic use. He merely makes a noise with them, knowing that of all sounds the midnight rustle of a newspaper is the one which will most successfully banish sleep from your eyes. If a mouse finds an eligible newspaper in your bedroom he will settle himself down to a night of fun and jollity. He will rattle that newspaper till morning, and the only effect of throwing boots at him or of getting up and lighting the gas and searching for him with a poker will be that he will hide himself till you lie down to sleep and then resume his little newspaper game. If this does not show a sense of humor it would be difficult to say what it does show.

Then there is the well known fact that no sooner does a mouse trap or a cat enter a house than it is followed by a troop of mice. Cats and traps draw mice as the pole draws the magnet. The mouse loves the game of teasing the cat by stimulating the latter's hopes of capturing mice. It is considered the height of fun among mice to scuttle across a room, in the presence of a cat and to disappear in a hole just as the cat is ready to pounce. Of course, now and then a too reckless mouse pays the penalty of rashness by being caught by the cat, but accidents of this kind are more rare among mice than football accidents among men and in no way render mice shy of the game. — Pearson's.

Returns From the Dead


Baltimore, Jan. 6 — A special dispatch to The Sun from Williamsport, Pa., says that William Shook has returned to Williamsport alive and well after being mourned as dead for over 13 years.

Shook's wife of former days married again during his absence, believing that he was no longer alive. During the fall of 1886 Shook left his home unexpectedly and no trace of him could be found. Eight years after Shook's disappearance his wife wedded again, her choice being Joseph Johnson, a carpenter.

The first intelligence received by relatives in this city that Shook was alive was in a letter received during the past summer from the United States pension department. Shook had applied for a pension, and the authorities were inquiring as to his war record. Shook has spent the time in Virginia and Maryland.

A Solomon and Hypnotism


A story is told in Collier's Weekly of a judge who lately had the hypnotic plea raised before him by a burglar. The prisoner claimed that he did not know that he was "burgling," that he did it automatically and unconsciously, under the direction of a hypnotist.

The judge said he would give him the full benefit of the law, and also of his hypnotic misfortune. He therefore sentenced the man to five years' penal servitude, but told him he could, if he chose, send for the hypnotist and have himself made unconscious for the entire term of his imprisonment.

"The same power," said the judge, "which enabled you to commit burglary and not know it ought also to enable you to suffer imprisonment with hard labor and not be aware of it. At any rate, this is the best I can do for you."

Knowledge of Self


A Scientist's Observations of Certain Ways of Children

Dr. Sully remarks that children begin to acquire a knowledge of "self" when they are a few months old, and may be observed grasping, striking and biting their own hands or feet.

A boy, whose feet were stained with new stockings, cried to his mother, "These ain't the feet I had this morning." The trunk is first recognized as part of self; then the head is regarded as the seat of intelligence. A child will "make believe" that it is more than one self and personify its members.

When only a few months old a baby does not know its own face in a mirror until it finds out by experience. Children are often afraid of a shadow at first, but in time refer it to the sun. They attach every importance to their bodily appearance, can scarcely believe that an earlier photograph of them as babies is really meant for them and feel almost new beings when dressed for church on Sunday.

In time the conscious self which thinks, suffers and wills is dimly discerned. A girl of 3 years shut her eyes and believed her mother could see her body, but not her real self. One day she asked, "Mother, am I real, or only a pretend like my dolls?" The same child pitied the fallen leaves dying on the ground. A well known lady novelist when a child was amazed to think that she could feel and act by an internal self, and the consciousness of self came to George Sand one day as a sudden revelation.

Children want to know how their thoughts come to their tongue or limbs and imagine they travel down.

Metamorphosis of self is a common idea among children, who fancy they have been something different at one time. They also find it hard to believe they never existed at all and will ask where they were a hundred years ago. A little boy of 5 asserted that the world only began to go round when he was born. Another gravely said, when passing a street pump, "There are no pumps in heaven, where I came from." Children have a standard of time from adults, an hour seeming very long to them.

The God of Murderers


In a certain mountain village on the northwest frontier of Burma, is a sacred pool, in which is said to live a nat — i.e., a demon — called Shearpanial, who is the guardian spirit of murderers.

When a murder is committed anywhere in these hills, the water of this pool is reported to turn blood red.

Now, when this happens it is a warning sign to the villagers, who are the wardens of the pool, to be on their guard lest the murderer, whoever he may be and from whatever village he may come, unobserved, succeed in reaching the pool, for the Chin law or custom is that if a murderer manages to elude the "avengers of blood" (who are usually some near blood relations of the victim) and the vigilance of the guardians of the pool and succeeds in gaining it and washes his hands in its blood red water, which, as soon as this occurs, resumes its usual appearance, testifying that the god of murder is appeased, he is absolved from his blood guiltiness and is thereafter a free man, and no one may henceforth molest him.

On the other hand, if he were overtaken by his pursuers or were he prevented by the village guardians from reaching the well be would speedily pay the penalty of his crime with his life. — London Answers.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Comb In the Claw


Many birds possess a useful comb in the claw of the middle toe of the foot. This has been noticed in owls, nightjars, herons, bitterns, cormorants, gannets, etc.

It has been explained as a means of holding the prey securely. The comb is sometimes replaced by a curved blade with teeth, which runs along the inner side of the claw. Such a blade is found in razorbills, wild ducks, gulls, starlings and many other birds.

Where a comb is required the inner edge of this blade becomes divided into teeth. Young nightjars or goatsuckers have only the blade, but old ones have a well developed comb.

Labor of Ants


It would perhaps be pushing metaphors to an unwarranted extreme to speak of "dignity of labor" in connection with the occupations of ants. But if by the phrase we mean that labor is the honorable lot of all citizens and that all labors of whatever sort are upon the same level of respectability then we might venture to apply the saying even to the labors of an ant hill. For therein all are workers, from the newly fledged callow to the veteran of a second summer. — Harper's Magazine.

Armenian Marriages

An Armenian mother usually chooses her daughter's husband. After all business preliminaries are settled between the families the bridegroom's mother, accompanied by a priest and two matrons, visits the bride and gives her a ring in token of espousal, and with this ring the couple are ultimately married. Among the fishing communities very ancient and elaborate rings are used, and they descend as heirlooms from generation to generation.

The Old Suez Canal


Few people are aware that there had been a canal across the isthmus of Suez before De Lesseps ever conceived the idea of his monumental enterprise.

A canal across the isthmus was actually constructed 600 years before the Christian era and served as a waterway for small vessels until about 1,000 years ago, when it was allowed to fall into disuse. Napoleon revived the idea and instructed one of the great engineers of his day to investigate the matter, but though a favorable report was presented to him, in which M. Lepere recommended the restoration of the canal, the work itself was never touched.

When M. de Lesseps undertook the task of cutting the canal he thought at first to follow the idea of Napoleon and restore the ancient waterway, but this plan was abandoned and the present plan determined upon.

Ocean Heart


The throbbing, and vibration of the engines of a modern steamer have a most extraordinary effect upon the human heart.

Let it be said at once that ocean traveling does not in any way injure the heart; on the contrary, it benefits it, with the general health. But the vibration of the machinery is transmitted to this vital organ with the most extraordinary results so far as medical examination is concerned.

A ship's doctor will tell you that when he listens through his stethoscope to the beating of a man's heart at sea it seems as if every moment the heart would stop. With sturdy and invalid passengers it is just the same. The heart appears to the doctor as if every beat would be its last. This being the case, it is exceedingly difficult for the physician to ascertain the true condition of the traveler's health, and he generally resorts to the expedient of slinging his patient in a hammock, where the vibration is considerably lessened, though no device can overcome it altogether. — London Answers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bear Saves Child From Its Mate

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Oct. 6. — Frightfully mangled by a captive bear in Idora Park, 10-year-old Selma Lewis, daughter of Fred Lewis, was saved only by the interference of the companion bear in the cage. The little girl was feeding acorns to the bear when it suddenly reached through the bars of the cage, scalping her, frightfully mangling her right arm and biting off three of her fingers. She screamed and the other bear in the cage rushed at its mate, compelling it to loosen the hold on the child. The girl was taken to the city hospital, where her death is expected at any moment.

—The Saturday Blade, Chicago, Oct. 9, 1909.

"I Love My Wife, But Oh, You Moving Day!"


Charged With Desertion Husband Says Wife Changes House Too Often — 15 Homes in 3 Years Too Much.

BALTIMORE, Md., Oct. 6. — "I adore my wife, but I can't afford to move every other month," declared George W. Perry before Judge Llewellyn, when asked what he had to say about a charge of desertion.

"In our three years of married life, judge," said Perry, "we have moved fifteen times, which is five times a year, or once in every ten weeks. My wife has a mania for moving. No sooner do we get snugly fixed in one house than she suddenly decides that it is not comfortable, or something else, and starts to move. Many times I have been in ignorance of her intention to vacate, and upon my return home from work would find the house empty and would have to make inquiries as to where she had moved."

"Well, judge," said the wife, "he has beaten me oftener than we have moved." The judge gave the pair a little sound advice and then left the room, asking them to try to patch up their difficulties and agree to live in harmony for the sake of their two little children. When the magistrate returned he asked them if they had reached a decision. Neither replied. Then he turned to the wife.

"I don't believe you truly love your husband, madam," he said.

"No, I don't, and I wouldn't live with him again for anything," fairly shouted the little woman.

"Dismissed," said Justice Llewellyn.

Fleas! Lorda'Mighty! Some Millions of Them



Man Picks 110 Off His Body Before They Could Get Away — Breaks His Lease and Moves, Then Landlady Sues Him for Rent He Failed to Pay, and There'll Be Some Doings in Court

The wicked flea in battalions has so seriously inconvenienced the family of A. S. Mitchell, treasurer of the Consolidated Casualty Company, that Mr. Mitchell, the fleas, Mr. Mitchell's landlady, Mrs. Frank L. Smith of Chicago. and Mr. Mitchell's lease have gone to the mat about it.

Mr. Mitchell declares that one bright, warm morning last August he plucked from his person fleas to the number of 110. Forty-five of the agile ramblers Mr. Mitchell discovered on his immaculately groomed and perfectly tailored person after he had dressed for the street and was about to depart for his office. In consternation he took a freshly laundered sheet, spread it on the kitchen floor, carefully disrobed and separated the remaining forty-five fleas from his apparel.

Mrs. Smith when asked about this expressed wonder that Mr. Mitchell could catch so many fleas all at once, and also how he had managed to count them without a previous capture, but Mitchell avers there were so many thousands that even he could catch the number named ere they could escape.

The Mitchell family leased from Hopkins & Luther, agents for Mrs. Smith, a four room flat at 1425 East Sixty-third place, at a rental of $57.50 a month. Oct. 1 the lease expired, and Aug. 28 the Mitchell family is said to have left, leaving the September rent unpaid. Mr. Michell claims he did this merely to fulfill his threat made months previous that he would move unless the landlady or her agents did something to exterminate the fleas.

The agents retorted by filing suit against Mitchell in the first district court for $57.50, the amount of the unpaid September rent; Mrs. Smith, it is alleged, says she stands ready to expend $5,000 in order to force Mr. Mitchell to pay that one month's rent. Mr. Mitchell is equally emphatic in his assertion that if necessary he will pay out $15,000 in order to fight Mrs. Smith.

Mr. Mitchell says that when he returned home at night, instead of enjoying his evening paper in peace and quiet, he had to get up and chase fleas. All night long the wicked flea pursued, he alleges, and sleep was a nightmare. Breakfast, he claims, was but a mockery, thanks to the fleas. Promises to eradicate the pest were plentiful as the pest itself, according to Mr. Mitchell.

—The Saturday Blade, Chicago, Oct. 9, 1909.

A Pertinent Question

This cartoon looks like The Outbursts of Everett True, or at least the same artist, just going by memory. It's certainly the same idea, the main character being insanely irate at the various slights in life. It's from 1909, The Saturday Blade, Chicago, Oct. 9, 1909.

Hubby's Superstitions Made Her Life a Burden


List Shows He Knew Them All

Woman Put Up With Them Until Life Ceased to Be a Pleasure, Then She Asked for a Divorce — Story She Had to Tell Beats Any Ever Heard in a Court Room

SEATTLE, Wash., Oct. 6. — Because he is "the most superstitious man in the world," and for cruelty and eccentric habits arising from his beliefs, Mrs. Sofia Rudd was granted a divorce from Robert Rudd, a well to do farmer of Kitsap County. Here are some of the things he did, according to allegations presented for evidence:

When their only child was 1 year old she was forced to swallow a teaspoonful of fine sand, one grain meaning every [*line of text missing.]

He hung a live toad in the stable, in the belief that the total number of days required for the tortured thing to die would be the number of prosperous years of his life.

Last spring he compelled his wife to disrobe and walk wound a newly planted potato patch, that the crop might be a prolific one.

Nailed a wagon wheel over the gate and tied a skull bone of a horse to the gate, that none passing through bring disease to the family.

Impaled an owl on the gable and fastened a hawk to the side of the barn to discourage other birds from visiting his barnyard.

Would not permit his wife to raise ducks or geese, because white fowls are said to bring discontent.

Kept a piece of wood from a coffin once dug up in Oregon tied to his wagon to keep caterpillars off the farm.

A rooster was kept tied on to a nest for six months to discourage hens from wanting to set.

Scattered boards full of nails and pieces of barbed wire in the path traveled by his cattle on turning them into the fresh green pastures in springtime. If an animal was injured he immediately killed it, because he believed that same animal would have died from overeating before the summer was passed, and that to end its life then would thus save the grass for the other cows.

—The Saturday Blade, Chicago, Oct. 9, 1909.

*Note: A good guess would be one grain of sand for every day of the child's life that year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

To Test New Mail Device for Trains


WASHINGTON. — After a series of tests continuing since February the Postoffice Department has arranged for a formal six months' tryout of an invention for delivering and picking up mails by fast trains. As a demonstration of the practicability of the system a live pig, weighing 85 pounds, was recently delivered without injury at Carrollton, Ky., the home of the inventor, without the slightest injury from a train running 25 miles an hour.

For years the Postoffice Department has sought an improved method of picking up and delivering mails over the old catcher-hook system, and the new device was the result of four years' advertising by the postal authorities, urging inventors to produce something that would meet the requirements.

It is 40 years since the catcher hook came into use, and in spite of the progress in railroading and the tremendous improvement in the mail service along other directions no forward step is recorded in the matter of exchanging mail sacks by moving trains. Under this system only one small sack could be picked up at any one station, and it is a matter of official history that not infrequently, instead of catching the suspended sack of mail, the hook, operated by a mail clerk standing in the open door of the car, would snatch up a chicken coop or something else not to be found in any classification of mail matter.

The delivery of mail from moving trains is still more primitive, consisting merely of having the clerk hurl or push the sacks out of the car as the train rushes past the platform. Great numbers of persons have been injured and some killed by being struck by the whirling and rebounding sacks, thrown with the force of a catapult.

In a number of instances the bags of mail have rolled under the wheels of the train and have caused wrecks or have been ground to pieces and the mail destroyed. And these defects do not take into consideration the tremendous wear and tear on the mail bags and pouches, one of the largest items of expense to the railway mail service.

The new device has passed through a successful test of six months at Burnside station, and this decided the government to give the more extended trial.

Note: In 1910, back in that general time, "post office" was one word.

Criticism of American Potatoes


"Perhaps better potatoes will be raised in this country some day," said a man from Europe, seated in the Knickerbocker dining room. "At present many dinner menus are arranged without potatoes, In fact they are not highly prized, and I believe it is because the best kinds are not cultivated here. The soil may have something to do with it, but I tell you there is nothing to compare with the 'blue mouse' and the 'red mouse' raised in the Rhine country. There are many others kinds, with the flavor of nuts, mealy, and — well, I am often homesick for them." — New York Herald.

Easy Money at Great Parisian Banks

If you present a letter of credit at one of the great banks of Paris, like the Credit Lyonnais, an usher in livery receives you in a splendid parlor, like the salon of a palace, and bids you be seated in a sumptuous chair. Presently he brings you a check, made out for the amount you demand, for your signature. A quarter of an hour later he brings you the cash on a silver tray. You do not come in contact with the clerical force, or see the inner workings at all.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New York Children Are Taught to Play


NEW YORK. — There are places where children have to be taught how to play. You might think that the youngsters wouldn't need instruction of this kind. You would be mistaken. Here in New York men and women spend the better part of their lives teaching thousands of children how to play, not only with their muscles, but also with their minds, writes a correspondent. A great many thousand dollars are spent annually by the city just for that purpose, and experience has proved that the time and money are well spent.

The tall tenements of the East side, as full of people as a warren is of rabbits, swarm with eager children. Their fathers and mothers were immigrants. Most of them had no boyhood or girlhood, as most people think of it. They worked for a living before they came to this country; they were hard at work in shops or factories after they came here. They had no traditions of play to hand down to their children. To them play was a foolishness.

Their children, unable to breathe in the tenements, take to the streets, which are dirty or infested with persons and things that are not good for little people to see and hear. Children who have no play places but the streets are apt to absorb unhealthful ideas as well as microbes. Pickpockets and loafers are developed that way. Besides, there is little of play that children can do in the streets. That ogre in cap and blue coat, the policeman, is always snooping about.

These are studies that folks with big minds made for themselves in past years. Little by little they got the city government interested and persuaded a very practical minded school board that it was worth while to provide play places for the children who had none, so the board of education has now in this city 245 playgrounds for children, day and night playgrounds, where the little people are carefully instructed how to frolic.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Making Ice Water From the Sunshine


EL PASO, Tex. — Manufacturing a drink of ice water with nothing cooler than the sun's rays and dry tropical air would probably seem under the province of the magician to the easterner. It is nevertheless a fact that from these ever-available agencies the greater part of the population of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico manufacture their own ice water. This not only serves for drinking purposes, but also provides an efficient medium for the ordinary requirements of refrigeration — for in the cruder sections of the great southwest the artificial production of ice is still a trifle too costly to be feasible.

The secret lies wholly in the construction of the little red receptacle in which the water is placed. This is a simple Mexican creation, and in that language is called an olla, the two l's being silent according to the Spanish pronunciation of the word. In northern Mexico olla making is a very profitable industry to the inhabitants, who carry them over into Arizona on the backs of burros.

The olla is made from a crude clayish mortar. In drying the composition becomes very porous, and it is this essential characteristic which contains the secret of the cooling process.

It is filled with water and hung up, preferably in some place which is exposed to the wind if there be any. The moisture seeps through the porous composition. The process is very slow, and the moisture which exudes evaporates into the receptive, dry atmosphere in such equable proportion that scarcely more than a drop a minute trickles away from the bottom of the olla.

It is this continuous and fairly rapid evaporation which produces the cold. Immediately the sides of the olla become chilled, and the water within grows gradually cooler. In less than an hour from the time the phenomena is begun the water is cold enough for drinking purposes, no matter how warm it might have been when poured into the receptacle. Two or three hours later it is cold enough to fill the ordinary requirements of refrigeration for bottled milk, butter and other culinary necessities.

Practical Trick of Tramp


Money He Received on Leaving Smallpox Hospital Is Declined by Restaurant Proprietor

"I have not come to solicit alms, madam," he said to the restaurant proprietress; "I have just called to make a small purchase, and, at the same time, to show to you man's inhumanity to man, and what a cold, hard world it is in which we live. In the meantime, would you kindly put me up a nice beef sandwich, with a plentiful supply of mustard, etc., for which I will tender the equivalent in coin of the realm?

"As I was saying — thank you, madam, that will do admirably — 'tis a cold, cruel world. For instance, these few bronze coins, with which I am about to pay you for my sandwich, represent my worldly goods, and they were given with a niggardly hand this morning on my leaving the smallpox hospital.

"What! You won't accept them? Nor take the food back? I may take them and go? Thank you, madam; I wish you a good morning!"

Gold Is Shaken From Coins


New York Detectives Unearth a Clever Swindle In the Maiden Lane Jewelry District

New York. — Secret service agents who have been at work in the Maiden Lane jewelry district, have discovered coin stripping by which gold is obtained and sold, the coins being put back into circulation apparently as good as ever. The new process consists in placing the coins in a burlap bag, which is shaken vigorously.

Thus tiny flakes of metal are knocked off the coins and cling to the bag, which is then burned, the gold melting into wee ingots.

The treasury department at Washington has been getting back of late large quantities of gold coins, which seemed more scratched and battered than ordinary.

Under the microscope it became evident that these coins had been handled with strange violence. Special agents were sent here to investigate and soon uncovered the industry of shaking the coins in burlap bags.

Few Women Laugh Heartily


Whether Due to Lack of Humor or Childhood's Training Is Unknown, But Fact Remains

Women laugh too little. Whether this is due to their lack of humor or to childhood's training in gentle manners may be questioned. Certain it is that a hearty laugh in a woman's voice is rare music. An audience of women rustles with amusement, but seldom laughs. A group of girls giggle, but do not laugh. A woman reading the most brilliantly humorous story seldom gets beyond a smile.

When Sir Walter Besant, in his clever skit, "The Revolt of Man," pictured the time in the twentieth century when women should have usurped all power — political, ecclesiastical and social — he shrewdly noted that laughter had died out in England; and when men revolted against their feminine tyrants, they came back to their own with peals of laughter.

A Paris doctor has recently opened a place for the laughter cure. It is a private institution, and large fees are charged. The patients sit around a room, and at a given moment begin to smile at each other. The smile broadens to a grin, and at a signal to a peal of laughter. Two hours a day of this healthful exercise is said to cure the worst cases of dyspepsia. But whether the habit of laughing easily and naturally could be acquired by this process is doubtful. — Montreal Herald.

Even or Odd


This game is the most ancient, perhaps, that we know. The children who played in the streets of Athens and in the Roman Forum in early ages, knew and loved it, and little children find amusement in it still. It is played in this manner: One child hides in her hand a few beans, nuts, or just bits of paper, and asks her companion to guess if they are odd or even.

If the playfellow guesses odd and on opening her hand the other displays an odd number, she forfeits the articles to the guesser, who hides them in her turn. But if the guess is odd and the number even, the guesser pays a forfeit and the first hider retains the beans, etc. The guess must be right to win.

Lifting Cats and Rabbits


Mistake to Lift Animal by Nape of Neck Without Supporting Lower Part of Body

It is a mistaken idea that the proper way to lift a full-grown cat is by the nape of its neck without supporting the lower part of its body with the other hand, says Watchword.

It is true that the mother cat carries young kittens by grasping in her mouth the loose skin at the back of her offspring's neck, but a tiny kitten is a very different matter from a large cat, and, indeed, the only way to lift a kitten without squeezing or hurting its soft little body is to lift it by its neck; but after it has grown larger its own weight is too great to be supported by such a bit of skin and fur as is so grasped by the hand, and many a cat suffers perfect tortures by being held in this manner, and is quite helpless to run or struggle, as in such a position certain of its muscles cannot be controlled, and it is absolutely at the mercy of its unconscious tormentor.

The same rule should be observed in lifting rabbits by their ears. They should always be partially supported by the free hand and not allowed to dangle with their whole weight straining from their large but necessarily delicate ears

Prison Doors Never Locked


Odd Place for "Confinement" on Sark, One of the Beautiful Channel Islands

Sark, the loveliest of the channel islands, possesses a quaint old prison of two cells, more as a matter of form than of necessity; for serious crime is almost unknown in the island, which has no paid police, but simply an elected constable. It is some years since the prison was called into requisition, and on the last occasion the bolt was found to be so rusty that it had to be broken before the door could be opened. The prisoner was then put in, left all night with the door open, and made no attempt to escape.

On another occasion a young English servant, who had stolen some clothes, was sentenced to three days' imprisonment. The prospect so terrified her that the authorities took pity on her loneliness and considerately left the cell open. The little maid sat in the doorway and was consoled by kindhearted Sark women, who came to her company.

A still more curious incident is told of a man who was convicted for neglecting his wife and children. He was ordered to betake himself to the prison and there wait for the arrival of the constable. This he did sitting outside until the door was opened to let him in.

Poisons Long In Use


Some poisons have been known for ages. Prussic acid, then called "the poison of the peach," was used by the Egyptians before the pyramids were built. They were the first to distill the poison from peach pits.

Corrosive sublimate was one of the favorite poisons of Charles IX of France. He offered a large prize for any one who would find an antidote for it. A physician came to him one day to claim the reward. The king sent for his cook, who had burned the meat that day, and made him take a fatal dose of corrosive sublimate. The antidote was administered immediately, but the cook died, notwithstanding. The king had the doctor taken out and hanged, so his spirit followed the cook's in less than a quarter of an hour.

Some Queer English Names


Sussex can produce queer names in plenty, for example: Replenished Pryor, a damsel who dwelt at Heathfield; Mr. Stand-fast-on-high Stringer; Mr. Ales Cressel, and Master Perform-thy-vows Seers. The county archives also yield unusual family names, such as Pitchfork, Devil, Leper, Juglery, Beatup, Breathing, Whiskey, Wildgoose, and Lies.

Dorset can hold her own tolerably well with villages named Ryme Intrinseca and Toller Porcorum; rivers called Wriggle river and Devil's brook; commons christened Giddy green and God's Blessing green, and heights called Hungry down, Mount Ararat, Grammars hill, and Dancing hill. A prospective tenant might well hesitate before signing the lease of Wooden Cabbage farm, Labor in Vain farm, Poor Lot farm and Charity bottom, even though he should hail from Kent, which owns two Starvecrow farms within a ride of each other. — London Chronicle.

Cider Saves The Property


Barrels Burst Just In Time To Quench Hot Blaze Which Had Started In Residence

Bellows Falls, Vermont — The thirty-two barrels of hard cider stored in the loft of the barn of George Seabury, in Langdon, N. H., some distance from this town, were mainly responsible for saving his beautiful dwelling house from destruction by fire. The flames started in the cellar of the barn and had almost entirely consumed that structure when the cider barrels, owing to the intense heat, burst, flooding the barn and extinguishing the flames.

There was a high wind at the time and as Langdon boasts of but a bucket brigade the house would undoubtedly have been ignited by the flying sparks and consumed before aid could have reached them from this town. The stock was removed from the barn to safety.

Making Scarfs At Home


Some New and Very Attractive Effects Which May Be Easily Obtained

A black satin scarf of double width satin and three yards long can be lined with soft white satin and left plain across the bottom or lashed for a quarter of a yard in the middle of each end, and the half sections drawn into points, each finished with a tassel.

In diaphanous scarfs those of black lace and two colors of chiffon are dividing favor. Beautiful Spanish lace shawls in black and white are to be found just now much reduced. One to be made at home is of fine black net the full width. This can be embroidered over the whole surface with jet disks and spangles or the jet can be arranged as a deep border across each end and a narrow one along the lengths.

The scarf of black and white foulard, finished with white silk fringe or a black tassel, is simple enough. If the selvedge is not liked, the material can be turned back on the right side to a depth of a quarter of an inch and held in place by a line of chain stitching.

The double-toned chiffon scarfs are easily constructed. Choose contrasting colors, as blue and green, purple and gray, pale violet and purple, two tones of pink or blue. Baste the two pieces carefully along the sides and ends, taking precautions that they are even, and do not draw apart.

Bind all around with two-inch ribbon of soft satin, or sew the edges of chiffon together with blind stitches, and having made a two-inch hem of the two fabrics, one folded within the other, fagot it to the main scarf.

Making of Handkerchiefs Is Fascinating Work


Here's a New Fad

Girl Who Is Adept With Her Needle May Easily Provide Herself With a Supply of Handsome Ones

Handkerchief making is fascinating work, and any girl who sews neatly may easily provide herself with a supply which will be a matter of pride to herself and of envy to her less industrious associates.

French or Irish linen of the finest quality should be used for any handkerchiefs destined to carry elaborate embroideries, and the greatest care should be exercised in the cutting of the squares. To draw a thread in the four directions is the only safe way, as otherwise the delicate material is apt to twist and become unmanageable.

When Armenian or any other very fine lace edging is used the handkerchief need not be hemstitched, although infinite care must be devoted to the hand hemming, as irregularly set stitches spoil the entire effect of the work.

Exceedingly narrow hemstitched borders are more than ever popular, and nearly always handkerchiefs so treated have corners embroidered delicately with wreaths, clusters or semi-detached butterfly and flower designs. Sometimes only one corner is decorated with a rather large and elaborate spray pattern, or a medallion will inclose a small initial. Only when there is no other decoration should a monogram be employed.

Fancy lace stitches are blended with the embroidery patterns, as in the case of the lily pads, which show petals of fine netting, and the butterflies, with transparent wings. Sometimes a girl who embroiders indifferently but sews with extraordinary neatness appliques lace motifs upon the corner of a handkerchief and then cuts away the material from the under side, but this is difficult to accomplish, and a slip of the scissors means ruin to the entire piece of work.

Scallop borders are exceedingly dainty, but that sort of work takes an immense amount of time and is so heavy in proportion to the fabric that it is easily torn. The better way is to buy a machine scalloped handkerchief of fine quality and embroider it daintily, than to devote hours of toil to a border which may be reduced to a ragged fringe the first time it is tendered.

Halley's Comet — Editorial


Has everybody forgotten Halley's comet? There was a reaction after the trepidation and intense curiosity aroused by its approach, and now, instead of piling out of bed at unearthly hours of the early morning in the hope of getting a glimpse of it, there are many who would not, for the promise of a good square look at the wonderer, take the trouble of walking across the street. They have seen it once, and so far as they are concerned, it is an old story. Halley's comet is not beyond viewing distance from the earth; yet it cannot be seen. The reason of its invisibility is its nearness to the sun. It sets in the early evening, while the twilight is strong enough to hide it with a veil of light. At the end of the month it will set before sunset. It is further south in the sky than the sun.

—Oelwein Daily Register, Oelwein, Iowa, Sept. 30, 1910, p. 2.

Ignore Them — Mosquitoes


The best way to get rid of the mosquito, says the Brooklyn Eagle, is to get the habit of not minding him, like the natives. No native or resident of a few months in a mosquito section minds mosquitoes any more than he does flies. But this method is slow in its appeal to the man who finds the pests attack him with more zeal than they do the natives.

He Knew About Ice Cream

The first time three-year-old Ray noticed a rainbow he shouted: "Oh! That looks just like ice cream in the sky!"

Money Well Spent

"I suppose to educate your daughter in music costs a great deal of money?"
"Yes; but she's brought it all back for me."
"Yes; I'd been trying to buy out my next door neighbor at half price for years, and could never bring him to terms until she came home!"

Hannibal In Italy


Hannibal entered northern Italy in the year 218 B. C., and gained during that year the two victories of Ticinus and Trebia, both in Cisalpine Gaul. The next year he advanced farther south and defeated the Romans at Trasymenus, and the year following, having proceeded farther south, he inflicted upon them the terrible defeat of Cannae, at which time his ascendancy attained its maximum. He remained for 13 years longer, but gained no more decisive victories. He was finally recalled by the authorities at Carthage, which had never given him anything like a decent support.

As Dr. Johnson Said It


George Augustus Sala's eloquent testimony to the superiority of English viands reminds us of Dr. Johnson's outburst after examining a French menu.

"Sir," said he to the faithful Boswell, "my brain is obfuscated with the perusal of this heterogeneous conglomeration of bastard English ill spelt and a foreign tongue. Bid the rascals bring me a dish of hog's puddings, a slice or two from the upper cut of a well roasted sirloin and two apple dumplings."

National Traits

It takes one hour to know a Frenchman, one month to know a German, almost a lifetime to know an Englishman — well.

To Rise in Business Life


Some Few Essentials Must Be Kept In Mind, and One of These Is Advertising.

A man may have several carloads of ability. He may have brains and ideas and other desirable things. But all the ideas ever "ideated" will not avail to raise a man who neglects that all important item of advertising. You simply must get attention. Of course, you can get attention by firing off a revolver during office hours, or you can do it by wearing loud clothes and proclaiming your kinship in the sporting fraternity. But most men who have risen from the ranks have carefully neglected to use methods of this kind.

Every office man must act as his own salesman. He must first prepare himself by increasing his efficiency. He must be able to do the work for which he is hired. Not only should he do that for which he is hired, but he must do that work better than it ever was done before. When that item has been attended to it is then time to look about for more work.

The wise employee will keep his eye on the job ahead, or, better still, will look at a job which does not exist, but which should exist for the good of the business. The next step is to think out a selling talk that will get the attention, arouse the interest, create a desire, and bring about in the mind of the employer a desire to do what the live employee desires him to do. — The Bookkeeper.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Glasses for Players


A recent instance of American ingenuity is afforded by the device of an optician for the relief of stage folk afflicted with defective eyesight.

Glasses fitted with tiny lenses are now made for the use of the actor so afflicted, who, in deference to the character he is enacting, may not wear the regulation eyeglasses or spectacles.

These special glasses fit close to the eyeball, and are hardly discernible from the front of the house, except when the footlights are at their highest point of illumination. The nosepiece, or bridge connecting the lenses is covered with flesh colored material which aide the illusion.

Willah Belle Schenck

1904, Leon, Iowa area

Willah Belle Schenck was born Nov. 22, 1877, at Decatur City, Iowa, and died at Leon, Iowa, Dec. 25, 1904, being 27 years and one month old at the time of her death. She joined the M. E. church when she was 15 years of age. For several years she was an active member of the Epworth League and Sunday School, and at last after great suffering her work is done and she has gained the majority.

This third death of the children of Brother and Sister Schenck within two years from the dread disease that has taken them away, falls upon them with a peculiar weight of sorrow. Desolation naturally comes upon the family. Gloom, grief, helplessness against the grim destroyer seizes the soul until pent up grief finds relief in tears, yet not relief for tears do not give relief but temporary ease. God only can give relief and consolation. The whole community, bound by a sense of brotherhood of man begs to be permitted to bear a share of the sorrow that has come to this home. Seven weeks ago the other daughter was carried to the grave and today made doubly gloomy by the disagreeable weather, we place the remains of Willah beside her brother and sister. What is left? Vacant chairs, voices loud in their silence. But memory is immortal; and these cannot be forgotten. We leave them with God, who doeth all things well.

Earlier article

Mrs. T. H. Schenck and daughters, Willah, Jennie and Mrs. M. H. Flinn, returned last Thursday from Lamar, Colo., where they spent the greater part of the past winter for the benefit of Miss Willah's health. Her friends will be glad to know that her health is much improved.

Earlier article

On last Friday Mrs. Fred L. Conrey entertained a party of young ladies in honor of Miss Willah Schenck, at a 12 o'clock dinner. It might more properly have been called a talking party, for those present indulged in a social view of old times. The guests were: Misses Willah Schenck, Ida Hebener, Maude Metier, of Leon, Miss Myrta Howell, of Davis City, and Mrs. Nannie Warrington, of Garden Grove.

Will J. Edwards Dead - 1904, Leon, Iowa area Obituary


1898, Leon, Iowa area

Large Class of Young Ladies and Gentlemen Complete Their School Work.

The class of '98 is the largest in the history of the Leon schools, numbering twenty five members. The large class again obviates the delivering of addresses by each member and arrangements have been completed, engaging Hon. Henry Sabin, ex state superintendent, to deliver the address. Mr. Sabin is not a gifted orator, but his reputation as being one of the leading educators west of the Mississippi will prove an attraction. The plan of having some noted man deliver an address was adopted last year and met with much favor. With all due consideration to the abilities of the young graduates we may say that with such a large class there would be a surfeit of learned dissertations which is bound to pall on the crowd and it is quite an inconvenience to be compelled to extend the exercises over two evenings. The exercises will occur on Thursday evening, June 16, at the opera house. The following young ladies and gentlemen compose the class:

Robert Dye, Willah Schenck, Ellen Waight, Mame Smith, Nina Detrick, Nelle Ledgerwood, Louie Lindsey, Vera Hebener, Lou Harris, Geo. Penniwell, Blanche Cochran, Lelah Osborne, Rolla Alexander, Louise Waight, May Waight, Bertha Hamilton, Vivian Allen, Harry Mayer, Mary Gates, Sue Bell, Harry Bradfield, Fannie Evans, Mirt Sanders, Cora Chastain.

Note: Article from Leon, Iowa area scrapbook. The list of names was in smaller print and two columns, with Rolla Alexander starting the top of the second column.

Miss Cora Chastain Died, 1900

1900, Leon, Iowa area

Miss Cora Chastain died yesterday noon at the home of her mother, southeast of Leon, after a long illness from consumption. She was a member of the graduating class of '98 and a lovable young lady whose friends are numbered by the score. The funeral will be held today at the family residence at 1 o'clock. Interment in the Chastain cemetery.

Cora Chastain.

The funeral of Miss Cora Chastain at the family residence, southeast of Leon, last Thursday, was largely attended, many schoolmates and other friends from Leon showing the last tribute of respect to one they loved. Elder R. W. Castor of the Leon Christian church conducted the services at 1 p. m. and the remains were interred in the Chastain cemetery.

Cora Nyna Chastain was born December 17, 1878, at her home near Leon and died December 19, 1900, aged 22 years and 2 days. She leaves a mother, four brothers, and two sisters to mourn her loss. The father, one brother and two sisters have gone before. Cora was a graduate of the Leon High School class of '98.

Note: These two articles are from an old scrapbook from the Leon, Iowa area.

Death of Venice Cecil Creveling.

1907, Leon, Iowa area

Venice Cecil Creveling, daughter of Clemul and Joannah Creveling, was born Dec. 8, 1896, at the old Creveling home near Lamoni, where she lived with her parents to the time of her death which occured Aug. 31, 1907, by falling from her father's load of lumber and being crushed by the wheel of the wagon. The only words she spoke were, "Papa, take me home."

By faith we are assured that the good Father hastened to this mournful plea and received the spirit to give it light and immortality and forever to dwell in that blest land where flowers, youth and beauty will never fade. We rely in the promise of Him who said: "Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom."

The funeral was from the home Sunday evening at 4 o'clock, conducted in the grove near the dwelling by Rev. Frank Spurrier of the Baptist church. The remarks were very appropriate, from the text: "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh." — Matt. 25:13. The funeral was largely attended with many sad hearts and sympathizing friends who with words and flowers paid their last tribute to all that was left of the mortaled innocence of the loved one. May the word of the Lord come to those sorrowing ones as in Abram's vision, saying "Fear not; I am thy shield." Submissive then may they reply: "Thy will be done."

This lovely bud, so young and fair,
Called hence by early doom,
Just came to show how sweet a flower
In Paradise could bloom.

Thou no more will join our number;
Thou no more sorrows know;
Yet again we hope to meet thee,
When this toiling life is done.

J. F. M.

Note: This article is from an old scrapbook from the Leon, Iowa, area. The last poem is inset slightly and each second line is indented. The signature J.F.M. is original to the article.

The Too Sensitive Woman


Those Easily Offended Bring Upon Themselves Many Sorrows That Are Unnecessary

Many are the sorrows of the easily offended. Should she be invited nowhere, it is for spite; should she, on the other hand, be asked to social events, it is for policy, and everyone will avoid her when she gets there.

No one in the world cares anything for her; her friends are false and her enemies many, though all undeserved. Every remark made about her contains a hidden innuendo, and any persons talking whispers in her hearing are gossiping about her.

She believes no proofs of affections, but is haunted always by the thought that the most trusted are the least trustworthy. She takes nothing for granted, but asks permissions and favors that others would never dream of as subjects for question.

And her thoughts are very real ones. It is easy to sneer at the too sensitive woman, but her life is wretched, and there is no one to throw on her the spiritual cold water she needs.

Let her only learn that there are others in the world besides herself, that she for her part has many virtues which must necessarily endear her to her acquaintances, and that if she would have confidence she will gain fidelity, and there will be an end of her, now, and forever!

A Brick Carrying Record


Edward Ashbee, an employee of the High Broom Brick Company, near Tunbridge Wells, holds the record of having carried considerably over 40,000,000 bricks on a wheelbarrow in the past 30 years.

The weight of the bricks is estimated at nearly 130,000 tons, and in the course of his work he has walked nearly 56,000 miles, or more than twice the distance round the world. Ashbee is a man of fine physique and looks much younger than his fifty years. — London Daily Graphic.

Banana Sandwiches


Divide two medium-sized bananas into halves, then cut each piece lengthwise into slices. Prepare buttered bread the size of the banana slices. Mix six tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar with one teaspoonful of lemon juice; spread on the bread, and put two strips together with a slice of banana between.

Apples and Apple Sauce

Those who are fortunate enough to have an early apple tree or two may have many appetizing dishes in this time of few berries. The acids and salts found in apples are very beneficial. There are endless ways of serving them from plain apple sauce to salads and combination dishes. — Nellie Maxwell.

A Good Politician


The good politician rolls his logs in public, and is not ashamed of his job. He needs the help of others, and he knows that others need his help.

When a hundred honorable men come together, each with a purpose of his own, each must expect to yield something if he is to gain anything. It is likely that more than one good measure will be proposed, and if one is skillful, good measures may be made to help one another. Here, without any sacrifice of honor, is a wide field for good fellowship and tolerance.

The austere, uncompromising patriot, whose mind is impenetrable when it is once made up, who is incapable of sympathizing with other men's aspirations and who insists on all or nothing, is an egotist who does great service when he happens to be right. Unfortunately it often happens that he is wrong, and then his private conscience must be overcome by the common sense of the crowd. — Samuel McChord Crothers in the Atlantic.

A Use for Grasshoppers

Editorial observations, 1910

A Colorado farmer has gathered 125 bushels of grasshoppers, which he intends to dry, so that they may be used for chicken feed next winter. Since a use has been found for grasshoppers we may expect future crops of them to be failures.

A new comet has been discovered. There ought to be a stop put to this. If the former one brought about all the trouble which has been going on the earth since, we can spare any more of these heavenly mischief makers for some time to come. And those who are looking for trouble and read their answer in the stars should be legally enjoined, at least until the world has had time to catch its breath.

Look over your small change carefully; there are several counterfeit five-dollar bills in circulation.

Owing to the fact that their wives are away for the summer a good many men are almost forgetting how to button waists up the back.

Cincinnati surgeons are to amputate a citizen's six-inch nose. To use a Pittsburgh word, the gentleman really is "nobby."

No picnic can claim to have been destroyed by rainy weather this season.

Montenegro May Become Zeta


"Changing the map of Europe" is a phrase that had a grim significance during the greater part of the last century.

There were people with long memories who knew that changes in the map of Europe as a rule were brought about by war. But there is a possibility of a peaceful change of the map of Europe by Prince Nicholas of Montenegro.

He proposes when his principality becomes a kingdom an event that is to be celebrated with appropriate brilliancy this month — its name shall be altered to Zeta, which is what is was called in ancient times. Map-makers will take notice.

The Faster You Can Get There, The Later You Are?

1910, editorial observations

Is the speedy motor car an obstacle to punctuality? It would seem so.

Certainly the habit of arriving late at the theater and other places of entertainment is growing with the multiplication of the means of rapid transportation. It is seldom that a play or program is not marred or interrupted by these late arrivals. And the disturbance is greater where motor cars carry the larger number of the attendants.

Does this mean that those who have to depend on the street cars are more apt to give themselves reasonable time than are those who have gotten into the habit of thinking that neither time nor distance counts when the automobile is available? At any rate the habit is a bad one.

Woman and the Pin


It was in a deductive way that the captain found out that Ethel Clare Le Neve, the supposed accomplice of Dr. Crippen, was a girl though she was dressed in boy's togs. She had applied a missing trouser's button with a safety pin. The method was entirely feminine, says the Cleveland Leader. A boy would have borrowed a marline spike or a nail, or whittled a wooden peg.

This dramatic use of the safety pin again focuses the attention on woman's marvelous capacity as a pinster. Give her a hat pin and she can affright a footpad or lure olives from a long-necked bottle, with equal ease. She makes it decorative, too, and deadly. In a crowded street car it is as fearsome a weapon as the cries of a Malay running a-muck.

But her chief record is made with the common or garden pin. She fastens buttons or shoes with it and when baby swallows the rattle, harpoons it out with a pin. If a tornado blows and the shingles are threatened she crawls out on the roof and pins them down.

Writers of those fascinating summer stories in which a man and a lovely girl are cast away on a South sea island miss the chance of their lives when they do not provide the heroine with a paper of pins as her salvage from the wreck.

Hearing for the Deaf on Pike's Peak

Editorial briefs, Sept. 1910

A deaf man who climbed Pike's Peak found he could hear at that altitude. But the difficulty of the cure practically lies in the fact that it takes up his residence where he can hear there will be nobody for him to listen to.

Tarred, feathered and bitten is the New Jersey variation according to that story of the victim wbo was left thus scantily attired as the prey of the mosquitoes.

When a young married couple go away by aeroplane on their honeymoon their destination is sufficiently uncertain to fulfill all the requirements.

Perhaps the same fellows who are searching for germs in ice cream this summer will be hunting for them in our buckwheat cakes next winter.

If they insist on confiscating ice cream cones the small boy and some big ones, too, will be robbed of one of their most palatable enjoyments.

Will the insurance companies demand increased premiums from those who love to see the airships go round?

Flora of Railroad Yards


It has been noticed that many plants not natives of the locality are to be found growing in the neighborhood of great railroad yards.

Sometimes the seeds of these plants have been brought thousands of miles from their natural habitat. Often they flourish amid their new surroundings and gradually spread over the surrounding country. Thus trains carry unsuspected emigrants, which travel to and from every point of the compass.

In the Mississippi valley are to be found plants which within a few years past have thus been brought together; some from the Atlantic seaboard, some from the gulf region, and some from the other side of the Rocky Mountains. — Harper's Weekly.

Train Arrives Three Years Late


A train of a railway system in the southwest once arrived at its destination nearly three years late. The circumstances were these:

The train left Bolivar. Just across Galveston bay from Galveston, on September 8, 1900, and was caught in the great storm that so nearly destroyed the Texan city. Bolivar is 75 miles from Beaumont, which was the point of the train's destination. Before the train had traveled far on its journey it was caught in the storm. Thirty miles of the track were washed away, and the train was left stranded on a sandy waste. Many persons who lived on Bolivar peninsula were saved from death by taking refuge in the train. After the storm subsided they walked to Bolivar with the passengers; but the abandoned train was left on the prairie.

The storm bankrupted the railway, and no effort to rescue the engine and cars was made until 1903. Had not the road suffered so seriously in that storm the property would have proved of great value a few months later, when oil was struck at Beaumont. In 1903, however, the road underwent repairs, when the train was drawn into Beaumont, where it was greeted by a cheering crowd.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What Alaska Indians Smoke


"How would you enjoy a pipeful of wood shavings saturated with a strong solution of pepper as an after-dinner smoke?" asked William F. Quinn of Portland, Ore.

"Strange as this may seem as a substitute for tobacco, it is nevertheless used as such by Indians along the Alaska coast. Their mouths are often made raw by the practice, and the eyesight of many is affected by the strong fumes. It is no uncommon practice among farmers to smoke the leaves of the tomato and potato plants. While both these plants contain a narcotic poison, the smoking of leaves in moderation is harmless. Excessive use, though, produces a heavy stupor, from which the smoker awakes with a terrific headache and a feeling of utter exhaustion. Insanity and suicide have often been caused by the immoderate use of these two weeds. Rhubarb, beet, and even garden sage leaves are all smoked by farmers, but are perhaps the least harmful of substitutes for tobacco."

Our War


The war we wage must be waged against misconduct, against wrong-doing wherever it is found; and we must stand heartily for the rights of every decent man, whether he be a man of great wealth or a man who earns a livelihood as a wage worker or a tiller of the soil. — Theodore Roosevelt.

Embarrassing Habit

Hiccoughs are distinctly mortifying to the victim. As they are signs of poor digestion and may mean bad stomach trouble, if of frequent occurrence, they should be treated medicinally. For temporary cures try gradually dissolving a small lump of sugar on the tongue. Slow sipping of hot water is also good, or gargling the throat with ice water. (1910 advice).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Aged Ice Regarded Safe for Health


PHILADELPHIA. — The Natural Ice Association of America, including dealers in natural ice in Philadelphia, has begun a "campaign of education" to inform the public that aged ice is free from bacteria.

Bacteria are the little wigglers in water that get into the insides of people and often give them typhoid, diphtheria and other diseases. A quart of water contains a million or two of these bacteria. Some of them, not all, are dangerous to health.

But the natural ice men say — and they produce scientific argument to support their assertions — that although the bacteria are frozen into the ice when the water congeals, they are killed off so rapidly that in 24 hours 90 per cent of them are dead, and within a few weeks the ice is sterile — absolutely free from bacterial life of any kind.

One Philadelphia natural ice dealer said recently: "Natural ice is cut in December, January and February. Seventy percent of it is used between June and September, when it is anywhere from sixteen to twenty weeks old, and when the bacteria are frozen in it, and have been without air, motion, warmth and food from four to five months."

A paper recently sent out with the endorsement of the national body of natural ice dealers says:

"The buyer of ice should really be as anxious to obtain, and the dealer in natural ice as quick to advertise, that he sells old ice, as the green grocer is to seek trade on the strength of the freshness of his tomatoes or peas, and the butter and egg man on his new-laid or freshly made products. Old ice is pure ice, sterile ice, free from bacteria harmful or helpful."

Dr. Edwin Jordan, professor of bacteriology in the University of Chicago and at Rush Medical College, says:

"Experiments have shown that when water freezes the great majority of typhoid bacteria that it contains are immediately destroyed. Those that survive die off progressively. According to Park, not one in a thousand lives in ice longer than one month, and at the end of six months all are dead. Relatively few epidemics of typhoid fever have been proved to be due to the use of ice."

Dr. Charles H. Lawall, chemist for the Pennsylvania dairy and food commission, said that bacteria can live without air, and that a temperature of 32 degrees was not fatal for a long time to many kinds of bacteria.

—Oelwein Daily Register, Oelwein, IA, Sept. 27, 1910, p. 2.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Home for Drunkards' Wives Is Closed

Kansas, 1910

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The home founded by Carrie Nation, the Kansas "joint smasher," in this city as a refuge for drunkards' wives, will probably be closed and the property returned to Mrs. Nation. The reason is, there are not enough wives of drunkards in the largest city of Kansas to warrant the continued operation of a refuge for them. Mrs. Nation has requested of the Associated Charities, the organization which is managing the home, that the property be deeded back to her.

The home has accommodations for 40 women but there are no drunkards' wives in it now. The Associated Charities is using it as a home for unfortunate and homeless women. About fifteen women now occupy the home.

Peter W. Goebel, president of the board of directors of the Associated Charities, admits that the home is a failure as far as being a place for the housing of drunkards' wives.

"That is the 'distressing' condition that exists," Mr. Goebel said. "There is no use in denying it. We cannot find drunkards' wives to live there.

"Mrs. Nation has asked that we return the home to her. The members of the board of directors differ as to whether or not this should be done. She has agreed to pay us for what repairs and improvements have been made at the home and at present the association needs the money that would be thus received for other branches of work. At our next meeting we will finally determine what stand to take concerning holding or releasing the property."

Mrs. Nation wishes the home returned to her so that it may be sold and the proceeds of its sale used in the construction of a home for boys which she is building in Oklahoma.

In 1902 she bought the property, which was the homestead of C. N. Simpson, one of the pioneers of Kansas.

Mrs. Nation secured most of the $4,000, which she originally paid for the property, from the sale of the small souvenir "Carrie A. Nation hatchets" which she and her friends sold for 25 cents.

After Mrs. Nation had given the home, all the churches of the city and many fraternal orders subscribed money to pay for its furnishing. The grounds about the home, an acre in extent, are well shaded and the building itself is a spacious structure of brick.

—Oelwein Daily Register, Oelwein, Iowa, Sept. 27, 1910, p. 2.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Flower Time


Everywhere we see flowers, for this is flower time. Don't you love them? Did you know that there was a symbolic flower for every month of the year? They are:

January — Snowdrop (consolation).
February — Primrose (early youth).
March — Violets (modesty).
April — Daisy (innocence).
May — Hawthorne (hope).
June — Wild Rose (simplicity).
July — Lily (modesty).
August — Poppy (sleep).
September — Morning Glory (contentment).
October — Hops (joy).
November — Chrysanthemum (cheerfulness).
December — Holly (foresight).

Flowers have a language of their own, or rather man has given to each flower a meaning. Here they are:

Apple Blossom — Preference.
Bridal Rose — Happy love.
Chrysanthemum — I love.
Camellia — Excellence.
Calla Lily — Modesty.
Corn Flower — Delicacy.
Carnation — Fascination.
Daisy — Innocence.
Daffodil — Unrequited love.
Red Rose — Bashful love.
Forget-me-Not — Remembrance.
Geranium — Gentility.
Golden Rod — Encouragement.
Heartsease — Contentment.
Heliotrope — Devotion.
Honeysuckle — Happiness.
Hyacinth — Constancy.
Ivy — Fidelity.
Jasmine — Only for thee.
Jonquil — Affection.
Lady's Slipper — Fickleness.
White Rosebud — Girlhood.
Lily of the Valley — Unconscious sweetness.
Marigold — Contempt.
Mignonette — Good qualities.
Nasturtium — Splendor.
Pansy — Thoughts of you.
Poppy — Consolation.
Snow Drop — Hope.
Violet — Faithfulness.
Wild Rose — Simplicity.

—The Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, IL, Sept. 20, 1916, p. 2.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cat Caused Much Trouble


Family Pet Has Been Formally Cautioned that "The Cave" is Not Public Property

Out in Woodruff place a number of small boys have banded together and done what most boys have done if they were real-for-sure boys — built a cave, says the Indianapolis News. Approaching this cave is a long underground tunnel about two feet square. What there is in this tunnel in the way of side chambers and the like, the fathers and mothers never will know, but at the inside end of the tunnel is the den, about five feet square, built in a side hill and as dark as the most cavernous depths of a Wyandotte cave.

One of the youngsters belonging to the band of cave dwellers hurried home from school the other afternoon, donned his cave outfit, and made for the tunnel. Crawling in flat on the ground, he made his way toward the den. Arriving there, he heard a scrambling noise just ahead and two fiery spots loomed up in the darkness. His teeth chattered with fright. He couldn't back away, he was too frightened to go forward, and there was no chance of escape at either side. The fiery spots became active and the boy became panicky.

Just what happened in there the outside world will never know, but when the cat — it was the family cat — came out of the tunnel it was going some. No cat ever moved faster, and it didn't stop until it had reached a barn three lots away.

And the boy — when he emerged his face was as white as the arctic snow and he was moving rapidly for the open. The next afternoon the boy painted a sign on which were the words: "The Cave" in white paint, on a blazing yellow background. Gazing proudly at the sign he explained: "Now, if that fool cat can read, he'll keep out of there."

—The Edwardsville Intelligencer, Edwardsville, IL, Sept. 19, 1916, p. 4.

Takes Surname of Bride


It is one thing to ask a girl to marry — quite another to ask her to change her name. So thinks the man who used to be John Melephant Williams. He loved Miss Agnes A. Wood, but it was as Agnes A. Wood that he loved her, and he did not desire to change her name to Agnes A. Williams. So he married Miss Agnes A. Wood recently, and her name is now Mrs. Agnes A. Wood.

Incredible as that looks on the face of it it is true, says the Denver Republican. For John Melephant Williams had his own name changed before the ceremony to John Melephant Wood. His petition for the change was granted by Judge Dixon of the county court. Without leaving the courthouse the man with the new identity went down to the first floor and signed his new name to an application for a marriage license.

—Gettysburg Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, July 20, 1910, p. 3.

She Knew Her Dick

He — Darling, I swear by this great tree, whose spreading branches shade us from the heat, by this noble tree I swear I have never loved before.
She — You always say such appropriate things, Dick. This is a chestnut tree!

—Gettysburg Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, July 20, 1910, p. 3.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Holding Lincoln's Hat


"He'll be holding my hat some day," said a United States westerner recently, speaking of a bitter political antagonist. This expression, intended to convoy the assurance that some day the b.p.a. will see the error of his ways, own up, and strive to make amends, was heard oftener a generation ago than it is today.

It had its origin in one of the most interesting incidents in American history. Stephen A. Douglas had been unsparing in his attacks upon Abraham Lincoln in the campaign of 1860, but Lincoln won, and, on the 4th of March, 1861, as he stepped forward to deliver his inaugural address in front of the capitol, he fumbled awkwardly with his historic "tall" hat, not knowing, apparently, whether to lay it down or to hold it in his hand.

Seeing the embarrassment of his successful rival, Douglas, who sat near, and who had gracefully "accepted the situation," arose, took the "stovepipe" from Lincoln's hand, and held it until the conclusion of the address. By this act Douglas perhaps came nearer rising to the full dimensions of the title "Little Giant," which his partisans bestowed upon him, than on any other occasion in his career.

—Christian Science Monitor, 1918, reprinted in Waterloo Evening Courier, Waterloo, IA, Jan. 22, 1918, p. 5.