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About The Albany register. (Albany, Or.) 1868-18?? | View Entire Issue (Jan. 8, 1875)
A CHRISTMAS BALLAD.
. T xabx a. ommoM.Z
Desr Nelly: Come the night before.
On mfi-rj ChrlMmM m
For we're hve hoosef ul,
As yon can well believe.
There' Consin Will expected
From ootmtriee over h, 5
w-ht wonderful thln he'll bring n
To put on the Christmas tree 1
j(imm wrote to Grandpa Martin
For a well-grown pine or fir.
And be taid he would seed a ' Martin box '
Especially for ber ; "
Sat he won't forget us children.
He never did at least;
I only with be could be her
To share in our Christmas feast.
We are all to very bosy
Getting oar presents dons ;
Son cant think what I am
Of all things under the ini
I mean for your special pleasure;
I can tell yon about the rest,
For Netty and Carry and Batty
Are doing their very beat.
IV made an embroidered apron.
And tatted a lovely set.
Worked a pair of elegant slippers.
And a collar and cuffs for Net ;
For papa a yard-long watch chain
With beads of gold and black ;
And a pair of crimson wristers
And pretty bine neck-tie for Jack.
Ton should see us girls together
After onr lessons are over,
TJp in the old-time nursery.
Busy as bees in clover ;
Busy with needles aa nailers.
Talking and langhing and bamming,
And building such glorious castles
Against the time of your comming.
There are so many aunts and cousins !
And the tree is to be so fine I
And we always get something we wish for,
I wonder what gifts will be miner
I almost think I can guess, though.
For papa has m-ured the wall,
And perhaps it will be a piano ;
I want that the most of all.
M Dont laugh at my funny grammar ;
Ton know it is Christmas time,
And when I'm so wild and happy
The sense runs away with the rhyme.
Xietsy longs for a set of garnets.
And Bet for a watch and chain.
And Jack wiil be quite delighted
With a dainty rosewood oane.
' And Carry is almost certain
Of furs, a beautiful set.
I'm sure we ought to be thankful
For anything that we get.
Bo on Cnris'tmas eve you must be here.
For our tree will be loaded down,
And we look for a glorious frolic
With cousins from city and town.
I wish every soul the world over
Could be happy at Christmas time ;
-80 with s kiss and good wishes
I elose my letter in rhyme.
P. 8. We have made np ten dollars
To send to Widow Brown
A poor soul with three pretty children
Who lives far away down town.
" The Are is out, and the ashes
Are cold ss my heart is cold ;
I hope my babies are dreaming
As I stitch fold after fold ;
They talk of the happy Christmas.
Dear Christ, oh 1 teach me to bear
Tbe sad, sad lot of the hopeless,
That my soul may not despair.
" Dear little Ned and Harry t
They wanted a ball and top ;
' I ssw such pretty ones, mamma 1
Said Ned, ' in the fancy shop.
Won't you get us a tree for Christmas T
If it's just as small aa can be,
As small as my little linger.
Still you must get us a tree.'
Dear hearts ! and so near is the Christmas,
And I toil so hard for bread !
And he who made holiday sunshine
Is lying low with the desd ;
I'll search for the rich man's gleanings,
The crumbs that fall heedlessly.
And 111 weave a little gay garland
And call it a Christmas tree.
' And rn hsng it full of good 1
But on 1 11 1 can a aou
For Bess, and a top for Neddy,
And for Harry a bright. red ball!
Alas ! for the tears are falling,
This work is too costly by far,
Tbe flash of a bitter tear-drop
Its wondrous sheen would mar.
Tie for limbs so daintily covered I
While my poor babies weep
When the cold gets under their patches,
And smile only when they sleep.
I wish I could die to-morrow
And take my babies away,
We'd have such a Christmas in heaven !
Such a glorious Christmas dsy !
But no ; through the cold and hunger
We still must wearSy plod,
We must think that others are happy,
And trust if we can la Ged.
If we can I am wicked to aay it
A letter ! how strange there should be
In all this wide city a creature
To write a letter to me 1
Dear Lord ! why here's money ten dollars I
' Ten dollars for Christmas,' signed ' friend !'
Ten dollars for gifts for the babies !
Oh. darlings I ten dollars to spend !
And well nave a dinner for Christmas,
And shoes for the baby so wee ;
And coals for the nre, and, bless them.
For my darlings a Christmas tree.
Oh ! dear hearts so true and tender!
I wish you could see into mine.
And know that your sweet gift baa kindled
A love that is almost divine.
I wish I could thank you yes, kneeling
Close at your very feet.
And my little ones all beside m
Their innocent thanks to repeat.
You may whiten O cold ashes !
For I see in your midst a flame
Kindled by some good Christian,
I wish I but knew the name.
Ton may cover the windows, O frost king !i
You may sleep, ray babies, in peace, J
Tor my heart is as warm as the sunshine.
And my fsith has found release
From the cold, and the bate, and the terror,
Into the blessed light.
And I wait with a new, asset longing
For tbe coming of Christmas night."
Hearth and Heme.
MY CHBISTJKAS BALL.
" What a comfortable thing a holiday
is to us tired-out idea-inserters I There's
a compound worthy of a German jhi
Iosopher. X wisn Ubristmas came six
times a year; dont you. Patience?
Why, Patience sister Patience yon
-cannot surely oe asleep 7 xay nrst even
ing home, too, of all eveoinga ! Pa
tience t wake qd. I sat. Patience !"
" What wenidst thorn with me, Ade
" Is that a question from Shakspeare,
you sepuienrai female r
"No Kotzebue, Didet never
"The StraneeT?'" ,' -
" I should like to see a stranger just
now one that would mates himaelf
agreeable. I feel restless ; I want to
talk, and I do believe yon are half
asleep again. Patience, such somno
lency must surely be a symptom of ap
proaching illness brain disease or ty
phoid fever most likely. It iw't natu
ral ; it's lethargic." , l - - '
"Leth what? Bay that again, please.
I could not take the whole word in at
once. -.. . vr-,;
"Patience, don't be provoking. Talk
to me a little, please ; I want to be
Amused. And you have not told me
-one syllable of Any new scholars
coming after the holidays ? a -U
"Two Teeeie Wilson's little sister
"Teesie Wilson! That child is well
named. What a torment the little
wretch is! Confess now don't yovx
open ache to give her a good
" Sometimes. Then Bogie (Gray is
ottdng back, and I have the promise of
Jmore airs. Balston'-a oldest girls.
oome, and I think matters look very
fairly altogether AarTyon ? , How are
" Oh, very well. The children tease
sometimes, but Mrs. Jamiesoa is very
kind, and always upholds my authority
And then the girls are really fond of
me, and the whole family made me such
pretty presents. I must show them to
you as soon f s my trunk arrives." t
We were alone in the world, we two
sisters Patience Oarr, the school
mistress, end I, Adelaide, the gov
erness. Tea years before we had
known the extreme of luxury a house
in a fashionable quarter of New York.
horses, carriages, servants, French
' dresses and diamonds for Patience,
broad sashes, worked muslins and vel
vet suits for me. That was when
Antarctic Mail was selling at 130, and
Richard Carr, our father, was consid
ered one of the shrewdest and most
successful of Wall street speculators.
Then, one bright day, Antarctic Mail
took a downward leap, and carried my
father's fortune with it ; his reason fol
lowed, and in the end, his life. So one
morning, a woman and a child (Pa
tience and I) set forth into the world
to seek, not onr fortunes, but our daily
uroau. iiiere was a ainerence 01 twelve
years between Patience and myself
years that were expressed by a neat row
01 nve ucue graves with elegantly
carved tombstones out at Greenwood,
wnere our Drotners ana sisters slept a
calm slumber that no depreciation in
Antarctic Mail had power to disturb.
vrar mother had died when I was only
two years old; she, too, had gone
wnere w all street oeases from troubling,
and the bulls and bears are at rest. So
Patienee took care of me for six long
years, and then L, being eighteen, went
iorxn to win my own bread as a gov
erness. I cannot say that the usual advent
ures which novel writers describe as
befalling every young woman, whether
attractive or otherwise, who goes out as
a governess, ever happened to me. No
handsome youth, the only son of the
family in which I taught English,
French, the rudiments of German.
musio and drawing, ever fell at my feet
and besought permission to remove me
to a more congenial sphere. I found
out no dark and deadly mysteries, no
hidden maniac or undiscovered, crimes ;
nor was I ever subjected to a series of
petty slights and injuries from narrow
minded meres de famille. I was usually
very well treated and fairly paid, so I
never had a chance of posing myself
eitner as a victim or aneroineoi romance.
At the time of which I write I was in
deed as pleasantly situated as it is pos
sible for a governess to be. Mv em
ployers were cultivated, kind-hearted
people, my eldest pupils intelligent,
weU-feroughtcup girls, and the rest of
the children not more unruly er torment
ing than healthy children, especially
boys, are apt to be. So that particular
unristmas eve oi wnicn 1 write found
me very much inclined to enjoy my
holiday, and fully prepared to enter in
to all the little festivities of the season
which might fall co my share.
"We are to have roast turkey for
dinner to-morrow," remarked Patience
after a brief silence.
" Oourmande, va .'"
" And . what do you say to a matinee
as a pleasant method of passing the
" You know I love a play above all
tnings. wnere snail we go ? to Wal
lack's? Booth's? the Fifth Avenue?"
" Chooee for yourself, Addie ; you are
company, you know. There is the news
paper on he table."
I sat down to pore over the advertise
ments with as much eagerness and ex
citement as though my twenty-two
years had been suddenly diminished by
ten at the very least. At last I looked
up : " Patience !"
a "Well, dear?"
"Don't you wish that something
would happen to us, as often happens
in plays ?- that is, don't you wish that
some unknown relative or rich old uncle
would make his appearance and shower
untold wealth upon us ?" i
" I am sure we are very comfortable
now. And what is the use of wishing
"Not much use, only some amuse
ment. Castles in the air are very easily
erected, and cost nothing , for bricks,
mortar or laborers' hire."
" Yes, but when they tumble down,
as they invariably do, you may chance
to get a rap on the head from some of
the flying timbers. Best stay on terra
nrma, Addie. :.
I laughed, and bent a train over mv
paper. But the momentous question
of the Christmas matinee once settled
and the newspaper thrown aside, my
thoughts reverted to my airy castles,
and instinctively I began to rear them
again. We were both silent. Patience
leaned back, half asleep, in her rocking
chair, whilst I sat on a low seat at her
feet and gazed dreamily into the glow
ing coals of the grate. I saw myself a
lively, laughing child again, flying
a own tne Droaa staircase of our .tilth
avenue mansion in embroidered muslin
and floating silk sash, en route for some
childish party or other ; and then I re
membered a certain dinner-party which
my father had once given, and how I,
peeping slyly through the chink of the
dining-room door, had thought private
ly that Sister Patience, in her mauve
silk and pearls; was the prettiest lady
there. Poor, dear Patience 1 the pret
tiest still remained, though the silk and
the pearls were things of the past. Sud
denly a thought struck me, a recollec
tion of an odd story told me in those
far-off days. I would wake patience up,
and she would tell me all about it. So
I faced round and looked up into the
fair, placid face that showed , so sweet
and calm in the ruddy fire-glow.
" Patience, once and for all, you shall
wake up and talk to me, or I shall go
straight back to Mrs. Jamieson's to
morrow morning. You hurt my feel
ings by treating my arrival so sopo line
"Do they feed you on minced dic
tionary at Mrs. Jamieson's ?" Queried
my much-pnt-upon sister, opening her
eyes in a very languid manner. " You
do use such very long words."
. " I think you must have been coiner
to several classical concert lately. You
look as though you had scarcely recov
ered from a severe attack of Opuses in
"I was not asleep, child : I was only
"Stop thinking through your nose,
then : it is a very bad habit for a lady
to indulge in.
" Well. I am wide ' awake ' enough
now for anything. What is it you want
me to do?
"I want yon to tell me a story. Is
there not a queer one extant about an
old uncle of.ours and a precious stone?"
Our grand-uncle yes. Did you
never hear about Stephen Carr, our
father's uncle, and how oddly his for
tune disappeared ?"
"Long ago, when I was a very little
child, I suppose, for my remembrance
of the affair is aa vague and uncertain
as possible. . There was something
a.rwmt a vfws.ee to Europe, and a lost
Aval. bntT recollect nothing definite.
I want you to tell me all about it. Be
gin at tne very pegumuiK, ukhwo.
Come, now, I'm all ready to listen.
Once upon a time "
" WelL" said Patience, gadng at the
coals as though trying to read there
ine commencement oi ner narrative,
" you must remember that our father's
family was not far from being a very
aristocratic one, at least on our grand
father's side, for there is no better
blood in New York State than that of
our grandmother. She was a Miss Van
" You remind ma sf fTiaf wnmon In
'Hard Times,' 'whose mother was a
"I will not unless you promise not to
interrupt me. Where was 1 ? O, yes !
Our grandfather had an only brother, an
old bachelor, who was by trade not ex
actjy a jeweler, but a diamond-broker
I think they call such a person a man
who buys and sells precious stones.
He used to go abroad once or twice a
year for the purpose cf visiting pawn
brokers' establishments and second
hand dealers in search of gems that
might be cheaply purchased, as well as
lor tne usual transactions of his busi
ness. He was a grave,, taoiturn man,
and never discussed his affairs with any
one, not even with onr grandfather, to
wnom ne was muon attached. tB pic
ture used to hang in the old Carr man
sion a heavy-browed, close-lipped,
stern-looking face, with nothing genial
or communicative about it.
" Now, as regards the curious part
of the story, remember I only speak
from hearsay. I tell the tale as it cane
to me from the lipB of our grandmother
when I was quite a child ; and the old
family servants also were fond of dis
cussing this rather mysterious family
legend; but since our grandmother's
death and the breaking up of the old
establishment (all of which happened
when I was about nine years old) I have
heard scarcely anything about it, ex
cept a few words which my father once
let fall on the subject. But I heard the
story so often in my childhood that it
made a deep impression on my memory.
"One year about forty years ago, E
snould tninK, somewhere between l&tu
and '35 my grand-uncle set out on his
annual pilgrimage to Europe. He took
with him all his disposable funds, vary
ing by report from twenty to forty thou
sand dollars, but probably nearer the
former sum than the latter. Before he
sailed he signified to our grandfather
his intention of making a somewhat ex
tended tour, and also gave him to un
derstand that he contemplated making
a purchase of unusual importance and
magnitude. If he had been a little
more explicit much trouble might have
been saved, but it was never his way to
talk much over his affairs with any one.
" He sailed early in the spring, and
reached the Old World in safety. I
have seen some of the letters he wrote
during that last journey all brief, curt
epistles, telling little but the state, of
his health, the place from whence he
was writing, and the probable date of
his departure for another point. The
last country to which he went was Hol
land. He stayed some time at Amster
dam, and then went to Rotterdam,
wheie he remained several weeks ; but,
as usual, his letters contained no intel
ligence respecting his business transac
tions. At length word was received of
his approaching return. He took pass
age direct from Rotterdam in a sailing
vessel, but he was not destined to reach
home alive. The cholera broke out on
board of the ship before she had been
many days out of sight of land, and
Stephen Carr was one of its earliest vic
tims. It was supposed that the viru
lence of the disorder, and : its speedy
termination, prevented him from mak
ing known anything respecting his
property. He was accustomed always
to travel with his precious merchandise
carefully concealed in nooks and cor
ners among his baggage ; and on this
last voyage his purchases must have
been of unusual value, and were either
stolen or so carefully concealed that
they were never discovered. Nor have
they ever been found from that day to
"How was it known that he had
brought anything of importance ?"
" Grandfather went to Holland ex
pressly to trace out some indication of
the whereabouts of his brother's miss
ing fortune. He found that the whole
of the large amount of money which
Stephen Carr had taken abroad with
him had been drawn out on one day about
a week before he sailed for home. He
also discovered that he had had dealintrs
with a man named Nicholas Leerjen, a
dealer in bric-a-brac and jewelry, who
had a shop on the Boompjes ; but this
J-jeerjen, on being interrogated, sturdily
denied that any transaction of impor
tance had ever taken place between him
self, ana Mr. (Jarr, wholiad bought from
him, he averred, nothing but an antique
silver salver, which he described minute
ly ; and as such a salver had been found
among the effects of the deceased, there
seemed- no reason to doubt to the Dutch
man's word. So, after spending some
weeks in fruitless inquiries and investi
gations, our grandfather was forced to
return home no wiser and no richer than
when he had set out.
"Now comes the strangest part of
this strange story. A short time after
grandfather's return home, which was
very speedily accomplished, the vessel
he oame in being an American clipper
and the winds favorable all the way, he
was awakened one night by my grand
mother, who declared she heard some
one breaking into the house. My grand
father listened, and was soon convinced
that her suspicions were correct ; so he
threw on a dressing-gown, loaded his
pistols, and softty unbarring his door
slipped stealthily out into the passage.
He heard footsteps proceeding up the
stairs to an upper room which had been
his brother's. He followed with noise
less tread, and en reaching the door of
the apartment, he saw, by the faint
glimmer of a dark-lantern, a man on his
knees before Stephen Can's trunk (which
still contained all the articles which had
been brought from abroad), and en
gaged in forcing the look. Some sound
which he made attracted the attention
of the robber, who sprang up and
rushed upon him ; but our grandfather, -who
was not easily thrown off his guard,
presented his pistol f nil at his advanc
ing assailant, fired, and the man fell to
" Was he killed outright ?"
" Unfortunately, yes ; the bullet had
passed through his head. I say unfor
tunately, as with him died the last hope
of discovering the missing property : for
on examination the would-be robber
proved to be no other than Nicholas
Leerjen, the Dutch shopkeeper." !
' And his motive? What could have !
been his reason for committing suoh a
"Do you not see," said Patienee,
" that our crrandunole must have pur
chased from him some exceedingly valu
able gems, and that . he, being apprised
by my grandfather's inquiries that the
whereabouts of this - purchase was un
known, and being also probably aware
of its place of concealment, had made a
desperate attempt to gain possession of
" I see. I wonder what really did be
come of it? i-
' Father came to the conclusion that
it must have been stolen from his
brother's trunk on board ship, after his
death. Bat he always kept the trunk
and its contents very carefully, and er
loined on me to do the same, though
it has been ransacked again and again,
and every article it contains thoroughly
' And where is it now?"
" Up stairs in the little third-story
back room. Don't you remember it a
middle-sized sole1 leather trunk, with
S. C marked on it ?"
"I tell you what, Patience," I said,
springing up, " I mean to have a look
at the contents of that trunk early to
morrow morning." .
" What nonsense, Addie ! Don't I
tell you that everything in it has been
thoroughly examined hundreds of
" WelL then, it will do no hurt to ex
amine them the several hundred-and-oneth
time. Bnt was not that a ring at
the bell ? Yes, indeed ! Here comes
my trunk, Patience. I -wait to show you
my Christmas gifts, and I have knit you
such a pretty shawl." And in the un
packing and examination of my little
treasures the remainder of the evening
passed swiftly away, and there was no
further question of Stephen Carr or the
lost jewels. But I had not relinquished
my purpose, and as soon as the breakfast
things were put away the next morning,
I assailed Patience anew : " Where is
the key of Stephen Carr's trunk? I
know you mean to be closeted with
Norah for an hour at least superintend
ing the stuffing of that turkey; so, un
less you wish me to die of ennui during
your absence, you might as well let me
amuse myself after my own fashion."
"Curiosity, thy name is Adelaide
Carr 1" laughed Patience, as she went
to her desk to look for the key. " Here
it is. And put on a shawl, Addie; there
is no fire in the room, and I do not
want vou to catch cold."
And ii x nna tne lortane t
"Brine it down stairs and show it to
.. - .. . i i i .
me : that IS, ll It IS not too ueary ior
you to carry." .
Hn 'PnfciannA difuirmaarad laUflrhintf in
the direction of the kitchen, and I hast
ened to put on my heavy cloth travel
ing sacque, and made the best of my
way to the third-story back room a
little, dingy apartment used as a lumber-room,
and half filled with old
trunks, broken furniture, discarded
pictures ; in fact, all the rubbish which
collects in old houses, and which,
though considered too good to throw
away, is usually mere useless lumber.
An old picture, the portrait of some for-,
gotten friend or distant relative of our
parents or grandparents, leaned against
tne wall, ana seemea to leer at me out
of its eyes with a look of mockery and
discouragement. An old high dock in
the corner, jarred probably by my step
on the door, started suddenly into a
wheezy series of ticks, and then was
silent again. The air of the shut-up
room smote coldly on my senses, and
chilled me despite my warm wrappings.
Gathering my dress about me, I picked
my way across the floor, avoiding sun
dry jagged nails and broken trunk
corners, and soon stood in front of the
trunk marked "S. C." Stooping, I
fitted the key to the lock; it turned
slowly and creakingly, , and with an
eager yet trembling hand I flung back
the lid. No sudden glow of gold or
jewels flashed from the interior. A
quantity of masculine habiliments,
carefully folded, greeted my eyes, and
a strong odor of camphor assailed my
nose. That was alL
1 teok the things out one by one, un
folding each article as I did so, and
scrutinizing it carefully. Old-fashioned
shirts yellow as saffron ; coats from
which every vestige of the lining had
been ripped in the search for the hidden
wealth; trowsers with the pockets
turned inside out ; stockings not rolled
in compact balls, but .stretched out at
full length such were the uppermost
things in the old trunk. Underneath
lay a pair or two of boots, a small
dressing-case covered with Russia
leather, a small, flat work-box (contain
ing two spools, one of black silk and
one of white thread, a lump of wax
scored by passing threads, a needle
book shaped like a butterfly, and a pair
of scissors), and a writing-case, also
covered with Russia leather. I took
this last to the light, and carefully ex
amined it in the vague hope that it
might contain some fragment of writ
ing, some entry in cypher perhaps, that
might prove a clew to the mystery.
Vain hope! The stained blotting
paper, the shabby pen-holder, the rusty
pen-knife revealed nothing; and all
written paper had been removed long
ago, had there indeed ever been any.
The dressing-case, the work-box were
alike unfruitful of discoveries. The
heels of the boots had been cut off and
cut in pieces, and 1 found the fragments
lying at the bottom of the trunk. And
the trunk bottom itself had been split
open and pried apart, in a search for a
false compartment doubtless. Truly,
careful searchers bad been before me ;
where was the marvel if I failed to find
Slowly and reluctantly I refolded and
replaced the scattered garments in the
trunk, laid the work-box, writing-case,
and dressing-case on the top of them,
closed the lid, turned the key, and put
ting it in my pocket, ran down stairs,
resolved to forget old Stephen Carr and
ail his belongings.
The afternoon was spent, as we had
planned, at the theater, and in the
evening it was agreed that Patience
should read aloud while I sewed. I had
a piece of finery that needed renovating
a black cloth coat, the shabby fringe
of which I was going to replace with
fresh and new-fashioned fur trimming
and I was anxious to get it done that
I might look my best at church the en
suing Sunday. I got out my work, and
my good sister produced a thick, promising-looking
" What have yon got there. Patience?
Bnt stop. Before you begin can you
lend me a piece of wax?
"I have not a bit in the house."
"How provoking! This black silk
tangles and knots so when it is not
waxed. Patience, there is a nice ball
of wax up stairs in old Stephen Carr's
work-box. Do you think his ghost
would come after me were I to go up
"For three cents I will insure you
against all ghosts."
- Done t 111 send you the three cents
in the shape of a postage stampin the
very next letter I write you. Where's
the candle? I have the trunk key still
in my pocket." , ;?
So I went, and soon returned with
the yellowish ball of thread-scored wax
in my hand. Then we sat down, and
for some time the work and the reading
proceeded in a merrv duet. At length,
i , . a i i.i
giuwmg oeepiy intereBveu ui uh iuki
tunes and follies of the heroine, let
my sewing fall on my lap and sat with
folded hands in a state of lazy enjoy
ment. I was brought back to a sense of my
duty by my scissors slipping from my
lap and falling: with a clatter to the
floor. Patienee still read on, while I,
being rather oonsoienee-strioken at my
own indolence, strove noiselessly to
collect my belongings. Work, scissors,
thimble, spool, had all found their way
to the ground during my temporary ab
straction. I gathered them up, and
prepared to go to work again. But
where was the ball of wax ? , How
stupid I It had rolled under the grate,
and now lay in close proximity to two
red-hot coals, sizzling a little from
time to time, and decidedly lessened in
size. I dislodged it with the poker,
pulled it toward me, and endeavored to
cleanse it from the ashes and to mold
its softened bulk into shape again. But
as I pressed the half-melted wax be
tween my fingers they encountered a
hard substance something firm and
with sharp edges that resisted the
pressure. My hands trembled with
eagerness and nervous excitement as I
stripped the waxen shell from this hard
kernel. Patience's voice seemed to die
away in the distance as I plied my
scissors and my fingers in their hurried
work. At last it was done ; the hidden
thing lay bare before me on my open
palm. This was what I saw :
A stone resembling in size and shape
the half of a good-sized hickory-nut, if
the nut were divided transversely, cut
into a few broad facets on top, and un
derneath cut into similar facets. Its
shape was perfectly regular, its color a
rich glowing crimson, or rather deep
rose-red. I gazed at it in mute admi
ration and bewilderment for a moment ;
then I started to my feet, amazing
Patience, who stopped reading and
dropped her book as I cried out, in a
state of almost frenzied excitement,
"Patience, look 1 I have found this.
What is it? Can it be "
Quiet, calm, and unruffled as ever,
my sister rose, looked steadily at the
stone as it lay on my shaking palm,
then took it in her own hand, and drew
it lightly across the glass shade of the
little clock that stood on the mantel
Eiece. A sharp grating sonnd wa
eard, and when she took her hand
away a long scratch was visible on the
surf ace of the glass. She turned toward
me then, and her voice had a sudden
quiver and her cheek flushed wit un
wonted red as she answered : " It is a
ruby an enormous one. Adelaide,
the missing fortune of Stephen Carr is
found at last I "
Whereupon I seized my old cloth coat
and flung it straightway into the fire :
"I mean to have a seal-skin sacque be
fore the new year is born. Don't leok
so astonished, Patience. I am not mad
only beside myself with joy." But
my excitement died away as Patience
bent her gentle head and whispered
softly : " Let us give thanks to God."
Christmas Greens The Glad-Time Dec
orations of Home.
We may suppose that the pressed
leaves and - the evergreens have been
collected for the Christmas decorations,
and that nothing remains now bnt to ar
range them. For those unfortunate
people who have not themselves brought
the odor of the woods with tne vines.
and pressed the snnniness of the Octo
ber days into the leaves, who go out to
the corners of the city streets and buy
the wreaths and crosses, and leave Mag
gie and Dennis to hang them in the win
dows just as the rest of the brown-stone
block has them hung, we have nothing
but commiseration. They can no more
buy the charms of the Chiistmas greens
than they can buy the love which is the
heart of the Christmas gift. Let the
heaps of glossy holly and delicate cedar
wait for the eager hands of the mother,
who has got no nearer view of the woods
than those bring her for many long
years, and who counts over her bits of
change after the needed marketing is
done to see what can be spared for those
I" bright tokens of a loving ather s peren-
prial goodness to cheer her tenement
rooms. Let them lie at tne corner
grocer's door to remind the father,
whose Christmas will, this year, alas, be
burdened with fears of January cold
and a hard winter's hunger, that this is
a better place to spend a litte money
than at the groggery on the other side,
ar.d a tiny green wreath and cross will
help to brighten a sad house for days
But in many homes there are stores
of gossamer clematis and clusters of
bitter-sweet berries that were brought
from the summer haunt, and are now
to be contrasted with cedar and fir,
with brilliant branches of maple leaves,
with the rich yellows and browns of
the oak and the graceful ferns. Over
the windows and doors gorgeons groups
of coloring can be easily placed by sew
ing the various sorts on to common
palm-lea fans, which can be fastened
to the casing of ; the door and the cor
nice over the window. Strong cord,
wound with evergreen, can be passed in
graceful festoons from one to another,
and, if there be a gas fixture in the cen
ter of the room, and the young people
are not easily tired, the rope of green
can be tastef ally brought from the cor
ners of the room to the center and coiled
about the fixture, with care, however,
to arrange it so that it shall not come
over the flame and take fire. Then
something of the best must be put in
the windows to testify of good will to
man. If there be such a blessing in
the house as a white-haired grandfather
and grandmother, give some of the
choicest of the trimming to their room,
and make it musical with loving words
as the vines and branches are fastened
there. Then gather up the fragments
Jiat nothing be lost, and take with your
own hands some peace tokens to the
basement, and, while yon make the
kitchen join the rest of the house in an
external honoring of Christmas, strive
to gladden the hearts of the busy work
ers there with some gleams of that
blessed love which this joyous festival
Eli In Lore.
" Did you ever do anything in a state
oi lnainerence, Miss Juua r" I asked
an old sweetheart of mine last night.
" Why, yes, certainly, Mr. Perkins
a good many times."
"What ! did it with absolute, total
indifference?" - ;
"Yes ; perfect, ' complete indiffer
ence; Eli." -."
" Well, Julia, my beloved," I said,
taking her hand, " what is one thing
you can do now with perfect indiffer
ence?" "Why, listening to you, Eli !" '
. I postponed proposing. .
A moment afterward, ' my beloved
grasped my hand convulsively, looked
in my face, and said : : "
" Eli, , suoh devoted, "warm-hearted
men as you often make' me feel very
"How, darling ?" I asked, too happy
to live. -. ' ' ' -
" TP by keeping away from me,
Eli !" . , f
I haven't proposed yet. "
m 1 i
The Weak Place.
Home can never be a thoroughly
happy place while there are so few
subjects of common - interest between
man and woman. It is owing to this
that matrimonial engagements are en
tered into so rarely on the basis of any
broad intellectual sympathy, such as
might furnish some security for lasting
affection, and so often at the bidding of
impulses and fancies that do not out
live the honeymoon ; and it is owing to
the same cause that so very large a
proportion of the lives of most hus
oands and wives is spent practically
apart, with little or no knowledge on
the part of either of the objects or aims
that engross the greater portion of the
other's thoughts and energies. ..
FARM A5D HOME.
A soldier, on farlonsh. and Inat nnviilnannt.
Sougnt s Job to supply him with cash for the
And promised s farmer to dls in a nalnh
Of potatoes with fsithfulnesa, care, and dispatch.
A bottle of whiakv his spirit to stir.
Was given to Bob ss a sort of a spur ; '
Which bottle, with niany a copious pull.
He emptied, and left the potato bill foil,
nuuo wi.u mjuB aimcuuj neia Dy a stamp.
Saluting it oft with a atas-serino tfanmn
Some honrs had elapsed ; his employer returned,
TrZ. . ' . . ""win usuignsnuy ournea,
" Yon insolent rascal von alava of th. in.
Not a single potato, you sot, have you dag l"
Mrv-mrvm i wiu jKiu, wiiu a stammering tongue.
If you want your patatoes dug, fetch 'em along !"
THS MASSACHUSETTS POO LAW.
In Massachusetts the tax on dncn in
two dollars per year - for male dogs and
five dollars on females. . When sheep
are destroyed by dogs, the owner of the
dogs, if known, and the fact of killing
proven, is obliged .to pay the damages
in full ; otherwise, judgment is made
from the fund raised by the general
dog tax, so that in any event the owner
of the sheep is sure of his recompense.
The law is proving satisfactory to the
generality oi sheep owners.
AN BAST ICE HOUSK.
It is suggested that, by filling suita
bly constructed sheet-iron vessels to
iv.. ,i e - Aw ; v. : ii x
bun uopui va a uu.u ni uwu wiiu wttLttt,
it will soon freeze, even when the tem
perature is but little below the freezing
point, and that by repeating the addi
tion of water as the first portions be
come frozen, blocks of the dearest ice,
six inches thick, may be formed during
a night ; and when tne temperature by
day is Suitable, a single laborer will be
able to fill a large ice-house in a short
time. By pouring water which has
been cooled in the vessels nearly to the
freezing point over the ice after it has
been packed, at suitable intervals,
when the temperature of the air is be
low the freezing point, a compact mass
of ice may be formed of more valne for
use than a much larger quantity loosely
packed. Even in winters favorable to
the production of ice, the above method
may be found the most convenient and
tne cheapest for nlling the ice-houses,
CABB OF STOCK.
Animals should be studiously pro
jected, but only in thoroughly ven
tilated stables. Their food should be
given four ' or five times during the
twenty-four hours, so that none of it
need be refused because it is " mussed "
or soiled. Many farmers whose ex
perience has been varied prefer this
plan, thinking it more economical, and
more serviceable to the . animals than
feeding only two or three times a day,
For horses and neat stock, place lumps
oi rocs salt in tne mangers, f ood
must be varied to suit the kind and
condition of animals. He who would
prosper as a stock breeder or dairyman.
cannot learn too muoh of the animal
economy. Comfortable stables save
food, and very materially assist in
maintaining animals in a good condi
tion. Cleansing the hide and frequent
rubbing will promote health. It has
become quite a common practice with
some farmers to curry and rub down
their neat stock, and we trust it may
A WOBD OF ADVICE. .
Be industrious. The world is already
burdened by loaxers, idlers, and non
producers, all of whom have to be sup
ported by those who work. Begin early
to teach your children the value of labor
and industry.. Make your calculations
to be busy and usefully employed as
long as you live. Tbe idea of living
the first half of one's life under double
pressure, and then, after getting a com
petence, retiring from ail active life and
living easy upon the interest of the
capital acquired, is the height of folly.
It is contrary to nature, and must work
disastrously both to the body and the
mind. Be industrious at some paying
branch oi your business, and earn
money, that you may have money to use
as well as to keep.
As we look around among the farmers
of our acquaintance, we see many who
spend most of their rainy days and
evenings at the village stores or post-
office, disenssine the weather, the oroo
prospects, the general news of the vil
lage, and sometimes a little politics.
As a general rule, one had better be
at home attending to the plans or details
oi his business, or reading books or
papers that would teach more valuable
lessons than can be -learned at the cor
ner grocery or village postoffiee. New
I'M gland farmer.
WINDOWS IN HOBSK-BTABIiES.
A German paper states some curious
facts relating to the position of windows
in horse-stables, ana their power to af
fect the eyes oi horses. In one in
stance the horses of a farmer fine ani
male, celebrated for their excellent
condition were kept in as table lighted
only dv a small window at one side.
When light was needed for work, the
door was temporarily left open : the re
sult was that nearly all of these animals
had eyes of unequal strength, and in
time a number of them become blind
on the side toward the window.
Strong light directed in the horses'
faces has been found to weaken the
sight. The worst position of all for a
stable window is in front ot the horses
and muoh higher than their heads. An
officer had bought a perfectly sound
mare from a gentleman whose stable
was lighted by windows at the rear : of
the stalls. The animal was sound and
perfectly satisfactory After three
months she became suddenly " ground
shy " ; on examining her eyes they
were found directed upward, and this
was explained by the fact that the win
dows of the officer's stable were situ
ated above the head of the stalls, the
eyes being generally drawn in that di
rection. She was removed to another
stall, where the light was admitted from
all sides, and in three months' time the
I difficulty had disappeared.
This compound is prepared by melt
ing parafflne and adding gradually a
suitable drying oil, stirring well to in
sure intimato mixture ; it is then peured
into molds the shape of brick or blocks
and allowed to oooL The fabrio to be
rendered waterproof is rubbed oyer
with a block of the compound, warming
the rubbing face gently if the atmos
phere is cold, and then iron the cloth
with a warm iron or passing it between
hot rollers. The application of this
compound to leather and textile and
felted fabrics is said to give excellent
results, as, although it renders the
cloth thoroughly waterproof, it Is not
impervious to air.
WHAT SHALL WH HAVE FOB BBEAKFAST ?
A lady writing to the Chicago Even
ing Journal says : . -
I esteem no one thing more essential
to the success of farmers, than that of
i : i ,Aii and rtroperlv
uarmg umuwi " t. ."
masing auowiuiuo ui '
panying list can be prepared by an
active nouseaeeper. m "
js .nrl mpftE are to be
cooked, they must be ready over night,
coffee ground, etc., to spare the vexa
tion of uncomfortable haste in arran
ging the breakfast. Coffee is supposed
to be served at each meal, that being
our usual breakfast beverage, although
chocolate, tea or water may be substi
tuted, if desired. The kinds of meat"
may be varied with the season, to in
clude fowls, fresh fish, mutton or what
ever is procurable or desirable; and
similar variations may be made in the
fruits. No breadstufas appear in the
lists, as it is assumed that bread, buck
wheat, Graham or Indian meal cakes
will be served each morning, according .
to season or preference.
Breakfast lAsts The articles in
parentheses refer to the different sea
sons: Sunday Baked potatoes ; roast beef
from previous "dinner, set in the oven
until hot ; stewed apple (pie-plant);
Monday Potatoes from previous din
ner, cut in slices and heated er warmed
over by dropping in hot fat, like crullers;
roast pork, . cold ; cuoumTser pickles
(cut cabbage); raspberries, fresh or
Tuesday Boiled potatoes; salt mack
erel ; chopped tomato pickle (lettuce);
pie, apple pie, pie-plant or cherry.
Wednesday Baked potatoes; broiled
beef ; tomatoes, canned or fresh ;
stewed apples, strawberries, cherries,
Thursday Codfish ; boiled potatoes ;
cucumber pickles (martynias, etc);
canned plums, baked pears.
Friday Broiled ham and poached
eggs ; apples, stewed or baked ; rice,
Saturday Potatoes, warmed over by
slicing in just water enough to keep
from burning, to which add butter and
seasoning ; broiled steak ; chopped to
mato pickle ; cherries, canned or fresh,
blackberries, grapes, etc
Shooting the Abductors ot Charley
'" Boss. V
On the morning of the 13th of Decem
ber, two burglars named Mosier and
Douglass, while in the act of robbing
the house of Judge Van Brunt, in the
suburbs of New York, were shot and
killed by Mr. Bulef Van Brunt and his
son. One of them made a dying con
fession, to the effect that he was con
cerned ip tbe abduction of little Charley
Boss, i Mr. Van Brunt thus relates to a
New York reporter the circumstances of
the killing :
At 2 o'clock the alarm bell rung and
startled me from my sleep. I told my
wife to call my son, as I thought there
was something the matter in Judge Van
Brunt's house. I told my son to look ,
around, when I heard the alarm strike,
and see if everything was all right. He
took a lantern and west for Scott, a
workman around the place. They went
over to the Judge's house, and they saw
a light in one of the windows. My son
came back and asked for a gun. My
son wanted me to take a gun and come
over with them. I said, ' I do not feel
able to go," and he said, 'You had bet
ter come; there is some one in the
Judge's house." I then took a gun and
went out with them. I crept up to the
window, and, by peeping in, I saw the
heads of two desperate looking fellows.
They were moving about by the light of
a dim lantern. I saw them go into the
butler's pantry and tumble things
around there a little, and then they went
up-stairs. I said, William, now let's
go for them. You have got the keys ;
open the door." He turned the key in
the door, and immediately we heard the
burglars coming down -stairs. They
went into the dining-room, and there I
saw the flickering of a match. I saw
two objects soon appearing from tbe
cellar-trap. They were the heads of
two men stooping down. I could have
shot them on the spot. "Stand,". I
shouted, and the word had scarcely left
my mouth when two pistol shots came
for me. I fired at one of the dark ob
jects, and he hollered. I felt that he
had been struck. They started to run.
The one who was shot caught on tbe
cellar door to steady himself. The other
fellow ran. I shouted to him to stand.
He wouldn't, and I pulled the trigger
on him. He "hollered." They both
started for the gate, and we all blazer!
away at them. The young burglar fell
first in front of my house and the other
by the Judge's gate. The young fellow
died at half-past 5 o'clock. I saw that
he was dying, and I told him if he had
anything to say he had better say it at
once, as he was going to die. The ser
vant girl came up at this time and said.
"It's just good for you." He groaned
out, " Oh, madam, I have been a very
wicked man." '.:'." '
ANbw.Yobk hotel-keeper says this
has been a most disastrous year on
hotels. At least a dozen proprietors
have failedand hardly one has made
anything. He thinks two millions
would not cover the losses sustained
by landlords in the last fourteen
months. - - -
Probably no one disease is the canse
f so ranch bodily misery and nnhappiness
(and the rliHfiaso is fclmoet universal among the
American people) as dyspepsia. Its cause
axe many and various, lying chiefly in tbe
habits of onr people. The remedy is simple
and effectual. rjse Dr. Wiabart'e Great
American Dyspepsia puis. They never fail to
cure. ... -
Fkabfuiv the amount of money thrown
away in not buying shoes protected by SIL
VER TIPS. Parents, be wise and insist that
your shoe dealer should keep them.
Natural slippers Eels.
Pine Tree Tar
Throat Cw Lung
Per Gale by all Druggists