I AN AMBIBU0US ANSWER ADY LESTER was at her wits' JLa en- That was the way she put It in her colloquial dialect. Also, he did not know which wa.y to turn, but this was owing to the lack of routes rather than any Indecision In se lection. The fact was that she had adopted the popular proverbial method of risk ing all on a single throw of the dice, and it had turned up aces. Reduced to prose, this meant that she had strained (and indeed overstrained) ev ery nerve In order to present a thor oughly smart appearance and give her daughter a complete London season, In hope that that damsel would make a good catch, settle herself comfortably in life, and be off her mother's hands for the future. Alice Lester had in sisted on this till her mother, with much misgiving, consented. In conse quence Lady Lester had spent the greater part of her yearly income In two months, and run into debt as well. The end of the season was approach ing and the catch had not been secur ed. It seemed that the effort had been fruitless, and the consequences would have to be faced. Lady Lester knew as well as possible that the only way to pay her debts was to sell capital. This would reduce her already slender Income. Besides, how she and Alice were going to live and preserve a decent appearance on the small amount of income left for the remaining five months or so of the year was a question which made her inclin ed to scream whenever she thought of It She. was a handsome woman, tall, stately, fortunate In the possession of a figure that did not age, clever and discreet in repairing the ravages of time. She usually wore black, partly because it was intensely becoming to her, partly for economy's sake. She presented a marked contrast to her daughter, who was petit?, piquant, dainty, with retrousse features. Tak ing the pair together, they were as at tractive a mother and daughter as one could hope to see, If It had not been for the eternal discontent written on their features. Her troubles had not Improved Lady Lester's temper. - "If you had only," she said peevish ly to her daughter, "given half the en couragement to Lord Wlmberley that you have to that wretched Anderson, you might be Lady Wlmberley, off my hands, and able to help me a little out of this scrape." "It's no fault of mine," said Alice, sullenly. "I did all I could to encour age the stick, wasted no end of dances on him, wore myself out with endeav oring to talk to him and make him ta'k, next to asked him for bis box seat at the meet of the Coaching Club " "We,ll, you got it," Interposed her mother. "Yes, and everybody, of course, thought that it meant something, but I knew better. I am quite sure that he never Intended to offer it to me, and that my offering myself was not agree able " "Then why didn't he say that he had given It away laready?" "That's a mystery to me. But I know perfectly well that he did not give it to me for love of me, and also that he obviously thought before taking my very plain hint " "I am sure that he was most nice- " "Nice!" cried the girl shrilly. "He always Is nice in a kind, aggravating, brotherly way. 'Hope yon are enjoy ing yourself like a good little girl.' Can I helpr 'Don't mind me If you don't want me.' That's what he al ways seems to be saying. Could any one make anything out of that?" "But he comes here a good deal - "Yes, and Is Just as pleased to talk to any of your old frumps as to me. Why, I believe he is Just as pleased to talk to you as to- me." "Then why does he come?' said Lady Lester, who was too much accus tomed to her daughter's rudeness to notice It "Oh, I don't know. Why does do anything? One must do something. ! tie is not a man or deep reasons. He finds us pleasant; be meets pleasant people here; we are kinder to him than many. But there Is one thing that is ' quite certain that I have tried to give I him every kind of opportunity, and he has never taken advantage of one of I them. On the contrary, his one desire j has always seemed to get away." j "Your foolish encouragement of An derson " "It's no good going on like that, mam- i ma. said the girl, blushing suddenly red. i siuck to Wlmberley as long as there was a ghost of a chance, and when I saw there was none, and no! other man came forward well, I sup pose I love George Anderson as much as a girl like me can I know we can't niarry-but what's the good of going to dances and dancing with useless stick after useless stick all the time?" "Lord Wlmberley Is not a useless tick," said Lady Lester, with sudden warmth, which brought a tinge of color to her cheeks and made her look much younger and unusually handsome. "It Is you who are such a foolish and friv olous girl that you are Incapable of appreciating his talents. His speeches In the House of Lords have been much admired " "Oh, why don't you have a go-In for him yourself, If you admire him so much? I will make you a present of my chance, for It isn't worth a straw." "Alice, bow dare you speak to me like that 7 Remember that I am your mother." Alice had not seen her mother angry for years. She wa amazed and a trifle alarmed at the unexpected ebullition of the wrath of the dove. "Of course I was only joking," she said, sulkily. "You gave It to me, and I thought I might have a little one back. Of course he is not likely to think of you. He Is a great deal too wise to make such a er um well, you know what I mean." "You are an. exceedingly insolent girl," was the mother's reply to this polite apology, "and I terribly regret crippling myself in this way In order to give you a chance that you have wasted." "I never asked you to." "Yes, you did. You were always say ing that you never had a proper chance like other girls, and what you would do If you had. Well, now you have bad it, and what good has It been?" In this dialogue of "I never did" and "I wish I hadn't" there was no doubt a great deal of truth on both sides. Lady Lester had been foolish; Alice had been unsuccessful. Both had con curred in this folly with their eyes open, and success, after all, does not depend solely on the desire and need of the seeker. It would have been bet ter If the ladles had accepted the in evitable without recrimination, but they had both been ground to such a sharp edge by the continual stress of poverty that the slightest contact was liable to wound. Doomed as they were by nature to fill the greater part of their foie with talk, whether it were well or ill. It was Inevitable that, their conversation should recur again and again with increasing sharpness to the topic which they had most at heart equally whether It were well or 111. There was a ball that night, and the Lesters went. Lady Lester was queer, distrait, sharp, but distinctly looking her best. Alice was thoroughly "down" and conscious that she was by no means In her most attractive form. Nor did any special success attend her en trance to raise her spirits. Pretty, penniless girls with sharp tongues are a mere drug in the London ballrooms. George Anderson was, of course, faith ful, and she danced several dances with him. "It Is better than sitting out all the evening," she said defiantly when Lady Lester remonstrated. Lord Wlmberley took her from George for his usual one dance. "That seems a nice young man," he said in his kind, friendly, unlover-like way. "Not well off, is he? It is a pity he hasn't some clever woman to push him along." "Why, what could a woman do?" de manded Alice, surprised and interest ed. "Oh, lots of things. Women can push and ask when men can't. They are sure to be treated politely eveh when they are refused, and very often they get what they want simply be cause it is difficult to refuse a woman. Besides, they can stick to the subject Don't you remember that the unjust Judge gave way to the importunate widow solely to get rid of her, where as he would have ordered a man to be thrown out Well, now, what Mr. Anderson wants Is that a woman should find out some comfortable berth vacant and never rest until she has pushed him Into It." "But how does a woman begin?" said Alice, with deepening Interest, for there was something fascinating in the picture which Wlmberley drew so lightly. "Oh, she talks to people and finds out. Now It happens, oddly enough, that I know of a post worth seven hundred a year, which Is practically in my gift, and which any gentleman who was also a man of the world and dis posed to stick to his work could fill" "Why don't you give It to Mr. An derson ?"- "Well, you see, I don't know him, and I am not a general philanthropist If a friend of mine, whom I wished to oblige, were to ask me but none has. Apropos, I want you to do me a favor." Alice's heart beat at this abrupt an nouncement Was it possible that he could mean to propose after this extra ordinary beginning? If so, would she be glad? Would she be He made his request in plain, straightforward language, and she gaz ed at him at first mystified, then a prey to mixed emotion, anon aware of a rose-colored future before her. Her fact wreathed in smiles as she gave her consent "Well, now, Is there anything that you want from me, little girl?" Whereupon Alice, smiling and blush ing, told him what she wanted most. In the following afternoon Lord Wlmberley called on the Lesters and found them at home. Soon after his arrival Alice left the room on some ex cuse. Then she put on her hat and went out for the afternoon, telling the servant to say "Not at home" to any callers. When she returned she found her mother sitting In the drawing room, musing profoundly. As Lady Lester's hour for dressing was past and her toilet was a long and important func tionAlice felt that something had happened. She was a trifle anxious, but she did not dare question her moth er - The latter opened the balL "Don't you think, Alice, it was rath er rude of you to go away when Lord Wlmberley was here?" "No," replied Alice, boldly. "He ask ed me to. It was arranged last night that I should." Mother and daughter looked fixedly at one another. "He is such a young man," observed the former, vaguely. "He cannot know his mind." "He Is not such a young man, re plied Alice gravely. "He Is a good deal older than, many men of more age. Be sides, he is serious, devoted to politics, much admired as a speaker as you yourself said. And he certainly knows his own mind. He practically and very tactfully offered me a place for George, with seven hundred a year, so that we may be able to marry and be out of the way If I could help him, and a man doesn't do that unless he means business." "He told me that he thought you would marry," murmured the widow, "and spoke very generously about you." "He Is very rich," pursued Alice. "It would b a mere fleabite to him. Wlm berley Is a lovely place, and there is the coach, and no doubt there would be a house in town, and carriages, and every luxury, and no more worry and trouble, and you know, darling, that when you really take trouble you don't look more than half quite young, in fact, especially to people who are a little shortsighted, as he Is " "And I should be free from your tongue," Interposed the widow, sharp ly, by no means grateful for these com pliments. "Yes, you are right Lord Wlmberley proposed to me this after noon. I told him It was sadden and I would give him an answer to-morrow. I have thought It over, and I shall say 'Yes.' He swears that he loves' me and has never loved anyone else " "And you must love him, too, moth er, dear," observed Alice, with catlike softness, "or you wouldn't marry him." "Of course I love him devotedly have from the first. There is no other reason why I should marry him, is therer But, reviewing the circumstances of the case, Alice felt that this answer might mean anything. London World. HOW SHE GAINED CONSENT.' Tactful Girl Obtained Her Father's Ap proval of Her Marital Choice. Being an Independent, straightfor ward American girl, she boldly entered the library where herfather was trying to keep awake, took his lap in prefer ence to an easy chair, got him by a half-Nelson hold about the neck and promptly told him that she had en gaged herself to that young Johnson on Second avenue. "Whatr whooped the old gentleman, and he attempted to get his feet that he might express himself with more action and Impressiveness. But it Is a quick shift from the Half-Nelson to the strangle hold and she made the shift while she talked rapidly in a coo ing tone, patted him on the cheek with her free hand and vigorously worked the Btrangle. "Lucy!" he yelled; "break away," showing that he was not so unsophis ticated as he looked, "you're throttl ing me." "He had a nice position and good prospects and no bad habits, and he never made love to any girl before, and his family is all right and mamma said she was willing if you were and Uncle Dick says there are lots of worse fellows than Mr. Johnson and Aunt Kate says she always did like him and our minister " "For heaven's sake, girl," gurgled the old gentleman, who was purple and gasping, "do you know what you're doing?" and he made a desperate effort to break the hold, with the result that he tightened It "Don't get excited, papa dear, bless his old heart' I knew you wouldn't be cruel enough to break my heart," and she put on the pressure. "As I was saying, the minister said " "Minister be Mowed!" and papa's eyes were bulging. "All of 'em be blowed. Marry him. Marry the whole Johnson family, but let me get a breath." Then she kissed him enthu siastically, called him an angel and was proclaiming her engagement in the parlor, while the old gentleman was coughing, wheezing, swearing and assuring himself how he'd hate to be In Johnson's place. Detroit Free Press. Australia the Poor Man's Paradise. The cheapness of living In Australia is proyerbial; it is a veritable poor man's paradise. In the. butchers' shops you see twopenny and fourpenny tick ets on the meat, and provisions of lo cal production are equally inexpensive. In the eating houses or coffee houses a great feature of town life there you can get a square meal, consisting of a steak or chop, bread and butter and tea,' for sixpence. There .are no tips for waiters in the Antipodes. The Colonials are enormous tea drinkers, and on an average partake of the cheering herb seven times a day. Boarding houses another prominent feature are rendered almost essential In a land where the domestic servants command a wage of a pound a week, with every evening out and leave to practice the piano and keep a bicycle. ' Instructing Mrs. Custer. ' "I was dining out one evening among a notable company of people, most of whom I knew only by reputation," says George Inness. Jr., in the Home Jour nal. "I was assigned a seat next to a very charming and Intellectual woman, and did my best to entertain her. Said I: 'What can I talk about that will in terest you? I have had some little ex perience as a cavalryman; possibly you may care to hear something about horses In the field.' " 'Why, yes; certainly, answered my fair companion; 'I know a little con cerning army life, and I once wrote a book called "Boots and Saddles." And then It dawned on my poor, dull brain that I was talking to the widow of the great cavalry leader. Gen. Custer; so I said no more about horses or army life." - Censorship In China. The 'censorship is a very real thing In China. There any one who writes an immoral book is punished with 100 blows of the heavy bamboo and banish ment for life. Any one reads It is also punished. Elastic Substances. "Rubber, spun-glass, steel, and ivory are the most elastic substances." The writer of this seems to have forgotten the human conscience. Boston Tran script When a mam first begins to feel the need of a cane, he carries an umbrella with him which he never opens, and thinks he la fooling people. LET US ALL LAUGH. JOKES FROM THE PENS OF VA RIOUS HUMORISTS. Pleasant Incidents Occurring th World Over Bay tags that Are Cheer ful to Old or Tonus;-Fanny Bslsc Hons that Yon Will Enjoy. 'So you had a good time on that ex cursion, Mrs. Wiggins?" "Oh, just grand.' "Did you have any adventures ?" "I think so; I got on the wrong train going, lost my pocketbook and um brella, broke my spectacles twice, and got on the wrong train coming home." Indianapolis Journal. Men's Opinions. "You can't tell some women any thing." "Of course not; they won't stop talk ing themselves long enough to let you." Philadelphia Bulletin. Which He Never Got. Customer I want to get a ton of coal. Dealer What size? Customer The legal 2,240-pound size. If you please. Philadelphia Press. Just Think of It. Dear Mother My birthday will soon be here, and as I write this I sit with my window open. Think of doing this in New York In January. Strike a Success. Cahill Was the strike a success? Caseidy It was. After being out six weeks we succeeded in gittin' back our Jobs. Puck. Began Like One. Mamma Once upon a time there was a goose that laid golden eggs Little . Eddie (interrupting) Is we to believe this story, mamma? Mamma (amused) Just as you please. Little Eddie (with a sigh of relief) Oh, I thought perhaps it was a Bible 6tory. Brooklyn Life. 6hakspearean Criticism. "Feller name o' Shakspeare fooled our folks purty well tea' week," said Mr. Meddergrass. "He gave a show called 'Julius Caesar" down to the opry-house, an' blamed ef the whole thing wasn't made up out o' pieces that's been spoke at the school exhibi tions here for twenty year." Baltimore American. A Common Parentasre. Josher They say that Mrs. Newrocks simply won't be snubbed. Bighead Well, there wouldn't be any body in society unless they had had an cestors just like her. Life. Incontestable Proo'. Belle Do you think Chappie loves me? Grace I know it. He told me to-day that he was going to shave off his mus tache so he could devote more thought to you. Smart Set The Besult. Towne Newman took part in an automobile race not long ago. Brown That so? How did he come out? Towne On crutches, about a month later. Philadelphia Press. When She Doesn't Bins;. Harry Dountown (to country sweet heart) Miss Milkywelgh, do you play and sing "When the Cows Are In the Corn?" Miss Milkywelgh Lord bless you, no! I get the dogs and chase 'em out Of One Mind. Tess Yes, Charlie and I agree per fectly. He thinks I am Just too sweet for anything, and " Jess That proves it Tess How do you mean? Jess I mean that, of course, you agree with him. Philadelphia Press. Her Excuse. Clara What Is your ideal In being en gaged to a man old enough to be your father? , Maud I didn't know but I would marry him. Got What They Wanted. Their Caller I don't see why Count Parches! and his American wife should quarrel. Miss Davis Their interests clash, do they not? Their Caller Not to any marked de gree. She wanted a foreign alliance, and he a foreign allowance, that's alL Harlem Life. . - ' . Punished. "What are you reading, Dorle?" "Papa's poems." "Been naughty?" Punch. One Instance. "Thomas," said the teacher of the class in physiology, "can you give a familiar instance of the power of the human system to adapt Itself to changed conditions?" "Yes'm," responded Tommy Tucker. "My Aunt Abigail gained a hundred pounds in flesh in less'n a year, an' her skin didn't crack A particle." Chicago Tribune, The Question with Him. "The question," replied Prince Tuan, "Is whether or not there shall be any partition of China." "It occurs to me," said Prince Chung, "that the main question is whether or not there shall be any partition of you and I." Baltimore American. How to Keep In the Swim. "Mrs. Fotheringay Jibbs came to my reception without an Invitation." "You don't mean It?" "Yes; she explained to me that she felt sure my omission of her was an oversight" Indianapolis Journal. Running Expenses. Jones They say the running expenses of Slobb, Jobb & Co. eat up all the profits. Smith How so? Jones Slobb was running for Con gress and Jobb was playing the races. Puck. Plain Evidence. Wife What shall we name the baby, John? Husband I have decided to leave that entirely to you, my dear. "John, you've been drinking again!" Smart Set. And Do It First. Askit What is your understanding of the Golden Rule? Does it mean: "Do unto others as you would 'like' to be done by?" Blzness No; my interpretation Is: "Do unto others as you would 'be like ly' to be done by." Philadelphia Press. The Professor's Dilemma. Booker Prof. Delvlngton Is in a ter rible quandary. Hooker Why, what's the trouble? Booker He has discovered a new dis ease and can't find any germ for it Chicago News. A Sure Indication. "Here," said the agent of the steam ship line, "are a few of our circulars and booklets, giving detailed descrip tions of winter tours to out-of-the-way places on our vessels." , The bank cashier paled and shrank back with a gesture of alarm. "Take 'em away!" he gasped. "If one of the Directors 'ud see those things sticking out of my pocket, he'd put a bunch of experts on my books! Take 'em away!" Washington Post . A Surprise. "What's the matter with Jones? He looks troubled." "Well, you know he was desperately In love with Miss Gaygirl, and one night he thoughtlessly asked ner to marry him, and " "She refused him?" "No, she accepted him." Colorado Springs Gazette. On His Mind. Teacher Who can name the bones of the skull? Bobby I've got 'em all in my head, but I can't think of them. Thought He Ate the Tires. Star Boarder Well, even if this Is an age of improvements, they have not yet found a substitute for the Thanksgiv ing turkey. Mr. Sourdropp I don't know. I think they gave us some stewed automobile last year. Baltimore American. Overdid It a Little. Rev. Mr. Saintly I was very sorry that I couldn't fill my pulpit last Sun day, but I hope you liked my substi tute. Mrs. Witherby Oh, yes. He was fine, and I told my husband, who didn't go, that he little knew what he had missed. Life. Worse Yet. Mrs. Wunder What are these straw berries worth? Marketman One dollar, lady. Mrs. Wunder What? A dollar a box? Marketman No, mum. . A dollar apiece. Baltimore American. A Very Goc d Ke .aon. Sunday School Teacher Herbert can you tell me how Christmas came to be celebrated? Little Herbert (promptly) Yes'm. Santa Claus was born on that day! Philadelphia North American. Cam Id. "Did you do nothing to resuscitate the body?" was recently asked of a witness at a coroner's inquest "Yes, sir, we searched the. pockets," was the reply. Sacred Heart Review. Not a Suffragist. "Madam, are you a woman suffra gist r "No, sir; I haven't time to be." "Haven't time? Well, If you had the privilege of voting whom would you support?" "The same man I have supported for the last ten years my husband." Modes and Fabrics. Proof. A low cry of anguish fell from her lips. "My heart Is broken!" she moaned. Guardedly we expressed a doubt of this. "Yes, yes!" persisted the girl, wildly wringing her hands. "For why, else, have I to-day written fewer than ten pages In my diary?" Now although we had comparatively small understanding of the subtler motives of the everlasting feminine, we felt instinctively that here was proof not lightly to be gainsaid. De troit Journal. Wheat Consumption of the World. The bread-eaters of the world require more than 2,300,000,000 bushels of wheat every twelve months. An Irreverent writer says that Satan's fall was probably due to his having slipped on a peal of thunder. A young man seldom believes that a girl enjoys a kiss unless be has it from her own lips. HOW HE'D STOP THE CRYING. Suggestion of a Man Whose Peace Was Disturbed by a Fretful Baby. The woman and the baby in the westbound avenue car kept the car lively. The baby had the unquenchable yells from the peace monument to the war department and beyond. The baby kicked and tossed and beat its mother In the face with Its fists and tried to poke boles In the car window and gasped and snorted and choked. "What is it mamma's pitty Itty sing wants r the baby s mother would in quire. "Wow-wow Blub-wo-eo!" "Baby hurts its poor Itty mamma punching her. Does baby want the nice itty horsier "Zip woosh naw blubs baw we-ow!" "Shall she go buy It a new dress and dollie?" "Wham-whlng whooshomoo wow." "See out of the window, the wagon going along without any horsle. Isn't that funny?" "Ker-chug ma-ma woof wow!" "Shall mamma take It to the store to see the new pltties?" "Ker-blm oo-oo!" "Don't want to see the pltties? There, now, there. Don't ky no more. mamma's itty sing. Shall she dance It up and dorn?" "Baw miff um-swat ce cc wow!" The tall, correctly dressed man, who was sitting right alongside the woman with the baby, and whose Raglan the baby had been threatening to kick Into short ribbons for some time past, reached down and chucked the baby under the chin, smiling amiably, and causing the mother to look pleased. Mamma's booful baby," she went on. addressing the youngster soothing ly. "Indeed, mamma doesn't know what In this world to do with such bad boy." "Have you ever tried," Inquired the correctly dressed man. as the car was coming to a halt for him to get off "have you ever tried the brass knucks, a sand bag, a piece of lead pipe or an ice pick?" And before the mother could recover from her amazement the brute had stepped off and the car had started ahead, the young one still yowling. Washington Star. THE CHAMPION WOOER. Man Who Made Love to His Mother i in-Law. Robert J Patterson, of Brooklyn, should be declared the champion wooer. He has distanced all records. Since winning the affections of a very beautiful girl ' and marrying her about two years ago, he has made love to thirty-one different maidens and has proposed marriage PATTkRSON. to nearly every one of them. He has tried to make love to his two pretty sisters-in-law and has even proposed marriage to bis mother-in-law. He had seventeen courtships on his list at one time, and on a certain evening proudly boasted to his wife that twelve women bad accepted him that very day. . Mrs. Patterson Justly became vexed at her husband's wholesale lovemak Ing to other women and is now seeking a divorce. As one after another of the young ladies to whom her husband had proposed marriage gave her testimony it seemed certain that the young wife's petition would be granted, but when the mother-in-law told of the gallant young husband's lovemaking to her, the shadow of a doubt fell upon the mind of the honored judge. He re served his decision, debating whether to grant the decree of divorce or to ap point a commission in lunacy to deter mine the mental condition of the young Lothario. Surface Indications. From "A Book on , Dartmoor," written by the Rev. S. Baring-Gould, comes a story which might have come from a less trustworthy source: The wild and romantic country of Dartmoor consists of a table-land with rugged peaks or tors, and all but im passable marshes. After a dry sum mer it Is easy to pick one's way across parts of which at other times are full of pitfalls. At one of the latter periods a man was cautiously threading his way across one of these treacherous marshes when he saw a hat lying brim downward on the sedge. He gave it a gentle, good-humored kick in passing, and almost jumped out of his skin when a choked voice called out from beneath: "What be you a-dolng to my 'at?" "Be there now a chap under"n?" ex claimed the traveler. "Ees. I reckon, and a hoss under me likewise." Logical Reasoning. An amusing little English book en titled "Children's Sayings," just pub-" lished, contains the following: "Two little children being awakened by their nurse one morning and told that they had a new little brother were keen, as children are, to know where and bow he arrived. - 'It must have been the milkman,' said the gtrL 'Why the milkman? 'Because he says on his cart, "Families Supplied." ," Hand Magnets in Machine Shops. One-of the chief troubles in machine shops Is the frequency with which workmen are wounded more or less painfully, and even dangerously, by flying splinters striking the eye. A hand magnet is always kept conveni ent for the purpose of drawing these splinters out of the eye, and one of the latest productions Is an electro-magnet designed expressly for this work. Princess Royal. The title of Princess Royal, borne by the Empress Frederick of Germany be fore her marriage. Is not given to the eldest daughter of English sovereigns, but only to the first child should It bap pen to be a girl. Every time a. woman wipes her face on a new towel, she is reminded of the discomforts of her early married days, when everything around the bouse was new. Good servant girls are as scarce as if servant girls had enlisted hi the lata war, and hadn't been mustered out yet. it. j. REVIEW OF TRADE. Activity is Becoming More -Pronounced In the Wool Markets. R. G. Dun & Co. says: Business "In the East and particularly along the North Atlantic coast has been catching up with the rest of the country a little this week, bo that in the lines where '.omplaint has been heard of late the tone is better. This comes Irora the working off of retail stocks which the owners feared would have to be carried over to next season. In builders' hardware the buying has been nota bly better, and the distribution in the grocery jobbing trade has been given a considerable stimulus. Even the laggard dry goods market bas shown a good measure of improvement, though in cotton goods there is still much to be desired, for the larger buy. ing has not brought any improvement in the general tone, and in some direc tions the maiket is slower than a week ago. Footwear is firmly held at unchanged prices, with good buying of spring lines in the Boston market. Western trade is less active and some orders have been countermanded. No diminution appears in the move ment of iron and steel products. Mills are rushed with orders and new con tracts are taken at full prices. Pig iron is freely bought and prices tend upward. Billets and other partially manufactured forms are firmer, and finished goods would command higher prices if immediate delivery coold be seoarsd. Grain markets are devoid of wide fluctuations, although many reports are circulated regarding the condition of winter wheat, but it i9 too early to secure definite information. News from India and Australia indicate a larger ciop than last year's. Failures for the week in the United States were 253 against 201 last year. In Canada for the same period they were 39 against 33 last year. PACIFIC COAST TRADE. " Seattle Market Onions, new yellow, $2.503. ' Lettuce, hot house, $1.60 per case. Potatoes, new. $18. Beets, per sack, $1. Turnips, per sack, 75o. SquaBh 2c. Carrots, per sack, 75c Parsnips, per sack, $1.251.50. Celery 60c doz. Cabbage, native and California, 2c per pounds. Butter Creamery, 25c; dairy, 15 18c; ranch, 16c 18c pound. Cheese 14c. Eggs Ranch, 20c; Eastern 20c. Poultry 13c: dressed, native chick ens, 13&c; turkey, 15c. Hay Puget Sound timothy, $15.00: choice Eastern Washington timothy, $19.00. Corn Whole, $33.00; cracked, $24; feed meal, $24. Barley Rolled or ground, per ton, $20. Flour Patent, per barrel, $3.40; blended straights, $3.25; California, $3.25; . bnckwheat flour, $6.00; gra ham, per barrel, $3.25; whole wheat flour, $3.25; rye flour, $3.804.00. Millstuffs Bran, per ton, $15.00; shorts, per ton, $16.00. Feed Chopped feed, $19.00 per ton: middlings, per ton, $23; oil cake meal, per ton, $29.00. Fresh Meats Choice dressed beef steers, price 8c; cows, mutton ' 1 pork, 8c; trimmed, 10c; veal, 10c. Hams Large, llic; small, 11$; breakfast bacon, 18c; dry salt sides, 8c. Portland Market. Wheat Walla Walla. 55c; Valley nominal; Bluestem, 57 o per bushel. Flour Best grades, $3.40; graham, $2.60. Oats Choice white, 45c; choice gray, 43c per bushel. Barley Feed barley, $16.50 brew ing, $16.50 per ton. Millstuffs Bran, $16.00 ton; mid dlings, $21.50; shorts, $18.50; chop, $16 per ton. Hay Timothy, $12 12.50; clover.fT 9.50; Oregon wild hay, $6 7 per ton. Butter Fancy creamery, 60 55c; store, 27c. Eggs 14o per dozen. Cheese Oregon full cream, 13o; Young America, 14c; new cheese lOo per pound. Poultry Chickens, mixed, $3.50 per dozen; hens, $5.00; springs, $2.003.50; geese, $6.007.00 doz; ducks, $5.006.00 per dozen; turkeys, live. Ho per pound. Potatoes 40 50c per sack; sweets. $1,65 per lOOpouna. Vegetables Beets, $1; turnips, 75o; per sack; garlic, 7c per pound; cab bage, lc per pound; parsnips, 85c; onions, $2. 25 2. 75; carrots, 75c. Hops New crop, 1214c per pound. Wool Valley, 13(3 14o per pound; Eastern Oregon, 10 12c; mohair, 25 per pound. ' Mutton Gross, best sheep, wethers $4-75; ewes, $4.50; dressed mutton, 6 )i 7c per pound. Hogs Gross, choice heavy, $5.25; light and feeders, $5.00; dressed, 6( 7c per pounds. Beef Gross, top steers, $4.604.75; cows. $4. 00 4. 50; dressed beef, 6(3. 7o per pound. Veal Large, ?7ac; small, i 9c per pound. San Francisco Market. Wool Spring Nevada, 11 13c per pound; Eastern Oregon, 10 14c; Val ley, 1517c; Northern, 910c. Hops Crop, 1900, 1620o. Butter Fancy creamery 21c; do seconds, 17c; fancy dairy. 19 do seconds, 14c per pound. Eggs Store, 22c; fancy ranch, 26c. Millstuffs Middlings, $17.00 20.00; bran, $15.00 16.00. Hay Wheat $913; wheat and oat $9.00 12.50; best barley $9.50 alfalfa, $7.00 10.00 per ton; straw, 8547c per bale. Potatoes Oregon Burbanks, $1; Salinas Burbanks, 75c$1.05; river Burbanks, 35 60c; sweets, 60 $ 1.00. Citrus Fruit Oranges, Valencia, $2.75(33.25; Mexican limes, $4.00 6.00; California lemons 75c$1.60; do choice $1.752.00 per box. Tropical Fruits Bananas, $1.50 S.50 per bunch; pineapples, nom inal; Persian dates. 66Ho per pound.