Image provided by: Morrow County Museum; Heppner, OR
About Lexington wheatfield. (Lexington, Or.) 1905-19?? | View Entire Issue (June 28, 1906)
Prisoners and Captives
By H. S.
After dinner Eastern at last conde
scended to explanation. Chairs had been
drawn around the fire. While he spoke
the American kept his eyes fixed upon the
fire, and at times moved his Hinbs nerv
ously, after the manner of one who is
more highly strung than muscular,
"Gentlemen," he said in his peculiar,
slow drawl, and an immediate silence
followed "gentlemen, I asked you to
come here to-night for a special purpose,
and not from the warmth of my own
heart. What I am going to tell you can
not be quite new to some, while to others
I surmise that it will be very new. There
Is a country on the map called the Dark
Continent, but during the last few years
it has come under my notice that Africa
is as light as the heavenly paths com
pared to another land nearer to this old
country. I mean Siberia. Now, I am
not going to talk about Siberia, because
there are four men in this room who
know more than I do. In fact, they know
too much. Before I go I will explain
for a spell who we all are. Four of us
are Russians. Of these four, one has a
wife living in the Siberian mines, con
demned by mistake ; a second has a father
living in a convict prison, almost on the
edge of an Arctic sea ; a third has been
there himself. These three undertake
what may be called the desperate part of
our scheme. The fourth Russian is a
gentleman who has the doubtful privilege
of being allowed to live in Petersburg.
His task is difficult and dangerous, but
not desperate. Two of us are English
men ; one has given up the ease and lux
ury of the life of a moneyed British
sportsman has, In fact, become a sailor
for the deliberate purpose of placing his
skill at our disposal. In addition to that
lie has opened his purse in a thoughtless
and generous way. Why he has done
these things I cannot say. In Mr. Tyars'
position I certainly should not have done
so myself. His is the only name I men
tion, because I have seen the portraits
of him in the illustrated papers, and
there Is no disguising who he is. The
rest of ns have names entirely unknown,
or known only to the wrong people. Some
of the Russian names, besides possessing
this unfortunate notoriety, are quite be
yond my powers to pronounce. The sec
ond Englishman is a naval officer, who,
' having shared considerable danger with
Mr. Tyars on one occasion, may or may
not think fit to throw in his lot with
him again. His decision, while being a
matter of great interest to us, lies en
tirely in his own hands. He is as free
when he leaves this room as when we en
tered it. Lastly comes myself "
The little face was very wistful, while
the thin lips moved and changed inces
santly from gayety to a great gravity.
The man's hollow cheeks were singularly
flushed in a patchy, unnatural way.
"I," he continued, with a little laugh.
" well, I'm afraid I stay at home. I
have here a doctor's certificate showing
that I would be utterly useless in any
but a temperate climate. I am con
sumptive." He produced a paper from his pocket
and held it In his hand upon his knee,
not daring to offer It to any one in par
ticular. There was a painful silence.
No one reached out his hand for the cer
tificate, and no one seemed to be able to
think of something to say. At last the
stout gentleman rose from his chair with
"I, too, stay at home, gentlemen," he
said, breathlessly, "and I have no certifi
cate." He crossed the hearth rug, and, taking
the paper from Easton's hand, he delib
erately threw it into the fire.
"There," he grunted, "the mischief take
Then he sat down again, adjusting his
large waistcoat, which had become some
what rucked up, and attempted to smooth
his crumpled shirt, while the paper burn
ed slowly on the glowing coals.
"I only wished," said Easton, after a
pause, "to explain why I stay at home.
It is no good Bonding second-rate men
out to work like this."
He paused and looked around. There
was something critical in the atmosphere
of the room, and all the seven men as
sembled looked at one another in turn,
Long and searchingly each looked Into
the other's face. If Easton had set down
the rule that second-rate men were of no
avail, he had certainly held close to It.
These were, at all events, first-rate men.
Not talkers, but actors! no blusterers,
but full of courage; determined, ready
and fearless. The slight barrier raised
by the speaking of a different tongue, the
thinking of different thoughts, seemed to
have crumbled away, and they were as
"Our plans," said Easton, "are simple.
We fit out a ship to sail In the spring,
ostensibly to attempt the northeast pas
sage to China. Her real object will be
the rescue of a large number of Russian
political exiles and prisoners. The three
Russians go to Siberia overland. Theirs
is the most dangerous task of of all, the
largest, the most important. 'The fourth
remains In Petersburg, to keep up com
munication, to forward money, food, dis
guises and arms. Mr. Tyars takes com
mand of the steamer, which is now; almost
ready for sea, and forces his way through
the Ice, God willing, to the Xana river.
Easton stopped speaking. As he re
turned to his seat, he glanced Inquiringly
toward Oswln Grace, whose eyes bad fol
"Of course, gentlemen," said Grace,
glancing comprehensively around the
trrouD. "I go with Mr. Tyars."
'Thanks," muttered Claud Tyars,
It was almost a month later that Mat
thew Mark Easton stepped fairly Into
the circle of which Miss Winter was to
a certain extent the leading spirit. This
lady had been five minutes in the bril
liantly lighted rooms of a huge picture
gallery before she singled out the little
American. He happened to be talking to
another Insignificant, unobtrusive man,
who tugged nervously at a gray mustache,
while he listened. This was one of the
ablest envoys ever accredited to the Court
of St. James by the United States.
Miss Winter knew most of the faces
in the room, and among others that of
the American minister. Moreover, sho
recollected perfectly the form and fea
tures of Matthew Mark Easton.
The occasion was a vast assembly of
the fashionable, diplomatic, artistic and
literary worlds for the collection of
money and ideas toward the solution of a
social problem. The tickets were a guinea
each ; there were choice refreshments at
a stated and ruinous price ; soft carpets,
an exhibition of pictures, and the same
of dresses. I believe also that several
gentlemen read papers on the subject un
der discussion, but that was in the small
room at the end where no one ever went.
Claud Tyars was there, of course,
During the last month or two he had
been gclng out so much that one almost
expected to meet him, just as one ex
pects to meet certain well-known face
at cvjry assembly. Miss Winter saw
him Immediately after noticing Matthew
Mark Easton, and before long he b'gan
to make his way across the room towar-J
her. Wherever they had met during th3
last few weeks, Tyars had Invariably
succeeded in exchanging a few words
with Miss Winter, seeking her out with
equal persistence, whether Helen Grace
were with her or not. If, as the lady
opined, he was determined to be
come one of their intimate friends,
he displayed no indecent haste, no
undue eagerness ; and in so doing
he was perhaps following the surest
method. He had not hitherto showed the
slightest desire to cross the line which
separates acquaintances from friendship.
There was a mutual attraction existing
between these two capable, practical pio
ple, who met to-night as they usually did
with that high-toned nonchalance which
almost amounts to indifference. There
was a vacant seat, for a wonder, beside
M'ss Winter, which Tyars promptly ap
"Who," she asked, after a few conven
tionalities had been exchanged, "is than
g"ntleman talking to the American min
ister, and apparently making him laugh,
which is. I Bhould say, no easy matter?"
He is generally making some one
laugh," replied Tyars. "His name is
Easton Matthew Mark Easton. The
sort of name that sticks in the wheel
work of one's memory. A name one does
"And," added Mils Winter, lightly, "a
face that one does nof forget. He inter
ests nic a little."
Tyars laughed at the qualification Im
plied by the addition of the last two
"That is always something," he said.
"A small mercy. He Is one of my great
est friends may I Introduce him?"
"Certainly," murmured the lady, with
a little bow of the head, and then he
changed the subject at once.
"Helen," she said, "is not here to
Tyars looked befittingly disappointed.
"She does not always care to leave the
admiral, and, he objects to dissipation on
a large scale. Is that not so?" he sug
gested. "Yes. That is the case to-night."
She woudered a little at his intimate
knowledge of Helen's thoughts, but said1
nothing. It was probable that he heard
this from Onwin, and his singular mem
ory had retained it.
"Miss Grace," said Tyars, presently,
"has a strong sense of duty, and Is un
conscious of it. An unconscious sense of
duly is one of the best of human mo
tives. At least it seems so to me."
Although Agnes Winter was bowing
and smiling to an old lady near at hand,
she had followed him perfectly.
"Well," she answered, "a sense of duty
of any description is not a bad thing
in thesi' time. Indeed," she added, turn
ing suddenly toward him, "a motive is
In itself rather rare. Not many of us
Her manner implied as plainly as If
xhe had spoken it : "We are not, all of us,
There was something in the expression
of his eyes that recalled suddenly their
first meeting at the precise moment when
he, entering the drawing room, overheard
a remark of hers respecting himself, It
was not an unpleasant expression, but It
led one to feel instinctively that this man
might under some circumstances be what
is tersely called in France, difficult. It
was merely a suggestion, cloaked beneath
his high-class repose of manner, but she
had known many men of his class, some
of whom had made a name is their sev
eral callings, and this same suggestion
of stubbornness had come beneath her
quick, fleeting notice before. He looked
gravely around the room, as if seeking to
penetrate the smiles and vapid affecta
tion. "Oh," he said placidly, "I am not so
ure. There are a good many people who
pride themselves upon steering a clear
course. The prevailing motive to-night
Is perhaps a desire to prove a superiority
over one's neighbors, but it Is still a mo
tive." Miss Winter looked at him critically.
"Remember," she said, warolngly, "that
this Is my element. The motives of all
tLese people are my motives their pleas
ures my pleasures their life, my life."
"Apparently so," he replied, ambigu
ously. "So that," she pursued, "I am Indicted
of the crime of endeavoring to prove my
superiority over my neighbors."
He laughed In an abrupt way.
"No more than myself,"
"That is a mere prevarication," she
persisted, gayly. "Tell me, please, in
what particular this coveted superiority
"In a desire to appear more aimless
than you are," he retorted, gravely.
"I deny that. I plead not guilty," she
said. "I am a person of many motives,
but the many receive, their life from one
source. That one source is an earnest
endeavor to please myself In 11 things,
to crowd as much pleasure and as much
excitement into a lifetime as it will hold."
"Then," he said, after a pause, "you
are only one of the crowd after all."
"That is all, Mr. Tyars. Did you evor
suspect me of being anything else?"
"I believe I did," he replied, with a
more direct gaze than Is allowed by thi
dictates of polite society.
She returned the gaze with serenity.
"Then please get rid of the idea," she
There was a short pause, but It was
not the silence of people who have noth
ing more to say to each other. It was too
tense, too restless for that.
"Shall I," inquired Tyars, rising sud
denly, "go and find Easton? I should
like you to know him."
'1 shall be most happy," she said, with
one of her gracious little bows. As he
moved away she called him back almost
as if she were loath to let him go, as if
there were something still left unsaid
"Tell me," she said in a gayly confi
dent tone, "before you go, what Is his
specialty. I always like to know a stran
ger's chief characteristic, or, if he has
no characteristics, his particular hobby
whether, I mean, he is a botanist or a
yachtsman, a fisherman or a politician.
It is so much more convenient, you un
derstand, to know beforehand upon what
topic one must conceal one's ignorance."
"Miss Winter," he said, deliberately,
"you have not found out my particular
hobby or my chief characteristic yet."
"Not yet," she admitted.
"I think," he said, 'that Easton has
no hobbies. His specialty Is eloquence.
He could almost persuade a certain stub
born quadruped to part with his hind
legs. He was destined by the positive
department of Providence for an orator,
but the negative department, with its
usual discrimination, gave him a weak
chest, and therefore he is nothing."
"Thank you," she said. "Now I know
something of him. I have to conceal
beneath wretched smiles the fact that I
know absolutely nothing of American
commerce, American politics or oratory.
I wonder," she added, as an afterthought,
"whether there is anything he can per
suade me into doing?"
"He . might," suggested Tyars, "per
suade jou into the cultivation of a mo
Then he turned and left her. Matthew
Mark Easton saw him approaching, and
broke off rather suddenly a waning con
versation with his minister.
"Easton." said Tyars, "come here. I
want to introduce you to Miss Winter."
"Miss Winter," returned the American J
"ominous name. Who is she?"
"She id a person of considerable In
fluence in the Grace household. Do you
understand? It is in Miss Winter's pow
er to deprive us of Oswin Grace, if she
cares to exercise that power."
Kaston's face expressed somewhat lu
dicrously a passing consternation.
'linn these women! he muttered.
"Docs she," he inquired, "suBpect some
"I think so," was the reply, "uaA't
moreover, she is a clever woman ; so oe
fTi b eontlnnwil.i
Many persons think they ought to b
rewarded for simple honesty. The idea
Is not only wrong but silly,, declares a
writer In the Denver Post, and tells of
an Incident that roused his wrath :
A few days ago, while walking down
an Omaha street, I saw a man ahead of
me drop a poeketbood. A messenger
boy picked it up. Just then the man
missed it, and the boy returned It to
him without looking Inside. The man
gave the boy a quarter. The boy ac
cepted it, but was disgusted.
"Is dut all I get for beln' honest?" he
"There Is Just three dollars In that
pocketbook," said the man.
"Well, you ought to give me a dollar,
anyway," the boy replied, sulkily.
Had I been the man I would have
added a kick to the quarter ; and there
are lots of persons like that boy In this
Pity the Working Woman,
"Poor woman! She works hard all
day, and then she's up nearly all night
with the babies."
"What's the matter with her hus
band? Why doesn't he Help her?"
"O, be puts In all his time agitating
for an eight-hour day for the working
man." Philadelphia Press.
She Loat Out.
Mrs. Caller It doesn't always pay
to husband one's resources.
Mrs. Homer Why not?
Mrs. Caller Well, I Judge so from
Mrs. Backer's experience. She let her
husband have the $5,000 she Inherited
from her grandmother and he lost It all
If a ton of coal Is placed on the
ground and left there, and another ton
Is placed under a shed, the latter loses
about 25 per cent of Its heating pow
er, the former about 47 per cent
An Eight-Slued Darn.
Here Is a plan for a burn of tlio eight
sided or octagon shape. This octagonal
barn Is 25 feet on each side, providing
accoinoindatlou for about fifty head of
cattle. There Is a considerable gain
In floor space when the octagon form
Is used Instead of the square form, the
same amount of wall enclosing a great
er number of square feet. The main
objection to an eight-sided barn Is tint
it is difficult to till with a hay fork or
sheaf currier. This may be largely
overcome by erecting a gable on one of
the sides of the roof and running a
track In from that height, which may
be extended to within 20 feet of the op
posite wall. The roof requires to be
self-supporting and to secure this the
plates should be bolted together at the
corners and held by a band of Iron 4
feet long, bent to fit and solidly bolted
so that the corners can never spread. In
the stable part the larger cattle should
be assigned to the outer circle, the
smaller ones to the Inner row. One
feeding alley serves for the two rows,
and a circular track can be arranged
for carrying silage. In order to get
sufficient light there requires to be an
almost continuous window about three
feet above the ground. Montreal Star.
Drought Rather than Moiatnre.
It Is much easier for one to be Inde
pendent of dry weather than of wet un
less the soil s naturally wet, so that
It may be pipe drained and thus get rid
of the excessive moisture and this is an
expensive operation, but, notwithstand
ing, a most desirable one In the end.
Potato growers are perhaps more Inter
ested in the problem of how to battle
with dry weather than growers of any
other cr6p and, under normal condi
tions, the secret Is simply to see that
the soli Is properly supplied with hu
mus or vegtable matter.
It Is folly, or will be found so after a
few years, to attempt to grow potatoes
on the same ground year after year or
to grow them wholly by the aid of com
mercial fertilizers. Here is where it
pays to make every possible effort to
grow clover for getting heavy crops of
clover under the soil will add the re
quired humus, which, In connection
with first-class seed, care and cultiva
tion, will enable one to grow heavy
crops of potatoes in normal seasons and
better than' your neighbor's In dry sea
sons. This question of getting humus Into
the soil Is one that must be met sooner
or later by every farmer and especial
ly by those who pin their faith very
largely to commercial fertilizers.
Rye (or Pasture.
The early rye always shows Itself
soon after the weather begins to moder
ate In the spring, and some farmers
usually then begin to use It for pastur
age. It Is a mistake to use the rye too
early, as It may cause scours. It Is very
laxative In Its effects, being watery, and
a change from dry feed to young rye
very early In the season may result in
loss of milk.
The Pleasing Garden.
If you have a garden It carries with
it Jthe satisfaction of going out early In
May and gathering radishes, lettuce,
young onions and spinach. A few
weeks later early peas and beets are
there for the taking. By the Fourth of
July early potatoes, sweet and nutty,
ifter a fashion never found In any
rtore, can be dug. In succession fol-
.ow snap beans, crisp cucumbers, to
natoes, corn that Is sweet In sonie
:blng more than name and muskmelons,
fragrant, melting, delicious.
Wi fir- Tg
Jll II ojlPI ILii'Ii'i li
I'raillt In Foreat Thinning".
A bulletin entitled "Improvement
Thinning" has been Issued by tho State
forester of Massachusetts. The author
shows that the growth on considerable
areas can be Improved and made more
productive by the application of moder
ate thinning while the stands are In tho
process of development. Thin us often
as the material to be removed will pay
for Its removal is the rule laid down
as to how often to thin. As to the de
gree to which it Is Bafe to thin, tho
cover should never be broken to such
an extent that It will not close again In
two or three years and cast a dense
shade. In answer to the objection that
Is sometimes urged that such work Is
Impracticable under existing conditions
of the labor and wood market, tho au
thor refers to the fact that thinning
has been done and Is going on now In
Massachusetts and neighboring States,
and that It has not only paid for Itself,
but has In some Instances yielded a net
profit of from twenty-five cents to $2 on
each cord of wood removed.
Prepare the Wool Well.
A wool grower sending wool to mar
ket In a heavy, dirty condition, leav
ing anything In the fleece to make
more weight, and expecting to get more
money is greatly mistaken. Buyers es
timate the value of the clip by the net
yield of clean wool. When growers do
their best they secure for themselves
the best results. The soundness of the
filter may be tested by stretching a
small staple between tho fingers. Sta
ple 2Va Inches In length up, Is classed
combing below clothing. Labor ex
pended lh preparing the clip for sale Is
well bestowed and brings its own re
ward. The yolk In wool Is the oily
substance which gives color and lends
softness to the fleece. It also promotes
tho growth of the fleece and prevents
the wearing of the fiber. Good feeding,
shelter and care promotes this secre
Fumigating; the Orchard.
The Insect tax upon this country's
agricultural Interests Is something
stupendous. Indeed, were It not for the
ravages of Insects, great and small, the
life and profits of the horticulturist
would be so attractive as to completely
change the present attitude toward
their occupation. The government ex
perts are doing an enormous amount of
educative work In determining the ex
act organisms that are responsible for
each particular form of damage and
the best method of combating same. Fu
migation is one of the modern farmer's
magic science wands by which, in a
trice, he clears his crops of Insect life
that If not held eradicated would prob
ably destroy his entire crop. In Cali
fornia Immense balloonlike arrange
ments of canvas are used In fumigating
fruit trees, and now a Texas inventor
proposes to modify the plan, with tho
Idea of making It available for smaller
crops, such as cotton and corn. The
appliance consists of a supporting truck
for movement over the ground, general
ly by the use of horses, a combustion
chamber for the formation of the
fumes, or gases employed as fumlgant,
and a framework, adjustable as to
heights, and a hood covering the whole.
At the rear a deflector curtain Is pro
vided, with a depending shield extend
ing across the combustion chamber to
deflect the fumes and force them Into
contact with the plants. With an appa
ratus of this general type It Is possible
to effectively and rapidly treat large
numbers of plants, the deflector or hood
extending over two full rows of nlants.
Awake In Mexico.
Mexican farming Interests are wak
ing up under the example of their
neighbors of the North, and a new
school of agriculture' Is to be estab
lished under the charge of one of Lu
ther Burbank's co-workers. This school
is the first of the kind to be establish
ed in Mexico, and Is located near the
boundary line. The conditions there
are similar to those In Texas and south
California, and a high grade of agricul
ture may be expected under Intelligent