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About Daily capital journal. (Salem, Or.) 1903-1919 | View Entire Issue (April 1, 1916)
THE DAILY CAPITAL JOU UN'AL. SALEM. OREOOV
SATURDAY. APRIL 1. 1016.
By O. HENRY
P'opyrtght by DouMwlay, Page & Co.
00 are a man of
tures and va
prlsos," I said
to Captain Pa
"Do you be
lieve that the
incut of good luck or bad luck If there
U such a thlug as luck lias Inllueueed
y iiir career or persisted fur or against
you to such an extent that you were
ftieed to attribute results to the op
eration of the aforesaid good luck or
'I his question (of almost the dull In
dolence of legal phraseology) was put
while we snt lu Itousselln's little red
tiled cufu neur Congo square, lu New
Itrown faced, while hailed, finger
ringed captains of adventure runic of
ten to Itousseliu'a for the cognac.
'I dey rame from sea and liuul and
wore chary of relating the things they
had seon-not hecause they were wore
wonderful than the fantasies of the
Ananlases of print, but because they
were ho different. And I was a per
petual wedding guest, always striving
M cast uiy buttonhole over the finger
of one of these mariners of fortune.
This Captain Malono was a Hlberno
Ilterlan creole who had gone to and
fro In the earth and walked up and
down In It. lie looked like any oilier
well dressed man of thirty-five whom
you might meet except that lie was
hopelessly weather tanned and wore
On his chain an ancient Ivory and gold
iVnivlan charm against evil, which
Ins nothing at all to do with his
"My answer to your question," said
captain, .smiling, "will be to (ell
ywi the story of Hud I.uck Kearny,
'licit Is, if you don't mind hearing It."
My reply was to pound on the table
"Strolling along Tchoupllouhis street
oho night," begun Captain M:ilonf "1
noticed, without especially taxing my
interest, a small man walking .rapidly
toward me. He stepped upon a wood
en cellar door, crashed through It and
disappeared. I rescued hlui from a
heiip of soft coal below. He dusted
himself briskly, swearing fluently In n
iicvliaiiif.il tone, as an underpaid ac
tor recites Hut gypsy's curse. Grutl
tod,, and the dust In his throat seoui
! to call for fluids to clear them away.
I lis desire for liquidation was ex
pressed so heartily that 1 went with
liim lo a eufiS dowu Hie street, where
we had some vile vermouth and bit
' Looking across that Utile table 1
hid my first clear sight of Francis
Kearny, lie was about live feet sev
eo, hut as tough as a cypress knee.
Ids hair was darkest roil, his mouth
Hin li a mere slit that you wondered
how the flood of his words came rush
ing from It. His eyes were tho bright
rat, and lightest blue and Hie liopeful
.nl that I ever saw. Ho gave (he dou
M! Impression that he was at bay and
tlt.il you hail belter not crowd him fur
ther. " '.lust In from a gold hunting expe
dition on the coast of Costa ltlca,' he
ophilncil. 'Second mate of a banana
isleanier told ine the native were pan
ning out enough from tho beach sands
to buy all the rum, red calico and par
lor uielikleous In (ho world. The day
I got there a syndicate named Incor
porated Jones gets a govenimeut con
cession to all minerals from a given
point. For a next choice I take coast
fever and count green and blue lizards
for six weeks lu a grass hut. I had
to be nolliled when 1 was well, for the
l 'Idllcs were actually there.
' 'Then I shipped back as third cook
on a Norwegian tramp that blew up
tier boiler two miles below quarantine.
1 was duo lo bust through that cellar
d'Mir here tonight, so I hurried the rest
of the way up Hie river, roustubuutlng
on a lower coast packet that made n
binding for every llshernian that want
ed a plug of tobacco. And now I'm
hero for what conies next. And It'll
be along, it'll be uloug,' said this queer
Mr. Kearny; it'll be along on the
b-anis of my bright but not very par
"From the (list the personality of
Kcuruy charmed me. I saw In him
the bold heart, the restless nature and
the valiant front against the buffets
of fate that make bis countrymen niicIi
valuable comrades lu risk and adven
ture. And Just then 1 was wautlug
(oiiii men. Moored at a fruit compa
ny's pier 1 had a 0H) (oil steamer
rciuly lo sail the next day with a cargo
of sugar, lumber and corrugated Iron
for a port In well, lei us call the conu
try llsperaudo - It has not been long
n.i. and the name of I'atrlclo Mnliuie
Is still spoken (hern when Its unset
(I'd politics are discussed. Iteneuth
the sugar and Iron were packed a
thousand' repenting rltles. In Aguas
I'lins. the capital, Pmi Rafael Valde
vlii, minister of war, F.spornndo's
greatest , hearted and most able pa
triot, awaited my coming. No doubt
y mi have heard, with a smile, of t!
iii.iiigntlVutit wars and uprisings In,
those little tropic republics. They
make but a faint clamor against the
din of great nations' battles. But
down (here, under all the ridiculous
uniforms and petty diplomacy and
c:;.selcss countermarching and in
trigue, are to be found statesmen anil
patriots. Don Rafael Valdevia was
one. Ills great ambition was to raise
Esperando Into peace and honest pros
perity and the respect of the serious
nations. So he waited for my rifles lu
Aguas Fiius. But one would think I
am trying to win a recruit In you!
Xo; It was Francis Kearny I wanted.
And so I told li i in. speaking long over
our execrable vermouth, breathing the
stilling odor from garlic and tarpau
lins, which, os you know. Is the dis
tinctive flavor of cafes lu the lower
ilant of our city.
"I apoke of the tyrant President Cruz
uul the burdens (hat his greed and In
lolcnt cruelly laid upon the people.
And at that Kearny's tears flowed.
And (hen I dried (hem with a picture
f the fat rewurds that would be ours
.vhen the oppressor should be over
drawn and t lie wise and generous Val
levla In his seat. Then Kearny leap
ed to his feet and wrung uiy hand with
ho strength of a roustabout. He was
in Inc. he said, till the' last minion of
die hated despot was hurled from the
ilghost peaks of tho Cordilleras Into
"I paid the score aud we went out.
Sear the door Kearny's elbow over
turned an upright glass showcase,
smashing It Into little bits. I paid the
storekeeper the price lie asked.
" 'Come to my hotel for the night,' I
laid to Kearny. 'We sail tomorrow at
"Ho agreed, but on (he sidewalk he
Tell (o cursing again lu the dull, monot
onous, glib way that he had done when
I pulled him out of the coal cellar.
"'Captain,' said he, 'before we go
my further It's no more than fair to
ell you that I'm known from Baflln's
bay to Tlerra del Fuego as "Bad Luck"
Kearny. And I'm It. Everything I get
'nto goes up in Hie air except a balloon.
Kvery bet I ever niado I lost except
when I coppered It. Kvery boat I ever
wiled on sank except the submarines.
Kverythlng I was ever Interested in
went lo pieces except a patent bomb
shell that I Invented. Everything I
jver took hold of and tried to run 1
ran Into the ground except when 1
tried lo plow. And that's why they
all me "Bad I.uck" Kearny.' I thought
I'd tell you.'
"'Hud luck,' said I, 'or what goes by
he name, may now and then tangle the
ilia Irs of nny man. But If It persist
beyond the estimate of what we may
all the "averages" there must be a
.ause for It.'
"'There Is,' said Kearny emphatical
ly, 'and when we walk another square
I will show It to you.'
"Surprised, I kept by his side until
wo came .to Canal street and out Into
the middle of Its great width.
"Kearny seized me by an arm and
pointed a tragic forellnger at a rather
brilliant star Hint shone steadily about
thirty degrees above (bo horizon.
'"That's Saturn,' said he, 'the star
that presides over bad luck and evil
mil disappointment and nothing doing
aud trouble. I was born under that
star. Kvery move I make up hobs
Saturn and blocks It. He's the hoodoo
planet of the heavens. They say he's
r:'.,(KX) miles In diameter and no sulkier
if body than spilt pea soup, and he's
got us many disreputable and malig
nant rings as a big. city. Now, what
kind of a star Is that (o be boru un
der?' "1 asked Kearny where he had ob
tained all this astonishing knowledge.
"'From Azralb, the great astrologer,
of Clevelaud, 0.,' said he. 'That man
looked at a glass bull and told me my
name before I'd taken a chair. , Ho
prophesied the date of my birth aud
death before I'd said a word. And
then he cast my horoscope, and the
sidereal system socked tue In the solar
plexus. It was bad luck for Francis
Kearny from A lo Izard and for his
friends Hint were Implicated with him.
For Hint I gave up $10. This Azrnth
was sorry, but ho respected his profes
sion too much (o read (he heavens
wrong for any man. It was night
time, and ho took mo out on a balcony
and gavo me a free view of the sky.
And ho showed me which 'Saturn was
and how to find It lu different balco
nies and longitudes.
"'But Saturn wasn't all. He was
only the man higher up. He furnishes
so much bad luck (hat they allow him
a gang of deputy sparklers lo help
hand It out. They're circulating and
revolving and hanging around the main
supply all the time, each ono throwing
the hoodoo on his particular district.
" 'You see that ugly Utile red star
shout tight Inches above and to the
right of Saturn?' Kearny asked me.
'Well, that's her. That's Phoebe. She's
got me lu charge. "By the day of your
birth," says Azrath to me, "your life Is
subjected to the Influence of Saturn.
H.v flie hour and minute of It you must
dwell under Hie sway and direct au
thority of Phoebe, the ninth satellite."
So said (his Azrath.' Kearny shook
Ills list viciously skyward. 'Curse her,
lie's itono Hit wort well,' said he.
Ever since I was astrologlze.1 bad luck
has followed me like my shadow, as
I told you. And for many years be
fore. Now, captain, I've told you my
handicap as a nuiu should. If you're
afraid this evil star of mine might crip.
pl your scheme leave tue out of It.'
"I reassured Kearny as well as 1
could. I told htm (hat for the time
we would banish both astrology and
astronomy from our heads. The maul
fest valor and enthusiasm of the rami
drew me, 'I.et us see what a little
courage and diligence will do against
had luck,' I said. 'We will sail tomor
row for Esperando.'
"Fifty miles down Hie Mississippi our
uteamer broke her rudder. We sent for
a tug to tow us back and lost three
days. When we struck the blue waters
if the gult ail tue siurin clouds of tue
Vtlantic seemed to have concentrated
ibove us. We thought surely to sweet
en those leaping waves with our sugar
uul to stack our arms and lumber on
he floor of (he Mexican gulf.
"Kearny did not seek to cast off one
lota of file burden of our danger from
the shoulders of his fatal horoscope,
do weathered every storm on dock,
smoking n black pipe, to keep which
alight rain and sea water seemed bill
is oil. And he shook his fist at the
black clouds behind which his baleful
star winked Its unseen eye. When the
skies cleared one evening he reviled his
malignant guardian with grim humor.
" 'On watch, aren't you, you red
headed vixen? Out making It hot for
little Francis Kearny and his friends,
according to Hoyle. Twinkle, twinkle,
tittle devil! You're n lady, aren't you
dogging a man with bad luck Just be
cause he happened to be born while
your boss was
busy and sink
the ship, you one
Sounds as mild
ns a milkmaid.
Yo:i can't Judge
n woman by her
n n m e. Why
couldn't I have
had a man star?
I can't make the
remarks to Phoe
be, you be blast
"For eight days
gales and squalls
beat us from our
course. Five days
only should have
landed us lu Es-
'Get busy, you one
perando. Our Jonah swallowed the
bad credit of It with appealing frank
ness, but that scarcely lessened the
hardships our cause was made to suf
fer. "At luM one afternoon we steamed
Into the culm estuary of the little ISlo
Escondldo. Three miles up this we
crept, feeling for the shallow channel
between the low banks that were
crowded to the edge with gigantic trees
and riotous vegetation. Then our whis
tle gave a little toot, and in five min
utes we heard a shout, and Carlos my
brave Carlos Qulntana crashed
through the (angled vines waving his
cap madly for Joy.
"A hundred yards away was his
camp, where oOO chosen patriots of Es
perando were awaiting our coming.
For a month Carlos bad been drilling
them there lu the tactics of war and
(illlng them with the spirit of revolu
tion and liberty.
"'Sly captain compadre mio!" shout
ed Carlos, while yet my boat was be
ing lowered. 'You should see them in
(he drill by companies In the column
wheel in the march by four they are
superb! Also lu the manual of arms
-but, alas, performed only with sticks
of bamboo. The guns, captain -say
that you have brought the guns!'
" 'A thousand good rltles, Carlos,' (
called to him. 'And two Catlings.'
" 'Vulgame Dlos!' lie cried, throwing
his cap In the air. 'We shall sweep the
"At that moment Kearny tumbled
from the steamer's side Into the river,
lie could not swim, so (he crew threw
him a rope and drew him back aboard.
I caught his eye and his look of pa
thetic but still bright and undaunted
consciousness of his guilty luck. I told
myself that, although he might be a
man to shun, he was also one to be
"I gave orders to the sailing master
that the arms, ammunition and provi
sions were to bo landed at once. That
was easy lu the steamer's boats, ex
cept for the two Gatllng guns. For
their transportation ashore we carried
a stout tla (boat.
"In tho meantime I walked with Car
los to the camp and made tho soldiers
a little speech In Spanish, which they
received with enthusiasm, aud then 1
had some wine and n cigarette lu Car
"The small arms and provisions were
already ashore, and (he petty ollicers
had squads of men conveying them (o
camp. One Galling had been safely
landed. The other was Just being
hoisted over the side of the vessel as
we arrived. I noticed Kearny darting
about on board, eenilng to have the
ambition of ten men and to be doing
the work of live. I think his zeal bub
bled over when lie saw Carlos and me.
A rope's end was swinging loose from
some purl of the tackle. Kearny leap
ed Impetuously ami caught It. There
was a crackle and a hiss and a smoke
of scorching beuip. and the Gatllng
dropped straight us n plummet through
the bottom of the (hi (boat and buried
Itself In twenty feet of water and tlve
tcet of river mud.
"I turned my back i the scene. I
heard Carlos' loud cries as if from
some extreme grief too poignant for
words. I heard (he complaining mur
mur of the crew and the maledlctlous
of Torres, the sailing muster. I could
not bear to look.
"By night s mie degree of order had
been restored in camp. Military rules
were not drawn strictly, and (he men
were grouped about the tires of their
several messes, playing games of
chance, hinging their native songs r
discussing with voluble animation the
contingencies of our march upon the
"To my tent, .which had been pitch
ed for me close to that of my chief
lieutenant, came Kearny, Indomitable,
smiling, bright eyed. Iteming no traces
of the buffets of his evil star. Bather
was his aspect that of a heroic mar
tyr whose tribulation' were so high
soutved nnd glorious tint he even took
a splendor and a prestige from (hem.
'"Well, captain," said he, 'I guess
you realize that Bud Luck Kearny in
still on deck. It was a shame, now,
about that gun. She only needed to
be slewed two Inches to clear the rail,
and that's why I grabbed that rope's
end. Who'd have thought that a sail
or, even a Sicilian lubber on a banana
coaster, would have fastened a line In
a bowknot Don't think I'm trying to
dodge the responsibility, captain. It's
" 'There are men, Kearny,' said I
gravely, 'who pass through life blam
ing upon luck and chance the mistakes
that result from their own faults and
Incompetency. I do not say that yoi?
are such a man. But if all your mis
haps are traceable to (hat tiny star the
sooner we endow our colleges with
chairs of moral astronomy tho better.'
" 'It isn't the size of the star that
counts," said Kearny, it's the quality,
.lust the way It Is with women. That's
why they gave the biggest planets
masculine names and the little stars
feminine ones to even things up
when It comes to getting their work
In. Suppose they had called my star
Againeuiiiou or Bill McCarty or some
thing like that Instead of Phoebe.
Every time one of those old boys
touched their calamity button and sent
me down one of their wireless pieces
of bad luck I could talk back nnd tell
'em what I thought of 'em in suitable
terms. But you can't address such re
marks to n Phoebe.'
"'It pleases you to make a Joke of
It, Kearny," said I without smiling.
'But It Is no Joke to mo to think of my
Catling mired In the river ooze."
" 'As to that," said Kearny, abandon
ing his light mood at once, 'I have al
ready doue what I could. I have had
some experience In hoisting stone In
quarries. Torres nnd I have already
spliced three hawsers and stretched
them from the steamer's stern to a
tree on shore. We will rig n tackle
and have the gun on lerra firma be
fore noon tomorrow.'
"One could not remain long at outs
with Bad Luck Kearny.
" 'Once more.' said I to him. 'we will
waive this question of luck. Have you
ever had experience in drilling raw
" 'I was first sergeant nnd drill mas
ter," said Kenrny. 'in the Chilean army
for ono year and captain of artillery
"'What became of your command?'
"'Shot down to n man," said Kearny,
'during the revolution against Bnlma
ceda.' "Somehow the misfortunes of the
evil starred one seemed to turn to me
their comedy side. I lay back upon
my goat's hide cot and laughed until
the woods echoed. Kearny grinned.
'I told you how It was,' he said.
"'Tomorrow,' I said, 'I shall detail
100 men under your command for man
ual of arms drill and company evolu
tions. You will tank as lieutenant.
Now. for God's sake, Kearny,' I urged
him, 'try to combat tills superstition If
It Is one. Bad luck may be like any
other visitor preferring to stop where
It is expected. Get your mind off
stars. Look upon Esperando ns your
planet of good fortune.'
"'I thank you, captain,' said Kearny
quietly. 'I will try to make it the
best handicap I ever ran.'
"By noon (he next day the submerg
ed Catling was rescued, as Kearny had
promised. Then Carlos and Manuel
Ortiz nnd Kearny (my lieutenants) dis
tributed Hie titles among the troops
and put them through an Incessant
rifle drill. We fired no shots, blnuk or
solid, for of all coasts Esperando Is
tho stillest, aud we bad no desire to
sound any warnings In tho car of that
corrupt government until they should
carry with them the message of liber
ty and the downfall ot oppression.
"In tho afternoon came a mule rider
bearing a written message to me from
Don Itafael Valdevia lu the capital,
"Whenever that man's name comes
to my lits words of tribute to his
greatness, his noblo simplicity and his
conspicuous genius follow Irrepresslbly
He was a traveler, a student of peo
ples nnd governments, a master of sci
ences, a poet, an orator, a leader, a
soldier, a critic ot the world's cam
paigns and the Idol of (tie people of
Esperando. I had been honored by
his friendship for years. It was I who
first turned his mind to the thought
that he should leave for his monument
a new Esperando a country freed
from tho rule of unscrupulous tyrants
aud a people made happy and prosper
ous by wise and Impartial legislation.
When he had consented he threw him
self Into the cause wilh the undivided
zeal with which he endowed all of his
acts. The coffers of his great fortune
were opened to (hose of us to whom
were Intrusted the secret moves of the
game. His popularity was already so
great that he had practically forced
President Cruz to offer htm the port
folio of minister of war.
"The time, Djii Rafael said In his let
ter, was ripe. Success, he prophesied,
was certain. The people were begin
ning to clamor publicly against Cruz's
misrule. Bands of citizens in the capi
tal were even going about of nights
hurling stones lit public buildings and
expressing their dissatisfaction. A
bronze statue of President Cruz In the
botanical gardens had been lassoed
about the neck nnd overthrown. II
only remained for mo to arrive with
my force and my thousand rilles and
for hlmeslf lo come forward and pro
claim himself the people's savior to
overthrow Cruz In a single day. There
would be but n half hearted resistance
from the OtH) government troops sta
tioned lu Hie capital. The country was
ours. He presumed that by tills time
my steamer had arrived at Qulntana s
camp. He proposed the Ifth of July
for the attack. That would give us six
days In which to strike camp and
inarch to Aguas Frlas. In the mean
time Don Itafael remained my good
friend and compadre en la causa de la
"On the morning of the l lth we be
gan our march toward the sea follow
ing range of mountains, over the sixty
mile trail to (he capital. Our small
arms aud provisions were laden on
pack mules. Twenty men harnessed to
each Gatllng gun rolled them smoothly
along the flat, alluvial lowlands. Our
troops, well shod and well fed, moved
with alacrity and heartiness. I and
my three lieutenants were mounted on
the tough mountain ponies of the coun
try. "A utile out of camp one of the pack
mules, becoming stubborn, broke away
from the train aud plunged from the
path Into (he (hlcket. The alert Kear
ny spurred quickly after it and Inter
cepted Its flight. Rising in bis stirrups,
he released one foot and bestowed upon
the mutinous animal a hearty kick.
"The mule tottered and fell with n
crash broadside upon the ground. As
we gathered around It It walled Its
great eyes almost humanly toward
Kearny aud expired. That was bad,
but worse to our minds was the con
comitant disaster. Tart of the mule's
burden hnd been 100 pounds of the
finest coffee to be had In the tropics.
The bag burst aud spilled the priceless
brown mass of tho ground berries
among the dense vines aud weeds of
the swampy land. Main suerte! When
you take away from an Esperandon
his coffee y.ou abstract his patriotism
and 50 per cent of his value as a sol
dier. The men began to rake up the
precious stuff, but I beckoned Kearny
back along the trail where they would
uot hear. The limit had been reached.
"I took from my pocket a wallet of
money and drew out some bills.
" 'Mr. Kearny,' said I, 'here ure some
funds belonging to Don Itnfnel Valde
via, which I am expending In his
cause. I know of no better service it
can buy for him than this. Here Is
$100. Luck or no luck, we part com
pany here. Star or no star, calamity
seems to travel by your side. You will
return to the steamer. She touches at
Amotapa to discharge her lumber and
Iron and then puts back to New Or
leans. Hand this note to the sailing
master, who will give you pnssage." I
wrote on a leaf torn from my book
and placed It and the money In Kear
" 'Goodby,' I said, extending my own.
'It Is not that I am displeased with
you, but there Is no place In this ex
pedition for let us sny, the- Senorita
Phoebe.' 1 said this with a smile,
trying to smooth tho thing for him.
'May you have better luck, compa
nero.' "Kenrny took the money and the pa-PeI-
"'It was just a little touch,' said he.
Just a little lift with the toe' of my
boot. But what's the odds? That
blamed mule would have died If I had
only dusted his ribs with a powder
puff. It was my luck. Well, captain.
I would have liked to be In that little
fight with you over In Aguas Fiias.
Success to the cause. Adlos!'
"He turned around and set off down
the trail without looking back. The
unfortunate mule's puck saddle was
transferred to Kearny's pony, nnd we
again took up the march.
"Four days we Journeyed over the
foothills and mountains, fording Icy
torrents, winding around the crumbling
brows of ragged peaks, creeping along
rocky flanges that overlooked awful
precipices, crawling breathlessly over
tottering bridges (hat crossed bottom
"Ou the evening of the 17th we camp
ed by a little stream on the bare hills
five miles from Aguas Frlas. At day
break we were to take up march again.
"At midnight I was standing outside
my tent Inhaling the fresh cold air.
The stars were shining bright In the
cloudless sky, giving the heavens their
proper aspect of Illimitable depth and
distance when viewed from tho vague
darkness of the blotted earth. Almost
at Its zenith was the planet Saturn,
and with a half smile I observed the
sinister red sparkle of his malignant
attendant the demon star of Kearny's
III luck. And then my thoughts stray
ed across the hills to the scene of our
coming triumph, where the heroic and
noble Don Itafael awaited our coming
to set a new and shining star In the
flrninment of nations.
"I beard a slight rustling In the deep
grass to my right. I turned nnd saw
Kenrny coming toward me. ' He was
ragged nnd dew drenched and limping.
Ills lint nnd one boot were gone. About
one foot he had tied some makeshift
of cloth and grass. But his manner ns
he approached was that of a man who
knows his own virtues well enough to
be superior to rebuff.
"'Well, sir,' I said, staring at Mm
coldly, if there la anything In persist
ence I see no reason why you should
not succeed In wrecking nnd ruining
" 'I kept half a day's Journey behind;'
snid Kearny, fishing out n stone from
the covering of bis lame foot, 'so the
bad luck wouldn't touch you. 1
couldn't help It, captain. I wanted to
be In on this game. It was a pretty
tough trip, especially In the depart
ment of the commissary. In the low
grounds there were always bananas
and oranges. Higher up it was worse,
but your men left a good deal of goal
meat hanging on the bushes In the
camps. Here's your $100. You're nearly
there now, captain. Let mo In on the
" 'Not for a hundred times a hundred
would I have the tiniest thing go
wrong with my plans now,' I said,
'whether cansisl by evil planets or the
blunders of mere man. But yonder is
Aguas Frlas, five miles away and a
clear road. I am of the mind (o tlefy
Saturn and all bis satellites to spoil
our success now. At any rate, I will
not turn away tonight as weary a trav
eler and as 60od a soldier as you are.
Lieutenant Kearny. Manuel Ortiz's
tent Is there by the brightest fire. Bout
hi m out and tell blur to supply you
with food and blankets and clothes.
We inarch again at daybreak.'
"Kearny thanked uie briefly, but
feelingly, and moved away.
"He hud gone scarcely a dozen steps
when a sudden flash of bright light
Illumined the surrounding hills. A sin
ister, growing, hissing sound like es
caping steam filled ny ears. Then
followed a roar as of distant thunder,
which grew louder every Instant. This
terrifying noise culminated In a tre
mendous explosion which seemed to
rock the hills as an earthquako would.
The Illumination waxed to a glare so
fierce that I clapped my hands to my
eyes to save them. I thought the end
of (he world hail come. I could think
of no natural phenomenon that would
explain It. My wits were staggering.
"The deafening explosion trailed off
iuto the heavy roar that had preceded
It, and through this I heard the fright
ened shouts of my troops as they
stumbled from their resting places and
rushed wildly about; also I heard the
harsh tones of Kearny's voice crying,
'They'll blame It on me, ot course, and
what the devil It Is, It's not Francis
Kearny that can give you an answer!'
"I opened my eyes. The hills were
still there, dark and solid. It had not
been, then, a volcano or an earthquake.
I looked up at the sky and saw a comet-like
trail crossing the zenith and ex
tending westward, a fiery trail waning
fainter and narrower each moment.
" 'A meteor!' I called aloud. 'A me
teor has fallen. There is no danger.'
"And then all oilier sounds were
drowned by a great shout from Kear
ny's throat. He had raised both hands
above his head and was standing tip
toe. . " 'Phoebe's gone!' lie cried with all
his lungs. 'She's busted and gone to
h I! Look, cnptnln! Tho little red
headed hoodoo has blown herself to
smithereens. She found Kearny too
tough to handle, and she puffed up
with spite and meanness till her boiler
blew up. It'll be "Bad Luck" Kearny
no more. Oh, let us be Joyful!
" 'Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty busted, and that'll be all!' "
"I looked up, wondering, nnd picked
out Satin n In his place. But the small
red, twinkling luminary In his vicinity,
"A fragment of a detonating meteor."
which Kearny had pointed out to me
as his evil star, had vanished. I had
seen It there but half an hour before.
There was no doubt that one of those
awful and mysterious spasms of na
ture had hurled It from the beavens.
"I clapped Kenrny on the shoulder.
" 'Little man,' said I, iet this clear
the way for you. It appears that as
trology has failed to subdue you. Your
horoscope must be cast anew with
pluck and loyalty for controlling stars.
I play you to win. Now, get to your
tent and sleep. Daybreak is the word.'
"At 0 o'clock on the morning of the
18th of July I rode Into Aguas Frlas
with Kearny at my side. In his clean
linen suit and with his military poise
and keen eye he was a model of a
fighting adventurer. I had visions of
him riding ns commander of President
Valdevla's bodyguard when tho plums
of the new republic should begin to fall.
"Carlos followed with the troops and
supplies. He was to halt In a wood,
outside the town and remain concealed
there until he received the word to ad
vance. "Kearny and I rode down the Calle
Ancha toward the resldeuela of Don
Rafael at the other side ot the town.
As we passed the superb white build
ings of the University of Esperando I
saw at an opeu window the gleaming
spectacles and bald head of Ilerr Ber
gowitz, professor of the natural sci
ences nnd friend of Don Bnfael and of
me anil of the cause. He waved his
band to me with his broad, bland
"There was no excitement apparent
In Aguas Frias. The people went about
leisurely as at all times. Tho market
wns thronged with bareheaded women
buying fruit nnd carne. We beard the
twang and tinkle of string bands In
the patios of the camions. We could
see that It was a 'ling game that
Don Itafael was play.ug.
"His resldencla wns a large but low
building around a great courtyard In
grounds crowded with ornamental
trees and tropic shrubs. At his door
an old woman who came Informed us
that Don Rafael had not yet arisen.
" Tell him.' said I, 'that Captain Ma
ln and a friend wish to see him at
once. Perhaps he has overslept.'
' "She came back looking frightened.
" 'I have called,' she said, 'and runs
his bell many times, but be does not
"I knew where his sleeping room
wns. Kearny and I pushed by her and
went to It I put my shoulder against
the thin door and forced it open.
"In an armchair by a great (able cov
ered witli maps and books sat Don Ra
fael witli his eyes closed. I touched
his band. He hud been dead many
hours. On his head above one ear was
a wound caused by a heavy blow. It
bad ceased to bleed long before.
"I made the old woman call a inozo
and dispatched him In haste, to fetch
"He came, and we stood about as If
we were half stunned by the awful
shock. Thus can the letting of a few
drops of blood from one man's veins,
drain the life of a nation.
"Presently Herr Bergowltz stooped
and picked up a darkish stone the size
of an orange which he saw under the
table. He examined it closely through
his great glasses with the eye of sci
ence. " 'A fragment, said he, 'of a detonat
ing meteor. The most remarkable one
In twenty years exploded above this
city a little after midnight this morn
ing.' "The professor looked quickly up at
the ceiling. We saw the blue sky
through a hole the size of an orange
nearly above Don Rafael's chair.
- "I heard a familiar sound and turned.
Kearny had thrown himself on the
floor nnd wns babbling his compendium
of bitter, blood freezing curses against
the stnr of bis evil luck.
"Undoubtedly Phoebe had been femi
nine. Even when hurtling on Iter way
to fiery dissolution and everlasting
doom tue last word had been hers."
Captain MalonO was nbt unskilled In
narrative. He knew tho point where a
story should end. I snt reveling lu his
effective conclusion when he aroused
me by continuing:
"Of course," said he, "our schemes
were at an end. There wns no ono to
take Don Rafael's place. Our little
army melted away like dew before the
"One day nfter I had returned to
New Orleans I related this story to a
friend who holds a professorship la
"When I hnd finished he laughed nnd
asked whether I had any knowledge
of Kearny's luck afterward. 1 told
him no; that I had seen him no more,
but that when he left me ho had ex
pressed confidence that his future
would be successful now that his un
lucky star hnd been overthrown. '
" 'No doubt,' said the professor, 'he
Is happier not to know one fact. If
he derives his bad luck from Phoebe,
the ninth satellite of Saturn, that ma
licious Indy Is still engaged In over
looking his career. The star close to
Saturn that he Imagined to be her was
near that planet simply by the chance
of Its orbit. Frobnbly at different
times he has regarded many other
stars that happened to be In Saturn's
neighborhood as his evil one. The real
Phoebe is visible only through a very
"About a year afterward," continued
Captain MnlonG, "I was walking down
a street that crossed the Foydras mar
ket. An Immensely stout, pink faced
lady In black satin crowded me from
the narrow sidewalk wilh a frown.
Behind her trailed a little man laden
to the gunwales with bundles hnd bag
of goods nnd vegetables. ;
"It was Kearny but changed. I
stopped and shook one of his hands,
which still clung to a bag of garlic
and red peppers.'
" 'How is the luck, old companero?
I asked him. I had not the heart to
tell him the truth about his star.
" 'Well, said he, 'I am married, a
yon may guess.'
"'Francis,' called the big lady In
deep tones, 'are you going to stop in
the street talking all day?'
" 'I am coming, Phoebe, dear,' said
Kearny, hastening after her."
Captain Malone ceased again.
"After all, do you believe in luck?"
"Do you?" answered the captain,
with his ambiguous smile shaded by
the brim of his soft straw hat.
"English at She I Spoke."
Writing In the Autocar, nn English
publication, an English motorist seri
ously advises his kind who contem
plate visiting America to provide
themselves with dictionaries so that
they may be able to understand (he
As instances of outre Americanisms,
he cites that Americans say they want
to examine the "gasoline line" when
they mean the "petrol tank." When
we complain that the car "only hits
on three" we Imply that It Is "possible
only to make It fire on three cylin
ders." We further confuse this critic
when we say "hood" instead of "bon
net" "Mudguards" should be called "scut
tle dashes," and to use "cement" In
stead of "tyre solution" Is also wrong.
Nature and the Artiit.
And when the evening mist clothes
the riverside with poetry, ns with a
veil, and the poor buildings lose them
selves In the dim sky, and the tall
chimneys become campanili, and the
warehouses are palaces In the night,
and the whole city hangs In the heav
ens, nnd fnlrylaud Is before us, then
the wayfarer hastens home. The work
Ingman and the cultured one, the wise
man nnd the one of pleasure, cease to
understand, ns they have ceased to
see, and nature, who, for once, has
sung In tune, sings her exquisite sonjc
to the artist alone, her son nnd her
master her son In that he loves her,
her master In that he knows bar.
Whistler's "The Gentle Art of Making