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with God. That day, and all that night, upon the seas, tossed the frail barrier between life and death. Heaven lulled the gales; and when the stars came forth, and looked so bland and gentle, I wept, recalled the wretch's words, "are kinder e'en than thy kindred.”
Day dawned; and, glittering in the sun, behold a sail—a flag; like hope, it vanished! Noon glaring came. With noon came thirst and famine, and with parched lips I called on death, and sought to wrench my limbs from the stiff cords that gnawed into the flesh, and drop into the deep. And then the clear wave trembled, and below I saw a dark, swift moving, shapeless thing, with watchful, glassy eyes—the ghastly shark swam lingering round its prey. Then life once more grew sweet, and with strained and horrent gaze and lifted hair, I floated on, till sense grew dim, and dimmer, and a terrible sleep (in which still those livid eyes met mine) fell on me. When I awoke I heard my native tongue.
Kind looks were bent upon me; I lay on deck among you-escaped a ravening death, for God had watched the sleeper!
A FELLOW'S MOTHER.
fellow's mother,” said Fred the wise,
“Knows what to do if a fellow gets hurt By a thump or a bruise or a fall in the dirt.
"A fellow's mother has bags and strings,
She does not care- -not much, I mean-
And I'll tell you this—if you're only true,
A Christmas Story.
gulch up there,
’ me down for a share. I believe in little children; it's as nice to hear 'em read As to wander round the ranch at noon and see the cattle feed. And I believe in preachin', too—by men for preachin' born, Who let alone the husks of creed, and measure out the corn. The pulpit's but a manger where the pews are gospel-fed; And they say 'twas to a manger that the star of glory led. So I'll subscribe a dollar to the manger and the stalls; I always gives the best I've got whenever my partner calls. And, stranger, let me tell you: I'm beginnin' to suspect That all the world are partners, whatever their creed or sect; That life is a kind of pilgrimage, a sort of Jericho road, And kindness to one's fellows the sweetest law in the code. No matter about the 'nitials; from a farmer, you understand, Who's generally had to play it alone from rather an or'nary
hand. I've never struck it rich; for farming, you see, is slow, And whenever the crops are fairly good, the prices are always
low. A dollar isn't very much, but it helps to count the same; The lowest trump supports the ace, and sometimes wins the
game. It assists a fellow's praying when he's down upon his knees
“Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these.” I know the verses, stranger, so you needn't stop to quote. It's a different thing to know them or to say them off by rote. I'll tell you where I learned them, if you'll step in from the rain. 'Twas down in 'Frisco years ago; had been there hauling
grain. It was near the city limits, on the Sacramento pike, Where stores and sheds are rather mixed, and shanties scat
tered like. Not the likeliest to be in. I remember the saloon, With grocery, market, baker-shop, and barroom all in one. And this made up the picture—my hair was not then gray, But everything still seems as real as if 'twere yesterday. A little girl with haggard face stood at the counter there, Not more than ten or twelve at most, but worn with grief and
care; And her voice was kind of raspy, like a sort of chronic coldJust the tone you find in children who are prematurely old. She said : “ Two bits for bread and tea. Ma hasn't much to eat. She hopes next week to work again, and buy us all some meat. We've been half starved all winter, but spring will soon be here, And she tells us, 'Keep up courage, for God is always near.' Just then a dozen men came in; the boy was called away To shake the spotted cubes for drinks, as Forty-niners say. I never heard from human lips such oaths and curses loud As rose above the glasses of that crazed and reckless crowd. But the poor tired girl sat waiting, lost at last to revels deep, On a keg beside a barrel in the corner, fast asleep. Well, I stood there, sort of waiting, till someone at the bar Said: “Hello! I say, stranger, what have you over thar?” The boy then told her story, and that crew, so fierce and wild, Grew intent and seemed to listen to the breathing of the child. The glasses all were lowered; said the leader: “Boys, see here; All day we've been pourin' whiskey, drinkin' deep our Christ
inas cheer. Here's two dollars—I've got feelings which are not entirely
deadFor this little girl and mother suffering for the want of bread." "Here's a dollar!” “Here's another!” And they all chipped
And they planked the ringing metal down upon the counter
there. Then the spokesman took a golden double eagle from his belt, Softly stepped from bar to counter, and beside the sleeper knelt, Took the "two-bits” from her fingers, changed her silver piece
for gold. "See there, boys; the girl is dreaming." Down her cheeks
the tear-drops rolled. One by one the swarthy miners passed in silence to the street. Gently we awoke the sleeper, but she started to her feet With a dazed and strange expression, saying: “Oh, I thought
, 'twas true! Ma was well, and we were happy; round our door-stone roses
grew. We had everything we wanted,-food enough, and clothes to
wear; And my hand burns where an angel touched it soft with fingers
fair,” And she looked and saw the money in her fingers glistening
bright. "Well, now, ma has long been praying, but she won't believe
me quite, How you've sent ’way up to heaven where the golden treasures
are, And have also got an angel clerking at your grocery-bar." That's a Christmas story, stranger, which I thought you'd like
to hear, True to fact and human nature, pointing out one's duty clear. TIence; to matters of subscription you will see that I'm alive. Just mark off that dollar, stranger, I think I'll make it five.
ARISTARCHUS STUDIES ELOCUTION.
SUSIE A. BISBEE.
to notice some peculiarities in Aristarchus, which had
never before manifested themselves. Whenever he was alone in his study, he spent much of his time in talking to himself. On more than one occasion, I ventured to ask him the
meaning of such peculiar conduct, but he only grumbled, “ I'm all right; can't a fellow spout a little to himself without being asked all sorts of questions about it?"
But Leander gave voice to my fears when he asked me one day in his father's absence:
Don't you think pa acts as if he was going crazy? He talks to himself half the time lately when he is alone.”
Even the neighbors began to remark upon it. One evening after dusk I went around into the yard of our nearest neighbor. As I passed under a window, I heard the lady of the house saying:
“He must have a terrible temper, for I hear him scolding his wife every day. Only yesterday I heard him say, 'Whence and what art thou, execrable shape?' Those were his very words, and he shouted them out like a madman.'
The day after this, Aristarchus was the worst I had ever known him. But when evening came he seemed as calm as ever. I mentioned that my throat was quite sore, and I feared I had taken a severe cold. He came around behind me, and taking hold of my neck on each side, said:
Let me knead your throat; it is one of the best remedies in the world."
“What do you mean?” I exclaimed, in alarm; but his fingers were already pressing on my jugular vein in a way that soon rendered me speechless.
I gasped and gurgled, but could not get out a word, and was too thoroughly frightened to struggle; after a minute he relaxed his hold so that I could speak, and I gasped out: “You are killing me!'
Why, does this hurt?” he exclaimed, in a tone of cheerful surprise. “Did I choke you?” and again the pressure of his knuckles against my jugular nearly strangled me.
I tore his hands from my throat by a violent effort and sprang to my feet, but terror must have looked out of my staring eyes and white face, for my husband exclaimed:
Why, Cordelia ! this is no common sore throat. You must be really sick-you are white as a ghost. Lie down on the sofa, and I will go for a doctor at once.
No other suggestion could have brought such relief to my heart.