by Bill Nye
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He said he was there not long ago, but did not remain. He bought some clothes in Chicago, so that he could appear in Chi-eene as a "holy terror" when he landed there, and thus in a whole town of "holy terrors" he would not attract attention.

I am not, said he, by birth or instinct, a holy terror, but I thought I would like to try it a little while, anyhow. I got one of those Chicago sombreros with a gilt fried cake twisted around it for a band. Then I got a yellow silk handkerchief on the ten cent counter to tie around my neck. Then I got a suit of smoke-tanned buckskin clothes and a pair of moccasins. I had never seen a bad, bad man from Chi-eene, but I had seen pictures of them and they all wore moccasins. The money that I had left I put into a large revolver and a butcher knife with a red Morocco sheath to it. The revolver was too heavy for me to hold in one hand and shoot, but by resting it on a fence I could kill a cow easy enough if she wasn't too blamed restless.

I went out to the stock yards in Chicago one afternoon and practiced with my revolver. One of my thumbs is out there at the stock yards now.

At Omaha I put on my new suit and sent my human clothes home to my father. He told me when I came away that when I got out to Wyoming, probably I wouldn't want to attract attention by wearing clothes, and so I could send my clothes back to him and he would be glad to have them.

At Sidney I put on my revolver and went into the eating house to get my dinner. A tall man met me at the door and threw me about forty feet in an oblique manner. I asked him if he meant anything personal by that and he said not at all, not at all. I then asked him if he would not allow me to eat my dinner and he said that depended on what I wanted for my dinner. If I would lay down my arms and come back to the reservation and remain neutral to the Government and eat cooked food, it would be all right, but if I insisted on eating raw dining-room girls and scalloped young ladies, he would bar me out.

We landed at Chi-eene in the evening. They had hacks and 'busses and carriages till you couldn't rest, all standing there at the depot, and a large colored man in a loud tone of voice remarked: "INTEROCEAN HO-TEL!!!!"

I went there myself. It had doors and windows to it, and carpets and gas. The young man who showed me to my room was very polite to me. He seemed to want to get acquainted. He said:

"You are from New Hampshire, are you not?"

I told him not to give it away, but I was from New Hampshire. Then I asked him how he knew.

He said that several New Hampshire people had been out there that summer, and they had worn the same style of revolver and generally had one thumb done up in a rag. Then he said that if I came from New Hampshire he would show me how to turn off the gas.

He also took my revolver down to the office with him and put it in the safe, because he said someone might get into my room in the night and kill me with it if he left it here. He was a perfect gentleman.

They have a big opera house there in Chi-eene, and while I was there they had the Eyetalian opera singers, Patty and Nevady there. The streets were lit up with electricity, and people seemed to kind of politely look down on me, I thought. Still, they acted as if they tried not to notice my clothes and dime museum hat.

They seemed to look at me as if I wasn't to blame for it, and as if they felt sorry for me. If I'd had my United States clothes with me, I could have had a good deal of fun in Chi-eene, going to the opera and the lectures, and concerts, et cetera. But finally I decided to return, so I wrote to my parents how I had been knocked down and garroted, and left for dead with one thumb shot off, and they gladly sent the money to pay funeral expenses.

With this I got a cut-rate ticket home and surprised and horrified my parents by dropping in on them one morning just after prayers. I tried to get there prior to prayers, but was side-tracked by my father's new anti-tramp bull dog.

Boston Common and Environs.

Strolling through the Public Garden and the famous Boston Common, the untutored savage from the raw and unpolished West is awed and his wild spirit tamed by the magnificent harmony of nature and art. Everywhere the eye rests upon all that is beautiful in nature, while art has heightened the pleasing effect without having introduced the artistic jim-jams of a lost and undone world.

It is a delightful place through which to stroll in the gray morning while the early worm is getting his just desserts. There, in the midst of a great city, with the hum of industry and the low rumble of the throbbing Boston brain dimly heard in the distance, nature asserts herself, and the weary, sad-eyed stranger may ramble for hours and keep off the grass to his heart's content.

Nearly every foot of Boston Common is hallowed by some historical incident. It is filled with reminiscences of a time when liberty was not overdone in this new world, and the tyrant's heel was resting calmly on the neck of our forefathers.

In the winter of 1775-6, over 110 years ago, as the ready mathematician will perceive, 1,700 redcoats swarmed over Boston Common. Later on the local antipathy to these tourists became so great that they went away. They are still fled. A few of their descendants were there when I visited the Common, but they seemed amicable and did not wear red coats. Their coats this season are made of a large check, with sleeves in it. Their wardrobe generally stands a larger check than their bank account.

The fountains in the Common and the Public Garden attract the eye of the stranger, some of them being very beautiful. The Brewer fountain on Flagstaff hill, presented to the city by the late Gardner Brewer, is very handsome. It was cast in Paris, and is a bronze copy of a fountain designed by Lienard of that city. At the base there are figures representing Neptune with his fabled pickerel stabber, life size; also Amphitrite, Acis and Galatea. Surviving relatives of these parties may well feel pleased and gratified over the life-like expression which, the sculptor has so faithfully reproduced.

But the Coggswell fountain is probably the most eccentric squirt, and one which at once rivets the eye of the beholder. I do not know who designed it, but am told that it was modeled by a young man who attended the codfish autopsy at the market daytimes and gave his nights to art.

The fountain proper consists of two metallic bullheads rampart. They stand on their bosoms, with their tails tied together at the top. Their mouths are abnormally distended, and the water gushes forth from their tonsils in a beautiful stream.

The pose of these classical codfish or bullheads is sublime. In the spirited Graeco-Roman tussle which they seem to be having, with their tails abnormally elevated in their artistic catch-as-catch-can or can-can scuffle, the designer has certainly hit upon a unique and beautiful impossibility.

Each bullhead also has a tin dipper chained to his gills, and through the live-long day, till far into the night, he invites the cosmopolitan tramp to come and quench his never-dying thirst.

The frog pond is another celebrated watering place. I saw it in the early part of May, and if there had been any water in it, it would have been a fine sight. Nothing contributes to the success of a pond like water.

I ventured to say to a Boston man that I was a little surprised to find a little frog pond containing neither frogs or pond, but he said I would find it all right if I would call around during office hours.

While sitting on one of the many seats which may be found on the Common one morning, I formed the acquaintance of a pale young man, who asked me if I resided in Boston. I told him that while I felt flattered to think that I could possibly fool anyone, I must admit that I was only a pilgrim and a stranger.

He said that he was an old resident, and he had often noticed that the people of the Hub always Spoke to a Felloe till he was tired. I afterward learned that he was not an actual resident of Boston, but had just completed his junior year at the State asylum for the insane. He was sent there, it seems, as a confirmed case of unjustifiable Punist. Therefore the governor had Punist him accordingly. This is a specimen of our capitalized joke with Queen Anne do-funny on the corners. We are shipping a great many of them to England this season, where they are greedily snapped up and devoured by the crowned heads. It is a good hot weather joke, devoid of mental strain, perfectly simple and may be laughed at or not without giving the slightest offense.

Drunk in a Plug Hat.

This world is filled with woe everywhere you go. Sorrow is piled up in the fence corners on every road. Unavailing regret and red-nosed remorse inhabit the cot of the tie-chopper as well as the cut-glass cage of the millionaire. The woods are full of disappointment. The earth is convulsed with a universal sob, and the roads are muddy with tears. But I do not call to mind a more touching picture of unavailing misery and ruin, and hopeless chaos, than the plug hat that has endeavored to keep sober and maintain self-respect while its owner was drunk. A plug hat can stand prosperity, and shine forth joyously while nature smiles. That's the place where it seems to thrive. A tall silk hat looks well on a thrifty man with a clean collar, but it cannot stand dissipation.

I once knew a plug hat that had been respected by everyone, and had won its way upward by steady endeavor. No one knew aught against it till one evening, in an evil hour, it consented to attend a banquet, and all at once its joyous career ended. It met nothing but distrust and cold neglect everywhere, after that.

Drink seems to make a man temporarily unnaturally exhilarated. During that temporary exhilaration he desires to attract attention by eating lobster salad out of his own hat, and sitting down on his neighbor's.

The demon rum is bad enough on the coatings of the stomach, but it is even more disastrous to the tall hat. A man may mix up in a crowd and carry off an overdose of valley tan in a soft hat or a cap, but the silk hat will proclaim it upon the house-tops, and advertise it to a gaping, wondering world. It has a way of getting back on the rear elevation of the head, or over the bridge of the nose, or of hanging coquettishly on one ear, that says to the eagle-eyed public: "I am chockfull."

I cannot call to mind a more powerful lecture on temperance, than the silent pantomime of a man trying to hang his plug hat on an invisible peg in his own hall, after he had been watching the returns, a few years ago. I saw that he was excited and nervously unstrung when he came in, but I did not fully realize it until he began to hang his hat on the smooth wall.

At first he laughed in a good-natured way at his awkwardness, and hung it up again carefully; but at last he became irritated about it, and almost forgot himself enough to swear, but controlled himself. Finding, however, that it refused to hang up, and that it seemed rather restless, anyhow, he put it in the corner of the hall with the crown up, pinned it to the floor with his umbrella, and heaved a sigh of relief. Then he took off his overcoat and, through a clerical error, pulled off his dress-coat also. I showed him his mistake and offered to assist him back into his apparel, but he said he hadn't got so old and feeble yet that he couldn't dress himself.

Later on he came into the parlor, wearing a linen ulster with the belt drooping behind him like the broken harness hanging to a shipwrecked and stranded mule. His wife looked at him in a way that froze his blood. This startled him so that he stepped back a pace or two, tangled his feet in his surcingle, clutched wildly at the empty gas-light, but missed it and sat down in a tall majolica cuspidor.

There were three games of whist going on when he fell, and there was a good deal of excitement over the playing, but after he had been pulled out of the American tear jug and led away, everyone of the twelve whist-players had forgotten what the trump was.

They say that he has abandoned politics since then, and that now he don't care whether we have any more November elections or not. I asked him once if he would be active during the next campaign, as usual, and he said he thought not. He said a man couldn't afford to be too active in a political campaign. His constitution wouldn't stand it.

At that time he didn't care much whether the American people had a president or not. If every public-spirited voter had got to work himself up into a state of nervous excitability and prostration where reason tottered on its throne, he thought that we needed a reform.

Those who wished to furnish reasons to totter on their thrones for the National Central Committee at so much per tot, could do so; he, for one, didn't propose to farm out his immortal soul and plug hat to the party, if sixty million people had to stand four years under the administration of a setting hen.


Spring is now here. It has been here before, but not so much so, perhaps, as it is this year. In spring the buds swell up and bust. The "violets" bloom once more, and the hired girl takes off the double windows and the storm door. The husband and father puts up the screen doors, so as to fool the annual fly when he tries to make his spring debut. The husband and father finds the screen doors and windows in the gloaming of the garret. He finds them by feeling them in the dark with his hands. He finds the rafters, also, with his head. When he comes down, he brings the screens and three new intellectual faculties sticking out on his brow like the button on a barn door.

Spring comes with joyous laugh, and song, and sunshine, and the burnt sacrifice of the over-ripe boot and the hoary overshoe. The cowboy and the new milch cow carol their roundelay. So does the veteran hen. The common egg of commerce begins to come forth into the market at a price where it can be secured with a step-ladder, and all nature seems tickled.

There are four seasons—spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring is the most joyful season of the year. It is then that the green grass and the lavender pants come forth. The little robbins twitter in the branches, and the horny-handed farmer goes joyously afield to till the soil till the cows come home.—Virgil.

We all love the moist and fragrant spring. It is then that the sunlight waves beat upon the sandy coast, and the hand-maiden beats upon the sandy carpet. The man of the house pulls tacks out of himself and thinks of days gone by, when you and I were young, Maggie. Who does not leap and sing in his heart when the dandelion blossoms in the low lands, and the tremulous tail of the lambkin agitates the balmy air?

The lawns begin to look like velvet and the lawn-mower begins to warm its joints and get ready for the approaching harvest. The blue jay fills the forest with his classical and extremely au revoir melody, and the curculio crawls out of the plum-tree and files his bill. The plow-boy puts on his father's boots and proceeds to plow up the cunning little angle worm. Anon, the black-bird alights on the swaying reeds, and the lightning-rod man alights on the farmer with great joy and a new rod that can gather up all the lightning in two States and put it in a two-gallon jug for future use.

Who does not love spring, the most joyful season of the year? It is then that the spring bonnet of the workaday world crosses the earth's orbit and makes the bank account of the husband and father look fatigued. The low shoe and the low hum of the bumble-bee are again with us. The little striped hornet heats his nose with a spirit lamp and goes forth searching for the man with the linen pantaloons. All nature is full of life and activity. So is the man with the linen pantaloons. Anon, the thrush will sing in the underbrush, and the prima donna will do up her voice in a red-flannel rag and lay it away.

I go now into my cellar to bring out the gladiola bulb and the homesick turnip of last year. Do you see the blue place on my shoulder? That is where I struck when I got to the foot of the cellar stairs. The gladiola bulbs are looking older than when I put them away last fall. I fear me they will never again bulge forth. They are wrinkled about the eyes and there are lines of care upon them. I could squeeze along two years without the gladiola and the oleander in the large tub. If I should give my little boy a new hatchet and he should cut down my beautiful oleander, I would give him a bicycle and a brass band and a gold-headed cane.

O spring, spring, You giddy young thing.[1]

[Footnote 1: From poems of passion and one thing another, by the author of this sketch.]

The Duke of Rawhide.

"I believe I've got about the most instinct bulldog in the United States," said Cayote Van Gobb yesterday. "Other pups may show cuteness and cunning, you know, but my dog, the Duke of Rawhide Buttes, is not only generally smart, but he keeps up with the times. He's not only a talented cuss, but his genius is always fresh and original."

"What are some of his specialties, Van?" said I.

"Oh, there's a good many of 'em, fust and last. He never seems to be content with the achievements that please other dogs. You watch him and you'll see that his mind is active all the time. When he is still he's working up some scheme or another, that he will ripen and fructify later on.

"For three year's I've had a watermelon patch and run it with more or less success, I reckon. The Duke has tended to 'em after they got ripe, and I was going to say that it kept his hands pretty busy to do it, but, to be more accurate, I should say that it kept his mouth full. Hardly a night after the melons got ripe and in the dark of the moon, but the Dude would sample a cowboy or a sheep-herder from the lower Poudre. Watermelons were generally worth ten cents a pound along the Union Pacific for the first two weeks, and a fifty-pounder was worth $5. That made it an object to keep your melons, for in a good year you could grow enough on ten acres to pay off the national debt.

"Well, to return to my subject. Duke would sleep days during the season and gather fragments of the rear breadths of Western pantaloons at night. One morning Duke had a piece of fancy cassimere in his teeth that I tried to pry out and preserve, so that I could identify the owner, perhaps, but he wouldn't give it up. I coaxed him and lammed him across the face and eyes with an old board, but he wouldn't give it to me. Then I watched him. I've been watchin' him ever since. He took all these fragments of goods I found, over into the garret above the carriage shed.

"Yesterday I went in there and took a lantern with me. There on the floor the Duke of Rawhide had arranged all the samples of Rocky Mountain pantaloons with a good deal of taste, and I don't suppose you'd believe it, but that blamed pup is collecting all these little scraps to make himself a crazy quilt.

"You can talk about instinct in animals, but, so far as the Duke of Rawhide Buttes is concerned, it seems to me more like all-wool genius a yard wide."

Etiquette at Hotels.

Etiquette at hotels is a subject that has been but lightly treated upon by our modern philosophy, and yet it is a subject that lies very near to every American heart. Had I not already more reforms on hand than I can possibly successfully operate I would gladly use my strong social influence and trenchant pen in that direction. Etiquette at hotels, both on the part of the proprietor, and his hirelings, and the guest, is a matter that calls loudly for improvement.

The hotel waiter alone, would well repay a close study. From the tardy and polished loiterer of the effete East, to the off-hand and social equal of the budding West, all waiters are deserving of philosophical scrutiny. I was thrown in contact with a waiter in New York last summer, whose manners were far more polished than my own. Every time I saw him standing there with his immediate pantaloons and swallow-tail coat, and the far-away, chastened look of one who had been unfortunate, but not crushed, I felt that I was unworthy to be waited upon by such a blue-blooded thoroughbred, and I often wished that we had more such men in Congress. And when he would take my order and go away with it, and after the meridian of my life had softened into the mellow glory of the sere and yellow leaf, when he came back, still looking quite young, and never having forgotten me, recognizing me readily after the long, dull, desolate years, I was glad, and I felt that he deserved something more than mere empty thanks and I said to him: "Ah, sir, you still remember me after years of privation and suffering. When every one else in New York has forgotten me, with the exception of the confidence man, you came to me with the glad light of recognition in your clear eye. Would you be offended if I gave you this trifling testimonial of my regard?" at the same time giving him my note at thirty days.

I wanted him to have something by which to always remember me, and I guess he has.

Speaking of waiters, reminds me of one at Glendive, Montana. We had to telegraph ahead in order to get a place to sleep, and when we registered the landlord shoved out an old double-entry journal for us to record our names and postoffice address in. The office was the bar and before we could get our rooms assigned us, we had to wait forty-five minutes for the landlord to collect pay for thirteen drinks and lick a personal friend. Finally, when he got around to me, he told me that I could sleep in the night bar-tender's bed, as he would be up all night, and might possibly get killed and never need it again, anyhow. It would cost me $4 cash in advance to sleep one night in the bartender's bed, he said, and the house was so blamed full that he and his wife had got to wait till things kind of quieted down, and then they would have to put a mattress on the 15 ball pool table and sleep there.

I called attention to my valuable valise that had been purchased at great cost, and told him that he would be safe to keep that behind the bar till I paid; but he said he wasn't in the second-hand valise business, and so I paid in advance. It was humiliating, but he had the edge on me.

At the tea table I noticed that the waiter was a young man who evidently had not been always thus. He had the air of one who yearns to have some one tread on the tail of his coat. Meekness, with me, is one of my characteristics. It is almost a passion. It is the result of personal injuries received in former years at the hands of parties who excelled me in brute force and who succeeded in drawing me out in conversation, as it were, till I made remarks that were injudicious.

So I did not disagree with this waiter, although I had grounds. When he came around and snorted in my ear, "Salt pork, antelope and cold beans," at the same time leaning his full weight on my back, while he evaded the revenue laws by retailing his breath to the guests without a license, I thought I would call for what he had the most of, so I said if he didn't mind and it wouldn't be too much trouble, I would take cold beans.

I will leave it to the calm, impassionate and unpartisan reader to state whether that remark ought to create ill-feeling. I do not think it ought. However, he was irritable, and life to him seemed to be cold and dark. So he went to the general delivery window that led into the cold bean laboratory, and remarked in a hoarse, insolent, and ironical tone of voice:

"Nother damned suspicious looking character wants cold beans."

Fifteen Years Apart.

The American Indian approximates nearer to what man should be—manly, physically perfect, grand in character, and true to the instincts of his conscience—than any other race of beings, civilized or uncivilized. Where do we hear such noble sentiments or meet with such examples of heroism and self-sacrifice as the history of the American Indian furnishes? Where shall we go to hear again such oratory as that of Black Hawk and Logan? Certainly the records of our so-called civilization do not furnish it, and the present century is devoid of it.

They were the true children of the Great Spirit. They lived nearer to the great heart of the Creator than do their pale-faced conquerors of to-day who mourn over the lost and undone condition of the savage. Courageous, brave and the soul of honor, their cruel and awful destruction from the face of the earth is a sin of such magnitude that the relics and the people of America may well shrink from the just punishment which is sure to follow the assassination of as brave a race as ever breathed the air of Heaven.

I wrote the above scathing rebuke of the American people when I was 15 years of age. I ran across the dissertation yesterday. As a general rule, it takes a youth 15 years of age to arraign Congress and jerk the administration bald-headed. The less he knows about things generally, the more cheerfully will he shed information right and left.

At the time I wrote the above crude attack upon the government, I had not seen any Indians, but I had read much. My blood boiled when I thought of the wrongs which our race had meted out to the red man. It was at the time when my blood was just coming to a boil that I penned the above paragraph. Ten years later I had changed my views somewhat, relative to the Indian, and frankly wrote to the government of the change. When I am doing the administration an injustice, and I find it out, I go to the president candidly, and say: "Look here, Mr. President, I have been doing you a wrong. You were right and I was erroneous. I am not pig-headed and stubborn. I just admit fairly that I have been hindering the administration, and I do not propose to do so any more."

So I wrote to Gen. Grant and told him that when I was 15 years of age I wrote a composition at school in which I had arraigned the people and the administration for the course taken toward the Indians. Since that time I had seen some Indians in the mountains—at a distance—and from what I had seen of them I was led to believe that I had misjudged the people and the executive. I told him that so far as possible I would like to repair the great wrong so done in the ardor of youth and to once more sustain the arm of the government.

He wrote me kindly and said he was glad that I was friendly with the government again, and that now he saw nothing in the way of continued national prosperity. He said he would preserve my letter in the archives as a treaty of peace between myself and the nation. He said only the day before he had observed to the cabinet that he didn't care two cents about a war with foreign nations, but he would like to be on a peace footing with me. The country could stand outside interference better than intestine hostility. I do not know whether he meant anything personal by that or not. Probably not.

He said he remembered very well when he first heard that I had attacked the Indian policy of the United States in one of my school essays. He still called to mind the feeling of alarm and apprehension which at that time pervaded the whole country. How the cheeks of strong men had blanched and the Goddess of Liberty felt for her back hair and exchanged her Mother Hubbard dress for a new cast-iron panoply of war and Roman hay knife. Oh, yes, he said, he remembered it as though it had been yesterday.

Having at heart the welfare of the American people as he did, he hoped that I would never attack the republic again.

And I never have. I have been friendly, not only personally, but officially, for a good while. Even if I didn't agree with some of the official acts of the president I would allow him to believe that I did rather than harass him with cold, cruel and adverse criticism. The abundant success of this policy is written in the country's wonderful growth and prosperous peace.

Dessicated Mule.

The red-eyed antagonist of truth is not found alone in the ranks of the newspaper phalanx. You run up against him in all walks of life. He flourishes in all professions, and he is ready at all times to entertain. There is quite a difference between a malicious falsehood and the different shades of parables, fables with a moral, Sabbath-school books, newspaper sketches, and anecdotes told to entertain.

A malicious lie is injurious personally. A business lie is a falsehood for revenue only. But the yarns that are spun around camp-fires, in mining and logging camps, to while away a dull evening, are not within the jurisdiction of the criminal code or the home missionary.

On the train, yesterday several old lumbermen were telling about hard roads and steep hills, engineering skill and so forth. Finally they told about "snubbing" a loaded team down bad hills, and one man said:

"You might 'snub' down a cheap hill, but you couldn't do it on our road. We tried it. Couldn't do a thing. Finally we got to building snow-sheds and hauling sand. You build a snow-shed that covers the grade, then fill the road in with two feet of loose sand, and you're O.K. We did that last winter, and when you drive a four-horse load of logs down through them long snow-sheds on bare ground, mind ye, and the bobs go plowing through the sand, the sled-shoes will make the fire fly so that you can read the President's message at midnight."

Then an old man who went to Pike's Peak during the excitement and returned afterward, woke up and yawned two or three times, and said they used to have some trouble, a good many years ago getting over the range where the South Park road now goes from Chalk Creek Canon through Alpine Tunnel to the Gunnison.

"We tried 'snubbing' and everything we could think of, but it was N.G.

"Finally we got hold of a new kind of 'snub' that worked pretty well. We had a long table made a-purpose, that would reach to the foot of the hill from the top, and we'd tie a three-ton load to the end at the top of the hill; then we would hitch six mules to the end at the foot of the hill. Well, the principle of the thing was, that as the load went down on the Gunnison side it would pull the mules up the opposite side, tails first."

"How did it work?"

"Oh, it worked all right if the mules and the load balanced; but one day we put on a light mule named Emma Abbott, and the load got a start down the Gunnison side that made that old cable sing. The wagon tipped over and concussed a keg of blasting powder, and that obliterated the rest of the goods.

"But the air on the other side was full of mules. You ought to seen 'em come up that hill!

"It takes considerable of a crisis to affect the natural reserve of six mules; but when they saw how it was, they backed up that mountain with great enthusiasm. They didn't touch the ground but once in three thousand feet, but they struck the canopy of heaven several times.

"When the sky cleared up, we made a careful inventory of the stock.

"We had a second-hand three-inch cable and some desiccated mule. We never went to look for the wagon; but when the weather got warm, the Coyotes helped us find Emma Abbott.

"She was hanging by the ear in the crotch of an old hemlock tree.

"Life was extinct.

"We found a few more of the mules, but they were fractional.

"Emma Abbott was the only complete mule we found."

Time's Changes.

I fixed myself and went out trout fishing on the only original Kinnickinnick river last week. It was a kind of Rip Van Winkle picnic and farewell moonlight excursion home. I believe that Rip Van Winkle, however, confined himself to hunting mostly with an old musket that was on the retired list when Rip took his sleepy drink on the Catskills. If he could have gone with me fishing last week over the old trail, digging angle-worms at the same old place where I left the spade sticking in the grim soil twenty years ago—if we could have waded down the Kinnickinnick together with high rubber boots on, and got nibbles and bites at the same places, and found the same old farmers with nearly a quarter of a century added to their lives and glistening in their hair, we would have had fun no doubt on that day, and a headache on the day following. This affords me an opportunity to say that trout may be caught successfully without a corkscrew. I have tried it. I've about decided that the main reason why so many large lies are told about the number of trout caught all over the country, is that at the moment the sportsman pulls his game out of the water, he labors under some kind of an optical illusion, by reason of which he sees about nine trout where he ought to see only one.

I wish I had as many dollars as I have soaked deceased angle-worms in that same beautiful Kinnickinnick. There was a little stream made into it that we called Tidd's creek. It is still there. This stream runs across Tidd's farm, and Tidd twenty years ago wouldn't allow anybody to fish in the creek. I can still remember how his large hand used to feel, as he caught me by the nape of the neck and threw me over the fence with my amateur fishing tackle and a willow "stringer" with eleven dried, stiff trout on it. Last week I thought I would try Tidd's creek again. It was always a good place to fish, and I felt the same old excitement, with just enough vague forebodings in it to make it pleasant. Still, I had grown a foot or so since I used to fish there, and perhaps I could return the compliment by throwing the old gentleman over his own fence, and then hiss in his ear "R-r-r-r-e-v-e-n-g-e!!!"

I had got pretty well across the "lower forty" and had about decided that Tidd had been gathered to his fathers, when I saw him coming with his head up like a steer in the corn. Tidd is a blacksmith by trade, and he has an arm with hair on it that looks like Jumbo's hind leg. I felt the same old desire to climb the fence and be alone. I didn't know exactly how to work it. Then I remembered how people had remarked that I had changed very much in twenty years, and that for a homely boy I had grown to be a remarkably picturesque-looking man. I trusted to Tidd's failing eyesight and said:

"How are you?"

He said, "How are you?" That did not answer my question, but I didn't mind a little thing like that.

Then he said: "I sposed that every pesky fool in this country knew I don't allow fishing on my land."

"That may be," says I, "but I ain't fishing on your land. I always fish in a damp place if I can. Moreover, how do I know this is your land? Carrying the argument still further, and admitting that every peesky fool knows that you didn't allow fishing here, I am not going to be called a pesky fool with impunity, unless you do it over my dead body." He stopped about ten rods away and I became more fearless. "I don't know who you are," said I, as I took off my coat and vest and piled them up on my fish basket, eager for the fray. "You claim to own this farm, but it is my opinion that you are the hired man, puffed up with a little authority. You can't order me off this ground till you show me a duly certified abstract of title and then identify yourself. What protection does a gentleman have if he is to be kicked and cuffed about by Tom, Dick and Harry, claiming they own the whole State. Get out! Avaunt! If you don't avaunt pretty quick I'll scrap you and sell you to a medical college."

He stood in dumb amazement a moment, then he said he would go and get his deed and his shotgun. I said shotguns suited me exactly, and I told him to bring two of them loaded with giant powder and barbed wire. I would not live alway. I asked not to stay. When he got behind the corn-crib I climbed the fence and fled with my ill-gotten gains.

The blacksmith in his prime may lick the small boy, but twenty years changes their relative positions. Possibly Tidd could tear up the ground with me now, but in ten more years, if I improve as fast as he fails, I shall fish in that same old stream again.

Letter From New York.

Dear friend.—Being Sunday, I take an hour to write you a letter in regard to this place. I came here yesterday without attracting undue attention from people who lived here. If they was surprised, they concealed it from me.

I've camped out on the Chug years ago, and went to sleep with no live thing near me except my own pony, and woke up with the early song of the coyote, and have been on the lonesome plain for days where it seemed to me that a hostile would be mighty welcome if he would only say something to me, but I was never so lonesome as I was here in this big town last night, although it is the most thick settled place I was ever at.

I was so kind of low and depressed that I strolled in to the bar at last, allowing that I could pound on the counter and call up the boys and get acquainted a little with somebody, just as I would at Col. Luke Murrin's, at Cheyenne; but when I waved to the other parties, and told them to rally round the foaming beaker, they apologized, and allowed they had just been to dinner.

Just been to dinner, and there it was pretty blamed near dark! Then I asked 'em to take a cigar, but they mostly cackillated they had no occasion.

I was mad, but what could I do? They was too many for me, and I couldn't coerce the white livered aristocratic mob, for quicker'n scat they could have hollored into a little cupboard they had there in the corner, and in less'n two minits they'd of had the whole police department and the hook and ladder company down there after me with a torch-light procession.

So I swallowed my wrath and a tame drink of cultivated whiskey with Apollo Belvidere on the side, and went out into the auditorium of the hotel.

Here I was very unhappy, being, as the editor of the Green River Gazette would say, "the cynosure of all eyes."

I would rather not be a cynosure, even at a good salary; so I thought I would ask the proprietor to build a fire in my room. I went up to the recorder's office, where the big hotel autograft album is, and asked to see the proprietor.

A good-looking young man came forward and asked me what he could do for me. I said if it wouldn't be too much trouble, I wisht he would build a little fire in my room, and I would pay him for it; or, if he would show me where the woodpile was, I would build the fire myself—I wasn't doing anything special at that time.

He then whistled through his teeth and crooked his finger in a shrill tone of voice to a young party who was working for him, and told him to "build a fire in four-ought-two."

I then sat down in the auditorium and read out of a railroad tract, which undertook to show that a party that undertook to ride over a rival road, must do so because life was a burden to him, and facility, and comfort, and safety, and such things no object whatever. But still I was very lonely, and felt as if I was far, far away from home.

I couldn't have been more uncomfortable if I'd been a young man I saw twenty-five years ago on the old overland trail. He had gone out to study the Indian character, and to win said Indian to the fold. When I next saw him he was twenty miles farther on. He had been thrown in contact with said Indian in the meantime. I judged he had been making a collection of Indian arrows. He was extremely no more. He looked some like Saint Sebastian, and some like a toothpick-holder.

I was never successfully lost on the plains, and so I started out after supper to find my room. I found a good many other rooms, and tried to get into them, but I did not find four-ought-two till a late hour; then I subsidized the night patrol on the third floor to assist me.

This is a nice place to stop, but it is a little too rich for my blood, I guess Not so much as regards price, but I can see that I am beginning to excite curiosity among the boarders. People are coming here to board just because I am here, and it is disagreeable. I do not court notoriety. I have always lived in a plain way, and I would give a dollar if people would look the other way while I eat my pie.

Yours truly,


To E. Wm. Nye, Esq.

P.S.—This is not a dictated letter. I left my stenograffer and revolver at Pumpkin Buttes.


Crowns and Crowned Heads.

During the hot weather very few crowns are worn this season, and a few hints as to the care of the crown itself may not be out of place.

The crown should not be carelessly hung on the hat rack in the royal hall for the flies to roost upon, but it should be thoroughly cleaned and put away as soon as the weather becomes too hot to wear it comfortably.

Great care should be used in cleaning a gold-plated crown, to avoid wearing out the plate. Take a good stiff tooth brush, with a little soapsuds, and clean the crown thoroughly at first, drying it on a clean towel and taking care not to drop it on the floor and thus knock the moss-agate diadem loose. Next, get a sleeve of the royal undershirt, or, in case you can not procure one readily, the sleeve of a duke or right-bower may be used. Soak this in vinegar, and, with a coat of whiting, polish the crown thoroughly, wrap it in cotton-flannel and put in the bureau. Sometimes, the lining of the crown becomes saturated with hair-oil from constant use and needs cleaning. In such cases the lining may be removed, boiled in concentrated lye two hours, or until tender, and then placed on the grass to bleach in the sun.

Most crowns are size six-and-seven-eights, and they are therefore frequently too large for the number six head of royalty. In such cases a newspaper may be folded lengthwise and laid inside the sweat-band of the crown, thus reducing the size and preventing any accident by which his or her majesty might lose the crown in the coal-bin while doing chores.

After the Fourth of July and other royal holidays, this newspaper may be removed, and the crown will be found none too large for the imperial dome of thought.

Sceptres may be cleaned and wrapped in woolen goods during the hot months. The leg of an old pair of pantaloons makes a good retort to run a sceptre into while not in use. Never try to kill flies or drive carpet tacks with the sceptre. It is an awkward tool at best, and you might 'easily knock a thumb nail loose. Great care should also be taken of the royal robe. Do not use it for a lap robe while dining, nor sleep in it at night. Nothing looks more repugnant than a king on the throne, with little white feathers all over his robe.

It is equally bad taste to govern a kingdom in a maroon robe with white horse hairs all over it.

I once knew a king who invariably curried his horses in his royal robes; and if the steeds didn't stand around to suit him, he would ever and anon welt them in the pit of the stomach with his cast-iron sceptre. It was greatly to the interest of his horses not to incur the royal displeasure, as the reader has no doubt already surmised.

The robe of the king should only be worn while his majesty is on the throne. When he comes down at night, after his day's work, and goes out after his coal and kindling-wood, he may take off his robe, roll it up carefully, and stick it under the throne, where it will be out of sight. Nothing looks more untidy than a fat king milking a bobtail cow in a Mother Hubbard robe trimmed with imitation ermine.

My Physician.

[An Open Letter.]

Dear Sir: I have seen recently an open letter addressed to me, and written by you in a vein of confidence and strictly sub rosa. What you said was so strictly confidential, in fact, that you published the letter in New York, and it was copied through the press of the country. I shall, therefore, endeavor to be equally careful in writing my reply.

You refer in your kind and confidential note to your experience as an invalid, and your rapid recovery after the use of red-hot Mexican pepper tea in a molten state.

But you did not have such a physician as I did when I had spinal meningitis. He was a good doctor for horses and blind staggers, but he was out of his sphere when he strove to fool with the human frame. Change of scene and rest were favorite prescriptions of his. Most of his patients got both, especially eternal rest. He made a specialty of eternal rest.

He did not know what the matter was with me, but he seemed to be willing to learn.

My wife says that while he was attending me I was as crazy as a loon, but that I was more lucid than the physician. Even with my little, shattered wreck of mind, tottering between a superficial knowledge of how to pound sand and a wide, shoreless sea of mental vacuity, I still had the edge on my physician, from an intellectual point of view. He is still practicing medicine in a quiet kind of way, weary of life, and yet fearing to die and go where his patients are.

He had a sabre wound on one cheek that gave him a ferocious appearance. He frequently alluded to how he used to mix up in the carnage of battle, and how he used to roll up his pantaloons and wade in gore. He said that if the tocsin of war should sound even now, or if he were to wake up in the night and hear war's rude alarum, he would spring to arms and make tyranny tremble till its suspender buttons fell off.

Oh, he was a bad man from Bitter Creek.

One day I learned from an old neighbor that this physician did not have anything to do with preserving the Union intact, but that he acquired the scar on his cheek while making some experiments as a drunk and disorderly. He would come and sit by my bedside for hours, waiting for this mortality to put on immortality, so that he could collect his bill from the estate, but one day I arose during a temporary delirium, and extracting a slat from my couch I smote him across the pit of the stomach with it, while I hissed through my clenched teeth:

"Physician, heal thyself."

I then tottered a few minutes, and fell back into the arms of my attendants. If you do not believe this, I can still show you the clenched teeth. Also the attendants.

I had a hard time with this physician, but I still live, contrary to his earnest solicitations.

I desire to state that should this letter creep into the press of the country, and thus become in a measure public, I hope that it will create no ill-feeling on your part.

Our folks are all well as I write, and should you happen to be on Lake Superior this winter, yachting, I hope you will drop in and see us. Our latch string is hanging out most all the time, and if you will pound on the fence I will call off the dog.

I frequently buy a copy of your paper on the streets. Do you get the money?

Are you acquainted with the staff of The Century, published in New York? I was in The Century office several hours last spring, and the editors treated me very handsomely, but, although I have bought the magazine ever since, and read it thoroughly, I have not seen yet where they said that "they had a pleasant call from the genial and urbane William Nye." I do not feel offended over this. I simply feel hurt.

Before that I had a good notion to write a brief epic on the "Warty Toad," and send it to The Century for publication, but now it is quite doubtful.

The Century may be a good paper, but it does not take the press dispatches, and only last month I saw in it an account of a battle that to my certain knowledge occurred twenty years ago.

All About Oratory.

Twenty centuries ago last Christmas there was born in Attica, near Athens, the father of oratory, the greatest orator of whom history has told us. His name was Demosthenes. Had he lived until this spring he would have been 2,270 years old; but he did not live. Demosthenes has crossed the mysterious river. He has gone to that bourne whence no traveler returns.

Most of you, no doubt, have heard about it. On those who may not have heard it, the announcement will fall with a sickening thud.

This sketch is not intended to cast a gloom over your hearts. It was designed to cheer those who read it and make them glad they could read.

Therefore, I would have been glad if I could have spared them the pain which this sudden breaking of the news of the death of Demosthenes will bring. But it could not be avoided. We should remember the transitory nature of life, and when we are tempted to boast of our health, and strength, and wealth, let us remember the sudden and early death of Demosthenes.

Demosthenes was not born an orator. He struggled hard and failed many times. He was homely, and he stammered in his speech; but before his death they came to him for hundreds of miles to get him to open their county fairs and jerk the bird of freedom bald-headed on the Fourth of July.

When Demosthenes' father died, he left fifteen talents to be divided between Demosthenes and his sister. A talent is equal to about $1,000. I often wish I had been born a little more talented.

Demosthenes had a short breath, a hesitating speech, and his manners were very ungraceful. To remedy his stammering, he filled his mouth full of pebbles and howled his sentiments at the angry sea. However, Plutarch says that Demosthenes made a gloomy fizzle of his first speech. This did not discourage him. He finally became the smoothest orator in that country, and it was no uncommon thing for him to fill the First Baptist Church of Athens full. There are now sixty of his orations extant, part of them written by Demosthenes and part of them written by his private secretary.

When he started in, he was gentle, mild and quiet in his manner; but later on, carrying his audience with him, he at last became enthusiastic. He thundered, he roared, he whooped, he howled, he jarred the windows, he sawed the air, he split the horizon with his clarion notes, he tipped over the table, kicked the lamps out of the chandeliers and smashed the big bass viol over the chief fiddler's head.

Oh, Demosthenes was business when he got started. It will be a long time before we see another off-hand speaker like Demosthenes, and I, for one, have never been the same man since I learned of his death.

"Such was the first of orators," says Lord Brougham. "At the head of all the mighty masters of speech, the adoration of ages has consecrated his place, and the loss of the noble instrument with which he forged and launched his thunders, is sure to maintain it unapproachable forever."

I have always been a great admirer of the oratory of Demosthenes, and those who have heard both of us, think there is a certain degree of similarity in our style.

And not only did I admire Demosthenes as an orator, but as a man; and, though I am no Vanderbilt, I feel as though I would be willing to head a subscription list for the purpose of doing the square thing by his sorrowing wife, if she is left in want, as I understand that she is.

I must now leave Demosthenes and pass on rapidly to speak of Patrick Henry.

Mr. Henry was the man who wanted liberty or death. He preferred liberty, though. If he couldn't have liberty, he wanted to die, but he was in no great rush about it. He would like liberty, if there was plenty of it; but if the British had no liberty to spare, he yearned for death. When the tyrant asked him what style of death he wanted, he said that he would rather die of extreme old age. He was willing to wait, he said. He didn't want to go unprepared, and he thought it would take him eighty or ninety years more to prepare, so that when he was ushered into another world he wouldn't be ashamed of himself.

One hundred and ten years ago, Patrick Henry said: "Sir, our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston. The war is inevitable, and let it come. I repeat it, sir, let it come!"

In the spring of 1860, I used almost the same language. So did Horace Greeley. There were four or five of us who got our heads together and decided that the war was inevitable, and consented to let it come.

Then it came. Whenever there is a large, inevitable conflict loafing around waiting for permission to come, it devolves on the great statesmen and bald-headed literati of the nation to avoid all delay. It was so with Patrick Henry. He permitted the land to be deluged in gore, and then he retired. It is the duty of the great orator to howl for war, and then hold some other man's coat while he fights.

Strabusmus and Justice.

Over in St. Paul I met a man with eyes of cadet blue and a terra cotta nose. His eyes were not only peculiar in shape, but while one seemed to constantly probe the future, the other was apparently ransacking the dreamy past. While one rambled among the glorious possibilities of the remote yet golden ultimately, the other sought the somber depths of the previously.

He told me that years ago he had a mild case of strabismus and that both eyes seemed to glare down his nose till he got restless and had them operated on. Those were the days when they used to fasten a crochet hook under the internal rectus muscle and cut it a little with a pair of optical sheep shears. The effect of this course was to allow the eye to drift back to a direct line; but this man fell into the hands of a drunken surgeon who cut the muscle too much, and thereby weakened it so that it gradually swung past the point it ought to have stopped at, and he saw with horror that his eye was going to turn out and protrude, as it were, so that a man could hang his hat on it. The other followed suit, and the two orbs that had for years looked along the bridge of the terra cotta nose, gradually separated, and while one looked toward next Christmas with fond anticipations, the other loved to linger over the remembrances of last fall.

This thing continued till he had to peer into the future with his off eye closed, and vice versa.

It is needless to say that he hungered for the blood of that physician and surgeon. He tried to lay violent hands on him and wipe up the ground with him and wear him out across a telegraph pole. But the authorities always prevented the administration of swift and lawful justice.

Time passed on, till one night the abnormal wall-eyed man loosened a board in the sidewalk up town so that the physician and surgeon caught his foot in it and caused an oblique fracture of the scapula, pied his dura mater, busted his cornucopia and wrecked his sarah-bellum.

Perhaps I am in error as to some of these medical terms and their orthography, but that is about the way the man with the divergent orbs told it to me.

The physician and surgeon was quite a ruin. He had to wear clapboards on himself for months, and there were other doctors, and laudable pus and threatened gangrene and doctors' bills, with the cemetery looming up in the near future. Day after day he took his own anti-febrile drinks, and rammed his busted system full of iron and strychnine and beef tea and dover's powders and hypodermic squirt till he wished he could die, but death would not come. He pawed the air and howled. They fed him his own nux vomica, tincture of rhubarb and phosphates and gruel, and brought him back to life with a crooked collar bone, a shattered shoulder blade and a look of woe.

Then he sued the town for $50,000 damages because the sidewalk was imperfect, and the wild-eyed man with the inflamed nose got on the jury.

I will not explain how it was done, but there was a verdict for defendant with costs on the Esculapian wreck. The man with the crooked vision is not handsome, but he is very happy. He says the mills of the gods grind slowly, but they pulverise middling fine.

A Spencerian Ass.

After I had accumulated a handsome competence as city editor of the old Morning Sentinel at Laramie City, and had married and gone to housekeeping with a gas stove and other luxuries, my place on the Sentinel was taken by a newspaper man named Hopkins, who had just graduated from a business college, and who brought a nice glazed grip sack and a diploma with him that had never been used.

Hopkins wrote a fine Spencerian hand and wore a black and tan dog where-ever he went. The boys were willing to overlook his copper-plate hand, but they drew the line at the dog. He not only wrote in beautiful style, but he copied his manuscript, so that when it went in to the printer it was as pretty as a wedding invitation.

Hopkins ran the city page nine days, and then he came into the city hall where I was trying a simple drunk and bade me adieu.

I just say this to show how difficult it is for a fine penman to get ahead as a journalist. Of course good, readable writers like Knox and John Hancock may become great, but they have to be men of sterling ability to start with.

I have some of the most bloodcurdling horrors preserved for the purpose of showing Hopkins' wonderful and vivid style. I will throw them in.

"A little son of our esteemed fellow townsman, J.H. Hayford, suffered greatly last evening with virulent colic, but this A.M., as we go to press, is sleeping easily."

Think of shaking the social foundations of a mountain mining and stock town with such grim, nervous prostrators as that! The next day he startled Southern Wyoming and Northern Colorado and Utah with the maddening statement that "our genial friend, Leopold Gussenhoven's fine, yellow dog, Florence Nightingale, had been seriously threatened with insomnia."

That was the style of mental calisthenics he gave us in a town where death by opium and ropium was liable to occur, and where five men with their Mexican spurs on climbed one telegraph pole in one night and sauntered into the remote indefinitely. Hopkins told me that he had tried to do what was right, but that he had not succeeded very well. He wrung my hand and said:

"I have tried hard to make the Sentinel fill a long want felt, but I have not been fortunate. The foreman over there is a harsh man. He used to come in and intimate in a frowning and erect tone of voice, that if I did not produce that copy p.d.q., or some other abbreviation or other, that he would bust my crust, or words of like import.

"Now that's no way to talk to a man of a nervous temperament who is engaged in copying a list of hotel arrivals, and shading the capitals as I was. In the business college it was not that way. Everything was quiet, and there was nothing to jar a man like that.

"Of course I would like to stay on the Sentinel and draw the princely salary, but there are two hundred reasons why I cannot do it. So far as the physical effort is concerned, I could draw the salary with one hand tied behind me, but there is too much turmoil and mad haste in daily journalism to suit me, and another thing, the proprietor of the Sentinel this morning stole up behind me and struck me over the head with a wrought-iron side stick weighing ten pounds. If I had not concealed a coil spring in my plug hat, the blow would have been deleterious to me.

"Then he threw me out of the door against a total stranger, and flung pieces of coal at me and called me a copper-plate ass, and said that if I ever came into the office again he would assassinate me.

"That is the principal reason why I have severed my connection with the Sentinel."

As he said this, Mr. Hopkins took out a polka-dot handkerchief wiped away a pearly tear the size of a walnut, wrung my hand, also the polka-dot wipe, and stole out into the great, horrid hence.

Anecdotes of Justice.

The justice of the peace is sometimes a peculiarity, and if someone does not watch him he will exceed his jurisdiction. It took a constable, a sheriff, a prosecuting attorney and a club to convince a Wyoming justice of the peace that he had no right to send a man to the penitentiary for life. Another justice in Utah sentenced a criminal to be hung on the following Friday between twelve and one o'clock of said day, but he couldn't enforce the sentence. A Wisconsin justice of the peace granted a divorce and in two weeks married the couple over again—ten dollars for the divorce and two dollars for the relapse. Another Badger justice bound a young man over to appear and answer at the next term of the Circuit Court for the crime of chastity, and the evidence was entirely circumstantial, too.

Another one, when his first case came up, jerked a candle box around behind the dining-room table, put his hat on the back of his head, borrowed a chew of tobacco from the prisoner and said: "Now, boys, the court's open. The first feller that says a word unless I speak to him will get paralyzed. Now tell your story." Then each witness and the defendant reeled off his yarn without being sworn. The justice fined the defendant ten dollars and made the complaining witness pay half the costs. The justice then took the fine and put it in his pocket, adjourned court, and in an hour was so full that it took six men to hold his house still long enough for him to get into the doors.

A North Park justice of the peace and under-sheriff formed a partnership years ago for the purpose of supplying people with justice at New York prices, and by doing a strictly cash business they dispensed with a good deal of justice, such as it was.

It was a misdemeanor to kill game and ship it out of the State, and as there was a good deal killed there, consisting of elk, antelope and black tail deer especially, and as it could not be hauled out of the Park at that season without going across the Wyoming line and back again into the State of Colorado, the under-sheriff would load himself down with warrants, signed in blank, and station himself on horseback at the foot of the pass to the North. He would then arrest everybody indiscriminately who had any fraction of a deer, antelope or elk on his wagon, try the case then and there, put on a fine of $25 to $75, which if paid never reached the treasury, and then he would wait for another victim. The average man would rather pay the fine than go back a hundred miles through the mountains to stand trial, so the under-sheriff and justice thrived for some time. But one day the under-sheriff served his patent automatic warrant on a young man who refused to come down. The officer then drew one of those large baritone instruments that generally has a coward at one end and a corpse at the other. He pointed this at the young man and assessed a fine of $50 and costs. Instead of paying this fine, the youth, who was quite nimble, but unarmed, knocked the bogus officer down with the butt end of his six-mule whip, took his self-cocking credentials away and lit out. In less than a week the justice and his copper were in the refrigerator.

I was once a justice of the peace, and a good many funny little incidents occurred while I held that office. I do not allude to my official life here in order to call attention to my glowing career, for thousands of others, no doubt, could have administered the affairs of the office as well as I did, but rather to speak of one incident which took place while I was a J.P.

One night after I had retired and gone to sleep a milkman, called Bill Dunning, rang the bell and got me out of bed. Then he told me that a man who owed him a milk bill of $35 was all loaded up and prepared to slip across the line overland into Colorado, there to grow up with the country and acquire other indebtedness, no doubt. Bill desired an attachment for the entire wagon-load of goods and said he had an officer at hand to serve the writ.

"But," said I, as I wrapped a "welcome" husk door mat around my glorious proportions, "how do you know while we converse together he is not winging his way down the valley of the Paudre?"

"Never mind that, jedge," says William. "You just fix the dockyments and I'll tend to the defendant."

In an hour Bill returned with $35 in cash for himself and the entire costs of the court, and as we settled up and fixed the docket I asked Bill Dunning how he detained the defendant while we made out the affidavit bond and writ of attachment.

"You reckollect, jedge," says William, "that the waggin wheel is held onto the exle with a big nut. No waggin kin go any length of time without that there nut onto the exle. Well, when I diskivered that what's-his-name was packed up and the waggin loaded, I took the liberty to borrow one o' them there nuts fur a kind of momento, as it were, and I kept that in my pocket till we served the writ and he paid my bill and came to his milk, if you'll allow me that expression, and then I says to him, 'Pardner,' says I, you are going far, far away where I may never see you again. Take this here nut,' says I, 'and put it onto the exle of the oft hind wheel of your waggin, and whenever you look at it hereafter, think of poor old Bill Dunning, the milkman.'"

The Chinese God.

I presume that I shall not be accused of sacrilege in referring to the Chinese god as an inferior piece of art. Viewed simply from an artistic and economical standpoint, it seems to me that the Chinaman should have less pride in his bow-legged and inefficient god than in any other national institution.

I do not wish to be understood as interfering with any man's religious views; but when polygamy is made a divine decree, or a basswood deity is whittled out and painted red, to look up to and to worship, I cannot treat that so-called religious belief with courtesy and reverence. I am quite liberal in all religious matters. People have noticed that and remarked it, but the Oriental god of commerce seems to me to be greatly over-rated. He seems to lack that genuine decision of character which should be a feature of an over-ruling power.

I ask the phrenologist to come with me and examine the head of the alleged Josh, and to state whether or not he believes that the properly balanced head of a successful god should not have a more protuberant knob of spirituality, and a less pronounced alimentiveness. Should the bump of combativeness hang out over the ear, while time, tune and calculation are noticeably reticent? I certainly wot not.

Again, how can the physiognomy of the Celestial Josh be consistent with a moral and temperate god? The low brow would not indicate a pronounced omniscience, and the Jumbo ears and the copious neck would not impress me with the idea of purity and spirituality.

It is, no doubt, wrong to attack sacred matters for the purpose of gaining notoriety; but I believe I am right, when I assert that the Chinese god must go. We should not be Puritanical, but we might safely draw the line at the bow-legged and sedentary goddess of leprosy.

If Confucius bowed the suppliant knee to that goggle-eyed jim-jam Josh, I am grieved to know it. If such was the case, the friends of Confucius should keep the matter from me. I cannot believe that the great philosopher wallowed in the dust at the feet of such a polka-dot carricature of a gorilla's horrid dream.

I bought a Chinese god once, for four bits. He was not successful in the profession which he aimed to follow. Whatever he may have been in China, he was not a very successful god in the English language. I put him upon the mantel, and the clock stopped, the servant girl sent in her resignation, and a large dog jumped through the parlor-window. All this happened within two hours from the time I erected the lop-eared, knocked-kneed and club-footed Oolong in my household.

Perhaps this may have been largely due to my ignorance of his habits. Possibly if I had been more familiar with his eccentricities, it would have been all right; but as it was, there was no book of instructions given with him, and I couldn't seem to make him work.

During the week following, the prospect shaft of the New Jerusalem mine struck a subterranean gulf-stream and water-logged the stock, a tall yellow dog, under the weight of a great woe, picked out my cistern to suicide in, and I skated down the cellar-stairs on my shoulder-blades and the phrenological location known as Love of Home, in such a terrible manner as to jar the foundations of the earth, and kick a large hole out of the bosom of the night.

I then met with a change of heart, and overthrew the warty heathen god, and knocked him galley west. My hens at once began to watch the produce market, and, noticing the high price of eggs, commenced to orate with great zeal instead of standing around with their hands in their pockets. I saw the new moon over my right shoulder, and all nature seemed gay once more.

The above are a few of my reasons for believing that the Chinese god is either greatly over-estimated, or else shippers and producers are flooding the market with fraudulent gods.

A Great Spiritualist.

I have an uncle who is a physician, and a very busy one at that. He is a very active man, and allows himself very little relaxation indeed. How many times he has said to me, "Well, I can't stand here and fool away my time with you. I've got a typhoid fever patient down in the lower end of town who will get well if I don't get over there this forenoon."

He never allows himself any relaxation to speak of, except to demonstrate the truth of spiritualism. He does love to monkey with the supernatural, and he delights in getting hold of some skeptical friend and convincing him of the presence of spirits beyond a doubt. I've known him to ignore two cases of croup and one case of twins to attend a seance and help convince a doubting Thomas on the spirit question.

I believe that he and I, together with a little time in which to prepare, could convince the most skeptical. He says that with a friend to assist him, who is en rapport, and who has a little practice, he can reach the stoniest heart. He is a very susceptible medium indeed, and created a great furore in his own town. He said it was a great comfort to him to converse with his former patients, and he felt kind of attached to them, so that he hated to be separated from them, even in death.

Spiritualism had quite a run in his neighborhood at one time, as I have said. Even his own family yielded to the convincing proof and the astounding phenomena. If his wife hadn't found some of his spiritual tracks down cellar, she would have remained firm, no doubt, but the doctor forgot and left his step-ladder down there, and that showed where the hole in the floor opened into his mysterious cabinet.

He said if he had been a little more careful, no doubt he could have convinced anybody of the presence of spirits or anything else. He said he didn't intend to give up as long as there was anything left in the cellar.

He had such unwavering confidence in the phenomena that all he asked of anybody was faith and a buckskin string about two feet long.

He and his brother, a reformed member of Congress, read the inmost thoughts of a skeptical friend all one evening by the aid of supernatural powers and a tin tube. The reformed member of Congress acted as medium, and the doctor, who was unfortunately and ostensibly called away into the country early in the evening, remained at the window outside, where he could read the queries written by the victim on a slip of paper. Then he would run around the house and murmur the same through a tin tube at another window by the medium's ear.

It was astounding. The skeptical man would write some deep question on a slip of paper, and after the medium had felt of his brow, and groaned a few hollow groans, and rolled his eyes up, he would answer it without having been within twenty feet of the question or the questioner. The victim said he would never doubt again.

What a comfort it was to know that immortality was an established fact. If he could have heard a man talking in a low tone of voice through an old tin dipper handle, at the south window on the ground floor, and occasionally swearing at a mosquito on the back of his neck, he would have hesitated.

An old-timer over there said that Woodworth would be a mighty good physician if he would let spiritualism alone. He claimed that no man could be a great physician and surgeon and still be a fanatic on spiritualism.

General Sheridan's Horse.

I have always taken a great interest in war incidents, and more so, perhaps, because I wasn't old enough to put down the rebellion myself. I have been very eager to get hold of and hoard up in my memory all its gallant deeds of both sides, and to know the history of those who figured prominently in that great conflict has been one of my ambitions.

I have also watched with interest the steady advancement of Phil Sheridan, the black-eyed warrior with the florid face and the Winchester record. I have also taken some pains to investigate the later history of the old Winchester war horse.

"Old Rienzi died in our stable a few years after the war," said a Chicago livery man to me, a short time ago. "General Sheridan left him with us and instructed us to take good care of him, which we did, but he got old at last, and his teeth failed upon him, and that busted his digestion, and he kind of died of old age, I reckon."

"How did General Sheridan take it?"

"Oh, well, Phil Sheridan is no school girl. He didn't turn away when old Rienzi died and weep the manger full of scalding regret. If you know Sheridan, you know that he don't rip the blue dome of heaven wide open with unavailing wails. He just told us to take care of its remains, patted the old cuss on the head a little and walked off. Phil Sheridan don't go around weeping softly into a pink bordered wipe when a horse dies. He likes a good horse, but Rienzi was no Jay-Eye-See for swiftness, and he wasn't the purtiest horse you ever see, by no means."

"Did you read lately how General Sheridan don't ride on horseback since his old war horse died, and seems to have lost all interest in horses?"

"No, I never did. He no doubt would rather ride in a cable car or a carriage than to jar himself up on a horse. That's all likely enough, but, as I say, he's a matter of fact little fighter from Fighttown. He never stopped to snoot and paw up the ground and sob himself into bronchitis over old Rienzi. He went right on about his business, and, like old King What's-His-name he hollered for another hoss, and the War Department never slipped a cog."

Later on I read that the old war horse was called Winchester and that he was still alive in a blue grass pasture in Kentucky. The report said that old Winchester wasn't very coltish, and that he was evidently failing. I gathered the idea that he was wearing store teeth, and that his memory was a little deficient, but that he might live yet for years. After that I met a New York livery stable prince, at whose palace General Sheridan's well-known Winchester war horse died of botts in '71. He told me all about it and how General Sheridan came on from Chicago at the time, and held the horse's head in his lap while the fleet limbs that flew from Winchester down and saved the day, stiffened in the great, mysterious repose of death. He said Sheridan wept like a child, and as he told the touching tale to me I wept also. I say I wept. I wept about a quart, I would say. He said also that the horse's name wasn't Winchester nor Rienzi; it was Jim.

I was sorry to know it. Jim is no name for a war horse who won a victory and a marble bust and a poem. You can't respect a horse much if his name was Jim.

After that I found out that General Sheridan's celebrated Winchester horse was raised in Kentucky, also in Pennsylvania and Michigan; that he went out as a volunteer private; that he was in the regular service prior to the war, and that he was drafted, and that he died on the field of battle, in a sorrel pasture, in '73, in great pain on Governor's Island; that he was buried with Masonic honors by the Good Templars and the Grand Army of the Republic; that he was resurrected by a medical college and dissected; that he was cremated in New Orleans and taxidermed for the Military Museum at New York. Every little while I run up against a new fact relative to this noted beast. He has died in nine different States, and been buried in thirteen different styles, while his soul goes marching on. Evidently we live in an age of information. You can get more information nowadays, such as it is, than you know what to do with.

A Circular.

To my friends, regardless of party.—Many friends having solicited me to apply for a foreign mission under the present administration, I have finally consented to do so, and last week filed my application for such missions as might still remain vacant.

To insure my appointment, much will remain for you to do. I now call upon my friends to aid me by their united effort. I especially solicit the aid of my friends who have repeatedly heretofore promised it to me while drunk.

You will see at a glance that I can only make the application. You must support it by your petitions and letters. It would be of little use for one man to write five thousand letters to the president, but if five thousand people each write him a letter in which casual reference is made to my social worth and 7-1/3 octave brain, it will make him pay attention.

My idea would be for each of my friends to set aside one day in each week to write to the president, opening it in a chatty way by asking him if he does not think we are having rather a backward spring, and what he is doing for his cut worms now, and how his folks are, etc., etc. Then gradually lead up to the statement that you think I would be an ornament to the administration if I should go abroad and linger on a foreign strand at $2,000 per linger and stationery.

This will keep the president properly stirred up, and cause him to earn his salary. The effect will be to secure the appointment at last, as you will see if you persevere.

I need not add that I will do what is right by my friends upon receiving my commission.

Do not neglect this suggestion because it comes to you in the form of a circular, but remember it and act upon it. Remember that, although the president is stubborn as Sam Hill, he will at last yield to fatigue, and when tired nature can hold out no longer, the last letter will drop from his nerveless hand and he will surrender.

Some of you will urge that I have been an offensive partisan, but when you come to think it over I have not been so all-fired partisan. There have been days and days when it did not show itself very much. However, that is not the point. I want your hearty indorsement and I want it to be entirely voluntary, and if you do not give it, and give it freely and voluntarily, you hadn't better ask me for any more favors.

All the newspapers most heartily indorse me. The Rocky Mountain Whoop very truthfully says:

"Mr. Nye called at our office yesterday and subscribed for our paper. We are proud to add him to our list of paid-up subscribers, and should he renew his subscription next year, paying in advance, we will cheerfully refer to it among other startling news."

I have a scrap-book full of such indorsements as this, and now, if my friends will peel their coats and write as they should, I can make this administration open its eyes.

Several papers in Iowa have alluded to my being in town, and referred to the fact that I had paid my bills while there. But press indorsements alone are not sufficient. What is needed is the written testimony of friends and neighbors. No matter how poor or humble or worthless you may be, write to Mr. Cleveland and tell him how much confidence you have in me, and if you can call to mind any little acts of kindness, or any times when I have got up in the night to give you a dollar, or nurse a colicky horse for you, throw that in. Throw it in anyhow. It will do no harm, and may do much good.

I can solemnly promise all my friends that if they will secure my appointment to a foreign country for four years, I will not return during that time. What more can I offer? I will stay longer if I am reappointed. I would do anything for my friends.

Do not throw this circular carelessly aside. Read it carefully over and act upon it. Some of you are poor spellers, and will try to get out of it in that way. Others are in the penitentiary and cannot spare the time. But to one and all I say, write, and write regularly, to the president. Do not wait for a reply from him, because he is pretty busy now; but he will be tickled to death to hear from you, and anything you say about me will give him great pleasure.

N.B.—Please be careful not to inclose this circular in your letter to the president.

The Photograph Habit.

No doubt the photograph habit, when once formed, is one of the most baneful, and productive of the most intense suffering in after years, of any with which we are familiar. Some times it seems to me that my whole life has been one long, abject apology for photographs that I have shed abroad throughout a distracted country.

Man passes through seven distinct stages of being photographed, each one exceeding all previous efforts in that line.

First he is photographed as a prattling, bald-headed baby, absolutely destitute of eyes, but making up for this deficiency by a wealth of mouth that would make a negro minstrel olive green with envy. We often wonder what has given the average photographer that wild, hunted look about the eyes and that joyless sag about the knees. The chemicals and the indoor life alone have not done all this. It is the great nerve tension and mental strain used in trying to photograph a squirming and dark red child with white eyes, in such a manner as to please its parents.

An old-fashioned dollar store album with cerebro-spinal meningitis, and filled with pictures of half-suffocated children in heavily-starched white dresses, is the first thing we seek on entering a home, and the last thing from which we reluctantly part.

The second stage on the downward road is the photograph of the boy with fresh-cropped hair, and in which the stiff and protuberant thumb takes a leading part.

Then follows the portrait of the lad, with strongly marked freckles and a look of hopeless melancholy. With the aid of a detective agency, I have succeeded in running down and destroying several of these pictures which were attributed to me.

Next comes the young man, 21 years of age, with his front hair plastered smoothly down over his tender, throbbing dome of thought. He does not care so much about the expression on the mobile features, so long as his left hand, with the new ring on it, shows distinctly, and the string of jingling, jangling charms on his watch chain, including the cute little basket cut out of a peach stone, stand out well in the foreground. If the young man would stop to think for a moment that some day he may become eminent and ashamed of himself, he would hesitate about doing this.

Soon after, he has a tintype taken in which a young lady sits in the alleged grass, while he stands behind her with his hand lightly touching her shoulder as though he might be feeling of the thrilling circumference of a buzz saw. He carries this picture in his pocket for months, and looks at it whenever he may be unobserved.

Then, all at once, he discovers that the young lady's hair is not done up that way any more, and that her hat doesn't seem to fit her. He then, in a fickle moment, has another tintype made, in which another young woman, with a more recent hat and later coiffure, is discovered holding his hat in her lap.

This thing continues, till one day he comes into the studio with his wife, and tries to see how many children can be photographed on one negative by holding one on each knee and using the older ones as a back-ground.

The last stage in his eventful career, the old gentleman allows himself to be photographed, because he is afraid he may not live through another long, hard winter, and the boys would like a picture of him while he is able to climb the dark, narrow stairs which lead to the artist's room.

Sadly the thought comes back to you in after years, when his grave is green in the quiet valley, and the worn and weary hands that have toiled for you are forever at rest, how patiently he submitted while his daughter pinned the clean, stiff, agonizing white collar about his neck, and brushed the velvet collar of his best coat; how he toiled up the long, dark, lonesome stairs, not with the egotism of a half century ago, but with the light of anticipated rest at last in his eyes—obediently, as he would have gone to the dingy law office to have his will drawn—and meekly left the outlines of his kind old face for those he loved and for whom he had so long labored.

It is a picture at which the thoughtless may smile, but it is full of pathos, and eloquent for those who knew him best. His attitude is stiff and his coat hunches up in the back, but his kind old heart asserts itself through the gentle eyes, and when he has gone away at last we do not criticise the picture any more, but beyond the old coat that hunches up in the back, and that lasted him so long, we read the history of a noble life.

Silently the old finger-marked album, lying so unostentatiously on the gouty centre table, points out the mile-stones from infancy to age, and back of the mistakes of a struggling photographer is portrayed the laughter and the tears, the joy and the grief, the dimples and the gray hairs of one man's life-tine.


In answer to a former article relative to the dearth of woman here, we are now receiving two to five letters per day from all classes and styles of young, middle-aged and old women who desire to come to Wyoming.

Some of them would like to come here to work and obtain an honest livelihood, and some of them desire to come here and marry cattle kings.

A recent letter from Michigan, written in lead pencil, and evidently during hours when the writer should have been learning her geography lesson, is very enthusiastic over the prospect of coming out here where one girl can have a lover for every day in the week. She signs herself Rosalinde, with a small r, and adds in a postscript that she "means business."

Yes, Rosalinde, that's what we are afraid of. We had a kind of a vague fear that you meant business, so we did not reply to your letter. Wyoming already has women enough who write with a lead pencil. We are also pretty well provided with poor spellers, and we do not desire to ransack Michigan for affectionate but sap-headed girls.

Stay in Michigan, Rosalinde, until we write to you, and one of these days when you have been a mother eight or nine times, and as you stand in the golden haze in the back yard, hanging out damp shirts on an uncertain line, while your ripe and dewy mouth is stretched around a bass-wood clothes pin, you will thank us for this advice.

Michigan is the place for you. It is the home of the Sweet Singer and the abiding place of the Detroit Free Press. We can't throw any such influences around you here as those you have at your own door.

Do not despair, Rosalinde. Some day a man, with a great, warm, manly heart and a pair of red steers, will see you and love you, and he will take you in his strong arms and protect you from the Michigan climate, just as devotedly as any of our people here can. We do not wish to be misunderstood in this matter. It is not as a lover that we have said so much on the girl question, but in the domestic aid department, and when we get a long letter from a young girl who eats slate pencils and reads Ouida behind her atlas, we feel like going over there to Michigan with a trunk strap and doing a little missionary work.

The Church Debt.

I have been thinking the matter over seriously and I have decided that if I had my life to live over again, I would like to be an eccentric millionaire.

I have eccentricity enough, but I cannot successfully push it without more means.

I have a great many plans which I would like to carry out, in case I could unite the two necessary elements for the production of the successful eccentric millionaire.

Among other things, I would be willing to bind myself and give proper security to any one who would put in money to offset my eccentricity, that I would ultimately die. We all know how seldom the eccentric millionaire now dies. I would be willing to inaugurate a reform in that direction.

I think now that I would endow a home for men whose wives are no longer able to support them. In many cases the wife who was at first able to support her husband comfortably, finally shoulders a church debt, and in trying to lift that she overworks and impairs her health so that she becomes an invalid, while hor husband is left to pine away in solitude or dependent on the cold charities of the world.

My heart goes out toward those men even now, and in case I should fill the grave of the eccentric millionaire, I am sure that I would do the square thing by them.

The method by which our wives in America are knocking the church debt silly, by working up their husbands' groceries into "angel food" and selling them below actual cost, is deserving of the attention of our national financiers.

The church debt itself is deserving of notice in this country. It certainly thrives better under a republican form of government than any other feature of our boasted civilization. Western towns spring up everywhere, and the first anxiety is to name the place, the second to incur a church debt and establish a roller rink.

After that a general activity in trade is assured. Of course the general hostility of church and rink will prevent ennui and listlessness, and the church debt will encourage a business boom. Naturally the church debt cannot be paid without what is generally known through the West as the "festival and hooraw." This festival is an open market where the ladies trade the groceries of their husbands to other ladies' husbands, and everybody has a "perfectly lovely time." The church clears $2.30, and thirteen ladies are sick all the next day.

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