PECK'S COMPENDIUM OF FUN
Comprising the Choicest Gems of Wit, Humor, Sarcasm and Pathos of America's Favorite Humorist,
GEORGE W. PECK,
Editor of "Peck's Sun" Milwaukee
Illustrated by Eminent Artists
About Hell Another Dead Failure Anna Dickinson A Bald-headed Man Most Crazy A Case of Paralysis A Doctor of Laws A Hot Box at a Picnic A Lively Train Load A Mad Minister A Musical Critique A Peck at the Cheese A Plea for the Bull Head A Sewing Machine Given to the Boss Girl A Safe Investment A Tony Slaughter-House A Trying Situation An Arm That is not Reliable An Editor Burglarized Banks and Banking Bounced from Church for Dancing Boys and Circuses Boys will be Boys Broke up a Prayer Meeting Buying a Stone Crusher "Cash!" Camp Meetings in the Dark of the Moon Church Keno Colored Concert Troupes Dogs and Human Beings Effects of Mineral Water Expedition in Search of a Doughnut Failure of a Solid Institution Fishing for Pieces of Women Fooling with the Bible George Washington Granite Head Cheese Internal Improvements Joke on the Hat Killing Big Game Large Mouths are Fashionable La Crosse Nebecudnezzer Water Laying up Apples in Heaven Mr. Peck's Sunday Lecture Nearly Broke up the Ball Our Blue-Coated Dog-Poisoners Our Christian Neighbors Have Gone Palace Cattle Cars
PECK'S BAD BOY AND HIS PA. He Becomes a Druggist He is too Healthy He Quits the Drug Business His Pa an Inventor His Pa Dissected His Pa Goes Calling His Pa Goes Skating His Pa Gets Boxed His Pa Gets Mad His Pa Joins a Temperance Society His Pa Jokes Him His Pa is Discouraged His Pa Kills Him His Pa Mortified
Religion and Fish Rope Ladders Sardineindianapolis Seven Year Old Horses Summer Resorting Take Your Latin Straight Terror in Church The Bob-Tailed Badger The Boy and the Goat The Difference The Difference in Horses The Fire New Year's Day The Giddy Girl's Quarrel The Gospel Car The Infidel and His Silver Mine The Knight and the Bridal Chamber The Legend of the Lake The Man from Dubuque The Mistake About It The Naughty But Nice Church Choir The New Coal Stove The Sudden Fire-Works at Racine The Uses of the Paper Bag The Waters of La Crosse The Way to Name Children The Way Women Boss a Pillow The Woodcock Those Bold Bad Drummers Those Step Ladders! Tragedy on the Stage Trains Without Conductors Try to Save Two Shillings Unscrewing the Top of a Fruit Jar Why the Fever Did'nt Spread Woman-Dozing a Democrat Wonders of the Stage
Anna Dickinson as "Mazeppa" A Black Bear at Onalaska A Dead Sure Thing A Fashion Item A Good Land Enough A Lecturer Should Know What He Talks About A Loan Exhibition A New Sparking Scheme An Odorous Bohemian Base Ingratitude Buttermilk Bibbers Cats on the Fence Christmas Trees Col. Ingersoll Praying Comforting Compensations Convenient Currency Crushing Nihilism Enterprising Chicago! Fish Hatching in Wisconsin Frozen Ears Gathered Waists! Geological Survey Give us War Good Templars on Ice Hard on Fond Du Lac He Would'nt Have His Father Called Names How Farmers May Get Rich "How Sharper Than a Hound's Tooth!" How to Invest a Thousand Dollars How to Reach Young Men Hunting Dogs Insecure Abodes Lunch on the Cars Mattie Mashes Minnesota Merrie Christmas More Dangerous Than Kerosene Mrs. Langtry One of Beecher's Converts Preparing for War Raising Elephants Registry of Electors Selling Clams She was no Gentleman Southern "Honaw" Spurious Tripe Sure of Heaven Supreme Court Judges and U.S. Senators Ten Days in Love The Advent Preacher and the Balloon The Day We Reached Canada The Dog Law The Glorious Fourth of July The Mule not the Eagle The Old Sweet Songs The Political Outlook The Power of Eloquence The Thirsty Gopher The Universalist Bath The Universal Object The Wicked Mon Kee The Wrong Corpse Three Inches of Leg To What Vile Uses May We Come Too Particular by Half What the Country Needs What the Democrats Will Do We Will Celebrate Why not Raise Wolves?
A Scene in Paradise "Ah, my Friends, Look Down Into That Burning Lake!" An Intrusive Nigger At the Telephone Behind the Scenes Bossing the Pillow "Do not Pass me by!" Drummers Trying to Pray "Get Thee to a Nunnery!" "Happy New Year, Mum!" Hiawasamantha, the Dusky Daughter of the Golden West "I Want to be an Angel" It Looked Like an old Dripping Pan "It is F-f-four Sizes too Big!" John McCullough Killing a Texas Steer "Just as I am" "Keno!" Martindale Climbs a Pole "Me Long Lost Duke!" Mystery of a Woman's Clothes New Way of Taking Seidlitz Powders No More Apples for the Minister "Oh, That Will be all Right" "Pa Grabbed Her by the Polonaise" "Sard," and the Greek Slave Sacred Memories Slippery Oysters Swallow-Tails on the Climb The Lady of the Seventh Ward The Old Back Number Girl The Old Man Tries His Hand The Resorter The Rotund Urso The Sexton in all His Glory The Startled Cat The Tenor Arrayed in all His Glory The Wandering Oyster "Thereby Hangs a Tail." "This is too Allfired Much!" "Too Late, Pa, I Die at the Hand of an Assassin!" Turning the Proper Dingus "Yell, or go Down!"
PECK'S COMPENDIUM OF FUN.
THE NEW COAL STOVE.
We never had a coal stove around the house until last Saturday. Have always used pine slabs and pieces of our neighbor's fence. They burn well, too, but the fence got all burned up, and the neighbor said he wouldn't build a new one, so we went down to Jones' and got a coal stove.
After supper we took a piece of ice and rubbed our hands warm, and went in where that stove was, resolved to make her draw and burn if it took all the pine fence in the first Ward. Our better-half threw a quilt over her, and shiveringly remarked that she never knew what real solid comfort was until she got a coal stove.
Stung by the sarcasm in her remark, we turned every dingus on the stove that was movable, or looked like it had anything to do with the draft, and pretty soon the stove began to heave up heat. It was not long before she stuttered like the new Silsby steamer. Talk about your heat! In ten minutes that room was as much worse than a Turkish bath as Hades is hotter than Liverman's ice-house. The perspiration fairly fried out of a tin water cooler in the next room. We opened the doors, and snow began to melt as far up Vine street as Hanscombe's house, and people all round the neighborhood put on linen clothes. And we couldn't stop the confounded thing.
We forgot what Jones told us about the dampers, and she kept a biling. The only thing we could do was to go to bed, and leave the thing to burn the house up if it wanted to. We stood off with a pole and turned the damper every way, and at every turn she just sent out heat enough to roast an ox. We went to bed, supposing that the coal would eventually burn out, but about 12 o'clock the whole family had to get up and sit on the fence.
Finally a man came along who had been brought up among coal stoves, and he put a wet blanket over him and crept up to the stove and turned the proper dingus, and she cooled off, and since that time has been just as comfortable as possible. If you buy a coal stove you got to learn how to engineer it, or you may get roasted.
PECK'S BAD BOY AND HIS PA.
HIS PA IS DISCOURAGED.
"Say, you leave here mighty quick," said the grocery man to the bad boy, as he came in, with his arm in a sling, and backed up against the stove to get warm. "Everything has gone wrong since you got to coming here, and I think you are a regular Jonah. I find sand in my sugar, kerosene in the butter, the codfish is all picked off, and there is something wrong every time you come here. Now you leave."
"I aint no Joner," said the boy as he wiped his nose on his coat sleeve, and reached into a barrel for a snow apple. "I never swallered no whale. Say, do you believe that story about Joner being in the whale's belly, all night? I don't. The minister was telling about it at Sunday school last Sunday, and asked me what I thought Joner was doing while he was in there, and I told him I interpreted the story this way, that the whale was fixed up inside with upper and lower berths, like a sleeping car, and Joner had a lower berth, and the porter made up the berth as soon as Joner came in with his satchel, and Joner pulled off his boots and gave them to the porter to black, and put his watch under the pillow and turned in. The boys in Sunday school all laffed, and the minister said I was a bigger fool than Pa was, and that was useless. If you go back on me, now, I won't have a friend, except my chum and a dog, and I swear, by my halidom, that I never put no sand in your sugar, or kerosene in your butter. I admit the picking off of the codfish, but you can charge it to Pa, the same as you did the eggs that I pushed my chum over into last summer, though I thought you did wrong in charging Christmas prices for dog days eggs. When my chum's Ma scraped his pants she said there was not an egg represented on there that was less than two years old. The Sunday school folks have all gone back on me, since I put kyan pepper on the stove, when they were singing 'Little Drops of Water,' and they all had to go out doors and air themselves, but I didn't mean to let the pepper drop on the stove. I was just holding it over the stove to warm it, when my chum hit the funny bone of my elbow. Pa says I am a terror to cats. Every time Pa says anything, it gives me a new idea. I tell you Pa has got a great brain, but sometimes he don't have it with him. When he said I was a terror to cats I thought what fun there is in cats, and me and my chum went to stealing cats right off, and before night we had eleven cats caged. We had one in a canary bird cage, three in Pa's old hat boxes, three in Ma's band box, four in valises, two in a trunk, and the rest in a closet up stairs.
"That night Pa said he wanted me to stay home because the committee that is going to get up a noyster supper in the church was going to meet at our house, and they might want to send me on errands. I asked him if my chum couldn't stay too, 'cause he is the healthiest infant to run after errands that ever was, and Pa said he could stay, but we must remember that there musn't be no monkey business going on. I told him there shouldn't be no monkey business, but I didn't promise nothing about cats. Well, sir, you'd a dide. The committee was in the library by the back stairs, and me and my chum got the cat boxes all together, at the top of the stairs, and we took them all out and put them in a clothes basket, and just as the minister was speaking, and telling what a great good was done by these oyster sociables, in bringing the young people together, and taking their minds from the wickedness of the world, and turning their thoughts into different channels, one of the old tom cats in the basket gave a 'purmeow' that sounded like the wail of a lost soul, or a challenge to battle. I told my chum that we couldn't hold the bread-board over the clothes basket much longer, when two or three cats began to yowl, and the minister stopped talking and Pa told Ma to open the stair door and tell the hired girl to see what was the matter up there. She thought our cat had got shut up in the storm door, and she opened the stair door to yell to the girl, and then I pushed the clothes basket, cats and all down the back stairs. Well, sir, I suppose no committee for a noyster supper, was ever more astonished. I heard Ma fall over a willow rocking chair, and say, 'scat,' and I heard Pa say, 'well. I'm dam'd,' and a girl that sings in the choir say, 'Heavens, I am stabbed,' then my chum and me ran to the front of the house and come down the front stairs looking as innocent as could be, and we went in the library, and I was just going to tell Pa if there was any errands he wanted run my chum and me was just aching to run them, when a yellow cat without any tail was walking over the minister, and Pa was throwing a hassock at two cats that were clawing each other under the piano, and Ma was trying to get her frizzes back on her head, and the choir girl was standing on the lounge with her dress pulled up, trying to scare cats with her striped stockings, and the minister was holding his hands up, and I guess he was asking a blessing on the cats, and my chum opened the front door and all the cats went out. Pa and Ma looked at me, and I said it wasn't me, and the minister wanted to know how so much cat hair got on my coat and vest, and I said a cat met me in the hall and kicked me, and Ma cried, and Pa said 'that boy beats hell,' and the minister said, I would be all right if I had been properly brought up, and then Ma was mad, and the committee broke up. Well, to tell the honest truth Pa basted me, and yanked me around until I had to have my arm in a sling, but what's the use of making such a fuss about a few cats. Ma said she never wanted to have my company again, 'cause I spoiled everything. But I got even with Pa for basting me, this morning, and I dassent go home. You see Ma has got a great big bath sponge as big as a chair cushion, and this morning I took the sponge and filled it with warm water, and took the feather cushion out of the chair Pa sits in at the table, and put the sponge in its place, and covered it over with the cushion cover, and when we all got set down to the table Pa came in and sat down on it to ask a blessing. He started in by closing his eyes and placing his hands up in front of him like the letter V, and then he began to ask that the food we were about to partake off be blessed, and then he was going on to ask that all of us be made to see the error of our ways, when he began to hitch around, and he opened one eye and looked at me, and I looked as pious as a boy can look when he knows the pancakes are getting cold, and Pa he kind of sighed and said 'Amen' sort of snappish, and he got up and told Ma he didn't feel well, and she would have to take his place and pass around the sassidge and potatoes, and he looked kind of scart and went out with his hand on his pistol pocket, as though he would like to shoot, and Ma she got up and went around and sat in Pa's chair. The sponge didn't hold more than half a pail full of water, and I didn't want to play no joke on Ma, cause the cats nearly broke her up, but she sat down and was just going to help me, when she rung the bell and called the hired girl, and said she felt as though her neuralgia was coming on, and she would go to her room, and told the girl to sit down and help Hennery. The girl sat down and poured me out some coffee, and then she said, 'Howly Saint Patrick, but I blave those pancakes are burning,' and she went out in the kitchen. I drank my coffee, and then took the big sponge out of the chair and put the cushion in the place of it, and then I put the sponge in the bath room, and I went up to Pa and Ma's room, and asked them if I should go after the doctor, and Pa had changed his clothes and got on his Sunday pants, and he said, 'never mind the doctor, I guess we will pull through,' and for me to get out and go to the devil, and I came over here. Say, there is no harm in a little warm water, is there? Well, I'd like to know what Pa and Ma and the hired girl thought. I am the only real healthy one there is in our family."
THREE INCHES OF LEG.
Blanche Williams, of Philadelphia, who met with an accident at Fairmount Water-works, by which one leg was broken, and rendered three inches shorter than the rest of her legs, has recovered $10,000 damages. It would seem, to the student of nature, to be a pretty good price for three inches of ordinary leg, but then some people will make such a fuss.
MORE DANGEROUS THAN KEROSENE.
The regular weekly murder is reported from Peshtigo. Two men named Glass and Penrue, got to quarreling about a girl, in a hay loft, over a barn. Glass stabbed Penrue quite a number of times and he died. There is nothing much more dangerous, unless it is kerosene, than two men and a girl, in a hay loft quarreling.
TEN DAYS IN LOVE.
There is a fearfully harrowing story going the rounds of the papers headed "Ten Days in Love." It must have been dreadful, with no Sunday, no day of rest, no holiday, just nothing but love, for ten long days. By the way, did the person live?
BOYS WILL BE BOYS.
Not many months ago there was a meeting of ministers in Wisconsin, and after the holy work in which they were engaged had been done up to the satisfaction of all, a citizen of the place where the conference was held invited a large number of them to a collation at his house. After supper a dozen of them adjourned to a room up stairs to have a quiet smoke, as ministers sometimes do, when they got to talking about old times, when they attended school and were boys together, and The Sun man, who was present, disguised as a preacher, came to the conclusion that ministers were rather human than otherwise when they are young.
One two-hundred pound delegate with a cigar between his fingers, blew the smoke out of the mouth which but a few hours before was uttering a supplication to the Most High to make us all good, punched a thin elder in the ribs with his thumb and said: "Jim, do you remember the time we carried the cow and calf up into the recitation room?" For a moment "Jim" was inclined to stand on his dignity, and he looked pained, until they all began to laugh, when he looked around to see if any worldly person was present, and satisfying himself that we were all truly good, he said: "You bet your life I remember it. I have got a scar on my shin now where that d—blessed cow hooked me," and he began to roll up his trouser leg to show the scar. They told him they would take his word, and he pulled down his pants and said:
"Well, you see I was detailed to attend to the calf, and I carried the calf up stairs, assisted by Bill Smith—who is preaching in Chicago; got a soft thing—five thousand a year, and a parsonage furnished, and keeps a team, and if one of those horses is not a trotter then I am no judge of horseflesh or of Bill, and if he don't put on an old driving coat and go out on the road occasionally and catch on for a race with some wordly-minded man, then I am another. You hear me—well, I never knew a calf was so heavy, and had so many hind legs. Kick! Why, bless your old alabaster heart, that calf walked all over me, from Genesis to Revelations. And say, we didn't get much of a breeze the next morning, did we, when we had to clean out the recitation room?"
A solemn-looking minister, with red hair, who was present, and whose eyes twinkled some through the smoke, said to another:
"Charlie, you remember you were completely gone on the professor's niece who was visiting there from Poughkeepsie? What become of her."
Charlie put his feet on the table, struck a match on his trousers, and said:
"Well, I wasn't gone on her, as you say, but just liked her. Not too well, you know, but just well enough. She had a color of hair that I could never stand—just the color of yours, Hank—and when she got to going with a printer I kind of let up, and they were married. I understand he is editing a paper somewhere in Illinois, and getting rich. It was better for her, as now she has a place to live, and does not have to board around like a country school ma'am, as she would if she had married me."
A dark haired man, with a coat buttoned clear to the neck, and a countenance like a funeral sermon, with no more expression than a wooden decoy duck, who was smoking a briar-wood pipe that he had picked up on a what-not that belonged to the host, knocked the ashes out in a spittoon, and said:
"Boys, do you remember the time we stole that three-seated wagon and went out across the marsh to Kingsley's farm, after watermelons?"
Four of them said they remembered it well enough, and Jim said all he asked was to live long enough to get even with Bill Smith, the Chicago preacher, for suggesting to him to steal a bee-hive on the trip. "Why," said he, "before I had got twenty feet with that hive, every bee in it had stung me a dozen times. And do you remember how we played it on the professor, and made him believe that I had the chicken pox? O, gentlemen, a glorious immortality awaits you beyond the grave for lying me out of that scrape."
The fat man hitched around uneasy in his chair and said they all seemed to have forgotten the principal event of that excursion, and that was how he tried to lift a bull dog over the fence by the teeth, which had become entangled in a certain portion of his wardrobe that should not be mentioned, and how he left a sample of his trousers in the possession of the dog, and how the farmer came to the college the next day with his eyes blacked, and a piece of trousers cloth done up in a paper, and wanted the professor to try and match it with the pants of some of the divinity students, and how he had to put on a pair of nankeen pants and hide his cassimeres in the boat house until the watermelon scrape blew over and he could get them mended.
Then the small brunette minister asked if he was not entitled to some credit for blacking the farmer's eyes. Says he: "When he got over the fence and grabbed the near horse by the bits, and said he would have the whole gang in jail, I felt as though something had got to be done, and I jumped out on the other side of the wagon and walked around to him and put up my hands and gave him 'one, two, three' about the nose, with my blessing, and he let go that horse and took his dog back to the house."
"Well," says the red haired minister, "those melons were green, anyway, but it was the fun of stealing them that we were after."
At this point the door opened and the host entered, and, pushing the smoke away with his hands, he said: "Well, gentlemen, you are enjoying yourselves?"
They threw their cigar stubs in the spittoon, the solemn man laid the brier wood pipe where he got it, and the fat man said:
"Brother Drake, we have been discussing the evil effects of indulging in the weed, and we have come to the conclusion that while tobacco is always bound to be used to a certain extent by the thoughtless, it is a duty the clergy owe to the community to discountenance its use on all possible occasions. Perhaps we had better adjourn to the parlor, and after asking divine guidance take our departure."
PECK'S BAD BOY AND HIS PA.
HE BECOMES A DRUGGIST.
"Whew! What is that smells so about this store? It seems as though everything had turned frowy," said the grocery man to his clerk in the presence of the bad boy, who was standing with his back to the stove, his coat-tails parted with his hands, and a cigarette in his mouth.
"May be it is me that smells frowy," said the boy as he put his thumbs in the armholes of his vest, and spit at the keyhole in the door. "I have gone into business."
"By thunder, I believe it is you," said the grocery man, as he went up to the boy and snuffed a couple of times and then held his hand to his nose. "The board of health will kerosene you if they ever smell that smell, and send you to the glue factory. What business have you gone into to make you smell so rank?"
"Well, you see Pa began to think it was time I learned a trade, or a profession, and he saw a sign in a drug store window 'boy wanted,' and as he had a boy he didn't want, he went to the druggist and got a job for me. This smell on me will go off in a few weeks. You know I wanted to try all the perfumery in the store, and after I had got about forty different extracts on my clothes, another boy that worked there he fixed up a bottle of benzine and assafety and brimstone, and a whole lot of other horrid stuff, and labeled it 'rose geranium,' and I guess I just wallered in it. It is awful, aint it? It kerflummixed Ma when I went into the dining-room the first night that I got home from the store, and broke Pa all up. He said I reminded him of the time they had a litter of skunks under the barn. The air seemed fixed around where I am, and everybody seems to know who fixed it. A girl came into the store yesterday to buy a satchet, and there wasn't anybody there but me, and I didn't know what it was, and I took down everything in the store pretty near before I found it, and then I wouldn't have found it only the proprietor came in. The girl asked the proprietor if there wasn't a good deal of sewer gas in the store, and he told me to go out and shake myself. I think the girl was mad at me because I got a nursing bottle out of the show case with a rubber muzzle, and asked her if that was what she wanted. Well, she told me a sachet was something for the stummick, and I thought a nursing bottle was the nearest thing to it."
"I should think you would drive all the customers away from the store," said the groceryman as he opened the door to let the fresh air in.
"I don't know but I will, but I am hired for a month on trial, and I shall stay. You see, I sha'n't practice on anybody but Pa for a spell. I made up my mind to that when I gave a woman some salts instead of powdered borax, and she came back mad. Pa seems to want to encourage me, and is willing to take anything that I ask him to. He had a sore throat and wanted something for it, and the boss drugger told me to put some tannin and chlorate of potash in a mortar and grind it, and I let Pa pound it with the mortar, and while he was pounding I dropped in a couple of drops of sulphuric acid, and it exploded and blowed Pa's hat clear across the store, and Pa was whiter than a sheet. He said he guessed his throat was all right, and he wouldn't come near me again that day. The next day Pa came in, and I was laying for him. I took a white seidletz powder and a blue one, and dissolved them in separate glasses, and when Pa came in I asked him if he didn't want some lemonade, and he said he did, and I gave him the sour one and he drank it. He said it was too sour, and then I gave him the other glass that looked like water, to take the taste out of his mouth, and he drank it. Well, sir, when those two powders got together in Pa's stummick, and began to siz and steam and foam, Pa pretty near choked to death, and the suds came out of his nostrils, and his eyes stuck out, and as soon as he could get his breath he yelled 'fire,' and said he was poisoned, and called for a doctor, but I thought as long as we had a doctor right in the family there was no use of hiring one, so I got a stomach pump and would have baled him out in no time, only the proprietor came in and told me to go and wash some bottles, and he gave Pa a drink of brandy, and Pa said he felt better. Pa has learned where we keep the liquor, and he comes in two or three times a day with a pain in his stomach. They play awful mean tricks on a boy in a drug store. The first day they put a chunk of something blue into a mortar, and told me to pulverize it and then make it up into two grain pills. Well, sir, I pounded that chunk all the forenoon, and it never pulverized at all, and the boss told me to hurry up as the woman was waiting for the pills, and I mauled it till I was nearly dead, and when it was time to go to supper the boss came and looked in the mortar, and took out the chunk and said, 'You dum fool, you have been pounding all day on a chunk of India rubber, instead of blue mass!' Well, how did I know? But I will get even with them if I stay there long enough, and don't you forget it. If you have a prescription you want filled you can come down to the store and I will put it up for you myself, and then you will be sure to get what you pay for."
"Yes," said the grocery man, as he cut off a piece of limberg cheese and put it on the stove to purify the air in the room, "I should laugh to see myself taking any medicine you put up. You will kill some one yet, by giving them poison instead of quinine. But what has your Pa got his nose tied up for? He looks as though he had had a fight."
"O, that was from my treatment. He had a wart on his nose. You know that wart. You remember how the minister told him if other peoples' business had a button hole in it, Pa could button the wart in the button-hole, as he always had his nose there. Well, I told Pa I could cure that wart with caustic, and he said he would give five dollars if I could cure it, so I took a stick of caustic and burned the wart off, but I guess I burned down into the nose a little, for it swelled up as big as a lobster. Pa says he would rather have a whole nest of warts than such a nose, but it will be all right in a year or two."
A LOAN EXHIBITION.
"What is a loan exhibition?" asks a correspondent. Well, when a fellow borrows ten dollars of you, to be paid next Saturday, and he lets it run a year and a half, and don't pay it, and he meets you on the street and asks for five dollars more, and you turn him around and kick him right before the crowd, that is a loan exhibition.
THE WICKED MON KEE.
Mon Kee, a Chinaman that was converted to regular United States religious doctrines, and opened a mission in New York for the purpose of converting more heathens and shethens, has been arrested for stealing. This is a terrible blow, and Mon Kee was a terrible plower. A few weeks since the religious papers made more blow over the coming into the fold of that Chinaman than they did over all the editors in the country, who went not astray. Now they have shut up their yawp about him, since he has proved to be no better than Talmage or Beecher.
UNSCREWING THE TOP OF A FRUIT JAR.
There is one thing that there should be a law passed about, and that is, these glass fruit jars, with a top that screws on. It should be made a criminal offense, punishable with death or banishment to Chicago, for a person to manufacture a fruit jar, for preserving fruit, with a top that screws on. Those jars look nice when the fruit is put up in them, and the house-wife feels as though she was repaid for all her perspiration over a hot stove, as she looks at the glass jars of different berries, on the shelf in the cellar.
The trouble does not begin until she has company, and decides to tap a little of her choice fruit. After the supper is well under way, she sends for a jar, and tells the servant to unscrew the top, and pour the fruit into a dish. The girl brings it into the kitchen, and proceeds to unscrew the top. She works gently at first, then gets mad, wrenches at it, sprains her wrist, and begins to cry, with her nose on the underside of her apron, and skins her nose on the dried pancake batter that is hidden in the folds of the apron.
Then the little house-wife takes hold of the fruit can, smilingly, and says she will show the girl how to take off the top. She sits down on the wood-box, takes the glass jar between her knees, runs out her tongue, and twists. But the cover does not twist. The cover seems to feel as though it was placed there to keep guard over that fruit, and it is as immovable as the Egyptian pyramids. The little lady works until she is red in the face, and until her crimps all come down, and then she sets it away to wait for the old man to come home. He comes in tired, disgusted, and mad as a hornet, and when the case is laid before him, he goes out in the kitchen, pulls off his coat and takes the jar.
He remarks that he is at a loss to know what women are made for, anyway. He says they are all right to sit around and do crochet work, but when strategy, brain, and muscle are required, then they can't get along without a man. He tries to unscrew the cover, and his thumb slips off and knocks the skin off the knuckle. He breathes a silent prayer and calls for the kerosene can, and pours a little oil into the crevice, and lets it soak, and then he tries again, and swears audibly.
Then he calls for a tack-hammer, and taps the cover gently on one side, the glass jar breaks, and the juice runs down his trousers leg, on the table and all around. Enough of the fruit is saved for supper, and the old man goes up the back stairs to tie his thumb up in a rag, and change his pants.
All come to the table smiling, as though nothing had happened, and the house-wife don't allow any of the family to have any sauce for fear they will get broken glass into their stomachs, but the "company" is provided for generously, and all would be well only for a remark of a little boy who, when asked if he will have some more of the sauce, says he "don't want no strawberries pickled in kerosene." The smiling little hostess steals a smell of the sauce while they are discussing politics, and believes she does smell kerosene, and she looks at the old man kind of spunky, when he glances at the rag on his thumb and asks if there is no liniment in the house.
The preserving of fruit in glass jars is broken up in that house, and four dozen jars are down cellar to lay upon the lady's mind till she gets a chance to send some of them to a charity picnic. The glass jar fruit can business is played out unless a scheme can be invented to get the top off.
HE WOULDN'T HAVE HIS FATHER CALLED NAMES.
A man died in Oshkosh who was over eighty years of age. After the funeral the minister who conducted the services, said to the son of the deceased, "your father was an octogenarian." The young man colored up, doubled up his fist, and said to the minister that he would like to have him repeat that remark. The minister said, "I say your father was an old octogenarian." He had not more than got the word out of his mouth before the young man struck him on the nose, knocked him down, kicked him in the ear, and when pulled off by a policeman, he said no holyghoster could call his dead father names, not around him. The minister said he couldn't have been more surprised if some one had paid a year's pew rent, than he was when that young man's fist hit him.
PECK'S BAD BOY AND HIS PA.
HE QUITS THE DRUG BUSINESS.
"What are you loafing around here for," says the grocery man to the bad boy one day this week. "It is after nine o'clock, and I should think you would want to be down to the drug store. How do you know but there may be somebody dying for a dose of pills?"
"O, darn the drug store. I have got sick of that business, and I have dissolved with the drugger. I have resigned. The policy of the store did not meet with my approval, and I have stepped out and am waiting for them to come and tender me a better position at an increased salary," said the boy, as he threw a cigar stub into a barrel of prunes and lit a fresh one.
"Resigned, eh?" said the grocery man as he fished out the cigar stub and charged the boy's father with two pounds of prunes, didn't you and the boss agree?"
"Not exactly, I gave an old lady some gin when she asked for camphor and water, and she made a show of herself. I thought I would fool her, but she knew mighty well what it was, and she drank about half a pint of gin, and got to tipping over bottles and kegs of paint, and when the drug man came in with his wife, the old woman threw her arms around his neck and called him her darling, and when he pushed her away, and told her she was drunk, she picked up a bottle of citrate of magnesia and pointed it at him, and the cork came out like a pistol, and he thought he was shot, and his wife fainted away, and the police came and took the old gin refrigerator away, and then the drug man told me to face the door, and, when I wasn't looking he kicked me four times, and I landed in the street, and he said if I ever came in sight of the store again he would kill me dead. That is the way I resigned. I tell you, they will send for me again. They never can run that store without me.
"I guess they will worry along without you," said the grocery man. "How does your Pa take your being fired out? I should think it would brake him all up."
"O, I think Pa rather likes it. At first he thought he had a soft snap with me in the drug store, cause he has got to drinking again, like a fish, and he has gone back on the church entirely; but after I had put a few things in his brandy he concluded it was cheaper to buy it, and he is now patronizing a barrel house down by the river.
"One day I put some Castile soap in a drink of drandy, and Pa leaned over the back fence more than an hour, with his finger down his throat. The man that collects the ashes from the alley asked Pa if he had lost anything, and Pa said he was only 'sugaring off.' I don't know what that is. When Pa felt better he came in and wanted a little whisky to take the taste out of his mouth, and I gave him some, with about a teaspoonful of pulverized alum in it. Well, sir, you'd a dide. Pa's mouth and throat was so puckered up that he couldn't talk. I don't think that drugman will make anything by firing me out, because I shall turn all the trade that I control to another store. Why, sir, sometimes there were eight and nine girls in the store all at wonct, on account of my being there. They came to have me put extracts on their handkerchiefs, and to eat gum drops—he will lose all that trade now. My girl that went back on me for the telegraph messenger boy, she came with the rest of the girls, but she found that I could be as 'hawty as a dook.' I got even with her, though. I pretended I wasn't mad, and when she wanted me to put some perfumery on her handkerchief I said 'all right,' and I put on a little geranium and white rose, and then I got some tincture of assafety, and sprinkled it on her dress and cloak when she went out. That is about the worst smelling stuff that ever was, and I was glad when she went out and met the telegraph boy on the corner. They went off together; but he came back pretty soon, about the homesickest boy you ever saw, and he told my chum he would never go with that girl again because she smelled like spoiled oysters or sewer gas. Her folks noticed it, and made her go and wash her feet and soak herself, and her brother told my chum it didn't do any good, she smelled just like a glue factory, and my chum—the darn fool—told her brother that it was me who perfumed her, and he hit me in the eye with a frozen fish, down by the fish store, and that's what made my eye black; but I know how to cure a black eye. I have not been in a drug store eight days, and not know how to cure a black eye; and I guess I learned that girl not to go back on a boy 'cause he smelled like a goat.
"Well, what was it about your leaving the wrong medicine at houses? The policeman in this ward told me you come pretty near killing several people by leaving the wrong medicine."
"The way of it was this. There was about a dozen different kinds of medicine to leave at different places, and I was in a hurry to go to the roller skating rink, so I got my chum to help me, and we just took the numbers of the houses, and when we rung the bell we would hand out the first package we come to, and I understand there was a good deal of complaint. One old maid who ordered powder for her face, her ticket drew some worm lozengers, and she kicked awfully, and a widow who was going to be married, she ordered a celluloid comb and brush, and she got a nursing bottle with a rubber nozzle, and a toothing ring, and she made quite a fuss; but the woman who was weaning her baby and wanted the nursing bottle, she got the comb and brush and some blue pills, and she never made any fuss at all. It makes a good deal of difference, I notice, whether a person gets a better thing than they order or not. But the drug business is too lively for me. I have got to have a quiet place, and I guess I will be a cash boy in a store. Pa says he thinks I was cut out for a bunko steerer, and I may look for that kind of a job. Pa he is a terror since he got to drinking again. He came home the other day, when the minister was calling on Ma, and just cause the minister was sitting on the sofa with Ma, and had his hand on her shoulder, where she said the pain was when the rheumatiz came on, Pa was mad and told the minister he would kick his liver clear around on the other side if he caught him there again, and Ma felt awful about it. After the minister had gone away, Ma told Pa he had got no feeling at all, and Pa said he had got enough feeling for one family, and he didn't want no sky-sharp to help him. He said he could cure all the rheumatiz there was around the house, and then he went down town and didn't get home till most breakfast time. Ma says she thinks I am responsible for Pa's falling into bad ways again, and now I am going to cure him. You watch me, and see if I don't have Pa in the church in less than a week, praying and singing, and going home with the choir singers, just as pious as ever. I am going to get a boy that writes a woman's hand to write to Pa, and—but I must not give it away. But you just watch Pa, that's all. Well, I must go and saw some wood. It is coming down a good deal, from a drug clerk to sawing wood, but I will get on top yet, and don't you forget it."
GIVE US WAR!
We are in receipt of a circular from the American peace society, requesting us to leave a sum of money, in our will, to the society to be applied to the interest of peace. We are opposed to peace, on such terms. Give us war, every time.
THE FIRE NEW YEAR'S DAY.
If there is anything the young men of Rescue Hose Company pride themselves upon, it is in getting themselves up, regardless of expense, on New Year's day, and calling upon their lady friends. On Monday last these young men arrayed themselves in their best clothes and sat around in stores and waited for the time to go calling. Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these firemen.
Just as the young gentlemen were about throwing away their last cigar at noon, preparatory to calling at the first place on the list, the fire-bell rang, and there was a lively procession followed the steamer down Fourth street in a few minutes. It looked as though a wedding had been broken up and bridegrooms were running around loose. The party arrived at the scene of the fire, which was Matt. Larsen's hotel on the corner of Second and King streets, and such a shinning of swallow-tailed coats up blue ladders was never seen. The fellows that belonged in the house threw out bedsteads and crockery on to stove-pipe hats, and emptied beds on to broadcloth coats. The wedding party disappeared in the third story window with the hose, in the smoke, and after half an hour's work they came out looking as though they had been in the Ashtabula railroad accident. Young Mr. Smith had a stream of dirty water sent up his trousers leg, which went clear up to his collar, and wilted it beyond repair. Mr. Hatch entwined his doeskin pants around the burnt ridge-pole of the roof, hung on to a rafter with his teeth, and chopped shingles, and the pipemen kept him wet, and he looked like a bundle of damp stuff in a paper mill. Mr. Spence was on the top of the ladder, and Mr. Drummond was next below him. In falling, Mr. D. caught hold of one tail of Mr. Spence's swallow hammer coat, and stretched the tail about two feet longer than the other. Mr. Foote was as dry as a bone, until the pipeman saw him, and they nailed him up against the wall with a stream and Foote was damp as a wet nurse in a minute.
Young Mr. Osborne, confidential adviser of Hyde, Cargill & Co., got half way up the ladder, and a leak in the hose struck him and froze him to the ladder, and Mr. Watson had to strike a match and thaw him loose. He wet his pants from Genesis to Revelations, and had to go calling with an ulster overcoat on. The most of the young men, after returning from the fire, stood by the stove and dried themselves, and went calling all the same, but the girls said they smelt like burnt shingles. The boys were all dry enough at the dance in the evening.
Bennett and May fought a duel in Maryland the other day, and as near as the truth can be arrived at neither party received a scratch. But their "honaw" was satisfied.
PECK'S BAD BOY AND HIS PA.
HIS PA KILLS HIM.
"For heaven's sake dry up that whistling," said the grocery man to the bad boy, as he sat on a bag of peanuts, whistling and filling his pockets. "There is no sense in such whistling. What do you whistle for, anyway?"
"I am practicing my profession," said the boy, as he got up and stretched himself, and cut off a slice of cheese, and took a few crackers. "I have always been a good whistler, and I have decided to turn my talent to account. I am going to hire an office and put out a sign, 'Boy furnished to whistle for lost dogs.' You see there are dogs lost every day, and any man would give half a dollar to a boy to find his dog. I can hire out to whistle for dogs, and can go around whistling and enjoy myself, and make money. Don't you think it is a good scheme?" asked the boy of the grocery man.
"Naw," said the grocery man, as he charged the cheese to the boy's father, and picked up his cigar stub, which he had left on the counter, and which the boy had rubbed on the kerosene barrel, "No, sir, that whistle would scare any dog that heard it. Say, what was your Pa running after the doctor in his shirt sleeves for last Sunday morning? He looked scared. Was your Ma sick again?"
"O, no; Ma is healthy enough, now she has got a new fur lined cloak. She played consumption on Pa, and coughed so she liked to raise her lights and liver, and made Pa believe she couldn't live, and got the doctor to prescribe a fur lined circular, and Pa went and got one, and Ma has improved awfully. Her cough is all gone, and she can walk ten miles. I was the one that was sick. You see, I wanted to get Pa into the church again, and get him to stop drinking, so I got a boy to write a letter to him, in a female hand, and sign the name of a choir singer Pa was mashed on, and tell him she was yearning for him to come back to the church, and that the church seemed a blank without his smiling face, and benevolent heart, and to please come back for her sake. Pa got the letters Saturday night and he seemed tickled, but I guess he dreamed about it all night, and Sunday morning he was mad, and he took me by the ear and said I couldn't come no 'Daisy' business on him the second time. He said he knew I wrote the letter, and for me to go up to the store room and prepare for the almightiest licking a boy ever had, and he went down stairs and broke up an apple barrel and got a stave to whip me with. Well, I had to think mighty quick, but I was enough for him. I got a dried bladder in my room, one that me and my chum got to the slotter house, and I blowed it partly up, so it would be sort of flat like, and I put it down inside the back part of my pants, right about where Pa hits when he punishes me. I knowed when the barrel stave hit the bladder it would explode. Well, Pa came up and found me crying. I can cry just as easy as you can turn on the water at a faucet, and Pa took off his coat and looked sorry. I was afraid he would give up whipping me when he saw me cry, and I wanted the bladder experiment to go on, so I looked kind of hard, as if I was defying him to do his worst, and then he took me by the neck and laid me across a trunk. I didn't dare struggle much for fear the bladder would loose itself, and Pa said, 'Now, Hennery, I am going to break you of this damfoolishness, or I will break your back,' and he spit on his hands and brought the barrel stave down on my best pants. Well, you'd a dide if you had heard the explosion. It almost knocked me off the trunk. It sounded like firing a firecracker away down cellar in a barrel, and Pa looked scared. I rolled off the trunk, on the floor, and put some flour on my face, to make me look pale, and then I kind of kicked my legs like a fellow who is dying on the stage, after being stabbed with a piece of lath, and groaned, and said, 'Pa you have killed me, but I forgive you,' and then rolled around, and frothed at the mouth, cause I had a piece of soap in my mouth to make foam. Well, Pa was all broke up. He said, 'Great God, what have I done? I have broke his spinal column. O, my poor boy, do not die!' I kept chewing the soap and foaming at the mouth, and I drew my legs up and kicked them out, and clutched my hair, and rolled my eyes, and then kicked Pa in the stummick as he bent over me, and knocked his breath out of him, and then my limbs began to get rigid, and I said, 'Too late, Pa, I die at the hand of an assassin. Go for a doctor.' Pa throwed his coat over me, and started down stairs on a run, 'I have murdered my brave boy,' and he told Ma to go up stairs and stay with me, cause I had fallen off a trunk and ruptured a blood vessel, and he went after a doctor. When he went out the front door, I sat up and lit a cigarette, and Ma came up and I told her all about how I fooled Pa, and if she would take on and cry, when Pa got back, I would get him to go to church again, and swear off drinking, and she said she would.
"So when Pa and the doc. came back, Ma was sitting on a velocipede I used to ride, which was in the store-room, and she had her apron over her face, and she just more than bellowed. Pa he was pale, and he told the doc. he was just playing with me with a little piece of board, and he heard something crack, and he guessed my spine got broke falling off the trunk. The doctor wanted to feel where my spine got broke, but I opened my eyes and had a vacant kind of stare, like a woman who leads a dog by a string, and looked as though my mind was wandering, and I told the doctor there was no use setting my spine, as it was broke in several places, and I wouldn't let him feel of the dried bladder. I told Pa I was going to die, and I wanted him to promise me two things on my dying bed. He cried and said he would, and I told him to promise me he would quit drinking, and attend church regular, and he said he would never drink another drop, and would go to church every Sunday. I made him get down on his knees beside me and swear it, and the doc. witnessed it, and Ma said she was so glad, and Ma called the doctor out in the hall and told him the joke, and the doc. came in and told Pa he was afraid Pa's presence would excite the patient, and for him to put on his coat and go out and walk around the block, or go to church, and Ma and he would remove me to another room, and do all that was possible to make my last hours pleasant. Pa he cried, and said he would put on his plug hat and go to church, and he kissed me, and got flour on his nose, and I came near laughing right out, to see the white flour on his red nose, when I thought how the people in church would laugh at Pa. But he went out feeling mighty bad, and then I got up and pulled the bladder out of my pants, and Ma and the doc. laughed awful. When Pa got back from church and asked for me, Ma said that I had gone down town. She said the doctor found my spine was only uncoupled and he coupled it together, and I was all right. Pa was nervous all the afternoon, and Ma thinks he suspects that we played it on him. Say, you don't think there is any harm in playing it on an old man a little for a good cause, do you?"
The grocery man said he supposed, in the interest of reform it was all right, but if it was his boy that played such tricks he would take an ax to him, and the boy went out, apparently encouraged, saying he hadn't seen the old man since the day before, and he was almost afraid to meet him.
A MUSICAL CRITIQUE.
The second lecture of the Library Association course was delivered on Tuesday evening by a female lecturer named Camilla Urso, on a fiddle. The lecturer was supported by a female singer, two male clamsellers, and a piano masher, all of them decidedly talented in their particular lines. The lecture on the fiddle gave the most unbounded satisfaction, and the Association in taking this new departure, has struck a popular chord. Scarcely a person in the vast audience but would prefer such an entertainment to a dry lecture by some dictionary sharp. Of the performance, it is unnecessary to go into details, as all our readers were there, with few exceptions. The fat female, Urso, more than carved the fiddle. She dug sweet morsels of music out of it, all the way from the wish-bone to the part that goes over the fence last. She made it talk Norwegian, and squeezed little notes out of it not bigger than a cambric needle, and as smooth as a book agent. The female singer was fair, though nothing to brag on, while the male grasshopper sufferers sang as well as was necessary. But the most agile flea-catcher that has been here since Anna Dickinson's time, was sixteen-fingered Jack, the sandhill crane that had the disturbance with the piano. We never knew what the row was about, but when he walked up to the piano smiling, and shied his castor into the ring, everybody could see there was going to be trouble. He spit on his hands, sparred a little, and suddenly landed a stunning blow right on the ivory, which staggered the piano, and caused an exclamation of agony. First knock down for Jack. He paused a moment and then began putting in blows right and left, in such a cruel manner that the spectators came near breaking into the ring. Whenever a key showed its head he mauled it. We never saw a piano stand so much punishment, and live, and Jack never got a scratch. The whole concert was a success, and the troupe can always get a good house here.
A DEAD SURE THING.
The only persons that are real sure that their calling and election is sure, and that they are going to heaven across lots, are the men who are hung for murder. They always announce that they have got a dead thing on it, just before the drop falls. How encouraging it must be to children to listen to the prayers of our ministers in churches, who admit that they are miserable sinners living on God's charity, and doubtful if they would be allowed to sit at His right hand, and as they tell the story of their unworthiness the tears trickle down their cheeks. Then let the children read an account of a hanging bee, and see how happy the condemned man is, how he shouts glory hallelujah, and confesses that, though he killed his man, he is going to heaven. A child will naturally ask why don't the ministers murder somebody and make a dead sure thing of it?
PECK'S BAD BOY AND HIS PA.
HIS PA MORTIFIED.
"What was the health officer doing over to your house this morning?" said the grocery man to the bad boy, as the youth was firing frozen potatoes at the man who collects garbage in the alley.
"O, they are searching for sewer gas and such things, and they have got plumbers and other society experts till you can't rest, and I came away for fear they would find the sewer gas and warm my jacket. Say, do you think it is right when anything smells awfully, to always lay it to a boy?"
"Well, in nine cases out of ten they would hit it right, but what do you think is the trouble over to your house, honest?"
"S-h-h! Now don't breathe a word of it to a living soul, or I am a dead boy. You see I was over to the dairy fair at the Exposition building Saturday night, and when they were breaking up me and my chum helped to carry boxes of cheese and firkins of butter, and a cheese man gave each of us a piece of limberger cheese, wrapped up in tin foil. Sunday morning I opened my piece, and it made me tired. O, it was the offulest smell I ever heard of, except the smell when they found a tramp who hung himself in the woods on the Whitefish Bay road, and had been dead three weeks. It was just like an old back number funeral. Pa and Ma were just getting ready to go to church, and I cut off a piece of cheese and put it in the inside pocket of Pa's vest, and I put another in the lining of Ma's muff, and they went to church. I went down to church too, and sat on a back seat with my chum, looking just as pious as though I was taking up a collection. The church was pretty warm, and by the time they got up to sing the first hymn Pa's cheese began to smell a match against Ma's cheese. Pa held one side of the hymn book and Ma held the other, and Pa he always sings for all that is out, and when he braced himself and sang 'Just as I am,' Ma thought Pa's voice was tinctured a little with biliousness, and she looked at him and hunched him, and told him to stop singing and breathe through his nose, cause his breath was enough to stop a clock. Pa stopped singing and turned around kind of cross towards Ma, and then he smelled Ma's cheese and he turned his head the other way and said, 'whew,' and they didn't sing any more, but they looked at each other as though they smelled frowy. When they sat down they sat as far apart as they could get, and Pa sat next to a woman who used to be a nurse in a hospital, and when she smelled Pa's cheese she looked at him as though she thought he had the small pox, and she held her handkerchief to her nose. The man in the other end of the pew, that Ma sat near, he was a stranger from Racine, who belongs to our church, and he looked at Ma sort of queer, and after the minister prayed, and they got up to sing again, the man took his hat and went out, and when he came by me he said something in a whisper about a female glue factory.
"Well, sir, before the sermon was over everybody in that part of the church had their handkerchiefs to their noses, and they looked at Pa and Ma scandalous, and the two ushers they came around in the pews looking for a dog, and when the minister got over his sermon, and wiped the prespiration off his face, he said he would like to have the trustees of the church stay after meeting, as there was some business of importance to transact. He said the question of proper ventilation and sewerage for the church would be brought up, and that he presumed the congregation had noticed this morning that the church was unusually full of sewer gas. He said he had spoken of the matter before, and expected it would be attended to before this. He said he was a meek and humble follower of the lamb, and was willing to cast his lot wherever the Master decided, but he would be blessed if he would preach any longer in a church that smelled like a bone boiling establishment. He said religion was a good thing, but no person could enjoy religion as well in a fat rendering establishment as he could in a flower garden, and as far as he was concerned he had got enough. Everybody looked at everybody else, and Pa looked at Ma as though he knew where the sewer gas came from, and Ma looked at Pa real mad, and me and my chum lit out, and I went home and distributed my cheese all around. I put a slice in Ma's bureau drawer, down under her underclothes, and a piece in the spare room, under the bed, and a piece in the bath-room in the soap dish, and a slice in the album on the parlor table, and a piece in the library in a book, and I went to the dining room and put some under the table, and dropped a piece under the range in the kitchen. I tell you the house was loaded for bear. Ma came home from church first, and when I asked where Pa was, she said she hoped he had gone to walk around the block to air hisself. Pa came home to dinner and when he got a smell of the house he opened all the doors, and Ma put a comfortable around her shoulders, and told Pa he was a disgrace to civilization. She tried to get Pa to drink some carbolic acid. Pa finally convinced Ma that it was not him, and then they decided it was the house that smelled so, as well as the church, and all Sunday afternoon they went visiting, and this morning Pa went down to the health office and got the inspector of nuisances to come up to the house, and when he smelled around a spell he said there was dead rats in the main sewer pipe, and they sent for plumbers, and Ma went out to a neighbors to borry some fresh air, and when the plumbers began to dig up the floor in the basement I came over here. If they find any of that limberger cheese it will go hard with me. The hired girls have both quit, and Ma says she is going to break up keeping house and board. That is just into my hand. I want to board at a hotel, where you can have a bill-of-fare, and tooth picks, and billiards, and everything. Well I guess I will go over to the house and stand in the back door and listen to the mocking bird. If you see me come flying out of the alley with my coat tail full of boots you can bet they have discovered the sewer gas."
America is to be visited by the most beautiful woman in all England, Mrs. Langtry. It is said that she is so sweet that when you look at her you feel caterpillars crawling up the small of your back, your heart begins to jump like a box car, and a streak of lightning goes down one trousers leg and up the other, and escapes up the back of your neck, causing the hair to raise and be filled with electricity enough to light a circus tent, and that when looking at her your hands clutch nervously as though you wanted to grasp something to hold you up, a sense of faintness comes over you, your eyes roll heavenward, your head falls helpless on your breast, your left side becomes numb, your liver quits working, your breath comes hot and heavy, your lips turn livid and tremble, your teeth chew on imaginary taffy, and you look around imploringly for somebody to take her away. If all this occurs to a person from looking at her, it would be sudden death or six months illness, to shake hands with her. If she comes to Milwaukee, there is one bald headed man going to the country where they are not so bad. You bet!
A PECK AT THE CHEESE.
Geo. W. Peck, of the Sun, recently delivered an address before the Wisconsin State Dairyman's Association. The following is an extract from the document:
Fellow Cremationists: In calling upon me, on this occasion, to enlighten you upon a subject that is dear to the hearts of all Americans, you have got the right man in the right place. It makes me proud to come to my old home and unfold truths that have been folded since I can remember. It may be said by scoffers, and it has been said to-day, in my presence, that I didn't know enough to even milk a cow. I deny the allegation; show me the allegator. If any gentleman present has got a cow here with him, and I can borrow a clothes-wringer, I will show you whether I can milk a cow or not. Or, if there is a cheese mine here handy, I will demonstrate that I can—runnet.
The manufacture of cheese and butter has been among the earliest industries. Away back in the history of the world, we find Adam and Eve conveying their milk from the garden of Eden, in a one-horse wagon to the cool spring cheese factory to be weighed in the balance. Whatever may be said of Adam and Eve to their discredit in the marketing of the products of their orchard, it has never been charged that they stopped at the pump and put water in their milk cans. Doubtless you will remember how Cain killed his brother Abel because Abel would not let him do the churning. We can picture Cain and Abel driving mooly cows up to the house from the pasture in the southeast corner of the garden, and Adam standing at the bars with a tin pail and a three-legged stool, smoking a meerschaum pipe and singing "Hold the fort for I am coming through the rye," while Eve sat on the verandah altering over her last year's polonaise, and winking at the devil who stood behind the milk house singing, "I want to be an angel." After he got through milking he came up and saw Eve blushing, and he said, "Madame, cheese it," and she chose it.
But to come down to the present day, we find that cheese has become one of the most important branches of manufacture. It is next in importance to the silver interest. And, fellow cheese-mongers, you are doing yourselves great injustice that you do not petition congress to pass a bill to remonetize cheese. There is more cheese raised in this country than there is silver, and it is more valuable. Suppose you had not eaten a mouthful in thirty days, and you should have placed on the table before you ten dollars stamped out of silver bullion on one plate and nine dollars stamped from cheese bullion on another plate. Which would you take first? Though the face value of the nine cheese dollars would be ten per cent below the face value of ten silver dollars, you would take the cheese. You could use it to better advantage in your business. Hence I say cheese is more valuable than silver, and it should be made legal tender for all debts, public and private, except pew rent. I may be in advance of other eminent financiers, who have studied the currency question, but I want to see the time come, and I trust the day is not far distant, when 412-1/2 grains of cheese will be equal to a dollar in codfish, and when the merry jingle of slices of cheese shall be heard in every pocket.
Then every cheese factory can make its own coin, money will be plenty, everybody will be happy, and there never will be any more war. It may be asked how this currency can be redeemed? I would have an incontrovertible bond, made of Limburger cheese, which is stronger and more durable. When this is done you can tell the rich from the poor man by the smell of his money. Now-a-days many of us do not even get a smell of money, but in the good days which are coming the gentle zephyr will waft to us the able-bodied Limburger, and we shall know that money is plenty.
The manufacture of cheese is a business that a poor man can engage in, as well as a rich man, I say it without fear of successful contradiction, and say it boldly, that a poor man with, say 200 cows, if he thoroughly understands his business, can market more cheese than a rich man with 300 oxen. This is susceptible of demonstration. If any boy showed a desire to become a statesman, I would say to him, "Young man, get married, buy a mooly cow, go to Sheboygan county, and start a cheese factory."
Speaking of cows, did it ever occur to you, gentlemen, what a saving it would be to you if you should adopt mooley cows instead of horned cattle? It takes at least three tons of hay and a large quantity of ground feed annually to keep a pair of horns fat, and what earthly use are they? Statistics show that there are annually killed 45,000 grangers by cattle with horns. You pass laws to muzzle dogs, because one in ten thousand goes mad, and yet more people are killed by cattle horns than by dogs. What the country needs is more mooley cows.
Now that I am on the subject, it may be asked what is the best paying breed for the dairy. My opinion is divided between the south down and the cochin china. Some like one the best and some the other, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.
There are many reforms that should be inaugurated in the manufacture of cheese. Why should cheese be made round? I am inclined to the belief that the making of cheese round is a superstition. Who had not rather buy a good square piece of cheese, than a wedge-shaped chunk, all rind at one end, and as thin as a Congressman's excuse for voting back pay at the other? Make your cheese square and the consumer will rise up and call you another.
Another reform that might be inaugurated would be to veneer the cheese with building paper or clapboards, instead of the time-honored piece of towel. I never saw cheese cut that I didn't think that the cloth around it had seen service as a bandage on some other patient. But I may have been wrong. Another thing that does not seem to be right, is to see so many holes in cheese. It seems to me that solid cheese, one made by one of the old masters, with no holes in it—I do not accuse you of cheating, but don't you feel a little ashamed when you see a cheese cut, and the holes are the biggest part of it? The little cells may be handy for the skipper, but the consumer feels the fraud in his innermost soul.
Among the improvements made in the manufacture of cheese I must not forget that of late years the cheese does not resemble the grindstone as much as it did years ago. The time has been when, if the farmer could not find his grindstone, all he had to do was to mortise a hole in the middle of a cheese, and turn it and grind his scythe. Before the invention of nitro-glycerine, it was a good day's work to hew off cheese enough for a meal. Time has worked wonders in cheese.
At the concert Wednesday night, the last piece sung was a trio, by Marie Rose, Brignoli, and Carleton. The men stood on each side of the girl and began to jaw at her. It was in some other language, and we could only understand by the motion of their mouths and their actions. It seemed as though the men were trying to sell clams to her. First Brignoli began to whoop it up, and describe the clams he had to sell, and tried to get her to invest. He yelled at her, and seemed really put out, and she was as spunky as any girl we ever saw. When Brignoli got out of breath, Carleton began to tell her that Brig had been lying to her, that his clams were made of India rubber, and that she could never digest them in the wide world, and he wound up by telling her that she could have his clams at ten per cent discount for cash. By this time she was about as mad as she could be, and she pitched into both of them, looking cross, and sung like blazes, went away up the musical ladder to zero, and wound up by telling them both, to their face, that she would see them in Chicago before she would buy a condemned clam. And then they all went off the stage as though they had been having a regular fight, and Brignoli acted as though he would like to eat her raw. That's the way it seemed to us, but we are no musician.
PECK'S BAD BOY AND HIS PA.
HIS PA GOES SKATING.
"What is that stuff on your shirt bosom, that looks like soap grease?" said the grocery man to the bad boy, as he came into the grocery the morning after Christmas.
The boy looked at his shirt front, put his finger on the stuff and smelled of his fingers, and then said, "O, that is nothing but a little of the turkey dressing and gravy. You see after Pa and I got back from the roller skating rink yesterday, Pa was all broke up and he couldn't carve the turkey, and I had to do it, and Pa sat in a stuffed chair with his head tied up, and a pillow amongst his legs, and he kept complaining that I didn't do it right. Gol darn a turkey any way. I should think they would make a turkey flat on the back, so he would lay on a greasy platter without skating all around the table. It looks easy to see Pa carve a turkey, but when I speared into the bosom of that turkey, and began to saw on it, the turkey rolled around as though it was on castors, and it was all I could do to keep it out of Ma's lap. But I rasseled with it till I got off enough white meat for Pa and Ma and dark meat enough for me, and I dug out the dressing, but most of it flew into my shirt bosom, cause the string that tied up the place where the dressing was concealed about the person of the turkey, broke prematurely, and one oyster hit Pa in the eye, and he said I was as awkward as a cross-eyed girl trying to kiss a man with a hair lip. If I ever get to be the head of a family I shall carve turkeys with a corn sheller.
"But what broke your Pa up at the roller skating rink?" asked the grocery man.
"O, everything broke him up. He is split up so Ma buttons the top of his pants to his collar button, like a bicycle rider. Well, he had no business to have told me and my chum that he used to be the best skater in North America, when he was a boy. He said he skated once from Albany to New York in an hour and eighty minutes. Me and my chum thought if Pa was such a terror on skates we would get him to put on a pair of roller skates and enter him as the 'great unknown,' and clean out the whole gang. We told Pa that he must remember that roller skates were different from ice skates, and that maybe he couldn't skate on them, but he said it didn't make any difference what they were as long as they were skates, and he would just paralyze the whole crowd. So we got a pair of big roller skates for him, and while we were strapping them on, Pa looked at the skaters glide around on the smooth wax floor just as though they were greased. Pa looked at the skates on his feet, after they were fastened, sort of forlorn like, the way a horse thief does when they put shackles on his legs, and I told him if he was afraid he couldn't skate with them we would take them off, but he said he would beat anybody there was there, or bust a suspender. Then we straightened Pa up, and pointed him towards the middle of the room, and he said, 'leggo,' and we just give him a little push to start him, and he began to go. Well, by gosh, you'd a dide to have seen Pa try to stop. You see, you can't stick in your heel and stop, like you can on ice skates, and Pa soon found that out, and he began to turn sideways, and then he threw his arms and walked on his heels, and he lost his hat, and his eyes began to stick out, cause he was going right towards an iron post. One arm caught the post and he circled around it a few times, and then he let go and began to fall, and, sir, he kept falling all across the room, and everybody got out of the way, except a girl, and Pa grabbed her by the polonaise, like a drowning man grabs at straws, though there wasn't any straws in her polonaise as I know of, but Pa just pulled her along as though she was done up in a shawl-strap, and his feet went out from under him and he struck on his shoulders and kept a going, with the girl dragging along like a bundle of clothes. If Pa had had another pair of roller skates on his shoulders, and castors on his ears, he couldn't have slid along any better. Pa is a short, big man, and as he was rolling along on his back, he looked like a sofa with castors on being pushed across a room by a girl. Finally Pa came to the wall and had to stop, and the girl fell right across him, with her roller skates in his neck, and she called him an old brute, and told him if he didn't let go of her polonaise she would murder him. Just then my chum and me got there and we amputated Pa from the girl, and lifted him up, and told him for heaven's sake to let us take off the skates, cause he couldn't skate any more than a cow, and Pa was mad and said for us to 'let him alone,' and he could skate all right, and we let go and he struck out again. Well, sir, I was ashamed. An old man like Pa ought to knonv better than to try to be a boy. This last time Pa said he was going to spread himself, and if I am any judge of a big spread, he did spread himself. Some how the skates had got turned around side-ways on his feet, and his feet got to going in different directions, and Pa's feet were getting so far apart that I was afraid I would have two Pa's, half the size, with one leg apiece.
"I tried to get him to take up a collection of his legs, and get them in the same ward but his arm flew around and hit me on the nose, and I thought if he wanted to strike the best friend he had, he could run his old legs his self. When he began to separate I could hear the bones crack, but maybe it was his pants, but anyway he came down on the floor like one of these fellows in a circus who spreads hisself, and he kept agoing and finally he surrounded an iron post with his legs, and stopped and looked pale, and the proprietor of the rink told Pa if he wanted to give a flying trapeze performance he would have to go to the gymnasium, and he couldn't skate on his shoulders any more, cause other skaters were afraid of him. Then Pa said he would kick the liver out of the proprietor of the rink, and he got up and steaded himself, and then he tried to kick the man, but both heels went up to wonct, and Pa turned a back summersault and struck right on his vest in front. I guess it knocked the breath out of him, for he didn't speak for a few minutes, and then he wanted to go home, and we put him in a street car, and he laid down on the hay and rode home. O, the work we had to get Pa's clothes off. He had cricks in his back, and everywhere, and Ma was away to one of the neighbors, to look at the presents, and I had to put liniment on Pa, and I made a mistake and got a bottle of furniture polish, and put it on Pa and rubbed it in, and when Ma came home, Pa smelled like a coffin at a charity funeral, and Ma said there was no way of getting that varnish off of Pa till it wore off: Pa says holidays are a condemned nuisance anyway. He will have to stay in the house all this week.
"You are pretty rough on the old man," said the grocery man, "after he has been so kind to you and given you nice presents."
"Nice presents nothin. All I got was a 'Come to Jesus' Christmas card, with brindle fringe, from Ma, and Pa gave me a pair of his old suspenders, and a calender with mottoes for every month, some quotations from scripture, such as 'honor thy father and mother,' and 'evil communications corrupt two in the bush,' and a bird in the hand beats two pair.' Such things don't help a boy to be good. What a boy wants is club skates, and seven shot revolvers, and such things. Well, I must go and help Pa roll over in bed, and put on a new porous plaster. Good bye."
TRYING TO SAVE TWO SHILLINGS.
No person ever wants to tell us again how to save two shillings. When we started for Chippewa Falls, to attend the celebration, we only had a few hundred dollars along, and we felt like saving all that was possible. Just before arriving at Sparta, where we were to take supper, Dan McDonald got to telling about how to save twenty-five cents on meals at these eating houses, when traveling. He said that all you had to do when you come out from supper was to look like a bummer, or "traveling man," hand the door-keeper fifty cents and wink twice with the left eye, and he would pass you right out, as though you had paid seventy-five cents. If you handed out a dollar bill, and he only gave you back twenty-five cents, you only had to hold out your hand and wink a couple of times, and the man would give you the other quarter. Dan said he always did that way, and he had saved hundreds of dollars. He said these bummers only paid fifty cents a meal, and there was no use of anybody else paying more, if they had cheek enough to play it on the landlord.
We never had anything strike us any more reasonable than the statement of Mr. McDonald, and we determined to try it. To a man who was traveling a good deal lecturing, a saving of twenty-five cents a meal was worth looking into, and we made up our mind to begin to economize that very night. The train stopped and we walked across the platform as near like a bummer as possible. With our hat on one side, we threw a cigar stub into the parlor window, said "Hello, old tapeworm," to the landlord in a familiar sort of way, chucked our hat into a chair; rushed into the dining-room, took a seat at the head of the table, and told a girl to cart out all she had got. The landlord looked at us as though he thought we were one of Field, Leiter & Co.'s bummers, his good wife looked frightened, as though she feared we would kick a leg off the table and spill things. However, there is no use of describing the meal, and how we went through brook trout and strawberry shortcake, and things. We couldn't help feeling sorry for the man that was destined to furnish all that for fifty cents. Finally we went out. We felt a sort of palpitation of the heart when we approached the hungry-looking man at the door, taking the money. He looked as though he was a sick orphan trying to save money enough to get to a water cure. Picking our teeth with our finger, like a Chicago bummer, and pulling our handkerchief out of our pistol pocket and blowing our nose like a thirty-two pounder, just as we had heard a Chicago fellow do, we handed the man fifty cents, winked a couple of times and started to go by. The tobacco sign standing there said, "twenty-five cents more, please." We looked at him, winked, and said, "O, that will be all right." "Two shillings more, my friend," said the summer resort. We winked some more, and punched him in the ribs with our thumb, and said, "O, now, old tapeworm, don't try to play it on us boys." And we laughed a sickly sort of laugh. The fact of it was, we began to have doubts about the thing working, and had a suspicion that the twinkle in Dan McDonald's eye meant that he had been playing it on us. The landlord said he should have to have two shillings more, and that we were blocking up the thoroughfare, and we fumbled around and found it and paid him, and went out, probably the most disgusted excursionist that ever was. Dan, who had watched the whole business, slapped us on the shoulder, and said, "How did it work?" Though not particularly hungry, we could have eaten him raw. When we go east now, we take a lunch along, and when the other passengers are in to supper, we sit on the woodpile at Sparta, eat our lunch and gaze at the fountains, talk with the brakemen, and wonder if the landlord would know us if we should go in and take a toothpick off the counter. Not any more bummer for us, and no man must ever tell us how to save two shillings on a meal.
HOW TO REACH YOUNG MEN.
"How to reach young men," was the topic at the young men's prayer meeting on Thursday. An old gentleman on the East Side who broke a toe nail by kicking the gate post just as the young man went down the sidewalk, would also like to know. Bait your hook with a mighty good looking girl that wears a sealskin cloak, and you can reach the young men.
The Russian government is making an average of four thousand arrests a day of persons charged with nihilism. At this rate it is only a question of time when the last of the conspirators will be in prison, and the emperor can walk out without fear of assassination from his wife and children, as these will probably be all the people that will be left.
WOMAN-DOZING A DEMOCRAT.
A fearful tale conies to us from Columbus. A party of prominent citizens of that place took a trip to the Dells of Wisconsin one day last week. It was composed of ladies and gentlemen of both political parties, and it was hoped that nothing would occur to mar the pleasure of the excursion.
When the party visited the Dells, Mr. Chapin, a lawyer of Democratic proclivities, went out upon a rock overhanging a precipice, or words to that effect, and he became so absorbed in the beauty of the scene that he did not notice a Republican lady who left the throng and waltzed softly up behind him. She had blood in her eye and gum in her mouth, and she grasped the lawyer, who is a weak man, by the arms, and hissed in his ear:
"Hurrah for Garfield, or I will plunge you headlong into the yawning gulf below!"
It was a trying moment. Chapin rather enjoyed being held by a woman, but not in such a position that, if she let go her hold to spit on her hands, he would go a hundred feet down, and become as flat as the Greenback party, and have to be carried home in a basket.
In a second he thought over all the sins of his past life, which was pretty quick work, as anybody will admit who knows the man. He thought of how he would be looked down upon by Gabe Bouck, and all the fellows, if it once got out that he had been frightened into going back on his party.
He made up his mind that he would die before he would hurrah for Garfield, but when the merciless woman pushed him towards the edge of the rock, and, "Last call! Yell, or down you go!" he opened his mouth and yelled so they heard it in Kilbourn City:
"Hurrah for Garfield! Now lemme go!"
Though endowed with more than ordinary eloquence, no remarks that he had ever made before brought the applause that this did. Everybody yelled, and the woman smiled as pleasantly as though she had not crushed the young life out of her victim, and left him a bleeding sacrifice on the altar of his country, but when she had realized what she had done her heart smote her, and she felt bad.
Chapin will never be himself again. From that moment his proud spirit was broken, and all during the picnic he seemed to have lost his cud. He leaned listlessly against a tree, pale as death, and fanned himself with a skimmer. When the party had spread the lunch on the ground and gathered around, sitting on the ant-hills, he sat down with them mechanically, but his appetite was gone, and when that is gone there is not enough of him left for a quorum.
Friends rallied around him, passed the pickles, and drove the antmires out of a sandwich, and handed it to him on a piece of shingle, but he either passed or turned it down. He said he couldn't take a trick. Later on, when the lemonade was brought on, the flies were skimmed off of some of it, and a little colored water was put in to make it look inviting, but his eyes were sot. He said they couldn't fool him. After what had occurred, he didn't feel as though any Democrat was safe. He expected to be poisoned on account of his politics, and all he asked was to live to get home.
Nothing was left undone to rally him, and cause him to forget the fearful scene through which he had passed. Only once did he partially come to himself, and show an interest in worldly affairs, and that was when it was found that he had sat down on some raspberry jam with his white pants on. When told of it, he smiled a ghastly smile, and said they were all welcome to his share of the jam.
They tried to interest him in conversation by drawing war maps with three-tined folks on the jam, but he never showed that he knew what they were about until Mr. Moak, of Watertown, took a brush, made of cauliflower preserved in mustard, and shaded the lines of the war map on Mr. Chapin's trousers, which Mr. Butterfield had drawn in the jam. Then his artistic eye took in the incongruity of the colors, and he gasped for breath, and said:
"Moak, that is played out. People will notice it."
But he relapsed again into semi-unconsciousness, and never spoke again, not a great deal, till he got home.
He has ordered that there be no more borrowing of sugar and drawings of tea back and forth between his house and that of the lady who broke his heart, and be has announced that he will go without saurkraut all winter rather than borrow a machine for cutting cabbage of a woman that would destroy the political prospects of a man who had never done a wrong in his life.
He has written to the chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee to suspend judgment on his case, until he can explain how it happened that a dyed-in-the-wood Democrat hurrahed for Garfield.
THE WRONG CORPSE.
A corpse got a good joke on the people of Quebec the other day. It came there by express, and was only an ordinary, every-day man, but the Kanucks were looking for a military corpse, and supposing our ordinary corpse to be he, they got up a Fifth avenue funeral, and buried it with military honors. The corpse, who didn't know a thing about military matters, must have many a good laugh over the mistake. And how the military corpse must have felt, when HE came!
THE DAY WE REACHED CANADA.
D.H. Pulcifer, of Shawano, announces that he is about to prepare a biography of all the members of the territorial legislature and subsequent legislatures, state officers, members of congress, etc., and desires all men who may have been great or may be so now, to send in the particulars. Well, you can get our record at the adjutant general's office, though there is one mistake in that record. It was in June, 1862 that we arrived in Canada, the day before the draft.
A LIVELY TRAIN LOAD.
Last week a train load of insane persons were removed from the Oshkosh Asylum to the Madison Asylum. As the train was standing on the sidetrack at Watertown Junction it created considerable curiosity. People who have ever passed Watertown Junction have noticed the fine old gentleman who comes into the car with a large square basket, peddling popcorn. He is one of the most innocent and confiding men in the world. He is honest, and he believes that everybody else is honest.
He came up to the depot with his basket, and seeing the train he asked Pierce, the landlord there, what train it was. Pierce, who is a most diabolical person, told the old gentleman that it was a load of members of the legislature and female lobbyists going to Madison. With that beautiful confidence which the pop corn man has in all persons, he believed the story, and went into the car to sell pop corn.
Stopping at the first seat, where a middle-aged lady was sitting alone, the pop corn man passed out his basket and said, "fresh pop corn." The lady took her foot down off the stove, looked at the man a moment with eyes glaring and wild, and said, "It is—no, it cannot be—and yet it is me long lost Duke of Oshkosh," and she grabbed the old man by the necktie with one hand and pulled him down into the seat, and began to mow away corn into her mouth. The pop corn man blushed, looked at the rest of the passengers to see if they were looking, and said, as he replaced the necktie knot from under his left ear and pushed his collar down, "Madame, you are mistaken. I never have been a duke in Oshkosh. I live here at the Junction." The woman looked at him as though she doubted his statement, but let him go.
He proceeded to the next seat, when a serious looking man rose up and bowed; the pop corn man also bowed and smiled as though he might have met him before. Taking a paper of popcorn and putting it in his coat tail pocket, the serious man said, "I was honestly elected President of the United States in 1876, but was counted out by the vilest conspiracy that ever was concocted on earth, and I believe you are one of the conspirators," and he spit on his hands and looked the pop corn man in the eye. The pop corn man said he never took any active part in politics, and had nothing to do with that Hayes business at all. Then the serious man sat down and began eating the pop corn, while two women on the other side of the car helped themselves to the corn in the basket.
The pop corn man held out his hand for the money, when a man two seats back came forward and shook hands with him, saying: "They told me you would not come, but you have come, Daniel, and now we will fight it out. I will take this razor, and you can arm yourself at your leisure." The man reached into an inside pocket of his coat, evidently for a razor, when the pop corn man started for the door, his eyes sticking out two inches. Every person he passed took a paper of pop corn, one man grabbed his coat and tore one tail off, another took his basket away and as he rushed out on the platform the basket was thrown at his head, and a female voice said, "I will be ready when the carriage calls at 8."
As the old gentleman struck the platform and began to arrange his toilet he met Fitzgerald, the conductor, who asked him what was the matter. He said Pierce told him that crowd was going to the legislature, "but," says he, as he picked some pieces of paper collar out of the back of his neck, "if those people are not delegates to a Democratic convention, then I have been peddling pop corn on this road ten years for nothing, and don't know my business." Fitz told him they were patients going to the Insane Asylum.
The old man thought it over a moment, and then he picked up a coupling pin and went looking for Pierce. He says he will kill him. Pierce has not been out of the house since. This Pierce is the same man that lent us a runaway horse once.
CATS ON THE FENCE.
Some idiot has invented a "cat teaser" to put on fences to keep cats from sitting there and singing. It consists of a three-cornered piece of tin, nailed on the top of the fence. We hope none of our friends will invest in the patent, for statistics show that while cats very often sit on fences to meditate, yet when they get it all mediated and get ready to sing a duet, they get down off the fence and get under a currant bush. We challenge any cat scientist to disprove the assertion.
HOW SHARPER THAN A HOUND'S TOOTH.
Years ago we swore on a stack of red chips that we would never own another dog. Six promising pups that had been presented to us, blooded setters and pointers, had gone the way of all dog flesh, with the distemper and dog buttons, and by falling in the cistern, and we had been bereaved via dog misfortunes as often as John R. Bennett, of Janesville, has been bereaved on the nomination for attorney general. We could not look a pup in the face but it would get sick, and so we concluded never again to own a dog.
The vow has been religiously kept since. Men have promised us thousands of pups, but we have never taken them. One conductor has promised us at least seventy-five pups, but he has always failed to get us to take one. Dog lovers have set up nights to devise a way to induce us to accept a dog. We held out firmly till last week. One day we met Pierce, the Watertown Junction hotel man, and he told us that he had a greyhound pup that was the finest bread dog—we think he said bread dog, though it might have been sausage dog he said—anyway he told us it was blooded, and that when it grew up to be a man—that is, figuratively speaking—when it grew up to be a dog full size, it would be the handsomest canine in the Northwest.
We kicked on it, entirely, at first, but when he told us hundreds of men who had seen the pup had offered him thousands of dollars for it, but that he had rather give it to a friend than sell it to a stranger, we weakened, and told him to send it in.
Well—(excuse us while we go into a corner and mutter a silent remark)—it came in on the train Monday, and was taken to the barn. It is the confoundedest looking dog that a white man ever set eyes on. It is about the color of putty, and about seven feet long, though it is only six months old. The tail is longer than a whip lash, and when you speak sassy to that dog, the tail will begin to curl around under him, amongst his legs, double around over his neck and back over where the tail originally was hitched to the dog, and then there is tail enough left for four ordinary dogs.