44 I’m Jest discouraged," said Mr. Brown
To his wife ono day as came from town;
44 'Taln't no uso sendin' our Tom to school.
He'll never be nothin’ but jest u fool.
He studios lllte blazes, the teacher said,
But he can’t got nothin’ through his head:
The ’xnmlnation he’ll never pass—
lie’s the dullest boy In the hull blamed
44 Tom may be dull," said Mrs. Brown,
44 But he's jost the steadiest boy In town;
’Taln’t ulways the brightest that wins tho
But tho ones that Jest beep pcggln’ away.
Ills skull may be a llttlo thick,
But he can’t bo beat on ’rlthmattc,
And any time he would leave his meals
To work at pulleys and pinions and wheels.
He’s built an engine that runs by steam,
And a sawmill down by the medder stream;
I know he’s slow, but he uln’t no fool,
And 1 tell ye Tommy Is gold’ to school."
So Mrs. Brown she had her say
And, womanlike, sbo carried the day.
Tom stuck to his books with dogged vim
Aud mustered each with a purpose grim;
Said "I lovo” and "you love" and "they
With a Uno contempt for tho loving crew;
Thundered through rhetoric dry and stale.
In Greek and Latin grew thin and palo;
With progress slow, but sure as fate,
At last poor Tom was a graduate.
Then down beside the meadow s; ream
For days and days he would sit aud dream.
And the house was tilled with models and
Os engines and motors and derricks and
And his father gravely shook his head
And to his mother sadly said:
What good did it do ye to send him to school?
I told ye Tom was a tarnal fool!"
Ono day tho papers were made to ring
With a great Invention, a wonderful thing;
They called the Inventor a man of renown
And said that his name was Thomas llrown.
‘ I allers told ye,” his father Raid,
" That Tom was a genius born and bred,
And anyhody could plainly see.
With bulf an eye. he was jost like ine.”
“ And I s pose." said his mother, in accents
That’s why you called him a tarnal fool!"
—l* C. Hard;. in Form. Field and Fireside.
A YOUTHFUL SHELLEY.
How His Poem Was Printed in tho
“Tlie Shelley of Muskrat Swamp"
lay dying in his bunk. There was no
doubt about that whatever to any or
dinary dispassionate observer. But
the one observer, the sole critic of tho
moribund poet, was not dispassionate,
and he refrained from obtruding the
fact upon the notice of the sick youth.
Outside the wind roared through the
bush; the churned waters of the an
gry Ottawa beat against the wooden
piers, their rough music calling' upon
the youthful Shelley to depart through
the Valley of the Shadow, although he
knew it not.
Amid the howling of the wind, the
•tiuaise roar of the flood, the crackle of
the logs upon the hearth, came the
soft, silvery tones of the invalid, recit
ing a moving composition which had
occupied his attention for the last ten
hours, that is, when he was not other
wise occupied in spitting blood or
coughing. Tho one oil lamp on a
wooden stool by his bunk gave out a
smoky light, through which the boy’s
eyes shone with unearthly brilliancy.
Jake, Timber Jake, as he was popu
larly known among the gentlemen
he distinguished by his jovial prefer
ence—sat on the only other stool which
the log hut boasted.
Now and then he threw in different
suggestions as to the originality of the
poet’s natural history, suggestions
which the latter received with petu
lant impatience. Though these con
tributions to tlie literature of bis na
tive land were invariably rejected,
Timber Jako continued to listen to tho
poem with labored cordiality. At in
tervals, when he was evidently ex
pected to applaud, lie did so with a tin
spoon against a battered old kettle, at
the same time drawing the coverlet
over the wasted arm which held the
sheets of MS.
“There,” said the poet, as he finished.
“Stop your infernal row fora moment.
What do you think of that, Jake?”
“Me not bein’ a scholard,” Jake re
plied, in slow, simple tones, as ho
dropped the spoon on the ground, “me
not bein’ a scholard, yon 6ez -U? me, ea
between man and mam ‘Jake, old
pard, bow does it pan out?’ And I
sez to you, me not bein’ a scholard,
but ez between man and man: ‘Bed
rock, every darned line of it. Bed
rock!’ Thar's things there like tho
Bingin’ of robbins in spring; tliar’s
things there like the little flashes of
light when dragonflies goes across the
sunshine; tliar’s things there ez
Shakespeare couldn’t ha’ done, or —or,’’
somewhat lamely added, “the ’Frisco
Times, or any of them mud-colored
inlc-slingers over the river."
The youth’s cheek flushed warmly at
this whole-hearted eulogy. At the
bound of it he momentarily turned
away from the entrance to the 1 alley
of Death. Then he shook his head,
and fell hack in the bunk with a Sigh.
“Maybe, Jake,” he said. “Maybe;
but for all that the durned old editor
at Marysville, won’t print ’em unless
they’re paid fer at advertisin’ rates.
He sent back the last lot sorter sar
castic, with his compliments to ’The
Shelley of Muskrat Swamp,’ and he
wasn’t talcin’ any stock in poetry or
chipmunks just then.”
An> ominous frown gathered on
Timber Jake’s brow.
“Bein’ a one-hoss concern, he nat’ral
ly wouldn’t know real high-toned
poetry when he had it chucked under
his nose, tne flapdoodle-eatin’ slum
gullioh. You Towed jest now ez you
felt a sort of chill when bis arnser
“A death chill. Jake. Timber raft
THE LIVING ISSUES, ATLANTA, GEORGIA, AUG. ao 1894,
ing begun it, and that Marysville
coon’s 1 sorter Unished me up. Yes, I’m
goin’ under. Don’t you hear the river
callin’, callin’, callin’: ‘Come away?’”
Jake did affect to despise the grav
ity of tho situation, but listened to the
roar of the rapidly rising river against
“You don’t feel,” he asked, quietly,
“you don’t feel sorter called to vvrastle
it out ’stead of passin’ in your checks?”
There was a tremor in his voice, which
the other was quiek to note.
"Not a durned wrastle,” said the
poet, falling back again, and letting
his two sheet of manuscript rustle to
tho floor. “I’m play cl out, Jake—
done fur. Something'll bust in a day
or two and finish me oil. I’d have
liked to see this yer chipmunk foolish
ness in print before I vamoosed the
ranch; but another night’ll flur.th me,
and I shan’t get a chance of bein’ even
with that old Marysville‘chap. I’d die
easier if I could dip his head into his
own ink bur l.”
Jake gazed thoughtfully into the
fire with puzzled, simple eyes. He
was a man who thought slowly, but
who always acted with commendable
promptness when lie had once made up
"I w:i3 over to Hutchinson’s to-day,”
lie resumed, presently, and the doc
gave me some stuff for you. I’ll fix
you up with a dose, and then j r ou
won’t want anythin’ till the mornin’.
It's eleven o’clock now.”
The poet looked at Jake curiously.
“You ain’t had a sleep for a week, I
“Not being used to your goin’s on,”
Jake. “n.■it'rally I ain’t had a wink.
When you get's to rearin’ ’round an,
breakin’ blood vessels an’ seein angels
playin’ flutes in the di. tance, an’callin’
for your old woman w.ien tliar ain’t
no female, old or young, in this yere
shanty, it’s only nat’ral there yere un
known parties’ll expect some one to
look after ’em when they gits here.”
As he spoke he poured some medi
cine into an old cracked teacup and
held it to the sick youth's lips. One
arm sto»e gently round the boy (he
was little more than a boy), who, with
a gleam of mischief in his great eyes,
put up a thin white hand to the
bronzed cheeks above him and gave
them a car-ssing rub.
Jake was manifestly di composed by
this poetic exhibition of tenderness.
“Quit yer foolin’,” he said, huskily,
“an’ drink this yore mixture. It'll
keep yer quiet till mornin’.”
The boy drank with difficulty. “Ycs-
Jake. I reckon it’ll keep me quiet till
mornin’; that’s about the time the
river leaves off callin’.”
Jake affected not to hear this pes
simistic remark, but talked on in wan,
dering fashion until the boy’s fair
head fell back upon his arm. Then he
covered him up carefully, veiled the
light of the lamp with an old towel
and drew a revolver from the shelf.
The wind, as it blew beneath the
rude door of pine slabs, rustled the
papers about the floor. Jake picked
th"m up, bent over the boy to make
sure that the opiate had done its work
and crept cautiously into the darkness.
A low whinny of delight greeted him
as he entered the narrow shanty which
served as a stable. Without striking
a light he saddled his brown mare,
ed her into the trail and mounted.
“Now, old lady,” ho said, "you hot
you’ve got to hustle.”
The marc whinnied again and broke
into a long, swinging gallop.
As she sped on through the darkness
Jake sat squarely back in the saddle,
the reins hanging loosely, and only
stirring when a splash of water from
the mare’s flying hoofs wet his cheeks.
A mistake on her part meant that
his brains would be dashed out
against the trunk of the nearest pine,
but he made no sign, only holding the
papers a little tighter, when his mare
left the track.
After an hour’s hard galloping his
practised eye detected a light in the
“Shook!” he said to his mare.
“Gently, las;;, gently, we’re almost
He drew rein on the outskirts of
Marysville, and tied the mare to a pine
stump. Then he crept along to the one
tumble-down hut in which there was a
light, and peered through the window
with a satisfied look.
Mr. Watson 11. Bangs (Mr. Bangs
comprised in Ms own person the ed
itor, staff, “devil,” printer, advertising
agent and proprietor of the Marysville
Gazette), was composing Saturday’s
leader, assisted in his consumption of
the midnight oil by a bottle of whisky,
which occupied one end of a table at
which he sat. Every now and then he
clipped long paragraphs from “ex
changes” on a bench at his side and
laboriously pasted them together.
Then he would march to the nearest
case, pick up the type from various
little boxes and throw it about with
all the rapidity of a practiced jug
Suddenly the door opened and Jake
entered, dripping from the storm.
Old Mr. Bangs made for the drawer
of a distant table in which his revolv
er lay hid. When he recognized his
visitor he abandoned all warlike inten
tions, casting at the same time a re
luctant glance at the whisky bottle, as
if uncertain how long it would hold
out against the newcomer’s attacks.
Jake slid into the editorial chair,
after carefully closing the door, and
old man Bangs, with a reluctant nod
in the direction of the bottle, went on
with his task.
“Sit down," said Jake, briefly, point
ing to a chair, and declining the im
Old man Bangs sat down and re
freshed himself with a pull at the bot
“It’s a nice sort of night at the Four
Corners,” he said, cheerfully. “I guess,
if the river keeps on risln’, old llutin
son ’ll be drowned out afore mornin’.”
“Mebbe,” said Jake.
“There’s a sort of yarn when the
river’s that high,” said old man Bangs,
lighting a pipe, “there’s a sort of yarn,
when tho river rises suddenly it car
ries away a soul with the mornin’
light. But I reckon you don’t take no
stook in such dum foolishness?”
“Reckon I do,” said Jake, still speak
ing without a sign of resentment,
“Reckon I do. That’s why I’ve come
“Jusso,” said old man Bangs, puffing
away with undiminished composure.
“Ji*;so. What’s up, Jake?”
Jake carefully laid his revolver on
the table. Old man Bangs realized
that his visitor meant business, and
had him at a disadvantage.
“Some folks at the Four Corners al
low ez this yere paper of your’n ain’t
hightonod,” said Jake, carelessly.
"You don’t put on frills enough.”
Old man Bangs looked longingly at
the table drawer. “Guess I could put
more tone into the conversation if I’d
ray usual seat,” he said, significantly,
and went on smoking.
“Mebbe,” said Jake, “mebbe.” He
laid the papers ho had brought with
him on the table. “Some of the folks
at the Corners was wishful of a little
native talent in this one-horse paper
of your’n. They allowed, mebbe, you
orter take more stock in poetry, an’
native produce, such cz straddle bugs,
an’ chipmunks, an’ things.”
“All the fools at the Corners ain’t
dead yet,” said old man Bangs, sav
“Mebbe,” said Joke. “I lowed ez
they was wrong. ‘Yer don’t give old
man Bangs a chance,’ I said to ’em.
‘lie’s well ineanin’, is old man Bangs,
but yer don’t give him a chance. Now,
if I was to sorter drop in on him per
miskus like, and ask him to give na
tive talent a show,’ 1 sez, ‘why, old
naan Bangs would be right thar.’
They lowed I’d better try.”
Old man Bangs, with studied com
posure, stretched out his hand and
took up the papers on the table, lie
recognized a note in his own spidery
handwriting, which Jake had pinned
on the top.
“I kinder told ’em,” said Jake,
speaking with slow insistence, "I
kinder told ’em ez I’d only to take old
man Bangs down some native produce
and lie d rear up on end an’ print it
Old man Bangs rose without a word,
walked to the composing case and rap
idly began to “set up” the verses
which Jake had brought, his fiagers
flying with all the precision of ma
chinery. After half an hour’s hard work
he screwed up the type in a “form,”
took a “pull,” and brought it to Jake,
who laboriously spelt through the
words, still keeping one hand on his
revolver and criticising the spelling
with a sublime disregard for conven
“Will that do?” growled old man
Bangs, with sullen resentment at his
Jake gazed admiringly at the poem
so rapidly called into being. “Sorter
pretty, ain’t it? I’ll tell the folks at
the Corners you ain’t no slouch when
you get a chance at native produce,”
he added admiringly.
He tucked the printed paper care
fully away into his vest pocket and
sprang for the door. Old man Bangs
rushed for his revolver in the drawer
of the distant table, and with a dex
terity acquired by long practice, took
a flying shot at Jake as lie disappeared*
then blew out tho light, and waited
for reprisals, but none came.
The brown mare scented her master
as he crawled slowly through the
darkness and hauled himself with dif
ficulty into the saddle. "Gently, V/iTi
ny, gently,” he sail. “Guess you’d
better crawl sorter keerful; old man’s
planted a bullet in my arm. lie allers
shoots straight when he’s blind drunk.”
The mare walked with her Burden as
it swayed from side to side. Some
thing warm ran down her flank and
made her start. For three hours she
paced slowly along the narrow path,
halting every now and then when her
rider clung to the saddle and groaned,
for he was faint from loss of blood.
The wind fell as suddenly as it had
risen. Through the straight trunks of
the pines the swollen rive r glimmered
here and there with faint streaks of
light. A rift in tho sky betokened the
coming dawn. With careful steps the
mare plodded onward, halting now
and again to look around at her mas
ter, who motioned heron with a feeble
wave of the hand.
When they reached the clearing
Jake slid out of the saddle and crawled
into the hut, leaving his mare stand
ing at the door. Seizing a whisky bat
tle, he drank long and oagerly, then
propped himself up on his stool by the
boy’s bunk and tightened his sash.
“It’s sorter lucky that old coon missed
the papers,” he muttered, and waited.
“I’m all right now; my arm’s stopped
Presently a ray of sunlight stole
into the hut, and the shadows fled
away before the cheerful singing of
The boy awoke with a glad little cry.
“Jake, where are you? Jake, I’ve had
such a dream.”
Something white glistened on the
“Ja—-why, sakes alive, Jake, how
did this come here,?”
lie fell to reading the verses with
delirious enjoyment. A soft, pink
flush came into his cheek.
“Why, Jake, they’re printed! ‘Song
to a Chipmunk, by our gifted follow
townsman, tlie Shelley of Muskrat
A fit of coughing interrupted him.
Jake, leaning back so that the boy
could not see his face, lied with tran
“Oh, old man Bangs came up after
you’d dropped off."
“Yes, Jake, yes?”
“He printed ’em an’ brought ’em
over, and planked down a SIO bill.
Here’s tlie money.”
The boy gave another cry.
“Jake! Jakel that’s fame! Ilang the
money! No, let me see it. Where is
Jake handed him the money with
difficulty. The boy pressed it to his
“Jake! Jakel there’s blood on it.
Jake tried to raise his head, but in
vain. A little later the mare, alarmed
at her master’s silence, thrust open the
door with her velvet muzzle and
walked into the hut. The dead boy
lay on tlie arm of his friend, and Jake,
with rude piety, natural in one not
acquainted with conventional forms,
was conducting an improvised but
fervid funeral service over the remains
of “The Shelley of Muskrat Swamp.”
—St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
Mrs. Yv’ in os —“Do let us pack and
leave this place at once. It isn’t the
least bit like a summer resort.” Mr.
Wings—“ What’s the matter?” Mrs.
Wings—“ Mercy! everything is com
fortable and pleasant.”—lnter Ocean.
Send in your campaign subscribers
now. The ten cent offer will be off
soon. Do your work now for tbe
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