North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
A JUKAMAA’S STORY.
We had been out twenty-four
hours, and stood eleven to one.
The case was a very plain one—
at least we eleven thought so.
A murder of peculiar atrocity
had been committed, and though
no eye had witnessed the deed,
circumstances pointed to the pris
oner’s guilt with unfailing cer
The recusant juror had stood
out from the first. He acknowl
edged the cogencj- of the proof-,
confessed his inability to recon
cile the facts with the defendant’s
innocence, and yet on every vote,
went steadih’ for acquittal.
His conduct was inexplicable.
It could not result from a lack of
intelligence, for while he spoke
but little, his words were chosen,
and evinced a thorough under
standing of the case.
Though still in the prime of
manhood his locks were prema
turely white, and his face had a
singularly sad and thoughtful ex
He might bo one of those who
entertained scruples as to the
right of society to inflict the death
penalty. But no, it was not that,
tor in reply to such a suggestion,
ho fraiikh admitted that brute
jiien, like the vicious brutes they
resemble, must be controlled
through fear, and that dread of
death, of supreme terror, i.s in
many cases, the only adequate
At the j)rospect of another
night of fruitle.ss imprisonment,
we began to grow impatient, and
expostulated warmly against what
scorned an imreasonahle captious-
nes.s, and some not over kind re
marks were indulged in as to the
iwopriety of trifling with an oath
like that under whieli we were
“And vet,” the man answered,
as though communing with him
self rather than impelling the im-
imtation, “it is conscience that
hinders my concurrence in a ver
dict approved by my judgment.”
“How can that be I” cried sev
eral voices at once.
“Conscience may not alwa3-s
dare to foliow j iidgment.”
“But here she can know no
“I once would have said the
"And what has changed j'our
The speaker’s manner was vis
ibly agitated, and wo waited in
silence the explanation which he
seemed ready to give.
Mastering his emotion, as if to
answer our looks of inquiiy, he
“Twenty j-ears ago I was a
young man, just beginning life.
Few had brighter prospects and
none brighter hopes.
An attachment dating^ from
childhood had ripened with its
object. There had been no ver
bal declaration and acceptance of
love—no formal pligliting of
troth; but when I took my de
parture to seek a home in the far
West, it was a thing understood
that when I had found it and put
it in order, she was to share it.
Life in the forest, though soli
tary, is not necossarilj' lonesome.
The kind" of society afforded by
Nature depends much on one’s
self. As for me, I live more in
the future than in the present,
and hope is an oi'er cheerful com
At length the time came for the
final payment for the home which
I had bought. It would hence
forward be ny- own; and in a
few months m\- simple dwelling,
which I had spared no pains to
render inviting, would be graced
by its mistress.
At the land office, wliicli was
some sixtj’ miles off, I met m\-
old friend, Greorge C. He, too,
had come too seek his fortune in
the West, and we were both de
lighted at the meeting. He had
brought with him, he said, a sum
of money which ho desired to
invest in land, on which it was his
purpose to settle.
I expressed a strong wish to
have him for a neighbor, and gave
him a cordial invitation to accom
pany me home, giving it as my
belief that he could nowhere
make a better selection than in
that vaoinit)'. He readil}" con
sented, and we sot out together.
We had not ridden many miles
when George suddeidj- recollect
ed a commission he had under
taken for a friend ivhich noil
require his .attendance at a public
land sale on the following d.a}'.
Exacting a promise that he
would not dolaj- his visit longer
than necessiuy, and after having
given minute direetTons as to the
route, I continued my waj" home
ward, »hile he went back.
I wa.s retiring to bed on the
night of ny return, when a sum
mons from without called me to
tiie door. A stranger asked shel
ter for himself and horse for the
I invited him in. Though a
stranger, his face seemed not un
familiar. He was probabl}' one
of the men that I had seen at the
laud office, a place at that time
vorj- much frequented.
Offering iiim a seat, I went to
see his liorse. The poor animal,
as well as I could see by the dim
starlight, seemed to have been
hardlv used. His panting sides
bore witness of a merciless riling,
and a tremendous shrinking at
the slightesst touch, betokened re
On returning to the house, I
found the stranger liad gone. Plis
absence excited no surprise ; he
w’ould doubtless soon return. It
was a little singular, however,
that he should leave his watch
upon the table.
At the end of an hour, mj-
guest not returning, I went again
to the stable, thinking that ho
might have found his way thither,
to give his peraonal attention to
the wants of his horse.
Before going out from mere
force of habit—-for we were as
yet unvisitod by thieves or po
licemen—I took the precaution of
putting the stranger’s watch in a
drarver in which 1 kept my own
I found the horse as I loft him
and gave him the feed which he
was now sufficientlj' cooled to eat,
but .his master was nowhere to bo
As I approached tlio house a
crowd of men on horseback dash
ed up, ,and I was commanded in
no gentle terms to ‘gtand !* Jn
anotlier moment I w'as in the
clutches of those who called me
their ‘prisoner 1’
I was too much stupefied at
first to ask what it all meant. I
did so at last, and the explana
tion came—it was tei'rible.
M\’ friend with whom I had so
lateU' set out in companv', had
been found murdered and robbed
near the spot at which I, but I
alone, knew we had separated. I
was the last person known to h.ave
been with him, and I was now ar
rested on suspicion of his'murder.
A search of the premises was
immediately instituted. The watch
was found in the drawer in which
1 had placed it, and was identifi
ed as the property of the murder
ed man. His horse, too, was
found in my stable, for the animal
I had just put there was no other.
I recognized him mj-self when 1
saw him in the light.
What I said I know not. My
confusion was taken as an addi
tional evidence. And when at
length I did command language
to give an intelligent Btor\’, it was
received with sneers of incredul
The mob spirit is inherent in
man-—at least in crowds of men.
It does not alwaj-s manifest itself
in physical violence. It some
times contents itself with lynch
ing a character. But whatever
its form, it is aLvaj'S relentless,
As the proofs of my guilt one
after another came to light, low
muttering gradually grew into a
clamor of vengeance, and but for
the firmness of one man—I u'ouid
doubtless have paid the penult}'
for my supposed offense on the
It was not sympathy for me
that actuated my ]U'oteotor. His
heart was as hard as his office ;
but he represented the majesty of
the lav,', and took a sort of grim
pride in the position.
i\s much under the glance of
his eye as before the muzzle of
his i>istol, the cowardly clainor-
ers drew hack. Perhaps they
were not sufficiently numerous to
feel the full effect of that myste
rious reflex influence which makes
a crowd of men so much rvorse
and at times so much better than
any of them singl}'.
At the end of some months my
trial came. It could have but
one result. Circumstances too
plainly declared niy guilt. 1
alone knew' they lied.
The absence of the jury w'as
brief. To their verdict I paid
but little heed. It was a single
hideous -word; but I had long
anticipated it, and it made no im
As little impression w'as made
by the words of the Judge which
follow'ed it; and his solemn invo
cation that God might have that
mercy upon mo which man was
too just to vouchsafe, sounded
like the hollowest of hollow'
It may be hard for the con
demned crimhial to meet death ;
it is still harder for him w'ho is
innocent. The one, when the
first shock js over, acquiesces in
his doom and gives himself to re
pentance.; tho heart of the other,
filled with rebellion against man’s
injustice, can scarce bring itself
to ask pardon of God.
I had gradually overcome this
feeling, in spite of the good clei'-
gyman’s irritating efforts, -svliioh
w'ere mainly directed towards ex
tracting a confession, w'ithout
which he assured me he had no
hope to offer.
On the morning of tho day fix
ed for execution I felt imiin.'as-
urably resigned. 1 had so long-
stood face to face with death;
had so accustomed myself to look
upon it as a merely momentary
pang, that I no longer felt solici
tous, save that my memor}' should
one day be vindicated.
She for w hom I had gone to
propai'e a home had already found
one in heaven. The tidings of
my calamity had broken her
lieart. She alone of all the world
believed me innocent j and she
had died W'ith a prayer upon her
lips that the buth yet might be
brought to light.
All this I had heard, and it had
soothed as with sw'eet-incense my
troubled spirit. Death, how'ever
unwelcome its shape, w'as now a
portal beyond which I conld see
one angel waiting to receive me.
I heard the sound of approach
ing footsteps and nerved myself
to tho expected summons. The
door of my cell opened, and the
Bhoriff and hi.; attendants enter
ed. He had in liis hand a paper.
It was doubtless my death w'ar-
rant. He began to read it. Mv
thouglits W'ere busy elsewhere.
The w ords “full and free pardon,”
W'ere the first to -.strike nsy preoc
cupied senses. They affected vhe-
bystanders more than myself.
Yet, so it W'as, I w'as pardoned
for an offense I had never com
The real culprit, it is needless
to say, W'as none other than he
who had sought and p.biised my
hospitality. He had been mor
tally w'oundod in a recent afira}-
in a distant city, but had lived
long enough to make a disclosure,
which had been laid before the
Governor barely in time to save
me from a sh.amcfiil death, and
condemn mo to a cheerless and
This is my experience.' My
judgment as yours in the case be
fore us, leads to but one conclu
sion ; that of tho ppsouer’s guilt!
but not less confident and appar
ently unerring w-as the judgment
that falsely produced my ow'ii
We no longer importuned our
fellow'juror, but patiently aw'aitod
our discharge on the ground of
our inability to agree, which
came at last.
The prisoner was tried and
convicted at a subsequent term,
and at the last moment confessed
his crime on the scaffold.
No household is complete with
out a sister. She gives the finish
to tho family. A sister’s influ
ence—what can be more hallow'-
ed 1 A. sister's w atchful care—
can anything bo more tender 1—
A sister’s kindness does the
world show’ anything more pure ?
Who w’ould live w'ithout a sister f
A sister that is a sister in fidelity,
in love, is a sort of guardian an
gel ill the home circle. Her
presence condemns vice. She is
iiie qiiickener of good resolutions,
the sunshine in the pathway of
home. To every brother shq is
light and life, ller heart is his
treasure-house of confidence. In
her lie finds a fast friend ; chari
table forgiving, tender, though
often a sei'ere friend. In her he
finds a ready companion. - Her
sympath}- is open as day, and
sw’oet as the fragrance of now'ers.
AVe pity the brother who has no
sister, no sister’s love; we feel
sorry for the home which is n t
enlivened by a sistei’s preseiio.
A sister’s office is a noble and
gentle one. It is her’s to per
suade, to virtue, to w'in to wis
dom’s ways ; gently to load where
duty calls ; to guide the citadel
of homo with sleepless vigilance
of virtue; to gather graces and
strew flow'ers around the home
altar. To be a sister is to hold a
sw eet place in the heart of home.
It is to minister in a holy office.
Let every sister meditate on whitt
she is and w hat she ought to be;
on her office, her duty* her pleas
ure, her life. It is her’s to be a
model and set an example of in
nocence, virtue, cheerfulness, pa
tience and forbearance: to bo
the smile and light of home and
its circle of loved ones.
Young men who ha« in them
tine energy and ambition are
sure to surmount all difficutligs.
Theodore Barker w’as determined
to be a learned man. But bis fa
ther had not the moans of giving
him a liberal education, and he
educated himself. He worked
on the farm by day, and studied
by night. On the day before, his
birth-day, in tho summer of 1830,
ho- had obtained leave from his
tather to bo absent from homo.
No one knew how he intended,to
spend the day. Ho left tjie
house, and did not return till near
midnight. Ho found his. father
in bed, very anxious about: bis
son’s prolonged abscenee. Going
to his bed-side, ho said : “'Father,
I entered Harvard College, to
The astoni.shed father exclaim
ed: “Why, Theodore, you know
I cannot support you there.”
“I know that,” w’as the reply.
■‘I intend to stay at home, aiid
keep up W’ith tho class.”
He had w'alkod all the way
from Lexington to Cambridge
and back, and spent the day un
dergoing a rigid examination.
He kept up w’ith the class, sub
mitting to the regular examina
tions, but did not take a degree,
as lie could not raise tho moneir
to pay the customary tuition
A little Chinese girl, about
eight years old, and born in Cal
ifornia, has been admittel to one
of the primary schools of tho city
of Sacramento. This is the first
time tliat a Chinese parent lias
made application for tho admis
sion of a child to the public
schools; but the example will
doubtless he followed.
In all our teaching, let us never
forgot that children have their
practical difficulties to encounter
daily, that they have undeveloped
faculties w’hich need develop
ment in the right direction, and
that they are daily forming habits
of practical good or evil.—Smeltz.