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The Roanoke news. (Weldon, N.C.) 1867-1989, December 31, 1891, Image 1

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VOL. XXII. WELDON, N. C., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 181)1. irfxtH wm WIDOW DRAKE’S BEAU. Why IIo Looks Forward Impa- ticatly to Now Voar'a Day. ^ELL!” Raid the hired girl, af) Khc took a olotlicspin from lier ninuth and carcfuUy fost- I'ncd a pair of trousers of an- ciont cut nnd ample propor tions to the c 1 o t h c 61 i n c, "wiiou it comes to willows, I own 'em to bo beyond ray un- 1 c ■■ 81 a n 1 i n'. What Mrs. can soi' in that there furrin- Kp wi’MkTner I can’t see. Bit tlicr.' f, no iUi'sti(m but what the wed- din's to come off sometime soon, an’ Jici' ti'llin’ me to fetch these hero clo'so th.-.t l elonped to numl)er ono out an’ air I'm i.s U> my mind a sure siku she’i goiu' to dispose of ’em an’ (fct ’em out the way before number two comes aliiii"'. “lier first’s been \inder the sod these ten year an' slio’s mourned him lon^p eniuitrli, tlie laml k:iov.-R. I ain't in no way ii r;nnst widows marryin’ an' tryln* itajr>Li» >f they like; but I do say it ’ud be iiiofL' seemly to choose a man o' her owii YiinUee i';tock than ono o' frog- ealin’ rri'iie!i descent." Anil the hired jfirlffave the vest which she was shukini; a jerk whiUi sent one of the buttms half-way across the yard. It certainly did look os though there wa-s to 1« .1 wedding' at U’idow Drake's before long, and the neighbors whispered that there was a little ro- mani'o connected with it. And so there WU.S, but they never could have f.'iiessed what it was abo»it, neither could you if you were to try for a month—so I am goiiij' to tell you all about it. The ^Vidow Drake was plump, weil- prcservcd little body, with fresh rosy cheeks and brifjht blue eyes and the smciothe.st of brown hair v,’ithout a thri'al of silver in it. She was not youni;, l)ut nobody would have KiiesMd that she was forty, and as a woman i.s only as old us she look?, she kept her own po’insol and let people siwaUof her a.s beiii;; thirty-fivo. Her husband had loft her a neat little home and enoufrh money to keep her comfortably without any care beyond a few little economies now and then, in the shape of a dyed gown «>» '*>won- strr.cted bonnet. Vur life wcs cnlro and Mnoveni-Wil; lotr ^nevcutful, by hah, she thoiiffht, as the sat in the twlli"ht strokiuff the groat llaltese cat which was her com panion and confidant. Priscilla, the maid of all work, was a Woman of too mature an age to be called a girl in any ather sense than a "hired girl,” and she chose that title ot her own free will. She had lived with Mrs. Draiic during her brief married life, and the widow had kept her over Riuce because she dreaded being alono la t!ie house. I!ut Priscilla was neither Rvmpathetic nor responsive, and Tom, the .Maltese cat, was much more apt to ogi'ee with the widow’s'opinions, so It vn course every one Ram ..i\e must be crazy. Odd, over-thrifty and ven turesome were the miUie.stoC the ad jectives which were applied to this harmlew little woman, who was simply tired ot the dull lUo which sho waa liv ing and who knew of no other way of making a change v/hich would benefit her health and mind and her purse as well. And that is how it happened that this woman, who seemed far too dainty for Buch a life, was living away out on a Dakota claim, in a snug little shanty of pine hoards, banked with sods, and in the midst of the crudest of surround- .ngs. It was the first of July when she filed her claim nnd it was required that there should be a six months’ residence upon it. Everybody said that she never would stay half the time; but sho smiled and stroked old Tom. It wasn’t so bad, after all, she thought. There were plenty of neigh bors—not very near, to be sure—but halt a mile seems so much nearer in that clear atmosphere which transmits light and sound so marvelously. Each morning she heard the shrill vocal salute of the two schoolma’ams who lived on the claim next hers; and from her own door she would call back a heart}' "halloo-o," which always brought a smile to the faces of those ancient dames. And then, out there everybody was so kind to everyboly else, and some body was always offering to bring one's mail or one’s groceries from the queer low hut which served as general store, post ofilee, machine shop and dwelling fn one. Of course the bill of fare was apt to bo a little monotonous. There was a great deal of salt pork and bacon and dried fish, but there were lots of tinned vegetables and canned fruit from home to help out; and, really, it wasn’t at all what ono would fancy from the doleful tales one hears of the suffering in new countries. Then there were papers and maga zines and letters from dear ones. Only there was one trouble. The widow had no dear ones. She was so alone. And a little jealous feeling would come in spite of her when the two old maids fOM I-URKKU BIB APPROVAI.. to him that sho whispered, upon «is evening in June, that she had half • ®ind to go west and take «p » claim. ' And Tom purred his approval and tho I n oTv n-ent on and poured into his ear ' which had been worklnf; im i nUnd for aereral d«y% . . 1 THB snv MAX’S OFFERIICO. woxild stop with their hands full of let ters from sisters and nephews and nittces, to hand her a letter from—Pris cilla. Sometimes c, tear would drop on Tom's sleek coat, but that was not often: only wjien she was silly, she told herself. Now there wns, about three-quarters of a milo to tho right of the mdow’s shanty a modest little shock, half cov ered with luxuriant vines; over the front door was a roughly-matle lattice, and thio, too, was covered with the vines, and tho whole cottage war. a picturesque little affair and the envy of the sohoolma’aras, who loved flowers, but wh>>ne vines always died unci whose ornamental gardening was confined to a bed of siokly-looking four o’clocks which grow by their door. The owner of the vine-draped shanty wr.s a bachelor of middle age who spoke with a queer foreign accent, lie was an extremely bashful man and ho scarcely dared look at the ladies as they passed him, with the good-natured “Ilowdy” that was the customary greeting of the eountiy. The widow had watched him often from ttie window as ho plowcl upon his claim, and she admired his flno manly bearing, and she did wish in her heart that he’d be a bit nolcrhborly, anil slii> l-^Ul Tom so; but Tom only purred and stretched liimw lf In the Klin. Kow, as 1 saidj the scUoolma'iims were passionately lona oi nowers ana were discouraged and chagrined that nothing would grow in their door yard. So one day when they saw tho owner of Vine cottage, as they called it, set ting out for town, they equipped them selves with a basket and trowel and, stopping for tho widow, they went on a tour of pilhi;f('. They all entered into the fun of tho thing nnd in a:i hour or more n droop ing, dejected-looking vino was clinging to a string beside tlic door of each cot tage. And tho odd thing was, that while tho vine of tho school ma'ams faded and died, that of tho widow fjr(!W and throve niarveloualy. .So ivonderfiil was its growth that toon it began to spread over the walls and roof until her Bhanty rivaled the vine eotlajro in the «*iiy of verdure. And the tv.’o old maids joked the widow nnd caused her to blush furiously at the undignifled prauk sho had played in getting tho vine. In time, tl’.e shy man "rev.- a little neighborly and sometimes a brace of prairie chickens 'vould be hung, with out a word, on the widow's door. Or again it would be a lot of rare poI)bles, quartz and agate, or a trout or pickerel from the lake near by. And at each oifering the widow would nod lier pretr ty head wisely and rrailo to herself. Nature wa.s kind to the pioneers that year. There had been no severe storms, no terrible heat or drought, and in No vember it was still mild and warm, without a sign ot tro.st. Everyone said that it was a remarkable season, just as though tho remark were quite new and original. The widow was saying to herself one afternoon that after all it had been very pleasant to be a pioneer woman. There had been no great discom Torts and de privations, and now that there were but two months more to stay, she wa« half sorry. She had been putting away some of her summer clothes, and a white Mother Hubbard wrapper, a favorite garment ot tho widow’s, huo(r upon a clothesline 'oesido tho house. It was a dainty thing, white cambric, with l;ico-edged ruffles and with a pink ribbon bow with long ends at the neck. Indeed, to have seen tho widow In it would have recon ciled the most prejudiced person to the much-maligned Mother Hubbard. There had been little fitful gusts of wind all day and late in the afternoon it became quite a gale. The tumble weeds hurried from spot to spot as the wind veered about, and the dainty Mother Hubbard flapped furiously in the breeze, but the widow waa reading a very in teresting book nt\d never looked up until crash came a flying board against the side of the house and the sliauty began to sway and rock lilce a cradle. It was a short-lived storm and there was no damage done, and in halt an hour the sky was again clear; but when Mrs. Drake went out to look tor her gown it was gone. Ot course the wind hal tom it to tatters. There was no use to look tor it; it was gone for ever, and with a sigh the little woman went into the house. The next two months flew very swiftly. The bachelor had grown bolder and had come to call, but the lively widow did the most of the talk ing and he replied in broken monosyl- Jables. Tho weather was still bright and pleasant, and there had been no bliz zards, no snow. That was ‘‘remark able’* too, tor it was nearly holiday time. Then c.^me Xmas, such a queer, quiet day with not even a letter from Priseil- la. But even then there was genuine regret in her heart when Mrs. Drake began to pack her belongings prepara tory to going back to the states. Sho was in better health and spirits than ever before, and she had a quarter sec tion of land of her own and she had made some pleasant friends. On the whole it had paid well. It was New Year’s eve and she was to leave tho next morning. Slie put ou an extra lump of coal and set tho lighted lamp in tho window. She thought it might cheer some one. you know, and it did; it shone way out on the path and lit the way for the bach elor as he came hurrying across tho fields. As he came into the little room, bare of all the pretty little articles which had made it so cheerful and homelike, his heart gave a thump to think tliat it would so si^on be empty and deserted, and he resolved to say what was on his mind at once. But tho words would not come; he could only open the parcel which he had brought nnd take out—guess whatl The tattered remnants of a cambric Mother Hubbard. As the widow gave a little squeal of surprise, ho said, with a stately bow: “I have bring ze—ze chemise of madame, which xe wind brings to me 80 long ago.” And with an imiwtuous motion he tore open his coat and there over his heart lay the folded pink rib bon which had been at the throat of the gown. Somehow after that he didn’t need words, for the widow's dark head rested on the libbon and both his arms were about he •• Now there is somctir.".;,T irresistibly funny about I'.ie courtship of ir.iddle- ggad'lovH^ Ypunaleystsiire interest ing enougn, and old lovers are pathet ically gi’otesque, but when two com- mon-pkice ix-ople in middle lifo fall in love with each other 1 defy them to behave so that they are above ridicule. So wo will draw tho curtain here, when 1 tell you that after her lover had gone tho widow whispered to Tom: “So romantic, isn't it? But how absurd to call it a chemise.'* The widow returned to her old liorae and to Priscilla; and it has leai«ed ont that she is wearing a ring with 'iiappy New Year” engraved inside, so the neighbors believe that tho wedding is to eomo off on an anniver sary of that day. But 1 have told all that I am going to, now, and if you really want to icnow if they :ir.'married, just look among tho marriage notices o:i New Year’s day. JIakik Mon:; Mabsii. GOOD RESOLUTIONS. The liliid to Whloli tho Prutletit Man Will C»nQii« lllinsoir. lllOSE who in- tend to try onco more the oft-tried experi ment of making New Year’s res olutions have not iniieh time to lose. Such I resolutions, if they nro by any possibility to bo kept, require a good deal of R t u d y before hand. It must be the right kind of study, too. As a rule the more thought that is bestowed upon the subjcct the more elaborate andlengthj- tho set of resolu tions become. That is going in the wrong direction. A more useful kind of study is that which discriminates, prunes and discards the superfluities. Don't resolve too much. If you do you will fail to keep your resolutions and that will tend to weaken your faith in yourself. It you are particularly fond of an after- dinner cigar and resolv« to dispense with it, that is one of the resolutions that a discriminating resolver would prune out, because there is next to no possibility of its being kept more than three days at the utmost. There are some resolutions that are easier to keep, and to tl’.ose tho prudent man will coniine himself. Resolve that if you sit down suddenly on tho icy sidewalk, or pound your thumb with a hammer, you will make a few cursory remarks; be cause it is a resolution that you will surely keep. Kcsolve that in any case you will road this psiper; that is an other that you can't help keeping. Res olutions that are kept are a source ot satisfaction, says the Boston Olobe, and the kind that are made every New Year’s day and never kept are a foun tain of more or less poignant regret. THE NEW YEAR COMETH. And With It Com* Quod KcAolntloaa wid Utbar Bothoraome liiiiiK*. Ever since a long time ago. New Year’sday, the 1st ot January, has been tho day upon which I swear off. Not swear of-ten, but swear that hcnceforth I will off with some pernicious habit which is slowly but surely weaving its —its—its—its—its unseen network of— of—of—of—of vice about me. Vico given Its own way too long will soon hold a person like a vice. (Note:—This is u play upon words which I just thought of. The former vice referring to sin in its unadulterated state, and the latter meaning an instrument in which carpenters torture two-by-tours and the like and lather them previous to doing a job ot plane shaving. The phrase is double action. The terms may be transposed and they get there just the same.) Last year I resolved that I would re trench in household expenses, and so X agreed to give my wife a certain amount of money every week and let her pro vide tor the table. That i% the amount was certain the first week, but my wife says that after that it waa frequently decidedly uncertain. She hadn’t had much experience but she did nobly. She said one day that she wished I would give her the name of some great wholesale gi-ocer, a name that would be a synonym for the choiee.it of e ory- thing, so that when dealers asked her TirE nuTcnnn nios t hav* that what brand ot an article she wanted, she wouldn’t be at a loss and disnlaT her Ignorance. I I told her to always ask tor H. K. I Cooper’s goods. (That isn’t the name I | gave her at all, but that name will do. | I don't propose to give advertising I worth SU per agate lino tor nothiag.) Tho plan worked delightfully. When , she would inquire for some good olives, , and the elcrk would ask her supercil iously what brand sho preferred, she would remark, as pert as you please: “II. K. Cooper's, if you have them.” N Ine cases out of ten they didn't have anything so good, bi;t the s:ilcsman would treat her with the greatest con sideration because she appeared to bo up in tlio business pretty well herself, and not try to work off any old shop worn iiickles or last year's yeast cakes on her. But, alas! one day she went into a meat market and i!i her most imperious voice said; “I would like some liver.” 1 “VVliat sort, madam?” i “Why, I suppuiiod that liver was all alike.” I “Oh. no. Wo sell several varieties" ■ “Well,” answered Marie in dcspcf - , tion, “you may givomell. K. Cooper': ’ ' And this is a true story and wort j of all people to be believed. ! As near as I can find out, .\dam w:' • the first man to turn over a iiev.- le ■ I have a suspicion, though, that 1 - | turned over a good many before he ),• • his winter's supplj' of clothing all mac up. Adam nmst have reversed liis cut . on Wednesday, ami that wns, of eours'.. a turning of leavi.s. As a man imc > said to me, facctionsly, when he discov ered me trying to reverse my e\di without attracting attention, behinc- EXAHISINO ONE YEAB’S BGCOBD. the cabinet organ at a donation party, having forgotten to do it in tho haste of my toilet preparations: “Ono good turn deserves another. ** I like to turn over a new leaf once in awhile. I get so tired of the old one. It Is so stained, nnd blotted, and discol ored. It is torn In so many pl.ices and it is written so full of mistakes and failures. There are the 805 little “X” marks which indicate tho days during the past year upon which 1 was needlessly cross and irritable. There arc a half dozen near the top of the page marked “XX.” That was while wo were mov ing into the now house and getting setr tied. Then there's tho entry January 2, whcr(;; I began smoking again, and 870,472 little dots, like fly specks almost, which mark the number of times I have “kickcd" about things during tho past year. It’s a poor, dirty, miserable, badly kept, altogether too faithful record. It is interlined and criss-crossed, but it isn't illegible. Every entry stands out bold and clear, and I can’t erase a sin gle one of them. I can only turn tho sorry-looking chronicle out of sight and begin with a clean, fresh, new page on the other leaf. Charles Nbwto\ Hood. derfu is a fct. NOTHER chap ter li a s been written in tho history of t h o world, a chapter ■ than any in tho won- • i‘, and the recording an- I :ind turns the page. It it is granted to none to sac it'. ■ if I, and few indeed arq t read its past. Its be- .-0 when the morning star* sang tn^,;'t '.ler over the order that was cro:ited ..>nt of chaos, and tho plot, with its threaui of light and shade, sublime eourago and pitiful cowardice, hato and love, joy and fear, no man can compre hend and no man can alter. He may delay the consummation of the Divin? plan, but there In bil eternity for its completion. ' The year of our Lord 1891 has wit- nMsed marvels ia thtt art* and ecisBcac, NO 39 Tho depth.i of tho earth and tho heights of tho clouds have boon called upon ta yield their socrots, and the whole realm ot space is now virtually tho kingdom ot tho mind. In a year the world has made giant strides toward tlio perfec tion of civili7.ation, nnd every ono ot the last fifty years has witnessed discoveries nnd Inventions that have put to shame those of as many conturies, until, paus ing in nmazi'inont on tho tlireshold of the future, wo arc force,1 to exclaim: “What wilt thou bring forth, oh, inex plicable voidi The crowning of man’s dreams or the end of material great ness? The .summit of perfection or tho return of formless ehao.s'.''' (I'reat as lias been the progress of the world, the hij'ii water mark has only been reached in certain favored spaces, and vast continent.'^ are still reserved for the maturing of (iod’s imrposcs. To our nation it hxs been a year whoso bounteousnc."i» and peace have been nnparalleled in the histjry ot any country. The seasons have poured from their laps their garnered treas ures, and north, south, cast and west rcjoice in abur.danoe. The faces of na ture and tho elements have been pro pitious. and the smile of I*rovi- dcnce seems to rest in benediction upon tho land. In the social world too, tho fruitage has been abundant. Never be fore in the histcjry of our country has so much good been done by earnest in dividuals and society for the reclama tion of evil, the reform of abuses, and tho amelioration of the condition of the deserving poor. Tho harvest of good deeds in that has been groat in spite ot tho fact there, are still fallow fields, and that much has been left unattempted. There are those, of course, who talce gloomy views of tho times, who see the evil, but fail to recognise tho good, and declare that morally tho world is grow ing weaker and more degonerato with each year. But truth, tho mighty leaven, is germinating, dropped in the dark soil of ignorance and error; and hidden :'.way from sight, folded in the bursting sheath. Is ti\e sprout which shall ono day become the giant oak, ’ncath which our natiim shall bo sheltered from storms and noontide heats. Not ia the spirit of the Pharisee, but In that of reverent humility, should we view our blessing i of the pnstyear, and li.ive a fraternal sympathy for the fam ishing peasants whose cry goes up from llie banks of tho Volga, and from the slopes of the Ural mountains; for tho c.\iled race, whose wandering through tlie wilderness of prejudico and injus tice is as cruel as their forty years’ pro bation in tho desert; for the poverty-op- pressed masses ot our kindred nation, whoso mother tongue is ours, and with whom we claim a common ancestry,and for those nations who sit in darkncsr or girt about with misty and unccrtaii light, but longing for perfect day. Tho year 1893. upon whoso threshold wo now stand, is surely destined to be a momentous one in tho world’s history, and to America is granted the honor of erecting a milestone in the universal progress. In tho year that is before us the people of tho old world will be summoned to witness the inauguration of a monument worthy of tho genius and courage of Columbus, a monument which puts to shame the proudest strueturo over raised to commemorate the great deeds of prince or conqueror, and that monument is an enlightened and prosperous people, whose self rev erence, self knowledge and self control have raised them, in but little more than a centnrj-, to be tho object of tlie wonder and admiration ot tho world. Not Columbus, tho Genoese, nor Colum bus, tho navigator, do we thus honor, but the eourago which was repre sented in him, which dared to fling away old traditions and obey tlio in ward voice urging onward to great achievement. The rear lies before us, a mvsterr as (frtai as iTue my ,tcry ol all mysteneS— death. We meet it with high resolve, but cvei-y day in oar life in reality marlvs a similar anniversary, and every nigiit witnesses the end of a year, a step taken irrevocably from time to ward eternity, for there, and there only, can we meet face to face that shrouded shape, tho Future, which for ever flees as we approach. If wo would truly live well, the years, whether spent in work or meditation, in pleas ure or pain, should yield us something more than material good,' which is as evanescent as the morning mists. The outlines of our lives are drawn for us by circumstances, training, heredity and other influences above our control, but day by day wo are filling' in the light and shade, the coloring in the pic ture, and it is tho coloring that will, make or mar the beauty of that crea tion that shall hang in the gallery ot God. Lou V. Cdapik. : Iwft t;;R!i:i.-.-!V~I Hf''^r-i. ^cru to Miss 1'. nJ^ht. i;iil yau sae tho oi.i v. ..i -.-utiit* T«tl.rv‘.' ' Ol-'" •vi'iT'.-Vo. ..nt.M ' '/i'.a- 1:. I saw»jie out Ur.'f..--.Jurir- ‘"joins- tn off drinking j-. 1 (\ iQ.akiug this New .'eai'.s?" “Of coi;jp''J * 1 have always dun s it and I'm not gof in,7 to quit nruv. I‘m a firm Ijelievorii keeping up oid on atoms.”—Philadelphi rimes,

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