[NOW FIKST PUBLISHED.] A PROPHET OF THE MINES. A CHRISTMAS STO,O-" BY J. MONK FOSTER. Author of A Pit Brow Lassie, The Black Moss Mystery," &c., &c. I ALL RIGHTS RESER VED.) [CONTINUED FROM LAST WEFK.1 CHAPTER IV. IK TilE VALLEY OF PEATH. 1, 0 W L Y ously, the clock in the old church tower at Melling- ham chimed the hour of five, and the deep, clear notes of the bell long in air^ S' spread far over tbe snowy expanse of country surrounding the slumbering village, Five o'clock on the morn before Christmas Day, and the striking of that hour was the signal for all the toilers and spinners in the hamlet to arise, and prepare themselves for the labour of the coming day. Already several factory girls and pitmen were hurrying along the little alleys and lanes, their feet patting noiselessly on the thiok carpet of snow, and their forms \figue 3 visible through the thin fog which shut out the light of moon and stars. As the last notes of the deep-mouthed bell were dying away, the door of Levi Chorley's cottage opened and the Prophet appeal e oh^ the doorstep. He was attired in his pit* clothes, had a newly-shafted pick swung upon his left shoulder, and in his right hand he carried his can of tea. a He paused on the threshold a few moments, as if he were reluctant to quit his cosy home and face the deep snow and biting air. But he was troubled with his own woe rather than the morn's inclemenoy, and the haggard look on his honest, rugged face betokened the sharpness of the conflict that had been going on within his breast during the past To-morrow! to-morrow 1" he moaned wearily to himself as he stood there on the rtnnrstep Then suddenly he cried aloud, "Goodmornin', mother!" and shutting the door behind, him he trudged off to his W At'the bottom end of the villafja street-the Prophet came to a sudden standstill. From the unshuttered window of the house opposite where he stood a broad stream of light came falling upon the miner and lighting up a wide spaoe in the dark snow-swathed street. It was the home of Nancy Somers. It was the sound of her voice that bad arrested the Prophet's feet so suddenly. Standing there beside the window, be could hear her talking to her mother-could see her seated at the table eating her breakfast. That dark day before Christmas will never pass from the Prophet's memory, for it is burned into his brain as only one or two days in a man's lifetime can be. To look back upon it is to remember a time when he endured the very torture of hell for the sake of a fair woman-when he was sorely tempted to stain his soul with a cardinal crimc-but when his love of God and inherent manlipess snatched him from the direst temptation that eyer crossed a man's path, and brought him out of the fire unscorched and purified, For a moment or two Levi paused there, his eyes resting lovingly, hungrily, despairingly, on his loved one's slim figure and darn, hand- some face. Then with a sob be hurried on his way again, thinking of the morrow on which his old sweetheart and George Bradford were to be married. That working day passed as many other working dayspf the Prophet had, with the exception of the agony his own thoughts caused him. To those about him he was only & trifle more quiet than usual and more chary of his words. When he and his successful rival met, as they were compelled frequently to do, owingtothenature0! thei word passed between them. 7, of triumph which burned in £ ford* brown eyes told it. ow,, td., nlainlv at words could have said— Hal na 1 P w »nn ire out of the race for Nanoy no» Vour old ,»eelhe.tt will become mj "'Levi ondertto'od >11 thi«, yet bore himself rniiv savin? no word that a man might r" ,!7' Ea from hi. breaking he.rt there issued ft voioeless prayer ttat cive him strength to bear his trouble—to see hil dftrlTng linked for .11 time to one who .« a gambler, a tippler, and a sceptic. And thus noonday passed and afternoon oame. In another hour the miners would finish work and his them homeward. But ere that brief period spent itself a destined to be enacted at ^ire s 7. one of those terrible calamities that^end shudder through the country s hf*rta™k'l scores of humble households with bitterest W The Prophet had just done. n«ihad filled his last tub with coal—had Placed1"8 dulled pioks upon the small wagon, had gathered his tools together and put them aside, had dressed himself, and was making his way towards the shunt, when the first dreadful note of the grim tragedy rang out. First of all came a swift, fieroe, blinding glare, as if a million lightning flashes had blended in ono, and shot themselves through the mine. Then a mighty ",hir'd S"* dashed the miner, semeks. to he a thunderous roar and orasn, j:i deadlr impact of two worlds, and, last of all, a deadly bush and darkness. The pit had exploded. When the Prophet oame to his senses ne was lying across the iron rails, with his ox- ™Jffed lamp firmly clutched m his right Land He was badly shaken, but not dis- and he sat there for a short space, won- dering what had happened. Then the truth flashed upon him, and, jumping to his feet, te rushed down the road m the knowing that on bia speed depended his escaping the deadly afterdamp. •Suddenly he paused m his mad rush for life. The voice of some stricken fellow-miner bad caught his par Help l Help!' For God's sake, help I V" nie Don't leave meT beseeching voice transfixed tne Prophet to the spot. It was his rival, Bradford, who called to him for aid. Should he go? No! Why should he, of all men, move a finger to help the man who had ruined his life-who to-morrow was to wed Nancy Somers ? Let him die. He had only to go on his way, and save himself, and leave the other to his fate. The after-damp would soon do its work, and to-morrow Nancy would again be free. Still he stood there, great beads of sweat gathering on his brow. To save his rival meant his own ruin--bot to leave him meant murder. And still the piteous cries of the maimed and helpless pitman rang through that dark gallery, and at last the Prophet turned away. For Nancy's sake he was ready to stain his soul with a dastardly crime. It was the only way in which he could save her from Bradford. But the Prophet did not go far. Suddenly he fell upon his knees in the darkness and began praying with all his power, tears of contrition running down his grimy cheeks and deep sobs shaking his breast. He had mastered the devil within him and masking God to forgive him for the awful crime he had nearly done. H I Then he jumped to his feet, rusnea to ine place where Bradford lay, tore away witta almost superhuman strength the great log ot! timber that had fallen upon his rival an crushed him to the floor; and then he led th freed man toward the pit shaft, each feeling his way along in the darkness. One of Bradford's legs had been rather severely orushed by the bar" that the explo- sion had hurled upon him, and be could only crawl painfully and slowly along the dark gallery at the other's heels. But the Prophet never dreamt now of quitting his companion's side and seeking his own safety. As a sort of atonement for his late evil thoughts, he had resolved to save Bradford or die with him. And so the two miners crept along the tortuous and silent corridora of the mine, which seemed now deserted by all save them- selves and the dead. Levi knew every nook and corner of the pit, and feeling his way by means of the rails, he worked along towards the shaft. Suddenly he stopped and ex- claimed: Hush There s somebody cummin. Dost heeur'em, Bradford i The next instant there was a twinkling of lights in the distance, a hurried tramp of many feet,, and a stream of excited, halt- naked, minet's came rushing towards—ana paat them. "Come this way! Come this way I" the fleeing pitmen cried to Levi and Bradford as they stood aside to let the throng pass. "The pit's fired, and the shaft has olosed in Come to th' owd pit 1 Come to th' owd pit 1" The Prophet snatched a lighted lamp from the hand of one of the lads who ran in the rear of the flying crowd, and then be and his companion turned about and also made their way In the direction of the old pit. On reaching the bottom of the disused I- 1. I There was a foafening ron, a swift terrible whirl t Kind, and they were dashed senseless to the floor. j a shaft they found the rest of the miners there, and one of them was olamorously signalling for help to the world above. sounding-rod ran up one side of the pit^ to the surface, and the signalling was affected by striking this rod with a heavy piece of metal. As yet the imprisoned men had received no answering signal from the pit top, but they did not despair of escaping, for they knew that someone must hear them soon, and then soeedy means would be taken for their rescue Besides, now that the Squire Pit shaft had olosed in, the only way of effecting an en- trance into the exploded mine was by means of the old pit, and the rescue parties would be certain to come that way. And still the sharp olang clang I olang I of the sounding-rod rang out, each stroke of the knocker filling the pit eye with great waves of sound, and yet no response came from above. The thoughts uppermost in all minds now were, How long yet shall we be imprisoned? Will release come ere the pit explodes again P or having esoaped the fire-damp, are we doomed to perish by the deadly choke-damp r" And while the pitmen conversed with each other about the horror they bad suffered and °«„Lof the relatives «nd Uaar, Btrnck down at thoir very sides-of the !? !i nd dying they had sorambled over in dead and dying toe/ p, t M, £ 5 Si hifcomUe., !u .nd thonght- ft11. But he did not think of bis own safety merely. He was thinking of his mother, of Nanoy Somers, of George Bradford, and feel- in^ strangely satisfied now that he had triumphed over his evil impulse to murder his rival by omitting to save him. Suddenly a glad cry broke from the hps of eaoh grimy, half-naked, bruised man and Ud. Someone signalling to them from surface At first there was a sharp continuous jingling of the rod, then three clear strokes Evfryone there understood the signal. It meant that preparations were being made *o desoend, and that their resoue was now cer- taj5'ost of the pitmen bad sprung to their feet when the answering signal ran out, and they crowded about the bottom of the pit, eacer to jump into the hoppet which was :o hear them to safety. Presently the sound of voices was heard in the shaft, each moment they came nearer and nearer; now the slowly descending hoppet came in sight with two men inside it-the under-manager, Mr. Barker, and the under-looker, Dick Huret. "How many of you are therer Barker asked as he stepped on solid ground and waved the excited men back. "About thirty on us," someone answered. And the others ?" again queried Barker sadly. I I "There was no response. For a moment the oitmen forgot themselves and thought only 8 their dead and dying n»i» entomb* i the deadly miue bebind them. "Let five lads get in !"the manager cried. No more Stand back, I tell you, the lads first I" Five lads jumped into the hoppet, the signal was given to ascend, and the youngsters were carried to the earth above and their friends. Again the hoppet descended, was filled with men, and away once more it rose towards heaven and safety. Again and again was a hoppet-ful of men taken up the shaft, until all that remained below now were three miners, the manager and underlooker, and the Prophet and Bradford. Once more the iron oup-shaped hoppet touched the pit bottom, and into it the three miners jumped, one of them saying, "Come on, Prophet, tha'art next J" Nowe," Levi answered, Bradford is hurt. Let him go fust. Ah'll wait." Bradford needed no urging to take Chor- ley's place. He scrambled into the hoppet with Levi's help, and off the four men were borne to the surface. Again the boppet came down, but ere the Prophet and the other two could get into it ther« was a deafening roar, a swift terrible whirlwind and they were dashed senseless to the floor. The iwiue had again exploded. the floor. The mine had again exploded.
CHAPTER V. FANCY'S DABING. Half-an-hour after the Squire Pit exploded, intelligence of the disaster had spread through- out the surrounding villages, and the brow of the ill-starred mine was orowded with an exoited multitude of people who had either fathers, brothers, sons, or friends among the unfortunate miners below. A few minutes after the catastrophe occurred, the under-manager and under- looker had tried to desoend into the exploded mine for the purpose of ascertaining the ex- tent of dargage done to life and property. But this attempt proved unsuccessful owing to the caving in of a portion of the shaft. A little after this, as the officials were con- sidering what should be done, someone oame rushing to the bank of the Squire Pit, look- ing for Mr. Barker, and exclaiming that someone at the bottom of the old California Pit was signalling for help. The manager took in the situation at a glance, and he and his subordinate, with some workmen, at once proceeded to the old dis- used shaft, which lay about half a mile away. Thither the ever-gathering crowd followed them, for the word had flown like lightning from tongue to tongue that the men who had survived the explosion had made their way to the old pit, and were there waiting to be drawn up. The short wintry day was now drawing in, and darkness was fast settling upon the white snow-bound country-side. Thicker and thicker grew the crowd as hasty preparations for a descent were made, and as Barker and Hurst got into the hoppet and the word to let down was given, the awe-strioken mothers, wives, and daughters of those below pressed closer and closer to the old pit's mouth. Amid the throng of women were the Prophet a mother and his old sweetheart, Nancy Somers, each of tfiem sorrowful enough, yet both bearing their trouble bravely. Mrs. Chorley was thinking of her only son-the honest, thoughtful, hard-working lad, who for years had stood so manfully between her and poverty-who bad made her old age easy. If he were lost the workhouse would be her home in future, and she shuddered at the prospeot of ending her days as a pauper. And of whom was Nanoy thinking P Strangely enough her handsome lover-the fair-faced man who had struok her fanoy and was to-morrow to lead her to ohuroh, did not claim all her thoughts. In a sad, regretful way she thought also of Levi Choiley and of the time when they were sweethearts. In her heart of hearts she knew that the Prophet irw an btmester, a manlier, and more worthy man in every way than he whose wife she had promised to be. During the last few weeks she had seen much of George Bradford—had learned that he was tainted with the vices of gambling, drinking, and general recklessness, and a knowledge of these things made him con- trast badly with her former lover. But she bad made her choice now and must abide by it. She saw clearly enough that her prospects of happiness as Mrs. Bradford were less secure than they would have been as the wife of the Prophet. But she lacked the strength of will to break off with George now, and so resigned herself to her fate, whatever it might be. Still, as she stood amid the agkated throng, a sigh of honest, almost passionate regret, welled from her heart, and she wished in her soul that George Bradford bad never s ytfoot in Mellingham village. "They're comin1 up f someone cried, as three clear strokes of the signalling rod rang out, and as the pulley slowly gyrated, and the hauling rope slid upward, all eyes were turned on the back chasm out of which the miners must come. When the hoppet reached the surface and the five lads got out, they were at once over- whelmed by the tears, embraces, and blessings of their relatives, while the bystanders be- sieged them with questions as to the identity of those who were waiting below. Hoppet-ful after hoppet-ful of the miners were brought to the surface and at length Nancy say Bradford step upon the pit bank. As he came through the orowd she met him, and her first words were— .1 Thank God, yo're safe, George! But where is Levi Chorley ? He's comin' up next tahme," he replied. But for him ah should never ha' seen thee ogen, Nance." Thereupon he told her how the Prophet had saved him from oertain death, and bad afterwards insisted upon him coming, first up the pit. And as the girl listened, her eyes filled with tears, her heart overflowed with intense remorse, How nobly Levi had put into practice his precept of returning good for evil. And that was the man she had used so shamefully. Then the hoppet descended once more, and as it touched the pit bottom, and the rope slackened, there came a deep rumbling sound from below, and the next instant a mighty pillar of deep black smoke and dust was shot up the shaft, high in the air, as if from the belly of a mammoth cannon. A loud cry of terror broke from the crowd, who fled in all directions, for the heavens overhead seemed filled with thousands of dropping missiles. All fled save one-Nanoy Somers. She was terror-stricken like the rest by the second explosion, but was unable to stir a limb, and her heart seemed turned to stone. She could think now of only one thing. To save his rival, the Prophet had sacrificed himself. A few moments passed, but no signal came from below, and at last the engine-man slowly drew up the hoppet—empty. Suddenly a daring soheme suggested itself to Nancy, and she resolved to act upon it. Seizing a lighted torch that hung on the headgear, she strode to the pit mouth and swung herself into the hoppet. Then she cried Let down I" and just as the affrighted orowd began to aribble back to the old pit top, the brave girl was dropped into the black depths of tba old shaft. It was almost suicidal to enter the mine now, as Nanoy was doing, with a flaring naked light in her hand. Bat the girl knew nothing of her danger; all fear was swallowed in her thoughts of her old lover. Down and down the hoppet swung, turning round and round in its descent, and occa- sionally swinging against the shaft's wet t aides. With one hand firmly clasping the chains, and the other holding the toroh aloft, Nancy stood, and when the pit bottom was reached, she sprang out and ran hither and thither in search of the Prophet and his com- panions. She found them all together, lying in a con- fused heap, where the second explosion had thrown them, and each of them apparently beyond all help now. But it was not so. As Nancy, after setting down the torch, lifted Chorley in her strong arms, he opened his eyes, and then staggered to his feet. "Nanoy I Nanoy I" he cried, wonderingly, you liere What's the-P "Quiok r The hoppet I" she burst out, pointing to the senseless forms oF Barker and Hurst. Then she lifted one of the men, the Prophet seized the other, and they placed them inside the hoppet. The next moment the signalling-rod spoke out in three sharp notes, and they were all borne swiftly up- wards to life and safety. And when the surface was reached—when Nancy stepped on the bank, and the great crowd realised what she had done, a mighty cheer went up to heaven, the night, and the dawning stars. By that single act of heroism the girl had blotted out all her faults and mistake
CHAPTER VI. FRANK HARBISON. It was Christmas Eve, and the big fleeoy snowflakes were again filling the air. But the night was not not a festal one at Mellingham. The fearful disaster at the Squire Pit bad filled many a home with direst woe, which would otherwise have been the scene of the greatest rejoicing that night; and the villagers went about their avocations with pale faces, and spoke only in awe-filled tones. It was an hour or two before midnight, and the Prophet was trudging quickly homeward, through the crisp snow. He had been to chapel, and had afterwards dropped in at a brother religionist's to chat over the terrible events of that afternoon. Now he was hieing him home, there to sit up with his mother until the bells of Mellingham Church rang in another anniversary of Christ's natal day. Pacing thoughtfully along the lane ]ust outside the village, near the cross roads, Levi was accosted by a woman with a child in her arms. Con yo tell me th' road to Mellingham ?" she asked, as she adjusted her thin shawl more closely around the sleeping baby. That's it," said the Prophet, as he paused and glanced at the woman's thin, careworn countenance. "The village is olose by," he added, thinking that she was going to spend Christmas Eve with some friends in the hamlet. "Dun yo' live in 't village?" she next asked as they moved on together. Aye." Heaw lung han yo' lived heer ?" If A' may lah fe." Olt, Levi! Levi! con yo" forgie me for what ah 've dont ? "Dun yo' know annbody o't name 0' Frank Harrison abeawt heer?" she queried, with some concern in her tones. "Harrison—Harrison I" the Prophet mur- mured reflectively, Ah don't think ah do. What is he F" "A coaler. Pie laftOwdham four or fabve months sin'—run away fro' me an' his ohablt, an' ah heerd to'tber day us he'd oome to this place, an was workin' heer." "Ah dunnut know him," Levi said in a sympathetic tone. P'raphs somebody may know him in't village. Yo' mun ax ut the Booar's Yed. Th' landlord may haply know him. Han' yo' friends in't village ?" The woman shook her head sadly. Well, if yo' dannut fahnd him yo* oon ha' a neet's shelter wi' may mother an' me." Thank yo', air ? Thank yol" she cried warmly. But the Prophet heard her not. At that moment his eyes and mind were fixed on two figures-those of George Brad- ford and Nancy Somera-who were standing by the roadside a few paces ahead. They were to be married to-morrow I Married to- morrow I That thought shot home to the Prophet's heart like a hot bullet, blanching his rough cheeks and filling his soul with blaokest despair. He humed on, scaroely heeding the woman at his side in his eagerness to get past his rival and old sweetheart. He only missed her from his side when he heard her voice speaking not to him. Then he looked back and saw his late companion addressing herself to the lovers, "Excuse me, but oon yo' tell me if a mon named Frank Harrison lives—" Then there was a low, piercing soream, and the woman's voice rang out again, loud and vehement now. "Frank I Frank! ah've fo'nd thee at last I" "Mary I" burst hoarsely from Bradford's lips as the woman recognised him. Then he glanced about him uneasily as if he contem- plated running away. Who is boo, George I" Nancy Somers asked wonderingly, His name's not GeorgeT' the woman rge shouted again. It's Frank—Frank Harri- son-my husban' Yo're husban' I" Nancy Somers oried with a deep, hoarse sob, and she sprang away from the man's side as if he were a leper. The next moment she fainted, and would have fallen senseless in the snow had not the Prophet's strong arms caught her. Yo' soampl" Levi thundered at his rival, his eyes ablaze with iadignant fire. This woman is yo're wahfe an* yet yo'd ha' married this simple trustin' wenoh an' ruined her for ever. Had ah known as thah wur sioh a miserable skulk, ah wouldn't ha' stirred a finger to save thee I Goo oway, man, or ah may furget mYler an' God an' kill thee I" Without a word Frank Harrison turned away and went quiokly towards the village, his wife following at his heels. He left his lodgings that night, and Mellino'h&w kntnv hitn uo more, I When Nancy Somers came to her senses and found herself in the Prophet's arms, with his rough face and deep, honest eyes, fixed upon her, her oonfusion was piteous to witness. Is it true, Levi P" she askod faintly, as she struggled to her feet. 11 True unuff," he answered. He's wed, an' that woman's his wife. Yo' owt to thank God that yo've oome off so weell" "Ah do thank God!" she anwered, fer- vently, u Ob, Levi! Levi! can yo' ever forgei me for what ah've done Forgie the wench!" he cried, huskily, "Ay, fro my heart ah do! Let us booath forget what's gone. Yo' are mahne neawl" She flung her arms around his neok, hidf her sweet face on his breast, and sobbed out her gladness in a woman's way. And secure of her at last, the Prophet felt that Heaven had suddenly been opened unto him that ChrisU ims Eve. The next day all the village gossips were talking of George Bradford's disappearance. Humour had it that Nanoy Somers had thrown him off at the last moment, and returned to her old allegiance. Never a whisper of the truth ever got abroad. When the New Year was a month old th# Prophet and Nancy were married. TnE END.
— Thought He Was Riding on the Train. I've struok a new one," said Station-house Keeper Buobanan, as he sat over his mug of ale in Durand's restaurant this morning at one o'olock. II A new one ?" queried a reporter, Yes, a new one. You see, I've seen drunken men imagine they were rich when they were poor, think they were paupers when they were worth thousands, believe that they were judges of supreme oourts when they had never touched a law book, dodge from water like the But the new one you have struok. What is it ?" « Ob, yes, I had forgotten. Well, to-night Abbott, the patrolman on the front of the first, picked up a fellow named Lee from below Uast point who was very drunk. When hA brought him in I bad a lantern in my hand-had just oome up from the dungeon- and guess I must have looked something like a railroader." Yes I know but go on with the story/ Well, the instant he saw me he said; (I want to get off at East Point, please." "At first I didn't understand him, and when I opened the cell door and started ie put him in he said— ç. Is this the East Point train ?' Just then I tumbled and told him yes. Well, sir, he walked back and sat down aa un- concernedly as if he was not in prison. The night was lonesome, and I deoided to have some fun, so I pioked up the lantern aui walking back to the cell door, yeHed-. II Tickets 1" Instantly he ran his hand into his poekef and after fumbling around a bit, said, I have lost my ticket.' "4 Well, give me the money, then,' I sai4 I ain't got any,' he answered. III Then you'll have to get off,' I said. This had a magic effeot on the fellow, and such begging you never heard. He pleaded to be allowed to ride to East Point, and finally offered me his ooat as security for the ride. It was a new one to me, and evervone present could plainly see that the man firmly believed he was on the train." A
Amusing Answers of Witnesses, It haa some^mMTTappened that a Jawyc; has, in the language of the street, "given him- self away" to a smart adversary. Garrow did this onoe when examining a witness in the Court of Queen's Bench. "Are you a fortune- teller p11 he asked. "I am not," replied the man; but I oan tell yours." The shrewd oounsel tripped, and was worsted. « What is that to be P" said he. Why, air," was the sly re. sponse, as you made your first speech at th. Old Bailey, so you will make your last there." In like manner, arguing before a jury of judges, an over-smart oounsel stopped short in his pleading. He was confident of obtaining a snooessful result, and Lord Newton vexedhim by seeming to be in deep slumber. Addressing the other lords on the bench he said, "My lords, it is unnecessary to go on, as Lord JNewton IS fast asleep." What wsshis oonster- nation when an answer oame—Ay, ay," cried the angry judge, "you will have proof of that by-and-bye." And to the astonishment and chagrin of the young advocate, and the intense interest of others, Newton lurninously reviewed the case, and gave a deoided judgment against the too sanguine counsel. Even the oloverest lawyers have been "set down" in open oourt by equally ready witnesses. "Did you lee this tree, that has been mentioned, by the roadside F" an aivooate inquired, Yes, sir; I s&wit very plainly. tilt waa oonspioooul,then ?" The witness seemed puzzled by the new word. He repeated his former assertion. Sneered the lawyer, What is the differenoe between plaia and oonspiouous P" But he was hoist with his own petard. The witness smoothly and iDUO. cently answered, "loan see you plainly, sir, amongst the other lawyers, though you are not a bit conspicuous." In another oomioal instance the attaok was directed against the charaoter of the witness. But it recoiled, You were in the oompany of these peopleP" Of two friends, sir." "k riends I two thieves, I suppose you mean." "That may be so," was the dry retort, "they are both lawyers." The blow that destroys the effeot of an ad veri. examination is occasionally more acoident than conscious effort. In a trial not long ago a very simple witness was in the box, and after going through his ordeal, was ready to retire. One question remained. Now, Mr. has not an attempt been made to induoe you to tell the oourt a different story P" "A different story to what I have told, sir ?" « Yes; is it not so ?" Yes, sir." Upon your oath, I demand to know who the persons are who have attempted this." II Well, air, you've tried as hard as any of 'em," was the UDeJ:" peoted answer. It ended the examination.- From CasseWe Saturday Journal for D»eember«
A MOUSE IN A SURPLICE. We hnve heard of a bee in a bonnet" (sava the Fall Mall Gazette) and a flea in a man'a ear," but never until a few days since of a "mouse in a surplice." It happened, however, that on a Sun- day morning lately, when a parsonio visitor was unearthing from the parish chest a spare sur* plice, there fell out from its folds a nest con« taining several brown mice. Anent the chi)rch«: going mouse a capital story is told. A oertaia1 venerable dignitiry, remarkable for a profusion of white hair, was one day leaving his cathedral when he thought he felt something moving undec his hat. The creature he endeavoured to capture, but In vain. On arriving home, however, it was- discovered that a small mouse had taken up its abode in the canonical hair. Possibly this tittle creature w.as deputed by a chapter of cathedral mice to plead beforo the benignant canon theic proverbial poverty. He, they thought, being large-hearted man, might take their case into consideration.
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