"My Sin"

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"My Sin" - KING WHET. You may tell of your armored...
KING WHET. You may tell of your armored cruisers, And your great ships of the line; And swift or slow may steamers go Across the billowy brine. Like thunder may the cannon boom To greet their flags unfurled, And for an hour they may have power To rule the frightened world. From ocean shore to ocean shor Lie lines of gleaming steel. And night or day, we hear alway The ring of rushing wheel; Though buffalo have left the plain. And Indian tents are furled, Nor steam nor hand at wealth's command Can rule the busy world. But where the hillside rises fair In terraces of green, And on the plain, where wind and rain Sweep fields of golden sheen, Where sturdy yellow stalks arise, With bannered heads unfurled, Here you may greet the great King Wheat, The ruler of the world. Oh, hills may shake and vales resound Beneath the flying car, And driven by steam and winds a-beam Our ships ride fast and far; Cities may crumble 'neath the guns Which guard our flag unfurled, Yet all shall greet at last King Wheat, For hunger rules the world. Ninette M. Lowater, in Youth's Companion. MY SIN. When I was a young man I fell in love, as young men generally do, with the girl who came handiest. This particular girl happened to be Belle JBur-ton, and I devoted myself to her. rode with her, boated with her (it was a country place where we met), walked with her., talked with her, begged her for the roses she wore in her hair and tried (in vain), for I was no poet, to make sonnets not only to her "eye brows," but to her hair, her cheeks and her lily white hands. In fact, I went through the pretty dream of first love as most young people do, and it ended, as it generally does, in an unpleasant awakening. One day a stage arrived at the hotel with a dozen dashing New Yorkers for passengers. The next, one of them obtained an introduction to Belle Burton. There was no doubt whatever that he was handsomer than men usually are. or that his grace and accomplishments were equal to his personal charms. Handsome Arnold he was generally called, and girls went into raptures over his large, long-lashed eyes and blonde mustache, and men feared his broad shoulders, deep chest and splendid proportions. For my part, I hated him from the first, for no sooner had he appeared upon the carpet than Belle seemed utterly to forget my very existence. I suppose she had never cared anything about me, but she had flirted with me while there was no better fun to be had, and I was old enough to know that the man she loves is the one no woman ever flirts with. With Arnold she was rather graver than with most men, but her eyes sparkled as he approached her. She blushed when his name was mentioned, and cared for nothing in which he had not some share. In fact, it was as plain that she was in love with ttfm as that he was devoted to her; and there was no doubt in any one's mind that all this would end in a wedding. It was a good thing, said the old people, for poor Belle Burton '"had nothing." For my part, it seemed to me that all the luck was Arnold's. I had never thought myself very ill-looking before, but now I was wretchedly conscious of all sorts of deficiencies. I looked in the glass many times a day. I sperit half my time criticising my countenance, and longing vainly for the charms of handsome Arnold. I could not hope to possess them, even should I use all the hair oil and cosmetics of the advertising columns of the daily paper, and bribe to my aid the tailor who best understood the art of padding shoulders; but next to .having a fairy transformation effected for my benefit, I should have been pleased to see Arnold lose his beauty. I hope I've been forgiven for It. -I scarcely can forgive myself, but I could have prayed that some ban might fall upon him that he might break his limbs, or catch the small-pox or somehow spoil hifl complexion or figure. I was not a wicked young fiend by nature, but love, which, when it prospers, is the most humanizing emotion of the soul, is most likely to develop all the evil emotions of one's nature when it comes to grief. I should have taken my departure and put myself out of the way of hourly torture, but I did not do so wisely. I lingered about the place and did small things to spite the happy pair intruded on their tete-a-tetes. managed to force the society of some excellent and loquacious matron or some troublesome child upon them, looked daggers of contempt at him and forgot to pass the butter to her. At last a grand chance for annoying him occurred. He was a good rider and proud of his accomplishment, and he had a restive, nervous annual which he boasted no one could ride but himself. I had heard him declare himself perfect master of the creature, who had never given him serious trouble save once, when suddenly brought, into the presence of an artist, who was sketching under a. white umbrella. "That." said handsome Arnold, "was something Prince could not understand and it made him forget who held the bridle." As he came prancing up to the gate, or rode away with an air, I used to wish for an artist with a white umbrella. I desired to see that fellow unseated and ingloriously turned into the mud. That would have made me happy; and once when he had offended me more than ever by his gallant stjL of riding. I sauntered out into the fields cursing him in my inmost soul when what should I spy in the middle of the grass, intent upon a bunch of clover, but a fat pre-Raphaelite artist, in a white suit, a flapping hat and a white sketching umbrella that would have frightened the clergyman's gray mare, who was nearly as old as himself, into being a runaway. I rushed toward this artist with enthusiasm. I took off my hat to him. I said: "Sir, I rejoice that one of your glorious profession has at last visited us. You love the minute. I see. Have you noticed the spiderwebs on the blackberry bushes at the turn of the lane, the dew sparkling on the silvery film, the delicious fruit glowing beneath have you seen that, sir?" The pre-Raphaelite artist scratched his head with his brush, and said: "Well, no. I ain't." "Will you come and see it, sir?" 1 said. "Will you make it immortal on your canvas?" The pre-Raphaelite artist replied: 'Well, I wouldn't mind." I did not care what he said, so that he came. My object was not art, it was the white umbrella. I desired to have him seated where the eyes of handsome Arnold's restive Prince would fall upon him as he turned the corner of the garden walk, and to that very spot I beguiled my artist and there stationed him, and when he had settled with Chinese precision to his spiderwebs and blackberries, hid myself behind a tree to enjoy the comic scene I fully expected would follow. I heard handsome Arnold bid adieu to the ladies. I heard the patter of his horse's feet upon the road, and in a moment more I saw him come gayly on, a smile upon his handsome face, a rich color on his cheek youth, health, strength and happiness expressed in every curve and outline of his statuesque form. The next instant Prince had seen the white artist and the white umbrella. And then then, heaven forgive me, not the amusing spectacle of handsome Arnold's discomfiture that I had hoped to see. He kept his seat, while Prince, rearing and plunging, dashed wildly away with him toward a precipitous path along the cliff side, and vanished like a mad thing, with his rider still upon .his back, going straight toward a certain awful precipice which overhung the rocky river shore below. I cannot go on. They picked him up just alive, no more, at the foot of the precipice; and they carried him, a mere mass of broken bones and bleeding flesh, back to the great hotel. Late at night I crept softly upstairs on my way to bed, and passing Belle Burton's door, heard those slow, heavy sobs that tell of a breaking heart issuing thence. "He cannot live." the messenger had said, and I was. perhaps, doubly a murderer. I thought seriously of adding to my crime by committing suicide that awful night. But poor Arnold did live. He had a wonderful constitution, unbroken, as all the men who knew him knew, by dissipation of any kind, and it is hard to kill such a man. He lived, and strength returned to him at last; but no one would ever call him handsome Arnold any more. He had fallen on his face on the horrible jagged rocks, and during his illness all his bonny brown hair had turned gray. No one would know him, they told me; and so powerfully had his beauty and his sweetness affected even men of coarse natures that they uttered these words for the most part with tears in their eyes. As for myself, I would far rather have seen a ghost. Yet the sight was forced on me. One day I received a note from him, asking me to come to the hotel, and it was signed Henry Arnold. I had no choice. I could not refuse. I went to him. As I saw him seated In a great am-chair in the room to which the waiter showed me as he rose and advanced toward me, and I saw that he limped heavily I wonder that I did not die. 1 fel't the blood leaving my face, and I saw the hot flush rise to his. as he noticed the shock he gave me. But he only said: "Sit down. It is kind of you to come." I staggered to a chair and I saw nothing for a while; yet through it all, I wondered what he thought of my strange conduct, and hated myself for my weakness. At last he spoke: "I see how I how my appearance affects you," he said, very sadly. "It is a horrible thing that I am trying to grow used to. I wish I had broken my neck. Of course, any man would, under the circumstances. But I did not ask you to come that I might say that to you. I want you to take a note from me to a lady at your aunt's house, if you will be so kind. I choose you because you are, as it were, one ; n f tVio familr onrl rnn r i 1 1 K v. mi. I V. l. . v. .x, . s , (tint j j u IT 111 XJl j careful and kind, I know. It is Miss Belle Burton. I hoped to marry her one day. Of course all that is over now. No one would no woman could overlook my hideous appearance." His voice broke a little, but he went on bravely: "So I have written to her. I do not want her to see me, and I shall go abroad in a week or so, and you'll tell her you you've seen me, you know. I have loved her very much. I always shall; and this is terribly hard." He broke down entirely there, and took a letter from his bosom and put it into my hand. "Give it to her," he said and turned away. I took it from his hand and left him. I went straight to Belle Burton. I found her in the garden, and I told her from whom I came and -gave her the missive. She read it through gravely, but without tears. Then she looked at me with eyes that had such a solemn, holy look in them as one would hope to see in an angel's. "Edward," she said, "he says he is frightfully altered; is it so?" "Yes," I answered. "Do you know what he has written?" she said, softly. "I guess what it Is." "My poor boy!" said 6he. "As if any thing would change me Tut a change in his heart. Will you take me to him, Edward? I miist go at once." "Command me," I said. She caught up the wide straw hat on the bench beside her and drew on her gloves, and took my arm. I never loved her so well as I did then, but. for once, it was with a perfectly unselfish love. I knew what she was about to do and I blessed her for it. And so I took her to him; my hand opened the door of his room for her; my eyes saw yes and gladly that however that changed face might affect others, it only made her love for him more tender. I saw her rush into his arms and hide her head on his shoulders; and then I went softly away and hid myself where no one could see me, and cried like a baby. Ah! well, that is a good while ago. and they have been very happy. The big fellow is almost as graceful as ever, and as for his face I do not think it would matter much to me what my face was if any one loved it as well as Belle does his. I go to see them sometimes, and my mad fancy of kneeling down and confessing my share in the horrible affair of the past is quite abandoned. Besides. Belle's daughter is sixteen now, and if an old fellow of thirty-six ah! well, who knows what may happen in the future. Only that would be another story quite, and I need not tell it here. It is written, it is written. Vegetable Giants. Imagine a flower nine feet around and with petals strong enough to support a man. This mammoth grows in Africa and has five large, thick petals, surrounding a brilliant center, which is encircled by a wide, high brim, and which would make a bathtub large enough for a child. There are giants among the grasses more wonderful still. If we wTalk knee deep in grass we say it is a fine crop, and the times we see it shoulder high are rare. In India there is a species called Dab grass which reaches above the heads of the tallest men, for it is fourteen feet high. And there is grass four times as high in the Indian forests. If trees are near the boughs furnish it support. There is, besides, a grass which grows 100 feet high it is the giant bamboo, and the tallest in the world. The Jericho weed in our own country is a unique giant It Is a globu-lar mass of tangled vegetation six feet in" diameter. Until fall It behaves like other plants, but when the winds of autumn dry its sap it goes on a vegetable cowboy spree. Its drying up does not make it shrink in size only makes it lighter. It loosens from the soil, and when a cyclone or tornado comes tearing about these huge balls fly before the wind, bounding and leaping across the plains. Is it any wonder that the cattle and sheep are frightened out of their wits when they see these strange things coming and flee for their lives, more scared of the Jericho balls than of the approaching storm? Cristobal Colon's Cat. A prisoner of war, who positively refused to be interviewed, was seen at the office of the United States Express Company recently en route to the United States Supply Station, St. Joseph's, Mich., where he will be put in custody of Lloyd Clark, a relative of Captain Clark, of the Oregon. Th following notice was found paated or the prisoner's personal effects: "To Good Americans Treat me ktoSr ly and give me food, for I am a prisoner of war from the Cristobal Colon, ing forwarded to my captors, tb crew of the Oregon, to the gallani commander, Capt. Clark, whose bravr efforts forced the Colon to surrendef July 3. 1898." The prisoner's name was Mr. Thomas Cat. He was a hands some specimen, having a silver graj; coat, with tiger stripes, and showed bp effects of having passed through th horrors of war, although very much incommunicado. New York Sun.

Clipped from
  1. The Weekly Bennington Banner,
  2. 01 Oct 1898, Sat,
  3. Page 2

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