The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on February 22, 1893 · Page 6
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 6

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 22, 1893
Page 6
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THE rrt'F.U PKtfMWS T K«.AOONA. STORY OF A DUEAM. W. Thompson, In St Paid Globe. The account of tiie dream and the events I ant about to describe is absolutely true In every particular. My friend, Phil Casey, was talking about dreams one day in my office. He is a, muscular "limb of the law," olxmt thirty-live years of age, with no wn- eensc about him. "I know you don't believe hi dreams," he said, "and neither do I. But now that we're on the subject I'll tell you something Avhich you can perhaps account for—I can't. And then he told me a story. "A few years ago 1. Avas living in the village of Saybrooke, (is you know. One evening, after I had been working very hard all day over a. complicatol case, I reached home with that peculiar, dou't-earo-ai-cenl, done-out k'nd of feel- Ing which excessive brain work Is apt to produce. "After sup;;.".- I ;;:;•::;•.! :'.: the hardest clialr in the room and sat down to read the daily papers, for I was so tired tliat I feared to fall asleep should 1 scat myself in an easy one. "My AVifo sat near me, quietly sewing —we had no youngsters then, nor servants—and the house, being on the very outskirts of the village, Avas still as sin empty church. Absorbed, rather selfishly, perhaps, a.s I was in reading up arrears «f news, t was not a particularly entertaining companion, I presume, and about 0 o'clock my Avifc rolled up network and said: M think I'll go to bed, Phil. Don't sit up too late, ami with a dainty good-night kiss she disappeared. "Instead of following my better half, as I should have done, I continued to read; but, by and by, with, the Idea of brushing the cobwebs from my brain before going to rest, I strolled across the road and called upon my friend, Frank Stnyncr, Avho proposed a short walk, the night being worm and moonlit. "This suited me exactly, and Ave set out by way of an old bridle path which led across the fields into the country. After a little chatting and laughing, as old cronies will, AVO came to a small brook, Avliich AVO passed over, dry shod, on stepping stones, Frank being at tho moment some yards in advance of me. "He Avas leisurely ascending the oiv poslte bank and had just reached the middle of a. clump of alder bushes, when he Avas suddenly felled to the earth and knocked senseless by a violent WOAV on tho head from a masked man, AA-IIO spjrang out of the dense thicket. "Frank had fallen face downward and lay motionless as a log. In an instant the ruffian was upon him, turned him Icmickly over and began rifling Ills pockets Avitli a skill and celerity evidently born of long practice. " 'What Avas I doing all this time?' Well, I simply stood there, looking on; not in the least terrified, but, by some j strange influence, absolutely incapable, j not only of motion, but oven of uttering j a sound. Stranger still, although stand-! Ing In the broad moonlight, at less than j thirty feet from him, the highwayman seemed totally of my presence, and Avent on with his Avork as coolly as If Ills victim Avea-e the only human being Avltlihi a hundred miles. "He had emptied my friend's trousers and coal, pocket*; and was now feeling about his breast for his Avatch, a very valuable one, as -I knoAv, Avhicli Frank always carried in the inside pocket of Ins vest, secured by a strong silk cord passing around the neck. "Tho robber, always Avorking hi grim silence, soon found the Avatch and, not iuotherhig to cut the string, jerked his jttlze violently away. The shock seemed to restore Frank to partial conscious•ness ami he drowsily murmured. 'Hollo! •[what's up?" "At the sound of hi.s voice all my benumbed faculties aAVoke to instant life, •and, rushing forward, still unseen by the footpad, I dealt him a terrible blow •on tho hack of his nock, and he fell hi- : sonslble aaross the Ixxly of his prostrate iprey. Quickly rolling him aside I pulled 'Off liis crapo mask, revealing a most villainous face "Then I assisted Frank to rise. He seemed quite recovered, anid none tho Averse for the assault. After seeming the stolen property AVO took our pocket handkerchiefs and tied tho fellow's hands firmly behind bus back. He was Still entirely helpless and unconscious; so, one of us at the head and tho other at tho fool, AVO carried him off to the Village unresisting. "On arriving at the little police station tho officer on night watch asked: 'What have you got there, gentlemen'.'' " 'Notliiiig very nice, I guess,' replied Shiynor; 'hi; knocked me down, how- over, and picked my pockets in good style.' SUBMARINE TORPEDO BOAT'S. T'lie reason Avhy submarine torpedo shillalah, 'two of wliich I had brought; from the 'ould sod' the year before and presented to my chum. "On coming to the little creek, with 1 oils niv in demand is that the surface its clear water sparkling in the moon- torpedo boats may he-failures, though light, Frank bamtetringly said. 'Well, a few years ago they-were so highly everything looks quiet enough here, old thought of that many .authorities de- fellow. 1 guess your dream robber da red it folly to build large and costly won't materialize.' 'battleships, when an Inexpensive lorpe- "Kven as he spoke 1 thought I saw an do boat could il-adily destn y them especially dense spot in the clump or Ka.ifc the St. Nicholas. But the battie- o liters ahead; and although I really had "sups now liavo their electric- search- no Kurl.>us misgiving* i rather impres- ildus fn- ni.nht use. their maehm,.'-giins. sively sold: '\Voit fur me, J-i.uiK. I o inin lemp s;s of projectiles uponjau t go up the bank alone;.' approaching foe, their steel nettiiigs 'Oh, nonsense!' he replied as he rescuing o^it tio.n the 'bull and 'down to llHiiitly on. the keel, and their swiftsteaming guard- MIo had now gained fully sixty feet-'boats, nisi armed with torpedoes, for on me and Avas walking carelessly past attack upon advancing enemies of the the grove, when the black spot, upon Isame kind. Thereupon the cry is for which my eyes Avere fixed, moved a torpedo boat that may defy the search swiftly toward him, and i yelled, 'lx>ok uighl, tuo rapid-lire guns', the: steel net- continued to experiment with the propellers. j Nmv, ittnvover. everything lias chaug- j ed In favor of the screAV, and, except, some-light r<ver-boat's drawing ' little Avatcr, all-steamers are run by propcl- leis. Boats Avere soon built Avitli propellers ruder the keel, then •other.-' used /two, <me oil cither side of the keel, and now three are being sum s'svully oper-> out, Froaik!' tings. SUM! the guard-bOais. ami such a The Avarniug came well nigh too late, • Doat must be one that can come near, as the words had barely passed my llpsl,, u ,i ,| o jt s work unseen, when a masked man, corresponding in | x,, V :il. authorities no longer consider all respects with the one seen ill my dream, darted from the shade, and, without a word, struck at my friend's head with a murderous-looking bludgeon, which, if the blow had alighted as intended, would have crushed his skull like an eggshell. It barbarous or. inhuman 4o use submarine boats, for the world-has grown aceuslomed to the use of hidden torpedoes, and of the terrible dynamite, in operations of war. Nor can the Aveaker or poorer nations afford to turn away from an agent Avithin CA'CU their "Frank, however, had partially turned (roach, for it may one day be the means at, my cry and instinctively raised nisl of preserving their rights or their lib- own heavy cane, which, meeting the descending weapon, so far deflected Its aim that the stroke fell upon his left shoulder, but still with such force that he was dashed, for the moment, senseless to the ground. ^ "lu the twinkling of an eye the assailant Avas upon him, and, going tlirotigh Ills pockets with wonderful speed, intending, doubtless, either to get away before I coidd come up, or, if need be, overpower me also, or, perhaps, if driven to It, to use his revolver. "So far my vision had been realized with remarkable fidelity, but now, happily, there was a break. I was not struck dumb and motionless as In the dream, but, on the contrary, stimulated to exceptional activity; and while the absorbed villain AA'as in the act of groping for Frank's Avatch, I reached his side, and with one WOAV of my blackthorn I sent him stunned to the ground. "Turning him on Ills face, I AA r as busily engaged tying Ills hands behind him. when. Frank recovered from his temporary daze. We then somewhat Improved upon the dream programme by taking off our cravats and securely the scoxmdrel's ankles to binding gether. "On examining Stayner's hurts I' found that Ids left collar boiu broken, and the arm on that side erties from some stronger naval poAver. To be safe and efficient, a submarine torpedo boat must have many good qualities. It must be a good surfacc- boat able to keep at sea in rough weather, and to tiMA'el at a speed of some twenty-five miles an hour iu smooth Avater. When under water, the speed should not be less than fifteen miles au hour. All machinery for keeping the boat at a regulated depth belo\v the surface, or from preventing it from dip- piug at the boAv or stem, must be self- acting—that is, not dependent from moment to moment upon the judgment, skill, or attention of the oreAV. The boat must be well lighted within, anil must afford the crew a good V!OAV throughout the adjacent Avater. It should also have means for bringing down from the surface a reflected vieAV of Avhat is presnt or happening there within a radius of .it least a mile. The air contained -within the boat must be purified by chemical process, and the ordinary temperature must not greatly exceed that of a hot day in midsummer. The : crcAv must bo able to get surely and quickly into the water in ! , Then came the days of "forced draft" • when the fire-rooms were closed tip tight, and air was pumped jn to go roaring up throuah the chimneys after fanning the fires into greater heat. ,Tne 'engines worked fasti r. and the ship's Speed was increased: but the iliyivose soon reached a limit, for the boilwmum became so hot that the poor liremen •could not stay at their posts for'more than fifteen minutes "at a time., One hundred and sixty-five degrees was Hie awful heat they had to Avork in" recently (.n l,lic fast United States ship "Concord." Two men fainted in front of the furnaces, and others were hard to lure. What was to be done? The limit jof speed for ships seemed to be reached i while more speed was Avanted. j Commodore George W. Melville, of tlio United Slates Navy, has solved ;the puzzle by designing a ship Avith smoke-slacks one hundred feet high. Those have the same effect as the tall factory chimneys on land. The fire-men do not find this natural draft so oppressive, and these smoke-stacks give a steam power that sends the great sftilp, Avith spinning screAvs, at the rate of tAveuty-six miles an hour. And even at tin's railway speed, she Avill use so little coal that she can run 2-i,000 miles or almost around tho world Avlthout re- iieAving her supply. woll "° ' His remained apparently lifeless. "Stayner made light of his Avounds, but he Avas miwontedly serious. 'Old man," said he, 'tins is a most astounding realization of an apparently I do not knoAV. But carry it out as closely case of accident to the boat, or of other peril to their lives. The boat must jbe able to remain continuously under ,-Avater for at least twelve hours, and, ^ i during that time, to lay its course ac- position. It must be able to aA'Oid or to clear obstructions or entanglements, and to extricate itself from mud in shallow Avaters. The boat and its appliances must be so constructed and so arranged as to act Avith great certainty, ease, and readiness under all circumstances, so that the commander may take his procced- u;i.Li,y iu uui. ua u-iosujy as iiossium uy i • , , . , - », i taking this vagabond to the police sta- in .ss <™ a S lve llls or( ^ fol> , tho W)lk ; tion. Pi-obablv the nnmllnl will full „* "ig of the boat in full confidence of tlon. Probably the parallel Avill fail us (hero. If it holds good I sliall be dumbfounded, indeed, and ready to believe iu anything.' "You know," continued Phil, "that I am somoAvhat of an athlete, so after Ave had deplved the thief of his last steal- ings, and moreover of a loaded bulldog revolver, I shouldered his not A r ery light Avoight and set off to the village, AA-hile Stayner followed AA'ith the captured bludgeon and pistol. "Wo had nearly a half mile to walk through the solemn stillness of the night, and thus severai times I laid doAAii my load iu order to rest myself. On the last of these occasions the ruffian revived just as I AA r as resliouldering him Finding himself a disarmed, impotent prisoner, he poured forth upon us such a. volley of curses.that I dropped him again to the ground, and by the help of his OAVII suspenders and Avallct gagged him effectually. "Then I hois-ted him again as one the result. Finally the boat must be able to discharge into and through the water a torpedo large enough and POAA-- erful enough to destroy the greatest war-ship without danger to the bout itself Far back in the year 1834, Captain John Ericsson, Avhom we all remember as the builder of the first ironclad "Monitor,'" applied for a patent on a SCTCAV propeller TO be used in driving shipa hrough the water says Jo Davidson iu St. Nicholas. Ten years later the secretary of the British Admiralty persuaded that body to make a trial of the new machiue in the frigate "Arrogant." The oevlce Avas a success. The frigate went tasters than others of her size using sails alone; she could move about in the water when there AVOS no Aviud, and Avhen other ships were nio- tlonless or at anchor; and although her specd, even Avith the Aviud, was but little increased, and the sailors growled might do a sack of wheat, and AVO Avent at having the ship's hold filled up with on rather relieved to find that Ave had "tea-kettles .and b'llers," they had to not become involuntary executioners. As Ave plodded along AVO indulged in that sHie was safer in a gale, and could -TO better than before. Pop- many speculations to the identity of the ular fooling Avas against the propeller, Avretehed creature.- But neither of us lioAvevcr, and it Avas not until 1852 that seriously believed that the police were i It Avas placed in the larger ships of likely to enlighten us upon this point. Avar. BATTLING UNDEK WATER. This NOAV the Greatest Question In Naval Warfare. The greatest question in naval Avar- 'fare to-day is not about the big battleships or saucy torpedo-boats, already pictured and described in St. Nicholas, but how to get a boat that Avill safely dive beUw the keel of a hostile vessel and blOAV her to destruction Avith a charge of dynamite or guncottou. This mode of attacking an enemy is not en- tirelly neAV, for, nearly twenty-five lum- dred, years ago, divers were lowered into the water in a simply "constructed air-box, to perforate the Avoodeu bottoms of an adversary's Avar-galleys, In order to sink them, and drown and capture their rowers and fighting men. The diving Avarrior and his box did not outlast the great galleys they had tried to sink, and the history of these, boats passes over tAVO thousand years to the American captain Buslinell, of the Revolutionary army, and his diving- boat. This Avas a tiny, walnut-shaped .vessel, sculled by a single oar, and having a crew of one man. The boat sat low in the water AA'hile on tho surface, enabling it at night to get near its intended vctim AAithout detection. Then the hatch Avas closed, shuttng lu air enough to last half an bom-, and by let> ting in a little water and turning au upright screw-bladed oar, the boat Avas sunk to near the keel-level of the enemy's, and sculled under the hull. A jtorpedo outside the boat carried a liea- A-y charge o gunpowder, and Avas provided Avith clockwork to fire the charge ater the little torpedo-boat should have , retreated to a safe distance. Tho torpe- 'do had a pointed screw stem, by Avhich it Avas to be attached to the doomed .vessel, the screw being turned from j inside the torpedo-boat. Except ''for the brealdng of this SCI-OAV, it is possi- ^lo that the Britih admiral's flag-ship might have been bloAvn up as she lay at anchor in NOAV York harbor; but that Is mere guesswork, for, as Geiieal \Vash- ington said of the boat, "too many tilings wee necessary to be combined in it." ,Yet it was ingenious, a credit to American skill and daring, and its arrangements are still studied by those interested in submarine navigation. | Twenty-five years later, Robert Fulton, Avho did so much for steam navi- 'gatlon, took the Buslmell boat for a mdel, and greatly improved upon it. ne.vor suspwt their existence until, breaking tilmtogh, he sinks rapidly into a mushy, clluglng. inextricable mire. Heeding cattle in Wyoming, my clos- eoinpa,nlrfli for months had been a young man 24 yeai-s of age, a handsome fellow with dossk'. features, a weil- mnldcd figure, a good rider, and crock s--ht>t. Tin* rougher boys often twitted him about his fair, shapely hands and his wire of them, for Avlien on duty he always Wore heavy buckskin gloves. He was reticent and said little about his post- life, but expressions he dropped mid Ills knowledge of college sports convinced me he was a college man. Many nights, far from human habitation.' iu the open air AVO slept between the same blankets or Avatcheil the herd while, communing Avith our thoughts and talking to the stars, which seemed so much nearer and brighter than in the far-away eastern home. "It came about that one' day after a round-up thirty head of ca.ttlc were missing from the herd. There Avas it j suspicion that they had been stolen by 'rustlers, but they might have wandered beyond the usual limits of the range; so the next morning my companion and I Avere instructed by the superintendent to go in search of (hem. Wo had ridden forty miles since the break of day, finding no trace of tho lost cattle, and la,te in the afternoon had 'decided to return.. In a short time AVO SOAV iu front of us an alkali spot of unusual size. As' AVO started to cross it my companion AVOS soA-oral luuidred yards to my right and a short distance ahead of me. In a feAV moments 1 heard au exclamation from him, and looking up S.T.AV his horse sinking into a quagmire. Ridng rapidly forward I felt the surface waver beneath me, amd kucAV that tho next moment I might myself bo Ingulf- ed. There was but one thing to do. I asked him if Ms feet Avero froo from the stirrups, and he called back that they Avere. I told him to clasp his hands aboA-e his head, and he did so; I mentally measured the distance with a sinking sense of horror and doubt. It Avas a supreme moment. My lariat described the circle above my head, then cut the air, hovered over him for I au instant, descended gracefully, and | tightened around his chest. It had cov- ! ered the distance AA-lth not an Inch to spare. I literally dragged him from his horse to solid ground and safety. He had locked his hands behind his head, his buckskin gloves protecting them, and they siu'ed bus head and face, so that he brought up with only a fcAv be in a comatose state, but averse to vivisection; and when the men again approach It, and cut holes through the lips to make the line fast, to tow It to tlhe vessel, a demolished boat or loss of life and limbs may be the reward. Hence the more curious Avhalemen "prick his- eye." and If the whale dots not flinch, it i< supposed <o be dead. Several boats take their position in line like a tandem 'team' of horses; the two- ropes are property adjusted, and the men with merry boat-song begin the laborious and monotonous task of towing the whale to the vessel. A dead whale may be more easily towed head first, and it is also worthy of .mention that a dead whale, wtai cast adrift, will beat to the windward, the natural motions of the flukes having a tendency to propel the body. NEEDED REFORM. Too Great n Tendency toward Centralization in the United States Army. "It. Avas useless to think of extricating the horse, wliich had sunk into the mire until iiotliing but his head and neck were above the surface, and a.s AVO started oft' lie turned his head toward us Avirti eyes so sad and a whinny so mournful it AVOS almoot human. I could not stand it, and, drawing my Colt's, aimed and fired. His head dropped forward. Poor Pete Ava-« saved from a horlble, lingering death, and the most popular broncho in the camp AVO'S no more. "NoAA r ctuiie n. ne.AV discovery. The 1 alkali spot was of oblong shape, and, as AVO rode round It to avoid another attempt at crossing. Avithin a space of alxmt five acres, Avell toward the center, AVO counted twenty pairs of horns just aboA'o the surface, as if they were growing out of the ground. We Avere satisfied that AVO had fathomed the mystery of the lost cattle. They had attempted to cross the place and had sunk into the SAvamp holes. In their struggles to release themselves they had naturally kept their heads up as long as possible, and, death overtaking them Avhen the mire reached their mouths and nostrils, they remained in that position, with only their horns alwve the surface. Tho others of the missing cattle- had no doubt shared the same fate, but, striking softer and deeper mife, had disappeared entirely below the surface." But by far the greatest evil which threatens the Avelfare of our army in the future is the centralizing tendency of all army administration, Avliioln saps discipline, destroys the proper authority of even the highest, military men In their OAVII commands nud actually In vitcs subordinates to be insubordinate— to disobey the orders of tHieir legal sxi- pciiors. Tills tendency lias reached such au extent that it bids' fair in the near future to concentrate In Washington complete control of all military opera- lions, usurping the determination of the most trivial questions which should be decided in the geographical departments and never bo permitted to reach Washington. It deprives all officers, even Department Commanders, of any proper control over their commands. This has proceeded so far already that the control of oil the details of army matters is rapidly passing into the hands of tAvo or three staff departments, these staff departments themselves not being under control of the Commanding General of the Annv. Any attempt to change this condition of affairs Is sure to result In the cry that military authorities are trying to interfere with the lawful prerogative of the Secretary of •War, Avhose name and authority is invoked to support all assumptions of these, several departments. The result of this is, that olficers on the frontier have nothing to do, Avhile the staff offi- eci's in Washington are overwhelmed with a perfect deluge of business Impossible for them to perform properly, and which has really to be done by irresponsible clerks. In' individual cases, Avhen the staff officer is conscientious and /.colons lie is Avorked to death. In other cases l\c simply signs his name to a multitude of papers prepared for him by 'his numerous clerks. He has no time to do much cist. OATOIIN'G THE WHALE. Interesting Account of how the Monster of the Deep is Taken. The Avbale being Avell harnessed to the boat by menas of the toAV-line, •Twould bo too Avonderful for my dream to come true iu tills particular »Jso. All great inventions have to fight their Avay, and thLs was no exception. "Judge, then, of our feelings, perhaps!It gradually came into use among mor- moro of OAVO than astonishment, when (chant ships, and Avhen the naval au- upon entering tho station the man in thoritics saw its advantages most of charge, Avith a single glance at our captive, said: 'Well, gentlemen, you've mhule a tho opposition ceased, and they decided to try it in the greatest ship they had. Tho "Windsor Castle" had just been good night's Avork, 'sure enough. This 'completed at the royal Dockyard, Pom- is the escaped convict, Ike Berry, (broke. She was 255 feet long, 00 feet There's a reward of instead of Avood, and changed the sculling-oar into apnddle-Avheel Avorked by (hand. He forced into a copper tank 'enough air to supply a CI-GAA' of four men Avhile under Avnter for six hours. Fo use AA'hile at the surface, the boat JAvas provided AVith removable masts and sails, His experiments lasted some twelve years, the governments of France, Great Britain, and the United successively the means. But naval exports everyAvher scouted live,' lie exclaimed, it's Ike Berry (a notorious crook of whom I'd often heard) that we've been after for Uie last three months. Dump him down anywhere.' 'All right,' said I. 'Let go, Frank,' and Iwe dropped our burden with a crash to the floor. At that moment a Avoman's voice scroa m ed out: 'Why, Phil, What's tho matter,' and 1 awoke to find myself sprawling on tho carpet and the whole affair a dream. "A ralher live one, certainly, Phil," said I, "but I've heard lots as curious." "Why, man alive! I'm oidy beginning my story. You don't suppose I'd bore you Avilh such stuff if that AVOI-O all? As I said before, I'm no believer in dreams—noA'er hi my life knew one to come literally true—but somehow this particular dream so impressed me that I couldn't get It. out of mind. "Having 1 a dread of my Avlfo's good- huinored raillery, I did not tell her the dream. But the next night I really did go over to Stayner's. I took him Into my confidence and asked him to go with me over the ground wliieh I had, lu imagination, traversed the evening before. "Prank laughed, but readily agreed, as a mere lark, to take the proposed walk. Before starting out each of us armed hnnself with, a ,heavy blackthorn last April. "Frank Stayner actually shuddcrr-.d as the officer spoke-. Turning to mo he l muttered: 'This is most too much for ! me, Phil. It's awful. Let's go round to tin: doctor's and get my shoulder fixed up.' Then to the officer: 'We'll turn this reward over to you, Jim. Tho i glory's enough for us.' j "Hut before leaving wo told tho Avholc I strange story to tho man, Avhose run| ulng commentary of almost Incredulous I surprise was from time to time accent- j tinted by a smothered curse from tho I now iron-shackled prisoner." "Well, Pliil," said I Avith judicial gravity, "may be it's rude to ask the question after your introductory remarks, j but, honor bright, now, is this really an out-and-out- true -story -you've -given me?" "Tis as true as that you and I are : sitting here, old man. Ike Berry is now ; serving out a fourteen years' sentence I In state prison, and Frank Sfaynoo' Is still alive to testify as to the dream business. But wny that dream—vision — intelligence t )>reshadowlug— call it what you AAllI, pas sent to me as one ', and greatest Avarship in the world. It seemed a pity to desecrate this noble craft by loads of coal, tons of oily machinery, hot boilers, and a company of "greasy engineers," but it Avould never do to have England's greatest Avar-ship lacking in anything that could give her greater speed and strength. Therefore it Ava.s decided lo cut the vessel ill two, and lengthen her so as to accommodate the machinery. She Avas sawed directly through amidships, tho stern Avas pushed back twenty- three feet, and the gup built up solid with the rest of the ship. When she was launched tho machinery Avas put in. Complete, she was 278 feet long, and carried 20 more guns. In making a report of this great ship to the French Navy, Lieutenant La- brousso urged the French also to adopt the propeller, and Avrote that "the use of the screAV as a means of propulsion is far from diminishing a ship' sailing qualities. It is, on the contrary, capable of adding to the certainties of navigation. In 1850 AVO find the "Great Eastern" using the propeller, but only as an ail, Avas employed without official permission against some of the British vessels blockading Hie New England coasts in the War of 1812. Though no actual damage was done, tho blockadcrs wen: badly frightened by the attempts.—February St. Nicholas. TREACHEROUS ALKALI SPOTS "What arc known as alkali spots upon 1 the (.'astern plains, a Now York Sim man Avas informed by a Gothamlto Avbo hid herded cattle for some seasons in the norUiAvest, "are Avhitish places on the prairie, sometimes covering many acres. Hero the alkali has exuded from tho soil and has the appearance of lime sprinkled over the surface. Tills appearance is most noticeable whore the ' soil is damp. Some of these places are ' of a marshy character, and some of , them, though this Is rare, are veritable quagmires, as delusive and dagerous as tho quicksands of the Platte. They can ent undersitands.V?' •' .ill the ocean steamers [used paddles only. The warships alone sound.or , belloAvlng at times like a bull —Arilh a greater volume of voice, how- even 1 ,—it may ran, as it is termed, taking the boat in toAV at a rate, it lias I boon estimated, all the Avay from lif- |t..'i:ii to I wenh' mil >s :i» '' i-. •<. •: ,/lrst starts off, but settling dOAAii to labour, etgli': nr ten knolv? per !i. i: « u, j> ,it gets warmed up tc its work says .1. T. 'BroAvn in the Century. This is the old j "Nantudcet sleigh-ride." The whale having tired itself by running, the boat is hauled up by the line, and side by side tho croAV, Avith hair standing on end and the affrghted Avliale, startled .IUCAV by the close proximity of so strange a load, rush through the surging and fast- recedng Avaters. Tho officer "gets a sot" with his hand lance, and plunges about five or six feet of cold iron into the lungs of the victim, and perseveres JAvlthout ceasing in the up and dOAvii motions, familiarly known as "chum- jing," as tho bout persistently clings to |tho 'whale, until the spout of tho unfortunate cetacean is tinged Avith tho crimson of its OAVU life-blood. Tho muscles of the strong arms HOAV relax upon the lance, the boat Is laid oil', and the dying whale swims round and round in an unbroken circle. This is the "flurry." Death Is UOAV merely a question of time. The blood ejected through the spiracles now becomes as thick a.s tar. it is not only a belief of Avhalemen, but it is usually tho fact, that the whole, duriiur its dying moments, so times its encircling path as to place its head to tho sun. It UOAV makes a heavy lurch, the sea is lashed Into a maelstrom of bloody Avater, and the ponderous whale rolls heavily on Iti HOW BU5555AKDS KT1-L SNAKES. The Cunning Birds UtiliKo the Dull Thud to Great Advantage. "I once observed," said Lamartine Gibson to a St. Louis Globe-Democrat man, "Avhat Avas to me a new and interesting sight—thai, of a lialf-dozen buzzards killing a snake. It was years ago, Avhen 1 lived as a boy down on a farm near Sheboull, 111. One June morning I sat on a rail fence under a walnut tree overlooking a field of growing Avheat, when I observed high in tine air t\vo or three, buzzards sailing about, just as lazy and delightfully smooth as one could imagine, around and around in a circle. It Avas not long until several more arrived, and then I counted a half dozen. Tttiey dreAV nearer from over a patch of woods and dropped near the ground in the next field. Here they circled about, evoiy now and then swooping close to the earth and all at once arose Avith a great black, wriggling cord that I at once Imagined must bo a snake. The buzzard dropped the snako from about fifteen feet up and then dropped right after it and brought it up again. I jumped from the fence and ran across the Held over near where tho battle, somewhat lopsldedly, AVOS progressing.. "The half dozen buzzards were close together, taking turn about at the snake carrying it aloft and then dropping it AA'Uli a deadly .thud. I thought at the time that a snake could not stand many falls like that, and so I grabbed a stick and ran near to AVhero it last fell. My approach scared them aAvay. 'One bird, hOAvever, made a swoop and gathered the snako by the back, but the beak ' grip Avns not strong enough, and the serpent fell to the ground, I reached there before the bird could swoop again, and stood guard over the remains. The snake Avas stunned to death. It was considerably tonil—a great long blacksnake fully live, feet in length and one and a half inches in tiiickess. I added a I'OAV blOAvs Avith my club for assurance sake and then Avalkecl mvay to see if tho buzzards would return. They had ascended high into the air, but they were still over the spot, circling about, aAvniting my departure. I drew off and sat doAvn by the fence. Then they came doAvn. One seized the reptile and flCAV away, closely folloAved by the other live. It Avas a battle of birds then, and in tho scrimmage the reptile Avas frequently dropped. The contest continued far over the fields and out of my vision." EX-SENATOR LORD ILL. Lies at the Point of Death at His Ed- - gertou Home. Edgerton, Wls7 Feb. lO.-specla! telegram.-Ex-Senator S. L. Lord is critically ill at his home ha this place TT1 " *- 1 —- have very little W o.ter This Is "finninc out '' " of of the lungs. T Cooper was fatallyujui^d near l*xu*, Pel., on the 15th by a tree AvWch '

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