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IN LIGHTER VEIN
A clear and strong
Had loud refrain,
Now low, now high-
I see it float
The trees between,
On seas of green;
While leaves were dry:
Ah, yes! 't was he in budding spring Who came to speed the cold and sing: « Good-by-good-by-good-by ! »
And now to heat
He sings the same,
In coat of flame.
And winter nigh-
To snow and sun
His whole life long
Brief parting song.
From where I lie -
Henry T. Stanton.
An Autumn Night.
spoken man; but he was clean grit, and I never see him
flustered in my life. He was sociable, too, though he 'd Some things are good on autumn nights, When with the storm the forest fights,
never talk much, but just sit with us around the campAnd in the room the heaped hearth lights
fire and chaw; and every once in a while he 'd put in a Old-fashioned press and rafter: word, and when he said somethin' it was worth while. Plump chestnuts hissing in the heat,
« Well,» says the major, «I'm going to cure Jim MeeA mug of cider, sharp and sweet,
chum »; and then we all knowed some fun or another was And at your side a face petite
up. So we laid low and waited. With lips of laughter.
One day, when Jim was feelin' specially downcey, and Upon the roof the rolling rain,
a-droopin' around the camp like a chicken with the gapes, And, tapping at the window pane,
Major says to him, says he, « Jim,» says he, « come on; The wind, that seems a witch's cane
let's walk over yonder behind them willers to the spring. That summons spells together; They 's a spring there that 's got mineral in it, and a A hand within your own awhile,
drink of it will do you good,» says he. Jim allowed it A mouth reflecting back your smile,
was n't no use, that nothin' would ever do him any good, And eyes, two stars, whose beams exile All thoughts of weather.
but by and by he went along; and when we saw them
two go behind them willers we wunk at each other, and And, while the wind lulls, still to sit
kind of smiled, because we knowed somethin' was up, And watch her fire-lit needles flit
and it was n’t spring water that Jim was goin' to git. A-knitting, and to feel her knit
When Jim Meechum come back from that little season Your very heartstrings in it;
with Major Harris, he was a changed man. He picked Then, when the old clock ticks 't is late, To rise, and at the door to wait
right up, never complained no more, eat his side meat Three words, or at the garden gate
like the rest of us, and made a full hand all around. No, A kissing minute.
sir; we never heard a chipper from Jim after that. We Madison Cawein. told Maje that he'd ought to take out a license to
preach, because Jim had got somethin' on that occaThe Healing of Meechum.
sion, whether religion or not, that stuck to his ribs (OLD INHABITANT LOQUITUR.)
better than any convertin' he'd ever had before. And JIM MEECHUM, ornery Jim, they used to call him, was Maje he'd kind of smile, and say nothin'. He never give the no-'countest man I ever knowed, I think, – that is, Jim away till long afterward, and then, one day, he told before he took the trip to Pike's Peak overland, with us all about it, after we'd all come back to the States. a lot of us fellows, in an early day. He's been improved « Well,» said Major Harris, when we finally asked him a heap since then. Major Harris learnt him a lesson on to let us into the thing, now that it could n't hurt Jim's that trip that I reckon did Jim more good than all the feelin's. «Well,» says he,« I saw Jim was just a-goin' down preachin' he ever heard, although Jim 's a powerful hand like a sick runt, and I knowed there was n't nothin' the to go to meetin', and I 've seen him git converted several matter with him, but he 'd lost his grit, and that will times. Fact is, Jim was a better hand at gittin' converted kill a man same as disease, unless he can git cured. So than he was at stayin'. Trouble with him was, he was I made up my mind I'd cure him. I always liked Jim. just an overgrown baby.
He was a good feller, and they was n't no harm in him. Well, as I was sayin', a party of us we concluded So I toled him off down behind the willers, and then I we 'd go out to Pike's Peak; and so we bundled up our says to him, when we got out of range of you fellers, traps, and got some wagons, and went it overland. We I says, says I: had n't been out very long before Jim began to get weak ««Jim, ain't you feelin' no better?) in the gills. He sort of lost his nerve, and thought he « « No, he says; «I got them same pains in my back. was goin' to die, and kept complainin' about everything. I believe I got a floatin' kidney. My wife's father had The water did n't agree with him, and he felt his rheu- one, and my symptoms are just like hisn.) matism comin' back, and everything, - he was gruntin' «« But don't you think you 'll get over it?) says I. all the time. When we got out from St. Joe a ways, he «« No, says he; «it 's only a question of time. I'm begun to weaken. He was afraid of the Indians, and sorry I come along, for I hate to be a bother; but I can't afraid of bushwhackers, and spent his time between hold out much longer.) layin' in the wagon and prayin' and walkin' around like «« You 're sure of that, Jim, are you?) says I. a ghost.
«« Yes, he says; and he hove a sigh, and walled his Well, the boys they got mighty tired of his carryin's eyes like a sick calf, and then he went on talkin' about on. They 'd run him about it, and joke him, and try to his family, and a-workin' himself up meller, like you rally him up, but it did n't do no good. He just moped know he used to keep doin'. and sulked, and it looked like he'd peter out sure. You « I let him run on awhile, and finally I says, "Well, know, it don't do for a man to lose his grip when he's Jim, me and the boys have talked it over, and we 've crossin' the plains. And we was all sorry for him, too; come to the conclusion that you 're right. You are we knowed if he did n't brace up he'd really die, but it a-dyin' by'inches; it is only a question of a week or so. seemed like we could n't git no hold on him.
You 're gittin' weaker and weaker, and, Jim, it is an So one day Major Harris says, “I 'm going to cure awful thing to die of disease out in this here God-forJim Meechum,)says he. «I'm going to cure Jim saken prairie. They ain't no way to take care of a sick Meechum. You fellers just watch me,” says he. man in an outfit like ourn. They ain't no women folks,
Major Harris was n't no hand to talk; he was a quiet- nor nothin', -only us men. And so we've talked it over,
DRAWN BY E. W. KEMBLE.
and we 've decided that if you ’ve got to die, Jim, you << And then, I goes on- (and then, the rheumatism had ought to die all to once, and not peter out in a long This thing of layin' out of nights in a wagon is bound to sufferin'. So we drawed straws to see who 'd undertake make that worse. It 's goin' to your heart, you said, the job, and I'm sorry to say that I was the one elected «« Now, Major, says Jim, don't you remember how to this office, and a blamed disagreeable one it is. But old Doc Meserve said they was n't nothin' so good for I'll do my duty, Jim; I ain't a-goin' to let no squeamish- sore joints as plenty of open air? My arm 's a heap
better. I can wallop it around every which way now. It's got better recent, he says; and it was all I could do to hold in when he sawed his arm around through the air, showin' me how supple he was.
«« Jim, says I, «you 're all prepared now. You 've been sayin' your prayers constant for a week, and you never will be readier to pass over. If you wait till the summons comes in a more regular way, you may not be ready.)
at Oh, but, he says, and he got up and laid his hand on my arm, caressin' like-oh, but I ain't ready, Major; I don't feel the witness as I once did. Sure I don't, he says.
« We jawed on to and fro for some time, Jim a-feelin' more and more improved as our remarks proceeded, and gittin' more worldly and unprepared to brush the dews on Jordan's banks, as he had been allowin' he was
about to do for some time back; and « (JIM, THINK OF YOUR TROUBLES.) >>
finally I says, says I, kind of slow like: ness keep me from doin' a kindness to a pardner in dis- «« Well, Jim, says I, «if your kidney ain't a-floatin' tress); and with that I pulled out my old horse-pistol.
« Well, sir, you'd ought to see Jim wilt when he saw «Oh, she ain't, says Jim; «she's stuck now; I feel that gun. He turned white around the mouth, and says: it, and he thumped his back a good, healthy welt.
« «You ain't a-goin' to shoot me, Major ?, he says. «t And if your rheumatism is improvin' in the open
« « Jim, says I, that ain't fair to put it that way. air, You know yourself you can't last long. It's a mercy « 1 Rheumatism? Pshaw!) says Jim; and he fetched a and a kindness to do it.)
caper with his game leg equal to one of them variety«r But,) says he, you ain't goin' to shoot me right down theater actresses. like a' old horse that 's broke its leg, are you?, he says. «t And if you can stand it to be away from your
«« Jim, says I, (you was always a fair-minded man; wife, and I put it to you, I says-"I put it to you, if you are av Oh, I don't care, he says. "Fact is, Maje, Nance not kind of hard on me? Here I am, with the best of is kind of worrisome sometimes, and I really enjoy a intentions; I simply want to help my feller-man, and save little vacation. him from a heap of sufferin'.)
«« And if you ain't quite wholly sanctified and ready « Well, we argued back and forth quite a spell, Jim to go --> a-gittin' scareder and scareder as he saw I meant busi- «« Be dog-goned if I am, says Jim, just to show me ness. Finally, down he goes on his knees, and begs and he could cuss a little. prays me not to shoot him.
«t And if, I says, slippin' my gun into my belt, and «« But, I says, “Jim, think of your troubles. There's extendin' the right hand of fellowship to him, and if that floatin' kidney, and that 's certain death.) you've made up your mind, Jim, to quit bein' an all-fired «« I think it 's some better, he says.
baby, and be a man, why put her there, and we 'll say « And then,) says I, «your wife and folks ain't here.) nothin' to the boys about it.
«« I don't mind that, says Jim; «I don't mind that at all. « The tears come into Jim's eyes, and he grabbed my Nance will be all the gladder to see me when I git back.) hand, and he says, "Don't the boys know ?)
«« But, says I, still strokin' my gun, “there's them «« No," says I; (and if you behave yourself I won't bowel troubles: they can't stand this alkali water.)
tell.) «1 Oh, he says, “I'm gittin' used to it. I rather like So that's how Jim Meechum was cured. the water now.)
THE DE VINNE PRESS, NEW YORK.