Puslapio vaizdai

The Dog Stealer's Story.

Chloris and Corydon.


I'm willin' to talk if you 're all on the square,
An' it is n't some kind of a sham.
I’m the best hand with dogs thar is in the line!
Better hang for a sheep than a lamb.

Yes, 't is a mean trade, so I lay out to be
'Bout as mean as they make 'em, yer know;
But only jest once hev I ever felt mean
Well, it happened a long time ago.

[ocr errors]

I was down on my luck, with nary a dog, When I passed by a bone-yard one night, The sun goin' down over back of the hills Makin' things sorter shiny an' bright.

CHLORIS, a maid of nimble feet,

Whose tongue was nimble too,
A shepherd, - Corydon, I weet,--

Come bashfully to woo.
He spake with awkward turn of head,

A-leaning on his crook ;
“Now get thee hence,” the maiden said,

Thou hast a sheepish look!" At this in lower tone he sighed,

* In love with thee I am": And she with merry laughter cried,

“ It is a pretty lamb! Then roared he out, a lion bold,

His love of many a day,
Until sweet Chloris, it is told,

Was glad to say him “ Yea.”
Thus maids in pastoral days were won,

Are still, -- my tale is true:
For I was shepherd Corydon,
And Chloris,- that was you !

Clinton Scolland.

I heard a long howl an' looked over the fence,
An' in thar on a grave that was new
Sat a dog jest mournin' away like a man -
Feelin' worse than the most of 'em do!

Yer see, it 's my trade, so I went fur that dog,
But I did n't git on very fast;
Though I've tackled all kinds that cur was the worst,
An' I had to play trumps, sir, at last.

One dodge never fails, an' he came 'gin his will,
But I tell yer, I felt like a hog,
For somehow it seemed a low kind of a trick,
A-persuadin' a dead seller's dog.

Song of a Blue-Bird's Egg.

He came sorter whinin', his tail hangin' down,
An' he never got sot up ag'in.
I was good to him, Mister, treated him well,
But he pined hisself sickly an' thin.

Months later I come to the very same place,
An' that night, sir, the dog run away,
So I started out fur to go look him up-
I'd a weakness fur him, I must say.

ONE blue-bird's egg I eat;
Den itch dese foolish seet,
Paths day appear s' sweet,

I quit my home.
You blue-bird, I run
Whar yo' spry wings begun;
But my road 's nar done,

I 'bleged ter roam. Blue bird, yo' egg 's small, Yit summer, spring, and fall I wanders mid 'em all

Never kin rest.

He'd never forgot, nor took kindly to me,
But I kinder respected his sense,
An' so paddled after him, all in the dark,
Till I ran myself into a fence.

Dar th'oo de wrinkled corn, Pass de place I wuz born,Ole massa's dinner-horn

Can't sound dis fur.

But the moon jest then wriggled out o' the clouds,
An' I saw the old place straight ahead,
An' that cuss of a dog! He crawled on the grave,
Gave a low sort of moan, an' lay — dead !

Well, I 'm never soft-hearted, but somehow I thought
He had stuck pretty well to his game,
An' is that dead seller was all that he thought
* I guessed he 'd hev wanted the same.

() my feet, lemme stay; O my knees, give away ; O my feet, stop, I pray,

Nigh de ole place! No! rain, nor hail, nor snow, Dis nigger 'bleged ter goHants day is callin' so

Fur 'crost de fiel

So thar in the moonlight I dug him a grave
’T would take a good sexton to beat,
An' come away glad to be leavin' him thar,
Down, at last, at his old master's feet.

By ev'y yaller crick, In whar de woods air thick, 'Long whar de river 's slick,

Down stream day call.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Thank yer, sir! You 're the sort! I 'll drink your

good health.
Must be gettin' along while it's light.
Your dog? A real Gordon! Hum! 'T is gettin'late —
Lemme sleep in your barn over night?

dlaria Bowen Chapin.


[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]



OCTOBER, 1889.

No. 6.


R.FROST and I reached Stretinsk would be unsafe for us to sleep at night in the

(Stray/tinsk) on our return from peasants' houses, or even to go into them for
the mines of Kara (Kah-rah') in food. This unwelcome intelligence discour-
a state of physical exhaustion aged us more than anything that we had yet
that made rest an absolute ne- heard. The journey to the mines would in-

cessity. Excitement, privation, volve hardship enough at best, and if, in a and exposure, without sufficient food, to intense temperature that was almost constantly below cold had so reduced my strength that I could zero, we could not enter a peasant's house to not walk a hundred yards without fatigue, and obtain food or shelter without risk of taking the mere exertion of putting on a fur overcoat the small-pox, we should be between the horns would quicken my pulse twenty or thirty of a very unpleasant dilemma. I was strongly beats. It did not seem to me prudent, in this tempted to proceed westward to the town of weak condition, to undertake a ride of six hun- Nerchinsk and enter the mining district from dred miles, in springless telegas (tel-lay'gas), that side; but such a course would greatly inthrough the wild and lonely region in which crease the distance to be traveled, and finding are situated the Nerchinsk (Ner'chinsk) silver that Mr. Frost was willing to share with me the mines. For three days, therefore, we rested risk of infection, I finally decided to adhere to quietly in the log-house of the young peasant our original plan. Sunday afternoon we loaded Zablikof (Zah'blee-koff), on the bank of the our baggage into a small, shallow telega, Shilka (Shill kah) River, eating all the nourish- lashed on behind a bag of frozen bread upon ing food we could get, sleeping as much as which we could not comfortably sit, and set possible, and bracing ourselves up with quinine out, with two horses and a ragged, low-spirited and Liebig's extract of beef.

driver, for the Alexandrofski Zavod (Al-ex-anSunday morning, finding my strength meas- drof'skee Zah-vod') and the mine of Algachi urably restored, I walked across the ice of the (Al-gah-chee'). river to the town of Stretinsk and called upon The silver mines of Nerchinsk are not situthe zasedatel (zah-se-dat'el), or district inspectorated, as one might suppose them to be, at or of police, for the purpose of obtaining horses. near the town of Nerchinsk, but are scattered Through the greater part of the Nerchinsk over a wild, desolate, mountainous region, silver-mining district regular post-roads are thousands of square miles in extent, known as lacking; but we had received authority by " The Nerchinsk Silver-mining District." This telegraph from the governor of the province district is coterminous, on its southern side, to ask the coöperation of the police in hiring with the frontier line of Mongolia, and occuhorses from the peasants along our route, and pies the greater part of the irregular triangle I had letters of introduction to most of the formed by the rivers Shilka and Argun (Arpolice officials from Major Potulof (Po'too- goon') just above the point where they unite to loff). The zasedatel received me courteously, form the Amur (Am-moor'). The existence of and at once made the necessary requisition for silver and lead ore in this region was known horses, but said he must warn me that an epi- even to the prehistoric aborigines of Siberia, demic of small-pox prevailed in all the region and traces of their primitive mining operations between Stretinsk and the mines, and that it were found near the Argun by the first Rus

Copyright, 1889, by THE CENTURY Co. All rights reserved.

sian explorers of the country. In the year Our driver tried to reassure us by declaring 1700 Greek mining engineers in the employ that the disease was of a mild type, but Mr. of the Russian Government founded the Ner- Frost expressed a fear that it might resemble chinski Zavod (Ner'chin-skee Zah-vod'), or Siberian vermin in being comparatively “mild” Nerchinsk Works, near the Mongolian frontier, and harmless to natives but death to foreigners. and before the end of the century shafts had When we reached the village of Kopun been sunk in more than twenty places between (Ko-poon'), at the end of the second stretch, it the Argun and the Shilka, and eight zavods, was beginning to grow dark, the mercury had or smelting-furnaces, had been constructed for fallen nearly to zero, and I was so deadly cold the reduction of the ore. The mines were that I could hardly move my stiffened and beworked at first by peasants brought from other numbed limbs. parts of Siberia and forcibly colonized at points “I can't stand this any longer,” I said to where their labor was needed, but in 1722 their Mr. Frost. “ One might as well get the smallplaces were taken to some extent by hard- pox as freeze to death. I 'm going to knock labor convicts deported from the prisons of at the door of this house and ask whether they European Russia. Since that time the mines have the confounded disease or not. If they have been manned partly by colonized peas- say they have n’t, I 'm going in to warm myself ants and partly by common criminals of the and get something to eat.” penal-servitude class. With the exception of I knocked at the door and it was opened Poles and a few of the Decembrist con- by a pale-faced, weary-looking woman. spirators of 1825, political convicts have never “Will you be kind enough to tell me whether been sent to the Nerchinsk silver-mining dis- you have small-pox in the house?" I inquired. trict. Thousands of Polish insurgents were “Yes,” she replied; “ we have." transported thither after the unsuccessful in- That was enough. I did not wait for parsurrection of 1863,1 but since that time polit- ticulars, but hastened back to the telega, and ical offenders as a rule have been sent to the said to Mr. Frost that, as we seemed to be bemines of Kara.

tween the devil and the deep sea, I was going Our first objective point, after leaving for the bread-bag. Another disappointment, Stretinsk, was the Alexandrofski Zavod, or however, awaited me. The loaves not only Alexander Works, distant in a south-westerly were frozen to the consistency of geodes, but direction about one hundred and twenty-five were completely covered with dust and sand miles. The “ Works,” from which the place that had been thrown up by the wheels of the originally derived a part of its name and all of telega, and had sifted through the loose meshes its importance, were abandoned many years of the homespun linen bag. I gave one of them ago and gradually fell into ruins, but the vil- to Mr. Frost, took another myself, and for threelage attached to them still lingers in a moribund quarters of an hour wesat there in the deepening condition and now sustains a small convict twilight, shivering with the cold and gnawing prison. As we wished to examine this prison, frozen bread, while we waited for horses. and as the Alexandrofski Zavod, moreover, What we had to do was to warm and aerate was a convenient point of departure for the with imagination the food that we could get, once famous but now abandoned mine of and congratulate ourselves upon having esAkatui (Ak-ah-too'ee), we decided to make caped the small-pox. I proposed, however, there a short stay. The weather when we left that we should sit on the bread throughout the Stretinsk was cold and cloudy, with a raw wind next stretch, and thus protect it to some extent from the north-east. The low, desolate moun- from dust and the refrigerating influence of an tains between which we traveled were whitened arctic climate. The proposition was approved by a thin film of snow, but the road was bare and adopted, but the result was merely to and dry, and we were soon covered with dust exchange one sort of discomfort for another. thrown up by the wheels of our vehicle. By Horses were forthcoming at last, and after the time we had made the first stretch of twenty another long, cold, and dreary ride we reached, miles we were cold, tired, and hungry enough about nine o'clock at night, the comfortable to seek rest and refreshment; but the village station of Shelapugina (Shell-ah-poo'gin-ah), where we stopped to change horses had a de- on the post-road between the town of Nerserted, pestilence-stricken appearance, and we chinsk and the Nerchinski Zavod. I did not did not even dare to alight from our telega. feel able to go any farther that day, and as Cold and hunger were preferable to small-pox. the postmaster assured us that there had

1 According to Maximof, who had access to the offi. penal servitude. Nearly all of the last-named class cial records, the number of Poles exiled to Siberia went to the Nerchinsk silver mines. [Maximof, “Si. between the years 1863 and 1866 was 18,623. Of this beria and Penal Servitude,” Vol. III., pp. 80, 81. St. number 8199 — including 4252 nobles — were sent to Petersburg: A. Transhel, 1871.] Eastern Siberia and 7109 of them were condemned to

« AnkstesnisTęsti »