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CENTER MORICHES RECORD
VOL.1 CENTER MORICHES, N.Y. WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1900 NO.1
It is reported that a French chef is about to open a restaurant for concentrated food. The entire meal from hors d'oeuvre to dessert will be served in capsules or tabloids. It is believed that this will be the quickest of quick lunches since half a dozen courses may be eaten in the same number of minutes.
There are few Paris windows, especially in the poor quarters, where plants growing in pots are not seen. A rich philanthropist has had the queer idea of opening a free hospital for sick plants in the Fauburg St. Antoine. There are big greenhouses with plenty of gardeners who look after the plants that are brought in till they recover and then return them to their owners.
The latest invasion by American manufacturers to exile Great Britain is that of the makers of steel plates for the sheathing of ships. The London Financial Times says that Clyde ship-builders are now making contracts with American makers as low a price as $34 a ton, as against $40 asked by British manufacturers. With such prices as these it is said to be impossible for the British to compete, and the Americans have taken orders for 40,000 tons.
The postal establishment of the United States is the greatest business concern in the world, handling more pieces of mail, and employing more men and women than any other government or corporation. The immense size of the country. the lack of concentration of the inhabitants in a few large cities, all help to make the post office service of the first magnitude, and, as a matter of fact, only one corporation of railways, earns and disburses as much as the postoffice department.
The question of corporal punishment in schools has been discussed a good deal in Germany and Switzerland lately, and the Canton Berne has come to a decision in the matter. The new law which has been made is considered by some person a compromise between the flagellants and anti-flagellants.It prescribes the use of the cane for "grave faults" such as indicate moral perversion; repeated lying is given as an instance, and it is expressly forbidden to punish for want of application. Girls are not to be punished physically at all.
The stubborn character of the human mind was never better illustrated than by the determined way in which the citizens of Galveston are going about the rebuilding of that city. Lying only six feet above the sea level, it is and will always be without natural protection against the rage of Gulf cyclones. In 1857 Galveston was drowned out and the town disappeared. Ten years later it went under again. Twice in 1871 it was swallowed by the Gulf. In 1873, 1875 and 1877 the waves rolled over it. In 1875, at the very hour when the city was doomed to utter destruction, it was saved by a shift of wind. In this storm a full rigged ship was blown two miles inland. When the inevitable storm of the future again strikes the plucky city, it is hoped that engineering science will have succeeded in making good the deficiencies of nature.
The supreme court of Ohio has recently been called upon for the first time in determine what constitutes a total loss under a policy of fire insurance. Some portions of the burned building remained in place and undestroyed, and were of some pecuniary value although not capable of being utilized in the process of reconstruction or for the purposes of repair. The court holds that this does not prevent a loss from being total. "It seems to be agreed," says Mr. Justice Minshall, "that it is not necessary. to constitute a total loss, that all the material composing the building should be destroyed. It is sufficient, though some parts of it remained standing, that the building has lost its identity and specific character as a building; the insurance not being upon the material composing the building, but upon the building as such." The loss is regarded as total, even though something might be realized for the material by removing it.
A gentleman by the name of Dreyfus is bobbing up in France. If the reader will think hard for a few minutes he will probably recall the name.
Some of the noisiest patriots are those who forget to register.
THE HAPPY TIME
The man who cannot rest today,
But says he will tomorrow,
Finds, when his work is cleared away,
New tasks or sits in sorrow -
The merry time, the happy time,
The blissful day in view
Is never gained by them that wait
To triumph and to celebrate
With nothing more to do.
The man who folds his hands to-day
And contemplates with sorrow
The pressing task that's put away
Unfinished until to-morrow
Has neither rest of heart nor mind,
For he that looks ahead
To duties long delayed destroys
The sweetest of sweet leisure's joys -
But borrows doubt and dread.
The man who mixes work and play
At present and to-morrow
Keeps life's poor little ills away
And finds few cares to borrow;
The merry time, the happy time,
The blissful day in view
Is every day for him whose hand
Is tuned each day to fair deeds, and
Who plays in reason, too. -S.E. Kiser in the Chicago Times-Herald
THE BLIND COUGAR
It was a good day for deer hunting. Two or three inches of snow had fallen, and the air seemed soft and heavy, as it does before a storm. We determined to utilize the favorable weather for the killing of our winter meat. Therefore, at about sunrise, my partner, Curtis, our Indian helper, Pete Debaw, and myself set out from our shack to make a circuit of the nearer hills.
In 1875 this rough Black Hills community abounded in big game - elk, deer, sheep, grizzles, black bears and mountain-lions. On that November day, at one o'clock or a little later,I had killed and hung up four blacktails and one cotton buck. Then, in close pursuit of a wounded doe among a rough tumble of rock ledges, a serious accident befell me. Hot upon the trail, I was pushing through am undergrowth of cedar, when I burst from cover upon a precipitous slope and fell headlong. I dropped my gun upon the snow, and grasped in vain at bush and boulder to stay my downward flight. I pitched down an incline, rolled over and over, and dropped off the rim of a ledge some fifteen or twenty feet in height.
For some time I lay paralyzed, physically, by the shock of my fall. My face lay on the edge of a narrow shelf of rock and one of my arms overhung it. I had no power to retire from this perilous position, yet with a curious sense of helpless indifference I looked down into a black and dismal gully which I knew well was the "hidden cannon", as we had named it, of Spring Creek.
It was from twelve to twenty feet in width, a huge split between two masses of rock. It must has been nearly one hundred feet to the bottom, and a small stream leaped and tumbled through the boulder-filled channel.
So narrow was the cleft where I lay that an active man could have leaped it at a running jump. On the opposite side was a mass of rocks rounding off to the left, and below this a rough, narrow slope along the rim of the notch.
"A poor place to look for deer," was my thought, and there was little likelihood of my hunting companions finding me soon, unless I could send my shouts to their ears. But as yet I had no voice for shouting.
At the end of a half an hour, the paralysis of my nerves had partially abated, and I succeeded in rolling over and gaining a reclining posture against the ledge. In so doing I discovered that my right shoulder was dislocated, and that probably two of my ribs were cracked. I found that I was upon a shelf of rock some thirty feet in length and not more than seven or eight in width.
Still nothing seemed to matter greatly, and when presently a gust of wind whirled by and great feathery flakes began dropping spirally into the notch, I felt a lethargic sense of indifference.
From this hazy condition I was roused by seeing a great reddish-yellow beast come out of a cleft in the rocks just across the narrow cannon. It was a "mountain
lion" of great size, and it paused upon the slope with uplifted head and pricked ears, apparently listening and looking away toward the higher ground.
Now, for the first time since I had fallen I felt a thrill of fear. If the big cat were hungry, how easily it might leap the gully and devour me where I lay! Most fervently I hoped the creature might trot away beyond the rocks.
But the lion turned its head and seemed to be looking directly at me. It walked deliberately down to the edge of the cleft, and for an instant I thought my time had come.
Still the animal showed no sign of having seen me. On the contrary, it turned immediately to one side, and began trotting back and forth in front of its lair. It travelled over a beat of some forty yards or more, wheeling with precision at the same point in each turn, and going over its path each time with precisely the same movement - a shuffling, gliding trot. It thus passed and repassed within ten or twelve yards of where I lay, and now, with awakening facilities, I discovered that this big male lion was blind. Instead of the yellow green balls with cruel slits there were two prominent grayish-white disks under its half-closed lids.
It was a blind cougar out for exercise. Surely, with the notch between us, there could be little danger from this unfortunate beast! Fast, and, curious, and forgetting my helpless condition, I watched the lithe, powerful, enormous cat promenading this beat - a path which he had doubtless trodden many thousand times. Just so many steps in one direction, just so many back over the same line. At one point he avoided a projecting boulder; at another, passed around a broken cedar sapling. He swung himself back and forth with the regularity of a pendulum stroke.
Here, despite his infirmity, was no cage, hampered and rod-beaten creature of the menagerie. By some...the blind lion had been well kept...red-yellow coat was sleek and handsome and his great muscles moved and glided over each other like well-oiled parts of perfect machinery. He dropped his lower jaw now and then, and once gave a mighty yawn, displaying rows of fangs which might have rent the skin of an alligator. Once only he halted upon the stone in a horribly suggestive fashion. I rejoiced, indeed, that he was blind. And so I lay watching while the big panther glided back and forth and the whirling snowflakes slipped off his glossy coat and padded the path for his feet.
And now again the wind whirled by in eddying gusts, flinging snowflakes and dried leaves across the notch; and out of a cross-current nearly in front of his lair the lion caught my scent.
Instantly the gliding, graceful figure was transformed, and a fierce, snarling beast reared upon its hind feet, snuffling in eager anxiety to find the prey. The lion whirled about several times, then made a leap to the right, then directly toward me. Then he lost the scent and crouched, his red muzzle quivering, his ears twitching curiously, while his tail whipped to and fro.
Now he rose again and moved off, sniffing cautiously along the rim of the gully. He seemed to reason that the scented creature must have shifted its position. Again his nose took wind of me, and crouching, he sniffed down at the gaping cut as if to make sure of the direction. Then as his ears were laid flat, and his yellow talons were unsheathed to take firm grip upon the rock, I gave myself up for lost.
When the snarls menacing me...growling louder and louder, I knew the creature was certain of his ground. He had not been blind always, and he had leaped many times upon the shelf where I lay. Horror-stricken, I watched him gather himself, and then vault in a sweeping curve above the chasm and alight upon the rocks within four or five feet of where I lay.
I expected instant death. My nerves were suddenly racked with cutting pains, which ran through my chest until I gasped for breath. And yet the snarling, sniffing lion did not spring upon me. He had jumped to windward of me, and the air currents no longer carried the scent. He reared again upon his hind feet snuffing anxiously. Then to my joy his bristles lowered, his savage aspect changed to one of distrust, and he turned and leaped back across the cut.
He stood upon the brink for a moment in a listening attitude of suspicion, and then, trotting away, disappeared within his lair.
It was now snowing very fast, and in the next few minutes, relieved of intense reacting pains, I did some hard thinking. I dared not shout to attract the attention of my fellow-hunters, and I was in momentary fear of a reappearance of the puma, or worse yet, of its mate.
The weather was warm, hardly at the freezing point, and I was warmly clothed. I might, I concluded, survive twenty-four hours and longer if let alone by the lions, and long before that time Curtis and Pete would be scouring the hills for me. Camp was not more than two miles distant. I decided to lie quiet in the snow until I should hear some sound of searching.
Within half an hour the wisdom of this course was made apparent. Then I saw, coming down out the storm on the far slope, two more red-yellow beasts, which proved to be the blind lion's mate and her well-grown cub.
I shrank in fear under my covering of snow. Some taint of my presence there was yet in the notch, for both the lions paused, at twenty steps or so, and snarled angrily, with bristling backs and nervous twitching of their tails.
For a moment the two seemed to be glaring straight at me, and I closed my eyes in fearful suspense. I waited, hardly breathing for some seconds; then hearing no more of the cougars, I looked again to find that they had passed on and gone into their lair. It was but a moment, however, before they reappeared, and this time the blind male was with them. The three passed together up the ridge beyond. There had been a kill somewhere and the blind lion's mate and cub had come dutifully to conduct him to the feast.
Under safer circumstances, I should have felt the keenest interest in this evidence of family devotion among fierce beasts, and, with perfect opportunity, I should have hesitated to kill either the dam or her cub. As it was, I was witness to something very like a tragedy.
The lions had been gone a half-hour, perhaps, when I heard the booming crack, crack of a rifle just over the rock ridge in front of me. I answered the shots with a hallo as lusty as I could give, and hitched myself to a more conspicuous posture against the ledge. I shouted again and again, a rather feeble wail, but loud enough to be heard at a considerable distance.
Then, as if by magic, I was confronted by the three lions, which had slid down an inward curve of the rock ledge upon my left. They came on in great bounds to within fifteen or twenty yards of my perch. There, catching sight of me, the two foremost came to a halt, and united their voices in menace. It was easy to be seen that something exciting and unusual had happened to the puma family. The blind one, apparently cowed by his helplessness, slunk to his cavern, muttering hoarsely as he ran. Despite their savage demonstrations, the dam and her cub did not attack.
Some new fear seemed to possess them. They whirled about repeatedly, to guard against surprises. They flung themselves upon the snow, and lashed their tails excitedly.
I understood that someone - Curtis or Pete, doubtless - had been shooting at them. Perhaps for the first time they had heard the thunder of a gun and the hissing whine of bullets.
Then a rifle cracked again, this time close at hand, and I saw the cougar dam flatten out upon the snow with a bullet through her brain. The cub bounced about wildly, spitting and hissing, until two or three more shots were fired, when it, too, dropped in its tracks, dead. Looking in the direction of the firing, I saw our Indian, Pete, searching for a way to descend the ledge.
While Pete was hunting for a path, the blind lion ran out of its lair, which he must have considered unsafe against the new foe. The beast showed intense excitement. He stopped over the bodies of his dead mate and cub and sniffed at them in apparent great anxiety. Then his tail drooped and his hair shrank upon his skin. A great fear seized him. Suddenly he uttered a strange, whining lament, sprang toward the cannon cleft and leaped into its abyss.
Was it a case of suicide? It has always seemed so to me, and yet, in his sudden sense of loss, in his great fear and excitement,the creature may have had no other aim than mad flight, and may have gone to his death quite by accident.
I was as overjoyed as astonished at our meeting. Before noon the Indian had hung up a deer on the ridge and when he returned to get the meat he found three lions had torn down the carcass. He fired and missed and as the lions ran he had followed, shooting at them as long as they were in sight.
By making a strenuous effort I found that I could stand on my feet, but I was not released from my shelf until the Indian procured an axe and had bridged the gulch with poles. - Youth's Companion.
WELL WORTHY OF THE POST
A newspaper took a new reporter on trial recently. He went out to hunt for news, says Tit-Bits, and after being away all day, returned with the following, which he said was the best he could do:
"Yesterday we saw a sight which froze our blood with horror. A cabman, driving down Market street at a rapid pace, was very near running over a nurse and two children. There would have been one the most heartrending catastrophes ever recorded had not the nurse, with wonderful forethought, left the children at home before she went out, and providentially stepped into a chemist's shop just before the cab passed.
"Then, too, the cabman, just before reaching the crossing, thought of something he had forgotten, and turning about, drove in the opposite direction. Had it not been for this wonderful concurrence of favorable circumstances a doting father, a loving mother, and affectionate brothers and sisters would have been plunged into the deepest woe and most unutterable funeral expense."
The new reporter will be retained.
HE WAS "TERRIBLE BASHFUL"
The mental superiority of the immature young woman to the immature young man is generally acknowledged. It is a fact that is recognized by some very small ladies. The little ten-year-old girl in the country was visited the other day by a small boy neighbor of the same age. The two sat in the hammock for a time swinging, and it might have been noticed that the young woman did most of the talking. Undoubtedly that is a feminine perquisite, but this particular young woman felt that she was obliged to do more than her share, on account of a noted lack of confidence in the younger male of the human race.
"What did your little friend have to say?" asked mamma after the small boy visitor had departed.
"Oh, you know how boys of that age are, mother," replied the little lady with a commiserating air, "terrible bashful." - New York Times.
The average girl rather admires extravagance in a man, until she marries him.
FLORIDA SPONGE FISHERY
HOW THEY ARE GATHERED IN SOUTHERN WATERS
Professor Wilson's Experiments - Why the Divers Are Not Successful - Use of the Water-Glass - We Use the Skeleton of the Sponge
For a great many years scientists denied to the sponge the honor of being classed among those things in nature which possess animal life, but now the sponges have been placed above the protozoa in a subkingdom of their own, with the individual scientific cognomen of Porifera, probably on account of the multitude of pores. Other scientists class the sponge with the corals, sea-feathers, and jelly-fishes.
H. V. Wilson, Ph. D., professor of biology in the University of North Carolina,
has recently conducted a series of most interesting laboratory experiments to demonstrate "The Feasibility Of Raising Sponges From The Egg." He thinks that the probability is that every sponge is hermaphrodite, and at one period this particular individual produces chiefly male elements, and at another period, mainly female elements. Thus the egg is fecundated within the body of the mother, and there undergoes its early development. Later on the lively little embryo sponge bursts away from maternal control, and, with a feeling of individual importance, perhaps a presentiment of the wounds of a hero to be washed, strolls out into one of those pores, where it is caught by the ocean current. It is a wonderfully interesting atom, as it paddles along. It is an oval solid body about a twenty-fifth of an inch in diameter, and can be plainly seen with the naked eye. It is covered with a slender hair-like formation of protoplasm that is called cilia. The hours of comparative freedom of the cilia are brief, at the best, for they are ever more at the mercy of the current. But in from twenty-four to forty-eight hours it must go down to the bottom, attach itself to some rock or solid formation, and there be metamorphosed. The body of the minute infant sponge flattens out into a thin disk, so diaphanous and unimportant looking that the casual observer might fancy it a mere incrustation of some of the salts of the sea. But if left undisturbed for one or two years, it will grow to sufficient size to pass the four-inches-in-diameter requirements of the law and become the sponge of commerce.
There are many sloops and schooners sailing over the three thousand square miles the constitute the sponge fisheries of the gulf coast. These craft range from five to forty-seven tons, averaging about thirteen tons. The larger of these vessels will carry from five to thirteen men, and the smaller ones five men. Two men go in each of the dingeys or small boats, from which the real sponge grappling is to be done, while the odd man stays in charge of the vessel. So valuable is the sponge, and so depleted have the fisheries in waters of about fifty feet depth become, that the man who shall discover a means by which sponges can be raised from a greater depth than that has a fortune in sight. Divers, in their heavy suits, walking around on the uneven, rocky beds of the ocean upon which the sponges grow fast, destroy the next year's crop. Some expert divers in the Mediterranean sea were brought out to the Florida coast a few years ago. With these three Greek sponge divers there was also an experienced diver from New York; but the experiment was not a success. The salary of each of the divers was $150 a week, the sponges were nowhere found in dense beds, and the hookers, in the same length of time , secured more sponges than the divers. So destructive of the crop of young sponges have the cumbersome apparatus of the divers proved, in Europe and in Turkey, that laws prohibiting diving for sponges in this way have been passed in those countries; and there is still on the statute books of Florida a law that prohibits diving for sponges in the gulf waters, either with or without armor.
When sponges were to be obtained in the shoal waters off the coast of Florida, the fishers used a short pole weighing from one pound and a half to two pounds, with a shank of six inches; but the longer poles necessitated by the deep-water fishing have hook measuring over two feet in the shank, and they weigh about five pounds. The only other apparatus that the sponge fishers require is a water-glass, which is nothing more nor less than an ordinary water-bucket, from which the natural bottom has been removed and replaced by one of glass. By pressing the water-glass down a few inches into the water, the sponge fishers in our country clearly see objects in the bottom of comparatively deep waters. One of these water-glasses is carried on each boat. One man paddles the small boat along, while the other while the other leans over the side and manipulates the water-glass and the grappling pole. When, by the aid of his water-glass, he locates a sponge, he inserts his hook, detaches the sponge, and pulls it to the surface. The sponge fisher, like any other angler, does not always succeed in landing his fish. If the sponge gets away from him it is with greatest difficulty that he can secure it. The sponge thus liberated from the bedrock of the ocean and floating free on its surface is by the spongers called a "roller" or a "rolling John. "The sponge that we use is merely the skeleton of the sponge that the sponge fisher throws into the bottom of his dingey. It has to go through a number of different processes of purification before it is fit to use. When it is first taken out of the water it is black and slimy. It takes several days of exposure to the hot sun on the decks of the large vessels to kill it. Then, for a week longer, it is put in crawls or pens on shore, where the animal matter, which is called gurry, decays still more. Next, the men beat the sponges with a wet wooden paddle, and scrape them with knives. The residue, with what water may be in them, is squeezed out by hand. Then, with a large needle and coarse twine, the sponges are strung in bunches about five feet in circumference.
The sponges are usually sold at Key West, and it would seem that the successful buyer must be divinely guided. The sponges are unloaded on the deck, where the buyers have the privilege of looking them over, but not of weighing them. After they have looked over the cargo on the wharf, the entire lot is sold at public auction. The sponges now undergo a second cleaning and trimming, which entails a loss of about 8 per cent.; a part of which is recovered by selling the clippings, which bring, wholesale, about five cents a pound. New York Post.
IDENTIFIED BY A SKULL CHIP
Odd Experiences of a Medical Missionary With a Native African
"Probably the oddest case within my experience was that of Lapuie, who made himself known to me through the use of a detached piece of his own skull," said a medical missionary on a furlough from his work among the heathen. "One morning I went out to look over the specimens of real or fancied injury which were awaiting treatment. There was pretty nearly every kind of tropical disease in the outfit from sore finger to dropsy. Most of the patients were well known to me but among them was one man whose face was unfamiliar, and who seemed to belong to a different tribe. As I stopped at his place he leaped to his feet as actively as a cat, and from somewhere in his scanty apparel dug up an object which he promptly handed to me. It was a circular piece of human skull as big around as a dollar, and very nearly as thick. On the outer surface someone had carefully written in ink the name of Lapuie. This must be, I think, the first case in which a man has used part of his skull instead of a visiting card.
"I looked the man over at once to find out what the trouble was. He had had some sort of a difference of opinion with his chiefs and as a result of such presumption had received a stout clubbing. One of the blows had fractured the skull, and for some time had knocked him out. When the old women who look after the science of medicine among these particular heathen got hold of Lapuie they found that part of his skull was loose. To save difficulty they pried the loose piece off with the blade of a knife, poulticed up the wound and let nature do the rest. The patient kept the chip of his skull and the inscription on it was the work of some passing trader.
"When the case came under my notice there was scarcely more than the thickness of a piece of parchment left of the skull over the brain, and the wound had practically healed. It turned out that Lapuie had made the long journey to his distant home to see me, because this degree of damage troubled him. He had the idea that the piece of the skull should be set back in place, and he seemed to have great confidence in my ability to do it. It was a great disappointment to him that his skull chip could not be struck back. Although I did all that surgical science prescribes for the protection of the thin spot of the cranium, my patient kept harping on the fear that he might lose his fragment of bone, which might fall into improper hands and thus play the mischief with him. The only way to pacify him was to string the chip on a copper wire and solder it about his neck." Louisville Commercial.
Killed by a Fly's Bite
A case of extreme rarity came before Mr. Langham, deputy coroner, at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, says the London Daily Mail, when he inquired into the death of a little girl named Lydia Maria Chamberlain, aged nine.
It was shown by Mr. A. L. Chamberlain that the deceased, his niece, was playing at the window on Friday with his own little girl, when she suddenly complained having been bitten by a fly. Next morning the spot where she was bitten was much inflamed and swollen. Afterwards she became delirious and lapsed into unconsciousness. She was removed to the hospital, nut despite every attention on the part of the staff she gradually sank and died.
Dr. Nixon, the house surgeon, in answer to the coroner, said they had records of one or two cases of the kind, but they were very rare. Death was due to general blood poisoning.
The Maories of New Zealand attach the highest value to the greenstone. They are sending a very handsome one as a present to Lord Roberts in token of admiration of his prowess.
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