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BY FRANK STICK
The river winds around sure the boy never neglected to refresh himself the base of the cliffs in with its grateful coolness, ere he dipped into the a big curve that incloses satisfying substantials contained in the lunch-bag. several miles of pine and He always lingered for a time after eating, hard-wood forest in a lying flat on his back, hands clasped under his sort of gigantic horse- head, feasting his eyes in their turn on the loved shoe. When seen from stretch of country below him. Every curve in the foot of wide- the river, every grove and each tiny break in the spreading white oak just timber became imprinted on his mind and posabove Point Rock, it re- sessed for him some secret individuality. Many sembles the practical of the rocks and trees were landmarks of events omen of good luck to in his excursions in hunting or angling-the such an extent that the lightning-gashed trunk of the beech tree, where, natives thereabouts have one evening in early autumn, Uncle Lou's coon given this particular part hounds had treed a lynx; the crooked cedar that of the river the name of marked the dens of those wily old foxes who deHorse-Shoe Bend. fied his trapping knowledge for several winters.
The oak that capped Almost directly below were Wild Cat Rapidsthe bluff marked a fa- the head of a pool from which he had enticed vorite rendezvous for a many a sizable bass and channel-cat. And some boy and a dog I knew in distance down the river Baily's Falls glinted in my golden days, who, the sunlight and sent their many voices up to when tired with ram- him, there on the point. bling over hill and down The picture he saw from his perch beneath the dale in search of squir- oak never grew tiresome, because the tones and rels and other small colors of it were ever varying. It changed not game, sought a suitable only with the seasons, which marked a huge difspot at which to enjoy the ference, of course, but also with the days. There well-earned luncheon. were cloudy days when all the landscape was There never any grayed and simplified. Days of sunlight when regular hour for lunch- the hills and opens seemed to throb and pulsate, ing-no twelve o'clock and only the shadowed valleys and the point were whistles or schoolhouse cool. Sometimes he saw huge cloud-shadows bell to be obeyed. If he sliding over his picture, and could almost feel was hungry the boy was them when they enveloped his tree. Now and
wont to argue that there then it stormed. Dark clouds would hurry up was mighty little chance of a fellow's seeing from the horizon, and soon there would come a game during the heat of the day-which might veil of rain like a heavy gray cloud, pressing mean almost any hour between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. down the tree-tops and ruffling the peaceful
Many times, too, his decision to stop for lunch river as it approached. There were outcropping was due to the boy's thinking he noticed a hungry rocks close at hand which made capital shelters, expression on the face of Bob, the dog. This so the rain bothered him not one whit. fancy may have possessed a solid foundation, for Mostly, though, there was the sun. beneath the love that existed between boy and It is n't at all strange that the bigness and dog, there had developed an understanding which sweetness of this bit of "God's out-of-doors" is often lost about the time business or college should have impressed itself so deeply on his takes the foremost place in a boy's thoughts. boyish mind that it influenced his grown-up life
A few rods below the oak, a cold, clear spring even to his innermost thoughts, and his days were bubbles up into a little rock-rimmed basin and the happier and his deeds the bigger and better from there falls in a succession of tiny cas- because he had known this influence. cades to the river. This spring was one of the Sometimes I think it were good if every boy many attractions of the point, and you may be might learn the path to a Point Rock.
This old darky and his team of dogs were once a fidelity taught by this humble old colored man and familiar sight to the residents of Nashville, Ten- his cheerful little servants was one that lingered nessee, but they never failed to call a crowd of in the hearts of all who knew them. Sometimes interested spectators. The old fellow was as they were out on a pleasure trip, as seen in the proud of his horseless carriage as if he were the accompanying photograph, but more often we saw owner of the finest touring-car in the country, and them with a little delivery cart, for Uncle John he paraded the streets with as much joy as the earned his living with these canine friends of his. most finished artist in the ranks of the chauffeurs. Once he was asked if they were not more ex
He had his faithful dogs in good training, us- pensive than one good horse would be, and he ing neither reins nor whip, but guiding them by replied: “Law, child ! dey don'cos' me nuffin'. a word of command. He had only to say “Start !" De man what Ah buys mah p'ovisions f'om, he and off they went at a "dog-trot”; “Stop!" and gives me meat foh de dawgs." they came to an immediate halt; a motion of his Though Uncle John has emancipated his team of hand, and they swung around a corner as deftly as dogs and now drives a mule, several of his canine the swiftest little runabout. Usually he had eight friends still live and follow him on his daily rounds; dogs in harness and three outrunners, but occa- while in the hearts of Nashville's young people, sionally the whole eleven were in the traces, and and, indeed, of many who are no longer young, a pretty sight they made. Not only did they lend lives the memory of the happy, noisy little fellows picturesqueness and interest to the streets of who barked their joyful greetings in merry oppoNashville, but the lesson of patience and love and sition to the "Honk, Honk," of the motor horn.
BY LAWRENCE W. NEFF
From the time when the oldest books of the Old adult and young birds, and the proper care of Testament were written, and doubtless long be- them has been reduced to a science as well as an fore that time, the ostrich and some of its pecu- industry. liar habits have been more or less familiar to None but very feet horses can overtake the dwellers in those portions of the earth where the ostrich upon the desert. His strength enables him human race appears to have had its earliest home.
to carry a man upon his back and yet travel with The writer of the Book of Job speaks of the remarkable speed. Upon a few occasions there ostrich, and there are several other references in have been exhibition races between a horse and the books of law and prophecy. Even before their an ostrich, each hitched to a racing sulky, and era the rich and flowing plumes plucked from the honors were usually divided. Yet it must be conwings of these great birds were in demand for fessed that the ostrich is not strictly suitable for the adornment of the dusky Oriental queens, so driving purposes. His stride at full speed is a that parties of expert hunters went on long and trifle over twenty feet, and this is not at all condangerous journeys to the desert to procure them. ducive to the comfort of the driver; still less so
It remained for enterprising Americans to when two are hitched together and are careless bring the ostrich-plumes to our very doors by in the matter of keeping step. Of course a spebringing the ostriches themselves. Thus it came cial set of harness is required to meet the needs to pass that farms for growing them were estab- of the case, but, as will be seen, this difficulty lished at various places in California and Arizona was overcome in a satisfactory inanner. It is a where climatic conditions were generally similar strange spectacle to witness these gigantic birds, to those of their native haunts-the great deserts eight feet in height, trotting complacently along of western Asia and northern Africa. At these the highway and obeying the will of the driver ostrich farms there are several thousands of the as if they were to the manner born.
BY WARREN L. ELDRED
He turned to retrace his steps, but just then a
new and very reasonable idea occurred to him. COUSIN WILLIE SEES A GHOST
Perhaps one of the campers, knowing that he AFTER the excitement which had attended the first must pass along that path after dark, had draped few days at Beaver Camp, the boys were not sorry a ghostlike figure and placed it there to test his to have a period of calm, with no sensational de- courage. velopments to interfere with the quiet enjoyment Well, he would just convince his companions of camp life.
that he had as much grit as any of them. It reOn Sunday evening, they went up to Mrs. quired heroic effort to turn about, pick up the Spencer's and had an informal service of song pail, and walk resolutely forward, but his will about her piano, Tad and his mandolin joining in power had been stimulated lately, and he forced with the others.
himself to continue on to the spring. Monday found them at work on the athletic He filled the pail with water and started back, field. This plot never would be ideal, but each a little astonished at his own "nerve," but thankday's efforts made it a little better, and Lefty ful that every step would bring him nearer the hoped to commence base-ball practice by the end camp-fire. Hurrying as fast as he could with his of the week.
burden, he reached the clearing beyond the woods, Wednesday was clear and cool, so the boys and approached the boys grouped about the big attacked the athletic field again, and talked hope- fire. fully of arranging games with their neighbors. “There 's a ghost in the woods," he remarked
Wednesday evening brought the first really casually, as if such visitors were quite usual. startling experience of the week. It was Cousin "A what?" Willie's turn to bring the drinking-water for the
"A ghost. We heard that the camp was camp, so, when the others had gathered about the haunted, you know, and it looks as if one of the fire, he set off along the familiar path to the ghosts had come back to see who 's here." spring.
“It's probably a stray cow." His courage was stronger than in days past, “No, it is n't, Eliot. Really! It was about and he had grown somewhat accustomed to eight feet tall, and white, and it had long arms, prowling around in the dark, so he took the lan- sort of stretched out." tern and pail and started on his way without any “Wow! I 'm glad I did n't meet it, kid! Where conscious shrinking from the unknown perils of the night.
“Not far from the spring-off in the woods." Once within the shadow of the woods, however, In spite of his effort to appear unconcerned, the he had to acknowledge a feeling of sudden fright. boys could not help noticing that Cousin Willie Something in front of him and a little to the right had been frightened. They wondered what appaclaimed his fascinated attention. It was tall- at rition had confronted him in the dark, silent least two feet taller than a man-and white. The woods. formless whiteness seemed to slip in and out “Shall we go forth and dare him to mortal comamong the trees in a manner truly spectral, and bat?" Tom asked. the boy was sure that the figure drew nearer to “Ghosts are not supposed to be mortal, you him.
know," his brother suggested. “That makes it He rallied his rapidly waning courage, and extremely hard to carry on any kind of combat tried to persuade himself that it was foolish to
Of course I am ready to draw my believe in the existence of ghosts. He even at- sword in defense of Beaver Camp, but-ertempted to convince himself that the terrifying had n't we better wait until the ghost comes out object was only a blanket which one of the camp
on the beach? There 's so much more space ers had hung up in a tree and forgotten to re- here, and the light 's better, not to say—” move. Still his knees trembled unco
comfortably, “Oh, look !" gasped Charlie. “There comes the and his teeth chattered. The report that the camp ghost !" was haunted came freshly to his mind, and this "Two of 'em!" added Jack, excitedly. "What increased his alarm. Had the ghost of Beaver spooky things! They must be fully eight feet tall, Camp arrived for one of its reported visits? just as Bill said !"