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"Got a bite, captain?"
"Yep, an' he's a whopper, too. I ain't quite sure whether I've hooked him. Yep, there he is. I feel him a-wigglin' on the line. He's a great, big, striped bass." All this was said in a sort of stage whisper. "How do you know what kind of a fish it is?"
"How do I know?" repeated the old man, as he began slowly and deliberately to haul in his line, and he threw supreme pity for the ignorance implied by the question into his voice. "How do I know? Why, young man, I can tell jes' what kind of a fish 'tis by the way he bites. Now, there's an eel; he kind o' makes little bits o' pecks at yer line, an' then he takes holt an' swims away with yer line sort o' easy like. Then there's the sucker; he jes' sucks yer bait, an' ye can't hardly feel him pull. An' then there's the yellow perch; he takes holt right away and swims away like a streak.”
"And how does the striped bass bite?" interrupted the young man.
"Oh, he monkeys around a whole lot, and then he takes hold all of a suddent and swims away down stream. I knowed right away when this fellow took holt he was a striped bass. I never make no mistake. I”
Just then the old man's catch came to the surface. It was an old boot.
THE WHITE ROSE AND THE POPPY.
"Dear me, you're so red!" cried the White Rose
"I am sure you must feel most gaudy,
It is trying to be so bright.
When one's dress is perfectly white.
"To seem to solicit attention,
Is contrary, quite, to the manners
And so, as I have said,
Poor Poppy! Her blush grew deeper,
And wished that she could have been white,
To be thought immodest and bold, Made her petals quiver with anguish, And her very calyx grow cold.
But the comforting south wind kissed her,
And she lifted her lovely head,
To her neighbor clad in white,
So surely was meant to be bright.
And need for each plant and tree,
Has placed us each in our bed;
I, in my garments red.
"You are not a red poppy,
But the Master and Lord of the garden
Work for the great and small,
THE OPEN STEEPLECHASE.
I had ridden over hurdles up the country once or twice,
And we brought him down to Sydney, and our rider, Jimmy Rice,
Got a fall and broke his shoulder, so they nabbed me in a
Me that never wore the colors, for the Open Steeplechase! "Make the running,” said the trainer, “it's your only chance whatever,
Make it hot from start to finish, for the old black horse can stay;
And just think of how they'll take it when they hear on Snowy River
That the country boy was plucky, and the country horse was
You must ride for old Monaro and the mountain boys today."
"Are you ready?" said the starter, as we held the horses back
All a-blazing with impatience, with excitement all aglow; And before us like a ribbon stretched the steeplechasing track, And the sun rays glinted brightly on the chestnut and the black,
As the starter's words came slowly: "Are--you-ready— Go!"
Well I scarcely knew we'd started, I was stupid-like with wonder,
Till the field closed up beside me and a jump appeared ahead,
And we charged it all together and it fairly whistled under, For we flew it like a hurdle, not a balk and not a blunder, And then some were pulled behind me and the rest shot out and led.
So we ran for half the distance, and I'm making no pretences When I tell you I was feeling very nervous like and queer, For those jockeys rode like demons, you would think they'd lost their senses
If you saw them rush their horses at those rasping five-foot
And in place of making running I was falling to the rear;
Till a chap came racing past me on a horse they called the Quiver,
And, said he, "My country joker, are you going to give it best?
Are you frightened of the fences, does their stoutness make you shiver?
Have they took to breeding cowards by the side of Snowy
Are there riders on Monaro?" but I never heard the rest, For I drove the Ace and sent him just as fast as he could pace it
At the big black line of timber stretching fair across the track,
And he shot beside the Quiver. "Now," says I, "my boy, we'll race it,
You can come with Snowy River if you're only game to face
Let us mend the pace a little and we'll see who cries a crack."
Then we raced away together, and we left the others standing,
And the people howled and shouted as we settled down to ride;
For I clung beside the Quiver; at his taking-off and landing I could watch his scarlet nostrils and his mighty ribs ex
And the Ace stretched out in earnest, and we held him stride for stride.
But the pace was so terrific that they soon ran out their tether,
They were rolling in their gallop, they were fairly blown and beat,
But they both were game as pebbles, neither one would show the feather,
And we rushed them at their fences and they cleared them both together:
Nearly every time they clouted, but they somehow kept their feet.
Then the last jump rose before us, and they faced it game
We were both at spur and whip-cord, fetching blood at every bound,
And above the people's cheering and the cries of "Ace!" and "Quiver!
I could hear the trainer shouting, "One more run for Snowy
Then we struck the jump together and came smashing to the ground.
Well, the Quiver ran to blazes, but the Ace stood still and waited,
Stood and waited like a statue while I scrambled on his back;
There was no one next or near me, for the field were fairly slated,
And I cantered home a winner with my shoulder dislocated, While the man that rode the Quiver followed limping down the track.
And he shook my hand and told me that in all his days he never
Met a man who rode more gamely and our last set-to was prime.
And we wired them at Monaro how we chanced to beat the Quiver,
And they sent us back an answer, "Good old sort from Snowy River,
Send us word each race you start in, and we'll back you every time!"
TO THE DYKES!-T. DEWITT TALMAGE.
Some parts of Holland keep out the ocean only by dykes or walls of stout masonry. The engineer having the dykes in charge was soon to be married to a maiden living in one of the villages, the existence of which depended on the strength of these dykes. And there was to be a great feast in one of the villages that approaching evening in honor of the coming bridegroom. That day a great storm threatened the destruction of the dykes, and hence the destruction of thousands of lives in the villages sheltered by that stone wall. The ocean was in full wrath, beating against the dykes, and the tides and the terror were still rising.
"Shall I go to the feast," says the engineer, "or shall I go and help my workmen take care of the dykes?" "Take care of the dykes," he said to himself; "I must and will."
As he appeared on the wall the men working there were exhausted and shouted: "Here comes the engineer. Thank God! Thank God!" The wall was giving way, stone by stone, and the engineer had a rope fastened around his body, and some of the workmen had ropes fastened around their bodies and were let down amid the wild surges that beat the wall. Everything was giving