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leaped from the bank, and at the same time from the road before her arose a shadowy horse and rider. “ Throw up your hands ! !commanded the second apparition, with an oath.

Dick felt the mare tremble, quiver, and apparently sink under him. He knew what it meant, and was prepared.

“Stand aside, Jack Simpson. I know you, you thief! Let me pass, or”.

He did not finish the sentence. Jovita rose straight in the air with a terrific bound, throwing the figure from her bit with a single shake of her vicious head, and charged with deadly malevolence down on the impediment before her. An oath, a pistol-shot, horse and highwayman rolled over in the road, and the next moment Jovita was a hundred yards away. But the good right arm of her rider, shattered by a bullet, dropped helplessly at his side.

Without slacking his speed he shifted the reins to his left hand. But a few moments later he was obliged to halt and tighten the saddle-girths that had slipped in the onset. This in his crippled condition took some time. He had, no fear of pursuit, but, looking up, he saw that the eastern stars were already paling, and that the distant peaks had lost their ghostly whiteness, and now stood out blackly against a lighter sky. Day was upon him. Then completely absorbed in a single idea, he forgot the pain of his wound, and, mounting again, dashed on towards Rattlesnake Creek. But now Jovita's breath came broken by gasps, Dick reeled in the saddle, and brighter and brighter grew the sky.

Ride, Richard ; run, Jovita ; linger, O day !

For the last few rods there was a roaring in his ears. Was it exhaustion from a loss of blood, or what? He was dazed and giddy as he swept down the hill, and did not recognize his surroundings. Had he taken the wrong road, or was this Rattlesnake Creek? It was.

But the brawling creek he had swum a few hours before had risen, more than doubled its volume, and now rolled a swift and resistless river between him and Rattlesnake Hill. For the first time that night Richard's heart sank within him. The river, the mountain, the quickening east, swam before his eyes. He shut them to recover his self-control.

In that brief interval,

by some fantastic mental process, the little room at Simpson's Bar and the figures of the sleeping father and son rose upon him. He opened his eyes wildly, cast off his coat, pistol, boots, and saddle, bound his precious pack tightly to his shoulders, grasped the bare flanks of Jovita with his bared knees, and with a shout dashed into the yellow water. A cry rose from the opposite bank as the head of a man and horse struggled for a few moments against the battling current, and then were swept away amidst uprooted trees and whirling driftwood.

The Old Man started and woke. The fire on the hearth was dead, the candle in the outer room flickering in its socket, and somebody was rapping at the door. He opened it, but fell back with a cry before the dripping, half-naked figure that reeled against the doorpost. ...

“ Tell him,” said Dick, with a weak little laugh, “ tell him Sandy Claus has come.”

And even so, bedraggled, ragged, unshaven and unshorn, with one arm hanging helplessly at his side, Santa Claus came to Simpson's Bar, and fell fainting on the first threshold. The Christmas dawn came slowly after, touching the remoter peaks . with the rosy warmth of ineffable love. And it looked so tenderly on Simpson's Bar that the whole mountain, as if caught in a generous action, blushed to the skies.

EXERCISE V.

INCIDENT FROM SCHOOL LIFE.

Subjects : A School-room Episode.

Novel Result of an Old Trick. A Lesson in Courtesy.

Master versus Pupil. Choosing Up."

Two Ends to a String.
The Ninth Inning.

Minnie's Freak.
The Patron of the Waste-Basket. A Mouse's Surprise.

Here we have simply narrowed the choice of subjects to a field with which you are all equally well acquainted. It will be noticed that the first subject given is a rather general one, only somewhat narrower than the subject which stands at the head of the exercise. But even if you

draw upon occurrences within the school-room for your incident, it will be well to devise for it a more particular title.

The question may be asked, Why select a title before writing, or why select one at all? It is true brief articles are sometimes printed in newspapers and elsewhere without titles. It is also true that the title of many a book has not been fixed upon until after the book was written. But the principle holds none the less good, Select your title first. No man can write coherently and effectively without having in his mind a definite idea of what he is writing about. And since language is the best means for crystallizing our ideas, for rendering them clear and definite, the sooner we put the subject of our thought into some formula of words, the better. This holds especially true in the more abstract themes which we shall take up later, for in them the temptation to wander from the main line of thought is peculiarly great. But even in the writing of an ordinary incident, the selection of a title beforehand, and the endeavor to keep that title clearly in mind throughout, will give a directness and unity to the composition that could not otherwise be obtained. It will occasionally be found necessary in the course of writing, to introduce certain things that were not contemplated at first, or to extend or abridge the treatment of a subject in accordance with the requirements of

time and space, and this may necessitate a modification of the title. But such things should be foreseen as far as possible in advance, for if they are not they invariably entail extra labor, or else work seriously to the detriment of the composition as a whole.

Very often there may be several available titles, almost or quite equally suitable. Exactness should in general be the leading consideration in deciding between them, although at times attractiveness may be allowed to outweigh this.

For the present work select anything that has happened to vary the ordinary routine of school duties, and proceed as in the last exercise. The following is given as an example:

JACK'S IGNOMINY.

“ Been at it again, eh,” thought Mr. Bates, looking up over his spectacles. The little, dirty, ragged figure of Jack came slowly into the office, the great whites of his eyes rolling in marked contrast to his intensely black face, so black indeed that it was void of the relief of shadows and could easily have been mistaken for the surface of a great India rubber ball. He came rubbing along the wall, picking the panels with his finger-nail, and at the planting of each foot glanced slyly and inquiringly at Mr. Bates. 6 What have you been doing now?” said Mr. Bates, sternly. Jack was very confident that his conduct had been reputable and proceeded, in his own excited dialect, to demonstrate his innocence; but as this was a daily occurrence Mr. Bates understood well how to weigh Jack's words.

Mr. Bates had arrived at the conclusion that it was hopeless further to attempt to arouse Jack by use of ruler or appeals to his conscience. He would experiment on other theories. Now Jack had a weakness. He esteemed his muscular powers very highly, and would hazard anything to prove to the boys his ability to accomplish any feat given. To his mind, failure in an attempt

meant disgrace. Mr. Bates thought to come at Jack's morals by way of his pride. He led Jack out to the corner of the main hall where all the children passed in and out. Stand in that corner, sir !” said Mr. Bates. Jack obeyed. “ Heels up close — raise your arms out this way” (illustrating by raising his own arms on a level in front). “ Now stand there till I tell you to leave,” said Mr. Bates, walking out to the center of the hall where he stopped and stood regarding Jack closely. Jack's eyes were not the only white spots on his face at this period; a row of pearly teeth came into view. He thought if that was his punishment he didn't mind so much. But his manner soon changed; he seemed to take a more serious view of the prospect. His face drew down, his head was pressed hard back against the wall, and his arms commenced to sink slowly to his sides, but on being reprehended by Mr. Bates he brought them to a level again.

Mr. Bates looked at his watch: one, — two, three minutes passed, the gong struck, the doors flew open, and the children began to file out. Jack gave one hurried glance at the coming columns, then gritted his teeth. He must hold his hands steady

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Keep them up !” from Mr. Bates. Beads of perspiration stood out on Jack's forehead, and at each succeeding renewed struggle to raise his arms his appearance became more comical. He saw his playmates endeavoring to suppress their laughter, and made one final effort to steady his arms, but they fell to his sides paralyzed. His disgrace had

One mad lunge and he was out through the lines and away across the field, the peals of laughter from the children playing fainter and fainter on his ear. The experiment had proved successful.

That evening Jack was not seen with his accustomed associates, but went about alone, nodding to himself knowingly, and muttering, “ Fool 'em one,” as he stopped at each convenient corner and stood with his heels close together and arms extended.

C. W. H.

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