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no, it had never needed any repairing. He looked a look of vicious happiness and eagerly pried the watch open, and then put a small dice-box into his eye, and peered into its machinery. He said it wanted cleaning and oiling, besides regulatingcome in a week.
After being cleaned, and oiled, and regulated, my watch slowed down to that degree that it ticked like a tolling bell. I began to be left by trains, I failed all appointments, I got to missing my dinner; my watch strung out three days of grace to four and let me go to protest; I gradually drifted back into yesterday, then day before, then into last week, and by and by the comprehension came upon me that, solitary and alone, I was lingering along in week before last, and the world was out of sight. I seemed to detect in myself a sort of sneaking fellow-feeling for the mummy in the museum, and a desire to exchange news with him.
I went to a watchmaker again. He took the watch all to pieces while I waited, and then said the barrel was “swelled.” He said he could reduce it in three days. After this the watch averaged N well, but nothing more. For half a day it would go like the very mischief, and keep up such a barking and wheezing and whooping and sneezing and snorting, that I could not hear myself think for the disturbance; and as long as it held out there was not a watch in the land that stood any chance against it.
But the rest of the day it would keep on slowing down and fooling along until all the clocks it had left behind caught up again. So at last, at the end of twenty-four hours, it would trot up to the judges' stand all right and just in time. It would show a fair and square average, and no man could say it had done more or less than its duty. But a correct average is only a mild virtue in a watch, and I took this instrument to another watchmaker.
He said the king-bolt was broken. I said I was glad it was nothing more serious. To tell the plain truth, I had no idea what the king-boit was, but I did not choose to appear ignorant to a stranger. He repaired the king-bolt, but what the watch gained in one way it lost in another. It would run awhile and then stop awhile, and then run awhile again, and so on, using its own discretion about the intervals. And every time it went off it kicked back like a musket.
I padded my breast for a few days, but finally took the watch to another watchmaker. He picked it all to pieces, and turned the ruin over and over under his glass; and then he said there appeared to be something the matter with the hair-trigger. He fixed it and gave it a fresh start. It did well now, except that always at ten minutes to ten the hands would shut together like a pair of scissors, and from that time forth they would travel together.
The oldest man in the world could not make out the time of day by such a watch, and so I went again to have the thing repaired. This person said that the crystal had got bent, and that the mainspring was not straight. He also remarked that part of the works needed half-soling. He made these things all right, and then my time-piece performed correctly, save that now and then she would reel off the next twenty-four hours in six or seven minutes, and then stop with a bang.
I went with a heavy heart to one more watchmaker, and looked on while he took her to pieces. Then I prepared to cross-question him rigidly, for this thing was getting serious. The watch had cost two hundred dollars originally, and I seemed to have paid out two or three thousand for repairs. While I waited and looked on I presently recognized in this watchmaker an old acquaintance-a steamboat engineer of other days, and not a good engineer, either.
He examined all the parts carefully, just as the other watchmakers had done, and then delivered his verdict with the same confidence of manner.
He said —“She makes too much steam-you want to hang the monkey-wrench N on the safety-valve !"N I floored him on the spot.
S. L. CLEMENS.
Biography.-Samuel Langborne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born in Missouri in 1835.
Clemens is one of our most popular humorists. During his "steam-boating” experience upon the Mississippi River, when the lead was cast, he often heard the sailors call out “By the mark, twain!” meaning that there were two fathoms of water under the boat. The words “Mark Twain” caught the fancy of Clemens, and when he began to write he determined to use them as the name by which he should be known as an author.
His principal works are: “Innocents Abroad,” “Roughing It," “Gilded Age,” and “A Tramp Abroad.”
Notes. - Averaged well means that between going too fast for a part of the day and too slow for the rest of it, the watch was about right at the end of every twenty-four hours.
Half-soling means to repair shoes by putting on new halfsoles. The watchmaker who used the expression must have once been a shoemaker, and his meaning was that the watch had run so much that it was worn out.
A monkey-wrench is a wrench with a movable jaw.
A safety-valve is a valve fitted to the boiler of a steam-engine, which opens and lets off steam when the pressure within the boiler becomes so great as to create danger of explosion.
49.-CUSTER'S LAST CHARGE.
võre, time long past. shŭn'ning, avoiding. quāll'ing (kwāl), shrinking; gio
ing way. blěnch, draw back. elăr'i on, a kind of trumpet.
turn for injuries.
Dead! Is it possible? He, the bold rider,
Custer, our hero, the first in the fight, Charming the bullets of yore to fly wider,
Far from our battle-king's ringlets of light! Dead, our young chieftain, and dead, all forsaken!
No one to tell us the way of his fall! Slain in the desert, and never to waken,
Never, not even to victory's call !
Proud for his fame that last day that he met them!
All the night long he had been on their track, Scorning their traps and the men that had set them,
Wild for a charge that should never give back. There on the hill-top he halted and saw them,
Lodges all loosened and ready to fly; Hurrying scouts with the tidings to awe them,
Told of his coming before he was nigh.
All the wide valley was full of their forces,
Gathered to cover the lodges' retreat !Warriors running in haste to their horses,
Thousands of enemies close to his feet! Down in the valleys the ages had hollowed,
There lay the Sitting Bull's camp for a prey ! Numbers! What recked he? What recked those
who followed Men who had fought ten to one ere that day?
Out swept the squadrons, the fated three hundred,
Into the battle-line steady and full;
Into the hordes of the old Sitting Bull in
crew, Shrunk from that charge like a herd from a lion,Then closed around, the grim horde of wild
Right to their center he charged, and then facing
Hark to those yells! and around them, O see! Over the hill-tops the Indians come racing,
Coming as fast as the waves of the sea! Red was the circle of fire about them:
No hope of victory, no ray of light,
Then, did he blench ? Did he die like a craven,
Begging those torturing fiends for his life? Was there a soldier who carried the Seven N
Flinched like a coward or fled from the strife ? No, by the blood of our Custer, no quailing!
There in the midst of the Indians they close, Hemmed in by thousands, but ever assailing,
Fighting like tigers, all 'bayed N amid foes!
Thicker and thicker the bullets came singing;
Down go the horses and riders and all; Swiftly the warriors round them were ringing,
Circling like buzzards awaiting their fall.