Thursday, March 26, 1897
It was in the 1870s that some daring projector conceived the idea of rafting on the Greenbrier. The river is large and comparatively smooth, but the fall is tremendous. The first raft, I have heard, was constructed at the mouth of Clover Creek, and the plan they adopted was to build four or five cribs or small rafts and then couple them together with hickory withes. This made a long limber train which was unwieldy and soon became unmanageable. They suffered shipwreck in a few miles and the poorly constructed raft was torn to pieces and the planks floated away one by one.
“Tip,” the subject of this sketch is a well-known dog in the town of Marlinton. His kind is commonly denominated as the “bench legged feist,” but away back in the past, Tip had a full blooded Dachshund for a grandfather, and his good blood descended to Tip giving him his long body and short legs. The rest of Tip’s blood is just dog. Back in his early puppyhood, he is said to have belonged to Mr. L. M. McClintic’s children, but Tip had a heart big enough to take in the whole town, and every householder is willing to affirm that Tip spends most of his time with him. The most remarkable thing about this dog is that, while he will “caper nimbly before any kitchen window for a hand-out,” he will only associate on intimate terms with the members of the Pocahontas County bar. He spends his leisure time about the offices, and whenever he sees one of his lawyer friends on the street, he immediately joins him and stays with him as long as possible. Tip’s popularity is well-earned as he is a good dog, never barked in his life, never stole anything, and never ran after bad dogs. There is only one dark spot in this dog’s life. Being of a gentle nature, he never knew the pleasures of the chase until he found, a year or so ago, that he could frighten sheep, and he liked to waddle along on his short legs with about six inches of red tongue hanging out – tired, but happy. If he had come up with the sheep, he would not have harmed them. He was beaten for this and has had a distaste for sheep ever since.
THE WEEKLY LETTER
“As a man soweth, so also shall he reap,” or words to that effect are found in the bible. With us farmers, however, in a farming sense, we go back of sowing to the plowing, and on that depends what we shall reap, and now, as the county papers inform the gentle reader, is the time to do your plowing. Probably the most pleasant work of the year is the first plowing done in the spring. After a winter of discontent, the first warm days come as a boon, and then the tiller of the soil instinctively gets down his horses’ harness, greases them, rigs up a double-tree, and has a long hunt for that missing link – the clevis. In a day or two, the leading mind on the farm pronounces the ground in fit condition to be plowed, and with a good team of horses, the plowman follows the plow with feelings akin to pleasure.
So strong is the instinct upon the farmer to plow in the spring that no matter if he has been engaged in other pursuits so long that he has forgotten how to farm, if he has ever had to put in every pretty day in early spring plowing, he is very apt to feel at this time of year that he is neglecting something, and he will rouse up from a fit of abstraction thinking that he should be out plowing…
Recent French statistics show that while the number of adult criminals increased eleven percent during the last dozen years, the number between the ages of sixteen and twenty increased twenty-five percent. In Paris, more than half of the criminals arrested are under twenty-one.
Similar tendencies are manifest in England and Germany – and this country. American criminologists have repeatedly called attention to the increase of juvenile crime.
Probably a variety of causes operate to produce this result; in ours, not the least one of the chief causes is the publication of sensational details of crime. The president of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, in his last report, declared that the chief agency in training the young in vice is vicious journalism. The papers which print lurid stories of crime, vividly illustrated, and give elaborate sketches of criminals, lead young readers to imagine that there is something heroic or romantic in a criminal career…
The regular reader of many modern newspapers might imagine that the world is much worse than it used to be. This would be a mistake. The difference is not only that the newspapers exaggerate, and sometimes invent details of crime, but that the facilities for collecting news are so much better than formerly, so that everything is reported. There is no part of newspapers of the day which can be more profitably skipped than the detailed narratives of crime; and newspapers which make a specialty of the evil there is in the world should not be taken into any home. – The Youth’s Companion
THE INVENTOR OF SHORTHAND
Sir Isaac Pitman, the inventor of the Pitman system of shorthand, died last month in London, at the age of eighty-four. Altho living to see his system adopted throughout the world, and being acknowledged as the “father of phonography,” he died a disappointed man, for his plan to reform the orthography of the English language gained little or no headway under the strong conservatism of the English people.
The London Times reports: Sir Isaac Pitman was a tremendous worker, and did a great deal of editing and publishing in fonteic literature, among other things, issuing a library of about eighty volumes in shorthand, ranging from the Bible to “Rasselas.”