The Exponent. (Ralston, Okla.), Vol. 2, No. 17, Ed. 1 Saturday, August 25, 1906 Page: 3 of 8
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Darkest Just Before Dawn
By Matt Keating
Her father was dead—had been
Killed in the railroad yards while cou-
pling cars at |60 per month. Her
mother also was dead—having spent
the small life insurance money in a
heart-breaking dressmaking venture
for which she was eminently unfitted,
and then succumbed to pneumonia.
So Nina was left alone to work out
the pioblem of life—and in its work-
ing out she had finally landed in a de-
partment store as "saleslady." True,
the salary was not much—only four
dollars per week—but to her It wa^
untold riches, especially when she re-
flected upon the status of the other
girls—Jessie, Maud and Ethel and
countless others who were getting only
three dollars for work much more ab-
horrent. For be it known Nina was
in t«i3 stationery department on the
flrst floor, which was comparatively
well ventilated, and she served people
who bad some sort of%an idea as to
what they wanted, while Jennie and
Maud were In the bargain notion de-
partment in the stuffy, ill-smelling
basement, where women shoppers,
knowing not what they wanted, el-
bowel and fought for a vantage
ground from which to paw over the
stock; and Ethel was under the side-
walk in a sort of tunnel which the ;
store bad stolen from under the street,
where she mechanically handed out
tacks and nails to people who had pur-
sued them to this grewsome lair.
In the meantime Nina was living
with a half-sister whose husband re-
ceived $50 per month for nailing cov-
ers on boxes in the shipping depart-
ment of a great wholesale house. On
this income he supported his wife and
four rfcHid children, who never had
reen green things grow nor smelled
fresh country air.
They charged Nina two dollars a
week for her board and cot under the
stairway—and thought it was great
luck to get it. Then she paid 60 cents
a ween car fare, ten cents a week for
her dues to the Salesladies' Union and
ten cents per week to the Medical Aid
and Burial association as a sort of In-
surance against sickness or death. She
—a dlsmai, squalid cottage, filled with
the walls of neglected children, the
complainings of an overworked wife,
and tho sordid demands of an incom-
petent master. Her cup indeed was
Tne gong of a street car clanged
fiercely just before her, and awakened
her from her reverie. She stepped
quickly back and found herself directly
in the path of an approaching spirited
team of blacks, the control of whom
the driver seemed to have lost. To go
forward was to meet certain death un-
der the iron wheels of the street car;
to remain was to fall beneath the hoofs
of the horses. On top of all her stren-
uous mental strain Nina collapsed and
sank to the ground in a swoon.
A cry of horror went up from the
passengers on the electric car and
from the pedestrians on the sidewalk,
all of whom expected to see the girl
man^lea to death beneath the iron-
Even as the gasp of emotion and
sympathy went up, however, a tall,
athletic figure, clad in the unmistak-
able habiliments of the west, swung
from the car, and, with the precision of
the trained horseman, grasped the
rearing horses by the bridle reins, and
with the strength and knowledge of
the plains threw them sideways with
a forcc which made them swerve in
nearly a h*'.f circle. The carriage
barely touched the unconscious form
of the girl as it swung around.
A second later the big man under
the slouch hat had the girl in his
arms like she was a baby, and was
striding toward the corner drug s'ore
at a pace which would have made an
ordinary man run to keep up with
It developed that the fainting fit
was not serious at all, and was due
wholly to fright and to the nervous
strain the girl had been under. There
was no physical injury at all, and she
The tall stranger, however, insisted
on taking her home In a cab—she had
never been in a cab before—and when
he paid the cabman he pulled from his
vwas driven to this latter extravagance ! inside pocket a roll of bills which
by the gloomy forebodings of her half-
sister and her husband regarding her
possible, indeed probable Impending
sickness and death, the query being,
"Where's the money coming from to
take czre of you and bury you?"
The astute mathematician can easily
figure that Nina had $1.10 per wrek
with which to clothe herself and buy
Ice crehm sodas and chewing gum. It
was rot a hilarious life.
In the meantime sbe was growing
thinner and paler and more tired every
w,\?k. It would have been plain to any
Intelligent person, were such interest-
ed in her, that 6he would not last long
in si.rh environments. About this
time there was another addition to her'
sister's family, and her brother-in-law.;
being pressed to extremities, informed j
Nina that he would have to raise the
price of her board to three dollars per
week. This was a staggering blow to
the girl, already carrying far more
than her fair share of burdens.
All day long in the hot, stifling store
she brooded over it, wondering vaguely j
how in the world she was to get along j
at all If she handed three precious do!-!
lars to her brother-in-law each week, i
And then there wac that muslin dre.-s
she had been coveting so fiercely for so ;
many nonths—and nearly attained, too.
Of course that must be given up, and
all the other nice things of life. She j
must hereafter toil on enduringly with j
only the hone of paying her brother-
n-law for her board and lodging and
.loney enough over to pay car fare.
Communing thus, heart-broken and j
-.ick with fear, she staggered forth |
rom the store to catch her car bome— |
Lome, oh! what a travesty on the word J
made Nina gasp. In all her life the
had never seen so much money.
Nina thanked him with an expres-
sion In her eyes that made his heart
beat faster than it ever had thumped
in all his life, and emboldened him
to isk her If he might call on the fol-
lowing evening and ascertain if there
were any bad effects of the accident.
"My name is Thad Bunker." said he.
bluntly. "I live In Oklahoma, and
came here with a few carloads of cat-
tle. I sold 'em at a thunderln' good
price, and thought I would stay over
a day or two and see the sights i m
all-flrea glad I did, cause there dldn :
seem to be nobody about who knew a
blamed thin? about a horse—and you'd
been all in in about a minute."
So he called the next night, causing
almost as much surprise to Nina's
sister and her husband and the vari-
ous (hiidren as the cab had caused the
night before. There was a wheezy
and puffy old melodion in the stuffy
little parlor, and Nina played for Mr.
Bunker. Her playing was very Indif-
ferent, but Thad thought if was the
grandest musk he had overheard,and a
great desire came over him to buy a
brand-new melodion and ship it to his
lonesome home In Oklahoma, and then
carry Nina along with him to play It
for him forever. What he did, how-
ever, was to Induce her to lay off from
her work on the following day and
show him the mysteries of the park.
It was a red-letter day in Nina's
life In more ways than one. In the
first place she had never laid off from
work on a week day since she could
remember. Nor had she ever been es-
corted about by a man; nor had she
ever been treated to such a fine dinner
in so fine a restaurant—in fact, never
had money been spent for her personal
But the great thing was when he
aske l her to marry him and go to Ok-
lahoma with him—assuring her that
he had two sections of the best land
In the territory all under cultivation
and paid for, plenty of cattle and
money In the bank.
And she placed her hands In his
and 'urned to him a face so wonder-
fully transfoimed by the thrill of a
new emotion, by happiness, by relief
from the dreadful burden of sordld-
| ness— so transformed, in fact, that ue
scarcely recognized it as belonging to
the wan girl he had picked from un-
der th? horses' feet.
Westerners' ways are peculiar, and
Thad Bunker insisted that they should
be married the next day and leave at
once lor home, as he wanted to know,
"by ginger, what them blamed boys
are dom to the cattle." And being a
big, dominant westerner, he had his
way. Before they sought the preacher
the next day they went to a music
store and Thad bought the most ex-
pensive melodion in the place and had
it shipped by express, "so it will be-
there by the time we git there, by
ginger,' said he.
And under country skies, with am-
ple country fare and surrounded by
love and respect, the roses came to
Nina'? face and the music sang all
the time in her heart—and she worked
so hard on the melodion that after a
time she could really play nearly as
well as her husband thought she could.
(Copyright, 1906, by Daily 8tory Pub. Co.)
"Maj. Pompus is very public spir-
ited. He's going to Washington for
the summer; he has rented a house
near the White House."
"What's the Idea In that? The
president will be away during the
"That's just It. He thinks there
should be a brainy man near at hand
In case any Important matlonal busi-
ness should come up suddenly."—
A\, maameries use butter color. Whr
not do im tliev do- use JUNE TINT
The fellow with money to burn may
live to rake the ashes.
The University of Notre Dame, it ap-
pear*, has some features that can not be
duplicated in any other achool. It Is one
of the old, well-established colleges, with
settled traditions reaching back sixty-four
years, with a distinguished staff of pro-
fessors and excellent library and labora-
tory equipment. Its discipline is of tha
paternal kind—strong without being op-
pressive; and as it embraces In Its scope
the grammar school, high school and col-
lege work, Its appeal Is as broad as it is
potent. Perhaps the most remarkable
feature of the famous Indiana University,
however, is the fact that It has arrived at
its present marvelous development abso-
lutely without endowment. An announce-
ment of the courses provided at Notre
Dame appears on another page.
8lnal, the "Turquolt Land."
Rlnai was known as the "turquolf
land" In very ancient times, and Dr.
Flinders Petrle believes that It was the
first mining center In the world. In
his recent book on the subject Dr.
Petrle tells of the various expeditions
sent to Sinai by the Egyptian govern-
ment, At the head of the party was
the "commander," or "bearer of the
seal of the god." the Pharaoh. The
official staff consisted of "masters of
the house of metals," or assayers,
scribes and secretaries, to make In-
ventories of the output of the mines.
AN ILLUSTRATION WHICH ILLUSTRATES.
Chamois Skin of Commerce.
Charles C. Druodling. of Philade'
phia. has written an article for the
American Journal of Pharmacy on the
subject of chamois skins. What Is
known In the market as chamois skins,
hp sp.vs, Is really an oil tanned sheep
or'lamb skin lining. The supply of
skins from the chamois animal Is very
limited—enough could not be obtained
In a year to supply the United States
for more than a single day. He made
special inquiry on a recent visit to
Switzerland about the annual crop of
the chamois skin and ascertained that
from 6,000 to 6.000 skins would be a
fair average yearly crop. This skin Is
heavier than the skin of Ihe sheep or
lamb, also much coarser For strength
and durability the chamois skin is pre-
ferable. but for ordinary use and ap-
pearance the oil-tanned sheep skin
lining would, in most Instances, be
AN OLD TIMER.
"His eyes followed her as she slowly walked away."
Has Had Experiences.
A woman who has used Postum
Food Coffee since it came upon the
market 8 years ago knows from ex-
perience the necessity of using Pos-
tum in place of coffee if one values
health and a steady brain.
She says: "At the time Postum was
first put on the market 1 was suffer-
ing from nervous dyspepsia and my
physician had repeatedly told me not
to use tea or coffee. Finally I de-
cided to take his advice and try
Postum, and got a sample and had it
carefully prepared, finding it deli-
cious to the taste. So I continued
its use and very soon its beneficial ef-
fects convinced me of its value, for
I got well of my nervousness and dys-
"My husband had been drinking cof-
fee all his life until it had affected
his nerves terribly. I persuaded him
to shift to Postum and it was easy to
get him to make the change for the
Postum Is delicious. It certainly
worked wonders for him.
"We soon learned that Postum does
not exhilarate or depress and does not
stimulate, but steadily and honestly
strengthens the nerves and the stom-
ach. To make a long story short our
entire family have now used Postum
for eight years with completely sat-
isfying results, as shown in our fine
condition of health and we have no-
ticed a rather unexpected improve-
ment in brain and nerve power."
Name given by Postum Co., Battle
Increased brain and nerve power al-
ways follow the use of Postum in
place of coffee, sometimes in a very
Ij00k in pkgs. for "The Road to
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The Exponent. (Ralston, Okla.), Vol. 2, No. 17, Ed. 1 Saturday, August 25, 1906, newspaper, August 25, 1906; Ralston, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc169089/m1/3/: accessed June 19, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.