December 19, 1912
By Andrew Price
There is an old aphorism that has been all mangled by time to the effect, “He drinks like a fish.” This has been clipped. In the original Sanscrit is reads, “He drinks like a fisherman.” Fish do not drink. They are in the drink but they have other use for it. Every time a fish goes to take a bite his mouth is filled with water. But that does not trouble him at all. He takes the solid food and swallows it and lets the water stay outside where it belongs and which he needs to swim in. A fish would drown to death trying to take a drink. He would get water-logged and sink.
Colonel Bob Carr, of Charleston, who is one of the most truthful and at the same time one of the most popular men that I know, in the course of his scientific observances, has noted a fish which fell a victim to the whiskey habit.
A man in Florida made a fish pond and cemented it round about, and in the seine one day was found a large able-bodied drum-fish, one of the kind that grunts under water. This big fish – he placed in his pond and after a while the Drum became tame and tractable. The man was in the habit of drinking whiskey at times and after he and Drum became pretty well acquainted, he would put some whiskey in a nursing bottle, and Drum would take in through the nipple, and the two would have a spree together.
Finally the man decided to have one whale of a spree and he sent into town and got ten gallons of corn liquor, and he and Drum went on their weaving way. Along about the time that the liquor ran out, Colonel Carr was waked one morning before daylight by the man’s wife, who said that John was in a terrible way, and the Colonel went down to the house and found John – thoroughly poisoned and frightened. It seems that Drum had got a bad case of delirium tremens, and had jumped out of the pond and committed suicide, and John thought his own end was near. The Colonel took charge of the affairs in his own capable way. He went down to the pond and saw the remains of the besotted fish and disposed of the dead body, and induced John to go to a hospital where they make a specialty of easing unwise people off their liquor.
After a few days John concluded that he was able to drop a note to his wife and tell her that he thought he would be able to come home in a few days. He was still nervous however and as he tried to affix the postage stamp to his letter it dropped to the floor and alighted on the back of a cockroach which was passing that way and adhered to its back, and John looked down and saw the stamp traveling across the floor in a steady way. It came to the wall and up the wall it went to a place near the ceiling where it went in a crack in the wall and disappeared from view. Not being able to understand why the stamp acted so queerly, he added a postscript to his letter and said that he might not be back home for six months.
To be continued…
The trouble with the Christmas spirit is that it is mixed up with the Christmas gift spirit. It is a season of additional expense. The very rich have money to pass through the season without embarrassment and the very poor do not bother much about it, but the rest of us have come to the conclusion that three Christmases are equal to one fire. We are in for it and we therefore suggest some suitable presents: A ham of meat, five pounds of sugar, a bucket of lard, a bag of flour, a gallon of molasses and a ton of coal. As far as the children are concerned, we want no changes from the regular Santa Claus customs of dolls and other toys and Santa Claus will see to that but for the grown ups to give and be given a lot of junk each year for which they are supposed to throw fits of thankfulness there is nothing in it. No matter what store bills are owed or how low the bank account, the bread winners are supposed to loosen up and an orgy of buying to give away is inaugurated. Let the Economy committee look into this matter and change the rules of the game.
Santa Claus left a large assortment of Christmas goods at G. C. Poling’s store.
Little Grace McComb has been quite sick for several days, but is some better at present.
Clyde Grogg had a shooting match Friday which was attended by quite a number of our local sports.
Eli Mullins, aged 42 years, died Friday, December 13th, of pneumonia or some kindred disease, and was buried at the Old Church Cemetery. He leaves a wife and six children to mourn their loss.
Mrs. H. Lee White and son were Marlinton visitors Saturday.
Mr. and Mrs. Letcher Herold, of Frost, were here Saturday. Mrs. Herold, who is teaching the Frost school, attended the reading circle.
We are having fine winter weather for hay and stock. We have had but very little cold weather so far so it is saving the hay for spring.
The Spruce Co. is getting along nicely with its railroading. Trains are now running five miles on the Old Field Fork of Elk.
P. L. Brown, who has been working for the Spruce Company, is now clerking for L. D. Sharp.
Mrs. Rachel Showalter, of Linwood, is staying at L. D. Sharp’s.
Floyd Lee moved his sawmill from this place to near Millpoint, last week.
C. N. McComb received a severe blow on the side of the head while helping to tear up the sawmill for Floyd Lee.
Rabbits are bringing prices ranging from 10 to 12 ½ cents apiece. Anyone can make good money as they are so thick that anyone can kill from 20 to 25 a day. Many of the farmers are complaining of them peeling their young fruit trees.
The Cumming Creek School is progressing nicely under the management of James McComb.
Getting wood is the order of the day.
Forrest Gibson and Harry Varner were at the wood chopping at Rosa Gibson’s, near Mace, last Friday.
A number of Elk people were at Marlinton last Saturday, among them were Jim Gibson, Sam Rider, Jake Gibson and Harry Varner.