Harper's Round Table, February 18, 1896 online

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Produced by Annie R. McGuire

[Illustration: HARPER'S ROUND TABLE]

Copyright, 1896, by HARPER & BROTHERS. All Rights Reserved.

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There was a suspicious sniffle, then a series of gulps, and then the
letters grew blurred and indistinct, and even hard winking would not
keep the tears back; to Charlie's mortification they actually splashed
down on the page before him.

Herr Dr. Hartmann looked up, peering through his glasses at the boy.

"What dost thou read?" he asked, kindly. "It is not, I hope, bad news
from the home?"

"No," muttered Charlie, blowing his nose hard; "it's - a hockey story."

"Ach, du liebe Zeit!" ejaculated the puzzled master. "And what is
that - an American wild animal, perhaps?"

Charlie shook his head and smiled, such a pathetic, homesick smile. "No,
it's a game," he answered. "You play it on the ice with hockeys - sticks
with a crook at the end - and a block of wood or rubber."

"So? and our German boys they do not know it? Then thou must teach
them" - cheerfully - "yes? for the skating is good now, they tell me.
Komischer Junge!" he exclaimed a little later to his wife. "He reads for
pleasure, and then he cries. It is, of course, the homesickness, and I
fancy he misses the out-of-door life and the sports which they have
always in America."

Charlie Stanton was fourteen - quite old enough, he maintained, to be his
own master, even in a foreign country; but when his mother and father
had actually said good-by, leaving him in a German family in Berlin
while they went to Egypt for the winter, he began to regret his boasted
independence; and while not acknowledging himself homesick, even a
hockey story recalled too many happy memories to be read quite
stoically. Mr. and Mrs. Stanton had felt perfectly safe in leaving their
son with Dr. Hartmann, for he was a man who made it as much his concern
to know that his pupils were happy, as that they imbibed a sufficient
quantity of German and the classics.

At two o'clock the next afternoon Charlie started out for the West End
Eisbahn. It was a beautiful day, cold and crisp and clear, and the boy's
eyes glistened as he adjusted the lever of his skates. Then he stood up
and looked about. Germans to right of him, Germans to left of him,
Germans all around him, rising and falling. He watched them for a
moment, and then struck out rather dismally, for even skating lost half
its charm when one was quite alone. What was his astonishment, then,
when a small block of wood shot past him, propelled by a real hockey in
the hands of a boy about his own size.

"Stop him! head him off! he'll make a goal!" shouted Charlie, in great
excitement, forgetting his surroundings utterly; and seizing a cane that
was lying on a bench, he started off in mad pursuit, colliding
recklessly with girls and officers, and sending several stiff little
cadets sprawling on their backs. The next minute, by a dexterous stroke,
he knocked up the hockey, dislodged the ball, and before his astounded
opponent could recover himself, had carried it in triumph to the end of
the pond.

"Goal!" he cried, waving his stick as the other boy came up.

"You went out of bounds," he retorted; "but, George! you do know how to
play hockey! Are you an American?"

"Yes. Are you?"

"Rather" - emphatically. "We're only spending the winter here, because
Edith, my sister, is taking violin lessons. Here she comes" - as a
remarkably pretty girl, accompanied by a "colossal schneider" hussar,
glittering in blue and silver, skated towards them.

"Are you on the war-path, Dick?" Edith Hartley asked, laughingly, "Herr
Von Lutzow says that the dead and wounded are lying all over the pond,
and that the German army will have to hold you to account."

"All right. We'll challenge the German army to a game of hockey - won't
we!" turning to Charlie.

"Easily," he replied.

"Hear that, Rahden?" said Von Lutzow, to a Second Lieutenant in the
Infantry Guards who had joined Miss Hartley.

The young officer laughed. "Is it what you call the American cheek - yes?
I have heard of it. Guädiges Fräulein, may I have the honor?"

"Not if you insult my country. Oh, Herr Von Lutzow, do get up a hockey
game. It would be such fun to see you try and play."

"You think we could not? Too stiff - what? Rahden, we will have to show
them that the German army cannot be trifled with even in sport. Then,
Young America, get up your company, team, what you call it, and we will
meet you on the battle-ground of the Grunewald one week from to-day. Ah!
It will be the birthday of your great man, is it not? Your Mr.

Dick and Charlie were old friends by the time they left the Eisbahn, and
they walked home together, discussing most earnestly the vital question
of "material" for their hockey team.

"A week is an awfully short time," Dick said, as they parted; "but if
the ice lasts we will show them what American boys can do."

The next day, however, brought a most discouraging note to Charlie.

"I can't find a fellow who knows a hockey from a hole in the ground,"
Dick wrote. "It's awfully hard luck. I could get Englishmen to burn; but
that wouldn't do, because we challenged the officers to an international
game, and we've got to stick to it, and play them somehow."

Charlie's spirits sank to zero. He didn't know a single boy in the whole
city, and, what was even worse, he could not go out that afternoon to
help in the search. But surely in all Berlin there must be at least
seven boys - for they needn't play eleven - who knew something of shinny,
or even football - if they could only skate. So he wrote back to Dick in
the words of the famous Lawrence, and then waited in a fever of
impatience for Dick's next bulletin.

"It's all right," Dick wrote. "I hustled like everything yesterday, and
managed to find some fellows who knew how to handle their hockeys pretty
well, but have never played on a regular team. They'll do, though. I
hope the officers won't crawl now."

So did Charlie, devoutly, for his spirits had risen so high with the
first sentence that he felt ready for any thing - artillery, cavalry,
infantry - let them all come on!

That afternoon the raw recruits were drilled with such energy by the
"little corporals," as the officers had dubbed the boys, that it began
to look dark for the German army.

Dick and Charlie really played a remarkably fine game for their age, and
were indefatigable in their efforts to teach the team how to dodge, and
stop short, and back up, and play together, etc.; and it was quite dark
when a dozen dead-tired but hopeful and enthusiastic boys started for
home, their skates over their arms.

Finally Washington's birthday dawned bright and clear.

"And it is to-day the great game - yes?" asked Dr. Hartmann, as he
watched Charlie's serious face at the morning coffee. "And the Kaiser,
he will be there?"

Charlie laughed such a clear ringing laugh it did the Herr Doctor's
heart good to hear it. There did not seem to be an atom of homesickness
left in the hoy, and all because of a game! Truly the sporting spirit
was a strange and unaccountable thing.

No, the Kaiser was not at the Grunewald, but quite a number of brilliant
uniforms lined the little sheet of ice on that memorable afternoon. The
boys were in old and variegated sweaters - a great contrast to the smart
military team that walked gingerly across the slippery ice while the
officers on the bank chaffed them in ringing tones.

"Stillgestanden! Kopf in die Höhe!" (halt! head up!) cried one. "Knochen
zusammen!" (legs together) called another; while a gaudy yellow hussar
exhorted one to "shake himself into his coat."

Their amusement only increased when the Prussian force stood up in line,
their faces crimson from the effort of putting on their skates without
the help of a Bursche.

Frank Moore, a friend of the Hartleys, had promised to act as umpire,
and had made all the necessary arrangements. After a little preliminary
skirmishing, Dick and a big hussar with a fierce red mustache shook
hands and declared themselves ready. Then the two teams lined up. The
umpire placed the block in the centre of the field, and the whistle
blew. Like a flash the forwards bore down upon the little solid
vulcanized rubber block, the officers reaching it first.

"Spread out!" cried Dick. "Guard your field!"

The big hussar tried to dodge, but he was between too many fires; so,
swinging his hockey, he gave the ball a tremendous whack, which sent it
spinning down towards the goal. "After it! after it!" he yelled to his
lagging team. "Great Scott! we'll - machen ein goal!" recollecting
himself suddenly. But there was no goal, for the ball went out of bounds
thirty yards from the posts.

It was brought out at right angles, and dropped by the umpire between
the hockeys of the two captains. There was a few seconds of feverish
scrimmage, in which all the forwards joined, and then a long hockey
darted like the tongue of a snake into the crowd from the outside,
skilfully hooking the block, and the owner whirled round in the very
faces of his own men, and then backwards and sideways he zigzagged,
until he found an open space, for which he made a dash, and before the
astounded hussars could recover themselves he had carried it, skating
like the wind, past the backs and the goal-keeper, in for a goal.

A storm of "Bravos!" greeted this successful trick, and Edith led with a
rousing American cheer, for it was Charlie who had scored one for his

"That's jolly good hockey!" said a fat, breathless little Lieutenant;
and Dick turned and looked at him in surprise.

Then the block was put in play again, and back and forth it flew, until
the big hussar once more got the ball and a clear space, and by a
brilliant exhibition of fast skating and clever tricking, he too carried
it safely in for a goal.

"Deutschland, Deutschland über alles!" chanted the officers on the bank.

The German army was playing well, suspiciously well; their long passes
would have brought joy to a lacrosse-player's heart, and their clean
hits would have made a polo enthusiast shout with delight.

Dick and Charlie conferred together in low tones. Should they protest
against the pure English of the gay hussars? Something was clearly
wrong, though the uniforms seemed right. But no, they would not stop to
challenge them.

Up and down the ice the rubber block spun, alternately threatening the
well-guarded goal-posts. It was such pretty hockey that the officers on
the bank, in the excitement of the game, forgot to chaff their
representatives, and only when Charlie, "by playing for his man," had
bowled a stiff little hussar clean over, did they give way to
unrestrained mirth.

"You've broken my leg, you young idiot," roared out this forgetful
officer, as he struggled to his feet; and then he bit his lip, and
muttered "By Jove!" for he saw that he had given himself away.

"Was ist dann los?" (What's the matter) was called out from the bank as
the game hung fire for a minute.

"We are discovered," came back the answer, and there was a burst of
laughter from the crowd, for the fraud practised upon the boys had been
an open secret to them all.

"Take your mustache off, Mackintosh, it dazzles my eyes," cried some
one. And the boys looked up at the big hussar, who was grinning
sheepishly under his disguise.

"What Dummkophs we were!" they exclaimed. "Why, their uniforms don't fit
for a cent!"

At this the bogus officers shouted.

"Mine's horribly tight," said one. "I can't breathe."

"I can't bend in mine," groaned Thomas, the English chaplain's son;
"it's got a ramrod up the back."

"My stiffest chokers are cotton wool compared to these impossible
boards," said little Smith, wriggling his neck round inside the
beautiful gold collar.

"Is there _one_ real officer on the team?" demanded the little
corporals, who were sternly superintending the unmasking of the

"No," answered Mackintosh, cheerfully. "We are all echt English
subjects - for I'm a Canadian."

The two Lieutenants who had "crawled" so ignominiously came forward with
Miss Hartley to make their peace.

"Your sister she have did it," said Von Rahden, for Germans too are
descended from Adam.

"Yes," acknowledged Edith, penitently, but with a twinkle in her eye,
"it was my fault. Herr Von Lutzow said, 'What is a German officer, a
hussar, without his sword or spurs? He is not, as you say, "inside

"I have said, we had not the time," protested this maligned hussar.

"Or the skill," she answered, laughing. "At any rate, they regularly
backed out, Dick, so Mr. Moore and I concocted this scheme in order to
cover their disgraceful retreat, and redeem at least their uniforms."

"Beastly things," growled Mackintosh; "handicapped us like everything."

"Take them off, then," she retorted. "You'll play it out boys? America
against England instead of Germany?"

The little corporals looked at the strapping young Englishmen, all good
football-players, and some old hockey-players as well; but they did not
have the Napoleonic spirit for nothing.

"Yes, we'll play them," they said, and the whole team echoed it.

Then the bogus hussars peeled off their tight gold-laced jackets, and
breathed once more freely. It would be an international struggle, and
they must put forth all their strength and skill. The teams lined up.

"We'll pass the block to each other as we did before," whispered Dick,
"and then scoot for the open ice. And tell the fellows, Charlie, not to
try and stop Mackintosh, but to hook his hockey the way you did; and
we'll work that circling trick again, too."

Mackintosh was clearly a star player. He kept his body bent, his arm out
straight, and his hockey ever ready for the block to nestle in. And when
Thomas backed him, and the rest cleared the way, he was a formidable man
to tackle. But "Young America," led by the gallant little corporals,
never lost heart or head. They shinnied on all sides, they kept their
eyes right on the block, they hit it hard, they "babied" it, they shoved
it between legs and hockeys to an open field, and then darted like
lightning for it themselves, and they worked tricks which made the more
knowing spectators shout with enthusiasm.

The score kept running up, and still the apparently unevenly matched
teams kept even. Five goals each, and only five minutes more to play.

"Look out for the long pass and skirting round the edges," said
Mackintosh, and Thomas nodded.

The umpire blew his whistle, and once more the forwards charged down
upon the block, which became the centre of a fierce scrimmage. Dick
hovered on the outskirts, and when the puck flew from between the legs
of Smith he caught it on his hockey and started off; to the right of one
he dodged, to the left of another, and, when fairly cornered, he
managed, by a quick turn and lightning stroke, to hit the ball, and send
it whizzing down the pond.

Now there was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lea, and Mackintosh, the
big Canadian, got there first. Then squirming and worming, he worked his
way up the field. Edith held her breath.

"Hook his hockey! hook his hockey!" cried Charlie, who was guarding the
goal, cool even at this critical moment; and he started slowly towards
him, hoping to force him out of bounds. But Mackintosh, with Dick hard
behind, could not afford to lose speed by dodging, and - crash! the two
came together, and together went down, with a sound like falling
timbers - giant oaks. The ice shivered, and then split from end to end, a
long deep crack; but the game went on, for Dick, with the national honor
at stake, could not stop to see what besides the eight-inch ice was
cracked, and by a series of never-to-be-surpassed tactics he carried the
ball straight up the pond for a winning goal; and then, while the air
thrilled to the cloudburst of "Bravos!" - for the officers had basely
gone over to the enemy, and were backing America with all the lung-power
they could spare from their dignity - he skated back to find Charlie with
a bleeding head and broken collar-bone, but mad with delight because his
fall had saved the game. The crowd swarmed upon the ice, and the boys
were the heroes of the hour. But they bore their honors very modestly,
even though Edith declared it to be a double victory.

"They had beaten the Germans by default," she said, "and England by
_nerve_. Any one, to look at the two teams" - here she glanced up at
Mackintosh and down at Charlie - "would see that the boys were clearly
outclassed; but the great American spirit - "

"_And_ a week of hard practice," put in Mackintosh. "Only got our
hockeys yesterday."

"I accept the amendment. The great American spirit, _and_ a week of
practice have gained the day."

"Three cheers for the little corporals!" said Von Lutzow. "They have
nobly won their spurs. And we, Husaren of the Royal Guards, who cannot
fight with crooked sticks, will be proud to cross swords with them at
any time."

"And this," ejaculated Herr Dr. Hartmann, clasping his hands in horror
as Charlie, with head and shoulders bound and bandaged, but happy as a
king, was deposited at the door - "and this is called sport!"



Tip was a vicious young elephant, and during his brief life of
twenty-three years he killed several of his keepers. His last act of
violence came near causing the death of Snyder, the attendant who had
charge of him at the Central Park Zoo, and as a result he now stands
upon a wooden pedestal in New York's Museum of Natural History, where
all may look at the brute which caused so much trouble for the circus
people who owned him. For his attack upon Snyder, nearly two years ago,
the Park Commissioners ordered his execution, and he was killed with
powerful drugs given to him in his food. The process of mounting and
stuffing his hide, to be exhibited at the museum, was very interesting,
as the accompanying series of pictures will show.


The preparation of the elephant's tough skin and the cleaning of his
bones took nearly a year before the actual work of mounting was started.
As it is intended to mount Tip's skeleton separately, exact
reproductions of his skull and a few of the other large bones were
carved in wood, to be used in modelling the form on which the hide was
to be mounted. All of the flesh, of course, was destroyed, and in its
place the museum workmen built up a dummy of his body, or manikin, as
they call it, from measurements and photographs taken of him before his
death. Building this lay figure and fitting the skin to it took nearly
six weeks' work, and the stuffed elephant then stood over two months, to
allow the hide to stretch and dry on its new body before the specimen
was ready to be shown. It has been on exhibition only a few weeks now.

[Illustration: 2. - THE WOODEN HEAD AND RIBS.]

The first part in the difficult task of mounting Tip was to build the
manikin. The workmen sawed out of heavy planking a flat piece about the
general shape of the big brute's side. This was supported by iron rods,
in place of legs, bolted to the frame-work and to the temporary pedestal
upon which the work was done. The wooden skull and leg bones were then
screwed to the body, and other pieces of wood the shape of Tip's sides
were fastened in place like ribs. A pair of handsome ivory tusks taken
from some other real elephant were fitted to the skull, while another
long plank was hung down between them for his trunk. Tip was nine feet
and a half high at the shoulder, and eleven feet in length, so it was no
easy task to reach all parts of his great body. Great ladders were built
at each end of the manikin, and ropes were rigged from the ceiling over
it, to haul up the heavy parts of the wooden animal they were creating.

[Illustration: 3. - AFTER THE LATHS HAVE BEEN PUT ON.]

Just as the carpenters build the walls of a house, these workmen covered
the great ribs of their wooden elephant all over with laths. They nailed
them to the frame-work, leaving his body hollow, and then for the first
time the manikin began to take on the shape of a real elephant. His body
looked more like some huge barrel, perhaps, than that of Tip, and his
legs were a trifle stumpy and unfinished at the ends; he lacked a tail
as yet, too, and his trunk was only a rough pine board; but the gleaming
ivory tusks were there, and his head had a lifelike appearance that was
very encouraging. But the difficult part of the work was just beginning,
for the body must be made to fit exactly to the shape of the hide before
it could be put on.

Excelsior was next called into use, and the lath-covered frame-work was
completely enveloped in those thin shavings from wood so often used for
packing china and glass. Bunches of it were tacked to the laths, and in
some places it was tied on with string, while here and there a little
lump was glued to the frame-work. The many photographs of Tip were
gotten out, and measuring-tapes were used to get the exact size in all
parts. For days the men were busy with nothing else but this work. They
trimmed off corners here, and added patches there, as the defects in the
manikin's shape were shown by the photographs and measurements.


At last the great hide was brought up from the cellar, and for the first
time fitted to the wooden elephant. When Tip was skinned a year before,
the men were careful to cut off the hide so that it would be easy to
work with when they came to mount it, the two sides and the head being
skinned separately. Now these three pieces of hide had undergone an
elaborate preparation. They had been soaked for months in acids, and had
been scraped and pared down to about an inch in thickness. If this tough
skin were kept long in the open air it would have hardened so stiff that
it would have been almost impossible to mount it. So it had been kept in
a solution the workmen call "tan liquor," and when the manikin was
finished an enormous tub containing these soaking hides was brought up
to where the dummy stood.

[Illustration: 5. - ONE SIDE OF THE HIDE IN PLACE.]

Ropes were fastened to one side of Tip's skin, and it was hauled up
against the manikin and fitted around the body. Then it was lowered back
into the tub again, and more excelsior added where the skin hung loose,
or bits cut away to make room for the clumsy dimples in the elephant's
hide. This was repeated over and over again, until the men were
satisfied with the fit of the final covering for their specimen. But,
like good tailors, they were not easily satisfied, and the patient
manikin had to have its new coat "tried on" many, many times before it
was ready to have the seams sewed up for good. Both sides had to be
treated in this way, and then the head, which, of course, needed more
fitting and alterations than the sides.

But it was finally finished, and the last work on the manikin was then
done. The great body with its woolly coat of excelsior was hidden under
a thin layer of modelling clay. This was spread over evenly and worked
down smooth with the men's hands; the body, the legs, the head, the
trunk, and even the tail were treated to this last coat, and at a little
distance Tip looked very natural, except for the lack of eyes and soles
for his feet. Again the big pieces of hide were hauled up out of the tan
liquor, and again they were fitted to the manikin. Here and there a few
final alterations were necessary, and then the body was ready to be
sewed into its new coat forever.

Clumsy seamstresses these workmen would have made if fine linen and
sewing-silk had been their materials, but with copper wire, and
brad-awls to punch the needle-holes, they managed to make fully as
strong, if not as neat, seams as the cleverest dressmakers. The two
sides of the skin were hauled up and matched together at the top of the
elephant's back. Then, with their clumsy needles and their wire thread,
the workmen climbed up on top of the manikin, and sewed together the
long seam where the knives of the skinners had opened the hide. Other
seams down the back of the legs and under the elephant's belly were
sewed up in this way, and Tip's hide once more held an elephant,

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Online LibraryVariousHarper's Round Table, February 18, 1896 → online text (page 1 of 7)