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Dead And Alive

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" Boys, I novcr swear. Haven't used an oatb sinco 1 was doad " He was a tall, one-eyed man, wearing a broad-briramed hat and a red flannel shirt. He sat on the railing of the bridge, whittling, and talking to three or four iithers standing by. 11 Yes, sir," said he, "I wasdom! once. It was the strangest thing you evor Bftw in your life. You don't believe it, eh? Well, I don't wonder. I don't suppose any other man ever went through such an awful siego, and I can't expoct anybody to look at it as I do. You sec it happened like this : It was winter, wo lumborod on Whitcomb Croek, six or eight years ago. It was war times then, and wages wero good. I was getting forty dollars a month, and worked liko a beaver till this little ivfi'air came oiF. We went to work about a milo from the shantv - Jim ltobiiison and mo - and had slashed into the pitie liko all poiBOMod. Tho boys were hauling protty lively, for it was nearly January, ai.d sleighing wfis good. Jim was at work on a big tive twenty rods from where I was. " Pretty soon, after he bad yellcd at mr, 1 is tree toppled over ai d fi II. It was as naiidsoma a pieca of tiniber as ever you siiw, and I waterbed it as it feil. Crash it went into the brunches of an old grub o:ik, anrl hnngjuht tliore. I nevcr saw a fellow niadder t-r.nn Jim was - and v, some tall cursin among thcin pines. Ho tried overy possi'li! way to loosen the pino, but couldn't get it off. Finally we made up our niinds to go for the troe, and in about ten minutos we had it out through so it trembled like a leaf at evcry stroke of the ax, he cutfng on one sido and I on the other. W'hen it was almost through, as I was tho biggest and best chopper, says I to Jim, and then I rippéd out a big oatb : " 'Let me finish her, Jiin. Gc.t out of the way, and I will havo her through in half a minute.' " I had beeu chopping a minuto or two when Jim let loóse a scrcaiu that would ïave made an Iniun's blood run eold. I ïad just timo to look up and seo that pine ree tumbling down, when I dropped my ax and run. I couldn't havo got far when something seemod to hit my eyes, and then everything was dark "I suppose I was dead "Alayue you don't believo me, boys, but that's all I can make out of it. All at once the light, the looks of tho snow on tho ground, evorything was shut out from my sight. Xhere was a kind of an uncertain feeling, just as a fellow has when he's asleep. 1 knew something awful had happened, but I could not stir hand nor toot. It soemed as thcugh it was night, and that 1 was covercd up by sometliing that pressed hoavily on me. Still thero wasn't any particular pain, and for a long time I couldn't tnink whore I was. How long I staid there I can't teil. I supposo it wasn't long, when I feit soniobody pull ray arm, and I heard Jiin Itobins.on say : " 'O Lord ! Poor fellow !' " I knew he was thero, and I could feol him touch me, and yet I could not speak or open my eyes. Ho thought I was dead Then I wondered if all dcad folks could hear and think as I did. I tried to move my hands - I tried to scream. But I couldn't do anything. Jim left me, and the next thing ï remembor of, I was pulled from under tho tree and ïauled to the hanty on one of the leds. You may bet there was considerable oxt-itemeut arnong the boys wln-n I was taken into the camp. I could frol that i was dead. My heart didn't beat. t couldn't move. But I could hcar, and bad a kind of misty notion about evirything that was going on about me. " Some of the boys, af ter feeling my forrud, wanted to send for the doctor. " 'It's no u=(, boys,' nii tho boss ; ' tho oor fellow's gone. His neck was broke. 'lic most we can do for him is to take lim to his folks.' " Well, they laid me out on onc of the eighs, and fixing ire up as decent as a corpse could bo in a lumbor camp, ono of the teamsters started with me ior Oshkosh. "I at first didn't realizo just how bad tho situation was. "When it bogan toloap into my head that I was really dead, and was to be buried in the ground and simt out forever from the light of tho sun, it frightened me. Tho long ride to Oshkosli passod like thoso things which happen in a dream. We got there, and I was taken to my brother's house. He feit terrible bad when I was brought home I hadn't any idea that ho tbought k much of me as he did. I could heat him cry and talk, and hadn't the power to move a muscle. I was put in a ooffin, and it finally came out that I was to bc taken to Watertown to be buried. My old mother lived there, you kuow. Oh, boys, I hope none of you will ever be made to feel the horrors that I feit when I knew thnt I was boxed up in a coffin and would soon be buried. Se ven yeOM h;ive gono by since then, but I never think of it without a shudder. I feit them putting on tho lid of tho coffin, and then 1 knew I was fastened up. "From that time until the cover of the ooflin was raised again I haven't nny recollcction of what happened, only that I was continually in motion. Though 1 could not open my cyes, I sorterfelt that it was dark, and 1 was going somewhciv. All of a sudden mot hor spoke. " 'George,' said she to my broth,or, ' his forehead don't feel yery cold. How strange it is.' I ' Then Georgo's hand was put on my forehead, and then I could feol him put his hund 011 my breast. " ïlioy soenied to think that I might not bu dead. " l'ietty 8oon a neiglibor carne in, and thoro was a good deal of talking that I oould not understand. Then I was #ubbod all over with a eoarse towel. Still I couldn't stir nor open my eyes. " Then my mother carne to give me one last look. I fflt hr near me just as sho used to be when I was a boy, and lier hands sraoothed my hair in the old way, that soemed to tnke me back to tho time when I wasn't so bad as I am now. ' I tried with all the forcé I could, but I feit that some one was turning the screws off tho coflin lid, and aftor a while tho cover was taken off. " I would rather die a thousand times over than go through the horrible suffering of that affair again. ïhero I was dead and going to be buried, and so ncar alive that i knuw what was going on. Boys, you inuy talk, but thoro is nobody in this world that thinks as much of you as your mother. You can imagino my fooiings - no, you can't have the least notion of how I feit when she was taking on so over me. " After a while I could feel that my mother had stoppedcrying; then Ithought that she might havo fainted. I never was much in the praying line, but if ever any one made a strong try to oall on God for assistanco, I did then. I could feel my mother's soft hand on my hoad. I made one atrong effort to rouse myself, and finally I broko the spell and looked up. "My mother fainted; but help soon carne, and after taking some medicine ind doctor's stuff, I was able to think md breatho freely again. " In a little while I was well again, with tho cxception of au ugly scar on the jack of ray neck. " Tho doctors said I had a narrow es:apc. My spinul cord, they said, had )een strook by the branch of tho tree, and I was as good as dead. It was more ban a mirado that I was brought to. Thoy had a good deal to say about parilyzing my nervoug systom and stopping ny eirculation, and all that ; but, at any rato, 1 got well. "Í3oj's' 1 haviüi't sworn an oath sinco then. I don't fuel like it.


Old News
Michigan Argus