Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 2014

No I didn't drop off the end of the earth, I have a new job teaching 7th graders! I am so very busy but I love it. My life is transformed, I have found my true calling. Since I have my education Master's, I finally decided to actually get my teaching license. The hospital was just too stressful for me, also I did not like the 10 hour shifts in a rather negative and draining environment.

I'm still tired when I get home at night and I spend many extra hours at home creating curriculum but somehow my stress level has gone way down, by health issues are calming down, and I can honestly say I am really happy. :)

I am teaching Honor's Science...this week we dissected cow hearts and are learning about the Circulatory System and the blood. I am also teaching three sessions of Integrated Science and one session of Art! Quite a combination, but it suits me.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Finally another post from my worn out brain...

An ice cold mountain stream.
We visited the waterfall in the canyon, a good activity for a hot summer day. At the trout pool you can feed the fish, they are pretty tame.
I feeling kindof blah tonight. I though we'd go to the movies, but the movie we wanted to see was already gone from the theater. Then I thought we'd go out to eat, like we do on many a Friday night but no, hubby had a big late lunch and was not interested. Also I am wondering just what to do with myself, I have had our 9 year old granddaughter at the house for about a month so far this summer and I have suspended most of my normal activities to cater to her as it is an awkward period for her with her Mom gone in the Army. She is with her other Grandparents this weekend, so here I sit with a few free minutes, wondering what to do with myself. Such is life, expect the unexpected. 
Outings with my granddaughter...A large butterfly made out of butterfly specimens at the Natural History Museum

I've been busily working on getting my teaching degree and have taken 4 out of the five classes needed this past year. I am working my tail off for the on-line ones. It takes hours to get all the portfolio stuff, classroom application and content, discussion and quiz done. I've been going through a creative block for all other endeavors as I concentrate on the one subject that I am taking a class for, for that period of time.
In Zoology class I learned about Cephalopods, this nautilus is an example.
My brain is worn out. My one solace is I still can manage to squeeze a bit of reading for my own enjoyment in here and there. I have discovered it is mostly escapist reading after looking over the list of what I've read tonight. I guess I need a break!
Because I have not been working as much as I used to I've been able to do a few things that I haven't done for a while, even a few get my plant light set up again and nurture a collection of cactus and succulents and a few African Violets, an old favorite of mine. Do a bit of embroidery, and make two cute blankets using some 'minky' fabric, for my two sweet granddaughters. I've never worked with 'minky' before, it's incredibly soft and cuddly. A bit on the pricey side but very nice for blankets.

In our yard we have a few of these garden snakes, they like to snack on the goldfish in our pond. Dang critters.
I have even been, gasp, organizing and doing a bit of extra cleaning. I must admit though, that reorganizing under the kitchen sink was inspired on by a leak in the water filter! Some of the organizing (and de-junking) has also been spurred on by the in-laws moving from their large home into a smaller planned community home for seniors, and all the packing and junk sorting that has been going on there.
It's wonderful to see my water lily blooming!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Family History finds...

Here's the Scoop on John Burton Pears

As is my habit lately, I like to work on Family History and indexing on Sundays. I have been gathering a flood of information about my Italian ancestors who came from Calitri, Italy, as there has been an active group of descendants of people from Calitri and they have made many records available on the internet. Let me tell you, that group is immensely helpful and it is ten times easier to check those resources than to go slogging through miles of microfilm at the downtown library after waiting over a day for them to retrieve the obscure microfilms (in Italian, mind you) from the Granite Mountain vault!
Historical Site: Martin's Cove, Wyoming
This past Sunday, I decided to take a break from Italian records and I randomly put in a search for some of my husband's relatives on the Family Search website. It was completely random, as I just scrolled through the name list on my Ancestral Quest program and picked a name out to search. Bingo! I found more information about a person whose name has been in my data base, almost from the beginning, and I had no idea what I would find. In our records we had this: "John Burton Pears, son of John Pears and Margaret Burton, born in York, England 1798, and died crossing the plains in 1856". Don't ask my why, with my curious nature, or with any one of several other relatives hunting about for clues or taking Genealogy classes at BYU, we never put two and two together about how this man died crossing the plains.
Well, for your information John Burton Pears is the (4th) Great Uncle to my husband, (and all his brothers and sisters). John was the younger brother of direct line ancestor Mary Pears (1795). (For those who are trying to figure it out in their heads, start with Sara Cecilia Smith, mother of Grandma Alice, and go back from there.)
As I have tried to find out more about this man and his life, I have discovered there is little information that exists about him personally, I guess he wasn't a journal keeper. So, if you want to learn about him and his family, try to read other information about the Martin Handcart Company, and about converts crossing the ocean from Liverpool to New Orleans in 1849. He traveled from England to New Orleans, from 2 Sept 1849 to 22 Oct 1849 on the ship James Pennell. Maybe you could even take a side trip to Devil's Gate, Wyoming, because that is where he was buried.
A Tragic Pioneer Story
Most of you reading may already know about the tragic story of these pioneers. They left Missouri in late August of 1856. They were in a hurry to start their trip west, so they hastily constructed handcarts to take with them. Many of these people were poor immigrants, (they could not afford a wagon and team), and they were converts to the LDS Church. They had left their homes in England to settle in the USA with the other saints. Leaving in late August was not the best idea, Rocky Mountain winter weather got the better of them and they were not well prepared as their handcarts only allowed limited food, supplies, and belongings to be brought with them. Their handcarts were also quickly made with green wood that did not hold up well to the rigors of the journey. They suffered physically and mentally; deprivation, starvation, freezing cold, and those horrible Wyoming winter winds that are famous for overturning semi-trucks on Route 80. About one quarter of the Martin Handcart Company paid with their lives. They were prepared to give their lives for their faith and many of them ultimately did just that. As soon as the people in SLC heard of their plight, from some other travelers, rescue parties were sent out to aid and retrieve these unlucky pioneers. If they survived, many of the party suffered from frost bite and had to have feet and toes amputated, as well as losing many of their family members and friends to exposure and sickness.
Devil's Gate, Wyoming
Recap: John Burton Pears born 10 Sept 1798, Bishop Hill, York, England- Son of John Pears and Margaret Burton (one of 8 children, the oldest son and second oldest child). Brother of Mary Pears (1795), direct line ancestor. He married Rosehannah Whitehead in England (1822). Five children are recorded for John Burton and Rosehannah in Family Tree at the Family Search website, the couples first three children died in infancy, the last two, both daughters, made it to Utah. John Burton, his wife Rosehannah, and youngest daughter, Eliza, were all part of the Martin Handcart Company. Eliza, married Nicholas Summers and lived in Uintah, Weber, Utah. Margaret (the other daughter not listed as a member of the Martin Handcart Company, married George Denton and lived in Toole, Utah.

More resources for those who are interested:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Around the World in Books

Around the World in Books

Let your imagination take you away as you travel around the world through the wonderful world of books!

North America:
The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny (Quebec)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (Savannah, Georgia)
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (Prince Edward Island)
Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (Detroit, Michigan)
Hanta Yo by Ruth Beebe Hill (Lakota Sioux Tribes of North America)
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (Chicago, Illinois)
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed (California, Oregon, Washington State- Pacific Northwest)
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Atlanta, Georgia, Civil War)

South America:
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (an unnamed South American country)
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin (Patagonia- Argentina and Chile, Andes Mountins)
Galapagos: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut (Galapagos Islands)
The Lost city of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by Davis Grann (Amazon Jungle)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia)
The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough (Panama Canal)

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Congo)
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Ethiopia)
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Belgian Congo)
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by alexander McCall Smith (Botswana)
The Flame Trees of Thika by Elspeth Huxley (Kenya)
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Kenya)
What is the What by Dave Eggers (Sudan/USA)
Aida by Leontyne Price (Ethiopia)
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran (Rome/Egypt)
Nefertitti by Michelle Moran (Egypt)

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter (Italian Coast/California)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Barcelona, Spain)
Various Novels by Donna Leon Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries (many take place in Venice, Italy)
Transatlantic by Colum McCann (Newfoundland/Ireland)
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (France)
God is an Englishman by R.F. Delderfield (England)
The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa (Sicily)
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (WWII Germany)
Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres (Greek Isle of Cephallonia)
The King Must Die by Mary Renault (Ancient Greece and Theseus)
The Children of Henry VIII by John Guy (England)

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler (China Sichuan Provence)
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Mariane Satrapi (Iran)
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (Kabul, Afghanistan, USA)
Shogun by James Clavell (Feudal Japan)
For Fukui’s Sake: Two Years in Rural Japan by Sam Baldwin (Japan)
Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie (Imperial Russia)
Rasputin: The Untold Story by Joseph T. Fahrmann
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester (Indonesia)

Australia and Beyond
The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough (Australian Outback)
In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (Australia)
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen (Around the Globe)
Endurance: Shackelton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing (Antarctica)
Come On Shore and We Will Kill You and Eat You All by Christina Thompson (New Zealand/ Maori Culture)
A Second Chance by Shayne Parkinson (New Zealand late 1800’s)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Reading Wrap-Up for 2013

2013 Reading Wrap-up

Every day I read, along with scriptures, a variety of books both fiction and non-fiction.This is my reading wrap-up for 2013. When I am up at night because my super sensitive skin is driving me crazy with itching and soreness, I can count on my trusty electronic reading device (a regular kindle) to help me focus my mind on something else so I don't scratch myself bloody. I just grab it from my night stand, start reading, and I am transported to another place and time.

I have had a goal of reading 50 books for the past three years. The first year I came up a few short of the goal, the next I made my goal, and this year I surpassed my goal! My grand total for 2013 was 61 books. This year I will set my goal at 60 books, with hopes of surpassing it once again. This will include regular books, kindle books, and books on CD.

2013 breakdown: E-books: 31,   Books on CD: 5,    Regular Books: 21
Fifteen of the books were in my TBR (to be read pile) YAY!

A bit of discussion now...

Shattered, and Graveminder were written by authors I had never read before but from the descriptions put forth that helped me decide to download them, I was pleased with the reads. I just recently downloaded part two of the Shattered series and am looking forward to reading it. Both books had likeable female main characters and entertaining stories. Shattered is a fantasy and Graveminder was a unique story of a family with paranormal abilities leaving a legacy in their town. Do you like zombie tales? Graveminder is for you, (it has low gore level, I am not a fan of gore, I don't watch The Walking Dead, but I did like the movie I am Legend with Will Smith- it was better than the story as the character was less pathetic in the movie).

Cry of the Peacock and Mermaid were also from authors I had never read before and I was pleasantly pleased with both, Peacock was a good standard Gothic-type tale, and Mermaid was a nice retelling of that fairytale. The sleeping surprise for the year was Alexie's The Absoultely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, I listened to it while commuting and driving here and there, it was narrated by the author which added to the depth and charm of the tale. Highly recommended, though sometimes can be a bit shocking. It is classified as Young-Adult literature, definitely for older youth. Kids these days are way more sophisticated than I ever was in high school! It was a let's bare all the warts type of story but very touching and sure made you think. I also discovered an internet site with short stories by Ivan Turgenev, a Russian author, what I have read so far is really good, the tales I've read are mostly categorized as Gothic. All in all, I have learned, been creeped out a bit, and been carried on some amazing adventures from my reading this year!

I read The Strega and the Dreamer for the Immigrant Book challenge, it was about Italian immigrants settling in the North-east and the story of their families trying to fit in. The immigrants worked in the mines in Pennsylvania and that resonated with me as my Grandpa had relatives that did just that. The twist was the wife of one of the immigrants- she was a wise-woman, herbalist, mid-wife, witch, or whatever you want to call her, (hence the "Strega") using her skills/knowledge in the communities where she lived.

I like reading about history so Voices of the Ancients, Women of the Sea, Doomed Queens, Mad Kings and Queens, The Children of Henry VIII, Francis Poor Man of Assisi, Castles and Cave Dwellings of Europe, True Stories of Pirates, and a few other books that cross categories were all interesting to me. Doomed Queens was especially interesting, Mad Kings and Queens was rather sad and disturbing because most of the unfortunate royals mentioned within were victims of their own circumstances because of inbreeding, and the seemingly ever true mantra that 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely', and especially if you are King or Queen, someone is always ready to betray you to steal your riches and power. I was surprised to learn about the generally violent history of France in the Castles and Cave Dwellings book because many of the castles discussed were located in France and the so called noble families were always fighting each other, having power grab wars, and trying to rid the earth of their rivals every family member. Families also killed each other in the power wars, so much of it seems to be such an unfortunate commentary on the nature of humankind. Pirate stories are usually always full of action and adventure, and the women pirates seem to be just as ruthless as the men.

Science topics are a nice change from the fantasy and sci fi I usually like to read. Spook was a study on the nature of death and what happens when we die. The Disappearing Spoon and Napoleon's Buttons were both really engaging and I learned things about various elements, the periodic table, Gallium, Silver, and the Tin buttons that may have contributed to the fall of Napoleon's great army. Good stuff there.

I have a seemingly insatiable desire for old ghost stories a la 1800's style. I like the fact that there is a lot of atmosphere created in the stories and rarely any blood and gore. The Willows, by Algernon Blackwood is the perfect example. It's incredibly creepy but nothing bad really happens, the author takes you for a fascinating ride. If there is any gore, it is not the main point of the story and is glossed over rather quickly, while the psychological aspect of creepiness still lingers. It seems anything by Poe, usually gives you a kick in the gut so I can't take a steady diet of his stuff, but do occasionally read it so I can keep up on it for my Dark and Stormy Night Blog and facebook page. Paranormal, Gothics or Ghost stories under this category from the reading list would be the following: 1.Superstition, Pirates, Ghosts and Folklore of Bocas del Toro, Panama, 2.Clermont,3. Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, 4.Scottish Ghost Stories, 5.Ghosts I have Seen, 6.Classic Vampire Stories, 7.Strange Brew, 8.Mean Streets, 9.12 Black Cats, 10. Mysteries and Legends, 11.Reiko, 12.The Open Door and The Portrait, 13.The Habsburg Curse, 14.Death Masks, 15.Paranormal Casebook, 16.The Book of Werewolves, 17.Blood Rites, 18.Twelve Gothic Tales, 19.Cry of the Peacock, 20.The Empty House, 21.In Search of the Unknown, and 22. Pure. Hapsburg, Werewolves, and Pure could also be counted for some history, too.

Hapsburg was informative and kind of sad, but I don't really believe in curses, it's more of a case of 'what goes around-comes around' and a family legacy of power lust, being disagreeable, and inbreeding. Werewolves was rather shocking and the more for it because it was written in the 1800's and dealt with a rather gory subject trying to explain the werewolf phenomenon and giving a bit of a distasteful history lesson of persons who wanted to eat other persons! That salve the people who supposedly turned into werewolves used (and claimed was given to them by the devil or a witch) sent them on the equivalent of a bad mushroom high or something like that and they would believe they were a werewolf and attack people. (Sounds a bit familiar to some crazy drug episodes and face eating in the not so ancient news of our day.)

Pure was a rather unique tale on the odd subject of the Cemetery of the Innocents in Paris. A nicely Gothic subject and interesting story, weird, but interesting and I pretty much raced through it. It gives some French history leading up to the time of the revolution, too. I happened upon that one while looking for things to post on my Dark and Stormy Night facebook page- The Paris Catacombs! Very strange, but not half as strange as the Capuchin Monks of Palermo. Although I look at those pictures of bones I don't think I could make myself actually go into a catacomb at all. Too dang creepy and weird to gaze at other peoples bones, no thank you! Morbid curiosity I guess.

Ethan Frome was a pretty stark story of New England, stark is a good word to describe it, written by an nobel prize winning American author and in a unique genre, worth reading. My biggest disappointment was Kitchen Confidential, I started reading it for the Foodie book challenge, what a waste of time. Why is that guy a famous chef? He brain is addled from drugs and alcohol and he thinks we all need to know about sexual escapades more than the world of the chef. Just don't bother. The next disappointment was The Book of Lost Fragrances, it left a bad taste in my mouth, it was unsatisfying even though the description seemed pretty interesting. I think maybe it was because the main character was (spoiler) - a let down.

I always enjoy Lois Lowry, and find her books to be thought provoking even though they are classified for young adults. I think that studying The Giver when you are too young (like they always seem to do in school) could almost be a disadvantage because you can't really understand it in the right way and many teens wind up hating it because of that. I happen to like dystopias, they get you thinking.

The three things I read from Atlantis Rising were compilations of articles from the magazine of the same name, some of it needs to be taken with a grain of salt but it usually always delivers something entertaining and if you wanted to write stories there is an abundance of interesting ideas within those pages!

Listing of books read in 2013:

  1. Shatter (The Children of Man)- Elizabeth C. Mock (e-book)
  2. Graveminder-Melissa Marr (e-book)
  3. The Strega and the Dreamer-Theresa C. Dintino (e-book)
  4. Voices of the Ancients-Stephen B. Shaffer (e-book)
  5. Plain Tales from the Hills-Rudyard Kipling (e-book)
  6. Spook by Mary Roach
  7. Ethan Frome- Edith Wharton (e-book)
  8. Superstition, Pirates, Ghosts and Folklore of Bocas del Toro, Panama by Malcolm Henderson (e-book)
  9. Weekend Homesteader- Anna Hess (e-book)
  10. Clermont- Regina Maria Roche (e-book)
  11. Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (book on CD)
  12. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (e-book)
  13. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (e-book)
  14. Doomed Queens by Kris Waldherr
  15. Mad Kings and Queens by Alison Rattle and Allison Vale
  16. The Children of Henry the VIII by John Guy (e-book)
  17. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  18. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  19. The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose (e-book)
  20. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
  21. Scottish Ghost Stories by Elliott O'Donnell (e-book)
  22. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (book on CD)
  23. Ghosts I have Seen by Violet Tweedale (e-book)
  24. Classic Vampire Stories Edited by Molly Cooper
  25. The Long War Against God by Dr. Henry Morris
  26. The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Sam Kean
  27. Strange Brew- Ed. By P.N. Elrod
  28. Mean Streets- Butcher, Green, Richardson, Sinegoski
  29. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (book on CD)
  30. 12 Great Black Cats and Other Eerie Scottish Tales by Sorche Nic Leodhas
  31. Women of the Sea: Ten Pirate Stories by Myra Weatherly
  32. Francis: Poor Man of Assisi by Tommie De Paola
  33. Mysteries and Legends: Utah True Stories of the Unexplained by Michael O'Reilly
  34. Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon
  35. Forensics Science: A Very Short Introduction by Jim Fraser (e-book)
  36. The Absoultely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie (book on CD)
  37. Reiko- A Japanese Ghost Story by James Avonleigh (e-book)
  38. Castles and Cave Dwellings of Europe by Sabine Baring-Gould (e-book)
  39. The Open Door and The Portrait by Margaret Oliphant (e-book)
  40. Napoleon's Buttons by Penny LeCouteur and Jay Burreson
  41. Down in the Darkness (The Shadowy History of America's Haunted Mines, Tunnels and Caverns) by Troy Taylor
  42. The Giving Plague by David Brin (Novella) (e-book)
  43. Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story by Leonie Swann (book on CD)
  44. The Habsburg Curse by Hans Holtzer
  45. Death Masks (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
  46. A Paranormal Casebook: Ghost Hunting in the New Millennium by Loyd Auerback
  47. Shaking the Family Tree by Buzzy Jackson
  48. The Book of Werewolves: being an account of a terrible superstition by Sabine Baring-Gould
  49. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (e-book)
  50. Blood Rites (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
  51. Content Area Reading by Vacca, Vacca, and Mraz (text- yes I read the whole thing))
  52. True Stories of Pirates by Lucy Lethbridge
  53. Twelve Gothic Tales Edited by Richard Dalby
  54. The Alloy of Law Prologue by Brandon Sanderson (e-book)
  55. Cry of the Peacock by V.R. Christensen (e-book)
  56. The Empty House and other Ghost Stories by Algernon Blackwood (e-book)
  57. In Search of the Unknown by Robert W. Chambers (e-book)
  58. Pure by Andrew Miller (e-book)
  59. (Atlantis Rising compilation) Future Science by J. Douglas Kenyon (e-book)
  60. (Atlantis Rising compilation) Beyond Science by William Stoeker (e-book)
  61. (Atlantis Rising compilation) Lost History by Philip Coppens (e-book)
  62. (Various short stories-internet and e-book form, Turgenev, Poe, Blackwood, Bierce, etc.)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Happy 2014

Time has flown away from me. I have been wanting to post for weeks now and finally I am getting the chance. I am not sad to leave 2013 behind, it was a difficult year health-wise, financially, emotionally, I am looking forward to a fresh and new year. My motto is like this picture with a character I like- Captain Picard, from Star Trek The Next Generation...

As I am no longer working in a laboratory, I realized I really loved my job at the U of U, when I was Laboratory Coordinator and did a lot of teaching in the laboratory. I wanted the hospital lab experience and I got it for four years, it became very taxing emotionally and physically, one reason being the long shifts. I made a lot of wonderful friends there, but it was not meant to last for me personally. It is a relief for me actually, even though I suddenly found myself on the way to the poor house if I did not find another source of employment. I have struggled to get a replacement job, so I thought things over and realized that; yes, it is about time I got to stay home because less stress helps my health via not having as many skin breakouts, even though they still do happen periodically. Also, I really do like taking care of my home and family, even cooking, when I have time available to me. About staying out of the poor house... I have an Education Masters, and since I am not working in a lab any more, or teaching college students or adult learners, maybe I could see about using my education experience to become say...a high school science teacher. That is what my new focus is becoming- to become a certified secondary education science teacher. I've earned some money here and there by being hired as a substitute teacher for a local charter school. I really like the school and look forward to subbing there, even though there is no set schedule for when I go. I also have been merchandising for a new clothing store that recently opened up nearby, in a nice new shopping center and earning a bit there. I am finishing up the few classes I need to get secondary teacher certified in my state and am going to be taking the Praxis science test soon. Last fall semester I had three classes and was very busy reading text books and writing assignments, making lesson plans, and doing a practicum for student teaching at a high school (in preparation to doing actual student teaching this coming fall). Whew! That's what I've been up to.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Short Story by Bram Stoker

A Gipsy Prophecy


Bram Stoker

"I really think," said the Doctor, "that, at any rate, one of us

should go and try whether or not the thing is an imposture."

"Good!" said Considine. "After dinner we will take our cigars

and stroll over to the camp."

Accordingly, when the dinner was over, and the La Tour finished,

Joshua Considine and his friend, Dr. Burleigh, went over to the

east side of the moor, where the gipsy encampment lay. As they were

leaving, Mary Considine, who had walked as far as the end of the

garden where it opened into the laneway, called after her husband:

"Mind, Joshua, you are to give them a fair chance, but don't give

them any clue to a fortune-and don't you get flirting with any of the

gipsy maidens-and take care to keep Gerald out of harm."

For answer Considine held up his hand, as if taking a stage oath,

and whistled the air of the old song, "The Gipsy Countess." Gerald

joined in the strain, and then, breaking into merry laughter, the

two men passed along the laneway to the common, turning now and then

to wave their hands to Mary, who leaned over the gate, in the

twilight, looking after them.

It was a lovely evening in the summer; the very air was full

of rest and quiet happiness, as though an outward type of the

peacefulness and joy which made a heaven of the home of the young

married folk. Considine's life had not been an eventful one. The

only disturbing element which he had ever known was in his wooing

of Mary Winston, and the long-continued objection of her ambitious

parents, who expected a brilliant match for their only daughter.

When Mr. and Mrs. Winston had discovered the attachment of the young

barrister, they had tried to keep the young people apart by sending

their daughter away for a long round of visits, having made her

promise not to correspond with her lover during her absence. Love,

however, had stood the test. Neither absence nor neglect seemed

to cool the passion of the young man, and jealousy seemed a thing

unknown to his sanguine nature; so, after a long period of waiting,

the parents had given in, and the young folk were married.

They had been living in the cottage a few months, and were just

beginning to feel at home. Gerald Burleigh, Joshua's old college

chum, and himself a sometime victim of Mary's beauty, had arrived a

week before, to stay with them for as long a time as he could tear

himself away from his work in London.

When her husband had quite disappeared Mary went into the house,

and, sitting down at the piano, gave an hour to Mendelssohn.

It was but a short walk across the common, and before the cigars

required renewing the two men had reached the gipsy camp. The place

was as picturesque as gipsy camps-when in villages and when business

is good-usually are. There were some few persons round the fire,

investing their money in prophecy, and a large number of others,

poorer or more parsimonious, who stayed just outside the bounds but

near enough to see all that went on.

As the two gentlemen approached, the villagers, who knew Joshua,

made way a little, and a pretty, keen-eyed gipsy girl tripped up and

asked to tell their fortunes. Joshua held out his hand, but the girl,

without seeming to see it, stared at his face in a very odd manner.

Gerald nudged him:

"You must cross her hand with silver," he said. "It is one of the

most important parts of the mystery." Joshua took from his pocket a

half-crown and held it out to her, but, without looking at it, she


"You must cross the gipsy's hand with gold."

Gerald laughed. "You are at a premium as a subject," he said.

Joshua was of the kind of man-the universal kind-who can tolerate

being stared at by a pretty girl; so, with some little deliberation,

he answered:

"All right; here you are, my pretty girl; but you must give me a

real good fortune for it," and he handed her a half sovereign, which

she took, saying:

"It is not for me to give good fortune or bad, but only to read

what the Stars have said." She took his right hand and turned it palm

upward; but the instant her eyes met it she dropped it as though it

had been red hot, and, with a startled look, glided swiftly away.

Lifting the curtain of the large tent, which occupied the centre of

the camp, she disappeared within.

"Sold again!" said the cynical Gerald. Joshua stood a little

amazed, and not altogether satisfied. They both watched the large

tent. In a few moments there emerged from the opening not the young

girl, but a stately looking woman of middle age and commanding


The instant she appeared the whole camp seemed to stand still. The

clamour of tongues, the laughter and noise of the work were, for a

second or two, arrested, and every man or woman who sat, or crouched,

or lay, stood up and faced the imperial looking gipsy.

"The Queen, of course," murmured Gerald. "We are in luck to-night."

The gipsy Queen threw a searching glance around the camp, and then,

without hesitating an instant, came straight over and stood before


"Hold out your hand," she said in a commanding tone.

Again Gerald spoke, sotto voce: "I have not been spoken to in that

way since I was at school."

"Your hand must be crossed with gold."

"A hundred per cent at this game," whispered Gerald, as Joshua

laid another half sovereign on his upturned palm.

The gipsy looked at the hand with knitted brows; then suddenly

looking up into his face, said:

"Have you a strong will-have you a true heart that can be brave

for one you love?"

"I hope so; but I am afraid I have not vanity enough to say 'yes.'"

"Then I will answer for you; for I read resolution in your

face-resolution desperate and determined if need be. You have a

wife you love?"

"Yes," emphatically.

"Then leave her at once-never see her face again. Go from her now,

while love is fresh and your heart is free from wicked intent. Go

quick-go far, and never see her face again!"

Joshua drew away his hand quickly, and said, "Thank you!" stiffly

but sarcastically, as he began to move away.

"I say!" said Gerald, "you're not going like that, old man; no use

in being indignant with the Stars or their prophet-and, moreover, your

sovereign-what of it? At least, hear the matter out."

"Silence, ribald!" commanded the Queen, "you know not what you do.

Let him go-and go ignorant, if he will not be warned."

Joshua immediately turned back. "At all events, we will see this

thing out," he said. "Now, madam, you have given me advice, but I

paid for a fortune."

"Be warned!" said the gipsy. "The Stars have been silent for long;

let the mystery still wrap them round."

"My dear madam, I do not get within touch of a mystery every day,

and I prefer for my money knowledge rather than ignorance. I can get

the latter commodity for nothing when I want any of it."

Gerald echoed the sentiment. "As for me I have a large and

unsaleable stock on hand."

The gipsy Queen eyed the two men sternly, and then said, "As you

wish. You have chosen for yourself, and have met warning with scorn,

and appeal with levity. On your own heads be the doom!"

"Amen!" said Gerald.

With an imperious gesture the Queen took Joshua's hand again,

and began to tell his fortune.

"I see here the flowing of blood; it will flow before long; it is

running in my sight. It flows through the broken circle of a severed


"Go on!" said Joshua, smiling. Gerald was silent.

"Must I speak plainer?"

"Certainly; we commonplace mortals want something definite. The

Stars are a long way off, and their words get somewhat dulled in the


The gipsy shuddered, and then spoke impressively. "This is the

hand of a murderer-the murderer of his wife!" She dropped the hand

and turned away.

Joshua laughed. "Do you know," said he, "I think if I were you I

should prophesy some jurisprudence into my system. For instance, you

say 'this hand is the hand of a murderer.' Well, whatever it may be

in the future-or potentially-it is at present not one. You ought

to give your prophecy in such terms as 'the hand which will be a

murderer's,' or, rather, 'the hand of one who will be the murderer

of his wife.' The Stars are really not good on technical questions."

The gipsy made no reply of any kind, but, with drooping head and

despondent mien, walked slowly to her tent, and, lifting the curtain,


Without speaking the two men turned homewards, and walked across

the moor. Presently, after some little hesitation, Gerald spoke.

"Of course, old man, this is all a joke; a ghastly one, but still

a joke. But would it not be well to keep it to ourselves?"

"How do you mean?"

"Well, not to tell your wife. It might alarm her."

"Alarm her! My dear Gerald, what are you thinking of? Why, she

would not be alarmed or afraid of me if all the gipsies that ever

didn't come from Bohemia agreed that I was to murder her, or even

to have a hard thought of her, whilst so long as she was saying

'Jack Robinson.' "

Gerald remonstrated. "Old fellow, women are superstitious-far

more than we men are; and, also, they are blessed-or cursed-with a

nervous system to which we are strangers. I see too much of it in

my work not to realize it. Take my advice and do not let her know,

or you will frighten her."

Joshua's lips unconsciously hardened as he answered: "My dear

fellow, I would not have a secret from my wife. Why, it would be

the beginning of a new order of things between us. We have no

secrets from each other. If we ever have, then you may begin to

look out for something odd between us."

"Still," said Gerald, "at the risk of unwelcome interference, I

say again be warned in time."

"The gipsy's very words," said Joshua. "You and she seem quite

of one accord. Tell me, old man, is this a put-up thing? You told

me of the gipsy camp-did you arrange it all with Her Majesty?" This

was said with an air of bantering earnestness. Gerald assured him

that he only heard of the camp that morning; but he made fun of

every answer of his friend, and, in the process of this raillery,

the time passed, and they entered the cottage.

Mary was sitting by the piano but not playing. The dim twilight

had waked some very tender feelings in her breast, and her eyes were

full of gentle tears. When the men came in she stole over to her

husband's side and kissed him. Joshua struck a tragic attitude.

"Mary," he said in a deep voice, "before you approach me, listen

to the words of Fate. The Stars have spoken and the doom is sealed."

"What is it, dear? Tell me the fortune, but do not frighten me."

"Not at all, my dear; but there is a truth which it is well that

you should know. Nay, it is necessary so that all your arrangements

can be made beforehand, and everything be decently done and in order."

"Go on, dear; I am listening."

"Mary Considine, your effigy may yet be seen at Madame Tussaud's.

The juris-imprudent stars have announced their fell tidings that this

hand is red with blood-your blood. Mary! Mary! my God!" He sprang

forward, but too late to catch her as she fell fainting on the floor.

"I told you," said Gerald. "You don't know them as well as I do."

After a little while Mary recovered from her swoon, but only to

fall into strong hysterics, in which she laughed and wept and raved

and cried, "Keep him from me-from me, Joshua, my husband," and many

other words of entreaty and of fear.

Joshua Considine was in a state of mind bordering on agony, and

when at last Mary became calm he knelt by her and kissed her feet

and hands and hair and called her all the sweet names and said all

the tender things his lips could frame. All that night he sat by

her bedside and held her hand. Far through the night and up to the

early morning she kept waking from sleep and crying out as if in

fear, till she was comforted by the consciousness that her husband

was watching beside her.

Breakfast was late the next morning, but during it Joshua

received a telegram which required him to drive over to Withering,

nearly twenty miles. He was loth to go; but Mary would not hear

of his remaining, and so before noon he drove off in his dog-cart


When he was gone Mary retired to her room. She did not appear at

lunch, but when afternoon tea was served on the lawn, under the great

weeping willow, she came to join her guest. She was looking quite

recovered from her illness of the evening before. After some casual

remarks, she said to Gerald: "Of course it was very silly about last

night, but I could not help feeling frightened. Indeed I would feel

so still if I let myself think of it. But, after all, these people

may only imagine things, and I have got a test that can hardly fail

to show that the prediction is false-if indeed it be false," she

added sadly.

"What is your plan?" asked Gerald.

"I shall go myself to the gipsy camp, and have my fortune told

by the Queen."

"Capital. May I go with you?"

"Oh, no! That would spoil it. She might know you and guess at me,

and suit her utterance accordingly. I shall go alone this afternoon."

When the afternoon was gone Mary Considine took her way to the

gipsy encampment. Gerald went with her as far as the near edge of

the common, and returned alone.

Half-an-hour had hardly elapsed when Mary entered the drawing-room,

where he lay on a sofa reading. She was ghastly pale and was in a

state of extreme excitement. Hardly had she passed over the threshold

when she collapsed and sank moaning on the carpet. Gerald rushed to

aid her, but by a great effort she controlled herself and motioned

him to be silent. He waited, and his ready attention to her wish

seemed to be her best help, for, in a few minutes, she had somewhat

recovered, and was able to tell him what had passed.

"When I got to the camp," she said, "there did not seem to be a

soul about. I went into the centre and stood there. Suddenly a tall

woman stood beside me. 'Something told me I was wanted!' she said.

I held out my hand and laid a piece of silver on it. She took from

her neck a small golden trinket and laid it there also; and then,

seizing the two, threw them into the stream that ran by. Then she

took my hand in hers and spoke: 'Naught but blood in this guilty

place,' and turned away. I caught hold of her and asked her to tell

me more. After some hesitation, she said: 'Alas! alas! I see you

lying at your husband's feet, and his hands are red with blood.'"

Gerald did not feel at all at ease, and tried to laugh it off.

"Surely," he said, "this woman has a craze about murder."

"Do not laugh," said Mary, "I cannot bear it," and then, as if

with a sudden impulse, she left the room.

Not long after Joshua returned, bright and cheery, and as hungry

as a hunter after his long drive. His presence cheered his wife, who

seemed much brighter, but she did not mention the episode of the

visit to the gipsy camp, so Gerald did not mention it either. As if

by tacit consent the subject was not alluded to during the evening.

But there was a strange, settled look on Mary's face, which Gerald

could not but observe.

In the morning Joshua came down to breakfast later than usual.

Mary had been up and about the house from an early hour; but as the

time drew on she seemed to get a little nervous, and now and again

threw around an anxious look.

Gerald could not help noticing that none of those at breakfast

could get on satisfactorily with their food. It was not altogether

that the chops were tough, but that the knives were all so blunt.

Being a guest, he, of course, made no sign; but presently saw Joshua

draw his thumb across the edge of his knife in an unconscious sort

of way. At the action Mary turned pale and almost fainted.

After breakfast they all went out on the lawn. Mary was making up

a bouquet, and said to her husband, "Get me a few of the tea-roses,


Joshua pulled down a cluster from the front of the house. The

stem bent, but was too tough to break. He put his hand in his pocket

to get his knife; but in vain. "Lend me your knife, Gerald," he said.

But Gerald had not got one, so he went into the breakfast-room and

took one from the table. He came out feeling its edge and grumbling.

"What on earth has happened to all the knives-the edges seem all

ground off?" Mary turned away hurriedly and entered the house.

Joshua tried to sever the stalk with the blunt knife as country

cooks sever the necks of fowl-as schoolboys cut twine. With a little

effort he finished the task. The cluster of roses grew thick, so he

determined to gather a great bunch.

He could not find a single sharp knife in the sideboard where

the cutlery was kept, so he called Mary, and when she came, told her

the state of things. She looked so agitated and so miserable that he

could not help knowing the truth, and, as if astounded and hurt,

asked her:

"Do you mean to say that you have done it?"

She broke in, "Oh, Joshua, I was so afraid."

He paused, and a set, white look came over his face. "Mary!"

said he, "is this all the trust you have in me? I would not have

believed it."

"Oh, Joshua! Joshua!" she cried entreatingly, "forgive me," and

wept bitterly.

Joshua thought a moment and then said: "I see how it is. We

shall better end this or we shall all go mad."

He ran into the drawing-room.

"Where are you going?" almost screamed Mary.

Gerald saw what he meant-that he would not be tied to blunt

instruments by the force of a superstition, and was not surprised

when he saw him come out through the French window, bearing in his

hand a large Ghourka knife, which usually lay on the centre table,

and which his brother had sent him from Northern India. It was one

of those great hunting-knives which worked such havoc, at close

quarters with the enemies of the loyal Ghourkas during the mutiny,

of great weight but so evenly balanced in the hand as to seem light,

and with an edge like a razor. With one of these knives a Ghourka

can cut a sheep in two.

When Mary saw him come out of the room with the weapon in his

hand she screamed in an agony of fright, and the hysterics of last

night were promptly renewed.

Joshua ran toward her, and, seeing her falling, threw down the

knife and tried to catch her.

However, he was just a second too late, and the two men cried out

in horror simultaneously as they saw her fall upon the naked blade.

When Gerald rushed over he found that in falling her left hand

had struck the blade, which lay partly upwards on the grass. Some of

the small veins were cut through, and the blood gushed freely from

the wound. As he was tying it up he pointed out to Joshua that the

wedding ring was severed by the steel.

They carried her fainting to the house. When, after a while, she

came out, with her arm in a sling, she was peaceful in her mind and

happy. She said to her husband:

"The gipsy was wonderfully near the truth; too near for the real

thing ever to occur now, dear."

Joshua bent over and kissed the wounded hand.