Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/77

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67
THE READING-CLUB.

Plainly—but with no prophet sense—I heard the sullen sound,
The torrent's voice—and felt the mist, like death-sweat, gathering round.
O agony! O life! My home, and those that made it sweet!
Ere I could pray, the torrent lay beneath my very feet.
With frightful whirl, more swift than thought, I passed the dizzy edge;
Bound after bound, with hideous bruise, I dashed from ledge to ledge,
From crag to crag—in speechless pain—from midnight deep to deep;
I did not die, but anguish stunned my senses into sleep.

How long entranced, or whither dived, no clew I have to find.
At last the gradual light of life came dawning o'er my mind;
And through my brain there thrilled a cry,—a cry as shrill as birds
Of vulture or of eagle kind, but this was set to words:—
"It's Edgar Huntley in his cap and nightgown, I declares!
He's been a-walking in his sleep, and pitched all down the stairs!"

Thomas Hood.

A CENTRE-BOARD YACHT-RACE.

"Mr. Bingham," said the "city editor" of the "Royal Bugle" one morning, "the 'sporting editor' is away, and it will be necessary for you to go down to Swampscott to report a race between centre-board yachts."

"But I don't know any thing about yachts or yacht-racing."

"It's not necessary to know. See the head man, and get the time. That's about all we want."

About nine o'clock that night, a forlorn, tramp-like looking object entered the office of the "Royal Bugle," with the crown of his white Derby knocked in, the rim bent, and his clothing generally hanging limp,—the suit, once light in color, now spotted and stained. As he advanced into a better light, he was recognized as the "fire reporter;" and a chorus of exclamations followed: "Where's the fire?" or,