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season is upon him, he is to be congratulated. But if he is compelled to be away from home or to be traveling, he is entitled to something more than the ordinary. He should be made to feel that, though among strangers, there is an atmosphere of good will around him.

It is the season of general overindulgence in the good things of life. It comes but once a year and what's the odds? He feels it, and therefore indulges himself, and believes he ought to have all that is coming

to him.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company thought so, too, and laid

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before their patrons on their table d'hote dining cars

for ten days, menus that would delight the most pronounced epicure. He or she who sat down to any one of these feasts can boast of a Christmas dinner as rare as could be found. Venison from Maine, wild game from the mountains, strawberries from the South, were all there.

On the Baltimore & Ohio there are sixteen dining cars, of which all running west of Pittsburg serve all meals a la carte. All running east of Pittsburg, with the exception of two, serve table d'hote dinners. Three parlor cafe and two buffet cars are included in the total number.

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The service is arranged as nearly as possible to conform with the appetite of the passenger, the time of day taken under consideration. Breakfast and lunch are invariably a la carte; dinner, table d'hote wherever it is practicable. Every endeavor is made to make the service supreme as to linen, dishes, glass and silver ware, and waiter service.

The best of chefs are employed, and great care exercised in the preparation of the food.





HE little African church back of the village station was alive with excitement Sunday afternoon. Rev. Hiram Morgan, the earnest pastor, had frequently alluded to his city friend, Ebenezer Abraham Sneed, as a towerin' light-house ob faith an' pray'r, risin' 'bove de waves ob his sinful city,' " and the mere announcement that "Brudder Sneed" would give a 'sperience talk" at the following Sunday afternoon "love feast" was hailed with a loud chorus of hallelujahs and



During the week the news of the great event spread among the darkey population for miles around, and long before the appointed hour the little cabin church was crowded to overflowing.

Each lingering moment increased the tense interest of the congregation. Rev. Mr. Morgan, however, was equal to the occasion and with his elders and deacons held a brief "emergency" council meeting in the amen corner, and decided to waive the opening service and sing only the first and last verse of a nine stanza hymn.

All eyes were now riveted on Brother Sneed as he mounted the bare pine pulpit.


"Ah aint comin' to youse folks to 'spostulate 'bout de promised lan' ob milk an' honey, but Ah's jes' gwine to scattah some wurds ob adwice an' elewashun 'bout dis hyar sinful worl'. Dis am a time when we want fac's an' Ah comes wid de glad message ob 'fectual pray 'r, an' stands befo' youse as de libin' witness dat de Lawd am still de bes' frien' ob de dark-skin folks.

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dat Ah couldn't shake off, 'cause Ah wanted to see ma Benjamin Hezekiah bad 'nuff. So Ah jes' set down an' 'lowed de Lawd would help me in de tribulatin' hour ob trubble, an' Ah prayed sunrise, sunhigh and sunset time for dat railroad fare fo' me an' Malindy.


Aftah 'bout two months de neighbors all frizzle up dere noses an' say: 'Abraham Ebenezer Sneed doan be no plum fool niggah, de Lawd aint got no time to drap his ear an' scoop up yo' trubbles.' But Ah done keep up dat wraslin' wid pray'ı an' hopin' mo' an' mo'. Presen❜ly in ma min's eye, Ah see Mr. Debble come spryin' 'round an' try to rub de shine off ma hope, by argufying agin de Lawd, but Ah fling him 'side wid de pow'ful words ob Scriptur'.

"Den de cold wintah was comin' on an work was gittin' slack an' money was gittin' slacker, an Ah 'lowed dat de Lawd sho❜ly was busy, but jes' when Ah 'spects nuffin, den comed de answer to ma pray`r.

"Ah was walkin' down de track one mawnin, gwine ter work, an' thinkin' hard 'bout ma boy Ben, ovah yondah risin', an' de Lawd let me clean fo'git 'bout dat engine comin' 'round de sharp sugar-house curve, an' fo' Ah knowed it dat same engine tossed me ovah in de ditch. Malindy say dat Ah sleep three whole days an' nights. Long to'ads seben weeks aftah, de doctah at de hospital say Ah could go home.

"De boss railroad man he soon jine me at ma house an' paid me dat same seben weeks wages an make me a present ob twenty-five dollars 'sides, jes' to show dat de railroad folks aint got no hard feelin's agin me.

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This new departure in the "Book of the Royal Blue" will chronicle the current actions of the American Press Humorists from time to time, with the earnest endeavor to let them see themselves as others see them and vice versa.




(With illustrations by the author.)

ECENTLY I took a swing around the lyceum circle. At night I electrified audiences from 8.30 to 10.10, waited for trains till midnight or after, slept until my station was reached (or as nearly so as time for a hurried toilet would let me), got off, ate some bad food, studied the natives and did the electrifying stunt again. It is not an alluring life, to look at it with cold, critical eyes. It consists of little besides hard work and exposure and hard hours. Yet we who become accustomed to it love it and find but one thing wrong with such existence the fact that it takes us away from home so much. That, of course, is a good thing for our families, but it is hard to make either ourselves or our infatuated wives and progeny believe it.

But there are adventures of unusual interest sometimes connected with such nomadic batting about the country. The trip to which I refer in the opening paragraph was through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. The jumps were long, the weather cold, the trains late, the theaters poorly heated, the hotel coffee poor, the diningcar "hot biscuits" frappe, the drives occasionally necessary to make the next place by 8 p. m. were a means of grace, but the people were appreciative and warm-hearted-the only really compensatory feature (aside from the money) associated therewith. Yet sometimes I had my tender feelings injured by some thoughtlessly and ruthlessly truthful person who regarded the "lecturer" as

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public property for the time being and subject to the same sort of comment as the weather, a presidential candidate, or any other disagreeable circumstance.

For instance: At Onawa, Iowa, where a blizzard had hit the town hard, in advance of my arrival, I was hurrying to the opera house clad in two suits of clothes, with my dress-coat wrapped around my patent-leather shoes, under my arm. I was humped up, with face set desperately, breasting a strong, cold wind that had come for many a league across the prairies to find a hiding place among the Missouri River bluffs. I was not posing as an Apollo-some folks have been frank enough to call me homely even when I did try to look presentable. I passed the postoffice, in front of which a lot of natives were lined up. Each had on a bearskin coat, as is the custom in that country. As I scooted by I noticed that each was stealthily observing me out of the tail of his eye, with the look of the rustic when he seems to see nothing yet sees everything. And just as I had passed, one of the crowd, after expectorating half way across the street, remarked calmly:

"Well, that feller's show may be good, but th' per-rade's rotten."

At Vermillion, S. D., I was to take a 2 a. m. freight, and as there is no night clerk at the hotel, I had to borrow an alarm clock. You who have wakened at 1.30 after ninety minutes' sleep know about what frame of mind I was in. I began dressing, when the alarm clock broke out in a fresh place. It was one of those intermittent ones that keep on whanging away until you touch some little dinkus and make it behave. The little dinkus was broken off of the one I had, so it had to keep right on. Every time it went off I was scared half to death and my head hit the ceiling. So I piled pillows on top of the obstreperous,

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