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**APRIL 1ST M C

From the Lafayette Gazette of April 1st, 1899:


SMALL POX IN LAFAYETTE.




  Yesterday morning quite a commotion was created on our streets by the rumor that a negro afflicted with smallpox had arrived in town during the preceding night. Dr. F. E. Girard, president of the Lafayette Board of Health, was informed of the matter, and he proceeded at once to investigate it. In the meantime the negro had been placed in charge of Alley Sprole who wisely kept at a respectable distance from his prisoner. The negro was conducted just outside the corporate limits of the town where he was subsequently subjected to thorough diagnosis by Dr. F. E. Girard. The doctor performed this duty in a most commendable manner. As he wanted to diagnose the case beyond any doubt as to the nature of the disease, in order to take precautionary measure should they be necessary, he got next to the man, felt his pulse, examined every portion of his body and ascertained the fact that it was a genuine case of smallpox. The negro told the doctor that he had come from Crowley where he worked on a rice farm.

 Dr. Girard left the man in the custody of Alley Sprole and came up to town to procure a tent and other articles necessary to the isolation and treatment of the case.

 There is absolutely no cause for alarm as it is not probable that (it will) spread. Dr. Girard's prompt action in ascertaining the exact nature of the disease and the determination of the authorities to establish absolute non-intercourse with the patient with the patient should satisfy the people that there is no reason to be unnecessarily alarmed.
Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.




Southern Pacific Needs Competitor.

 This parish needs lower freight rates. The man who raises cotton, or cane, or rice, must get the best and the cheapest transportation facilities. The Southern Pacific is neither better nor worse than any other railroad company. It should always be depended upon to make all the money that it can. The only thing that will give people better rates is a competing line. Another railroad that will carry the products of the soil to the markets of the world is what every man in this parish should work for. The man who lives on the Southern Pacific road is as the one who is ten miles away. Every one who works for a living is benefited by railway competition, because it means cheaper and better transportation to both freight and passenger.

 Every foot of cultivated ground in this parish pays a yearly tax to the Southern Pacific. The man with the hoe pays the most of it and he is more than any else interested in lessening the weight of that burden. This being an agricultural parish its prosperity depends in a great measure upon proper railway transportation. Every man in this section who earns a livelihood is either directly or indirectly taxed by the Southern Pacific railroad. It is as much a tax as that which is collected by the State and Federal governments. In the case of the producer it is a bigger tax. For these and other reasons the courts of the country have correctly held that railroad companies can be regulated and kept within legitimate bounds by legislation, but unfortunately governmental agencies such as railroad commissions, do not, as a rule, afford fair and equitable protection and the people must look to competition for relief. Another railroad running through this parish would give that competition, and for this, if for no other reason, the people of this parish should get a "move on themselves" and put their energies together toward securing the proposed railroad which is to run from a point fifteen miles west of Junction City on the line between Arkansas and Louisiana to Vermilion Bay.

 Hon. Overton Cade, of the fourth ward, was in Lafayette this week, and informed The Gazette that the people of his section were thoroughly alive on this question of a new railroad. Mr. Cade said that the people of Royville, (Now Youngsville) and the surrounding country would be willing to co-operate with the citizens of the town of Lafayette and of other portions of Lafayette and of other portions of the parish in a movement having for its object the consideration of this matter. In an article, which appeared in the Times-Democrat on March 11, and to which our attention was called by Mr. Cade, the information is given that the contract to build the new road has been awarded to a Philadelphia firm and the whole line is to be completed within the next two years. Mr. Cade proposes that a meeting be held here at an early date for the purpose of effecting some kind of an organization whose duty it will be to communicate with the officers of the company and to take all other steps that may be deemed necessary at this time.

 From the tone of the article from which this information is obtained there seemed to be no doubt that the proposed road will be built and The Gazette recommends Mr. Cade's suggestion as practicable and timely.
Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.



 Cleaning Bayou Vermilion. - The Business Men's Association held a meeting at Falk's Opera House last Monday, for the purpose of communicating with the Federal authorities concerning the work of cleaning bayou Vermilion for which an appropriation has been made by Congress. It seems that some money as left over from a former appropriation which, added to the recent allowance, will be sufficient to put the stream in a navigable condition as far up as the Southern Pacific bridge. Should this work be done it will be possible for small boats and barges to carry sugar cane, cotton and other freight to a point which will be within easy reach of this town. The association appointed Mr. C. O. Mouton to go to New Orleans where he will, in company of the United States engineer having the proposed work in charge. It is to be hoped that this will be done as it will prove of great value to the commerce of this section. Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.




General Alfred Mouton.
 Mr. Editor - In recalling memories of the Civil War, it is natural that we dwell on one of the heroes of that epoch, in whom we feel a local interest and pride. General Alfred Mouton, a native of this parish, a graduate of West Point, upon the outbreak of hostilities raised a company and offered his services to the Confederacy. He became colonel of the Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry which he commanded with marked ability and was promoted to Brigadier General for gallantry at the battle of Shiloh. He was subsequently transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department and participated in the skirmishes and battles which culminated in the great victory at Mansfield, to which he contributed to a large extent. While in pursuit of the Federal Army, which was in rapid retreat, he unfortunately met a soldier's fate. Peace to his ashes.

 Lafayette is proud of his record and honors the memory of General Alfred Mouton, and it would be highly appropriate to name for him the Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans soon to be organized.
                   AN OLD CONFEDERATE.
                   Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.   





A NEW RAILROAD.
 This parish needs lower freight rates. The man who raises cotton, or cane, or rice, must get the best and the cheapest transportation facilities. The Southern Pacific is neither better nor worse than any other railroad company. It should always be depended upon to make all the money that it can. The only thing that will give the people better rates is a competing line. Another railroad that will carry the products of the soil to the markets of the world is what every man in this parish should work for. The man who lives on the Southern Pacific road is as much interested in the building of a new railroad as the one who is ten miles away. Every one who works for a living is benefited by railway competition, because it means cheaper and better transportation to both freight  and passenger.

 Every foot of cultivated ground in this parish pays a yearly tax to the Southern Pacific. The man with the hoe pays the most of it and he is, more than any one else, interested in lessening the weight of that burden. This being an agricultural parish its prosperity depends in a great measure upon proper railway transportation. Every one in this section who earns a livelihood is either directly or indirectly taxed by the Southern Pacific railroad. It is as much a tax as that which is collected by the State and Federal governments. In the case of the producer it is a bigger tax. For these and other reasons the courts of the country have correctly held that railroad companies can be regulated and kept within legitimate bounds by legislation, but unfortunately governmental agencies such as railroad commissions, do not, as a rule, afford fair and equitable protection and the people must look to competition for relief. Another railroad running through this parish would give that competition, and for this, if for no other reason, the people of the parish should get a "move on themselves" and put their energies together toward securing the proposed railroad which is to run from a point fifteen miles west of Junction City on the line between Arkansas and Louisiana to Vermilion Bay.

 Hon. Overton Cade, of the fourth ward, was in Lafayette this week, and informed The Gazette that the people of this section were thoroughly alive on this question of a new railroad. Mr. Cade said that the people of Royville and the surrounding country would be willing to co-operate with the citizens of the town of Lafayette and of other portions of the parish in a movement having for its object the consideration of this matter. In an article, which appeared in the Times-Democrat on March 11, and to which our attention was called by Mr. Cade, the information is given that the contract to build the new road has been awarded to Philadelphia firm and the whole line is to be completed within the next two year. Mr. Cade proposes that a meeting be held here at an early date for the purpose of effecting some kind of an organization whose duty it will be to communicate with the officers of the company and to take all other steps that may be deemed necessary at this time.

 From the tone of the article from which this information is obtained there seemed to be no doubt that the proposed road will be built and The Gazette recommends Mr. Cade's suggestion as practicable and timely. 
Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.

         

Races at Oak Avenue Park.

 There were some very interesting races at the Oak Avenue Park last Sunday. The management, Messrs. Lucien Roy and A. M. Martin, are certainly to be congratulated upon the successful opening of the season. The first race was won by Brignac's Ville Platte horse, the second race by Bob Cochrane's Red Aleck and the mule race by Hard Times.

 There will be races at the Park to-morrow. The following is the program:

 First Race - One mile. Bob Lee, by John Sanderson of Franklin; Eat-him-up-Jack, by Joe Billeaud, of Loreauville.

 Second Race. - Half mile. Bonetta by C. Mestayer, of New Iberia; Lucie by Alfred Pitre, of Opelousas; Roberta Setta by Jacques Crouchet of St. Martinville.

 Third Race - Mule. Hardtimes, by A. Judice; Major, by P. B. Roy; Boomerang, by Lucien Roy.

 An exhibition race will be run by Aguinaldo, the famous dog, against a horse.
 Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.



Free Train Ride. - Sheriff Broussard left last Monday with the following prisoners who were convicted to serve in the penitentiary at the recent term of court: Edgar Dugas, 15 months; Theresa Watson, 18 months; Wm. Foote, Jr., 12 months.
Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.



Never Omit Sheriff Broussard. - In its account of the mass meeting held last week to nominate a municipal ticket The Gazette inadvertently omitted the name of Sheriff Broussard among the signatures to the call which brought the Democrats of the town together. We are pleased to make this correction in justice to Mr. Broussard and to show the groundlessness of the contention that only politicians were permitted to affix their signatures to this most effective appeal to the local Democracy.
Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.




Selected News Notes (Gazette) 4/1/1899.
 Placide Hollier, the witness who failed to show up for the Duplechin case, was arrested by Sheriff Broussard and placed in jail, but he was subsequently released on a $1,000 bond.

 Last Monday a petition was circulated in this town by the friends of the parties sentenced to pay a fine for Sunday law violations. The petition which, we understand, has been forwarded to the Board of Pardons, appeals to that body for a reduction of the fines imposed by the court. A counter-petition was also circulated, but we do not know if it has been sent to the board.

 Vaccination is a valuable safeguard against smallpox. Reliable vaccine can be obtained at the Moss Pharmacy.


 It would be just and proper if the crowds who congregate in the Oak Avenue during the races could be made to move away. These people are not only in the way of those who pay to go in but they are all the races without paying a cent.

 The veterans of the local camp will meet to-day at the court-house. There will also be a meeting of the sons of veterans who wish to organize a camp. Judge Debaillon will deliver an address to the young men.
Lafayette Gazette 4/1/1899.




 From the Lafayette Advertiser of April 1st, 1899:


BAYOU VERMILION.
 An appropriation of $2,500 as allotted for the cleaning up of Bayou Vermilion. Appropriations of this kind have been granted before but the contractors for reasons best known to themselves have always worked up towards Abbeville and neglected the portion near Lafayette.

 At the instigation of Mr. T. M. Biossat, the B. M. A., of Lafayette have written to Congressman Broussard, asking him that the money be spent upon the portion of the bayou so as to facilitate the coming of boats to Lafayette. Congressman Broussard answered that he would look into the matter and requested the B. M. A. to send a representative who with him would visit Major Quinn, in New Orleans, who has charge of the rivers improvements.

 Consequently, the B. M. A., met last Monday night at Falk's Opera House and after discussing the best methods to follow in the premises, Mr. Chas. O. Mouton, president to see Major Quinn and explain to him the wishes of the citizens of Lafayette, the association bearing all of his expenses.

 Mr. Mouton, will secure the help of the owners of the refinery and cotton compress who reside in  New Orleans which will enable him to make a stronger presentation of the request.

 Besides the last credit of $2,500 there are sill $1,200 unexpended of the preceding appropriation, this total is small to do the work thoroughly, but if the citizens of Lafayette who until now have not asked for anything would become interested in the opening up of this bayou and asked the amount necessary, there is no doubt that Congressman Broussard would do his utmost to obtain it.

 If the bayou as navigable to Lafayette, very many of the soil products that are now sold in Abbeville would be diverted to Lafayette and business would be increased.

 Therefore it is in the interest of each citizen of Lafayette to see that in the future Lafayette gets an appropriation for the opening up of this bayou which will render it navigable to our town.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1899.

      
Easter Services.
 To-morrow is Easter Sunday. It is celebrated throughout Christendom as the day on which Christ rose from the dead. The Catholic Church from times immemorial has celebrated this day as one of rejoicing and feasting, nothing being more appropriate as a sequel to the last three sad days of Holy Week in which the hope of all mankind were seemingly blighted.

 A solemn high mass will be sung to-morrow at St. John's Catholic Church and Easter music will be rendered by the choir. Rev. Father De Potter will preach.

 At 7:30 p. m., Benediction of the Holy Sacrament, music by Lafayette's orchestra. The church will be lighted by electricity. 
Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1899.   




Last Sunday's Races.
 Once more Oak Avenue Park was the scene of animation on last Sunday. Great lovers of the Turf were present. The weather unsettled in the morning became fairer by noon and every thing went along smoothly. It was a day well spent. The track was put in first class order by the new owners Messrs. Roy and Martin, and what was commendable, the races started at the hour announced on the posters. This is certainly an innovation and we congratulate the owners. Although the time was shortened between each race there is still improvement to be made, reducing it. Various details were lacking to start the horses as two races were uselessly ran, but all of this can be remedied. Rome was not built in one day and the owners were pushed in their work but at the next races it is to be hoped that nothing will be lacking. A judge's stand would be quite acceptable. The public stand is so built that each spectator can see the races in their least details and we don't know why the public chose to stand when the race begins and by so doing obstruct the view of their neighbors. We would like to see this abuse corrected and those who would not comply with the request to be seated might be asked to come down.

 Very often would we like to see good races at last Sunday's were and we entreat the whole population to help the new owners who on their part will not spare neither money nor work to give Lafayette good and clean amusement. 
Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1899.    






A POLITICIAN.
 "A politician" in the LAFAYETTE GAZETTE of last week thunders at the ADVERTISER for its cruelty in wishing the politicians be sent to Manila to be exterminated by the natives, and "a politician" remarks that the journalistic field being in a nascent state in the far away country the ADVERTISER could go along.

 We wish to say that we were surprised to find out that Lafayette harbored "a politician."

 It was far from our mind to include a "a politician" in our suggestion.

 We had reference only to the big fishes who under the disguise of friendship for the people, have in the last few years yoked and trodden upon laboring classes and who for the love of office have stabbed their friends in the back.

 We are sorry that Lafayette has "a politician" of that description.

 We were not after the small fishes that that are playing at politics. Oh? no.

 As moving to a "nascent journalistic field," we are ready to start just as soon as "a politician" will go with us.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1899.  

  




DAY OF REWARDS IN THE DISTRICT COURT.

 On last Saturday, Judge Debaillon passed the following sentences:

 Joseph St. Julien, using obscene language $5 or 90 days; Joseph Andrus, concealed weapon, $10 or 4 months; John Tillman, conceal weapon, 66 days jail; George Bienvenu, assault and battery, $25 or 6 months; John Tillman discharging fire arm in street, 10 days jail; Jeff. Williams, violation labor contract, $10 or 6 months; Ernest Mouton, assault and battery, $25 or 6 months; Edgar Dugas, larceny, 15 months penitentiary; Wm. Foote, Jr., larceny, 12 months penitentiary; Eraste Damond, using obscene language, $10 or 4 months; Desire Breaux, assault and battery, $100 or 9 months; Jean Baptiste Daigle, concealed weapon, $10 or 4 months; Louis Babin, assault and battery, $10 or 6 months; Sidney Foreman, assault and battery, $100 or nine months; Celestin Gordin, wounding less than mayhem, $50 or 9 months; Edward Jasmin, assault and battery, (unreadable $) or 6 months; Ludovic Guilbeau, C. Miller, William Hane, Louis Domengeaux, Alphonse Peck, Philibert Crouchet, violating Sunday law, each $200 or 9 months; William Hane, Albert Foucard, selling liquor without a license, the former $100 or 9 months, the latter $100 or 4 months. A. Touret, violating Sunday law $50 or 4 months.

 The saloon keepers who have been sentenced by Judge C. Debaillon to pay such a heavy fine are circulating a petition, which is numerously signed, asking relief to the Board of Pardons to have their fines reduced.

 On the other hand a counter petition is also circulated endorsing and upholding the court's action.

 Judge C. Debaillon, himself, will appear before the Board of Pardons to uphold his official act. 

Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1899.   





Selected News Notes (Advertiser) 4/1/1899.

 Rev. P. H. Hensley will preach at the Presbyterian Church to-morrow at 11 a. m. and 7 p. m. All are invited to attend.

 Jennie Holman with Otto Krauss Co., will play at Falk's Opera House on Sunday April 9th.

 We are informed that the management of the Cotton Compress will put up a large gin with all improvements to handle the coming crop. We have no doubt knowing as we do the gentlemen who are at the head of the enterprise, that all facilities afforded our farmers add that the new venture will be a success.

 Hereafter there will be two firemen in the family of Foreman Frank Mouton, his household having been enlarged by the arrival of a - boy.

 The Crowley Social Club will give a party and dance Thursday, April 6th and the Lafayette Orchestra has been invited to lend their concourse to the occasion. Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1899.




  From the Lafayette Advertiser of April 1st, 1882:

MURDER AND RETRIBUTION.
 On Friday the 10th of March, the Sheriff and Coroner were informed, that on the plantation of Widow Dugas a negro woman, Mary Jenkins by name, was lying dead in her cabin. The same morning an inquest was held. The evidence taken before the Coroner pointed to one Joseph Padillo, the paramour of the dead woman, as the murderer. He was taken into custody and on the 14th the grand jury returned a true bill against him. On Wednesday and Thursday of last week he was tried, and in spite of the eloquence and efforts of his counsel Col. William Mouton, the petty jury returned and unqualified verdict of "guilty" ;  and the murderer is now in prison under sentence of death, awaiting the action of the Governor of the State.

 It was proven on the trial that the woman lived in the cabin hired for her by Joe,--that Joe lived with his wife on another plantation,--there was a long course of ill-treatment toward the woman. He frequently beat her cruelly and more than once threatened her life. On the evening of the murder he went to the house of a neighbor and drove her home and beat and kicked her on the way. Between eight and nine o'clock one witness, a white man, saw through the open window Joe beating Mary, and heard her cry. "O, God," and other cries. This witness swore positively that the man striking was Joe, and that he could not be mistaken. Another, who was only a few feet further off, saw the same transaction. Another witness in the vicinity heard the cry, but like the preceding ones, not hearing them continued, paid no further attention that night.

 Dr. Mudd, the physician who aided at the inquest, proved that the woman, when found Friday morning, had been dead many hours,--that she was found in bed in a position in which it was impossible for her to have died,--that her nostrils were stopped with pledgets of cotton which had been inserted after death,--that her neck was broken,--that there were marks of blows and prints of fingers on her neck and cheeks,--that she was rather a small slight woman.

  ----Gathe, a woman living quite near Mary's cabin, testified that on Friday morning Joe came to her and asked her to go with him to the cabin to call Mary, as she would not answer his calls,--that they had some words last night and "as Mary was droll sometimes, she would not answer him this morning,"--they both called and there was no reply. Joe picking up a stick inserted it in the crack of the doorway and raised the hook which fastened the door on the inside and entered. Depositing some milk and potatoes which he carried, he walked to the bed and looking over at the corpse only said, "she if foaming at the mouth--she is dead." He said he brought the milk for the children, while the children had been in Vermilionville some days (unreadable words) were not there the night before.

 (unreadable word) Campbell proved that the door could be fastened and unfastened from the outside,--that on the morning of the inquest he did it with care, more than once by introducing his hand and arm,--and that the floor planks were loose.

 Joe stated to several before he was arrested that he had been with Mary in the cabin between eight and nine o'clock Thursday evening. On the trial two witnesses for the defence, young negro girls or women, (about the only evidence offered by him) swore that from just before sundown until midnight they were with Joe in a cabin on another plantation.

 The jury remained out but a few moments. Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1882.






REFINED ROBBERY.

 Last Saturday night Mr. John O. Mouton's branch store, near the depot was broken into, and the mode of operation leads one to believe that a master-hand was employed. We gather the circumstances of the affair as these :  On the night in question Mr. C. T. Perkins' shop, near his lumber yard, was also entered and a tool chest rifled of part of its contents ;  with these it is believed the marauders worked their way into the store. A hole was cut in the door sufficiently large for the body of a man to enter ;  it was clean cut, not haggled, clearly showing the operator to be no novice in such works. It is passing strange, however, that after thus exerting their skill and ingenuity to effect an entrance, they took but a small consideration for it ;  the money drawers were taken out and carried into the store yard and the contents, a few dollars in change, appropriated. It could not be discovered that anything else was taken. Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1882.  




Speedy Justice. - Sometimes the mills of the gods grind with rapidity, startling to those who happen to be ground out. On the night of the 3d of March a car at this depot, loaded with various merchandise, in the keeping of the Morgan Company, was robbed ;  on the 25th Wesley Green and Mary Richardson were convicted of having a hand in it, and, ere this, their names are on the penitentiary rolls. Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1882.




District Court. - Quite a number of cases were added to the criminal docket at the late term of the District Court. The Grand Jury found two bills (unreadable words) which however has since been removed by conviction., The District Attorney got in his work by filing twenty-two informations, eleven of which were for carrying concealed weapons, and we understand that he has a pocket full left which he proposes to fire off at the proper time. 
Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1882.



Padillo Moved to Abbeville.
 Sheriff Mouton went to Abbeville last Sunday with Joe Padillo, lately convicted and sentenced to be hung, and the three accused in the case of the State vs. Adolphe Glaude & als. and lodged them in the new and substantial jail at that place, where they will doubtless remain until delivered in due course of law.

 On his return from Abbeville, the Sheriff took into his keeping Wesley Green and Mary Richardson and left for Baton Rouge. It is said that "striped suits" will be nothing new to the former. Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1882. 



Concealed Weapon. - Last Saturday one E. S. Carter, a spectator at the races on Guidry's race course, near town, discharged his pistol which caused some consternation among the crown on the ground. It was perhaps fire aimlessly, and also harmlessly to all but himself, for in the end he was hurt to the extent of "five dollars and costs." He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and plead guilty in same evening before the District Court.
Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1882.



New Doctor. - We are glad to be able to announce the return home this week of our young friend Percy M. Girard, with all the honors of a full fledged Doctor of Medicine. We offer congratulation and hope that he may be instrumental in relieving many sufferers,--for such is his mission.
 Lafayette Advertiser 4/1/1882.





lagniappe:
THE HISTORY OF THE APRIL FOOL.

Peter the Great Enjoyed the Little Game as we Enjoy it T0-day.

  Of all the holidays and days of merry-making to which custom has accorded observance by the people of different nations, there is none more unique in its general character than All Fools' Day. This day, as everyone knows comes on the first of April, and is consecrated to the practice of innocent impostures and ridiculous jokes upon unthinking persons who happen to come in contact with heartless jesters out for amusement.

 The exact origin of All Fools' Day is not known, and there are many conflicting records of its first observance. Among the day was originally given its character in France. In 1564 New Year's Day was changed from April 1 to Jan. 1, and as New Year's had therefore been celebrated in France with elaborate festivities, the date, though no longer a church holiday, was fixed in the popular challenge, and, perhaps, like a discarded hat or castaway pair of trousers, was turned to humorous account. The day was gradually given a new character, nearly the opposite of that which it formerly held as a semi-religious occasion. From being a day of Christianity it became one of mirth; serious thoughts gave way to frivolity at that season.

 There are other accounts of the origin of the French custom, and many authorities trace the observance of the day to the Roman Festum Veniris, the pagan festivities falling gradually into ridicule.

 A celebrated authority who has devoted a great deal of time to the task of discovering the origin of April Fool's Day, says that the origin of April Fool's Day, says that from time immemorial the day has had its present character in India, where it is called the Hull festival. Instead of April 1, though, it is celebrated March 31, just a day before. And in Persia, many centuries ago, All Fool's Day was celebrated as the period of the vernal equinox, the Persian new year beginning on that date.


FIRST APRIL FOOL.


 Among the Russians, Peter the Great was first to introduce April Fools' Day. He erected in the year 1719 an immense pile of wood and timber garnished with tar and other inflammable substances on an open square in front of his own palace in St. Petersburg, and set it on fire early in the morning of April 1. St. Petersburg at that time was a new city, and the Russians were more than proud of it and the great palace which was a triumph in architecture even for those days. Soon the report was spread that the palace was on fire, a rumor which was speedily followed by a great rush of people from all (unreadable word) who, maddened with the thought of having their finest building destroyed, hurried to the scene to help extinguish the flames. Some of the peasants traveled miles in their sleighs to help put out the fire. When finally they reached the seat of the conflagration, they were met by troops forming a carre at the square, crying, "Mutton-heads and donkeys, fall back, by the order of the Czar, fall back! Can't you understand that the "Little Father" has fooled you? It is the first of April to-day."

 It can be readily understood how the Czar of all the Russians could practise such a joke upon his subjects with impunity, but such a caper instigated by a person of less power and influence would have resulted in a lifetime's residence in Siberia.

 Historians tell us that the stage, too, is in a measure responsible for All Fool's Day. They say that it grew out of an old Easter miracle play in which the sending of Christ from Annas to Calaphas, and from Pilate to Herod was the basis of the medieval dramatist's plot. Then the idea was adopted by the public and has been carried out each year with modifications until now the joke which is in closest simulation to it is one practised in Scotland. It is played by starting someone on a short journey with a message to an imaginary individual. When he arrives at his destination he finds that there is no such person to be found, and is successful indeed if he finds place; for as often as not the place is imaginary as well as the individual, and not until the messenger has made two or three trips is he informed that he is the victim of a joke. This is a very popular practice in Scotland, in spite of the fact that the connection between it and the medieval dramatist's plot can scarcely be recognized.

 EASY FOOLS.

 In our country there seems to be no record whatever of the first celebration of All Fools' Day, but it is more than likely the custom was imported from Europe. The pranks played on this day by the grown folks as well as the children of America are numerous and amusing. A favorite trick is sending an unthinking person, usually a boy, to the shoemaker's for a nickel's worth of strap oil. The child, not thinking, goes upon the errand and does not realize that he is the victim of a joke until he has received a vigorous application of the strap across his legs or shoulders, when he runs with a cry of pain back from the shop back to his comrades, who are usually very little in evidence for the next few days. Another article which seems to have no commercial value except on April Fools' Day is elbow grease.

 Dealers in old literature and second handed books are often requested on this day by an innocent-looking purchaser - sent by someone, of course - to furnish a volume of the History of Eve's Grandmother, or a copy of Dr. So-and-So's work on how to Make the Blind Talk, while druggists are called upon to supply a demand for two ounces of canary bird's milk, and other such nonsense.

 The favorite time for practising these jokes is before breakfast, because at an early hour few people have realized that the day is one devoted to imposture's, and the first victim has hardly had time to warn others who be as susceptible as himself.

 There are, of course, many names for the victim of an April Fools' plot, according to the language of the country in which it is perpetrated.

 In France one is called an un poisson d'Avril, in Scotland the very flattering epithet of gawk is used, while in England and the United States the familiar April Fool is in common usage. But whatever the name, there is a great deal of fun in the queer old custom, and no one is blamed on that day who fails to advance his or her reputation for sagacity; for the first of April has become so thoroughly identified with the idea of impossibility and unreality that there would be no enjoyment if proved invulnerable against the wily snares of All Fools' Day.

From the Fort Wayne News and in the Lafayette Gazette 4/5/1900.

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