“In the first snap I must have moved the camera, for I got only one side of the baby, but that side had three different arms and you could see the back of the chair through all of them. The second was normal, as to limbs, etc., and plumb in the center, but it was all fuzzy, like an impressionist picture.
“I took them to the photo’ store and asked the clerk what was wrong. He said:
“’Why, you’ve timed ’em too long. He’s moved all over the plate. You want to use a big stop and make it quick!’
“‘But what do you make it of and what is it for?’ I asked perplexedly.
“He laughed and explained that I should make the hole in my lens larger and take a more rapid exposure; then he sold me a bottle of flashlight powder.
“That night I thought I would take a group at the dinner table, so we all assembled around the board. After knocking down a couple of pictures and upsetting the cuspidor, I got things all ready to light the fuse, expecting to get back to my chair and be in the picture before the stuff went off. The moment I lit it, however, the durned thing blazed up like a small volcano and I ran around the room for a minute or so with my thumb in my mouth. Then I discovered that the slide had not been withdrawn from the plate-holder. Well, the room was full of smoke and the baby was so badly frightened that we had to put him to bed before I could make another attempt. When my wife came back I set the cat up in the high-chair to fill out the gap and tried it again. This time, by using a long fuse and making a third-base slide, I got almost to my chair and the prospects looked promising. The result was an excellent view of the back of my head, occupying three-fourths of the plate, through which could be dimly discerned a silhouette of my wife and a black streak in mid-air which represented the cat jumping over the coffeepot.
[Illustration: Poor B. hanging by his pantaloons on a fence-post.]
“I know a fellow, though, who had a worse experience than mine. He took home a kodak and a ‘creme de menthe’ jag one night, and, as all his folks had retired and he was too impatient to wait until morning, he went out to the stable to flashlight the calf. The calf was too sleepy to object till the stuff exploded. Then he became imbued with such sudden and tremendous vitality that he kicked poor B. and his outfit into the middle of next week. The hired man heard the racket and found him hanging by his pantaloons on a fence-post. Part of the tripod was about his neck; his hair was full of ground glass and he was murmuring something about a trolley-car. They put him to bed and the first thing he said after he came to, was, ’Did they arrest the motorman?’
“I hear fellows talking about golf and driving four-in-hand, but, if anyone wants to experience a real hot time, let him get one of these easy-working cameras and practice on the family.”