[Illustration: IT LOOKED LIKE AN OLD DRIPPING PAN.]
A Minnesota town got a fire steamer on trial, and tested it by trying to drown out a gopher. After working it six hours, the gopher came out to get a drink. He would have died of thirst if they had kept the hole closed much longer.
Sometimes it seems as though the colored people ought to have a guardian appointed over them. Now, you take a colored concert troupe, and though they may have splendid voices, they do not know enough to take advantage of their opportunities. People go to hear them because they are colored people, and they want to hear old-fashioned negro melodies, and yet these mokes will tackle Italian opera and high toned music that they don’t know how to sing.
They will sing these fancy operas and people will not pay any attention. Along toward the end of the programme they will sing some old nigger song, and the house fairly goes wild and calls them out half a dozen times. And yet they do not know enough to make up a programme of such music as they can sing, and such as the audience want.
They get too big, these colored people do, and can’t strike their level. People who have heard Kellogg, and Marie Rose, and Gerster, are sick when a black cat with a long red dress comes out and murders the same pieces the prima donnas have sung. We have seen a colored girl attempt a selection from some organ-grinder opera, and she would howl and screech, and catch her breath and come again, and wheel and fire vocal shrapnel, limber up her battery and take a new position, and unlimber and send volleys of soprano grape and cannister into the audience, and then she would catch on to the highest note she could reach and hang to it like a dog to a root, till you would think they would have to throw a pail of water on her to make her let go, and all the time she would be biting and shaking like a terrier with a rat, and finally give one kick at her red trail with her hind foot, and back off the stage looking as though she would have to be carried on a dust pan, and the people in the audience would look at each other in pity and never give her a cheer, when, if she had come out and patted her leg, and put one hand up to her ear, and sung, “Ise a Gwine to See Massa Jesus Early in de Mornin’,” they would have split the air wide open with cheers, and called her out five times.
The fact is, they haven’t got sense.
There was a hungry-looking, round-shouldered, sick-looking colored man in the same party, that was on the programme for a violin solo. When he came out the people looked at each other, as much as to say, “Now we will have some fun.” The moke struck an attitude as near Ole Bull as he could with his number eleven feet and his hollow chest, and played some diabolical selection from a foreign cat opera