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The other day a stout woman armed with an umbrella and leading a small boy, called at the office of a New York ' bojs' paper.' 4 Is this the place where they fight India**" she enquired of the gentleman m charge. •Ib this the locality where the brave boy charges up the canyon and sends a bullet to the heart of the dusky redskin?" and she jerked the urchin around by the ear, and brought her umbrella down on the desk.

'We publish stories for boys,' replied the young man, evasively.

'I want to know if these are the premises on which the daring lad spriDgs upon his fiery mustang, and, darting through the circle of thunderstruck savages, cuts the captive's cords and bears him away before the wondering Indians have recovered from their astonishment? That's the information 1 am after,' and she swung the umbrella around her head. 'I don't remember those specific acts, 1 protested the young man. ' I W-mt to know if this is the precinct where the advenurous boy jumps on the ba«k of a buffalo and with unerring aim picks off one by one the bloodthirsty pursuers, who bite the duot at every crack of his faithful rifle ! I'm looking for the place where that sort of thing happens J ' and this time she fetched the unlucky young man a tremendous whack across the back.

-'I think——' commenced the dodging victim, ',I'm m search of the shop where the boy highwayman holds the quivering stage-driver powerless with his glittering eye, while he robs the male passengers with an adroitness b>rn of long and tiied experience, and kisses the hands of the lady passengers with a gallantry of bearing which bespeaks noble birth and a chivalrous nature!' screamed the woman, driving the young man into the corner. • I'm looking for the apartment m which that Fort of business is transacted I' and down came the umbrel.a triphammer force on the young man's head.

• Upon my soul, ma'am——' gasped the wretched youth. 'I Want tOjbe introduced to the jars m whic you keep the boy scouts of the Sierras J anew me the bins full of the boy-deteekives of the prairie ! Point out to me the barrels full of the boy pirates of the Spanish main I' and wbh each demand she dropped the umbrella on the young man's skull until he skipped over the desk and sought safety m a neighborirs; cellar. 'I'll teach 'em,' she panted grasping the urchin by the ear and leading him off. ' I'll teach 'em to make it good, or dance. ' Want to go fight Indians any more ? Want to stand proudly upon the pinnacle of the mountain and scatter the plain beneath with the bleeding bodies of uncounted slain? Want to say * hit I' m a tone that brooks no contradiction? Propose to spring upon the taff-rail, and with a ring ng word of command sent a broadside into the richly laden galley and then mere fully spare the beautiful maiden m the cabin, that she may become your bride? Eh? Going to it any more ?'

With each question she hammered the yelping urchin his bones were sore, and he protested his permanent abandonment of all the glories enumerated. 'Then come along,' said she, taking him by the collar. ' Let me catch you around with any more ramrods and carving knives, and you'll think the leaping, curling, resistless prairie fire had swept, with a ferocious roar of triumph, across the trembling plains, and lodged m your pantaloons to stay.'

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Bibliographic details

PENNY DREADFULS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2169, 10 July 1889

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PENNY DREADFULS Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2169, 10 July 1889

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