The Bottle Baby.
A NEW YEAR STORY.
There came to light in Macon re cently, says the " Telegraph" a Ne\y Year's story that would fitly adorn t temperance lecture. A bright little girl disclosed what "was regarded as a very pleasant secret. It happened in this; way.-- The - " Telegraph" mar stumbled into a millinery store on« day, and while waiting to get the at tention of the lady who makes the female population pretty, idly listened to a conversation between a customer —evidently, the 1 wife of a mechanic— and the milliner, The lady was looking at a pretty hat fcfr her little gir), whe stood' at her side with hungry eyes. That hat jwas purchased, and the newspaper man mentally, thought it looked liked, extravagance for a mechanic's family ..to throw, away four dollars and-arhalf <jn-a little girl's hat. As this was the only purchase in which the child' seemed interested, she sidled up $6"yrjafite the Telegraph man was standing, and .artlessly said: " "We dot lots of money. now." The reporter here mentally scored himself for forgetting ;to jbuy a ticket for the late lottery .drawing .-'.?? Where.did you get it sir." •>*Papa broke bottle. T-'OEssur; the bottle was jus as .fullor money as it tood be, ah* we's rich nowi" Nor thrue reporter; can; bej. idle-when such an.item as this is in speaking distance, and 'it wasihat more than a few'minutes before the child's, mother-was persuaded, into telling the following story, and yet she never dreamed that every word of it was being jotted down by the shorthand finger of .memory upon the thumb-worn pages of a mental note book : —" I have passed through the ordeal of a drunkard's wife, and am too happy to go over what and how I suffered. My husband drank heavily, and often half his wages went for drink. He kept a large black bottle of. whisky all the time in the house, in addition to-what he drank in town. On Christmas Eve five years ago he • came home drunk, and as something had gone wrong with him, he was in the worst kind of humor. Our eldest boy was in the crib very sick with a fever, and there was not a cent of money in the" house to buy him even the cheapest toy. My husband had been away from.home all day, and being drunk had forgotten all about his Christmas. I put my husband to bed, and returned to the bedside of my dying boy to watch and weep. It was nearly daybreak when I saw my precious, son sinking fast. Rushing out: of. the hiouse^ I called in a lady friend, and then aroused my husband.: The> sleep had somewhat sobered him, and as he loved his boy devotedly, he was soon, bending over the little fellow, begging him^ to say something to him. The little fellow slowly turned his eyes toward his father and said : ' I am going to die, papa, for I see the angels beckoning me to come. This is Christmas morning, papa; please let me see what Santa Claus put in my stocking. 1 My husband went to the mantel and took the little stocking. It was empty ! He stood still for a moment, and God only knows the agony of his heart in that short time. He returned to the bed not knowing what to say, but our boy would not have heard him had the poor man's breaking heart allowed him to speak. Our boy was dead. - "The day before New Year my husband called for the bottle. May God forgive my feeling at that minute, for I wished that he, too, were dead. I obeyed him —mechanically. To my sueprise he took the bottle in his hands and, pouring the whisky on the ground, said: " I will drink no more, and. the money I would spend for whisky we will put in this bottle, and at the end of five years we will break it,,and my family will enjoy the contents.- You can imagine how happy I was.-. He Jiad sworn off many times before, but I knew he was in earnest this time. We made a calculation and estimated that whisky cost him, taking the past year as a basis, on an average 6dol a week. You see a good deal of his money went to pay court fines for drunkenness.™ Well, it was decided to put sdols a week in the bottle for five years, come what would. The time was up last New Year's day, and the big black bottle was broken; now figure up how many sdol. bills that bottle contained!" " Two hundred and sixty." "Yes, or 1300dol. But this was not all. We saved enough in that time outside of the bottle to. buy a little home." " But are you not afraid that in breaking the bottle your husband will break his resolution % " "No ; and we have started another bottle bank," said the lady with a happy smile. The husband is a Macon mechanic, well known, and enjoys the respect and esteem of aIL He says he never knew how much genuine pleasure there was at home with his loved ones until he got sober enough to appreciate it, and to fill, instead of empty, the fat black bottle.
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The Bottle Baby., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2431, 3 June 1890
The Bottle Baby. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XIV, Issue 2431, 3 June 1890
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