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THE MISER'S DIAMOND NECKLACE.

In the year 1740 there lived in the I Latin quarter in Paris, a famous miser named Jean Avere. The wealth con cealed in the obscure rookery where he resided was believed to be fabulous, and was no doubt really very great. Among his treasures was a celebrated diamond necklace, of immense value. This he concealed so carefully that he ultimately forgot its hiding-place himself. He sought diligently for weeks, and, failing to find it, became almost insane. This rendered him even less capable of re- j membrance, and he took to his bed broken in body as in mind. A few weeks later a doctor and an old woman, who had sometimes done odd jobbs about his house, were both at his bedside, seeing that the end was near. As the clock in the neigh- | boring tower tolled one, he ceased his low muttering and sat up and shrieked, " I remember where it is now. I can put my hand on the necklace. For God's sake let me go for it before I forget it again !" Here his weakness and excitement overcame him, and he sank back among his rags, stotie dead. Physicians and students are familiar with these sudden outflashings of memory at the great crisis of human fate. Let the reader consider this while we relate an episode in the humble career of a signalman, Andrew Agge, who may b« found on duty in his box at Culgaith, a little station on the Midland, twenty-three miles south of Carlisle. Mr Agge is on duty nearly every day, and must break his fast without leaving his post. The confinement and mental strain tell on the system. The strongest men cannot stand it long without feeling its effects. It makes one think of the passionate exclamation in Tom Hood's j " Song of the Shirt," "Oh, God! that bread should be so deai 1, And flesh and blood so cheap," Our friend had been at the same work for many years, although he was only thirty-five when these lines were written. In 1884 he began to feel that he was about to break down. "I don't know what ails me," he would say, " but I can't eat." What he forced down produced no sense of sal isfaction or strength. Sometimes he was alarmed at finding he could scarcely walk on account of giddiness. He said to himself, " What if I shoujd be seized with this at some moment when there is trouble on the line, and I need all my wits about me V Other features of this ailment were pains in the chest and sides, costiveness, yellow skin and eyes, bad taste in the mouth, rising of foul gas in the throat, etc. The doctor said Agge must give up his confining work or risk utter disability. He could not. Wjfo and children were in the way, So he renwiined at his post and grew worse, Jsut hj.s work was always"right, telcgrajns were properly received and bent, and no train got into trouble through any neglect or fault of Jifg, Jiis disease—indigestion and dyspeps l_took a i a step furt-hor, and brought on kidney and bladder trouble. The doctor at Appleby said, "Mr Agge, you arc poisoned with the foul stuff m your stomach and blood." His doom seemed to be sealed. It was like a death warrant. Six months more rolled by. On duty one morning he was attacked with so areat and so sharp a distress he could neither sit nor sUd. He says:- I tumbled down on that locker miul lay tlwro nil the forenoon. Signals might be <kve», the telegraph needle might I click but I headed them no more than a man in the grave iieed.a the beating of the rain against his own UtmWm^' He was alone at first, but help arrived, and the j?otf* flispialmau was carried home. Physicians labov<4 on his case without avail. Around his lied y^p hja five little children, Hie mother being absent in an institution, to be treated % ft .serious ailment. Here he la\ i'o. v, wlw, yart vi m tu»o

unconscious. Nothiag was to be done but to wait for the end. Then the torpid .faculties awakened for a moment. Memory Hashed up, and he recalled the fact tluxt a medicine which he had used with benefit years before, and then thrown aside and fargotten, was concealed in a secret place at the stgnal box. He sent for it, and took a dose. Soon his bowels moved, the kidneys acted, the pain was ceased, he felt better. With brightened hope he sent to Carlisle for more. It arrived. He used it, and in a few days the doctors were astonished to find their patient out of doors, and on the road to recovery. He regained his health com pletely, and, in speaking of his experience said to the writer, * " What a wonderful thing it was that, on what promised to be my death-bed, I suddenly remembered where I had put that half-used bottle of Mother Seigel's Curative Syrup. That flash of memory probably saved me from death.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900910.2.28

Bibliographic details

THE MISER'S DIAMOND NECKLACE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2514, 10 September 1890

Word Count
855

THE MISER'S DIAMOND NECKLACE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2514, 10 September 1890

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