DISLIKES TO HANDLE
BONES OF QUANTRELL.
Historical Society Clerks at Topeka
Not So Enthusiastic About
TOPEKA, Jan. 23. -- If some person, in some manner, could slip into the relic vault of the State Historical Society and steal the old, dry bones of Quantrell, the famous guerrilla, he would confer a great favor upon the clerks of the historical society, even though he riled the temper of George W. Martin, the boss of the shop.
"Oh, how I hate to rattle those old, dry bones," said one of the clerks, as he exhibited them for the nineteenth time today to visitors. "Why, I pull them out, shake them around and tell about them so much that I actually detest the things."
Everybody who goes to the historical rooms wants to see Quantrell's bones. Secretary Martin says they are a great drawing card, and that they are one of the chief relics of his department. But he doesn't have to handle them or exhibit them. The clerks must do that.
For fear they will be stolen, Mr. Martin keeps them in the vault, and a special trip must be made to see them, the medal which Victor Hugo, the Frenchman, gave Mrs. John Brown and the Ford theater program which contains some splotches of Lincoln's blood. Officials around the state house know how the clerks detest handling the bones and always tell visitors to be sure to ask to see them.
The clerks do not handle the bones as tenderly as Secretary Martin does. They yak them around, shake them together, hoping, no doubt, they will fall to pieces.
"I guess the only way to get rid of them is to wear them out," said a clerk, "and they don't seem to wear very fast. I believe they will be here when Gabriel blows his trumpet the last time unless someone should carry them off."
When the bones were first donated to the historical society a great howl went up from some of the old free state men. They declared that it was an insult to exhibit the bones of the old guerrilla who sacked Lawrence and killed so many people. But Secretary Martin held on to them with a strong grip and finally beat down public criticism. Still he can't subdue his own clerks. They are still in rebellion.