Title: Harper's Young People, April 6, 1880
Release date: May 12, 2009 [eBook #28777]
Most recently updated: January 5, 2021
Credits: Produced by Annie McGuire
|A RABBIT DAY.
|SALT AND ITS VALUE.
|ACROSS THE OCEAN; OR, A BOY'S FIRST VOYAGE.
|HOW HE BROUGHT HIS ENGINE DOWN.
|AN OFFICER'S DOG.
|THE HOBBY-HORSE REGIMENT.
|THE LITTLE SWISS MAN.
|THE CANARY'S MUSIC LESSON.
|THE WHITE RABBITS AND THE TAR BABY.
|HOW TO MAKE INDIANS AND MICE.
|Vol. I.—No. 23.
|Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.
|Price Four Cents.
|Tuesday, April 6, 1880.
|Copyright, 1880, by Harper & Brothers.
|$1.50 per Year, in Advance.
"Jim," said Charley, "has that dog of yours gone crazy?"
"Old Nap? No. Why? What's the matter with him?"
"Just look at the way he's diving in and out among the trees. He'll run full split right against one first thing he knows."
"No, he won't. He's after rabbits. We're 'most to the swamp now, and Nap knows what we've come for as well as we do."
There was no mistake but what he was a wonderfully busy dog just then. It looked as if he was trying to be all around, everywhere, at the same time; and every few moments he would give expression to his excitement in a short sharp yelp.
"He means to tell us he'll stir one out in a minute," said Jim. "It's a prime rabbit day."
"Are there more rabbits some days than there are others?"
"Easier to get 'em. You see, there came a thaw, and the old snow got settled down, and a good hard crust froze on top of it; then there was a little snow last night, and the rabbits'll leave their tracks in that when they come out for a run on the crust. Old Nap knows. See him; he'll have one out in a minute."
"Is this the swamp?" asked Charley.
"All that level ahead of us. In spring, and in summer too, unless it's a dry season, there's water everywhere among the trees and bushes; but it's frozen hard now."
"What is there beyond?"
"Nothing but mountains, 'way back into the Adirondacks. We'd better load up, Charley."
"Why, are not the guns loaded?"
"No. Father never lets a loaded gun come into the house. Aunt Sally won't either. Shall I load your gun for you?"
"Load my gun! Well, I guess not. As if I couldn't load my own gun!"
Charley set himself to work at once, for the movements of old Nap were getting more and more eager and rapid, and there was no telling what might happen.
But Charley had never loaded a gun before in all his life. Still, it was a very simple piece of business, and he knew all about it. He had read of it and heard it talked of ever so many times, and there was Jim loading his own gun within ten feet, just as if he meant to show how it should be done. He could imitate Jim, at all events; and so he thought he did, to the smallest item; and he hurried to get through as quickly, for it would not do to be beaten by a country boy. And then, too, there was[Pg 298] old Napoleon Bonaparte—that is to say Nap—beginning to yelp like mad.
They were just on the edge of the swamp, and it was, as Jim said, "a great place for rabbits."
"He's after one! There he comes!"
"Where? Where? I see him! Oh, what a big one!"
Charley had been gazing, open-mouthed, at the rapid leaps of that frightened white rabbit, and wondering if he would ever sit down long enough to be shot at, with that dog less than half a dozen rods behind him.
He was in a tremendous hurry, that rabbit, and he would hardly have "taken a seat" if one had been offered him; but he was down now, for Jim had not only fired at him—he had hit him.
"One for me. I meant to let you have the first shot. Never mind; you take the next one. Keep your eyes out. He may be along before I'm loaded."
Old Nap's interest in a rabbit seemed to cease the moment it was killed, for he was now ranging the bushes at quite a distance.
"Here comes one. Quick, Charley! He's stopped to listen for the dog."
So he had, like a very unwise rabbit, and was perking up his long ears within quite easy range of Charley's gun as he levelled it.
"Cock it! cock it!" shouted Jim. "Cock your gun!"
"Oh, I forgot that."
But he knew how; and when he once more lifted his gun, and pulled the triggers, one after the other, they came down handsomely.
"Only snapped your caps?" said Jim. "I never knew that gun to miss fire before. He's gone."
The rabbit had taken a hint from the bursting of the caps, and was now running a race with Napoleon Bonaparte across the swamp.
Charley looked at his weapon very gravely, and put on another pair of caps, remarking, "I never had a gun miss fire like that with me before."
Jim's own gun was ready again in short order, but there was a queer questioning look stealing into his face, and he said,
"Take mine, Charley; I'll look into that business."
Charley traded guns, and stood anxiously watching for another rabbit, while Jim "looked into" both barrels of the offending piece, and tried them with the ramrod.
"Got enough in 'em; no mistake about that. Guess I'd better draw the charges."
There was a corkscrew on the end of the ramrod for that sort of thing, and in a moment more Jim had a wad out of each barrel.
"Hullo! Powder? I declare! Why, Charley, you've put your ammunition in wrong end first. You might have cracked caps on that thing all day. Your shot's all at the bottom."
"Is that so? Well, you see, I never used that kind of a gun before, and—"
"Here comes Nap! Big rabbit. There's a chance for you. Take him on the run."
He tried. That is, he raised Jim's gun, and blazed away with one barrel, but all the harm he did that rabbit was to knock down a whole bunch of bright red mountain-ash berries from a branch twenty feet above him.
"Quick, Charley! Your other barrel. He's turning on Nap, around those sumac bushes."
Charley had held his gun a little loosely, and it had given him a smart kick in consequence; but he saw what Jim meant, and his reputation as a sportsman was at stake. He knew, too, that Jim was trying his best not to laugh, and he was determined to get that rabbit.
Rabbit and dog seemed somehow to come within range of that gun at the same instant, just as it went off. It was a grand good thing for old Nap that his master's city cousin aimed so high, and that the gun kicked again. As it was, the astonished dog was now making the snow fly in a whirl, as he dashed around in it after the tip of his tail, where one of the little leaden pellets had struck him.
That was only for a moment, however, and then he came gravely marching across the crust, and looked up in the faces of the boys, one after the other, as much as if he was asking, "Which of you was green enough to take me for a rabbit?"
He had not been very badly hurt, except, perhaps, in his sense of justice; but now Charley suddenly gave a shout, and sprang forward.
"I hit him! I hit him!"
"Fact," said Jim; "so you did. Come here, Nap. Poor fellow! How's your old tail now?"
Charley was back in a twinkling with his own rabbit and the one Jim had killed, but there was a wide difference between them. There was shot enough in the latter to have killed half a dozen, while all the mark they could find on Charley's game was one little spot at the roots of his ears.
"So much for making the shot scatter. If I hadn't put in a double load of shot, you'd have lost 'em both."
"There wasn't but one," said Charley.
"I mean that rabbit and old Napoleon Bonaparte. Come on now. Your gun's all right. Let's try the other side of the swamp."
He pointed out a rabbit, sitting among some bushes, on the way, and Charley's gun went off finely, now that the powder had been put in first.
"Don't you ever shoot them when they're sitting still, Jim?"
"No; and you won't when you're used to it. There's one coming for me. I'll take him as he goes by."
Nap was entirely safe this time. Indeed, he seemed inclined all the rest of that morning to do his rabbit-hunting at a somewhat unsociable distance from his friends.
There were plenty of rabbits in the swamp, and the boys were more than a little proud of their success, especially Charley; but when the time came for going home, it was curious how ready they both were to go. So was Napoleon Bonaparte. Truth to tell, it had been hard work, and the boys declared the rabbit a remarkably heavy beast, for his size, by the time they reached home with their game.
Down all the rugged mountain-slopes,
Through all the mossy dells,
There comes a gentle purling sound,
Like peals of fairy bells.
A tinkling, rippling, gurgling song
Is borne on every breeze;
Mysterious whispers seem to stir
The grim old forest trees.
The tiny grasses wave their hands
And gayly nod their heads
To lazy buds, still half asleep
In cozy winter beds.
And now the riotous sunbeams come;
They draw the curtains wide;
Nor leave untouched the smallest nook
Where sleepy buds may hide.
"Awake! awake!" the whole Earth cries:
"King Winter's reign is past;
His crown he yields to his fairest child,
And Spring is Queen at last."
All our young readers know the value of that familiar and useful substance, salt, which enters so largely into our daily wants, and is so essential to our existence. Formerly prisoners in Holland were kept from the use of salt; but this deprivation produced such terrible diseases that this practice was abolished. The Mexicans, in old times, in cases of rebellion, deprived entire provinces of this indispensable commodity, and thus left innocent and guilty alike to rot to death.
This mineral is frequently mentioned in the Bible. The sacrifices of the Jews were all seasoned with salt, and we read of a covenant of salt. Salt was procured by the Hebrews from the hills of salt which lie about the southern extremity of the Dead Sea, and from the waters of that sea, which overflow the banks yearly, and leave a deposit of salt both abundant and good.
Among ancient nations salt was a symbol of friendship and fidelity, as it is at present among the Arabs and other Oriental people. In some Eastern countries, if a guest has tasted salt with his host, he is safe from all enemies, even although the person receiving the salt may have committed an injury against his entertainer himself.
Among the common people all over Scotland, a new house, or one which a new tenant was about to enter, was always sprinkled with salt by way of inducing "good luck." Another custom of a curious nature once prevailed in England and other countries in reference to salt. Men of rank formerly dined at the same table with their dependents and servants. The master of the house and his relations sat at the upper end, where the floor was a little raised. The persons of greatest consequence sat next, and all along down the sides, toward the bottom of the table, the servants were placed according to their situations. At a certain part of the table was placed a large salt vat, which divided the superior from the inferior classes. Sitting above the salt was the mark of a gentleman or man of good connections, while to sit beneath it showed a humble station in society.
Salt is found in greater or less quantities in almost every substance on earth, but the waters of the sea appear to have been its first great magazine. It is found there dissolved in certain proportions, and two purposes are thus served, namely, the preservation of that vast body of waters, which otherwise, from the innumerable objects of animal and vegetable life within it, would become an insupportable mass of corruption, and the supplying of a large proportion of the salt we require in our food, and for other purposes. The quantity of salt contained in the sea (according to the best authorities) amounts to four hundred thousand billion cubic feet, which, if piled up, would form a mass one hundred and forty miles long, as many broad, and as many high, or, otherwise disposed, would cover the whole of Europe, islands, seas, and all, to the height of the summit of Mont Blanc, which is about sixteen thousand feet in height.
If salt, however, were only to be obtained from the sea, the people who live on immense continents would have great difficulty in supplying themselves with it; and here you see how kindly Providence watches over the comfort of human creatures, for nature has provided that the sea, on leaving those continents, all of which were once overspread with it, should deposit vast quantities of salt, sufficient to provide for the necessities of the inhabitants of those parts. In some places the salt is exposed on the surface of the ground in a glittering crust several inches thick; in others, thicker layers have been covered over with other substances, so that salt now requires to be dug for like coal or any other mineral. Salt is found in this last shape in almost every part of the world; though in the vast empire of China it is so scarce that it is smuggled into that country in large quantities.
Our young friends would, we doubt not, like to know how to make a sun-dial that will give the time very accurately. Common sun-dials depend on the shadow of a post, which is thick and heavy, and affords only a very rough idea of the time. But the one we are going to tell them about will show the time as precisely as a clock. And it is quite easy to make. It has, in the first place, a face set up slanting on a pedestal. The proper slant answers to the latitude of the place. At and near New York it should be about forty-one degrees from the perpendicular, or a little more than half upright. The face is divided into hour spaces, just like the face of a clock, but the whole circle is not used. A semicircle is all that the sun can traverse, except in the long days of summer. The fourth part of a circle is about all that can be used in ordinary windows. It will answer for the hours between nine o'clock and three. It is divided into six equal parts for the hour spaces, and each of these is subdivided for the minutes. If the radius of the circle be one foot, the minute spaces will be about one-sixteenth of an inch, or about the same as on the face of a watch. The dividing is easily done with a pair of compasses, a ruler, and a sharp lead-pencil.
Now we will explain the indicator. It is made of three pieces—a base and two uprights. The base is fifteen inches long, three wide, and three-quarters of an inch thick. The uprights are of the same thickness, and about seven inches high. They are morticed into the base, and have the shape shown in the picture. A hole half an inch in diameter is bored through the upright at A, and another at B. Over each of these holes pieces of tin are tacked, with a little hole in the centre about as large as a pin's head. When the sun-dial is placed in position, the sun shines through these holes, and makes a little bright circle on the other upright. The upper hole, A, is for summer, when the sun is high, and the lower one, B, for winter. The indicator is pivoted by a large screw to the centre, C, of the face, so that it can be turned round like the hand of a clock. At the upper end of the indicator a little pointer is fastened directly over the scale of hours and minutes. A needle, or a pin with the head cut off, makes a good pointer.
After the sun-dial is made, the next thing is to set it in its proper position, which is so that when the pointer is at XII. it will also be directed exactly south, while the lower end of the indicator is to the north. Then, at noon by sun time, the sun will make its little bright circle exactly in the middle of the lower upright. A line should be drawn up and down to show the middle; then this line will cut the sun circle equally in two. To find out the time[Pg 300] before and after noon, the indicator is moved so that the sun circle will fall on the same middle line, and the pointer will show the time. This sun time differs somewhat from clock time. The difference for every day in the year is given by the almanacs, and very exactly by the Nautical Almanac. This difference being added or subtracted, makes known the true clock time. Thus, for the 1st of March, clock time is twelve minutes faster than sun time. Hence noon by the sun-dial is just that much later than noon by the clock. Any of our readers who have a little mechanical skill can make a sun-dial, on the plan described, that, when put in proper position, will be more reliable than the best of clocks, and that will be found a convenient means of setting them right. But don't despise the clocks; for very likely you will have to resort to one in order to get the sun-dial in position; and then, too, remember that the sun does not shine all the while, but is very fond of hiding behind clouds.
Austin was still the centre of an admiring group, when a deep voice made itself heard from behind.
"Say, mates, ye'd better let the lad git on some dry duds, 'stead o' fussin' over him that way; why, he's as wet as the lee scuppers."
Frank recognized old Herrick, the quartermaster, who had roused him from his nap on the coil of rope the first night of the voyage.
"Come, youngster," pursued the old man, "hurry up and git a dry shirt on. What d'ye look so queer for?—hain't ye got nary one?"
Frank explained that his bag and bundle had "disappeared somehow," before they had been two days at sea.
"Stolen, I reckon," growled a sailor; "but 'twarn't nobody on the fo'c'stle as done it, anyhow. It's been some o' them blessed firemen—thievin' wharf-rats every one!"
"Ay, they're the boys for hookin' things," added another. "Last v'y'ge I made, there was a fireman we called Sandy, as I'd seen hangin' around my sea-chest jist afore I missed suthin'. So I fixed a fish-hook to the lock, and nex' day Mr. Sandy had a precious sore finger somehow; and from that day for'ard we never called him nothing but 'Sandy Hook'. [A loud laugh from the rest applauded the joke.] But I'll lend the younker a shirt, willin'."
"Well, look'ee here, boys," said old Herrick, "let's give him poor Allen's chest and kit. He'll never need it more, poor fellow, and I've heerd him say he'd nary relation ashore. Seems to me Frank's the one as ought to have it: what say ye all?"
All agreed, and the drowned man's chest was pulled out and rummaged. Out came caps, jackets, trousers, shirts, sea-boots. Out came three or four letters and a photograph, which were laid aside to be handed over to the purser; and lastly, out came a small, well-thumbed Bible of old-fashioned look, which Herrick (after eying it thoughtfully for a moment) put into his own pocket.
"Whew! who'd ha' thought Allen kep' a Bible?"
"I have seen him spellin' in it, though, once and again; but he always shet it up when anybody cum nigh him."
"Well, well, 'twarn't it as brought him his ill luck, anyhow. Now, young un, let's see how the duds fit you."
But, as might have been expected, everything was "miles too big," and bagged about him in such a way as to make one of the men remark, with a grin, that "if he carried so much loose canvas, he'd founder in the first squall."
"We must take in a reef or two, then, that's all," said Herrick. "Bear a hand, my boy, and we'll soon turn you out ship-shape."
To work went the two amateur tailors, while Frank seized the chance of taking a good look at his new friend. The old tar was certainly well worth looking at. Tall, broad-shouldered, active, with his brown hard face framed in iron-gray hair and beard—a pleasant twinkle in the keen blue eyes that looked out from beneath his bushy brows, and a kindly smile flickering over his rugged features ever and anon, like sunshine upon a bare moor—he looked the very model of one of those sturdy old sea-dogs who held their own against England's stoutest "hearts of oak" in the old days of '76.[Pg 301]
As he worked on, making stitches which, though they would have horrified a fashionable tailor, were at least strong and durable, he began to pour forth a series of yarns, a tithe of which would "set up" any novelist for life. Fights with West-Indian pirates; hair-breadth escapes from polar icebergs; picturesque cruises among the Spice Islands; weary days and nights in a calm off the African coast, on short allowance of water, with the burning sun melting the very pitch out of the seams—were "reeled off" in unbroken succession, while Frank listened open-mouthed, and more than once forgot his tailoring altogether.
But the stroke of a bell overhead broke in upon the talk.
"My watch on deck," said the old man, springing up as nimbly as a boy. "Now, lad, slip on them togs agin. Ay, now you look all a-taunto."
Frank was indeed improved. His shore clothes, which, with grease, coal-dust, tar, salt-water, and the rents made by the fight with Monkey, were (as the boatswain said) "not fit for a 'spectable scarecrow to wear of a Sunday," were exchanged for a blue flannel shirt and a pair of trim white canvas trousers. A neat black silk handkerchief was knotted around his neck, and his battered "stiff-rim" replaced by a jaunty sailor cap.
"Hello, youngster! the cap'n wants yer," shouted a sailor, as Frank appeared on deck.
"You're in luck, my boy," said Herrick. "Keep a stiff upper lip, but don't speak unless you're spoken to, and then say as little as you can."
On entering the captain's room Frank found the latter busied in "pricking out" the ship's course on the chart, and was thus able to survey him at leisure. Captain Gray's plain black suit and standing collar, his grayish-brown hair, close-cut whiskers, and mild expression, made him look more like a preacher than like one who had led a forlorn hope over the ruins of Fort Sumter, and had captured, single-handed, the ringleader of a dangerous mutiny in the West Indies. This mutiny, however, had occurred aboard another vessel, for nothing of the sort had ever been heard of on his own. The crew "froze to him" in all he did or said; and any "sea-lawyer" who tried to breed a disturbance soon found the Arizona too hot for him.
"Talk 'bout the officers as ye like," was the constant saying on the forecastle, "but nary word agin the old 'deacon.'"
For, strange to say, Captain Gray was a deacon when ashore, and not a few of his best hands were members of the old white church at home in Nantucket.
His room was like himself—simple, but perfectly orderly. A neat bed, with snow-white coverlet and pillow; a little cupboard beside it, containing a pitcher and wash-basin; a Bible in a neat wooden rack on a small table; a rifle, cutlass, and two revolvers, all bright and clean, hanging on the wall above it; a cabinet of books, mostly works of travel and navigation; several chairs, on one of which lay the captain's coat and cap; and a curtain along the wall, above which appeared various articles of clothing hung on pegs.
Presently the captain looked up, and after "figuring" a moment on a slip of paper, touched a bell. Instantly a panel flew open, and a hoarse voice shouted, "Ay, ay, sir!"
"How's her head now, quartermaster?"
"S.E. by S., sir."
"All right; keep her so."
"Ay, ay, sir;" and the panel closed again.
Then, for the first time, the captain appeared to become aware of Frank's presence, and bending forward, fixed upon him a look that seemed to read his very soul. It was a proverb with the crew of the Arizona that "no rogue could ever face the old man's eye;" and although he was never known to utter an oath or unseemly word, his very glance had more effect than any amount of bluster and bullying.
"So you're the boy who oiled the outboard bearing to-day? I hear you've been fighting with Monkey. We won't say any more about that now, but don't let it happen again. Can you read and write?"
"Is this your handwriting on the ship's articles, and in the store-room account-book?"
"Have you studied arithmetic? Well, then, work me out this example."
"Right," said the captain, glancing at the result. "After this, Mr. Hurst [the chief engineer] will put you in the place of the oiler who was lost this morning. The fifty dollars reward is in the purser's hands, where I advise you to leave it till you really need it. You may go now. Good-night."
"What! couldn't they make ye nothin' better'n a kettle-iler?" growled old Herrick, on hearing the result of the interview; for, like a true sailor of the old school, he abominated everything connected with "that 'ere new-fangled steam." "A sailor's what you're cut out for, and a sailor's what every man ought to be as can. Howsomdever, there's no fear but you'll git on well enough with the old man; for he's a good feller, if ever there was one. We shipped together for our first v'y'ge, him and me, when we were no bigger'n you are; and if we ever part comp'ny agin, 'twon't be my fault, anyhow."
An amusing story is told of a modern puss which sailed across the seas. A Polynesian missionary took a cat with him to the island of Raratonga, but Puss, not liking her new abode, fled to the mountains. One of the new converts, a priest who had destroyed his idol, was one night, sleeping on his mat, when his wife, who sat watching beside him, was terribly alarmed by the sight of two small fires gleaming in the doorway, and by the sound of a plaintive and mysterious voice. Her blood curdling with fear, she awoke her husband, with wifely reproaches on his folly in having burned his god, who was now come to be avenged on them.
The husband, opening his eyes, saw the same glaring lamps, heard the same dismal sound, and, in an agony of fright, began to recite the alphabet, by way of an incantation against the powers of darkness. The cat on hearing the loud voices felt as much alarm as she had caused, and fled in the darkness, leaving the worthy pair much relieved.
A short while afterward Puss took up her quarters in a retired temple, where her "mews" struck terror into the breasts of the priest and worshippers who came with offerings to the gods. They fled in all directions, shouting, "A monster from the deep! a monster from the deep!" to return with a large body of their companions in full war array, with spears, clubs, and shields, and faces blackened with charcoal. The cat, however, was too nimble for them, and escaped through the midst of their ranks, sending these brave warriors flying in every direction.
That night, however, Puss, tired of her lonely life, foolishly entered a native hut, and creeping beneath the coverlet under which the whole family were lying, fell asleep. Her purring awoke the owner of the hut, who procured the help of some other models of valor, and with their assistance murdered poor Pussy in her tranquil and confiding slumbers.
But cats, though thus at first misunderstood, were afterward welcomed in Raratonga, which was devastated with a plague of rats. The missionaries imported a cargo consisting of pigs, cocoa-nuts, and cats.
A youthful clerk who was once appointed to make out an invoice of shipments on a Mississippi steamer, was perplexed by the item of "Four boxes of tom-cats." On inquiry, the mystery was solved. "Why," said the indignant sutler, "that means four boxes of tomato catsup. Don't you understand abbreviations?"
An amusing reason is given for cats washing their faces after a meal. A cat caught a sparrow, and was about to devour it, but the sparrow said,
"No gentleman eats till he has first washed his face."
The cat, struck with this remark, set the sparrow down, and began to wash his face, on which the sparrow flew away. This vexed Pussy extremely, and he said,
"As long as I live I will eat first, and wash my face afterward."
Which all cats do even to this day.
Here is another cat and sparrow fable:
"I wonder," said a sparrow, "what the eagles are about, that they don't fly away with the cats? And now I think of it, a civil question can not give offense." So the sparrow finished her breakfast, went to the eagle, and said: "May it please your Majesty, I see you and your race fly away with the birds and the lambs, that do no harm. But there is not a creature so malignant as a cat; she prowls about our nests, eats up our young, and bites off our own heads. She feeds so daintily that she must be herself good eating. Why do you not feed upon a cat?"
"Ah!" said the eagle, "there is sense in your question. I had a worm here this morning, asking me why I did not breakfast upon sparrows. Do I see a morsel of worm's skin on your beak, my child?"
The sparrow cleaned his bill upon his bosom, and said, "I should like to see the worm that made that complaint."
"Come forward, worm," the eagle said. But when the worm appeared, the sparrow snapped him up and ate him, after which he went on with his argument against the cats.
It was one of the most difficult parts of the whole line. A range of high hills lay directly north and; south, and the railroad ran nearly east and west; that is, the stations on each side of the range of hills lay east and west, but to cross the range the road wound about in the most complicated and curious fashion. At the summit of the range, where the line crossed, there was a water tank, and a cross-over switch, and a house for the line-man. This place was eight miles from the station, on the east side, as the crow flies; by rail it was seventeen miles, a steady up grade all the way. All the west-bound trains had to have help in getting over this seventeen-mile grade, and for this service there were several pushing-engines kept there to go behind the trains, and help them up the grade. When the top of the grade was reached, the trains went on, for there were no passengers to be taken or left there. The line-man's house was the only house within five miles, and all the rugged hills round about were covered with deep woods. The pushing-engines that came up the grade usually stopped for a moment or two for water, took the cross-over switch, and ran back on the down track without using steam, as it was down grade all the way. Of course all east-bound trains, both freight and passenger, came down without help, and, in fact, without using steam, except to get a good start at the top.
One day a long freight train moving west came to the foot of the grade, and took on an extra engine to help it up the hill. This extra engine stood on a siding, and when the freight had passed, it drew out on the main line, and took its place behind the train. It was not coupled to the train, as its duty was merely to push behind. There were about thirty-five cars in the train, chiefly empty grain cars going west, and with a "caboose" behind. There were half a dozen brakemen and the conductor scattered along the train on top of the cars. All these points you must remember, to understand what happened soon after.
The line for the seventeen miles up the grade is very crooked, with several high embankments and very sharp turns. Not a nice bit of road for a fast run with a heavy train. Nearly all the distance is through thick woods, so that the brave engineer's deeds were not seen by any one save the few men who were on the train, and in the greatest peril.
The two engines and long line of cars crept slowly up the grade, and without accident, till almost at the top. The forward engine reached the top, and kept straight on; there was no need to stop; and when the train fairly passed the summit, and began to descend the grade on the western side of the hills, the pushing-engine merely stopped, and was left behind. Just then something very singular happened. The engineer reversed his engine, and started to run back to the cross-over switch that was just below. He intended to take the down track, and return to the station, seventeen miles below. The station-master was at the switch, and had already opened it. Suddenly the fireman gave a cry, and the engineer looked out his forward window to see what had happened. The train was still in sight up the line, but it was moving down instead of up. It had broken apart. A coupling had given way, and some of the cars were rolling down the grade right on to his engine. He could see the men on top waving their hands for him to get out of the way.[Pg 303] The freight-cars had broken loose, and were running away. The men on top could not stop them.
Where would it end? Where would the cars go? Would they ever reach the bottom of the long grade without jumping the rails at some sharp curve, only to plunge into the woods down some lofty embankment? No time to think about that. The thing to do was to get out of the way, and prevent the runaway train from dashing into the engine. He whistled to the station-master to close the switch, and give him the clear line. He must run away from the runaway train. He put on steam, and started down the grade. The station-master seemed to understand what had happened, and promptly closed the switch. Faster and faster rolled the cars, and the engine shot ahead to keep out of the way.
Now for a race for life and death. If he kept ahead, he was safe—safe from collision, but not from running off the line at the terrible curves below. On and on the engine flew, down and down through the woods, till the trees seemed to whirl past in a dizzy dance. Faster and faster came the train gaining speed at every rail. How the woods roared with the rush of the runaway cars, and the engine flying on before! The cars swayed from side to side, and the men on top sat down, as if calmly waiting their dreadful fate. They swept round a curve, and the engineer had a chance to look back up the line, and saw to his dismay that there were more cars behind. A second and shorter train was fast following the first. The train had evidently broken into three parts, and two of the parts, one of eighteen cars, and one of nine cars, were tearing down the grade at forty miles an hour. It was a killing pace, and growing worse every second. It was sure death to all to keep it up much longer. Something must be done to save engine, men, and cars.
The engine was using steam, and kept ahead of the cars; but it could not do so much longer. What if he let them gain on him, and then time the speed till they collided? It was a desperate experiment, but he would try it. Slowly and very carefully he took off the steam, and ran slower. In a moment he had the speeds just alike. Then he made the pace of the engine a little less, and a little less, while the roaring and swaying train came nearer and nearer. Both were still flying down the grade at a fearful pace. The men on the cars watched the engine sharply. They saw what the engineer meant to do. If he succeeded, he would save their lives—provided he could let the cars strike the engine, could hitch on, and then pull ahead before the train behind smashed into them from the rear. On and on flew train and engine. Slowly they drew nearer, and at last they bumped with a gentle jar. The fireman was on the pilot all ready to couple on. He dropped the pin in the coupling, and the men on the car gave a ringing cheer that was heard above the roar of the train; and the engineer opened the throttle wide, and away they dashed down the grade, just in time to escape the train behind.
The men wanted to climb down on the engine to shake hands with the engineer, but he motioned them back. The danger was not over. One of the men stood on top of the caboose, with his back to the engine and his arms extended. One of the others held him up, for the cars swayed frightfully in the terrible pace they were going. He watched the train following behind, and with his hands made motions to the engineer to run slower and slower, till, with a crash, the two parts of the train came together. This feat was not so successful as the first, as the engineer could not see the rear cars. The engine was reversed, and the brakes put on, and they came to a stop—not a wheel off the metals, and not a man hurt. Two of the cars badly smashed, but that was all. What had threatened to be a fearful disaster, with a loss of men, engine, and cars, was only a slight splintering of two cars that the carpenters could repair in a day. They had a general shaking of hands alone there in the woods over the engineer's splendid feat; and for months it was told to listening men in every flag station and freight-house along the line how the brave and cool engineer brought his engine down the seventeen-mile grade.
Fort Omaha, Nebraska, March 2, 1880.
I am eight years old, and I have a Gordon setter—liver and white—just as old as I am. His name is Paul. He was born in Tennessee, and given to my papa as a puppy, and soon learned to be a good retriever, to carry newspapers and bundles, and to bring papa's slippers to him.
When I was old enough to crawl, he would watch to see that I did not get hurt, and if I got too near a flight of steps, he would stand between me and them, and pull my dress to get me away. If I went to crawl under him, he would lie down, and over him, he would stand up, and so guarded me safe till my nurse came, and she often found me asleep with my head on Paul's back, who kept still till I waked up.
At Fort Foote, Maryland, Paul became an excellent hunter, and was out with my papa nearly every day, bringing home plenty of quail and other game. He was a happy dog, taking great interest in garrison life, always attending retreat and tattoo with the officer of the day, and even going the rounds with him on his tour of inspection after midnight. No weather was too bad for Paul, who knew every note of the bugle, and was always on hand at the proper "call."
When we went to Fort Brown, Texas, Paul staid behind for cooler weather; then he was sent around by sea from New York. He landed at Point Isabel, and came over by rail to Brownsville, where my papa met him early one morning. Paul barked a welcome at once, and was wild with joy when papa released him from the box in which he had travelled, and let him run after him out to our quarters. I was still asleep, but Paul knew I must be near, so he ran all over the house till he found my bed, when he jumped in, and lay down beside me; it woke me up, and we had a fine meeting, after six months' separation.
When I went out to ride on my Mexican pony—General Robertson—with our boy Florentio, then Paul, and then Billy (my goat), we made quite a procession. Paul always looked so dignified, and never noticed one of Billy's tricks, who pranced along, butting him in the funniest way, and trying to attract his attention.
Poor Paul's misfortunes began in Texas, where a large black dog bit him through the shoulder, causing a lameness that has never left him, and making him hate all black dogs.
After I went North, Paul went with my papa all over Texas, from one fort to another, and always rode in his ambulance, which he would leave for no one but him. At one of the upper posts he once followed a deserter—who had fed him—and to avoid suspicion, the man put Paul down a deep hole, and left him. After searching some time, my papa at last found him; but he was almost starved, as he had had nothing to eat for several days.
Paul next went with us to Omaha, where he suffered from the great change of climate, and was too lame for much hunting. He was very jealous of our two other dogs, Tom and Bill, and would not let them come near my sister, brother, or me.
Then we went to Fort Steele, Wyoming, where he hunted a little, and played with me a great deal. The high and dry air did him good. He was very fond of my little brother George—our "Centennial baby," whose birthday was the 22d of February. When George and I got the scarlet fever, Paul would visit both our rooms, and look so sorry for us. After Georgie "fell asleep," Paul would trot off every day, alone, to the cemetery, and lie down by his "resting-place" awhile, then get up and walk home again, his mind satisfied.
Paul has always been an "officer's dog," and never visited the barracks at any post, and will not follow soldiers, except the one who feeds him. He dislikes citizens, and any stranger not in uniform arouses his suspicions at once, and he watches him closely till satisfied he is a friend of ours; but did he wear uniform, it would be all right at first.
Paul is now at Fort Omaha on the "retired list," and valued for "the good he has done." He is getting as fat as a seal, and has the gout—my sister says the go-out. But he's a good old fellow. My grandpa takes Harper's Young People for me, and I like it so much I thought I would like to tell you about my dog.[Pg 304]
When the Thirty Years' War was finally brought to a termination by the treaty of peace of Westphalia, which was concluded at Nuremberg in 1560, the authorities of that place ordered in commemoration public rejoicings of various kinds—banquets, balls, fire-works, etc. But among all these public diversions, none was more distinguished for singularity and originality, and perhaps childish simplicity, than the procession of lads and boys on sticks or hobby-horses. Thus mounted, they rode, regularly divided into companies, through the streets, and halted before the hotel of the Red Horse, where was staying the Imperial Commissioner, Duc D'Amali.
The Duke was so pleased with the novel cavalcade that he requested a repetition of the same procession at an early day of the following week, which they performed in much larger numbers. On arriving before his hotel, the Duke distributed amongst them small square silver medals which he had in the interval caused to be struck. The coin represented on the obverse a boy on a hobby-horse with whip in hand, and the year 1560 was inscribed in the centre, while the reverse represented the double eagle and armorial bearings of Austria, with the inscription, "Vivat Ferdinandus III., Rom. Imp. vivat!"
There was once a little Swiss man who had a mind and will of his own. He was one inch high, and carved out of wood by the busy people of Brienz, in the long cold winter season. Perhaps the bit of wood out of which he was cut was unusually hard, and even knotted; but certainly he had more character than his companions, the pretty birds perched on boxes, the deer and chamois supporting vases, and all the trinkets made in that town, where the wooden houses with projecting roofs, and balconies filled with flowers, on the border of Lake Brienz, are precisely like the tiny toy mansions in shop windows.
When he was finished, the little Swiss man was very proud of himself. He wore gaiters, a jacket, a broad straw hat—all[Pg 305] in wood—and carried a creel on his back, as if just about to climb a mountain, laden with butter, cheese, or wine.
The contents of the workshop were scattered like a handful of leaves in the wind. The chamois were sent to Paris and London, the little birds on the boxes journeyed as far as Russia and America, with the luggage of travellers.
"I am sure to be much admired wherever I go," said the little Swiss man, with a smile, which was none the less conceited because it was a wooden one.
Soon he found himself in the window of a shop at Geneva, and he was not immediately bought, to his own surprise. However, he was in very good company, although he took upon himself to look down on his companions, and he only an inch high!
The shop was located on the Rue du Rhone, but the small window where the toys were exposed opened on the rear. The river Rhone, of a beautiful color, as pure as ice, quitting the Lake Leman above, swept down under the bridges past this window, dividing the city of Geneva. Had the little Swiss man possessed any eyes except for his own importance, he would have found the view from his shelf interesting. On the right the Isle Rousseau was visible, where the ducks and swans live; opposite, a foot-bridge crossed the rushing Rhone; and below were the tall old houses of the island, with plants in the windows, terminating in a clock tower. Along the river margin the Geneva washer-women toiled all day, not like those of America, scrubbing at a steaming wash-tub, but under long sheds which appeared to float on the surface of the stream, and dipping their linen in the flowing water.
The little Swiss man could not understand why he was not bought immediately. To be sure, the next shop displayed sparkling heaps of crystal, veined agate, and onyx, yet he found himself better than all. Children paused before the pane, and laughed with delight, pointing out different objects. Our hero took all this admiration to himself as his due. On the same shelf was a goose, wearing top-boots, the Ulster of a tourist, a bag fastened over his shoulder with a strap, and an eyeglass. Here were to be found also a fat little[Pg 306] boy in India rubber, from Nuremberg; a beautiful pasteboard theatre, with a lady of blue paper advancing from a side scene; tiny Swiss houses in boxes; two rope-dancers hanging over their cord; balls and tops. The shelf below held the most tempting dishes, representing cakes and dessert, in china, ever placed on the table of a doll-house; wax babies rocking in cradles; tiny lamps; sewing-machines; miniature goats and cows.
The little Swiss man observed especially a large bear of Berne, wearing a cotton night-cap with a red tassel, and a white shirt collar, who carried a hand-organ, and a good St. Bernard dog, with the flask suspended about his throat, ready to help the poor wanderers lost in the snow. Beyond was an interesting company of monkeys on a music-box, some playing harps, others scraping violins in obedience to the head monkey, who stood in the attitude of a leader of the orchestra, wearing a black coat with long tails. The vain little Swiss man fancied the passers-by paused only to admire him.
Night came, and the master of the shop closed the door, placed shutters before the show-cases, and seated himself at his desk. The little window in the rear was still uncovered, and revealed the light on the desk where the master wrote. He heard the scratching of his pen on the paper, and the patter of rain-drops outside, for the night was stormy. There was another sound in the shop, softer than fall of the rain, and finer than chirp of a cricket, or humming sound of a mosquito: the toys in the window were talking together.
"I have been here for a month, and everybody says I am too dear at five francs," said the goose in top-boots.
"How could you expect to sell, when I am in the same window?" growled the bear.
"What do you say?" cackled the goose, indignantly.
"He is only a bear," said one of the rope-dancers, cutting a caper.
"Do you know who I am?" retorted the bear, with dignity. "I am the Bear of Berne. You will find me on the shield of the city, and kept in a pit by the citizens to this day."
"What is the use of boasting?" interposed the St. Bernard dog, pettishly. "The bears of Berne live in idleness; they walk about in a pit all day, or stand on their hind-legs begging for nuts. A St. Bernard dog is better employed, I should hope. We save the travellers in the snow who lose their way on the great St. Bernard mountain. If you wish to see the dog Barry, who saved fifteen lives, look for him in the Berne Museum, stuffed, and kept in a glass case.
The bear was very cross at this reply. He pulled his cotton night-cap over his right eye, which gave him a very savage appearance, and turned the handle of his organ as if his life depended on it.
"I am not Swiss; I am a German," said the Nuremberg fat boy, puffing out his India rubber cheeks.
"Hear him!" cried the lady made of blue paper, on the stage of the little theatre—"hear the rubber boy boast of being a German, when there are French toys about!"
At this all the little babies made of pink wax, in the cradles, laughed; and even the goats shook their heads, because they came from the Savoy side of Lake Geneva, which made them very French in their feelings.
"If somebody would wind us up, we would play," said the monkeys.
The little Swiss man listened.
"I shall not stay in the shop window a month," he said.
His neighbors looked at each other in surprise. On the wall was placed a card, and on it was grouped a bunch of flowers like white velvet.
"See, we are above the rest of you; we are the Edelweiss," said these flowers. "We grow high up on the mountains, and as we can only bloom in such a pure air, a poet has compared us with Gratitude."
At this moment something happened. A boy pressed his face against the pane, and stared at the toys. Crack!—a stone hit the glass, and the boy ran away. The wind and the rain swooped in together, upsetting the theatre, and knocking the dolls about. The master hastened to close the shutter.
The little Swiss man had fallen outside.
In the morning a porter passing by kicked the tiny bit of wood toward the parapet, and the next comer sent it spinning into the river.
"Pride goes before a fall," said the St.Bernard dog.
"Why did he feel so superior to the rest of us?" inquired the goose.
"It was all in the grain of the wood," said the leading monkey.
Below Geneva the Rhone joins the Arve, and the two rivers remain distinct for a long while—the Rhone like a green ribbon, and the Arve whitened by glacier torrents. Here a poor boy was fishing. What he caught was the little Swiss man, bobbing along on the stream, and he took this prize to the stone cottage, his home.
"I am glad to be out of the water," thought our wooden hero. "All the same, I wish I was back in the shop window. Ah! I did not know gratitude, as the Edelweiss said."
"Now teach me your song, Canary," said Maud with the roguish eyes,
"And when father comes home with mother, I'll give them such a surprise;
They'll think I am you, Canary, and wonder what set you free,
And nearly die a-laughing, when they find it is only me.
Teach me your song, Canary; I'll whistle it if I can;
Now open your throat, dear Tiptoe, and sing like a little man."
Tiptoe, the pretty fellow, cocked up his bright black eye,
As if to say, "Little mistress, it will do you no harm to try."
Then taking some slight refreshments, and polishing off his bill,
Broke into a rapture of singing that ended off with a trill;
And Maud, with her head bent forward, sat listening to his lay,
And fast as he sang, she whistled, till gathered the twilight gray.
Then she crept down to the parlor as quietly as a mouse:
The maids were in the kitchen, and no one else in the house.
And when the key in the doorway the dear little mischief heard,
She whistled away so sweetly, they thought it was surely the bird.
Hither and thither she flitted, behind the sofa and chairs;
Her mother cried, "Mercy, Edward! the bird! Is the cat down stairs?"
Wildly they stared around them, till, "It's me, it is me, papa!"
Said Maud, from her corner springing. Ah, then what a loud "Ha! ha!"
Rang through the room. Her father, convulsed, on the sofa sat.
Gravely appeared among them their sober old pussy cat.
Maud merrily laughed and shouted, "A cunning old cat like you—
To think you should mistake me for a little canary too!"
The boat here described is a model of a sloop-yacht of about fifteen tons measurement, forty-four feet long, and fifteen feet beam; the model, on a scale of half an inch to the foot, being consequently twenty-two inches long, on the water-line, and seven and a half inches wide. The wood should be a block of clear dry pine, twenty-five inches long, seven and a half inches wide, and five inches thick, the sides being first planed square; then on one of the five-inch sides lines are drawn two inches apart across the block; the water-line (W L, Fig. 2) is drawn two inches and thirteen-sixteenths from the top at the end selected for the bow, and two inches and five-sixteenths[Pg 307] at the stern; the stern-post (s t) is laid off, and the outer line of the stern (t f); and finally the curved lines a f and a v are drawn, completing what is called the sheer plan.
In copying from the drawings it must be kept in mind that they are exactly one-fourth the full size, so that any distance taken from them with the dividers must be laid off four times on the block.
To copy the curved lines, their distance from some line, as A B or W L, is measured on each of the two-inch lines, by which a number of points on the curve are found, and a line drawn as nearly as possible through all of them by means of a flexible ruler, held in place by pins.
The block must now be cut away to the outline a f t s v, after which lines two inches apart are drawn on the top, the line A B drawn entirely around the block in the centre of the top, bottom, and ends, and Fig. 1 drawn on top, both halves being of course the same.
The block is next cut to the line a b c d, Fig. 1, the widest part being, not on deck, but along the line c d, as there is some "tumble home" from b to the stern.
The outline of the deck is a b e f, the stern being a segment of a circle of five inches radius.
A piece of thin board must be cut of the shape of Fig. 5 (which is half size), which is the widest part of the boat, and is fourteen inches from the bow, and by using it for a guide, both sides may be cut out exactly alike.
The stem piece, half an inch thick, and the stern-post, five-sixteenths of an inch, are sawed out, and tacked in place temporarily, and a wooden keel of the shape shown in Fig. 4 (marked "Lead Keel"), half an inch thick, tapering to five-sixteenths where it joins the stern-post, is fitted in between them.
The shaping of the hull may now be completed, using a gouge, spokeshave, and rasp, keeping the midship section for a guide, and running the curved surfaces smoothly and evenly into the sides of the keel, stern, and stem, the latter tapering to five-sixteenths of an inch forward.
The hole for the rudder-stock is next bored, one-fourth of an inch in diameter, and burned out with a moderately hot iron to five-sixteenths of an inch; then, should the stock swell when wet, it will not stick in the charred wood, but will still turn freely.
The keel, stem, and stern are removed, to avoid injury to them, and the line l m n o p, Fig. 1, is drawn, after which the wood inside is cut away with a large gouge or carving tool, until it is one-fourth of an inch thick, care being taken to have it all an even thickness, and not to cut through at any point, and also to leave the wood solid around the rudder-hole.
After the hollowing out is completed, a rabbet one-eighth of an inch wide and deep is cut to receive the deck, its outer line being g h i k, Fig. 1. Then a light deck beam is set in amidships, the mast step put in, and the inside of the hull and the bottom of the deck painted. The deck is of pine, one-eighth of an inch thick, and after being cut out should have lines scratched in with the compasses three-eighths of an inch from each edge to represent the water-ways, and parallel lines one-fourth of an inch apart scratched in to represent the joints of the deck plank.
Now the deck is laid and tacked down, and the joints painted, and calked if needed, the stem and stern-post replaced permanently, and the bowsprit screwed to the deck and stem.
The length of the bowsprit is eight and a half inches from the point a, Fig. 4, to the outer end, three-sixteenths of an inch in diameter, and three inches from a to the inner end, where it is framed into the bitts, the inner end being half an inch square.
A piece (x, Fig. 4) is next fitted on deck at the stern, forming the after portion of the bulwarks, which on the sides are one-eighth of an inch thick, flaring out at the bow, where they are nailed to the bowsprit, and tumbling in aft, where they are nailed to the piece x, a strip one-eighth of an inch thick (shown in Fig. 5) being first tacked to the deck, and the bulwarks nailed against it. Small brads should be used in nailing.
The rail is of walnut or mahogany, one-fourth by three-thirty-secondths of an inch, nailed on top of the bulwarks, and running out on the bowsprit to a point (Fig. 3).
For a sailing model a leaden keel of about two pounds is needed, a mould being made in plaster of Paris from the wooden pattern, and the melted lead poured in, after which it is smoothed with a plane. It is put on temporarily, and the boat, when rigged, put in the water; then enough may be planed off to make her trim properly, and the keel put on permanently.
The mast is twenty-one inches from deck, where it is half an inch in diameter, to cap, where it is a quarter of an inch square, and the topmast is eleven inches long, projecting eight inches above the lower mast.
The boom is twenty-two inches long, fitted to the mast by wire staples; and the gaff, fourteen inches long, has two jaws embracing the mast.
All spars are of yellow pine; the rigging is of fishing-line; and the blocks, five-sixteenths of an inch long, and the dead-eyes, one-fourth of an inch in diameter, are cut out of any hard wood. The lower one of each pair of dead-eyes has a wire looped around it, the other end being turned up, and driven into the boat's side, as in Fig. 5.
The upper end of each shroud has a loop spliced in, which goes over the mast-head, and a dead-eye is spliced into the lower end.
The forestay has a loop at the top, and runs through the bowsprit, forming a bobstay.
Davits are placed on each bow for the anchor, and two on each side for the boats, and a capstan stands just forward of the mast.
The sky-lights and companion way are of mahogany, and with the decks, spars, and rail, are varnished, the rest of the hull being painted black, white, or green, and that portion below the water-line being varnished, and dusted over with bronze powder, and when perfectly dry, varnished again, giving the appearance of metal sheathing.
The sails are of muslin or lawn, and are laced to the boom and gaff and to curtain-rings on the mast, or for the jibs the common "eye" used for dresses makes a capital jib hank, and will slip readily up and down the forestay.
The drawings show all the remaining details, and by following them carefully a handsome and able boat may be built.[Pg 308]
Ten little white rabbits once lived on the edge of a wood, in a snug little hole at the foot of a tall tree; and they were as happy as ten rabbits could be, for every day a good little girl, who lived just back of the wood, brought them their breakfast of white rolls and brown gingerbread; and near by there was a beautiful stream of clear, sweet water, where they went to drink, and which sang a merry tune to them as it went rippling along.
But one morning when the little rabbits went for their water, they found the brook full of sticks and stones, and the water so muddy they could not drink it at all.
"Who has done this?" asked Frisky, the oldest and wisest of the rabbits.
"It was old Reynard the fox," said the brook; "and I am so choked up I can not sing."
So the little rabbits set to work to clear away the dirt and rubbish, and did it so well that before long the brook began its gay song again, and the water was clear enough for them to drink.
Next day, however, the stream was filled up again, and they had all the work to do over, until their little paws ached. So when, on the third morning, they found the water as muddy as ever, they all sat down on the bank and cried.
At last Frisky jumped up and said, "It is no use to cry over muddy water; but we must do something to punish this old rascal of a fox, and make him leave our brook alone."
"But what can we do?" asked his brothers and sisters.
"Come with me, and I will show you."
So the little rabbits followed Frisky to a pile of tar and pitch that some men had left; and out of it they made a black tar baby, which they set up on a rock close by the edge of the brook, with a piece of gingerbread in its mouth; and when night came, and the moon shone bright, they all hid behind a tree to see what would happen.
Pretty soon the old fox smelled the gingerbread, and spied the baby on the rock.
Then he came up close and said, "Little girl, little girl, give me a piece of your gingerbread, or I'll box your ears."
The baby did not answer, so the old fox climbed up on the rock, and boxed her on the ear; and his paw stuck so fast he could not pull it away again.
Then he said, "Little girl, little girl, give me a piece of your gingerbread, or I'll box you on the other ear."
The baby did not say a word, so he boxed her on the other ear, and his other paw stuck fast.
Then he said, "Little girl, little girl, give me a piece of your gingerbread, or I'll bite off your nose." Still the baby would not answer, so the fox bit at her nose; and his teeth stuck tight in the pitch, and he was almost choked with the tar.
The little rabbits then all came out and danced around the wicked old fox, saying, "Now you can't choke the pretty brook, for your own mouth is choked with tar!"
At last Frisky asked, "Now what shall we do with him?"
"Leave him to starve," said one. "Set fire to his tail," said another. And they all proposed something, except Snowflake, the youngest and prettiest of the family, who said nothing until Frisky turned to her and asked, "And what would you do?"
"I should let him go," replied Snowflake, "if he would promise not to trouble the water again."
"Snowflake is right," said Frisky; "he has been punished enough. We will let him go."
So they first loosened his mouth, and rubbed his teeth with butter to take off the tar, and when he had said three times, "Hope my tail may drop off if I ever hurt you or the brook again," they set his paws free, and he scampered off, and hid himself in his den in the wood.
And the little rabbits lived happy forever after.[Pg 310]
Buffalo, New York.
I am a teacher in one of the public schools of this city. I take Harper's Young People to school with me, and my pupils enjoy it very much.
I have the oldest children in the building, and they can understand all of the pieces. I read them the articles as a reward for good behavior and well-learned lessons, and let them copy and work out the puzzles.
It would please you to see how anxiously they wait for each new issue, and how happy they are when it comes. We are reading the touching story of "Biddy O'Dolan" now, and I hope it will lead them to think more about these unfortunate children, and try to do what they can to make the life of some one a little happier. Permit me to congratulate you on the success your paper has achieved both here and abroad.
Pinal City, Arizona Territory.
I am a little girl ten years old. I live in Arizona, where the great silver mines are, and where the cactus grows forty feet high. There were only three white families in this place when we came, three years ago. The place was called Picket Post then, because soldiers were stationed here. I have several pets. Nuisance is my pet deer. She is almost two years old, and is as tame as my cat. She wears a red collar, so hunters will not kill her. Bub is my pet donkey. I love my Arizona pets very much, but not so much as my dear pet grandma, whom we left in Chicago. When papa strikes it rich, we are going home to her.
Pearl R. Brown.
I have had a great many different kinds of pets, but two that amused me the most were Charley, a snow-white rabbit, and Jet, a black kitten. The two were good friends, and played together, and ate out of the same dish. One day bunny stole a large red rose, and came running into the house with it in his mouth, and Jet at his heels. The deep red of the rose, the snowy rabbit, and black Jet made a picture pretty enough to paint. After a while bunny became very troublesome, and ate the paper off the dining-room wall as high as he could reach. Then he was sent away, and Jet seemed lonely for days. Soon after he disappeared, and my pets since have been birds and dogs, but none were brighter and prettier than Jet and Charley.
Aggie R. H.
The alligator I told you about [Post-office No. 19] was finally found in a dark corner of the cellar. It only lived two days after we found it.
In a late number of Young People, Edwin A. H. wrote about his cabinet of curiosities, and inquired if any other readers had one. I would like to tell him that my brother and I each has a small one.
F. B. Myers.
New York City.
In answer to L. H. N.'s question in Young People No. 20, I would say that the whale is dead.
John R. Blake.
In Young People No. 18 there was a letter from Nellie R. asking what to do for her parrot. In Holden's book on birds I found if you feed your bird with too rich food, it causes a skin disease and an itching sensation which the bird tries to relieve by pulling out its feathers. The only remedy is to feed it on raw or boiled carrots, or well-roasted pea-nuts.
Lydia R. F.
New York City.
I would like to have you tell E. L. M., of Washington, that the reason the mouse she used to feed is wild now is because mice are very shy, and when they can get their supper without going in danger, they will not take any foolish risk. Before E. L. M. fed the little fellow, I suppose he was almost starved, and did not think anything about getting hurt.
Mabel H. B.
I read Young People every week, and I like it very much. I am now reading "Biddy O'Dolan." We have not had any snow and ice here this winter, so we can not make snow images and skate, like our little friends in the North. But we find other ways to amuse ourselves. Our flowers are blooming very pretty. I wish I could give you one of our fresh bouquets.
Old Westbury, Long Island.
This morning I made cake from Puss Hunter's recipe in Young People No. 19. Mamma measured the things; but I made it all myself, and it was lovely. I hope some other little girl will try it. I baked it in two saucers. One cake we ate, and the other I cut in two, and sent a piece to each of my grandmothers. I have a little brother Sam. He is six years old, and the dearest little fellow in the world. He and I have a nice dog. He is a pointer, and his name is Perie. He is very handsome, but he is very naughty to cats. He chases and kills them, so we can not have a kitty. I have six dolls—three are French, and three are wax.
Nellie T. Willets (8 years).
Fort Preble, Portland, Maine.
I thought you might be interested to hear about some Indians who were confined in the old Spanish fort at St. Augustine, Florida, when I was there. They were sent from the West, as disturbers of the friendly relations between us and their tribes. When they first came they looked very wild and savage, with their red blankets, and long black hair, of which the men were very proud: but when they went away their hair was short; they wore shoes and collars and neck-ties, and the United States uniform. They behaved so well that they were allowed to post their own sentinels, were drilled by the officer in charge of them, and made a very respectable company. Many of them learned to read and write, and a large number are now at school in Pennsylvania.
My cousin Harry and I found some pepper-and-salt (or erigenia, as my big sister calls it) on the east side of a hill in our woods on the 28th of February. We also found spring-beauties and pepper-root in bud. I never found wild flowers so early before. Last year we found the first on the 11th of March.
I am seven and a half years old, and I go to school. I had a canary named Sweet. It died, and I buried it under the kitchen window. I take Young People, and like the Post-office best of all. My cousin Lizzie made me a fire-fly out of pasteboard, and it flies nicely.
Herbert H. Henking.
I am a subscriber to Young People. I think it is a very nice paper. I have a little pet antelope, and we feed it out of a bottle.
When I was four years old we had a young mule. The day it was born my brother and I were going to see a little friend who lived near us. I asked mamma if the mule could not go too, because it looked very anxious to go. After that we always called it the anxious mule.
Walter H. C. (9 years).
Eldred, New York, March 10.
The picture of a little girl pulling the Chinaman's pigtail, and asking if it would ring, amused us very much, for it reminded us of something that happened to my little brother. He went with papa and mamma to the Centennial Exhibition. At first he was very shy of the life-size groups dressed in the costumes of different countries; but when he found they were not alive, he would go and examine them very closely. When he visited the Chinese Department, a gentleman stood there in full Chinese costume. The little fellow ran up and touched his dress, thinking he was a figure like the others, and was frightened almost to death when the supposed figure stooped down and patted his cheek. Willow "pussies" were here two weeks ago.
Elizabeth E. Beck (10 years).
St. Louis, Missouri.
I like Young People very much. My father is a clergyman, and he says it is a good paper for boys and girls. I like to make "Wiggles." I made a big pig from No. 9, but it was very crooked, and looked like a calf. When I get to be a man, I will learn to print newspapers, and I will put in lots of "Wiggles." I like the new story, "Across the Ocean," very much.
Theo. F. John.
In our school we use Harper's Young People for a reader, and we all like it so much. We had a lesson to-day about "Tracking a buried River." On Saturday before Washington's Birthday our teacher let us have a school party. He bought candy and oranges for us, and the boys and girls brought pies and cake. Some of the teachers from the other schools came, and we set a table, and made tea.
Lucy A. T.
Xenia, Ohio, March. 8, 1880.
I have been to a sugar camp, and I saw how maple sugar is made. When I did not want to stay in the camp, I ran over the hills, and I went with the boys on the sled to gather sap, and I found some pretty moss and flowers. When they made sugar, one of the boys made me a little wooden ladle to eat it with.
Fort Concho, Texas.
I wish that every boy and girl would read Harper's Young People, for I like it very much. I like the puzzle part best of all. I have read Bertie Brown's letter. I live at an army post too, but there are no Indians here. We have prairie-dogs, all kinds of cactus, and mesquite-trees. I have seen some big tarantulas, too. I go to the post school every day. We have good times out here. I am a little over ten years old.
Arthur W. Dunbar.
New York City.
I would like to inquire if the pupils of a big school, of which I am one, each send a short story, essay, poem, or a drawing to Young People, if the one the editors think the best would be published, with the name of the author.
We will publish such contributions, giving full name and address of author. But before being sent, the stories, poems, essays, and drawings must be submitted to your teacher, and only those forwarded to us which the teacher considers the best. We will ourselves make the final decision. The copy must be neatly written, and on one side of the paper only.
Arthur M. M.—There will be a table of contents published at the end of every volume of Young People.
Harry S.—An answer to your question would occupy too much space in this department. It will, however, be made the subject of a separate article in some future number of Young People.
J. U. B.—Any taxidermist will give you the desired information.
Jessie S.—The great Greenland whale which is found in the Northern Ocean has a throat so small that it can not swallow anything larger than a herring. Its principal food consists of a small marine mollusk, about an inch and a half long. It catches its dinner by rushing through the water with its immense jaws wide open. When its mouth is full, it ejects the water, while the whalebone fringe with which it is provided catches all the little sea-creatures, which serve as food for the monster. The sperm-whale has a much larger throat, and is said to be able to swallow a man.
Charles H. B.—There are so many kinds of worms, snakes, and other little creatures which may be the architects of the holes you have noticed, that you had better dig open some of the little dwellings, and see what you can find. Dig very carefully, and send word to Young People's Post-office if you discover anything curious.
Birdie S.—Thanks for your very kind notice, but your pretty puzzle is so complimentary to ourselves that we can not print it.
Emmet M. L.—The American, your amateur paper, is very neatly printed, and well made up.
Marie L.—The extra number of brakes on Mount Washington steam-engines is to increase the safety of the descent.
Sallie Floyd reports Japan quinces in bloom at Carthage, Missouri, on March 7; Nellie Sands, of Lawrence, Kansas, writes that robins and redbirds have lived all winter in the evergreens in her garden; "Henry," of Philadelphia, says the dandelions have been in bloom almost all the time; and Lillie Cassiday writes that it snowed hard on March 14 and 18 in Winterset, Iowa—the only snow of the winter in that locality.
Lizzie S. S.—You can make an Æolian harp of a box of thin pine. The box should be the length of your window, about five inches broad, and three deep. Put a row of hitch pins at one end, and tuning pins at the other, and two narrow bridges of hard wood about two inches within the pins, over which to stretch the strings. Eight strings will make a good harp. They should be of catgut, and if you tune them in unison, the sound will be sweeter than if they are tuned in thirds or fifths. The tension should be rather slack. The ends of the box[Pg 311] should be raised about an inch above the strings to support a thin pine board upon which the window rests. The draught of air passes over the strings stretched midway between the upper board and the sound-board, which should have two round holes cut in it. The harp will sound sweeter if placed in a window which is struck obliquely by the wind.
Charlie Cubbery, Lizzie Brown, Blanche T. S., Grace Roberts, Lizzie Falconer, and M. M. Coleman write pretty stories of gold-fish, canaries, turtles, goats, and other pets, which we sincerely regret we have no room to print.
My first is in swine, but not in cow.
My second is in quarrel, but not in row.
My third is in rip, but not in tear.
My fourth is in pretty, but not in fair.
My fifth is in herb, but not in root.
My sixth is in inch, but not in foot.
My seventh is in rake, but not in hoe.
My eighth is in yes, but not in no.
My whole is a precious stone.
First, not any. Second, a part of a stove. Third, necessity. Fourth, extremities.
A consonant. A pronoun. A dwelling. Utility. A vowel.
Cunning. Something always found on board of ships. An article used in soap-making. A girl's name. Something good to eat. A number. The name of a large river. Answer—Capitals of two of the United States.
Johnny R. G.
I am composed of 19 letters.
My 9, 7, 3, 5, 10 is an animal.
My 19, 15, 16 is a problem.
My 2, 4, 6 is to strike.
My 16, 4, 1, 10 are small animals.
My 8, 7, 6 is an article of kitchen furniture.
My 14, 18, 16, 17, 10, 11 is used in building.
My 12, 13, 6 is a small bed.
My whole is the name of an eminent navigator.
First, parts of the fingers. Second, a girl's name. Third, the name of a line of ocean steamers. Fourth, deceivers. Fifth, understanding.
Harry Van A.
Rio do la Plata.
A Personation, on page 264—Charles the First of England.
Favors are acknowledged from A. A. Gilmore, Jun., Bessie Comstock, J. A. Bokee, Roscoe C., Thad and Jennie V., Pearl L. M., Willie MacMahan, Richard Graham, H. B. N., M. H. Tod., Grace Putnam, Bessie T., L. A. Barry, William B. B., Louis Pomeroy, H. S. T., Mary L. B., Barton Scales, C. D. H., Willie Everett, Bertie Wheeler, S. M. Nelson, Nick O. D., Clara Commons, Maggie Zane, Mary Maxey, Edith Cragg, Abbie Parkhurst, Arthur Ellis, James Penner, Fannie Hartwell, Ada Hathaway, Arthur Jones, Beatrice Gower, Jessie Evans, Vince Applegate, Sallie Walton, H. A. Forster, G. C. Leiber, Beecher Stephens, L. C. M., Fred Anderson, Jessie Kelsey.
Correct answers to puzzles are received from Herbert Parmenter, C. H. Gilson, H. and B., Lulu Pearce, Mary Nesmith, A. L. Bliss, A. H. Bechtold, C. F. Langton, "Blind Floretta," Aggie R. H., Charlie A. P., Louise Gates, "Jupiter," Isabel and Marion Copeland, Johnny Glen, May S., John Blake, Fannie and Belle M., Gertrude H., Stella and Harry M., James Smith, E. S. Robinson, F. B., Jennie S., Effie Talboys, C. Frank H., "Sleepy Dick," Willie Kurtz, Helen Mackay, Florence MacCulley, George Duncan, Fannie MacCulley, Edward Keeler, John G. M., John MacClintock, Stella, William Lewis, Mary Liddy, Mary Randal, Mabel Hatfield, Marguerite Bucknall, G. C., Charlie Rosenberg.
Harper's Young People will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at the following rates—payable in advance, postage free:
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HARPER & BROTHERS,
Franklin Square, N. Y.
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The best compilation of songs for the children that we have ever seen.—New Bedford Mercury.
This is a large collection of songs for the nursery, for childhood, for boys and for girls, and sacred songs for all. The range of subjects is a wide one, and the book is handsomely illustrated.—Philadelphia Ledger.
It contains some of the most beautiful thoughts for children that ever found vent in poesy, and beautiful "pictures to match."—Chicago Evening Journal.
An excellent anthology of juvenile poetry, covering the whole range of English and American literature.—Independent, N. Y.
Songs for the nursery, songs for childhood, for girlhood, boyhood, and sacred songs—the whole melody of childhood and youth bound in one cover. Full of lovely pictures; sweet mother and baby faces; charming bits of scenery, and the dear old Bible story-telling pictures.—Churchman, N. Y.
Square 4to, about 300 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50 per volume.
With Sixty Illustrations by Harrison Weir.
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Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations by Harrison Weir.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. Harvey.
With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. Harvey.
The Thousand and One Nights; or, The Arabian Nights' Entertainments. Translated and Arranged for Family Reading, with Explanatory Notes, by E. W. Lane. 600 Illustrations by Harvey. 2 vols., 12mo, Cloth, $3.50.
The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner. By Daniel Defoe. With a Biographical Account of Defoe. Illustrated by Adams. Complete Edition. 12mo, Cloth, $1.50.
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The History of Sandford and Merton. By Thomas Day. 18mo, Half Bound, 75 cents.
Re-arrange this picture so as to get a rustic group out of it. It is left to your own ingenuity to find out of what the group consists.
Figs and raisins seem very queer things to make an Indian of; but with a bit of wire, two figs, a handful of raisins, a few feathers, a dash of red and blue paint, a piece of red flannel, and two beads, a very savage old fellow can be produced.
Take a piece of fine wire fourteen or fifteen inches long, and draw it through a round, plump fig, pushing the fig to the middle; bend the wire together, and slip one large raisin on the double wire, close to the fig: now we have the head and neck. Spread the wires, and put through a fig larger than the head, for the body; fill both wires with raisins, for the legs, turning up the length of one for the feet; pass a piece of wire three or four inches long through the upper part of the body fig, and string both ends with raisins, which makes the arms, with a turn on the ends for the hands. Stick a few feathers around the head (a duster can be robbed for the purpose), set black or white beads for eyes (peas or beans have a very startling effect when large eyes are required). Make use of your paint-box for mouth, nose, brows, war-paint, etc., according to taste, pin a square of bright flannel about the shoulders, and you have an alarmingly startling likeness of a Pi-ute chief. A boy handy with his penknife can add a wooden tomahawk.
Apple seeds can be converted into the "cutest little mice imaginable by following these directions:
With a fine needle draw black sewing silk through the pointed end of a good fat apple seed, and clip it short enough to appear a proper length for ears; then with a sharp penknife shave a narrow strip from the under or flat side of the seed, and turn it out at the other end for the tail. Now pass the needle through a white card, and through the seed near the tail, and again through the card, and draw down snugly to the card; repeat the same at the ear end, and the little chap stands on all fours, a very realistic mouse. Two or three tiny muslin bags, filled with cotton, marked, "The malt that lay in the house that Jack built," and sewed on one corner of the card, with half a dozen or so of these miniature pests headed toward it, furnish a very unique trifle, the making of which will give an hour's pleasure.
The Tramp Puzzle given in Young People No. 20 is solved as follows: The dotted line A B indicates the cut you are to make with the scissors. The brim of the man's hat, his pipe, and his nose will fit into the spaces C, D, and E. The other piece off the hat represents the sea-cow. The few lines marked F represent the reflection of the sea-cow in the water.
Tricking Bruin.—The Laps and Finns have an idea that when they kill an animal it has the power of haunting them if it condescends to take that advantage. When therefore they have slain a bear, they surround the body and utter loud lamentations; expressive of the deepest regret. Presently one of them asks, in pitying tones, "Who killed thee, poor creature? Who destroyed thy beautiful life?" Another of the party replies on behalf of the bear, "It was the wicked Swede who lives across the mountain!" And there is a chorus of "What a cruel deed! What a dreadful crime!"