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Title: Charlie and His Puppy Bingo

Author: Helen Hill

Violet Maxwell

Release date: May 16, 2021 [eBook #65360]

Language: English

Credits: Charlene Taylor, David E. Brown, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



Charlie and His Puppy Bingo


MACMILLAN & CO., Limited






New York

All rights reserved


Copyright, 1923,

Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1923.

A. T. M. M.


The authors have made every effort to write these little stories in language that will be intelligible to very little children.

They have observed that it is much easier to hold a small child’s attention when telling stories, rather than when reading them aloud. So they have tried to put these stories in informal English, using frequent repetitions, with here and there an interesting long word, and italicizing words on which emphasis is to be laid, their object being to write the stories as they would be told.


I Bingo Comes to Live with Charlie 1
II Charlie Learns the Traffic Laws 13
III How Bingo Lost His Spots 28
IV Charlie Rides on the Engine of a Real Train 41
V Bingo and the Angry Rooster 56
VI Charlie Delivers Mail for the Stage Driver 67
VII Charlie Makes a Pool and Sails His Boat 87
VIII Charlie Builds a Real House out of Brick 104
IX Bingo Learns to Come When He Is Called 120
X What Charlie Did on a Rainy Day 135


Charlie Frontispiece
The puppy drank all the milk Opposite 10
Bingo had to travel in the baggage car Facing 43
The rooster kept Bingo a prisoner 63
Charlie blew a tremendous blast 77
Charlie and the stage driver talk together 81
The boat sailed beautifully 99
Charlie watched the builders Opposite 107
One of the strange boys held Bingo Facing 129
Charlie made three villages Opposite 143


Charlie and His Puppy Bingo


Charlie was a little boy who lived with his Mother and his Daddy and his Auntie in a house in the city. The house had a big yard all around it, where Charlie liked to play.

A cat called Jane and her kitten Topsy also lived in the house. Topsy and Charlie were great friends and they played together all day long. Jane sometimes played with them too, but Jane was a cat who loved little babies, both baby cats and baby humans, and she was sad because Charlie was growing to be a big little boy, and Topsy was a big little kitten—so big that he could wash himself and it would have been ab-surd for Jane to go on washing him when he was such a big little kitten!



ONE morning Charlie woke up suddenly because his kitten Topsy had jumped on his bed and was tickling him under the chin!

Charlie woke up, and somehow he felt different—he felt most awfully old—and then he remembered why!

“I’m five years old!” he shouted and jumped out of bed. With Topsy on his[2] shoulder, he ran downstairs to the kitchen where his Mother and his Auntie were getting breakfast ready.

“I’m five years old!” he shouted again, and jumped into his Mother’s arms. “I’m a great big boy now.”

His Mother said, “Yes, indeed, you are a great big boy now, think of it! It takes all the fingers of one hand to tell how old you are!” And his Mother hugged him hard and his Auntie hugged him hard too and they both wished him “Many happy returns of the day.”

Then Charlie ran upstairs again and started to dress himself. He could dress himself quite easily, but sometimes when he was lazy he would pretend that he could not and call out for his Auntie to button him up.

But as he was five years old to-day Charlie was going to show everybody what a big boy he was. So he brushed his hair and cleaned[3] his teeth and buttoned all the buttons and came out of his room at the same time as his Daddy came out of his.

Oh, what a big boy you are!” said his Daddy. “I can hardly lift you.” But he did lift him all the same and carried him down the stairs and into the dining room on top of his shoulder!

And when they got into the dining room Charlie scrambled all down his Daddy without waiting to be put down—for there were the most ex-cit-ing looking parcels on the table beside his plate, and one of them was so e-nor-mous that it took up half the room on the table!

Charlie could not wait one minute, he started right away to take the wrapping paper off the great, e-nor-mous parcel.

It was tied with blue ribbons just like the other parcels, for all that it was so e-nor-mous. Charlie pulled and he tugged and at last the wrapping paper was all off.[4] And what do you think it was? You never can guess! No one could ever guess that such a thing could be on the breakfast table beside a little boy’s plate, even though it was the little boy’s birthday and he was five years old. It was an automobile! Yes, it was an automobile that Charlie could sit in and pedal with his feet, and it would go just like a real automobile. Charlie’s Daddy lifted it to the floor and Charlie ex-am-ined it all over. It had real lights and a wind shield and a steering gear. It was the most beautiful automobile that any little boy ever had!

There were a lot of other parcels beside his plate, and they were all interesting. There was a new suit for Charlie, and it was a sailor suit, just like those that big boys wear. It had a lanyard and a whistle, and it had a red stripe and an emblem on the sleeves. Then there were two new cars for his electric train, and a pair of scissors[5] with blunt edges, so that Charlie could cut things out himself and not always have to ask his Mother or his Auntie to do it for him. There was an express wagon that he could haul stones and grass in, and there was a new battery for his flashlight!

Charlie was still looking at all his beautiful presents, when there came a ring at the door and a loud whistle. It was the postman! Charlie ran to the front door and opened it. And he said to the postman, “I am five years old, and I’ve got an automobile and a whistle just like yours, and a lot of other things.”

And the postman said, “I thought that you had grown a lot taller since I saw you yesterday. It’s fine that you have got a whistle like mine. There is nothing to prevent you from being a postman yourself now, is there? Then you can carry your own mail. Look what a lot of letters I[6] have brought this morning—and they are all for you!”

Yes, indeed, the postman was right, all the letters were for Charlie, and every letter had a beautiful card in it wishing him “Many happy returns of the day.” And there was a letter from Uncle Jim; it had a whole dollar bill in it, and the dollar bill was for Charlie! Yes, the dollar bill was all for Charlie, and his Mother said that she would take him down to the stores and he might buy whatever he liked with it.

Then his Daddy said, “What are you going to buy with the dollar?”

And Charlie said, “I am going to buy a present for Mother and a present for Auntie and a present for you, then we will all have presents on my birthday!”

Well, it took such a long time opening all his presents and looking at all his birthday cards that it seemed as if Charlie would not get any breakfast at all that day. But at[7] last he had all his presents spread out on the table in front of him, so that he could look at them while he was eating his breakfast; that is, all except the automobile, and that was on the floor beside his chair.

At last he finished his breakfast and he went into the kitchen to give Jane and Topsy their breakfast, when—what do you think? Jane wasn’t there! No, Jane was not in the kitchen at all, or in the dining room, or upstairs in any of the bedrooms, nor was she in the yard. Jane had ab-so-lute-ly disappeared!

Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie called, “Jane, Jane, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!” all over the house and all over the yard, but no Jane came.

Never before had Jane been late for breakfast, but now that she did not come Topsy had to have breakfast all by himself.

Charlie felt very sad that Jane had disappeared[8] on his birthday. He loved Jane very much, nearly as much as he loved Topsy. He sat down on the floor and began to play with his new toys, but every few minutes he got up and went to the window to see if Jane was coming back. Yes, Charlie went to the window three, four, five times, and there was no Jane. The sixth time that Charlie looked out of the window, what do you think he saw? He saw Jane coming down the garden path, and she was carrying something in her mouth. It was something big and heavy, four times as big as a mouse! It was so big and heavy that Jane had to drag it along the ground.

Charlie rushed to the door and called out, “Mother! Auntie! Come quick! Jane has come back and she has something e-nor-mous in her mouth AND IT’S ALIVE!”

Then he opened the front door just as Jane reached it, and Jane dropped the thing[9] that she was carrying in her mouth. What do you think it was?

You never can guess. IT WAS A LITTLE, TINY PUPPY! Yes, a little baby puppy, so little that it could hardly walk!

Jane had been so sad at not having any baby kitten to play with any more, now that Topsy had grown to be such a big kitten, that she had found a baby puppy instead, and she had brought it home on Charlie’s birthday so that it could be Charlie’s puppy too.

Oh, but Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie were excited! They picked up the baby puppy and they stroked Jane and told her what a good cat she was.

Then Charlie’s Auntie took the puppy into the kitchen and tried to feed him with some warm milk, but he was so little that he had not learned how to drink yet!

So Charlie’s Mother said, “I will go to[10] the toy shop, and I will buy a doll’s baby bottle. Perhaps the puppy will be able to drink out of that.”

And she did. Yes, Charlie’s Mother put on her hat and coat and she went to the toy shop. She was not gone five minutes. She hurried so fast, because she was afraid that the puppy might be hungry.

When Charlie’s mother came back with the doll’s baby bottle his Auntie heated some nice warm milk and put it in the bottle, and the puppy sucked and sucked just like a baby. Yes, he sucked and sucked until he had drunk all the milk that was in the bottle!

Then Charlie’s Mother put the puppy into Jane’s basket and Jane got in also and the puppy snuggled up close to her and went to sleep.

The Puppy Drank All the Milk

Topsy was so interested in the baby puppy that he tried to get into the basket also, but there was no room for him. So he sat outside the basket and every now and[11] then he patted the puppy with his paw, but very gently so as not to wake him.

When Charlie’s Daddy came home in the evening, he was most interested and most excited to hear that Jane had brought a puppy home to live with them.

He said to Charlie, “What are you going to call the puppy? Of course, he is really Jane’s puppy, but I think Jane means him to be partly yours, as she brought him home to you on your birthday. Anyway, Jane cannot choose a name for him that we would understand.”

So Charlie thought for a minute. Then he said, “I think I will call the puppy Bingo. The iceman has a dog and his name is Bingo. I think he is such a nice man, and Bingo is a beautiful name.”

Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie and his Daddy thought it a beautiful name too, so the puppy was called Bingo. He slept in a basket with Jane and Topsy, for Charlie’s[12] Auntie got another basket that was big enough for the three of them. And he took his meals out of the doll’s baby bottle. Jane washed him all day long and she was as happy, as happy could be, now that she had a darling little baby of her own again. In fact she was as happy as if it was her birthday instead of Charlie’s.



NOW that Charlie had an automobile, you may be sure that he drove in it every single day—that is every day that the sun was shining, for, of course, he could not drive in the automobile when it was raining!

In the mornings, when his Mother and his Auntie were busy in the house, Charlie used to drive up and down the garden path; but in the afternoons, when his Mother and his[14] Auntie went for a walk, he drove beside them in his automobile, and Bingo always came too.

Bingo was growing to be a big little puppy—he no longer drank his milk out of a bottle. Oh, dear, no! Bingo could lap up his milk as well as any grown-up dog. He had a saucer to himself just like Topsy and Jane, and Charlie gave him his breakfast every morning and his dinner and his supper at the same time that he gave Jane and Topsy theirs.

You may be sure that Charlie enjoyed driving in his automobile with Bingo prancing beside him. But though Charlie drove his automobile every morning and every afternoon, he did not really know how to drive it at all! No indeed! Charlie always wanted to pedal so fast that he paid no attention to his steering, and the automobile went wiggly, wiggly all over the place. When he was driving in the garden Charlie[15] never could keep to the path, he would pedal so fast that the automobile would run up on the grass and into the flower beds. And when he was out on the sidewalk with his Mother and his Auntie, the automobile would zigzag from left to right and from right to left in a most pe-cul-iar way.

His Mother and his Auntie said to him again and again, “Don’t pedal so fast, Charlie. Go slower and try to steer properly, some day you will crash into a lamppost and maybe break your automobile all to pieces.” But Charlie did not listen. He just went on pedaling as fast as ever he could and paid no attention to his steering at all.

One day his Mother and his Auntie were walking along the sidewalk and Charlie was driving in front in his automobile, while Bingo pranced along, sometimes beside Charlie, and sometimes running back to see what Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie were[16] doing. Charlie was pedaling away as fast as ever he could and his automobile was going wiggly, wiggly all over the sidewalk.

Quite a little way in front, an old gentleman was walking, and he was on the outer edge of the sidewalk, as was right and proper for him to be. He was looking at his newspaper and he did not know that Charlie was driving toward him, paying no[17] attention to his steering and zigzagging from left to right and from right to left again—when suddenly, Charlie’s automobile went crash! Bang! straight into the old gentleman! That was dreadful!

The old gentleman stopped short, and, when he had got his breath, he said, “Don’t you know that automobiles should keep to the right? Or is it possible that you are driving an automobile and don’t know the traffic laws?”

Of course Charlie apologized very politely to the old gentleman for bumping into him, and then he had to say that he knew nothing about the traffic laws at all. This made Charlie feel very much ashamed.

“Dear me!” said the old gentleman. “That is the most extraordinary thing I ever heard! To own an automobile, and not to know the traffic laws!”

By this time Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie had come up and it was very surprising—the[18] old gentleman seemed to know them both very well. He shook hands with them both and said, “This young man has just been telling me that he does not know the traffic laws, though I have often watched him out of my window driving his automobile, and the way he zigzags up and down the pavement would be enough for him to have his license taken away if a policeman were to see him!”

Charlie felt very sad when he heard this. He had a beautiful license number on the back of his automobile and he thought it would be a dreadful thing if a policeman were to take it away because he did not know the traffic laws.

Then the old gentleman said, “I have an automobile of my own, and it is a big one that runs with gasoline. I would be very glad to take you for a drive this afternoon and teach you every traffic law there is, if your Mother will let you come with me. I[19] live quite near here, so we could start right away.”

Of course Charlie’s Mother said at once that she would be delighted if the old gentleman, whose name was Mr. Armstrong, would take Charlie for a drive in his automobile.

Suddenly Bingo, who had been jumping around as usual, went straight up to Mr. Armstrong and stood up on his hind legs as if begging to go too.

Then Mr. Armstrong said, “Is that your puppy?” And Charlie said, “NO, that is my dog. His name is Bingo! He does not like to be called a puppy. May he come with us too?”

Mr. Armstrong looked doubtful. He said, “Bingo looks very much like a puppy to me, and puppies are apt to get into mischief; but if you are careful to keep him on his leash and hold on tightly to him, you may take him with us.”

[20]You may be sure that Charlie felt very much excited at the thought of driving in a real automobile and learning the traffic laws just like a grown-up person.

He and his Mother and his Auntie went home and put Charlie’s automobile in the back hall while Mr. Armstrong went round to his garage to get his automobile. Soon he drove up in it and Charlie climbed in, holding Bingo firmly by the leash so that he should not get into mischief.

Mr. Armstrong said that they had better drive downtown as there was such a lot of traffic there and Charlie would be able to watch the policeman handle the traffic. On the way Mr. Armstrong told Charlie all about the traffic laws and the reason for every one. He told him how an automobile must never pass a street car when it has stopped to let off passengers, and how an automobile driver must always hold his arm out when he is going round a corner, so that[21] people crossing the street can see in which direction he is going.

It was all very interesting and Charlie kept a strict lookout to see if all the automobiles they passed were observing the traffic laws.

At last they reached the business section of the city, where there are so many automobiles and street cars and carts that a[22] policeman has always to stand in the middle of the road to direct the traffic; otherwise people would never be able to cross the street in safety at all.

Charlie thought that the policeman looked very grand standing all by himself in the middle of the road. And whenever he blew his whistle, either the crosstown traffic or the uptown and downtown traffic in turn was stopped, as if by magic, to let the other have the right of way. Then the people on the sidewalk all crossed together in a crowd, for they knew that the automobiles and street cars would not go on again until the policeman blew his whistle.

When Mr. Armstrong wanted to stop outside a shop and it was on the left side of the street, he drove all the way to the next corner and he waited there until the policeman could let him turn his car around and drive back so that the shop was on his right and he could stop his car close to the[23] sidewalk just in front of the shop. It was a confectioner’s shop and they both went in and Mr. Armstrong ordered chocolate and sponge cake for them both. It was delicious! While they were in the confectioner’s Bingo was left tied up in the automobile. He did not like it at all and he called out “Yap, yap, yap!” at the top of his lungs until Charlie and Mr. Armstrong came back.

At last it was time to go home. When they had driven into the main street again and Charlie was turning his head this way and that, so as not to miss a single thing that was going on, he was so interested that he forgot all about Bingo. Indeed, he almost let go of his leash, he was holding it so loosely—when, suddenly, what do you think? Bingo gave one yank at the leash and jumped right out of the automobile! Yes, he did!

All the automobiles were slowing up for[24] the crossing, and the policeman was standing quite close, but at any moment he might signal for them to go on again.

It was dreadfully dangerous for Bingo to be all by himself in the middle of that crowded street with automobiles and street cars, and carts and trucks all moving along. Charlie was so frightened that he called out, “Mr. Policeman, Mr. Policeman!” and the policeman looked at him, and he saw Bingo at the same moment and guessed what had happened.

He blew his whistle three times, and all the automobiles stopped, those going uptown and downtown, and those going crosstown, they all stopped immediately. Then the policeman tried to catch Bingo, but he was so frightened that he crawled right under an automobile, and he would not come out when the policeman called him.

So the policeman came up to Charlie and said, “You had better come along with me.[25] If you call your dog, he will know your voice and come out when you call him.”

Charlie took the policeman’s hand and they went in and out among the automobiles and carts and trucks and busses, which were all standing perfectly still, till they came to the automobile under which Bingo was hiding. When Bingo saw Charlie and heard him call “Bingo, Bingo!” he came crawling out and he was so glad to see Charlie that he jumped high in the air, wagging his tail and barking, “Yap, yap, yap!”

As soon as Charlie and Bingo were safe in Mr. Armstrong’s automobile, the policeman blew his whistle and all the traffic, which had been held up to rescue Bingo, started again. And Charlie held Bingo as tight as ever he could, so that he should not jump out again. But I don’t think that Bingo would have done so, even if he could have, he had been so frightened when he was hiding under the automobile, with so many[26] trucks and carts and cars around him. And he was right to be frightened, for he would have been in great danger if the policeman had not blown his whistle just at the right moment.

And now Charlie knew for himself how very important the traffic laws are, for if one single automobile had disobeyed the policeman when he blew three blasts on his whistle and had not stopped immediately, Bingo might have been run over!

So, ever after that, when Charlie was in his automobile he was always careful to follow every one of the traffic laws that he had learned.

He never pedaled faster than he could steer, and he always kept on the right side of the pavement so as not to run into people by accident. When he came to a corner, he always stretched out his arm to show the direction he was going in. And, when a street car stopped in the middle of the[27] road to let off passengers, Charlie always stopped too, until it had gone on again.

Yes, Charlie followed the traffic laws so carefully that the policeman, who always stood at the Park gate, noticed it; and he said to him one day, “As soon as you are sixteen years old, you can come to me, and I will see that you get a license to drive a real automobile. If everybody obeyed the traffic laws as well as you do, there would never be any accidents at all.”



BINGO was a nice little puppy and a dear little puppy. He played with Charlie and Topsy all day long. He frisked around and barked “Yap, yap,” for though he was getting to be a big little puppy, he could not yet say “Bow-wow,” though you may be sure he tried to over and over again.

Charlie and Topsy and Bingo had lots of fun playing together and, when Charlie was[29] playing with them, Topsy and Bingo were always good; but sometimes, when Topsy and Bingo played alone together, they were as bad as bad could be and got into all kinds of mischief—especially Bingo.

Yes, Bingo could think up the naughtiest things to do! He liked to dig in the flower beds and bury bits of sticks that he pretended were bones. That was lots of fun for Bingo but very bad for the flowers! And he liked to go into people’s bedrooms and hide their bedroom slippers so that they could not find them anywhere.

But most of all he liked to eat up the carpet in the dining room. Oh, my goodness! What fun Bingo did have with that carpet! He would hold one corner in his mouth and he would waggle his tail and scrabble with his paws and he would growl and growl and he would chew at that carpet till the wonder was he did not chew it all up.

[30]Yes, Bingo thought up all these naughty things to do when he was playing by himself and he also tried to imitate the things that Topsy did.

Topsy was very fond of climbing, and he could climb beautifully. He hardly ever knocked anything down. No indeed! Topsy could jump straight on to the mantelpiece and walk among the ornaments and not knock a single one down!

Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie did not like Topsy to do this. They were afraid that some day he might throw something down—but he never did. Bingo thought that he would love to be able to climb like that. He looked at Topsy with admiring eyes and this made Topsy all the more anxious to show off.

Sometimes Topsy would climb up the dining room curtains all the way to the top, and that made Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie very angry, because his little sharp[31] claws made scratches on the curtains. Then they would shake them hard so that Topsy would have to climb down. He would not learn that he must not do it again.

For Topsy loved to show off. He knew that he could climb better than anybody in the house and so he wanted to do it all the time, and the more he did it the more Bingo wanted to show Topsy that he could climb as well. But of course he could not.

One reason was that Bingo could not jump as high as Topsy. A little dog never can jump as high as a kitten. They are not made that way. So when Bingo wanted to climb he had to scramble up with his paws and he always knocked against something or other which would come down with a crash and a bang and somebody would say, “Oh, you bad Bingo, you have broken something again!” It was very discouraging.

One day Charlie and his Mother and his[32] Auntie had gone out. They had gone downtown to do some shopping so they had decided to leave Bingo at home, as one cannot very well take a little dog into a department store.

So Topsy and Bingo were left all alone with nobody to look after them but Jane, and she was not much good, as she was feeling very sleepy and had gone up to the attic to sleep undisturbed.

Topsy and Bingo decided that they would have a glorious time with nobody to interfere with them, no matter what mischief they might be up to.

[33]First they went into the dining room and they had a grand time playing with the rug. This, as you know, was one of Bingo’s favorite games and he showed Topsy ex-act-ly how to play it—how you pretend that the rug is a wild animal, and how you grab the end in your mouth and kick and scrabble with your paws and growl in a low and dreadful voice. Topsy thought that this was a grand game. He liked the growling part especially. You should have heard the ferocious growls that Topsy made. Bingo felt quite frightened, although he knew it was only in fun.

When they got tired of that game, they went into the kitchen to see what interesting things they could find to do there. And, of course, Topsy began to climb—yes, he climbed up on everything in the kitchen except on the kitchen stove. He was too wise a kitten to do that. He climbed up on to the window sill and on to the table and on to[34] the sink. Then he jumped up on to the kitchen dresser and climbed to the very top shelf, where he walked in and out among the plates, and yet he did not knock a single one down! Every now and then Topsy looked down at Bingo and tossed his head, as if to say, “Don’t you wish you could do it, too?” Bingo was wild with excitement. He jumped up on his hind legs and barked, “Yap, yap, yap!” in his funny, hoarse little voice.

At last he determined that he would climb up on the kitchen dresser, too. Yes, he would climb up to the very top shelf and show Topsy that he could climb, too!

There was a chair close to the kitchen dresser and Bingo first managed to climb up on that, then he scrambled up on to the dresser. He felt very proud when he looked down to the floor and saw what a height he had climbed to. Topsy was still up on[35] the top shelf looking down at him with his head on one side.

Bingo then stood up on his hind legs and he put his paws up on the next shelf—but, oh, dear! Bingo was unlucky again! He knocked against a big, round, white tin that had FLOUR written on it in gold letters. And it toppled right over!—yes, it toppled right over and banged Bingo on the head,[36] and a lot of white, powdery stuff fell all over him and got in his eyes. It was awful!

Poor Bingo did not want to climb any more. He jumped straight off the kitchen dresser on to the floor, and he ran out of the kitchen with his little short tail hanging down. He went into the living room and hid under the sofa—poor Bingo was feeling very unhappy and he wanted to be alone.

Soon he heard the front door open and he heard Charlie’s voice in the hall. Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie had come home.

Charlie said, “Oh, Mother, look at those funny white tracks all along the floor. What do you think they can be?”

His Mother and his Auntie looked, and they said, “How extraordinary! They look like Bingo’s footprints. I wonder what he can have been up to.”

[37]Then Bingo himself came running out into the hall to meet Charlie. He had forgotten his troubles and he jumped up in the air and barked, “Yap, yap, yap,” he was so glad that Charlie had come home again. But when Charlie saw Bingo, he called out in amazement, “Mother, Auntie, look! What has happened to Bingo! He has lost his spots!”

And it was true. Bingo had lost all his spots! He had lost the black spot on his head, and the ones on his ears, and the big black spot on his back, and the little black spot on the end of his stumpy tail! Yes, Bingo was now white all over without a particle of black anywhere.

“What have you done to yourself?” said Charlie as he picked him up. Bingo tried to tell him all about it, as he wriggled and barked and tried to lick Charlie’s face. And—lo and behold! the black spots began to show again, first the one on Bingo’s[38] head, then the ones on his ears, then the big one on his back, and last of all the little one on his tail. But now it was Charlie who was white—yes, he was white all down the front of his coat!

Then Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie followed Bingo’s little white tracks to where they came from. They wanted to discover what in the world Bingo had been doing to get himself white all over. Yes, they followed the tracks all the way to the kitchen, and there they found the tin of flour lying on the floor near the dresser—and then they knew what Bingo had been doing while they were out.

Oh, how Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie did laugh at the idea of poor, fat, little Bingo trying to climb up on the kitchen dresser, and knocking the tin of flour all over himself! But they were sorry for Bingo, too, because they knew how it must have frightened him.

[39]So Charlie’s Auntie found Bingo’s brush, and she took him out into the back yard and brushed all the rest of the flour off him—all that wasn’t on the carpet or the kitchen floor or on Charlie’s coat! And Charlie’s Mother swept up the flour in the kitchen, and swept the tracks on the living-room carpet, and she gave Charlie a whisk broom to brush off the front of his coat. And then she went to the ice box and got a little bone, and she gave it to Bingo to comfort him.

So Bingo was happy again after all his troubles—but never again did he try to climb up on high pieces of furniture, no matter how perky Topsy looked at him and tried to egg him on. No, Bingo was a wise little dog now, and when Topsy climbed up on the mantelpiece and looked down at him, tossing his head as much as to say, “Don’t you wish you could climb like me?” Bingo would jump in the air and bark, “Yap,[40] yap!” Then he would stand up on his hind legs and beg—and that was one thing that Topsy did not know how to do!



ONE day Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie and Topsy and Bingo and Jane went to stay in the country.

It was a very interesting place where they were going to stay in the country. What do you think? It was the place where Charlie’s Daddy had lived when he was a little boy!

Yes, that is where they were going, and, as it was a Saturday, Charlie’s Daddy was going with them, too. He was not going to live with them in the country, because on weekdays he had to go to the office every day. But he said that he would come down every Saturday and stay in the country till Sunday night.

[42]So they all went to the railway station in a taxicab. Jane traveled in a cat basket and Charlie’s Auntie carried her. Topsy also traveled in a cat basket and Charlie’s Mother carried him, but Bingo had to travel in the baggage car and he had a ticket all to himself because he was a dog. Charlie thought that he ought to feel very proud.

When they got to the station they all went straight through the gate to the platform, and there the train was waiting for them. It was a great e-nor-mous train with ever so many coaches. First, Charlie and his Daddy took Bingo to the baggage car, and the baggage man fastened Bingo’s leash to the end of a trunk and promised Charlie to be good to Bingo.

Then they all got into the day car, and the train gave a loud whistle and steamed out of the station. My goodness! how fast it went! Everything just seemed to go flying past.


Bingo had to travel in the baggage car



[45]Soon the conductor came walking down the aisle and he took everybody’s ticket. He was a very grand-looking man; he was tall, and stout, and he had a beautiful blue uniform on. He soon came to the seat where Charlie and his Daddy were sitting, and he took the tickets. Yes, the conductor took all the tickets and he stuck Charlie’s Daddy’s ticket in his hatband, but as his Mother and his Auntie had no hatbands, he stuck their tickets into the top of the seat in front of them. Then he took Charlie’s ticket, and he stuck it in Charlie’s hatband. Charlie felt very proud, and he would not take his hat off. No, he kept his hat on all the time because he wanted everybody to see that he had a ticket in his hatband just like all the other men.

Then Charlie said to his Daddy, “Daddy, what ex-act-ly makes the train go?”

And his Daddy said, “It’s the steam that makes the engine work, and it is the engineer[46] and the fireman who look after the steam and the engine.” Then Charlie said, “What I want to know is ex-act-ly what the fireman and the engineer do when they are making the engine go.”

But what do you think? His Daddy did not know ex-act-ly what they did—he said that he had never ridden on an engine in his life, so how could he know what they did? And Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie did not know either. That was very surprising.

Well, after they had been in the big train for about a whole hour, they came to a station where there were a lot of tracks. This station was called a junction, because there were so many tracks.

Some of the tracks went to the North and some to the South and some to the East and some to the West. The train that Charlie and his Daddy and his Auntie and his Mother were on was going toward the West; but now they wanted to go to the[47] North, so they had to change trains and go on a train that was going toward the North.

The train was already waiting on its own track. It was a very little train, it had only two coaches!

Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie and Jane and Topsy got into the train, and they took Bingo with them, because, as it was such a little unimportant train, the conductor said that Bingo could travel in the day coach instead of being tied up in the baggage car, and Bingo was very glad. But Charlie and his Daddy waited on the platform till it was time for the train to start, and they looked at all the interesting things about them.

Then a man came up. He wore overalls and a peaked cap. And—you never can guess who it was? It was the fireman who helped work the engine of the train they were going to take. And what do you think? The fireman knew Charlie’s Daddy! Yes, the fireman came up to them, and said[48] to his Daddy, “Hello, Bob!” Bob was his Daddy’s name that his Mother and his Auntie always called him! And his Daddy said, “Why—Hello, Bill,” and they shook hands.

Charlie was very much surprised that the fireman and his Daddy knew each other, but it was not so very surprising after all. The fireman lived in the village where Charlie’s Daddy had lived when he was a little boy, and where Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie were going to live for a whole month, and his Daddy and the fireman had gone to the same school when they were little boys!

Well, the fireman then looked at Charlie, and he said, “And is this your boy?”

Then Charlie’s Daddy said, “Yes, this is Charlie, and you are the very man he wants to meet. Charlie wants to know ex-act-ly what the fireman and the engineer do to make the train go—and he can’t find anybody[49] who knows. So go ahead and tell him all about it.”

But the fireman said, “I can do better than that. Suppose you and Charlie take a ride on the engine with me; then he can see everything with his own eyes, and learn all there is to know in case he wants to be a fireman himself.”

Yes, the fireman ac-tu-al-ly said those words! And Charlie’s Daddy said, “That will be fine. I’ll just go and tell Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie what has become of us, so that they won’t worry.”

And he did so. Then the fireman, and Charlie and his Daddy all got into the cab, which is back of the engine, where the engineer and the fireman sit.

The engineer was already sitting in his place, which is on the right of the cab. He was very pleased to meet Charlie and his Daddy, but he said that after the train had started he would not be able to speak a word[50] to anybody, and nobody must speak to him. Yes, nobody must ever speak to the engineer when he is driving the engine, because if anybody spoke to the engineer it might distract his attention and then the train might be wrecked!

All the time that the train is going the engineer has to sit on his seat with his hand on the throttle, which is the thing that makes the train stop in a hurry, and all the time he has to look out of the window to see what the signals say, and to see that there is nothing on the track ahead of him.

If he sees a green signal on the signal post that means that the engine can go straight ahead, but if the signal is red, then it means “Stop”—and the engineer presses on the throttle, and the train stops.

The engineer told all this to Charlie while they were waiting for the train to start. Then the engineer got the signal from the man on the platform; he blew the whistle,[51] and the train started, and he could not say another word.

Well, the fireman’s place is on the left side of the cab, and Charlie’s Daddy sat between him and the window, and Charlie sat on his Daddy’s knee.

The fireman has to work very hard, but when he is not working he can talk if he wants to. This fireman was very kind, and, when he was not working, he explained everything to Charlie and his Daddy—but all the time he was ex-plain-ing he had to keep looking out of the window, too, in case he should see anything that the engineer did not see. There are a great many windows in the cab of an engine—it has windows all round, because it is so very important that the engineer and the fireman shall see all that there is to see.

Well, I will now tell you what the fireman was doing all the time that Charlie and his Daddy were riding on the engine with him.

[52]In front of the fireman was the steam gauge, which is a round thing like a clock, and it has a hand like a clock hand, too, and the steam makes the hand move—so that you can see how much steam is coming out of the boiler. When the steam is getting low the hand drops, and when the hand of the gauge drops to 150 the fireman knows it is time to put more coal in the fire box.

Every time that the hand of the gauge dropped to 150 the fireman got up and opened a little door in the back of the cab, which opened right into the fire box, so that you could see the fire all red and glowing, and the fireman scooped a great shovel full of coal into it. The fireman told Charlie that it was very important how one shovels the coal into the fire box. It has to be shoveled very evenly, so that it is not all black with coal in one place and all red hot with embers in another place. Yes, the fireman told Charlie that it needs a lot of practice[53] before one can shovel the coal in just ex-act-ly right.

Then the fireman also had to watch the water gauge, which shows how much water there is in the boiler.

When he saw by the water gauge that the water was getting low in the boiler, then the fireman had to turn a valve, which is a sort of handle that starts a pump working, and the pump pumps water into the boiler.

Charlie very much wanted to turn the valve himself, but the fireman said, “No,” that it needed a whole lot of practice before one could pump water into the tank—as it was very important just how much water to pump. If too much cold water is pumped into the boiler it might cool the water already in the boiler so that no more steam would come out—and then the train would stop!

Do you think that the fireman on an engine is a busy man? Indeed he is!

[54]But that is not all that the fireman has to do. Oh, dear, no! The fireman has a lot more work to do.

When the train is coming to a steep place—and there were a lot of steep places on the railroad that Charlie was traveling on—the fireman has to make the fire red hot, so that lots and lots of steam can come out of the boiler. He makes the fire get hotter and hotter until the steam gets so strong that the “safety valve” pops off—and this shows the engineer that there is enough steam to push the train up the steep place. Yes, you can see that it would need a lot of extra steam to push a train up a steep, high hill.

The fireman also has to blow a whistle, whenever the train comes to a crossing or to the station. And when they got to the last stop—which was the village where Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie and Bingo and Topsy and Jane were going to live for a whole month—the fireman let Charlie[55] blow the whistle himself! Yes, he did, and you should have heard what a loud whistle Charlie blew.

Well, at last they had come to the end of their journey, and Charlie certainly had learned a whole lot about engines. Yes, Charlie had learned a whole lot more than most people know. Of course he told his Mother and his Auntie about everything, so that they, too, should know all about what the fireman and the engineer do to make the train go.

And Charlie said, “Now, when I get home to the city I will be able to play with my train in just the right way. I will be able to play that I am the fireman and the engineer, and I will know ex-act-ly what they do, and I will practice and practice being a fireman so that I can be one when I grow up!”



I  TOLD you in the last story how Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie and his Daddy and Topsy and Bingo and Jane all went to the country together. And how Charlie rode on the engine, which he liked very much, but Topsy and Jane had to travel in baskets, which they did not like at all, and Bingo had to travel all by himself in the baggage car, and he did not like that either.

But when at last they arrived at the farm[57] where they were going to stay for a whole month, Charlie opened the baskets and let Jane and Topsy out, and he unfastened Bingo’s leash, and they all went exploring together. Then Jane and Topsy and Bingo were delighted. They liked the country tre-men-dous-ly, and the longer they stayed the more they liked it.

There were so many delightful things for cats and dogs to do, which they could not do in the city. Instead of long straight roads with automobiles dashing past all the time, there were fields and meadows to run around in. There were tall trees for Topsy to climb and nice muddy puddles for Bingo to roll in, and Jane could go out for long walks by herself without ever meeting anything dangerous.

Charlie always got up very early when he was in the country because he liked to see the cows milked, and Topsy and Bingo and Jane liked to see the cows milked also.[58] Charlie always carried three little bowls down to the barn, and the farmer filled them with milk straight from the cow, so that Topsy and Bingo and Jane could have their breakfast without waiting. This interested them all three very much, because they knew that at home their milk always came out of a milk bottle which had been left at the front door by the milkman.

All the time that Charlie was in the country he was allowed to run around in the fields and meadows all by himself, and of course Topsy and Bingo followed him wherever he went. It would take a whole book by itself to tell you all the delightful things that they did together.

Now, wouldn’t you think that Bingo, with all the big countryside to play in, and ever so many interesting things to do all day long, would have been able to keep out of mischief at least as long as he was in the country? But no, he could not. You see,[59] puppies nearly always are in mischief—they are made that way. So Bingo often went off by himself and thought of nice, mischievous things to do.

One of the things that Bingo liked to do more than anything else was to go and bark at the chickens. That was very naughty of him, and Charlie always stopped him when he found him doing it. But often Bingo would slip away from Charlie and dash down to the chicken house and bark, “Yap, yap, yap!” He loved to see the hens running this way and that, clucking loudly and calling all the little chickens who came running to hide themselves under their Mother’s wings. Bingo enjoyed this tremendously and never tired of the naughty game. Of course he never hurt any of the chickens or the hens. Bingo was a dear, nice, little puppy and he would never do a thing like that, but he did like to watch them running around and saying, “Cluck, cluck, cluck,[60] CLUCK!” Yes, it amused Bingo very much.

One day Charlie was busy helping the lady at the farm to make the butter. This is a very interesting thing to do. Bingo watched Charlie for a while thumping away with the dasher, but soon he got tired of watching and not doing anything himself, so he decided that he would go and play with the chickens.

He began to bark before he got there, and the hens began to cluck, cluck, cluck, and the chickens ran this way and that way and scrambled under their Mother’s wings.

Bingo was so busy with his barking that he did not notice that there was a newcomer among the hens. This was a big white rooster that the farmer had brought home from the fair the night before.

He was an ENORMOUS rooster. He had won a prize at the fair because he was so big. When Bingo jumped in among the[61] hens, they were all so scared that they ran around and said, “Cluck, cluck, cluck, CLUCK.” But the rooster was not a bit scared—no, indeed, he was most indignant. He opened his beak, and Bingo heard a TREMENDOUS sound—“Ooka-ooka-ooka-ooooooooo! ooka-ooka-ooka-ooooooooo! ooka-ooka-ooka-ooooooooo!” And the rooster sprang up in the air, and flapped his wings, and rushed at Bingo!

Bingo was so startled that he jumped backwards toward the chicken house, and the rooster dashed after him. All the hens came hurrying up and the chickens, too, saying, “Cluck, cluck, cluck, CLUCK.” They seemed to be on every side! Poor Bingo was terribly frightened, as well he might be—because the rooster was really very much annoyed, and he would have pecked Bingo if he had caught him.

But he did not catch him. Just in the nick of time, Bingo saw the chicken house,[62] and he just managed to scramble in at the door before the rooster caught him—he was safe.

Yes, he was safe, but he had to stay there! The rooster did not quite like to go in after Bingo (you see Bingo was really very nearly as big as the rooster), but he determined to keep Bingo a prisoner. He strutted solemnly up and down in front of the chicken-house door, and every time that Bingo would try to come out he would crow, “Ooka-ooka-ooka-ooooooooo! ooka-ooka-ooka-ooooooooo! ooka-ooka-ooka-ooooooooo!” and scare Bingo so that he decided to stay where he was.

Poor Bingo! it seemed to him that he had been hours and hours in the chicken house. He wondered if he would ever get out again. He was sure that it was long past his dinner hour, he felt so dreadfully hungry. Poor Bingo was a very unhappy little dog.


The rooster kept Bingo a prisoner



[65]At last Charlie had finished helping the farm lady make the butter. They had taken it out of the churn, and the farm lady had put it in a big wooden bowl and beaten it with wooden butter paddles so that all the butter milk was squeezed out. She had given Charlie some butter in a smaller bowl so that he could finish making some of the butter all by himself. The farm lady had promised him that they should have it on the dinner table and surprise his Mother and his Auntie.

But it wasn’t dinner time yet, so Charlie ran into the garden to play with Bingo—and there was no Bingo to be seen! He called Bingo, but Bingo did not come. Then he decided to go down to the big barn to look for him. As he passed near the chicken house he heard a tre-men-dous commotion—“Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, CLUCK,” “Ooka-ooka-ooka-oooooooooo, ooka-ooka-ooka-oooooooooo, ooka-ooka-ooka-ooooooooo”[66] ... Bingo had been trying to get out again!

Then Charlie said, “Shoo, shoo, shoo!” and the hens and even the rooster all got out of the way, and Bingo was free again! Oh, how glad he was! He jumped, and pranced, and followed Charlie to the kitchen, where his dinner was waiting for him.

But never again did Bingo bark at the chickens and chase them. He no longer thought it an amusing game. In fact Bingo never went near that chicken house again, he was so afraid of that terrible rooster.



WELL, I can tell you that Charlie and Topsy and Bingo liked living in the country very much. There were so many interesting things to do, and so many interesting people to talk to, and every single thing in the country was different from what it was in the city.

Charlie had different things to eat, and he wore different clothes. You never can guess what kind of clothes Charlie wore when he was in the country! Charlie wore blue denim overalls, just like the farm workers, and his Mother bought them for him at the country store, which is ex-act-ly where the farm workers bought theirs!

One day Charlie ran out to the gate before[68] breakfast to mail a letter for his Auntie. In the country there are no post boxes at every corner as there are in the city. Oh, no! When Charlie wanted to mail a letter he just had to go down to the gate and put it in the box that was fastened outside; then he had to take out an old red tobacco tin that was inside the mail box, tied to it by a string, and leave it hanging outside the box, so that the mailman would see it when he went past and know that there was a letter for the mail. If he did not see the tobacco tin hanging out, the stage driver would not stop at all—so it was very important not to forget to hang the tobacco tin out.

Well, Charlie got to the gate just as the stage driver was driving up. When he saw Charlie standing there, he said, “Hello, good morning.” And Charlie said, “Hello, good morning,” too. Then he said, “Are you the postman?” The stage driver[69] laughed. “We-e-ll, I reckon that you can say that’s what I am, though folks here about call me the stage driver.”

“That is very interesting,” said Charlie. “Do you know, in the city the postman wears a gray cap and coat and trousers and he does not drive a cart, he has to walk?”

The stage driver was most surprised. “Is that so?” he said. “Well, I reckon there’s lots of things they do differently in the city, and you, being a city boy, must surely know all about it. I certainly would like to hear about city ways. Supposing you ask your Mother if she would let you drive with me this afternoon when I take the afternoon mail up; then you can show me how they deliver mail in the city.”

Oh, my goodness, but Charlie was excited! He ran to the house so fast that he puffed and he blowed, and, as he ran, he called out, “Mother, Auntie! The stage driver says that I can go with him and give[70] out the letters just like a real postman in the city! He says that I can go this afternoon, if you say yes. Oh, Mother, oh, Auntie, I can go, can’t I?”

Of course his Mother and his Auntie were de-light-ed when they heard that Charlie was to go and help deliver the mail just like a real postman, and of course they both said “Yes,” that Charlie might go.

Well, the very minute that Charlie had finished his dinner, he said very politely, “Please excuse me, I don’t want to keep the stage driver waiting.” Then the lady where they were boarding and his Mother and his Auntie said, “Yes,” he might be excused.

So Charlie got his hat and his whistle, which belonged to his sailor suit, because he knew he would need it as he was going to be a postman—and he ran down to the gate as fast as ever he could. No, Charlie did not keep the stage driver waiting. It was Charlie who had to wait for the stage driver!

[71]But at last he came driving down the road and, when he saw Charlie waiting at the gate, he said, “Hello, young man, so you are coming with me. That’s fine! Hop in.”

So Charlie hopped in and he showed the stage driver his whistle and how he was going to blow it just like a real city postman.

The stage driver said, “First we are going to the station to get the mail;” and he clicked with his whip and said, “Gid ap, gid ap!” to the horses, and they did “gid ap,” and their bells jingled as they trotted along the road.

The station was a long way off from the farm where Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie were staying, but the horses trotted so quickly, so quickly, that they got there before the train did.

Charlie and the stage driver got down, and the stage driver hitched the horses to the post, and then they both went on to the platform to wait for the train.

[72]Everybody in the station talked to Charlie—even the station master and the man in the ticket office—and they said, “Is this the new stage driver?” The stage driver said, “No; this boy is the new postman and he is going to deliver the mail for me.”

You can believe that Charlie felt proud and important when he heard them talk like that.

At last the train came in, and it was the same train that had carried Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie and his Daddy and Topsy and Bingo and Jane to the country. Yes, it was the very same train and the very same engine that Charlie had ridden on, and the fireman was there, and he looked out of the cab and called out, “Hello, Charlie!”

Well, the stage driver went to the baggage car and a lot of men were unloading packages, and there was one great big sack.

[73]Charlie asked what was in that great big sack—and the stage driver told him that was the mail. Yes, all the letters that Charlie was going to deliver were stuffed into that great big sack!

So the stage driver got the mail bag and the packages on to the stage. The stage driver carried all the big packages and Charlie carried all the little ones.

Then the stage driver said, “Gid ap!” and off they went again. First they went to the post office and waited there a long time. They had to wait till the postmaster had taken out of the mail sack all the mail for the people who lived near the post office and who had to come and get their mail for themselves. But at last the postmaster had finished his job, and it was time for Charlie and the stage driver to begin theirs.

This, of course, was the interesting part of the drive. The stage rattled along the road, the horses went so fast; and at last[74] they came to a house and the horses stopped of their own accord.

The stage driver gave Charlie some letters and told him to go and deliver them.

So Charlie climbed down from the stage and he blew his whistle, one, two, three times—but nobody came to the gate to get the letters from the postman. No, even though Charlie blew again and again, nobody came at all.

Then the stage driver said, “I reckon the folks at this farm are not used to city postmen. I reckon they don’t even know that that whistle means that there is mail for them. You had better just slip the letters in the box, the way we do in these parts, and we’ll drive on to the next farm.”

So Charlie did as the stage driver said. He had to stand on tiptoe because the box was so high. He felt a little sad that nobody had come to get the letters from him—but it was fun putting the letters in the box.

[75]Then they drove on to the next farm. This time there were a whole lot of letters and a parcel, too. Charlie carried the parcel himself, as it was a little one. He said to the stage driver, “Perhaps I had better not blow my whistle this time.” But the stage driver said, “Oh, go ahead and blow your whistle, you know you are a city postman and you must do as they do.”

So Charlie blew on his whistle—he blew a TREMENDOUS blast, and he blew again and again. And—what do you think?

The farmer who was in the field, hoeing potatoes, threw down his hoe and he came running, as fast as he could run, to see what Charlie’s whistle meant.

And the farmer’s wife, who was in the kitchen frying doughnuts, the minute she heard Charlie’s whistle, threw down her cooking spoon and ran out of the kitchen door to see what Charlie’s whistle meant.

And the cat, who was sleeping on a rocking[76] chair on the porch, sprang straight up in the air when she heard the whistle; and she came tearing down to the gate to see what in the world all that whistling meant.

And the watch dog, who was tied up outside his kennel—he jumped and pranced and tried to get loose because he wanted to find out what all that whistling meant!

And they all came rushing down to the gate, except the dog, and when they saw Charlie with the parcel and the letters—my goodness, they were surprised!

The farmer said, “Well, well, to think that we have a postman just the same as they have in the city—well! well!” and he shook hands with Charlie.

Then the farmer’s wife said, “Mr. Stage Driver, couldn’t you wait a minute while I run into the house and get a doughnut apiece for you and the postman?” The stage driver thought that would be very nice—so the farmer’s wife brought the doughnuts and they were delicious.


Charlie blew a tremendous blast



[79]Then they said, “Good-by” to the nice farmer and his wife and thanked her for the delicious doughnuts, and off they went to the next farm. Charlie blew his whistle, and he blew his whistle every single time they came to a farm, but nobody else came to the gate to see what was the matter; so Charlie put the letters in the box every time.

Soon they came to a long stretch of road where there were no houses at all, and Charlie and the stage driver could talk together without being interrupted every minute by Charlie having to deliver letters.

Charlie told the stage driver all about the city and about his Mother and his Auntie and his Daddy, and about Jane and Topsy and Bingo, and about the iceman and the postman, and the letter boxes that are at the corner of the streets where you mail your letters.

[80]Then the stage driver told Charlie all about the country and what an important person the stage driver is when he lives in the country—even more important than the postman. For the stage driver not only brings letters, and parcels for birthdays or Christmas, he brings everything that the people in the country need—clothes, and furniture, and medicine—every single thing that they use, except what they grow themselves.

Everything is sent from the city by the train in great big packages. And the stage driver puts the packages on to the stage, and carries some of them to the country store, where the people can come and buy the things they want—but some of the things go directly to the farmers who live too far from the country store.

Charlie thought this very interesting. There were a whole lot of questions that he wanted to ask. But now they had come to[81] another farm and there was a great big package all ready at the gate!

Charlie and the stage driver talked together



[83]The stage driver got down and put it on to the stage. Charlie was much surprised. He said, “I thought you brought packages to people, I did not know that you took any away.”

Then the stage driver said, “I reckon you can’t guess what is inside this package and where it is going to be sent. Why, this package is full of maple sugar, and it is going to be sent to the city because people could not get maple sugar in the city unless the people in the country sent it to them. This package is going to a big store in the city, and when you go back home, maybe you and your Mother will go into the store and buy a pound of this very same maple sugar that is in this package!”

Yes, that is what the stage driver said, and Charlie was so interested and surprised[84] that the stage driver started to surprise him some more.

“See all those pretty blossoms on the apple trees. Well, by Fall they will all have turned into apples. Then the farmer will gather them off the trees, and he will put them in sacks, and I will take them to the station on my stage and load them on to the train, and they will be taken to the city, where you city folks will buy them. Same thing with the wheat growing in the fields, and the vegetables, and everything the farmer raises. Everything that he doesn’t need for his own use the farmer sends to the city, first by the stage driver and then by the train.”

My goodness! This gave Charlie a lot to think about! He said, “I think that trains and mail stages are the most interesting things in the world. I will either be a stage driver or a fireman when I grow up, and I will take things to the country people that[85] they need and bring back things to the city people that they need.”

By this time all the letters and all the packages had been delivered. And the stage driver was driving back the way they came.

At last they came to the farm where Charlie was staying. And the stage driver said, “Here is one more letter for you to deliver, and then your job will be finished. You have been a great help to me to-day. I think you are a fine postman and I hope you will come with me another day and deliver the mail for me. This letter is for your Mother.”

So Charlie thanked the stage driver and climbed down from the stage. He ran all the way to the house; then he rang the bell and blew his whistle just as the postman did at home. And who do you think opened the door? It was his Mother.

She said, “Good afternoon, Postman,[86] have you a letter for me?” And Charlie said, “Yes, ma’am,” just like the postman. Then he couldn’t help laughing, and he forgot that he was the postman, and he hugged his Mother and said, “Is it a letter from Daddy?”

And it was. Yes, it was a letter from Daddy, and what do you think? The letter said that Daddy found that after all he would be able to get away from the city—and that he would arrive on Friday afternoon, and Charlie was to be sure to come and meet him.

Then Charlie’s Mother hugged him again for bringing her such a nice letter and his Auntie came downstairs, Topsy and Bingo prancing after her. Bingo jumped up and down and Topsy climbed on to Charlie’s shoulder, and they all listened to the adventures he had had that afternoon when he was a postman.



ALL the time that Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie were living in the country Charlie’s Daddy came down every single Saturday to visit them, and he stayed in the country with them until Sunday night, when he had to go back to the city. And every Saturday, when Charlie’s Daddy came to visit them in the country, he always brought a present for everybody!

[88]One Saturday Charlie’s Daddy came and he brought Charlie’s Mother a basket of peaches, and he brought his Auntie a box of candy, and he brought Bingo a ball, and he brought Jane and Topsy a catnip mouse—and what do you think he brought for Charlie? I will tell you. Charlie’s Daddy brought Charlie a sailboat! It was a beautiful boat, painted white with a green water line. It had a mast and two sails. His Daddy told Charlie that the big sail at the back is called the mainsail and that the stick that holds it out at the bottom is called the boom; and that the little three-cornered sail in front is called the jib and the stick to which it is fastened is called the bowsprit.

Of course Charlie’s Daddy did not say “the front and back” of the ship either. Oh, dear, no! Charlie’s Daddy called the front part of the ship the bow, and he called the back part the stern, and the bottom of the ship he called the keel—and, I can tell you,[89] nobody ought to own a ship who does not know these things.

Well, of course, the very first thing that Charlie wanted to do was to go and sail his boat—but what do you think? The brook was so shallow and full of stones that there was no place deep enough to sail the boat at all! That was very sad.

Charlie and his Daddy walked a long way beside the brook looking for a pool where the water was deeper, but they could not find one.

Then Charlie’s Daddy said, “Well, unless some rain comes to make the brook get deeper, I guess you’ll have to wait to sail your boat till you come back to town and can sail it in the bath tub. As long as you are in the country you will have to say that the boat is in ‘dry dock.’”

But what do you think? Charlie didn’t even know what a dry dock is. No, his Daddy had to explain to him all about it—how[90] the ship is put into “dry dock” when it has to be mended or painted below the water line. First the ship sails into the dock, and then the dock is closed up behind the ship and all the water is pumped out and the ship is propped up straight with props from each side of the dock.

So Charlie and his Daddy made a dry dock for his ship on the bureau in his room. They made the dock of books, and propped the ship up straight with blocks on each side of the keel. The ship looked very beautiful on the bureau, but Charlie did wish that he could sail it and that he did not have to keep it in “dry dock” all the time.

One day, when his Daddy had gone back to town, Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie went for a walk.

They went for a new walk. Instead of just going along the road, they thought it would be interesting to follow the creek. So they climbed a wall and followed the creek[91] through the fields and into a wood which was “private property”; but there was a sign which said people could walk there if they did not do any damage.

Then they came to a place where there was a stone wall built right across the creek from side to side and above the stone wall was a great e-nor-mous pool! And the water pounded over the stone wall like a waterfall. The pool was very deep and wide, but above the pool the creek was all stony and shallow again.

Charlie was very much interested. He said, “Why is that stone wall built across the creek, and what makes that pool so deep and broad when the rest of the creek is shallow and narrow?”

Then his Mother explained to Charlie all about it. She explained to him that the pool was a swimming pool, and that the stone wall built across the creek from side to side was a dam. The dam keeps the water in like[92] a basin until it gets as deep as the dam is high and then the water flows over the top.

Charlie was very much interested when he heard this. He said to his Mother, “Can anybody build a dam?”

And of course his Mother said that anybody could. She said that you only had to heap a lot of mud and stones together just below where you wanted the pool to be, and just as high as you wanted the pool to be deep.

Oh, my goodness! Charlie was excited then. I wonder if you can guess what he said?

I will tell you. Charlie said, “Mother, Auntie, I want to go home im-me-di-ate-ly, I AM GOING TO BUILD A DAM! Yes, I am going to build a dam across the brook and make a great ENORMOUS pool to sail my boat in.” Of course his Mother and his Auntie said they would go home immediately when they heard that[93] Charlie was going to do such an important thing.

So they did go home, and Charlie put on his overalls and he ran down to the brook and began to work at his dam.

First he found a place where the brook was a little wider and where the banks were quite steep. Then he started scooping out the stones at the bottom of the brook, so that there would be no rocks for his boat to get wrecked on.

You may be sure that Bingo and Topsy were very much interested in what Charlie was doing. Yes, they both came and watched him awhile. Then Topsy began to dig a hole in the grass—he wanted to show that he could dig a hole just as well as Charlie could. Bingo tried to dig a hole, too, but he soon got tired of it and ran around and barked, “Yap, yap!” He wanted Charlie and Topsy to come and play with him.

[94]But Charlie was much too busy to pay any attention to Bingo. He just went on bending over the brook, digging out the stones until he had the bottom of the brook, where his pool was going to be, nicely cleaned out. Then he started to work on the dam.

First Charlie hunted around until he had got together a nice lot of flat stones, and he began to pile them up one on top of the other, and he went on piling them up until the dam went right across the brook from bank to bank.

At first the water paid no attention to Charlie’s dam at all. It just went on flowing through the chinks between the stones, just as if there were not any dam there at all! But Charlie piled up great banks of mud, and put in more big stones and then little stones to fill the chinks—and at last the water began to rise!

Yes, the water rose, and it rose until it[95] was a nice big pool and came up to the top of the banks on both sides, and then it began to dribble over the top of the dam. So Charlie knew that the dam was finished! Of course the water in the pool was dreadfully muddy, but Charlie did not mind a bit. Why should he, when the pool was so nice and wide and deep? Yes, it was so deep that it came all the way up to his knees!

Then Charlie saw his Mother and his Auntie walking across the field from the house. They had come to see how Charlie was getting along with his dam.

And, my goodness, how astonished they were when they saw that Charlie had ac-tu-al-ly finished the dam and what a huge big pool he had made!

But both his Mother and his Auntie could not help laughing when they saw how Charlie was all covered with mud. He had mud all over the front of his overalls, and[96] on his hands, and there was a big splash of mud on the end of his nose!

Then his Mother said, “Now, Charlie, dinner will soon be ready, so you must hurry home and wash your face and hands, and put on a clean suit. Then after dinner you may sail your boat in your beautiful big pool.”

So Charlie ran to the house, and he washed his face, and he scrubbed his hands, and he put on a clean blue sailor suit, and he ate his dinner.

Then he gave Topsy and Bingo and Jane their dinner. And then—he and his Mother and his Auntie went down to the pool to sail the boat. And, what do you think? The mud had all settled at the bottom of the pool while Charlie was eating his dinner, and the pool was as clear as glass so that you could see to the very bottom and you could see the dam that Charlie had built.

Then Charlie launched his boat. The pool[97] was deep enough—but the boat did not sail quite well even yet. No, the boat leaned a little to one side and, when a gust of wind came, it would have turned right over if Charlie had not caught hold of the mast just in time.

Charlie felt very sad that his boat would not sail properly when he had built such a beautiful pool for it.

But his Auntie said, “Cheer up, Charlie, I know exactly what is the matter with the boat so that it will not sail, and it can be fixed so that it will sail beautifully. The trouble is that the boat has not enough ballast. That means that the masts and the sails are too heavy for the keel. But if we nail a strip of lead along the bottom of the keel the boat will stay upright and will not lean to one side.”

Well, Charlie and his Auntie took the boat and went to the barn, where the farmer was mending his mowing machine.

[98]And his Auntie asked the farmer if he knew where they could get a strip of lead to nail to the keel of Charlie’s boat.

The farmer said, “Right here I have all the lead that you can use.” And he cut off a strip of lead just the size of the keel. Then the farmer also gave Charlie some interesting-looking nails that he said could be just the thing to nail the lead to the keel. They were crooked nails that folded over and looked just like tiny croquet hoops.

Then Charlie’s Auntie took the mast and sails off, and she hammered the nails over the lead so that it was fastened to the keel of the boat. Then she put the masts and sails back. Don’t you think that she was a clever Auntie? Yes, indeed, she was.

So they went back to the pool again, where Charlie’s Mother was waiting to see if the boat would sail right this time.


The boat sailed beautifully



[101]And what do you think? It did! Yes, the boat sailed beautifully, it sailed right away to the other side of the brook, and when Charlie turned the rudder to the right the boat turned in the opposite direction and sailed right back again!

Yes, that boat could do everything that a real boat does, and when the wind blew hard it keeled over to one side but it did not capsize. No, nothing could make that boat capsize. Even when Bingo stood upon his hind legs and tried to catch it when it went sailing past, he fell splash into the pool and made a great ENORMOUS wave, just like the waves in the middle of the ocean—still that boat did not capsize.

Well, every day after that Charlie sailed his boat in the pool. He made a dock for it, with stones, and he put grass and pebbles on the deck for the cargo, which he loaded and unloaded at the dock, and the boat sailed from side to side of the pool. When[102] the boat got to the other side Charlie would jump across the brook where it was narrow and turn the rudder so that the boat would turn right round and sail back again to the dock.

Yes, Charlie had more fun than I can tell you playing with his boat. And Topsy and Bingo played, too; they jumped across the brook backwards and forwards and they tried to catch the boat as it sailed past. And, Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie liked to help Charlie sail his boat; yes, they enjoyed watching it sail so beautifully before the wind.

And—on Saturday, when Charlie’s Daddy came down to visit them all—my goodness! he was surprised and de-light-ed to see the dam and the pool that Charlie had made all by himself, and to see how beautifully the boat sailed, with its sails blown out by the wind, and with its cargo of grass and pebbles piled up on deck.

[103]Yes, Charlie’s Daddy thought that Charlie was a very clever boy to have made that dam and that pool all by himself—and I think so, too.



WELL, the days passed and passed—and at last it was time for Charlie to go back to the city. He said “Good-by” to the stage driver and to the postmaster and to the man at the country store and to the lady at the farm, where he and his Mother and his Auntie lived while they[105] were in the country. And he said “Good-by” to the cows and to the chickens and to the baby pigs.

Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie packed the suitcase and the trunk and put Topsy into his basket, and he did not like it at all and said “Miaouw, miaouw!” And Jane was put into her basket and she did not like it either, but she was a good cat and she did not say a word. Then Charlie put the leash on Bingo’s collar and they all climbed into the surrey, which is a two-seated carriage, and they all drove to the station. Then they all got on to the train and off they went to the city.

This time there was another fireman, as Charlie’s friend was having a day off, so Charlie did not ride on the engine this time; no, this time he rode in the day coach with his Mother and his Auntie and Topsy and Bingo and Jane.

Charlie was feeling rather sad that he had[106] to leave the country and all his new friends, but as the train steamed farther and farther away, he began to think that it was rather nice to be going back to the city after all.

It would be nice to see his Daddy again and the iceman—and he wanted to tell the postman all about the stage driver and how letters are delivered in the country. And Charlie wanted to see his house again, where he lived, and the garden and his electric train and his automobile and his great e-nor-mous flashlight. Yes, Charlie began to feel very glad that he was going home again.

And—when Charlie did get home, what do you think he found? Why, Charlie found that something most interesting and ex-cit-ing had been happening while he was away in the country. Some builders had started to build a house on the other side of the road, and he could sit on his own front gate and watch them build.

[107]The builders had already built quite a lot of the house, and in front of what they had built was a big pile of bricks and also a pile of sand and quicklime to make mortar of.

Charlie Watched the Builders

It was late in the afternoon, so the builders had stopped working, but Charlie wanted to stay right there and look at everything. But his Mother and his Auntie said, “No.” They said that it was getting late and Charlie must come right in and have his supper and go to bed. To-morrow he could watch the builders build as much as ever he wanted to.

So the next day Charlie ran out immediately after breakfast. The builders were already at work—they were working hard, putting the bricks on top of each other. Charlie saw how they put each brick on top of two others, he saw how they did it very carefully so that the brick was ex-act-ly in the middle of the two below it. Then he saw[108] how carefully the builders put the mortar on with a flat, wide knife, so that none of the mortar dripped over the edge of the bricks but made a nice straight line up and across. And, because the bricks were laid, one in the middle of the two below, the white line of the mortar made a most interesting design.

Charlie was ab-so-lute-ly fascinated, he thought that he would never get tired of watching those builders build.

Then Topsy and Bingo came out to see what Charlie was doing and to get him to play with them, but Charlie was much too interested in watching the house being built, so he paid no attention at all. No, he paid no attention to Topsy and Bingo, but went on watching the builders build the house.

After a while one of the builders looked up, and he said, “Hello, you seem to like watching us build this house; I guess you would like to be over here helping us.” And[109] Charlie said, “Oh, yes, I would like to come over and help you, I mean to be a house builder when I grow up.” Then the builder said, “Is that so? Have you had any practice in building houses?” Charlie said, “No, I have never built a real house, but I can build beautiful houses with my wooden blocks.”

But the builder said, “Well, I guess you need more practice than that—you have to know how to put the mortar on, and that is not as easy as it looks. How would you like me to give you some bricks and mortar and then you can build yourself a house in the corner of your yard?” Yes, the builder ac-tu-al-ly said that to Charlie! And he also asked him, “Have you an express wagon that you can haul the bricks in?”

Of course Charlie said, “Yes,” and he ran off to the house to tell his Mother and his Auntie all about the house builder, and to ask if he might go across the road by himself[110] to get the bricks. And his Mother and his Auntie both said, “Yes.” They said that it would be perfectly safe for Charlie to go across the road all by himself, because no automobiles were allowed on the road and there was a sign which said, “Closed to Traffic.”

Then Charlie got his express wagon and he went across the road to get the bricks. He loaded the bricks into his express wagon and he dragged them across the road and in at the garden gate to the corner of the garden where there were no flowers and no vegetables. Charlie did this over and over again; he did it so often that his legs ached,—and every time that Charlie went across the road Topsy and Bingo followed him. When Charlie had been across the road four, five, six times getting his express cart full of bricks every time, the builder said, “Now you have enough bricks to start with. Suppose you go now and ask your Mother for a[111] pail and I will give you some mortar, already mixed.”

Charlie ran and got the pail, and the builder filled it with mortar and carried it over to Charlie’s yard himself because it was too heavy for Charlie to carry. The builder certainly was a nice man.

Of course Charlie wanted immediately to start in building the house. But his Mother and his Auntie said, “No.” They said that Charlie had worked enough for one day, and that he had better play a little. And his Mother said, “You had better wait till your Daddy comes home before starting to build your house; I think you ought to ask his advice as to exactly where would be the best place to build it.”

Charlie thought that his Mother was right and he determined to wait till his Daddy came home before building the house. So he went off and had a lovely game with Topsy and Bingo.

[112]At last Charlie’s Daddy came home. Charlie was watching for him out of the dining-room window. As soon as he saw his Daddy come in at the gate, Charlie ran out to meet him and to tell him all about the bricks that the builder had given him and about the house he was going to build.

Charlie’s Daddy was very interested; he was so interested that he said he would like to help Charlie to build the house. Then Charlie’s Daddy went upstairs and changed into his old suit, the one he always wore when he was digging in the garden, and he found a spade, and he said, “Come on, Charlie, let us start building the house.”

So they went into the garden and started to build the house. First Charlie’s Daddy dug a trench, the size that the house was to be; this was to be the foundation so that the house should not blow over in a wind-storm. Charlie helped dig the trench also. It was very hard work digging the[113] trench—it was such hard work that both Charlie and his Daddy were puffing and blowing before they had finished digging. But at last the trench was finished, and while they were both standing still to admire it Charlie’s Auntie came and called them in to supper.

So they both had to go in and change their clothes and eat their supper and, by the time that supper was over, it was too dark to work at the house any longer. Charlie did not like this at all, he said, “I do not want to stop for a single minute until the house is built.”

But his Daddy said, “Cheer up, Charlie, to-morrow is a legal holiday, and I shall be home all day. So I shall be able to help you build your house until it is finished.” Then Charlie was satisfied and he went to sleep the minute he got into bed—and all night long he dreamed about the beautiful house he was going to build.

[114]The next morning both Charlie and his Daddy got up early; they got up at six o’clock! They each had a glass of milk and a cookie, then they went into the garden and began to work.

First they started piling bricks into the trench, one on top of two others, ex-act-ly the way Charlie had seen the builders doing it; and his Daddy showed him how to put the mortar on each brick with a flat trowel that he had found in the woodshed and that looked ex-act-ly like the one the builders used. It is very important to put the mortar on right, as that is what makes the bricks stick together.

Before breakfast Charlie and his Daddy had ac-tu-al-ly finished the foundation! Charlie was very glad that he had his Daddy to help him—why, if it had not been for his Daddy I don’t think that Charlie would have thought of building any foundation for[115] his house, and then it would have blown down!

Well, you may be sure that the moment they had finished breakfast, and when Charlie’s Daddy had smoked just one cigarette, they both of them were hard at work on the house again.

For one reason Charlie was sorry that it was a legal holiday, and that was because the builders were having a holiday, too, and Charlie would have liked them to see him in his overalls that were all covered with mortar and pink with brick dust—so that he looked ex-act-ly like a real builder.

Well, they worked and they worked. And you never can guess how clever Charlie’s Daddy was. He was just as clever as a real builder. Yes, Charlie’s Daddy ac-tu-al-ly knew how to make a window in the house—and a door also! The window went all the way to the top of the roof and so did the door, for Charlie’s[116] Daddy said that there was one thing he did not know how to do that a real builder knows, and that is how to make an arch, with a keystone! Soon the house was tall enough for Charlie to go in at the door, and then his Daddy said that the front of the house was tall enough. But the sides had to be built sloping higher toward the back so that the roof should slope—it is very important that a house should have a sloping roof so that the water may drain off it when it rains.

At last his Daddy said, “There, the house is finished, all but the roof!”

Charlie was excited! He jumped and he shouted, “My house is nearly finished, my house is nearly finished!”

Then his Daddy went off to the woodshed and he brought back a whole lot of boards and a roll of tar paper. He put the boards all across the roof and covered them with tar paper—and THE HOUSE WAS FINISHED!

[117]Yes, it was ac-tu-al-ly finished. It had a beautiful doorway, and a window and a roof—anybody could see that it was a real house.

Topsy and Bingo were nearly as much excited as Charlie. Bingo ran in and out of the door and barked and barked. But Topsy climbed up the wall and in at the window and he did this again and again.

Then Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie came to look at the beautiful house. And, my goodness! they were surprised that Charlie and his Daddy had built a house that looked exactly like a real house.

And Charlie’s Mother said, “Now, we will go back to the house and we will bring Charlie’s little chairs and his table, and I will get a rag rug that is in the attic; then the house will be furnished and Charlie can live in it with Topsy and Bingo and Jane.”

So that is what they did! And Charlie’s Auntie hung some curtains across the window and tied them with blue ribbon, and[118] his mother put the rag rug on the floor, and placed the furniture around the room so that it looked most cozy and most comfortable.

Well, just when everybody was standing and admiring the house, Jane the cat came up, and she looked at the house for a minute. Then she walked straight in at the door and lay down on the rug, and she purred and purred as loud as she could purr, because she liked Charlie’s house so tremendously. But Topsy jumped in at the window and he walked around the house and sat down on every one of the little chairs and even on the table, but when he jumped into the express cart, which was in the corner of the house, he liked it so much that he curled up and went to sleep. But Bingo was the most excited of all—he dashed around and around the house, and he jumped up in the air and barked and barked and BARKED!

The next day, when the builders were at[119] work again, Charlie climbed up on the gate and called out to the builder who had given him the bricks, “Good morning, Mr. Builder! I have finished my house!”

The builder was most interested and he came over to look at the house that Charlie had built.

He said, “Did you build that house all by yourself?”

And Charlie said, “Yes, I built that house all by myself, and my Daddy helped me.”



Bingo was a very clever little dog—he learned very quickly all the tricks that Charlie taught. He could sit up and beg, and he could bark three times for the flag, and when Charlie put a piece of cake on his nose Bingo could toss it in the air and catch it in his mouth, and, if Charlie threw a stick, Bingo would always run and bring it back. Yes, Bingo could do all these things[121] and he liked to do them again and again. He was such a clever little dog that all the boys in the neighborhood knew him well, and they used to watch him over the fence doing all the tricks that he had learned.

But there was one thing that Bingo never would learn and that was to come immediately when he was called. If Bingo thought that Charlie was going for a walk or that his dinner was ready, he would come the very minute that Charlie called him; but if he was doing something interesting or something that he should not be doing, Charlie could call “Bingo, Bingo, Bingo,” till he was hoarse, Bingo would not come! He would wag his tail and perk up his ears to show that he had heard, but he would not come.

One day Charlie was playing in the garden with Bingo and Topsy when Bingo suddenly saw something that interested him in the road and he scrambled under the gate[122] and went scampering along down the road.

Charlie did not approve of this at all. He called and he called, “Bingo, Bingo, Bingo”—but Bingo would not come, he went on racing along the road. He had decided that he would like to go out and see the world!

Then Charlie ran into the house to tell his Mother and his Auntie. He could not[123] run after Bingo, because of course he was not allowed to go outside the garden gate by himself. His Auntie did not even wait to put on her sweater though it was very cold; she ran straight out of the gate to bring Bingo back—but Bingo had ab-so-lute-ly disappeared!

Charlie and his Auntie put on their coats and went a long distance down the road, calling Bingo all the time, but they could not find him anywhere. They asked everybody that they met if they had seen a little white dog with black spots but nobody had seen him. Then they went home again, hoping that Bingo would have arrived there before them. But no, Bingo was not there!

Now I will tell you what happened to Bingo. When he had run along the road for quite a distance he came to a turning where the road ran very steeply downhill. There was a boy with a bob sled, and just as Bingo reached the corner the boy lay down[124] flat on his sled, and biff! off he flew down the hill! Bingo was much excited. He barked, “Yap, yap, yap,” and ran after the bob sled as fast as ever he could. He was determined to catch that bob sled! But of course he could not. The boy and the sled reached the bottom of the hill before Bingo, but not long before.

The boy had decided to go home, as it was near his dinner time, and he was dragging his sled after him when Bingo arrived at the bottom of the hill, all out of breath and with his little red tongue hanging out. But he was not too out of breath to jump up at the boy and bark “Yap, yap, yap!” He was trying to tell him how glad he was that he had caught up with him at last.

The boy patted Bingo on the head and talked to him, but of course he did not know his name as he lived quite a distance away and had never seen Bingo before.

Bingo liked the boy very much and decided[125] that he would go for a walk with him. So he followed after him. It was a long, long walk, but at last they arrived at the boy’s house.

It was a tall brick house very much larger than the house in which Bingo lived with Charlie; and it had to be larger too, because a great many people lived in it—two families lived on every floor!

The boy climbed up five flights of stairs; he lived on the top floor of all—and Bingo followed after him.

The boy’s Mother was cooking dinner in the kitchen and she was very much surprised when she saw Bingo. She said, “Who is that dog?” The boy said, “I found him and I am going to keep him for my dog. I have always wanted one.”

But his Mother said, “How can we keep a dog when we live five flights up and have only three rooms? It is impossible. After you have had your dinner you must take him[126] back to where you found him, then he will be able to find his way home. He has a collar on so he must belong to somebody. In the meantime, take him downstairs and tie him up in the yard. I have just washed the kitchen floor and I am afraid he will make it dirty again.”

The boy felt very sad because he could not keep Bingo, but he took him down to the yard as his Mother had told him to, and he tied him up to the fence with a piece of rope.

Bingo did not like this at all. He pulled and he pulled and he pulled, but he could not get loose. He pulled and he pulled and—he PULLED, and—suddenly the fastening of his collar snapped (it snapped because Charlie had not fastened it properly that morning), and Bingo was a free dog.

Then he scampered gayly out of the yard and into the street again. He thought that it was time to go home to Charlie and his dinner. But—what do you think? Bingo[127] could not find his way home! He ran through street after street but he could not find the house where he lived with Charlie and Topsy and Jane. The boy’s Mother must have thought that Bingo was older than he really was when she said that he could find his way home by himself.

Bingo was beginning to be worried—there were a great many children playing in the streets through which he passed and every now and again he thought that he saw Charlie, but it always turned out that he was mistaken. Sometimes some of the children would try to stop him but Bingo always ran away from them. He wanted to go home.

At last he passed four little boys who were walking along together. Bingo was very tired now and he was not running any more; no, he was walking very slowly and limping a little because he had hurt his foot.

One of the boys looked at him limping[128] along in front and he said, “Look at that puppy. He looks exactly like Charlie’s Bingo, who does such wonderful tricks!”

The other boy said, “He does look like him. Let’s call him and see if he answers to the name Bingo.” So they called, “Bingo, Bingo, Bingo!”

You may be sure that when Bingo heard his name called this time he did come running as fast as ever he could.

Bingo did not know the boys but they knew him. They had often watched him over the fence doing the tricks that Charlie had taught him, so they knew where he lived. Now that they were sure it was Bingo, as he had come at once when they called him, they decided that they would take him back to his home; for they knew how unhappy Charlie must be because he had lost his dog.


One of the strange boys held Bingo



[131]But they were afraid that Bingo might run away again, so one of the boys held on to him while the others made a harness for him out of some string that one of them had in his pocket. Then they put it on Bingo and they tied a long piece of string to the middle of the harness for a leash.

So they started on their way—but you can think how funny Bingo did look in his rope harness! The boys could not help laughing at him, and Bingo did not like that at all. He had a feeling that he looked very ragged and untidy, as indeed he did; and all the dogs that he met and who wore beautiful collars, sniffed at him, as though to say, “What an extraordinary thing to wear, instead of a collar!”

Bingo wished very much that he had not lost his own collar, which was a very beautiful one. He wanted to stop and tell the other dogs all about it. But the four boys were in a hurry, and they pulled at his rope so that he had to follow them.

At last they reached the bottom of the hill[132] that the boy had coasted down. It was ever so much harder to climb up that hill than it had been running down it that morning. But at last they got to the top and Bingo began to feel very excited because he recognized the street that they were now walking along. Every single day he walked along that street with Charlie and Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie on their way to the park.

And—then at last they reached the garden gate and Bingo was home! He was so excited that he barked “Yap, yap, yap!”

Charlie was eating his supper in the dining room and when he heard it he said, “That’s Bingo’s bark!” and he and his Mother and his Auntie and his Daddy all jumped up from the table and ran to the front door. And—there were the four little boys holding Bingo by the rope!

Well, you may be sure that everybody was glad to see Bingo. Charlie grabbed him[133] in his arms and hugged him while he thanked the boys for bringing him home, and Charlie’s Mother and his Auntie thanked them also. Then Charlie’s Daddy put his hand in his pocket and he brought out four beautiful new quarters and he gave one to each of the boys, so they were very happy, too. But the happiest of all was Bingo, he barked till he could bark no more because he was hoarse. He barked so loudly that he wakened Jane and Topsy from their nap and they came out to see what it all meant.

When Jane saw Bingo, what do you think she did? Why, she started to wash him! Yes, she did; she washed him all over and he needed it, I can tell you.

Then, when Bingo was nice and clean, Charlie gave him his dinner, and when he had eaten it he was so tired that he curled up beside Jane on the kitchen rug, just as if he was a baby puppy again, and went fast asleep. But always after that, Bingo would[134] come when he was called. He came so quickly when Charlie called, “Bingo, Bingo, Bingo,” that everybody noticed it, and said to Charlie, “What a well-trained dog you have. Did you train him yourself?” And Charlie would say, “Yes, I did. He is a clever dog; there isn’t anything that Bingo can’t do!” And I don’t believe there was!



ONE day it was a rainy day. The rain poured and it poured, and the wind blew. It was a very disagreeable day. It poured so hard that Charlie could not go out in the yard and play in his little house. His Mother and his Auntie both said that it was[136] the kind of day when it is best to stay indoors.

Then Charlie’s Mother said, “As it is such a rainy day that I cannot go out, I shall make preserves all the morning. I shall make plum preserves and orange marmalade, and we will have some for supper to-night.”

And his Auntie said, “I shall sew all the morning; yes, I will make myself a nice new dress.”

Topsy and Bingo and Jane did not say anything. But they all three lay down on hearth rug and went to sleep. They had decided that, as it was such a disagreeable, rainy day that they could not go out and play, they would sleep all the morning, and, maybe, dream a nice dream about playing in the fields in the country.

As for Charlie—he did not know what to do. He stood at the window and he looked out at the rain pattering on the ledge[137] and against the window pane—and he said, “I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do!” And he said it again and again.

His Auntie said to him, “The very idea, Charlie, you have heaps of things to do! Why don’t you play with your toys—with your train and with your blocks?”

But Charlie shook his head. “It’s no fun playing with my train—it just goes round and round, and I have built everything with my blocks that I know how to build. I want something new to play! Something I have never played before.”

His Auntie thought hard for two whole minutes. Then she said, “Look here, Charlie, I have a splendid idea! You run up to my room and bring me a pile of typewriting paper that you will find on my desk. Also bring a paper of pins out of my top bureau drawer, and I will show you something new to play with.”

[138]So Charlie ran upstairs and brought down these things. Then his Auntie told him to get his own scissors with the rounded tops and his box of colored chalks.

Charlie began to feel very interested and excited. He wondered what in the world his Auntie was going to do.

Well, when he had brought his scissors and his crayons, his Auntie sat down at the table and she took a piece of typewriting paper and folded it this way and that way. Then she colored one part of it red with the red chalk, and she made three little green strokes with the green chalk, and with the scissors she cut along the creases, and folded it some more; then she pinched it here and pinched it there, and she stuck a pin in at the back, and—there was a beautiful little white house with a red roof and green shutters, and a door that opened and shut!

Charlie was delighted. He said, “Oh, oh![139] How beautiful! Show me how to make it. Please, Auntie, show me how to make a little house.”

So his Auntie showed him ex-act-ly how to make the little house—and you will see in the picture on this page ex-act-ly how Charlie’s Auntie cut the paper, and where she painted it red for the roof, and where she put the windows with the green shutters, and where she cut the door so that it could open and shut, and where she put the pin in at the back to keep it together. Yes, Charlie’s Auntie used a pin instead of paste, because paste does not always stick very[140] well and it often makes things look messy unless you are very skillful.

Well, after Charlie had tried several times and his Auntie had showed him every time where he had gone wrong, he ac-tu-al-ly succeeded in making a paper house all by himself! And it was a beautiful house.

When his Auntie saw that Charlie could make paper houses just as well as she could, she said, “Now I must go upstairs and sew my dress, and you, Charlie, can make a whole, big village of little houses, and I am sure that you will think of some nice game to play with them.”

Well, Charlie did go on making his houses until he had made a whole lot of them—yes, he had made a tre-men-dous number of houses; maybe he had made fifteen houses out of paper, with red roofs and green doors and shutters. Then he thought that he had made enough and that he would like to play with them—and so he did.

[141]I will tell you how Charlie played with the houses. First he went over to a corner of the room where there was no furniture to get in the way and there he set up some of his houses and made a village of them. Then he had a grand idea—and the idea was that he would like to have some trees in his village, and he knew ex-act-ly how to make them!

He ran into the kitchen where his Mother was making delicious preserves and he said, “Oh, Mother, I want some branches off the bush near the back door—and it is very important. Can I go out just for a minute and pick some?”

And his Mother said, “Yes. If you put on your rubber boots and your slicker and your sou’wester, you can go out for just a minute, even though it is raining, and pick the branches you want, but you must not be long.”

So Charlie did so—he put on his rubber[142] boots and his sou’wester and his slicker and he picked all the branches that he wanted. When he brought them into the house he had to shake them over the sink because they were so wet.

Now I suppose you will wonder how Charlie made those branches stand upright on the floor to make them look like trees?

I will tell you. Charlie went to his box, where he kept the old toys that he used to play with when he was a very little boy, and there he found a whole lot of spools. When he was a baby he used to like to string spools together and his Mother and his Auntie always gave him their spools of thread when they were bare, so Charlie had dozens of spools and he sometimes let Bingo and Topsy play with them.

Well, Charlie got these spools and he stuck a small branch in the end of one of them and stood it upright. It made a beautiful tree! So he made a dozen trees and[143] set them all along the streets of the village.

Charlie Made Three Villages

But there were no people in the village. Charlie thought hard for two whole minutes—then he went and found his old Noah’s ark and his box of lead soldiers. Of course, Noah and his wife and his family were the people who lived in the village, and so were some of the soldiers. The animals of the ark he stood up in the fields behind the houses and he pretended that they were all cows—yes, he pretended that the elephants and the giraffes and the lions and the tigers were all cows.

When Charlie had finished making one village, he started right away and made two more, so that he had three villages, and each village had a railway station. Then he arranged his railroad track so that it went between the different villages, and he made his train run up and down between them. He put some of the lead soldiers in the[144] coaches. And every time that his train came to a station Charlie blew his whistle and called out, “All out for Stony Hollow! All out for Pine Hill! All out for Ford’s Crossing!” and some of the soldiers got out at every station and others got in.

My goodness! but Charlie did have a good time playing with his train and with his villages. He had such a good time that the morning only seemed five minutes long!

When his Mother and his Auntie came in to see what he had been doing with himself all the morning, and to tell him that it was time to get ready for dinner, they were surprised and de-light-ed when they saw the beautiful villages that Charlie had made.

Well, the very minute that Charlie had finished his dinner he went back to his villages, because he had thought of several new ideas while he was eating his dinner.

Yes, he remembered a little tiny horse and wagon that his Mother had given him.[145] When his Mother had given it to him there was some candy tied to the wagon, and of course Charlie had eaten the candy long ago; but he had kept the horse and wagon because it was so cunning and little, though he thought that it was too little to play with. But now Charlie was going to use it for his village.

I wonder if you can guess what he was going to use it for? I will tell you. Charlie decided that the little wagon should be the stage, and he put a lead soldier in it and pretended that he was the stage driver. Then he loaded the stage with little parcels made out of paper which he pretended were sacks of apples that the farmers of the villages were sending to the city; and he loaded them on to the train, and blew his whistle—and off it started!

Charlie played all the afternoon with his train and his stage and his villages; he played with them for hours and hours. The[146] rain had stopped and the sun was shining but Charlie did not notice that—until he heard a little hoarse “Wow-wow!” outside the door.

It was Bingo. Yes, Bingo had wakened and wanted Charlie to come and play with him. So he opened the door and Bingo came jumping into the room, and the very first thing he did was to knock over three houses in Charlie’s village. And Topsy came chasing after Bingo and he knocked over four more with his tail. They would have knocked all the houses over if Charlie had not stopped them. But Charlie took Bingo and Topsy out of the room and he shut the door behind him so that they should not spoil his village.

Then Charlie’s Mother called to him and she said, “Why don’t you and Topsy and Bingo run out and play in the yard? The sun is shining, but you must put on your rubber boots, as the grass is still wet.”

[147]Charlie thought that it would be fun to run around a little as he had been so busy all day. He called Topsy and Bingo, and they had a grand time chasing each other around the garden and in and out of Charlie’s little house that he had built of the bricks that the builders had given him. Sometimes Charlie would catch Bingo, and, when Bingo was caught, always he rolled over on his back and stuck his four legs in the air—so that he looked ridiculous!

But Charlie never could catch Topsy. Whenever he nearly caught him, Topsy would just climb up a tree, and he’d climb way up and peek down at Charlie through the branches.

So Charlie and Topsy and Bingo played together in the garden till Charlie’s Daddy came home. Then, of course, Charlie had to show his Daddy the beautiful villages he had made, and the way each one had a railway station, and how his train ran up[148] and down the line between the stations, just like a real train, and carried packages and mail and passengers.

His Daddy was most interested and de-light-ed. He was so interested and de-light-ed that he sat straight down on the floor, and began to play with the villages himself. But Bingo and Topsy had to be left in the garden while Charlie and his Daddy were playing with the villages, because they wanted to play also, and their idea of playing with the villages was to knock down all the houses and all the trees!

Well, Charlie and his Daddy played together till supper was ready. Then Charlie’s Mother said, “I have been making preserves all day, and now we will eat some for supper. I have made plum jam and orange marmalade.” Charlie and his Daddy tasted the plum jam and the orange marmalade—and they both were delicious.

And what do you think? Charlie’s Auntie[149] had finished her new dress and she wore it down to supper—and it did look beautiful.

So Charlie and his Mother and his Auntie all had a nice day after all, even though it was such a rainy, disagreeable kind of a day. And Topsy and Bingo and Jane had enjoyed the day too!


Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.