The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Junior Classics, Volume 8: Animal and Nature Stories

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Title: The Junior Classics, Volume 8: Animal and Nature Stories

Editor: William Patten

Release date: May 1, 2005 [eBook #8075]
Most recently updated: December 26, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Charles Franks, Robert Prince,

and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

             From the painting by Marie Webb]




Animal and Nature Stories


Little Cyclone: The Story of a Grizzly Cub, W. T. Hornaday
Some True Stories of Tigers, Wolves, Foxes, and Bears,
   W. H. G. Kingston
Some Animal Friends in Africa, Bayard Taylor
My Fight with a Catamount, Allen French
In Canada with a Lynx, Roe L. Hendrick
Solomon's Grouch: The Story of a Bear, Franklin W. Calkins
A Droll Fox-Trap, C. A. Stephens
The Horse That Aroused the Town, Lillian M. Gask
What Ginger Told Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
Some True Stories of Horses and Donkeys, W. H. G. Kingston
"Old Mustard": A Tale of the Western Pioneers, E. W. Frentz
Carlo, the Soldiers' Dog, Rush C. Hawkins
A Brave Dog, Sir Samuel W. Baker
Uncle Dick's Rolf, Georgiana M. Craik
Scrap, Lucia Chamberlain
A Fire-Fighter's Dog, Arthur Quiller-Couch
Plato: The Story of a Cat, A. S. Downs
Peter: A Cat O' One Tail, Charles Morley
Jeff the Inquisitive, Rush C. Hawkins
The Impudent Guinea-Pig, Charles F. Lummis
Hard to Hit, Ernest Ingersoll
That Sly Old Woodchuck, William O. Stoddard
The Faithful Little Lizard, W. Hill James
Toby the Wise, Rush C. Hawkins
Blackamoor, Ruth Landseer
A Parrot That Had Been Trained to Fire a Cannon,
   Sir Samuel W. Baker
The Sandpiper's Trick, Celia Thaxter
How Did the Canary Do It?, Celia Thaxter
A Runaway Whale, Capt. O. G. Fosdick
Saved by a Seal, Theodore A. Cutting
Old Muskie the Rogue, Levi T. Pennington
Teaching Fish to Ring Bells, C. F. Holder
Marcus Aurelius, Octave Thanet
Anna and the Rattler, Mrs. Cornell
The Butterfly's Children, Mrs. Alfred Gatty
The Dragon-Fly and the Water-Lily, Carl Ewald
Powder-Post, C. A. Stephens
The Queen Bee, Carl Ewald
A Swarm of Wild Bees, Albert W. Tolman
The Intelligence of Ants, Sir John Lubbock
The Katy-Did's Party, Harriet B. Stowe
The Beech and the Oak, Carl Ewald
The Oak and the Snail, Mrs. Alfred Gatty
The Story of a Stone, David Starr Jordan
How the Stone-Age Children Played, Charles C. Abbott
The Mist, Carl Ewald
The Anemones, Carl Ewald
The Weeds, Carl Ewald
Some Voices from the Kitchen Garden,
   Mrs. Alfred Gatty
The Wind and the Flowers, Mrs. Alfred Gatty


At Home With the Beavers, Lillian M. Gask
Two Enemies of the Beavers, Lillian M. Gask
The Squirrel's Story, Lillian M. Gask
A Den in the Rocks, Lillian M. Gask
Ships of the Desert, Lillian M. Gask


The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter
Lions and Tigers, Anonymous
Apes and Monkeys, Anonymous
The Hippopotamus and the Rhinoceros, Anonymous
The Giraffe, Anonymous
Parrots, Anonymous
Rab and His Friends, John Brown, M.D.
A Ride With a Mad Horse in a Freight-Car,
   W. H. H. Murray
A-Hunting of the Deer, Charles D. Warner



The Dragon-Fly and the Water-Lily
  (Frontispiece illustration in color from the painting by Marie Webb)

   What Ginger Told Black Beauty
     (From the painting by Maude Scrivener)


The Beech and the Oak
  (From the drawing by John Hassell)

  The Mist
     (From the painting by Edmund Dulac)


By W. T. Hornaday

Little Cyclone is a grizzly cub from Alaska, who earned his name by the vigor of his resistance to ill treatment. When his mother was fired at, on a timbered hillside facing Chilkat River, he and his brother ran away as fast as their stumpy little legs could carry them. When they crept where they had last seen her, they thought her asleep; and cuddling up close against her yet warm body they slept peacefully until morning.

Before the early morning sun had reached their side of the mountains, the two orphans were awakened by the rough grasp of human hands. Valiantly they bit and scratched, and bawled aloud with rage. One of them made a fight so fierce and terrible that his nervous captor let him go, and that one is still on the Chilkoot.

Although the other cub fought just as desperately, his captor seized him by the hind legs, dragged him backwards, occasionally swung him around his head, and kept him generally engaged until ropes were procured for binding him. When finally established, with collar, chain and post, in the rear of the saloon in Porcupine City, two-legged animals less intelligent than himself frequently and violently prodded the little grizzly with a long pole "to see him fight." Barely in time to save him from insanity, little Cyclone was rescued by the friendly hands of the Zoological Society's field agent, placed in a comfortable box, freed from all annoyance, and shipped to New York.

He was at that time as droll and roguish-looking a grizzly cub as ever stepped. In a grizzly-gray full moon of fluffy hair, two big black eyes sparkled like jet beads, behind a pudgy little nose, absurdly short for a bear. Excepting for his high shoulders, he was little more than a big bale of gray fur set up on four posts of the same material. But his claws were formidable, and he had the true grizzly spirit.

The Bears' Nursery at the New York Zoological Park is a big yard with a shade tree, a tree to climb, a swimming pool, three sleeping dens, and a rock cliff. It never contains fewer than six cubs, and sometimes eight.

Naturally, it is a good test of courage and temper to turn a new bear into that roystering crowd. Usually a newcomer is badly scared during his first day in the Nursery, and very timid during the next. But grizzlies are different. They are born full of courage and devoid of all sense of fear.

When little Cyclone's travelling box was opened, and he found himself free in the Nursery, he stalked deliberately to the centre of the stage, halted, and calmly looked about him. His air and manner said as plainly as English: "I'm a grizzly from Alaska, and I've come to stay. If any of you fellows think there is anything coming to you from me, come and take it."

Little Czar, a very saucy but good-natured European brown bear cub, walked up and aimed a sample blow at Cyclone's left ear. Quick as a flash out shot Cyclone's right paw, as only a grizzly can strike, and caught the would-be hazer on the side of the head. Amazed and confounded, Czar fled in wild haste. Next in order, a black bear cub, twice the size of Cyclone, made a pass at the newcomer, and he too received so fierce a countercharge that he ignominiously quitted the field and scrambled to the top of the cliff.

Cyclone conscientiously met every attack, real or feigned, that was made upon him. In less than an hour it was understood by every bear in the Nursery that that queer-looking gray fellow with the broad head and short nose could strike quick and hard, and that he could fight any other bear on three seconds' notice.

From that time on Cyclone's position has been assured. He is treated with the respect that a good forearm inspires, but being really a fine-spirited, dignified little grizzly, he attacks no one, and never has had a fight.


By W. H. G. Kingston

On one of her voyages from China, the Pitt, East Indiaman, had on board, among her passengers, a young tiger. He appeared to be as harmless and playful as a kitten, and allowed the utmost familiarity from every one. He was especially fond of creeping into the sailors' hammocks; and while he lay stretched on the deck, he would suffer two or three of them to place their heads on his back, as upon a pillow. Now and then, however, he would at dinner-time run off with pieces of their meat; and though sometimes severely punished for the theft, he bore the chastisement he received with the patience of a dog. His chief companion was a terrier, with whom he would play all sorts of tricks—tumbling and rolling over the animal in the most amusing manner, without hurting it. He would also frequently run out on the bowsprit, and climb about the rigging with the agility of a cat.

On his arrival in England, he was sent to the menagerie at the Tower. While there, another terrier was introduced into his den. Possibly he may have mistaken it for his old friend, for he immediately became attached to the dog, and appeared uneasy whenever it was taken away. Now and then the dangerous experiment was tried of allowing the terrier to remain while the tiger was fed. Presuming on their friendship, the dog occasionally ventured to approach him; but the tiger showed his true nature on such occasions by snarling in a way which made the little animal quickly retreat.

He had been in England two years, when one of the seamen of the Pitt came to the Tower. The animal at once recognized his old friend, and appeared so delighted, that the sailor begged to be allowed to go into the den. The tiger, on this, rubbed himself against him, licked his hands, and fawned on him as a cat would have done. The sailor remained in the den for a couple of hours or more, during which time the tiger kept so close to him, that it was evident he would have some difficulty in getting out again, without the animal making his escape at the same time. The den consisted of two compartments. At last the keeper contrived to entice the tiger to the inner one, when he closed the slide, and the seaman was liberated.

Even a wolf, savage as that animal is, may, if caught young, and treated kindly, become tame.

A story is told of a wolf which showed a considerable amount of affection for its master. He had brought it up from a puppy, and it became as tame as the best-trained dog, obeying him in everything. Having frequently to leave home, and not being able to take the wolf with him, he sent it to a menagerie, where he knew it would be carefully looked after. At first the wolf was very unhappy, and evidently pined for its absent master. At length, resigning itself to its fate, it made friends with its keepers, and recovered its spirits.

Fully eighteen months had passed by, when its old master, returning home, paid a visit to the menagerie. Immediately he spoke, the wolf recognized his voice, and made strenuous efforts to get free. On being set at liberty it sprang forward, and leaped up and caressed him like a dog. Its master, however, left it with its keepers, and three years passed away before he paid another visit to the menagerie. Notwithstanding this lapse of time, the wolf again recognized him, and exhibited the same marks of affection.

On its master again going away, the wolf became gloomy and desponding, and refused its food, so that fears were entertained for its life.

It recovered its health, however, and though it suffered its keepers to approach, exhibited the savage disposition of its tribe towards all strangers.

The history of this wolf shows you that the fiercest tempers may be calmed by gentleness.

Arrant thieves as foxes are, with regard to their domestic virtues they eminently shine. Both parents take the greatest interest in rearing and educating their offspring. They provide, in their burrow, a comfortable nest, lined with feathers, for their new-born cubs. Should either parent perceive in the neighbourhood of their abode the slightest sign of human approach, they immediately carry their young to a spot of greater safety, sometimes many miles away. They usually set off in the twilight of a fine evening. The papa fox having taken a survey all round, marches first, the young ones march singly, and mamma brings up the rear. On reaching a wall or bank, papa always mounts first, and looks carefully around, rearing himself on his haunches to command a wider view. He then utters a short cry, which the young ones, understanding as "Come along!" instantly obey. All being safely over, mamma follows, pausing in her turn on the top of the fence, when she makes a careful survey, especially rearward. She then gives a responsive cry, answering to "All right!" and follows the track of the others. Thus the party proceed on their march, repeating the same precautions at each fresh barrier.

When peril approaches, the wary old fox instructs his young ones to escape with turns and doublings on their path, while he himself will stand still on some brow or knoll, where he can both see and be seen. Having thus drawn attention to himself, he will take to flight in a different direction. Occasionally, while the young family are disporting themselves near their home, if peril approach, the parents utter a quick, peculiar cry, commanding the young ones to hurry to earth; knowing that, in case of pursuit, they have neither strength nor speed to secure their escape. They themselves will then take to flight, and seek some distant place of security.

The instruction they afford their young is varied. Sometimes the parents toss bones into the air for the young foxes to catch. If the little one fails to seize it before it falls to the ground, the parent will snap at him in reproof. If he catches it cleverly, papa growls his approval, and tosses it up again. This sport continues for a considerable time.

As I have said, no other animals so carefully educate their young in the way they should go, as does the fox. He is a good husband, an excellent father, capable of friendship, and a very intelligent member of society; but all the while, it must be confessed, an incorrigible rogue and thief.

A gentleman was lying one summer's day under the shelter of some shrubs on the banks of the Tweed, when his attention was attracted by the cries of wild-fowl, accompanied by a great deal of fluttering and splashing. On looking round, he perceived a large brood of ducks, which had been disturbed by the drifting of a fir branch among them. After circling in the air for a little time, they again settled down on their feeding-ground.

Two or three minutes elapsed, when the same event again occurred. A branch drifted down with the stream into the midst of the ducks, and startled them from their repast. Once more they rose upon the wing, clamouring loudly, but when the harmless bough had drifted by, settled themselves down upon the water as before. This occurred so frequently, that at last they scarcely troubled themselves to flutter out of the way, even when about to be touched by the drifting bough.

The gentleman, meantime, marking the regular intervals at which the fir branches succeeded each other in the same track, looked for a cause, and perceived, at length, higher up the bank of the stream, a fox, which, having evidently sent them adrift, was eagerly watching their progress and the effect they produced. Satisfied with the result, cunning Reynard at last selected a larger branch of spruce-fir than usual, and couching himself down on it, set it adrift as he had done the others. The birds, now well trained to indifference, scarcely moved till he was in the midst of them, when, making rapid snaps right and left, he secured two fine young ducks as his prey, and floated forward triumphantly on his raft; while the surviving fowls, clamouring in terror, took to flight, and returned no more to the spot.

A labourer going to his work one morning sight of a fox stretched out at full length under a bush. Believing it to be dead, the man drew it out by the tail, and swung it about to assure himself of the fact. Perceiving no symptoms of life, he then threw it over his shoulder, intending to make a cap of the skin, and ornament his cottage wall with the brush. While the fox hung over one shoulder, his mattock balanced it on the other. The point of the instrument, as he walked along, every now and then struck against the ribs of the fox, which, not so dead as the man supposed, objected to this proceeding, though he did not mind being carried along with his head downward. Losing patience, he gave a sharp snap at that portion of the labourer's body near which his head hung. The man, startled by this sudden attack, threw fox and mattock to the ground, when, turning round, he espied the live animal making off at full speed.

I have still another story to tell about cunning Reynard. Daylight had just broke, when a well-known naturalist, gun in hand, wandering in search of specimens, observed a large fox making his way along the skirts of a plantation. Reynard looked cautiously over the turf-wall into the neighbouring field, longing evidently to get hold of some of the hares feeding in it, well aware that he had little chance of catching one by dint of running. After examining the different gaps in the wall, he fixed on one which seemed to be the most frequented, and laid himself down close to it, in the attitude of a cat watching a mouse-hole. He next scraped small hollow in the ground, to form a kind of screen. Now and then he stopped to listen, or take a cautious peep into the field. This done, he again laid himself down, and remained motionless, except when occasionally his eagerness induced him to reconnoitre the feeding hares.

One by one, as the sun rose, they made their way from the field to the plantation. Several passed, but he moved not, except to crouch still closer to the ground. At length two came directly towards him. The involuntary motion of his ears, though he did not venture to look up, showed that he was aware of their approach. Like lightning, as they were leaping through the gap, Reynard was upon them, and catching one, killed her immediately. He was decamping with his booty, when a rifle-ball put an end to his career.

I must tell you one more story about a fox, and a very interesting little animal it was, though not less cunning than its relatives in warmer regions.

Mr. Hayes, the Arctic explorer, had a beautiful little snow-white fox, which was his companion in his cabin when his vessel was frozen up during the winter. She had been caught in a trap, but soon became tame, and used to sit in his lap during meals, with her delicate paws on the cloth. A plate and fork were provided for her, though she was unable to handle the fork herself; and little bits of raw venison, which she preferred to seasoned food. When she took the morsels into her mouth, her eyes sparkled with delight. She used to wipe her lips, and look up at her master with a coquetterie perfectly irresistible. Sometimes she exhibited much impatience; but a gentle rebuke with a fork on the tip of the nose was sufficient to restore her patience.

When sufficiently tame, she was allowed to run loose in the cabin; but she got into the habit of bounding over the shelves, without much regard for the valuable and perishable articles lying on them.

She soon also found out the bull's-eye overhead, through the cracks round which she could sniff the cool air. Close beneath it she accordingly took up her abode; and thence she used to crawl down when dinner was on the table, getting into her master's lap, and looking up longingly and lovingly into his face, sometimes putting out her little tongue with impatience, and barking, if the beginning of the repast was too long delayed.

To prevent her climbing, she was secured by a slight chain. This she soon managed to break, and once having performed the operation, she did not fail to attempt it again. To do this, she would first draw herself back as far as she could get, and then suddenly dart forward, in the hope of snapping it by the jerk; and though she was thus sent reeling on the floor, she would again pick herself up, panting as if her little heart would break, shake out her disarranged coat, and try once more. When observed, however, she would sit quietly down, cock her head cunningly on one side, follow the chain with her eye along its whole length to its fastening on the floor, walk leisurely to that point, hesitating a moment, and then make another plunge. All this time she would eye her master sharply, and if he moved, she would fall down on the floor at once, and pretend to be asleep.

She was a very neat and cleanly creature, everlastingly brushing her clothes, and bathing regularly in a bath of snow provided for her in the cabin. This last operation was her great delight. She would throw up the white flakes with her diminutive nose, rolling about and burying herself in them, wipe her face with her soft paws, and then mount to the side of the tub, looking round her knowingly, and barking the prettiest bark that ever was heard. This was her way of enforcing admiration; and being now satisfied with her performance, she would give a goodly number of shakes to her sparkling coat, then, happy and refreshed, crawl into her airy bed in the bull's-eye, and go to sleep.

The Indian believes the bear to be possessed not only of a wonderful amount of sagacity, but of feelings akin to those of human beings. Though most species are savage when irritated, some of them occasionally exhibit good humour and kindness.

A story is told of a man in Russia, who on an expedition in search of honey, climbed into a high tree. The trunk was hollow, and he discovered a large cone within. He was descending to obtain it, when he stuck fast. Unable to extricate himself, and too far from home to make his voice heard, he remained in that uncomfortable position for two days, sustaining his life by eating the honey. He had become silent from despair, when, looking up, what was his horror to see a huge bear above him, tempted by the same object which had led him into his dangerous predicament, and about to descend into the interior of the tree!

Bears—very wisely—when getting into hollows of rocks or trees, go tail-end first, that they may be in a position to move out again when necessary. No sooner, in spite of his dismay, did the tail of the bear reach him, than the man caught hold of it. The animal, astonished at finding some big creature below him, when he only expected to meet with a family of bees, against whose stings his thick hide was impervious, quickly scrambled out again, dragging up the man, who probably shouted right lustily. Be that as it may, the bear waddled off at a quick rate, and the honey-seeker made his way homeward, to relate his adventure, and relieve the anxiety of his family.

The brown bear, which lives in Siberia, may be considered among the most good-natured of his tribe. Mr. Atkinson, who travelled in that country, tells us that some peasants—a father and mother—had one day lost two of their children, between four and six years of age. It was soon evident that their young ones had wandered away to a distance from their home, and as soon as this discovery was made they set off in search of them.

Having proceeded some way through the wilds, they caught sight in the distance of a large animal, which, as they got nearer, they discovered to be a brown bear; and what was their horror to see within its clutches their lost young ones! Their sensations of dismay were exchanged for astonishment, when they saw the children running about, laughing, round the bear, sometimes taking it by the paws, and sometimes pulling it by the tail. The monster, evidently amused with their behaviour, treated them in the most affectionate manner. One of the children now produced some fruit, with which it fed its shaggy playfellow, while the other climbed up on its back, and sat there, fearlessly urging its strange steed to move on. The parents gave way to cries of terror at seeing the apparent danger to which their offspring were exposed. The little boy, however, having slipped off the bear's back, the animal, hearing the sound of other voices, left the children, and retreated quietly into the forest.


By Bayard Taylor

Years ago I spent a winter in Africa. I had intended to go up the Nile only as far as Nubia, visiting the great temples and tombs of Thebes on the way; but when I had done all this, and passed beyond the cataracts at the southern boundary of Egypt, I found the journey so agreeable, so full of interest, and attended with so much less danger than I had supposed, that I determined to go on for a month or two longer, and penetrate as far as possible into the interior. Everything was favorable to my plan.

When I reached Khartoum, the Austrian consul invited me to his house; and there I spent three or four weeks, in that strange town, making acquaintance with the Egyptian officers, the chiefs of the desert tribes and the former kings of the different countries of Ethiopia. When I left my boat, on arriving, and walked through the narrow streets of Khartoum, between mud walls, very few of which were even whitewashed, I thought it a miserable place, and began to look out for some garden where I might pitch my tent, rather than live in one of those dirty-looking habitations. The wall around the consul's house was of mud like the others; but when I entered I found clean, handsome rooms, which furnished delightful shade and coolness during the heat of the day. The roof was of palm-logs, covered with mud, which the sun baked into a hard mass, so that the house was in reality as good as a brick dwelling. It was a great deal more comfortable than it appeared from the outside.

There were other features of the place, however, which it would be difficult to find anywhere except in Central Africa. After I had taken possession of my room, and eaten breakfast with my host, I went out to look at the garden. On each side of the steps leading down from the door sat two apes, who barked and snapped at me. The next thing I saw was a leopard tied to the trunk of an orange-tree. I did not dare to go within reach of his rope, although I afterwards became well acquainted with him. A little farther, there was a pen of gazelles and an antelope with immense horns; then two fierce, bristling hyenas; and at last, under a shed beside the stable, a full-grown lioness sleeping in the shade. I was greatly surprised when the consul went up to her, lifted up her head, opened her jaws so as to show the shining white tusks, and finally sat down upon her hack.

She accepted these familiarities so good-naturedly that I made bold to pat her head also. In a day or two we were great friends; she would spring about with delight whenever she saw me, and would purr like a cat whenever I sat upon her back. I spent an hour or two every day among the animals, and found them all easy to tame except the hyenas, which would gladly have bitten me if I had allowed them a chance. The leopard, one day, bit me slightly on the hand; but I punished him by pouring several buckets of water over him, and he was always very amiable after that. The beautiful little gazelles would cluster around me, thrusting up their noses into my hand, and saying "Wow! wow!" as plainly as I write it. But none of these animals attracted me as much as the big lioness. She was always good-humored, though occasionally so lazy that she would not even open her eyes when I sat down on her shoulder. She would sometimes catch my foot in her paws as a kitten catches a ball, and try to make a plaything of it,—yet always without thrusting out her claws. Once she opened Her mouth, and gently took one of my legs in her jaws for a moment; and the very next instant she put out her tongue and licked my hand. There seemed to be almost as much of the dog as of the cat in her nature. We all know, however, that there are differences of character among animals as there are among men; and my favorite probably belonged to a virtuous and respectable family of lions.

The day after my arrival I went with the consul to visit the pacha, who lived in a large mud palace on the bank of the Blue Nile. He received us very pleasantly, and invited us to take seats in the shady court-yard. Here there was a huge panther tied to one of the pillars, while a little lion, about eight months old, ran about perfectly loose. The pacha called the latter, which came springing and frisking towards him. "Now," said he, "we will have some fun." He then made the lion lie down behind one of the pillars, and called to one of the black boys to go across the court-yard on some errand. The lion lay quite still until the boy came opposite to the pillar, when he sprang out after him. The boy ran, terribly frightened; but the lion reached him in five or six leaps, sprang upon his back and threw him down, and then went back to the pillar as if quite satisfied with his exploit. Although the boy was not hurt in the least, it seemed to me like a cruel piece of fun.

The pacha, nevertheless, laughed very heartily, and told us that he had himself trained the lion to frighten the boys.

Presently the little lion went away, and when we came to look for him, we found him lying on one of the tables in the kitchen of the palace, apparently very much interested in watching the cook. The latter told us that the animal sometimes took small pieces of meat, but seemed to know that it was not permitted, for he would run away afterwards in great haste. What I saw of lions during my residence in Khartoum satisfied me that they are not very difficult to tame, only, as they belong to the cat family, no dependence can be placed on their continued good behavior….

Although I was glad to leave that wild town, with its burning climate, and retrace the long way back to Egypt, across the Desert and down the Nile, I felt very sorry at being obliged to take leave forever of all my pets. The little gazelles said, "Wow! wow!" in answer to my "Good-bye"; the hyenas howled and tried to bite, just as much as ever; but the dear old lioness I know would have been sorry if she could have understood that I was going. She frisked around me, licked my hand, and I took her great tawny head into my arms, and gave her a kiss. Since then I have never had a lion for a pet, and may never have one again. I must confess I am sorry for it; for I still retain my love for lions (four-footed ones, I mean), to this day.


By Allen French

My guide, Alaric, and I had gone in after moose to the country beyond Mud Brook, in Maine. There its watershed between the east branch and the west is cut up into valleys, in one or another of which a herd of moose, in winter, generally takes up quarters. It was not yet yarding-time, for the snow was still only about four inches deep, making it just right for the moose-hunter who is at the same time a sportsman.

Our task was a slow one; we had to examine each valley for moose tracks, tramping up one side and down the other, or as we usually managed it, separating at the valley's mouth, each taking a side, meeting at the end and then, if unsuccessful, taking the quickest way back to camp.

And unsuccessful we were, since for three days we found no trail.
But Alaric was not in the least discouraged.

"You can never tell about moose," he said; "they travel so. There were moose in this country before the snow, and there are moose within a day's walk of us now. It's just as I told you; we may have to spend five days in finding where they are."

It was on the second day that we found that, while after moose, we had been tracked by a catamount. The print of its paw was generously large.

"I've seen bigger," said Alaric, "but this feller's big enough. He's just waiting round, I guess, so as to get some of the meat we kill. We'll remember him," he said, looking up at me as he knelt on the snow, "so's to see that he doesn't spoil the hide or the head."

I accepted the theory, and thought little more of the matter for twenty-four hours.

At the end of the third day we found that the catamount had for a second time been following our trail—not only our trail, but also mine.

He had followed me all day as I walked along the hillside, looking ahead and on both sides, but seldom behind. Alaric examined his tracks carefully for half a mile.

"He was in sight of you all the way," he said. "See here, where he stood for some time, just shifting about in one place, watching?" I saw—and thought.

After a while, it seemed to me, a catamount might get tired of waiting for us to kill his meat, and would start in to kill it for himself. Unquestionably the easiest game for him to get would be human.

For there were no deer in the region, and the caribou were all herded on Katahdin and Traveller. The previous severe winter had decimated the partridges, and big is the catamount that will tackle a moose. I mentioned the theory to Alaric.

"Um—yes, perhaps," he said, and eyed me dubiously.

Then I wished that I had not said anything. It is not well to let your guide think that you are afraid.

In the morning, when we had attained our valley's mouth, Alaric was about to keep with me, instead of leaving me as before; but that made our hunting much slower, for we could cover much less ground, and I sent him around the other way.

"All right," said he. "But keep a good lookout behind you now."

He disappeared in a cedar swamp, and I made my way along the slope of a hill. I watched indeed behind as well as in front, and in every fox's track I crossed I saw a catamount's, until finally I got used to the situation, and believed that the "Indian devil" had concluded to let me alone.

The day was fine. The sun shone bright, and the softening snow, dropping from the upper branches of the trees, kept up a constant movement in the woods. I took and held a good pace, and with my eyes searching the snow ahead and on all sides of me for signs of moose, walked for a full hour, seeing nothing living but the woodpeckers and the chickadees, hearing nothing but the rustle of the branches, as released of their loads they sprang back into place. Then, quite needlessly, I found insecure footing under the snow, and plunged suddenly at full length. My rifle whirled from my hand with force, and I heard it strike against the uncovered top of a sugar-loaf stone. I jumped up in fear and hastily examined it. The breech was shattered—my rifle was as useless as any stick.

Now I thought of the catamount, as, with the broken rifle in my hands, I looked about me in the woods, bright with sun and snow. I was not entirely helpless, for my revolver and knife were in my belt.

Yet a thirty-eight calibre revolver, even with a long cartridge and a long barrel, is not a sure defence against an animal as heavy as myself, which in facing me would present for a mark only a round head and a chest with muscles so thick and knotty that they would probably stop any revolver bullet. I doubted my ability to hit the eye.

Very likely I was no longer followed; and in any case, I might call Alaric. And yet he was too far away for a shout to reach him, and I dared not fire signal-shots, for in order to travel light, I had left at camp all revolver cartridges but those in the chambers.

So I started at once for the bottom of the valley, hoping to strike Alaric's trail on the opposite slope, and intending to follow it until I caught him.

My rifle I left where it was; it was useless and heavy. I cast many a glance behind me as, almost at a trot, I made my way down the long hillside.

I strode on rapidly, for I had certainly a mile to cover before I could strike Alaric's trail, much more before I could catch my nimble guide. I was cheerful and unalarmed until, pausing to look behind, I saw, a hundred yards away, a tawny animal quickly slip behind a tree.

I hastily drew my revolver and knife; but no movement came from its hidden breast, and rather than stand and wait, I pursued my retreat. I moved more slowly, yet as fast as I could and still guard myself against another fall and watch for a rush from behind. I scanned the ground in front of me, and glanced back every second. For some time I saw no more of the catamount.

But when I did see him, I was startled at his nearness; he was within fifty yards. I hurried on as he slipped aside again; but looking again in a moment, I saw him now following boldly upon my trail. I stopped, but he stopped, too, and stood regarding me. He was too far away for me to fire yet, and as he made no movement to approach, I cautiously continued my retreat, always after a few steps stopping to face him.

He stopped as I stopped, yet each time I turned away he came quickly closer. I was already thinking of awaiting him without further movement, when the way was blocked by a ravine.

It was cut by the stream that drained the valley, and its steep sides were nearly fifteen feet in height. They even overhung in places, but this I did not then know. I was in no mind to trust myself in the deep gully, where the catamount might drop upon me before I could scramble out upon the other side.

I walked into an open space, and took my stand close to a birch that grew on the very edge of the bank. For thirty feet there was no good cover for the catamount; so, armed and determined, I waited his action.

The animal skirted the bushes about me, as if examining the ground, and to my disappointment, began to come upon me along the edge of the ravine. This gave him the best cover before his charge, and at the same time assured him that the momentum of his rush would not carry him tumbling into the gully. Always keeping too well concealed for a good mark, he crept up behind a fallen tree, on the near side of which a little bush grew, and flattened himself there, watching me, I felt sure, and waiting, in the hope that he might catch me off my guard.

I cannot describe how stealthy and noiseless and altogether perfect his maneuvering was. Although the trees that grew about were all small and the bushes bare, and although the white snow gave no background for concealment, he covered himself so perfectly at one time, and slipped in and out of sight so quickly at another, that although I stood with revolver pointed and cocked, I could find no opportunity for a shot.

As he circled for position he came ever nearer, and I could see at one time the round head, with its short, pointed ears; at another the long, sinuous, muscular body; but they moved so rapidly that before I could shoot they were gone from sight.

All the time he made no sound but a little rustle. In his final concealment I saw nothing of him but his tail, that twitched and twitched and twitched.

At last I caught the glint of his pale green eye and fired. There came a snarl from behind the bush, and it was dashed to one side and the other, while round head and bared teeth and tawny body came crashing through. I pulled trigger again, and the report sounded muffled, and the smoke for an instant obscured the beast. All was white, when, like a breath, it passed, and I saw the rushing catamount not ten feet from me.

I had not time to fire or crouch, but with ready legs hurled myself to one side, and threw my left arm around the tree that grew at the edge of the bank. With an awful dread I felt the ground giving way beneath me.

I dropped my knife and caught the tree closer, when it, too, leaned to fall. It hung for a moment over the steep slope, and I could not save myself. The frost had not clamped the over-hang to the solid ground. The last fall rains had cut it under; the first spring thaw would have brought it down, had not my weight been thrown upon it.

With a twist the tree and I fell together. I clutched my revolver desperately, despite the sickening fear of the fall, and in my grasp it exploded in mid air. Then I fell, and although my body struck easily in the snow-covered ravine, my right hand had been beaten against a sharp rock, and the birch was upon me so that I could not move.

My legs were on the bank, and underneath the snow beneath my shoulders I soon felt the ice, from which stones protruded. One snow-covered rock received and supported my head. I lay upon my right side, and my right hand, swinging in a curve, had struck with force upon another stone, and lay upon the ice, the only part of my body, except my head, which was free. My left arm was pressed close to my side by the birch, which lay across my body and legs.

The weight was not so great but that I could have lifted it, could I but have gained purchase. But I must at the same time lift my own body, for my hips were lower than my feet, my shoulders lower than my hips; and I could not gather ten pounds of force in that position.

My fall confused me somewhat, and I could not at first feel anything, either the pain in my hand or the danger I was in. I noticed only the fine, powdery snow which, cast up by the fall, settled upon me as I lay. Then I saw my arm, stretched out in front of me, with a bloody hand at the end of it, and I came fully to myself.

A pain shot from finger-tip to shoulder as I closed my hand tighter upon the butt of the revolver. But I clenched my teeth and tried to rise—tried twice more before I gave it up as hopeless. Then I raised my hand and put it in a better position, propped upon a stone.

The movements hurt me terribly, but I thought of the catamount, which would surely not be satisfied with two bullets for its breakfast. I was scarcely ready when the head of the beast was thrust over the edge of the bank to look for me.

He saw, and gloated as a human enemy might have done. His savage snarl was full of intelligence, and his slow approach was deliberate torture. He stood for a moment in full view—then slipped and slid down to the surface of the ice, where, ten yards away, he stood and looked at me.

I saw his magnificent build, his superb muscular development, as with his body in profile, his head turned toward me, he waited before approaching, playing with my helplessness; but I was not entirely helpless! With shaking hand I took aim; I could not use my thumb to cock the revolver, but drew hard at the trigger, and the hammer rose and fell.

My turn for gloating had come now, for the catamount was crying with rage and pain. He fell writhing, striking with his forepaws at the snow, and raising his head to snap at nothing; but this did not last long. Slowly he dragged himself to a sitting posture, and I could understand his plight and estimate my own danger.

My first two bullets had but torn his flesh. My last had broken his back. He was paralyzed in his hind legs, as I have seen a deer, yet he had many minutes to live, perhaps hours, and was strong and angry enough to finish me. Painfully he started on that short journey to me. With his forepaws, his claws digging the snow, he began to drag himself toward me.

I could only wait. I had but one more shot, and wished to hold it till he should be close; but my torn hand was weak, and the bruised tendons had already begun to stiffen. Into that deep place, where bank and trees overhung, the sun did not come, and I felt the cold striking into my raw flesh. More than that, my weight upon my shoulder began to cut off the blood from my arm. I felt pricking in my flesh, my arm began to be numb, and I feared that I might not be able to shoot.

If he could but hurry! He dragged himself at a snail's pace. It would be so long before he came close that my hand would be useless. Yet as he crawled directly at me, the mark was a poor one. I saw with satisfaction that he would have to turn aside for one of the rocks in his path. When at last he reached it, and began to drag himself around it, he gave me my last chance.

I saw the space behind his shoulder, prayed that my bullet might miss his ribs, summoned the last force at my almost dead hand, and fired.

A little drift of air blew the smoke aside so quickly that I could see the fur fly. He bit savagely at his side, but he crawled on without stopping. From my numb hand the revolver fell without noise in the snow—my fight was finished. He came on; he was only fifteen feet away from me, when he stopped and coughed. Would he sink, unable to move farther?

No; he started again! Although his legs dragged behind him, impeding, although he left a red trail on the snow, and each step forced a snarl from him, he came on. With glittering eyes and hoarse breath, he forced himself to cross the last space. Minutes passed before he was close enough to touch me.

Ah! Even as he turned toward my hand to seize it, even as I waited to see, rather than feel, the crunching of my senseless arm, his head drooped. He raised it once more, but his power was gone. He laid his head, once so powerful, upon my hand, rested his body against the stone, that stood high enough to support him, and glared at me with his fierce, malignant eyes.

Then the fire changed in his eyes, clouded, flickered, glowed—went out. The last breath was expelled with a wheeze. He was dead.

Then my own powers sank, and I thought that I was dying, too. Somewhere in the midst of my faintness I had a sense as if I felt, rather than heard, hasty, heavy footsteps on the bank above me. As soon as I knew anything clearly, I knew that the tree had been pulled away, and that Alaric was bending over me. He had, with ears alert for any sound, and with footsteps kept as near to me as they might be with obedience to my order, come rushing to my aid at the sound at my first revolver-shot. But the distance was so great that he did not arrive until my fight was over.


By Roe L. Hendrick

This adventure came about through an invitation which Ray Churchill received from his friend, Jacques Pourbiere of Two Rivers, New Brunswick. Ray had half-promised to visit his New Brunswick acquaintance during the deer-hunting season, and late in August was reminded of the fact. A second letter came in September, the carefully worded school English of the writer not being able to conceal the warmth and urgency of the invitation.

So Ray telegraphed his acceptance, and four days later arrived at Fredericton, where he secured a hunting license. The next morning he reached Two Rivers, and Jacques met him with a span of ponies, attached to a queer spring vehicle, mounted on wheels that seemed out of all proportion to the body of the carriage. Ray wondered if it was a relic of Acadia, but did not like to ask. They drove for a dozen miles through a wooded and hilly country, and arrived at their destination shortly before nightfall.

Jacques was quite alone at the time, as his parents had gone to visit their older children along the St. John River. He promised Ray at least one deer within a couple of days, and another within a week.

The Pourbiere home resembled those of the better class of habitants, but with a difference due to the greater prosperity of the family in preceding generations. The main room had a huge fireplace, used only occasionally, for there was an air-tight stove connected with the chimney just above it, to afford greater warmth in winter. The other rooms Were chiefly detached, although there was an entry-like porch on the south front of the living-room, and a huge door opening at the east end, both connecting with the yard outside.

But the wood-shed, milk-house and summer kitchen were in the rear, each being a rectangular building of heavy logs, with low lofts above. The homestead was, in fact, a cluster of houses rather than a single dwelling.

What most attracted Ray's attention were the huge bedsteads in the living-room. They were tall four-posters, such as he had seen elsewhere, but with the difference that a canopy covered them. Each had a carved wooden frame, surmounting the top of the posts like a roof. The wood was black with age, its surface being covered with elaborate foliage and armorial devices, representing the toil of some old French artisan of the seventeenth century. They probably had been brought across the Atlantic by the original emigrant, and carefully preserved ever since. They stood in diagonally opposite corners of the room, and upheld the hugest of feather beds, with gay, home-made worsted coverlets and valances that shamed the hues of the rainbow. They certainly tempted to rest in that climate and at that season, but would have seemed suffocating in a warmer region.

That evening Ray said:

"See here, Jacques, you have double windows, with no way of opening them that I can find, and your fireplace is closed to make a better draft for this stove. I'm used to fresh air at night. If I leave the end door ajar, you won't be afraid of burglars, will you?"

The Canadian shrugged his shoulders at this exhibition of his guest's eccentricity, but his hospitality was more than equal to the strain.

"Non, non!" he replied. "Nobody rob. We nevaire lock doors here," and his white teeth flashed.

Ray laughed softly as he thrust a billet of wood between the door and its frame. "But why do you say 'br-r-r!' under your breath?" he asked.

"Co-old before morning, ver' cold!"

"I know, but we'll be snug in bed, and won't feel it. You Canadians wouldn't have so much consumption if you breathed purer air when you slept."

"Oui!" was the polite reply; and nothing more was said.

Long before dawn Ray sprang from bed, closed the door and stirred up the fire. The moon, although low in the west, was still brilliant when they made their way to where a stream trickled down to Cedar Lake, and within a half-hour got their first deer, a fine three-year-old buck.

They secured some smaller game during the morning, and in the afternoon took the deer home, and skinned and dressed it. Most of the carcass was hung up in the milk-room, but Jacques carried a hind quarter in and suspended it beside the closed fireplace, later cutting off steaks for supper and breakfast.

They passed a merry evening, each telling stories of his experiences, which were so different in quality that they possessed all the charm of novelty to the respective listeners. Again Ray set the door ajar, after they had undressed, and in a few moments both were asleep.

Several hours passed. Had either young man been awake, he might have heard soft footfalls about the door. A squatty, heavily built animal, with huge feet, bob tail, and pointed ears adorned with tufts of hair, had traced the slaughtered deer to the farmhouse by means of drops of blood, and now was searching eagerly for the meat.

He sought the milk-room again and again, and even sprang to the window-ledge, but could not get inside. Then he came back and sniffed at the partly open door of the living-room.

The human smell was there, and he hesitated. But so, too, was the odor of fresh venison, and his mouth watered.

A round head was thrust inside the door. The moon, peering above the hemlocks to the southeastward, cast its rays through a window directly upon the fresh meat.

The temptation was greater than the intruder was able to withstand. Inch by inch he crowded past the swaying door, and silently crept toward the venison. The two men were breathing very loudly, but neither stirred; and at last he gathered supreme courage, and leaped upon the meat.

It fell with a crash against the stove, and the two were awakened simultaneously. As Jacques sprang from the bed, the animal backed, dragging the quarter of venison toward the door. He collided with it, knocking the billet of wood outside, and the latch fell into place with a clash.

Finding himself a prisoner, the creature advanced, spitting and growling, straight at Jacques, who, crying, "Loup cervier! loup cervier!" retreated to the bed.

But the pursuit did not end there. Seeing that the beast was about to leap upon the bed, the Canadian hastily climbed one of the posts, not a second too soon, and ensconced himself on the edge of the canopy top, with his back pressed against the timbers of the loft floor above.

Ray had been too much amazed to interfere at first, but now the time seemed ripe to reopen the door and drive the lynx out. He made a rush, but the angry creature turned and dashed at his legs so viciously that in a couple of seconds he, too, found himself perched precariously on the canopy of his own bed, with "prick-ears" spitting and snarling on the coverlet.

"Can that beast climb up here, like a cat?" he asked, with no little anxiety in his tones.

"Oui," was the reply, "he can; but loup cerviers don' climb mooch."

In a few moments the lynx went back to the venison, and began eating it voraciously, only stopping to snarl when the young men spoke or moved. The fire was very low, the room had been well aired, and the two were thinly clad. Before long their teeth were chattering.

"Eef Ah can get heem away from door, Ah'll roon an' get goon an' feex heem!" Jacques said, with marked ill-will underlying his quaint English. He clambered about the creaking canopy frame, which threatened to collapse at any moment, till he reached the side wall. Along this were suspended loops of onions. A big one hurtled through the air and hit the intruder in the side. He whirled about and dashed for the bed.

Babette, the family cat, had been concealed beneath this bed during the preceding scrimmage. She now thrust out her head just in time to be seen by the lynx, and the liveliest sort of chase about the room ensued.

When hard pressed, she somehow reached a shelf close beside Ray, climbed recklessly over him, her claws stabbing him in a dozen places, and hid behind him. The lynx was thoroughly aroused, and although clumsier and heavier, set out sturdily to follow.

Ray's hand fell on the shelf, and clutched a flat-iron, of which there were a half-dozen in a row. Leaning forward, he struck the oncomer a hard blow over the head. Prick-ears fell to the floor, and rolled, writhing, struggling and half-stunned, under the bed.

"Now, Jacques, now!" Ray yelled. His host jumped, and was outside the door in an instant. Ray grasped another flat-iron and waited. The sound of struggling beneath the bed was unabated.

In five minutes he heard a plaintive voice calling outside:

"Where you put dem goons?"

"In the milk-room."

"Oui, but where? Ah'm freezing!"

"I—I don't remember."

Jacques, saying many things in a patois he had never learned in the provincial school, went back to the milk-room. The lynx ventured to show his head, and a flat-iron dented the floor close beside it. Then the animal circled the room, dodged another missile, and hid in a dark corner.

Ray could hear Jacques tossing things about in the obscurity of the milk-room, but plainly finding no guns, and as plainly getting colder every minute.

Something must be done at once. He clutched a flat-iron in each hand, screwed his courage to the sticking point, and dropped to the floor.

As he flung the door wide open, he heard the rasping of the lynx's claws on the boards behind him. He dashed outside, threw both flat-irons wildly at his pursuer, and jumped as far as he could to one side. The lynx kept straight on, headed for the woods a few rods away.

Jacques had found his gun at last. He took a flying shot in the moonlight, hitting a tree at least a rod at the lynx's right. Then the two went inside, enlivened the fire, and dressed as hastily as possible.

"Consumption is bad, ver' bad for Canadians," said Jacques, a half-hour later, picking his words with care.

Ray grinned, but made no reply.

"Night air is good; but Ah don' lak dese—dese beeg microbes eet bring in."


By Franklin W. Calkins

A pet grizzly bear had been for a number of years a feature at Hartranft's. As a puny infant, barely able to crawl, Solomon, as he was solemnly dubbed, was brought in off the Teton Mountains, and as milk was scarcer than money at the horse-ranch, he was aristocratically fed on malted milk.

On this expensive diet the cub throve amazingly. Good feeding was continued after his weaning from the rubber nipple, and at the end of three years Solomon had grown to be a fat wooly monster. He was kept chained to a post in the warm season, and had an enclosed stall in a big barn for his winter quarters. Ordinarily he was good-natured, but he was a rough and not altogether safe playfellow. The near-by bawling of cattle always aroused in him ebullitions of rage.

"Solomon's got an awful grouch agin any noise bigger than what he can make hisself," was the saying of the ranch hands.

When Joe Hartranft's sister, Mrs. Murray, and her two boys, Rufe and Perry, came to the ranch to spend the month of June, Solomon was promptly hustled into his stall in the barn. It was thought best to have no boys fooling round the grizzly.

This would undoubtedly have been the safest disposition, but for an oversight of the "stable boss." A big Percheron had been kept loose in a closed stall adjoining Solomon's, and one day, when the bear's voice was raised in remonstrance against his shrill neighing, he had turned his heels loose against the partition which separated them. His fierce battery had loosened two boards four or five feet above the floor. And the cracks he made had gone unnoted, or at least the mending had been neglected.

A few days after the visitors came, a fine shorthorn cow with a new calf was turned into the barn for the day.

Men and work-horses were at work at the alfalfa-cutting, and the bear and cow and calf were sole occupants of the barn when Rufe and Perry mounted an outside ladder and entered its loft.

This loft, with its grain-bins, its huge empty space, its cross-beams and braces, offered an attractive gymnasium. In one of the bins, used chiefly for storage, they discovered a lot of fishing-tackle, seines and spears of various sorts for taking the salmon which annually ran up the Snake River and its tributaries.

They had ventured to drag out one of the seines and unroll it on the floor of the loft, when the cow below them broke into distressful bawling. Peering down a square aperture, through which hay was lifted by machine forks in the season of storing, they saw that the calf had got in between the wheels of two buggies which were housed on one side of the driveway.

The feeble creature was stuck fast enough, and the helpless dam could only bellow her distress. The boys, in spite of some fear of the cow, would have gone down to extricate the calf, but at this instant Solomon roused in his lair, and took a hand in the demonstration.

His uproar became frightful as the cow, more than ever alarmed for her calf, continued to bawl. There was a trap-door raised for ventilation over Solomon's stall, and the boys ran eagerly to have a look at the grizzly.

They were highly entertained for a moment. Hair on end, teeth gnashing, Solomon charged back and forth in his enclosure. Then he reared up on his hind legs and clawed at the pine planks which shut him in. He had not long continued this performance when his claws caught in the crack of a loosened board. There was a ripping creak and a crash, and down came the board. Another followed, and Solomon, ceasing his violent threats for the instant, peered through a wide gap into another domain. His hesitation was brief; he scrambled through, walked out of the open door of the horse-stall into an alley, and sought wider range.

At first the boys were a little frightened, but they concluded that Solomon would not be able to climb into the loft, and that it was safer for them to stay above than to go down the ladder, for the grizzly might easily push aside one of the half-dozen sliding doors and get out of the barn.

The barn was at a considerable distance from the house, so they determined not to alarm the women unless Solomon should get outside and so make it necessary. They sat for a time listening to the monotonous bawling of the cow. Solomon seemed to have lost interest in her noise, as they heard him now and then rummaging among the empty stalls.

They had begun to hope that the bear would not find his way out of the stalls, when they heard him scrambling heavily.

Then came a resounding thump as he dropped from one of the open mangers to the floor of the barn.

Almost instantly a terrific bawling and uproar broke out below. Solomon had reached the cow at last. The boys ran to the edge of the hay-lift and peered down. The cow was directly underneath, had backed up against the buggies, and stood tossing her head and bawling like a crazy thing.

Dropping their eyes below the level of the loft floor, the lads saw Solomon coming round a pile of new alfalfa which had been unloaded in front of the central stalls. His rage was terrific, although he advanced slowly to the attack.

He came under the wide opening and swayed back and forth before the cow like a tiger in its cage, roaring his threats and watching for an opening to get by the lowered horns. He was a creature of instinct, and with a veteran's precaution before a wicked pair of horns.

Nevertheless the cow, in a lightning charge, caught him broadside on, and bore him, in a swift rush, into the midst of the heap of clover. But for that soft padding for his ribs, it would have gone hard with Solomon. He was doubled up and thrust into the soft mass, fighting wildly.

Bear and cow were buried in a storm of clover and flying hay. They twisted about. Then the bear got his back braced against a stall and his hind feet against the cow, and he bowled her into the middle of the barn.

With a huge grunt she alighted on her side and rolled clean over.
As she scrambled to her feet, full of pluck and snorting fiercely,
Solomon issued from the midst of the alfalfa-heap, and again the
two faced each other, filling the barn with loudmouthed threats.

It was a splendid and exciting battle, but Rufe and Perry, certain that the bear would kill the cow unless prevented, felt that they must do something. They had heard their Uncle Joe say that, since Solomon was getting crosser, he would give him away if anybody could be found to come and get him.

Since nobody else was within reach, they cast about for some means of distracting Solomon from his fell purpose. Better kill the bear, if possible, than let him destroy a valuable farm animal. Suddenly, as the bear came directly beneath, Perry bethought him of the fish-spears.

In a twinkling he had one in hand, and was standing over the wide aperture.

"That's it! That's it!" shouted Rufe. "Stab him! Stick it clear into him! That'll keep him busy for a while!"

Solomon was again weaving back and forth before the threatening horns, and as he came within easy reach, Perry gave him a fierce thrust between the shoulders. As the tines pierced his muscles, the bear reared to his hind legs with a whining roar of pain. Perry, still clinging to the handle of the spear, was suddenly thrown off his perch and tumbled head foremost upon the grizzly!

Thus the peril of breaking bones in falling was avoided in the peril of rolling on the barn floor in the clutches of a mad grizzly!

The bear had twisted his neck to seize the spear-handle, and when
Perry hit him, was bowled over on his side.

The spear-handle snapped in his teeth, and as he wrenched frantically at the fragment, its tines were twisted, cutting deeper into his flesh.

This wound, the first he had ever received, set Solomon crazy.

He paid not the slightest heed to boy or cow, but rolled and threshed, biting at the fragment of spear-handle, giving vent to his rage and pain in a hoarse, distressful roar.

Perry might easily have scrambled to his feet and escaped, but he also was flung at full length on the floor, and instantly Solomon, in distress, rolled over him, crushing the breath from his lungs.

The terrified Rufe, looking down upon his brother's blackened face and the bear's wicked claws waving above it, leaped to his feet and started to run to the barn-loft door, to scream for help.

At less than half the distance, his feet caught in the meshes of the unrolled net, and he measured his length on the floor.

As he quickly untangled a foot, the thought flashed into his mind, "Throw this net upon the bear's legs!" In a flash he was at the edge of the open floor and hauling the big seine in coils at his feet.

When he had a heap to the height of his knees he gathered it in his arms and dropped the coils upon Solomon's waving legs.

The bear's claws took instant hold of the stout meshes, and bruin, feeling his feet entangled, wrenched at their fastenings, rolling himself over on his side and off the body of the prostrate boy. Perry, well-nigh smothered, had barely strength enough to crawl out of reach of the whirlwind fight which now took place.

Even the cow was awed to silence by the uproar of Solomon's rage as he fought with the entangling folds of the salmon net.

The seine needed no attendance. It did its own work once the grizzly's legs had been thrust through its meshes.

Coil after coil, the hundred and fifty feet of seine came down out of the loft as the bear rolled and pitched and tumbled. The more he tore and threshed, the more meshes there were to enwrap and entangle him.

In five minutes from the time its first meshes dropped upon him, the net had Solomon so wound and bound that his legs were immovable, and he could barely wriggle his neck.

Perry soon recovered his breath, and before they ran to the field to tell of Solomon's plight, the two boys had the presence of mind to pen the cow up where she could not, should she take a notion, gore the helpless grizzly.

Amid both laughter and commiseration, blended with comments on the pluck of the two youngsters, the ranchmen performed a surgical operation on the helpless Solomon, extracting the spear from his flesh. With much greater difficulty they freed him from the seine and got him back into his lair.


By C. A. Stephens

When I was a boy I lived in one of those rustic neighborhoods on the outskirts of the great "Maine woods." Foxes were plenty, for about all those sunny pioneer clearings birch-partridges breed by thousands, as also field-mice and squirrels, making plenty of game for Reynard.

There were red foxes, "cross-grays," and "silver-grays;" even black foxes were reported. These animals were the pests of the farm-yards, and made havoc with the geese, cats, turkeys, and chickens. In the fall of the year, particularly after the frosts, the clearings were overrun by them night and morning. Their sharp, cur-like barks used often to rouse us, and of a dark evening we would hear them out in the fields, "mousing" around the stone-heaps, making a queer, squeaking sound like a mouse, to call the real mice out of their grass nests inside the stone-heaps. This, indeed, is a favorite trick of Reynard.

At the time of my story, my friend Tom Edwards (ten years of age) and myself were in the turkey business, equal partners. We owned a flock of thirty-one turkeys. These roosted by night in a large butternut tree in front of Tom's house—in the very top of it, and by day they wandered about the edges of the clearings in quest of beech-nuts, which were very plentiful that fall.

All went well till the last week in October, when, on taking the census one morning, a turkey was found to be missing; the thirty-one had become thirty since nightfall the previous evening. It was the first one we had lost.

We proceeded to look for traces. Our suspicions were divided. Tom thought it was "the Twombly boys," nefarious Sam in particular. I thought it might have been an owl. But under the tree, in the soft dirt, where the potatoes had recently been dug, we found fox-tracks, and two or three ominous little wads of feathers, with one long tail feather adrift. Thereupon we concluded that the turkey had accidentally fallen down out of the butternut—had a fit, perhaps—and that its flutterings had attracted the attention of some passing fox, which had, forthwith, taken it in charge. It was, as we regarded it, one of those unfortunate occurrences which no care on our part could have well foreseen, and a casualty such as turkey-raisers are unavoidably heirs to, and we bore our loss with resignation. We were glad to remember that turkeys did not often fall off their roosts.

This theory received something of a check when our flock counted only twenty-nine the next morning. There were more fox-tracks, and a great many more feathers under the tree. This put a new and altogether ugly aspect on the matter. No algebra was needed to figure the outcome of the turkey business at this rate, together with our prospective profits, in the light of this new fact. It was clear that something must be done, and at once, too, or ruin would swallow up the poultry firm.

Rightly or wrongly, we attributed the mischief to a certain "silver-gray" that had several times been seen in the neighborhood that autumn.

It would take far too much space to relate in detail the plans we laid and put in execution to catch that fox during the next two weeks. I recollect that we set three traps for him to no purpose, and that we borrowed a fox-hound to hunt him with, but merely succeeded in running him to the burrow in a neighboring rocky hill-side, whence we found it quite impossible to dislodge the wily fellow.

Meanwhile the fox (or foxes) had succeeded in getting two more of the turkeys.

Heroes, it is said, are born of great crises. This dilemma of ours developed Tom's genius.

"I'll have that fox," he said, when the traps failed; and when the hound proved of no avail he still said: "I'll have him yet."

"But how?" I asked. Tom said he would show me. He brought a two-bushel basket and went out into the fields. In the stone-heaps, and beside the old logs and stumps, there were dozens of deserted mouse-nests, each a wad of fine dry grass as large as a quart box. These were gathered up, and filled the great basket.

"There," said he, triumphantly, "don't them smell mousey?"

They did, certainly; they savored as strongly of mice as Tom's question of bad grammar.

"And don't foxes catch mice?" demanded Tom, confidently.

"Yes, but I don't see how that's going to catch the fox," I said.

"Well, look here, then, I'll show ye," said he. "Play you's the fox; and play 't was night, and you was prowling around the fields. Go off now out there by that stump."

Full of wonder and curiosity, I retired to the stump. Tom, meantime, turned out the mass of nests, and with it completely covered himself. The pile now resembled an enormous mouse-nest, or rather a small hay-cock. Pretty soon I heard a low, high-keyed, squeaking noise, accompanied by a slight rustle inside the nest. Evidently there were mice in it; and, feeling my character as fox at stake, I at once trotted forward, then crept up, and, as the rustling and squeaking continued, made a pounce into the grass—as I had heard it said that foxes did when mousing. Instantly two spry brown hands from out the nest clutched me with a most vengeful grip. As a fox, I struggled tremendously. But Tom overcame me forthwith, choked me nearly black in the face, then, in dumb show, knocked my head with a stone.

"D'ye see, now!" he demanded.

I saw.

"But a fox would bite you," I objected.

"Let him bite," said Tom. "I'll resk him when once I get these two bread-hooks on him. And he can't smell me through the mouse-nests either."

That night we set ourselves to put the stratagem in operation. With the dusk we stole out into the field where the stone-heaps were, and where we had oftenest heard foxes bark. Selecting a nook in the edge of a clump of raspberry briars which grew about a great pine-stump, Tom lay down, and I covered him up completely with the contents of the big basket. He then practiced squeaking and rustling several times to be sure that all was in good trim. His squeaks were perfect successes—made by sucking the air sharply betwixt his teeth.

"Now be off," said Tom, "and don't come poking around, nor get in sight, till you hear me holler."

Thus exhorted, I went into the barn and established myself at a crack on the back side, which looked out upon the field where Tom was ambushed.

Tom, meanwhile, as he afterward told me, waited till it had grown dark, then began squeaking and rustling at intervals, to draw the attention of the fox when first he should come out into the clearing, for foxes have ears so wonderfully acute, that they are able to hear a mouse squeak twenty rods away, it is said.

An hour passed. Tom must have grown pretty tired of squeaking. It was a moonless evening, though not very dark. I could see objects at a little distance through the crack, but could not see so far as the stump. It got rather dull, watching there; and being amidst nice cozy straw, I presently went to sleep, quite unintentionally. I must have slept some time, though it seemed to me but a very few minutes.

What woke me was a noise—a sharp suppressed yelp. It took me a moment to understand where I was, and why I was there. A sound of scuffling and tumbling on the ground at some distance assisted my wandering wits, and I rushed out of the barn and ran toward the field. As I ran, two or three dull whacks came to my ear.

"Got him, Tom?" I shouted, rushing up.

Tom was holding and squeezing one of his hands with the other and shaking it violently. He said not a word, and left me to poke about and stumble on the limp warm carcass of a large fox that lay near.

"Bite ye?" I exclaimed, after satisfying myself that the fox was dead.

"Some," said Tom; and that was all I could get from him that night.

We took the fox to the house and lighted a candle. It was the "silver-gray."

Tom washed his bite in cold water and went to bed. Next morning he was in a sorry and a very sore plight. His left hand was bitten through the palm, and badly swollen. There was also a deep bite in the fleshy part of his right arm, just below the elbow, several minor nips in his left leg above the knee, and a ragged "grab" in the chin. These numerous bites, however, were followed by no serious ill effects.

The next day, Tom told me that the fox had suddenly plunged into the grass, that he had caught hold of one of its hind legs, and that they had rolled over and over in the grass together. He owned to me that when the fox bit him on the chin, he let go of the brute, and would have given up the fight, but that the fox had then actually attacked him. "Upon that," said Tom, "I just determined to have it out with him."

Considering the fact that a fox is a very active, sharp-biting animal, and that this was an unusually large male, I have always thought Tom got off very well. I do not think that he ever cared to make a fox-trap of himself again, however.

We sold the fox-skin in the village, and received thirteen dollars for it, whereas a common red fox-skin is worth no more than three dollars.

How, or by what wiles that fox got the turkeys out of the high butternut, is a secret—one that perished with him. It would seem that he must either have climbed the tree, or else have practiced sorcery to make the turkey come down.


By Lillian M. Gask

A wise and just monarch was the good King John. His kingdom extended over Central Italy, and included the famous town of Atri, which in days gone by had been a famous harbour on the shores of the Adriatic. Now the sea had retreated from it, and it lay inland; no longer the crested waves rolled on its borders, or tossed their showers of silver spray to meet the vivid turquoise of the sky.

The great desire of good King John was that every man, woman and child in his dominions should be able to obtain justice without delay, be they rich or poor. To this end, since he could not possibly listen to all himself, he hung a bell in one of the city towers, and issued a proclamation to say that when this was rung a magistrate would immediately proceed to the public square and administer justice in his name. The plan worked admirably; both rich and poor were satisfied, and since they knew that evil-doers would be quickly punished, and wrongs set right, men hesitated to defraud or oppress their neighbours, and the great bell pealed less often as years went on.

In the course of time, however, the bell-rope wore thin, and some ingenious citizen fastened a wisp of hay to it, that this might serve as a handle. One day in the height of summer, when the deserted square was blazing with sunlight, and most of the citizens were taking their noonday rest, their siesta was disturbed by the violent pealing of the bell.

"Surely some great injustice has been done," they cried, shaking off their languor and hastening to the square. To their amazement they found it empty of all human beings save themselves; no angry supplicant appealed for justice, but a poor old horse, lame and half blind, with bones that nearly broke through his skin, was trying with pathetic eagerness to eat the wisp of hay. In struggling to do this, he had rung the bell, and the judge, summoned so hastily for so slight a cause, was stirred to indignation.

"To whom does this wretched horse belong?" he shouted wrathfully.
"What business has it here?"

"Sir, he belongs to a rich nobleman, who lives in that splendid palace whose tall towers glisten white above the palm-grove," said an old man, coming forward with a deep bow. "Time was that he bore his master to battle, carrying him dauntlessly amid shot and shell, and more than once saving his life by his courage and fleetness. When the horse became old and feeble, he was turned adrift, since his master had no further use for him; and now the poor creature picks up what food he can in highways and byways."

On hearing this the judge's face grew dark with anger. "Bring his master before me," he thundered, and when the amazed nobleman appeared, he questioned him more sternly than he would have done the meanest peasant.

"Is it true," he demanded, "that you left this, your faithful servant, to starve, since he could no longer serve you? It is long since I heard of such gross injustice—are you not ashamed?"

The nobleman hung his head in silence; he had no word to say in his own defence as with scathing contempt the judge rebuked him, adding that in future he would neglect the horse at his peril.

"For the rest of his life," he said, "you shall care for the poor beast as he deserves, so that after his long term of faithful service he may end his days in peace."

This decision was greeted with loud applause by the town folk, who gathered in the square.

"Our bell is superior to all others," they said to each other, with nods and smiles, "for it is the means of gaining justice, not only for men, but for animals too in their time of need."

And with shouts of triumph they led the old war-horse back to his stable, knowing that for the future its miserly owner would not dare to begrudge it the comfort to which it was so justly entitled.


By Anna Sewell

One day when Ginger and I were standing alone in the shade, we had a great deal of talk; she wanted to know all about my bringing up and breaking in, and I told her.

"Well," said she, "if I had had your bringing up, I might have had as good a temper as you, but now I don't believe I ever shall."

"Why not?" I said.

"Because it has been all so different with me," she replied. "I never had any one, horse or man, that was kind to me, or that I cared to please, for in the first place I was taken from my mother as soon as I was weaned, and put with a lot of other young colts; none of them cared for me, and I cared for none of them. There was no kind master like yours to look after me, and talk to me, and bring me nice things to eat. The man that had the care of us never gave me a kind word in my life. I do not mean that he ill-used me, but he did not care for us one bit further than to see that we had plenty to eat, and shelter in the winter. A footpath ran through our field and very often the great boys passing through would fling stones to make us gallop. I was never hit, but one fine young colt was badly cut in the face, and I should think it would be a scar for life. We did not care for them, but of course it made us more wild, and we settled it in our minds that boys were our enemies. We had very good fun in the free meadows, galloping up and down and chasing each other round and round the field; then standing still under the shade of the trees. But when it came to breaking in, that was a bad time for me; several men came to catch me, and when at last they closed me in at one corner of the field, one caught me by the forelock, another caught me by the nose and held it so tight I could hardly draw my breath; then another took my under jaw in his hard hand and wrenched my mouth open, and so by force they got on the halter and the bar into my mouth; then one dragged me along by the halter, another flogging behind, and this was the first experience I had of men's kindness; it was all force. They did not give me a chance to know what they wanted. I was high bred and had a great deal of spirit and was very wild, no doubt, and gave them, I dare say, plenty of trouble, but then it was dreadful to be shut up in a stall day after day instead of having my liberty, and I fretted and pined and wanted to get loose. You know yourself it's bad enough when you have a kind master and plenty of coaxing, but there was nothing of that sort for me.

"There was one—the old master, Mr. Ryder—who, I think, could soon have brought me round, and could have done anything with me; but he had given up all the hard part of the trade to his son and to another experienced man, and he only came at times to oversee. His son was a strong, tall, bold man; they called him Samson, and he used to boast that he had never found a horse that could throw him. There was no gentleness in him, as there was in his father, but only hardness, a hard voice, a hard eye, a hard hand; and I felt from the first that what he wanted was to wear all the spirit out of me, and just make me into a quiet, humble, obedient piece of horse-flesh. 'Horse-flesh!' Yes, that is all that he thought about," and Ginger stamped her foot as if the very thought of him made her angry. Then she went on:

"If I did not do exactly what he wanted, he would get put out, and make me run round with that long rein in the training field till he had tired me out. I think he drank a good deal, and I am quite sure that the oftener he drank the worse it was for me. One day he had worked me hard in every way he could, and when I lay down I was tired, and miserable, and angry; it all seemed so hard. The next morning he came for me early, and ran me round again for a long time. I had scarcely had an hour's rest, when he came again for me with a saddle and bridle and a new kind of bit. I could never quite tell how it came about; he had only just mounted me on the training ground, when something I did put him out of temper, and he chucked me hard with the rein. The new bit was very painful, and I reared up suddenly, which angered him still more, and he began to flog me. I felt my whole spirit set against him, and I began to kick, and plunge, and rear as I had never done before, and we had a regular fight; for a long time he stuck, to the saddle and punished me cruelly with his whip and spurs, but my blood was thoroughly up, and I cared for nothing he could do if only I could get him off. At last, after a terrible struggle, I threw him off backwards. I heard him fall heavily on the turf, and, without looking behind me, I galloped off to the other end of the field; there I turned round and saw my persecutor slowly rising from the ground and going into the stable. I stood under an oak tree and watched, but no one came to catch me. The time went on, and the sun was very hot; the flies swarmed round me and settled on my bleeding flanks where the spurs had dug in. I felt hungry, for I had not eaten since the early morning, but there was not enough grass in that meadow for a goose to live on. I wanted to lie down and rest, but with the saddle strapped tightly on, there was no comfort, and there was not a drop of water to drink. The afternoon wore on, and the sun got low. I saw the other colts led in, and I knew they were having a good feed.

"At last, just as the sun went down, I saw the old master come out with a sieve in his hand. He was a very fine old gentleman with quite white hair, but his voice was what I should know him by amongst a thousand. It was not high, nor yet low, but full, and clear, and kind, and when he gave orders it was so steady and decided, that every one knew, both horses and men, that he expected to be obeyed. He came quietly along, now and then shaking the oats about that he had in the sieve, and speaking cheerfully and gently to me: 'Come along, lassie, come along, lassie; come along, come along.' I stood still and let him come up; he held the oats to me, and I began to eat without fear; his voice took all my fear away. He stood by, patting and stroking me whilst I was eating, and seeing the clots of blood on my side he seemed very vexed. 'Poor lassie! it was a bad business, a bad business!' Then he quietly took the rein and led me to the stable; just at the door stood Samson. I laid my ears back and snapped at him. 'Stand back,' said the master, 'and keep out of her way; you've done a bad day's work for this filly.' He growled out something about a vicious brute. 'Hark ye,' said the father, 'a bad-tempered man will never make a good-tempered horse. You've not learned your trade yet, Samson.' Then he led me into my box, took off the saddle and bridle with his own hands, and tied me up; then he called for a pail of warm water and a sponge, took off his coat, and while the stableman held the pail, he sponged my sides a good while, so tenderly that I was sure he knew how sore and bruised they were. 'Whoa! my pretty one,' he said, 'stand still, stand still.' His very voice did me good, and the bathing was very comfortable. The skin was so broken at the corners of my mouth that I could not eat the hay; the stalks hurt me. He looked closely at it, shook his head, and told the man to fetch a good bran mash and put some meal into it. How good that mash was! and so soft and healing to my mouth. He stood by all the time I was eating, stroking me and talking to the man. 'If a highmettled creature like this,' said he, 'can't be broken in by fair means, she will never be good for anything.'

"After that he often came to see me, and when my mouth was healed, the other breaker, Job, they called him, went on training me; he was steady and thoughtful, and I soon learned what he wanted."


By W. H. G. Kingston

The horse becomes the willing servant of man, and when kindly treated looks upon him as a friend and protector.

I have an interesting story to tell you of a mare which belonged to Captain I—, an old settler in New Zealand. She and her foal had been placed in a paddock, between which and her master's residence, three or four miles away, several high fences intervened. The paddock itself was surrounded by a still higher fence.

One day, however, as Captain I—was standing with a friend in front of his house, he was surprised to see the mare come galloping up. Supposing that the fence of her paddock had been broken down, and that, pleased at finding herself at liberty, she had leaped the others, he ordered a servant to take her back. The mare willingly followed the man; but in a short time was seen galloping up towards the house in as great a hurry as before. The servant, who arrived some time afterwards, assured his master that he had put the mare safely into the paddock. Captain I—told him again to take back the animal, and to examine the fence more thoroughly, still believing that it must have been broken down in some part or other, though the gate might be secure.

Captain I—and his friend then retired into the house, and were seated at dinner, when the sound of horse's hoofs reached their ears. The friend, who had on this got up to look out of the window, saw that it was the mare come back for the third time; and observing the remarkable manner in which she was running up and down, apparently trying even to get into the house, exclaimed, "What can that mare want? I am sure that there is something the matter." Captain I—on hearing this hurried out to ascertain the state of the case. No sooner did the mare see him than she began to frisk about and exhibit the most lively satisfaction; but instead of stopping to receive the accustomed caress, off she set again of her own accord towards the paddock, looking back to ascertain whether her master was following. His friend now joined him, and the mare, finding that they were keeping close behind her, trotted on till the gate of the paddock was reached, where she waited for them. On its being opened, she led them across the field to a deep ditch on the farther side, when, what was their surprise to find that her colt had fallen into it, and was struggling on its back with its legs in the air, utterly unable to extricate itself. In a few minutes more probably it would have been dead. The mare, it was evident, finding that the servant did not comprehend her wishes, had again and again sought her master, in whom she had learned from past experience to confide. Here was an example of strong maternal affection eliciting a faculty superior to instinct, which fully merits the name of reason.

[Illustration: GINGER AND I WERE STANDING ALONE IN THE SHADE From the painting by Maude Scrivener]

The memory of horses is remarkable. The newsman of a country paper was in the habit of riding his horse once or twice a week to the houses of fifty or sixty of his customers, the horse invariably stopping of his own accord at each house as he reached it.

But the memory of the horse was exhibited in a still more curious manner. It happened that there were two persons on the route who took one paper between them, and each claimed the privilege of having it first on each alternate week. The horse soon became accustomed to this regulation, and though the parties lived two miles distant, he stopped once a fortnight at the door of the half-customer at one place, and once a fortnight at the door of the half-customer at the other; and never did he forget this arrangement, which lasted for several years.

I was once travelling in the interior of Portugal with several companions. My horse had never been in that part of the country before. We left our inn at daybreak, and proceeded through a mountainous district to visit some beautiful scenery. On our return evening was approaching, when I stopped behind my companions to tighten the girths of my saddle. Believing that there was only one path to take, I rode slowly on, but shortly reached a spot where I was in some doubt whether I should go forward or turn off to the left. I shouted, but heard no voice in reply, nor could I see any trace of my friends. Darkness was coming rapidly on. My horse seeming inclined to take the left hand, I thought it best to let him do so. In a short time the sky became overcast, and there was no moon. The darkness was excessive. Still my steed stepped boldly on. So dense became the obscurity, that I could not see his ears; nor could I, indeed, distinguish my own hand held out at arms-length. I had no help for it but to place the reins on my horse's neck and let him go forward.

We had heard of robberies and murders committed; and I knew that there were steep precipices, down which, had my horse fallen, we should have been dashed to pieces. Still the firm way in which he trotted gave me confidence. Hour after hour passed by. The darkness would, at all events, conceal me from the banditti, if such were in wait—that was one consolation; but then I could not tell where my horse might be taking me. It might be far away from where I hoped to find my companions.

At length I heard a dog bark, and saw a light twinkling far down beneath me, by which I knew that I was still on the mountain-side. Thus on my steady steed proceeded, till I found that he was going along a road, and I fancied I could distinguish the outlines of trees on either hand. Suddenly he turned on one side, when my hat was nearly knocked off by striking against the beam of a trellised porch, covered with vines; and to my joy I found that he had brought me up to the door of the inn which we had left in the morning.

My companions, trusting to their human guide, had not arrived, having taken a longer though safer route. My steed had followed the direct path over the mountains which we had pursued in the morning.

Another horse of mine, which always appeared a gentle animal, and which constantly carried a lady, was, during my absence, ridden by a friend with spurs. On my return, I found that he had on several occasions attacked his rider, when dismounted, with his fore-feet, and had once carried off the rim of his hat. From that time forward he would allow no one to approach him if he saw spurs on his heels; and I was obliged to blindfold him when mounting and dismounting, as he on several occasions attacked me as he had done my friend.

A horse was shut up in a paddock near Leeds, in a corner of which stood a pump with a tub beneath it.

The groom, however, often forgot to fill the tub, the horse having thus no water to drink. The animal had observed the way in which water was procured, and one night, when the tub was empty, was seen to take the pump handle in his mouth, and work it with his head till he had procured as much water as he required.

A remarkable instance of a horse saving human life occurred some years ago at the Cape of Good Hope. A storm was raging when a vessel, dragging her anchors, was driven on the rocks and speedily dashed to pieces. Many of those on board perished. The remainder were seen clinging to the wreck, or holding on to the fragments which were washing to and fro amid the breakers. No boat could put off. When all hope had gone of saving the unfortunate people, a settler, somewhat advanced in life, appeared on horseback on the shore. His horse was a bold and strong animal, and noted for excelling as a swimmer. The farmer, moved with compassion for the unfortunate seamen, resolved to attempt saving them. Fixing himself firmly in the saddle, he pushed into the midst of the breakers. At first both horse and rider disappeared; but soon they were seen buffeting the waves, and swimming towards the wreck. Calling two of the seamen, he told them to hold on by his boots; then turning his horse's head, he brought them safely to land.

No less than seven times did he repeat this dangerous exploit, thus saving fourteen lives. For the eighth time he plunged in, when, encountering a formidable wave, the brave man lost his balance, and was instantly overwhelmed. The horse swam safely to shore; but his gallant rider, alas! was no more.

Some horses in the county of Limerick, which were pastured in a field, broke bounds like a band of unruly schoolboys, and scrambling through a gap which they had made in a fence, found themselves in a narrow lane. Along the quiet by-road they galloped helter-skelter, at full speed, snorting and tossing their manes in the full enjoyment of their freedom, but greatly to the terror of a party of children who were playing in the lane. As the horses were seen tearing wildly along, the children scrambled up the bank into the hedge, and buried themselves in the bushes, regardless of thorns,—with the exception of one poor little thing, who, too small to run, fell down on its face, and lay crying loudly in the middle of the narrow way.

On swept the horses; but when the leader of the troop saw the little child lying in his path, he suddenly stopped, and so did the others behind him. Then stooping his head, he seized the infant's clothes with his teeth, and carefully lifted it to the side of the road, laying it gently and quite unhurt on the tender grass.

He and his companions then resumed their gallop in the lane, unconscious of having performed a remarkable act.

We have no less an authority than Dr. Franklin to prove that donkeys enjoy music.

The mistress of a chateau in France where he visited had an excellent voice, and every time she began to sing, a donkey belonging to the establishment invariably came near the window, and listened with the greatest attention. One day, during the performance of a piece of music which apparently pleased it more than any it had previously heard, the animal, quitting its usual post outside the window, unceremoniously entered the room, and, to exhibit its satisfaction, began to bray with all its might.

Donkeys sometimes exert their ingenuity to their own advantage. A certain ass had his quarters in a shed, in front of which was a small yard. On one side of the yard was a kitchen garden, separated from it by a wall, in which was a door fastened by two bolts and a latch. The owner of the premises one morning, in taking a turn round his garden, observed the footprints of an ass on the walks and beds. "Surely some one must have left the door open at night," thought the master. He accordingly took care to see that it was closed.

Again, however, he found that the ass had visited the garden.

The next night, curious to know how this had happened, he watched from a window overlooking the yard. At first he kept a light burning near him. The ass, however, remained quietly at his stall. After a time, to enable him to see the better, he had it removed, when what was his surprise to see the supposed stupid donkey come out of the shed, go to the door, and, rearing himself on his hind-legs, unfasten the upper bolt of the door with his nose. This done, he next withdrew the lower bolt; then lifted the latch, and walked into the garden. He was not long engaged in his foraging expedition, and soon returned with a bunch of carrots in his mouth. Placing them in his shed, he went back and carefully closed the door and began at his ease to munch the provender he had so adroitly got possession of.

The owner, suspecting that people would not believe his story, invited several of his neighbours to witness the performance of the ass. Not till the light, however, had been taken away, would the creature commence his operations, evidently conscious that he was doing wrong.

A lock was afterwards put on the door, which completely baffled the ingenuity of the cunning animal.


By E. W. Frentz

When Grandmother Lane was a little girl her father came in one day and said, "Wife, it is all settled at last. I have sold the farm. Next week we will start West. There is a large company going from here, and we must try to get ready to go with them."

Little Mary, as grandmother was then called, heard the news with great delight, because she knew it would mean a long, long journey, lasting months, and carrying them into a new country, where there was never any cold weather and where great crops could be raised without much hard work, and there would always be plenty to eat. Besides, her family was not going alone, but many other families whom they knew were going at the same time, so that she would have some of her playmates with her all the way.

It was a wonderful sight when the great day came at last, and the long wagon-train set out. In all there were more than forty wagons, some drawn by four or six horses, and some by as many as eight big oxen. And such strange wagons! They were more like little houses on wheels, only instead of a roof there was a high frame overhead made of hoops, and covered with canvas, so it made a sort of tent to ride in by day, if you wished, and to sleep in at night. And from these hoops hung all sorts of things—hams and pieces of bacon, strips of dried pumpkin, pans to cook in, and clothes. Underneath the big wagon, outside, swung the great kettles, in which the larger things were cooked, and axes, and ropes and chains for pulling the wagons out when they got stuck in the mud.

To little Mary it was all new and delightful. The big wagons squeaked and groaned and swayed from side to side till the hams hanging from the frame overhead would swing back and forth like the pendulum of a clock. There were the shouts of the men to the horses and oxen, the barking of the dogs that ran along the side of the trail, the sharp cracking of the drivers' whips, and the ting-tang of the iron kettles swinging against each other. And always they were passing through places that were new and seeing things that were fresh and strange.

The wagon of Mr. Harding—that was grandmother's father—was drawn by four oxen, but of them, known as Jerry, began to show signs of sickness when they had been on the road a few days. The men gave him medicine and doctored him all they could, but he seemed to grow weaker all the time instead of better, and one morning, when they went to yoke the oxen to the wagon, they found him dead.

For a day or two they went on with only three oxen. Then Mr. Harding met a trader who was willing to sell him a pet ox that he called "Old Mustard," to take the place of Jerry.

It was a very funny-looking ox, indeed, not like any that Mary or anybody in her family had ever seen before. He had a very large, round head, with shaggy hair matted on top, and on his back was a large hump. In color he was a dirty yellow all over. That is why the trader called him Mustard.

"He isn't very pretty," said the trader, "but he is strong and good-natured, and will pull more than any ox of his size that I ever saw. Besides, he will get on with less grass and less water. He is a half-buffalo—he shows that in his huge head and shoulders. For this reason he will be worth more to you than any scout or watch-dog; he can smell Indians a mile away, and will fight them on sight." Mr. Harding did not quite like to buy so strange an animal, but he must get another ox somewhere, and so he took Old Mustard.

By the end of the first day he was very glad he had done so, for the funny-looking yellow creature took its place at the tongue of the cart and pulled steadily and well. And every day after that he did his work faithfully, and seemed never to be sick or to feel tired.

By the end of the fourth week the wagon-train had entered a country where the Indians were known to be on the war-path, and trouble was expected. They even found the remains of three partly burned wagons.

Great care was now taken to send scouts ahead during the day and to prepare the camp for defense at night.

The first thing that was done as soon as the stop was made for the night was to "park" all the wagons, as they called it. The big ox-carts were placed in a great circle and chained one to another. Sometimes the cattle were picketed outside, to graze, with men armed with guns to watch them, and sometimes they were driven inside. But always the camp-fires were built in the circle, and round them the different families gathered to cook and eat their supper.

One night, when the wagons had been parked and every one had eaten supper and gone to sleep, Old Mustard began to act very strangely. At first he tossed his head and blew hard through his nostrils; then he began to move about uneasily as far as his rope would let him, and to snort and paw the ground.

When one of the guards went near him he turned upon him a pair of eyes that were bright green and shiny. At last Mr. Harding happened to think what the trader had told him.

"Do you suppose it can be that he scents Indians?" he asked one of the other men.

"It may be," he said. "It is sure that he is excited over something. Perhaps we had better be on the safe side and wake the men."

Quietly Mr. Harding went from wagon to wagon, rousing the sleepers. He had hardly finished when Old Mustard, with a terrible roar, snapped the rope that held him, dashed to the edge of the circle, leaped a cart-tongue, and thundered away into the darkness. Almost instantly there came a scream and then the rushing charge of Indian riders.

They were met by the men of the party, now all prepared for them and protected by the circle of wagons. And finding that their attack had been discovered too soon, the Indians drew off after the first rush.

By the earliest flush of daylight a searching-party went out from camp. It came upon poor Old Mustard grazing about, and not far away lay an Indian trampled into the dust. The Indian was the foremost of the band that was quietly creeping up on the camp when Old Mustard had scented them, and not only given warning, but surprised and killed the leader.


By General Rush C. Hawkins

The Ninth New York Volunteers was organized in April, 1861, in the City of New York. Two of the companies were made up of men from outside the city. C was composed of men from Hoboken and Paterson, New Jersey, and G marched into the regimental headquarters fully organized from the town of Fort Lee in that State. With this last named company came Carlo, the subject of this sketch.

When he joined the regiment, he had passed beyond the period of puppyhood and was in the full flush of dogly beauty. He was large, not very large,—would probably have turned the scales at about fifty pounds. His build was decidedly "stocky," and, as horsey men would say, his feet were well under him; his chest was broad and full, back straight, color a warm dark brindle, nose and lips very black, while he had a broad, full forehead and a wonderful pair of large, round, soft, dark-brown eyes. Add to this description an air of supreme, well-bred dignity, and you have an idea of one of the noblest animals that ever lived.

His origin was obscure; one camp reunion asserted that he was born on board of a merchant ship while his mother was making a passage from Calcutta to New York; and another told of a beautiful mastiff living somewhere in the State of New Jersey that had the honor of bringing him into the world. It would be very interesting to know something of the parentage of our hero, but since the facts surrounding his birth are unattainable, we must content ourselves with telling a portion of a simple story of a good and noble life. It may be safe to assert that he was not a native American; if he had been, he would have provided himself with the regulation genealogical tree and family coat-of-arms.

During the first part of his term of service, Carlo was very loyal to his company, marched, messed, and slept with it; but he was not above picking up, here and there, from the mess tents of the other companies a tid-bit, now and then, which proved acceptable to a well-appointed digestion.

His first turn on guard was performed as a member of the detail from Co. G, and always afterward, in the performance of that duty, he was most faithful. No matter who else might be late, he was ever on time when the call for guard mount was sounded, ready to go out with his own particular squad. At first, he would march back to company quarters with the old detail, but, as soon as he came to realize the value and importance of guard duty, he made up his mind that his place was at the guard tent and on the patrol beat, where he could be of the greatest service in watching the movements of the enemy.

In the performance of his duties as a member of the guard he was very conscientious and ever on the alert. No stray pig, wandering sheep, or silly calf could pass in front of his part of the line without being investigated by him. It is possible that his vigilance in investigating intruding meats was sharpened by the hope of substantial recognition in the way of a stray rib extracted from the marauding offender whose ignorance of army customs in time of war had brought it too near our lines.

As a rule, Carlo, what with his guard duties and other purely routine items, managed to dispose of the day until dress parade. At that time he appeared at his best, and became the regimental dog.

No officer or soldier connected with the command more fully appreciated "The pomp and circumstance of great and glorious war" than he. As the band marched out to take position previous to playing for the companies to assemble, he would place himself alongside the drum-major, and, when the signal for marching was given, would move off with stately and solemn tread, with head well up, looking straight to the front. Upon those great occasions, he fully realized the dignity of his position, and woe betide any unhappy other dog that happened to get in front of the marching band. When upon the parade field, he became, next to the colonel, the commanding officer, and ever regarded himself as the regulator of the conduct of those careless and frivolous dogs, that go about the world like street urchins, having no character for respectability or position in society to sustain.

Of those careless ne'er-do-wells the company had accumulated a very large following. As a rule, they were harmless and companionable, and were always on hand ready for a free lunch. It was only on dress parade that they made themselves over-officious. Each company was attended to the parade ground by its particular family of canine companions, and, when all of them had assembled, the second battalion of the regiment would make itself known by a great variety of jumpings, caperings, barks of joy, and cries of delight. To this unseasonable hilarity Carlo seriously objected, and his actions plainly told the story of his disgust at the conduct of the silly members of his race. He usually remained a passive observer until the exercise in the manual of arms, at which particular period in the ceremonies, the caperings and the barkings would become quite unendurable. Our hero would then assume the character of a preserver of the peace. He would make for the nearest group of revellers, and, in as many seconds, give a half dozen or more of them vigorous shakes, which would set them to howling, and warn the others of the thoughtless tribe of an impending danger. Immediately the offenders would all scamper to another part of the field, and remain quiet until the dress parade was over. This duty was self-imposed and faithfully performed upon many occasions.

After the parade was dismissed Carlo would march back to quarters with his own company, where he would remain until the last daily distributions of rations, whereupon, after having disposed of his share, he would start out upon a tour of regimental inspection, making friendly calls at various company quarters and by taps turning up at the headquarters of the guard. His duties ended for the day, he would enjoy his well-earned rest until reveille, unless some event of an unusual nature, occurring during the night, disturbed his repose and demanded his attention.

During the first year of his service in the field, Carlo was very fortunate. He had shared in all the transportations by water, in all the marchings, skirmishes, and battles, without receiving a scratch or having a day's illness. But his good fortune was soon to end, for it was ordained that, like other brave defenders, he was to suffer in the great cause for which all were risking their lives.

The morning of April 18, 1862, my brigade, then stationed at Roanoke Island, embarked upon the steamer Ocean Wave for an expedition up the Elizabeth River, the object of which was to destroy the locks of the Dismal Swamp canal in order to prevent several imaginary iron-clads from getting into Albemarle Sound.

Among the first to embark was the ever ready and faithful Carlo, and the next morning, when his companions disembarked near Elizabeth City, he was one of the first to land, and, during the whole of the long and dreary march of thirty miles to Camden Court House, lasting from three o'clock in the morning until one in the afternoon, he was ever on the alert, but keeping close to his regiment. The field of battle was reached; the engagement, in which his command met with a great loss, commenced and ended, and, when the particulars of the disaster were inventoried, it was ascertained that a Confederate bullet had taken the rudimentary claw from Carlo's left fore-leg. This was his first wound, and he bore it like a hero without a whine or even a limp. A private of Co. G, who first noticed the wound, exclaimed: "Ah, Carlo, what a pity you are not an officer! If you were, the loss of that claw would give you sixty days' leave and a brigadier general's commission at the end of it." That was about the time that generals' commissions had become very plentiful in the Department of North Carolina.

The command re-embarked, and reached Roanoke Island the morning after the engagement, in time for the regulation "Hospital or Sick Call," which that day brought together an unusual number of patients, and among them Carlo, who was asked to join the waiting line by one of the wounded men. When his turn came to be inspected by the attending surgeon, he was told to hold up the wounded leg, which he readily did, and then followed the washing, the application of simple cerate, and the bandaging, with a considerable show of interest and probable satisfaction.

Thereafter, there was no occasion to ask him to attend the surgeon's inspection. Each morning, as soon as the bugle call was sounded, he would take his place in line with the other patients, advance in his turn, and receive the usual treatment. This habit continued until the wound was healed.

Always, after this, to every friendly greeting, he would respond by holding up the wounded leg for inspection, and he acted as though he thought that everybody was interested in the honorable scar that told the story of patriotic duty faithfully performed.

Later on, for some reason known to himself, Carlo transferred his special allegiance to Co. K. and maintained close connection with that company until the end of his term of service. He was regarded by its members as a member of the company mess, and was treated as one of them. But, notwithstanding his special attachments, there can be no reasonable doubt about his having considered himself a member of the regiment, clothed with certain powers and responsibilities. At the end of his term he was fitted with a uniform—trousers, jacket, and fez, and, thus dressed, he marched up Broadway, immediately behind the band. He was soon after mustered out of the service, and received an honorable discharge, not signed with written characters, but attested by the good-will of every member of the regiment.


By Sir Samuel W. Baker

When I was a boy, my grandfather frequently told a story concerning a dog which he knew, as a more than ordinary example of the fidelity so frequently exhibited by the race. This animal was a mastiff that belonged to an intimate friend, to whom it was a constant companion. It was an enormous specimen of that well-known breed, which is not generally celebrated for any peculiar intelligence, but is chiefly remarkable for size and strength. This dog had been brought up by its master from puppyhood, and as the proprietor was a single man, there had been no division of affection, as there would have been had the dog belonged to a family of several members. Turk regarded nobody but his owner. (I shall now honour Turk by the masculine gender.)

Whenever Mr. Prideaux went out for a walk, Turk was sure to be near his heels. Street dogs would bark and snarl at the giant as his massive form attracted their attention, but Turk seldom condescended to notice such vulgar demonstrations; he was a noble-looking creature, somewhat resembling a small lioness; but although he was gentle and quiet in disposition, he had upon several occasions been provoked beyond endurance, and his attack had been nearly always fatal to his assailants. He slept at night outside his master's door, and no sentry could be more alert upon his watch than the faithful dog, who had apparently only one ambition—to protect, and to accompany his owner.

Mr. Prideaux had a dinner-party. He never invited ladies, but simply entertained his friends as a bachelor; his dinners were but secondary to the quality of his guests, however, who were always men of reputation either in the literary world, or in the modern annals of society. The dog Turk was invariably present, and usually stretched his huge form upon the hearth-rug.

It was a cold night in winter, when Mr. Prideaux's friends were talking after dinner, that the conversation turned upon the subject of dogs. Almost every person had an anecdote to relate, and my own grandfather being present, had no doubt added his mite to the collection, when Turk suddenly awoke from a sound sleep, and having stretched himself until he appeared to be awake to the situation, walked up to his master's side, and rested his large head upon the table.

"Ha ha, Turk!" exclaimed Mr. Prideaux, "you must have heard our arguments about the dogs, so you have put in an appearance."

"And a magnificent specimen he is!" remarked my grandfather; "but although a mastiff is the largest and most imposing of the race, I do not think it is as sensible as many others."

"As a rule you are right," replied his master, "because they are generally chained up as watch-dogs, and have not the intimate association with human beings which is so great an advantage to house-dogs; but Turk has been my constant companion from the first month of his existence, and his intelligence is very remarkable. He understands most things that I say, if they are connected with himself; he will often lie upon the rug with his large eyes fixed upon me as though searching my inward thoughts, and he will frequently be aware instinctively that I wish to go out; upon such times he will fetch my hat, cane, or gloves, whichever may be at hand, and wait for me at the front door. He will take a letter or any other token to several houses of my acquaintance, and wait for a reply; and he can perform a variety of actions that would imply a share of reason seldom possessed by other dogs."

A smile of incredulity upon several faces was at once perceived by Mr. Prideaux, who immediately took a guinea from his pocket, and addressed his dog. "Here, Turk! they won't believe in you! … take this guinea to No.—,—Street, to Mr.—, and bring me a receipt."

The dog wagged his huge tail with evident pleasure, and the guinea having been placed in his mouth, he hastened towards the door; this being opened, he was admitted through the front entrance to the street. It was a miserable night; the wind was blowing the sleet and rain against the windows; the gutters were running with muddy water, and the weather was exactly that which is expressed by the common term, "not fit to turn a dog out in;" nevertheless, Turk had started upon his mission in the howling gale and darkness, while the front door was once more closed against the blast.

The party were comfortably seated around the fire, and much interested in the success or failure of the dog's adventure.

"How long will it be before we may expect Turk's return?" inquired an incredulous guest.

"The house to which I have sent him is about a mile and a half distant, therefore if there is no delay when he barks for admission at the door, and my friend is not absent from home, he should return in about three-quarters of an hour with an acknowledgment. If, on the other hand, he cannot gain admission, he may wait for any length of time," replied his master.

Bets were exchanged among the company—some supported the dog's chances of success, while others were against him.

The evening wore away; the allotted time was exceeded, and a whole hour had passed, but no dog had returned. Fresh bets were made, but the odds were against the dog. His master was still hopeful…. "I must tell you," said Mr. Prideaux, "that Turk frequently carries notes for me, and as he knows the house well, he certainly will not make a mistake; perhaps my friend may be dining out, in which case Turk will probably wait for a longer time"…. Two hours passed … the storm was raging. Mr. Prideaux himself went to the front door, which flew open before a fierce gust the instant that the lock was turned. The clouds were rushing past a moon but faintly visible at short intervals, and the gutters were clogged with masses of half-melted snow. "Poor Turk!" muttered his master, "this is indeed a wretched night for you…. Perhaps they have kept you in the warm kitchen, and will not allow you to return in such fearful weather."

When Mr. Prideaux returned to his guests he could not conceal his disappointment. "Ha!" exclaimed one who had betted against the dog, "I never doubted his sagacity. With a guinea in his mouth, he has probably gone into some house of entertainment where dogs are supplied with dinner and a warm bed, instead of shivering in a winter's gale!"

Jokes were made by the winners of bets at the absent dog's expense, but his master was anxious and annoyed. The various bets were paid by the losers, and poor Turk's reputation had suffered severely…. It was long past midnight: the guests were departed, the storm was raging, and violent gusts occasionally shook the house…. Mr. Prideaux was alone in his study, and he poked the fire until it blazed and roared up the chimney….

"What can have become of that dog?" exclaimed his master to himself, now really anxious; "I hope they kept him; … most likely they would not send him back upon such a dreadful night."

Mr. Prideaux's study was close to the front door, and his acute attention was suddenly directed to a violent shaking and scratching, accompanied by a prolonged whine. In an instant he ran into the hall, and unlocked the entrance door…. A mass of filth and mud entered…. This was Turk!

The dog seemed dreadfully fatigued, and was shivering with wet and cold. His usually clean coat was thick with mire, as though he had been dragged through deep mud. He wagged his tail when he heard his master's voice, but appeared dejected and ill.

Mr. Prideaux had rung the bell, and the servants, who were equally interested as their master in Turk's failure to perform his mission, had attended the summons. The dog was taken downstairs, and immediately placed in a large tub of hot water, in which he was accustomed to be bathed. It was now discovered that in addition to mud and dirt, which almost concealed his coat, he was besmeared with blood!

Mr. Prideaux himself sponged his favourite with hot soap and water, and, to his astonishment, he perceived wounds of a serious nature: the dog's throat was badly torn, his back and breast were deeply bitten, and there could be no doubt that he had been worried by a pack of dogs. This was a strange occurrence, that Turk should be discomfited!

He was now washed clean, and was being rubbed dry with a thick towel while he stood upon a blanket before the kitchen fire…. "Why, Turk, old boy, what has been the matter? Tell us all about it, poor old man!" exclaimed his master.

The dog was now thoroughly warmed, and he panted with the heat of the kitchen fire; he opened his mouth, … and the guinea which he had received in trust dropped on the kitchen floor!…

"There is some mystery in this," said Mr. Prideaux, "which I will endeavour to discover to-morrow…. He has been set upon by strange dogs, and rather than lose the guinea, he has allowed himself to be half killed without once opening his mouth in self-defence! Poor Turk!" continued his master, "you must have lost your way, old man, in the darkness and storm; most likely confused after the unequal fight. What an example you have given us wretched humans in being steadfast to a trust!"

Turk was wonderfully better after his warm bath. He lapped up a large bowl of good thick soup mixed with bread, and in half an hour was comfortably asleep upon his thick rug by his master's bedroom door….

Upon the following morning the storm had cleared away, and a bright sky had succeeded to the gloom of the preceding night.

Immediately after breakfast, Mr. Prideaux, accompanied by his dog (who was, although rather stiff, not much the worse for the rough treatment he had received), started for a walk towards the house to which he had directed Turk upon the previous evening. He was anxious to discover whether his friend had been absent, as he concluded that the dog might have been waiting for admittance, and had been perhaps attacked by some dogs belonging to the house, or its neighbours'.

The master and Turk had walked for nearly a mile, and had just turned the corner of a street when, as they passed a butcher's shop upon the right hand, a large brindled mastiff rushed from the shop-door, and flew at Turk with unprovoked ferocity.

"Call your dog off!" shouted Mr. Prideaux to the butcher, who surveyed the attack with impudent satisfaction…. "Call him off, or my dog will kill him!" continued Mr. Prideaux.

The usually docile Turk had rushed to meet his assailant with a fury that was extraordinary. With a growl like that of a lion, he quickly seized his antagonist by the throat; rearing upon his hind legs, he exerted his tremendous strength, and in a fierce struggle of only a few seconds, he threw the brindled dog upon its back. It was in vain that Mr. Prideaux endeavoured to call him off, the rage of his favourite was quite ungovernable; he never for an instant relaxed his hold, but with the strength of a wild beast of prey, Turk shook the head of the butcher's dog to the right and left until it struck each time heavily against the pavement … The butcher attempted to interfere, and lashed him with a huge whip.

"Stand clear! fair play! don't you strike my dog!" shouted Mr.
Prideaux. "Your dog was the first to attack!"

In reply to the whip, Turk had redoubled his fury, and, without relinquishing his hold, he had now dragged the butcher's dog off the pavement, and occasionally shaking the body as he pulled the unresisting mass along the gutter, he drew it into the middle of the street.

A large crowd had collected, which completely stopped the thoroughfare. There were no police in those days, but only watchmen, who were few and far between; even had they been present, it is probable they would have joined in the amusement of a dog-fight, which in that age of brutality was considered to be sport….

"Fair play!" shouted the bystanders…. "Let 'em have it out!" cried others, as they formed a circle around the dogs…. In the meantime, Mr. Prideaux had seized Turk by his collar, while the butcher was endeavouring to release the remains of his dog from the infuriated and deadly grip….

At length Mr. Prideaux's voice and action appeared for a moment to create a calm, and, snatching the opportunity, he, with the assistance of a person in the crowd, held back his dog, as the carcass of the butcher's dog was dragged away by the lately insolent owner…. The dog was dead!

Turk's flanks were heaving with the intense exertion and excitement of the fight, and he strained to escape from his master's hold to once more attack the lifeless body of his late antagonist…. At length, by kind words and the caress of the well-known hand, his fury was calmed down….

"Well, that's the most curious adventure I've ever had with a dog!" exclaimed the butcher, who was now completely crestfallen…. "Why, that's the very dog! he is so—that's the very dog who came by my shop late last night in the howling storm, and my dog Tiger went at him and towzled him up completely. I never saw such a cowardly cur; he wouldn't show any fight, although he was pretty near as big as a costermonger's donkey; and there my dog Tiger nearly eat half of him, and dragged the other half about the gutter, till he looked more like an old door-mat than a dog; and I thought he must have killed him … and here he comes out as fresh as paint to-day, and kills old Tiger clean off as though he'd been only a biggish cat!"

"What do you say?" asked Mr. Prideaux … "Was it your dog that worried my poor dog last night, when he was upon a message of trust? … My friend, I thank you for this communication, but let me inform you of the fact that my dog had a guinea in his mouth to carry to my friend, and rather than drop it he allowed himself to be half killed by your savage Tiger. To-day he has proved his courage, and your dog has discovered his mistake. This is the guinea that he dropped from his mouth when he returned to me after midnight, beaten and distressed!" said Mr. Prideaux, much excited. "Here, Turk, old boy, take the guinea again, and come along with me! you have had your revenge, and have given us all a lesson." His master gave him the guinea in his mouth, and they continued their walk…. It appeared, upon Mr. Prideaux's arrival at his friend's house, that Turk had never been there; probably after his defeat he had become so confused that he lost his way in the heavy storm, and had at length regained the road home some time after midnight, in the deplorable condition already described.


By Georgiana M. Craik

"I had been riding for five or six miles one pleasant afternoon. It was a delicious afternoon, like the afternoon of an English summer day. You always imagine it hotter out in Africa by a good deal than it is in England, don't you? Well, so it is, in a general way, a vast deal hotter; but every now and then, after the rains have fallen and the wind comes blowing from the sea, we get a day as much like one of our own best summer days as you ever felt anywhere. This afternoon was just like an English summer afternoon, with the fresh sweet breeze rustling amongst the green leaves, and the great bright sea stretching out all blue and golden, and meeting the blue sky miles and miles away.

"It wasn't very hot, but it was just hot enough to make the thought of a swim delicious; so after I had been riding leisurely along for some little time, shooting a bird or two as I went,—for I wanted some bright feathers to send home to a little cousin that I had in England,—I alighted from my horse, and, letting him loose to graze, lay down for a quarter of an hour to cool myself, and then began to make ready for my plunge.

"I was standing on a little ledge of cliff, some six or seven feet above the sea. It was high tide, and the water at my feet was about a fathom deep. 'I shall have a delightful swim,' thought to myself, as I threw off my coat; and as just at that moment Rolf in a very excited way flung himself upon me, evidently understanding the meaning of the proceeding, and, as I thought, anxious to show his sympathy with it, I repeated the remark aloud. 'Yes, we'll have a delightful swim, you and I together,' I said. 'A grand swim, my old lad'; and I clapped his back as I spoke, and encouraged him, as I was in the habit of doing, to express his feelings without reserve. But, rather to my surprise, instead of wagging his tail, and wrinkling his nose, and performing any of his usual antics, the creature only lifted up his face and began to whine. He had lain, for the quarter of an hour while I had been resting, at the edge of the little cliff, with his head dropped over it; but whether he had been taking a sleep in that position, or had been amusing himself by watching the waves, was more than I knew. He was a capital one for sleeping even then, and generally made a point of snatching a doze at every convenient opportunity; so I had naturally troubled my head very little about him, taking it for granted that he was at his usual occupation. But, whether he had been asleep before or not, at any rate he was wide awake now, and, as it seemed to me, in a very odd humor indeed.

"'What's the matter, old fellow?' I said to him, when he set up this dismal howl. 'Don't you want to have a swim? Well, you needn't unless you like, only I mean to have one; so down with you, and let me get my clothes off.' But, instead of getting down, the creature began to conduct himself in the most incomprehensible way, first seizing me by the trousers with his teeth and pulling me to the edge of the rock, as if he wanted me to plunge in dressed as I was; then catching me again and dragging me back, much as though I was a big rat that he was trying to worry; and this pantomime, I declare, he went through three separate times, barking and whining all the while, till I began to think he was going out of his mind.

"Well, God forgive me! but at last I got into a passion with the beast. I couldn't conceive what he meant. For two or three minutes I tried to pacify him, and as long as I took no more steps to get my clothes off he was willing to be pacified; but the instant I fell to undressing myself again he was on me once more, pulling me this way and that, hanging on my arms, slobbering over me, howling with his mouth up in the air. And so at last I lost my temper, and I snatched up my gun and struck him with the butt-end of it. My poor Rolf!" said Uncle Pick, all at once, with a falter in his voice; and he stopped abruptly, and stooped down and laid his hand on the great black head.

"He was quieter after I had struck him," said Uncle Dick, after a little pause. "For a few moments he lay quite still at my feet, and I had begun to think that his crazy fit was over, and that he was going to give me no more trouble, when all at once, just as I had got ready to jump into the water, the creature sprang to his feet and flung himself upon me again. He threw himself with all his might upon my breast and drove me backwards, howling So wildly that many a time since, boys, I have thought I must have been no better than a blind, perverse fool, not to have guessed what the trouble was; but the fact is, I was a conceited young fellow (as most young fellows are), and because I imagined the poor beast was trying for some reason of his own to get his own way, I thought it was my business to teach him that he was not to get his own way, but that I was to get mine; and so I beat him down somehow,—I don't like to think of it now; I struck him again three or four times with the end of my gun, till at last I got myself freed from him.

"He gave a cry when he fell back. I call it a cry, for it was more like something human than a dog's howl,—something so wild and pathetic that, angry as I was, it startled me, and I almost think, if time enough had been given me, I would have made some last attempt then to understand what the creature meant; but I had no time after that. I was standing a few feet in from the water, and as soon as I had shaken him off he went to the edge of the bit of cliff, and stood there for a moment till I came up to him, and then—just as in another second I should have jumped into the sea—my brave dog, my noble dog, gave one last whine and one look into my face, and took the leap before me. And then, boys, in another instant I saw what he had meant. He had scarcely touched the water when I saw a crocodile slip like lightning from a sunny ledge of the cliff, and grip him by the hinder legs.

"You know that I had my gun close at hand, and in the whole course of my life I never was so glad to have my gun beside me. It was loaded, too, and a revolver. I caught it up, and fired into the water. I fired three times, and two of the shots went into the brute's head. One missed him, and the first seemed not to harm him much, but the third hit him in some vital place, I hope,—some sensitive place, at any rate, for the hideous jaws started wide. Then, with my gun in my hand still, I began with all my might to shout out, 'Rolf!" I couldn't leave my post, for the brute, though he had let Rolf go, and had dived for a moment, might make another spring, and I didn't dare to take my eyes off the spot where he had gone down; but I called to my wounded beast with all my might, and when he had struggled through the water and gained a moment's hold of the rock, I jumped down and caught him, and somehow—I don't know how—half carried and half dragged him up the little bit of steep ascent, till we were safe on the top,—on the dry land again. And then upon my word, I don't know what I did next, only I think, as I looked at my darling's poor crushed limbs, with the blood oozing from them, and heard his choking gasps for breath—I—I forgot for a moment or two that I was a man at all, and burst out crying like a child.

"Boys, you don't know what it is to feel that a living creature has tried to give up his life for you, even though the creature is only a soulless dog. Do you think I had another friend in the world who would have done what Rolf had done for me? If I had, I did not know it. And then when I thought that it was while he had been trying to save my life that I had taken up my gun and struck him! There are some things, my lads, that a man does without meaning any harm by them, which yet, when he sees them by the light of after events, he can never bear to look back upon without a sort of agony; and those blows I gave to Rolf are of that sort. He forgave them,—my noble dog; but I have never forgiven myself for them to this hour. When I saw him lying before me, with his blood trickling out upon the sand, I think I would have given my right hand to save his life. And well I might, too, for he had done ten times more than that to save mine.

"He licked the tears off my cheeks, my poor old fellow; I remember that. We looked a strange pair, I dare say, as we lay on the ground together, with our heads side by side. It's a noble old head still, isn't it, boys? (I don't mean mine, but this big one down here. All right, Rolf! We're only talking of your beauty, my lad.) It's as grand a head as ever a dog had. I had his picture taken after I came home. I've had him painted more than once, but somehow I don't think the painters have ever seen quite into the bottom of his heart. At least, I fancy that if I were a painter I could make something better of him than any of them have done yet. Perhaps it's only a notion of mine, but, to tell the truth, I've only a dozen times or so in my life seen a painting of a grand dog that looks quite right. But I'm wandering from my story, though, indeed, my story is almost at an end.

"When I had come to my senses a little, I had to try to get my poor Rolf moved. We were a long way from any house, and the creature couldn't walk a step. I tore up my shirt, and bound his wounds as well as I could, and then I got my clothes on, and called to my horse, and in some way, as gently as I could,—though it was no easy thing to do it,—I got him and myself together upon the horse's back, and we began our ride. There was a village about four or five miles off, and I made for that. It was a long, hard jolt for a poor fellow with both his hindlegs broken, but he bore it as patiently as if he had been a Christian. I never spoke to him but, panting as he was, he was ready to lick my hands and look lovingly up into my face. I've wondered since, many a time, what he could have thought about it all; and the only thing I am sure of is that he never thought much of the thing that he himself had done. That seemed, I know, all natural and simple to him; I don't believe that he has ever understood to this day what anybody wondered at in it, or made a hero of him for. For the noblest people are the people who are noble without knowing it; and the same rule, I fancy, holds good, too, for dogs.

"I got him to a resting-place at last, after a weary ride, and then I had his wounds dressed; but it was weeks before he could stand upon his feet again, and when at last he began to walk he limped, and he has gone on limping ever since. The bone of one leg was so crushed that it couldn't be set properly, and so that limb is shorter than the other three. He doesn't mind it much, I dare say,—I don't think he ever did,—but it has been a pathetic lameness to me, boys. It's all an old story now, you know," said Uncle Dick, abruptly, "but it's one of those things that a man doesn't forget, and that it would be a shame to him if he ever could forget as long as his life lasts."

Uncle Dick stooped down again as he ceased to speak, and Rolf, disturbed by the silence, raised his head to look about him. As his master had said, it was a grand old head still, though the eyes were growing dim now with age. Uncle Dick laid his hand upon it, and the bushy tail began to wag. It had wagged at the touch of that hand for many a long day.

"We've been together for fifteen years. He's getting old now," said
Uncle Dick.


By Lucia Chamberlain

At the gray end of the afternoon the regiment of twelve companies went through Monterey on its way to the summer camp, a mile out on the salt-meadows; and it was here that Scrap joined it.

He did not tag at the heels of the boys who tagged the last company, or rush out with the other dogs who barked at the band; but he appeared somehow independent of any surroundings, and marched, ears alert, stump tail erect, one foot in front of the tall first lieutenant who walked on the wing of Company A.

The lieutenant was self-conscious and so fresh to the service that his shoulder-straps hurt him. He failed to see Scrap, who was very small and very yellow, until, in quickening step, he stumbled over him and all but measured his long length. He aimed an accurate kick that sent Scrap flying, surprised but not vindictive, to the side lines, where he considered, his head cocked. With the scratched ear pricked and the bitten ear flat, he passed the regiment in review until Company K, with old Muldoon, sergeant on the flank, came by.

As lean, as mongrel, as tough, and as scarred as Scrap, he carried his wiry body with a devil-may-care assurance, in which Scrap may have recognized a kindred spirit. He decided in a flash. He made a dart and fell in abreast the sergeant of Company K. Muldoon saw and growled at him.

"Gr-r-r-r!" said Scrap, not ill-naturedly, and fell back a pace. But he did not slink. He had the secret of success. He kept as close as he could and yet escape Muldoon's boot. With his head high, ears stiff, tail up, he stepped out to the music.

Muldoon looked back with a threat that sent Scrap retreating, heels over ears. The sergeant was satisfied that the dog had gone; but when camp was reached and ranks were broken he found himself confronted by a disreputable yellow cur with a ragged ear cocked over his nose.

"Well, I'm domned!" said Muldoon. His heart, probably the toughest thing about him, was touched by this fearless persistence.

"Ar-ren't ye afraid o' nothin', ye little scrap?" he said. Scrap, answering the first name he had ever known, barked shrilly.

"What's that dog doing here?" said the tall lieutenant of Company
A, disapprovingly.

"I'm afther kickin' him out, sor," explained Muldoon, and, upon the lieutenant's departure, was seen retreating in the direction of the cook-tent, with the meager and expectant Scrap inconspicuously at his heels.

He went to sleep at taps in Muldoon's tent, curled up inside Muldoon's cartridge-belt; but at reveille the next morning the sergeant missed him. Between drill and drill Muldoon sought diligently, with insinuations as to the character of dog-stealers that were near to precipitating personal conflict. He found the stray finally, in Company B street, leaping for bones amid the applause of the habitants.

Arraigned collectively as thieves, Company B declared that the dog had strayed in and remained only because he could not be kicked out. But their pride in the height of his leaps was too evidently the pride of possession; and Muldoon, after vain attempts to catch the excited Scrap, who was eager only for bones, retired with threats of some vague disaster to befall Company B the next day if his dog were not returned.

The responsibility, with its consequences, was taken out of Company B's hands by Scrap's departure from their lines immediately after supper. He was not seen to go. He slid away silently, among the broken shadows of the tents. Company B reviled Muldoon. Scrap spent the night in a bugler's cape, among a wilderness of brasses, and reappeared the next morning at guard mount, deftly following the stately maneuvers of the band.

"Talk about a dorg's gratitude!" said the sergeant of Company B, bitterly, remembering Scrap's entertainment of the previous evening.

"I'm on to his game!" muttered old Muldoon. "Don't ye see, ye fool, he don't belong to any wan of us. He belongs to the crowd—to the regiment. That's what he's tryin' to show us. He's what that Frinchman down in F calls a—a mascot; and, be jabers, he moves like a soldier!"

The regiment's enthusiasm for Scrap, as voiced by Muldoon, was not extended to the commanding officer, who felt that the impressiveness of guard mount was detracted from by Scrap's deployments. Also the tall lieutenant of Company A disliked the sensation of being accompanied in his social excursions among ladies who had driven out to band practise by a lawless yellow pup with a bitten ear. The lieutenant, good fellow at bottom, was yet a bit of a snob, and he would have preferred the colonel's foolish Newfoundland to the spirited but unregenerate Scrap.

But the privates and "non-coms" judged by the spirit, and bid for the favor of their favorite, and lost money at canteen on the next company to be distinguished as Scrap's temporary entertainers. He was cordial, even demonstrative, but royally impartial, devoting a day to a company with a method that was military. He had personal friends,—Muldoon for one, the cook for another,—but there was no man in the regiment who could expect Scrap to run to his whistle.

Yet independent as he was of individuals, he obeyed regimental regulations like a soldier. He learned the guns and the bugles, what actions were signified by certain sounds. He was up in the morning with the roll of the drums. He was with every drill that was informal enough not to require the presence of the commanding officer, and during dress parade languished, lamenting, in Muldoon's tent. Barking furiously, he was the most enthusiastic spectator of target practise. He learned to find the straying balls when the regimental nine practised during "release," and betrayed a frantic desire to "retrieve" the shot that went crashing seaward from the sullen-mouthed cannon on the shore. More than once he made one of the company that crossed the lines at an unlawful hour to spend a night among the crooked ways of Monterey.

The regiment was tiresome with tales of his tricks. The height of his highest leap was registered in the mess, and the number of rats that had died in his teeth were an ever increasing score in the canteen. He was fairly aquiver with the mere excitement and curiosity of living. There was no spot in the camp too secure or too sacred for Scrap to penetrate. His invasions were without impertinence; but the regiment was his, and he deposited dead rats in the lieutenant's shoes as casually as he concealed bones in the French horn; and slumbered in the major's hat-box with the same equanimity with which he slept in Muldoon's jacket.

The major evicted Scrap violently, but, being a good-natured man, said nothing to the colonel, who was not. But it happened, only a day after the episode of the hat-box, that the colonel entered his quarters to find the yellow mascot, fresh from a plunge in the surf and a roll in the dirt, reposing on his overcoat.

To say that the colonel was angry would be weak; but, overwhelmed as he was, he managed to find words and deeds. Scrap fled with a sharp yelp as a boot-tree caught him just above the tail.

His exit did not fail to attract attention in the company street. The men were uneasy, for the colonel was noticeably a man of action as well as of temper. Their premonitions were fulfilled when at assembly the next morning, an official announcement was read to the attentive regiment. The colonel, who was a strategist as well as a fighter, had considered the matter more calmly overnight. He was annoyed by the multiplicity of Scrap's appearances at times and places where he was officially a nuisance. He was more than annoyed by the local paper's recent reference to "our crack yellow-dog regiment." But he knew the strength of regimental sentiment concerning Scrap and the military superstition of the mascot, and he did not want to harrow the feelings of the "summer camp" by detailing a firing squad. Therefore he left a loop-hole for Scrap's escape alive. The announcement read: "All dogs found in camp not wearing collars will be shot, by order of the commanding officer."

Now there were but two dogs in camp, and the colonel's wore a collar. The regiment heard the order with consternation.

"That'll fix it," said the colonel, comfortably.

"Suppose some one gets a collar?" suggested the major, with a hint of hopefulness in his voice.

"I know my regiment," said the colonel. "There isn't enough money in it three days before pay day to buy a button. They'll send him out to-night."

Immediately after drill there was a council of war in Muldoon's tent, Muldoon holding Scrap between his knees. Scrap's scratched ear, which habitually stood cocked, flopped forlornly; his stump tail drooped dismally. The atmosphere of anxiety oppressed his sensitive spirit. He desired to play, and Muldoon only sat and rolled his argumentative tongue. From this conference those who had been present went about the business of the day with a preternatural gloom that gradually permeated the regiment. The business of the day was varied, since the next day was to be a field day, with a review in the morning and cavalry maneuvers in the afternoon.

All day Scrap was conspicuous in every quarter of the camp, but at supper-time the lieutenant of Company A noted his absence from his habitual place at the left of Muldoon in the men's mess-tent. The lieutenant was annoyed by his own anxiety.

"Of course they'll get him out, sir?" he said to the major.

"Of course," the major assented, with more confidence than he felt.
The colonel was fairly irritable in his uncertainty over it.

Next morning the sentries, who had been most strictly enjoined to vigilant observation, reported that no one had left camp that night, though a man on beat four must have failed in an extraordinary way to see a private crossing his line six feet in front of him.

The muster failed to produce any rag-eared, stub-tailed, eager-eyed, collarless yellow cub. Nor did the mess-call raise his shrill bark in the vicinity of the cook's tent. The lieutenant felt disappointed.

He thought that the regiment should at least have made some sort of demonstration in Scrap's defense. It seemed a poor return for such confidence and loyalty to be hustled out of the way on an official threat.

It seemed to him the regiment was infernally light-hearted, as, pipe-clay white and nickel bright in the morning sun, it swung out of camp for the parade-ground, where the dog-carts and runabouts and automobiles were gathering from Del Monte and the cottages along the shore.

The sight of the twelve companies moving across the field with the step of one warmed the cockles of the colonel's pride. The regiment came to parade rest, and the band went swinging past their front, past the reviewing-stand. As it wheeled into place, the colonel, who had been speaking to the adjutant, who was the lieutenant of Company A, bit his sentence in the middle, and glared at something that moved, glittering, at the heels of the drum-major.

The colonel turned bright red. His glass fell out of his eye-socket.

"What the devil is the matter with that dog?" he whispered softly. And the adjutant, who had also seen and was suffocating, managed to articulate, "Collars!"

The colonel put his glass back in his eye. His shoulders shook. He coughed violently as he addressed the adjutant:

"Have that dog removed—no, let him alone—no, adjutant, bring him here!"

So the adjutant, biting his lip, motioned Muldoon to fall out.

Tough old Muldoon tucked Scrap, struggling, squirming, glittering like a hardware shop, under his arm, and saluted his commander, while the review waited.

The colonel was blinking through his glass and trying not to grin.

"Sergeant, how many collars has that dog got on?"

"Thirteen, sor," said Muldoon.

"What for?" said the colonel, severely.

"Wan for each company, sor, an' wan for the band."


By Arthur Quiller-Couch

This is the story of a very distinguished member of the London Fire Brigade—the dog Chance. It proves that the fascinations of fires (and who that has witnessed a fire cannot own this fascination?) extends even to the brute creation. In old Egypt, Herodotus tells us, the cats used on the occasion of a conflagration to rush forth from their burning homes, and then madly attempt to return again; and the Egyptians, who worshipped the animals, had to form a ring round to prevent their dashing past and sacrificing themselves to the flames. This may, however, be due to the cat's notorious love for home. In the case of the dog Chance another hypothesis has to be searched for.

The animal formed his first acquaintance with the brigade by following a fireman from a conflagration in Shoreditch to the central station at Watling Street. Here, after he had been petted for some time by the men, his master came for him and took him home. But the dog quickly escaped and returned to the central station on the very first opportunity. He was carried back, returned, was carried back again, and again returned.

At this point his master—"like a mother whose son will go to sea"—abandoned the struggle and allowed him to follow his own course. Henceforth for years he invariably went with the engine, sometimes upon the carriage itself, sometimes under the horses' legs; and always, when going uphill, running in advance, and announcing by his bark the welcome news that the fire-engine was at hand.

Arrived at the fire, he would amuse himself with pulling burning logs of wood out of the flames with his mouth, firmly impressed that he was rendering the greatest service, and clearly anxious to show the laymen that he understood all about the business. Although he had his legs broken half a dozen times, he remained faithful to the profession he had so obstinately chosen. At last, having taken a more serious hurt than usual, he was being nursed by the firemen beside the hearth, when a "call" came. At the well-known sound of the engine turning out, the poor old dog made a last effort to climb upon it, and fell back—dead.

He was stuffed, and preserved at the station for some time. But even in death he was destined to prove the friend of the brigade. For, one of the engineers having committed suicide, the firemen determined to raffle him for the benefit of the widow, and such was his fame that he realized 123 pounds 10 shillings, 9 pence, or over $615 in American money!


By A. S. Downs

One day last summer a large handsome black cat walked gravely up one side of Main street, crossed, and went half-way down the other. He stopped at a house called The Den, went up the piazza steps, and paused by an open window.

A lady sitting inside saw and spoke to him; but without taking any notice, he put his paws on the sill, looked around the room as if wondering if it would suit him, and finally gazed into her face.

After thinking a minute he went in, and from that hour took his place as an important member of the family. Civil to all, he gives his love only to the lady whom he first saw; and it is odd to see, as he lies by the fire, how he listens to all conversation, but raises his head only when she speaks, and drops it again when she has finished, with a pleased air.

No other person in the house is so wise, for he alone never makes a mistake. The hours he selects for his exercise are the sunniest; the carpets he lies upon the softest, and he knows the moment he enters the room whether his friend will let him lie in her lap, or whether because of her best gown she will have none of him. No one at The Den can tell how he came to be called Plato. It is a fact that he answers to the name, and when asked if so known before he came there, smiles wisely. "What matters it," the smile says, "how I was called, or where I came from, since I am Plato, and am here?"

He dislikes noise, and entirely disapproves sweeping. A broom and dustpan fill him with anxiety, and he seeks the soft cushions of the big lounge; but when these in their turn are beaten and tossed about, he retreats to the study-table. However, as soon as he learned that once a week his favorite room was turned into chaos, he sought another refuge, and refuses to get up that day until noon.

Many were the speculations as to Plato's Christmas present. All were satisfied with a rattan basket just large enough for him to lie in, with a light open canopy, cushions of cardinal chintz, and a cardinal satin bow to which was fastened a lovely card.

It was set down before Plato, and although it is probable it was the first he had ever seen, he showed neither surprise nor curiosity, but looked at it loftily as if such a retreat should have been given him long ago, for could not any discerning person see he was accustomed to luxury? He stepped in carefully and curled himself gracefully upon the soft cushions, the glowing tints of which were very becoming to his sable beauty.

It was soon seen that Plato was very fond of his basket, and was unwilling to share it in the smallest degree. When little Bessie put her doll in, "just to see if cardinal was becoming to her," he looked so stern and walked so fiercely toward them that dolly's heart sank within her, and Bessie said, "Please excuse us, Plato." If balls and toys were carelessly dropped there he would push them out without delay, and if visitors took up the basket to examine it, he would fix his eyes upon them, thinking, "O yes, you would pick pockets or steal the spoons if I did not watch you."

As his conduct can never be predicted, great was the curiosity when one cold afternoon he was noticed walking up the avenue while a miserable yellow kitten dragged herself after him. She was so thin you could count her bones, and she had been so pulled and kicked that there seemed to be nothing of her but length and—dirt.

When Lord Plato chooses, he enters the front doors, but as he waits no man's pleasure, unless it pleases him first, he has a way of getting in on his own account. Upon one of the shed doors is an old-fashioned latch, which by jumping he can reach and lift with his paw. Having opened the door, he pushed his poor yellow straggler in and followed himself. She laid down at once on the floor, and Plato began washing her with his rough tongue, while the lookers-on assisted his hospitality by bringing a saucer of milk. While she ate Plato rested, looking as pleased as if he were her mother at her enjoyment. The luncheon finished, the washing was resumed, and as the waif was now able to help, she soon looked more respectable. But Plato had not finished his work of mercy. He looked at the door leading to the parlor, then at her; and finally bent down tenderly to her little torn ears, as if whispering, but she would not move. Perhaps in all her wretched life she had never been so comfortable, and believed in letting well enough alone. Reason and persuasion alike useless, Plato concluded to try force and, taking her by the back of the neck, carried her through the house and dropped her close to his dainty cherished basket.

Then he appeared a little uncertain what to do. The basket was nice and warm; he was tired and cold; it had been a present to him; the street wanderer was dirty still; and the rug would be a softer bed than she had ever known. Were these his thoughts, and was it selfishness he conquered when at last he lifted the shivering homeless creature into his own beautiful nest?


By Charles Morley

Peter, the admirable cat whose brief history I am about to relate, appeared in the world on a terrible winter's night. A fierce snowstorm was raging, the sleet was driving at a terrific rate through the air, and the streets were banked up with snow-drifts. All traffic had been stopped, the roar of London was hushed, and every one who had the merest pretence of a fireside sought it on this memorable occasion. It was a wild night in the city, a wild night in the country, a wild night at sea, and certainly a most unpropitious night for the birth of a cat, an animal which is always associated with home and hearth. The fact remains that Peter was born on the night of one of the most terrible storms on record.

Our chairs were drawn up to the fire, the tea-things were on the table, and my mother was just about to try the strength of the brew, when Ann Tibbits, our faithful and well-tried maid-of-all-work, bounced into the room without knocking at the door. Her cap was all awry, her hair was dishevelled, and she gasped for breath as she addressed herself to my mother thus, in spasms:

"Please—ma'am—the cat has put her kittens—in—your—bonnet!"

Such a breach of discipline had never been known before in our prim household, where there was a place for everything, and everything had a place.

My mother pushed her spectacles on to her forehead, and, looking severely at Ann, said: "Which one, Ann? My summer bonnet, or—my winter bonnet?"

"The one with the fur lining, ma'am."

"And a most comfortable bonnet to live in, I'm sure!" replied my mother sarcastically, as much as to say that she wished all cats had such a choice under the circumstances. "Another cat would have chosen the one with the lace and the violets, out of sheer perverseness. But there—I knew I could depend on a cat which had been trained in my house."

My mother poured out a cup of tea, betraying no agitation as she dropped two lumps of sugar into the cup—her customary allowance—and helped herself to cream. In a minute or two, however, she took up her knitting, and I noticed that two stitches in succession were dropped, a sure sign that she was perturbed in spirit. Suddenly my mother turned her eyes to the fire.

"How many, Ann?" she continued, addressing our faithful servant, who still remained standing at the table awaiting her orders.

"Seven, ma'am."

"Seven!" cried my mother. "Seven—it's outrageous. Why, my bonnet wouldn't hold 'em!"

"Three in the bonnet, ma'am, and two in your new m-u-f-f!"

"My new muff!" cried my mother. "I knew you were keeping something back." And the stitches dropped fast and furious. "That's only five, Ann," she continued, looking up from her work. "Where are the other two? I insist upon knowing."

"In the Alaska tail boa, ma'am," responded Ann, timidly.

Slowly my mother's wrath evaporated, and her features settled down to their ordinary aspect of composure.

"Well," she said, "it might have been worse. She might have put them in my silk dress. But there—it is evident that something must be done. I'm a kind woman, I hope, but I'm not going to be responsible for seven young and tender kittens. Ann Tibbits, England expects every woman to do her duty!"

"All? asked Ann.

"Four," replied my mother.

"Now?" asked Ann.

"The sooner the better," said my mother.

At this moment a sudden blast shook every window in the house, which seemed to be in momentary danger of a total collapse.

"Not fit to turn a dog out," murmured my mother. "Not fit to turn a dog out. Ugh! how cold it is, and here am I condemning to death four poor little kittens on a night like this—to snatch them away from their warm mother, my muff, and Alaska tail, and dip them in a bucket of ice-cold water. And yet they must go; but, Ann, I've an idea—WARM the water. They shall leave the world comfortably. They'll never know it."

The faithful, unemotional Ann carried out her instructions. Peter was one of the three kittens which were born in my mother's fur-lined bonnet, and the white marks on his body always remind me of the terrible snowstorm in the midst of which he sounded his first mew.

After several weeks the liberty which our cat Cordelia had taken with my mother's finery was forgotten, and the household had settled down into its usual humdrum routine. Tibbits had made the new arrivals a bed in the little box-room, and the doctor declared that Mrs. Cordelia was doing as well as could be expected. Every morning we had asked the usual question: "How is Cordelia?" "Quite well, thank you." "And the kittens?" "Also quite well." In due course Ann brought the welcome news that the three kittens had opened their eyes, and the kid glove was at once detached from the knocker of the front door. It was on the morning after they had obtained their blessed sight that I was invited by Tibbits to go downstairs and take my choice. I went down, but I could see nothing of the kittens; there was only Cordelia, with tail twisting, eyes aflame, and whiskers bristling, wheeling round and round a number of straw cases in which champagne had once been packed. Lo! one of the cases began to walk. The movement caught Cordelia's eye, and she knocked it over with her paw. A fluffy, chubby kitten, consisting of a black body with a patch of white on it, was revealed. The little one so captivated my fancy that I put him in my pocket, and without more ado took him upstairs, and publicly announced my determination to claim him as my property.

"What shall we name it?" asked my mother.

"Fiz," said one, alluding to the empty champagne cases,—a suggestion which was at once overruled, as we were a temperate family and little given to sparkling liquids. "Pop" was also voted against, not only as being vulgar, but as going to the other extreme, and leading people to suppose that we were extensively addicted to ginger-ale.

"I think, my dears, as Peter was born on a—" My mother's speech was interrupted by an exultant "Cock-a-doodle-do."

"That horrid fowl again!" exclaimed my mother.

The cock in question was the property of a neighbor, and was a most annoying bird. Even my kitten was disturbed by the defiant note. "M-e-w?" said he, in a meek interrogative, as much as to say, "What is that dreadful noise?"

"Cock-a-doodle-do," cried the bird again.

"Mew," replied the kitten, this time with a note of anger in his voice. "COCK-A-DOODLE," screamed the bird, evidently in a violent temper. "Mew," said the kitten again, in a tone of remonstrance. The remaining syllable of his war-cry and the kitten's reply were cut short by my mother, who put her fingers to her ears, and said:

"And the cock crowed thrice. My dears, I have it!"

"What, mother?"

"We'll call him PETER." cried the family.

"Peter Gray?"

"Peter Simple?"

"Peter the Great?"

"No," replied my mother, with a humorous twinkle, "Peter the Apostle," pointing to the Family Bible, which was always kept on a little occasional table in a corner of the sitting-room. "And let Peter be a living warning against fibbing, my dears, whether on a small scale or a large one."

A bowl of water was then placed on the table and, having sprinkled a shower upon his devoted back, I as his proprietor, looking at him closely, cried:

"Arise, Peter; obey thy master."

In the middle of my exhortations, however, Cordelia jumped on the table, took little Peter by the scruff of his neck, and carried him back to the nursery.

The day came when I put Peter into the pocket of my overcoat, and took him away to his new home. I had the greatest confidence in him, being a firm believer in the doctrine of heredity. His father I never knew, but his grandfather bore a great reputation for courage, as was indicated on his tombstone, the inscription on which ran as follows:

Here lies LEAR. Aged about 8 years. A Tom Cat killed in single combat with Tom the Templar whilst defending his hearth and home. England expects every cat to do his duty.

His mother Cordelia was of an affectionate nature, caring little for the chase, indifferent to birds (except sparrows), temperate in the matter of fish, timid of dogs, a kind mother, and had never been known to scratch a child. I believed then that there was every possibility of Peter's inheriting the admirable qualities of his relatives. The world into which he was introduced contained a large assortment of curios which I had bought in many a salesroom, such as bits of old oak, bits of armor, bits of china, bits of tapestry, and innumerable odds and ends which had taken my fancy. Picture, then, Peter drinking his milk from a Crown Derby dish which I had placed in a corner between the toes of a gentleman skeleton whom Time had stained a tobacco brown. The Crown Derby dish and the skeleton were, like the rest of my furniture, "bargains." At this period of his life Peter resembled a series of irregular circles, such as a geometrician might have made in an absent moment: two round eyes, one round head, and one round body. I regarded him much as a young mother would her first baby, for he was my first pet. I watched him lest he should get into danger; I conversed with him in a strange jargon, which I called cats' language; I played with him constantly, and introduced him to a black hole behind the skeleton's left heel, which was supposed to be the home of mice. He kept a close watch on the black hole, and one day, which is never to be forgotten, he caught his first mouse. It was a very little one, but it clung to Peter's nose and made it bleed. Regardless of the pain, Peter marched up to me, tail in air, and laid the half-dead mouse at my feet, with a look in his eyes which said plainly enough, "Shades of Caesar! I claim a Triumph, master."

He returned to the black hole again, and mewed piteously for more. Peter was very green, as you will understand, but he soon discovered that mewing kept the mice away, and having taken the lesson to heart, preserved silence for the future. The mouse-hunts occupied but a small portion of Peter's time. He was full of queer pranks, which youth and high spirits suggested to him. He took a delight in tumbling down the stairs; he hid himself in the mouth of a lion whose head was one of my chief treasures; he tilted against a dragon candlestick like a young St. George; he burnt his budding whiskers in an attempt to discover the source of the flame in the wick of the candle. He became, too, a great connoisseur of vases, ornaments, and pictures, sitting before them and examining them for an hour at a time. He was also very much given to voyages of discovery, dark continents having a peculiar fascination for him. Even the lion's mouth had no terror for him. I once produced him from the interior of a brand-new top hat like a conjurer an omelette. Again, we were very much surprised at breakfast one morning to see Peter walk out of a rabbit-pie in which he had secreted himself.

I used to let my canary fly about the room, and Peter chased him. The canary flew to an old helmet on a shelf, and thus baffled Peter. The canary seemed to know this, for when Peter was in the room he always flew to the helmet and sang in peace. If he perched elsewhere there was a chase. The linnet's cage I placed on the window-sill in sunny weather, and Peter took great interest in him. He could not see the musician, but he heard the music, and tried every means he knew to discover its source.

At last he peeped through a little hole at the back of the cage, and when he saw the bird he was quite satisfied, and made no attempt to disturb it.

In the matter of eating and drinking Peter was inclined to vegetarianism, being fond of beet-root and cabbage, but he soon took to carnal habits, always liking his food to be divided into three portions, consisting of greens, potatoes, and meat. In addition to such food as we gave him he by no means despised any delicacies he could discover on his own account. For instance he cleaned out a pot of glycerine. Having tilted the lid up, he pulled out the pins from a pincushion, but was saved in time; he was curious about a powder-box, and came mewing downstairs a Peter in white; he did not despise the birds out of a hat; he lost his temper when he saw his rival in the looking-glass, and was beside himself with rage when the glass swung round and he saw only a plain board. His most curious experience was his first glimpse of the moon, which he saw from our bit of back garden. He was rooted to the ground with wonder at the amazing sight, and we called him in vain. The only reply was a melancholy, love-stricken mew which went to my heart.

* * * * *

So Peter rejoiced in the days of his youth, and there was no end to his frolics. But do not think for a moment that his education was neglected, especially in the invaluable matters of manners and deportment, both of which are so essential to advancement in life. I taught him to sit at table; to enter a room with grace, and to leave it with dignity. Indeed, I spared no trouble, and Peter became as rigorous as a Chesterfield in the proper observance of all such matters. I can give you no better example of Peter's extensive knowledge of what was right and wrong in the ceremonial side of life than by telling you that when he felt an irrepressible sneeze forming he trotted out of the room and sneezed outside. When Peter played, too, he played gently, and did not disturb his elders by obtrusive attentions. He never required to be told twice to do a thing. Once was enough for Peter. Then again in the matter of breakages he was as virtuous a kitten as ever lived. I had thirty precious blue china vases on my sideboard, and through this fragile maze Peter always wound in and out without moving a vase. His virtues in this respect were well known to my servants, who never accused Peter of breaking the milk-jug, or the cups and saucers, I can assure you. Like the best of human beings, he had his faults, but upon these it would be impertinent to touch more than lightly.

Peter was partial to Fridays, because Fridays were devoted to cleaning up. If you have ever watched a woman washing the kitchen floor, you will have noticed that she completes one patch before she proceeds with the next, as if she took pride in each patch, regarding it as a picture. It was Peter's delight to sit and watch this domestic operation; and no sooner was the woman's back turned towards a fresh portion of her territory than Peter ran all over the freshly washed patch and impressed it with the seal of his paws, just as an explorer would indicate a great annexation by a series of flags. That was a mere frolic. It was about this time that I discovered Peter's power as a performing cat. I tied a hare's foot to a piece of string and dangled it before Peter's eyes. I hid the hare's foot in strange places. I flung it downstairs. I threw it upstairs. The hare's foot never failed to attract him. We used to roll on the floor together; we played hide-and-seek together. I noticed that he had a habit of lying on his back with his tail out, his head back, and his paws crossed. By degrees I taught him to assume this attitude at the word of command, so that when I said, "Die, Peter!" Peter turned on his back and became rigid until he received permission to live again.

I also taught him to talk in mews at the word of command. I hear some genial critic exclaim that this cannot be true. I decline to argue with any critic that ever lived, and repeat, fearlessly, and in measured terms, that Peter talked to me. Of course he would not drop into conversation with the first person who bade him "good-morning," but I assert again that Peter and I held many conversations together by means of the "mew," used with a score of inflections, often delicately shaded, each of which conveyed its meaning to me.

Peter took to reading, too, quite easily, and sat up with eye-glasses on his nose and a paper between his paws. It was, as you may well imagine, a red-letter day with me when Peter said his prayers for the first time; and I was better pleased when he put his little paws up and lifted his eyes up to the ceiling than with any other of his accomplishments, though they were more appreciated by unthinking friends. It was all very well to place a mouse at my feet and thus play to the gallery, but I felt that Peter's thirst for applause might be his ruin.

* * * * *

When the summer came, and the London pavements began to quake with heat, I determined to fly to the country. As delights are doubled when shared with those we care for, I determined to take Peter with me, so I packed him up in a specially constructed travelling saloon of his own, to wit, a flannel-lined basket containing all the necessary comforts for the journey, such as air-holes and feeding-bottles, and off we started in the highest of spirits. Peter found a new world opened to him, and the thousand and one beauties of the country fascinated us both. We were the guests of a burly farmer, who lived in a queer old house, half timber and half brick, with low-ceilinged rooms. The general living-room was the capacious kitchen, which looked mighty picturesque. Oak panels ran half-way up to the ceiling; the pots and pans were ranged neatly in an open cupboard, pleasantly suggestive of good fare and plenty of it. There were flowers in red pots in the windows, and my bedroom was a picture of coolness and cleanliness.

Amid these pleasant surroundings Peter soon made himself very happy, and became a great friend of a cat called Jack, who took him under his charge and showed him the ways of the country. Jack was a favorite on the farm. He was certainly given to roving, and did not always "come home to tea." As a mouser he had few equals in the countryside, and one evening when we were telling stories by the fireside the farmer told me that Jack had despatched no less than four hundred mice from one hay-rick.

Jack was a disciple of Isaak Walton. He would crouch on a mossy knoll by the edge of the river, and sometimes was successful in capturing a small trout. The farmer was himself a great fisherman. Jack was a study while the preparations were in progress, and, all intent, would follow close at his master's heels. He would crouch among the rushes whilst the tackle was being adjusted, and anxiously scan the water as the fly drifted along the surface. He took a keen delight in the sport, and when a fish was negotiating the bait he always purred loudly in anticipation of the feast in prospect. The trout landed and the line re-cast, he would seize his prey, and with stealthy gait slink off with his prize, leaving the old farmer to discover his loss when he might. Together Jack and Peter roamed over the meadow lands, and the poultry-run was an object of great interest to them. Together they fought the rats, and together they would lie in wait for the thrush and the blackbird,—I am happy to say in vain. The farmer told me that in his youth Jack once took up his residence in the hollow of an old oak, where he lived on the furred and feathered game. At last he returned home. For hours he wandered about his old home, fearful of discovery, now crouching amongst the flower-beds, and now flying in terror at the sound of the hall clock. At last he ventured into the kitchen, entering by the window and creeping to the kitchen hearth, where he dozed off to the music of the cricket, to be welcomed like another Prodigal Son.

Alas! these delights were cut short, for Peter and I were soon compelled to pack up our traps and proceed to the seaside for professional purposes. Peter was not fond of the sea. When I took him out yachting he was compelled to call for the steward; and one day when exploring the rocks at low water, gazing with rapture at his own charming face as it was reflected in the glassy surface of a deep pool, an inquiring young lobster nipped his tail, and the shore rang with piteous calls for help. Peter has never cared for the sea since then, and so deeply was the disaster impressed upon him that I have known him reject a choice bit of meat which happened to have a few grains of salt on it. It wafted him back to the ocean, the lobster, and the steward. What powers of imagination were Peter's!

* * * * *

As these memoirs cover a period of seven or eight years, and as space is limited, my readers will kindly consent to take a seat on the convenient carpet of the magician, and be wafted gently to the next station on the road without further question. This is a pleasant byway in suburban London, greatly frequented by organ-grinders, travelling bears, German bands, and peripatetic white mice. This road is always associated in my mind with the mysterious disappearance of Peter. We had often laughed at the odd old lady who lived two doors higher up, for the anxiety which she displayed when any of her pets were missing. It was our turn now.

This same old lady was very fond of her cats, and had nine of them at the time I am writing of. Every morning when the weather was warm, she and her cats would come out and unconsciously form a succession of tableaux for our amusement. A rug was spread out under the pear tree in the middle of the tiny lawn, a great basket-chair was placed in the middle of this rug, and, these preparations having been made, the old lady, who was very stout, and always wore a monster poke bonnet and a shapeless black silk dress, came out, followed by her nine cats, and took possession of the basket-chair. A little maid then appeared with a tray, on which were nine little blue china saucers and a jug of milk. The nine little saucers were ranged in a semicircle, and filled with milk, whereupon the old lady cried out, "Who says breakfast, dearies? Who says breakfast—breakfast?" This invitation was immediately responded to by the nine cats. When they had done the old lady cried, "Who says washee, dearies? Washee, washee, washee?" Whereupon the nine cats sat on their haunches and proceeded to make their toilettes. The requirements of cleanliness having been satisfied, and the nine basins having been taken away by the little maid, the old lady shouted out, "Who says play, dearies? Playee, playee, playee?" holding out her arms, and calling out, "Dido Dums, Dido Dums, come here, deary," when a fine Persian cat jumped on to her right shoulder. "Now Diddles Doddles, Diddles Doddles," and another Persian cat jumped on to her left shoulder. "Tootsy Wootsy," she called once more, and a black cat scrambled up to the crown of the poke bonnet. And one by one they were summoned by some endearing diminutive, until the nine cats had taken possession of every possible coign of vantage which was offered by the old lady's capacious person. There they sat, waving their tails to and fro, evidently very pleased by their mistress's little attentions. Mrs. Mee was not very popular in the neighborhood, except with the milkman and the butcher. The cats'-meat-man, indeed, who supplied various families in our road, positively hated her—so I gathered from our servant,—and had been heard to say sotto voce in unguarded moments, "Ha! ha! I'll be revenged." It was not unnatural, as the cats were fed on mutton cutlets and fresh milk, and cats' meat was at a discount. About three weeks before Peter disappeared, Mrs. Mee, in the short space of three or four days, had lost no less than five cats by a violent death, and five little graves had been dug, marked by five little tombstones, and the five dead cats had been laid in their last resting-places by the hands of the old lady herself. A funeral is not generally amusing, but I could not restrain a smile when I saw my eccentric old neighbor follow the remains of her dead pets, which were reverently carried on the tea-tray by the little serving-maid, the old lady herself leading the way, ringing a muffled peal with the dinner-bell, the remaining cats bringing up the rear, pondering over the fate of their dead comrades.

It happened that three of these unfortunate victims had been found on my doorstep. I felt very angry with the old lady, who blamed me for the destruction of her pets, adducing the fact that they were found dying on my doorsteps as proof conclusive. One morning I received an anonymous postcard. Although it bore the Charing Cross postmark, I felt sure it came from the old lady. It read as follows:

"The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold."

This was the last straw, for I felt that as regards the old lady's cats I had behaved in a sympathetic and neighborly spirit. I remember this post-card because the same afternoon that it came Peter disappeared, and I began to fear that he had yielded to the temptation of a poisoned pig's foot which had been found in my garden stripped of its flesh. This was a delicacy which Peter had never been able to resist, though why he should have preferred it to the choice foods that were daily piled upon his plate I cannot for the life of me say. We searched the neighborhood in vain, and at last I determined to advertise. Accordingly I addressed an advertisement to my favorite paper. It ran as follows:

"COME BACK, PETER. Lost, stolen, strayed, or poisoned, a white and black cat called Peter, who left his friends at—on Monday afternoon last. Round his neck he wore a blue ribbon with the word PETER embroidered upon it in red silk. Before retiring to rest he always says his prayers. Dead or alive, a reward of Two Pounds is offered to any one who will restore him to his mourning friends."

I little knew what I was bringing on my devoted head. I had been troubled enough before with dying cats, but now they were all alive. Cats were brought to me in baskets, in boxes, in arms; Manx cats and cats whose tails were missing for other than hereditary reasons; lame cats, blind cats, cats with one eye, and cats who squinted. Never before had I seen such an extraordinary collection. My whole time was now taken up in interviewing callers with cats.

If the boys were bad before, they were a thousand times worse now. Here is one example out of a score. He was a boy known as Pop, who carried the laundry baskets.

"'Ave yer found yer cat yet?"

"No, we haven't."

"Did yer say it was a yaller 'un?"

"No, I didn't."

"What did I say, Hop?" continued Pop, triumphantly turning to a one-legged friend who swept a crossing close by.

"Yer said, Pop, as it was a tortus," murmured the bashful Hop, who had sheltered himself behind Pop.

"A tortus, that's it. A tortus, and Hop and I's found it, sir. We've got it here."

"You're wrong. My cat's not a tortoise," I replied.

"Bless you, we know that, guv'nor. Just as if we didn't know Peter! Ah! Peter was a cat as wants a lot of replacin', Peter does. But me and Hop's got a tortus as is a wunner, guv'nor. A heap better nor Peter. Poor old Peter! he's dead and gone. Be sure of that. This 'ere's a reg'lar bad road. A prize-winner, warn't 'e, Hoppy?" They held up the prize-winner, who was not a tortoise, and was mangy.

"Look here, my boys, you can take her away. Now, be off. Quick march!"

"Yer don't want it, guv'nor. Jest think agin. Why, 'ow will you get along without a cat? The mice is 'orrible in this 'ere road. Come, guv'nor, I'll tell you what I'll do. You shall 'ave a bargain," said Pop.

I insisted that the tortoise prize-winner should be taken away, and the next day I stopped the advertisement and resigned myself to despair. A week after Peter had disappeared I heard the voice of my friend Pop at the door. "I say, mister, I've some noose. Come along o' me. I think I've found 'im. Real. A blue ribbon round 'is neck and says 'is prayers. Put on yer 'at and foller, foller, foller me." Mr. Pop led the way along the road, and turned off to the right, and we walked up another road until we reached a large house which had been unoccupied for many months. The drains were up, and two or three workmen were busy. Pop at once introduced me as "the gent as was lookin' for his cat." "Have you seen a cat with a blue ribbon round his neck?" I asked them, very dubious as to the honesty of Pop's intention. "Well, sich a cat 'as bin 'ere for some days," replied the workman to whom I had spoken. "He used to come when we were gettin' our bit of dinner. But we never know'd but wot it came from next door. You go upstairs to the first-floor front, and you'll see a sight." On the top of the stairs was Peter, who knew me at once, and began to purr and rub himself against my legs in a most affectionate manner, as if to appease any outburst of wrath on my part. I felt too pleased to be angry, and followed Peter into the empty room, which was littered with paper and rubbish, and the remains of forty or fifty mice lay strewn about the floor. Peter looked up to me as if to say: "Not a bad bag—eh, master?" In the corner of the room was a bit of sacking which Peter had used as a bed. Pop explained to me that he had heard the men talking about the funny cat that came and dined with them every day. This conversation induced him to search the house, with the happy result that Peter was restored to the bosom of his sorrowing family, and Pop gave up the laundry basket, and invested the reward in a small private business of his own.

* * * * *

Peter and I have had many homes in London and in the country. Together we have lived in flats, in hotels, in farm-houses, and in lodgings for single gentlemen. In lodgings for single gentlemen we had many strange experiences which would occupy too much time to relate, and I will therefore touch but lightly upon this period of Peter's career. Peter, being a gentlemanly cat, never quarrelled with ladies, however hard they might be to please, and let them gird at him as they would. For did not that gracious animal, when Mrs. Nagsby was accusing him of stealing fowls, say—did he not arch his bonny back and purr against Mrs. Nagsby's ankles and endeavor to appease her? In her softer moods she did sometimes relax, and even allowed Peter to sit by her side as she read the paper. Peter was held responsible for every article that was lost in Mrs. Nagsby's apartments, and the amount of money I paid to that good lady for breakage in the course of six months would have furnished a small cottage. Mrs. Nagsby was a widow, and the late lamented Nagsby had supported her by his performances on the euphonium. This instrument was kept in a case in Mrs. Nagsby's little room, which was on the ground-floor back, and looked on to a series of dingy walls. Mrs. Nagsby used to polish up the euphonium every Saturday morning with a regularity which nothing prevented. Did it not speak volumes for her affection for the late lamented? On one of these Saturdays it happened that a German band stopped at the front door. Mrs. Nagsby could never resist the seductive power of brass music. She rushed upstairs to the first-floor front to listen to the performance. Fate ordained it that Mrs. Nagsby should leave the precious euphonium on the floor in her haste to hear the band. Fate ordained it also that Peter should come down stairs at this particular moment and wend his way to Mrs. Nagsby's parlor. Fate also had ordained it that a mouse which lived in a hole behind Mrs. Nagsby's easy-chair should issue at this particular moment for a little bread-crumb expedition. Mrs. Nagsby was a careful housekeeper, and finding no crumbs about, the mouse roamed into the silent highway presented by the orifice of the euphonium. It was natural enough that Peter should follow the mouse. Unfortunately, Peter's progress was stopped, the girth of his body being too great to admit him; and my door being open, I at once rushed to the rescue, and found Peter with his head in the depths of the euphonium, and making fierce struggles to vacate the position. Mrs. Nagsby came downstairs and entered her parlor just as I succeeded in extracting Peter from the musical instrument. Fiercely was I reproached for Peter's escapade, and humbly did I make his apologies, little knowing the secret of the plight from which I had rescued him. Having soothed my landlady, she at length took up the euphonium and proceeded to apply her eye to the main orifice to see if Peter had damaged it, handling the euphonium in the manner of a telescope. I was thinking of the reproaches in prospect, when I was startled by a loud shriek, to which the euphonium imparted a metallic vibration, and Mrs. Nagsby dropped the instrument on to the floor, the good lady herself following it with a thud. A wee mouse scuttled across her face, disappeared behind the easy chair, and doubtless rejoined his anxious family. Mrs. Nagsby recovered after her maid-of-all-work and I had burnt a few sheets of brown paper under her nostrils; but I had great difficulty in making the peace.

In vain I pointed out that the responsibility did not remain with me, or even with Peter. We agreed after some debate that it was the German band, which was never afterwards patronized by Mrs. Nagsby.

I got into further trouble with Mrs. Nagsby owing to a greyhound which I had bought at a sale. I had no character with him, for he had no character. If Mrs. Nagsby had killed him with the meat hatchet I would have held my peace, for never a day passed but King Arthur took his name in vain. The first night I brought him home Mrs. Nagsby gave me permission as a great favor to chain him to the kitchen table. In the morning two of the table legs had been mangled, and that is our reason why I called him King Arthur, of the Round Table. The next night King Arthur was taken upstairs and attached to the leg of my wash-stand. I was awakened out of my beauty sleep by a horrible clamor which caused me to think that the house had fallen in. I presently realized that King Arthur had mistaken the water-jug for a dragon. In any case it was smashed to bits, and the noise brought Mrs. Nagsby to my door in anger. I should be sorry to say what King Arthur cost me in hard cash for breakages and legs of mutton. Poor Peter! thou wast a saint when compared with that fiend on four legs.

The denouement came at last, and it arose from King Arthur's fondness for the ladies. There was nothing remarkable in the appearance of the old lady who was Mrs. Nagsby's favorite lodger, who had held the rooms above mine for three years. Rut the lady had a most beautiful sealskin jacket, trimmed with tails of sable. King Arthur had unluckily a feminine affection for furs, and I never dared to take him into any of the fashionable thoroughfares, as he had a way of following the ladies, not for their own dear sakes, but for the fur which they might happen to be wearing. Whether they were only tippets or dyed rabbit-skins, it did not matter to King Arthur.

Well, one unfortunate afternoon, I was leading my greyhound home. A few yards in front of us was Mrs. Nagsby's first-floor lady, taking the sun in all the glories of her sealskin jacket and sable tails. To my horror I dropped the chain in taking a match-box out of my pocket, and before I could take any steps to prevent him—King Arthur was coursing Mrs. Nagsby's first-floor lodger at his highest rate of speed!!! King Arthur held on his course and literally took the old lady aback, and began to tear those choice sable tippets asunder. Nor was the base creature content to rest at the sable tippets. Before I reached his victim his mouth was full of sealskin. Let me pass on, merely saying that King Arthur was shot that night in the mews at the back of Mrs. Nagsby's, a victim to his own indiscretions.

And now I come to the fatal catastrophe which finally drove me and Peter from the shelter of Mrs. Nagsby's roof. That lady had a set of false teeth which she was in the habit of depositing on her dressing-table when she went to bed. I had learned this from Sarah when that damsel was in a confidential mood. Peter, I think I have told you, slept in my room. One very warm night Mrs. Nagsby left her door open, and her night light was burning as usual. I also slept with my door open, and Peter, being hot like the rest of us, left the room for a stroll, and visited Mrs. Nagsby's apartment. Presently he came back with Mrs. Nagsby's teeth between his own—at least I suppose so, for I found them on the hearth-rug when I awoke. I was greatly amused, though a little puzzled to know how I could replace them. After some reflection I went down to breakfast, placed the trophy in a saucer, and showed it to Sarah, who screamed and traitorously ran up and informed her mistress. Mrs. Nagsby came down rampant, but of course speechless. I was thankful for this; but the violent woman, after sputtering spasmodically, caught sight of the missing article in the saucer, and, lost to all sense of shame, replaced it in position and poured forth a torrent of the most violent abuse.

Peter and I left.


By General Rush C. Hawkins

Among the gunboats doing duty on the inland waters of North Carolina in the early spring of 1862, which composed what Commodore Goldsborough designated his "Pasteboard Fleet," was the Louisiana, commanded by Commander Alexander Murray, who was noted for his efficiency and good nature.

His treatment of his crew made him one of the most popular officers in the whole fleet. He entered into all of their sports and sympathized with the discomforts of forecastle life. He was fond of animal pets, and always welcomed the arrival of a new one. At the time of which I am writing, his ship carried quite a collection of tame birds and four-footed favorites. Among them was a singular little character, known as "Jeff." He was a perfectly black pig of the "Racer Razor Back" order, which, at that time, were plentiful in the coast sections of the more southern of the slave-holding States. They were called "racers" because of their long legs, slender bodies, and great capacity for running; and "Razor Backs" on account of the prominence of the spinal column. The origin of this particular species of the porcine tribe is unknown, but there is a tradition to the effect that their progenitors were a part of the drove that came to the coast of Florida with De Soto when he started on the march which ended with the discovery of the Mississippi River. History records the fact that a large number of animals were brought from Spain for food, and that a considerable number of them succeeded in getting away from the expedition soon after the landing was effected.

Our particular specimen of this wandering tribe of natural marauders was captured by a boat's crew of the Louisiana in one of the swamps adjacent to Currituck Sound when he was a wee bit of an orphaned waif, not much larger than an ostrich egg.

He was an ill-conditioned little mite that had probably been abandoned by a heartless mother, possibly while escaping from the prospective mess-kettle of a Confederate picket.

In those days Confederate pickets were not very particular as to the quality or kind of food, and I have a suspicion that even a "Razor Back" would have been a welcome addition to their meal.

When "Jeff" was brought on board, his pitiful condition excited the active sympathy of all, from the commander down to the smallest powder monkey, and numerous were the suggestions made as to the course of treatment for the new patient. The doctor was consulted, and after a careful diagnosis, decided there was no organic disease: want of parental care, want of nourishment and exposure, were held responsible for "Jeff's" unfavorable condition. It was decided to put him on a light diet of milk, which proved an immediate success, for, within forty-eight hours after his first meal, the patient became as lively as possible. As days and weeks went on, there appeared an improvement of appetite that was quite phenomenal, but no accumulation of flesh. His legs and body grew longer; and, with this lengthening of parts, there came a development of intellectual acuteness that was particularly surprising. He attached himself to each individual of the ship. He had no favorites, but was hail-fellow-well-met with all. He developed all the playful qualities of a puppy and reasoned out a number of problems in his own way. His particular admirers declared that he learned the meaning of the different whistles of the boatswain: that he knew when the meal pennant was hoisted to the peak; could tell when the crew was beat to quarters for drill, and often proved the correctness of this knowledge by scampering off to take his place by one particular gun division, which seemed to have taken his fancy.

I can testify personally to only one item in the schedule of his intellectual achievements. It is a custom in the navy for the commander of a ship to receive any officer of rank of either branch of the service at the gangway of the ship. In this act of courtesy he is always accompanied by the officer of the deck, and often by others that may happen to be at hand. After the advent of "Jeff," whenever I went on board the Louisiana, he was always at the gangway, and seemingly was deeply interested in the event. It may be said of him, generally, that he was overflowing with spirits, and took an active interest in all the daily routine work of his ship.

He had a most pertinacious way of poking his nose into all sorts of affairs, not at all after the manner of the usual pig, but more like a village gossip who wants to know about everything that is going on in the neighborhood.

In the gradual development of "Jeff's" character, it was discovered that he had none of the usual well-known traits of the pig. He was more like a petted and pampered dog, was playful, good-natured, and expressed pleasure, pain, anger, and desire, with various squeals and grunts, delivered with a variety of intonations that were very easily interpreted. He was never so happy as when in the lap of one of the sailors, having his back stroked. His pleasure upon those occasions was evinced by the emission of frequent good-natured grunts and looking up into the face of the friendly stroker.

When on shore he followed his favorites like a dog and was never known to root. Except in speech and appearance he was the counterpart of a happy, good-natured, and well-cared-for household dog—possibly, however, rather more intelligent than the average canine pet.

The Fourth of July, 1862, was a gala day at Roanoke Island. The camps of the island and the vessels in the harbor were in holiday attire. Colors were flying, bands playing, drums beating, patriotic steam was up to high pressure. The good old day, so dear to the hearts of Americans, was made more glorious by the exchange of camp hospitalities and an indulgence in such simple hilarity as the occasion seemed to require; but "Jeff" was not forgotten. Early in the morning he was bathed and scrubbed, more than to his heart's content, and then patriotically decorated. In his right ear was a red ribbon, in his left a white one; around his neck another of blue.

Thus adorned he was brought on shore to pay me a visit, and as he came through my door he appeared to be filled with the pride of patriotism and a realization of the greatness of the occasion. His reward for this unusual demonstration was instantaneous, and consisted of some apples and a toothsome dessert of sugar. Afterward he made the round of the camps with a special escort of warrant officers and devoted Jack Tars.

During this triumphant march over the island an incident occurred which developed the slumbering instinct of the swamp "racer." In a second, as it were, and seemingly without cause, "Jeff" was seen to move off at a tremendous pace at right angles with the line of march. He was seen after he had run a few yards to make a great jump, and then remain in his tracks. The pursuing party found him actively engaged in demolishing a moccasin, which he had crushed by jumping and landing with his feet upon its head and back. Hogs of this particular kind are famous snake-killers—a big rattler or a garter snake is all the same to them. They advance to the attack with the greatest impetuosity, and a feast upon snake is the usual reward of exceptional bravery.

"Jeff" was a confirmed lover of good eating, and in time paid the usual penalty for over-indulgence of his very piggish appetite. While the meal pennant was up, it was his habit to go from one fore-castle mess to another, and to insist upon having rather more than his share of the choice morsels from each. In a short time he came to the repair shop very much the worse for wear, with an impaired digestion and a cuticle that showed unmistakable evidence of scurvy. For the first he was put upon short rations; for the second, sand baths on shore were prescribed. Under this treatment poor "Jeff" lost all his buoyancy of spirits and his habitual friskiness, and became sad and dejected, but bore his troubles with patience. He took to the sand baths at once, and gave forth many disgruntled grunts when lifted out of them.

The last time I saw "Jeff," in 1862, he was buried up to his ears in the cool sands of the Roanoke Island shore, with eyes upturned and looking like a very sad pig, but I fear none the wiser for his offenses against the rights of a well-regulated digestion.


By Charles F. Lummis

No other creature is so absolutely graceful as a rattlesnake, and none more gentle in intention. It is only against imposition that he protests. Our forefathers had learned a not unworthy lesson from their contact with nature in the New World when they put upon the first flag of the colonies a rattlesnake, with the Latin legend, Nemo me impune lacessit—"No one wounds me with impunity." The flag of independence, however, only half told the real meaning of its emblem—the warning, and not the self-restraint. There is a device, to my notion, much more expressive: a rattlesnake rampant, with the Spanish motto, Ni huyes ni persigues—"Thou needst not flee, but thou must not pursue." Or, in other words, "I impose upon no one; no one must impose upon me." That is the real meaning of the rattlesnake, as any one can testify who knows him well.

I chanced one day to enter the market in Los Angeles, and was surprised to find in one of the stalls a large collection of rattlesnakes, mostly brought in from the Mojave desert. It was the first time I had ever seen the crotalus sold in the stalls of a city market; and as they went at the very reasonable figure of fifty cents apiece, I promptly purchased a pair. The dealer, with a noose of cord, lassoed the two I indicated, and after some maneuvering got them stowed in two large cigar boxes, which he tied up tightly. Reaching home safely with my new pets, I made them a roomy cage with wire-screen in front and a sliding door on top, and transferred them to it without much difficulty. One was a strong, handsome fellow five feet long and with fifteen rattles; the other was about three feet in length and had an ordinary "string."

The dealer told me they had eaten nothing in six months; and fancying it must be about lunch-time with them, I went down-town, as soon as they were comfortably settled in the new quarters, to get them food. A rattler, you know, will touch no dead meat, so I had to seek some living bait. After ransacking the markets I found at last one young cuye—the funny little South American, generally miscalled among us the "guinea-pig." It was about half grown—a very proper-sized morsel for the larger snake.

My friends rattled a little as I opened the slide on the top of their cage, promptly closing it as I dropped the cuye in. But, to my surprise, they paid no further attention to the newcomer, except to appear very much bored by him; and, stranger yet, the guinea-pig showed no sign whatever of fear. I have so often watched birds, rabbits, dogs, horses, cattle, and other animals—up to the strongest and boldest—in presence of the rattlesnake, and have always noted in them such unmistakable tokens of terror, that it astonished me to find this pretty little white-and-tan creature so utterly unconcerned. In dropping from the door he alighted squarely upon the backs of the snakes, whereupon they drew away uneasily; and he proceeded to look and sniff about, very much as you may have seen a rabbit do. I stood by the cage a long time, expecting the snakes to lose patience at last and enact a tragedy; but nothing happened. The cuye scurried freely about the cage, generally treading upon the irregular loops which covered most of the floor; and the snakes neither rattled nor raised their heads at him.

For fully a week the three lodged together harmoniously. Sometimes, on entering the room, I found the guinea-pig quietly reposing inside the careless coil of one of his strange bedfellows. Several times he was squatting upon them, and more than once sitting squarely upon the head of one! I began to wonder if there were anything constitutionally wrong with the snakes. Whether they deemed him too big or too foolish to be eaten, I have never known; but, whatever the reason, they made no motion toward eating him. Unfortunately, he did not know how to return a favor.

One afternoon I was writing at my desk, when a tremendous rattling behind me caused me to jump up and go to the cage. The smaller snake was up in arms, skirring his rattle violently, while the larger one was twisting uneasily about, but not showing fight. And what do you imagine ailed him? Why, that miserable cuye was perched upon him, coolly nibbling that beautiful rattle, of which only three or four beads were left! In my righteous indignation I tore open the slide and "snaked out" the vandal as quickly as possible. Afterward it occurred to me to wonder that I had not been struck; for nothing so alarms and angers a crotalus as a swift motion like that with which I had removed the cuye. The rattles never grew again, and my best snake was spoiled. Why the cuye should have cared to eat that mysterious husk which is so absolutely dry and flavorless, I can explain only by adding that rats and mice have the same perverted taste, and that it seems fairly a passion with them. I have had many skins and rattles eaten up by them.

Shortly after this episode one of our helpers in the office found a nest of mice, and, mindful of my hungry snakes, I contrived to catch one mouse alive. When the rattlers saw him through their screen, they manifested such a lively interest as nothing had aroused in them before. I cautiously opened the slide in the top of the cage, held the mouse up by the tail, and let him drop.

There was a fair illustration of the matchless agility of the crotalus when he cares to be quick. The cage was just twelve inches high in the clear; but before the falling mouse was halfway to the bottom, there was an indescribable gray blur, and I knew that the larger snake had hit him. I have improved numerous chances to study the stroke of rattlesnake, which is the swiftest motion made by any living creature; but that particular case, better than any other, gave me a conception of its actual rapidity. From years of experience with the pneumatic shutter in photographing objects in rapid motion, I should say the snake's head traversed that twelve or fifteen inches in something like the three-hundredth part of a second.

The mouse fell upon the floor of the cage, and it never moved again. The snake knew perfectly that it had done its work, for in place of "recovering" for another stroke, as they invariably do after a failure, he swallowed the mouse in the usual slow and painful fashion, with as much apparent effort as a morsel four times as large should have given him.


By Ernest Ingersoll

The spring weather we sometimes have in March reminds me, especially in the evening, of some days passed so high up in the Rocky Mountains that the summer was left down in the valley. One such spring-like evening we camped close to the timber-limit, and I made my first trip into the region above, in which no trees grow. Having left the spruce-woods quickly behind, there came some stiff climbing up ledges of broken rocks, standing, cliff-like, to bar the way to the summit. These surmounted, the way was clear, for from the northeast—the side I was on—this mountain presents a smooth grassy slope to the very top; but the western side of the range is a series of rocky precipices, seamed and shattered. This is true of many mountains in Colorado.

Just above the cliffs grew a number of dwarfed spruces, some of them with trunks six inches in diameter, yet lying flat along the ground, so that the gnarled and wind-pressed boughs were scarcely knee-high. They stood so closely together, and were so stiff, that I could not pass between them; but, on the other hand, they were strong enough to bear my weight, so that I could walk over their tops when it was inconvenient to go around.

Some small brown sparrows, of two or three species, lived there, and they were very talkative. Sharp, metallic chirps were heard, also, as the blue snow-bird flitted about, showing the white feathers on either side of its tail, in scudding from one sheltering bush to another. Doubtless, careful search would have discovered its home, snugly built of circularly laid grasses, and tucked deeply into some cozy hollow beside the root of a spruce.

My pace now became slow, for in the thin air of a place twelve thousand feet above the sea-level, climbing is exhausting work. But before long I came to the top, and stood on the verge of a crag that showed the crumbling action of water and frost. Gaping cracks seamed its face, and an enormous mass of fallen rock covered the broad slope at its foot. The very moment I arrived there, I heard a most lively squeaking going on, apparently just under the edge of the cliff or in some of the cracks. It was an odd noise, something between a bark and scream, and I could think of nothing but young hawks as the authors of it. So I set at work to find the nest, but my search was in vain, while the sharp squeaking seemed to multiply and to come from a dozen different quarters. By this time I had crawled down the rough face of the cliff, and had reached the heaps of fallen rock. There I caught a glimpse of a little head with two black eyes, like a prairie-dog's, peering out of a crevice, and I was just in time to see him open his small jaws and say "shink" —about as a rusty hinge would pronounce it. I whipped my revolver out of my belt and fired, but the little fellow dodged the bullet and was gone. Echoes rattled about among the rocks, wandered up and down the canon, and hammered away at half a dozen stone walls before ceasing entirely. But when they had died away, not another sound was to be heard. Every little rascal had hid.

So I sat down and waited. In about five minutes a tiny, timid squeak broke the stillness, then a second a trifle louder, then one away under my feet in some subterranean passage. Hardly daring to breathe, I waited and watched. Finally the chorus became as loud as before, and I caught sight of one of the singers only about ten yards away, head and shoulders out of his hole, doubtless commenting to his neighbor in no complimentary way upon the strange intruder. Slowly lifting my pistol, I pulled the trigger. I was sure he had not seen me, yet a chip of rock flying from where he had stood was my only satisfaction; he had dodged again.

I had seen enough, however, to know that the noisy colony was a community of Little Chief hares (Lagomys princeps, as they are named in the textbooks), or "conies," as the silver miners call them. They are related to the woodchucks as well as to the hare, and they live wholly at or above timber-line, burrowing among the fallen and decomposing rocks which crown the summits of all the mountains. Not every peak, by any means, harbors conies; on the contrary, they are rather uncommon, and are so difficult to shoot that their skins are rare in museums, and their ways are little known to naturalists. During the middle of the day they are asleep and quiet; but in the evening and all night when the moon shines they leave their rocky retreats and forage in the neighboring meadows, meeting the yellow-footed marmot and other neighbors. About the only enemies they have, I fancy, are the rattlesnake and weasel, excepting when a wild-cat may pounce upon one, or an owl swoop down and snatch up some rambler. In the cold season, of course, their burrows are deep in snow; but then the little fellows are taking their long winter sleep, and neither know nor care what the weather may be.

An Indian will eat a cony,—if he can catch it. He likes to use its fur, also, for braiding his locks into those long plaits which delight his soul; but the lively little rodents are pretty safe from all human foes, even one with a Colt's revolver!


By William O. Stoddard

"Deah me! Dey's jes' one moah row ob taters. I's hoein' de bes' I know."

Julius leaned on his hoe for a moment. His bright black face was turned a little anxiously toward the front fence. Over in the road beyond that there stood a white boy, of about his own size, and he was calling:

"Quib! Quib! Come here!"

"Dar he goes!" said Julius. "Dey'e got him agin. He's de bes' dog for woodchucks, he is! An' I can't go 'long. Tell you wot, dough, if I'd ha' t'ought he'd run away 'fore I'd hoed dese taters, I'd nebber hab gibben him dat big bone. De rascal! He's jes' hid it away, somewhar, down 'mong de cabbages."

That was what Quib had done with his precious bone; but now his little, lean, yellow legs were carrying him rapidly down the road, with half a dozen very noisy boys behind him.

"Pete! Pete Corry! Where was it you saw that woodchuck?"

"Finest woodchuck you ever saw in all your life!" was Pete's reply.

"He'll get away from us!"

"No, he won't. Abe Selover is watching for him. That woodchuck is in the stone-heap at the corner of old Hamburger's pasture-lot."

Quib must have understood what Mart Penniman said, for he did not halt for one second till he reached the bars that led into that very field. It was more than a quarter of a mile from the potato-patch, but Quib had barked all the way—probably out of respect for the size and importance of the coming woodchuck.

Mart Penniman and Abe Selover had started their great "game" on the way home from driving their cows. They had raced him across the pasture and along the fence, into the stone-heap, and then Abe had staid to keep watch while Mart went after Julius Davis's dog. That meant also, of course, as large a crowd of boys as he could pick up in going and coming.

It was a sad thing for Julius that his mother had set him at the potato-patch, and that Quib had broken his contract with the bone.

Quib was not usually so treacherous, but he happened to be on friendly terms with every boy of that hunting-party.

They had all helped him chase woodchucks at one time or another, and he had great confidence in them, but that was nothing at all to their confidence in him.

The pasture bars did not stop a single one of the woodchuck-hunters. All the boys went over while Quib was wriggling under, through a hole he knew, and there, almost right before them was the stone-heap. It was quite a large one, and it was thickly overgrown with wild raspberry vines.

"Abe—is he there?"

"He didn't get away, did he?"

"Are you sure he is in there?"

"Quib! Quib!" shouted Abe. "Woodchucks! Quib, woodchucks! Right in here. Find 'em!"

Quib was dancing around in a quiver of noisy excitement, for he had caught a sniff of something under the first bush he sprang into.

How he did bark and yelp and scratch, for about a minute!

"Poys! Poys! Vat is all dis? Vat you want vis mein stone-heap, eh?"

It was old Hamburger himself climbing the fence, and he looked longer and leaner just then, and had more pipe in his mouth, than the boys thought they had ever seen before.

"The finest woodchuck you ever saw, Mr. Hamburger," began Cole
Thomas, by way of an apology.

"Vootchuck! Dat's it! Ant so you puts a tog into mein stone-heap, and you steps onto mein grass, ant you knock ober all mein beautiful mullein-stalks and mein thistles and mein scoke-veeds!"

Puff! puff! came the great clouds of smoke from the grim lips of the old German, but it struck Cole Thomas that Mr. Hamburger himself was on the watch for that woodchuck.

Bow-wow-yow-yelp! and Mart shouted:

"There he goes!"

"Hi! We'll get him!" screamed Abe.

"Take him, Quib! Take him!"

Quib had started a woodchuck.

There was never a stone-heap piled up that had room in it for both a dog and a woodchuck.

Mr. Hamburger took the pipe out of his mouth, which was a thing nobody could remember ever having seen him do.

"Dose poys! Dat vootchuck! De tog is a goot von. Dey vill preak dare little necks. Joost see how dey run! But de tog is de pest runner of dem poys, egsept de vootchuck."

Mr. Hamburger did not run. Nobody had ever seen him do any such thing as that.

But he walked on across the pasture-lot, toward the deep ravine that cut through the side of the hill to the valley.

All that time poor Julius had been hoeing away desperately upon the last row of his mother's potatoes, and she had been smiling at him from the window. She was anxious he should get through, for she meant to send him to the village for a quarter of a pound of tea.

It was just as Julius reached the last hill that the baby cried, and when Mrs. Davis returned to the window to say something about the store and the kind of tea she wanted, all she could see of Julius was the hoe lying beside that last hill.

"Ef he hasn't finished dem taters and run away!"

She would have been proud of him if she could have seen how wonderfully fast he did run away, down the road he had seen Quib and the other hunters.

"Dey's into de lot!" he exclaimed, when he came to the bars. "Dar's Pete Corry's ole straw hat lyin' by de stone-heap. Mus' hab been somefin' won'erful, or he'd nebber forgot his hat."

That was an old woodchuck, of course, or he would not have been so large, and it may be he knew those boys as well as Quib did. If not, it was his own fault, for every one of them had chased him before, and so had Quib.

He knew every inch of that pasture-lot, and he knew the shortest way to the head of the deep ravine.

"Boys!" shouted Abe Selover, with all the breath he had. "Boys!
He's going for the glen! Now we've got him!"

The ravine was a rocky and wonderful place, and all the boys were perfectly familiar with it, and considered it the grandest play-house in the world, or, at least, in the vicinity of the village. If Quib once got the woodchuck penned up among those rocks, they could play hide-and-seek for him till they should find him.

Some city people that had a picnic there once had called it a "glen," and the name had stuck to it, mainly because it was shorter than any other the boys could think of; and, besides that, the schoolmaster of the district two years before (who didn't suit the trustees) had been named Glenn, and so the word must have been all right.

Some of the boys were near enough to see the woodchuck make for the two maples at the head of the ravine, and Bob Hicks tumbled over Andy Thompson while he was shouting:

"Catch him, Quib!"

After they got past those two maple trees there was no more fast running to be done.

Down, down, deeper and rockier and rougher every rod of it, the rugged chasm opened ahead of them, and it was necessary for the boys to mind their steps. It was a place where a woodchuck or a small dog could get around a good deal faster than any boy, but they all followed Quib in a way that would have scared their mothers if they had been there.

"It's grand fun!" said Mart Penniman. "Finest woodchuck you ever saw!"

"Come on, boys!" shouted Abe Selover, away ahead. "We'll get him, this time."

Abe had a way of being just the next boy behind the dog in any kind of chase, and they all clambered after him in hot haste.

On went Quib, and even Abe Selover could not see him more than half the time, for he had an immense deal of dodging to do, in and out among the rocks and trees, and it was dreadfully shady at the bottom of that ravine.

The walls of rock, where Abe was, rose more than sixty feet high on either side, and the glen was only a few rods wide at the widest place.

"He's holed him! He's holed him! Come on! we've got him, now!"

Quib was scratching and yelping like an insane dog at the bottom of what looked like a great crack between two rocks, in the left-hand side of the glen as you went down. The crack was only an inch or so wide at the bottom, and twisted a good deal as it went up, for the rock was of the kind known as "pudding-stone." There was a hole, just there, large enough for a woodchuck, but too small for a dog.

"Dig, boys! Dig!"

"Dig yourself," said Pete Corry. "Who's going to dig a rock, I'd like to know?"

"Let Quib in, anyhow. He'll drive him out."

Abe was prying at that hole with a dead branch of a tree, and, almost while he was speaking, a great piece of the loose pudding-stone fell off and came thumping down at his feet.

"A cave, boys, a cave! Just look in!"

Quib did not wait for anybody to look in, but bounded through the opening with a shrill yelp, and Abe Selover squeezed after him.

Pete Corry felt a little nervous when he saw how dark it was, but he followed Abe; and the other boys came on as fast as the width of the hole would let them.

That is, they crept through, one boy at a time.

What surprised them was, that the moment they had crawled through that hole they could stand up straight.

"Where's the woodchuck?" asked Bob Hicks.

"Woodchuck? Why, boys, this is a regular cave," replied Abe.

"Quib's in there, somewhere," said Mart Penniman. "Just hear him yelp!"

"Hold on," said Cole Thomas—"there's more light coming in. We shall be able to see, in a minute."

The fact was that it took a little time for their eyes to get accustomed to the small amount of light there was in that cave.

The cave itself was not very large.

It grew wider for about twenty feet from the hole they came in by, and the floor, which was covered with bits of rock, sloped upward like the roof of a house, only not quite so abruptly.

In the middle it was more than a rod wide. Then it grew narrower, and steeper, and darker with every step. But they knew about where the upper end must be, for they could hear Quib barking there.

"It's dark enough," said Andy.

"Come on, boys!" shouted Abe Selover. "We'll have that woodchuck this time. He's in this cave, somewhere."

They were not very much afraid to keep a little way behind Abe
Selover, and in a few minutes they heard him say:

"Quib! Is he there? Have you got him?"

Quib barked and whined, and the sound seemed to come from away above them.

"Come on, boys! I can see a streak of light. It's like climbing up an old chimney. Quib's almost on him."

All that time, while they were groping through that cave, Julius
Davis was looking around the pasture-lot after them.

He would have been glad of a small glimpse of Quib, but all he had found as yet was Mr. Hamburger, who was standing under an old butternut-tree and looking down at a round, hollow place in the ground.

He was smoking very hard.

"Hab you seen my dog?" asked Julius.

"Hold shtill, poy! Joost you vait. Hi! Dere goes dose vootshuck!"

"Dat's so. He's coming right up out ob de hole, and dar ain't no dog to foller him!"

Away went the woodchuck, and Julius gave him up for lost; but Mr.
Hamburger smoked harder than ever and looked down at the hole.

"Hark! Hear dem? It is de tog. Pless mein eyes, if dey didn't chase dose vootshuck right oonder mein pasture-lot!"

Julius could hear Quib bark now, away down there in the ground, and he could not stand still on any one side of that hollow. So he danced up and down on every side of it.

One minute,—two, three minutes,—it was a dreadfully long time, —and then it was the voice of Abe Selover mixed with a long yelp from Quib.

"Come on, boys! I've shoved him through. I'm going right up after him. Nothing to pull away but some sods."

"Dat's de tog!" exclaimed Mr. Hamburger. "Keep shtill, black poy!
De rest of dose vootshucks is coming. Keep shtill."

Nothing but some sods to pull away, to make that hole large enough, and then Abe Selover's curly head popped out, and the rest of him followed, grimy and dirty, but in a great fever of excitement and fun.

After him climbed the other boys, one by one.

"Mr. Hamburger, did you see where that woodchuck went to?"

"De vootshuck? I don't know him. But de black poy haf run after de tog, ant he vas run so fast as nefer you saw. Vare you leetle vootshucks coom from, eh? You climb oonder mein pasture?"

"No use, Abe," said Mart Penniman. "We've missed that woodchuck this time."

"We've found the cave, though," said Pete Corry. "It's through that he got away from us so many times."

"I dell you vat," said Mr. Hamburger; "de nex' time you leetle vootshucks vant to chase dat oder vootshuck, you put a pag ofer dese hole. Den you shace him round among de rocks, and you will catch de tog ant de vootshuck into de same pag."

"That's what we'll do," said Abe Selover. "But not to-day, boys. He was the finest woodchuck I ever saw, but we've missed him this time."


By Lieutenant-Colonel W. Hill James

On the diggings near the Avoca River the lizard's future master had, as was the digger's custom, come out of his hole, or shaft, at eleven o'clock for a short half-hour's rest between breakfast and the midday meal. He threw himself down in a half-sitting posture, and was dreamily smoking his pipe when from beneath a neighboring rock, popped out a little lizard who eyed the stranger with inquisitive interest, as quickly retiring, to return again in a few minutes.

This was repeated several times, the lizard's keen eyes always fixed on the face of the intruder.

Presently the digger's foot was approached, and evidently approved of for its warmth. After a retreat to the rock a farther advance was made, this time to the knee of the stranger, to whose face the two brilliant little eyes were still enquiringly directed. Before the half-hour's rest was over the left arm of the smoker had been mounted, his neck rounded, and the right arm descended, the venturesome journey ended by the lizard squatting contentedly on the back of his new-found friend's right hand. Confidence had thus been established between the two, but not to the extent of capture, for on the gold-seeker attempting to place his left hand over his new acquaintance, he scuttled away to his rock with almost inconceivable quickness. The digger's smoke over, he returned to his work in the hole, leaving his blouse where he had sat.

When the work of the day was finished the tired gold-seeker mounted to the surface and, taking up his blouse, was about to march to his camp, three miles away, when, to his great surprise, he discovered his little four-footed friend lying hidden in the fold of the garment. He carried him gently in the blouse to the camp, and there, with the usual courage and confidence of his race, the little reptile quickly adapted himself to his new surroundings in the digger's tent. He was carefully fed, kept warm at night, and soon began to like his new quarters with the gold-seekers. In return for much affectionate attention he was, in a few days, quite at home with all the party.

On the walk to camp he had made his home in his master's serge blouse, running up the arm of the loose garment or round the full front above the tight waistband, as fancy took him, and enjoying the warmth of his master's body. It was very interesting and amusing to see him poke his little head out between the buttons, or through a buttonhole of the blouse at intervals to ask, with glittering eye and jerky movement, for an occasional fly from his master's hand caught on the shafts or cover of the cart.

When the camp was pitched for the night, Master Lizard would employ himself by making the most inquisitive scrutiny and inspection of the immediate surroundings within and without the tent. He made himself acquainted with every stone, tuft, stump, or hole, within what he considered his domain, eventually retiring with the sun to the blanket on his master's bed, where he invariably slept.

On one occasion, during the darkness of the night, he became extremely restless, and ran about on the bed, evidently with a view to awakening his protector, who, being a sound sleeper, was not easily disturbed. Failing to attract attention, he proceeded to run rapidly backwards and forwards over the sleeper's face, making at the same time a low spitting noise, like an angry cat. By this means he at length roused his friend, who gently pushed him away several times, speaking soothingly to him in the hope of quieting the excited little animal.

But the lizard would not be soothed. Having attracted attention, he continued his inexplicable movements with redoubled energy, until at length his master, convinced that something must be amiss, got up, struck a light, and looked round the tent, the sharp eyes of the lizard following every movement with intense interest. As nothing unusual could be seen, the gold-hunter retired once more, after pooh-poohing the lizard for his fears.

Scarcely had he dropped off to sleep, when he was again disturbed, and, losing patience at these repeated interruptions to his slumbers, he seized the lizard and threw him lightly across the tent. In this involuntary flight the little creature unfortunately struck the tent-pole with considerable force, and half of his tail was broken off—a matter of no very great importance to a lizard, perhaps, but still a discouraging reward for a well-meant warning. Notwithstanding this the little reptile returned to the bed, keeping close to his master, but he continued to be very restless and excited for the remainder of the night.

When day dawned, preparations were begun for the day's march. The tents were struck and the bedding was rolled up, ready to be placed on the rough digger's cart. Then the mystery was explained. In the twigs and ferns thrown underneath the scanty bedding, to keep it from the bare ground, a huge tiger snake with several young ones was discovered. This snake is of a deadly description and is much feared by the colonists. Like all snakes, it gives forth a strong odor, which, no doubt, made the lizard aware of his enemy's presence, unless, perhaps, he saw it creep under the curtain of the tent. Of course, the snakes were killed at once.

After this our little friend with half a tail became a greater favorite than ever, because we recognized that he was protector as well as friend.


By General Rush C. Hawkins

The chief subject of this truthful history is a jet-black, middle-aged bird, commonly known in England as a rook, but nevertheless a notable specimen of the crow family.

In his babyhood he was, in the language of the ancient chroniclers, grievously hurt and wounded full sore, and particularly so in the left wing. He was so badly disabled that he had to forego the pleasure of flying through the air, and was obliged to content himself as best he could with trudging about on the rough surface of mother earth.

In his sad plight, with the maimed wing dragging painfully along, he chanced to pass the window of a library belonging to and occupied by a charming old English gentleman, a perfect example of the old school, learned, benevolent, and very fond of animals and feathered pets. No one can tell what chance it was that brought the unhappy and wounded young rook to the window of this good man. But possibly it was a real inspiration on the part of the young bird. Toby was wet, weary, wounded and hungry, and as he looked in upon the cheerful wood fire and the kindly face of the master of the house, his longing expression was met by a raising of the window and an invitation to walk in to a breakfast of corn and meal that had been hastily prepared for him. He gazed and thought, and thought and gazed, upon the joys within and still he doubted; but, finally, appetite and curiosity got the better of his discretion, and, as he walked cautiously in, the window was closed behind him. So the wounded bird entered upon a new life.

At first he was a little shy and cautious and it took considerable time for him to convince himself that his protector was his friend. After a few weeks, however, he realized the value of his new position, and consented to the establishment of intimate relations. In fact, Toby became so attached to his master, that he was not happy out of his presence.

During the first month of his captivity, his wounded wing was bound close to his body for the purpose of giving the fractured bone an opportunity to unite, and during most of that time he would walk by his master's side, cawing and looking up into his face as if asking for recognition. When the wing got well, and his ability to fly was re-established, he would anticipate the direction of the promenades by flying in advance from shrub to bush, alighting and awaiting the arrival of his master.

The most singular part of Toby's domestication was his exclusive loyalty to a single person. He had but one intimate friend, and to him his loyalty was intense. He would tolerate the presence of other members of the household, but when strangers appeared he was decidedly offish, and scolded until they disappeared.

Three times a day Toby is decidedly funny, and goes through a comical performance. In his master's study there is a contrivance which, on a small scale, resembles the old New England well-pole. At one end, which rests upon the floor, Toby commences his ascent with a great flapping of wings and uproarious cawing. When he arrives at the upper end of the pole, some eight or nine feet from the floor, it falls and lands him upon a platform, beside a plate containing his food. This climbing up the pole precedes each meal, and takes place punctually at the same hour and minute of each day. In the spring of 1890 Toby was tempted from his loyalty, and flew off with a marauding flock of his kind. He remained away all summer. He was missed but not mourned, for his master felt certain he would return; and, sure enough, one bleak cold morning in November, Toby was found looking longingly into the room where he had first seen his good master. The window was opened, he walked in and mounted his pole, and after him came a meek, modest and timid young rook, more confiding than Toby, and differing from him in many other respects. He, too, was duly adopted, and was christened Jocko. He was easily domesticated and soon became a part of the household of one of the finest old Bedfordshire manorial homes.

With age Toby has taken on quite an amount of dignity. He is neither so noisy nor so companionable as formerly, but is more staid and useful. One of his favorite resting places, where he enjoys his after-breakfast contemplations and his afternoon siestas, is among the branches of a fine old English oak, whose protecting shades, in the far-off past, were the scene of the stolen love meetings of Amy Wentworth and the Duke of Monmouth.

Neither of these knowing birds has been able to understand the mystery of a looking-glass. They spend many hours of patient investigation before a mirror in their master's room, but all to no purpose, for the puzzle seems to remain as great as ever. They usually walk directly up to it, and betray great surprise when they find two other rooks advancing to meet them. For a while they remain silent and motionless, looking at the strangers, and waiting, apparently, for some sign of recognition. Then they go through a considerable flapping of wings and indulge in numerous caws, but after long waiting for an audible response they give up the useless effort, only to return next day as eager as ever to solve the mystery. The older bird and his admiring junior are perfectly contented with their home, and never leave it. They often look out from their perches upon wandering flocks of vagrant rooks, but are never tempted to new adventures. The old fellow is very wise. Like a fat old office-holder, he knows enough to appreciate a sinecure in which the rewards are liberal and the service nominal. His devoted follower never falters in his dutiful imitation of his benefactor.

Toby proves by his actions that he appreciates the advantages of the situation, and in his simple way makes some return for the pleasures he enjoys.

During a considerable portion of the pleasant days of the year he is really the watchman upon the tower, ever on the lookout to give notice of the approach of visitors to his castle, and no one can intrude upon the premises under his self-appointed watchmanship without exciting vigorous caws, which are enthusiastically reinforced by those of his faithful subordinate. Aside from his affectionate devotion to his master, this duty of "chief watchman of the castle" is Toby's most substantial return for favors received.

In a letter of last May, the master wrote: "My two crows are sitting on chairs close to me, and cawing to me that it is time for me to let them out of the window, so I must obey." This quotation gives but a faint intimation of the exceptionally friendly relations existing between these devoted friends. Blessed are the birds that can inspire such affection in the heart of a noble old man, and doubly blessed is he who is the object of such loving appreciation. Long may they all live to enjoy the fulness of their mutual attachments!

This brief sketch is not intended for an amusing story. It is only a narrative of facts in support of an often repeated theory, viz.: that the humblest creatures are worthy of our tender consideration, and, when properly treated, will make pleasing returns for the affection we may bestow upon them.


By Ruth Landseer

Many will wonder how I managed to keep order in the schoolroom and give proper attention to the lessons with three baby woodchucks, a turtle, two squirrels and a young crow about the place. My fellow teachers will be inclined to say that the children would have eyes and ears for nothing else.

In point of fact it made little difference after my pupils became accustomed to the sight and sound of these "pets." Moreover, they were a source of endless pleasure and, I think, profit, for I gave little talks upon the habits and history of all these creatures, and sought to inculcate sentiments of compassion and love toward all living things.

This was my first school, however, and people wondered. The supervisor also wondered, and was skeptical. Several of the parents, who did not understand very well, complained to him that I kept a menagerie instead of a school. There were some, even, who did not wish to have their children taught natural history, because they came home and asked questions. They did not like it and deemed it quite unnecessary. They desired to have their children attend strictly to their "school studies."

It came about, therefore, that at the end of the second term the position was given to another teacher, and for one whole term my occupation was gone.

Yet my former pupils lamented so openly and said so much at home, that their small voices wrought a change of opinion, and at the beginning of the second year the school was given to me again. The teacher who had taken my place said a little spitefully, on leaving, that I had spoiled the school for any one else. She was a very worthy young lady, but one of those who scream at the sight of a spider, a mouse or a harmless snake.

Blackamoor came to school one morning in July, head downward, in the hands of one of my larger boys, named Wiggan Brown, who was a little inclined to thoughtless cruelty. On the part of children, indeed, cruelty is usually thoughtless. They are rarely cruel after they have been taught to think on the subject.

Wiggan and his older brother had taken Blackamoor from a nest in the top of a hemlock-tree. By this time the reader will have guessed that Blackamoor was the young crow which became one of our schoolhouse pets.

At first we built a pen for him at the farther corner of the schoolyard, where we kept him until he could fly. After that he was released, to stay with us or depart. He chose to stay, and during school hours usually sat on the ridge of the schoolhouse roof. At night he often accompanied me home, and lingered about the farmhouse or barns till school-time the next day. At the recesses he swaggered and hopped about with the children at play, often cawing uproariously.

If a dog or cat approached during school hours, Blackamoor would cry, "Har-r-r!" from the roof, and drive the intruder away. If it was a person, he cried "Haw!" quite sharply, on a different key. If another crow or large bird flew past, he turned up an eye and said "Hawh!" rather low. In fact, he kept us posted on all that was going on out-of-doors, for we soon came to know most of his signal-cries. The boys would glance up from their books and smile when they heard him.

Blackamoor had certain highly reprehensible traits. He was thievish, and we were obliged to keep an eye on him, or he would steal all our lead-pencils, pocket-handkerchiefs and other small objects. What he took he secreted, and was marvelously cunning in doing it.

He fell finally into a difficulty with a gang of Italian laborers who were excavating for a new railroad line that passed within a quarter of a mile of the schoolhouse. There were fifty-five of these Italians, and they had their camp in a grove of pines within plain sight of us. My pupils were afraid of these swarthy men, for they jabbered fiercely in an unknown tongue, and each one was armed with a sheath-knife.

On the whole, I thought it better that my boys should not go to their camp. But Blackamoor went there, and indeed became a constant visitor. There were probably titbits to be secured about their cooking-fires. For a time he nearly deserted the schoolhouse for the Italian camp in the pines, or at least was flying back and forth a great deal, "hawing" and "harring."

All appeared to go well for a while. Then one forenoon I heard loud shouts outside, and on going to the door, saw a hatless Italian pursuing Blackamoor across the pasture below the house. He was a very active young man, and was filling the air with stones and cries.

Blackamoor, however, was taking it all easily, flying low, but keeping out of reach. He had something in his beak.

Catching sight of me in the doorway, the Italian stopped, but gesticulated eagerly, pointing to the crow; and he said much that I failed utterly to comprehend.

I conjectured that Blackamoor had purloined something, and felt that I must keep him from going to the camp; but that was not easily accomplished. We tied him by the leg, but he tugged at the string till it was frayed off or came untied, and flew away.

But a crisis was at hand. The second morning afterward an alarming commotion began, as I was hearing a class in mental arithmetic. The house was surrounded by excited Italians. Stones rattled on the roof. Angry shouts filled the air. It was a mob. The children were terrified, and I was sufficiently alarmed myself, for a pane of glass crashed and clubs banged against the sides of the house.

Hastily locking the door, I peered out of the window. Certainly wild Indians could hardly have looked more savage than did those Italians, hurling stones and clubs at the house.

Yet through it all I had a suspicion that the demonstration was directed at Blackamoor rather than against us; for I fancied that I had heard our bird say "Haw!" a moment before the hubbub burst forth. Still it was decidedly alarming while it lasted, and continued for a much longer time than was pleasant. I judged it more prudent to keep the door locked than to go forth to remonstrate.

Finally, after a great bombardment, the outcries and racket subsided, and with a vast sense of relief, I saw the Italians retiring across the pasture to their camp. As a matter of course the children carried home terrible accounts of what had occurred, and our small community waxed indignant over what was deemed an outrage by lawless foreigners.

The suspicion, however, remained with me that Blackamoor was at the bottom of all the trouble. I had the boys catch him and make him fast again, this time with a small dog-chain, which he could not bite off. He cawed vigorously, but we kept him at anchor for a week or more. And meanwhile the Italian camp was moved to a point six miles farther along the line of the new railway.

At a schoolhouse in the country it is often difficult to get small repairs made. Early that season the boys had broken a pane of glass in the low attic window at the front end of the house. I had been trying to get it replaced for two months; and now we had two panes broken. At last I bought new glass and a bit of putty and with the aid of Wiggan and another boy, set the panes myself one night after school.

But while setting the attic pane we made a singular discovery. In the low, dark loft, just inside the hole of the broken pane, lay a heap of queer things which caused us first to stare, then to laugh. The like, I am sure, was never found in the loft of a New England sehoolhouse before. I made a list. There were:

  The much soiled photograph of an Italian baby.
  Three photographs of pretty Italian girls.
  Four very villainous old pipes.
  Many straws of macaroni.
  An old felt hat.
  A dirty stick of candy.
  Five small silver coins.
  An harmonica.
  An odd sort of flute.
  The bonnet of an Italian baby.
  Four soiled red bandannas.
  A black wallet containing about a dollar in silver.
  Two tin cups.
  Two pictures of peasants.
  Two plugs of tobacco.

These are but samples. All told, there were at; least ninety articles. It was Blackamoor's hoard; and all the while we were overhauling it he cawed and hawed in great glee!

That night we talked it over, and decided that restoration was our only proper course. The long-suffering Italians were now six miles away; but on Saturday we procured a pair of farm horses and a wagon with three seats for our journey of reparation. The purloined articles were put in a large basket, and we set up a perch in the wagon, to which Blackamoor was chained in token of punishment. After this manner six of us drove to the new camp.

When we arrived the gang was hard at work in a cutting; but when, one after another, they caught sight of our wagon, with Blackamoor atop, exclamations, not of a complimentary nature, burst forth all along the line.

But I beckoned to their Irish "boss," and after showing him our basket and explaining the circumstances, asked him to allow each of the men to take what belonged to him.

"Ah, sure!" replied the foreman, with a broad grin. "Here, all of you," he shouted down the cutting, "come get your trinkets what the crow stole!"

Wonderingly, the gang gathered round the wagon. But when they saw the basket and what was in it, the liveliest expressions of satisfaction arose. Each seized his own.

I had the foreman say to them how very sorry we were that our bad bird had given them so much trouble. Then followed, in response, as pretty a bit of politeness as I have ever witnessed.

The Italians took off their hats and bowed all round. One of them then made a little speech, which the Irish boss translated after his own fashion, somewhat like this:

"It's all right, they say. You are most good. They thank you with all their hearts. They are sorry you have had to come so far. You are a very, very kind signorina."

The foreman grinned apologetically. "They want to sing you a song," he said.

I said that we should be delighted. Immediately four of them stepped forth together and sang. It was an Italian song, and had a refrain so plaintive that I often catch myself trying to hum it.

"Now, then, get back to your work, men!" shouted the boss, and so this odd little episode ended.

Yet it was not wholly ended, either, for in October, as the gang tramped back along the road-bed of the railway, going home with all their packs and bundles, one of those who had sung came up to the schoolhouse and laid a little bouquet of frost flowers and red autumn leaves on the doorstep.

Catching sight of me through the window, he nodded brightly, pointed to the bouquet, nodded again, then hurried on after his fellows. I went to the door, and when they saw me there, half a hundred old hats were raised and hands were waved in token of farewell.

I thought of our previous fears and of the hard things that had been said, and was ashamed. Again the truth of that humane old proverb came home to me:

"Almost everybody is a good fellow if you treat him right."

And Blackamoor?

A few days later Blackamoor deserted us. A large flock of his wild kindred was mustering in the vicinity for the autumn migration. We concluded that he had joined his tribe—and were not inconsolable.


By Sir Samuel W. Baker

There are no people who surpass the natives of India in the training of elephants or other wild animals. For many ages the custom has prevailed among the native princes of that country of educating not only the elephant and the dog, but the leopard and the falcon to assist them in the chase.

The Gaekwar of Baroda, during my sojourn in his State, most kindly furnished me with opportunities of witnessing the excellent training of his falcons, hunting leopards, or cheetahs, and other animals.

We were also allowed to inspect the immense collection of jewels belonging to the Gaekwar. These were in such numbers and variety that I quite lost my respect for diamonds and rubies, although one of the former had actually been purchased for $450,000.

The gold and silver batteries of field-guns were also exhibited. There are only four of these cannon, two of which are solid gold four-pounders, fitted with an internal tube of steel. The carriages are plated with gold, and the harness for the team of oxen is heavily ornamented with the same precious metal. Gold horns are fitted upon those of the oxen employed, and these animals are selected for their immense size and general perfection of appearance.

The silver guns, carriages, limbers, harness, etc., were precisely similar.

The most interesting artilleryman in his Highness's service was a small green parrot. This bird was one of many which had been trained to the various exercises of a field-gun, and it was exhibited by its native tutor in our presence.

A large table was placed in the arena where rhinoceros, buff aloes, and rams had been recently struggling for victory in their various duels, and a far more entertaining exhibition was exchanged for the savage conflicts…. Upon this table stood a model brass cannon about eight inches in length of barrel, and a calibre equal to a No. 12 smooth-bore gun. The rammer and sponger lay by the side of the small field-piece.

About a dozen green parrots were spectators, who were allowed to remain on perches, while the best-trained gunner was to perform in public before at least three thousand spectators, the Gaekwar, and his ministers, and friends, including ourselves, being seated in a raised structure similar to the grand stand of an English racecourse, which commanded the entire arena, the parrots being immediately beneath.

The gunner was placed upon the table, and at once took its stand by the gun, and, in an attitude of attention, waited for orders from its native master.

The word of command was given, and the parrot instantly seized the sponger in its beak, and inserting it within the muzzle without the slightest difficulty, vigorously moved it backwards and forwards, and then replaced it in its former position.

The order was now given "to load." A cartridge was lying on the table, which the bird immediately took within its beak, and dexterously inserted in the muzzle; it then seized the rammer, and, with great determination of purpose and force, rammed the cartridge completely home, giving it several sharp taps when at the breech. The parrot replaced the rammer by the side of the sponger, and waited for further orders, standing erect close to the rear of the gun.

The trainer poured a pinch of priming powder upon the touch-hole, and lighted a small port-fire; this he gave to the parrot, which received it in its beak at a right angle, and then stood by its gun, waiting for the word.

"Fire!" … At that instant the parrot applied the match, and the report of the cannon was so loud that most people started at the sound; but the pretty green gunner never flinched—the parrot stood by its gun quite unmoved. The trainer took the port-fire, which it had never dropped from its beak, and gave an order to sponge the gun, which was immediately executed, the bird appearing to be quite delighted at its success.


By Celia Thaxter

One lovely afternoon in May I had been wandering up and down, through rocky gorges, by little swampy bits of ground, and on the tops of windy headlands, looking for flowers, and had found many: —large blue violets, the like of which you never saw; white violets, too, creamy and fragrant; gentle little houstonias; gay and dancing erythroniums, and wind-flowers delicately tinted, blue, straw-color, pink, and purple. I never found such in the mainland valleys; the salt air of the sea deepens the colors of all flowers. I stopped by a swamp which the recent rains had filled and turned to a little lake. Light green iris-leaves cut the water like sharp and slender swords, and, in the low sunshine that streamed across, threw long shadows over the shining surface.

Some blackbirds were calling sweetly in a clump of bushes, and song-sparrows sang as if they had but one hour in which to crowd the whole raptures of the spring. As I pressed through the budding bayberry bushes to reach some milk-white sprays of shadbush which grew by the water-side, I startled three curfews. They flew away, trailing their long legs, and whistling fine and clear. I stood still to watch them out of sight. How full the air was of pleasant sounds! The very waves made a glad noise about the rocks, and the whole sea seemed to roar afar off, as if half asleep and murmuring in a kind of gentle dream. The flock of sheep was scattered here and there, all washed as white as snow by the plenteous rains, and nibbling the new grass eagerly; and from near and far came the tender and plaintive cries of the young lambs.

Going on again, I came to the edge of a little beach, and presently I was startled by a sound of such terror and distress that it went to my heart at once.

In a moment a poor little sandpiper emerged from the bushes, dragging itself along in such a way that, had you seen it, you would have concluded that every bone in its body had been broken. Such a dilapidated bird! Its wings drooped and its legs hung as if almost lifeless. It uttered continually a shrill cry of pain, and kept just out of the reach of my hand, fluttering hither and thither, as if sore wounded and weary. At first I was amazed, and cried out, "Why, friend and gossip! What is the matter?" and then stood watching it in mute dismay.

Suddenly it flashed across me that this was only my sandpiper's way of concealing from me a nest; and I remembered reading about this little trick of hers in a book of natural history. The object was to make me follow her by pretending that she could not fly, and so lead me away from her treasure. So I stood perfectly still, lest I should tread on the precious habitation, and quietly observed my deceitful little friend.

Her apparently desperate and hopeless condition grew so comical when I reflected that it was only affectation, that I could not help laughing, loud and long. "Dear gossip," I called to her, "pray don't give yourself so much unnecessary trouble! You might know I wouldn't hurt you or your nest for the world, you most absurd of birds!"

As if she understood me, and as if she could not bear being ridiculed, up she rose at once, strong and graceful, and flew off with a full, round, clear note, delicious to hear.

Then I cautiously looked for the nest, and found it quite close to my feet, near the stem of a stunted bayberry bush. Mrs. Sandpiper had only drawn together a few bayberry leaves, brown and glossy, a little pale green lichen, and a twig or two, and that was a pretty enough house for her. Four eggs, about as large as robins', were within, all laid evenly with the small ends together, as is the tidy fashion of the Sandpiper family. No wonder I did not see them; for they were pale green like the lichen, with brown spots the color of the leaves and twigs, and they seemed a part of the ground, with its confusion of soft neutral tints. I couldn't admire them enough, but, to relieve my little friend's anxiety, I came very soon away; and as I came, I marvelled much that so very small a head should contain such an amount of cunning.


By Celia Thaxter

A little friend of mine, who was going away for the winter, asked me to take charge of one of her canaries till she returned in the spring. The bird was a foreigner, born and bred in Fayal, and brought across the water in his youth, a gray-green and golden little creature, whose name was Willie.

I gladly consented, and one day Willie was brought over from Jamaica Plains, a distance of ten miles, and deposited in my parlor. His cage was closely covered with brown paper during the journey, and he came in the cars, by the roundabout way of Boston.

At first he seemed somewhat lonely and lost, but soon grew very happy and content in his new home; and well he might be, for he had all his wants supplied, and did not lack companions.

I had two canaries, a robin, and a song-sparrow, and they soon began to make beautiful music all together.

The sun could not rise without shining into the parlor windows; it lingered there all day, till the last glow of the evening-red faded out of the sky. At two windows the light streamed through green leaves and gay flowers, and made a most cheerful atmosphere, in which no bird could possibly help singing. The song-sparrow's clear, friendly notes seemed to bring May to the very door; and the robin executed, sotto voce, all his fine out-of-door melodies, and put one into an April mood with his sweet, melancholy rain-song.

Willie could not choose but be happy. So they all sang and chirruped together the whole winter through, and cheered us in that cold, sad season. Slowly the earth turned daily more and more toward the sun, and before we were ready to realize so much joy, the "willow-wands" were spangled with "downy silver," and the alder catkins began to unwind their long spirals, and swing pliant in the first winds of March. Then the melting airs of April set the brooks free, the frogs began to pipe, and there was rare music! Birds came in flocks, the soft green grass stole gradually over the land, and dandelions shone gay in the meadows. When beneath a southern window the flowering almond blossomed, I kept the windows open during fine weather, and left the bird cages on the sill the whole day. Little wild birds came and sat on the grapevine trellis above, and twittered and talked with the captives, and sometimes alighted on the cages; the pink almond sprays waved round them, and all were, or seemed to be, as happy as the day is long.

Willie's little mistress returned about this time, and I only awaited a proper opportunity to return my charge, safe and well, into her hands. I congratulated myself on his state of health and spirits, and thought how glad she would be to see him again. But, alas! for human calculations. One afternoon I went, as usual, to take in the cage for the night: there was Dick, the robin; and Philip, the sparrow; and slender Rupert, my own canary, and his mate; but Willie of Fayal, the green and golden stranger, was gone, cage and all. I looked out of the window; there lay the cage upon the ground, empty. Imagine my consternation! Had some strange, prowling cat devoured—? I was in despair at the thought.

"If it had been any one but Willie," I said, again and again. He had been intrusted to my care; what should I say when he was required of me? In real sorrow I wrote to my youthful friend and told her all. She mourned her bird as dead, but only for a day; for what do you think happened? The most surprising thing! You never will guess; so I shall tell you all, at once.

Willie was not devoured; he escaped from his cage, and flew unerringly back to his former home, ten miles from mine. The night after he disappeared from my window, he was heard pecking at the window of the little girl's chamber, but no one noticed him; so he stayed about the house till morning, and flew in when the window was opened, and was found perched on the cage of his old companion.

Great was everybody's astonishment, as you may imagine. There was no mistaking him,—it was Willie, and no other.

Yes, really and truly. Now, how do you suppose he found his way over all those miles of unfamiliar country, straight to that chamber window? What guided him? Did he fly high or low? Probably not high; for his wings were unused to flying at all, and consequently not strong; but they bore him over woods and fields, over streets and people, over hundreds of houses, till at last his tired eyes beheld the tower and gables of his old dwelling-place rising from among the pleasant woods, and then he knew he might rest in safety.

But how could he find the way? Supposing birds to have means of communicating with each other by speech, how would he have put his questions, wishing to ask his way? Meeting a thrush, or sparrow, or any other dainty feathered creature, he might perhaps have hailed it with,—"Good morrow, comrade;" but he couldn't have said, "Can you tell me the way to Jamaica Plains?" or, "Do you know where the little girl lives to whom I belong? Her name is May, and she has golden hair; can you tell me how to find her?" Do you think he could? Yet he did find her, and until last summer, was still living in that pretty chamber among the green trees.

Some time, perhaps, we shall understand those things; but until then, Willie's journey must remain one of the mysterious incidents in natural history.


By Captain O.G. Fosdick

"Now, boys," said Captain Daniel, "draw your skiff up beside the Greyhound, and I'll tell you a story of how I was once run away with by a whale."

We boys did as we were bid, drawing the skiff well up clear of the tideway. We clambered on board the Greyhound and, seating ourselves or the transom, waited for Captain Daniel to begin. Taking a match from his waistcoat pocket and lighting a long clay pipe, he spoke:

Along in the fifties I was cabin-boy on the whaling-ship Nimrod, Alarson Coffin, master. We were cruising on the coast of Brazil when, one day, the lookout, stationed at the masthead, reported a large school of sperm-whales off our lee-beam.

Captain Coffin, who had taken his spy-glass and gone aloft at the first cry from the masthead, ordered the boats lowered. As the men tumbled over one another to be first to reach the monsters, my young heart danced within me, and our old black steward had to hold me back, I was so anxious to go.

There was a gentle wind blowing, and the boats' crews, having hoisted the sails, were fast leaving the ship.

Captain Coffin now ordered the men to get a spare boat from its cranes over the quarter-deck and fit it with whaling implements.

There were only a few of us left on board for ship-keepers. We quickly had the boat down from its cranes, and everything ready for launching.

There were several other whalers off our weather beam, and as soon as they noticed our boats in the water they squared their yards and ran down across our stern. Captain Coffin had observed their manoeuvres, and calling to the ship's cooper, he said, "Bangs, you will have to take charge of the ship during my absence, for every one of our boats is fastened to a whale, and the rest of the school has become gallied, and I don't want those Nantucketers to get there before our boats secure two whales apiece, at least."

Taking another look at the ships which had now crossed our wake, he added, "Blast those Nantucketers! They can smell a sperm-whale five miles to their leeward any time."

He had come down from the rigging, and ordered the head-sails thrown back. The order was obeyed, and stepping to the ship's waist, he placed his powerful shoulders against the whale-boat, and said: "Now, boys, all shove together!"

As the ship rolled to the leeward, out through the gangway shot our boat and landed safely in the water, and I after her; for you must know, children, I was so anxious to see the boat launched properly that as she struck the water I ran to the open gangway, and not noticing the boat's warp, which the steward had taken the precaution to fasten taut to the ship's rail, was struck by it and thrown overboard.

They threw me a bight of rope from the ship, and I clambered back on deck. Captain Coffin told me to go below and change my dripping clothes, and then I could go in the boat with him and pull the after oar. You may lay to it that I flew down those cabin stairs, for if there was anything in the world I longed for, it was to get a chance to see a sperm-whale killed.

As Captain Coffin stepped to the bow of the boat he ordered the black steward to his place at the steering-oar. "Don't be afraid to lay me right on to them, steward," said he. "Nothing but wood and black skin will suit me to-day!"

We soon caught up with the other boat. The first and second officers had each killed a whale, and were then engaged in buoying a tub, with the Nimrod's name stamped upon it, to their carcasses. The rest of the school had gone down, and the third and fourth officers' crews were resting on their oars, waiting for the attacked whales to break water again.

The other ships now had their boats in the water, and as Captain Coffin saw them approach he called to his officers: "Don't let the Nantucketers beat us! They are regular sharks after sperm-oil, but we have four whales the best of them now. Every man here must strike his fish to-day."

He had hardly finished his speech when, right beside our boat, an old bull whale showed his nose out of the water and sent a blast of hot air out of his spout-holes, which was blown back to us by the wind.

As we felt the warm breath on our faces, each man checked his oar. And right here, children, I want to correct a mistaken idea. Whales don't spout water. It is their hot breath which, like the breath from a horse's nostrils in winter, shows white against the sky and looks like water.

The body of the whale which had broken water beside us bore many a scar, and his back was all covered with barnacles.

"Now, boys, give way to your oars, and you, steward, lay me right on to him!" spoke Captain Coffin, and as each man gave a steady pull steward, with a skilful turn of the steering oar, brought the head of the boat round, and the next instant her bow brought up against the body of the whale. Captain Coffin's wish was fulfilled, for, in whalemen's lore, we were "wood and black skin."

Instantly he plunged his harpoon into the monster's quivering blubber, and with a dexterity that was wonderful in a man of his size, he seized another and thrust it to the hilt beside the first.

"Stern all! stern all!" he cried, and, as we backed away from the maddened whale, it turned and, with one sweep of its flukes, sent a cataract of water over us that almost filled the boat, and drenched us to the skin. It dived, then, and the whale line ran out of its tub so rapidly that the loggerhead in the stern, around which was a turn of the line, smoked like a chimney.

"Pour some water on that line!" cried the steward to the tub oarsman. And as the man obeyed, the steward tightened the turn on the rope, and the boat shot ahead like a race-horse.

Soon the whale slackened his speed and rode to the surface, and in a few moments broke water off our starboard bow. Then Captain Coffin ordered us to gather in the line and pull him up beside the whale, and at the same time he took a long lance from its socket and having braced himself firmly against the bow thwart, stood ready.

What a moment of awe it was to me as I looked at the monster angrily lashing the water with its fins and flukes! The next instant we were beside the whale, and as it rolled on its side Captain Coffin transfixed him with a thrust of his lance that seemed to pierce his very vitals. The next moment the blood poured in gallons from his spout-holes. Having slackened the line from the boat, we rested on our oars at a safe distance and watched the monster circling around in its dying fury.

During this time the rest of the boats had each secured another whale. The crew in the third officer's boat appeared to be making signals of distress, and Captain Coffin ordered us to cut loose from our whale and go quickly to their assistance.

We saw as we drew near them that the gunwale and the two upper streaks of their boat had been stove by their last whale, and the officer was about to throw all the whaling implements overboard, in order to lighten her, for the crew were desperately bailing out the water, which was pouring in through the broken seams. She was fast sinking.

Captain Coffin at once ordered the men to get into our boat with their implements, and taking the smashed boat in tow, we returned to our own whale, which appeared to be fast dying.

The captain, after securing the end of the severed whale-line, attached it to the line in the third officer's boat, and then told me to get into the stoven boat, and remain by the whale, while he carried the rescued crew to the ship.

As he left me he sang out, "Don't let those Nantucketers steal the whale from you, boy, for I feel proud of my work to-day! That is the largest whale I ever saw." Turning to the third officer, he added, "And I killed it in the good old-fashioned hand-lance style, and didn't touch the new-fangled bomb-gun that the owners put in all our boats."

As the boats separated, I turned and watched the dying whale. It was slowly swimming around in a large circle, and the blood was just oozing from its spout-holes as it came to the surface to breathe.

The sun was about a handspike high from the horizon. There was considerable water left in the boat, which, empty of men, now floated high; so I took a bucket and busied myself in bailing it out. After bailing awhile, I leaned back against the thwarts and took another look at the whale. The creature was not dead yet, and there did not seem to be any blood coming from its spout-holes. In fact, it seemed to be spouting all right, and was not circling around any more, but was swimming slowly ahead. What did it mean? Could Captain Coffin have fastened me to the wrong whale? I asked myself. I began to feel frightened, for all of a sudden the monster began to beat the water again with its flukes, and the boat was going at a faster rate of speed.

The sun had now reached the water's edge, and I could not see any boat coming. What should I do if the whale turned on me? I looked round for a knife to cut the whale-line, but could not find one. The crew had taken all the knives with them. The whale had disappeared, and the line was fast running out of its tub. Faster and faster it ran, until, with a jerk, the end flew from the tub, and I thought I was free.

But alas, no! for when the crew were being changed one of them had fastened the small tub, which is used for a drag, in the end of the line, and it was yanked under the bow thwart and jammed there.

The boat now shot ahead with furious speed. It was growing darker, and I could scarcely make out the ship. In vain I looked for the boat. Would it never come!

To add to my trouble, the rest of the whales had joined the old bull, and were hoarsely spouting and leaping out of the water all around me. In fact, there were whales everywhere, on both sides of the boat, and down beneath it. I could dimly see their greenish-white reflections as they swam just beneath the surface.

One old cow whale and her calf were close beside me, and as they came up to spout I could feel the water from the splash of the little one's flukes. As a boy on shipboard I had often longed for a little whale to play with, but the desire had all left me now, for I crouched down in the boat and covered my face with my hands.

Oh, if the captain would only come and take me out of that boat! I would never go to sea again, I thought.

Suddenly the boat stopped with a jerk, and uncovering my face, I saw a sight that made me scream with fright. Right in front of me was a large sperm-whale's head, with its jaws wide open, and its long row of white, glistening teeth shining from the phosphorescent brightness of the water. With a snap its mouth closed, and it sank out of sight, while I, falling on my knees, asked God to save me.

After that I felt better, and managed to crawl under the stem-sheets for shelter, for I was chilled through. It was quite dark, although the stars shone brightly. The whale seemed to have got free, for the boat was idly rocking on the water.

In changing my cramped form to an upright position, my hand came against a hard, round piece of iron. A feeling of security, of advantage, of longing for battle ran through me as my hand rested on the cold steel. It was one of the captain's bomb-guns, which was so despised by him, but which might be the means of saving me from an awful death. I pulled it from its socket, and fondled it in my excitement and relief at finding some means of defence.

I found I was able to lift the gun to my shoulder, and my pulse beat with renewed vigor as I raised the hammer and found the gun was loaded. So great was my joy that I forgot for the moment the terrible uncertainty of my position, and almost wished the whale would come back. I did not feel so long, for the next instant the boat began to move.

Again I heard the whales' spouting, and right abreast was a monster swimming straight toward the boat. With an inward prayer to God, I raised the gun to my shoulder, and the next instant, as the monster thrust its head out of the water, I fired.

The recoil threw me against the side of the boat, where I lay, partially stunned and unable to move. I was conscious enough, however, to remember, and in silent, stupefied terror I awaited a second onslaught from the enraged animal. I seemed to feel the crunching of the boat's timbers in those awful jaws, and I must have swooned in looking forward to my own terrible fate.

When I regained my senses, all was quiet around me. Off the side of the boat, at some distance, a whale floated on the water. After waiting a few moments, I ventured to crawl forward on the thwarts, and found the whale-line was still attached to the bow. I went back to the stern and sat on the after thwart, thinking of the gun. I felt in the bottom of the boat for it, but could not find it. It must have fallen overboard when I fell down.

As I was groping, I felt an object in the bottom of the boat that I knew at once was the boat's lantern keg, which is kept in all whale-boats. In it are flint, tinder, a lantern, candles, and packed all around them are ship's biscuits. Instantly the memory of our officers' instructions in reference to their use came to me.

Quickly taking the keg to the stern of the boat, I struck its end against the loggerhead. It soon yielded to my pounding, and the head fell out. How sweet the hard pilot-bread tasted! It brought to my remembrance the water-keg which is also kept in a whale-boat.

I went to the midship thwart, and found the keg there, lashed firmly beneath it. I loosened it and drank heartily. Then I took the lantern and tinder from the keg, and striking the flint, I soon had one of the candles lighted. I sat down on the after thwart and held the light aloft till my arm ached.

Everything about me was made more weird by the gleam of the lantern. The swish of the water as it rippled beneath the boat and the screeching of sea-fowls that had now gathered around the floating carcass set me to thinking of the ship, and I wondered if they would see the light and come to my rescue. I did not know what time it was, but judged it must he near midnight. I tried to call, but my own voice frightened me—it sounded so strange; so once more I relapsed into silence.

Suddenly something seemed to be the matter with the whale. I thought I heard a sound like some one falling overboard. What could it be? At that moment a black body shot out of the water right beside the boat. It was followed by another and another. Soon I learned what it was, for I had seen them before. They were sharks, which, attracted by the dead whale, had come to feast on the carcass.

It made me shiver to see them rush at the monster, and tear big mouthfuls of flesh from its side. I tied the lantern to the loggerhead and crawled under the stern-sheets so as not to see them.

Now I was well-nigh exhausted, and began to feel drowsy. Sleep soon overcame me, and testing my head against the boat's side, I lost consciousness.

When I awoke I heard voices and recognized Captain Coffin, who had me in his arms, while the boat's crew were pulling us to the Nimrod. They had seen the lantern from the ship, and Captain Coffin had come himself in the boat to rescue me.

My shot from the bomb-gun had killed the bull whale, and it had also taught Captain Coffin two lessons: First, not to leave a whale merely because it is spouting blood, for it is liable, as in the present case, to clear its spouting, as its ruptured blood vessel is drained, and like a wounded animal, to fight with renewed vigor; second, not to despise the bomb-gun. Always use your bomb-gun on a whale, children.

We solemnly told Captain Daniel that we would do so, and then we bade him good night and went away from the Greyhound with sea-pictures in our minds that can never go out of them as long as we live.


By Theodore A. Cutting

The liveliest seal that father and I ever caught, and the only one that ever got away from us after we had housed it, was Nab. Although father has been catching seals for zoological gardens and circuses almost as long as I can remember, and knows all their tricks both in water and on land, yet Nab was too sharp for him.

It was my vain attempt to recapture him that terminated in the most exciting experience I ever had with a seal.

Our seal-shed, which stood at the edge of the rocks fifteen feet above the surf, held in Nab's day eight occupants, all nearly full-grown.

The circus seals, which are caught and trained while young, had all been sold; and these we expected to place in the zoological gardens at Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Nab had not been in our possession long, however, before he demonstrated his exceptional abilities, and was straightway singled out to be trained, since a clever circus seal is usually worth twice as much as a mere menagerie animal.

Father generally takes the training into his own hands and sends me out for the daily supply of fish; but I took such a liking to Nab that I spent every evening teaching him.

He first drew attention to himself by his skill in stealing fish from the others. Although I always gave him the first mouthful, to keep him quiet, he would swallow it and be ready for the next before I could get a second fish from the sack. He would eye a shad in my hand as closely as he had once watched the young salmon darting about in the waters of Monterey Bay. And the instant I let go of it, intending to drop it into the open mouth of the next seal, Nab would snap it as it fell.

He learned quickly the trick that all trained seals know—that of balancing a ball on the nose. But for a seal that is not much of a feat after the experience of keeping themselves constantly in poise amidst the rolling breakers and surging swells. I taught him to rise on his flippers and march, also to turn to right or left at the word.

But his education had not proceeded very far when he picked up of his own account the trick that none of his predecessors had been able to acquire—how to escape from the little shed, where all a seal's splashing must be in a square tank, and to be free again in the boundless Pacific.

There were two rooms in the seal-house, one at the back for the animals, and one in front for the boat, fish-lines and crates. The seal quarters had no outside door, the only exit being into the front room.

Father, unusually tired one night after we had both been out all day for fish, went down alone to feed the seals. It was nearly dark, and he closed the outside door without catching it. When he opened the inside door and began to distribute the bass, Nab took advantage of the dusk to steal every fish he could get his nose in reach of. It seemed impossible to get a mouthful to any other seal in the lot; and father, at last quite out of patience, gave him a smart cut over his stubby little ears with the training whip.

Nab gave a shrill yelp, dived between father's legs, and slid out into the boat room, the door to which had been left ajar. A seal presents an awkward appearance hobbling on his queer flippers, but he can make rapid progress. Before father could get his balance and start after him, Nab was well out into the boat room.

Father stopped only to close the door against the rest of the seals, and was again in pursuit; but Nab in the meantime had reached the far end, bumped against the unfastened door and was scuttling across the outer threshold. Father ran after him, only to see his body floundering from one rock to another and to hear its happy splash in the water below.

We both felt sorry to lose Nab, for the buyers will always pick out a lively fellow and pay a better price for him than for another, even though he be larger.

"Couldn't we trap him again?" I asked.

"I guess you'd have an interesting time catching as smart a seal as that after he's already been once landed," said father. "One or two of them that have slipped out of the lasso I've got hold of again; but if a seal gets away after he's had one full sniff of civilization he doesn't very often get near enough for a second."

"Would you know him if you should see him?" I asked.

"I don't think we'll ever get that near, but we might come to within hearing distance, and I could tell his yap out of a hundred," replied father.

Without saying anything to father about it, I made up my mind to get Nab back, if such a thing were possible.

The main feeding-ground of the band of seals from which we take our animals is just off Moss Beach, and I was almost certain that I could get a sight of Nab there. Whether I should be able to tell him, floating among the other seals, with only a little, shiny head out of water, I had doubts; but I thought I could make him recognize me.

There was only one fact that made me hesitate about carrying out my plans, and that was the danger of swimming at Moss Beach. Father had warned me two or three times about the strength of the undertow there; but since my whole scheme depended upon getting out among the seals, and I was a good swimmer, I decided to run the risk.

Telling father one night that I should go off in the morning to fish from the rocks, I went early to bed, and was up next day by sunrise. With a hook and line and half the length of an old lasso, I was off for the rocks near Moss Beach.

As it was nearly low tide, I soon had a piece of abalone on my hook, and was fishing.

No seals were in sight, but I kept a sharp lookout for them as I fished. I had just caught a second shad—and it was something I had never done before, to catch a shad off the rocks—when the heads of half a dozen seals appeared on the swells to my left. More heads came in sight as I grabbed up my fishes and hastened to the sandy part of the shore.

I was in high spirits, for shad would tempt Nab as no other fish could. In less than two minutes I had my clothes off, the lariat knotted round my waist, and the short string that tied the fishes together between my teeth.

The seals were still where I had first seen them, out less than two hundred yards from shore.

I waded quickly into the water until the waves began to break over my head, and then swam. Before I had taken three strokes one of the fishes I held by my teeth began to lend assistance, jumping and splashing about so under my nose that I thought best to beat a retreat.

When I turned to gain shallow water again, however, I felt at once the strength of the undertow, which in my excitement I had entirely forgotten. I could make no headway against it until a couple of big waves came up from behind, and sent me far enough in to get a firm footing.

With confidence that my shad would give me no more trouble, I again turned to swim out. The water of the big waves that had boosted me in now began to draw me out in the undertow.

I hesitated when I felt the strength of its sweep, and still more as I thought of the greater force it would have when the tide turned. Where I stood I could withstand it, but a little deeper in I well knew it would be impossible to do so without the help of incoming waves.

"They just washed me ashore once; I guess they will again," I thought, and threw myself into the current.

As I approached the seals most of them began to swim off, but two or three of the larger males stood their ground, letting me come to within a couple of rods of them. Nearer, however, they would not let me draw, although their curiosity about me was great.

From the way they went circling round me, stretching their long necks up out of the water to get a good view, I concluded I was of a different species of water animal from those with which they were familiar. Of Nab, however, I could see nothing.

"Fish, Nab, fish, fish!" I called, and held up for inspection one of the shad I had brought.

At the sound of my voice there was a sharp little bark from behind, such as Nab alone could give when I had an exceptionally delicate morsel for him. I turned quickly, and saw at a distance his shining dog-shaped head.

"Fish, Nab, a fine shad for you, fish!" I coaxed.

He came a little nearer, and I was confident the bait would prove irresistible. But my assurance was ill-founded, for in spite of all my coaxing, Nab only circled round and round me until I was dizzy trying to keep track of him. Either he had had fairly good luck fishing for himself that morning, and was not suffering very keen pangs of hunger, or else he still associated my benevolence too closely with the little square splash-tub of the seal-house.

When I had begun to grow weary from the incessant motion necessary to keep myself afloat, Nab suddenly made a dash so close that his flippers brushed my side. He snapped the fish out of my hand, and in the same instant he was again beyond reach. The fact that he had come up for one fish encouraged me to hope he would come also for the second, and I began to coax with renewed energy.

Nab was seemingly as much on his guard as before, however, and again went through his complete list of maneuvers, first rearing high out of the water, turning one side of his head and then the other toward me, then ducking into the depths with a final flourish of his tail, to reappear presently on the other side of me, as sportive as before.

By this time I had begun to feel pretty well exhausted, and when I suddenly thought of the undertow, I decided to swim back.

So intent had I been upon urging Nab near enough to get the lariat about his neck that I had not once looked toward shore. As I now did so I was terrified to find that one of the unaccountably shifting currents along Moss Beach had swept me a long distance out to sea.

Without more nonsense, I dropped my remaining shad and started back with long, even strokes. Nab snapped up the fish and disappeared in the deep green water.

In spite of my efforts, I found that I was making small speed against the current. The rock and tree on the point of land to my right, by which I judged my progress, kept almost in the same straight line. Knowing it was useless to spend my strength directly against a current, I shifted my course in the direction of the point. From the sand-hills to my left I could see that I now made more progress, but the distance I had to cover was greater than straight to Moss Beach.

Before I had covered half the distance I was almost too fatigued to take another stroke; then the feeling of weariness seemed to leave me, and I swam on as if turned into a machine. It was in a mechanical way, too, that my brain seemed to work.

"If the undertow's as strong as when I came out," I thought, "I can never get through the breakers."

I wished I had told father my plans. He might have come out with a boat to get me. Then I wondered how it was that my arms and legs kept on moving when there was so little feeling in them.

The roar of the breakers had suddenly grown louder, and I saw I was within twenty yards of shore. I swam on with the same steady strokes, but at a certain distance from the water-line came to a standstill.

I knew I was held back by the undertow, and that there was need of all my remaining strength to get ashore. I increased my efforts, but surged helplessly forward and backward with the rising and falling waves.

When I thought I had given my last stroke, a big wave boosted me in, followed by a second and third, until it seemed I must be where I could reach bottom.

I let my feet down, down, until my toes at last touched the sand. I dug them in with all my might, and battled desperately to keep my footing.

Then came a little swell that lifted me from my feet, and the terrible current swooped me back again. My strength was gone, and I turned on my back to float.

"Perhaps I can try again if I rest," I thought, and meanwhile drifted out until the roar of the breakers came but dully to my ears—out where the water was deep and green.

Realizing that I paid for every minute of rest by drifting farther from shore, I rolled wearily over, and with slow strokes started back.

At this moment Nab stuck his nose from the water not three feet away. When I spoke his name, he came up so that I could put my hand on his neck. For half a minute he was quiet, letting me bear my weight upon him; then he showed by beginning to dive and circle that his motive in coming to me was purely for sport. Every other minute he would shake loose from my hand and then peer at me beneath the water as my head sank under.

At last I got such a firm grip on the nape of his neck that I could hold on even when he dived. With my other hand I untied the piece of lasso from round me and tried to put the noose over Nab's head. To this he had objections, and ducked and backed and splashed until I nearly strangled. Forced to give up this scheme, I nevertheless succeeded in getting a cinch round one of his hind flippers close up to the body.

"March, Nab!" I then shouted. "Forward, march!"

He either had forgotten his lessons or exulted in the fact that he was now at liberty to disobey orders, for instead of heading for shore, he started in the opposite direction.

"Haw!" I cried. "Haw! Gee, then, gee!" But Nab would turn neither to right nor left, and dragged me farther out to sea.

Thinking I might steer him by his flipper, I gave a jerk on the lariat. What the seal thought I don't know, but when he felt the noose tighten he seemed filled with sudden fright, and plunged into the depths. Instinctively I took a big breath when I saw him disappear, and laid hold of the lasso with both hands. In another instant I was making the longest dive under water that I believe man ever took.

It might have been pleasing to glide through the depths under other circumstances and at moderate speed; but following down after this uncertain guide at the rushing pace he set was the worst experience I ever had. I should have let go my hold but for the thought that there was no worse place than that from which I had started.

I hung on and on, even after it seemed I should burst for want of air. Then came a shiver along the lariat and the sensation in my body of scraping against a rock. Although I still held on tightly, my speed suddenly slackened, and I knew the old lasso had been cut in two on the rock.

Half-strangled though I was, I began pawing my way to the surface. When at last my head broke through into the air, I hung to the rock, sputtering and gasping. I didn't attempt to do more than get my breath for, I think, a quarter of an hour; but at last I looked round to see where I was.

At first I could not make it out, for Moss Beach was nowhere in sight; then, when I saw a couple of huge pelicans perched on the rock above my head, the truth came to me. Nab had taken me out clear round the point and over to Seal Rocks—the island home of seals and pelicans. How I ever could have taken such a dive and come out alive is still a mystery to me, except when I remember how the water churned in my ears at our terrific speed.

The rock upon which I hung had been Nab's birthplace, and the place where he had been captured by father and me. Here he used to lie to toast in the sun, and here also he had fled when he felt my line round his flipper.

As soon as I could clear the salt water from my mouth and lungs I began to work my way up on the rock.

Exhausted as I was, and benumbed with cold, this was no easy matter; and once, when a fragment of rock gave way beneath my fingers, I nearly slipped back into the water. But at last I crawled up far enough to send off the pelicans in fright, and to get where the sun would strike me. I expected to blister my back, but I thought it would be a welcome change from the freezing process.

After the blood had begun to warm up a little in my veins I began to think of getting back to the mainland.

It was a distance of only a hundred yards from the rock across, but when I looked down into that green water and recalled my recent experiences I shrank from sliding in as from death itself. I measured the distance twenty times with my eyes, and the same number of times assured myself that there would be no undertow here with the tide coming in, but I could not bring myself to let go the rocks that felt so firm and good.

When I observed, however, that it was nearly high tide, and that I should have to swim against the tide if I waited much longer, I climbed down without more fooling, and struck back for shore. Although a side current shifted me from my direct course so that I had to land upon another beach than I had intended, I got ashore without difficulty, and hastened across the point to Moss Beach, where I had left my clothes.

I never again attempted to recapture Nab, nor have I had an opportunity to repay him for towing me to Seal Rocks; but I have seen him a number of times since, and have often heard his happy bark from the rocks along the coast.



"You must go; that's all. There will be some way, you'll see."

Carl Mills and Lee Henly were separating for the night. They were close friends; and although Carl's father was the most prosperous man in the community, and Lee was the son of a poor widow, they had always been together, and had been leaders of the class that had been graduated from the local high school the month before.

To-night they had been discussing for the hundredth time their plans for the coming year. Carl (was going to college in the autumn,—that was a settled thing),—and Lee longed to go as he had never longed for anything before in his life. There was nothing to prevent his going but the lack of funds. His mother was to spend the winter with a married daughter, ten years his senior. He had a scholarship in the college and a chance to pay his way in part by working in the college library. But that would take all his spare time, and he was sure that he would still lack about one hundred dollars of having enough to carry him through the first year.

Both boys dearly loved Lake Wanna-Wasso, on the shore of which they lived. It was, indeed, one of the most beautiful of all the sheets of water which a half-century ago knew the dip of the Indian's paddle and the ripple of his birch-bark canoe. There may be other waters as clear and sweet as those of northern Michigan, but the native and the enthusiastic summer visitor find it hard to believe.

Both Lee and Carl spent much of their time in the employ of the people at Forest Lodge during the summer, when the Chicago fishermen, headed by the wealthy Camerons, were there for three months.

Lee was in Mr. Cameron's special employ, and from him had learned the art of bait-casting. At the close of the previous season, Mr. Cameron had given him his longest and strongest maskinonge casting-rod; it was too heavy now for Mr. Cameron, who found his casting arm seriously crippled by rheumatism.

It was but a few days after Lee's last talk with Carl Mills that he heard Mr. Cameron and Mr. Gardner discussing the fine collection of mounted fish belonging to Mr. Cameron in Chicago. Mr. Gardner was speaking of it in glowing terms, and was especially praising a maskinonge in the collection.

"Yes," said Mr. Cameron, "that certainly was a fine fish when Smithson took him out of this lake five years ago; but I had set my heart on a bigger one. I wanted one that would weigh over fifty pounds when he came out of the water, and that one weighed only forty-three. I'd gladly give one hundred dollars for a specimen caught with hook and line that would tip the scales at fifty pounds or better."

"Do you think you'll ever find one?" asked Mr. Gardner.

"I hardly know," said Mr. Cameron. "Two years ago one was netted in the river near Detroit which was over that weight, but I did not learn of it until too late; and, anyway, I want one that is caught with hook and line, and the story of whose capture I can know."

Two weeks later, one morning when Mr. Cameron had decided that he would not go out upon the lake, Lee Henly paddled a light canoe out across Forest Lodge Cove and practised with his casting-rod. In this cove there seemed to be no fish at all, although elsewhere in the lake fish were plentiful. At one point here three great elm-trees with spreading tops had fallen into the lake years before.

There they still lay, water-logged, their hundreds of branches forming a miniature jungle under water, just off the bold shore. Merely for practise, Lee dropped his casting-bait near these treetops, and started to reel in.

Then he almost fell from the boat, for there was a great swirl in the water where his minnow was spinning along, a broad tail came out and hit the water with a tremendous splash, and he struck but did not hook the fish, which, however, he saw to be enormous.

That night he said to Carl Mills, "Carl, I believe I see a chance for college."

"What is it?" asked his friend.

Then Lee told of the conversation he had heard, and of the great fish that had given him a strike. "And I believe that he weighs over fifty pounds, and that I can catch him if you will help me," he said.

There was but one day in the week, however, that they could try for the big fish, for both were employed that year every week-day except Tuesday, when Mr. Cameron went to the town fifteen miles away; and on Tuesday they dared to fish only in the very early morning, for fear that some of the fishermen at Forest Lodge would learn that there was a great fish there, and catch him. They did not want to be unsportsmanlike, but Lee was confident that none of the rich fishermen needed the fish as he did.

The first Tuesday morning brought them not even encouragement. Although Carl paddled the boat all about the cove, and Lee did the best casting of which he was capable, no strike rewarded them; and when they saw the first stir about Forest Lodge, they hastened to another part of the lake, and left Old Muskie, as they had already named the big fish.

When the next Tuesday morning came again they were out. The boat was kept at as great a distance from shore as Lee could cover with his longest casts, and just as the casting-minnow fell straight out from the middle treetop, there was a great swirl in the water. Lee struck, and the reel began to sing as the great fish started a tremendous run; but in an instant the line came back slack. The saber-like teeth of the maskinonge had cut it off like a knife.

"And what can we do about that?" said Carl, as Lee sadly reeled in the useless line.

"I don't know yet, but I have an idea," said Lee.

The next Tuesday morning Lee was not ready to try for the big fish again, although it was almost torture to stay away from the old treetops. He promised to be ready the next week, and he was. What he had done had surprised his mother, who knew that he had been saving every cent in the hope of going to college. He had sent away to a fishing-tackle house for their largest first-class silk line, and received one hundred yards of line that was tested to fifty pounds. He had sent to an electrical supply house for their smallest unwound copper wire, and had received a spool of it, almost hairlike in its fineness. Both purchases had been expensive for him.

From "Old Injun Jake" Lee had learned the art of doing fine splicing and of braiding many strands. He unbraided the silk line for a considerable length, and weaving in one by one the copper wire lengths that he had cut from the spool, he joined the wire to the silk with a joint that would readily pass through a line-guide, and continued to braid till he had a six-foot, flexible copper leader that would sustain his own weight, united to his one hundred yards of line with a joint as strong as the line itself. Thus did he provide against the teeth of Old Muskie.

Tuesday morning the boys were again fishing in Forest Lodge Cove at daybreak. Again Old Muskie struck, and unable to cut the line, rushed into the interlacing boughs of the submerged treetops.

For a while the strain on the rod indicated that he was surging back and forth among the treetops, but soon the dead pull showed that the old warrior was no longer making a fight.

Rowing in, the boys found the casting-bait fast on one of the limbs. When they got it loose and pulled it in, they found that one of the treble hooks was gone. Old Muskie in his rush had caught one of the hooks upon a branch and it had held, while the one that was in his mouth had pulled from the minnow, and the big savage of the lake was again at liberty.

Lee made a change in his minnow before the next Tuesday morning. Instead of using the treble hooks that were fastened with screws into the sides of the minnow, he bored a hole in the body of the wooden bait, and using again his copper wire, passed it back and forth through the body of the minnow and through the eye of the treble hook on each side. He knew that no fish would break all these strands of copper wire, although he felt that Old Muskie might break the hooks.

The next Tuesday morning Lee again hooked Old Muskie. Again the big fish got to the treetops, and again Lee felt the dead pull that meant that he had no longer a fighting fish to deal with. Reeling up as Carl paddled the boat toward shore, Lee found that Old Muskie had entangled the line among the branches, and getting a chance to use his great strength, had broken the heavy silk line. Lee was delighted to see that it had been broken above the point where he had spliced it to the copper leader.

"What can you do about that?" asked Carl.

"I'm not sure," said Lee, "but every time thus far the old fellow has run straight away from the direction in which I was reeling my minnow. I believe that if we come at him from near the shore he will take a run toward the open lake, and we'll have a chance at him."

During the week that followed, Lee again spliced a copper leader to his line. Again he "made over" a big casting-minnow, and when Tuesday morning brought its opportunity, Carl put the canoe along the shore, but as far out as the end of the submerged treetops. Three casts were made, each farther and farther forward, without results. The fourth, however, a perfect cast of over one hundred feet, which fell just beyond the farthest treetop, was rewarded; the water broke in a great eddy as Old Muskie took the bait. Lee struck with all his might, and pulled with all the force he dared to use, although he was pulling almost straight back toward the treetops.

As he had hoped, Old Muskie pulled the other way, and with a tremendous rush, left the treetops, and started toward the channel into the open lake. Half-way across he gave an astonishing leap into the air, showing the boys for the first time just what a monster they had succeeded in hooking.

Hope more lively than any they had felt before filled the hearts of the young fishermen, as the monster maskinonge rushed across the cove. But instead of hitting the narrow open channel into the main lake, he rushed across the wide bar, through a veritable forest of bulrushes.

Then the fight was quickly over. The fish had been hooked only on the treble hook in the rear of the casting-minnow; the hooks on the side dragged through the rushes, and caught upon so many of them that the hook was torn from the mouth of Old Muskie, and again Lee reeled in his line without the big fish at the end of it.

Both boys sat in the canoe for several minutes as blue as boys could be. It certainly was discouraging. But presently Lee raised his head, and with a flash of the eyes said, "I'll catch that fellow yet!"

And Carl Mills, with admiration and determination both on his face, said, "Right! And I'll help you do it!"

A big maskinonge lives a life much like that of a rogue elephant in its isolation. He selects some spot,—a cove filled with lily-pads, a bend of a river, or a sunken treetop like the home of Old Muskie, —and there he will stay, month after month, if not year after year. So there was little danger of Old Muskie's leaving Forest Lodge Cove that summer unless he was caught or killed or died the mysterious death that comes to the great fish of the streams and lakes.

Lee Henly and Carl Mills knew this, and they had been learning more and more of the habits of this particular maskinonge. In every new thing that they learned, they felt that they had one more aid toward the final capture of Old Muskie and the realization of Lee's ambition for college that year.

Lee had learned that hooking the big fish was the easiest part of the work of capturing him. He decided that he must provide by every possible means against the entanglement of his casting-bait.

With this in view, he made a wooden casting-minnow himself. He took a spinner and the glass eyes from an old one he had used, and from a bit of red cedar he whittled out the shape for the body. He had bought a very heavy, although not a very large, hand-forged treble hook. He took a heavy, spring-steel wire, and had the old blacksmith at Kessler's Corners weld an eye in it through the eye of the treble hook. He put on the back spinner, and passed the wire through the wooden minnow. He used no front spinner, as it might catch in the rushes.

The front eye he made in the wire himself by bending and twisting till he was sure beyond all question that it was safe. Then he fastened his copper leader into this eye, put the glass eyes into the head of the minnow, and with careful painting his bait was complete.

The season was now growing late. College was to begin September 23d. On Tuesday, September 9th, Carl and Lee set out at daybreak on their quest. They fished long and carefully, but got no strike. They left the cove for half an hour, then tried again. This time the great fish struck, but was not hooked. Soon Forest Lodge was astir, and fishing for Old Muskie ended for that day.

Then came the last day. Carl was to leave for college the following Monday. "We just must get him this morning!" he said, as they pushed out from the landing with the first glow of daylight. They knew a little later in the day would be better, but they felt that they must lose no time.

Carl worked the canoe down the shore, the little craft slipping through the water as quietly as a floating swan. Lee outdid himself in length of cast, for he did not wish Old Muskie to take fright because they were too near.

At the fifth cast the big fish hit the bait. He rushed savagely at it, and closed his jaws down squarely upon it. Lee struck as if for his life, and drove the hooks deep into the fish's jaw, and with click and drag both on the reel and his thumb adding to the pressure, he pulled all he thought his tackle would bear—pulled straight back toward the treetops, which he was most anxious to avoid.

Stubbornly the big fish pulled in the opposite direction, and with a rush started across the cove. So fast did the line run out that Lee's thumb was almost blistered, but he held it hard against the spinning reel, and the fish rushed on across the cove.

Straight through the forest of rushes he dashed, and Lee and Carl held their breath, as the line cut through the water. Lee held the rod high, Carl sent the canoe along the track taken by the fish; and in a few dizzy seconds Old Muskie was through the rushes and out into the open lake. And now Lee made no effort to check him, but let him run as far as possible from the shore, although he continued his mad rush till less than thirty feet of line remained on his reel.

Forest Lodge was quickly awake and astir. Mr. Gardner was just at the landing for a trip across the lake, when out in front of him came the canoe as if being towed by the great fish, which leaped high into the air.

He rushed into Forest Lodge and roused Mr. Cameron and all the rest by beating upon his door and crying, "Get up! Get up! Your fifty-pound maskinonge is hooked, and by a boy!" No further call was needed, and the beach was soon lined with a score of fishermen and their wives, hastily and some of them grotesquely dressed.

Meanwhile, Lee and Carl had begun working together to regain the line that had been run out. The victory could never have come to the young fisherman but for the masterly way in which Carl handled the canoe. He made it almost a part of Lee. It moved with his motion, always responsive, always steady.

When the fish went out toward the open lake, the boat went with him, that he might go as far as he would. When he made a wild rush for the shore, the paddle sent the boat off at an angle to his course, that the steel rod might exert a pull sidewise, and thus turn him from his course, and back toward the open lake.

And all this time, Lee was putting on his tackle all the strain that he dared, holding the line so taut that his arm ached before the fight had been on ten minutes—and it lasted fifty-five.

When Old Muskie would leap frantically into the air, fiercely shaking himself, down would go the tip of the rod, clear below the surface of the water; and when he would "sound," the tip of the rod pulled upward relentlessly. Whatever the direction of the rushes of the big fish, always the skilled hand and wiry arm of Lee Henly were ready to baffle and turn aside, to hold back and to weary.

"Pretty fight!" said Herbert Gerrish to Mr. Cameron, who was watching in silence, but with keen admiration.

"Fine!" said Mr. Cameron. "Never saw a better."

"Think he'll land the fish?" asked John Newby.

"If he does not now, he is bound to do it some day," replied Mr.
Cameron. "That fish might just as well give it up now as any time.
I know Lee Henly."

Indeed, it began to look as if victory was near. Slowly the rushes of the maskinonge were becoming less fierce. Carl had the gaff at hand for Lee when he was ready for it. Lee, fearful of a rush under the boat, dared not work the fish round for Carl to gaff, but kept him at the end of the boat where he himself might use the big hook.

But what he had feared came to pass. The big maskinonge did make a run under the boat. He was straight in front, when with a lightning-like dash he made a half-circle and went under the boat from the side.

With a quick motion of arm and wrist, Lee threw the end of the rod over the prow of the canoe. It was all there was to do, but the rod would surely have struck the end of the boat, and something would probably have broken and the fish escaped, had not Carl, with a mighty stroke of the paddle, backed the canoe so quickly that Lee was almost thrown overboard. But the fish was saved.

The fight was nearly over. Gradually they forced the maskinonge toward the sandy beach. Mr. Cameron had got a big, long-handled gaff-hook, and now, forgetful of his rheumatism, waded out waist-deep into the water. There was a brief but decisive struggle that went hopelessly against the fish, and Mr. Cameron gaffed Old Muskie and dragged him ashore.

Lee and Carl stepped out on the beach, both of them on the verge of collapse.

There was a great fish supper at Forest Lodge that night. The skin, head, tail and fins of Old Muskie were carefully preserved and sent to the best taxidermist in Chicago; but there was enough left of his fifty-three-pound body for the company gathered about the big "Oak Hall" dining-table. On the right of Mr. Cameron sat Lee Henly, and on the left, Carl Mills. Mr. Cameron and the Forest Lodge people were jubilant. Carl found a fifty-dollar bill under his plate, and Lee found a check for one hundred dollars. And as the meal progressed, the story of the capture of Old Muskie was told substantially as I have told it to you.

There is little more to tell. I might tell you about how Lee Henly worked his way through college, after the catching of Old Muskie had given him his start. I could tell you of his work as general manager of the business house of Cameron, Page & Co. of Chicago. But that would be the story of Lee Henly, and I started out to tell you nothing but the story of Old Muskie, whose mounted body is now in the private office of Mr. Cameron himself, where Lee Henly sees it every day.


By C. F. Holder

A certain pond in the country was once peopled with a number of turtles, frogs, and fishes which I came to consider my pets, and which at last grew so tame that I fed them from my hands. Among them, however, were four or five little sticklebacks that lived under the shade of a big willow, and these were so quarrelsome that I generally fed them apart from the rest. But sometimes all met, and then the feast usually was ended by the death of a minnow. For, shocking to say, whenever there was a dispute for the food, some one of the little fishes was almost sure to be devoured by the hungry sticklebacks.

These stickleback-and-minnow combats, after a while, came to be of daily occurrence, and the reason for this was a singular one, which I must explain.

Under the willow shade, and from one of the branches, I had hung a miniature "belfry," containing a tiny brass bell, and had led the string into the water, letting it go down to a considerable depth. At first, I tied a bait at intervals upon the line, and the sticklebacks, of course, seized upon it, and thus rang the bell. Generally the ringing was done in a very grave and proper way, although sometimes, when the bait was too tightly tied, the quick peals sounded like a call to a fire.

I kept up this system of baiting the string for about a week, until I thought they understood it, and then replaced the worms by bits of stone. As I expected, the next morning, as I looked through the grass and down into the water, tinkle! tinkle! rang the bell, and I knew my little friends were saying, "Good-morning!" and expected a breakfast. You may be sure they got it. I put my hand down, and up they came, and got one worm apiece; and as I raised my hand, down they rushed, and away went the bell, in an uproarious peal, that must have startled the whole neighborhood. I was quick to respond, and they soon learned to ring the bell before coming to the surface; in fact, if they saw me pass, I always heard their welcome greeting. But to return to the minnows.

I generally fed them first, about twenty feet up the bank; but one morning I found one or two had followed me down to the residence of the stickleback family. They met with a rude reception, however, and, to avoid making trouble, the next day I went to the willow first. But no sooner had the bell begun to ring, than I saw a lot of ripples coming down, and in a second the two factions were in mortal combat. The sticklebacks were fighting not only for breakfast, but for their nests, which were near by; and they made sad work of the poor minnows, who, though smart in some things, did not know when they were whipped, and so kept up the fight, though losing one of their number nearly every morning. The bell now and then rang violently, but I fear it was only sounding an appeal from a voracious stickleback whose appetite had got the better of his rage.

So it went on every morning. The minnows had learned what the bell meant, and though usually defeated in the fight, they in reality had their betters as servants to ring the bell and call them to meals. Finally, they succeeded, by force of great numbers, in driving away their pugnacious little rivals, and the bell hung silent; for, strange to say, they knew what the sound meant, but I could never teach them to ring it, when they could rise and steal the worm from my hand without. But I am inclined to think it was more laziness than inability to learn, as they afterward picked up readily some much more difficult tricks. I taught them to leap from the water into my hand, and lie as if dead; and having arranged a slide of polished wood upon the bank, by placing worms upon it I soon had them leaping out and sliding down like so many boys coasting in the winter. That they afterward did it for amusement I know, as I often watched them unobserved when there was nothing to attract but the fun of sliding. This kind of amusement is not uncommon with many other animals, particularly seals, which delight in making "slides" on the icy shores.


By Octave Thanet

The ship was nearing the Irish coast. It was a delightful June day and most of the passengers were on deck. Two ladies sat a little apart from the crowd of ship-chairs under the cabin awning. One was fair, plump, pretty and dressed in black; the cabin passengers called her "the lovely Widow." She was a Mrs. Morris on her way to Europe to join her brother, accompanied by her two nephews (sons of two brothers), her sister Nora, and her maid. The other lady was Miss Nora. She was much younger than her sister whom she did not resemble in the least, being a tall straight, slim, handsome young woman with black hair and dark gray eyes in which sparkled a suspicious gleam of mirth.

Mrs. Morris was speaking: "He is a perfect young savage! Such manners, and such grammar—I am sure no one would dream that his father was a bishop. Do you suppose all Western boys are that way? And such a temper, too! I assure you, Nora, he was fighting the whole time we were in New York. And look at the way he treats Edmund—I wonder the boy stands it—poor nice fellow!"

"Edmund is nice," answered Nora, "but Oscar has his good points—what are they all crowding aft for?"

With an exclamation of "Those dreadful children!" the elder lady extricated herself from her rug and hurried aft. Nora followed. Evidently there had been a quarrel of some sort. The purser and the deck-steward were each holding a boy.

The steward's captive, a handsome, flushed, black-haired lad of thirteen, was kicking and pushing and making violent efforts to wiggle out between the steward's legs. The other lad stood perfectly quiet. He was taller than the dark boy and might have been two years older, but he was of a much slighter build. His fair hair was disordered, his nose bleeding, and his collar torn. Looking up into the purser's face, he said in a low tone, "Please let us fight it out. He'll bully me again, if you don't!"

At this the dark boy stopped in his violent attacks on the steward's legs and said, breathlessly: "Well, you ain't such a milksop after all, Ned!"

"No, no," said the purser; "no fighting on the Gallia. You two young gentlemen must promise to let each other alone while you are on shipboard or"—

"O, promise, Ned," the dark boy interrupted, "we can have it out onshore, you know! Say, I promise, let me go."

"I promise, too, then," said the fair boy.

"Mind you both remember," said the purser, releasing his captive; and turning to Mrs. Morris: "No harm done yet ma'am."

Both boys recognized their aunt; they had been too busy with each other before to look about. They stood silently by, Oscar grinning and Edmund frowning, while she apologized for their conduct. Then she turned to them and led them to an impromptu court of justice behind the wheel-house. The proceedings were brief. Oscar told his story. As usual, he related a perfectly plain, uncolored tale, making no excuse for himself.

"We were up on deck, Aunt Nellie and Aunt Nora, and Ned was reading and us boys wanted him to play shovel-board and he wouldn't; so just for fun, I tried to show the boys—while he was reading, you know—how near I could come to hitting his cap, and not hit it; and I made a mistake and hit it and just then the wind blowed and it went overboard, and the boys laughed and he jumped up and said, 'Who knocked my hat off?' and I said it was me, and he said he wasn't going to take any more bullying from me and up and hit me in the face and then I hit him back. I told him I was only fooling, but he didn't mind and kept on getting madder and hitting till I got mad too and—that's how it happened. But I didn't mean to knock his hat off, and I'll fight him all he wants on shore."

"I didn't know he was fooling," said Edmund, "and Aunt Nellie, it isn't just this time; I don't mind once; but it's all the time and—and I truly can't bear it!" The boy's pale face flushed as he spoke; his voice trembled over the last words and he turned his head away, winking his eyes hard. Oscar's own eyes grew round with amazement; it was all he could do to keep from whistling. He listened to his aunt's reproaches in silence, abstractedly sliding up and down a freshly tarred rope; and, at their close, when sentence was pronounced (keeping his high spirits below deck the rest of the day), he merely nodded his head and walked off saying: "All right, Aunt Nellie, that's fair enough, I am sure; I'll stay all right."

"Well!" said Mrs. Morris in a puzzled way, "did ever one see such a boy? I don't believe he cares a particle—Mercy!" The last ejaculation was caused by her seeing Oscar's back.

"Let him go," said Nora, who was shrewder than her sister; "don't say anything about that to-day; I'm not sure about his not caring."

Oscar went directly to the cabin. His young head was fully occupied trying to make out his cousin's behavior. The boys had never seen each other until they met in New York, about a week previous to sailing. It was Oscar's first visit East. The New York boys were amused by his Western way of speaking and showed their amusement openly. They made fun of his dress, too, which to be sure was rather queer, for his mother had been dead many years and the bishop, good man, was only anxious to encourage the tradespeople in his own town, and took whatever they were pleased to offer. Mrs. Morris soon reformed his wardrobe, and Oscar went to work, himself, reforming his tormentors' manners with his fists. He was in the full career of his missionary work, and well covered with bruises, when it came time to sail.

Edmund was the only New York boy now left him. It happened that Edmund had taken little notice of Oscar, thinking him a rude, quarrelsome, noisy fellow; while Oscar had a slight opinion of Edmund—a boy who did not fight, or play games, and always afraid of soiling his clothes. He said to himself that he would "give Ned a pretty lively voyage." At first, Edmund was simply scornful; then he became irritated—at last, angry in good earnest. The quarrel was the sequel of a series of petty annoyances. Nevertheless it bewildered Oscar. Ned had not acted in the least as expected. He could fight; and though he fought in an ignorant, unskilful fashion that aroused Oscar's pity, he could fight vigorously, and take hard knocks without whimpering. Most marvelous of all, "Ned" whom he had pictured wrapt in self-admiration because he lived in New York and his father was so rich—Ned had been hurt by the teasing.

While he thought, the boy sat with his feet curled up under him on the long cabin seat that looks out on the sea; and his cheek was pressed against a little grimy hand. He could see the steel-blue waves moving toward the ship in wide scallops and the white sea-gulls flying between the ocean and the sky. Yet he hardly noticed them; so deeply was he thinking that he started when a hand was laid on his shoulder.

Then he saw and pulled Aunt Nora down beside him. "What were you thinking of?" said she.

"Of Ned," he answered. "He ain't so mean as I thought he was. At any rate, he ain't a coward."

"I could have told you better than that," said Nora. "Why, Oscar, once I saw him hold a mad dog so that some little girls could run away. He held it until a man came running up and knocked the poor beast over the head. It was Ned's favorite dog, too, and when it had drawn its last breath he sat down and cried over it."

"Humph," said Oscar, "he was pretty brave; what did you do?"

"I was in the house; I ran down to him, but when I got there the dog was dying. I heard Ned say, 'Oh! please kill him quick. Poor Louis!'"

"Guess he felt bad," said Oscar.

"He is fond of animals, even those most people dislike. Didn't you hear of his collection of snakes? He has tamed them so that he can do anything with them. Once, most unluckily, they got out of the box and came down stairs into the drawing-room which was filled with ladies."

"And they, every one, jumped on the chairs and hollered," said

"They did precisely that, Oscar; every one except your Aunt Lizzie. She stood still and told us how harmless the snakes were until, knowing her I suppose, they all glided up to her when she climbed a chair, too, very quickly. Luckily Ned happened to be in the house and heard the commotion and ran in. He whipped the snakes up and wound them about his arm as coolly as though they had been pieces of rope."

Oscar was evidently impressed. But his prejudice made a last rally. He muttered something about Ned's being a nice boy if he were not so "airy;" always "fussing about his clothes and talking in a mincing way—just like a New York boy."

"Do you remember," said Nora, "how the boys plagued you in New
York, merely because you didn't talk and dress quite as they do?
Didn't you think it mean of them?"

"Mean as dirt," Oscar said promptly; "and I made 'em sick of it, too. I guess they won't try it on another Western feller!"

"But, my dear boy, don't you see you are doing the same thing? You tease Ned and make him unhappy because he doesn't dress and talk like the boys you know at home."

Oscar shrugged his shoulders; then he laughed. "Maybe you're right, Aunt Nora. Anyhow I didn't mean to be mean and I'm willing to make up if Ned is!"

Nora squeezed the little grimy hand so affectionately that he shrank back lest she should kiss him, "before everybody"—the erratic and inconsiderate conduct of women in kissing boys was one of his trials. However, she was more judicious. She went on: "I knew I could trust you to be just, Oscar. Only you must remember that Ned isn't impulsive like you; it takes him a long time to get over things. You have made him unhappy and he may not be ready to forgive you at a minute's notice. But if you persevere, I am sure he will understand you and you will be the best friends possible."

Privately, she resolved to try to soften Edmund's resentment before Oscar should speak to him. But the unfortunate Oscar did not let a moment slip. No sooner was his aunt's back turned to speak to an acquaintance than he darted away "to find Ned." Ned was easily found. He was lying in his berth so bundled up in a rug that only a patch of his hair was visible. The poor boy had been crying; but of course Oscar could not know that. He began in a loud, cheerful voice that grated on Edmund's nerves. "I say, Ned, s'pose we make up! we'd have lots more fun being friends; and I'll learn you how to box and everything."

No answer.

"Say, Ned, are you 'sleep?"

"No, I'm not," came in a fierce, smothered voice from the heap on the berth, "and I wish you'd leave me alone!"

"Then you don't want to make up and be friends?" said Oscar, in a changed voice.

"No, I don't."

"All right for you, then!" said Oscar. With which withering sarcasm and a vast deal of dignity he marched out of the room. "Catch me trying that again," thought he.

Nevertheless his pride was soon conquered by his new admiration of Edmund and his longing for society. In a day or two he brought his best cap to his cousin, saying with assumed carelessness: "You can have it, if you want it, for the one I knocked overboard."

"Thanks," answered Edmund stiffly; "I don't want it; I've plenty of caps."

He met all Oscar's rough yet timid advances in the same spirit. He was always civil, but an iceberg would have been as companionable. To Nora who remonstrated with him he said: "I can't help it; I don't like him and I never shall. He's bullied me all the voyage and now he thinks he has only to ask me and I'll make up. I wish he'd let me alone!"

"How unforgiving you are, Ned," said Nora, "don't you ever do wrong things yourself?"

"I never do mean things. And it's no use talking; I shall always despise him."

She said no more, thinking, "I will leave it to time. They will be so much together that they will have to like each other to be comfortable. If only Oscar doesn't lose his temper and take to tormenting him again!"

Happily Oscar kept his temper. He had a great notion of fairness and, once convinced that he had done wrong, he took his punishment unflinchingly, angry for the moment, sometimes, but bearing no malice.

By this time the voyage had ended and they were in Warwickshire, visiting an English friend of Mrs. Morris. It was while there that they went one afternoon to drink tea with Lady Margaret Vincent. Lady Margaret was a Scotchwoman. She had married an Englishman (long since dead), and for many years had lived in England, but she travelled far and often, having even been to America, which is considered a prodigious journey in England.

Edmund was charmed with Lady Margaret's home. He could not look enough at the quaint old garden with its formal flower-beds and primly cut yew-trees, or the wonderful old house, the front of which had not been changed since Henry and Elizabeth. As they went through the hall, he gazed in an awe-stricken way at the great carved staircase and the walls where armor was hanging and strangely fashioned weapons. He felt as though he were stepping into the Middle Ages.

Meanwhile, Oscar, oblivious of the Middle Ages and every other improving subject, was getting acquainted with the page. Oscar had seen pages, for the first time, in New York. He pitied them; they couldn't like it, rigged out in those ridiculous clothes and never able to laugh or play. Always willing to talk, he did his best to amuse them. Now he was busy questioning James: Did his high collar hurt him? Did he have to rub up his buttons to keep them bright? Did—here his aunt saw him and jerked him away.

From the hall they passed into a room as odd as delightful. All the woodwork was of oak, age-darkened to a brown-black, and most curiously carved. The mantelpiece had high pillars decorated with ribbons and scrolls and shields and griffin's heads cut out of the wood; and deep shelves on which were arranged queerly shaped and colored china vases, teapots and teacups. Oscar thought them ugly, wondering at the ladies' admiration. Before the doors and windows hung tapestry curtains in which pictures of hunting scenes were woven. The stuff was darned in so many places that Oscar quite pitied Lady Margaret who must have such old curtains; but Mrs. Morris gave a little scream of delight and cried "Oh!" and "How priceless!" and something that sounded like "Goblins!" But though Oscar looked hard at the curtains to find the goblins, he saw none. Then his eyes strayed over the polished floor and the dull-hued rugs, over ebony and ivory cabinets and stiff-backed chairs, to be fixed, finally, by a huge Wardian case.

There were rocks in the case, coated with moss; ferns and strange sea-weeds grew on the edge of the water; crabs clung below; lizards crept above; innumerable slimy things swam about, midway. The case stood on a long table. Near it, on another box, half a dozen snakes lay coiled into one indistinguishable mass. Under the table three monkey-like little creatures were dancing and chattering. A wee Scotch terrier ran about, sniffing at the guests' clothing. Before the fire of coals—for the day was chilly for June—was stretched a great white stag-hound. The room and all the animals made Oscar think of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Lady Margaret was standing close to the staghound. Her tall, large figure was clad in black satin; her fair old face was framed by abundant white hair which had a gloss like silver; and her dark eyes were bright as her diamonds. She greeted them cordially, at once taking a fancy to Edmund because of his evident delight in animals. Perhaps she might have thought better of Oscar, had she not caught him in the act of winking at the page. Very soon she began to speak of the creatures about her. "Marmosets, my dears," clutching one of the little chatterers under the table; "they make a deal of noise, but like most noisy people's talk it doesn't mean much. This is my aquarium; the sea-horses are most odd, don't you think? And here," coolly pushing back her sleeve and plunging a plump, white arm into the water, "this, you know—just a frog! See how tame! And people call them ugly! That's all they know about it. Look at his beautiful skin and his honest eye! Isn't he handsome, now? Here are some lizards, but they are not so interesting; quite pleasant, you know, but not fascinating, like frogs and snakes. Yes, my lad, I dare say you will be wanting to see the snakes. Here they are. They are as tame as they are beautiful."

"She isn't going to take them out in her hands, is she?"
Mrs. Morris whispered to her English friend.

"She always does," was the placid answer. "See!"

Lady Margaret had made a bracelet of a snake and was holding out her arm. One by one she added the others while Mrs. Morris, having interposed her friend between her and the spectacle, controlled her nerves as best she could. "They are quite harmless, quite, I assure you," said Lady Margaret, making a reassuring gesture with her arm, on which it happened two snakes were coiled. "Now, look, my lads, I'll put this one back; he is a well-meaning snake but rather stupid. This one I'll lay on the table."

Mrs. Morris rapidly retreated towards the fire, stepping on the hound's tail by the way, and naturally bringing out a deep growl which sent her back again.

Unconscious of her guest's alarm, Lady Margaret continued: "His name is Marcus Aurelius; I call him that after the great Roman emperor, because he is so sweet-tempered and intelligent. See what a humorous expression he has!" (And, in fact, the snake's tiny eyes and wide mouth had something the look of an ironical grin about them.) "Look! See him follow me about the table. He knows his friend—don't you, my pet? Now, Marcus, I'll put up my arm for a pole; make a monkey of yourself. Climb down, again. Now," tapping the table, "be a dead snake. Very good. Now, show them what you think of strangers." She motioned to Oscar; but he edged back behind Nora, muttering, "No, they are nasty!"

Then Nora stepped forward. Instantly the snake coiled itself up, hissing.

"Now, you," said Lady Margaret to Edmund.

"He won't be afraid of me," laughed Edmund, stretching forth his hand; "come, pet!"

And to Lady Margaret's surprise the snake came, twining about the boy's wrist as it was used to twine about hers. "Ah, you have my gift, my dear!" she cried, delighted.

She put the snake back in the box and excused herself for a moment. The page brought in the tea-tray. In a moment Lady Margaret returned and made the tea, Mrs. Morris who had been looking on all this while in a kind of trance of horror, recovered enough, at these refreshing signs, to sink into a chair by a low table. She clutched her sister's arm—Nora sat next to her—and murmured, "Was there ever such an awful menagerie of a house?"

"Be quiet," whispered Nora.

"I can't be quiet! Those dreadful little monkey things are under the table, nibbling at my ankles, I shall have to scream!"

"You can't scream. Don't disgrace your country. Lady Margaret will hear us, I much fear!"

"She's making tea at the other table. Besides, Mrs. Darrel and Eddy are talking to her, Nora. Are you sure that big dog is safe? Did you hear him growl? It was an awfully fierce-sounding growl! And, Nora, I think one of the snakes is loose. There were six in the box and I can count only five—yes, Lady Margaret, the tea is quite right. It is delicious."

But though, in truth it was delicious, and though equally to be praised were the thin bread and butter, the Scotch shortbread from Edinburgh, and the English plum cake, Mrs. Morris never enjoyed a repast less. She spent her time making little sorties with her feet at the marmosets, which took it for play and returned to the attack with new zest; and she whispered to Nora that she was morally sure the sixth snake was crawling up her chair.

Nora, herself, was not at ease; nevertheless, her patriotic politeness conquered; she ate everything, looked at everything, praised everything. Lady Margaret found her "most agreeable."

Mrs. Darrel had seen the snakes too often to be disturbed, and Edmund was in his element. As for Oscar, he fell into sad disgrace—he kicked the marmosets. Lady Margaret was too kind to say anything; but Mrs. Morris did the subject justice all the way home. "At least you might have kicked them, quietly, under the table," said she; "but no, you do it sideways in full view of everyone!"

The next day the party journeyed on towards London. The sun shone brightly and the weather, which had been so abnormally cold as to require overcoats, or as the English term them, "top coats," grew warmer, so that there was nothing to mar enjoyment unless it were the lack of harmony between the two boys. This still continued. If there were times when Edmund felt his dislike yielding ever so slightly to Oscar's good humor and gay spirits, his pride and his contempt for his cousin stiffened it at once.

It was two days after their arrival in a quiet town near London where they were to stay a few days for rest at a picturesque old inn, that Mrs. Morris received a letter from Mrs. Darrel. She read it at the breakfast table. Before she was half down the first page she turned to Nora: "There! Didn't I tell you one of those snakes was gone? Listen to this: 'Poor Lady Margaret is in such distress over losing her pet snake, the one she called Marcus Aurelius. She thinks she didn't replace the cover of the box securely the day you were there, for she hasn't seen it since. She fears it crawled away and wandered into the village and was killed. Isn't she a dear old goose?'"

"Was it the little trick-snake?" said Oscar. "What a shame!"

Edmund said nothing; he was sorry for Lady Margaret and he was sorry for himself. The little Marcus Aurelius had made a deep impression on him; ever since he had been meditating the bold venture of writing to Lady Margaret asking her if she would sell or exchange that snake.

He kept thinking of the matter all the morning, wondering what had become of Marcus. In the afternoon, he was to drive with his Aunt Nora. While he was dressing, Celeste, the maid, brought him his overcoat. Madame desired him to wear it, as he had a cold. "Very well," said Edmund, obliging as usual. Approaching to put the coat on, a little later, he stopped short. Surely the wind didn't cause that singular flutter in the cloth! Then the flap moved. "Come out!" cried Edmund.

As though in response to his invitation a small head erected itself from the pocket, a small green head with glittering eyes, a head which had an indescribably droll and Waggish air—the head, in short, of the lost Marcus Aurelius. The intelligent reptile immediately crawled out. He wound himself about the hand Edmund held to him, curled under the boy's sleeve, nestled under his sleeve with manifest pleasure at renewing the acquaintance.

It was plain enough to Edmund how it had happened. The intelligent Marcus crawling into the hall had spied the pocket of Edmund's coat and coolly entered. Once there, he had gone to sleep and the unsuspecting Celeste had rolled the coat up in a strap not to undo it until now. "So here you are, you beauty," said Edmund, "and I'll take good care of you while you are mine; I only wish you could be mine forever!"

There was a candy-box on the table with a glass cover. Of this he hastily made a prison, then sallied out to find his captive some mice. They were not the easiest thing in the world to get, requiring considerable seeking and talking. He did not venture to tell why he wanted mice; and he overheard the housekeeper grumble: "Most extraordinary boys, those Americans! Do you expect he wants to cat them?"

By this time Nora was ready; he had hardly replaced the snake in the box before he heard her knock at the door. It was a charming day and drive, yet I fear he saw little of the scenery. Alas, that it must be confessed, a wicked thought had crept into his brain. He coveted Lady Margaret's snake. He coveted it so ardently that he began to imagine how easy it would be for him to keep it. There was a man in London who sold snakes. Edmund had been up buying some snakes from him which the man was to keep until he should want them. What more easy than to send Marcus Aurelius to this saurian boarding-house? Ah, what an ugly temptation for Edmund who had been called a good boy from his cradle. He would have no more of it. But it came back again and finally, when he reached the inn, he had almost decided to keep the snake. "Anyhow I'll take it to Tomlin's" (Tomlin was the snake man), he said to himself; "there's no hurry." Yet in his secret soul he knew that once taken to Tomlin's, Marcus Aurelius would never return to Lady Margaret. Thus thinking, he went toward the box. The snake was gone! Yes, gone, vanished absolutely, leaving no trace either in the box or in the room. Vainly and long Edmund searched; either the cover had not fitted exactly, or Marcus, the intelligent Marcus, had managed to remove it; in either case he had evidently set off anew on his travels. Edmund began to feel he had been a wicked boy. He stood in the centre of the room, trying to collect his wits. Oscar's room adjoined his; he could hear Oscar moving about, whistling out of tune. Should he go in and search there? Standing irresolute, he heard a loud cry from his cousin. "Sloped! gone!" Then followed a muffled sound which Edmund rightly interpreted to be Oscar poking under the bed with an umbrella; and, then, came a thundering rap on the door. "Say, Ned," called Oscar, entering immediately, "I'm in an awful scrape! Your snake's gone!"

"My snake," repeated Edmund, feebly.

"Yes; the one you bought to-day. I saw it in the glass box on your table."

Edmund remembered that he had left the box in full view when he went for mice. His face grew red. "Did you let it out?" said he.

"Of course I didn't," Oscar answered. "Did you think I'd do such a thing? I opened the door to speak to you and I saw it on the table and I remembered you'd been talking of buying some snakes, so I knew it was yours. I didn't go into the room at all, but this afternoon when I came into my own room, Ned, its little green head was sticking out of my overcoat pocket—ugh! I pretty near put my hand on it! I'd have called you, but you'd gone, and it wasn't any use calling Aunt Nellie—she'd just jump on the bed and scream; so I didn't know what to do, for I can't handle those things like you, Ned, so I pushed its head down with my tooth brush and pinned up the pocket with my scarf pin. Then I waited a while for you, and I thought it had gone into a torpid condition like you read of, and Jack Dale came for me to go to see a Punch-and-Judy and when I got back the little deceitful beggar had cleared out! I'm awful sorry, Ned."

Edmund from red, had turned pale; he did not lift his eyes from the floor; he was feeling more ashamed of himself than he had ever thought to feel in his life. Poor blundering Oscar whom he had despised had conquered his horror of snakes to do a service to a boy who had never given him a pleasant word; while he—he had tried to steal Lady Margaret's pet! Now Oscar was avowing his carelessness without a thought of concealment, while he could not summon courage to tell the truth.

"It may be in the rooms somewhere," he managed to say finally; "and never mind, Oscar, you did your best to keep him."

"I'm awful sorry, I am, for a fact," said Oscar; "but of course it's my fault. You're good not to row me, Ned!"

"Don't!" said Edmund quickly.

"Why"—began Oscar; but his words were drowned by a tumult that suddenly arose outside; shrieks, voices, a great trampling of feet.

"They've found Marcus! They're killing him!" cried Oscar.

Both boys flew out of the room. "Don't kill him!" called Edmund.

"He is our snake!" shouted Oscar.

People opened doors in all directions as the boys raced past. One timid woman put her head out of her window, screaming, "Police!" until quite a small army of blue-coated fellows had assembled. Another of bolder stamp thought the hotel was on fire and rushed to the rescue with her water jug.

"Don't kill him!" Oscar and Edmund kept crying, a cry not calculated to reassure the nervous. Down the hall dashed the boys. At the far end an agitated group, variously armed with canes, brooms and umbrellas, was gathered about a fainting chambermaid supported in the arms of a waiter and fanned by another chambermaid with a brush broom. Just behind her stood the head waiter in his immaculate dress suit, disgust painted on his countenance and a dustpan held aloft in his hand.

Something very like a groan burst from Edmund's lips; for, there, on the dustpan, his gleaming length trailing limply over the edges, bruised, battered, crushed, lay poor little dead Marcus Aurelius. Thus tragically had all his travels ended.

"It's our snake!" cried Oscar, making a spring and snatching the dustpan from the man's hand. Without another word he darted off at full speed. He did not hear the head waiter's dignified reproof: "Young gentlemen as keeps snakes for pets better keep 'em safe 'ome, in my opinion;" or one of the women's speeches: "I expect he have got a baby tiger hid somewhere; them American children will do anythink!"

But Edmund heard. Too dejected to retort, he crawled back to his room. This was the end of it, then. The poor pet must die because of his wicked wishes. He knew only too well that it was his haste to hide the snake lest his aunt should see it, that had displaced the cover. Had he spoken up like an honest boy he could have taken time to be careful and poor Marcus would still be rejoicing in the sun. He did not dare to lift his eyes as he entered the room; he was afraid to look again on that pitiful spectacle of his making. Oscar had laid a newspaper on the bed and placed the dustpan on it and now was looking mournfully down at Marcus. "'Tain't no use," he muttered, "head's smashed. It's an awful shame! Don't see how it got out of the room—I shut the door tight. Wish I'd locked it! Guess Aunt Nellie'll be vexed when she finds I've lost Ned's snake. Well, she's vexed about something most of the time, so it can't be helped!" Then, for the first time seeing Edmund's miserable face, he tried to comfort him. "It's lucky you didn't have him long, Ned, so you hadn't got fond of him. And I'll buy you another"—

Edmund lifted his head. Though Oscar did not guess it, in those last few moments he had fought; a bitter fight with himself. He interrupted his cousin: "The snake isn't mine. I didn't buy it. It's Lady Margaret Vincent's." He went on to tell of his finding the snake.

"Whew!" whistled Oscar. "You're bright to guess all that; probably 'tis hers. And you didn't tell Aunt Nora or Aunt Nellie?"

"They'll know fast enough now," replied Edmund gloomily, "after all this racket—they're running about yet!"

"Well, we'd had to told them anyhow," said candid Oscar, "and I guess I'll catch it. It's truly my fault. You didn't do nothing. But I ought to have staid and watched and—I declare I'd forgotten it till this very minute—aunt Nellie told me I mustn't run out in the streets, ever, without Celeste; she tells me so many things I can't keep track of all. And there's Lady Margaret too"—

"M-must we tell her?" stammered Edmund.

"Why, it's her snake," said Oscar, opening his honest eyes; "how can we help it?"

"I suppose we can't help it," said Edmund.

"But we might telegraph," said Oscar; "it's a heap easier than writing and you can get lots of words for a shilling."

"No, we'll have to write," said Edmund; "I'll do it."

But Oscar shook his head. "No, Ned, that ain't fair. I'm the most to blame and I ought to do it. Besides you wouldn't say it was my fault."

Then the last barrier of Edmund's pride broke down. "Don't," he cried again. "I tell you it's I'm to blame, not you. And— and—Oscar, I've been very mean to you all along"—

"No, you haven't," said Oscar promptly; "it was me bullying you in the first place made all the trouble. Aunt Nora told me maybe you wouldn't be friends for a while, and she told me all about the mad dog and I thought you were a pretty nice boy and I wished you would like me, but you wouldn't, so I pretended I didn't care. But I did. It's lonesome travelling around with a feller that's mad with you all the time."

Edmund swallowed a little lump in his throat. "If you'll make up with me, now, I'll never be mad with you again," said he, holding out his hand.

Oscar clasped it across the bed over the mangled remains of the too-adventurous Marcus Aurelius, whose adventures, thus, were not quite in vain.

Edmund kept his word. Indeed, he was surprised to find how easy it was to like Oscar; and Nora's prediction was fulfilled. The two boys were very happy in Europe; but Edmund never forgot Marcus. He told the truth to Nora and she persuaded Mrs. Morris to deal gently with Oscar. He went to the races, after all. Previously Edmund had written the whole story to Lady Margaret in a letter which she read with smiles and tears. The postscript was by Oscar. It ran as follows:


Ned wont let me see his letter but I'm sure he took all the blame on himself becaws he always dose but it was me too blame and not him becaws I pined the snake in my coat pocket becaws I was affraid to handel it and ran off too the punch and gudy show and it got out and the head water killed it I didn't give him any tip when he went away I'm very sorry and I'm sorry I kicked the mormossits but they bit my legs No more at pressent from your obedient servent too comand.


It only remains to say that Marcus Aurelius is back home, at Lady Margaret's; but she never makes a bracelet of him, now; most ingeniously mended and stuffed, he abides perpetually in a glass case; and she describes his perfections and his lamentable end with tears in her eyes.


By Mrs. Cornell

A voice rose wrathfully in the back yard, "Wee-lie! What iss this?
You fell in the pig trough? Come here, that I beat you! Come here,
I say!"

Willie did not accept the invitation. A shrill whimpering was his sole response. Twelve-year-old Anna stepped to the kitchen door, peering round the sash. "Pa's scolding Willie," she announced to her mother.

The storm continued to rage in the back yard.

"Shust look at your clothes! Go now! To the creek wit' you! Come not in the house until you are cleaned. Ach!"

Ex-Sea-Captain Schulz, now prune-grower in the mountain boundary west of Santa Clara Valley, turned in at the kitchen door.

"I don't know what to do wit' the boy. Go, mine Anna, get the lad a clean shirt, and take it down to the creek."

On Anna's return from the bathing pool she said softly to her mother, "Willie isn't at the creek. Perhaps he has run off."

"O child, don't bother me about Willie! He'll run back again fast enough, he's that scared of the mountains and the trees."

Anna was conscious of an undercurrent of sympathy with the forlorn waif her father had brought from the city some months before. The very love and awe with which the mountains filled her imaginative soul gave her comprehension of the fear with which they imbued the dull-witted offspring of San Francisco gutters.

Willie did not return all that long, August day. The captain and his American wife spread and dipped prunes busily on the hot south slope. The box-laden wagon rolled by at intervals. Household duties went helter-skelter under Anna's management. At six o'clock Mrs. Schulz, hot and tired, wakened her lazy little daughter, outstretched beneath the hollyhocks and poppies in the small front garden.

"For gracious sake, Anna! Hurry! You've not done the dinner dishes!"

"Have the cows come?" Anna asked, resourcefully.

"Land! If I hadn't forgotten about Willie! Come—hurry! You'll have to go for the cows. I'll wash the dishes."

Anna felt quite in the mood to go for the cows. It meant an hour or so of patting barefooted and bare headed along the soft dust of the road, or over the slippery brown grass of the mountain pastures, with tall pines on every hand and a gold-blue sky above.

She mused about the missing Willie. Had he carried out his occasional threat to run away?

"The road is open, go when you like," was her father's one reply to such futile outbursts. But they well knew the road was not open to Willie. The six mountain miles intervening between their ranch and the station formed an impassable barrier to his timorous soul.

"I guess he's afraid of the bigness of things," Anna concluded. "And he's got no call to run away. Papa threatens him, but he's never laid hand on him yet. I s'pose it's on account of the bath he ran away."

There was no Willie at the bathing-pool. The checked gingham shirt fluttered lonesomely where she had that morning placed it.

Some minutes later, shuffling deliciously among the dappled leaves of a hill trail, she sprang aside in quick dismay.

"Goodness!" What had seemed to be a bunch of dry leaves and grass coiled swiftly, with the rattling whir that goes straight to the fear center of the human heart. In a flash Anna's hands were full of rocks. The first article in every California mountain child's education is to destroy every rattlesnake that comes in sight. Anna dodged the first strike of the snake, and before he could get nearer she began a fusillade of such efficiency that the reptile enemy sought retreat.

Then Anna was privileged to witness a strange thing—a very strange thing; so unusual, in fact, that when reported to the head of the zoological department of the State university that conservative gentleman would have given the story little credence had it not been for the unimpeachable authority of a celebrated naturalist, who had reported it as occasionally occurring among the large, much-to-be-dreaded species of the Eastern States—the Crotalus horrible, or banded rattler.

To Anna's unutterable surprise, the snake turned for refuge to a near-by oak-tree. Perhaps he came against it unintentionally, as the rattlesnake sees badly by daylight. At any rate, he reared his head against it much as he would have done in ascending the side of a sunny boulder in the early days of his chilled awakening from his winter sleep.

He writhed spirally but slowly up its rough trunk, which seemed from eighteen to twenty inches in circumference. When the rocks ceased flying he would halt, evidently not half-liking his task, to wave his bluntly triangular head in the direction where the moving shadow indicated to his blurred vision the position of his enemy. But on the resumption of active hostilities, he would begin again his painful ascent.

"Ow-w-w-ch!" sounded a howl from above.

Looking up at the cry, Anna discerned among the clustering leaves of the black oak a huddled figure, with raccoon-like eyes, peering down at the mounting snake, to escape from which he had, in fact, climbed the tree.

"Willie," she shouted, "jump! The snake's coming! Jump!"

"Ow-w-w-ch!" he continued to wail.

The snake stopped, confused, craning its head upward at the new complication, then downward at its known adversary. Its hesitation would make Willie's escape practicable, if he could conquer his crazy fear.

"Willie, break off a limb—beat it back! I can run!"

The snake undulated a few inches farther. The reiterated cry was
Willie's only response. Anna's quick eye saw another chance.

"There's that big limb on the redwood. You can reach it. Swing across. It's easy. You must!" stamping. "O Willie, do it! Do it!"

Her sailor father had often reproved Anna for her delight in climbing and swinging from tree to tree, by means of her long arms and practised hands.

"It iss not goodt for you to be a monkey, mine Anna," he would say. "Little girls need nefer to go to the masthead. Thou hast no call to be a sailor. Be only a brave kindchen, and help our goodt mother wit' the dishes."

His admonition would dissolve in an unrestrained roar of laughter as she wickedly "shinned" up the porch post to a coign of vantage on the vine-covered roof.

But she could not climb the tree where the snake still clung. There was the neighboring redwood, huge-girthed, smooth-boled, with limbs out of reach, yet with the lowest bough almost touching the limb on which Willie crouched, mechanically clutching the body of the tree, but dumb and stupefied with the horror of his situation.

Anna hurriedly piled large rocks under a thick, broken branch-stump of the redwood, which was at least eight feet from the ground. Four times she leaped upward and fell back, wounding her tough little feet. She noticed blood-stains on the rocks as she heaped them with a broader base for her fifth attempt. The snake rested, waving his head downward as if in query. Fortunately, he was full and sluggish.

Once more Anna crouched and shot upward. Her right hand caught the projecting stump, her left easily followed. Clasping the decreasing trunk of the tree with her slim, muscular legs, hanging also by her hands, she dropped her head backward to take observation. The snake hung out, also, toward her, from his tree, then resumed his deliberate climbing. Evidently the task was neither easy nor to his liking.

Anna hitched breathlessly up toward the coveted limb. Reaching it, she took out her jack-knife,—inseparable companion,—scientifically cut a wedge from a short limb above her, and broke off the weakened branch. Recovering her balance, she reached out with this flexible club, but could not touch the snake, now roused to accelerated activity.

Holding her weapon between her teeth, Anna worked her way nearly to the end of her tough support. Throwing out her right hand, she was able to catch the big limb, at the base of which Willie, almost insensible, still huddled. Then she swung, pendulum-like, by her hands, increasing her momentum. At the right moment she released the redwood bough and flung her light body full upon the young oak. Grasping the limb with both hands, she hauled herself up beside the terrified boy.

The snake, shaken by the tumult above, wavered and stopped. As a rule, a rattlesnake, conscious of his defense, makes a good fight; but here the conditions were unusual and confusing. On level ground, where he could have coiled, and where his sensitive under surface could have slid comfortably over smooth earth, he would not have shirked combat when cornered. Now, with his enemy mysteriously above, his one idea seemed to be escape.

Willie jabbered an idiotic welcome.

"He can't strike until he gets clear here," Anna reassured him. "He can't coil."

Her rapid blows still further dismayed her antagonist. He bit viciously at the stick, touching it more than once; for the rattler's strike is deadly swift, despite his languid locomotion.

At last Anna, settling herself firmly on the limb, raised her club with both hands and delivered a slashing blow on the neck of her foe, breaking, as they afterward found, his vertebral column.

The darting head hung limp; a progressive loosening ran through the mottled coils; there was a slight rasping sound, a thud, and then a whitish heap on the ground, which Anna cleared when, swinging down by her hands to a safe distance, she leaped lightly to the ground.

Willie followed, dazed and fearful. He helped round up the cows, casting furtive glances ahead and on each side at every footstep. Before entering the house, he slunk, although still agonized with fear, through the golden twilight to the abhorred bathing-pool and the languidly fluttering cross-bars of the repudiated gingham shirt.

But Anna, too ill for supper, crept into her father's arms, where he sat on the vine-darkened veranda, and fell asleep on his shoulder.

"Ach, mine Anna," the captain said, tenderly, "it iss sometimes goodt for little girls to make themselves to be sailors!"


By Mrs. Alfred Gatty

"Let me hire you as a nurse for my poor children," said a Butterfly to a quiet Caterpillar, who was strolling along a cabbage-leaf in her odd lumbering way. "See these little eggs," continued the Butterfly; "I don't know how long it will be before they come to life, and I feel very sick and poorly, and if I should die, who will take care of my baby Butterflies when I am gone? Will you, kind, mild, green Caterpillar? But you must mind what you give them to eat, Caterpillar!—they cannot, of course, live on your rough food. You must give them early dew, and honey from the flowers, and you must let them fly about only a little way at first; for, of course, one can't expect them to use their wings properly all at once. Dear me! it is a sad pity you cannot fly yourself. But I have no time to look for another nurse now, so you will do your best, I hope. Dear! dear! I cannot think what made me come and lay my eggs on a cabbage-leaf! What a place for young Butterflies to be born upon! Still you will be kind, will you not, to the poor little ones? Here, take this gold-dust from my wings as a reward. Oh, how dizzy I am! Caterpillar! you will remember about the food—"

And with these words the Butterfly drooped her wings and died; and the green Caterpillar, who had not had the opportunity of even saying Yes or No to the request, was left standing alone by the side of the Butterfly's eggs.

"A pretty nurse she has chosen, indeed, poor lady!" exclaimed she, "and a pretty business I have in hand! Why, her senses must have left her or she never would have asked a poor crawling creature like me to bring up her dainty little ones! Much they'll mind me, truly, when they feel the gay wings on their backs, and can fly away out of my sight whenever they choose!"

However, there lay the eggs on the cabbage-leaf; and the green Caterpillar had a kind heart, so she resolved to do her best. But she got no sleep that night, she was so very anxious. She made her back quite ache with walking all night round her young charges, for fear any harm should happen to them; and in the morning says she to herself—

"Two heads are better than one. I will consult some wise animal upon the matter, and get advice. How should a poor crawling creature like me know what to do without asking my betters?"

But still there was a difficulty—whom should the Caterpillar consult? There was the shaggy Dog who sometimes came into the garden. But he was so rough!—he would most likely whisk all the eggs off the cabbage-leaf with one brush of his tail. There was the Tom Cat, to be sure, who would sometimes sit at the foot of the apple-tree, basking himself and warming his fur in the sunshine; but he was so selfish and indifferent! "I wonder which is the wisest of all the animals I know," sighed the Caterpillar, in great distress; and then she thought, and thought, till at last she thought of the Lark; and she fancied that because he went up so high, and nobody knew where he went to, he must be very clever, and know a great deal, for to go up very high (which she could never do), was the Caterpillar's idea of perfect glory.

Now in the neighbouring corn-field their lived a Lark, and the Caterpillar sent a message to him, to beg him to come and talk to her, and when he came she told him all her difficulties, and asked him what she was to do to feed and rear the little creatures so different from herself.

"Perhaps you will be able to inquire and hear something about it next time you go up high," observed the Caterpillar, timidly.

The Lark said, "Perhaps he should;" but he did not satisfy her curiosity any further. Soon afterwards, however, he went singing upwards into the bright, blue sky. By degrees his voice died away in the distance, till the green Caterpillar could not hear a sound. So she resumed her walk round the Butterfly's eggs, nibbling a bit of the cabbage-leaf now and then as she moved along.

"What a time the Lark has been gone!" she cried, at last. "I wonder where he is just now! I would give all my legs to know!" And the green Caterpillar took another turn round the Butterfly's eggs.

At last the Lark's voice began to be heard again. The Caterpillar almost jumped for joy, and it was not long before she saw her friend descend with hushed note to the cabbage bed.

"News, news, glorious news, friend Caterpillar!" sang the Lark; "but the worst of it is, you won't believe me!"

"I believe everything I am told," observed the Caterpillar, hastily.

"Well, then, first of all, I will tell you what these little creatures are to eat. What do you think it is to be? Guess!"

"Dew, and the honey out of flowers, I am afraid," sighed the

"No such thing, old lady! Something simpler than that. Something that you can get at quite easily."

"I can get at nothing quite easily but cabbage-leaves," murmured the Caterpillar, in distress.

"Excellent! my good friend," cried the Lark, exultingly; "you have found it out. You are to feed them with cabbage-leaves."

"Never!" said the Caterpillar, indignantly. "It was their dying mother's last request that I should do no such thing."

"Their dying mother knew nothing about the matter," persisted the lark; "but why do you ask me, and then disbelieve what I say? You have neither faith nor trust."

"Oh, I believe everything I am told," said the Caterpillar.

"Nay, but you do not," replied the Lark; "you won't believe me even about the food, and yet that is but a beginning of what I have to tell you. Why, Caterpillar, what do you think those little eggs will turn out to be?"

"Butterflies, to be sure," said the Caterpillar.

"Caterpillars!" sang the Lark; "and you'll find it out in time;" and the Lark flew away, for he did not want to stay and contest the point with his friend.

"I thought the Lark had been wise and kind," observed the mild green Caterpillar, once more beginning to walk around the eggs, "but I find that he is foolish and saucy instead. Perhaps he went up too high this time. I still wonder whom he sees, and what he does up yonder."

"I would tell you if you would believe me," sang the Lark, descending once more.

"I believe everything I am told," reiterated the Caterpillar, with as grave a face as if it were a fact.

"Then I'll tell you something else," cried the Lark; "for the best of my news remains behind. You will one day be a Butterfly yourself."

"Wretched bird!" exclaimed the Caterpillar, "you jest with my inferiority—now you are cruel as well as foolish. Go away! I will ask your advice no more."

"I told you you would not believe me!" cried the Lark, nettled in his turn.

"I believe everything that I am told" persisted the Caterpillar; "that is"—and she hesitated—"everything that it is reasonable to believe. But to tell me that Butterflies' eggs are Caterpillars, and that Caterpillars leave off crawling and get wings, and become Butterflies!—Lark! you are too wise to believe such nonsense yourself, for you know it is impossible."

"I know no such thing," said the Lark, warmly. "Whether I hover over the corn-fields of earth, or go up into the depths of the sky, I see so many wonderful things, I know no reason why there should not be more. Oh, Caterpillar! it is because you crawl, because you never get beyond your cabbage-leaf, that you call any thing impossible."

"Nonsense!" shouted the Caterpillar, "I know what's possible, and what's not possible, according to my experience and capacity, as well as you do. Look at my long green body and these endless legs, and then talk to me about having wings and a painted feathery coat! Fool!—"

"And fool you!" cried the indignant Lark. "Fool, to attempt to reason about what you cannot understand! Do you not hear how my song swells with rejoicing as I soar upwards to the mysterious wonder-world above? Oh, Caterpillar; what comes to you from thence, receive, as I do, upon trust."

"That is what you call—"

"Faith," interrupted the Lark.

"How am I to learn Faith?" asked the Caterpillar.

At that moment she felt something at her side. She looked round—eight or ten little green Caterpillars were moving about, and had already made a show of a hole in the cabbage-leaf. They had broken from the Butterfly's eggs!

Shame and amazement filled our green friend's heart, but joy soon followed; for, as the first wonder was possible, the second might be so too. "Teach me your lesson, Lark!" she would say; and the Lark sang to her of the wonders of the earth below and of the heaven above. And the Caterpillar talked all the rest of her life to her relations of the time when she should be a Butterfly.

But none of them believed her. She nevertheless had learnt the Lark's lesson of faith, and when she was going into her chrysalis grave, she said—

"I shall be a Butterfly some day!"

But her relations thought her head was wandering, and they said,
"Poor thing!"

And when she was a Butterfly, and was going to die again, she said—

"I have known many wonders—I have faith—I can trust even now for what shall come next!"


By Carl Ewald

In among the green bushes and trees ran the brook. Tall, straight-growing rushes stood along its banks, and whispered to the wind. Out in the middle of the water floated the Water-Lily, with its white flower and its broad green leaves.

Generally it was quite calm on the brook. But when, now and again, it chanced that the wind took a little turn over it, there was a rustle in the rushes, and the Water-Lily sometimes ducked completely under the waves. Then its leaves were lifted up in the air and stood on their edges, so that the thick green stalks that came up from the very bottom of the stream found that it was all they could do to hold fast.

All day long the Larva of the Dragon-Fly was crawling up and down the Water-Lily's stalk. "Dear me, how stupid it must be to be a Water-Lily!" it said, and peeped up at the flower.

"You chatter as a person of your small mind might be expected to do," answered the Water-Lily. "It is just the very nicest thing there is."

"I don't understand that," said the Larva. "I should like at this moment to tear myself away, and fly about in the air like the big, beautiful Dragon-Flies."

"Pooh!" said the Water-Lily. "That would be a funny kind of pleasure. No; to lie still on the water and dream, to bask in the sun, and now and then to be rocked up and down by the waves—there's some sense in that!"

The Larva sat thinking for a minute or two. "I have a longing for something greater," it said at last. "If I had my will, I would be a Dragon-Fly. I would fly on strong, stiff wings along the stream, kiss your white flower, rest a moment on your leaves, and then fly on."

"You are ambitious," answered the Water-Lily, "and that is stupid of you. One knows what one has, but one does not know what one may get. May I, by the way, make so bold as to ask you how you would set about becoming a Dragon-Fly? You don't look as if that was what you were born for. In any case you will have to grow a little prettier, you gray, ugly thing,"

"Yes, that is the worst part of it," the Larva answered sadly. "I don't know myself how it will come about, but I hope it will come about some time or other. That is why I crawl about down here and eat all the little creatures I can get hold of."

"Then you think you can attain to something great by feeding! " the Water-Lily said, with a laugh. "That would be a funny way of getting up in the world."

"Yes; but I believe it is the right way for me!" cried the Dragon-Fly Grub earnestly. "All day long I go on eating till I get fat and big; and one fine day, as I think, all my fat will turn into wings with gold on them, and everything else that belongs to a proper Dragon-Fly!"

The Water-Lily shook its clever white head, "Put away your silly thoughts," it said, "and be content with your lot. You can knock about undisturbed down here among my leaves, and crawl up and down the stalk to your heart's desire. You have everything that you need, and no cares or worries—what more do you want?"

"You are of a low nature," answered the Larva, "and therefore you have no sense of higher things. In spite of what you say, I wish to become a Dragon Fly." And then it crawled right down to the bottom of the water to catch more creatures and stuff itself still bigger.

But the Water-Lily lay quietly on the water and thought things over. "I can't understand these animals," it said to itself. "They knock about from morning till night, chase one another and eat one another, and are never at peace. We flowers have more sense. Peacefully and quietly we grow up side by side, bask in the sunshine, and drink the rain, and take everything as it comes. And I am the luckiest of them all. Many a time have I been floating happily out here on the water, while the other flowers there on dry land were tormented with drought. The flowers' lot is the best; but naturally the stupid animals can't see it."

When the sun went down the Dragon-Fly Larva was sitting on the stalk, saying nothing, with its legs drawn up under it. It had eaten ever so many little creatures, and was so big that it had a feeling as if it would burst. But all the same it was not altogether happy. It was speculating on what the Water-Lily had said, and it could hardly get to sleep the whole night long on account of its unquiet thoughts. All this speculating gave it a headache, for it was work which it was not used to. It had a back-ache too, and a stomach-ache. It felt just as though it was going to break in pieces, and die on the spot.

When the sky began to grow gray in the early morning it could hold out no longer. "I can't make it out," it said in despair. "I am tormented and worried, and I don't know what will be the end of it. Perhaps the Water-Lily is right, and I shall never be anything else but a poor, miserable Larva. But that is a fearful thing to think of. I did so long to become a Dragon-Fly and fly about in the sun. Oh, my back! my back! I do believe I am dying!"

It had a feeling as if its back was splitting, and it shrieked with pain. At that moment there was a rustle among the rushes on the bank of the stream.

"That's the morning breeze," thought the Larva; "I shall at least see the sun when I die." And with great trouble it crawled up one of the leaves of the Water-Lily, stretched out its legs, and made ready to die.

But when the sun rose, like a red ball, in the east, suddenly it felt a hole in the middle of its back. It had a creepy, tickling feeling, and then a feeling of tightness and oppression. Oh, it was torture without end! Being bewildered, it closed its eyes; but it still felt as though it were being squeezed and crushed. At last it suddenly noticed that it was free; and when it opened its eyes it was floating through the air on stiff, shining wings, a beautiful Dragon-Fly. Down on the leaf of the Water-Lily lay its ugly gray Larva case.

"Hurrah!" cried the new Dragon-Fly. "So I have got my darling wish fulfilled!" and it started off at once through the air at such a rate that you would think it had to fly to the ends of the earth.

"The creature has got its desire at any rate," thought the
Water-Lily. "Let us see if it will be any the happier for it."

Two days later the Dragon-Fly came flying back, and seated itself on the flower of the Water-Lily.

"Oh, good-morning," said the Water-Lily. "Do I see you once more? I thought you had grown too fine to greet your old friends."

"Good-day," said the Dragon-Fly. "Where shall I lay my eggs?"

"Oh, you are sure to find some place," answered the flower. "Sit down for a bit, and tell me if you are any happier now than when you were crawling up and down my stalk, a little ugly Larva."

"Where shall I lay my eggs? Where shall I lay my eggs?" screamed the Dragon-Fly, and flew humming around from place to place, laid one here and one there, and finally seated itself, tired and weary, on one of the leaves.

"Well?" said the Water-Lily.

"Oh, it was better in the old days—much better," sighed the Dragon-Fly. "The sunshine is really delightful, and it is a real pleasure to fly over the water; but I have no time to enjoy it. I have been so terribly busy, I tell you. In the old days I had nothing to think about; now I have to fly about all day long to get my silly eggs disposed of. I haven't a moment free. I have scarcely time to eat."

"Didn't I tell you so?" cried the Water-Lily in triumph. "Didn't I prophesy that your happiness would be hollow?"

"Good-bye," sighed the Dragon-Fly. "I have not time to listen to your disagreeable remarks. I must lay some more eggs." But just as it was about to fly off the Starling came.

"What a pretty little Dragon-Fly!" it said; "it will be a delightful tit-bit for my little ones."

Snap! it killed the Dragon-Fly with its bill, and flew off with it.

"What a shocking thing!" cried the Water-Lily, as its leaves shook with terror. "Those animals! those animals! They are funny creatures. I do indeed value my quiet, peaceful life. I harm nobody, and nobody wants to pick a quarrel with me. I am very luck—"

It did not finish what it was saying, for at that instant a boat came gliding close by. "What a pretty little Water-Lily!" cried Ellen, who sat in the boat. "I will have it!" She leant over the gunwale and wrenched off the flower. When she had got home she put it in a glass of water, and there it stood for three days among a whole company of other flowers.

"I can't make it out," it said on the morning of the fourth day. "I have not come off a bit better than that miserable Dragon-Fly."

"The flowers are now withered," said Ellen, and she threw them out of the window.

So there lay the Water-Lily with its fine white petals on the dirty ground.


By C. A. Stephens

There is a tiny borer which eats seasoned oak wood, boring thousands of minute holes through it till it becomes a mere shell, and turning out a fine white powder known among country folk as "powder-post." When a shovel or a pitchfork-handle snaps suddenly, or an axe-helve or a rake's tail breaks off under no great strain, the farmer says, "'Twas powder-post."

If this small pest obtains lodgment in a barn, or in the oak finish or furniture of a house, it is likely to do a vexatious amount of damage, and no practicable method of checking its ravages has been found. Varnishes do not exclude it. Boiling will kill the borer, but furniture and wainscotings are not easily boiled.

From the frames of old buildings, when of oak, powder-post will sometimes run in streams when a beam or brace is struck.

But everything has its virtues, if only they can be found out; and long ago, in New England, some rustic AEsculapius discovered that powder-post was a sovereign balm for all flesh-wounds, causing them to heal rapidly, without "proud flesh." And if proud flesh appeared, the wound would still heal if it were opened and dressed with powder-post.

What modern medical science would predicate concerning this panacea, I know not, but thousands of cuts in rural districts treated with powder-post did very well, and faith in it waxed strong. So when Sam Eastman cut his foot over in the "east woods," all the wiseacres in the neighborhood declared that that foot must be done up in powder-post. "If it isn't," they said, "proud flesh will get into it, and that boy will be lame all winter."

It was a bad cut. Sam and Willis Murch had been splitting four-foot logs, when Sam's axe, glancing from a log, had buried the blade in his instep; the very bones were cut. There were four of us boys at work together. We ran to him, tied a handkerchief round his ankle, and twisted it tight with a stick; but blood flowed profusely. We did not know how to apply a tourniquet.

When at last we had helped Sam home, night was at hand; and although we went to all the neighbors, we could not collect enough powder-post to dress the cut. Several people said, however, that plenty of it could be obtained at the old Plancher barn, for the braces of that barn had been made of cleft red oak, and were "all powder-posted." But the Plancher barn was four miles distant, in the clearing in the "great woods." A settler bearing the name had cleared a farm there forty years before, and had lived there for over twenty years. Ill fortune beset him, however. His children died, his house burned on a winter night, and he moved away in discouragement, abandoning the property.

The clearing was known to all the boys of the locality as a favorite haunt of foxes.

The next morning Sam's younger brother, John, Willis Murch and I went up to the old barn to get powder-post. John had a small axe with which to split the timbers, four old newspapers in which to gather up the precious dust, and a bottle in which to put it.

It was Thanksgiving morning. The sun rose in a clear, straw-colored sky. It was cold; the ground was frozen, and there was skating on the small ponds.

Red squirrels were scolding on the borders of the wood-lots, and blue jays came squalling into the orchards.

"This is a weather-breeder," grandmother remarked at breakfast.

Low down on the southern horizon, scarcely visible above the hilltops, was a line of slate-gray cloud.

Willis and I were not sorry of an excuse for a jaunt through the woods, for Willis owned a gun—an old army rifle bored out smooth for shot. Our only anxiety was to get back in good season for dinner. Thanksgiving dinner was always at three o'clock.

We set off immediately after breakfast. There was no need for haste on Sam's account, for John told us that the cut foot was no longer very painful, and Sam had slept well. The distance was about four miles, but there was neither road nor path through the forest.

It was a good time for hunting, for the swamps were frozen and the foliage was off the trees. The leaves were sodden, and no longer rustled underfoot. Red and gray squirrels scampered across our path, but Willis disdained to fire at them. He was loaded for deer; besides he had but three extra charges. Powder and shot were usually scarce with us.

At length we heard a deer run, and followed it for an hour or more.
Then John espied a hedgehog in a poplar-tree, and Willis shot it.
The long black-pointed quills were a curiosity to us, but we did
not deem such game worth carrying home.

It was near noon when we reached the clearing, and the sky had become overcast, but as we crossed the Plancher brook a new diversion presented itself. The pools were frozen over, but the ice was so transparent that the bottom was plainly visible, and we could see trout lying sluggishly in the deep water. Several of them were fine fish, that looked as if they might weigh a pound or more.

I had heard older boys say that if a gun is fired with the muzzle held just through the ice of a frozen pool, the concussion will so stun the fish beneath that they will float up to the under side of the ice. Willis was afraid that this would burst his gun, but the trout looked so alluring that at last he ventured the experiment. John cut a small hole with the axe, and then Willis, lying down, thrust the muzzle of the gun about six inches beneath the ice.

Then he edged away, and stretching out his arm at full length, pulled the trigger. The gun recoiled, but no apparent damage was done.

For a few moments the water was turbid with the smoke, but when it cleared, there, sure enough, were five or six of the very largest trout floating, belly upward, against the ice. We had but to cut through and take them out, but John was so slow with his axe that two of the trout recovered and darted away.

We had four fine fish to show for the charge of powder, and immediately searched for another pool. We soon came to one much deeper and better stocked with trout, and Willis fired under the ice again. Eight fish were secured here; and going on up the brook, we found still another pool. This time Willis thrust the gun deeper into the water, with the result that about a foot of the muzzle was split open!

We had angry words about this accident, for Willis, much chapfallen over the mishap, blamed me, and declared that I ought to buy him a new gun. As I had but fifty cents in the world, there was no other way for me but to scoff at Willis's claim. He then seized all the trout. This did not altogether please John Eastman, and he and I turned our backs on Willis, and hit upon a stratagem for capturing trout on our own account. Knowing that it was the concussion of the shot that stunned the trout, we went up to the old barn and procured a long, sweeping board. Using this like a flail, we could strike the ice a blow that made a noise well-nigh as loud as a gun. When we gave just the right sort of blow, the trout below would turn on their backs and float up to the ice. John and I soon secured two good strings of trout; and by this time Willis, who had followed us, thought it best to make peace.

"Come on, boys!" he exclaimed. "We had better be going. It's two o'clock, and beginning to snow."

We had become so engrossed in our novel method of fishing that we had not heeded the weather. Fine snow was falling.

"But I must get the powder-post for Sam's foot!" exclaimed John.
Willis and I had forgotten that.

"Hurry, then," said Willis, "or we shall be late to Thanksgiving dinner! I'm hungry now!"

We ran to the barn. The lean-to door was off its hinges, but wooden pins held the oak braces of the frame in position. We knocked out the pins, and prying out two of the braces, split them, and then beat the pieces on the newspapers. The white powder ran from the perforated wood in tiny streams. The bottle filled slowly, however, and it needed much splitting and hammering to obtain even a teaspoonful of powder-post. Then, at the last moment, Willis spilled nearly all that he had collected, and another brace had to be taken out and split.

By this time our newspapers were torn in pieces, and altogether we had much trouble in collecting half a bottleful. When at last we corked up the bottle and hurried out of the barn, a heavy snowstorm had set in. We could not even see the forest across the clearing. But we ran as fast as we could, and for fifteen minutes scarcely slackened our pace.

The whole forest had taken on a wintry aspect. The snow rattled on the bare twigs and sodden leaves, and the rising gusts of wind sighed drearily.

"It seems to me we ought to come to that little hollow where the muck-holes are," John said.

"So I think," replied Willis, stopping to look about.

"I think we're heading off too far toward Stoss Pond," said I.

"Oh no, we're not!" cried Willis. "Come on!"

Gripping our strings of fish, we ran on again, but presently we were perplexed to discern the side of a mountain looking up directly ahead.

"There, now, what did I tell you?" said I. "That's Stoss Pond mountain."

Thereupon we tacked again, and ran on.

The storm thickened and the forest darkened, but on we went through brush and thicket till we came to the bank of a large brook.

"We didn't cross any such brook as this on our way up!" John exclaimed.

"We're away down on Stoss Pond brook," said Willis. "We've come wrong! If you both think you know more than I, keep on; I'm going in this other direction," and Willis set off to run again. John and I followed him. In the course of five minutes we came suddenly out into cleared land.

"There! What did I tell you?" cried Willis. "This is Wilbur's pasture. We're almost home now."

John and I were too much gratified to question Willis's superior wisdom and followed after him, intent only on getting home to dinner. The storm was now driving thick and fast. We could not see a hundred yards ahead, but we seemed to be on level ground, such as I had never seen in Neighbor Wilbur's pasture. Soon we came to another large brook.

"There's no brook in Wilbur's pasture!" exclaimed John, stopping short.

"I don't care!" cried Willis. "This must be Wilbur's pasture!" He crossed the brook.

"Of course it is!" he shouted back to us, "for there's Wilbur's barn—right ahead of us!"

We hastened after Willis, plodding through dry, snowy grass, and came to a barn about which the storm eddied in snowy gusts.

"But where's Wilbur's house?" asked John.

We looked round in perplexity. There was no house in sight; but here was a barn, and the door was ajar. We went in. It was empty of hay or cattle. The barn looked curiously familiar; but it was not till we perceived the torn newspapers and the pieces of split oak brace on the floor that the full truth dawned on us. It was the old Plancher barn!

We had run five miles through the woods, only to reach the place from which we had started.

John looked at me, and I looked at Willis. A sense of utter bewilderment fell on us. John and I did not even think to revile Willis. In fact, we were terrified. All hope of dinner, or of reaching home at all that night, deserted us. The storm was increasing; the late November day was at an end.

For a while we scarcely spoke. John Eastman, who was the youngest, began to cry. The old barn creaked dismally as each gust of wind racked it, and loose boards rattled and banged. No created place can be more dreary than an old and empty barn.

After our exertions we soon felt very chilly. We should not have dared build a fire in the barn, even if we had had matches. Willis groped about in the old hay bay and gathered a few handfuls of musty hay, which we spread on the barn floor, and then lay down as snugly together as we could nestle, but nothing that we could do sufficed to warm us, and we lay shivering for what seemed hours.

John and I finally fell asleep, and perhaps Willis did also, although he always denied it. At last he waked us, shaking us violently.

"You mustn't sleep!" he exclaimed. "You'll freeze to death and never wake up!"

"It's getting terribly cold," he continued; "we'd better get up and jump round."

But John and I did not wish to stir from that one small slightly warmed spot. Our toes and fingers ached. A fine dust of snow sifted down on our faces; and how that old barn did creak! A gale was raging.

"I guess it would be warmer under the barn floor," Willis said, at last. "There's almost always old dry stuff under a barn floor. If we can only lift up a plank or two, we'll get down there."

"Yes, let's do it!" quavered John. "If we get under the floor the barn won't kill us, maybe, if it blows down."

Willis crept to the ends of the floor planks, next the lean-to, and tried first one and then another. Soon he found one that could be raised and tipped it over, making an aperture large enough to descend through. It was "pokerish" moving about in the dark; but we thrust down our legs and found that there was dry chaff and hay there. Willis let himself down and felt around, and then bade us get down beside him. We snuggled together under the floor, and with our hands banked the old stuff about our shivering bodies.

It seemed safer down there, and we felt the wind less, but lay listening to the gusts—expecting with every one to hear the barn fall over us.

Probably we fell asleep after a while; for my next recollection is of coughing chaff, and then noticing that it had grown slightly light. The wind appeared to have lulled. John, who was in the middle, felt warm as a kitten. I was but half awake, and so cold that I selfishly crept over between him and Willis. That waked John; he began to crawl back over me into the warm spot, but bumped his head against a sleeper of the barn floor and landed on Willis, who waked in a bad temper.

"What you doing!" he snarled. "Getting the warm chaff all away from my back!"

John thrust out a hand and grasped what he supposed to be Willis's hair.

"Where is your old head, anyway!" he exclaimed. "Is that it? Your mouth isn't with it, is it?" Willis did not reply; he was falling asleep again.

"Say, Willis, has your mouth got strayed away from your head?" said

"Is that your head?" he exclaimed a moment after, speaking to me.

"Keep still, can't you?" I growled. "You've been in the middle all night! I want to go to sleep now."

"Well, by gummy, it isn't his head either!" cried John. "Whose head is that over there?"

"You lie down, John," said Willis.

"But there's somebody else here!" cried John, with a queer note in his voice; and with that, he scrambled back over us both. The space was all too narrow for such a maneuvre, and his knees felt hard. "Now look here," said Willis. "You quit that!"

But John was climbing through the hole to the barn floor above. "You must get out of there!" he cried. "There is something down there."

By this time Willis was fully waked up. He reached over with his hand, on the side where John had been, and then he, too, gave a spring and climbed out on the floor! That alarmed me in turn, and I followed them, bumping my head in my haste. "What is it?" I exclaimed.

"I don't know," said Willis, his voice shaking from excitement.

"He's got an awful thick head of hair," said John; "but he felt warm! Seemed to be all hair!"

"I'll bet it's a bear!" cried Willis. "Denned up, under the floor!"

With that John and I made for the door; but Willis said he did not believe it would come out, if it was asleep for the winter.

For some time we stood near the door, prepared for flight. It was growing light, and with the daylight our courage revived. First Willis, then John and I, went back to the hole in the floor and peeped down; but it was too dark to distinguish any object.

Growing bolder, Willis ventured slowly to lift another floor plank over where our hairy bed-fellow lay; and even now I seem to see John's dilated eyes, as we looked down on a great round mat of shaggy black hair!

We had now no doubt that it was, indeed, a bear. Willis lowered the plank gently into its place; and going outside, we discovered that there was a hole at the far end of the barn where the old stone work under the sill had fallen out.

The discovery excited us so that we forgot our miseries. The bear's skin and the state bounty would be worth sixteen dollars. As Willis's gun was useless, we concluded that the thing for us to do was to run home—if we could find the way—and get assistance.

We had scarcely left the barn when we saw two men come out of the woods. One of them had a gun. As they drew nearer, we perceived that the foremost was Willis's older brother, Ben Murch, and the other John's father.

"They're hunting for us! Now don't you tell them we got lost!" said Willis, with the guile so apt to develop in a boy who has older brothers who tease him.

"But we did," said John.

"If you tell them I'll lick you!" exclaimed Willis. "Make them believe we've been guarding this bear!"

John and I did not know what to think of so glaring a deception; but Willis did the talking; and when Ben called out to demand why in the world we had not come home, Willis shouted:

"We've got a big bear under the barn! He's ours, and we are afraid he'll get away!"

Neither Ben nor Mr. Eastman asked us another question, but hastened to see the bear. A plank was pulled up, and then Ben shot the beast at short range. It did not even growl.

They made a rude sled of saplings, of the kind known to hunters as a "scoot," and drew the bear home; and from the vainglorious talk of Willis one might have thought us the three most valiant lads that ever ranged the forest! John and I said little. It was rather fine to be considered heroes, who would not leave a bear even to go home to a Thanksgiving dinner; but I am glad to remember that we did not feel quite right about it; and soon afterward John and I revealed the true state of things to our folks at home.

The Murches claimed the lion's share of the spoils, but gave John and me a dollar apiece; and I recollect that I had a very bad cold for a week. Sam's cut foot healed promptly. It was dressed three times with powder-post, and showed no sign or symptoms of "proud flesh."


By Carl Ewald

The farmer opened his hive. "Off with you!" he said to the Bees. "The sun is shining, and everywhere the flowers are coming out, so that it is a joy to see them. Get to work, and gather a good lot of honey for me to sell to the shopkeeper in the autumn. 'Many a streamlet makes a river,' and you know these are bad times for farmers."

"What does that matter to us?" said the Bees. But all the same they flew out; for they had been sitting all the winter in the hive, and they longed for a breath of fresh air. They hummed and buzzed, they stretched their legs, they tried their wings. They swarmed out in all directions; they crawled up and down the hive; they flew off to the flowers and bushes, or wandered all around on the ground. There were hundreds and hundreds of them.

Last of all came the Queen. She was bigger than the others, and it was she who ruled the hive. "Stop your nonsense, little children," she said, "and set to work and do something. A good Bee does not idle, but turns to with a will and makes good use of its time."

So she divided them into parties and set them to work. "You over there, fly out and see if there is any honey in the flowers. The others can collect flower-dust, and when you come home give it in smartly to the old Bees in the hive."

Away they flew at once. But all the very young ones stayed behind. They made the last party, for they had never been out with the others. "What are we to do?" they asked.

"You! you must perspire," said the Queen. "One, two, three! Then we can begin our work." And they perspired as well as they had learned to, and the prettiest yellow wax came out of their bodies.

"Good!" said the Queen. "Now we will begin to build." The old Bees took the wax, and began to build a number of little six-sided cells, all alike and close up to one another. All the time they were building, the others came flying in with flower-dust and honey, which they laid at the Queen's feet.

"We can now knead the dough," she said. "But first put a little honey in—that makes it taste so much better." They kneaded and kneaded, and before very long they had made some pretty little loaves of Bee bread, which they carried into the cells. "Now let us go on with the building," commanded the Queen Bee, and they perspired wax and built for all they were worth.

"And now my work begins," said the Queen, and she heaved a deep sigh; for her work was the hardest work of all. She sat down in the middle of the hive and began to lay her eggs. She laid great heaps of them, and the Bees were kept very busy running with the little eggs in their mouths and carrying them into the new cells. Each egg had a little cell to itself; and when they had all been put in their places, the Queen gave orders to fix doors to all the cells and shut them fast.

"Good!" she said, when this was done. "I want you now to build me ten fine big rooms in the out-of-the-way parts of the hive."

The Bees had them ready in no time, and then the Queen laid ten pretty eggs, one in each of the big rooms, and the doors were fixed as before. Every day the Bees flew in and out, gathering great heaps of honey and flower-dust; but in the evening, when their work was done, they would open the doors just a crack and have a peep at the eggs.

"Take care," the Queen said one day. "They are coming!" And all the eggs burst at once, and in every cell lay a pretty little Bee Baby.

"What funny creatures!" said the young Bees. "They have no eyes, and where are their legs and wings?"

"They are Grubs," said the Queen. "You simpletons looked just like that yourselves once upon a time. One must be a Grub before one can become a Bee. Be quick now, and give them something to eat." The Bees bestirred themselves to feed the little ones, but they were not equally kind to them all. The ten, however, that lay in the large cells got as much to eat as ever they wanted, and every day a great quantity of honey was carried in to them.

"They are Princesses," said the Queen, "so you must treat them well. The others you can stint; they are only working people, and they must accustom themselves to be content with what they can get." And every morning the poor little wretches got a little piece of Bee bread and nothing more, and with that they had to be satisfied, though they were ever so hungry.

In one of the little six-sided cells close by the Princesses' chambers lay a little tiny Grub. She was the youngest of them all, and only just come out of the egg. She could not see, but she could plainly hear the grown-up Bees talking outside, and for a while she lay quite still and kept her thoughts to herself. All at once she said out loud, "I could eat a little more," and she knocked at her door.

"You have had enough for to-day," answered the old Bee who was appointed to be head Bee Nurse, creeping up and down in the passage outside.

"Maybe, but I am hungry!" shouted the little Grub. "I will go into one of the Princesses' chambers; I have not room to stir here."

"Just listen to her!" said the old Bee mockingly. "One would think by the demands she makes that she was a fine little Princess. You are born to toil and drudge, my little friend. You are a mere working Bee, and you will never be anything else all your days."

"But I want to be Queen!" cried the Grub, and thumped on the door. Of course the old Bee did not answer such nonsense, but went on to the others. From every side they were calling out for more food, and the little Grub could hear it all.

"It is hard, though," she thought, "that we should have to be so hungry." And then she knocked on the Princess' wall and called to her, "Give me a little of your honey. Let me come into your chamber. I am lying here so hungry, and I am just as good as you."

"Are you? Just you wait till I am a reigning Queen," said the Princess. "You may be sure that when that time comes I shall not forget your impertinence." But she had scarcely said this before the other Princesses began to cry out in the most dreadful manner.

"You're not going to be Queen! I shall be Queen! I shall be Queen!" they shrieked all together, and they began to knock on the walls and make a frightful disturbance.

The head Bee Nurse came running up in an instant and opened the doors. "What are your graces' orders?" she asked, dropping a curtsy and scraping the ground with her feet.

"More honey!" they shouted, all in one voice. "But me first—me first. I am the one who is to be queen."

"In a moment, in a moment, your graces," she answered, and ran off as fast as her six legs could carry her. She soon came back with many other Bees. They were dragging ever so much honey, which they crammed down the cross little Princesses' throats. And then they got them to hold their tongues and lie still and rest.

But the little Grub lay awake, thinking over what had happened. She longed so much for some honey that she began to shake the door again. "Give me some honey! I can't stand it any longer. I am just as good as the others."

The old Bee tried to hush her. "Hold your tongue, little bawler!
The Queen's coming." And at the same moment the Queen Bee came.

"Go your ways," she said to the Bees; "I wish to be alone."

For a long time she stood in silence before the Princesses' chambers. "Now they are lying there asleep," she said at last. "From morning till evening they do nothing but eat and sleep, and they grow bigger and fatter every day. In a few days they will be full grown, and will creep out of their cells. Then my turn will be over. I know that too well. I have heard the Bees saying to one another that they would like to have a younger and more beautiful Queen, and they will chase me away in disgrace. But I will not submit to it. To-morrow I will kill them all; then I can remain Queen till I die."

Then she went away. But the little Grub had heard all she said.

"Dear me!" she thought; "it is really a pity about the little Princesses. They are certainly very uppish, and they have not been nice to me, but still it would be sad if the wicked Queen killed them. I think I will tell the old growler outside in the passage all about it."

She began once more knocking at the door, and the head Bee Nurse came running up, but this time she was fearfully angry. "You must mind what you are doing, my good Grub," she said. "You are the youngest of them all, and you are the worst for making a noise. Next time I shall tell the Queen."

"First listen to me," said the Grub, and she told her about the
Queen's wicked design.

"Good gracious! is that true?" cried the old Nurse, and beat her wings in horror. And without hearing a word more, she hurried off to tell the other Bees.

"I think I deserve a little honey for what I have done," said the little Grub. "But I can now lie down and sleep with a good conscience."

Next evening, when the Queen thought that all the Bees were in bed, she came to kill the Princesses. The Grub could hear her talking aloud to herself. But she was quite afraid of the wicked Queen, and dared not stir. "I hope she won't kill the Princesses," she thought, and squeezed herself nearer to the door to hear what happened.

The Queen looked cautiously round on all sides, and then opened the first of the doors. But at the same moment the Bees swarmed out from all directions, seized her by the legs and wings, and dragged her out. "What is the matter?" she cried. "Are you raising a rebellion?"

"No, your majesty," answered the Bees, with great reverence; "but we know that you are intending to kill the Princesses, and that you shall not be allowed to do. What would become of us in the autumn after your majesty's death?"

"Let me go!" cried the Queen, and tried to get away. "I am Queen now anyway, and have the power to do what I like. How do you know that I shall die in the autumn?" But the Bees held her fast, and dragged her outside the hive. There they set her free, but she shook her wings in a passion and said to them,—

"You are disloyal subjects, who are not worth ruling over. I won't stay here an hour longer, but I will go out into the world and build a new nest. Are there any of you who will come with me?"

Some of the old Bees, who had been Grubs at the same time as the Queen, declared that they would follow her. And soon after they flew away.

"Now we have no Queen," said the others, "we must take good care of the Princesses." And so they crammed them with honey from morning till night; and they grew, and grabbed, and squabbled, and made more noise each day than the day before.

As for the little Grub, no one gave a single thought to her.

One morning the doors of the Princesses' chambers flew open, and all ten of them stepped out, beautiful full-grown Queen Bees. The other Bees ran up and gazed at them in admiration. "How pretty they are!" they said. "It is hard to say which is the most beautiful."

"I am!" one cried.

"You make a mistake," said another, and stabbed her with her sting.

"You are rather conceited," shrieked a third. "I imagine that I am rather prettier than you are." And immediately they all began calling out at once, and soon after began to fight with one another as hard as ever they could.

The Bees would have liked to separate them, but the old head Bee
Nurse said to them,—"Let them go on fighting; then we shall see
which of them is the strongest, and we will choose her to be our
Queen. We can't do with more than one."

At this the Bees formed round in a ring and looked on at the battle. It lasted a long time, and it was fiercely fought. Wings and legs which had been bitten off were flying about in the air, and after some time eight of the Princesses lay dead upon the ground. The two last were still fighting. One of them had lost all her wings, and the other had only four legs left.

"She will be a poor sort of Queen whichever of the two we get," said one of the Bees. "We should have done better to have kept the old one." But she might have spared herself the remark, for in the same moment the Princesses gave each other such a stab with their stings that they both fell dead as a door-nail.

"That is a pretty business!" called the Bees, and ran about among each other in dismay. "Now we have no Queen! What shall we do? What shall we do?"

In despair they crawled about the hive, and did not know which way to turn. But the oldest and cleverest sat in a corner and held a council. For a long time they talked this way and that as to what they should decide on doing in their unhappy circumstances. But at last the head Bee Nurse got a hearing, and said,—"I can tell you how you can get out of the difficulty, if you will but follow my advice. I remember that the same misfortune happened to us in this hive a long time ago. I was then a Grub myself. I lay in my cell, and distinctly heard what took place. All the Princesses had killed one another, and the old Queen had gone out into the world: it was just as it is now. But the Bees took one of us Grubs and laid her in one of the Princesses' cells. They fed her every day with the finest and best honey in the whole hive; and when she was full-grown, she was a charming and good Queen. I can clearly remember the whole affair, for I thought at the time that they might just as well have taken me. But we may do the same thing again. I propose that we act in the same way."

The Bees were delighted, and cried that they would willingly do so, and they ran off at once to fetch a Grub.

"Wait a moment," cried the head Bee Nurse, "and take me with you. At any rate, I will come and help you. Consider now. It must be one of the youngest Grubs, for she must have time to think over her new position. When one has been brought up to be a mere drudge, it is not easy to accustom oneself to wear a crown."

That also seemed to the Bees to be wise, and the old one went on, —"Close by the side of the Princesses' cells lies a little Grub. She is the youngest of them all. She must have learnt a good deal by hearing the Princesses' refined conversation, and I have noticed that she has some character. Besides, it was she who was honourable enough to tell me about the wicked intentions of the old Queen. Let us take her."

At once they went in a solemn procession to the six-sided cell where the little Grub lay. The head Bee Nurse politely knocked at the door, opened it cautiously, and told the Grub what the Bees had decided. At first she could hardly believe her own ears; but when they had carried her carefully into one of the large, delightful chambers, and brought her as much honey as she could eat, she perceived that it was all in earnest.

"So I am to be Queen after all," she said to the head Bee Nurse.
"You would not believe it, you old growler!"

"I hope that your majesty will forget the rude remarks that I made at the time you lay in the six-sided cell," said the old Bee, with a respectful bow.

"I forgive you," said the new-baked Princess. "Fetch me some more honey."

A little time after the Grub was full grown, and stepped out of her cell as big and as beautiful as the Bees could wish. And besides, she knew how to commando "Away with you!" she said. "We must have more honey for our use in the winter, and you others must perspire more wax. I am thinking of building a new wing to the hive. The new Princesses shall live there next year; it is very unsuitable for them to be so near common Grubs."

"Heyday!" said the Bees to one another. "One would think she had been a Queen ever since she lay in the egg."

"No," said the head Bee Nurse; "that is not so. But she has had queenly thoughts, and that is the great thing."


By Albert W. Tolman

"How many bridges have I driven rivets on?" repeated the watchman, reflectively. "Let me see—just forty-seven—no, forty-eight! I forgot the Mogung cantilever. Never in Burma were you? Well, it's the only time I ever went abroad. It was something of a compliment for a young fellow of twenty-two to be sent on his company's first job abroad. I should have liked the trip first rate if Harry Lancy hadn't been going as foreman.

"Harry had risen from the ranks, and at twenty-five was considered one of the company's best men. I'd never worked under him; but I judged he'd be uppish and arbitrary, and knew I shouldn't like him. You notice such things when you've just come of age. As you get older, you begin to think less of your own feelings, and more of doing your work right.

"We landed at Rangoon about May 1st, went by rail to Mandalay, and from there travelled slowly up-country by construction-train to the Mogung Gorge. During the whole journey I didn't speak a hundred words to Lancy. Still, I don't think he suspected I had any grudge against him. If he did, he never let on, but treated me just like the others.

"The gorge was an awful hole, two hundred and fifty feet wide and two hundred deep, with the river dashing white over the ledges at its bottom. It was to be spanned by a cantilever bridge with an intermediate truss.

"We found our work all cut out for us. Every beam and girder was on the ground, numbered and ready. There were plenty of coolies for the ordinary labor. So we got busy at once. A temporary wire suspension-bridge was thrown across above the site of the cantilever, and work begun from both sides at the same time.

"From the outset I had determined to give Lancy no chance for fault-finding, but to have as little to do with him as I possibly could.

"Little by little our beam-trusses pushed out from each bank, and the gap between them grew narrower.

"One thing that interested me especially at first was the wild bees. For miles back into the hills their nests lined the walls of the gorge. Millions of them made it their thoroughfare to and from the flower-covered plains below us. Particularly at morning and night their hum, echoing through the ravine and mingling with the murmur of the river, sounded like the drone of distant machinery.

"These bees were black and small; but they made up in fierceness for what they lacked in size. Their stings were far more painful and poisonous than those of our bees here. Some of us, myself included, learned this by experience; and we didn't need more than one lesson.

"By the middle of June the ends of the opposite beams were about fifty feet apart.

"One hot morning, between ten and eleven, I was reaming out a rivet-hole in the tip of the last beam. I was feeling out of sorts that forenoon. Lancy had given his orders to me gruff and short, though, as a matter of fact, he was probably just as gruff with everybody else. But when you're looking for trouble, you know, you don't have much trouble finding it.

"I straddled the beam, my feet almost touching under it. It was hot in the unclouded sun, and the air was full of tropical scents. Insects hummed round me. Bright-colored butterflies floated by. Now and then a flock of shrieking birds swept up the gorge. On the steel behind me a dozen men were busy.

"I had almost finished the hole, when my ears caught a humming, gradually growing louder. I looked down. Several yards below hung a black mass about as big as a nail-keg. It was a nest of wild bees swarming.

"At first I felt curious, interested. Then I noticed that the bunch was rising directly toward me, and I began to feel alarmed, as I remembered their fearful stings. If they attacked me I should be in a bad fix.

"Slowly, with a revolving motion and an intense, spiteful sszzzzz-ing, the irregular mass kept rising. Its center seemed so solid that I wondered how the wings had room to beat. Its outside frayed off into separate bees, drawn inward by a common attraction.

"It was not a yard under me now. I dared not move, for I knew what concentrated misery the swarm held for the man who angered it. As I watched it floating nearer, my skin crept and my; brain was fascinated by that monotonous buzzing. Perhaps, if I sat perfectly quiet, it would pass and leave me unharmed.

"For a moment, apparently undecided, the ball hovered under me.
Then with a quickened motion, up it came, straight for my feet.

"I grew hot and cold. My flesh quivered with the imaginary stings of thousands of poisoned needles, as the fearful mass melted apart and settled in thick clusters on my shoes and legs!

"As I watched the crawling thousands come to rest, I simply choked with terror. What could I do? If I made the slightest motion to get up, they would swarm over me like lightning, and sting me to death.

"Twenty feet behind me one of my mates began to hammer, shaking the beam with his blows. I was afraid the jar might anger the bees into an attack.

"'Stop that pounding, Jim!' I begged huskily, as he ceased for a moment. The hammering stopped.

"Then exclamations of alarm and sympathy fell upon my ears, and presently all work on the steel was suspended. I could hear feet shuffling quietly back to the bank. Soon I was left alone on the truss, threatened with a death ten times more horrible than any tiger or snake could inflict.

"Not daring to move a muscle, not even to turn my head, I sat, as it seemed to me, for hours, perfectly rigid, staring straight forward at the red-painted end of the opposite beam, wavering in the heat fifty feet away. My brain was clear as glass, my senses keen. Low, excited voices babbled behind me. I could smell onions boiling in the cook's quarters, and hear his pans and dishes rattling.

"Every little while I turned my eyes downward, hoping to see the bees getting ready to leave. But my shoes and trousers were still buried inches deep under the sluggishly clinging black bodies.

"The brassy alarm-clock in the mess tent clanged out eleven. I had been sitting there only half an hour.

"The sun struck fiercely down on my head, scantily protected by my thin cap. A filmy white feather from some passing bird dropped before my face. I followed it past the hideous furry swelling on my feet, straight down through the breezeless air, till it dwindled to a white speck above the ledges two hundred feet below. That was where I should strike if I fell; but what torments I should suffer before I struck!

"The beam was hard and hot. I could not sit quiet forever. I stirred uneasily. An angry hum rose, and I stiffened. Some of the bees were above my knees. Suppose I should crush one between my leg and the steel! Suppose they should creep up and cover my body and head!

"A banging of pans began on the bank. Somebody had borrowed the cook's tinware in the hope of starting the swarm. A wave of unrest ran over the insects; but soon they settled into quiet again.

"The heat was affecting my head. I felt fretful, irritable. Why didn't somebody do something to help me? But what? My teeth chattered, a nervous chill shook me, and the bees buzzed at my shaking.

"The voices behind me stopped. Something was about to happen. I listened. Feet came stealing cautiously along the beam. What was going on?

"'Sit perfectly still.'

"It was Lancy's voice. What was he trying to do? I felt a consuming curiosity, but dared not turn my head. His voice came again:

"'Take a full breath; then shut your mouth.'

"What in the world had my mouth got to do with it? But I obeyed.

"A penetrating sulphurous scent stole through the thick air. Then right under my bee-swollen feet swung a small black kettle, suspended by a chain round its bail, and filled with a yellowish substance, burning bluely. It was brimstone, of which we had a supply for fastening bolts in the rocks. Lancy was trying to smoke the bees off.

"Back oscillated the kettle out of my sight. But the swarm had got the benefit of its contents and didn't like them. An ominous buzzing rose. Their wings lifted, then settled back. The scent was not strong enough to start them.

"I took another full breath. To me the strangling fumes had been sweet for the relief they promised. Once more the kettle swung under me, this time remaining a little longer. The smell was strong; with difficulty I repressed a coughing that threatened to shake me.

"This time the outer layer of bees rose slightly and hovered over the others. Some flew wildly and angrily about. A few dropped, stupefied. It would evidently take but little more to start the whole swarm. Lancy moved up close behind me.

"Again he swung the kettle under the bees. They had had enough. The entire mass left my legs. The greater number dropped down and hung a few feet below, but stray skirmishers flew confusedly about.

"So far, however, not a single bee had touched either of us. It looked as if we were to escape unharmed.

"Suddenly an unexpected disaster happened. One end of the bail pulled out, allowing the kettle to tilt down sidewise. Out fell the sulphur in a blue-burning, smoky stream. A moment later the chain slipped entirely off the bail; the kettle shot downward, leaving only a vanishing scent and a swarm of infuriated bees.

"Lancy grabbed my shoulder.

"'Quick! For your life!'

"I didn't need any urging; but I was stiff and slightly dizzy from the fumes, and it took me several seconds to get to my feet on the beam. Unfortunately, too, I crushed three or four bees that Were crawling stupidly on the steel.

"Then it seemed as if the whole swarm struck me at once. The sulphur may have half-stupefied them, but they hadn't forgotten how to sting.

"I'll never forget my walk along that narrow beam to the bank. The bees were all over me in a moment. My hands and face felt as if they were being punctured with red-hot splinters. Before I'd gone ten steps my eyes were closed so tight I couldn't see.

"I'd have gone off the beam head first if it hadn't been for Lancy. He had on gloves, and mosquito-netting over his head. But they crawled up his sleeves and down his neck, and stung him bad. Yet he didn't falter. With one hand stretched back and grasping mine, he walked cool and straight for the bank, as if he'd been on solid ground, instead of two hundred feet in the air.

"Blind and almost crazy from the stings, I stumbled along behind him. Every step was agony. I was almost tempted to jump from the beam and go down to be crushed to pulp on the boulders. The only thing that saved me was Lancy's hand, cool, firm and strong.

"'Steady! Steady!' he kept saying. I heard him through the shooting, burning pains, and it saved my reason. At last it didn't seem as if I could take another step.

"'Let go!' I cried, trying to get my hand loose; but he dragged me on.

"'In a minute,' said he; and all at once I felt the earth under my feet.

"I wasn't so far gone but I gave the hand I'd been holding a grip that squeezed the fingers together. It was all the thanks I could offer just then. Lancy squeezed back. Then everybody turned to and helped fight the bees off us.

"It was weeks before I got over those stings. Lancy had suffered, too, but of course not so badly. I don't know that he ever knew why I gripped his hand so hard. I was too much ashamed to tell him of the grudge I'd held. But I do know that after that I looked on him as one of my best friends. He'd saved my life, and a friend can't do much more for you than that."


By Sir John Lubbock

The subject of ants is a wide one, for there are at least a thousand species of ants, no two of which have the same habits. In this country (England) we have rather more than thirty, most of which I have kept in confinement. Their life is comparatively long: I have had working ants which were seven years old, and a queen ant lived in one of my nests for fifteen years. The community consists, in addition to the young, of males, which do no work, of wingless workers, and one or more queen mothers, who have at first wings, which, however, after one marriage flight, they throw off, as they never leave the nest again, and in it wings would of course be useless. The workers do not, except occasionally, lay eggs, but carry on all the affairs of the community. Some of them, and especially the younger ones, remain in the nest, excavate chambers and tunnels, and tend the young, which are sorted up according to age, so that my nests often had the appearance of a school, with the children arranged in classes. In our English ants the workers in each species are all similar except in size, but among foreign species there are some in which there are two or even more classes of workers, differing greatly not only in size, but also in form. The differences are not the result of age nor of race, but are adaptations to different functions, the nature of which, however, is not yet well understood. Among the Termites, those of one class certainly seem to act as soldiers, and among the true ants also some have comparatively immense heads and powerful jaws. It is doubtful, however, whether they form a real army. Bates observed that on a foraging expedition the large-headed individuals did not walk in the regular ranks, nor on the return did they carry any of the booty, but marched along at the side, and at tolerably regular intervals, "like subaltern officers in a marching regiment."

Solomon was, so far as we yet know, quite correct in describing ants as having "neither guide, overseer, nor ruler." The so-called queens are really mothers. Nevertheless it is true, and it is curious, that the working ants and bees always turn their heads towards the queen. It seems as if the sight of her gives them pleasure. On one occasion, while moving some ants from one nest into another for exhibition at the Royal Institution, I unfortunately crushed the queen and killed her. The others, however, did not desert her, or draw her out as they do dead workers, but on the contrary carried her into the new nest, and subsequently into a larger one with which I supplied them, congregating round her for weeks just as if she had been alive. One could hardly help fancying that they were mourning her loss, or hoping anxiously for her recovery.

The communities of ants are sometimes very large, numbering even up to 500,000 individuals; and it is a lesson to us, that no one has ever yet seen a quarrel between any two ants belonging to the same community. On the other hand, it must be admitted that they are in hostility, not only with most other insects, including ants of different species, but even with those of the same species if belonging to different communities. I have over and over again introduced ants from one of my nests into another nest of the same species, and they were invariably attacked, seized by a leg or an antenna, and dragged out.

It is evident therefore that the ants of each community all recognize one another, which is very remarkable. But more than this, I several times divided a nest into two halves, and found that even after a separation of a year and nine months they recognized one another, and were perfectly friendly; while they at once attacked ants from a different nest, although of the same species.

It has been suggested that the ants of each nest have some sign or password by which they recognize one another. To test this I made some insensible. First I tried chloroform, but this was fatal to them; and as therefore they were practically dead, I did not consider the test satisfactory. I decided therefore to intoxicate them. This was less easy than I had expected. None of my ants would voluntarily degrade themselves by getting drunk. However, I got over the difficulty by putting them into whisky for a few moments. I took fifty specimens, twenty-five from one nest and twenty-five from another, made them dead drunk, marked each with a spot of paint, and put them on a table close to where the other ants from one of the nests were feeding. The table was surrounded as usual with a moat of water to prevent them from straying. The ants which were feeding soon noticed those which I had made drunk. They seemed quite astonished to find their comrades in such disgraceful condition, and as much at a loss to know what to do with their drunkards as we are. After a while, however, to cut my story short, they carried them all away: the strangers they took to edge of the moat and dropped into the water, while they bore their friends home into the nest, where by degrees they slept off the effects of the spirit. Thus it is evident that they know their friends even when incapable of giving any sign or password.

This little experiment also shows that they help comrades in distress. If a wolf or a rook be ill or injured, we are told that it is driven away or even killed by its comrades. Not so with ants. For instance, in one of my nests an unfortunate ant, in emerging from the chrysalis skin, injured her legs so much that she lay on her back quite helpless. For three months, however, she was carefully fed and tended by the other ants. In another case an ant in the same manner had injured her antennae. I watched her also carefully to see what would happen. For some days she did not leave the nest. At last one day she ventured outside, and after a while met a stranger ant of the same species, but belonging to another nest, by whom she was at once attacked. I tried to separate them, but whether by her enemy, or perhaps by my well-meant but clumsy kindness, she was evidently much hurt and lay helplessly on her side. Several others passed her without taking any notice, but soon one came up, examined her carefully with her antennae, and carried her off tenderly to the nest. No one, I think, who saw it could have denied to that ant one attribute of humanity, the quality of kindness.

The existence of such communities as those of ants or bees implies, no doubt, some power of communication, but the amount is still a matter of doubt. It is well known that if one bee or ant discovers a store of food, others soon find their way to it. This, however, does not prove much. It makes all the difference whether they are brought or sent. If they merely accompany on her return a companion who has brought a store of food, it does not imply much. To test this, therefore, I made several experiments. For instance, one cold day my ants were almost all in their nests. One only was out hunting and about six feet from home. I took a dead bluebottle fly, pinned it on to a piece of cork, and put it down just in front of her. She at once tried to carry off the fly, but to her surprise found it immovable. She tugged and tugged, first one way and then another for about twenty minutes, and then went straight off to the nest. During that time not a single ant had come out; in fact she was the only ant of that nest out at the time. She went straight in, but in a few seconds—less than half a minute—came out again with no less than twelve friends, who trooped off with her, and eventually tore up the dead fly, carrying it off in triumph.

Now the first ant took nothing home with her; she must therefore somehow have made her friends understand that she had found some food, and wanted them to come and help her to secure it. In all such cases, however, so far as my experience goes, the ants brought their friends, and some of my experiments indicated that they are unable to send them.

Certain species of ants, again, make slaves of others, as Huber first observed. If a colony of the slave-making ants is changing the nest, a matter which is left to the discretion of the slaves, the latter carry their mistresses to their new home. Again, if I uncovered one of my nests of the Fuscous ant (Formica fusca), they all began running about in search of some place of refuge. If now I covered over one small part of the nest, after a while some ant discovered it. In such a case, however, the brave little insect never remained there, she came out in search of her friends, and the first one she met she took up in her jaws, threw over her shoulder (their way of carrying friends), and took into the covered part; then both came out again, found two more friends and brought them in, the same manoeuvre being repeated until the whole community was in a place of safety. This I think says much for their public spirit, but it seems to prove that, in F. fusca at least, the powers of communication are but limited.

One kind of slave-making ant has become so completely dependent on their slaves that even if provided with food they will die of hunger, unless there is a slave to put it into their mouths, I found, however, that they would thrive very well if supplied with a slave for an hour or so once a week to clean and feed them.

But in many cases the community does not consist of ants only. They have domestic animals, and indeed it is not going too far to say that they have domesticated more animals than we have. Of these the most important are Aphides on trees and bushes; others collect root-feeding Aphides into their nests. They serve as cows to the ants, which feed on the honey-dew secreted by the Aphides. Not only, moreover, do the ants protect the Aphides themselves, but collect their eggs in autumn, and tend them carefully through the winter, ready for the next spring. Many other insects are also domesticated by ants, and some of them, from living constantly underground, have completely lost their eyes and become quite blind.

When we see a community of ants working together in perfect harmony, it is impossible not to ask ourselves how far they are mere exquisite automatons; how far they are conscious beings. When we watch an ant-hill tenanted by thousands of industrious inhabitants, excavating chambers, forming tunnels, making roads, guarding their home, gathering food, feeding the young, tending their domestic animals—each one fulfilling its duties industriously, and without confusion—it is difficult; altogether to deny to them the gift of reason; and all our recent observations tend to confirm the opinion that their mental powers differ from those of men, not so much in kind as in degree.


By Harriet Beecher Stowe

Miss Katy-did sat on the branch of a flowering azalea, in her best suit of fine green and silver, with wings of point-lace from Mother Nature's finest web.

Miss Katy was in the very highest possible spirits, because her gallant cousin, Colonel Katy-did, had looked in to make her a morning visit. It was a fine morning, too, which goes for as much among the Katy-dids as among men and women. It was, in fact, a morning that Miss Katy thought must have been made on purpose for her to enjoy herself in. There had been a patter of rain the night before, which had kept the leaves awake talking to each other till nearly morning, but by dawn the small winds had blown brisk little puffs, and whisked the heavens clear and bright with their tiny wings, as you have seen Susan clear away the cobwebs in your mamma's parlor; and so now there were only left a thousand blinking, burning water drops, hanging like convex mirrors at the end of each leaf, and Miss Katy admired herself in each one.

"Certainly I am a pretty creature," she said to herself; and when the gallant Colonel said something about being dazzled by her beauty, she only tossed her head and took it as quite a matter of course.

"The fact is, my dear Colonel," she said, "I am thinking of giving a party, and you must help me make out the lists."

"My dear, you make me the happiest of Katy-dids."

"Now," said Miss Katy-did, drawing an azalea-leaf towards her, "let us see,—whom shall we have? The Fireflies, of course; everybody wants them, they are so brilliant; a little unsteady, to be sure, but quite in the higher circles."

"Yes, we must have the Fireflies," echoed the Colonel.

"Well, then,—and the Butterflies and the Moths. Now, there's a trouble. There's such an everlasting tribe of those Moths; and if you invite dull people they're always sure all to come, every one of them. Still, if you have the Butterflies, you can't leave out the Moths."

"Old Mrs. Moth has been laid up lately with a gastric fever, and that may keep two or three of the Misses Moth at home," said the Colonel.

"What ever could give the old lady such a turn?" said Miss Katy. "I thought she never was sick."

"I suspect it's high living. I understand she and her family ate up a whole ermine cape last month, and it disagreed with them."

"For my part, I can't conceive how the Moths can live as they do", said Miss Katy with a face of disgust. "Why, I could no more eat worsted and fur, as they do—"

"That is quite evident from the fairy-like delicacy of your appearance," said the Colonel. "One can see that nothing so gross and material has ever entered into your system."

"I'm sure," said Miss Katy, "mamma says she don't know what does keep me alive; half a dew-drop and a little hit of the nicest part of a rose-leaf, I assure you, often last me for a day. But we are forgetting our list. Let's see,—the Fireflies, Butterflies, Moths. The Bees must come, I suppose."

"The Bees are a worthy family," said the Colonel.

"Worthy enough, but dreadfully hum-drum" said Miss Katy. "They never talk about anything but honey and housekeeping; still they are a class of people one cannot neglect."

"Well, then, there are the Bumble-bees."

"Oh, I doat on them! General Bumble is one of the most dashing, brilliant fellows of the day.

"I think he is shockingly corpulent," said Colonel Katy-did, not at all pleased to hear him praised, "don't you?"

"I don't know but he is a little stout," said Miss Katy; "but so distinguished and elegant in his manners,—something martial and breezy about him."

"Well, if you invite the Bumble-bees you must have the Hornets."

"Those spiteful Hornets,—I detest them!"

"Nevertheless, dear Miss Katy, one does not like to offend the

"No, one can't. There are those five Misses Hornet,—dreadful old maids! as full of spite as they can live. You may be sure they will every one come, and be looking about to make spiteful remarks. Put down the Hornets, though."

"How about the Mosquitoes?" said the Colonel.

"Those horrid Mosquitoes,—they are dreadfully common! Can't one cut them?"

"Well, dear Miss Katy," said the Colonel, "if you ask my candid opinion as a friend, I should say not. there's young Mosquito, who graduated last year, has gone into literature, and is connected with some of our leading papers, and they say he carries the sharpest pen of all the writers. It won't do to offend him."

"And so I suppose we must have his old aunts, and all six of his sisters, and all his dreadfully common relations."

"It is a pity," said the Colonel, "but one must pay one's tax to society."

Just at this moment the conference was interrupted by a visitor, Miss Keziah Cricket, who came in with her work-bag on her arm to ask a subscription for a poor family of Ants who had just had their house hoed up in clearing the garden-walks.

"How stupid of them," said Katy, "not to know better than to put their house in the garden-walk; that's just like those Ants!"

"Well, they are in great trouble; all their stores destroyed, and their father killed,—cut in two by a hoe."

"How very shocking! I don't like to hear of such disagreeable things,—it affects my nerves terribly. Well, I'm sure I haven't anything to give. Mamma said yesterday she was sure she didn't know how our bills were to be paid,—and there's my green satin with point-lace yet to come home." And Miss Katy-did shrugged her shoulders and affected to be very busy with Colonel Katy-did, in just the way that young ladies sometimes do when they wish to signify to visitors that they had better leave.

Little Miss Cricket perceived how the case stood, and so hopped briskly off, without giving herself even time to be offended. "Poor extravagant little thing!" said she to herself, "it was hardly worth while to ask her."

"Pray, shall you invite the Crickets?" said Colonel Katy-did.

"Who? I? Why, Colonel, what a question! Invite the Crickets? Of what can you be thinking?"

"And shall you not ask the Locusts, or the Grasshoppers?"

"Certainly. The Locusts, of course,—a very old and distinguished family; and the Grasshoppers are pretty well, and ought to be asked. But we must draw the line somewhere,—and the Crickets! Why it's shocking even to think of!"

"I thought they were nice, respectable people."

"O, perfectly nice and respectable,—very good people, in fact, so far as that goes. But then you must see the difficulty."

"My dear cousin, I am afraid you must explain."

"Why, their color, to be sure. Don't you see?"

"Oh!" said the Colonel. "That's it, is it? Excuse me, but I have been living in France, where these distinctions are wholly unknown, and I have not yet got myself in the train of fashionable ideas here."

"Well, then, let me teach you," said Miss Katy. "You know we go for no distinctions except those created by Nature herself, and we found our rank upon color, because that is clearly a thing that none has any hand in but our Maker. You see?"

"Yes; but who decides what color shall be the reigning color?"

"I'm surprised to hear the question! The only true color—the only proper one—is our color, to be sure. A lovely pea-green is the precise shade on which to found aristocratic distinction. But then we are liberal;—we associate with the Moths, who are gray; with the Butterflies, who are blue-and-gold colored; with the Grasshoppers, yellow and brown;—and society would become dreadfully mixed if it were not fortunately ordered that the Crickets are black as jet. The fact is, that a class to be looked down upon is necessary to all elegant society, and if the Crickets were not black, we could not keep them down, because, as everybody knows, they are often a great deal cleverer than we are. They have a vast talent for music and dancing; they are very quick at learning, and would be getting to the very top of the ladder if we once allowed them to climb. But being black is a convenience, —because, as long as we are green and they are black, we have a superiority that can never be taken from us. Don't you see now?"

"Oh, yes, I see exactly," said the Colonel.

"Now that Keziah Cricket, who just came in here, is quite a musician, and her old father plays the violin beautifully; by the way, we might engage him for our orchestra."

And so Miss Katy's ball came off, and the performers kept it up from sundown till daybreak, so that it seemed as if every leaf in the forest were alive. The Katy-dids, and the Mosquitoes, and the Locusts, and a full orchestra of Crickets made the air perfectly vibrate, insomuch that old Parson Too-whit, who was preaching a Thursday evening lecture to a very small audience, announced to his hearers that he should certainly write a discourse against dancing, for the next weekly occasion.

The good Doctor was as good as his word in the matter, and gave out some very sonorous discourses, without in the least stopping the round of gayeties kept up by these dissipated Katy-dids, which ran on, night after night, till the celebrated Jack Frost epidemic, which occurred somewhere about the first of September.

Poor Miss Katy, with her flimsy green satin and point-lace, was one of the first victims, and fell from the bough in company with a sad shower of last year's leaves. The worthy Cricket family, however, avoided Jack Frost by emigrating in time to the chimney-corner of a nice little cottage that had been built in the wood that summer.

There good old Mr. and Mrs. Cricket, with sprightly Miss Keziah and her brothers and sisters, found a warm and welcome home; and when the storm howled without, and lashed the poor naked trees, the Cricket on the warm hearth would chirp out cheery welcome to papa as he came in from the snowy path, or mamma as she sat at her work-basket.

"Cheep, cheep, cheep!" little Freddy would say. "Mamma, who is it says 'cheep'?"

"Dear Freddy, it is our own dear little cricket, who loves us and comes to sing to us when the snow is on the ground."

So when poor Miss Katy-did's satin and lace were all swept away, the warm home-talents of the Crickets made for them a welcome refuge.


By Carl Ewald

It all happened long, long ago. There were no towns then with houses and streets, and church steeples domineering over everything.

There were no schools, for there were not many boys, and those that there were learnt from their father to shoot with the bow and arrow, to hunt the stag in his covert, to kill the bear in order to make clothes out of his skin, and to rub two pieces of wood together till they caught fire. When they knew this perfectly, they had finished their education.

There were no railways either, and no cultivated fields, no ships on the sea, no books, for there was nobody who could read them.

There was scarcely anything except Trees. But Trees there were in plenty. They stood everywhere from coast to coast; they saw themselves reflected in all the rivers and lakes, and stretched their mighty boughs up towards heaven. They leaned out over the shore, dipped their boughs in the black fen water, and from the high hills looked out proudly over the land.

They all knew each other, for they belonged to a great family, and were proud of it.

"We are all Oak Trees," they said. "We own the land, and rule over it."

And they were right. There were only a few human beings there in those days, and those that there were were nothing better than wild animals. The Bear, the Wolf, and the Fox went out hunting, while the Stag grazed by the edge of the fen. The Field Mouse sat outside his hole and ate acorns, and the Beaver built his artistic houses by the river banks.

One day the Bear came trudging along and lay down at full breadth under a great Oak Tree, "Are you there again, you robber?" said the Oak, and shook a lot of withered leaves down over him.

"You should not squander your leaves, my old friend," said the Bear, licking his paws. "That is all the shade you can give against the sun."

"If you are not pleased with me, you can go," answered the Oak proudly. "I am lord in the land, and whatever way you look you find my brothers and nothing else."

"True," muttered the Bear. "That is just what is so sickening. I have been for a little tour abroad, I may tell you, and am just a little bit spoilt. It was in a land down towards the south—there I took a nap under the Beech Trees. They are tall, slim Trees, not crooked old things like you. And their tops are so dense that the sunbeams cannot creep through them. It was a real pleasure there to take a midday nap, I assure you."

"Beech Trees?" said the Oak inquisitively. "What are they?"

"You might well wish you were half as pretty as a Beech Tree," said the Bear. "But I don't want to chatter any more with you just now. I have had to trot a mile on account of a confounded hunter who struck me on one of my hind legs with an arrow. Now I should like to have a sleep, and perhaps you will be kind enough to leave me at peace, since you cannot give me shade." The Bear stretched himself out and closed his eyes; but he got no sleep that time, for the other Trees had heard his story, and they began chattering and talking and rustling their leaves in a way never known in the wood before.

"What on earth can those Trees be?" said one of them.

"It is, of course, a mere story; the Bear wishes to impose upon us," said the other.

"What kind of Trees can they be whose leaves sit so close together that the sunbeams cannot creep between them?" asked a Little Oak, who was listening to what the big ones were talking about.

But by his side stood an old gnarled Tree, who gave the Little Oak a clout on the head with one of his lowest boughs. "Hold your tongue," he said, "and don't talk till you have something to talk about. You need none of you believe a word of the Bear's nonsense. I am much taller than you, and I can see far out over the wood. But so far as ever I can see, there is nothing but Oak Trees."

The Little Oak was shamefaced, and held his tongue; and the other big Trees spoke to one another in low whispers, for they had great respect for the old one.

But the Bear got up and rubbed his eyes. "Now you have disturbed my midday nap," he growled angrily, "and I declare that I will have my revenge. When I come back I will bring some Beech nuts with me, and I vow you will all turn yellow with jealousy when you see how pretty the new Trees are."

Then he made off. But the Oaks talked the whole day long one to another about the funny Trees he had told them about. "If they come, I will kill them," said the Little Oak Tree, but directly afterwards he got one on the head from the Old Oak.

"If they come, you shall treat them politely, you young dog," said he. "But they will not come."

But in this the Old Oak was wrong, for they did come.

Towards autumn the Bear came back and lay; down under the Old Oak. "My friends down there wish me to present their compliments," he said, and he picked some funny things out of his shaggy coat. "Here you may see what I have for you."

"What is it?" asked the Oak.

"That is Beech" answered the Bear—"the Beech nuts which I promised you." Then he trampled them into the ground and prepared to go back.

"It is a pity I cannot stay and see how angry you will be," he growled, "but those confounded human beings have begun to press one so hard. The day before yesterday they killed my wife and one of my brothers, and I must see about finding a place where I can live in peace. There is scarcely a spot left where a self-respecting Bear can stay. Goodbye, you old, gnarled Oak Trees!"

When the Bear had shambled off, the Trees looked at one another anxiously.

"Let us see what comes of it," said the Old Oak.

And after this they composed themselves to rest. The winter came and tore all their leaves off them, the snow lay high over the whole land, and every Tree stood deep in his own thoughts and dreamt of the spring.

And when the spring came the grass stood green, and the birds began singing where they left off last. The flowers came up in multitudes from the earth, and everything looked fresh and gay. The Oak Trees alone stood with leafless boughs.

"It is the most dignified thing to come last!" they said to one another. "The kings of the wood do not come till the whole company is assembled."

But at last they came. All the leaves burst forth from the swollen buds, and the Trees looked at one another and complimented one another on their beauty. The Little Oak had grown ever so much. He was very proud of it, and he thought that he had now the right to join in the conversation. "Nothing has come yet of the Bear's Beech Trees," he said jeeringly, at the same time glancing anxiously up at the Old Oak, who used to give him one on the head.

The Old Oak heard what he said very plainly, and the other Trees also; but they said nothing. Not one of them had forgotten what the Bear had told them, and every morning when the sun came out they peeped down to look for the Beeches. They were really a little uneasy, but they were too proud to talk about it.

And one day the little shoots did at last burst forth from the earth. The sun shone on them, and the rain fell on them, so it was not long before they grew tall.

"Oh, how pretty they are!" said the Great Oak, and stooped his crooked boughs still more, so that they could get a good view of them. "You are welcome among us," said the Old Oak, and graciously inclined his head to them. "You shall be my foster—children, and be treated just as well as my own."

"Thanks," said the Little Beeches, and they said no more.

But the Little Oak could not bear the strange Trees. "It is dreadful the way you shoot up into the air," he said in vexation. "You are already half as tall as I am. But I beg you to take notice that I am much older, and of good family besides."

The Beeches laughed with their little, tiny green leaves, but said nothing.

"Shall I bend my branches a little aside so that the sun can shine better on you?" the Old Tree asked politely.

"Many thanks," answered the Beeches. "We can grow very nicely in the shade."

And the whole summer passed by, and another summer after that, and still more summers. The Beeches went on growing, and at last quite overtopped the Little Oak.

"Keep your leaves to yourself," cried the Oak; "you overshadow me, and that is what I can't endure. I must have plenty of sunshine. Take your leaves away or I perish."

The Beeches only laughed and went on growing. At last they closed together over the Little Oak's head, and then he died. "That was a horrid thing to do," a great Oak called out, and shook his boughs in terror.

But the Old Oak took his foster-children under his protection. "It serves him right," he said. "He is paid out for his boasting. I say it, though he is my own flesh and blood. But now you must behave yourselves, Little Beeches, or I will give you a clout on the head."

Years went by, and the Beeches went on growing, and they grew till they were tall young Trees, which reached up among the branches of the Old Oak.

"You begin to be rather pushing," the Old Tree said. "You should try to grow a little broader, and stop this shooting up into the air. Just see where your branches are soaring. Bend them properly, as you see us do. How will you be able to hold out when a regular storm comes? I assure you the Wind gives one's head a good shaking. My old boughs have creaked many a time; and what do you think will become of the flimsy finery that you stick up in the air?"

"Every one has his own manner of growth, and we have ours," answered the young Beeches. "This is the way it's done where we come from, and we are perhaps as good as you are."

"That is not a polite way of speaking to an old Tree with moss on his boughs," said the Oak. "I begin to repent that I was so kind to you. If you have a spark of honourable feeling alive in you, be good enough to move your leaves a little to one side. There have been scarcely any buds on my lowest branches this year, you overshadow me so."

"I don't quite understand how that concerns us," answered the Beeches. "Every one has quite enough to do to look after himself. If he is equal to his work, and has luck, it turns out well for him; if not, he must be prepared to go to the wall. That is the way of the world."

Then the Oak's lowest branch died, and he began to be seriously alarmed. "You are pretty things," he said, "if this is the way you reward me for my hospitality. When you were little I let you grow at my feet, and sheltered you against the storm, I let the sun shine on you as much as ever he would, and I treated you as if you were my own children. And in return for all this you stifle me."

"Stuff and nonsense!" said the Beeches. So they put forth flowers and fruit, and when the fruit was ripe the Wind shook the boughs and scattered it round far and wide.

"You are quick people like me," said the Wind. "I like you for it, and am glad to do you a good turn." And the Fox rolled on the ground at the foot of the Beech Trees and got his fur full of the prickly fruits, and ran with them far out into the country. The Bear did the same, and grinned into the bargain at the Old Oak while he lay and rested in the shadow of the Beeches. The Field Mouse was beside himself with joy over his new food, and thought that Beech nuts tasted much nicer than acorns. All round new little Beech Trees shot up, which grew just as fast as their parents, and looked as green and as happy as if they did not know what an uneasy conscience was.

But the Old Oak gazed sadly out over the wood. The light-green Beech leaves were peeping out everywhere, and the Oaks were sighing and bewailing their distress to one another. "They are taking our strength out of us," they said, and shook as much as the Beeches around would let them. "The land is ours no longer." One bough died after another, and the Storm broke them off and cast them on the ground. The Old Oak had now only a few leaves left at the very top. "The end is near," he said gravely.

By this time there were many more human beings in the land than there were before, and they made haste to hew down the Oaks while there were still some remaining.

"Oak timber is better than Beech timber," they said.

"At last we get a little appreciation," said the old Oak, "but we have to pay for it with our lives."

Then he said to the Beech Trees,—"What was I thinking of when I helped you on in your young days? What an old stupid I was! Before that, we Oak Trees were lords in the land; and now every year I see my brothers around me perishing in the fight against you. It will soon be all over with me, and not one of my acorns has sprouted under your shade. But before I die I should like to know the name you give to such conduct."

"That will not take long to say, old friend," answered the Beeches. "We call it competition, and that is not any discovery of our own. It is competition which rules the world."

"I do not know these foreign words of yours," said the Oak. "I call it mean ingratitude." And then he died.


By Mrs. Alfred Gatty

The trunk of the Oak Tree in the corner of the timber yard lay groaning under the plank, which a party of children had thrown across him to play see-saw upon.

Not that the plank was so heavy, even with two or three little ones sitting on each end, nor that the Oak was too weak to hold it up—though, of course, the pressure was pretty strong just at the centre, where the plank balanced. But it was such a use to be put to!

The other half of the Tree had been cut into beautiful even planks, some time before, but this was the root end, and his time had not yet come, and he was getting impatient.

"Here we go up, up, up!" cried the children, as the plank rose into the sky on one side. "I shall catch the tree-tops—no! the church steeple—no! the stars."

Or, "Here we go down, down, down!" cried the others. "Safe and snug on the ground—no! right through the world—no! out at the other side. Ah! steady there, stupid old stump!" This was because the plank had swerved, not the Tree.

And so the game went on; for the ups and downs came in turns, and the children shrieked with delight, and the poor Tree groaned loudly all the time.

"And I am to sit here; and bear not only their weight but their blame, and be called stupid and be told to keep steady, when it is they who are giddy and can't be depended upon; and to be contented, while they do nothing but play pranks and enjoy themselves," said he; but he said it to himself, for he did not know which to complain to—the children or the plank. As he groaned, however, he thought of the time when he was king of the little wood, where he had grown up from the acorn days of his babyhood, and it broke his heart to be so insignificant now.

[Illustration: THEY LEARNT FROM THEIR FATHER TO HUNT THE STAG IN HIS COVERT From the painting by John Hassall]

"Why have they not cut me into planks like the rest?" continued he, angrily. "I might have led the see-saw myself then, as this fellow does, who leans so heavily on my back, without a thought that I am as good or better than himself. Why have they not given me the chance of enjoying myself like these others—up in the sky at one end, down on the ground at the other, full of energy and life? The whole timber yard, but myself, has a chance. Position and honour, as well as pleasure, are for everybody except me. But I am to stick in a corner merely for others to steady themselves upon—unthought of or despised, made a tool of—Miserable me!"

Now this groaning was so dreadful, it woke the large Garden Snail in the grass hard by, whose custom it was to come out from his haunt under the timber-yard wall every morning at sunrise, and crawl round and round the Oak trunk to see the world come to life, leaving a slimy track behind him on the bark wherever he moved. It was his constitutional stroll, and he had continued it all the season, pursuing his morning reflections without interruption, and taking his nap in the grass afterwards, as regularly as the day came round.

But napping through such lamentation was impossible, and accordingly he once more began to crawl up the side of the Oak trunk, his head turning now to one side, now to the other, his horns extended to the utmost, that, if possible, he might see what was the matter.

But he could not make out, though he kept all his eyes open: so by-and-by he made the inquiry of his old friend the Tree.

"What is the matter, do you ask?" groaned the Oak more heavily than ever—"you who can change your position and act independently when you wish; you who are not left a useless log as I am, the scorn and sport of my own kith and kin? Yes, the very planks who balance themselves on my body, and mock me by their activity, have probably come from my own side, and once hung on me as branches, drinking in life from the life I gave. Oh miserable me! miserable, despised, useless!"

Now there may be plenty of animals to be found with more brilliant abilities and livelier imagination than the Snail, but for gravity of demeanour and calmness of nerve who is his equal? And if a sound judgment be not behind such outward signs, there is no faith to be put in faces!

Accordingly, Sir Helix Hortensis—so let us call him, for that is his scientific name—made no answer at first to the wailings of the Oak. Three times he crawled round it, leaving three fresh traces of his transit, before he spoke, his horns turning hither and thither as those wonderful eyes at the end strove to take in the full state of the case. And his are not the eyes, you know, which waste their energies in scatter-brained staring. He keeps them cool in their cases till there is something to be looked at, and then turns them inside out to do their work.

And thus he looked, and he looked, and he looked, while the children went on shouting, and the plank went on see-sawing, and the Tree went on groaning; and as he looked, he considered.

"Have you anything to say?" at last inquired the Oak, who had had long experience of Sir Helix's wisdom.

"I have," answered the Snail. "You don't know your own value, that's all."

"Ask the see-sawers my value!" exclaimed the prostrate Tree, bitterly. "One up at the stars, another beyond the world! What am I doing meanwhile?"

"Holding them both up, which is more than they can do for themselves," muttered the Snail, turning round to go back to the grass.

"But—but—stop a moment, dear Sir Helix; the see-sawers don't think that," argued the Tree.

"They're all light-minded together, and don't think," sneered the Snail. "Up in the sky one minute, down in the dust the next. Never you mind that. Everybody can't play at high jinks with comfort, luckily for the rest of the world. Sit fast, do your duty, and have faith. While they are going flightily up and down, your steady balance is the saving of both."


By David Starr Jordan

Once on a time, a great many years ago, so many years that if your father should give you a dollar for every year you could buy up the whole town you live in and have enough left to pay the National Debt; in those old days when the great Northwest consisted only of a few hills, ragged and barren, and full of copper and quartz; in the days when the Northern Ocean washed the crest of Mount Washington and wrote its name upon the Pictured Rocks, and the tide of the Pacific swept over Plymouth Rock and surged up against Bunker Hill; when the Gulf of Mexico rolled its warm and shallow waters as far north as Escanaba and Eau Claire; in fact, an immensely long time ago—there lived somewhere in Oconto County, Wisconsin, a little jelly-fish. It was a curious creature, about the shape of half an apple, and the size of a cat's thimble, and it floated around in the water and ate little things and opened and shut its umbrella, pretty much as jelly-fishes do in the ocean now.

It had a great many little feelers that hung down all around like so many mites of snakes, and so it was named Medusa, after that lady in the old times who wore snakes instead of hair, and who felt so badly because she couldn't do them up. Well, our little Medusa floated around and opened and shut her umbrella for a long time—a month, or a year, perhaps—we don't know how long. Then, one morning, down among the sea-weeds, she laid a whole lot of tiny eggs, transparent as crab-apple jelly and much smaller than a dew-drop on the end of a pine-leaf. Now she leaves the scene, and our story henceforth concerns only one of these eggs.

Well, one day, the sun shone down into the water—the same sun that shines through your window now—and a little fellow whom we will call Favosites, because that was his name, woke up inside of the egg and came out into the great world. He was only a wee bit of floating jelly, shaped like a cartridge pointed at both ends. He had at his sides an immense number of little paddles that went flapping, flapping all the time, keeping him constantly in motion, whether the little fellow wanted to go or not. So he kept scudding along in the water, dodging from right to left, to avoid the ungainly creatures that wanted to eat him. There were crabs and clams, of a fashion that neither you nor I will ever see alive. There were huge animals with great eyes, savage jaws and long feelers, that sat in the end of a long, round shell and glowered at him, and smaller ones of the same kind that looked like lobsters in a dinner-horn.

But none of these got the little fellow, else I should not have any story to tell.

At last, having paddled about long enough, he thought of settling in life. So he looked around until he found a flat bit of shell that just suited him, when he sat down upon it, and grew fast, like old Holger Danske, in the Danish myth. Only, unlike Holger, he didn't go to sleep, but proceeded to make himself at home. So he made an opening in his upper side, and rigged for himself a mouth and a stomach, and put a whole row of feelers out, and began catching little worms and floating eggs and bits of jelly and bits of lime,—everything he could get,—and cramming them into his little stomach.

He had a great many curious ways, but the funniest of all was what he did with the bits of lime. He kept taking them in and tried to wall himself up inside with them, as a person would stone a well or as though a man should swallow pebbles and stow them away in his feet and all around under the skin, till he had filled himself full.

But little Favosites became lonesome all alone on the bottom of that old ocean, among so many outlandish neighbors; and so, one night, when he was fast asleep, and dreaming as only a coral animal can dream, there sprouted out of his side, where his sixth rib would have been if he had had so many, another little Favosites, who very soon began to eat worms and wall himself up as if for dear life. Then, from these two another and another little bud came out, and another and another little Favosites was formed, and they all kept growing up higher and higher, and cramming themselves fuller and fuller of limestone, till at last there were so many of them, and they were so crowded together, that there wasn't room for them to grow round; so they had to grow six-sided, like the cells in a honeycomb.

Once in a while, some one in the company would get mad because the others got all of the lime, or would feel uneasy at sitting still so long and swallowing stones, and would secede from the little union, without as much as saying "Good-bye," and would sail around like the old Medusa, and would lay more eggs, which would hatch out into more Favosites.

Well, the old ones died or swam away or were walled up, and new ones filled their places, and the colony thrived for a long time, and had accumulated quite a stock of lime. But, one day, there came a freshet in the Menomonee River, and piles of dirt and sand and ground-up iron ore were brought down, and all the little Favosites' mouths were filled with it. They didn't like the taste of iron, so they all died; but we know that their house was not spoiled, for we have it here. So the rock-house they were making was tumbled about in the dirt, and the rolling pebbles knocked the corners off, and the mud worked its way into the cracks and destroyed its beautiful whiteness.

There it lay for ages, till the earth gave a great, long heave, that raised the rest of Wisconsin out of the ocean, and the mud around our Favosites' house packed and dried into hard rock and closed it in; and so it became part of the dry land. There it lay, imbedded in the rock for centuries and centuries.

Then, the time of the first fishes came, and the other animals looked on them in awe and wonder as the Indians eyed Columbus. They were like the gar-pike in our Western rivers, only much larger,—as big as a stove-pipe,—and with a crust as hard as a turtle's shell. Then there came sharks, of strange forms, savage and ferocious, with teeth like bowie-knives. But the time of the old fishes came and went, and many more times came and went, but still Favosites lay in the ground.

Then came the long, hot, wet summer, when the mists hung over the earth so thick that you might almost have cut them into chunks with a knife, like a loaf of gingerbread; and great ferns and rushes, big as an oak and tall as a steeple, grew over the land. Huge reptiles with jaws like a front door, and teeth like cross-cut saws, and little reptiles with wings like bats, crawled and swam and flew.

But the ferns died, and the reptiles died, and the rush-trees fell into the swamps, and the Mississippi, now become quite a river, covered them up, and they were packed away under great layers of clay and sand, till at last they were turned into coal, and wept bitter tears of petroleum. But all the while Favosites lay in the rock at Oconto.

Then the mists cleared up and the sun shone and the grass began to grow, and strange animals began to come and feed upon it. They were funny little zebra horses, no bigger than a Newfoundland dog, and great hairy elephants, and hogs with noses so long they could sit on their hind legs and root, and lots of still stranger creatures that no man ever saw alive. But still Favosites lay in the ground.

So the long, long summer passed by, and the autumn, and the Indian summer; and at last the great winter came, and it snowed and snowed, and it was so cold that the snow wasn't off by the Fourth of July; and then it snowed and snowed till the snow never went off at all; and then it got so cold that it snowed all the time, till the snow covered all the animals, and then the trees, and then the mountains. Then it would thaw a little, and streams of water would run over the snow; then it would freeze again, and pack it into solid ice. Still it went on, snowing and thawing and freezing till the ice was a mile deep over Wisconsin, and the whole United States was one great skating rink.

So it kept on for about a million years, until once when the spring came and the south winds blew, it began to thaw up. Then the ice came sliding down from the mountains and hills, tearing up rocks little and big, from the size of a chip to the size of a meeting house, crushing forests as you would crush an egg-shell, and wiping out rivers as you would wipe out a chalk-mark. So it came pushing, thundering, grinding along slowly enough, but with tremendous force, this mile-deep glacier, like an immense plow drawn by a million oxen.

So the ice plowed across Oconto County, and little Favosites was rooted out from the quiet place where he had lain so long; but, by good fortune, he happened to slip into a crevice in the ice, where he wasn't much crowded, else he would have been ground to powder, as most of his relatives were, and I shouldn't have had this story to tell.

Well, the ice slid along, melting all the while, and making great torrents of water which, as they swept onward, covered land with clay and pebbles, till at last it came to a great swamp, overgrown with tamarac and cedar. Here it stopped and melted, and all the rocks and stones and dirt it had carried with it, little Favosites and all, were dumped into one great heap.

Ages after, a farmer in Grand Chote, Michigan, plowing up his clover field, to sow for winter wheat, picked up a curious bit of "petrified honeycomb," and gave it to the schoolboys to take to their teacher, to hear what he would say about it. And now you have read what he said.


By Charles C. Abbott

Not long since I wandered along a pretty brook that rippled through a narrow valley. I was on the lookout for whatever birds might be wandering that way, but saw nothing of special interest. So, to while away the time, I commenced geologizing; and, as I plodded along my lonely way, I saw everywhere traces of an older time, when the sparkling rivulet that now only harbors pretty salamanders was a deep creek, tenanted by many of our larger fishes.

How fast the earth from the valley's slopes may have been loosened by frost and washed by freshets, and carried down to fill up the old bed of the stream, we will not stop to enquire; for older traces of this older time were also met with here. As I turned over the loose earth by the brook-side, and gathered here and there a pretty pebble, I chanced upon a little arrow-point.

Whoever has made a collection, be it of postage stamps or birds' eggs, knows full well how securing one coveted specimen but increases eagerness for others; and so it was with me that pleasant afternoon. Just one pretty arrow-point cured me of my laziness, banished every trace of fatigue, and filled me with the interest of eager search; and I dug and sifted and washed the sandy soil for yards along the brook-side, until I had gathered at least a score of curious relics of the long-departed red men, or rather of the games and sports and pastimes of the red men's hardy and active children.

For centuries before Columbus discovered San Salvador, the red men (or Indians as they are usually called) roamed over all the great continent of North America, and, having no knowledge of iron as a metal, they were forced to make of stone or bone all their weapons, hunting and household implements. From this fact they are called, when referring to those early times, a stone-age people, and so, of course, the boys and girls of that period were stone-age children.

But it is not to be supposed that because the children of savages they were altogether unlike the youngsters of to-day. In one respect, at least, they were quite the same—they were very fond of play.

Their play, however, was not like the games of to-day. We might, perhaps, call the principal game of the boys "Playing Man," for the little stone implements that were their toys were only miniatures of the great stone axes and long spear-points of their fathers.

In one particular these old-time children were really in advance of the youngsters of to-day; they not only did, in play, what their parents did in earnest, but they realized, in part, the results of their playful labor. A good old Moravian missionary who labored hard to convert these Indians to Christianity, says: "Little boys are frequently seen wading in shallow brooks, shooting small fishes with their bows and arrows." Going-a-fishing, then, as now, was good fun; but to shoot fishes with a bow and arrow is not an easy thing to do, and this is one way these stone-age children played, and played to better advantage than most of my young-readers can. Among the stone-age children's toys that I gathered that afternoon was a very pretty stone hatchet, very carefully shaped, and still quite sharp. It has been worked out from a porphyry pebble, and in every way, except size, is the same as hundreds that are still to be found lying about the fields.

No red man would ever deign to use such an insignificant looking axe, and so we must suppose it to have been a toy hatchet for some little fellow that chopped away at saplings, or, perhaps knocked over some poor squirrel or rabbit; for our good old Moravian friend, the missionary, also tells us that "the boys learn to climb trees when very young, both to catch birds and to exercise their sight, which by this method is rendered so quick that in hunting they see objects at an amazing distance." Their play, then, became an excellent schooling for them; and if they did nothing but play it was not a loss of time.

Several little arrow-points I also found in the valley. The axe was not far away, and both it and they may have belonged to the same bold and active young hunter. All of these arrow-points are very neatly made.

The same missionary tells us that these young red men of the forest "exercise themselves very early with bows and arrows, and in shooting at a mark. As they grow up they acquire a remarkable dexterity in shooting birds, squirrels, and small game."

Every boy remembers his first pen-knife, and, whether it had one or three blades, was proud enough of it; but how different the fortune of the stone-age children, in this matter of a pocket-knife, which was doubtless a piece of flint chipped into a shape that might be used as a knife.

I have found scores of such knives in the fields that extend along the little valley, and a few came to light in my search that afternoon in the brook-side sands and gravel. So, if this chipped flint is a knife, then, as in modern times, the children were whittlers.

Of course, our boys nowadays would be puzzled to cut a willow whistle or mend the baby's go-cart with such a knife as this; but still, it will not do to despise stone cutlery. There is a big canoe in one of the Government buildings that is sixty feet long. That boat was made in quite recent times, and only stone knives and hatchets were used in the process.

I found, too, in that afternoon walk, some curiously shaped splinters of jasper, which at first did not seem very well adapted to any purpose; and yet, although mere fragments, they had every appearance of having been purposely shaped, and not of accidental resemblances to a hook or sickle blade. When I got home I read that perfect specimens, mine being certain pieces of the same form, had been found off in Norway; and Professor Nilsson, who has carefully studied the whole subject, says they are fish-hooks made of flint, the largest being bone. Hooks of exactly the same pattern as these really have been found within half a mile of the little valley I worked in that afternoon.

The fish-hooks found in Norway have been thought to be best adapted for, and really used in, capturing cod-fish in salt water and perch and pike in inland lakes. The broken hooks I found were fully as large; and so the little brook that now ripples down the valley, when a large stream, must have had a good many big fishes in it, or the stone-age fishermen would not have brought their fishing-hooks, and have lost them, along this remnant of a larger stream.

But it must not be supposed that only children in this by-gone era did the fishing for their tribe. Just as the men captured the larger game, so they took the bigger fishes; but it is scarcely probable that the boys who waded the little brooks with bows and arrows would remain content with that, and, long before they were men, doubtless they were adepts in catching the more valuable fishes that abounded, in Indian times, in all our rivers.

So, fishing, I think, was another way in which the stone-age children played.


By Carl Ewald

The sun had just gone down.

The frog was croaking his "good-night," which lasted so long that there seemed no end to it. The bee was creeping into its hive, and little children were crying because they had to go to bed. The flower was closing up its petals and bowing its head; the bird was tucking its bill under its wing; and the stag was laying himself down to rest in the tall, soft grass in the glade of the wood.

From the village church the bells were ringing for sunset, and when that was over the old clerk went home. On his way he had a little chat or two with the people who were out for an evening stroll, or were standing before their gate and smoking a pipe till they bade him good-night and shut the door.

Then it grew quite quiet, and the darkness fell. There was a light in the parson's house, and there was one also in the doctor's. But the farmers' houses were dark, because in summer-time the farmers get up so early that they must go early to bed.

And then the stars began to twinkle, and the moon crept higher and higher up the sky. Down in the village a dog was barking. But it must have been barking in a dream, for there was nothing to bark at.

"Is there anybody there?" asked the Mist.

But nobody answered, for nobody was there. So the Mist issued forth in her bright, airy robes. She went dancing over the meadows, up and down, to and fro. Then she lay quite still for a moment, and then she took to dancing again. Out over the lake she skipped and deep into the wood, where she threw her long, damp arms round the trunks of the trees.

"Who are you, my friend?" asked the Night-Violet [Footnote: An inconspicuous flower which in Denmark is very fragrant in the evening, the "night-smelling rocket" (Hesperis triatto).], who stood there giving forth fragrance just to please herself.

The Mist did not answer, but went on dancing.

"I asked you who you were," said the Night-Violet. "And as you don't answer me, I conclude that you are a rude person."

"I will now conclude you" said the Mist. And then she spread herself round the Night-Violet, so that her petals were dashed with wet.

"Oh, oh!" cried the Night-Violet. "Keep your fingers to yourself, my friend. I have a feeling as if I had been dipped in the pond. You have no reason for getting so angry just because I asked you who you are."

The Mist let go of her again. "Who am I?" she said. "You could not understand even if I told you."

"Try," said the Night-Violet.

"I am the dewdrop on the flower, the cloud in the sky, and the mist on the meadow," said the Mist.

"I beg your pardon," said the Night-Violet. "Would you mind saying that again? The dewdrop I know. It settles every morning on my leaves, and I don't think it is at all like you."

"No; but it is I all the same," said the Mist mournfully. "But no one knows me. I must live my life under many shapes. One time I am dew, and another time I am rain; and yet another time I babble as a clear, cool streamlet through the wood. But when I dance on the meadows in the evening, men say that it is the marsh-lady brewing."

"It is a strange story," said the Night-Violet. "Do you mind telling it to me? The night is long, and I sometimes get a little bored by it."

"It is a sad story," answered the Mist. "But you may have it and welcome." But when she was about to lie down the Night-Violet shook with terror in all her petals.

"Be so kind as to keep at a little distance," she said, "at least till you have properly introduced yourself. I have never cared to be on familiar terms with people I don't know."

So the Mist lay down a little way off and began her story:—"I was born deep down in the earth—far deeper than your roots go. There I and my sisters—for we are a large family, you must understand—came into the world as waves of a hidden spring, pure and clear as crystal; and for a long time we had to stay in our hiding-place. But one day we suddenly leapt from a hillside into the full light of the sun. You can well imagine how delightful it was to come tumbling down through the wood. We hopped over stones and rippled against the bank. Pretty little fishes gambolled amongst us, and the trees bent over so that their beautiful green was reflected in our waters. If a leaf fell, we cradled it and fondled it and carried it out with us into the wide world. Ah, that was delightful! It was indeed the happiest time of my life."

"But when are you going to tell me how you came to turn into mist?" asked the Night-Violet impatiently. "I know all about the underground spring. When the air is quite still, I can hear it murmur from where I stand."

The Mist lifted herself a little and took a turn round the meadow. Then she came back, and went on with her story:—"It is the worst of this world that one is never contented with what one has. So it was with us. We kept running on and on, till at last we ran into a great lake, where water-lilies rocked on the water and dragon-flies hummed on their great stiff wings. Up on the surface the lake was clear as a mirror. But whether we wished it or not, we had to run right down by the bottom, where it was dark and gruesome. And this I could not endure. I longed for the sunbeams. I knew them so well from the time I used to run in the brook. There they used to peep down through the leaves and pass over me in fleeting gleams. I longed so much to see them again that I stole up to the surface, and lay down in the sunshine all amongst the white water-lilies and their great green leaves. But, ugh! how the sun burnt me there on the lake I It was scarcely bearable. Bitterly did I regret that I had not stopped down below."

"I can't say this part of your story is very amusing," said the
Night-Violet. "Isn't the Mist soon coming?"

"Here it is!" said the Mist, and dropped down once more on the flower, so that it nearly had the breath squeezed out of it.

"Ough! ough!" shrieked the Night-Violet. "Upon my word, you are the most ill-natured person I have ever known. Move off, and go on with your story, since it must be so."

"In the evening, when the sun had set, I suddenly became wonderfully light," said the Mist. "I don't know how it came about, but I thought I could rise up from the lake and fly; and before I knew anything about it, I was drifting over the water, far away from the dragon-flies and the water-lilies. The evening breeze bore me away. I flew high up into the air, and there I met many of my sisters, who had been just as eager for novelty as myself, and had had the same fate. We drifted across the sky, for, you see, we had become clouds."

"I am not sure I do see," said the Night-Violet. "The thing sounds incredible."

"But it is true all the same," answered the Mist "And let me tell you what happened then. The wind carried us for a long way through the air. But all at once it would not do so any more, and let us drop. Down we fell on to the earth as a splashing shower of rain. The flowers all shut up in a hurry, and the birds crept under cover—except, of course, the ducks and the geese, for, you know, the wetter it is the more they like it. Yes—and the farmer too! He wanted rain so much for his crops, he stood there hugely delighted, and did not in the least mind getting wet. But otherwise we really did make quite a sensation."

"Oh! so you are the rain as well?" said the Night-Violet. "I must say you have plenty to do."

"Yes, I'm never idle," said the Mist.

"All the same, I have not yet heard how you became mist," said the Night-Violet. "Only, please don't get into a passion again. You know you promised to tell me without my asking you, and I would sooner hear the whole story over again than shiver once more in your horrid, clammy arms."

The Mist lay silent and sobbed for a few moments. Then she went on with her story:—"After I had fallen on the earth as rain, I sank down into the black soil, and was already congratulating myself on soon getting back to my birthplace, the deep underground spring. There, at any rate, one enjoyed peace and had no cares. But, as I was sinking into the ground, the tree roots sucked me up, and I had to wander about for a whole day in the boughs and leaves. They treated me as a beast of burden, I assure you. All the food that the leaves and flowers needed I had to carry up to them from the roots. It was not till the evening that I managed to get away. When the sun had gone down the flowers and trees all heaved a deep sigh, and I and my sisters flew off in that sigh in the form of bright airy Mists. To-night we dance on the meadow. But when the sun rises in the morning we shall turn into those pretty transparent dewdrops which hang from your petals. When you shake us off we shall sink deeper and deeper till we reach the spring we came from—that is, if some root or other does not snap us up on the way. And so the journey goes on. Down the brook, out into the lake, up into the air, down again to the earth—"

"Stop!" said the Night-Violet. "If I listen to you any more, I shall become quite sea-sick."

Now the frog began to stir. He stretched his legs, and went down to the ditch to take his morning bath. The birds began to twitter in the wood, and the bellow of the stag echoed amongst the trees. It was on the point of dawn, and here came the Sun peeping up over the hill.

"Hullo, what is that?" he said. "What a strange sight! One can't see one's hand before one's face. Wind of the morning! up with you, you sluggard, and drive the foul Mists away."

The Morning Wind came over the meadow, and away went the Mists. And at the very same moment the first rays of the Sun fell right on the Night-Violet.

"Heyday!" said the flower. "We have got the Sun already, so I had better make haste and shut up. Where in the world has the Mist gone to?"

"I am still here," said the Dewdrop that hung on its stalk.

But the Night-Violet shook herself peevishly. "You may stuff children with that nonsense," she said. "As for me, I don't believe a word of your whole story. It is as weak as water."

Then the Sun laughed and said, "You are quite right there!"


By Carl Ewald

"Peeweet! peeweet!" cried the Plover, as he flew over the bog in the wood. "My Lady Spring is coming! I can tell it from the feeling in my legs and wings."

When the new Grass that lay below in the earth heard that, it pushed up at once and peeped out merrily from among the old yellow Grass of last year. For the Grass is always in a great hurry.

The Anemones in among the trees also heard the Plover's cry; but they, on the contrary, would not come up yet on any account. "You must not believe the Plover," they whispered to one another. "He is a gay young spark who is not to be depended upon. He always comes too early, and begins crying out at once. No, we will wait quietly till the Starlings and Swallows come. They are sensible, steady-going people who know what's what, and don't go sailing with half a wind."

And then the Starlings came. They perched on the stumps in front of their summer villa, and looked about them. "Too early as usual," said Daddy Starling. "Not a green leaf and not a fly to be seen, except an old tough one from last year, which isn't worth opening one's bill for." Mother Starling said nothing, but she did not seem any more enchanted with the prospect.

"If we had only stayed in our cosy winter home down there beyond the mountains," said Daddy Starling. He was angry at his wife's not answering him, because he was so cold that he thought it might do him good to have a little fun. "But it is your fault, as it was last year. You are always in such a dreadful hurry to come out to the country."

"If I am in a hurry, I know the reason for it," said Mother Starling. "And you ought to be ashamed of yourself if you didn't know it also, since they are your eggs just as much as mine."

"What do you mean?" said Daddy Starling, much insulted. "When have I neglected my family? Perhaps you even want me to sit in the cold and sing to you?"

"Yes, I do," said Mother Starling in the tone he couldn't resist.

He began to pipe at once as well as he knew how. But Mother Starling had no sooner heard the first notes than she gave him a flap with her wings and snapped at him with her beak. "Oh, please stop it!" she cried bitterly. "It sounds so sad that it makes one quite heartsick. Instead of piping like that, get the Anemones to come up. I think it must be time for them. And besides, one always feels warmer when there are others freezing besides oneself."

Now as soon as the Anemones had heard the first piling of the Starling, they cautiously stuck out their heads from the earth. But they were so tightly wrapped up in green kerchiefs that one could not get a glimpse of them. They looked like green shoots which might turn into anything. "It is too early," they whispered. "It is a shame of the Starling to entice us out. One can't rely on anything in the world nowadays."

Then the Swallow came. "Chee! chee!" he twittered, and shot through the air on his long, tapering wings. "Out with you, you stupid flowers! Don't you see that my Lady Spring has come?"

But the Anemones had grown cautious. They only drew their green kerchiefs a little apart and peeped out. "One Swallow does not make a summer," they said. "Where is your wife? You have only come here to see if it is possible to stay here, and you want to take us in. But we are not so stupid. We know very well that if we once catch a bad cold we are done for, for this year at any rate."

"You are cowards," said the Swallow, perching himself on the forest-ranger's weathercock, and peering out over the landscape.

But the Anemones waited still and shivered. A few of them who could not control their impatience threw off their kerchiefs in the sun. The cold at night nipped and killed them; and the story of their pitiful death was passed on from flower to flower, and caused a great consternation.

And then—one delightfully mild, still night—my Lady Spring came.

No one knows how she looks, because no one has ever seen her. But all long for her, and thank her and bless her. She goes through the wood and touches the flowers and trees, and at once they burst out. She goes through the cattle-stalls and unties the beasts, and lets them out on to the field. She goes straight into the hearts of men and fills them with gladness. She makes it hard for the best boy to sit still on his form at school, and she is the cause of a terrible number of mistakes in the copy-books. But she does not do all this at once. Night after night she plies her task, and she comes first to him who longs for her most.

So it happened that on the very night of her coming she went straight to the Anemones, who stood in their green kerchiefs and didn't know how to hold out any longer. And one, two, three! there they stood in their newly-ironed white collars, and looked so fresh and so pretty that the Starlings sang their prettiest songs out of sheer joy in them.

"Ah, how sweet it is here!" said the Anemones. "How warm the sun is, and how the birds sing! It is a thousand times better than last year." But they said the same thing every year, so one needn't take any account of it.

There were many others who were quite beside themselves when they saw the Anemones had come out. One was a schoolboy who wanted to have his summer holidays at once; and another was the Beech Tree, who felt exceedingly put out. "Aren't you coming soon to me, my Lady Spring?" he said. "I am a much more important person than those silly Anemones, and I can't really hold in my buds much longer."

"I am coming, I am coming," answered my Lady Spring. "But you must give me a little time."

She went on her way through the wood, and at every step many and many an Anemone burst into flower. They stood in crowds round the roots of the Birch Tree, and bashfully bowed their round heads to the earth.

"Look up," said my Lady Spring, "and rejoice in God's bright sunshine. Your life is short, so you must enjoy it while you have it."

The Anemones did as she told them. They stretched and strained, and spread their white petals to all sides, to drink as much sunshine as they could. They pushed their heads against one another, and twined their stalks together, and laughed, and were immensely happy.

"Now I can wait no longer," said the Beech, and he burst into leaf.

Leaf after leaf crept forth from its green sheath and waved in the wind. The great Tree made a green arch, like a mighty roof over the earth.

"Dear me, is it already evening?" asked the Anemones, who noticed that it had grown quite dark.

"No; it is Death," said my Lady Spring. "Now your time is over. It happens to you just as it happens to all that is best on earth. Everything in turn must spring to life, and bloom, and die."

"Die?" cried some little Anemones. "Must we die already?"

And some of the big ones grew quite red in the face in their terror and vexation.

"We know what it is," they said. "It is the Beech that is the death of us. He steals the sunshine for his own leaves, and does not allow us a single ray. He is a mean, wicked thing."

They stood for some days, grumbling and crying. Then my Lady Spring came for the last time through the wood. She had still the Oak Trees and some other crusty old fellows to attend to. "Lie down nicely in the earth and go to sleep," she said to the Anemones, "It is of no use to kick against the pricks. Next year I will come back and waken you once more to life."

And some of the Anemones did as she told them. But others still stretched their heads into the air, and grew so ugly and stalky that it was horrid to see them.

"Fie for shame!" they cried to the Beech Leaves. "It is you who are killing us,"

But the Beech shook his long boughs and let his brown husks drop down to the ground, "Wait till the autumn, you little simpletons," he said, laughing. "Then you shall see."

The Anemones could not understand what he meant. But when they had stretched themselves till they were as tall as they could be, they broke off and withered.

The summer was over, and the farmer had carried his corn home from the field. The wood was still green, but it was a darker green than before; and in many places red and yellow leaves glowed among the green ones. The sun was tired after his hot work in the summer, and went early to bed.

At night Winter was stealing about among the trees to see if his time was not soon coming. When he found a flower, he gallantly kissed it, saying,—"What! are you here still? I am charmed to meet you. Please stay where you are. I am a good old man, and would not harm a cat."

But the flower shuddered at his kiss, and the transparent dewdrop that hung from its petal froze to ice at the instant.

Again and again Winter ran through the wood. When he breathed on them, the leaves turned yellow and the earth grew hard. Even the Anemones, who lay below in the earth waiting till my Lady Spring should come back as she had promised, they too felt his breath and shuddered down in their roots.

"Ugh! how cold it is!" they said to one another. "How shall we stand the winter? We shall die for a certainty before it is over."

"Now it's my time," said Winter. "Now I need no longer steal about like a thief in the night. After to-day I shall look everybody in the face, and bite their noses, and make their eyes run with water."

At night he let loose the Storm. "Let me see you make a clean sweep," he said. And the Storm obeyed his command. He went howling through the wood, and shook the branches till they creaked and cracked. Any that were rotten broke off, and those that held on had to turn and bow this way and that. "Away with that finery!" howled the Storm as he tore off the leaves. "This is not the time to dress yourself up. The snow will soon be coming on to your branches; that will be quite another story."

All the leaves fell in terror to the earth, but the Storm would not let them rest. He seized them round the waist and waltzed with them out over the field, high up into the air, and into the wood again, swept them into great heaps, and then scattered them in all directions—just as it pleased him.

Not till morning came did the Storm grow weary and lie down to rest. "Now you shall have peace for a time," he said. "I will take a rest till we have the spring cleaning. Then we can have another turn together—that is, if there are any of you left by then." And the leaves lay down to rest, and spread themselves like a thick carpet over the whole land.

The Anemones felt that it had become pleasantly warm. "Can it be my
Lady Spring already?" they asked each other.

"I haven't got my buds ready," shouted one of them.

"Nor I! Nor I!" cried the others in one voice. But one of them took courage and peeped out over the earth.

"Good-morning!" cried the withered Beech Leaves. "It is a little too early, little lady. I hope you will be none the worse for it."

"Isn't it my Lady Spring?" inquired the Anemone.

"Not yet," answered the Beech Leaves. "It is only the green Beech Leaves that you were so angry with last summer. The green has gone from us, so we have no great finery to boast of now. We have enjoyed our youth and had our fling, I can tell you. And now we lie here and protect all the little flowers in the earth against the winter."

"And meanwhile I stand shivering in all my bare boughs," said the Beech peevishly.

The Anemones talked it over one to another down below in the earth, and thought it was grand. "Those grand Beech Leaves!" they said.

"Mind you remember this next summer when I burst into leaf," said the Beech.

"We will! we will!" whispered the Anemones.

But that sort of promise is easily made—and easily broken.


By Carl Ewald

It was a beautiful, fruitful season. Rain and sunshine came by turns just as it was best for the corn. As soon as ever the farmer began to think that things were rather dry, you might depend upon it that next day it would rain. And when he thought that he had had rain enough, the clouds broke at once, just as if they were under his command.

So the farmer was in a good humour, and he did not grumble as he usually does. He looked pleased and cheerful as he walked over the field with his two boys.

"It will be a splendid harvest this year," he said. "I shall have my barns full, and shall make a pretty penny. And then Jack and Will shall have some new trousers, and I'll let them come with me to market."

"If you don't cut me soon, farmer, I shall sprawl on the ground," said the Rye, and she bowed her heavy ear quite down towards the earth.

The farmer could not hear her talking, but he could see what was in her mind, and so he went home to fetch his scythe.

"It is a good thing to be in the service of man," said the Rye. "I can be quite sure that all my grain will be well cared for. Most of it will go to the mill: not that that proceeding is so very enjoyable, but in that way it will be made into beautiful new bread, and one must put up with something for the sake of honour. The rest the farmer will save, and sow next year in his field."

At the side of the field, along the hedge, and the bank above the ditch, stood the weeds. There were dense clumps of them—Thistle and Burdock, Poppy and Harebell, and Dandelion; and all their heads were full of seed. It had been a fruitful year for them also, for the sun shines and the rain falls just as much on the poor weed as on the rich porn.

"No one comes and mows us down and carries us to a barn," said the Dandelion, and he shook his head, but very cautiously, so that the seeds should not fall before their time. "But what will become of all our children?" "It gives me a headache to think about it," said the Poppy. "Here I stand with hundreds and hundreds of seeds in my head, and I haven't the faintest idea where I shall drop them." "Let us ask the Rye to advise us," answered the Burdock. And so they asked the Rye what they should do.

"When one is well off, one had better not meddle with other people's business," answered the Rye. "I will only give you one piece of advice: take care you don't throw your stupid seed on to the field, for then you will have to settle accounts with me."

This advice did not help the wild flowers at all, and the whole day they stood pondering what they should do. When the sun set they shut up their petals and went to sleep; but the whole night through they were dreaming about their seed, and next morning they had found a plan.

The Poppy was the first to wake. She cautiously opened some little trap-doors at the top of her head, so that the sun could shine right in on the seeds. Then she called to the Morning Breeze, who was running and playing along the hedge. "Little Breeze," she said, in friendly tones, "will you do me a service?"

"Yes, indeed," said the Breeze. "I shall be glad to have something to do."

"It is the merest trifle," said the Poppy. "All I want of you is to give a good shake to my stalk, so that my seeds may fly out of the trap-doors."

"All right," said the Breeze.

And the seeds flew out in all directions. The stalk snapped, it is true; but the Poppy did not mind about that, for when one has provided for one's children, one has really nothing more to do in the world.

"Good-bye," said the Breeze, and would have run on farther.

"Wait a moment," said the Poppy. "Promise me first that you will not tell the others, else they might get hold of the same idea, and then there would be less room for my seeds."

"I am mute as the grave," answered the Breeze, running off.

"Ho! ho!" said the Harebell. "Haven't you time to do me a little, tiny service?"

"Well," said the Breeze, "what is it?"

"I merely wanted to ask you to give me a little shake," said the Harebell. "I have opened some trap-doors in my head, and I should like to have my seed sent a good way off into the world. But you musn't tell the others, or else they might think of doing the same thing."

"Oh! of course not," said the Breeze, laughing. "I shall be as dumb as a stone wall." And then she gave the flower a good shake and went on her way.

"Little Breeze, little Breeze," called the Dandelion, "whither away so fast?"

"Is there anything the matter with you, too?" asked the Breeze.

[Illustration: PEOPLE WHO WERE OUT FOR AN EVENING STROLL. From the painting by Edmund Dulac ]

"Nothing at all," answered the Dandelion. "Only I should like a few words with you."

"Be quick then," said the Breeze, "for I am thinking seriously of lying down and having a rest."

"You cannot help seeing," said the Dandelion, "what a fix we are in this year to get all our seeds put out in the world; for, of course, one wishes to do what one can for one's children. What is to happen to the Harebell and the Poppy and the poor Burdock I really don't know. But the Thistle and I have put our heads together, and we have hit on a plan. Only we must have you to help us."

"That makes four of them," thought the Breeze, and could not help laughing out loud.

"What are you laughing at?" asked the Dandelion. "I saw you whispering just now to the Harebell and Poppy; but if you breathe a word to them, I won't tell you anything."

"Why, of course not," said the Breeze. "I am mute as a fish. What is it you want?"

"We have set up a pretty little umbrella on the top of our seeds. It is the sweetest little plaything imaginable. If you will only blow a little on me, the seeds will fly into the air and fall down wherever you please. Will you do so?"

"Certainly," said the Breeze.

And ush! it went over the Thistle and the Dandelion and carried all the seeds with it into the cornfield.

The Burdock still stood and pondered. Its head was rather thick, and that was why it waited so long. But in the evening a Hare leapt over the hedge. "Hide me! Save me!" he cried. "The farmer's dog Trusty is after me."

"You can creep behind the hedge," said the Burdock, "then I will hide you."

"You don't look to me much good for that job," said the Hare, "but in time of need one must help oneself as one can." And so he got in safety behind the hedge.

"Now you may repay me by taking some of my seeds with you over into the cornfield," said the Burdock; and it broke off some of its many heads and fixed them on the Hare.

A little later Trusty came trotting up to the hedge. "Here's the dog," whispered the Burdock, and with one spring the Hare leapt over the hedge and into the Rye.

"Haven't you seen the Hare, Burdock?" asked Trusty. "I see I have got too old to go hunting. I am quite blind in one eye, and I have completely lost my scent."

"Yes, I have seen him," answered the Burdock; "and if you will do me a service, I will show you where he is."

Trusty agreed, and the Burdock fastened some heads on his back, and said to him,—"If you will only rub yourself against the stile there in the cornfield, my seeds will fall off. But you must not look for the Hare there, for a little while ago I saw him run into the wood."

Trusty dropped the burs on the field and trotted to the wood.

"Well, I've got my seeds put out in the world all right," said the Burdock, and laughed as if much pleased with itself; "but it is impossible to say what will become of the Thistle and the Dandelion, and the Harebell and the Poppy."

Spring had come round once more, and the Rye stood high already.

"We are pretty well off on the whole," said the Rye plants. "Here we stand in a great company, and not one of us but belongs to our own noble family. And we don't get in each other's way in the very least. It is a grand thing to be in the service of man."

But one fine day a crowd of little Poppies, and Thistles and Dandelions, and Burdocks and Harebells poked up their heads above ground, all amongst the flourishing Rye. "What does this mean?" asked the Rye. "Where in the world are you sprung from?"

And the Poppy looked at the Harebell and asked, "Where do you come from?"

And the Thistle looked at the Burdock and asked, "Where in the world have you come from?" They were all equally astonished, and it was an hour before they had explained. But the Rye was the angriest, and when she had heard all about Trusty and the Hare and the Breeze she grew quite wild.

"Thank heaven, the farmer shot the Hare last autumn," she said; "and Trusty, fortunately, is also dead, the old scamp. So I am at peace, as far as they are concerned. But how dare the Breeze promise to drop the seeds of the weeds in the farmer's cornfield?"

"Don't be in such a passion, you green Rye," said the Breeze, who had been lying behind the hedge and hearing everything. "I ask no one's permission, but do as I like; and now I'm going to make you bow to me." Then she passed over the young Rye, and the thin blades swayed backwards and forwards.

"You see," she said, "the farmer attends to his Rye, because that is his business. But the rain and the sun and I—we attend to all of you without respect of persons. To our eyes the poor weed is just as pretty as the rich corn."

The farmer now came out to look at his Rye, and when he saw the weeds in the cornfield he scratched his head with vexation and began to growl. "It's that scurvy wind that's done this," he said to Jack and Will, as they stood by his side with their hands in the pockets of their new trousers.

But the Breeze flew towards them and knocked all their caps off their heads, and rolled them far away to the road. The farmer and the two boys ran after them, but the Wind ran faster than they did.

It finished up by rolling the caps into the village pond, and the farmer and the boys had to stand a long time fishing for them before they got them out.


By Mrs. Alfred Gatty

ONE—two—three—four—five; five neatly-raked kitchen-garden beds, four of them side by side, with a pathway between; the fifth a narrow slip, heading the others, and close to the gravel walk, as it was for succession-crops of mustard and cress, which are often wanted in a hurry for breakfast or tea.

Most people have stood by such beds in their own kitchen-gardens on soft spring mornings and evenings, and looked for the coming up of the seeds which either they or the gardener had sown.

Radishes in one, for instance, and of all three sorts—white-turnip, red-turnip, and long-tailed.

Carrots in another; and this bed had been dug very deep indeed—subsoil digging, as it were; two spades' depth, that the roots might strike freely down.

Onions in another. Beets in the fourth; both the golden and red varieties; while the narrow slip was half mustard and half cress.

Such was the plan here, at least, and here, for a time, all the seeds lay sleeping, as it seemed. For, as the long smooth-raked beds stretched out dark and bare under the stars, they betrayed no symptoms of anything going on within.

Nevertheless, there was no sleeping in the case. The little seed-grains were fulfilling the law of their being, each after its kind; the grains, all but their inner germs, decaying; the germs swelling and growing, till they rose out of their cradles, and made their way, through their earthen cover lid, to the light of day.

They did not all come up quite together, of course, nor all quite alike. But as to the time, the gardener had made his arrangements so cleverly, that none was very far behind his neighbour. And as to the difference of shape in the first young leaves, what could it signify? It is true the young mustards were round and thick; the cresses oval and pointed; the carrots mere green threads; the onions sharp little blades; while the beets had an odd, stainy look. But they all woke up to the same life and enjoyment, and were all greeted with friendly welcome as they appeared, by the dew, and light, and sunshine, and breezes, so necessary to them all.

"I find I get deeper and deeper into the soil every day," remarked the Carrot. "I shall be I don't know how long, at last. I have been going down regularly, quite straight, for weeks. Then I am tapering off to a long point at the end, in the most beautiful proportions possible. A Grub told me, the other day, this was perfection, and I believe he was right."

(That mischievous vagabond Grub, you see!)

"I knew what it was to live near the surface in my young days," the Carrot went on; "but never felt solid enjoyment till I struck deeply down, where all is so rich and warm. This is really being firmly established and satisfactory to one's-self, though still progressing, I hope, for I don't see why there should be a limit Pray tell me, neighbours," added he, good-naturedly enough, "how it fares with all the rest of you. I should like to know that your roots are as long, and slim, and orange coloured as mine; doing as well, in fact, and sinking as far down. I wish us to be all perfect alike. Perfection is the great thing to try for."

"When you are sure you are trying in the right way," sneered a voice from the neighbouring radish-bed (the red and white turnip variety were always satirical). "But if the long, slim, orange-roots, striking deep into the earth, are your idea of perfection, I advise you to begin life over again. Dear me! I wish you had consulted us before. Why, we stopped going down long ago, and have been spreading out sideways and all ways, into stout, round solid balls ever since, close white flesh throughout, inside; and not orange, but red without."

"White, he means," shouted another.

"Red, I call it," repeated the first. "But no matter; certainly not orange!"

And "Certainly not orange!" cried they all.

"So," continued the first speaker, "we are quite concerned to hear you ramble on about growing longer and longer, and strongly advise you to keep your own counsel, and not mention it to any one else. We are friends, you know, and can be trusted; but you really must leave off wasting your powers and energy in the dark inside of the ground, out of everybody's sight and knowledge. Come to the surface, and make the most of it, as we do, and then you'll be a credit to your friends. Roll yourself up into a firm round ball as fast as you can. You won't find it hard if you once begin. You have only to—"

"Let me put in a word first," interrupted one of the long-tailed Radishes in the same bed; "for it is of no use to go out of one extreme into another, which you are on the high road to do if you are disposed to take Mr. Roundhead's advice; who, by the way, ought to be ashamed of forcing his very peculiar views upon his neighbours. Just look at us. We always strike moderately down, so we know it's the right thing to do, and that solid round balls are the most unnatural and useless things in the world. But, on the other hand, my dear friend, we have learnt where to stop, and a great secret it is, but one I fear you know nothing about at present; so the sooner you make yourself acquainted with it the better. There's a limit to everything but folly—even to striking deep into the soil. And as to the soil being better so very far down, nobody can believe it; for why should it be? The great art is to make the most of what is at hand, as we do. Time enough to go into the depths when you have used up what is so much easier got at. The man who gathered some of us yesterday, called out, 'These are just right.' So I leave you to judge whether some other people we know of must not be wrong."

"You rather overwhelm me, I own," mused the Carrot; "though it's remarkable you counsellors should not agree among yourselves. Is it possible, however, that I have been making a great mistake all my life? What lost time to look back upon! Yet a ball;—no, no, not a ball! I don't think I could grow into a solid round ball were I to try for ever!"

"Not having tried, how can you tell?" whispered the Turnip-Radish persuasively. "But you never will, if you listen to our old-fashioned friend next door, who has been halting between two opinions all his life:—will neither make an honest fat lump of it, as I do, nor plunge down and taper with you. But nothing can be done without an effort: certainly no change."

"That is true," murmured the Carrot, rather sadly; "but I am too old for further efforts myself. Mistake or no mistake, my fate is fixed. I am too far down to get up again, that's certain; but some of the young ones may try. Do you hear, dears? Some of you stop short, if you can, and grow out sideways and all ways, into stout, round, solid balls."

"Oh, nonsense about round balls!" cried the long-tailed Radish in disgust; "what will the world come to, if this folly goes on! Listen to me, youngsters, I beg. Go to a moderate depth, and be content; and if you want something to do, throw out a few fibres for amusement. You're firm enough without them, I know, but the employment will pass away time."

"There are strange delusions abroad just now," remarked the Onions to each other; "do you hear all this talk about shape and way of growth? and everybody in the dark on the subject, though they seem to be quite unconscious of the fact themselves. That fellow chattered about solid balls, as if there was no such thing as bulbs, growing layer upon layer, and coat over coat, at all. Of course the very long orange gentleman, with his tapering root, is the most wrong of the whole party; but I doubt if Mr. Roundhead is much wiser when he speaks of close white flesh inside, and red (of all ridiculous nonsense) without. Where are their flaky skins, I should like to know? Who is ever to peel them, I wonder? Poor things! I can't think how they got into such ways. How tough and obstinate they must be! I wish we lived nearer. We would teach them a little better than that, and show them what to do."

"I have lived near you long enough," grumbled a deep-red Beet in the next bed; "and you have never taught me; neither shall you, if I can help it. A pretty instructor you would be, who think it ridiculous to be red! I suppose you can't grow red yourself, and so abuse the colour out of spite. Now I flatter myself I am red inside as well as out, so I suppose I am more ridiculous than your friend who contrives to keep himself white within, according to his own account; but I doubt the fact. There, there! it is a folly to be angry; so I say no more, except this: get red as fast as you can. You live in the same soil that I do, and ought to be able."

"Oh, don't call it red!" exclaimed a golden Beet, who was of a gentle turn of mind; "it is but a pale tint after all, and surely rather amber than red; and perhaps that was what the long-tailed orange gentleman meant."

"Perhaps it was; for perhaps he calls red orange, as you call it amber," answered the redder Beet; "anyhow he has rather more sense than our neighbour here, with his layer upon layer, and coat over coat, and flaky skin over all. Think of wasting time in such fiddle-faddle proceedings! Grow a good honest fleshy substance, and have done with it, and let people see you know what life is capable of. I always look at results. It is something to get such a body as I do out of the surrounding soil. That is living to some purpose, I consider. Nobody makes more of their opportunities than I do, I flatter myself, or has more to show for their pains; and a great future must be in store."

"Do you hear them? oh! do you hear them?" whispered the Cress to her neighbour the Mustard (there had been several crops, and this was one of the last); "do you hear how they all talk together of their growth, and their roots, and their bulbs, and size, and colour, and shape? It makes me quite unhappy, for I am doing nothing like that myself—nothing, nothing, though I live in the same soil! What is to be done? What do you do? Do you grow great white solid balls, or long, orange tapering roots, or thick red flesh, or bulbs with layer upon layer, and coat over coat? Some of them talked of just throwing out a few fibres as a mere amusement to pass away time; and this is all I ever do for business. There will never be a great future in store for me. Do speak to me, but whisper what you say, for I shame to be heard or thought of."

"I grow only fibres, too," groaned the Mustard in reply; "but I would spread every way and all ways if I could—downwards and upwards, and sideways and all ways, like the rest. I wish I had never been sown. Better never be sown and grown, than sown and grown to such trifling purpose! We are wretched indeed. But there must be injustice somewhere. The soil must give them what it refuses to us."

"Or we are weak and helpless, and cannot take in what it offers," suggested the Cress. "Alas! that we should have been sown only to be useless and unhappy!"

And they wept the evening through. But they alone were not unhappy. The Carrot had become uneasy, and could follow his natural tastes no longer in comfort, for thinking that he ought to be a solid round ball, white inside, and red without. The Onion had sore misgivings that the Beet might be right after all, and a good honest mass of red flesh be more worth labouring for, than the pale coat-within-coat growth in which he had indulged. It did seem a waste of trouble, a fiddle-faddle plan of life, he feared. Perhaps he had not gone down far enough in the soil. Some one talked of growing fibres for amusement—he had certainly not come to that; they were necessary to his support; he couldn't hold fast without them. Other people were more independent than he was, then; perhaps wiser,—alas!

And yet the Beet himself was not quite easy; for talk as he would, what he had called fiddle-faddle seemed ingenious when he thought it over, and he would like to have persuaded himself that he grew layer upon layer, too. But it wouldn't do.

Perhaps, in fact, the bold little Turnip-Radishes alone, from their solid, substantial growth, were the only ones free from misgivings, and believed that everybody ought to do as they did themselves.

What a disturbance there was, to be sure! And it got worse and worse, and they called on the winds and fleeting clouds, the sun, and moon, and stars above their heads, to stay their course awhile, and declare who was right and who was wrong; who was using, who abusing his gifts and powers; who was making most, who least, of the life and opportunities they all enjoyed; whose system was the one the rest must all strive to follow—the one only right.

But they called and asked in vain; till one evening, the clouds which had been gathering over the garden for days began to come down in rain, and sank swiftly into the ground, where it had been needed for long. Whereupon there was a general cry, "Here comes a messenger; now we shall hear!" as if they thought no one could have any business in the world but to settle their disputes.

So out came the old inquiries again:—who was right—who was wrong—who had got hold of the true secret? But the Cress made no inquiry at all, only shook with fright under the rain; for, thought she, the hour of my shame and degradation is come: poor useless creature that I am, I shall never more hold up my head!

As to the Carrot, into whose well-dug bed the rain found easiest entrance, and sank deepest, he held forth in most eloquent style upon the whole affair; how it was started, and what he had said; how much he had once hoped; how much he now feared.

Now, the Rain-drops did not care to answer in a hurry; but as they came dropping gently down, they murmured, "Peace, peace, peace!" all over the beds.

And truly they seemed to bring peace with them as they fell, so that a calm sank all around, and then the murmur proceeded:—"Poor little atoms in a boundless kingdom—each one of you bearing a part towards its fulness of perfection, each one of you endowed with gifts and powers especially your own, each one of you good after its kind—how came these cruel misgivings and heart-burnings among you? Are the tops of the mountains wrong because they cannot grow corn like the valleys? Are the valleys wrong because they cannot soar into the skies? Does the brook flow in vain because it cannot spread out like the sea? Is the sea only right because its waters only are salt? Each good after its kind, each bearing a part in the full perfection of the kingdom which is boundless, the plan which is harmony—peace, peace, peace upon all!"

Nor was it broken again. Only once or twice, that year, when the Carrots were gathered, there came up the strangest growths—thick distorted lumps, that had never struck properly down.

The gardener wondered, and was vexed, for he prided himself on the digging of the carrot-bed. "Anything that had had any sense might have gone down into it, he was sure," he said. And he was not far wrong; but you see the Carrot had had no sense when he began to speculate, and tried to be something he was not intended to be.

Yet the poor clumsy thing was not quite useless after all. For, just as the gardener was about to fling it angrily away, he recollected that the cook might use it for soup, though it could not be served up at table—such a shape as it was!…

And this was exactly what she did.


By Mrs. Alfred Gatty

"What a fuss is made about you, my dear little friends!" murmured the Wind, one day, to the flowers in a pretty villa garden. "I am really quite surprised at your submitting so patiently and meekly to all the troublesome things that are done to you! I have been watching your friend the gardener for some time to-day; and now that he is gone at last, I am quite curious to hear what you think and feel about your unnatural bringing up."

"Is it unnatural?" inquired a beautiful Convolvulus Major, from the top of a tapering fir-pole, up which she had crept, and from which her velvet flowers hung suspended like purple gems.

"I smile at your question," was the answer of the Wind. "You surely cannot suppose that in a natural state you would be forced to climb regularly up one tall bare stick such as I see you upon now. Oh dear, no! Your cousin, the wild Convolvulus, whom I left in the fields this morning, does no such thing, I assure you. She runs along and climbs about, just as the whim takes her. Sometimes she takes a turn upon the ground; sometimes she enters a hedge, and plays at bo-peep with the birds in the thorn and nut-trees—twisting here, curling there, and at last, perhaps, coming out at the top, and overhanging the edge with a canopy of green leaves and pretty white flowers. A very different sort of life from yours, with a gardener always after you, trimming you in one place, fastening up a stray tendril in another, and fidgeting you all along—a sort of perpetual 'mustn't go here'—'mustn't go there.' Poor thing! I quite feel for you! Still I must say you make me smile; for you look so proud and self-conscious of beauty all the time, that one would think you did not know in what a ridiculous and dependent position you are placed."

Now the Convolvulus was quite abashed by the words of the Wind, for she was conscious of feeling very conceited that morning, in consequence of having heard the gardener say something very flattering about her beauty; so she hung down her rich bell-flowers rather lower than usual, and made no reply.

But the Carnation put in her word: "What you say about the Convolvulus may be true enough, but it cannot apply to me. I am not aware that I have any poor relations in this country, and I myself certainly require all the care that is bestowed upon me. This climate is both too cold and too damp for me. My young plants require heat, or they would not live; and the pots we are kept in protect us from those cruel wire-worms who delight to destroy our roots."

"Oh!" cried the Wind, "our friend the Carnation is quite profound and learned in her remarks, and I admit the justice of all she says about damp and cold, and wire-worms; but,"—and here the Wind gave a low-toned whistle, as he took a turn round the flower-bed—"but what I maintain, my dear, is, that when you are once strong enough and old enough to be placed in the soil, those gardeners ought to let you grow and flourish as nature prompts, and as you would do were you left alone. But no! they must always be clipping, and trimming, and twisting up every leaf that strays aside out of the trim pattern they have chosen for you to grow in. Why not allow your silver tufts to luxuriate in a natural manner? Why must every single flower betied up by its delicate neck to a stick, the moment it begins to open? Really, with your natural grace and beauty, I think you might be trusted to yourself a little more!"

And the Carnation began to think so, too; and her colour turned deeper as a feeling of indignation arose within her at the childish treatment to which she had been subjected. "With my natural grace and beauty," repeated she to herself, "they might certainly trust me to myself a little more!"

Still the Rose Tree stood out that there must be some great advantages in a gardener's care, for she could not pretend to be ignorant of her own superiority to all her wild relations in the woods. What a difference in size, in colour and in fragrance!

Then the Wind assured the Rose he never meant to dispute the advantage of her living in a rich-soiled garden; only there was a natural way of growing, even in a garden; and he thought it a great shame for the gardeners to force the Rose Tree into an _un_natural way, curtailing all the energies of her nature. What could be more outrageous, for example, than to see one rose growing in the shape of a bush on the top of the stem of another? "Think of all the pruning necessary," cried he, "to keep the poor thing in the round shape so much admired! And what is the matter with the beautiful straggling branches, that they are to be cut off as fast as they appear? Why not allow the healthy Rose Tree its free and glorious growth? Can it be too large or too luxuriant? Can its flowers be too numerous? Oh, Rose Tree, you know your own surpassing merits too well to make you think this possible!"

And so she did, and a new light seemed to dawn upon her as she recollected the spring and autumnal prunings she regularly underwent, and the quantities of little branches that were yearly cut from her sides, and carried away in a wheel-barrow. "It is a cruel and a monstrous system, I fear," said she.

Then the Wind took another frolic round the garden, and made up to the large white Lily, into whose refined ear he whispered a doubt as to the necessity or advantage of her thick powerful stem being propped up against a stupid, ugly stick! He really grieved to see it! Did that lovely creature suppose that Nature, who had done so much for her that the fame of her beauty extended throughout the world, had yet left her so weak and feeble that she could not support herself in the position most calculated to give her ease and pleasure? "Always this tying up and restraint!" pursued the Wind, with an angry puff. "Perhaps I am prejudiced; but as to be deprived of freedom would be to me absolute death, so my soul revolts from every shape and phase of slavery!"

"Not more than mine does!" cried the proud white Lily, leaning as heavily as she could against the strip of matting that tied her to her stick. But it was of no use—she could not get free; and the Wind only shook his sides and laughed spitefully as he left her, and then rambled away to talk the same shallow philosophy to the Honeysuckle that was trained up against a wall. Indeed, not a flower escaped his mischievous suggestions. He murmured among them all—laughed the trim cut Box-edges to scorn—maliciously hoped the Sweet Peas enjoyed growing in a circle, and running up a quantity of crooked sticks—and told the flowers, generally, that he should report their unheard-of submission and meek obedience wherever he went.

Then the white Lily called out to him in great wrath, and told him he mistook their characters altogether. They only submitted to these degrading restraints because they could not help themselves; but if he would lend them his powerful aid, they might free themselves from at least a part of the unnatural bonds which enthralled them.

To which the wicked Wind, seeing that his temptations had succeeded, replied, in great glee, that he would do his best; and so he went away, chuckling at the discontent he had caused.

All that night the pretty silly flowers bewailed their slavish condition, and longed for release and freedom: and at last they began to be afraid that the Wind had only been jesting with them, and that he would never come to help them, as he had promised. However, they were mistaken; for, at the edge of the dawn, there began to be a sighing and a moaning in the distant woods, and by the time the sun was up, the clouds were driving fast along the sky, and the trees were bending about in all directions; for the Wind had returned,—only now he had come in his roughest and wildest mood,—knocking over everything before him. "Now is your time, pretty flowers!" shouted he, as he approached the garden; and "Now is our time!" echoed the flowers tremulously, as, with a sort of fearful pleasure, they awaited his approach.

He managed the affair very cleverly, it must be confessed. Making a sort of eddying circuit round the garden, he knocked over the Convolvulus-pole, tore the strips from the stick that held up the white Lily, loosed all the Carnation flowers from their fastenings, broke the Rose Tree down, and levelled the Sweet Peas to the ground. In short, in one half-hour he desolated the pretty garden; and when his work was accomplished, he flew off.

Meanwhile, how fared it with the flowers? The Wind was scarcely gone before a sudden and heavy rain followed, so that all was confusion for some time. But towards the evening the weather cleared up, and our friends began to look around them. The white Lily still stood somewhat upright, though no friendly pole supported her juicy stem; but, alas! it was only by a painful effort she could hold herself in that position. The Wind and the weight of rain had bent her forward once, beyond her strength, and there was a slight crack in one part of the stalk, which told that she must soon double over and trail upon the ground. The Convolvulus fared still worse. The garden beds sloped towards the south; and when our friend was laid on the earth—her pole having fallen—her lovely flowers were choked up by the wet soil which drained towards her. She felt the muddy weight as it soaked into her beautiful velvet bells, and could have cried for grief: she could never free herself from this nuisance. Oh that she were once more climbing up the friendly fir-pole! The Honeysuckle escaped no better; and the Carnation was ready to die of vexation, at finding that her coveted freedom had levelled her to the dirt.

Before the day closed, the gardener came whistling from his farm work, to look over his pretty charges. He expected to see a few drooping flowers, and to find that one or two fastenings had given way. But for the sight that awaited him he was not prepared at all. Struck dumb with astonishment, he never spoke at first, but kept lifting up the heads of the trailing, dirtied flowers in succession. Then at last he broke out into words of absolute sorrow:—"And to think of my mistress and the young lady coming home so soon, and that nothing can be done to these poor things for a fortnight, because of the corn harvest! It's all over with them, I fear;" and the gardener went his way. Alas! what he said was true; and before many days had passed, the shattered Carnations were rotted with lying in the wet and dirt on the ground. The white Lily was languishing discoloured on its broken stalk; the Convolvulus flowers could no longer be recognized, they were so coated over with mud stains; the Honeysuckle was trailing along among battered Sweet Peas, who never could succeed in shaking the soil from their fragrant heads; and though the Rose Tree had sent out a few straggling branches, she soon discovered that they were far too weak to bear flowers—nay, almost to support themselves—so that they added neither to her beauty nor her comfort. Weeds meanwhile sprang up, and a dreary confusion reigned in the once orderly and brilliant little garden.

At length, one day before the fortnight was over, the house-dog was heard to bark his noisy welcome, and servants bustled to and fro. The mistress had returned; and the young lady was with her, and hurried at once to her favourite garden. She came bounding towards the well-known spot with a song of joyous delight; but, on reaching it, suddenly stopped short, and in a minute after burst into a flood of tears! Presently, with sorrowing steps, she bent her way round the flower-beds, weeping afresh at every one she looked at; and then she sat down upon the lawn, and hid her face in her hands. In this position she remained, until a gentle hand was laid upon her shoulder.

"This is a sad sight, indeed, my darling," said her mother's voice.

"I am not thinking about the garden, mamma," replied the young girl, without lifting up her face; "we can plant new flowers, and tie up even some of these afresh. I am thinking that now, at last, I understand what you say about the necessity of training, and restraint, and culture, for us as well as for flowers. The Wind has torn away these poor things from their fastenings, and they are growing wild whichever way they please; and I might perhaps once have argued, that if it were their natural way of growing it must therefore be the best. But I cannot say so, now I see the result. They are doing whatever they like, unrestrained; and the end is,—my beautiful garden is turned into a wilderness."


Phil, the little seven year old boy who makes the acquaintance of different animals in these stories, had an attack of brain fever at the orphanage, where he had been taken after the death of his father and mother. It was while he was ill, and the matron and boys were hunting for him, that he thought he wandered away and, under the guidance of Mother Nature, made the acquaintance of a lot of new friends.


By Lillian M. Gask

The air was as warm as summer, and the murmur of the big brown velvet Bee that hovered over a purple flower made Phil think of the garden at home. A tiny Humming-Bird, gleaming against the willows like a spot of fire, flashed quickly past him, and lingered for a moment on a swaying branch; she had travelled nearly four thousand miles on those small wings of hers to reach her summer quarters, and even now was not at her journey's end.

Phil turned his head to look at her, and as he did so he found to his great joy that his stiff white collar had disappeared. So, too, had the drab serge suit and the clumsy hob-nailed boots that had hurt him so. Instead, he wore a single garment of some soft brown, the colour of earth, girdled by a broad green belt that felt like velvet. His feet were bare, and as he buried them in the thick grass on which he lay, he sighed with pleasure.

"Good morning," remarked someone in rather hoarse tones close at his elbow, and one of the quaint animals he had seen the night before shuffled awkwardly towards him with what was evidently intended for a pleasant smile. "Mother Beaver," Nature had called her, he remembered, and he had a dim idea that she had offered to take him under her care until he knew his way about the forests. He sat up now so that he might see her better, for in the daylight she looked stranger still. Her body, nearly three feet long, was covered with glossy hair; her tail was paddle-shaped and smooth, while her strong white tusks would have given her quite a fierce expression but for her twinkling eyes. These were very bright and most inquisitive, as if she found him quite as curious as he did her.

"Good morning," she repeated with friendly emphasis, as Phil tried in vain to think of something to say. "Where are your manners, young man? Haven't you learnt yet that it isn't polite to stare?"

"I beg your pardon," said Phil, smiling shyly at her. "I never knew that animals could speak until last night, and it's rather startling at first, you know. Do you mind telling me where I am?"

"In North America, on the banks of one of its swiftest rivers," she returned, proudly. "You are coming to school with me, I hear. I hope you are quick and industrious—we have too many idlers already, and there's any amount of work to be done before the autumn."

"I dare say you're as bright as any, if the truth were told. Can you swim?"

Phil nodded joyfully; an old sailor had taught him during a long happy summer he had spent by the sea, and had been quite proud of his pupil.

"Not that it would matter if you had never learnt," said Mother Beaver, struck by a sudden thought, "for Nature has made you an exception to all her rules. What is an exception? Well, you must wait until Father Beaver comes if you want it properly explained, but it means that while you are Nature's guest you will be able to do all those things that a small boy wouldn't be able to do in the usual way; such as breathe under water, for instance, as you will in a moment, when you come to my winter home. You will change your size, too, without knowing anything about it, just when and where it is most convenient, so that you can sit in nests, or run down burrows, as easily as the creatures to which they belong. And you'll never feel hungry, unless there is something near that you can eat, or thirsty, unless you are within easy distance of a stream. In short, my dear, Nature has been particularly kind to you for this one year; after that you'll be just an ordinary boy again."

Phil was rather bewildered; it sounded much too wonderful to be true, but Mother Beaver, seemed quite in earnest.

"Are you ready?" she said. "Then follow me. We're going to my winter lodge, where my young ones are still waiting for me. Their father and I only left it this morning to look round, for spring comes suddenly here in the north, and a day or two ago it was quite cold. The flowers are in bloom, the Bees say, before they have time to notice their buds, and the trees spread out their leaves in a single night. The winter has only just gone."

Phil followed her to the water's edge through clumps of rushes, and saw before him a cluster of dome-shaped houses, like giant thimbles, in the centre of the stream. Many were some feet above the surface of the water; they were covered with a smooth coating of hard mud, and so far as he could see they had no entrance.

"Did you make those?" he asked, as she led him on to the dam, so that he might get a better view of them. He was amazed that such an insignificant creature as the beaver could build such fortresses.

"Of course we did," she answered in matter-of-fact tones. "Yes—they took a long time, but we worked together, and worked with a will. The walls, you'll notice, are more than six feet thick. They have to be very strong," she added mysteriously. Phil wanted to ask her why, but she seemed so troubled that he said "How do you get in?" instead.

"Take a header and see," she told him, splashing from the dam and diving straight down, with Phil behind her, until they reached the deep projection, or "angle" as it is called, beneath which lay the entrance to her own particular home. It was very near the bed of the river, where the frost would not be likely to reach even in bitter weather.

"Here we are!" she cried, shaking the water off her tail as she scrambled through. Phil noticed that she was as agile in the water as she was clumsy on land, and that two toes on each foot were webbed.

Inside the winter house were three young Beavers, all very wide awake and covered with brown and glossy fur. Their three little beds were nicely arranged along the side of the wall, while two vacant ones, somewhat larger, and belonging to Father and Mother Beaver, were on the other side. The centre of the chamber was left free to move about in, and was so beautifully clean that Phil was sure Mother Beaver would be as particular about muddy boots as the matron at school. He was very glad he had left his behind him—bare feet were much more comfortable.

"Yes, my children," Mother Beaver was saying, as she patted each affectionately, "the time has come for us to go to the woods. Your father is exploring now, so that he may know where you can find the juiciest roots, and how far it is safe to venture. He will meet us before dusk."

She busied herself in smoothing their fur, while they stared hard at Phil. Under their shining chestnut hair was a thick soft coat of greyish brown, and Mother Beaver seemed very anxious that this should lie quite flat.

"They're very thin," she said, regretfully, "but then it has been a long winter, and our larder is nearly empty. We live on bark entirely when we are down here," she explained to Phil, as she made sure that all was straight before she left. "We find it very nourishing and tasty, though you might think it dry. Before the frosts come we lop off branches of willows and other trees, and sink them under layers of stones close to our houses. Last fall we laid in a larger supply than usual, for we knew the spring would be late in coming; but our neighbours had such enormous appetites that it soon went. Our neighbours? Yes—they live on the other side of our lodge; but we don't visit—it isn't our way."

With a last look round she left the winter house, and though Phil swam more quickly than he had ever done before, she and her young ones were first on the river bank.

"But we're good friends," she went on (Phil shook himself as she had done, and noticed with pleasure that his brown coat was dry in a moment), "and always work together in building or repairing our dams and houses. That's why they call us 'Social' Beavers. Some cousins of ours (there are not many of them, I believe) live quite alone."

The young Beavers had a fine time of it that bright spring day. Phil found them most amusing play fellows, for when they had satisfied their hunger on succulent roots and tender shoots they were quite ready for any game that he suggested. They were all in the highest spirits when Father Beaver came on the scene.

He was thinner than any of them, and much more serious. Phil was inclined to be frightened of him at first, but soon found him as kindly as the rest. He smoothed Phil's hair for him as if he were a son of his own, and asked to look at his teeth.

"H'm," he remarked thoughtfully. "They won't be much use for felling trees, but I daresay you can help us in other ways. We must set to work in the early summer," he continued, turning to Mother Beaver, "for there is a lot of rebuilding to be done this fall."

"Rebuilding?" echoed Phil. He had loved his bricks, and to make castles in the sand; building those dome-shaped houses must be great fun.

"Certainly," replied Father Beaver. "Our dam must be enlarged, and a new lodge put up. We shall want all the help we can get. Later on, when we have got up our strength, we must begin to cut those saplings."

Phil was feeling rather tired, so, while the young Beavers started another game, he sat with their parents, trying to understand what they meant when they spoke of "IT."

"I feel sure IT is somewhere about," said Father Beaver moodily. "I came across ITS traces two or three miles away."

Mother Beaver sighed. "There is no use in borrowing trouble," she said. "We must just keep a sharp look-out, and get our work done quickly. I'm glad now that we made those extra holes in the bank, though it did seem rather unnecessary at the time."

"Those holes, my son," said Father Beaver, in answer to Phil's inquiry, "lead to the deep tunnels in which we take refuge when we are pursued by our enemies. There we are comparatively safe, but in the open country or in the woods, owing to our clumsy movements on land, we are at their mercy."

His voice was gloomy, and it made Phil sad to think that such gentle animals as beavers had enemies.

"If they catch you, do they swing you up high, and make you all sick and giddy?" he asked, with a vivid recollection of the terrors of the barn.

"Worse," said the Beaver, shortly. "The hunters trap and kill us for our valuable fur, and IT—the Wolverene—actually eats us! This is why we go to so much trouble to make our houses secure, so that when the frost has hardened the thick layer of mud which we place each fall over the thatch of stones and driftwood, neither teeth nor claws can penetrate the hard surface."

Mother Beaver had shuffled off to her young ones, who were making up for the short commons of the winter by eating all the green shoots that came in their way. Their father, settling himself comfortably in the shelter of a low bush, invited Phil to sit beside him and have a chat.

"You want to learn our ways," he said, looking at him indulgently. "They are easy to understand, for though we are more skilled in building, perhaps, than other creatures, it is chiefly for our industry that we are noted. Nature has taught us to think ahead and provide for the future. I suppose you know what 'thinking ahead' means?"

"Not ezzactly," said Phil honestly, with a longing look at the young Beavers. The smallest of them appeared to have rolled himself into a round ball, and Phil couldn't help thinking what first-rate bats the others' broad tails would make.

The Beaver drew back his wandering attention with a light flap of his tail.

"One thing at a time," he counselled. "If I take the trouble to talk to you, the least you can do is to listen…. About looking ahead. If you had 'looked ahead' and learnt your geography the other day, instead of making paper boats in preparation time, you would have known that a continent wasn't 'a piece of land surrounded by water' and they wouldn't have called you—"

"Don't say it!" Phil entreated, and Father Beaver laughed and changed the subject.

"The Social Beavers to which we belong," he said, "live in small colonies, and work together for the general good. A certain number of us, whom hunters call 'the Idlers,' refuse to help at all, and are satisfied to live in tunnels instead of houses. These are usually sorry for their idleness when it is too late, for they are often captured by fur hunters, who know where to look for them, and easily dig them out. That is, if IT does not find them first."

"IT?" questioned Phil, snuggling closer to Father Beaver and speaking in an awed whisper.

"The Wolverene," he amended. "My wife cannot bear the sound of his name when she is weak from fasting, so we call him 'IT' at this time of the year. He carried off our eldest daughter last summer. She was proud and wilful, and would not stay by her mother's side…. She had a lovely tail."

"Don't you think we should be settling in for the night?" asked Mother Beaver, bustling back to them with a delicate green bough, from which she had stripped the leaves, as a titbit for Phil. She was surprised to hear that he was not hungry, until he reminded her how early that afternoon a dapper Bee in a velvet coat had invited him to a feast of honey. The Queen of the Fairies might have envied him that meal, so exquisite were the flower-cups in which he found it.

"Of course, if you prefer honey to fresh bark," she said disappointedly. To please her Phil nibbled one end of the bough, and found it very bitter. He was thankful when her thoughts were distracted to her young ones, whose coats had to be nicely smoothed before they went to bed. Ere long they were all curled up under the thorny branches of a wild brier. Phil crept in between them, and was soon asleep, while the two old Beavers watched in turn to see that all was well.

The next few weeks were a delightful holiday for Phil. Day after day he roamed the woods with the gentle Beavers, making friends with the Bees and Squirrels, and finding out their haunts. Sometimes he caught brief glimpses of other creatures, who glanced at him shyly and scampered off. He learnt to keep a sharp look out for the dreaded Wolverene, and was so curious to see him that he almost hoped that he might come. Nature had promised that nothing should harm him, and he would protect the Beavers.

Father Beaver devoted many hours to his young visitor. He told him much about woodcraft, and how Nature protected some of her weakest creatures against their foes by giving them the shape and colour of their surroundings. The little brown twig on the bough before them, he pointed out, was in reality a Caterpillar which Birds would have devoured long since if he had attracted their attention. The small dead leaf among the vines was a gorgeous Butterfly when he unfolded his wings, the under sides of which were a dingy brown.

"You will find this wherever you go," said Father Beaver, "Nature always protects her own."

"How does she protect you and me?" Phil asked him curiously, only half understanding.

"By giving us our wits," said the Beaver simply. "If you don't use them it is not her fault. When you grow up strong, and wise, and fearless, you will be able to protect others as well as yourself. As for us, it was she who first taught us how to build. But for her we should be at the mercy of the Wolverene all through the winter, when he is fierce with hunger, and very strong. There is the Wild Cat, too. Sometimes we hear her tearing at our roof, and snarling with rage. It is a horrible sound to listen to on a still dark night."

"Why didn't you stay in England? There are no Wild Cats or Wolverenes in the woods at home—only Birds and Rabbits, and harmless creatures such as those."

Father Beaver gnawed a strip of bark from a young birch tree before he answered. "The Wolverene is not our worst enemy," he said slowly. "Beavers were driven from your shores by Man. Yes—" as Phil gave a little start of surprise—"we used to build in many of your streams and rivers; in Wales we were well known, and I have heard that in the time of Hoel-dda, the great Welsh lawgiver, one hundred and twenty pence—then a very large sum—was offered for each Beaver's skin. You see we were much thought of even in those days, though I must say I wish it had been for something else than for our fur. We are still to be found along some of the large rivers of Europe, such as the Rhone and Danube, and in many lakes; but the Rhone Beavers are solitary animals and do not build houses, dwelling instead in burrows, which go far down into the earth."

"Do those hunters you spoke of often come after you, Father

"Yes, my son," said the Beaver sorrowfully, "for our fur is in greater demand than ever. In the winter, which is the 'hunting season,' they do their best to force our houses with heavy weapons, and if we take to the water beneath the ice, and swim to our tunnels in the river side, they sound the ice above the banks with an iron chisel, which tells their practised ears the exact spot where our holes are to be found. Then they dig us out—and that is the end of us."

"I'm very sorry, dear Beaver," Phil whispered, stroking the shining fur that brought such trouble on its possessors. "I'll tell them all when I leave the woods how cruel it is to hunt you, and p'raps they won't any more."

Father Beaver smiled mournfully. "There's always the Wolverene," he said. "His other name is the Glutton. It just exactly suits him, for he can eat more at a sitting than any other creature of his size. How does he look? Something like a small bear, with thick coarse hair of blackish brown. Until he shows his double row of glistening teeth, you would never guess how ferocious he could be. His muzzle, as far as his eyebrows, and his large paws (they are so large that his trail is sometimes mistaken for that of a bear) are the colour of ebony. His horrible claws are as white as milk, and the natives use them for necklaces. I wish they had them all," he finished with a deep sigh. "I can't help thinking he'll pounce on us some day soon."

But nothing was seen of the Wolverene as time went on, and Father Beaver became quite gay. His coat filled out, and grew more glossy than ever; he would be "a portly old gentleman" before long, Mother Beaver told him; and at this he began to talk of tree-felling, for he did not like the idea of losing his figure.

"There is a time for work and a time for play," said Mother Beaver, looking smilingly at her young ones. "The time for work has not come yet, though it will soon be here. Let them play in the sunshine yet awhile."


By Lillian M. Gask

Father Beaver had left his family to its own devices for some time; he had been exploring the winding river, and diving under waterfalls in sheer delight at his own strength. He was full grown now, and fond as he was of his little wife and children, the roaming instinct was strong. The morning he rejoined them he was in great form.

"What have you been doing with yourself?" inquired Mother Beaver, eyeing him suspiciously, when she had told him all her news. The glossy fur at the back of his neck bore marks of recent bites, and there was an ugly tear in one of his ears.

Father Beaver looked at the sky.

"There is a lovely maple tree not far from here," he said, as if he had not heard her question. "I girdled it on my way back just now, and you'll find plenty of syrup oozing from it if you go there to-morrow."

The young Beavers sniffed eagerly, but Mother Beaver was not to be put off.

"You have met the Otter," she cried, her eyes growing very big, "and you've been fighting."

Father Beaver chuckled. "Last summer," he said, turning to Phil, "I was only two years old, and that Otter punished me so severely that but for Mother Beaver there, who came to my rescue in the nick of time, I should have been done for. But now—well, he will never trouble me again!"

Phil looked at him with a new reverence. The Otter, he knew, was a fierce foe to Beavers, with whom he disputed the lordship of the river; that Father Beaver should have conquered him single handed filled him with awe.

"Let us hear all about it!" cried Mother Beaver, coming quite close to him. But he brushed her aside good-humouredly, and spoke of other things.

"The Night Wind says that the frosts will come early this fall," he remarked, "and we are well into the summer now. There is a fine plantation of willows on the river-bank, only waiting for us to fell them. We will get to work at once. I shall be downright glad to begin."

"So shall we all," said Mother Beaver heartily. "Holiday-making is well enough for a while, but if we did not use our teeth on something harder than soft bark and lily roots, they would soon grow dull."

"Yours are as bright as the gleam of the moon on the water, my love," said Father Beaver with a glance of admiration; and Mother Beaver gave him an affectionate push, which was as near to a hug as she could go.

When they reached the group of trees that Father Beaver had planned to attack first, other Beavers belonging to the colony were already at work. These nodded kindly to Phil, but were too much absorbed in what they were at to take much notice of him. Mother Beaver was deputed to see what he could do, while the young Beavers were given a first lesson by their proud father.

Choosing a stout young sapling very close to the bank, Mother Beaver gnawed round it with her sharp, chisel-like teeth, taking care to bite most deeply on the side nearest the water, so that it might fall towards the stream and be quickly floated. In a very few moments it toppled over, cut clean through, and Mother Beaver looked round for another.

"We'll try that big one over there," she cried, with an approving glance at her young ones, who were hard at work on some slender willows. Phil hesitated and flushed, for he did not know how to begin. Mother Beaver touched him pityingly with her small forepaw.

"I forgot your teeth were so small and weak, my dear. It's not your fault, so you need not be ashamed. When I have felled the tree, you shall drag it down to the bank. That will be a great help, and leave us free for felling."

The tree took much longer to fell than the sapling had done, for the trunk was nearly as thick as a man's body. Phil was immensely interested to see how Mother Beaver set about her task; he had guessed from the first that she was remarkably clever, but now he was quite sure of it.

First of all she made a deep cut through the bark which circled the trunk as far from the ground as she could conveniently reach. Some three or four inches lower she cut a second ring, and then, slowly and surely, dug out the wood from between, splinter by splinter, with those sharp teeth of hers.

The day wore on, and still she worked. Father Beaver offered to help her; each time he came she sent him back. It was growing dusk; Phil saw that now the trunk of the tree between the cuts went in like a lady's waist. Each time that Mother Beaver drew out a splinter this "waist" became more slender still; a very little further, and the tree would have been cut right through, but Mother Beaver knew when to stop.

"Come away," she cried quickly to Phil; "at the next gust of wind that tree will fall, and only foolish creatures run knowingly into danger. I should be crushed beneath it if I drew out another splinter. Some of our family have already met their deaths that way; they were too impulsive, and did not stop to think."

The Night Wind came singing through the forest, and the branches of the big tree quivered; with a low groan it crashed to earth, and Phil found that it took all his new strength to drag the heavy mass down to the bank.

"I s'pose you'll all take a rest now," he said persuasively, for he was longing to hear about Father Beaver's encounter with the Otter, and thought that he would not mind trying some of that maple syrup himself. But the Beavers were only just getting into their work, as they told him gaily, though he, of course, might take a nap.

They were still at it when he awoke next morning.

"We shall go on until not a tree on this spot is left standing,"
Mother Beaver declared, cheerfully; and he quite believed her.

By the afternoon his arms began to ache, and the Beavers had found him so useful that one of the elders of the colony had remarked that he should have nothing to say against it if he wished to stay with them altogether. Phil thought this very kind of him; but, much as he liked the Beavers, there were many other animals that he wanted to meet. Perhaps Mother Beaver guessed something of this, for she told him pleasantly to go off to the woods.

"You'll work all the better to-morrow," she said; and Father Beaver flapped his tail by way of dismissal.

As neither she nor their father would hear of the young Beavers taking a holiday too, Phil wandered off by himself into the depths of the forest, where the beautiful golden sunlight, which had much ado to force its way through the thick leaves, was making long ladders on the moss. Some small red berries, quite sweet and tasting like strawberry cream, drew him further and further in; a Squirrel threw him a nut and turned aside, as if too lazy to play, and a drowsy Bee mistook his yellow head for honey, much to her own dismay. Phil felt uncommonly drowsy himself, in spite of his long night's rest, and was thinking of taking forty winks when a gentle rustle in the branches made him look up quickly. It was the Wolverene.

For a moment Phil thought that he must be mistaken; surely that benign looking animal, so very like his own brown bear, could not be the Beaver's voracious enemy? He was patting the boughs as a playful kitten might have done, and rolling himself over with surprising ease. His small brown eyes gazed at Phil good-naturedly, as if to read his thoughts.

"I don't look such a desperate character, do I?" he asked complacently. "My wife—I must really introduce you to her—thinks I am quite a fine fellow, and my two young sons adore me. I'll take you home to supper, and you shall see them. They are barely ten days old."

Phil was very curious to see the young Wolverenes, but somehow he did not think it would be fair to the Beavers to be on such friendly terms with an animal that ate them. So he thanked him most politely and said he must be going on.

The Wolverene left off his playful patting of the branches and showed his teeth in an ugly smile.

"All right," he said resentfully. "I know what that means, of course. The Beavers have been setting you against me, just as I thought. They had better look out, for I have only been waiting until they grew a bit fatter. That 'Father Beaver' of yours will make me a remarkably good supper. Give him my love if you happen to see him."

He leapt as he spoke from the upper branch of one tree to the lower branch of another, a distance of some twenty feet, and disappeared. A low chuckle came from the ground close by, and Phil was delighted to see a small brown Rabbit, exactly like those that had played in the woods at home, sitting up on his hind legs. He was shaking with laughter, and his comical little nose was wrinkled up until it nearly met his eyes.

"Good for you!" he cried. "That Wolverene is a terror—I know him well. He would question and cross-question you about the Beavers until you were nearly addled, and then he would persuade them that you had been telling tales. Mischievous creatures such as he are best left alone, even if you are sure they cannot harm you. He is as much hated by Sable and Marten hunters as he is by all of us, for he has such a wonderful sense of smell that he scents out the stores of provisions they hide in case of need, and wastes all that he does not eat. He makes their traps useless, too—but that isn't to save the Sables, but because he wants the bait. The only creatures that can get the better of him are the Grizzlies; when they come down from the mountains they make a meal of him."

Not until the Rabbit had talked himself out of breath had Phil a chance of asking him the shortest way back to the river.

"Won't you let us give you a shake-down for the night?" he said by way of answer. "Our burrow is large enough to take you in, and I could tell you many stories of these woods."

"I'll come some other time, if you don't mind," said Phil. "I should like to find the Beavers now, and put them on their guard."

"Quite so!" agreed the Rabbit. "I shouldn't be surprised if that old rascal paid them a visit to-night. He'll guess their whereabouts from the trees they have cut down, and will try to punish you through them."

Phil hurried back as quickly as his legs could carry him, not even stopping to look at the splendid Birds that fluttered amongst the vines. A gorgeous Butterfly, spotted with crimson and purple, offered his services as a guide, but it was almost dusk before Phil reached the little colony of Beavers.

They were still working away, as busily as ever. Although he had only been gone a few hours, they had done wonders; more than half of the group of trees they had chosen were already down, for they had "worked together, and worked with a will," as Mother Beaver had said.

Phil's news was received with much concern, and Father Beaver hastily summoned a conference. All Beavers under a year old were at once dismissed from work, and commanded to wait by the entrances to the tunnels beneath the banks, so that in case of surprise they might be under cover, and Phil was posted as sentinel while the elder Beavers finished felling the trees they had already begun. This done, they decided to leave them where they were for the present, and to make for the other side of the river.

Father Beaver was the last to cross; as he dived from the bank there was a stealthy tread among the rushes, and the gleaming eyes of the Wolverene followed him through the water. But for Phil's warning there would have been at least one Beaver less that night.

It was some days before the busy little animals began their work again, for they knew that the Wolverene might still be on the watch for them, and have crossed the river himself. So they "lay very low," as Father Beaver put it, keeping to the thick undergrowth of the brushwood, or playing hide-and-seek with their young ones in the deeply tunnelled banks. Phil soon found that though each tunnel had a separate entrance, they all led to the same spot, within easy reach of the winter houses. He was never tired of admiring these, but Father Beaver brushed his praise aside, so far as they were concerned.

"Come and look at our dam," he said. "It's a very fine one, though perhaps I ought not to say so." The dam stretched quite two-thirds across the river, and was curved, somewhat in the shape of a half crescent.

"That is because the current here is very rapid," explained the Beaver, "and an arch is stronger than a straight line, as your own bridge builders know. If the current were gentle, our dam would be straight, and this would give us much less trouble. But a rapid current is very useful, for if we have to go any distance for our building materials, it brings them quickly down to us, without any special effort on our part."

"So that was why we carried all the trees that you had felled quite close to the river bank?"

"Exactly. When we are ready to build we shall push all those into the current, and some of us will be waiting by our dam to stop them as they float past. See how the branches of the willow are sprouting!"

They had reached the dam by this time; it seemed to Phil like a thick hedgerow on a solid bank, for not only were the willow branches in full leaf, but the poplars and birches, used to repair it from time to time, had taken root also.

"If the snow on the mountains melts too rapidly, and flows down to the river in torrents, the water behind our dam is still quite calm, and our houses, built in its shelter, are undisturbed. We must always have a deep body of water in which to build our lodges; so when we take a fancy to some small river or creek in which the water is likely to be drained off at any time, Nature teaches us to build our dam right across the river, in order that we may prevent this."

"How do you start building the dam?" asked Phil.

"If we are going to build a straight one, we guide two of the largest trees that we have felled to the spot we have chosen, placing them side by side, and leaving a space between. If some of their branches make them lie too high for our purpose, we nibble these off, working under water quite easily, and coming up every few minutes to breathe. (No—not more often than that, I assure you. Nature has arranged this for us, so that we can more easily escape our enemies.) These branches we place vertically in front of the big logs, adding other branches and small trees in the same way. Most of our wood, however, we lay crosswise, and almost horizontally. The spaces in between are filled with mud and stones, which we mix together to form a kind of cement. We bring the mud in tiny handfuls, holding it under our throats by means of our forepaws, and often making as many as a thousand journeys backward and forward from the bank before we have enough. We always build by night, you know, and for a long time no man could say just how we worked. Perhaps the Night Wind told in the end."

"How do you manage when you want your dam to be curved, as this one is?" asked Phil.

"Then we use smaller logs in the same way, shaping the dam as we work. You would not believe the strength of ours, unless you saw how it stood the shock of the floating ice as it came pounding against it at the end of the winter. Our houses we build in much the same way, but more roughly."

"I think they're wonderful," said Phil respectfully, and Father Beaver, trying not to look too pleased, moved his flat tail and cried "Tut, tut!"

"The Night Wind told me a wonderful story the other day—that some eight or nine years ago an Englishman took some Social Beavers to a beautiful valley in his park in England, setting them free by the banks of a stream, where the trees grew thickly down to the very edge of the water, just as they do here. These Beavers, she says, set to work at once to build a dam across the stream, making a deep wide pool six times as large as the original brook, and six times as deep at the lower end."

"I wonder if it is true?" mused Phil

"I believe anything that the Night Wind tells me," said Father Beaver, thoughtfully. "She talks to us often when the sun goes down; sometimes she is merry, and sometimes sad, but always what she says is true. She brings the scent of the hunters in time to warn us that they are on our track; she knows when the frosts are coming, and when it is safe for us to leave our winter houses and take to the woods. For Nature often sends us messages through her. Of what are you thinking? Eh?"

Phil's thoughts had been wandering, and the Beaver's sharp eyes had found him out.

"I was thinking about that Otter," he said, truthfully. "I want to know how an Otter looks."

"Oh! That just depends where you happen to be when you see him. If you are on land, he seems to be a slender animal some three feet or so in length, covered with close brown fur, and with a broad and flattened head, and a thick, tapering tail; if you see him in the water, diving after the fish on which he feeds, he looks like a flash of lightning! For the water clings to the long shining hairs which lie over his close coat, and he glides through the stream so quickly that your eye can scarcely follow him. He is a brave creature; he will fight to the death when he is attacked—and a brave enemy should be honoured, even in death."

"How did you kill him, Father Beaver? Do tell me—I have been wanting to know all day."

"I didn't kill him at all, my son," Father Beaver replied serenely. "He had fastened on me with his sharp teeth before I knew that he was near, and I was doing my best to get free of him when another Otter, a rival of his, seized him from behind and dragged him off to fight him on his own account. I retired to a safe distance and watched the battle. It lasted until one was killed outright and the other mortally wounded. They will never trouble our waters more."

"Oh," said Phil. He was rather disappointed that the Beaver had not killed his enemy in single combat; Father Beaver seemed quite satisfied, however.

"There are so many of her creatures that Nature wishes you to make friends with," he went on as he took another admiring look at his dam, "that I don't suppose you will be allowed to stay with us much longer. But before you leave this part of the country, you must certainly pay a visit to the Ondatras, or Musk Rats. We don't care for them as neighbours, for they are apt to make holes in our dams, but they are quite well-meaning and intelligent. They build much as we do, though their work is not so lasting. And because they are gentle and very timid, Nature made them, you'll see, the colour of mud, so that when they are curled up and at rest on the bank of a stream, they are often mistaken for; small mounds of earth. There is a colony of Ondatras in a shallow creek some miles away. You will see them at their best at night, for they are sleepy during the day time."

All the time he had been speaking, Father Beaver had been looking up and down the banks for traces of the Wolverene. The Birds called "Good-night" to each other from the glowing maples; the crimson lights of the sunset fell over the river, and the new moon hung her shining crescent on the top of a giant fir.

"I think all's safe," said Father Beaver; and the work of tree-felling began again.


By Lillian M. Gask

That very same evening Phil made his way to the home of the Musk Rats, or Ondatras. As he neared the creek the Beaver had pointed out to him, he saw a number of animals the size of big rats, with tails that were almost as long as their bodies, swimming hither and thither, and leaving trails of silver behind them. Others stood motionless upon the bank; so still were they that it was only their sparkling eyes that showed they were alive, until with a sudden plunge, they dived after their companions, striking their long tails smartly on the water as the Beavers did, and reappearing from beneath the broad green leaves of the water lilies on the other side.

Phil watched them silently for a time. They were like school boys, he thought, and he wondered what game they were playing. Sometimes a Musk Rat would lie quite flat on the surface of the stream, as if he were a floating leaf from some giant tree; in a moment he would be all life again, and, darting after his playmates, would race them round the creek.

"I think it would be very nice to be a Musk Rat," said Phil aloud, moving a little nearer the bank. In a second the creek was empty—not a single Ondatra was to be seen. Phil felt so disappointed that he was almost inclined to cry.

The water still rippled in the moonlight; all was still.

Presently a small brown head peeped out of a hole in the bank. Phil did not stir; he was afraid to breathe lest he might frighten the little thing away.

"Who is it?" cried a timid voice.

"A friend!" said Phil. And more small heads peeped at him questioningly.

"I am the Lady Ondatra," she cried, "and you are indeed most welcome. Will you join in our sports? The water is very smooth to-night, and as warm as milk."

Phil was nothing both. He was the same size now as they were, and could dive with the best of them; it was delightful to float on the surface of the water and watch the clouds chasing each other over the deep blue vault of the sky. The cry of the Night Owl came dreamily from the woods; a prowling Puma roared hungrily to his mate, but the pond of the Musk Rats was a happy playground, and they the merriest of comrades.

The hours flew by and the moonlight faded; the tips of the far off mountains were tinged with pink, and a Bird in the distance raised his morning song.

"It is time to go!" cried the Lady Ondatra to Phil; "come with me;
I will show you my nest."

Phil found that it was exactly as the Beaver had told him, and that he could follow the Lady Ondatra quite easily through the winding tunnels, or branched canals, which had their entrances under the water. The one through which the Ondatra led him sloped upward gradually for quite a long distance; it ended in a wide chamber in which there were three other openings. The centre of it was nearly filled by a luxurious couch of water-lily leaves and sedges, where, curled up snugly and fast asleep, four baby Ondatras lay with their faces hidden. They were like little Beavers, Phil thought, and just about the size of full-grown mice.

Their mother spoke in a hushed whisper lest she should disturb them.

"I'm glad that you think we are pleasant creatures," She said. "We do harm to no one, and live on roots and leaves, perfectly happy if we are but let alone. We dread the fall—it is then that the hunters most often come, though sometimes they visit us in the spring. Ah me!"

"Are they after you, too?" cried Phil compassionately. "You are so small that I shouldn't have thought your skins would be much good to them!"

"Our fur, which is used in making hats, is highly esteemed," said the Lady Ondatra stiffly, "and our flesh, though musky, of such excellent flavour that the natives prefer us to Wild Duck."

Phil guessed that she was hurt, and did his best to soothe her by admiring her babies. No mother could have resisted this.

"Tell me all about the hunters—that is, if you don't mind," he said with diffidence, when they had quite made friends.

The Lady Ondatra did not mind. She seemed to take a fearful joy in describing the perils she had escaped, though she knew quite well that when the summer was over she might have to go through them all again.

"Sometimes they take us in traps," she said, "which they arrange so that in our struggles for freedom we are jerked into the water and drowned, for we cannot live without air for any length of time. The nature of our abode depends entirely upon the soil, and we do not always build. The Ondatras who make their homes altogether in burrows, they capture by stopping up all their air holes except one, and seizing them when they come up to breathe. When we live in marshy places we build winter houses, just as the Beavers do, though ours are not so strong, and less than three feet high above the surface of the swamp. When the ice freezes over them we make breathing holes in it, and protect these from the frost by a covering of mud. If the frost is so hard that our holes cannot be kept open, we die from suffocation."

"But you are safe from the hunters in your winter houses?"

The slender tail of the Lady Ondatra quivered as she drew closer to her babies.

"There were five of us last fall," she said, "and we lived in a snug little house on the marsh. Our beds were beautiful—so soft and dry—and we had all the food that we should need. We had settled ourselves for a happy winter when a long cruel spear crashed through our roof and wounded three of us. The walls of our house were rudely torn away, and I and my mate only escaped because the hunter lost his balance and stumbled into the mud. Fortunately, our summer tunnels were not yet blocked with snow and so cut off from us, or even then we could not have escaped him."

The baby Ondatras stirred uneasily in their sleep as if they were dreaming of dangers to come, and their mother patted them gently. With a whisper of thanks Phil said good-bye, and crept through the branching passages up to the earth again.

Early as it was, the Squirrels were already chattering to themselves as they scampered amongst the trees. A little black fellow, with a bushy tail that spread itself out like a beautiful feathery fan for some six or eight inches at the tip, dropped lightly down in front of Phil. His ebony fur was as fine as thistle-down; Phil was not surprised to hear that his name was "Feathertail."

"When are you coming to pay us a visit?" the little creature asked in jealous tones. "I have a fair, green nest in the fork of a top-most branch, and a lovely wife and three young babies, with skins as soft as silk."

"I couldn't climb high enough!" Phil said regretfully. He had been "a regular duffer" at climbing at school, and the bigger boys had often dragged him up a fairly tall tree and left him there, clinging helplessly to the boughs, until they were tired of jeering at him. He shivered now as he thought of it; then squared his shoulders. His grey eyes flashed; he would not say "I can't" again.

"I'll do it somehow!" he cried. The Black Squirrel ran off to give notice of his visit, and Phil fixed, his whole mind upon climbing that tree.

"Press your knees against it, and use your hands," whispered a voice in his ear. "That's right,—now swing yourself round and take hold of the branch above you. So! You're getting on famously. Well done!"

Phil knew that it was Nature who spoke to him, and he felt so proud of her praises that he almost forgot the Squirrels. But three small heads, and a larger one, which belonged to a very proud mother, peeped over the nest to welcome him, and Feathertail waited beside it. Phil laughed to think of his doubts as to whether the branch would bear him; slender as it was it barely stirred beneath his weight.

The baby Squirrels were charming little things; he sat in the nest with them, and laughed with glee as the Wind rocked it to and fro, while Feathertail told him how it was only this spring that he had come to these woods.

"Their mother and I used to live in those heights you see in the distance there, under that rosy cloud. But the Grey Squirrels came, and drove us out—we couldn't stand the noise they made, and their rough ways frightened us. So Nature told us about this wood, and here we feel quite safe."

"So do I," said Phil, stroking the prettiest baby Squirrel gently. "What a jolly little chap this is. I wish I could take him home with me when I go back—I s'pose I'll have to go back some day," he finished with a sigh.

The mother Squirrel fluffed out her fur in wild alarm, and
Feathertail darted forward ready to protect his family.

"How could you suggest such a thing?" he asked indignantly, when Phil had managed to convince him that he meant no harm. "It is bad enough for an ordinary Squirrel to be taken away from his forest home and shut in a small cramped prison, but for us it means almost certain death, for we cannot stand captivity…. A cousin of mine—'twas the Wind that told me—was caught by some travellers and put in a tiny cage where she had scarcely room to turn. Of course she died, and they 'couldn't think why'! I wonder if they knew how cruel they were?"

His bright little eyes were clouded with grief, and it was not until he had raced to the top of a neighbouring tree and back again that he felt better. Even then he looked uneasy when Phil fondled his babies; as to the mother Squirrel, since that unfortunate remark of his, she had been clearly anxious to get rid of him.

"We will go to the stream," said Feathertail, when he saw that her anxiety was getting too much for her. Phil longed to ask if the baby Squirrels might come as well, but wisely refrained. He was sorry to leave that cosy nest on the waving branch; next time he came, he thought, he would be careful what he said.

The stream to which Feathertail led him was bordered by drooping ferns; it was so clear that it might have been a lady's mirror but for the tiny wavelets rippling from side to side.

"Don't you hear it singing as it trickles over the stone?" asked Feathertail. "It is the same song that the Wind sings, only more low and sweet…. Listen!"

Phil could hear nothing but the rustling of the leaves about them, and the soft flow of the sparkling water; but perhaps his ears were not so keen.

The Black Squirrel sat on the edge of the bank, and dipping his nose well under the surface of the stream, drank deeply and long. Then he placed himself jauntily on his hind feet, and washed his face with his forepaws, splashing them in the stream from time to time as if he thoroughly enjoyed it.

"We are the only Black Squirrels in the world," he said with melancholy pleasure. "We find our homes in the woods and heights of North America, and even here we are becoming more rare, for the Red and Grey Squirrels drive us from our haunts, and hunters trap us for our fur."

A cry from the bushes—the indignant protest of a Scarlet Tanager, that had been robbed by his mate of a fine fat insect—made Feathertail dart away. Phil waited in vain for his return.

"He has gone for good—that was quite enough to frighten him," remarked a little clucking voice that reminded Phil of the cry of a fluffy yellow chicken; and the daintiest little Squirrel he had yet seen whisked out from the brushwood and sat beside him. It was the Hackee, or Chipping Squirrel, and many a time Phil had seen him running in and out among the bushes; for the Hackee lives on the ground.

Now that he saw him closely, Phil noticed the beauty of the seven stripes that ran across his brownish-grey and orange fur. Five of these were jet-black, and two were white, tinged with flecks of yellow; the fur on his throat and underneath him was the colour of pure snow, and his forehead flamed with brilliant orange. He seemed on the best of terms with himself and all the world, and his small black eyes were full of fun and humour.

"Did Feathertail offer you any breakfast?" he asked, hopping close to Phil.


"I thought he wouldn't. He doesn't keep such stores as we do. Come with me."

His movements were so rapid that Phil almost lost sight of him before he gained the stump of the hollow tree which was, so to speak, his hall. Out of this hollow led several tunnels, down one of which the Hackee disappeared. Phil ran after him as quickly as he could, and with all his haste, admired the way in which his host had formed his winding gallery. Up and down it led them, through twists and turns that would have puzzled most Squirrels, let alone a boy, until they reached a large snug nest made of dry moss and grasses. It was empty, but still quite warm.

"Those young ones of mine ought to have been up and out more than an hour ago, lazy little creatures!" chuckled the Hackee. "I tell their mother that if they are not more independent before the new brood comes, she will have her hands full."

Diving into another gallery, the Hackee came to a full stop. Phil's eyes were scarcely yet used to "seeing in the dark," but he saw at length that they were standing before a heap of nuts, with grain in plenty, and many acorns; the Hackee had more than provided for his wants.

"We stay in these cosy burrows all through the winter snows," he said, "and only come out when the warm sunshine tells us that spring is here. To do this in comfort we work very hard in the fall to fill our storehouses with nuts and grain. This is only one of them—we have others in different places. Help yourself, and take as many nuts as you like," he went on hospitably. "Here—sit in this corner, and I will crack them for you."

But Phil preferred to crack his own nuts; his teeth, though the Beavers scorned them, were strong enough for this, he thought. They tasted like beaked hazel nuts, but where were the beaks? The Hackee laughed at his bewilderment.

"We carry home nuts in our cheek pouches, four at a time (Why four? Because five would be one too many, of course!), and we are much too sensible, as you might have guessed, to hurt ourselves by those sharp points. We bite them off tidily before we push them into our mouths with our fore-paws, as you will see if you watch us one day. It is fine to be a ground Squirrel, and much safer than living in trees. Down here we are safe from all our enemies—or almost all," he added in a whisper. Then his expression changed, and his sharp ears pointed forward.

"Hark!" he cried.

"Chip-munk-chip-munk!" The call was echoed through the galleries, and the Hackee's merry eyes were full of anger.

"How dare he come here!" he cried, "and calling me in that familiar way too! I'll let him know who is master in this burrow!"

The second Hackee came joyously down the passage, heedless of offence.

"Hallo," he cried, looking at Phil, "whom have we got here? That
Nature child? To be sure. I—"

But Hackee the First interrupted him.

"You have no business to come down here uninvited," he said, fiercely. "I would have you know—"

Before he could finish, the other had flown at him. Their slender tails—Phil was not at all astonished when he heard afterwards that these sometimes were snapped across in battle—whirled round like Catherine wheels; two small furry bodies darted backward and forward; gleaming white teeth tried to take savage bites at soft pink noses. It was a wonder that the Hackees found room to turn as they did in that narrow tunnel.

Phil tried in vain to come between them; they pushed him aside as if he were a bundle of grass, and in a second were at each other again. He was afraid that, like the Otters, they would fight to the death.

But the pugnacious Hackees' rage was spent as suddenly as it had arisen. While Phil imagined they were only gathering their breath for another attack, they had both calmed down.

"I've just been showing him round," said Hackee the First, twisting his tail in Phil's direction.

"Seems a nice boy," said Hackee the Second, feeling Phil's nose anxiously. "I thought I might have bitten it off just now when you got in my way," he said to Phil with much relief, finding it was still there. "Never come between fighting creatures, boy—it's a thankless task."

Phil was quite sure that if he had been his usual size the Hackee would not have chucked him under the chin in that off-hand way, but he did not mind a bit. They were all three sitting before the storehouse, the best of friends, when both chipping Squirrels sprang to their feet in terrified accord, standing for a second as if paralysed with fear. For their keen sense of smell had told them of the approach of the one enemy they dreaded—the soft-footed, silent Stoat.

Now came the use of those twists and turns of the winding passages. Swift as were the movements of the Stoat, he was on strange ground, while the Hackees knew every inch of it. His savage eyes looked like vengeful green fire to Phil, who waited for him in the centre of the gallery, hoping to bar his way. But the Stoat passed by him as if he were not there, and Phil listened with dread for the strangled cry which would mean that one of the Hackees had met his doom. None came; the Stoat had missed a turn in the winding tunnel, and the flying Hackees reached the hollow tree in safety. Once there, it was easy to dive down another burrow and so baffle pursuit, but they were two very frightened Squirrels when at last they stopped for breath.


By Lillian M. Gask

The sun, like some mighty king in a fairy tale with a great gold crown, and flowing robes of pearl and rose colour, had long since risen above the mountain. A mist of heat hung over the valley, and the giant fir trees at the edge of the wood were like sentinels guarding a wonderland.

Down one of these, from which the bark had been completely stripped, came a singular animal with rough hair, and a short tail thickly set with quills. On seeing Phil, who had just left the home of the Squirrels, he rapped his tail smartly against a tree, almost dropping to the ground with fright. He recovered his balance just in time.

"I suppose you are that child of Nature's," he remarked, gruffly, "I am the Urson, the only Porcupine you'll find in North America, and I eat bark because I like it. Why do I take it from the top of the tree first? Because I prefer to work my way down. Why haven't I more quills if I am a Porcupine? If you use your eyes, you'll see that I am studded all over with them, though my hair is so thick and long that they are not particularly noticeable. How fond you are of questions! Is there anything more you want to know? I'm just going home."

"Couldn't you stay a little while, Mr. Urson? You look so—so interesting, and I should like to talk to you!"

The Urson showed his orange teeth in a sudden smile, and rubbed himself against Phil's arm as al friendly cat might have done. In spite of his crop of thick dark hair he was rather prickly, and Phil hoped that he would not want to sit on his lap.

"You're a bright little fellow," declared the Urson; "I can't think why they called you 'stupid.' Did you put out your quills and fight them?"

"No,—o," Phil acknowledged reluctantly. "I—I—ran away."

"Bad thing to do as a rule, though it hasn't turned out badly for you. When you go back, you must stand up to the boys if they tease you, and show them you have some spirit. Don't get in a temper, you know; but hold your own."

Phil thought it was all very well for a Porcupine full of quills to talk so bravely; for a small boy it was quite different.

"Not at all," said the Urson, as if he had spoken his thoughts aloud. "They would leave you alone if you did not let them see you were so frightened. I am nervous myself, but I can keep a dog twice my own size at bay; if he comes too near I turn my; back and give him a taste of my tail, and a mouthful of quills into the bargain."

"Ah, but I haven't a tail, you see!" said Phil, and the Urson remarked that as that was the case he must learn to do without. Yawning at intervals, he told Phil how his great-great-grandfather ("a most distinguished inhabitant of this forest") had defended himself single-handed against the attack of an American Indian, coming off victorious in the fight, though leaving half his tail quills in the native's hands.

"And he used them to decorate his squaw's front hair!" said the Urson with disgust. The very thought of it made him so angry that he erected all his own quills until he was as completely protected as a knight in armour.

In a moment or two his anger subsided. "Would you like to see my home?" he asked, mindful of the fact that he, in common with all the other creatures of the wood, had been told by Nature to be kind to Phil. He did not seem too pleased when Phil said "Yes," for he was a most devoted father, and had heard before now of a human being taking a liking to a young Porcupine, and carrying him off to tame and bring up as his own. He grunted to himself under his breath as he went along, but Phil thought this was just his way.

The Urson's den was some distance off, in the midst of a cluster of rocks that had fallen to the valley from the mountain side. To reach it they had to cross the wood, and the Urson's progress was almost a royal one, for all the small wood things moved away at his approach. He walked deliberately, as if the woods belonged to him, and made no effort to subdue the rustling of his quills through the long grass. A hungry-looking Weasel with malicious eyes glared at him furtively, but came no nearer; he had "tried conclusions" with an Urson once, and would not venture again. A sharp-nosed Fox licked his longing lips and turned his head aside, while further on a greyish-brown animal huddled upon the lower branch of a spreading tree stretched out a savage paw, and drew it back. Those slender quills were painful things when they pierced the tender places between one's claws, and no delicious morsel behind the spears could make up for a swollen mouth that would be sore and smarting for days—so sore that its owner, unable to eat, might die from sheer starvation. So the Porcupine passed under the tree in safety, dawdling on purpose as he caught sight of the crouching figure above him.

"That's 'Peeshoo'—the Lynx," he laughed as they moved on. "She would make a grab at me if she dared, but she's afraid. You would not think to look at her, would you, that a blow from a stick would kill her at once? Yet so it is. That is because she is a coward at heart, for all her fierceness."

A snarl of rage from "Peeshoo" told Phil that she had overheard.

"She always snarls when I move out of her reach, though she dare not touch me," said the Urson, making himself into a bristling ball of defiance as he heard the sound. "I do that to remind her what she would have to face," he explained to Phil. "There's nothing like letting one's enemies see that one is ready for them. 'Don't attack, but always be ready to defend yourself; this is my motto, and a good one it is."

They were out of the wood soon and in the valley. The entrance that led to the Urson's den was so narrow that he had to make his quills lie very flat in order to creep through, but Phil, as it always happened, was just the right size. He was speedily introduced to Mrs. Urson and to "my small son."

The baby Porcupine was in reality anything but "small"; Phil found out afterwards that of all wild things he was the largest in proportion to the size of his parents. A big furry bundle of silky brown, his quills not yet having pushed their way through his thick hair, Phil thought him very comfortable to nurse, and Mrs. Urson was as pleased with his admiration of her offspring as the Lady Ondatra had been. His father, however, was inclined to be testy.

"He's just an ordinary young Porcupine," he said; "no more, no less. Don't put nonsense into his head, please—his mother is ready enough to do that."

Feeling rather uncomfortable on her account, Phil turned to Mrs. Porcupine, who did not seem in the least disturbed by her lord's reproaches.

"He wants a little change of air, poor dear," she said to Phil in a confidential whisper. "I expect he'll be leaving me soon—I know the signs."

The Urson caught her whisper, and his sharp little face grew sad.

"We've been very good friends," he said, looking round at her wistfully, "and it's a nice child; but there's something beyond these woods which is calling—calling. I don't think that I can stay much longer."

His mate moved close to him and touched his, nose with hers.

"You'll come back when the summer is over," she said, "and you will find us here."

"Shall I?" returned the Urson, doubtfully, more to himself than her. They had forgotten Phil, who was rather in the way. He was glad when the Mother Porcupine came back to the present, and asked him to try some fine spruce bark.

"I wish I could give you buckwheat," she remarked, "for it might be more to your taste. You're not hungry? That's very strange. We always are—when we're awake!" She finished her sentence with a wide yawn, and Phil took this as a hint that she wanted to go to sleep—which was indeed the case. He refused her kind offer of a bed for the day, and the Urson then insisted upon showing him a short cut through the wood. On the way he grew quite talkative.

"That's a Bee-tree," he said, as they passed a big maple with a hollow trunk. "The Bees may thank me that the Bears have not robbed them of their wealth long before now. That crooked branch, just half-way up, is a favourite resting-place of mine, and I allow no trespassing. If a Bear appears and begins to climb with the idea of scooping out honey from the entrance some feet higher, I go to meet him; Bears have tender noses, and don't care for quills. So they growl a bit and go down more quickly than they came up … I wouldn't part with my quills for the strongest teeth in the world."

"Your own teeth seem a very good size," said Phil, taking a look at them.

"They're not so bad," said the Urson, modestly. "But I use them chiefly for stripping bark from the trees. As weapons of defence they would not serve me, for if I tried to bite I should expose my throat and nose, which are the unprotected parts of my body. If ever you see me asleep, you will notice that I hide my head between my forepaws; never expose your weak spot, you know!"

They had come to an open space, and the sun shone down upon them with glowing ardour; the Urson thought of his cool dark den, and hastily wished Phil "good-bye."

"There's 'Peeshoo' again," he said. "Have a chat with her if you like, but don't tell her where I live, or about my son. He's too young to show fight yet. Good day to you."

He walked off in that precise, deliberate way of his, but Phil was not to be left alone. The Lynx that he had caught sight of on the branch of the tree some time ago had been awaiting her opportunity, and came running towards him with a series of noiseless bounds. Her back was arched, and her feet outspread; she was not unlike a long-bodied and heavily-built cat, Phil thought, though her peculiar erect ears, tipped by an upright tuft of coarse black bristles, proclaimed her at once as the Lynx of North America, of which the Beavers had already told him. Her powerful feet were furnished with large white claws, almost hidden in her thick fur; her face was round, and her eyes as sharp and piercing as those of all her kind. She reached Phil's side as silently as if she were shod with velvet, and greeted him as if she had not seen him before.

"Come and sit by me, you lonely little fellow," she purred. "No—you needn't be frightened. ('I wasn't,' said Phil.) The only creatures that are afraid of me are the Hares and Foxes, and if I didn't eat them they would soon overrun the whole place; I do it out of kindness, you know."

She had seated herself on the ground as she was speaking, and made a soft and comfortable heap of fur. But Phil, though he, too, felt sleepy in the warm sunshine, was both to do as she suggested and use her back as a cushion.

"I've been very unjustly blamed," she began in a plaintive voice, when she had asked him what colour he thought her eyes, and whether he considered her fur becoming. "Settlers say that I am in the habit of dropping from trees on to the backs of Deer, and tearing their throats. They must mistake the Puma for me,—isn't it too bad?"

"Much too bad," agreed Phil, though he wondered a little if she were as innocent as she would have him believe. It was only politeness that kept him beside her, for he wanted to play with the Squirrels, who were much more to his liking. He could see one now beckoning to him from a great maple, as if he was very anxious to tell him something that he had heard. With a great effort Phil turned his attention to "Peeshoo"; she was talking of the Wolverene, which he could see that she did not love.

"He was so abominably greedy," she said, "and Wanted our share as well as his own. Quite early this morning he was after one of my Hares; it was a remarkably active little creature, and soon left him in the lurch. He caught a Rabbit or two and a few Birds, and might have been satisfied with those. But no—he wanted something larger, and ventured so near the mountains that a Grizzly Bear, who had strolled down to see what these woods were like, found him nosing about his breakfast, which he had just killed. What he said to the Grizzly I don't know, but it couldn't have pleased him, for with a single blow of his heavy paw the great Bear struck him down. That Wolverene will never try to rob me of my Hares again!"

"Was he quite killed?" Phil asked her anxiously, and "Peeshoo" smiled an ugly smile that showed her teeth and made Phil draw away from her.

"Don't you know yet what the paw of a big Grizzly is, child? It would kill a man, let alone an animal like the Wolverene. I keep out of the way of the Grizzlies myself—I find it wiser, and so will you."

But Phil knew well that even a Grizzly would not harm him, and he had always been fond of Bears. Some day he would go and see them; they were brave creatures, at any rate, and could tell him much that he longed to know.

"Peeshoo" talked on, but he scarcely heard her. So the Wolverene had been killed himself, instead of killing the Beavers, and for the present at least they would be safe. How glad Father Beaver would be, he thought; it was good news this time that he had to tell him, and as soon as he could get rid of "Peeshoo" he would hasten back to the colony. He did not mention the Beavers to her, for he thought it quite possible that she might eat other small animals besides Foxes and Hares; and he was learning to be very careful not to injure his friends.

When "Peeshoo's" hunger grew stronger than her interest in her companion, Phil and she parted company. Phil went straight to the river, and followed its course until he came to the Beavers' dome-shaped houses. Of the Beavers themselves there was no sign.

"I'll explore one of their tunnels," thought Phil. He dived into the river, using his right leg instead of a tail to splash the water as the Beavers did, and soon found a Beaver's hole.

"Anyone at home?" he sang out gaily, as he ran through the tunnel's twists and turns.

"We're here!" cried Mother Beaver from its innermost recesses; and there Phil found her with her young ones, looking most forlorn.

"What is the matter?" he asked, for he had never seen her so distressed. She was shaking all over as she told him, and her voice was broken with sobs.

The night before, it seemed, almost immediately after Phil had left them, the Wolverene had made an unexpected attack. All had seemed safe, and the Beavers had for a moment relaxed their guard. Dropping from the branches of a tree into their very midst, the Wolverene had pounced on a plump young Beaver just then engaged in felling a willow sapling; in spite of his struggles there had been no chance for him, and the Wolverene had eaten him then and there. Not content with this, he had taken his stand upon the river bank, intent on further prey. The young Beavers were trembling still, and even the bravest of their elders were afraid to venture out from their retreat.

When Mother Beaver heard what had happened to the Wolverene in the early morning, she could scarcely contain herself for joy, and Father Beaver, who had sought his family in vain in the winter houses, where many of the colony had taken refuge, would have embraced Phil had he known how. He straightway planned a wonderful new dam that should put the old one to shame; and the number of trees the Beavers felled that night was simply marvellous. Nowhere along the river banks were more contented creatures than they; and many a timid wood thing, unknown to them, shared their thanksgiving that the Wolverene was dead.

Father Beaver was interested to learn from Phil of the Hackees' narrow escape.

"We have all our foes," he said, "and must fight them as best we can, with our wits or our teeth, the weapons Nature has given us. That Stoat you saw will perhaps be trapped this winter; his brownish coat will turn pure white when the snow comes, and he will be called an 'Ermine' instead of a 'Stoat'; and then the hunters will be after him."

"Then the Ermine and the Stoat are the same creature?" cried Phil in amazement.

"The very same," said Father Beaver, "and Ermine fur is more valuable than our own. All sorts of traps will be set for him, for as his coat will be the same colour as the snow, it will be almost impossible for the fur hunters to take him in any other way."

"I wonder why his fur turns white in winter?" Phil said, thoughtfully.

Father Beaver looked thoughtful too. "It is said to keep him much warmer than if it were dark," he remarked: "But I should think that it is so that he may not readily be seen against the snow. Perhaps that is Nature's way of taking care of him. We are all her children. But these are things that neither you nor I can understand."


By Lillian M. Gask

"I wonder where I shall find a Camel," said Phil to himself. Not even the Arab Horses, far-famed and lovely as they were, could for him compare in interest with the "ships of the desert," without whose aid, Nature had told him the burning sands would be more impassable than tractless seas. He had seen a Camel once in a travelling menagerie; a depressed and shaggy Camel, with dim, lack-lustre eyes and a rough coat. He wondered if the Camels in Arabia would look like that.

There was no breeze now, and the thin blue smoke that rose above the chimneys of the distant houses hung lazily in the sky. Phil had walked far since he left the mountain, and although a tawny Butterfly with an oblique white bar across the tip of her forewings had stayed her flight in passing, it had only been to wish him a pleasant journey. The sands of the desert plains stretched far to left and right in the broiling sunshine, looking like tracts of gold. Phil's eyes were dazzled by the glare; he sought the shade of a palm tree and leant against its slender trunk.

Presently he became aware that something was watching him from a sandy bank not far away. It was a Lizard—surely the queerest Lizard that Nature had ever made. His body was covered with shining scales, like those of most of his kindred, but his fat tail, ringed with thorn-like spines, was very curious, and his big teeth, set far apart in his funny mouth, were too large for his small round head.

He gazed at Phil in quizzical amusement, and asked him what he wanted in Arabia.

"To see a Camel," Phil replied, and the Lizard gave a dry little chuckle.

"You will have to go down to the plains for that," he said, "and the wind will blow the sand into your eyes. Better stay here with me. The shade is pleasant, and dates are sweet."

Phil shook his head.

"I have come a long way to see the Camel," he persisted. "Have I far to go before I shall find him?"

The Thorny-tailed Lizard—for this was he—blinked several times before he spoke again.

"Not far for you," he said at last, "for Nature has given you invisible wings to your feet. Before you go have a look at my burrow. It is a simple little affair, but very comfortable, and when I tuck my head and body inside it I am quite safe. If the Arabs, who find me as dainty eating as they do Locusts, try to pull me out by my tail, it comes off in their hands, and I grow another. He! he! he!"

The Lizard was quite a character in his way, and Phil spent a pleasant half-hour with him. His burrow, though only a deep long hole in the sand-bank, was very cosy, and Mrs. Thorny-tail was most intelligent. She had a great deal to say to Phil about a demure Red Locust who showed some inclination, to bite him as he bade her farewell at the entrance to the burrow.

"He belongs to the same family as the Grasshoppers," she remarked, as, much discomfited at what she said to him, the Locust flew away. "But instead of leaping through the air as they do, he uses his strong wings, which carry him very far."

"He scarcely looks large enough to do all the harm they say," said Phil, who had heard of him from the Butterfly. "I should have thought him quite a harmless creature if I had not known."

"A swarm of his family can make a green land desolate," returned the Lizard. "Small things can do much mischief, as you will learn when you grow older. There is nothing safe from Locusts. They have even been known in the Strait of Ormuz to settle on a ship, and, by devouring the sails and cordage, oblige the captain to stay his course. What? You are still thinking about your Camels? Well, ask for 'Maherry' when you reach the Arabs' dwellings. He is the fleetest Heirie in Arabia."

"Is a 'Heirie' the same as a Camel?" Phil inquired. But the Thorny-tailed Lizard had already tucked her head into her burrow, and soon was lost to sight.

A Weaver Bird fluttered from the palm tree in a state of wild alarm.

"There's a Viper under that stone," she cried, "Do send him off. He makes my heart beat so that I can scarcely hear myself twitter."

Phil turned it over, and a Snake wriggled away as if he had no wish that Phil should see his face. The Weaver Bird thanked Phil with many words.

"He has been watching me all the morning," she said, "with those dreadful eyes of his. I am thankful that he has gone, though my young ones have flown now, and my mind is at peace. Won't you stay and look at my nest? We made it all ourselves, I and my mate, and it is quite worth seeing."

It hung from a fairly high branch, and could only be reached by means of a long narrow entrance, most elaborately woven of grass and twigs, somewhat in the shape of an old-fashioned netted purse. This, she told him, was to keep away poisonous Snakes and mischievous Monkeys, who would otherwise have helped themselves to her eggs, or feasted upon her fledglings.

"We had to keep a sharp look out, their father and I," she added, putting her small black head pensively on one side as she thought of the troubles of married life, "for Birds have many enemies here. Sometimes we hang our nests from the boughs of trees on the bank of a stream or river, but then there are Water Rats as well as Snakes, and it is wonderful how far they can jump."

And on she chattered, giving Phil her history from the day of her birth, and confiding to him how grieved her mate had been in spring because he could not sing.

"But when we began to build our nest," she went on happily, "he was too busy to think about such nonsense, and there is no good in crying for what you cannot have! If you will wait a little while you will see him. Are you going far?—'To find Maherry?' Why, you are almost there. Just go straight on until you come to a house with a white mark over the lintel. He lives in the shed beside it."

Following her directions, Phil steered his course by the blue smoke that he had seen in the distance, and presently found the house that she had described. It was roughly built and very old; it looked as if it had been there for centuries. The door of the shed was open, and Phil slipped quietly in. A slender Camel, resting on the ground in a kneeling position, looked solemnly up at him from beneath his long thick lashes, and waited for him to speak.

"Are you Maherry?" he said, touching the reddish-grey coat that for all its thickness was as soft as silk.

"I am Maherry," the Camel answered, stirring a little so that Phil might find room beside him on his couch of date leaves. "I have just come a long journey across the desert, and my limbs are weary, or I would rise."

"Why do they call you the Heirie? You look just like the one-humped
Camel I saw in my picture book, and he was a Dromedary."

Maherry raised his head.

"I am sometimes called that too. Dromedaries or Heiries are one and the same animal. Heiries are more slenderly built and far more fleet than ordinary Camels, whether they are one-humped and Arabian, or Bactrian, with two humps. To an Arab 'Fleet as the Heirie' means 'fleet as the wind.' We are the Camels of Oman, and can travel through the desert without stopping for several days and nights. Thus we reach the end of our journeys quickly, and our masters cry: 'It is well!' In days of old the Arabs said: 'When thou shalt meet a Heirie and say to the rider 'Peace be between us,' ere he shall have answered 'There is peace between us,' he will be far off, for his swiftness is like the wind.'"

"Are they kind to you, these masters of yours, Maherry?"

The Heirie laughed softly.

"Ay," he said, "or we should not serve them half so well. The service of love is swifter than the service of fear; the Turks, who treat their Camels more as you do the Ass in England, find them neither so willing nor so tractable, though all Camels are by nature patient, and strong to endure. Here in Arabia a young Camel is fondled as if it were a baby. 'A child is born to us,' cry our master's family; and silver charms are hung on our heads and about our necks, while we are encouraged to take our first steps by music and song."

The Heirie paused. The tinkling of bells came softly through the open door, and Phil, looking eagerly round it, saw a long procession of Camels wending its way through the town. They were heavily laden, and trod as if they were very tired. As they reached an open space behind the market their masters called a halt.

"It is four o'clock, and the end of one stage of their journey," said Maherry. "Go you and watch them; and do not give too much heed if they dispute with each other when they are unloaded. It is the end of the day, and their burdens were heavy."

Phil drew the door of the Heirie's shed quickly behind him, and hastened through the market place, where another time he would have wished to linger. Pink and white sweetmeats were spread out temptingly; luscious black figs, and grapes and peaches covered the low stalls; sweet-smelling spices and aromatic herbs made the air fragrant, and dark-skinned Arabs showed weapons and ornaments, cunningly wrought in precious metals. But it was only the Camels Phil wanted to see just then, and he did not stop until he had reached them.

They were much larger than the Heirie; most of them were brown, but some light grey, and one, who bore the heaviest load of all, a snowy white. His master called him "Aleppo," and chided him gently for his weariness. Phil made himself known to him as he knelt to be unloaded, throwing the weight of his body on the thick elastic pads that Nature had given him on his broad chest and on each elbow and knee of his fore-limbs. These elastic cushions, Phil saw, were on the front of his hind knees too, and smaller ones upon his hocks.

"This is so that in kneeling, our natural position of rest, wherever the weight of our bodies is thrown, our shins are protected," said Aleppo. "I am hungry and thirsty now, but presently we will talk."

The unloading of the Camels took some time. As they were released from their burdens they rose to their feet again, and the way in which some of them scuffled and kicked their neighbours reminded Phil of Maherry's words. It was strange to see them wrestling together, now and then giving each other an apparently savage bite, and Phil was glad when the Arabs brought them their evening meal—date leaves and thorny shrubs, with leaves and branches of the tamarisk tree, and some dry black beans that looked as hard as stones. But the Camels, kneeling round the baggage, scrunched them thankfully, their strong teeth making this an easy matter, and drew in leaves and branches with their cleft lips. Ere long Aleppo, declaring himself refreshed, suggested that Phil should come close beside him, so that they could talk more easily.

As Phil leant comfortably against his hump he was struck with its ungainliness, and asked:

"Don't you wish you hadn't a hump, Aleppo?"

Aleppo nearly upset him by the sudden start he gave.

"Why, my hump is my greatest treasure," he replied. "But for that, I should have often dropped from starvation when provisions ran short in the desert. When a Camel once falls it seldom rises to its feet again, and the Vultures claim it as their own. The first thing an Arab does when he is starting on a journey is to look to his animal's hump, for without the nourishment stored up for him in this, the Camel would often be in a bad way. Once our humps are exhausted, it takes three or four months of rest and good feeding to bring them up again."

"But how do you 'feed' on them, Aleppo?"

"We absorb the fat of which they are composed into our system," said Aleppo, "just as, in colder regions of the earth, the Bears, during their long winter sleep live on the thick layer of fat stored up for them during the autumn beneath their skins."

"Is there water in your hump, too?" asked Phil. "I often used to wonder when I heard about you how you can go as many days without it as they say you do when you are crossing the desert."

"No," said Aleppo, with a wide grin. "We hold our stores of water in what you might call a 'reservoir' of deep honeycomb cells inside our paunch. These cells hold altogether as much as six quarts of fluid, and when we have taken a long drink the mouth of each cell contracts, so that the water is prevented from mixing with our food.

"Some Camels can go longer without drinking than others. This is because they can dilate these cells, and so carry a larger supply of water. It is said"—his voice became very mournful, and he stopped scrunching the dry jeans—"that rather than die of thirst the Arabs have been known to kill us in the wilderness, that they might steal the water yet remaining in our cells! But I can scarcely, believe it!"

Phil was deeply impressed.

"Is there any other animal in the world so wonderfully made as you are?" he asked.

Aleppo looked at him with a kind smile, for he, in common with every living creature, was glad to be appreciated.

"There are many just as wonderful in their own way," he said, "but the only other animal I know of who has this 'reservoir' inside him is the Llama. In the mountainous regions of Chili and Peru he fills our place as servant to man."

Phil waited to hear more, but Aleppo was trapped in thought.

The dusk had gathered; the sellers from the market place had gone away, and as the brilliant stars flamed in the heavens one by one, a hush fell over the scene. Suddenly Aleppo raised his head; from afar off came the jangling of many bells, the sound of flutes and flageolets, of the beating of drums and of shouts of exultation.

"It is a caravan of pilgrims," said Aleppo, "on their way to the Holy City, where, enthroned upon a Camel, Mohammed gave the law. The pilgrims travel by night; they started only a few hours since, and this is not one of their halting places, so you will see them pass."

The cavalcade came nearer. Phil could see now the lighted torches that the pilgrims waved; their yellow flames lit up the scene, and shone on the silver trappings of the foremost Camels. Streamers of coloured silk floated above their heads or trailed behind them; the saddles of the Heiries were of the richest velvet, purple and blue, and necklaces of coral and amber hung below their bridles. The swarthy faces of their riders shone with fervour as they played their flutes, or sang their hymns of praise, and the satin-skinned Arab Horses, who formed a minor part of the cavalcade, pranced and curveted as the torch light gleamed on their polished sides.

"Poor things," said Aleppo with a pitying look. "When the fierce rays of the sun stream down upon them, and their hoofs sink deeply into the shifting sands, they will suffer tortures. Many die on these pilgrimages before the journey is half over, for Nature has not fitted them, as she has us, to cross the desert."

"Tell me about them!" entreated Phil, as the beautiful creatures still came on, their eyes flashing with pride of race, and every line of their slender bodies a thing of beauty.

"They are famous all the world over," said Aleppo; "so famous that it is difficult now for even an Arab Sheik to increase his stud. To be accounted of pure lineage, an Arab Horse must belong to one of the five breeds which are said to be descended from King Solomon's favourite mares! Their pedigrees are written in parchment; they are contained in the little pouches their masters hang round their necks. Arab Horses do not know the meaning of a blow, and because they have never been roughly treated they are as gentle as they are brave. They neither jib nor rear, and in spite of their small size are full of fire and courage."

The Arab Horses passed, and yet the cavalcade streamed on. Now there were Camels again, still more resplendent in their trappings than those that had gone before. Embroideries of gold and silver bedecked their saddles, and glittered beneath the robes of flowing white which are the Arabs' native dress. One pure grey Heirie was decked with ostrich feathers, and had his bridle studded with rubies and emeralds, and gleaming topaz. His master was the Emir Hadgi, the commander of the pilgrimage.

"I once took part in a pilgrimage myself," said Aleppo reflectively, when the last of the cavalcade was out of sight. "Even for me, trained as I was to go long distances, it was a hard struggle to endure to the end. There was a terrible sand storm, and water failed; the wells, when we reached them, were all dried up, and but few of the pilgrims survived."

Aleppo paused. He was thinking of the strange fascination of the desert in spite of all its terrors, and of the wonderful pictures he had seen in the desert sky that men called "mirages." They were of shady groves and flowing rivers, and many a time had Aleppo seen them as he pressed on through the sands, with head held high, so that he might scan the horizon for the longed-for oasis. He turned to speak of these to Phil; but his little companion, he saw, had meantime drifted off to dreamland.



By Beatrix Potter

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter.

They lived with their mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.

"Now, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit, one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden; your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor. Now run along, and don't get into mischief. I am going out."

Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker's. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.

Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries; but Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight away to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate. First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes; and then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.

But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr.

Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, "Stop thief!"

Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate.

He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe among the potatoes. After losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new. Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly Sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.

Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him, and rushed into the tool-shed, and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not had so much water in it.

Mr. McGregor was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the tool-shed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower-pot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each.

Presently Peter sneezed—"Kertyschoo!" Mr. McGregor was after him in no time, and tried to put his foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGregor, and he was tired of running after Peter. He went back to his work.

Peter sat down, to rest; he was out of breath and trembling with fright, and he had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp with sitting in that can.

After a time he began to wander about, going lippity—lippity—not very fast, and looking all round. He found a door in a wall; but it was locked, and there was no room for a fat little Rabbit to squeeze underneath.

An old Mouse was running in and out over the stone door-step, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. She only shook her head at him. Peter began to cry.

Then he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Presently, he came to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A white Cat was staring at some Gold-fish; she sat very, very still, but now and then the tip of her tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter thought it best to go away without speaking to her, he had heard about Cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny.

He went back towards the tool-shed, but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe—scr-r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scuttered underneath the bushes. But presently, as nothing happened, he came out, and climbed upon a wheelbarrow, and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate!

Peter got down very quietly off the wheelbarrow, and started running as fast as he could go, along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes.

Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner, but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.

Mr. McGregor hung up the little jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten the Blackbirds.

Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree.

He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit-hole, and shut his eyes. His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight!

I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening.

His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter!

"One tablespoonful to be taken at bed-time."

But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries, for supper.



The Lioness was wide awake, but two of the little Lion Cubs were rather sleepy. The third one however, who had perched himself on his mother's back, was quite livety: he had not had quite so much for dinner as the others.

"Mother," he began, "what do all these two-legged things come and look at us for? And why have they got such funny skins? Do they ever have anything to eat, mother—bones, and things like that?"

"Don't purr so loudly, my dear," said the Lioness, or you'll wake your brother and sister. These two-legged things are people—the big ones are called men and women, and the little ones are boys and girls. They don't do us any harm; indeed, some of them are very kind to us—they give us our dinner, and clean straw in our houses, and help to make us comfortable. They do their best, poor things, so you mustn't growl at them."

"Look, mother," said the Lion Cub, "that small thing with the white skin has thrown something into our house! What does she think we shall do with it?"

"Don't take any notice of her, my dear." said the Lioness, blinking her eyes at the little girl (who was "the small thing with the white skin"); "it's only something that they call bread—she thinks that we shall eat it. But it's really only fit for elephants or bears; we don't eat stuff like that. I tasted it once, I remember, but that was a long time ago, when I was very, very hungry, and glad to get anything I could."

"When was that, mother?" said the baby Lion. "Do tell me about it."

"Ah, I didn't always live in a house like this, my dear," replied the Lioness. "I was born far away from here, in a place called Africa, and I was quite grown-up before I saw a man at all. We used to live very happily there in my young days—though it wasn't such an easy life as that we have now. There was no one to bring you your dinner regularly every day; no, you had to catch your dinner first and then eat it, and sometimes we had to go a long time with nothing but a very small antelope or perhaps a bird or two."

The Lion Cub's eyes opened wide with astonishment.

"What is Africa like, mother?" he said. "Did anyone else live there?"

"Dear me, yes," answered the Lioness. "All sorts of creatures. There were antelopes and snakes, and several of our own relations, and hosts of others besides."

The Lion Cub thought for a little while. Then he said, "Why did you come here, then, mother?"

The Lioness growled slightly. From the next cage there came a loud roar, waking the two sleeping Lion Cubs, and startling the other so much that he tumbled off his mother's back.

"Ho, ho, ho!" said a deep voice. "I remember! It seemed such a nice fat young calf, didn't it?" It was the big Lion next door. The Lioness seemed quite vexed; she had not known that the Lion was listening. But he had been, and now he seemed to be in a very good humor, and went on purring and talking to himself, but the little Lion Cubs could easily hear what he was saying, and paid the greatest attention.

"Yes," he went on, "and it was a nice fat young calf, too; I saw it first, and I remember thinking that it would make such a fine dinner for us both. I never dreamed that there were hunters about, and it was a trap to catch us; of course I was quite young in those days. But it was a trap, and we were both caught."

"I needn't have been caught," growled the Lioness from the back of her cage, "if I hadn't come to see what you were doing."

"Ah, well," said the Lion. "We were both of us deceived. And then they put us into small, strong cages and took us over the great big water and brought us here. I often think of the days when we were free, but we get along very well here, don't we? It's no use making a fuss about what you can't help, and really these two-legged creatures are very amusing."

"Yes," said the Lioness, still with a little growl in her voice, "but one needn't pretend that one wouldn't rather be free. Those pumas, now, are always saying how much better it is always to live in a cage."

The Lion shook his mane scornfully. "Pumas!" he said. "Who would take any notice of what a puma would say? They call themselves 'friends of man!' They're only friendly because they daren't be anything else."

"Do they come from Africa, too, mother?" said the Lion Cub.

"No, they live in America, my dear," replied the Lioness. "But come, it's time we went out into the garden at the back of the house. You must have a little fresh air." So saying, she stalked through the little door at the back of the cage and went out, followed by her Cubs, into the open space beyond.

"Good afternoon," said a lazy, sleepy voice from the other side of the bars. "It's quite a fine day, isn't it?"

The three little Cubs all turned with a start. There was the Tiger, stretched out in the sun, looking at them with a sleepy sort of smile.

Of course, it wasn't a garden really, it was just a large open-air cage, but there were rocks and trees dotted about all over it, and it certainly looked very pleasant in the warm afternoon sunshine.

He was a very handsome fellow, was the Tiger, and he evidently knew it, too. The Lioness greeted him pleasantly, and said with a purr as she stretched herself out on the ground, "These young people of mine were just asking me all sorts of questions; perhaps you can tell them something interesting that has happened to you?"

"Ee-yow!" yawned the Tiger.

"Do, please," begged the little Lion Cubs, poking their noses against the bars. "Do you come from Africa, too?" added the first one.

"No," answered the Tiger, "I come from India. I used to live in the jungle."

"And were you caught in a trap, too?" said the eager little Lion

"Gr-r-r-!" said the Tiger, suddenly beginning to growl. "There he goes!" It was an Elephant, which was slowly walking along in the distance with a number of children on his back. The Tiger looked after him with a very angry look in his eyes, and not until he was quite out of sight did he become quiet again. Then he said to the Lioness, "Excuse me, but I never see that fellow without thinking how it was one of his relations that helped to capture me. Ah, I shall never forget it. I wasn't full-grown then, and I used to live with my father and mother and my young brother in a cosy little home in the jungle. Most of the men-creatures who lived near us over there were brown, you know, not white like the ones we see over here. My father was getting old, and food had become very scarce. One night my father paid a visit to one of the men-creatures' villages and brought us home a goat, and the next night he brought us a sheep. It seemed very easy to get food that way, but the men-creatures didn't like it, I suppose."

"Oh, sir," said the smallest Lion Cub, "please tell me, did you ever eat a man?"

The Tiger smiled. "No," he said, "I never did, but my father—".

"Don't you think we'd better get on with the story?" put in the

"Well," said the Tiger, "one day there was a dreadful noise—shouting and banging of drums and all sorts of things, and crowds of the brown men came into the jungle, waking us up out of our afternoon nap. We were very much startled at first, but my father told us not to be afraid, and said he would look after us. Presently we saw one of those wretched elephants coming along, and, would you believe it, he had actually allowed some of the white men to get into a sort of castle on his back, where they could shoot at us in safety! Of course, it was no good. My poor father was killed, and so was my mother; they captured me, and I was brought here over the water, and here I have been ever since."

The Tiger stretched himself out at full length and yawned again; he seemed to be quite tired by his long speech.

"Don't you ever want to be back again in the jungle?" said one of the Lion Cubs.

"Well," said the Tiger, "sometimes, when it's cold and damp and foggy, I do. But it's fairly comfortable here, on the whole. Now, I must wash myself." And he began to lick his coat, just as a cat does, and the Lion Cubs, seeing that there was nothing more to be got out of him, that afternoon, started a game between themselves.



"Who was it that pulled my tail?" said the cross old Monkey sitting in the corner of the cage. "I won't have my tail pulled, do you hear? If any one pulls my tail again, I'll—"

"Well, what will you do, Crosspatch?" said a small brown Monkey. "Do tell us; we should like to know." And he threw a nut-shell at the cross old Monkey, hitting him on the nose and making him crosser than ever.

"Ill complain to the keeper," said the old Monkey. "I'll steal all your dinners. I'll—I'll—I'll do something dreadful to you."

"Oh, go along," said the little brown Monkey. "Let's have a game at Touch Tails. You're 'he'!" And he gave a hard tug at the cross old Monkey's tail, then darted away up to the top of the cage, with the old one after him and a number of other small Monkeys after him, giving a pull at his tail every now and then, till he didn't know which one to attack first, and finally gave it up as a bad job, and retired to his corner again, jabbering away to himself as to what he would do, while all the others danced about with delight and swung to and fro on the ropes, chuckling with enjoyment.

"What a noise those Monkeys do make, to be sure!" said the Chimpanzee to the Orang-Utangs. "I really think something should be done to stop them."

"Here comes some of these little men-things!" said one of the Orang-Utangs. "What queer things they are! Are they really relations of ours, do you suppose?"

"I don't know," replied the Chimpanzee, "but I must say they are very poor relations, if they are. Whatever do they put on all those ridiculous things for?"

"Yes," said the eldest Orang-Utang. "And what very short arms they have! I don't believe they'd be any good at swinging about on trees, do you?"

"I'm sure they wouldn't," answered the Chimpanzee. "And then their feet! Do you know they can't use their feet at all for holding on to anything as we can? Isn't it silly? They're so ashamed of them that they cover them up in things they call boots; it must be very uncomfortable."

"Have you noticed what they do with nuts?" said the smallest Orang-Utang. "There was a boy here once who wanted to eat a nut, and he was going to crack it in the ordinary way, when his mother said to him, 'Don't do that, my dear, you'll spoil your teeth!' Just fancy!"

"Ah, but have you ever seen one of the very small men-things?" said the Chimpanzee. "The things they call 'long-clothes babies'! They are the most absurd creatures you ever saw in your life. They are covered with white things (which must get dreadfully in the way), and they can't do a single thing for themselves. They can't walk, and they can't talk, and they don't eat fruits—they just lie still, and sometimes they feebly kick about and wave their funny little arms, and the strange part of it is that their mothers and fathers seem quite proud of them. I'm very glad we're not like that."

"So am I," said the Orang-Utangs. "But why do these men-things wear such a lot of things over their skins?" said the eldest.

"Oh, they don't know any better," said the Chimpanzee. "You know they are not nearly so strong as we are."

"Ah, but they're very artful, some of them," said the eldest Orang-Utang. "I should think if they were caught young, you might be able to teach them to do quite a lot of tricks."

"I dare say," replied the Chimpanzee. "Only I expect it would take a lot of trouble and time."

"I'm glad I'm not a man-thing," said the youngest Orang-Utang. "It must be horrid to have to wear clothes."

"There are those Monkeys again," said the Chimpanzee. "I wonder what they are doing now. They are always up to some game or other. I declare they are nearly as foolish as men."

The Monkeys seemed to be all running after each other, fighting and squabbling, and grabbing at lettuce and pieces of banana, and making grimaces at each other, and scolding away until the Chimpanzee could scarcely hear the sound of its own voice.

"Oh, no," said the small Orang-Utang, who was a kind-hearted little fellow, "they are very foolish, but I shouldn't say they were as bad as that!"

"Well, no, perhaps not," said the Chimpanzee.



"Ugh!" grunted the big Hippopotamus. "I think I shall have a bath. Oh, dear me, I feel so sleepy!" And he opened his mouth and gave a tremendous yawn.

"Well!" said a deep, gruff voice from the other side of the railings. "Well! If I had a mouth as large and as ugly as that I would keep it shut, at any rate."

It was the Rhinoceros, next door. The Hippopotamus and he didn't get on very well together; indeed, they were always quarreling, so that it was just as well that there were bars between them.

The Hippopotamus turned round angrily. "Ugly?" he said. "Who are you calling ugly? I am sure I'm just as pretty as you are, with that great horn sticking out of your nose. I don't think it looks at all nice."

"H'm!" said the Rhinoceros. "I don't care if it doesn't. It's been very useful to me, all the same."

"Well," returned the Hippopotamus, "and so has my mouth, so there! If it had been any smaller, I shouldn't have been able to get it round, for it was rather a large boat."

"Whatever are you talking about?" demanded the Rhinoceros. "Look here! Let's stop quarreling for a bit, and you shall tell me your story and I'll tell you mine. Fire away!"

"Ah, that's just what the men did," said the Hippopotamus. "We were all swimming in the river, when they came down in their boat. It was what they call a canoe (so the Flamingoes told me), and most of the men in it were black; but there was one white man who had a curious stick in his hand, which he every now and then would point at some bird or animal, and then he made tire come out of the stick, and the bird or animal generally got hurt.

"I lay in the water watching them, when, all at once, the white man pointed his stick at my brother, and before you could say 'crocodile,' my brother was floating away down the stream with a bullet in his head. The men in the boat paddled away after him, but that was more than I could stand, so I went after them. I saw the white man point his stick at me, but I dived in time and came up just beside them; then it was that my mouth came in so handy. I just opened it quite wide and then I closed it again, and, well, somehow the boat was upset and the men were all kicking about in the water, splashing and shouting and making no end of a fuss. But I let them go that time, I only wanted to give them a lesson. Now, it's your turn. How did your horn come in useful?"

"Oh, my adventure was on land, of course," said the Rhinoceros, who had been much interested in the Hippo's story. "I was snoozing, one afternoon, at home, when I heard a curious noise, and I saw some of those black men you talked about, followed by a white one on a horse. Well, before I had time to do or say anything, the white man pointed his gun at me (that's what they call the stick that the fire comes out of), and the next moment I felt a bullet knock against my side. Of course, it didn't hurt me—that's the advantage of having a skin like mine; but it made me very angry. So I just got up and ran at the gentleman of the horse; he was very much surprised, and so was the horse, especially when I gave him a prod with this horn of mine. He turned right round and galloped away as fast as he could go, with the black men after him. Of course, I didn't take the trouble to run after them. But, you see, my horn does come in useful sometimes."

"Ugh!" grunted the Hippopotamus. "I suppose it does. But it isn't pretty, all the same."

"Well, anyway it's better than your mouth," replied the Rhinoceros, getting angry again.

"But I can swim!" said the Hippopotamus.

"But you haven't got such a tough skin as I have," replied the Rhinoceros. And they went on quarreling until the keeper came with their dinner.



I am a Giraffe and my name is Daisy. I come from a hot country a long way off, called Africa; I am quite grown up now and shall not get any bigger. Don't you think I am big enough as I am? I do. There is no other animal which is as tall as I am; I am taller than the Elephant or the Camel, but of course I am not as strong as the Elephant is.

You need not be at all afraid of me, because I will not hurt you. No, thank you, I do not want to eat you up at all; I should not like to eat little boys and girls; indeed, I don't think I could if I tried, and I am sure I do not want to try. I eat leaves and grass and hay and things like that; I can reach the leaves of the trees because I have such a long neck.

One day a lady came to see me here and she had some very nice-looking green things on the top of her head, and I thought that I would like to eat them as they looked so nice; so I just bent my head over the top of the bars of my cage and took a bite at them. But they were not at all nice, really, and the lady made such a fuss! She thought I was going to eat her up, I believe. I heard afterwards that the things I had eaten were the flowers on her hat, and they were not real flowers at all. I don't think people ought to have such things in their hats if they don't want us to eat them. Of course, I thought the lady had brought them on purpose for me, so I didn't see why I shouldn't eat them. But I don't think that lady will come quite close to my cage again.

I lived here alone for quite a long time, because they would not get a playmate for me. You see, there are not nearly so many of my family now as there used to be, and then we don't like traveling over the sea at all. But now I have a playmate and he is a very nice little chap; of course he is not as fine and big as I am, but he will grow up in time and I shall be very glad to have some company. I can really run quite fast when I have room, but here there isn't room enough; and I don't very much mind, because I'm quite content to walk about gently, thank you. And then I have to take great care of my health, you know, because I'm rather delicate and not like the Ostrich, who seems to be able to eat almost anything. Why, he tells me that he is very fond of rusty nails, and as for pennies he considers them most delicious. It's a very funny sort of taste, I think. No, it's no good for you to offer me nuts, thank you, because I couldn't crack them.

My horns, were you asking about? We all have horns, both gentlemen and lady Giraffes, but they are always quite small, like mine. They're not much use to us, you know, for when we want to fight any one we use our feet—we can give very strong kicks with our fore-feet, if we like. But, on the whole, we don't like fighting; we find that it's much safer to run away—you see, we can run so fast that there are not many creatures who can catch us.

I am, as I have said, very particular about my food, and I don't like thorns or thistles, so when I come across a plant with prickly thorns on it, I carefully pick off the leaves with my tongue and leave the thorns behind. I don't believe you could do that with your tongue, but mine is a very useful tongue, and I shouldn't like to change it with anybody. I sometimes find it rather awkward to get anything on the ground, which is just between my front feet; I have to put my legs very wide apart, and then bend down my neck, like this. I suppose it does look rather funny, so I don't mind if you do laugh at me. But then, you know, you look just as funny to me, with your very small legs and no neck at all to speak of, and no horns and no tail; I sometimes wonder how you can get on at all.

I come of a very old family, you know; I believe that you men have known about me for a very long time.

If you will excuse me now, I think I will go in, as I am rather afraid of catching cold; it wouldn't do for me to get a sore throat or a stiff neck, would it? Good-by I I'm so pleased to have met you.



Outside the Parrot-house there was a terrible noise; a screaming, squawking, shouting, and crying, just as if the whole place were on fire, or every Parrot were being killed.

The Macaws were sitting on their little perches out in the open air. They were very proud of themselves, for they greatly enjoyed being outside on a sunny, warm day; it was much better than being in a cage, inside the house. They were all very fine birds; some had blue heads and yellow bodies and green tails; others had red heads and yellow tails; there were one or two who were quite white, but they each one thought that he was a very fine fellow, and they all shouted and screamed and squawked at the top of their voices.

And what was it all about? The greatest noise seemed to be going on round one perch, where a big Macaw, with a blue and green head, was talking very loud and very fast to a group of other birds close by, and he seemed to be very angry about something. In one claw he held a large apple, and if you had been near enough, you would have seen that some one had evidently taken a big bite out of it. This was what was making all the bother. Mr. Green-and-Blue-Head kept shouting out: "Who bit my apple? Who bit my apple? I won't have it! I won't stand it! It's too bad! It was all right this morning! I believe it was you that did it!" (this was said to a white Cockatoo). "Oh, you bad, wicked bird! What will become of you? Oh, you bad thing! Go along, do! Who bit my apple?"

But the white Cockatoo began to scream at once. "'Oh, I didn't!" he said. "How dare you say such a thing? Bite your apple, indeed! I wouldn't do it. Don't call me names, because I won't have it. I'll peck you, you bad bird! Who are you telling to get along? Bite your apple, indeed! Squaw-aw-aw-aw-awk-k-k!"

Then a little, green Love Bird began to try to make peace. "It doesn't matter very much, does it, Mr. Macaw?" she said. "It's not a very big bite, though, of course, it must be very vexing. But I'm sure Mr. Cockatoo didn't do it, if he says he didn't. But, please, don't let us have any pecking. You'll find out, sometime, who did it, I dare say."

"Oh, that's all very well for you," returned the Macaw, "but it isn't your apple. Who bit my apple? Who bit my apple? You'd better tell me, at once, whoever it was, and then, perhaps, I shan't be quite so angry."

"Oh, do be quiet about your apple," put in another Macaw, with a bright, red head. "Who cares about your apple? Why don't you enjoy yourself out in the sun? I declare it quite makes me think of my young days, sitting out here."

"Apple? Apple? Who said apple?" shouted another bird from the end of the row. "Give me a bit! Give poor Polly a bit! Poor old Polly! Pretty Poll! Give me a bit; don't be greedy! Who's got the apple?"

Then four or five others all began at once: "No, no, I want a bit! I asked first! I want some, too! Over here! No, here you are! This way with the apple! Hurry up! Be quick! Where's that apple?"

Just then a lady and a little girl and a little boy came along past where the Parrots were sitting. Instantly all the birds began to chatter and scream louder than ever.

"Look, look at them!" they called out. "Did you ever see anything so absurd? Where are their feathers? What ridiculous beaks! I don't believe they could crack nuts, if they tried ever so hard. They haven't got any wings. Oh, how funny! Ha, ha, ha! Go away, do, you ugly creatures!"

The little girl and boy and the lady didn't understand what they were saying, of course. But the lady said: "Come along quickly, children, and let us get past these noisy birds; they quite give me a headache with their screaming."

"Well, did you ever!" said the Parrots. "Calling us noisy birds! I'm sure we're not noisy. They haven't got green heads and red tails; I don't see what they think so much of themselves for! Well, I'm glad they've gone! If they'd come near me, I'd have given them a bite! Silly things! Squawk-k-k!"

The Macaw with the apple was still very sad. No one took any notice of him, and no one would tell him who had bitten his precious apple. All at once, it slipped out of his claw and fell on to the ground. He tried to reach it, but the chain which tied him to his perch was not long enough, and he couldn't get it. All the other Parrots began to scream with laughter at him; they danced up and down and flapped their wings and shouted, and made more noise than ever. Then some Sparrows flew down and began to peck at the apple, and this made the Macaw angrier than ever.

"H'm!" said one little Sparrow, looking up at the Macaw, with a twinkle in his eye; "quite a good apple! I wonder that you threw it away. Who's been biting it?"

The Macaw screamed and scolded, but it was no good. If he hadn't talked so much, he might have eaten his apple in peace. Now, he had lost it altogether.

And he never found out who bit his apple.


By John Brown, M.D.

Four and thirty years ago, Bob Ainslie and I were coming up Infirmary street from the high school, our heads together, and our arms intertwisted, as only lovers and boys know how or why.

When we got to the top of the street, and turned north, we espied a crowd at the Tron-church. "A dog fight!" shouted Bob, and was off; and so was I, both of us all but praying that it might not be over before we got up! And is not this boy nature! and human nature, too? and don't we all wish a house on fire not to be out before we see it? Dogs like fighting; old Isaac says they "delight" in it, and for the best of all reasons; and boys are not cruel because they like to see the fight. They see three of the great cardinal virtues of dog or man—courage, endurance, and skill—in intense action. This is very different from a love of making dogs fight, and enjoying, and aggravating, and making gain by their pluck. A boy—be he ever so fond himself of fighting, if he be a good boy, hates and despises all this, but he would have run off with Bob and me fast enough; it is a natural, and a not wicked, interest that all boys and men have in witnessing intense energy in action.

Does any curious and finely-ignorant woman wish to know how Bob's eye at a glance announced a dog-fight to his brain? He did not, he could not see the dogs fighting; it was a flash of an inference, a rapid induction. The crowd round a couple of dogs fighting, is a crowd masculine mainly, with an occasional active, compassionate woman, fluttering wildly round the outside, and using her tongue and her hands freely upon the men, as so many "brutes"; it is a crowd annular, compact and mobile; a crowd centripetal, having its eyes and its heads all bent downward and inward, to one common focus.

Well, Bob and I are up, and find it is not over; a small thoroughbred, white bull-terrier, is busy throttling a large shepherd's dog, unaccustomed to war, but not to be trifled with. They are hard at it; the scientific little fellow doing his work in great style, his pastoral enemy fighting wildly, but with the sharpest of teeth and a great courage. Science and breeding, however, soon had their own; the Game Chicken, as the premature Bob called him, working his way up, took his final grip of poor Yarrow's throat—and he lay gasping and done for. His master, a brown, handsome, big young shepherd from Tweedsmuir, would have liked to have knocked down any man, would "drink up Esil, or eat a crocodile," for that part, if he had a chance; it was no use kicking the little dog; that would only make him hold the closer. Many were the means shouted out in mouthfuls, of the best possible ways of ending it. "Water!" but there was none near, and many cried for it who might have got it from the well at Blackfriars Wynd. "Bite the tail!" and a large, vague, benevolent, middle aged man, more desirous than wise, with some struggle got the bushy end of Yarrow's tail into his ample mouth, and bit it with all his might. This was more than enough for the much-enduring, much-perspiring shepherd, who, with a gleam of joy over his broad visage, delivered a terrific facer upon our large, vague, benevolent, middle-aged friend—who went down like a shot.

Still the Chicken holds; death not far off. "Snuff! a pinch of snuff!" observed a calm, highly-dressed young buck, with an eye-glass in his eye. "Snuff, indeed!" growled the angry crowd, affronted and glaring. "Snuff! a pinch of snuff!" again observes the buck, but with more urgency; whereupon were produced several open boxes, and from a mull which may have been at Culloden, he took a pinch, knelt down, and presented it to the nose of the Chicken. The laws of physiology and of snuff take their course; the Chicken sneezes, and Yarrow is free.

The young pastoral giant stalks off with Yarrow in his arms—comforting him.

But the bull-terrier's blood is up, and his soul unsatisfied; he grips the first dog he meets, and discovering she is not a dog, in Homeric phrase, he makes a brief sort of amende, and is off. The boys, with Bob and me at their head, are after him; down Niddry street he goes, bent on mischief; up the Cowgate like an arrow—Bob and I, and our small men, panting behind.

There, under the single arch of the South bridge is a huge mastiff, sauntering down the middle of the causeway, as if with his hands in his pockets; he is old, gray, brindled, as big as a little Highland bull, and has the Shakespearian dewlaps shaking as he goes.

The Chicken makes straight at him, and fastens on his throat. To our astonishment, the great creature does nothing but stand still, hold himself up, and roar—yes, roar; a long, serious, remonstrative roar. How is this? Bob and I are up to them. He is muzzled! The bailies had proclaimed a general muzzling, and his master, studying strength and economy mainly, had encompassed his huge jaws in a home-made apparatus, constructed out of the leather of some ancient breechin. His mouth was open as far as it could; his lips curled up in rage—a sort of terrible grin; his teeth gleaming, ready, from out the darkness; the strap across his mouth tense as a bowstring; his whole frame stiff with indignation and surprise; his roar asking us all round, "Did you ever see the like of this?"

He looked a statue of anger and astonishment, done in Aberdeen granite.

We soon had a crowd; the Chicken held on. "A knife!" cried Bob; and a cobbler gave him his knife; you know the kind of knife, worn away obliquely to a point, and always keen. I put its edge to the tense leather; it ran before it; and then!—one sudden jerk of that enormous head, a sort of dirty mist about his mouth, no noise, and the bright and fierce little fellow is dropped, limp, and dead. A solemn pause; this was more than any of us had bargained for. I turned the little fellow over, and saw he was quite dead; the mastiff had taken him by the small of the back, like a rat, and broken it.

He looked down at his victim appeased, ashamed and amazed; snuffed him all over, stared at him, and taking a sudden thought, turned round and trotted off. Bob took the dead dog up, and said, "John, we'll bury him after tea." "Yes," said I, and was off after the mastiff. He made up the Cowgate at a rapid swing; he had forgotten some engagement. He turned up the Candlemaker Row, and stopped at the Harrow Inn.

There was a carrier's cart ready to start, and a keen, thin, impatient, black-a-vised little man, his hand at his gray horse's head looking about angrily for something. "Rab, ye thief!" said he, aiming a kick at my great friend, who drew cringing up, and avoiding the heavy shoe with more agility than dignity, and watching his master's eye, slunk dismayed under the cart—his ears down, and as much as he had of tail down, too.

What a man this must be—thought I—to whom my tremendous hero turns tail! The carrier saw the muzzle hanging, cut and useless, from his neck, and I eagerly told him the story which Bob and I always thought, and still think, Homer, or King David, or Sir Walter, alone were worthy to rehearse. The severe little man was mitigated, and condescended to say, "Rab, ma man, puir Rabbie" —whereupon the stump of a tail rose up, the ears were cocked, the eyes filled, and were comforted; the two friends were reconciled. "Hupp!" and a stroke of the whip were given to Jess; and off went the three.

Bob and I buried the Game Chicken that night (we had not much of a tea) in the back-green of his house in Melville street, No. 17, with considerable gravity and silence; and being at the time in the Iliad, and, like all boys, Trojans, we called him Hector of course.

* * * * *

Six years have passed—a long time for a boy and a dog: Bob Ainslie is off to the wars; I am a medical student, and clerk at Minto House Hospital.

Rab I saw almost every week, on the Wednesday; and we had much pleasant intimacy. I found the way to his heart by frequent scratching of his huge head, and an occasional bone. When I did not notice him he would plant himself straight before me, and stand wagging that bud of a tail, and looking up, with his head a little to the one side. His master I occasionally saw; he used to call me "Maister John," but was laconic as any Spartan.

One fine October afternoon, I was leaving the hospital, when I saw the large gate open, and in walked Rab with that great and easy saunter of his. He looked as if taking general possession of the place; like the Duke of Wellington entering a subdued city, satiated with victory and peace. After him came Jess, now white from age, with her cart; and in it a woman, carefully wrapped up—the carrier leading the horse anxiously, and looking back. When he saw me, James (for his name was James Noble) made a curt and grotesque "boo," and said, "Maister John, this is the mistress; she's got a trouble in her breest—some kind of an income we're thinkin'."

By this time I saw the woman's face; she was sitting on a sack filled with straw, her husband's plaid round her, and his big-coat, with its large white metal buttons, over her feet.

I never saw a more unforgettable face—pale, serious, lonely, delicate, sweet, without being at all what we call fine. She looked sixty, and had on a mutch, white as snow, with its black ribbon; her silvery, smooth hair setting off her dark-gray eyes—eyes such as one sees only twice or thrice in a lifetime, full of suffering, full also of the overcoming of it; her eyebrows black and delicate, and her mouth firm, patient, and contented, which few mouths ever are.

As I have said, I never saw a more beautiful countenance, or a more subdued or settled quiet. "Ailie," said James, "this is Maister John, the young doctor; Rab's freend, ye ken. We often speak aboot you, doctor." She smiled, and made a movement, but said nothing; and prepared to come down, putting her plaid aside and rising. Had Solomon, in all his glory, been handing down the Queen of Sheba at his palace gate, he could not have done it more daintily, more tenderly, more like a gentleman, than did James the Howgate carrier, when he lifted down Ailie, his wife.

The contrast of his small, swarthy, weather-beaten, keen, worldly face to hers—pale, subdued, and beautiful—was something wonderful. Rab looked on concerned and puzzled, but ready for anything that might turn up—were it to strangle the nurse, the porter, or even me. Ailie and he seemed great friends.

"As I was sayin', she's got a kind o' trouble in her breest, doctor; wull ye tak' a look at it?" We walked into the consulting-room, all four; Rab grim and comic, willing to be happy and confidential if cause could be shown, willing also to be the reverse on the same terms. Ailie sat down, undid her open gown and her lawn handkerchief round her neck, and, without a word, showed me her right breast. I looked at and examined it carefully, she and James watching me, and Rab eying all three. What could I say? There it was that had once been so soft, so shapely, so white, so gracious and bountiful, so "full of all blessed conditions"—hard as a stone, a centre of horrid pain, making that pale face, with its gray, lucid, reasonable eyes, and its sweet resolved mouth, express the full measure of suffering overcome. Why was that gentle, modest, sweet woman, clean and lovable, condemned by God to bear such a burden?

I got her away to bed. "May Rab and me bide?" said James. "You may; and Rab, if he will behave himself." "I'se warrant he's do that, doctor;" and in slunk the faithful beast. I wish you could have seen him. There are no such dogs now. He belonged to a lost tribe. As I have said, he was brindled, and gray like Rubislaw granite; his hair short, hard, and close, like a lion's; his body thickset, like a little bull—a sort of compressed Hercules of a dog. He must have been ninety pounds' weight, at the least; he had a large blunt head; his muzzle black as night, his mouth blacker than any night, a tooth or two—being all he had—gleaming out of his jaws of darkness. His head was scarred with the records of old wounds, a sort of series of fields of battle all over it; one eye out, one ear cropped as close as was Archbishop Leighton's father's; the remaining eye had the power of two; and above it, and in constant communication with it, was a tattered rag of an ear, which was forever unfurling itself, like an old flag; and then that bud of a tail, about one inch long, if it could in any sense be said to be long, being as broad as long—the mobility, the instantaneousness of that bud were very funny and surprising, and its expressive twinklings and winkings, the intercommunications between the eye, the ear, and it, were of the oddest and swiftest.

Rab had the dignity and simplicity of great size; and having fought his way all along the road to absolute supremacy, he was as mighty in his own line as Julius Caesar or the Duke of Wellington, and had the gravity of all great fighters.

You must have often observed the likeness of certain men to certain animals, and of certain dogs to men. Now, I never looked at Rab without thinking of the great Baptist preacher, Andrew Fuller. The same large, heavy, menacing, combative, sombre, honest countenance, the same deep inevitable eye, the same look—as of thunder asleep, but ready—neither a dog nor a man to be trifled with.

Next day, my master, the surgeon, examined Ailie. There was no doubt it must kill her, and soon. It could be removed—it might never return—it would give her speedy relief—she should have it done. She curtsied, looked at James, and said, "When?" "To-morrow," said the kind surgeon—a man of few words. She and James and Rab and I retired. I noticed that he and she spoke a little, but seemed to anticipate everything in each other. The following day at noon, the students came in, hurrying up the great stair. At the first landing-place, on a small well-known blackboard, was a bit of paper fastened by wafers and many remains of old wafers beside it. On the paper were the words—"An operation to-day. J. B., Clerk"

Up ran the youths, eager to secure good places; in they crowded, full of interest and talk. "What's the case? Which side is it?"

Don't think them heartless; they are neither better nor worse than you or I; they get over their professional horrors, and into their proper work', and in them pity—as an emotion, ending in itself or at best in tears and a long-drawn breath, lessens, while pity as a motive, is quickened, and gains power and purpose. It is well for poor human nature that it is so.

The operating theatre is crowded; much talk and fun, and all the cordiality and stir of youth. The surgeon with his staff of assistants is there. In comes Ailie; one look at her quiets and abates the eager students. The beautiful old woman is too much for them. They sit down, and are dumb, and gaze at her. These rough boys feel the power of her presence. She walks in quickly, but without haste; dressed in her mutch, her neckerchief, her white dimity short-gown, her black bombazine petticoat, showing her white worsted stockings and her carpet-shoes. Behind her was James with Rab. James sat down in the distance, and took that huge and noble head between his knees. Rab looked perplexed and dangerous; forever cocking his ear and dropping it as fast.

Ailie stepped up on a seat, and laid herself on the table, as her friend the surgeon told her; arranged herself, gave a rapid look at James, shut her eyes, rested herself on me, and took my hand. The operation was at once begun; it was necessarily slow; and chloroform—one of God's best gifts to his suffering children—was then unknown. The surgeon did his work. The pale face showed its pain, but was still and silent. Rab's soul was working within him; he saw that something strange was going on—blood flowing from his mistress, and she suffering; his ragged ear was up, and importunate; he growled and gave now and then a sharp impatient yelp; he would have liked to have done something to that man. But James had him firm, and gave him a glower (Scotch word—a hard stare) from time to time, and an intimation of a possible kick;—all the better for James, it kept his eye and his mind off Ailie.

It is over; she is dressed, steps gently and decently down from the table, looks for James; then turning to the surgeon and the students, she curtsies—and in a low, clear voice, begs their pardon if she has behaved ill. The students—all of us—wept like children; the surgeon wrapped her up carefully—and resting on James and me, Ailie went to her room, Rab following. We put her to bed. James took off his heavy shoes, crammed with tackets, heel-capt and toe-capt, and put them carefully under the table, saying, "Maister John, I'm for nane o' yer strynge nurse bodies for Ailie. I'll be her nurse, and I'll gang aboot on my stockin' soles as canny as pussy." And so he did; and handy and clever, and swift and tender as any woman, was that horny-handed, snell, peremptory little man. Everything she got he gave her; he seldom slept; and often I saw his small, shrewd eyes out of the darkness, fixed on her. As before, they spoke little.

Rab behaved well, never moving, showing us how meek and gentle he could be, and occasionally, in his sleep, letting us know that he was demolishing some adversary. He took a walk with me every day, generally to the Candlemaker Row; but he was sombre and mild; declined doing battle, though some fit cases offered, and indeed submitted to sundry indignities; and was always very ready to turn and came faster back, and trotted up the stair with much lightness, and went straight to that door.

Jess, the mare, had been sent, with her weatherworn cart, to Howgate, and had doubtless her own dim and placid meditations and confusions, on the absence of her master and Rab, and her unnatural freedom from the road and her cart.

For some days Ailie did well. The wound healed "by the first intention"; for as James said, "Oor Ailie's skin's ower clean to beil." The students came in quiet and anxious, and surrounded her bed. She said she liked to see their young, honest faces. The surgeon dressed her, and spoke to her in his own short, kind way, pitying her through his eyes, Rab and James outside the circle—Rab being now reconciled, and even cordial, and having made up his mind that as yet nobody required worrying, but as you may suppose semper paratus.

So far well; but four days after the operation my patient had a sudden and long shivering, a "groosin'," as she called it. I saw her soon after; her eyes were too bright, her cheek colored; she was restless, and ashamed of being so; the balance was lost; mischief had begun. On looking at the wound, a blush of red told the secret; her pulse was rapid, her breathing anxious and quick, she wasn't herself, as she said, and was vexed at her restlessness. We tried what we could, James did everything, was everywhere; never in the way, never out of it. Rab subsided under the table into a dark place, and was motionless, all but his eye, which followed every one. Ailie got worse; began to wander in her mind, gently; was more demonstrative in her ways to James, rapid in her questions, and sharp at times. He was vexed, and said, "She was never that way afore; no, never." For a time she knew her head was wrong, and was always asking our pardon—the dear, gentle old woman; then delirium set in strong, without pause. Her brain gave way, and then came that terrible spectacle.

  "The intellectual power, through words and things,
  Went sounding on its dim and perilous way;"

she sang bits of old songs and psalms, stopping suddenly, mingling the Psalms of David, and the diviner words of his Son and Lord, with homely odds and ends and scraps of ballads.

Nothing more touching, or in a sense more strangely beautiful, did I ever witness. Her tremulous, rapid, affectionate, eager, Scotch voice—the swift, aimless, bewildered mind, the baffled utterance, the bright and perilous eye; some wild words, some household cares, something for James, the names of the dead, Rab called rapidly and in a "fremyt" (querulous, trembling) voice, and he starting up, surprised, and slinking off as if he were to blame somehow, or had been dreaming he heard. Many eager questions and beseechings which James and I could make nothing of, and on which she seemed to set her all, and then sink back ununderstood. It was very sad, but better than many things that are not called sad. James hovered about, put out and miserable, but active and exact as ever; read to her, when there was a lull, short bits from the Psalms, prose and metre, chanting the latter in his own rude and serious way, showing great knowledge of the fit words, bearing up like a man, and doating over her as his "ain Ailie." "Ailie, ma woman!" "Ma ain bonnie wee dawtie!"

The end was drawing on: the golden bowl was breaking; the silver cord was fast being loosed—that animula blandula, vagula, hospes, comesque (dear fleeting life, a sojourner and companion) was about to flee. The body and the soul—companions for sixty years—were being sundered, and taking leave. She was walking, alone, through the valley of that shadow, into which one day we must all enter—and yet she was not alone, for we know whose rod and staff were comforting her.

One night she had fallen quiet, and as we hoped, asleep; her eyes were shut. We put down the gas and sat watching her. Suddenly she sat up in bed and taking a bedgown which was lying on it rolled up, she held it eagerly to her breast—to the right side. We could see her eyes bright with surpassing tenderness and joy, bending over this bundle of clothes. She held it as a woman holds her suckling child; opening out her nightgown impatiently, and holding it close, and brooding over it, and murmuring foolish little words, as one whom his mother comforteth, and who sucks and is satisfied. It was pitiful and strange to see her wasting dying look, keen and yet vague—her immense love.

"Preserve me!" groaned James, giving away. And then she rocked back and forward, as if to make it sleep, hushing it, and wasting on it her infinite fondness. "Wae's me, doctor; I declare she's thinkin' it's that bairn." "What bairn?"

"The only bairn we ever had; our wee Mysie, and she's in the Kingdom, forty years and mair." It was plainly true: the pain in the breast telling its urgent story to a bewildered, ruined brain, was misread and mistaken; it suggested to her the uneasiness of a breast full of milk, and then the child; and so again once more they were together, and she had her ain wee Mysie in her bosom.

This was the close. She sank rapidly: the delirium left her; but, as she whispered, she was "clean silly"; it was the lightening before the final darkness. After having for some time lain still—her eyes shut, she said, "James!" He came close to her, and lifting up her calm, clear, beautiful eyes, she gave him a long look, turned to me kindly but shortly, looked for Rab but could not see him, then turned to her husband again, as if she would never leave off looking, shut her eyes and composed herself. She lay for some time breathing quick, and passed away so gently, that when we thought she was gone, James, in his old-fashioned way, held the mirror to her face. After a long pause, one small spot of dimness was breathed out; it vanished away, and never returned, leaving the blank clear darkness of the mirror without a stain. "What is your life? it is even a vapor, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

Rab all this time had been full awake and motionless; he came forward beside us; Ailie's hand, which James had held, was hanging down; it was soaked with his tears; Rab licked it all over carefully, looked at her, and returned to his place under the table.

James and I sat, I don't know how long, but for some time—saying nothing: he started up abruptly, and with some noise went to the table, and putting his right, fore and middle fingers each into a shoe, pulled them out, and put them on, breaking one of the leather latchets, and muttering in anger, "I never did the like o' that afore."

I believe he never did; nor after either. "Rab!" he said roughly, and pointing with his thumb to the bottom of the bed. Rab leaped up, and settled himself; his head and eye to the dead face. "Maister John, ye'll wait for me," said the carrier, and disappeared in the darkness, thundering downstairs in his heavy shoes. I ran to a front window: there he was, already round the house, and out at the gate fleeing like a shadow.

I was afraid about him, and yet not afraid; so I sat down beside Rab, and being wearied, fell asleep. I awoke from a sudden noise outside. It was November, and there had been a heavy fall of snow. Rab was in statu quo (in the same place); he heard the noise, too, and plainly knew it, but never moved. I looked out, and there, at the gate, in the dim morning—for the sun was not up—was Jess and the cart—a cloud of steam rising from the old mare. I did not see James; he was already at the door, and came up to the stairs, and met me. It was less than three hours since he left, and he must have posted out—who knows how—to Howgate, full nine miles off; yoked Jess, and driven her astonished into town. He had an armful of blankets, and was streaming with perspiration. He nodded to me, spread out on the floor two pairs of clean old blankets, having at their corners "A. G., 1794," in large letters in red worsted. These were the initials of Alison Grame, and James may have looked in at her from without—himself unseen but not unthought of—when he was "wat, wat and weary," and after having walked many a mile over the hills, may have seen her sitting, while "a' the lave were sleepin';" and by the firelight working her name on the blankets, for her ain James' bed.

He motioned Rab down, and taking his wife in his arms, laid her in the blankets, and wapped her carefully and firmly up, leaving the face uncovered; and then lifting her, he nodded again sharply to me, and with a resolved but utterly miserable face, strode along the passage, and downstairs, followed by Rab. I followed with a light; but he didn't need it. I went out, holding stupidly the candle in my hand in the calm frosty air; we were soon at the gate. I could have helped him, but I saw he was not to be meddled with, and he was strong, and did not need it. He laid her down as tenderly, as safely, as he had lifted her out ten days before—as tenderly as when he had her first in his arms when she was only "A. G."—sorted her, leaving that beautiful sealed face open to the heavens; and then taking Jess by the head, he moved away. He did not notice me, neither did Rab, who presided behind the cart.

I stood till they passed through the long shadow of the College, and turned up Nicholson street. I heard the solitary cart sound through the streets, and die away and come again; and I returned, thinking of that company going up Libberton Brae, then along Roslin Muir, the morning light touching the Pentlands and making them on-looking ghosts; then down the hill through Auchindinny woods, past "haunted Woodhouselee"; and as daybreak came sweeping up the bleak Lammermuirs, and fell on his own door, the company would stop, and James would take the key, and lift Ailie up again, laying her on her own bed, and, having put Jess up, would return with Rab and shut the door.

James buried his wife, with his neighbors mourning, Rab inspecting the solemnity from a distance. It was snow, and that black ragged hole would look strange in the midst of the swelling spotless cushion of white. James looked after everything; then rather suddenly fell ill, and took to bed; was insensible when the doctor came, and soon died. A sort of low fever was prevailing in the village, and his want of sleep, his exhaustion, and his misery, made him apt to take it. The grave was not difficult to reopen. A fresh fall of snow had again made all things white and smooth; Rab once more looked on, and slunk home to the stable.

And what of Rab? I asked for him next week of the new carrier who got the goodwill of James's business, and was now master of Jess and her cart. "How's Rab?" He put me off, and said rather rudely, "What's your business wi' the dowg?" I was not to be so put off. "Where's Rab?" He, getting confused and red, and intermeddling with his hair, said, "'Deed sir, Rab's died." "Dead! what did he die of?" "Weel, sir," said he, getting redder, "he didna exactly dee; he was killed. I had to brain him wi' a rack-pin; there was nae doing wi' him. He lay in the treviss wi' the mear, and wadna come oot. I tempit him wi' the kail and meat, but he wad tak naething, and keepit me frae feedin' the beast, and he was aye gur gurrin', and grup gruppin' me by the legs. I was laith to make awa wi' the old dowg, his like wasne atween this and Thornhill—but, 'deed, sir, I could do naething else." I believed him. Fit end for Rab, quick and complete. His teeth and his friends gone, why should he keep the peace and be civil?


By W.H.H. Murray

It was at the battle of Malvern Hill—a battle where the carnage was more frightful, as it seems to me, than in any this side of the Alleghanies during the whole war—that my story must begin. I was then serving as Major in the —th Massachusetts Regiment—the old—th, as we used to call it—and a bloody time the boys had of it too. About 2 P.M. we had been sent out to skirmish along the edge of the wood in which, as our generals suspected, the Rebs lay massing for a charge across the slope, upon the crest of which our army was posted. We had barely entered the underbrush when we met the heavy formations of Magruder in the very act of charging. Of course, our thin line of skirmishers was no impediment to those onrushing masses. They were on us and over us before we could get out of the way. I do not think that half of those running, screaming masses of men ever knew that they had passed over the remnants of as plucky a regiment as ever came out of the old Bay State. But many of the boys had good reason to remember that afternoon at the base of Malvern Hill, and I among the number: for when the last line of Rebs had passed over me, I was left among the bushes with the breath nearly trampled out of me and an ugly bayonet-gash through my thigh; and mighty little consolation it for me at that moment to see the fellow who ran me through lying stark dead at my side, with a bullet-hole in his head, his shock of coarse black hair matted with blood, and his stony eyes looking into mine. Well, I bandaged up my limb the best I might and started to crawl away, for our batteries had opened, and the grape and canister that came hurtling down the slope passed but a few feet over my head. It was slow and painful work, as you can imagine, but at last, by dint of perseverance, I had dragged myself away to the left of the direct range of the batteries, and, creeping to the verge of the wood, looked off over the green slope. I understood by the crash and roar of the guns, the yells and cheers of the men, and that hoarse murmur which those who have been in battle know, but which I cannot describe in words, that there was hot work going on out there; but never have I seen, no, not in that three days' desperate melee at the Wilderness, nor at that terrific repulse we had at Cold Harbor, such absolute slaughter as I saw that afternoon on the green slope of Malvern Hill. The guns of the entire army were massed on the crest, and thirty thousand of our infantry lay, musket in hand, in front. For eight hundred yards the hill sank in easy declension to the wood, and across this smooth expanse the Rebs must charge to reach our lines. It was nothing short of downright insanity to order men to charge that hill; and so his generals told Lee, but he would not listen to reason that day, and so he sent regiment after regiment, and brigade after brigade, and division after division, to certain death. Talk about Grant's disregard of human life, his effort at Cold Harbor—and I ought to know, for I got a Minie in my shoulder that day—was hopeful and easy work to what Lee laid on Hill's and Magruder's divisions at Malvern. It was at the close of the second charge, when the yelling mass reeled back from before the blaze of those sixty guns and thirty thousand rifles, even as they began to break and fly backward toward the woods, that I saw from the spot where I lay a riderless horse break out of the confused and flying mass, and, with mane and tail erect and spreading nostril, come dashing obliquely down the slope. Over fallen steeds and heaps of the dead she leaped with a motion as airy as that of the flying fox when, fresh and unjaded, he leads away from the hounds, whose sudden cry has broken him off from hunting mice amid the bogs of the meadow. So this riderless horse came vaulting along. Now from my earliest boyhood I have had what horsemen call a 'weakness' for horses. Only give me a colt of wild, irregular temper and fierce blood to tame, and I am perfectly happy. Never did lash of mine, singing with cruel sound through the air, fall on such a colt's soft hide. Never did yell or kick send his hot blood from heart to head deluging his sensitive brain with fiery currents, driving him into frenzy or blinding him with fear; but touches, soft and gentle as a woman's, caressing words, and oats given from the open palm, and unfailing kindness, were the means I used to 'subjugate' him. Sweet subjugation, both to him who subdues and to him who yields! The wild, unmannerly, and unmanageable colt, the fear of horsemen the country round, finding in you not an enemy, but a friend, receiving his daily food from you, and all those little 'nothings' which go as far with a horse as a woman, to win and retain affection, grows to look upon you as his protector and friend, and testifies in countless ways his fondness for you. So when I saw this horse, with action so free and motion so graceful, amid that storm of bullets, my heart involuntarily went out to her, and my feelings rose higher and higher at every leap she took from amid the whirlwind of fire and lead. And as she plunged at last over a little hillock out of range and came careering toward me as only a riderless horse might come, her head flung wildly from side to side, her nostrils widely spread, her flank and shoulders flecked with foam, her eye dilating, I forgot my wound and all the wild roar of battle, and, lifting myself involuntarily to a sitting posture as she swept grandly by, gave her a ringing cheer.

"Perhaps in the sound of a human voice of happy mood amid the awful din she recognized a resemblance to the voice of him whose blood moistened her shoulders and was even yet dripping from saddle and housings. Be that as it may, no sooner had my voice sounded than she flung her head with a proud upward movement into the air, swerved sharply to the left, neighed as she might to a master at morning from her stall, and came trotting directly up to where I lay, and, pausing, looked down upon me as it were in compassion. I spoke again, and stretched out my hand caressingly. She pricked her ears, took a step forward and lowered her nose until it came in contact with my palm. Never did I fondle anything more tenderly, never did I see an animal which seemed to so court and appreciate human tenderness as that beautiful mare. I say 'beautiful.' No other word might describe her. Never will her image fade from my memory while memory lasts.

"In weight she might have turned, when well conditioned, nine hundred and fifty pounds. In color she was a dark chestnut, with a velvety depth and soft look about the hair indescribably rich and elegant. Many a time have I heard ladies dispute the shade and hue of her plush-like coat as they ran their white, jeweled fingers through her silken hair. Her body was round in the barrel and perfectly symmetrical. She was wide in the haunches, without projection of the hip bones, upon which the shorter ribs seemed to lap. High in the withers as she was, the line of her back and neck perfectly curved, while her deep, oblique shoulders and long, thick forearm, ridgy with swelling sinews, suggested the perfection of stride and power. Her knees across the pan were wide, the cannon-bone below them short and thin; the pasterns long and sloping; her hoofs round, dark, shiny, and well set on. Her mane was a shade darker than her coat, fine and thin, as a thoroughbred's always is whose blood is without taint or cross. Her ear was thin, sharply pointed, delicately curved, nearly black around the borders, and as tremulous as the leaves of an aspen. Her neck rose from the withers to the head in perfect curvature, hard, devoid of fat, and well cut up under the chops. Her nostrils were full, very full, and thin almost as parchment. The eyes, from which tears might fall or fire flash, were well brought out, soft as a gazelle's, almost human in their intelligence, while over the small bony head, over neck and shoulders, yea, over the whole body and clean down to the hoofs, the veins stood out as if the skin were but tissue-paper against which the warm blood pressed, and which it might at any moment burst asunder. 'A perfect animal,' I said to myself as I lay looking her over—'an animal which might have been born from the wind and the sunshine, so cheerful and so swift she seems; an animal which a man would present as his choicest gift to the woman he loved, and yet one which that woman, wife or lady-love, would give him to ride when honor and life depended on bottom and speed.'

"All that afternoon the beautiful mare stood over me, while away to the right of us the hoarse tide of battle flowed and ebbed. What charm, what delusion of memory held her there? Was my face to her as the face of her dead master, sleeping a sleep from which not even the wildest roar of battle, no, nor her cheerful neigh at morning, would ever wake him? Or is there in animals some instinct, answering to our intuition, only more potent, which tells them whom to trust and whom to avoid? I know not, and yet some such sense they may have, they must have; or else why should this mare so fearlessly attach herself to me? By what process of reason or instinct I know not, but there she chose me for her master; for when some of my men at dusk came searching, and found me, and, laying me on a stretcher, started toward our lines, the mare, uncompelled, of her own free will, followed at my side; and all through that stormy night of wind and rain, as my men struggled along through the mud and mire toward Harrison's Landing, the mare followed, and ever after, until she died, was with me, and was mine, and I, so far as man might be, was hers. I named her Gulnare.

"As quickly as my wound permitted, I was transported to Washington, whither I took the mare with me. Her fondness for me grew daily, and soon became so marked as to cause universal comment. I had her boarded while in Washington at the corner of—Street and—Avenue. The groom had instructions to lead her around to the window against which was my bed, at the hospital, twice every day, so that by opening the sash I might reach out my hand and pet her. But the second day, no sooner had she reached the street, than she broke suddenly from the groom and dashed away at full speed. I was lying, bolstered up in bed, reading, when I heard the rush of flying feet, and in an instant, with a loud, joyful neigh, she checked herself in front of my window. And when the nurse lifted the sash, the beautiful creature thrust her head through the aperture, and rubbed her nose against my shoulder like a dog. I am not ashamed to say that I put both my arms around her neck, and, burying my face in her silken mane, kissed her again and again. Wounded, weak, and away from home, with only strangers to wait upon me, and scant service at that, the affection of this lovely creature for me, so tender and touching, seemed almost human, and my heart went out to her beyond any power of expression, as to the only being, of all the thousands around me, who thought of me and loved me. Shortly after her appearance at my window, the groom, who had divined where he should find her, came into the yard. But she would not allow him to come near her, much less touch her. If he tried to approach she would lash out at him with her heels most spitefully, and then, laying back her ears and opening her mouth savagely, would make a short dash at him, and, as the terrified African disappeared around the corner of the hospital, she would wheel, and, with a face bright as a happy child's, come trotting to the window for me to pet her. I shouted to the groom to go back to the stable, for I had no doubt but that she would return to her stall when I closed the window. Rejoiced at the permission, he departed. After some thirty minutes, the last ten of which she was standing with her slim, delicate head in my lap, while I braided her foretop and combed out her silken mane, I lifted her head, and, patting her softly on either cheek, told her that she must 'go.' I gently pushed her head out of the window and closed it, and then, holding up my hand, with the palm turned toward her, charged her, making the appropriate motion, to 'go away right straight back to her stable.' For a moment she stood looking steadily at me, with an indescribable expression of hesitation and surprise in her clear, liquid eyes, and then, turning lingeringly, walked slowly out of the yard.

"Twice a day for nearly a month, while I lay in the hospital, did Gulnare visit me. At the appointed hour the groom would slip her headstall, and, without a word of command, she would dart out of the stable, and, with her long, leopard-like lope, go sweeping down the street and come dashing into the hospital yard, checking herself with the same glad neigh at my window; nor did she ever once fail, at the closing of the sash, to return directly to her stall. The groom informed me that every morning and evening, when the hour of her visit drew near, she would begin to chafe and worry, and, by pawing and pulling at the halter, advertise him that it was time for her to be released.

"But of all exhibitions of happiness, either by beast or man, hers was the most positive on that afternoon when, racing into the yard, she found me leaning on a crutch outside the hospital building. The whole corps of nurses came to the doors, and all the poor fellows that could move themselves—for Gulnare had become a universal favorite, and the boys looked for her daily visits nearly, if not quite, as ardently as I did—crawled to the windows to see her. What gladness was expressed in every movement! She would come prancing toward me, head and tail erect, and, pausing, rub her head against my shoulder, while I patted her glossy neck; then suddenly, with a sidewise spring, she would break away, and with her long tail elevated until her magnificent brush, fine and silken as the golden hair of a blonde, fell in a great spray on either flank, and, her head curved to its proudest arch, pace around me with that high action and springing step peculiar to the thoroughbred. Then like a flash, dropping her brush and laying back her ears and stretching her nose straight out, she would speed away with that quick, nervous, low-lying action which marks the rush of racers, when side by side and nose to nose lapping each other, with the roar of cheers on either hand and along the seats above them, they come straining up the home stretch. Returning from one of these arrowy flights, she would come curvetting back, now pacing sidewise as on parade, now dashing her hind feet high into the air, and anon vaulting up and springing through the air, with legs well under her, as if in the act of taking a five-barred gate, and finally would approach and stand happy in her reward—my caress.

"The war, at last, was over, Gulnare and I were in at the death with Sheridan at the Five Forks. Together we had shared the pageant at Richmond and Washington, and never had I seen her in better spirits than on that day at the capital. It was a sight indeed to see her as she came down Pennsylvania Avenue. If the triumphant procession had been all in her honor and mine, she could not have moved with greater grace and pride. With dilating eye and tremulous ear, ceaselessly champing her bit, her heated blood bringing out the magnificent lacework of veins over her entire body, now and then pausing, and with a snort gathering herself back upon her haunches as for a mighty leap, while she shook the froth from her bits, she moved with a high, prancing step down the magnificent street, the admired of all beholders. Cheer after cheer was given, huzza after huzza rang out over her head from roofs and balcony, bouquet after bouquet was launched by fair and enthusiastic admirers before her; and yet, amid the crash and swell of music, the cheering and tumult, so gentle and manageable was she, that, though I could feel her frame creep and tremble under me as she moved through that whirlwind of excitement, no check or curb was needed, and the bridle-lines—the same she wore when she came to me at Malvern Hill—lay unlifted on the pommel of the saddle. Never before had I seen her so grandly herself. Never before had the fire and energy, the grace and gentleness, of her blood so revealed themselves. This was the day and the event she needed. And all the royalty of her ancestral breed—a race of equine kings—flowing as without taint or cross from him that was the pride and wealth of the whole tribe of desert rangers, expressed itself in her. I need not say that I shared her mood. I sympathized in her every step. I entered into all her royal humors. I patted her neck and spoke loving and cheerful words to her. I called her my beauty, my pride, my pet. And did she not understand me? Every word! Else why that listening ear turned back to catch my softest whisper; why the responsive quiver through the frame, and the low, happy neigh? 'Well,' I exclaimed, as I leaped from her back at the close of the review—alas! that words spoken in lightest mood should portend so much!—'well, Gulnare, if you should die, your life has had its triumph. The nation itself, through its admiring capital, has paid tribute to your beauty, and death can never rob you of your fame.' And I patted her moist neck and foam-flecked shoulders, while the grooms were busy with head and loins.

"That night our brigade made its bivouac just over Long Bridge, almost on the identical spot where four years before I had camped my company of three months' volunteers. With what experiences of march and battle were those four years filled! For three of these years Gulnare had been my constant companion. With me she had shared my tent, and not rarely my rations, for in appetite she was truly human, and my steward always counted her as one of our 'mess.' Twice had she been wounded—once at Fredericksburg, through the thigh; and once at Cold Harbor, where a piece of shell tore away a part of her scalp. So completely did it stun her, that for some moments I thought her dead, but to my great joy she shortly recovered her senses. I had the wound carefully dressed by our brigade surgeon, from whose care she came in a month with the edges of the wound so nicely united that the eye could with difficulty detect the scar. This night, as usual, she lay at my side, her head almost touching mine. Never before, unless when on a raid and in face of the enemy, had I seen her so uneasy. Her movements during the night compelled wakefulness on my part. The sky was cloudless, and in the dim light I lay and watched her. Now she would stretch herself at full length, and rub her head on the ground. Then she would start up, and, sitting on her haunches, like a dog, lift one foreleg and paw her neck and ears. Anon she would rise to her feet and shake herself, walk off a few rods, return and lie down again by my side. I did not know what to make of it, unless the excitement of the day had been too much for her sensitive nerves. I spoke to her kindly and petted her. In response she would rub her nose against me, and lick my hand with her tongue—a peculiar habit of hers—like a dog. As I was passing my hand over her head, I discovered that it was hot, and the thought of the old wound flashed into my mind, with a momentary fear that something might be wrong about her brain, but after thinking it over I dismissed it as incredible. Still I was alarmed. I knew that something was amiss, and I rejoiced at the thought that I should soon be at home where she could have quiet, and, if need be, the best of nursing. At length the morning dawned, and the mare and I took our last meal together on Southern soil—the last we ever took together. The brigade was formed in line for the last time, and as I rode down the front to review the boys she moved with all her old battle grace and power. Only now and then, by a shake of the head, was I reminded of her actions during the night. I said a few words of farewell to the men whom I had led so often to battle, with whom I had shared perils not a few, and by whom, as I had reason to think, I was loved, and then gave, with a voice slightly unsteady, the last order they would ever receive from me: 'Brigade, Attention, Ready to break ranks, Break Ranks.' The order was obeyed. But ere they scattered, moved by a common impulse, they gave first three cheers for me, and then, with the same heartiness and even more power, three cheers for Gulnare. And she, standing there, looking with her bright, cheerful countenance full at the men, pawing with her forefeet, alternately, the ground, seemed to understand the compliment; for no sooner had the cheering died away than she arched her neck to its proudest curve, lifted her thin, delicate head into the air, and gave a short, joyful neigh.

"My arrangements for transporting her had been made by a friend the day before. A large, roomy car had been secured, its floor strewn with bright clean straw, a bucket and a bag of oats provided, and everything done for her comfort. The car was to be attached to the through express, in consideration of fifty dollars extra, which I gladly paid, because of the greater rapidity with which it enabled me to make my journey. As the brigade broke up into groups, I glanced at my watch and saw that I had barely time to reach the cars before they started. I shook the reins upon her neck, and with a plunge, startled at the energy of my signal, away she flew. What a stride she had! What an elastic spring! She touched and left the earth as if her limbs were of spiral wire. When I reached the car my friend was standing in front of it, the gang-plank was ready, I leaped from the saddle, and, running up the plank into the car, whistled to her; and she, timid and hesitating, yet unwilling to be separated from me, crept slowly and cautiously up the steep incline and stood beside me. Inside I found a complete suit of flannel clothes with a blanket and, better than all, a lunch-basket. My friend explained that he had bought the clothes as he came down to the depot, thinking, as he said, 'that they would be much better than your regimentals,' and suggested that I doff the one and don the other. To this I assented the more readily as I reflected that I would have to pass one night at least in the car, with no better bed than the straw under my feet. I had barely time to undress before the cars were coupled and started. I tossed the clothes to my friend with the injunction to pack them in my trunk and express them on to me, and waved him my adieu. I arrayed myself in the nice, cool flannel and looked around. The thoughtfulness of my friend had anticipated every want. An old cane-seated chair stood in one corner. The lunch-basket was large and well supplied. Amid the oats I found a dozen oranges, some bananas, and a package of real Havana cigars. How I called down blessings on his thoughtful head as I took the chair and, lighting one of the fine-flavored figaros, gazed out on the fields past which we were gliding, yet wet with morning dew. As I sat dreamily admiring the beauty before me, Gulnare came and, resting her head upon my shoulder, seemed to share my mood. As I stroked her fine-haired, satin-like nose, recollection quickened and memories of our companionship in perils thronged into my mind. I rode again that midnight ride to Knoxville, when Burnside lay intrenched, desperately holding his own, waiting for news from Chattanooga of which I was the bearer, chosen by Grant himself because of the reputation of my mare. What riding that was! We started, ten riders of us in all, each with the same message. I parted company the first hour out with all save one, an iron-gray stallion of Messenger blood. Jack Murdock rode him, who learned his horsemanship from buffalo and Indian hunting on the plains—not a bad school to graduate from. Ten miles out of Knoxville the gray, his flanks dripping with Wood, plunged up abreast of the mare's shoulders and fell dead; and Gulnare and I passed through the lines alone. I had ridden the terrible race without whip or spur. With what scenes of blood and flight she would ever he associated! And then I thought of home, unvisited for four long years—that home I left a stripling, but to which I was returning a bronzed and brawny man. I thought of mother and Bob—how they would admire her!—of old Ben, the family groom, and of that one who shall be nameless, whose picture I had so often shown to Gulnare as the likeness of her future mistress; had they not all heard of her, my beautiful mare, she who came to me from the smoke and whirlwind, my battle-gift? How they would pat her soft, smooth sides, and tie her mane with ribbons, and feed her with all sweet things from open and caressing palm! And then I thought of one who might come after her to bear her name and repeat at least some portion of her beauty—a horse honored and renowned the country through, because of the transmission of the mother's fame.

"About three o'clock in the afternoon a change came over Gulnare. I had fallen asleep upon the straw, and she had come and awakened me with a touch of her nose. The moment I started up I saw that something was the matter. Her eyes were dull and heavy. Never before had I seen the light go out of them. The rocking of the car as it went jumping and vibrating along seemed to irritate the car. Touching it, I found that the skin over the brain was hot as fire. Her breathing grew rapidly louder and louder. Each breath was drawn with a kind of gasping effort. The lids with their silken fringe drooped wearily over the lustreless eyes. The head sank lower and lower, until the nose almost touched the floor. The ears, naturally so lively and erect, hung limp and widely apart. The body was cold and senseless. A pinch elicited no motion. Even my voice was at last unheeded. To word and touch there came, for the first time in all our intercourse, no response. I knew as the symptoms spread what was the matter. The signs bore all one way. She was in the first stages of phrenitis, or inflammation of the brain. In other words, my beautiful mare was going mad.

"I was well versed in the anatomy of the horse. Loving horses from my very childhood, there was little in veterinary practice with which I was not familiar. Instinctively, as soon as the symptoms had developed themselves, and I saw under what frightful disorder Gulnare was laboring, I put my hand into my pocket for my knife, in order to open a vein. There was no knife there. Friends, I have met with many surprises. More than once in battle and scout have I been nigh death; but never did my blood desert my veins and settle so around the heart, never did such a sickening sensation possess me, as when, standing in that car with my beautiful mare before me marked with those horrible symptoms, I made that discovery. My knife, my sword, my pistols even, were with my suit in the care of my friend, two hundred miles away. Hastily, and with trembling fingers, I searched my clothes, the lunch-basket, my linen; not even a pin could I find. I shoved open the sliding door, and swung my hat and shouted, hoping to attract some brakeman's attention. The train was thundering along at full speed, and none saw or heard me. I knew her stupor would not last long. A slight quivering of the lip, an occasional spasm running through the frame, told me too plainly that the stage of frenzy would soon begin. 'My God,' I exclaimed in despair, as I shut the door and turned toward her, 'must I see you die, Gulnare, when the opening of a vein would save you? Have you borne me, my pet, through all these years of peril, the icy chill of winter, the heat and torment of summer, and all the thronging dangers of a hundred bloody battles, only to die torn by fierce agonies, when so near a peaceful home?'

"But little time was given me to mourn. My life was soon to be in peril, and I must summon up the utmost power of eye and limb to escape the violence of my frenzied mare. Did you ever see a mad horse when his madness is on him? Take your stand with me in that car, and you shall see what suffering a dumb creature can endure before it dies. In no malady does a horse suffer more than in phrenitis, or inflammation of the brain. Possibly in severe cases of colic, probably in rabies in its fiercest form, the pain is equally intense. These three are the most agonizing of all the diseases to which the noblest of animals is exposed. Had my pistols been with me, I should then and there, with whatever strength Heaven granted, have taken my companion's life, that she might be spared the suffering which was so soon to rack and wring her sensitive frame. A horse laboring under an attack of phrenitis is as violent as a horse can be. He is not ferocious as is one in a fit of rabies. He may kill his master, but he does it without design. There is in him no desire of mischief for its own sake, no cruel cunning, no stratagem and malice. A rabid horse is conscious in every act and motion. He recognizes the man he destroys. There is in him an insane desire to kill. Not so with the phrenetic horse. He is unconscious in his violence. He sees and recognizes no one. There is no method of purpose in his madness. He kills without knowing it.

"I knew what was coming. I could not jump out, that would be certain death. I must abide in the car, and take my chance of life. The car was fortunately high, long, and roomy. I took my position in front of my horse, watchful, and ready to spring. Suddenly her lids, which had been closed, came open with a snap, as if an electric shock had passed through her, and the eyes, wild in their brightness, stared directly at me. And what eyes they were! The membrane grew red and redder until it was of the color of blood, standing out in frightful contrast with the transparency of the cornea. The pupil gradually dilated until it seemed about to burst out of the socket. The nostrils, which had been sunken and motionless, quivered, swelled, and glowed. The respiration became short, quick and gasping. The limp and dripping ears stiffened and stood erect, pricked sharply forward, as if to catch the slightest sound. Spasms, as the car swerved and vibrated, ran along her frame. More horrid than all, the lips slowly contracted, and the white, sharp-edged teeth stood uncovered, giving an indescribable look of ferocity to the partially opened mouth. The car suddenly reeled as it dashed around a curve, swaying her almost off her feet, and as a contortion shook her, she recovered herself, and rearing upward as high as the car permitted, plunged directly at me. I was expecting the movement, and dodged. Then followed exhibitions of pain which I pray God I may never see again. Time and again did she dash herself upon the floor, and roll over and over, lashing out with her feet in all directions. Pausing a moment, she would stretch her body to its extreme length, and, lying upon her side, pound the floor with her head as if it were a maul. Then like a flash she would leap to her feet, and whirl round and round until from very giddiness she would stagger and fall. She would lay hold of the straw with her teeth, and shake it as a dog shakes a struggling woodchuck; then dashing it from her mouth, she would seize hold of her own sides, and rend herself. Springing up, she would rush against the end of the car, falling all in a heap from the violence of the concussion. For some fifteen minutes without intermission the frenzy lasted. I was nearly exhausted. My efforts to avoid her mad rushes, the terrible tension of my nervous system produced by the spectacle of such exquisite and prolonged suffering, were weakening me beyond what I should have thought it possible an hour before for anything to weaken me. In fact, I felt my strength leaving me. A terror such as I had never yet felt was taking possession of my mind. I sickened at the sight before me, and at the thought of agonies yet to come. 'My God I exclaimed, 'must I be killed by my own horse in this miserable car!' Even as I spoke the end came. The mare raised herself until her shoulders touched the roof, then dashed her body upon the floor with a violence which threatened the stout frame beneath her. I leaned, panting and exhausted, against the side of the car. Gulnare did not stir. She lay motionless, her breath coming and going in lessening respirations. I tottered toward her, and as I stood above her, my ear detected a low gurgling sound. I cannot describe the feeling that followed. Joy and grief contended within me. I knew the meaning of that sound. Gulnare, in her frenzied violence, had broken a blood-vessel, and was bleeding internally. Pain and life were passing away together. I knelt down by her side. I laid my head upon her shoulders, and sobbed aloud. Her body moved a little beneath me. I crawled forward, and lifted her beautiful head into my lap. O, for one more sign of recognition before she died! I smoothed the tangled masses of her mane. I wiped, with a fragment of my coat, torn in the struggle, the blood which oozed from her nostril. I called her by name. My desire was granted. In a moment Gulnare opened her eyes. The redness of frenzy had passed out of them. She saw and recognized me. I spoke again. Her eye lighted a moment with the old and intelligent look of love. Her ear moved. Her nostril quivered slightly as she strove to neigh. The effort was in vain. Her love was greater than her strength. She moved her head a little, as if she would be nearer me, looked once more with her clear eyes into my face, breathed a long breath, straightened her shapely limbs, and died. And there, holding the head of my dead mare in my lap, while the great warm tears fell one after another down my cheeks, I sat until the sun went down, the shadows darkened in the car, and night drew her mantle, colored like my grief, over the world."


By Charles Dudley Warner

The pleasurable excitement of a deer-hunt has never, I believe, been regarded from the deer's point of view. I happen to be in a position, by reason of a lucky Adirondack experience, to present it in that light.

Early on the morning of the 23d of August, 1877, a doe was feeding on Basin Mountain. The night had been warm and showery, and the morning opened in an undecided way. The wind was southerly: it is what the deer call a dog-wind, having come to know quite well the meaning of "a southerly wind and a cloudy sky." The sole companion of the doe was her only child, a charming little fawn, whose brown coat was beginning to be mottled with the beautiful spots which make this young creature as lovely as the gazelle. The buck, its father, had been that night on a long tramp across the mountain to Clear Pond, and had not yet returned.

The doe was feeding, daintily cropping the tender leaves of the young shoots, and turning from time to time to regard her offspring. The fawn had taken his morning meal, and now lay curled up on a bed of moss, watching contentedly, with his large, soft-brown eyes, every movement of his mother. The great eyes followed her with an alert entreaty; and, if the mother stepped a pace or two further away in feeding, the fawn made a half-movement, as if to rise and follow her. You see, she was his sole dependence in all the world. But he was quickly reassured when she turned her gaze on him; and if, in alarm, he uttered a plaintive cry, she bounded to him at once, and, with every demonstration of affection, licked his mottled skin till it shone again.

It was a pretty picture—maternal love on the one part, and happy trust on the other. The doe was a beauty, and would have been so considered anywhere, as graceful and winning a creature as the sun that day shone on—slender limbs, not too heavy flanks, round body, and aristocratic head, with small ears, and luminous, intelligent, affectionate eyes. How alert, supple, free, she was! What untaught grace in every movement! What a charming pose when she lifted her head, and turned it to regard her child! You would have had a companion-picture, if you had seen, as I saw that morning, a baby kicking about among the dry pine-needles on a ledge above the Ausable, in the valley below, while its young mother sat near, with an easel before her, touching in the color of a reluctant landscape, giving a quick look at the sky and the outline of the Twin Mountains, and bestowing every third glance upon the laughing boy-art in its infancy.

The doe lifted her head a little with a quick motion, and turned her ear to the south. Had she heard something? Probably it was only the south wind in the balsams. There was silence all about in the forest. If the doe had heard anything it was one of the distant noises of the world. There are in the woods occasional moanings, premonitions of change, which are inaudible to the dull ears of men, but which, I have no doubt, the forest-folk hear and understand. If the doe's suspicions were excited for an instant, they were gone as soon.

But suddenly she started, head erect, eyes dilated, a tremor in her limbs. She took a step; she turned her head to the south; she listened intently. There was a sound—a distant, prolonged note, bell-toned, pervading the woods, shaking the air in smooth vibrations. It was repeated. The doe had no doubt now. She shook like the sensitive mimosa when a footstep approaches. It was the baying of a hound! It was far off—at the foot of the mountain. Time enough to fly; time enough to put miles between her and the hound, before he should come upon her fresh trail; time enough to escape away through the dense forest and hide in the recesses of Panther Gorge; yes, time enough. But there was the fawn. The cry of the hound was repeated, more distinct this time. The mother instinctively bounded away a few paces. The fawn started up with an anxious bleat. The doe turned; she came back; she couldn't leave it. She bent over it, and licked it, and seemed to say, "Come, my child; we are pursued; we must go." She walked away toward the west, and the little thing skipped after her. It was slow going for the slender legs, over the fallen logs, and through the rasping bushes. The doe bounded in advance, and waited; the fawn scrambled after her, slipping and tumbling along, very groggy yet on its legs, and whining a good deal because its mother kept always moving away from it.

Shortly came a sound that threw the doe into a panic of terror—a short, sharp yelp, followed by a prolonged howl, caught up and re-echoed by other bayings along the mountain-side. The doe knew what that meant. One hound had caught her trail, and the whole pack responded to the "view-halloo." The danger was certain now; it was near. She could not crawl on in this way; the dogs would soon be upon them. She turned again for flight: the fawn, scrambling after her, tumbled over, and bleated piteously. The baying, now emphasized by the yelp of certainty, came nearer. Flight with the fawn was impossible. The doe returned ajad stood by it, head erect, and nostrils distended. She stood perfectly still, but trembling. Perhaps she was thinking. The fawn took advantage of the situation, and began to draw his luncheon ration. The doe seemed to have made up her mind. She let him finish. The fawn, having taken all he wanted, lay down contentedly, and the doe licked him for a moment. Then, with the swiftness of a bird, she dashed away, and in a moment was lost in the forest. She went in the direction of the hounds.

According to all human calculations, she was going into the jaws of death. So she was: all human calculations are selfish. She kept straight on, hearing the baying every moment more distinctly. She descended the slope of the mountain until she reached the more open forest of hard-wood. It was freer going here, and the cry of the pack echoed more resoundingly in the great spaces. She was going due east, when (judging by the sound, the hounds were not far off, though they were still hidden by a ridge) she turned away toward the north, and kept on at a good pace. In five minutes more she heard the sharp, exultant yelp of discovery, and then the deep-mouthed howl of pursuit. The hounds had struck her trail where she turned, and the fawn was safe.

The doe was in good running condition, the ground was not bad, and she felt the exhilaration of the chase. For the moment, fear left her, and she bounded on with the exaltation of triumph. For a quarter of an hour she went on at a slapping pace, clearing the moose-bushes with bound after bound, flying over the fallen logs, pausing neither for brook nor ravine. The baying of the hounds grew fainter behind her. But she struck a bad piece of going, a dead-wood slash. It was marvellous to see her skim over it, leaping among its intricacies, and not breaking her slender legs. No other living animal could do it. But it was killing work. She began to pant fearfully; she lost ground. The baying of the hounds was nearer. She climbed the hard-wood hill at a slower gait: but, once on more level, free ground, her breath came back to her, and she stretched away with new courage, and maybe a sort of contempt for her heavy pursuers.

After running at a high speed perhaps half a mile further it occurred to her that it would be safe now to turn to the west, and, by a wide circuit, seek her fawn. But, at the moment, she heard a sound that chilled her heart. It was the cry of a hound to the west of her. The crafty brute had made the circuit of the slash, and cut off her retreat. There was nothing to do but to keep on; and on she went, still to the north, with the noise of the pack behind her. In five minutes more she had passed into a hillside clearing. Cows and young steers were grazing there. She heard a tinkle of bells. Below her, down the mountain-slope, were other clearings, broken by patches of woods. Fences intervened; and a mile or two down lay the valley, the shining Ausable, and the peaceful farmhouses. That way also her hereditary enemies were. Not a merciful heart in all that lovely valley. She hesitated; it was only for an instant. She must cross the Slidebrook Valley if possible, and gain the mountain opposite.

The hunted doe went down "the open," clearing the fences splendidly, flying along the stony path. It was a beautiful sight. But consider what a shot it was! If the deer, now, could only have been caught! No doubt there were tender-hearted people in the valley who would have spared her life, shut her up in a stable, and petted her.

The doe went on; she left the saw-mill on John's Brook to her right; she turned into a wood-path. As she approached Slide Brook, she saw a boy standing by a tree with a raised rifle. The dogs were not in sight, but she could hear them coming down the hill. There was no time for hesitation. With a tremendous burst of speed she cleared the stream, and, as she touched the bank, heard the "ping" of a rifle bullet in the air above her. The cruel sound gave wings to the poor thing. In a moment more she was in the opening: she leaped into the travelled road. Which way? Below her in the wood was a load of hay: a man and a boy, with pitchforks in their hands, were running toward her. She turned south, and flew along the street. The town was up. Women and children ran to the doors and windows; men snatched their rifles; shots were fired; at the big boarding-houses, the summer boarders, who never have anything to do, came out and cheered; a camp-stool was thrown from a veranda. Some young fellows shooting at a mark in the meadow saw the flying deer, and popped away at her: but they were accustomed to a mark that stood still. It was all so sudden! There were twenty people who were just going to shoot her when the doe leaped the road fence, and went away across a marsh toward the foot-hills. It was a fearful gantlet to run. But nobody except the deer considered it in that light. Everybody told what he was just going to do! everybody who had seen the performance was a kind of hero-everybody except the deer.

The courage of the panting fugitive was not gone: she was game to the tip of her high-bred ears. But the fearful pace at which she had just been going told on her. Her legs trembled, and her heart beat like a trip-hammer. She slowed her speed perforce, but still fled industriously up the right bank of the stream. When she had gone a couple of miles, and the dogs were evidently gaining again, she crossed the broad, deep brook, climbed the steep, left bank, and fled on in the direction of the Mount Marcy trail. The fording of the river threw the hounds off for a time. She knew, by their uncertain yelping up and down the opposite bank, that she had a little respite; she used it, however, to push on until the baying was faint in her ears; and then she dropped, exhausted, upon the ground.

This rest, brief as it was, saved her life. Roused again by the baying pack, she leaped forward with better speed, though without that keen feeling of exhilarating flight that she had in the morning. It was still a race for life; but the odds were in her favor, she thought. She did not appreciate the dogged persistence of the hounds, nor had any inspiration told her that the race is not to the swift. She was a little confused in her mind where to go; but an instinct kept her course to the left, and consequently further away from her fawn. Going now slower, and now faster, as the pursuit seemed more distant or nearer, she kept to the southwest, crossed the stream again, left Panther Gorge on her right, and ran on by Haystack and Skylight in the direction of the Upper Ausable Pond. I do not know her exact course through this maze of mountains, swamps, ravines, and frightful wildernesses. I only know that the poor thing worked her way along painfully, with sinking heart and unsteady limbs, lying down "dead-beat" at intervals, and then spurred on by the cry of the remorseless dogs, until, late in the afternoon, she staggered down the shoulder of a Bartlett, and stood upon the shore of the lake. If she could put that piece of water between her and her pursuers, she would be safe. Had she strength to swim it?

At her first step into the water she saw a sight that sent her back with a bound. There was a boat midlake; two men were in it. One was rowing: the other had a gun in his hand. They were looking toward her: they had seen her. (She did not know that they had heard the baying of hounds on the mountains, and had been lying in wait for her an hour.) What should she do? The hounds were drawing near. No escape that way, even if she could still run. With only a moment's hesitation she plunged into the lake, and struck obliquely across. Her tired legs could not propel the tired body rapidly. She saw the boat headed for her. She turned toward the centre of the lake. The boat turned. She could hear the rattle of the oar-locks. It was gaining on her. Then there was a silence. Then there was a splash of the water just ahead of her, followed by a roar round the lake, the words "Confound it all!" and a rattle of the oars again. The doe saw the boat nearing her. She turned irresolutely to the shore whence she came: the dogs were lapping the water, and howling there. She turned again to the centre of the lake.

The brave, pretty creature was quite exhausted now. In a moment more, with a rush of water, the boat was on her, and the man at the oars had leaned over and caught her by the tail.

"Knock her on the head with that paddle!" he shouted to the gentleman in the stern.

The gentleman was a gentleman, with a kind, smooth-shaven face, and might have been a minister of some sort of everlasting gospel. He took the paddle in his hand. Just then the doe turned her head, and looked at him with her great, appealing eyes.

"I can't do it! my soul, I can't do it!" and he dropped the paddle.
"Oh, let her go!"

"Oh, no!" was the only response of the guide as he slung the deer round, whipped out his hunting-knife, and made a pass that severed her jugular.

The buck returned about the middle of the afternoon. The fawn was bleating piteously, hungry and lonesome. The buck was surprised. He looked about in the forest. He took a circuit and came back. His doe was nowhere to be seen. He looked down at the fawn in a helpless sort of way. The fawn appealed for his supper. The buck had nothing whatever to give his child—nothing but his sympathy. If he said anything, this is what he said: "I'm the head of this family; but, really, this is a novel case. I've nothing whatever for you. I don't know what to do. I've the feelings of a father; but you can't live on them. Let us travel."

The buck walked away: the little one toddled after him. They disappeared in the forest.