The Project Gutenberg EBook of Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891 Author: Various Editor: James Elverson Release Date: September 4, 2005 [EBook #16638] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GOLDEN DAYS *** Produced by Louise Hope, Juliet Sutherland and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net
|Vol. XIII—No. 1.||November 28, 1891.|
Advertising (inside front cover)
The Young Engineer
A Village Hampden
Rigging and Rigs
The North Avenue Archingtons
Pride and Poverty
A Prince of Ceylon
Stories of School Life
Mexico and the Mexicans
Something about Coal-Tar
Be Sure how You Begin
Eclipses and Historical Dates
The Volunteer Writer
A Flock of Geese
Drawn into the Whirlpool
The Black Hound
The Fierce Old Cat and the Clockwork Rat
Answers to Correspondents
Notices of Exchange
Advertising (inside back cover)
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Children Cry for Pitcher's Castoria
(Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1891, by James Elverson, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.)
|VOL. XIII.||JAMES ELVERSON,
|N. W. corner Ninth
and Spruce Sts.
|PHILADELPHIA, NOVEMBER 28, 1891.|
|TERMS||$3.00 Per Annum,
Larry Kendall leaped out of bed and dressed with more than his customary haste. His father's voice had called him upon this morning, which was a most uncommon circumstance, for Mr. Kendall was usually off to his work before his son had finished his morning dreams.
"Must be that something is the matter," reasoned Larry, as he hurried down stairs.
He found his father seated at the breakfast table, but it was evident that he had eaten nothing.
His mother, sitting opposite in her accustomed place, looked paler than usual, and there were dark circles under her eyes that indicated a sleepless night.
She did not look at Larry as the latter came in; but Mr. Kendall did so, in a resolute way that showed his mind to have been thoroughly made up to an important course.
"I wish you to run the engine for me at the iron works for a few days," were Mr. Kendall's first words, and they were enough to make Larry's heart beat quick in anticipation.
"I shall like that," he replied.
Then, seeing none of his own enthusiasm reflected in the sad face of his mother, he added:
"Are you ill, father, or hurt?"
"I am well," Mr. Kendall answered, and then was silent, making a pretense of beginning to eat.
"Your father thinks of going on a journey," Mrs. Kendall said, in response to her son's puzzled look.
Larry was keen enough to observe that, whatever the trouble might be, it was something which they did not wish to discuss before him; and, while he was naturally curious to learn the cause of his father's sudden journey, he was too discreet to ask any questions about the matter.
"Did you speak to Mr. Gardner about my running the engine?" he asked, as he took his seat at the table.
"No; that wasn't necessary. You have taken my place several times within a year, when I have been away or ill, and you are always with me when your school isn't keeping. I have told him more than once that you knew about the engine as well as I did; and you know I have always taken pains to explain everything, and to have you do all of the work at times, when I was there to show you how."
Larry's heart swelled with pride under these frankly spoken words. His father was not much given to praising any one, and the boy had often felt hurt that no word of acknowledgment ever came as a reward when he had successfully done some difficult work.
This made the praise which came now all the more inspiring. Mr. Gardner, the superintendent, had frequently given his shoulder an approving tap, and Joe Cuttle, the fireman, often said that "the lad could run the engine as well as any man." But Mr. Kendall, who ought to have been the first to observe and appreciate his son's success, seemed scarcely to have given it a thought.
"He may reason that I'll try harder if I think I'm not perfect than I would if he praised me more," Larry often told himself, and now the long-wished-for expression of confidence had come.
With so much to think about, Larry could eat but little breakfast, and his appetite was not improved by the manifest distress of his mother and the taciturnity of his father.
"It is nearly six, Larry," reminded the latter, breaking the silence.
"Yes, sir. I will go right along."
He flung on his cap and buttoned up his coat, lingering at the door for a parting word from his father. But none came.
"What shall I say to Mr. Gardner?" Larry asked, unable to go without breaking the silence.
"You needn't say anything."
"But he may ask why you didn't come. He always does, unless you give notice the night before."
"Your mother told you I was going away, and that is enough for you to tell him. You needn't let it trouble you, anyway; just attend to your duties and say nothing to anybody. Remember that it is a responsible business to have full charge of a thousand-hose-power engine and nine boilers, and something that not many boys of seventeen are trusted to run even for a day or two at a time."
"I know that, father, and that is why I wanted to know what to say to the superintendent."
"I have told you all you need to say, and more, unless you are asked."
"All right, sir. I—I hope you will have good luck, father, and—good-by."
Mr. Kendall seemed not to have heard the parting wish of his son; he certainly did not return the good-by. And mingled with the feeling of satisfaction at being intrusted with the care of the great engine was a sensation of vague uneasiness on account of his father's singular behavior.
The fireman was there before him, waiting to be let into the boiler-room, for the engineer always kept the keys.
He was a big, brawny Yorkshire Englishman, with a scar across one cheek, and, to add to the ugliness of his face, he had only one good eye. Over the other he always wore a green patch.
"Hi, my lad, is thy feyther sick?" was Joe Cuttle's salutation as Larry unlocked the door, and they went into the long boiler-room.
"No, sir," was the reply, remembering his father's wish that he say, nothing about the matter except to the superintendent.
"I'm a little late," he continued, as he glanced at the steam gauges; "so you will have to put on the draught and get up steam fast as you can."
"All right, Larry. I was waiting for thee this ten minutes," said Cuttle.
He clanged his shovel on the hard stone floor and rattled the furnace doors, while Larry tried the steam-cocks and then let the water into the glass gauges, as he had done many times before.
Then he unlocked the door into the engine-room and left Joe to shovel in the coal and regulate the draughts.
The engine—or engines, for there were two of the same power whose pistons turned the same great fly-wheel—glistened a welcome to Larry, and it seemed to him that they looked brighter even than usual upon this clear September morning.
He began wiping them off with a handful of cotton waste, adding, if possible, to the polished brightness of the powerful arms and cylinders; but, before he had finished the work, a gruff voice caused him to look up.
"You, is it?" the voice questioned.
The speaker was a young man of twenty-three, who was employed in the works. Larry had seen him a great many times, for he was always loitering about in the boiler and engine rooms when his father was away.
This was contrary to rules, yet Larry, being so much younger, disliked to order the young man out. But as he saw him standing in the doorway, then it occurred to him that, if his father was to be absent several days, it might be better to put a stop to intrusion at once.
"Yes, I'm on duty," Larry answered, resuming his work.
Steve Croly coolly ascended the two or three steps to the floor of the engine-room, and, picking up a piece of waste, began to rub the polished cylinder-head which was nearest.
Larry saw that the rag which Croly was using was making streaks on the polished surface.
"See what you're doing, Steve!" he cried, pointing at the oily smutch.
"Why don't you have some clean waste round here, then?" Croly retorted. "When I used to run an engine, I had something to clean it with, instead of using waste after it was soaked full of oil."
"You're not running this engine," said Larry, quietly.
His heart was heating fast; so he was silent a moment before he spoke again, as he did not wish to speak in an angry tone.
"I think I could manage it about as well as any boy of your age," said Croly. "It's mighty foolish to trust such an engine as this to a boy. I heard some of the men talking about it with the super the last time your old man was off, and I fancy he don't like it very well."
"Perhaps you heard them say something about giving you the job," Larry responded, with a faint smile.
"It would look more sensible if they did," replied Croly, who had too much self-conceit to see the point of a joke that was aimed at him.
"Still," Larry answered, with more dignity, "since I am allowed to run the engine, I shall have to ask you to obey the rules against coming in here, after this."
"You mean that I can't come in to see the engine?"
"Not without leave. My father wouldn't let you, and you know it. Hereafter I wish you to keep out when I'm in charge."
Steve Croly's cheeks flushed with anger.
At that moment the hoarse roar of the whistle shook the air, telling everybody in the busy town that it was time to go to work.
It was not yet time to start the engine, but Croly sprang to the valve-gear to let on the steam.
Larry divined the young man's purpose, and he needed no better evidence that Steve Croly knew very little about an engine than this thoughtless act.
The youth reached the valve-gear at the same time, and the hands of both grasped the wheel.
"What are you going to do?" cried Larry, holding on with all his strength, for the other was trying to turn the wheel.
"I'm going to start the engine. Didn't you hear the whistle? What are you waiting for?" snapped Croly.
"That was the quarter-whistle; it isn't time to start up yet. And if it was, you would blow out a couple of cylinder-heads for me by letting on the steam in that style!"
Larry's face was pale, partly because he thought that the other would have succeeded in doing the mischief in spite of him. But the determined face of the boy, coupled with his words, made Croly pause, although he still allowed his hand to rest on the valve-gear of the great engine.
"You think I don't know enough to start this machine, I suppose," he said.
"I think if you did know, you wouldn't try to blow out the cylinder-heads to start with," Larry rejoined.
"You're trying to bluff me now, but you ain't quite old enough to do it. Just wait till the five-minute whistle blows, and see if I can't start the machine. I know enough to know that if you let the steam into the cylinder, she's got to start."
"Something would start, that's certain," said Larry, drily. "But," he continued, "I don't think you will let the steam on this time. Now, let go!"
"You're a pretty heavy man to put in as boss of this plant," replied Steve.
He let go of the valve-wheel, but did not step back. Larry divined that the fellow intended to wait until he was momentarily away from the gear, and then persist in his attempt to start the engine.
"I told you to go out," he said, pointing at the door.
"I'm going after the engine is started, and not before," persisted Croly.
"You know you have no right in this part of the works. They wouldn't have me loafing in your department, and you must keep out of this!"
"I don't try to send anybody away from my department."
"You would if you had charge of it. In yours there is a foreman and fifty or sixty men; in this there is only the fireman, under the engineer, but the engineer is just as much a foreman as the boss of your department is there."
"You're a boy," sneered Croly, "and when the Tioga Iron Works has boys put in as bosses, they'll have to turn off the men and run the whole business with boys. That's all there is to it."
"Would you come here if my father was in charge?"
"It isn't likely I should."
"Then you admit that you have no right here?"
Croly was silent. It was plain enough to Larry what the matter was with the young man. The truth was he had at some time been temporarily in charge of a small portable or "donkey" engine, such as are used for hoisting purposes in stone quarries and in other out-of-door work, and he was incapable of recognizing the difference between the simple construction of such a machine and the complicated work in the great motive-power of the Tioga Iron Works.
Larry was a slow-spoken boy, and correspondingly slow in making a decision. But when his mind was really made up, he was equally slow to change it.
He looked at the clock, and then at his own watch. In one minute the next whistle would blow, and then the engine must be started.
The door leading to the boiler-room had been left open by Croly, and it had glass panels, through which Joe Cuttle could be seen hard at work, feeding the hungry furnaces.
Larry dared not wait another moment. He stepped quickly to the door and called out:
"Joe, come here a moment!"
"Yes, my lad."
The furnace door closed with a clang. The fireman paused to pull at an iron rod that was suspended against the wall, and the short, quick roar of the five-minute whistle sounded.
Larry had wheeled about the instant he saw Joe start in obedience to his call, and he was in time to see Croly again in the act of seizing the valve-gear.
Without an instant's hesitation, he took hold of the wheel, and held it firmly, at the same time calling:
The big fireman appeared, and his single eye looked from the face of the boy to that of Croly.
"Did'st thee want me, lad?" he asked, in his gruff tones.
"I want you to take this fellow away from the engine before we're all blown out of the building to pay for his carelessness," Larry answered.
Cuttle's one eye glared upon Steve Croly, and the latter retreated, with a look of grim defiance.
"He's away from the engine, lad," said Joe; "and, noo, what else would'st have me do wi' him? A'll frowd him oot, if thou'd give the wud."
"If he will go out without help, all right; if not, you may boost him a little, if you wish to, Joe," said Larry, who had resolved to get rid of the dangerous loiterer, this time for good, if possible.
"Git owd wi' thee!" ordered the big fireman, making a sudden and furious feint of seizing the intruder.
This was more than Steve Croly had bargained for. It was very well to come in and attempt to defy a boy, of whom he was envious, but quite another thing to face the powerful fireman, whose bare, brown arms and single gleaming eye lent him a most formidable aspect.
And so, without waiting to see how Larry went to work to set the great engine in motion, Steve hurried down the steps and across the boiler-room, not even looking back while he heard the fireman's heavy boots clumping along the stone floor.
Joe did not attempt to follow the other outside. He turned back, with a grimace which was intended for a smile, but which made his face look uglier than ever; and a moment after the whistle sent forth its final roar, which was the signal for every man and boy in the vast works to be in his place and to begin work.
Then, with the same silent mirth distorting his features, the fireman thrust his head into the engine-room and said:
"He tho't he'd go, lad; and A doon't think he'll coom back in a hurry."
Larry had started the great engine, and the silent, powerful strokes told him that his father had left it in its accustomed perfect order.
The young engineer was still agitated from his encounter with Croly, and he well knew that this was not likely to be the end of it; but he could not help but smile in response to Joe Cuttle's evident enjoyment of the affair.
"He didn't fancy having you put your grip onto him," said Larry, for the big fireman relished a bit of flattery as well as any one.
"Hi, but didn't he shuffle oot, though, when he heard me after him! A thought ee'd jump oot his shoes the way he went."
"He won't be likely to come here again, unless he is certain you are out of the way."
"Mayhap he'll bother thee again, though, when A's gone home. Thou'lt do well to keep an eye on him."
"I shall take care that he doesn't get in here again, and then I won't have to be to the trouble to put him out."
Joe Cuttle indulged in another of his silent fits of laughter and then returned to his furnaces, which he had to feed pretty constantly while the great engine was using the steam.
The forenoon passed without further incident, and Larry was somewhat relieved that he had not yet seen the superintendent.
He feared that the latter might ask some questions about his father's absence which it would be embarrassing not to answer.
"Perhaps mother will tell me something about it when I get home," was his thought, as he hurried along the narrow street which led to his dwelling.
But again he was disappointed. His dinner was ready when he came in, but Mrs. Kendall only sat at the table in silence and attended to his wants.
Larry felt as though he could not restrain the growing feeling of apprehension caused by his mother's looks and strange reticence. They were so unlike her usual cheerfulness when he came home from school or the shop, and he could see that she had grown yet paler than when he left her at the breakfast table in the morning.
He had only a few minutes before he must return to the shop. Yet he lingered at the door, cap in hand.
"Mother, what is it?" he pleaded, as she glanced toward him.
"Don't ask me now, Larry," she answered.
Yet there was an irresolute quiver in her voice that told him that she longed to give him her confidence.
"I ought to know," he persisted. "I'm old enough to run the engine at the works. Surely you and father ought to trust me to know what troubles you. Father has gone?"
"When is he coming back?"
"I don't know. He doesn't know himself. But I hope it will not be long before we see him again."
"The superintendent will ask me about it, and I don't like to act as if my folks didn't trust me. If you can't trust me, he won't wish to."
"Your father told you what to answer if you are questioned."
"Mr. Gardner may be satisfied with that for a day or two, but if he stays away longer than that—"
"Well, well!" Mrs. Kendall interrupted, so impatiently that Larry was silenced. "If he stays more than a day or two, and they want to know more about it we'll see what can be done. Now hurry along, dear, and don't worry."
She reached up her lips and kissed him—for he was much the taller—and then he hurried back to the shop with a heavy heart.
As he entered the yard, he noticed a knot of the workmen near the entrance, holding what appeared to be a very secret conference.
What lent the air of secrecy to the conference of the workmen was the fact that they suddenly dispersed with significant winks and nods as Larry approached.
Another suspicious circumstance was the fact that all, or nearly all, were hands who had been employed in the works only a few months.
Early in the previous spring fifty or sixty of the Tioga Iron Company's hands had gone out on a strike, and were promptly discharged, and a new gang that appeared in town rather opportunely, as it seemed, were hired to take their places.
The most of those who were talking together so secretly were members of this gang; and quite prominent among them was Steve Croly.
Joe Cuttle was firing up, the red glare from the glowing furnaces lighting up his homely face.
"What were those men talking about out by the entrance just now?" Larry asked, as Joe looked up.
"What men, lad?"
And the single eye was expressionless as it met the questioning glance of the young engineer.
"Steve Croly was one; most of them were the new hands."
"He might be telling of them how he coom oot of here when A toald him to goo," said the fireman, with his hideous grin.
"Not very likely, Joe," Larry replied, as he passed on into the engine-room.
The boy was troubled and mystified now from a new cause.
Joe Cuttle was one of the new men, and, although he had been uniformly faithful, Larry was sure that he was standing in the doorway of the fire-room when he first came inside the gates, and that Joe must have seen those who were only a few yards distant conversing so mysteriously.
If he saw them, why did he try to evade the fact?
It was this more than any other circumstance that made Larry uneasy. He did not think the difficulty bore any relation to his encounter with Steve Croly in the morning, for of course Joe would not try to withhold any knowledge of that affair.
Not until late in the afternoon did the superintendent visit the engine-room.
He was a short, brisk man, with small, alert eyes that had a faculty of seeing more in one minute than most men could take in in half an hour. His face was dark almost to swarthiness and his cheeks and chin were smoothly shaven.
He popped his head into the engine-room and called out:
"Hi, there, Kendall! What's the word to-day? Eh, so it's the boy! Well, come here."
Larry came forward promptly; he knew this brisk gentleman liked him, and, but for the mysterious trouble at home, he would have rather seen him than not.
"Your father under the weather to-day, Larry?" was his first question, while his quick eye noted that the polished floor of the engine-room had been freshly washed and that the engine itself was doing its ponderous work with its accustomed silence. Even his ear would have detected a wrong note in the click and whir of the mechanism, though he would not have known how to repair the difficulty.
"No," said Larry, in his slow manner. "Father was called away this morning. I don't think he had time to send you any notice."
"So he sent you, which is the next best thing."
"Yes, sir, thank you."
"I didn't know but he was here till I just looked in. So it appears that you have kept the machinery running. By-the-way," and Mr. Gardner stepped up the ascent from the boiler-room and closed the door between, "does that one-eyed Joe stick to his post?"
The superintendent pursed his lips half humorously as he asked the question, but Larry felt sure that there was a serious purpose behind his words.
"Yes, sir. He was here before I was this morning."
"And does he mind your orders just the same as he does when your father is here?"
"He has so far, sir."
"That is right. Only you know some men don't fancy having a boy put in as boss over them; and he is one of the new hands, and I didn't know but he was cranky. Some of them are."
Mr. Gardner pursed his smooth-shaven lips again and was gone.
The moment the door closed after him, Larry wished he had told him of the strange actions of the group of new hands whom he had seen outside the entrance that noon.
"But he may know more about it than I do. His eyes see about all there is to see," the boy reasoned.
And he gave the matter scarce another thought until the great whistle delivered its parting roar that night.
Although the six o'clock whistle was the signal for stopping the machinery and for the workmen to go to their homes, the engineer had to stay half an hour longer to see that the engine and boilers were left in proper shape for the night; then, when the night watchman came at half-past six, Larry could go home.
But to-night, after firing up for the last time and blowing the whistle, Joe Cuttle did not go directly home.
Instead, he went out into the yard and sauntered out toward the further end of the extensive works where the foundry was located.
Larry, still distrustful, noticed this, and he wished then that he had mentioned what he had seen that noon to the superintendent.
He stood in the doorway and furtively watched Joe until the latter disappeared beyond an angle of the building. Then he went in and meditatively drew the water from the glass gauges, tested the safety valve, wiped off the engine and finally locked the door of the engine-room.
His work was done for the day. It yet lacked ten minutes of the half-hour, which would bring the night watchman, and he waited with his feeling of uneasiness growing stronger every moment until the time was up; and the watchman had not come.
"He is usually ahead of time, instead of behindhand," Larry thought.
He went to the door, and nearly collided with some one who was on the point of entering at the same time.
"How d' do, Larry?" was the off-hand salutation of the newcomer, who was a short, stout man whom the boy recognized as Gideon Stark, a former watchman in the works, who had of late been employed as a helper in the moulding department.
"Where is Jake?" Larry asked.
"Sick," was the sententious reply.
"And you're going to take his place to-night?"
"I'm going to try."
"Does Mr. Gardner know about it?"
"I suppose so. Jake said he sent him word."
"All right, then, if he knows. Only," and Larry looked at the man, sharply, "you know the engineer can't leave till the watchman comes, and you're not the watchman unless you're regularly hired."
The short man scowled, and then, as though suddenly thinking a frown was not the best passport for gaining good-will, he smiled, at the same time taking out the big bunch of keys which the watchman usually carried.
"I couldn't get them from anybody but Jake, could I?"
"I suppose not."
"Well, if your father has a right to send you to take his place when he can't come, I think Jake can hire me to take his place when he's sick. That's about the size of it, my boy. But if you ain't satisfied, you better go up and see the super. You know the kind of row he makes when the hands follow him home to ask questions. He always says, if a man can't think of enough to pester him about in the ten or twelve hours he's around the works, they needn't try to follow him home with their complaints."
"I will go to supper, Gid," said Larry, quietly.
But the man followed him to the door.
"Your father sick?" he asked.
"Coming back in the morning?"
"I don't know."
Gid snapped his fingers and forgot himself so far again as to scowl.
"Well, you're cross to-night; I'll say that for you, Larry," he declared, bluntly, and then turned back into the boiler-room and shut the door.
"There is something wrong, and no mistake about it," was Larry's conviction as he hurried home.
He was not too deeply worried to eat—a healthy boy seldom is. His mother was more cheerful than she had been at dinner-time; or, at least, she made an effort to appear so.
"Has everything gone well to-day, Larry?" she asked, as he rose from the table.
"As well as I could expect. There are one or two annoying fellows at the works, and they're envious because the super lets me run the big engine. They think I'm too young."
"It is a responsible position, Larry, and it makes me proud of you to feel that you fill it so well."
"It isn't hard to do; only I have to keep my wits about me. It wouldn't do to forget anything; and you know they say a boy will forget."
"All boys are not alike, Larry, and your father would not trust you unless he felt sure you would always be careful."
Larry could not rest at ease until he had assured himself that it was all right to leave Gid in charge of the works for the night; and, without telling his mother what his errand was, he went out to find Mr. Gardner, the superintendent.
The gentleman's house was half a mile distant and fully a mile from the shops.
Larry hurried thither. To his surprise, Belle, the superintendent's daughter, came to the door. She was a sweet-faced girl, a year or two older than Larry, although they had been in school together.
"I was just going out," she said, after greeting him, "and so I answered your ring. Did you wish to see my father?"
"Yes, if you please," Larry answered.
"Then you will have to wait, and I don't know how long. It was time for him to be here an hour ago, and he is usually punctual; but he hasn't come."
She noticed, the troubled look on his face, and asked, a trifle anxiously:
"Anything the matter, Larry?"
"I—I think not; but if he comes, you may tell him my errand. And I will go back, and perhaps I may meet him."
Larry explained about the watchman's absence, and then, with a deepening foreboding at his heart, he hurried back toward the immense buildings of the Tioga Iron Company.
It was Saturday evening, and the slender hands of the clock in the village schoolhouse were just crossing each other in their eager haste to tell the Berryville Literary Society that it was nearly ten o'clock, and time to put out the lights.
The girls had taken the hint when the clock struck the quarter-hour, and they were chattering like a group of magpies in the darkest corner of the room as they helped each other with their cloaks and wraps.
The boys had already drawn their overcoat collars up to their ears. They stood, solemnly and silently, near the door, each one ready to frame the momentous question, "May I have the pleasure of seeing you home?" when the girl of his choice should pass. Some of them looked nervous; others had assumed an air of indifference, which deceived no one.
John Hampden stroked his cap, wishing that girls weren't so slow about getting ready. But he forgot the girls in a moment, and began to repeat, under his breath, a few lines of the poem they had been reading that evening:
He wondered who Hampden was, and what he had done to make him famous enough to be mentioned in such a poem as Gray's Elegy. Probably a great general, John decided, who had led vast armies to victory.
John smiled to himself. There surely could not have been two persons with the same name more utterly unlike, he thought, than the John Hampden of the poem and John Hampden, the druggist's clerk—"a youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown."
Just then two girls stopped before him, and John woke from his dreams to find that the schoolhouse was almost deserted, and that the janitor's yawning little son had begun to put out the lights.
The girls, no doubt, thought he had smiled at them, and John had presence of mind enough left to accept the situation. He had meant to walk home with Matilda Haines, but Matilda had disappeared.
John felt that he hardly knew Margaret Shirley, she had been away in Boston so long, and he hadn't even been introduced to the young girl beside her.
"Allow me to present Mr. Hampden, Celia—Mr. John Hampden," said Margaret, as if in answer to his thought. "My cousin, Miss Kirke, from Boston, Mr. Hampden."
John felt a trifle afraid of Miss Kirke, she took the introduction so smilingly and easily. John himself blushed and stammered, and felt more uncomfortable than ever, when she said, laughingly:
"How delightful to have one of Gray's heroes escort one home, right after reading his poem! Of course, you are a direct descendant of this famous John Hampden?"
"I don't know," said John, awkwardly; "I'm afraid not. I don't even know what he did. Mr. Carr didn't explain that passage very fully."
"Oh, nobody pretends to know all about the allusions in poetry. He lived somewhere in England, in the dark ages, didn't he—and refused to pay taxes, or something? I forget exactly what."
John smiled. He had recovered a little from his embarrassment.
"Why, old Mr. Hunt refuses to pay his taxes every year; but they make him do it, just the same."
The girls laughed.
"Oh, but John Hampden protested against a great act of tyranny," said Margaret. "He must have been very brave to do it, or Gray wouldn't have put him in his poem."
"Such a lovely poem!" sighed Miss Kirke. "I've heard that the author was seven years writing it."
"Seven years!" John echoed. "Well!"
"He kept pruning it, and re-writing some of the verses," Margaret explained. "He wanted to make it a perfect poem."
"It's very fine," said John. Then he added, blushingly, "If I had any fields to keep tyrants away from, I'd like to be a village Hampden myself, even if I couldn't become famous like the other one."
"Oh, I don't think one need take that line of the poem literally," said Margaret. "I like to have poetry suggest things to me that are not found in the mere words. That is why I'm so fond of Shakespeare—he admits of so many interpretations. Perhaps," she went on, softly and timidly, "if we keep the little tyrants of selfishness and wickedness away from our hearts, we can all become village Hampdens. Such things are often harder to drive away than human tyrants—don't you think so?"
"Yes," replied John, gravely, "I'm sure it is true—though I've had no contests with human tyrants."
"I know what my greatest tyrant is," said Celia Kirke, who had grown serious with the others; "and whenever I see him trying to get into my fields," she added, more lightly, "I shall 'off with his head' with scant ceremony."
As John walked home alone in the frosty night, he vowed half aloud to the silent, listening stars that he would be a "village Hampden," that the tyrant within him should be laid low for all time.
John had no need to mention the tyrant by name—he knew very well that it was Carelessness with a capital C. How often had this little tyrant brought him into trouble, and how often had his employer warned him to break his bad habit before it was too late.
What a pleasant, sensible girl Margaret Shirley was—not a bit spoiled by her studies in Boston!
Matilda Haines would have laughed more and talked more, but she would never have given a second thought to the poem they had just read. John was rather glad she had walked home with some one else that evening—even though his old tyrant of Carelessness had brought about this result.
John Hampden saw a good deal of Margaret Shirley and her cousin that winter at the meetings of the literary society, at choir practice, and in Margaret's own home, where they often discussed the poems and essays they were reading.
Youth has a frank and sometimes harsh way of passing judgment upon people. John had decided the first evening he met her that Celia Kirke was a frivolous girl, but when he got to know her better, he found that she could be as sensible as Margaret herself when occasion required it.
They had confessed to one another what each one's particular tyrant was, and had agreed to help each other to suppress him. Of course they had a good deal of fun about it, but under it all there was a general feeling that it was a serious matter they had undertaken.
John really began to feel that he was getting to be master of his own fields at last. He attended to his duties at the drug store with such punctilious care that his employer, Mr. Wyatt, nodded approval more than once.
After all, John might become a safe druggist yet, if he didn't suffer himself to lapse into his old ways. He did not stop to dream, as formerly, when compounding pills, and he washed all his dingy bottles so thoroughly that they began to shine like cut glass.
"He would be a credit to the business," said old Mr. Wyatt, who always spoke of his business as if it were spelled with a capital B, and thought it the very finest business in the world for a man to be in.
One afternoon in March Doctor Pratt came hurriedly into the store and said to Mr. Wyatt:
"Put up half a dozen of these powders, will you, Wyatt? Here's the full prescription. Squire Shirley has got one of his acute attacks of neuralgia again, and my medicine-chest was empty. I'll call for them in fifteen minutes."
Then the overworked little doctor jumped into his gig, and was off like a flash.
"You'd better do it, John," said Mr. Wyatt. "I can't see in this poor light."
"Very well, sir," said John.
And, as he began to neatly fold the white slips of paper, he wondered if the squire were really as ill as Doctor Pratt pretended he was.
The good doctor was fond of making a fuss about trifles, to add to his own importance.
Margaret and Celia had been out driving that afternoon, for John had seen them from the drug-store windows.
If they had come home, they were probably rushing distracted about the house, trying all the possible and impossible remedies they had ever heard of to relieve him. John hoped they were not feeling too unhappy about it—the squire would doubtless be all right in a few hours.
John lived with his aunt, not far from Squire Shirley's, and, as he passed the large brick mansion, he noticed that there were many lights there that night.
Usually there was a light only in the library so late as this. None of the curtains had been drawn, which was certainly an unusual state of affairs.
A broad flood of light streamed from one of the front windows toward the gate. A girlish, uncovered head was leaning dejectedly against the cold, icy gate-post, and the light turned the fluffy blonde hair into a shining aureole.
"Miss Kirke!" John exclaimed, in amazement. "What is the matter? Is—is Squire Shirley worse?"
"Noth—nothing is the matter," faltered Celia, making a few ineffectual dabs at her tear-swollen eyes with her handkerchief. "That is—everything is the matter. They have given my uncle an over-dose of opium. There was too much in the powders, the doctor says—a great deal more than the prescription calls for. Doctor Pratt is with him now, and they are trying to keep him awake. If he is allowed to go to sleep, he will die. They are walking him back and forth, though he implores them to let him sleep. I couldn't bear to see it any longer, it was too, too dreadful! Oh, how can people be so criminally careless?"
John turned pale and leaned against the gate for support. Celia's face became a mere blur before his eyes. What had he done—what had he done? For, at that moment, the conviction came with terrible force upon him that he, and he alone, would be responsible for Squire Shirley's death.
He might blame the poor light—Doctor Pratt's miserable scrawl; but these were but cowardly subterfuges. John knew that he had been able to decipher Doctor Pratt's handwriting well enough, but that he had been thinking of something else while putting up the powders, and so had put too much opium into them.
Celia looked at his agitated face in wonder. Then she uttered a little cry.
"You—you did it! It is your fault," she said. "And he was your friend, and always spoke so well of you."
Then she turned and walked swiftly toward the house.
It was true he and Squire Shirley had become excellent friends that winter, and the squire had only a few days before asked him if he thought he should like law better than the drug business.
He expected a vacancy in his office soon; in the meantime he had offered to read a little law with John in the evenings. John had been more than pleased, for circumstances had placed him in the drug store, not his own inclinations.
And now he had blotted out all his hopes for the future, and perhaps killed his friend and benefactor at the same time, all because he had lacked manliness enough to cure himself of his small and odious besetting sin.
John wandered like one distraught through the freezing slush and mud of the country roads that night, feeling no fatigue and no discomfort. His brain was on fire with horror and self-condemnation.
It never occurred to him to ask himself how the law would look upon his carelessness; he only knew that he was ruined and disgraced, and that he had brought a crushing sorrow upon those who had trusted him and treated him as a good and welcome friend.
When daylight dawned upon John Hampden's haggard eyes he found himself upon his own doorstep, his clothes smeared with frozen mud, his body shivering and quaking in the grip of a dreadful chill.
He had walked for hours at a breakneck pace, and he was so exhausted that he could hardly lift his hand to fumble at the door-knob.
His aunt opened the door for him. Her eyes were red, as if she had been crying. She had been kneeling by a chair in the corner of the kitchen.
"John, John!" she cried, opening her arms wide.
"Don't touch me!" said John, in a hoarse voice. "You don't know what I am—what I have done, Aunt Martha."
"I know it all, John," said Aunt Martha, the tears gushing from her pitying eyes. "How you must have suffered, my dear, dear boy! The squire's daughter and niece were here at three o'clock this morning. They thought you might be worried a good deal about it. The squire will be all right in a few days."
Without a word, John laid his tired head on Aunt Martha's motherly bosom and wept like a child. So pillowed, he fell asleep, as he had done so many a time in years gone by.
John Hampden learned a lesson that night which he never forgot. He is twice eighteen years old now, and his life has brought him much honor and prosperity.
If he has one fault, people say, it is that he is almost too inflexibly exact in all his dealings—almost too conscientious and fearful lest he should make a mistake, and so do another an injury, however slight. But, they add, the world would be a happier place if more people were like him in this respect.
—For several years a pair of storks built their nest annually in the park of the Castle Ruheleben, in Berlin. A few years ago one of the servants placed a ring, with the name of the place and date, on the leg of the male bird, in order to be certain that the same bird returned each year. Last spring the stork came back to its customary place, the bearer of two rings. The second one bore the inscription: "India sends greetings to Germany."
Though steam is now the pride of the ocean, there are a few points in which its advantages over sail have not been great enough to crowd out the clippers, and in long voyages the sailing ship is far from obsolete.
A drawing of one of these clippers affords an opportunity for saying something about a ship's rigging, and thereby meeting the wishes of a large number of amateur sailors.
Let it be clearly understood, however, that we are dealing with one particular class of ship, and that all ships are not rigged exactly alike.
There is a general notion that a full-rigged ship is of the same pattern all the world over, and this notion has been supported by the diagrams usually published which have taken a war ship as an example.
Now a man-of-war has an enormous crew compared to a merchant vessel, and her rigging is set up accordingly. The things that are done on a man-of-war in spar-drill make a merchant sailor's hair stand on end.
The rigging of a merchantman is designed for a much smaller crew to get along with, and in many respects differs from that of a full-rigged man-of-war.
Complicated as a ship's rigging may look, it becomes intelligible enough when attacked in detail. There are three masts and the bowsprit, which is simply the old bowmast that has gradually increased its angle until it is now almost horizontal.
These four spars are built into the ship, and all the other spars and the rigging and sails are fixed on to them.
The three masts, known also as the lower masts, are the foremast, mainmast and mizzenmast, and each of these carries two masts by way of continuations. Thus we have foretopmast, maintopmast and mizzentopmast, and over them foretopgallantmast, maintopgallantmast and mizzentopgallantmast.
The part of the topgallantmast above the topgallant-rigging is called the royal-mast or royal-pole, and the continuation above the royal-rigging, if any, is the skysail-pole. Answering to the topmasts on the three masts is the jibboom on the bowsprit, and in continuation of that the flying-jibboom.
The jibboom and flying-jibboom are generally in one spar, as are the topgallantmast, royal-pole and skysail-pole, but sometimes they are fitted into each other on much the same principle as a fishing-rod, and in some of the newer ships, bowsprit, jibboom and flying-jibboom are all one steel spar.
Crossing the masts are the yards. On the mainmast we have, beginning below, main-yard, lower maintopsail-yard, upper maintopsail-yard, lower maintopgallantsail-yard, upper maintopgallantsail-yard, main royal-yard and skysail-yard; on the foremast we have the fore-yard, then the topsail-yards, topgallantsail-yards and royal; and on the mizzenmast we have a similar series of yards, beginning with the mizzen or crossjack.
Up to the close of the last century, in very old ships, there was no sail hung on this lower yard of the mizzenmast, it having been introduced only for setting the mizzen topsail; and instead of the gaff spanker we now have there was a huge lateen sail which extended some distance forward of the mast and worked under this yard.
This lateen was the crossjack. When the gaff came in, the projecting corner of the lateen disappeared so as to make room for the sail hanging from this lower yard, and the yard took the name of the old lateen boom.
As representing, then, the after half of this huge boom, we have the modern gaff, set at the same angle as the boom used to be; and at the foot of the sail hung on this gaff, now called a spencer or spanker, from the original inventor, we have the spanker boom, the same sort of thing as we should call the mainboom were the vessel a fore-and-aft yacht.
Each mast is held in its place by stays and backstays. The stays reach from the mastheads to the centre line of the ship forward; and the backstays come down to the sides of the ship, just behind the masts.
The stays and backstays are named from the mast-head from which they descend. Thus the forestay comes from the foremast-head to the bows; the foretopmast-stay from the foretopmast-head to the bowsprit-head; the foretopgallant-stay from the foretopgallant-rigging to the jibboom-head; and the foreroyal-stay from the top of the royal mast to the end of the flying-jibboom.
From the bowsprit-head to the vessel's cutwater runs the bobstay, generally of chain, which takes the pull of the foretopmast-stay; and from the bowsprit-head there hangs the spar known as the dolphin-striker, to give the purchase for continuing the pull of the foretopgallant and foreroyal stays round to the cutwater; so that really all the staying starts from the hull, as does the backstay-staying.
Round the lower mastheads are platforms called tops; and round the topmast-heads are skeleton platforms called crosstrees. These platforms are required not only to take the lower ends of the topmast and topgallant rigging, but also to enable the crew to strike and get up the masts and yards and work the sails. The crosstrees are fitted with outriggers pointing outward aft to enable the topgallant-backstays to give a better support to the topgallantmast than they otherwise would do.
Besides stays and backstays, the masts have "shrouds" to strengthen them. The topgallant shrouds come from the head of the topgallant-rigging to the crosstrees, the topmast shrouds come from the hounds just under the crosstrees to the top, and the main, fore or mizzen shrouds, as the case may be, come from just under the tops to the vessel's side.
To take the pull off the tops, the shrouds are continued round to the mast as "futtock" shrouds, on the same principle as the foretopmast-stay finds its continuation in the bobstay.
The shrouds are "rattled down;" that is to say, thin lines are fastened across them to make a ladder for the men to go aloft. These lines are the "rattle-lines" or "ratlines." The foremost shroud of the lower rigging has only a "catch ratline;" that is, one ratline in about six continued to the shroud that lies furthest forward.
And this is one of the signs by which you can tell a man-of-war from a merchantman, for in war-ships the catch ratline is on the aftermost shroud instead of on the foremost. In a man-of-war, too, the topgallant-rigging is never rattled down, as a Jacob's ladder leads from the topgallantmast-head down to the crosstrees; but this Jacob's ladder arrangement is found in many clippers.
Another detail in which a man-of-war differs from a merchantman is in the rigging of the bowsprit, the man-of-war generally having whiskers, and the merchantman taking the pull of the shroud direct from the forecastle along the catheads, the whiskers being the spars across the bowsprit, which take the purchase of the bowsprit shrouds as the dolphin-striker takes the purchase of the stays.
On each mast the lower yard, lower topsail-yard, and lower topgallantsail-yard do not hoist up and down; the others do. The "lifts" by which the yard is hung and "topped" run from the yardarms—the ends of the yards—to the head of the mast which the yard crosses.
From the yardarms also come the "braces," by means of which the yards are swung so as to set the sails at the proper angle. These braces come down to the ship's sides, or to the heads of the masts fore and aft of those on which the yard is swung; all the mizzen-braces working on the mainmast; the maintopgallant, mainroyal and skysail braces working on the mizzenmast; and the foretopgallant and foreroyal braces working on the mainmast, as is clearly shown in our illustration. The yards and jibboom and flying-jibboom are fitted with foot-ropes for the men to stand on.
The sails on the lower yards are the foresail, mainsail and crossjack, or, as they are often called, fore-course, main-course and mizzen-course—the course being the sail, just as a sheet is a rope and not a piece of canvas. Above the courses come the lower topsails, above them the upper topsails, above them the lower topgallant-sails, then the upper topgallant-sails, then the royals, and, on the mainmast, the skysail, though sometimes there are skysails to all masts, and over the main skysail comes a "scraper" or moon-raker. On the outer edges of the plain-sails come the studding-sails spread on booms.
In our illustration the vessel has set her fore studding-sail, her fore-topmast studding-sail and her fore-topgallant studding-sail—studding-sail being pronounced stu'nsail, just as topgallant-sail is telescoped into topgantsail.
A man-of-war sets her stu'nsails abaft the sail at their side; a merchantman sets hers "before all"—that is, in front of the adjacent sail, as shown in our illustration.
That part of a square sail which is secured to the yard is the "head," the lower part is the "foot," the outer edge is the "leech," the two lower corners are the "clews," the middle of the sail when furled is the "bunt." The "sheet" pulls the sail out to its full extent down to the yard below, the clewlines and buntlines bring it up under the yard for furling.
The courses, having no yards below them, have both "tack" and "sheet," the tack enabling the clew of the sail to be taken forward, and the sheet enabling it to be taken aft. The clewlines for these sails are double, and are called "clew-garnets." A glance at the picture will show the clew-garnets and clewlines coming down to the corners and the buntlines coming straight down the sails.
The sails along the centre line of the ship are the fore-and-aft sails; these are the triangular jibs, staysails and trysails, and the trapezoidal spanker we have already mentioned, which sometimes has a gaff topsail over it and a "ringtail" behind it, as shown in our figure.
"Watersails," by the way, are not carried now; they used to be set below the lower booms, but, as we have seen, there are now no lower booms, the lower stu'nsails being triangular, like the staysails.
These staysails take their names from the stays on which they run. Working from the deck upward, the clipper we show is flying her mizzen staysail, her mizzen topmast staysail, her mizzen topgallantmast staysail and her mizzen royal staysail; and she has a similar series off the main. But on the fore we have the head-sails. The extreme outer one we cannot see; it comes down from the fore-royal and ends half-way down, being a mere "kite;" it is called the "jib topsail." The outer one we can see is the "flying-jib," on the flying-jibboom. Then come the "outer jib" and the "inner jib" and the "foretopmast staysail."
The "trysails" are gaff or jib-headed sails sometimes carried on the fore and main, as the spanker is carried on the mizzen. The gaff is held up by the throat and peak halliards, and kept in position by "vangs," which come down to the rail as shown. The spanker is sheeted home not by a sheet, but by an "outhaul," and kept in position not by a "brace," but by the "sheet," and thereby differs from the square sails.
It will be noticed how neat and clean the ship is. There is nothing outside to catch the wash of the sea or check the speed. The boat's davits and the dead-eyes of the lower rigging are all inside the bulwarks. The cables have been unshackled and stowed in the lockers below, and the hawse-pipes are all plugged; the anchors are all inboard, and everything that could possibly act as a brake on her is removed.
Several large vessels now have four masts, in which case they are called "four-masters." When all the masts are square-rigged, the names are bowmast, foremast, main and mizzen. If the aftermost mast is not square-rigged, the order is foremast, main, mizzen and jigger. In some four-masters the masts are named fore, first-main, second-main and mizzen.
Should the vessel be three-masted, and have yards only on the two front masts, she is a "bark;" and, by-the-way, the spanker of a bark is her "mizzen." Should she have yards only, as the foremast, she is a "barkentine;" should she be a two-master, and have yards on both, she is a "brig;" should she have yards on the foremast only, she is a "brigantine."
With regard to this, however, a few words of explanation are necessary. A century or so ago, a favorite rig was the "snow," pronounced so as to rhyme to "now." The snow was a bark with a lateen mizzen, or rather a brig with the "driver," a lateen one, on a jigger mast, just a little abaft the mainmast.
When this jigger was abolished the sail retained its lateen shape, got on to the mainmast, and became what we may call a main crossjack, thereby rendering a square mainsail impossible.
When the crossjack was replaced by a gaff, the larger vessels started the square mainsail, and became "brigs," while the smaller kept the spanker as their mainsail, and became "brigantines," so that a genuine old brigantine is a brig without a square mainsail.
Soon, however, vessels appeared with no yards at all on their mainmasts, and these were called "hermaphrodite brigs," and were found to be so handy that they crowded the old brigantines off the sea and took their name.
But here a qualification must come in. Perhaps you have seen a two-masted vessel with yards on her foremast and none on her main. She is a "topsail-schooner." In what does she differ from the brigantine? The brigantine has a foremast of three spars from the old snow, and a mainmast of two from the hermaphrodite; the topsail-schooner has both foremast and mainmast of two spars, and the foresail on a gaff instead of on a yard, and in other ways is different, but a glance at the foremast is enough to distinguish her from a brigantine.
A "three-masted schooner" has only lower masts and topmasts, and each mast is rigged for fore-and-aft sails, but more often than not these vessels carry yards at the fore and sometimes at the main.
With the "ketch" begins what has been called the mast-and-a-half division of sailing vessels. The tall mast is the mainmast, the short mast is the mizzen; some ketches carry square sails on the main, some carry a topsail on the mizzen—the distinctive mark of the ketch being that the mizzen is a pole-mast and stepped in front of the stern-post. If the mizzen be stepped abaft the stern-post the vessel becomes a "dandy" or "yawl."
In the cutter the mizzen is dispensed with, and in a sloop of the old rig the difference between the two is that the cutter has two headsails, the jib and foresail, while the sloop has but one, the foresail.
Sometimes the sloop has a standing bowsprit, while the cutter has a running one; but this distinction is not essential. Indeed, the words cutter and sloop have begun to be used indiscriminately, except, perhaps, that a cutter is for pleasure and a sloop for trade.
In a spritsail rig the gaff is at the head of the sail, and works on the mast in cheeks; the sprit runs diagonally across the sail, and is hung on to the mast in what is practically a loop and lashing.
This has also what looks like a mizzen, but it is fixed on to the rudder and is known as a "jigger." Sometimes the jigger is triangular, like the yawl's mizzen, but the shape makes no difference in the name.
The lug is the old sail of the Norsemen. There are two kinds of lugs, "dipping" and "standing."
The dipping lug has a great part of the sail beyond the mast, so that when a tack has to be made the sail has to be lowered, dipped round the mast and rehoisted.
The standing lug projects very little beyond this mast and does not require to be lowered when tacking.
Fishing boats are nearly all rigged with a dipping lug for the mainsail and a standing lug for the mizzen, and they have also a jib, while some of them carry topsails over the lugs.
Luggers may carry any number of masts, but as a rule they have two; some have a gaff mizzen. When the foot of the lug is lashed to a boom it is said to be "balanced."
When Mary Anne Smith returned for her second year at Mrs. Hosmer's Seminary, both teachers and pupils were astonished at the change in her appearance and manners which a summer at the seashore had produced.
The previous year she had been plain Mary Anne Smith, an energetic, impulsive girl, whose most serious fault was a tendency to soiled collars and buttonless shoes, but who was, on the whole, very good-hearted and sincere.
She had returned to school as Marie Antoinette Smythe, a fashionable young lady. She discontinued her old, romping, laughing ways and became as sedate as the gravest Senior.
Even her old love for midnight "spreads" seemed to have departed. She became fastidious about her personal appearance and exclusive in her friendships.
At first Mrs. Hosmer considered it a good thing that Marie was "toning down," but before long she felt that it was really not a change for the better.
The schoolgirls were not slow in commenting about it. At the October meeting of the Browning Circle—an association of a dozen girls, originally instituted for purposes of literary improvement, but which had lately degenerated into a "fancy-work society"—Marie was discussed until her ears must have burned, if there is any truth in the old saying.
"Do you know, girls, that Marie Smith deigns to speak to me any more," said Stella Gard.
"Oh, that's nothing, Stella. I was her room-mate last year, and she has conversed with me on just two occasions since she came back," supplemented Anna Fergus.
"What is the matter with her?" asked a "new girl."
"Is it possible, my dear young friend," rejoined Anna, with mock gravity, "that you don't know we have been sacrificed to the North Avenue Archingtons?"
The new girl looked bewildered, and Anna went on to explain:
"It seems that last summer certain blue-blooded Archingtons, with malice aforethought, left their patrician heights on North Avenue, on which they had hitherto dwelt in solitary grandeur, and went to Cape May. There they boarded at the same hotel with the Smith family, and deigned to bestow a few smiles upon them. This so lifted up the heart of Marie Smythe, formerly Mary Smith, that she no longer regards her humble class-mates as fit associates for her. Hinc illae lacrymae, which means, all you who don't know Latin, 'that's why I'm using my handkerchief.'"
"She told me," said little Zoe Binnex, interrupting Anna's nonsense, "that Mrs. Archington had invited her mother to visit her."
"I wish some of you were doomed to sit at the same table with her, as I am," Anna went on, "and then you would wish the Archingtons at the bottom of the sea. The way poor, patient Miss Sedgwick has to suffer! Marie sits next her, you know, and while Miss Sedgwick ladles out the soup, Marie ladles out the Archingtons. We have Papa North Avenue, with his four millions, at breakfast; Mamma Archington, with her diamonds, at dinner, and all the young Archingtons for supper."
The ringing of the study-bell dispersed the members of the Browning Circle. As Anna and Zoe passed Marie's door, they overheard a servant requesting that young lady to go down to Mrs. Hosmer's study.
"Perhaps Mrs. Hosmer thinks it is time to choke off some of those Archingtons," whispered Anna.
But Mrs. Hosmer had sent for Marie for a different purpose.
A new pupil was coming, and, as Marie had no room-mate, was to be put with her.
"Oh, Mrs. Hosmer," protested Marie, "I'd much rather room alone."
"I should be glad to gratify you," said her preceptress, "but it is impossible. Yours is the only vacancy on the second floor, and, as she is a delicate girl, I do not want to send her to the third."
"Who is she?" Marie asked, seeing that she must yield to the inevitable.
"Her name is Esther Jones. She is a very quiet little girl, inclined to be nervous. I hope you will do all you can to make her happy and to keep her from being homesick. She will come to-night."
Marie was much vexed at the intrusion, as she chose to consider it. It was so much nicer to room alone.
How provoking that just as she was "getting into" a better circle, and had succeeded in dropping her commonplace room-mate of last year, she should have this nervous little Esther Jones forced upon her.
The new girl was as plain as her name. She wore a woolen dress, heavy shoes and an ordinary sailor hat.
"Very countrified," was Marie's mental verdict, as she watched her unpacking her trunk.
She did not offer to assist the little stranger, who seemed much in awe of her.
A new girl who enters a boarding-school a month after the term has begun is always to be pitied.
The other girls all have their homesickness over by that time, and are not apt to be so sympathetic with the newcomer as they would have been earlier. They have formed their little coteries, and the new girl feels herself "outside."
With Esther this was especially true. Marie neglected her utterly, and she had not confidence in herself to try to make other friends. She went about with a dejected, homesick look that moved Mrs. Hosmer's heart.
"I must make some other arrangement after Christmas," she thought. "Esther doesn't seem happy where she is."
If she had known how much of Esther's unhappiness was due to Marie's unkindness, her indignation would have made itself felt. Marie meantime poured forth her heart on cream note-paper to her friend Marguerite Archington, bewailing the cruel fate which separated them, and doomed her to the companionship of Esther Jones.
Esther's natural timidity was increased by Marie's treatment. At first she made feeble efforts to converse, but finding herself continually repressed, gradually ceased from her endeavors to make friends with Marie.
Not only her timidity, but her nervousness, as well, grew on her. She began to be startled at every sudden sound.
Now Marie was a girl without "nerves," in the ordinary sense of the word, and could not understand or sympathize with those who are constituted differently. She really believed poor Esther's nervousness to be affectation, and had no patience with it.
"She's been coddled all her life, evidently," she reflected, "until now she expects every one to pet her on account of her foolish nervous tricks. She needs a process of hardening."
If Marie had not really believed this, I do not think she would have put into execution a plan which suggested itself to her the week before Thanksgiving.
It was a cruel scheme, and even though she assured herself that it was really for Esther's good and that it would cure the nervousness, I think she was at heart a little ashamed of herself all the time.
At the western end of the third floor there was a stairway leading up to a room at the top of the building, which was occasionally used as an observatory.
A telescope was mounted there, but, as it was not very powerful, the astronomy classes generally used one at the private residence of their professor instead.
The room, being so seldom used, had become a receptacle for old lumber of all sorts. Girls are so fond of exercising their imagination that it is not strange that they gradually invested the garret-like room at the top of the house with the reputation of being "haunted."
The ghost, who was said to walk up and down the old stairway and over the creaking floor of the observatory, was thought to be that of a certain Madame Leverrier, who had been teacher of French and astronomy many years before, and had died in the school.
It was said that at midnight the tall, white figure of the Frenchwoman might be seen, peering through the telescope at the stars she had loved so well.
To-be-sure, no girl ever said she herself, had seen this sight, but she had "heard about it from a last year's girl."
So the girls got in the habit of walking very rapidly when they had occasion to go past the stairway, which led up from a region occupied by "trunk-rooms," and of avoiding that part of the house altogether after night.
Marie told Esther the story of the ghost, with many embellishments. She did not confine herself to one telling, but continually referred to it, with the desire of keeping the matter ever present in Esther's mind.
She noticed that her quiet little room-mate, although she avowed her non-belief in ghosts, looked frightened whenever the subject was mentioned.
One evening, toward the end of November, the two were seated by their study-table, preparing the next day's lessons, when Marie suddenly exclaimed that she had mislaid her astronomy.
"Won't you go after it for me, Esther?" she said, in a kinder tone than usual.
"Certainly, Marie," replied Esther, glad to be called on for a service. "Where do you think you left it?"
"I know now exactly where it is. It's up in the observatory on the table at the farther end of the room. I left it there last night when Professor Gaskell took us up in study-hour. It was dreadfully stupid in me."
"I'd better take the lamp, hadn't I?" queried Esther, inwardly dismayed at the prospect of ascending alone to those awful regions, and yet unwilling to refuse so small a service.
"Yes, take the lamp. You know there's no light in that end of the hall. You're not afraid, are you?"
"N-no, not really. I can't help thinking of those foolish stories the girls tell, though I know there's nothing in them."
Esther took up the lamp and started. She did not wish to appear cowardly before her room-mate, though she really dreaded the short journey.
As she walked past the dark trunk-rooms and up the uncarpeted stairs, her heart beat fast at the "swish" of her own skirts on the boards.
When she opened the observatory door, she couldn't help noticing how very dark the room was, and how feebly the rays from her lamp illuminated it.
Instinctively she glanced toward the telescope to see that there was no white figure behind it, and breathed a little more freely when she saw that there was not.
She searched a long time for the book, standing with her back to the door. At last she found it under a pile of others.
Glad to have accomplished her task, and inwardly peopling all the shadowy corners of the room with ghostly visitants, she turned round to begin her return journey, when—
What was that by the telescope? A white, tall figure stood by the instrument.
In vain reason told her it was a fanciful delusion. Her nervous organization was no longer under the control of reason. Esther gave a quick scream, and fell to the floor, fainting.
In an instant a white sheet was thrown from the shoulders of the figure by the telescope.
"Esther, Esther! It's only I—Marie!" she cried. "I followed you up stairs just to frighten you for fun. Do speak to me. Tell me I haven't scared you to death!"
After a little Esther regained consciousness, shuddering as she opened her eyes and remembered where she was.
"Take me away—take me away!" she begged, recognizing Marie.
"I will have to bring help."
"No, no; don't leave me alone a minute. I can walk if you will help me. And bring the lamp. I can't go down those stairs in the dark. Don't go away or that dreadful thing may come back."
She shivered as she glanced toward the telescope. Marie was weeping penitently.
"Dear Esther," she said, "don't you see that it was only I. There is the sheet on the floor. I didn't know it would make you faint. Only say you forgive me, and I'll take any punishment Mrs. Hosmer chooses to give me."
"Oh, Marie, I know you didn't mean it, but I can never forget that awful feeling when I felt myself falling. But help me away from this ghostly place."
Marie, frightened at the result of her heartless trick and really deeply touched by Esther's distress, helped her to their room.
Then, notwithstanding Esther's magnanimous offer to keep the whole matter a secret, to Marie's credit be it said that she sent for Mrs. Hosmer and confessed the whole thing.
"Give me the hardest punishment you can, short of expulsion," said she.
"You have done a great wrong," replied Mrs. Hosmer. "You deserve severe punishment, but I shall not decide about that now. For the next few days you may show your penitence by doing all you can to make up to this dear child for your past great unkindness. She must stay in bed for a day or two, and I shall have the doctor in shortly."
Esther was ill for a week, during which time Marie nursed her devotedly. She saw now her past conduct in its true light—her petty vanity, her thoughtlessness and heartlessness.
She fairly hated her old self, when, as the girls came in from time to time, Esther uttered no word of complaint against her, nor alluded to the cause of her illness in any way.
But in some way or other a part of the story leaked out, and Marie was the recipient of many an indignant glance, but she felt it was only what she deserved.
Mrs. Hosmer never said anything further about a punishment; probably she saw that the girl was already sufficiently punished. Nevertheless a most humiliating punishment did come, in a way most unexpected.
The third evening after her fright, Esther was sitting up for the first time since her illness. It was the night before Thanksgiving, and she was feeling a little homesick in spite of Marie's efforts to entertain her.
"What will you give me for a piece of good news, my little girl?" said Mrs. Hosmer, entering the room, and looking at Esther's pale cheeks disapprovingly.
"Oh, Mrs. Hosmer, is it anybody from home?" asked Esther, longingly.
"Here, Marie, read her the name on this card, and see if she says she is at home to visitors," replied Mrs. Hosmer, playfully.
Marie took the card, and a moment after dropped it as though it had been red-hot.
This was what met her eyes:
"Mrs. James Archington,
"44 North Avenue."
"Grandma—it's grandma," cried Esther, delightedly.
At the December meeting of the Browning Circle the girls discussed Marie Smythe once more.
"It was the queerest thing," reported Anna Fergus, who knew the whole story. "You see this Mrs. Archington is Esther's grandmother, and Marie never knew it. She said so little to the poor girl that Esther had never chanced to tell her. Talk about retributive justice, this is the most direct piece of retribution I ever heard of. And the queerest part of it is that Esther's grandmother is the real North Avenue Archingtons, while Marie's Cape May friends are a newly-rich family, who happen to live on the same street with the others, but are not related to them at all."
"But, girls," said Zoe Binnix, "it's been a splendid thing for Marie, even if it has been humiliating. I never saw a more completely changed girl. She's quite dropped her fine-lady airs and subsided into a sensible being. She's so good now that Esther doesn't want to change her room, though Mrs. Hosmer told her she might."
The girls were right in their opinion of Marie's change of character. She grew up to be a sensible woman, singularly devoid of pretense or affectation.
In after years she used to say that the one thing which had kept her from growing up silly and affected was her experience with the North Avenue Archingtons.
It is not an uncommon occurrence for a rascal to overreach himself. It is the thing Arthur Hoyt did when he refrained from shooting Harry and resorted to the more cruel but longer device of starving him to death.
If he had gone away from the cave within ten minutes of reaching it, he would not have been seen by a lurking witness among the rocks.
This person had been hurrying along the trail, more than ten minutes behind Hoyt, and came upon him as he was toiling with the ponderous boulders.
At the instant of seeing him, the stranger darted behind a rock and watched him with a deep interest.
He kept himself hidden until Hoyt had gone, and then seemed for a moment undecided whether to follow him or to investigate the reason of the piling up of the stones in the cave.
"I can follow him after I've taken a look," he muttered.
With this determination he ran over to the cave and looked in and tried to make out the meaning of the heap of stones.
"Now, what in the world did he do that for?" he asked himself. "Well, whatever he did it, for, it'll be worth my while to learn it, for I know he'd never 'a taken all that trouble for nothing. He isn't the sort to work like that for fun."
So the newcomer went over to the pile and studied it; but making nothing of it, owing to the care with which Harry had been covered up, he doggedly set to work to remove and undo all that Hoyt had done.
He had not gone far with his labors before he caught sight of something that looked like a garment. He turned pale and hastened to satisfy his fears.
"He's murdered somebody and hid him here," he said. "I wonder—" he stopped and leaned up against the pile; "but no, it couldn't be."
Whatever it was that he felt could not be, evidently kept recurring to him, as he worked with feverish haste, until he had uncovered so much of the body as enabled him to feel it and to discover that it was still warm.
"Only just killed him, too!" he ejaculated.
The horror of it stopped him for an instant, and then he returned to his task with redoubled energy; so that he was undoing in seconds what Hoyt had taken minutes to accomplish, being assisted to that end by a strength that Hoyt had lacked.
"Alive! Harry Wainwright!"
It seemed as if the two discoveries had come together, and as if the fact that it was Harry Wainwright had more interest for the toiler than the fact that the discovered person was merely alive.
And how the remaining stones and brush flew after the discovery! And as soon as it was possible to do it, Harry was lifted to an upright position, the gag taken out of his mouth and his bonds cut.
"Bill Green!" was Harry's first exclamation. "How did you happen here?"
"Oh, it's a long story! but anyhow, I'm glad I did come here."
"It looks as if you had my existence in your charge," said Harry, his half-jesting manner belied by the earnest way he caught the two hands of the boy who had thus, for a second time, rescued him from a horrible death.
"Well, anyhow," replied Bill, "that fellow Hoyt don't seem to have any chance against me. Now, isn't it wonderful? But let's get out of here."
"Stop a minute," said Harry. "Let's put these things back just as they were. I don't know but I'd better try to keep dead again."
"All right," answered Bill, who was in a state of radiant happiness. "Anything you say. Oh, but I'm glad to see you again, Harry! And I had no more idea of finding you here than of finding a bag of diamonds."
They put the stones and brush back as they had been placed by Hoyt, and then Harry led the way to a secluded spot where they would not be seen, even in the unlikely chance of anybody coming that way.
"I'll make it as short as I can now," said Bill, "and you can ask questions at any time when you happen to think of 'em, or I can tell you the little details afterward, as they come to mind. Doesn't it seem wonderful that I should happen to be here just at this particular moment?"
"Wonderful is no name for it," declared Harry; "and I haven't tried to thank you. It's no use trying, Bill."
"Of course it's no use trying, and you're not going to hurt my feelings by doing it," rejoined Bill. "Well, it wasn't a bit wonderful, my being here, when you come to know all about it. After you were gone that night of the fire, I ran right to Mr. Dewey and told him all about it. My! wasn't he mad?"
"I know how he'd be likely to go on," said Harry, with a smile.
"At first he was all for taking it out of Hoyt by giving him a sound thumping; but, after awhile, he cooled down and began to think it all over, and the end was, not to go into particulars now, that he set me to watching Hoyt, so that if anything should turn up we might get some evidence against him."
"But your work?" queried Harry.
"Mr. Dewey said he'd rather pay twice the wages I'd lose than miss a chance of tripping up Arthur Hoyt. So I gave up everything and played what they call shadow. I was mighty awkward about it at first, but after awhile I got so I could follow him and he never suspect. Well, among other things, I followed him to Mr. Mortimer's and listened to their talk under the library window. I couldn't catch it all, but I caught enough to make out that Mr. Mortimer had no idea that Hoyt was going to make an end of you, and that he was terribly broken up about it. But somehow it seemed that Hoyt had mixed him up in it so that it could be made to look as if Mortimer had really killed you."
"Oh, the villain!" exclaimed Harry.
"Isn't he, though? He made Mortimer give him four hundred thousand dollars of the money that had been stolen from your father—"
"Did you find out how it had been stolen?" interrupted Harry, eagerly.
"Not a word about that. Then, at the last, Hoyt made him give him some shares in a mine, and said he was going to investigate the mine. I expected that would end the shadowing, but Mr. Dewey said I was to keep after him if it took all the money he had in the bank, and I guess it did just that. The long and short of it being that Mr. Dewey gave me two hundred dollars, and I was to follow Hoyt as far as the money would take me, and Mr. Dewey was to look after mother and Beth."
"What a friend he is!" cried Harry. "And you, too, Bill. I don't see why I make such friends."
"Don't you?" asked Bill. "Ah, well, I do! I followed Hoyt, and there wouldn't have been any trouble at all if it hadn't been that he stopped all along the way to have a good time spending his stolen money. I lost my ticket by that time. You know you can't stop off on ordinary tickets, and it cost me two tickets before I learned how to be ready for him. But, anyhow, he stopped so often and led me such a chase that by the time he had been a week in San Francisco I was teetotally broke."
"And all that for me!" said Harry, gratefully.
"Get out!" cried Bill. "I was having no end of a lark. Why, I was seeing the world, Harry, and doing some good at the same time. But I was stumped when he left San Francisco one day for Virginia City. Then I was fixed and no mistake. I puzzled my brains over it until I just had to steal rides on freight trains. I only minded one thing, and that was that when I reached Virginia City I would possibly find him gone so I couldn't trace him."
"You had no money, so took your chances on the freight trains and reached Virginia City at last?" said Harry, who was listening with both interest and admiration.
"Yes; and he was gone."
"Oh, dear!" was Harry's fervent comment. "But you have pluck, Bill."
"Bulldog kind," laughed Bill. "I know how to stick to a thing when I get hold. I did to him. If he'd been the right sort, though, I'd never have found him again. He's an awful gambler. Oh, he gambled everywhere he stopped! He seemed to know just where to find the places. I'll bet anything that he's lost a big pile of money. Anyhow, he'd gambled in Virginia City till everybody in that line knew him, and it was from some of them that I found out where he'd gone."
"Then," said Harry, "the trouble was to get here yourself."
"You bet! But I got here last night. The very first places I went to were the gambling-houses, and mighty surprised I was to find he hadn't been to any of them. I couldn't understand that."
"Afraid I'd see him," suggested Harry.
"Of course that was it. I couldn't find him last night, and I was afraid he hadn't come here, after all; for there wasn't a sign of him having been here. The next thing that occurred to me was the mine; but, to save me, I couldn't remember the name, having only half heard it through the window. All I could think of was that it was some kind of a gold mine, and I groaned at that, for I'd been out here long enough to know that they don't find much but silver here generally. However, I asked a man if there were any gold mines around here, and he said no, and never was and never would be."
"That is true, I know, for my partner, Missoo—"
"Your partner, Missoo!" cried Bill, his eyes starting in amazement.
"Yes, my partner, Missoo," repeated Harry, wondering what was the matter.
"They don't happen to call you Gent out here, do they?"
"That's my name."
"Harry," said Bill, actually winking away a tear. "I'm the proudest chap that ever walked to think that I know you. Will you shake hands?"
Harry blushed as he gave him his hand, knowing that Bill must have heard the story of the burning mine.
Bill shook his hand as if he had never had such a treat before.
"And you," said he, his eyes shining, "are Gent, that went down that shaft. Harry, I don't believe there is another boy in the whole United States would have done a thing like that. Won't Beth be glad you saved her when I tell her that!"
"Please don't say any more about that," pleaded Harry. "Tell me about the gold mine."
"Shake hands once more first," said Bill. "Think of having that to tell Mr. Dewey! Oh, well, I won't say any more! About the gold mine. Oh, yes! The man, after he had said there were no gold mines, told how some Easterners had been let in for a salted mine, and how it was called Tiny Hill Gold Mine even now, when it was as certain as fate that it had nothing but silver in it. Well, I didn't need to be told that name twice. I knew it was my mine, and I got the direction and went straight for it; and there I found my man smoking a cigar in front of the cabin, with a tough-looking specimen sitting on the door-sill."
"Little Dick," observed Harry.
"Little! Well, I wouldn't want him to get hold of me."
"He did get hold of me," said Harry; and he related his recent adventure with him.
"Ah!" cried Bill; "now I understand! I followed them after a while, and I was puzzled to know why Hoyt kept back all the time and let the other man take the lead. It looked so much like some sort of mischief then that I was wondering all the while what on earth it could be. But I never suspected you had anything to do with it. If I'd only known you and Gent were the same person! I wouldn't have had the courage even to have thought of that thing, Harry; but if I could, I'd—"
"You said you wouldn't speak of it again, Bill."
"Well, where was I? Oh, yes! I kept well behind Hoyt, and when he sat down and let the other man go on ahead, there was nothing for me to do but to sit down, too. So I did, and we waited that way for a good while. Then Little Dick, as you call him, came back and took Hoyt away with him, and I could see that he was half-mad about something. I began to have a hard time after that, for we left the trees and got among the rocks, and, in fact, I lost them and lost my way, and I don't suppose I should ever have found it again if I had not seen Little Dick going down the mountain. I watched where he went, and then took the up road after Hoyt; and that brought me here, and that's all. But if I never do it again, Harry, I want to shake hands with you."
Harry shook hands laughingly, for there was something whimsical in Bill that put him in a laughing mood. He had never supposed Bill had so much fun in him; and, perhaps, in the old days Bill had not known it, either. But an honest life, and since then the thought that he was doing good for the boy who had saved Beth's life, had had a very developing effect on him.
They talked a great deal more after that, each giving more details about himself, but Bill insisting on hearing most about Harry, and what he had done and where he had been, and his interest in Missoo was simply intense.
"You shall see him, to-night," promised Harry. "We will go down now, keeping out of sight as much as we can, and I will take you right to his room. He'll be wondering where I am. He said he'd like to see you."
"See me!" cried Bill, pleasure and surprise about equally divided. "What does he know about me?"
"Why, I told him how you saved my life, of course."
They walked down, and Harry led Bill to the house where Missoo was lying in bed. He was much better, but was not able to go about, though he chafed at the notion of Big Missouri being laid up with "a burnt spot on his back."
"I was gettin' lonesome, Gent," he said. "Who's yer friend?" and he eyed Bill over carefully.
"Did you ever hear me speak of Bill Green?" asked Harry.
Missoo lifted himself up on his elbow and looked at Bill.
"Not Bill Green, thet got ye outen thet burnin' mill?" he questioned, to Bill's extravagant delight to think that the great, the famous Missoo had actually kept his name in his memory.
"The very same Bill Green," assured Harry.
"Bill, shake!" said Missoo, briefly. And when he had shaken the hand of the delighted Bill, he held it for a moment, and said to him, "Bill, when ye saved the life o' thet thar Gent, ye saved my life, too, which is wuthless, an' ye saved the lives o' twenty men, some o' them with babbies, 'n some o' them with mothers. Shet up, Gent; I'm talkin'! Ye saved the life, Bill, of a feller what's sand—emery sand, which is the best kind—what's sand down to his toes. Bill, I'm proud to take ye by the hand; 'n I bet ye've got sand yerself."
"So he has, Missoo, as you'll understand, when I tell you his story some day," replied Harry.
"Why not now?" asked Missoo.
Harry made a sign to Bill, and answered:
"Because I want to talk about other things with him. You won't mind if we talk before you, will you, Missoo?"
"Mind ye a-talkin'! Thet's music to me, thet is, Gent," said the admiring giant.
Harry had a two-fold reason for not telling Missoo his adventure at that time. He had not made up his mind yet as to his proper course, and he knew that Missoo would become so excited that it would perhaps make him ill; and he knew also that, if it should become known in the town that Little Dick and Hoyt had done what they had, their lives would not be safe for five minutes after they were caught.
He had no wish to be the cause of so pronounced an example of "miners' justice," and preferred to trust himself to legal law, as soon as he could have Mr. Harmon to advise with him.
The chances were that, if he were to return east now, Mr. Harmon would be home by the time he reached there, if he were not already home.
He talked this over with Bill, later, when Missoo was asleep, and Bill agreed with him, but pointed out the necessity of getting away before Hoyt should discover that he was alive, lest he should contrive in some way to play him another trick; but to that Harry said Hoyt must discover it soon, anyhow.
Missoo was not by any means well, and it was considered desirable by the doctor that he should remain in bed; but he could spare Harry, and, loth as the latter was to leave him before he was fully recovered, he felt that his safety and the interests of his sister, as well as of himself, demanded his presence east as soon as possible.
He put off speaking to Missoo until Bill had made every preparation for leaving, which occupied two days; for, to avoid the chance of being seen by Little Dick, Harry kept close in the house all the time. Moreover, he had decided to go on horseback, as being safer from the observation of Hoyt than the stage.
He had not hoped, really, that it could be kept from the two would-be murderers for a long time that he was still in existence; but he thought that, by keeping out of sight, he might puzzle them as to his intentions, and perhaps frighten them away from Buttercup.
On the third day, and when everything was ready for departure at an hour's notice, Bill suggested that he should run over to the Tiny Hill and take a look at Hoyt and discover what he could.
Harry opposed the plan as dangerous, but Bill laughed at that notion and Harry finally agreed to it.
So Bill went over there early in the morning and was back in a very short time, his eyes telling Harry that something was amiss.
"Gone—both of 'em gone," said Bill. "I was pretty sure of it the minute I set eyes on the place—looked deserted, you know. But I waited a little while and then skirmished around, and finally went right up and knocked at the door. The knocking opened it, and the cabin was empty and everything that was worth a cent had been taken. The stove was cold, and I felt certain that they had been gone over two days."
"Then, of course, they know I wasn't killed," replied Harry; "for Dick would never leave the cabin alone so long if he were coming back at all. Now what shall we do?"
Well, the end of it was that they could not make up their minds what would be the wisest thing to do; but Harry told Missoo that he intended going East soon.
There was evidently a big lump in the miner's throat when he tried to answer Harry's announcement, and when he did speak it was to beg like a child that Harry would stay anyhow until he was up out of bed and walking around.
"It won't be more'n a week, Gent," he said, pleadingly.
In his uncertainty what to do, Harry decided to let his course wait on Missoo's recovery, hoping that in the meantime something would occur to help him decide.
He was a good horseman, but Bill had had very little experience in that way, and so the two went out on their horses every day, generally accompanied by such of the miners as had the leisure and the inclination to ride.
This was an always acceptable escort to Harry, for he could not drive away an uneasy feeling that danger lurked in every lonely place. There were not many rides in the vicinity of the mines, but the mountain trails would do better than no roads at all, and the parties used to go stumbling and straggling over these.
Once Harry dismounted near the cave and ran up to it and looked in; then he was certain that his escape had been discovered, and it seemed probable that it had happened on the same day or the next.
The week passed by and Missoo was gaining his strength rapidly and was sitting up every day. Harry, too, was gaining confidence in the absence of any sign of danger, and two or three times went out riding with Bill without anybody else.
One day they started out alone, and Harry talked of soon being able to start.
"What do you think has become of Hoyt?" asked Bill.
He had asked the same question a great many times, but hoped each time to get a more satisfying answer. It was a question he could not answer to his own satisfaction.
"I wish I knew," Harry responded; "but anyhow we must make a start soon. I wrote to Mr. Harmon that I would be there and he will be expecting me. Besides, I shan't feel comfortable until that matter about the fire is settled. That is the only hold Hoyt has on me now, and as soon as that is gone he will be the one to feel uncomfortable."
"You will have all the money you need out of the mine," said Bill. "Hello! I thought none of the men were coming out to-day."
He had heard the sound of hoofs behind, and he and Harry turned at the same moment. They were then on the stage road, the only real road in the neighborhood.
Harry looked a long time at the party of five coming up behind them at a trot, but could not make them out.
"They look like strangers to me," he said, uneasily.
"What shall we do?" asked Bill, quite as uneasy as Harry.
"We might put spurs to the horses, but that would only carry us further away from Buttercup. Don't act as if you were afraid of anything, Bill. If they are after me, they can catch me; but it isn't likely they will want you, so, if it comes to that, you make a bolt and never mind me."
"Well, I guess!" answered Bill, indignantly.
"Don't you see you can hurry back to Buttercup and call on the miners. They will be after me like bloodhounds."
"Hands up there!" came a sudden command from the rear.
"Turn your horse's head the other way, Bill," whispered Harry, "and throw up your hands. It'll only be an excuse to shoot, if you don't."
They both faced suddenly about and threw up their hands. It was well, apparently, that they did, for the whole party behind them had their revolvers leveled.
"That is the one on the gray horse," said a voice, unpleasantly familiar to Harry.
Arthur Hoyt came from behind the other horseman and pointed at Harry.
"What do you want?" demanded Harry.
"We want you, youngster," said a man who seemed the leader of the party, "if your name is Henry Wainwright."
"He can't deny it," said Hoyt, hurriedly.
"I don't intend to," answered Harry, who was beginning to understand this latest move of his enemy, and who had only one object in view, and that to let Bill have a chance to get away. "My name is Henry Wainwright. What if it is?"
"I have a warrant for your arrest, on the charge of arson. So, if you are disposed to be reasonable, you'll come along with us quietly; if not, I'll clap on the bracelets."
No attention was paid to Bill, who, finding himself unmolested, had let his horse wander by the party, cropping the leaves from the bushes until he was a few yards away, when he caught up the reins and was off like a flash.
Some of the party turned and fired a few shots in the air, but did not pursue until they had waited for an order from their chief.
"He'll alarm the town, and the men will pour out after us," Hoyt cried.
"Let him," said the sheriff, contemptuously. "Alarm the town! You must think they value boys at a high rate up here, mister. I thought, from the way you talked, that a regiment wouldn't be too many. Why, he's a lamb!" and the sheriff laughed, and so did his deputies.
Hoyt gnawed his lip and glanced ominously at Harry, as if he had a mind to shoot him where he stood.
"I tell you," said Hoyt, "that the whole town will be after us."
"Well, I can't help it," replied the sheriff. "If the whole county comes, they can't have my two-thousand-dollar prisoner. I think they know me even in Buttercup, mister."
Hoyt was powerless to do anything, but Harry was certain that he saw a desperate purpose written on his face, and he determined to be on his guard if the men did come after him.
Bill meanwhile was flying back over the five miles that lay between him and Buttercup with all the speed he could obtain from his horse.
He rode into the street at a full gallop, his hat lost and his hair flying, and did not stop until he was at the door of the house where Missoo lived.
He was known by this time as one of Harry's friends, and it was generally known that the two went riding together. To see him coming back in such a fashion was sufficient to make them all wonder, and in the first fear that Harry had met with an accident, there was a rush after Bill all adown the street.
"What's the matter?" "Where's Gent?" "Is he hurt?" were some of the most prominent of the questions.
"Where's Missoo?" asked Bill, in a loud voice.
"Here he is," was the answer from the window of the house. "Whar's Gent?"
"They're taking him to Virginia City on a charge of arson, Missoo. Hoyt's there!"
Missoo understood in a moment, and lifted his hand to still the roar of voices that rose on the announcement made by Bill. Silence came at once. They all knew Missoo would waste no words then.
"I know all about it, boys," he said. "Gent mustn't go ter Virginny City, nohow. Bill, how many on 'em?"
"Ten men ter go with me after Gent," continued Missoo.
And Bill wondered at the stern, quiet way of the man. Every man there was eager to go, and Missoo saw it.
"All right, boys! Ev'ry man thet kin git a horse let him go. And a horse fer me. No time ter spare. Quick!"
In fifteen minutes a dozen of the best mounted, led by Missoo, who should not have been out of his room, rode out of the town in the midst of the wildest excitement. Fully fifty men straggled behind as best they could, and perhaps half as many more followed on foot.
"We'll bring him back, boys, if we have ter go ter Virginny City an' razee the town," said Missoo.
And the answer was a yell that made Bill sure that Missoo meant what he said and was taken at his word by his followers.
Ceylon is so far away, and the Ceylonese so little known to civilized people, that we are apt to imagine them as half-clad barbarians. But they have adopted many modern customs which curiously intermingle with their native habits. A recent traveler thus describes a native prince:
"He wore black trowsers and a coat, a white waistcoat and a heavy, round black cap. On his coat, at the sleeves as well as down the front, and on his waistcoat, were numerous buttons, each one of gold, with a gleaming diamond for a centre. Round his waist was a heavy gold girdle of massive links, with two loops in front which went to form a watch-chain, long enough and strong enough for his highness to hang himself with. The third and fourth fingers of each hand were loaded with rings, set with brilliants and precious stones. In the waistcoat pocket the top of a cigarette case was showing, and, when he pulled it out for a smoke, there was a big cluster of brilliants in the centre of the concave side. His walking-stick had a gold cross-head, and on the other side his initials were set with diamonds and rubies."
An old college man recalls two characteristic anecdotes about a well-known Harvard professor, Sophocles, or "Sophy," as he was generally called. He was an excellent teacher, but he had his favorites, whom he would never allow to fail in recitation. One day the question under discussion was the dark color of the water of a certain river. "Why was the water dark?" said Sophocles. One pupil ventured, "Because it was so deep." "That is not right. The next." "Because of the color of the mud;" and so on, until he came to a favorite, when the question took this form: "The reason is not known why the water was black, is it?" "No, sir!" came the natural answer. "That is correct," from Sophocles, with one of his blandest smiles. Another day a student was playing chess in recitation-time, feeling certain that his name would not be called, as the professor had a fixed habit of calling up the students in regular order, and this student was at the tail of the class. But Sophocles saw what was going on, out of the corner of his eye, and said, suddenly, "Mr. Kew, what do you say to this question?" Mr. Kew at once arose and promptly replied, "It is imperfect, because it is in the indefinite tense," an answer which, in nine cases in ten, would have been correct. "Not at all, sir," said Professor Sophocles, calmly, "it is an island in the Ęgean Sea!"
Professor Vierecke (four cornered) was connected with a celebrated German university in a walled town, during war times. He was very severe in his teaching methods, and the students determined to get even with him. So three of them went outside the town one day, when they knew he had gone into the country, and disguised themselves with white wigs and spectacles so as to look exactly like him. Toward night they started to return, about half an hour apart. At the gate of the town every one had to give his name to the sentinel stationed there. The first student to arrive gave his name as Einecke (one cornered); the second, half an hour afterward, as Zweiecke (two cornered); the third as (three cornered). By this time the sentinel began to be very suspicious over the fact that these elderly men, looking exactly alike, but with names increasing in numerical value, should have passed into the city. There must, he thought, be some plot hatching, and just as he had resolved to report the affair to his superior officer a fourth old man, with white hair and spectacles, came up to the gate. "Your name, sir?" asked the sentinel. "Vierecke." "Ha!" cried the sentinel. "I arrest you as a spy!" The professor vainly protested, told where he lived and his occupation, but the circumstances were so suspicious that he was taken to prison, where he was kept all night and part of the next day, to the intense delight of the persecuted students.
A little six-years-old boy, just learning to spell words of three or four letters, was poring over a book at home, which contained words much beyond his capacity. After trying in vain to make them out, he looked up and said, "Mamma, if I had glasses, I think I could read all these words." His mother laughed and responded, "Only old folks use glasses." The little fellow's face became very serious, and then he asked, anxiously, "Why, mamma, do you think I'm too new?"
It is somewhat remarkable that schoolboys, who are always playing smart tricks, do not quit trying, since they are almost invariably found out; and this is not astonishing, since all teachers have been students and cannot have wholly forgotten the tricks they tried on. In a certain Ohio academy it was announced that a new teacher of mathematics was coming the next day, and the boys prepared to initiate him. They went to a narrow lane, up which he would probably come, and rigged up a complicated apparatus to trip him up and shower him with flour. While thus engaged, a young, dandified fellow came along and surprised them. He was a stranger, and they imagined he came from a more advanced college near by, which impression was heightened when he volunteered his services and suggested many improvements in the "trap." When completed, the boys and their new friend moved away some distance, to await the result of the "initiation." Two hours passed in uncomfortable silence, and then one of the leaders said, "I don't believe he'll come to-night." "Oh, yes," said the stranger, pleasantly; "the truth is, he has come." "What!" cried the boys. "In fact," continued the young man, "I am Professor Cheltenham, and I hope our relations will continue to be agreeable. I am sorry to have disappointed you by coming by an earlier train; but I am glad, because it has made us acquainted in a very effective way!" You may imagine that the boys were amazed, and you will believe that they tried no more tricks on the professor of mathematics.
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Americans know but little of the great country that lies to the south of us. They would consider it an evidence of ignorance if a Mexican had never heard the name of one of the United States, yet not one American in a hundred can name five of the twenty-seven States, which, with two territories and a federal district, make up the great republic of Mexico. As to size, an equal ignorance prevails. The average person thinks that Mexico is about as large as Pennsylvania, and is surprised to hear that it has one-fifth the area of the United States, including Alaska.
Here are some figures which may serve to show its size. It is six times as large as Great Britain, more than three times as large as Germany, and you could lose three countries as big as France inside it. Across the top of it, where, like a great horn, it is fastened to the United States, it is as long as Topeka is distant from New York city, and a line drawn from the root of the horn at California, diagonally across it to its tip at Guatemala, would be as long as the distance from New York to Denver. This horn is about 150 miles wide at the bottom, or tip, and 1550 miles wide at its beginning, where it joins on to us. In its curve it embraces the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean washes its other side.
It is true that Mexico is not thickly settled, the total population being less than 12,000,000; but it has one city—the capital—containing 300,000, one of 100,000, and a number of cities of 25,000 inhabitants, of which the ordinary American never heard the names. But Mexico has an incomparable climate, and the land contains riches in minerals, precious stones and agricultural resources, unsurpassed by any other country.
Mexico is a land of different civilization from ours, and we know very little about it. The ruling classes, numbering a few thousands, are descendants of Spaniards, while the millions of people who are ruled are descendants of the Aztecs. They are called Indians, but they have nothing in common with our aborigines. They speak Spanish, but they have their own tongues as well, and there are said to be a hundred dialects in use. Some of the most striking men in Mexican history have come from this class. Juarez was an Indian, and Diaz has Indian blood in his veins.
It is a land of many climates. Along the coast is the tropics, with all their rich vegetation, malarial diseases, fevers and poisonous reptiles; in the higher mountain regions, intense cold and fierce storms prevail, while between the two, and often within a few hours ride of either, lies the plateau which constitutes the greater part of Mexico, and there the climate is like a balmy June day all the year round. Clear skies, perpetual sunshine and pure air combine to give this favored region the ideal climate of the world.
This plateau is like a garden, and everything temperate or semi-tropical grows with very little care. Yet Mexico does not figure as a great agricultural country, because, like every other land where nature is kind, man is lazy. Yet the people are picturesque, like all indolent people.
In every hamlet and town the traveler sees stout, handsome men, their dark faces shrouded by great sombreros, the crowns of which come to a point a foot above their heads, and the brims of which seem to be a foot wide all around.
These hats are gorgeous in their silver and gold trimmings. Some of them have ropes of silver around them as thick as your finger.
The clothes below them shine with silver buttons and braid. The pantaloons of some of the men are striped, with silver buckles, while to the waist of each, fastened by a leather belt filled with cartridges, hangs a big silver-mounted revolver.
The lower classes of the men of Mexico dress in cotton, but they wear blankets of all the colors of the rainbow about their shoulders, and they drape these around themselves in a way that adds dignity and grace to their bearing.
The women are as peculiar as the men, though their plumage is less gay. Those of the wealthier classes are dressed in black. In the interior cities of Mexico the better class of women wear no hats, and their heads are either bare or covered with a black shawl, out of which their olive-complexioned faces shine and their dark, lustrous eyes look at you with a strange wonder.
The Indian women are especially picturesque. They often wear dark-blue cottons, and about their heads they drape a cotton shawl or reboso, so that only the upper half of the face shows. Some of them wear bright-red skirts and white waists, and many of them go barefooted.
The future of this great republic is difficult to foresee. At present it is in a transition state, and is not making very rapid progress, according to our ideas. But great results are expected from the railroad which now extends to the City of Mexico.
As the "feeders" are gradually extended on either side it is believed that many abandoned mines will be reopened, new ones discovered and a great impetus given to agriculture and commerce.
Just now, however, the railroad is chiefly of value to the tourist, who can, by its means, visit with ease and comfort a land as strange in many respects as ancient Egypt.
Most people know and dislike the odor of coal-tar, which is distilled from soft or bituminous coal in making gas, as well as in other processes.
It seems to have been first collected by a German, named Stauf, in 1741. Of course there was no question of gas-making then, and the German, who was more of an alchemist than a chemist, was looking for other things than the coal-oil which he obtained.
The coarse oil which Stauf procured had little in it to his eye, but it contained, nevertheless, many bright and varied colors, delicate perfumes, useful medicines and the sweetest product ever known to man.
From coal-tar is derived benzine and naphtha, and colors—especially purples—which are used in dyeing. From one ton of good cannel coal, distilled in gas retorts, there comes ten thousand cubic feet of gas, twenty-five gallons of ammoniacal liquor, thirty pounds of sulphate of ammonium, thirteen hundred weight of coke and twelve gallons of coal-tar.
From this tar are produced a pound of benzine, a pound of toluene, a pound and a half of phenol, six pounds of naphthalene, a small quantity of a material called xylene and half a pound of anthracene, which is used in dyeing.
From benzine are derived fine shades of yellows, browns, oranges, blues, violets and greens; from the toluene are obtained magentas and rich blues; from phenol, beautiful reds; from naphthalene, reds, yellows and blues; from xylene, brilliant scarlets, and from anthracene, yellows and browns.
Out of one pound weight of cannel coal can be produced dyes sufficient to color the following lengths of flannel, three quarters of a yard wide: Eight inches of magenta, two feet of violet, five feet of yellow, three and a half feet of scarlet, two inches of orange and four inches of Turkey red.
There are immense varieties of these colors, and the best part about them is that no illness comes to the hands employed in mixing or using them, as is the case with some other dyes.
Some years ago, quinine became very dear, but it had no equal as a medicine for certain purposes, and so experiments were made to produce artificial quinine by chemical means. In this way "kairene" and "quinoline" were produced, at about half the price of quinine. But the most important result of the search was the discovery of anti-pyrine, which is extensively used in high fevers.
Coal-tar is about the last substance from which a sweet perfume could be expected, and yet it gives many. All the "extract of new-mown hay" now comes from it. This lovely scent used to be produced, at great expense, from scented grasses. Then there is the scent of vanilla, and the growers of the vanilla bean have lost greatly in consequence. There is also heliotrope perfume prepared from coal-tar, and other extracts for scenting toilet soaps.
But the most remarkable of all the products of coal-tar is saccharine, which was first discovered by Fahlberg, a German, who was conducting experiments in coal-tar under the direction of Professor Remsen, of the Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.
This substance is infinitely sweeter than any cane-sugar—more than two hundred times as sweet—so that the smallest drop sweetens more than a tablespoonful of sugar. But it does not nourish like cane or beet sugar, while at the same time it is not injurious, and it preserves fruit perfectly.
Persons suffering from certain diseases, when sugar in any form cannot be taken, can have their diet rendered much more acceptable by the use of saccharine. The taste is very pure, and more quickly communicated to the palate than that of cane-sugar.
It seems wonderful that from a substance which, a generation ago, was used only as wagon grease and for kindling fires, such colors, medicines, perfumes and sweetness should be extracted!
"When once begun,
The work's half done,"
So says the proverb old;
But even here,
You'll see it clear,
The truth is but half told;
For wisdom says
There are two ways,
One loses and one wins;
You'll find, young friends,
That all depends
Upon how one begins.
If wrong begun,
And work half done,
So much the worse for you;
If right—go on
Until you've won
The goal you had in view.
In life you gaze
Upon the ways
Of virtue and of sin;
Be led by truth,
And in your youth
Be sure how you begin.
In a total eclipse of the sun the point of the shadow cone, which is constantly projected into space by the moon, touches a narrow strip of the earth's surface, from which region alone the sun is totally obscured.
These total eclipses occur about three times in four years, but a total eclipse for any given region does not occur oftener than once in two hundred years.
It is therefore possible when an eclipse of the sun is described in connection with some remote historical event, and the hour is mentioned, to fix the period of the occurrence exactly.
Historical research is thus aided, and, to facilitate reference, Professor Von Oppolzer, Viennese Astronomer Royal, has, with the aid of ten assistants, fixed the date of 8000 eclipses of the sun and 5200 eclipses of the moon, extending over a period from 1200 B. C. to 2163 A. D., the calculations filling 242 thick folio volumes.
Two applications of these data may be cited. The oldest recorded eclipse, which occurred in China 4000 years ago, is mentioned in the Chinese book "Schuking" as taking place in the early morning, in the last month of harvest, in the fifth year of Emperor Tschung-hang's reign. Other sources show that this reign was undoubtedly in the twenty-second century B. C., and the only eclipse that would apply took place on October 22, 2137 B. C.
It is recorded that Christ suffered in the nineteenth year of Tiberias, in which year the sun was darkened, Bithynia shaken and much of Nicea laid in ruins. One writer mentions that a total eclipse of the sun, lasting from the sixth to the ninth hour, occurred in the reign of Tiberias, during full moon, and another adds that it occurred on the 14th day of the month.
Now, an eclipse of the sun at full moon is impossible. Reference to Oppolzer's work shows that the only total eclipse of the sun in that region, between eight years before our reckoning and 59 A. D., took place Thursday, November 24-29 A. D.
This is not reconcilable with the scriptural account, which places the crucifixion at the Jewish Easter. An eclipse of the moon, however, was visible at Jerusalem on April 3, 33 A. D., so that it is most probable that the ancient historians confused the two events, and that the eclipse of the moon was the phenomenon which signalized the crucifixion.
"To whom are you writing, Amos?" asked his mother, as she gave a loving glance at the wasted form of the crippled boy, bent over his father's desk.
Amos Franklin had never known what it was to be straight or strong like other boys. From infancy his legs had been crooked and his back bent, while pain and disease had shrunken his frame until, at fourteen, he looked no older than nine. But, as if to make amends, his mind was very active and his intelligence far in advance of his years.
"I will soon have finished, mother," he answered, with a smile, "and then I will read it."
His pen scratched away for a few minutes, and then he held up the sheet and read this:
"To the Girl with the Broken Leg:— I hope you will not fret or worry too much over your misfortune, because it will not be many days before you are out again, and in a short time be well and strong as ever. You have many happy days before you, when you can romp and run in the bright sunshine; and you must think of those days and not of the present. I will write to you again, if you say so.
Mrs. Franklin listened to the reading of this letter with an amazed look.
"I don't understand it," she said. "Who is this girl, and where did you hear about the accident?"
"I don't know her name, or who she is," replied Amos, with a quiet laugh. "But I know that in the three or four hundred patients in the big hospital there must be one girl with a broken leg, and they will give it to her, and it will make her feel glad."
Mrs. Franklin looked at Amos with a smile on her face, but without speaking.
"Then I have written," continued the little cripple, "three other letters to boys and girls in the hospital, directing them to what I think they're most likely to be laid up with. And I mean to watch the papers hereafter for the 'casualty cases,' so that I can get their names. That will be so much nicer, won't it?"
Mrs. Franklin came over and stroked his hair affectionately.
"Is this your own idea?" she asked.
"Yes," he answered, brightly. "I got to thinking how lonesome the children must be, even if the nurses are kind; and you know folks can't always visit them. Then I knew no one would think of writing letters, and it would be such a treat for them to know that a strange boy was talking to them."
"My dear son," murmured his mother, fondly.
"Of course," he went on, "I'm not going to tell them that I'm an invalid, because that would make them feel badly. And, then, I'm not in the hospital; I'm home, and that makes all the difference in the world."
"It is an excellent idea," said Mrs. Franklin, cheerfully, but with tears in her eyes.
"Do you think so, really?" he asked, eagerly. "I am so glad, because, do you know, mother, I have been getting so gloomy of late, thinking how useless I am."
"Amos!" she exclaimed, reproachfully.
"Now, mother, I'm not complaining; but I know I am useless. I can never earn my living by any kind of work, and I'm not talented enough to be an artist or designer; but I thought if I could only do something to help somebody, and all of a sudden it flashed upon me that there were boys and girls worse off than I am, and I might make them happy. And you think it will?"
"Decidedly, I do. It is a noble thought, Amos, and I am proud of your idea."
"Then I will write some more," he said, simply.
A week or two passed and Amos had a dozen little correspondents, who each and all wanted to see him; but he gently evaded their requests, and only wrote longer letters.
"They must think I am well and strong," he said.
Then one day there came a handsome carriage to the door, and a gray-haired gentleman called on Amos.
"I want to see my assistant," he said, in a deep, hearty voice. "I am Doctor Parkerson. Where is the boy who has been helping me make my little patients get well?"
It was a proud moment for Amos when the great physician, whose name was world-renowned, took him by the hand and thanked him.
"You are a true philanthropist, my boy," he said, warmly. "Medicine and care are well enough, but kind words and sympathy are great helps. And you are a sufferer, yourself! Perhaps I can do something to make you happy in return."
And I am sure you would like to hear that he kept his word.
The moment that Clyde had locked the door on his uncle, he felt sorry for it. It was a mistake to push his uncle. True, it was a gentle push, and Mr. Ellis would probably have reeled through the doorway of his own accord, but, for all that, it was an act of defiance.
It was the first time that the boy had ever rebelled. He had stood much from Mr. Ellis, and taken it all as a matter-of-course, but, for once, his anger had got the better of him.
It was a blunder, also, to throw out that insinuation about the ten thousand dollars. Clyde realized this perfectly. He wished now that he not done it, and would have recalled his hasty words had it been possible. But the deed had been done, and the consequences of it, whatever they might be, were sure to come.
What was to be done now? Clyde asked himself this question as he stood there before the bolted door, flushed with excitement. He looked at his brother, who was almost as excited as he was, and had started to his feet, only to remain there mute and motionless. It was all a mystery to Ray, who now heard the reference to the ten thousand dollars for the first time.
But there was little time for thought. Uncle Ellis quickly recovered his self control, and, a moment after the door had been bolted on him, was knocking vigorously for admittance.
His demand was not immediately obeyed, but it aroused Clyde to action, if it did nothing else. The money was still lying on the table. What was to be done with it?
"Here, you rascals, let me in! Do you hear?" thundered the angry man.
There was a vicious thump upon the door, which threatened serious results if repeated many times.
"Open this door, or I will break it down!"
Clyde knew that his uncle could do this, if he made up his mind to it, and the knowledge did not tend to increase his feeling of security. But that money!
He looked around the room hastily for a hiding place. The house was heated in the winter by a furnace, and there was a register in the boys' room. This would offer a safe depository.
Quickly sweeping the money into his handkerchief, he tied the four corners of it with a piece of twine that he carried in his pocket, and, lifting the iron register from its bed, hung the little bundle in the hole.
It was the work of but an instant to make the twine fast so that money and all would not roll down the tin pipe. There was little chance that the hiding-place would be discovered.
"I say! Are you going to let me in, or shall I break down the door?" demanded the man on the outside again.
Clyde did not know what to say, and so he said nothing. This perhaps proved to be the wisest plan, for, after another vigorous thump at the door, Uncle Ellis suddenly changed his policy. He no longer demanded admittance; he asked it.
"See here, you boys," he said, and his voice sunk from its high and angry tones to a softer and lower key. "See here, you boys; I don't want to hurt you. This is a mistake. I can come in there in about one minute if I want to; and if I do have to break this door down, some one will have to suffer for it. But if you will open it peacefully I will promise not to touch you. I didn't intend to do that, anyway."
Clyde looked at Ray, who was still mystified by the proceedings, and as yet unable to comprehend why his uncle had so suddenly collapsed.
"I think we shall have to do it, won't we?" he asked.
Ray nodded his acquiescence.
Clyde advanced cautiously to the door, and turned the key gingerly, as if he still doubted his uncle's promise. Then he retreated quickly to the table and sat down in a chair. Mr. Ellis opened the door and walked in quietly. His face was still very pale, and Clyde noticed that his fingers twitched nervously. It was evident that he was having a hard time to control his feelings.
"I did not expect this treatment when I came up here this evening," he began. "I came up merely to see you, and to find out how you were getting along. I thought perhaps I had been neglecting you boys of late."
Clyde looked at his brother in astonishment, and Ray returned his glance with something like a smile playing around his lips. Such talk from Uncle Ellis was unheard of.
The younger brother did not pretend to account for it, but Clyde quickly got an idea. Lycurgus Sharp, the lawyer, had advised Mr. Ellis to treat the boys kindly, in order to get their forgiveness, should the guardian prove to be short in his accounts. Could it be possible that the harsh uncle had determined to adopt this plan?
"I had very good intentions when I started," continued Mr. Ellis, trying very hard to make his voice sound pleasant, "but when I saw you counting that money I became excited. As I told you, sums of money have been stolen from me of late, and I cannot account for their loss. This was one of the things I wanted to talk to you about, and to get you to help me find the thief. When I saw you with that money, I naturally supposed that you had been helping yourselves occasionally."
"You thought we couldn't have come by it honestly, because you never gave us anything," suggested Clyde, who could not refrain from giving his uncle this sly dig.
Mr. Ellis smiled a dismal smile.
"But I find I am mistaken," he went on, not attempting to reply to the bit of sarcasm. "I am glad to know that you made that money honestly, for I shall take your word for it."
This was so much more than either of the boys had expected that they began to look upon their uncle as an enigma hard to solve.
"There is one thing that I would like to speak of," added Mr. Ellis; and Clyde thought that his face suddenly became whiter, and that his fingers twitched even more nervously than before. "May I sit down?"
"Why, certainly," replied the boy, amazed at this mark of politeness. "Excuse me for not offering you a chair. Take this rocker."
And he dragged up his favorite chair and offered it to his guardian with a bow.
Mr. Ellis accepted it.
"You made some reference when I was in here—in here before," continued the latter, "to a certain ten thousand dollars. Will you tell me what you meant?"
It was Clyde's turn now to become nervous. He would have liked to have escaped that, but he was in for it now.
"I—I didn't mean to say what I did," he pleaded.
"Yes, but you did say it, and I would like to have it explained."
And Mr. Ellis clutched the arm of his chair with his right hand, and hung on to it, while he tried to push the chair into a gentle rock with one of his feet.
Clyde looked his uncle straight in the eye. The latter avoided the glance, and turned his attention to the floor.
"To be perfectly plain with you, uncle," said Clyde, "I must tell you that you have never cared to enlighten us about the property you hold in trust. But I know all about it now, and I have discovered that something like ten thousand dollars is missing."
It was a bold speech, and Clyde was doubtful how it would be received. But it did not bring out the angry storm that might have been expected.
Instead, Mr. Ellis merely rose from his chair and began to pace the floor uneasily. He put his hand to his heart as if there was pain there that he wished to stifle. His steps were unsteady.
Meanwhile Ray looked on in perfect astonishment. He stared at his brother, then followed his uncle with open-mouthed wonder.
"You have discovered that, have you?" said the latter, pausing for a moment before the chair in which Clyde was sitting. "May I ask how such a sum could be missing?"
"When a man speculates in wheat, and buys for a rise in price, and the price suddenly falls, he loses money, sometimes as much as ten thousand dollars."
Uncle Ellis staggered into his chair, and sat there nervously clutching at the arms on both sides.
"Do you dare to charge me with losing in speculation ten thousand dollars that do not belong to me?" he gasped.
"I have not made any charges, have I?" asked Clyde.
He could not help pitying his uncle in spite of the fact that he detested him.
"I hope you won't do it, either," and Mr. Ellis' voice sunk almost to a whisper. "It is not so. What enemy could have told you this lie? It certainly was not Mr. Sh—" Mr. Ellis cast a frightened glance at his nephew and stopped short. "This is a very serious thing," he added, impressively. "I trust you realize the enormity of what you are saying. Since your father was drowned, I have been a father to you and Ray. I have taken care of you in my house—"
"In our house, you mean," corrected Clyde.
"Well, yes, have it so, if you like. I have tried to do my duty by you, and this is what I get for it. I have watched over your interests and have guarded the money left in trust with zealous care. This is unexpected. Some enemy has been poisoning your mind against me. Believe me, there is not a word of truth in it."
"Then the money is intact, is it?" questioned Clyde.
"Entirely so. See here; I will prove it to you. Since you have heard these dreadful stories, I must clear myself. Should I take you to my lawyer and let you read the will, show you just the amount of money left and then let you see with your own eyes that everything is safe, would you be satisfied?"
"Certainly I would, uncle."
"Very well; I shall do this to-morrow or next day. Meanwhile, you must promise me that you will not talk about this to anybody. It would ruin me should a whisper of such an outrageous charge get out. Will you promise not to say anything until you have seen with your own eyes that all is right?"
"Very well; then you shall know all about it in a very little while."
Uncle Ellis looked much relieved. A bit of color was coming back to his cheek, and he rose to his feet with a little more steadiness.
"I shall rely on you both to protect my good name," he said, in parting. "Good-night." And he walked from the room.
Ray drew a long sigh when he had gone.
"Clyde, is it true," he asked, "that uncle has lost ten thousand dollars?"
"Yes, Ray. I wouldn't have believed it had I not heard him confess it with his own lips. He took it from the money that father left us and sunk it in speculating."
"One more thing, Clyde. Why did you want to count the money we have? You said it was for something very important."
"And so it is. Ray, you and I have got lots of work ahead of us. But I mustn't stop to tell you about it now. Uncle is not telling the truth, and is up to something, I am sure. I must find out what it is. He won't let the night pass without hatching up some scheme to pull the wool over my eyes. You stay around here and keep watch, and if he leaves the house I will follow him."
Clyde stole down the stairs carefully and listened at the head of the flight leading from the hall. As he had suspected, Uncle Ellis was going out. He had just taken his hat from the rack and was walking toward the door.
Clyde waited until his uncle had reached the street, and then followed. The bright moon had gone behind a bank of clouds, but from the piazza he could make out his uncle's form moving slowly up the street.
The house faced on the avenue running at right angles to the water. It was situated midway between two streets which crossed it and ran through the heart of the town, but a short distance away.
One of these streets Mr. Ellis turned into, and Clyde quickly took the other one. He could move faster than his uncle, and by hurrying he could reach the main street ahead of him.
This he did, and was awaiting his uncle behind a door not far from the post office.
The post office was in a small building and occupied the lower floor. A stairway next to the office ran to the second floor, and opening from the hallway above was a small room, in which Mr. Lycurgus Sharp had his office. There was a balcony in front of the lawyer's office.
Mr. Lycurgus Sharp was hanging about the post office, talking politics, when Mr. Ellis reached that point.
Clyde was firmly convinced that his worthy uncle and the lawyer would be in consultation before long, and he was also convinced that the topic of conversation would be the ten thousand dollars. He was even more firmly convinced that he was right when the two men came out of the post office and walked up the stairs to the lawyer's room above.
Clyde did not like the idea of playing the spy, but if his uncle was engaged in a scheme to rob him, he certainly had a right to know it, and, with no twinges of conscience, he stole up the stairs, and when all was quiet he crawled out upon the balcony.
The night was hot, and Mr. Sharp's window was partially raised, but protected by a blind.
"Those confounded boys have discovered everything," Clyde heard his uncle say. "I would like to know how they did it. You haven't been talking, have you?"
"What! Me talk? Me, did you say?" exclaimed Mr. Lycurgus Sharp, dramatically.
"Then how did they find out that I have been speculating?" demanded the other, sharply.
The lawyer shrugged his shoulders.
"That's your lookout," he said, carelessly. "Perhaps they overheard us talking this afternoon."
"Great Scott! I hope not," cried Mr. Ellis, excitedly. "No, I don't believe that! No one was around at the time. I think they must have heard a rumor somewhere—where, I don't know, but would give a heap to find out. If those boys get a notion like that they will spread it everywhere, and I shall be ruined. What can I do to stop them off?"
The lawyer shrugged his shoulders again.
"I have promised to show them the will and explain where all the money is," added Mr. Ellis.
"Which you can't do," broke in the lawyer, abruptly.
"Which is only a blind to gain time," the other frowned. "I am sorry I ever got into this speculation now; but I am in it, and I have got to make that money good, somehow. I can do it in time, I am sure; but if these boys get to talking, I can't tell what will happen."
"Well," said Mr. Sharp, "I suppose you must get rid of them for a time. That is about what you are driving at, I apprehend?"
"That's about the size of it, but how?"
Mr. Sharp picked up a newspaper that was lying on his table and turned to the shipping advertisements.
"I see here," he said, "the advertisement of a vessel to sail to-morrow for Australia."
"What of that?"
"What of that! Why, everything of that. Can't you see through a barn-door, when the door is open for you?"
"You mean, send the boys to Australia?"
The lawyer nodded.
"Could you want anything better? They would be gone a long time. You can take them to New York to-morrow and ship them off in the afternoon. Put them before the mast. Make sailors out of them."
"Nobody would take them for sailors," remarked Mr. Ellis, doubtfully.
"What of that? Go to the captain and tell him that you have two boys who are wild. Tell him you don't want to send them to the reform school, but would like to have them put under the discipline of a big ship. Pay him to take them, and he will jump at the chance, and break them in for you, I'll warrant."
Clyde's cheeks burned with resentment. His heart was going like a trip-hammer. Could it be possible that his uncle would lend himself to such a villainous scheme? He could scarcely refrain from jumping through the window and denouncing the plotters to their very faces.
He did not have to wait long to discover his uncle's sentiments.
"Sharp," said Mr. Ellis, "you have a great head. I do admire you, upon my word! If I had one-half of your ability for villainy, I would have been rich long ago."
"Thank you," retorted the lawyer, coolly. "But you can bet that I never used other people's money to speculate with."
"The less said about that the better," replied the other. "I shall pull out of this all right if I am given time. But now to business. How am I going to get those boys aboard? They may suspect something."
"Oh, well, if you haven't got any inventive faculty at all, you had better quit, go down on your knees, ask your nephews' pardon, and live happily ever after. To tell you plainly, that is just what I would do. But if you are dead set on getting rid of them, why, I am paid to give you advice, and here it is. You have promised to show them the will to-morrow. Tell them that it is necessary to go to New York to see it. There you can take them to some office for a blind, and, while you are there, you can have a letter sent to you, or pretend to have, from an old friend who is going to Australia and wants you to see him off. It will be the easiest thing in the world to ask the boys to accompany you, and, once aboard, you can lock them up, and there they are."
"That's the talk. They shall be there," exclaimed the delighted speculator.
"Only they won't," thought Clyde, from his perch in front of the window.
"Look here," said Mr. Ellis, nervously. "Since this thing has begun, I am suspicious of everything. No one could have heard us, could they?"
"The door is shut, as you see," replied the lawyer, "and I don't think anybody saw us come up here."
"The window is open," suggested Mr. Ellis.
He got up from his chair and walked to the door.
Clyde saw him open it and leave it open, then turn to the window as if he meant to do the same thing with it.
The boy was in a trap. It would never do to be caught there. To think with him was to act. He stepped over the balcony and hung from the floor by his hands. There was no one on the sidewalk beneath, and, letting go, he dropped lightly to the ground, just as his uncle stepped out upon the balcony above.
He pulled himself into a shadow and stood motionless.
Mr. Ellis was apparently suspicions. Perhaps he had heard something. At all events, he looked down and up and in all directions without becoming any wiser for it.
The moment his head disappeared from sight, Clyde stole away. He was hot with excitement and anger.
James T. Leeds, broker, sat upon the veranda of the seaside hotel, with his feet on the railing and his chair tilted back.
He was at peace with himself and with all the world. In fact, the world had been treating him nicely of late. His "flyers" in Wall Street and in the wheat market had been successful. He had been making money rapidly, and this is why he smiled as he lighted his cigar.
Mr. Leeds liked the little seaside town, and was sure to drop in upon it as soon as the warm weather set in.
It was so near New York that he could reach the city in a few minutes. He had expected to get a good deal of enjoyment out of the yacht that he had bought, but, as we have already seen, it had proved a dismal failure.
He could not learn to manage it himself, and if the water was at all rough the motion made him sick. So he had reluctantly come to the conclusion that the water had no charms for him.
Mr. Leeds was in the midst of a calculation of his profits of the next day, should Erie Railroad stock jump up a couple of points, as he confidently expected that it would do, when a boy, panting and red in the face, suddenly appeared by his side.
"Hullo, Clyde! What is the matter with you now?" he inquired.
And his feet came down from off the railing and the legs of the chair settled upon the plank with a thump.
"I—I want to speak to you," panted the boy.
"Well, speak away. I'm listening."
Clyde shook his head.
"No, not here," he said, with due regard to the danger of talking over private matters where an unsuspected ear might be within hearing distance. "This is very important."
"It must be," said the broker, with a little laugh. "Well, come to my room."
The broker led the way to a room that looked out upon the water.
Clyde walked to the window to see that there were no convenient porches, and then drew a chair up to the table and sat down.
"Now," said the broker, "go on."
Clyde hesitated a moment. He really did not know how to begin. Finally be got started:
"Mr. Leeds, you said to-day that you had got tired of the yacht, did you not?"
"That's what I said," replied the broker. "Did you bring me up here to tell me that?"
"You said you were going to sell the Orion, did you not?"
"No, I did not. I said I was going to smash her up. But I have thought better of that. I'm going to load her up with pitch and anchor her off in the stream and set fire to her. I am going to do that on the Fourth of July, and have a celebration all to myself. Won't that be fun?"
"I thought you would perhaps take her around to New York and sell her. If you were going to do that—"
"Oh, but I'm not going to do anything of the sort. I am not in the yacht-selling business. I wouldn't be bothered with her. But what is all this about, anyway?"
"Well, then, to come to the point, I want to buy her."
"You want to buy her! Well, that is a good one. Do you know what I paid for the Orion?"
"Well, she cost me just one thousand dollars. How much are you willing to give for her?"
Mr. Leeds looked at the well-worn garments of the would-be purchaser and smiled.
"What will you sell her for?" asked Clyde.
"Come, now, is this a joke, or what?" grinned the broker. "Has your uncle suddenly opened his heart, or have you come into possession of your property?"
"Neither," replied the boy, gravely, "but if you will sell me the yacht on a note—"
"On a note, eh? Well, isn't this rich? What is your note worth?"
"Nothing, I know, Mr. Leeds; but it will be some day. I can't pay you now, but when I am old enough to draw a note I will pay it."
The broker looked at the boy steadily for a moment.
"Clyde, something is up," he said. "What is it?"
"It all comes out of that 'pointer' you gave me this afternoon. I am going to leave home to escape being driven away."
"Phew!" whistled the broker. "Tell me about it."
And Clyde went over the whole story from beginning to end, and gave a graphic description of the plot to send him to Australia.
"Well, this is about the worst I ever heard," was Mr. Leeds' comment, when the recital was finished. "I couldn't have believed your uncle would have gone to such extremities. Well, we must block that game. We can haul him into court and prove a conspiracy."
"No," objected Clyde, "that wouldn't do at all. Of course, my uncle would deny the whole thing, and then, when it had all blown over, off I would go."
"But what do you intend to do?"
"I believe that my father is still alive. One of the men who was with him thinks it is possible. I shall never be satisfied until I have made an investigation, and I want to take him and go to the Caribbean Sea. I thought if you would sell me the yacht on credit I would go."
"Well, I won't sell the Orion," declared the broker.
Clyde's hopeful countenance fell.
"I said I wouldn't, and I won't. But you can have her, and everything aboard of her—that is, if she is fit to go on such a cruise."
Clyde's eyes filled with tears.
"You are too good. I can't take it unless you will let me pay for it when I can."
"Nonsense! Don't talk that way. I never was good in my life, and I think it won't hurt me any to do a little thing like that. The Orion is of no use to me, and, unless you do take her, I shall run her on the rocks and set her on fire, as sure as I am alive. But what are you going to do for money? You can't go anywhere without money?"
"Ray and I have got thirty dollars between us."
"Thirty fiddlesticks! Here," and the broker pulled out a well-filled pocket-book and counted out some bills—"here are three hundred dollars. You will have to fit the yacht up for a long cruise. There! don't make any objections. I owe you something for helping me out of a bad scrape to-day. You can promise to pay me if you like, and, when you come into possession of your property, you can do so. But never mind the note. It isn't worth anything, anyway, and I can trust you, I'm sure. Now, who is this man that you say will go with you?"
"I don't know his name. Tom, the fisherman, calls him Old Ben. He was the boatswain on my father's ship."
"Well, I want to see him. Come with me."
The two strolled over to the fisherman's cabin, where Tom and Ben were found smoking their pipes and telling each other sea stories. It did not take Mr. Leeds long to come to the point, and, when the whole story had been repeated, the broker asked the fisherman whether the Orion could be relied upon to make such a trip.
"Well, there's a risk about it, of course," was the reply; "but the Orion is a mighty fine boat—mighty fine. She would stand up before a good stiff gale, and Old Ben, here, is just the man to handle her."
"Well, then, Old Ben, will you go along and run her?" asked the broker.
"Now, I ain't a holdin' out any promises that we will find the cap'n," and the old salt shook his head. "It's my opinion that the chances is all agin' it. But if the youngster wants to go, and as Tom says the boat is a good one, why, I don't mind makin' the trip. It may be there is something behind it all and that the cap'n is still alive; but, as I said—"
"I don't ask you to go for nothing, you understand," interrupted the broker.
He took out his pocket-book again and selected five twenty-dollar bills.
"You don't make more than twelve or fifteen dollars a month before the mast. Here are one hundred dollars, and if you find the cap'n, there is more for you."
"Thankee, sir," said the boatswain, with a bob of the head. "But I didn't expect that. I would have gone without it. Yes, I will go, and we will find the cap'n, if he's in the land of the livin'. If he ain't, why, then—he ain't; and that's all there is about it."
"We shall have to get off in the morning; or, rather, as soon as possible," said Clyde, delighted with the prospect. "My uncle will have me in his clutches to-morrow, and if he gets hold of me there may be trouble."
"I think that is the best way," approved the broker. "You will need some stores, but you cannot get them here. You will have to run in to New York and take them aboard."
"Yes, that's right," assented Old Ben.
"And you had better take out papers that will allow you to cruise as a yacht. I will have the Orion made over to Clyde, so he will be your owner, and you will find him a good sailor as well."
"If he is anything like his father, he will do," said the boatswain. "Well, Tom and me will overhaul the yacht, and I will go aboard at once. Just as soon as the cap'n boards us we will start."
"That's the way I like to hear a man talk," commented the broker. "I will go back to the hotel and turn the yacht over to Clyde, in writing, and bring it to the Orion myself. Now, Clyde, go and get ready, and return some time before morning."
"I will be there!"
And the happy boy sped away toward home with visions of all sorts of adventures flitting before his imagination.
He had found his father half a dozen times before he reached his room on the third floor, and broke in on his brother with his face flushed with excitement.
"Get ready, Ray," he cried.
"Get ready for what?" asked his surprised brother.
"To go to sea. We are going on a long cruise."
"Look here, Clyde Ellis, are you crazy?"
"Not a bit of it," replied Clyde, cheerily. "Listen."
And rapidly he detailed the occurrences of the day. Before he had quite finished there was a step in the hall, and a moment later Uncle Ellis appeared at the doorway.
"Not gone to bed yet?" he asked.
He seemed to be laboring under a heavy strain, and it was with difficulty that he controlled himself.
"Not yet," replied Clyde.
And his heart sunk like the mercury in the thermometer upon the approach of a cold wave, a presentiment of coming danger.
"You have been out to-night?" queried the uncle.
"Where have you been?"
And his uncle eyed him sternly.
"I have been over to the hotel."
"Oh, around town a bit!"
"I am almost afraid to trust you after what you told me this evening. After I have shown you the will to-morrow, which I will do in New York, I have no fears that you will talk; but, until then, I think it best to keep you under my eye. To-morrow you shall know all."
Clyde thought it very likely that his uncle would also be the wiser in the morning, but he did not say so.
Mr. Ellis pulled the key from the door and placed it in the lock on the outside; then he stepped out and closed the door after him. The next instant he had turned the key, and his retreating footsteps were heard along the hallway.
Clyde jumped to his feet and tried the door. It was firmly locked.
He staggered back to the bed and threw himself upon it, burying his face in his hands.
"Trapped!" he cried, bitterly. "Just when everything is ready, we are prisoners and there is no help for it!"
The Witch was not long in overhauling the Swan. Arno, seeing that escape was out of the question, surrendered without a word.
"It's no use trying to get away," he said to Jason, "and we may as well yield without a struggle. There is nothing can outsail that schooner. I've a great mind to throw that money overboard."
"It wouldn't be of any use," replied Jason. "Perhaps they are following us just to see who we are."
Arno shook his head at this.
"I think you'll find that Buxton is on board that vessel," he said, looking steadily at the approaching craft. "Yes, there he is," he continued, "though he doesn't know anything about the money."
Immediately after the capture of the Swan, Judith, Sandy McDougall and Shaky took possession of her, the latter having paid Buxton for the trouble he had been to. Then the Witch bore away to the northward.
Judith seemed overjoyed at seeing Arno again, all her resentment apparently being swallowed up in the gratification she felt in once more meeting with him. She clasped her great, strong arms about him, and held him as though she feared losing him again.
As for Sandy and Shaky, they paid no heed whatever to the two boys. As soon as the Witch had left the sloop, they ran the latter in among the islands and dropped anchor.
Here they remained during the afternoon and night, the cabin of the little vessel being given up to Judith, the men and boys sleeping in the compartment in the bow.
When morning came, they put to sea again and sailed down the coast. Arno and Jason had little opportunity for conversation, so close was the vigilance of Judith.
It was considerably past noon when Sandy announced that the Petrel was in sight, and then the little hatch in the deck forward of the mast was raised, and Arno and Jason ordered to descend.
Realizing how helpless they were, the two boys offered no resistance, and they soon found themselves in complete darkness, save for a faint glimmer of light that came through a little port-hole opened for ventilation.
"What's going to happen next?" asked Jason, throwing himself down upon the blankets that had formed their bed the preceding night.
"It's hard telling," replied Arno, creeping forward and peering through the little opening. "I can see the Petrel, and Captain Dilke is at the bow."
At the mention of this name, Jason trembled, and shortly after Arno announced that the schooner was close alongside.
Then they heard the sail flapping, and knew that the sloop had been brought up to the wind, and presently there was a shock, as though some heavy body had bumped against the Swan.
"It's all up with us," said Arno, leaving the little port-hole and casting himself down beside his companion.
The trampling of heavy feet sounded upon the deck, the sides of the vessels grated together as they rose and fell with the motion of the water, and down in the little hold of the sloop the two boys lay and waited tremblingly.
If Captain Dilke feared that the Swan would endeavor to escape, he was entirely mistaken. As the two vessels drew near together, he was greatly surprised to see Sandy and Shaky instead of Arno and Jason.
Sandy was at the tiller of the Swan and Martin held the wheel of the Petrel.
Stifling his curiosity, Captain Dilke gave his orders, and soon the two vessels lay side by side, Shaky making the sloop fast to the schooner.
Then Captain Dilke leaped on board the Swan, leaving Martin on the Petrel, both vessels drifting with the wind.
"How did you come in possession of this craft?" demanded Captain Dilke, striding aft to where Sandy stood.
The Scotchman made no answer, and Captain Dilke repeated his question.
At this moment some one grasped him by the arm, and, turning, he met the angry gaze of Judith.
Vainly he strove to break away. Her arms were like bands of steel, and pinioned his own close to his side.
Then he was thrown to the deck, a handkerchief tied over his mouth by the Scotchman and his arms and legs bound with a stout cord, rendering his struggles utterly useless.
After this he was half-dragged down the companion-way and left, lying helpless, upon the cabin floor.
While this was transpiring on board the Swan, Shaky had boarded the Petrel.
Martin greeted him surlily, as he came aft.
"What's the row on the sloop?" asked Martin. "I heard a scuffle of some kind, but couldn't see what was going on from here."
"Nothing," replied Shaky, his grimacing and stammering having deserted him entirely, "only a slight change in commanders. You are now under my orders."
At this Martin flushed angrily and took a step toward the man who had addressed him with so much confidence.
Then his face changed, his eyes dilated, his hands fell nervelessly by his side. Fear took the place of anger.
"You are—it can't be," he gasped, staring into the face of the man before him.
"You remember me, I see," replied the other, coolly. "They call me Shaky; but you are right."
"Does Captain Dilke know who you are?" asked Martin, whose bearing was now one of abject humility.
"Not yet; but he will know soon enough. Just at present he is in a somewhat uncomfortable predicament. The last I saw of him, your wife and Sandy were dragging him down into the cabin of the Swan."
At this Martin's face turned fairly livid.
"Is Judith on board?" he gasped. "I'll do anything you say, only be merciful. It was so many years ago, and I have been sorry for it a thousand times."
"I see you are quite repentant now," smiled the man, whom we will still call Shaky. "Here comes your wife now. We had a long tramp through from your home to Whiting, though she stood the journey as well as any of us."
Martin looked up and saw Judith coming toward him, and he stood like a guilty boy expecting the punishment which he knows he richly merits.
Judith came and stood beside the two men. Martin's eyes were cast down, and she made a number of swift movements with her hands, which Shaky answered in like manner. Then he turned to Martin.
"She wishes to know if you are willing to do as you are told. What answer shall I make?"
"Tell her that I will obey orders," replied Martin, without looking up. "I will not struggle against fate."
Shaky spelled this off rapidly with his fingers, and Judith smiled.
It was like a ray of sunlight breaking through a cloud, and illumined the dark face wonderfully.
In a few moments the fastenings were cast off and the sloop and schooner drifted apart, Sandy remaining on board the Swan, with the imprisoned captain in the cabin and the two boys in the hold.
The Petrel at once bore away, with Martin at the wheel and Shaky in command, Judith descending into the little caboose to prepare food.
The feelings of Captain Dilke, when he found himself alone in the cabin, cannot be described. He struggled frantically with his bonds for a long time, and at last succeeded in releasing one of his hands. It was now only a question of time for him to free himself entirely, and soon he found himself at liberty.
What should he do next? He knew that several hours had passed since he had been thrust into the cabin, and that it was now night, for no light came through the bull's-eye in the deck.
Groping his way cautiously up the companion-way, he tried the door. It was fastened. And, even if it was unfastened, how could he escape the men who stood guard on deck?
Then he bethought himself of the passageway under the cabin-floor. He would wait till a late hour, and then endeavor to escape by that way.
Up to this time he had been so engrossed with thoughts of his own freedom that he had quite forgotten the money which he believed the boys had found. Now it came back to him with redoubled force. Long years of a roving, reckless life had prepared him for almost every emergency. Taking from his pocket a small folding lantern and a diminutive spirit-lamp, he soon got it in working order.
All this time the Swan had been rocking on the waves, but suddenly there was a shock, and then she lay quiet and still.
Patiently the prisoner waited. He heard the noise of feet upon the deck, and then all was silent.
"They have landed, and quitted the vessel," he muttered. "Now is my time to escape."
He struck a match and lighted his little lantern, looking at his watch by its feeble rays. It was past ten o'clock.
As rapidly as possible he searched the cabin thoroughly—the berths, the locker for food, and the bunker for wood.
Having satisfied himself that the money was not hidden in any of these, he unfastened and raised the trap-door, and descended into the vacant place below the floor. Almost creeping on his face, he moved along, noticing at once that the ballast had been moved.
Then the corner of the sack in which the money had been placed caught his eye, and he unfastened the iron bars and moved them to one side. His breath came quick and heavy. He had found the money!
So intent was he in his searching that he had not noticed that the door had closed in the cabin floor. In fact, the rattle of the iron bars as he moved them had drowned the noise of its fall.
His greedy eyes devoured the pile of gold exposed to view, and his hands trembled, and a feeling of suffocation came over him, as he strove to put the sack in condition for removal.
This was finally accomplished, but his arms had grown so weak and nerveless that he could not raise it. In striving to do so, he slipped and crushed his little lantern, leaving himself in total darkness.
The days had dragged by on leaden wings to the parents of Jason Dilke. The mother was nearly bereft of reason, but the father, spite of grief for his son and anxiety for his wife, gained in strength day by day.
Every effort to find the boy in the vicinity of Old Orchard and to the southward had been made. Liberal rewards were offered and advertisements inserted in papers far and near.
Jacob, the faithful old servitor, had been continually on the go, but all without success.
And yet the strength of Allan Dilke did not succumb. His face was white and thin, but his eyes shone with a determined light.
"We will hear from Arnold to-morrow," he would say, hopefully, at night. "I know he is doing his utmost."
But the morrow came, and still no word from the absent ones. The heart of the mother had lost all hope, when one night there came a summons at the door after the bereaved parents had retired.
"It is Jason," said Allan Dilke, rising hastily and dressing, when the servant had tapped upon the door and announced that visitors desired to see him.
"Show them into the drawing-room," he said, as he came forth in dressing-gown and slippers.
"But they are rough, sea-faring men, sir," replied the domestic. "Shall I—"
"Do as I bid you!" interrupted the master of the house, sternly. "No room is too good for those who bring tidings of my son."
A moment later two men stood before him in rough sailor garb.
"We come to inform you that—" began one of them, who was no other than Shaky, when Allan Dilke interrupted him.
"If my son is with you," he said, firmly, "bring him to me. If he is dead, tell me so!"
Shaky at once left the room, and soon a little procession came slowly in. Two men were carrying a helpless body, while a woman and boy followed.
A wail of anguish sounded. A woman with white face and streaming hair knelt beside the slight figure which lay upon a sofa.
"Dead! Is my boy dead?" she sobbed. "Twice we have been robbed. Once, so many years ago, when our first-born was taken by the cruel sea, and now—"
She had spoken so hurriedly and with such an abandon of despair that Allan Dilke had failed in trying to calm her.
"The boy is not dead," said Shaky. "See, he is opening his eyes. He is only exhausted."
The mother fainted from excess of joy at this, and, when she had recovered consciousness, Jason was sitting up.
In the midst of their tears and caresses, Shaky spoke again.
"It may not be a proper time to say what I am about to, but something urges me on. Can you bear a revelation?"
"We can bear anything now," replied Allan Dilke. "Our boy is restored to us."
"You lost another child, did you not?" queried Shaky.
Allan Dilke made answer slowly:
"We did, years ago. But why refer to it now?"
"Because the boy is not dead," responded Shaky. "This is your son!"
As he said this, he drew Arno toward them. The boy met the eyes of Allan Dilke unflinchingly, while Jason exclaimed, joyously:
"Good, good, good! Then we won't be parted."
"Is this true?" asked Mr. Dilke, gravely. "Can you prove that he is my son?"
"As for proof," replied Shaky, "I had the honor of helping to steal him away myself more than fifteen years ago, though I did it unwittingly. You remember Bart Loring—that is my real name—and Martin Hoffman and his wife Judith, the deaf mute? They stand before you. We have ample proof."
"And, if I may ask the question, Mr. Loring, what prompted you to commit this deed? Who was the instigator?"
Allan Dilke spoke these words slowly, like one in a dream; but the answer of Shaky, or Bart Loring, came promptly:
"Your brother, Arnold Dilke. He it was who kidnapped the boy I have the happiness of returning to you to-night. I was a sailor at that time on board your brother's vessel, and did not know till afterward who the child was. I also learned later that you were robbed of a considerable sum of money at the same time, though I had no hand in this. Fear of being implicated in the robbery kept me silent, and I left this part of the country shortly after. I prospered, but thoughts of the great wrong done you haunted me continually, and when I returned, a few months ago, I determined to right this matter at the first opportunity, if it could be done. At this time I little thought he had stolen your second child, and it was only by the merest chance that I met your brother on the steamer. From that moment I entered into the matter heart and soul, and have the pleasure of restoring two boys, instead of one."
"And where is this loyal brother of mine, who came to me so repentant a few years ago and begged for an opportunity to retrieve a wasted life?" asked Allan Dilke, standing pale and erect, not noticing that his wife had sunk down on the sofa beside Jason, and that one of her hands was clasped in both those of Arno.
"He is a prisoner in the little sloop not far from here," replied Shaky. "McDougall here, Judith, the two boys and myself were on board a sloop which I am told was stolen from you by your brother and presented to Martin when the two latter personages overhauled us in the Petrel. I sent the boys into the hold, and, when Arnold came on board, we tied him hand and foot and put him in the cabin. I have not seen him since."
"I will send my man with you to bring him here at once," said Allan Dilke. "If he will promise to leave the country, never to return, I will let him go free."
Shaky, Sandy McDougall, Martin and Judith, accompanied by Jacob, left the house, and then Allan Dilke turned to Arno.
"Were you given to understand that this Martin and Judith were your parents?" he asked.
"Yes, sir; though I never could believe it. Once, I overheard Captain Dilke talking to Martin about me, and I knew from what they said that the captain was my uncle."
The tones of the boy were respectful, yet confident, and Allan Dilke smiled as he looked into the earnest eyes that met his.
"I can see the Dilke blood shining in your eyes," he said. "Who knows but what you are the son whom we have so long mourned as dead?"
"I feel convinced that he is," replied Mrs. Dilke. "Something tells me as plainly as words could do that he is our own flesh and blood."
They were talking in this way, when footsteps were heard at the door.
"The men have returned," said Allan Dilke, gravely, rising to his feet. "Now I must meet my brother who has wronged me so deeply."
Jacob entered the room, followed by Bart Loring, alias Jasper Leith, alias Shaky, the latter carrying a bundle.
"Your brother will trouble you no more," said he of the various cognomens. "We searched the cabin of the sloop in vain; but beneath the cabin floor, in a close compartment, we found him, his hands clutching a great quantity of gold, but he was—dead!"
As he spoke, he dropped the bundle upon the carpet. It fell heavily, with a metallic chink, which denoted the character of its contents.
Allan Dilke buried his face in his hands.
"Let the dead past bury its dead," he said, solemnly. "He needs not my mercy now."
"And what will we do with the money?" asked he who had been known as Shaky.
"Divide it between this man McDougall, Judith and yourself," replied Allan Dilke. "I want no portion of it, and I will provide for this brave boy whether he be my son or not."
From this day onward the recovery of Allan Dilke was rapid, and, after the body of Captain Dilke had been consigned to the earth, Martin produced proofs of Arno's true identity, which fully satisfied the happy father and mother that their little family circle was complete.
Martin was allowed to go free, and, in company with Judith, who was exceedingly loth to part with Arno, betook himself to Grand Manan Island, where he resides to this day, a reformed, repentant man.
"That Al Peck thinks he's so smart," remarked Nat Bascom, coming into the kitchen with a scowl of fearful proportions darkening his face. "Just because he's got a flock of geese, and expects to make some money on them Christmas. I wish I had some geese—or something, father. I'd like to make some money as well as Al."
Mr. Bascom looked up from the county paper, in which he had been reading a political article, and said, curtly:
"You make money, Nat! You haven't a money-making bone in your body. Wish you had. Last spring I gave you that plot of ground back of the orchard to plant, and you let it grow up to weeds; and, a year ago, you had that cosset lamb, and let the animal die. 'Most any other boy around these parts would have made quite a little sum on either of them."
"Oh, well, the weeds got the start of me on that ground, and you know that lamb was weakly. Ma said it was," whined Nat.
"It was after you had the care of it," reminded the elder Bascom.
"Well, pa, can't I have some geese, same as Al Peck has?" at last inquired Nat, desperately.
"You may if you can catch them," answered his father, smiling grimly. "If you can trap a flock of wild ones, I reckon you can have them. I ain't going to waste any more money on your ventures."
Nat flung out of the house in anything but a pleasant frame of mind and went over to stare longingly at Alvin Peck's flock of geese, securely penned behind his father's barn.
Until recently, the two boys, who were about of an age, had been the best of friends. But within a fortnight, Alvin's father had presented his son with a flock of thirteen geese, to fatten for market, and Al had, in Nat's eyes, put on the airs of a millionaire.
Alvin Peck may have had some excuse for being proud of his geese, for they were all fine, handsome birds, but, in his pride, he had filled poor Nat's breast with envy.
Nat wanted some Christmas money as well as his friend, and to hear Al loudly boast of what he intended doing with his was maddening.
Gradually the seeds of discord sown between the two boys had sprouted and taken root, and, being warmed and watered by Nat's jealousy and Al's selfishness, were soon in a flourishing condition, and before Thanksgiving the former chums refused even to speak to each other.
This state of affairs made Nat secretly very lonely, for Alvin was the only other boy within a number of miles, and, being without either brother or sister, Nat was absolutely companionless. But his pride would not allow him to go to his former friend and "make up." Even when Al's dog Towser came over to visit the Bascom's Bose, Nat drove him home with a club, thus increasing the enmity between him and Towser's master.
This deplorable state of affairs continued to grow worse instead of better as the holidays approached. One evening, a week or ten days before Christmas, it commenced raining, but, becoming suddenly very cold in the night, the rain turned to ice, and the following morning the roofs, sheds, fences, trees—everything, in fact—was covered with a coating of ice. With the beams of the rising sun shining over all, it seemed a picture of fairy land.
But Nat Bascom arose that morning with an uglier feeling against Al Peck than ever. Donning his outside garments, he went out to assist his father in feeding the cattle.
The hay-stack behind the barn had a glittering coat of ice, and, as he approached it, Nat discovered something else about it as well. Close to the ground, on the lea of the stack, were a number of objects which Nat quickly recognized as geese—thirteen of them.
"They're those plaguey geese of Al Peck's!" exclaimed Nat, as one of the birds stretched out its long neck at his approach and uttered a threatening "honk! honk!"
The geese tried to scuttle away as he came nearer, and then for the first time Nat discovered that they, like the inanimate things about them, were completely sheathed in ice; so much so, in fact, that they could not use their wings.
Nat stood still a moment and thought.
"I know what I'll do," he said, aloud, "I'll put them in pound, same as father did old Grayson's cattle last summer, and make Al pay me to get them out."
With this happy thought, he at once set about securing the geese.
One end of an old shed near by had in former times been used by the Bascoms for a hen-house, and there was still a low entrance through which the fowls were wont to go in and out.
Carefully, and so as not to alarm them, Nat drove the thirteen birds into the shed and clapped a board over the opening. The geese objected with continued cries to these proceedings, but they were too thoroughly coated with ice to get away.
"There, now, Mister Al Peck, I think I'll get even with you this time," he said, in a tone of satisfaction.
Hastening through the remainder of his chores, he started off in the direction of the Peck place without saying a word about the matter to either of his parents.
As he approached Mr. Peck's barn, he beheld Al returning from the direction of his goose-pen.
"You needn't look for them, Al Peck," remarked Nat, with a malicious grin, "for you can't find them. You ought to keep your old geese shut up, if you don't want to lose them."
"I haven't lost them," declared Al, with a somewhat puzzled expression of countenance.
"Oh, you haven't?" snapped Nat, angered at the other's apparent coolness. "You needn't think you're going to get them back for nothing. I found them all camped under our haystack this morning, and drove them into the old hen-house. You've just got to pay me ten cents apiece for them before I'll let them out. I bet you'll keep them to home after this."
Al opened his mouth and closed it again like a flash. He was evidently surprised.
Just then Mr. Peck appeared on the scene. Al repeated what Nat had said, to his father's very evident amazement.
"Why, I saw—" began the elder Peck, when Al interrupted him with a gesture, and whispered something in his ear.
A broad grin overspread Mr. Peck's face for a moment; then he said, with becoming gravity:
"I suppose you've got the rights of it, Nat, but seems to me it's a rather mean trick."
Nat had begun to think so, too, by this time, but he refused to listen to the promptings of his better nature and said nothing.
"We'll come right over with the team for them," said Mr. Peck.
And he and Al at once harnessed up, and placing a large, strong coop in the wagon, drove over to the Bascom place.
"I should think you'd have your geese tame enough to drive," said Nat; but the Pecks paid no attention to the remark.
Mr. Peck pulled his cap well down over his eyes, put on a pair of gloves and entered the hen-house.
The ice had by this time melted from their backs and wings, and those thirteen geese were the liveliest flock of birds imaginable.
"Thirteen of them. All right!" said Mr. Peck, passing out the last struggling bird to his son, who clapped it into the coop.
A dollar and thirty cents was handed to Nat by Al's father, with the cutting remark:
"There's your money, young man! I hope you won't grow up to be as mean as you bid fair to be now."
Nat accepted the money, considerably shame-faced, and followed the Pecks back to their place to see them unload the geese; but he was disappointed, in that they were not unloaded, Al flinging some corn into the coop, which was allowed to remain in the wagon.
"Aren't you going to put them into the pen again?" inquired Nat, mildly.
"They've never been in a pen, that I know of," replied Mr. Peck, with a queer smile.
"I don't believe they'd get along very well with any other geese," added Al, reflecting his father's broad grin.
"Why—" began Nat, at last beginning to believe that there was something very peculiar about the whole affair.
"Why, it is just here!" explained Al. "They weren't my geese at all, till I bought them of you. They were a flock of wild ones, that got belated in the storm last evening, I suppose. I should think you'd have known them by their call. For once in your life, Nat Bascom, you've over-reached yourself. I shall clear as much as seventy-five cents on each of those birds."
Nat made for home at once, followed by shouts of laughter from the Pecks, father and son. He felt as though everything stable in the world had been knocked from under him.
Although he never mentioned the matter to his father or mother, the story reached them through other sources, for it soon spread throughout the community, and neither Mr. nor Mrs. Bascom had the least sympathy for him.
All that winter the nickname of "Goose" clung to him, and perhaps the jeers of his fellows did him some good; at least, it made a lasting impression on his mind, and when he was tempted to perform a mean act again, he could not fail to remember how he had once over-reached himself.
Under the lee of a small island on the northwest coast of Norway a young fisher-lad lay sleeping in the boat in which he had been out all night, unconscious of the grim face and cruel eye that watched him from the thicket above with a look that boded him no good. Just then, two men came pulling round the point behind which his boat was moored, and one of them said to the other, loud enough to be heard by the hidden watcher overhead, though not to wake the sleeper:
"There's a rich Englishman come into Langeness, in his yacht, and he's offered a big reward to any man that'll find out what those letters are that are carved on the sea-king's grave."
"Why don't he offer a reward for the moon?" laughed the other. "Does he think any money can tempt men to go right into a whirlpool that would swallow the stoutest boat in these seas like a biscuit?"
"But they say that at the flood-tide you may go through it without harm, if you start just at the right moment."
"Aye! if you do. But who would be fool enough to risk it?"
Then they passed on, and their voices were lost in the distance.
The moment their boat was out of sight, behind the rocks, a wild face peered through the matted boughs overhead, and a bulky figure rose stealthily from the bushes and crept downward toward the sleeping boy, with a long knife in its hand. One quick slash cut the mooring-rope, and the boat slowly drifted seaward with its slumbering occupant.
"The current sets straight for the whirlpool," muttered the ruffian, with a cruel laugh, "and, when he's missed, they'll think the reward tempted him. I'm quits at last with his father for the thrashing that he gave me!"
Only a few miles from the spot, a small rocky islet had sunk down into the sea ages ago, creating by its fall one of the most dangerous whirlpools in northern waters, known in Norway as the "Well of Tuftiloe."
In the midst of the whirl stood up one dark, pillar-shaped crag, the sole remnant of the lost islet, which the Norsemen, believing it to be some ancient hero's tomb, called "The Sea King's Grave." And, in fact, passing yachtsmen had seen upon it from a distance, through their telescopes, traces of rude carving, and something that looked like the half-effaced letters of an old Runic inscription. But although the whirlpool, like its big brother, the maelstrom, was believed to be passable at certain states of the tide, no one had ever dared to try.
The quickening motion of the current, as it bore the light boat swiftly along, roused the boy at last, but it was too late. Being half asleep, it was some minutes ere he realized what had befallen him or whither he was going, and the first warning he had of this rush straight upon certain destruction was the dull roar of the distant whirlpool, which, the tide being now full ebb, was just at the height of its fury.
Fully roused at last, Mads Nilssen seized his oars and pulled till they seemed on the point of snapping; but all in vain.
Faster and faster the boat was whirled along—nearer and nearer it drew to the terrible ring of white foam that marked the deadly whirl. And now he could see plainly the grim crag that kept watch over that ghastly abyss, and now he almost touched its outermost eddy—and now he was dragged into it and began to spin dizzily round in lessening circles nearer and nearer to his doom.
And all this while the dancing ripples sparkled gaily around him, the sun shone gloriously in a cloudless sky, the white-winged sea-birds soared rejoicingly overhead and seemed to mock him with their shrill cries.
It was hard to die amid all this brightness and beauty; but die he must, for there was no way of escape. Even in this dire strait, however, with the hungry waves leaping around him, the brave boy did not lose his presence of mind. One faint chance was still left to him, and he seized it.
As the boat made its final whirl around the central crag before plunging down into the depths below, he sprang upon the gunwale, and, exerting all his wonderful agility, made a desperate leap that landed him on the lowest ledge of the rock, bruised, bleeding, dizzy, but saved for the moment. In another instant the deserted boat had vanished forever into the roaring gulf below.
To all appearance the bold lad had escaped one death only to perish by another more lingering and painful; but even now he did not despair.
He remembered to have heard that just at full flood tide the whirlpool was not dangerous, and he determined to watch for the subsiding of its fury and then plunge in and take his chance of being able to swim ashore or to fall in with a boat.
But what should he do to fill up the long hours that lay between? He felt that the dizzy dance of the whirling waters around him, and their ceaseless roar, were already beginning to unstring his nerves and make his brain reel; and he knew that if he could not find some way to counteract their paralyzing influence, he must soon become helpless and fall headlong into the abyss.
Just then his eye caught the antique letters cut in the rock above him, which no living soul but himself had ever seen so near, and the sight of them gave him an idea.
He knew nothing of the offered reward, but he did know that there were people who thought such things valuable and paid well for copies of them. If he escaped it might be worth something, and meanwhile it would divert his attention and keep him from losing his nerve.
So, turning his back resolutely to the mad riot of circling waves, he set himself to trace the letters with the point of his knife upon a small metal match-box which he had in his pocket.
It was a long task, but he completed it at last; and then he clambered to the top of the rock, hoping that the sight of his figure standing out against the sky might attract the notice of some passing fisherman.
For a long time he watched and waited in vain, and he was just beginning to think that he would have to try and save himself by swimming, after all—for the hour of flood-tide was now drawing near and the violence of the whirlpool was beginning to abate—when, far in the distance, he suddenly descried a tiny white sail.
No shout could be heard at such a distance; but the ready boy unwound the red sash from his waist and waved it over his head till his arm ached, and, after a pause of terrible anxiety, he at length saw the boat alter her course and stand right for him.
The skill with which the two men who handled her kept clear of the fatal current by which Mads had been swept away, showed that both were practical seamen, and, as he boat neared him, the boy's keen eye recognized one of them as his own father.
When the rescuers came near enough for a shout to be heard, the father called out to his son to climb down the crag again and stand ready to make a plunge when he gave the word, as the boat could not come too near, for fear of being dashed against the rock.
Just around the foot of the rock itself there was always a strong eddy, which might suck down Mads even now, if he could not succeed in leaping clear of it.
For ten minutes or more the two sailors kept "standing off and on," till the fury of the whirlpool should be completely spent, while the daring boy, perched on the lowest ledge of the rock, waited and watched for the signal.
At length his father's powerful voice came rolling to him over the water:
Mingling with the shout came the splash of Mads' plunge into the water. Exerting all his strength, the active boy leaped far beyond the treacherous eddy that would have sucked him down among the sunken rocks, and in another moment he was safe in the boat, which turned and shot away from the perilous spot as lightly as the sea birds overhead.
A few days later the young hero received the reward that he had so strangely won; and thus the would-be murderer, instead of destroying his victim, actually helped him to earn more money than he had ever made in his life. Nor did the villain go wholly unpunished, for the end of the cut rope having been found and suspicion directed toward him, he had to sneak away by night and never dared to show his face on that coast again.
We first saw him on a snowy November morning. The Adirondack Lake, where I was staying that autumn, was not yet frozen; but a few days before there had been a light fall of snow, and on this morning the evergreens were draped in a feathery shroud. While I was yet asleep my guide, Rufe, had caught a glimpse of a deer, swimming near the shore. No hounds were heard; and, after an early breakfast, Rufe and I got into our boat and paddled along the water's edge to discover, if possible, the track of dog or wolf, which would explain why the deer had taken to the water.
As we came near the place where Rufe had seen the deer, we noticed a slender, black animal crouching in the bushes. It proved to be a tall hound, and, after some urging, he was persuaded to enter the boat.
The reason for the deer's early bath was now apparent; but Rufe was surprised that he did not hear the hound's barking, for, like all old hunters, it was his habit, in the deerhounding season to step into the open air and listen, at short intervals during the morning, for the barking of hounds.
This morning had been no exception to the rule; but neither before nor after seeing the deer had Rufe heard the well-known baying of a deerhound.
We took the gaunt animal into our boat and carried him back to the shanty. He proved to be half-famished and wholly exhausted, and, after a hearty meal, lay in a comatose condition before the fire. He must have had a long chase, probably coming from some neighboring lake, for Rufe, who knew all the hounds on our lake, had never seen him before.
When two or three days had passed and the black hound had recovered his strength, Rufe took him into the woods with our own dog and put them both upon the track of a deer.
The black hound followed the track steadily, but he uttered no bark, confining himself to a low, excited whimpering. Even when the game was roused and the hot scent gave ardor to the pursuing dogs, the black hound did not join in the frantic baying of his companion.
The deer did not enter the lake at the runway where I was watching, but with my spy-glass I saw it plunge into the water a quarter of a mile away. A boat happened to be passing at the time and the deer was killed. A moment later the black hound appeared on the shore. He could not have been forty rods behind the deer, but no bark betrayed the eagerness of his pursuit. I heard the baying of my own dog, as he slowly followed the scent, away back among the wooded hills that rose on all sides of the lake.
This, then, was the reason why Rufe had heard no baying on the morning when we had found the black hound. He was silent, and as swift as he was silent.
As I looked at him that evening, I noticed he did not have the long ears and heavy jaws of the common American deer or foxhound. His long, sharp nose and slender proportions indicated the blood of the Scotch staghound, or that of some large breed of greyhound.
But this cross had not made him more delicate or less fierce. Even Rufe was afraid to handle him roughly, for, unless treated with every consideration, the great hound snarled, and showed rows of savage teeth. He ruled over the other dogs with a cool assumption of more aristocratic breeding.
The morning after the deer was driven to water and the black hound had proved his swiftness and persistence, Rufe again went into the woods for the purpose of starting deer with the two hounds, or "putting out the dogs," as it is called; but this morning it was the guide's intention to put the dogs on separate tracks. They differed too much in speed to be useful when following the same deer.
I took my station at my favorite stand, a runway which reaches the lake where a deep, narrow bay collected the waters before they were discharged into the river which flowed into the St. Lawrence.
One side of this bay was nearly separated from the lake by a long, sharp point of land, and near the bay's farther shore was a little island, a green, bushy spot amid the blue waters.
The bay was a favorite place for the pursued deer to take to the water in their endeavor to baffle the hounds following their tracks, and from my station on the long point I could watch and command the entire bay.
Before daybreak Rufe had led the hounds into the wood, and it was not much later when I pushed my light boat against the point, and sprang ashore.
It was a still, crisp, November morning, and the rising sun had not yet melted the hoar-frost from the alder bushes that grew at the water's edge.
Gauzy wisps of mist hovered by the shores, and shrouded the evergreens on the little island. The snow-sprinkled forest looked white and weird through the veils of mist.
Small flocks of ducks threaded their way across the foggy surface of the bay, going from their resting-places on the river to feed among the wild rice marshes of the lake.
I built a small fire to deaden the morning chill, and amused myself by aiming my shotgun at the passing ducks.
The birds, in their low, drowsy flight, offered beautiful wing-shots, and as I glanced along the polished gun-barrels, I imagined the sharp explosion followed by the heavy fall of fat mallards into the water.
But I fired in imagination only, for it would be a grave breach of deer-hunting etiquette to discharge a gun at anything less important than the antlered game.
The sun rose higher, the mists disappeared and flying ducks no longer relieved the monotony of my watch. The forest was seen more distinctly and grew less weird and interesting.
I was beginning to wish for a book to while away the long hours which would elapse before the strict rules of custom would permit me to return to the shanty, when I saw a deer jump from the bushes which bordered the shores of the bay nearest the island.
I knew the black hound's peculiarities, and was prepared for the appearance of a deer, unushered by the baying of hounds, but I had not expected the game to come so quickly, for Rufe had hardly had time to start the dogs.
Hidden in the bushes of the point, I watched the deer as it stood upon the shore, and glanced its keen eyes around.
The bay seemed devoid of enemies, and the animal plunged into the water and swam toward the island.
As yet I did not dare to move, for the deer was not more than forty rods distant, and a glimpse of me would send it hurrying back to the shore.
The animal swam straight to the island and landed there. At my hiding-place I waited for it to appear on the opposite side of the island and swim across the bay. When it got well out into the open water I could catch it with my boat.
But the deer seemed contented to remain on the island, for it did not again show itself. It evidently thought it could thus baffle the nose of the pursuing hound, and escape the danger incurred by swimming across the bay. I made up my mind that in order to capture the deer, I must in some way get into the narrow channel between the island and the main shore; but with the deer watching me from the island, this would be almost impossible.
Carefully I crept across the point to the spot where the skiff was moored. My moccasins made no noise as I stepped into the boat.
With silent paddle I propelled the little craft around the extremity of the point, and again looked into the bay.
Another actor had appeared upon the scene. At the spot where the game had entered the water stood the black hound, sniffing the air for some taint of the lost scent.
A breeze from the island and crouching deer must have been wafted to his keen nose, for I heard him give a whimper of satisfaction, and the next instant he leaped into the water.
A deerhound dreads going into the water, and the proceedings of the black dog therefore surprised me.
I let the boat float quietly. It was hidden against the dark background of the point, and I decided to stay there until the hound should frighten the deer into swimming across the bay. When I first saw the deer I thought it to be a large doe, but, as it was swimming to the island, I saw, with the aid of my glass, that it was a "spike-horn" buck.
These spike-horns are quite common, and do not seem to be a distinct species of the deer family. They only differ as to their horns; instead of the branching antlers of the ordinary buck, they carry sharp spikes of horns from two to six inches long, varying with the age of the animal.
I watched the black hound swim directly to the island, and every moment I expected to see the deer dash into the water on the opposite side. A deer is a much faster swimmer than a dog, and, when both are in the water, can easily escape.
When the dog reached the island he shook himself, sniffed the hot scent and then sprang forward, growling savagely. The deer must have been taken completely by surprise. I saw it jump from the bushes and turn to escape, but already the hound's teeth were fastened in its flank.
Wheeling, the deer gored its pursuer, and the hound let go its hold. For an instant the two faced each other. Then the dog sprang at its opponent's throat, but was met by the sharp spikes of the buck. The spikes were much more effective weapons than broad antlers, and again the hound was tossed back.
Made more wary by experience, the dog again darted in, and this time caught the deer's neck, but not before the spikes had entered its black sides. The dog did not relax its hold, and the combatants seemed bound together.
I saw the hound was in danger, and rowed rapidly toward the island. When I got within shooting distance the deer had fallen to its knees, and I dared not fire for fear a scattering buckshot should strike the hound.
My boat grounded against the island, and, gun in hand, I sprang ashore. But neither creature moved; the fight was over. The hound's sharp teeth had done their work, and the buck's spike-horns, hardly less sharp, had done theirs. As I stood watching them both animals expired.
The next day two men drove over the rough wood-road, and stopped at the shanty. One of them left their buck-board and stepped to the door to speak to me.
He was evidently an educated man, and I detected traces of a German accent.
"I hear that you found a tall, black hound," he began. "Such a dog left my shanty on the Lower Saranac nearly a week ago. He looked a little like a greyhound, and I never knew him to bark."
I told him such a dog had been with me, and described the animal's death.
The stranger walked with me to the back of the shanty, where Rufe had nailed the dog's pelt against the side of a shed.
"Poor Wolfram!" he exclaimed. "Who would have expected that a hound from the fiercest pack in the Black Forest should be killed by one of these little Adirondack deer?"
It was far to the nearest tavern, and the young man seemed so dismayed at the dog's death that I urged him to spend the night in my shanty. In this way I might satisfy my curiosity about the dog.
The Bavarian—for he told me he was of that nationality—gladly accepted my invitation; and, after he had dined off the venison which his hound had pulled down, I asked him to explain the dog's peculiarities.
"Both Wolfram and I," he said, "came from Bavaria. The family estate was at the edge of the far-famed Black Forest, and my father, with his pack of black hounds, killed many a wolf that lurked in the dark shadows of the fir trees. But hunting was not a profitable business, and there was nothing better for me, a younger son, to do than to become a soldier or to emigrate.
"While a mere lad I came to America, and, as an importer of German goods, have been fairly successful. My inherited love of hunting has not been lost, and I spend a part of each autumn in the Adirondacks.
"A year ago, my brother, the present head of the family, sent me a pup from his kennel of wolf-dogs. For the purpose of giving the poor animal a change from city streets, I brought him to my cottage on Saranac Lake. But I did not expect to hunt with the dog, for I supposed he had a spirit above the game of this region.
"Several days ago a deer was chased near my door, and Wolfram put after it. We could not tell which way he had gone, for my father's wolf-dogs were not taught to bark, as among the great firs of the Black Forest horsemen can follow the chase, which seldom goes out of sight.
"The day after the hound disappeared I set out to find him, and now you tell me that one of the dogs which my father considered able to battle with a wolf has been killed by the thrust of a deer's horn!"
A very common word, to-be-sure, and well understood as to its application. But after fair translation of its old French body—"aver"—into English, and only "horse" is found, and the word becomes "horsage," the change tends to confusion. None the less, "horsage" and "average" are identical, since in the old-time French an "aver" was a horse. It was also a horse in the Scotch dictionaries, and in one of Burns' poems, "A Dream," he alludes to a horse as a "noble aiver."
In olden times in Europe a tenant was bound to do certain work for the lord of the manor—largely in carting grain and turf—horse-work; and in the yearly settlement of accounts the just proportion of the large and small work performed was estimated according to the work done by "avers" (horses); hence our common word "average."
"Oh, please, do hush, Bess! You chatter so I can't hear myself think," said Lelia to Bess, one afternoon, about two weeks after their early morning visit to the suffering turtles, as the dear innocent was telling Phil some childish nonsense about a great snake Ben had once seen in the swamp, that was as long as a ship's mast and had a mouth big enough to swallow a giant. "We are going home to-morrow, and I don't see how you can laugh and tell such horrid stories when that's to happen to us so soon."
And she sighed dismally and looked out at the sea as if she never expected to behold it again.
"But I am not going home," replied Phil. "I'm going to stay with Mr. Herdic, and he has promised to take Thad and me to Key West and the sponging-grounds before we return home, or before Thad does, for I never expect to return to Oakdale."
"Then only Uncle Aldis and Aunt Marion and Bess and I have got to go home?" she replied.
"That's all," said Phil, cheerfully.
"Well, I think you might be sorry, or pretend that you are, anyway, if only for look's sake," tartly rejoined Lelia, with another wandering glance at the sea.
"Oh, I am sorry!" said Phil, with honest quickness; "but still I'd rather stay here than go back to Oakdale, where nobody likes me, and I'd never amount to a hill of beans."
"But I liked you when you were at Oakdale," gravely reminded Lelia.
And the tone in which she said it smote Phil to the heart.
"So did I," calmly avowed Bess. "I did really, Phil."
"No, you didn't!" sharply contradicted Lelia. "You never liked anybody but yourself and your dear, lovely Rosy!"
"I say I did!" stoutly declared Bess. "I liked Phil before I was born."
And she nodded her little head complacently, as if this last were a clincher that no one—not even Lelia—could have the hardihood to doubt.
Phil burst out laughing, and Lelia flung down the book she was reading, or trying lo read, when Bess began her marvelous "snake-story," and stared at her cousin in speechless disgust.
"I never did see such behaviors as those," said Bess, with awful gravity and a marked consideration for the English language not common to her.
"Such behaviors as those!" repeated Lelia, with peppery sarcasm. "My goodness, Bess, how finely you talk, and how truthful you are this afternoon!"
"You shan't scorn at me," sturdily retorted Bess. "I will cry if you do, and then Phil will take my part, and won't like you one bit."
"As if I cared for your crying, or your being 'scorned at,' or Phil's not liking me!"
And Lelia sailed out of the room, crossed the piazza and ran down the japonica-bordered path to the garden.
Seating herself under a crape-myrtle tree, its pink blossoms glowing amid the deep, glossy green of its leaves, like the blush of the sunset on an April cloud, she rested her chin in the palm of her hand, and looked, half-thoughtfully, half-defiantly, at the ground.
So Phil was not going to return to Oakdale; he did not care for any of his old friends; and this was gratitude. Yet what had he to be grateful for? The debt was all on her side, and the affection, too, for that matter; and the one, she thought, ought to balance the other.
Phil had contrived to elude Bess' fox-like vigilance, and when she was busy with her tea-set, followed Lelia into the garden, to try and find out what it was that had so mightily offended his old playmate.
"Well?" she said, shortly.
"I've something to give you," Phil began, in a business-like tone—"not to give you, exactly, but to return to you."
And he put in her hand the identical little white envelope she had given him at Oakdale the evening before their departure for Florida.
It was worn and soiled, and all its former freshness gone; but it contained five crisp ten-dollar notes, every penny of Phil's small earnings since he had been in Mr. Herdic's employ, and "squared accounts between them," as he said, with a satisfied smile.
Lelia was in one of her grand, womanly moods, and seemed to put her childhood and childhood's tempers and jealousies away from her as one might an outgrown garment.
She looked as she did the day she had urged her uncle to befriend Oakdale's "bad boy," and her hand closed over the envelope in a slow, proud way, as if she hated, yet strangely valued, the few poor bank-notes it held, hoarded, she knew, with so much self-denial and miserly care, that "accounts might be squared between them," and Phil no longer her debtor.
"It's all there," he said, after an awkward pause, seeing that she did not seem inclined to take any further notice of it.
"Of course it is. Don't I know that?"
"But you have not counted it."
"No; but haven't you said it was all there, and isn't that enough?"
Phil unconsciously drew himself up, and a glad light shone in his eyes. He was proud of her confidence in his word, and prouder still to feel himself not altogether unworthy of her good opinion.
"The time we have been here, and all the queer things that have happened to us since we left Oakdale, seems like a dream," he said, presently—"a strange, exciting dream."
"Does it?" She looked up at him in undisguised surprise. "It does not seem so to me; it is all real—as real as my life, as the sea, as the earth—but that is because I am a girl, I suppose, and girls are not so forgetful as boys are, so I've heard people say."
You would never have thought her a child to look at her as she spoke. Her eyes were so earnest, her voice so grave, her manner so composed and considering.
Her fun and prattle with Bess, her little quarrels and tart replies, her generous, happy, winning, self-willed ways, were as if they had never been, and in their place came resignation, reserve, pride and a little—only a little—regret and sorrow.
"I have something for you," she said, after another awkward pause—"something that will help you to remember me when I am gone."
"Then I shall not need it," said Phil, quickly.
"Oh, yes, you will! You confess already that Florida, and all that's happened to us since we've been here, seems like a dream—so how can I hope to be remembered unless I leave some reminder of my naughty little self with you? I asked Uncle Walter to get it made for me when we were last at Jacksonville, and he did, and here it is, and it's yours to keep always, if you care for it, Phil."
She took from her pocket, carefully wrapped in pink tissue paper, a purple velvet box, opened it and took from it a beautiful blue-and-gold enameled locket, set round with pearls, and as perfect in every respect as the jeweler's art could make it.
"It has my picture in it. I thought you might like to have it, though it's not much, and I am nobody in particular."
"Nobody? Why, you are everybody to me, Lelia," he said, taking the locket with a kind of reverent hesitancy and opening it with as much care as if he feared it might fall to pieces in his grasp or vanish entirely, like the enchanted ring in the fairy tale.
The lovely little face it portrayed was Lelia's own, and when he had looked at it for fully five minutes, with eyes expressive of the most unbounded delight, he shut the glittering cases, replaced the locket in its little velvet box, and said, very earnestly:
"The money I borrowed, and it's now paid; but the picture is mine. Your gift, Lelia, and yours alone?"
"Yes, I thought of it. My gift alone, and I'm glad if it pleases you."
"Well, it does—lots, and I shall keep it as long as I live."
"And this money," turning the envelope over in her hand, and regarding it curiously "what shall I do with it, Phil?"
"Oh, that's for you to say!"
"So it is; and it's for me to say, also, that it is getting late, and I want to see the sun 'set in the sea,' as Bess calls it, this last evening of our stay at Cedar Keys. And there's Bess now, little plague that she is!" turning to meet the flying figure that came tearing down the garden path, with hair streaming in the wind, and sash untied and trailing on the ground in dreadful disarray.
Phil walked off, whistling, with the locket in his hand; and the last of the many childish confidences that had taken place between Lelia and her playfellow, preserver and hero was at an end.
Thad, it was agreed, should remain a month longer with his Uncle Walter at Cedar Keys before joining his parents, sister and cousin at Oakdale. Mrs. Leigh's parting words to her brother was a tearful request that he would take good care of her only son, and send him safely home to them by the latter part of June, or the first of July, at the latest—a request, of course, which Mr. Herdic solemnly promised to bear in mind; for, however unfortunate he had been in his guardianship of girls, he felt quite sure he could manage boys to his own satisfaction and that of their mothers, and not only keep them out of mischief and danger, but teach them at the same time something useful and proper for them to know.
So, one fine morning, two days after bidding his sister and her family good-by, Uncle Walter, with his handsome nephew, Thaddeus, and sturdy little Phil, set sail for Key West and the sponging-grounds, it being their purpose to take passage to the latter place on some one of the numerous fishing-crafts that were constantly passing to and fro between Key West and the scene of the hardy sponge-gatherers' daily toil.
The steamer Osprey was not a very fast sailer, but she was staunch and trim, with fairly good cabin accommodations for a vessel of her size and build.
Mr. Herdic and his nephew had state-rooms on deck, while Phil's was below; but he rarely occupied it, for he did not much like such close, hot, dark quarters, when there was plenty of fresh air, light and space to turn around in above.
The morning of the second day out was unusually sultry, even for that tropical latitude. There was not a breath of wind, nor a ripple on the surface of the sea, but toward noon a breeze sprung up, which, before dark, threatened to become a hurricane.
Rain squalls were frequent, and vivid flashes of lightning and deafening peals of thunder added to the wild uproar of the elements, and sent Thad, trembling with fear, to his state-room, which he wished for the time being was below, and not so uncomfortably near the straining and creaking mast.
But Phil really enjoyed it, and sat on the capstan, watching two grizzled old sailors heave the lead with unmoved interest.
"By the deep nine," sang out the elder of the two seamen, as he reeled in his line and took a weather-wise look over his shoulder.
"Just so," said Mr. Moore, the short, red-whiskered mate of the Osprey, who stood by the skylight, with his lantern under his arm, carefully directing the business of taking soundings. "We ought to make Largo Light in an hour, if she keeps on at this rate."
"Aye, aye, sir! But it's a rough night for knowing just where we are, or the rate of speed she's making," responded the sailor, as he went forward, followed by his companion, both drenched to the skin, and their gray beards and brown faces wet with the pelting rain.
The cargo of the Osprey was of a decidedly mixed character, consisting mainly of cotton bales, coffee, "canned goods," small merchandise, and, among the rest, a lot of cattle, a dozen or more horses and two mules, which set up such a braying, bellowing and neighing, as the storm increased in violence, and the ship began to roll heavily in the trough of the sea, that the din raised was appalling, added to the wild shrieking of the wind through the cordage and the rush and roar of the towering waves.
Besides Mr. Herdic and the two boys, there was only one other passenger on board the Osprey—a small, middle aged man, evidently of Spanish descent, dark, clean-shaven, nervous, and not remarkable for either sociability or good manners.
His name was Paul Casimer, his destination Havana, by the way of Key West, and his wealth—if rumor was to be relied upon—considerable.
Officers, passengers and crew, all told, were just nineteen souls, counting the colored cook and cabin boy, the former of whom was especially liked by Phil, for he was a good-natured fellow, with the thickest lips, the kinkiest wool, and the biggest white, rolling eyes that Phil had yet come across in all his Florida wanderings.
The mate still stood by the skylight, with the lantern in his hand, when Paul Casimer made his appearance on deck, wearing a long sea-coat that reached to his heels, and with a slouch hat drawn low over his eyes and violently pulled down at the back, to keep out the weather.
"A rough night, Mr. Moore," he said, rather crabbedly. "What are our soundings?"
"Nine fathoms," answered the mate, with no very evident desire to be communicative.
"And little enough it is, too!" grumbled Mr. Casimer. "We will be on the reefs the first you know, if you keep her going at this rate—twelve or fourteen knots an hour, and the wind tight after us."
Mr. Moore made no reply, and when he had made two or three turns of the deck, with every appearance of having very little confidence in either his legs or his stomach, Mr. Casimer sullenly retired, and Phil and the mate were again alone.
"Our friend, Don Casimer, seems to have a rather ugly twist in his temper to-night," laughed the mate, as soon as the object of his remarks had disappeared. "If a shark were to dine off him, it would not much matter, for he's the sort of a fellow that hates himself and everybody else. He's in the Cuba trade, and thinks— Eh, by George, boy, look out, or you'll be overboard! That was a thumper, and no mistake!"
The tremendous wave that struck the ship, and jerked the word of caution from the mate's lips, threw Phil violently against the nettings, deluging the deck and sending a shower of blinding salt spray as high as the smoke-stack.
Phil righted with the ship—that is, he scrambled to his feet and shook the brine from his eyes, as soon as the gallant little steamer got her propeller again in the water, and had settled herself for another shock.
"I should say it was a thumper!" gasped Phil. "It seemed to walk on board and grab at everything within its reach. It's got my hat, and would have got me, if I had not clung for dear life to the nettings."
"It's a way these heavy cross-seas have of introducing themselves, lashed by such a wind as is blowing now," said Mr. Moore. "I think you must have been cut out for a sailor, you take so kindly to the rough side of a sailor's life."
"Oh, I don't know!" replied Phil, diffidently. "I like the sea. I haven't seen much of it, but what I have seen has been pretty rough—an experience that I'd not like to live over again."
He thought of Lelia, and the time they were adrift together in the little pleasure-boat; of their awful landing in the cold, gray dawn of the early morning, on that strange, lonely coast; of their subsequent wanderings, hungry and weary in the swamp—but this was so different!
He was on board a stout steamer, commanded by good, capable officers, and really had no fear as to the vessel's safety, though it was blowing a hurricane, and the locality a particularly dangerous one.
While these reflections were passing through Phil's mind, Captain Barrett, a coast-skipper of the old-time sort, approached them, his rubber storm-suit glistening in the weird light of the lantern he carried, his weather-beaten face wearing an anxious expression, and his brows closely knit in a searching look leeward.
"It's so confounded dark, and the mist and drizzle so thick, one can't see the ship's bows; but we ought to make Largo Light soon, if I am not far out in my reckoning. But you can't tell, in these chop seas, where you are. The wind drives you ahead and the current pulls you back, and the first thing you know you're on the rocks, and the deuce and all to pay," remarked the captain, his sharp, gray eyes still searching the rainy darkness. "I estimate our speed at fourteen knots—what say you, Mr. Moore?"
"Not so much. Twelve knots, I think a fair calculation."
"Then we must be not far from Devil's Rock," said the captain, thoughtfully. "According to my reckoning, we should have passed it an hour ago; and the Devil's Rock it will prove, indeed, if we are so unlucky as to strike it such a night as this."
Phil, who was near enough to hear every word of the above conversation, began to feel a little alarmed, in spite of himself.
It was past midnight, the waves rolling mountains high and the ship laboring heavily. He wondered if Mr. Herdic knew how hard it was blowing, and, if he did, how it was possible for him to lie calmly in his berth and listen, undisturbed, to the tumult raging on every hand around him.
"A light!" shouted the lookout, from the maintop.
"Where away?" cried the captain.
"Broad on our weather-beam."
"Right you are!" was the quick response, just as there loomed through the darkness a lurid red light, like the eye of some huge sea-monster, that had reared its head above the boiling waves for a momentary view of the wild scene.
"That must be Largo Light," said the mate, somewhat doubtfully.
"Yes," replied the captain, with a look of great relief. "Now we know where we are, though it's not often I am so far out in my reckoning. Tell Mr. Rolf to keep her close to the wind, and I'll go forward and take a look at the chart."
So saying, Captain Barrett went away to his cabin to consult his charts, while the mate hurried to give his instructions to the man at the wheel.
An hour passed—an hour of darkness, storm and gloom.
Phil was beginning to feel very chilly in his wet clothes and started to go below, when the ship suddenly seemed to rise in the middle and then pitch forward again, with a dull, grating sound, the meaning of which he knew only too well.
"Breakers!" shouted the voice of the mate, from somewhere near the companion-way. "We are on the reef!"
As he spoke the red light went out, as if swallowed up by the angry sea, and then they knew the nature of the false beacon that had lured them on to destruction.
Phil was making his way as fast as he could to Mr. Herdic's state-room, when that gentleman himself appeared on deck, with Thad, half-dressed and in a terrible state of excitement, following him.
"What is it?" cried Uncle Walter. "What has happened?"
"The ship has struck! The infernal wreckers, with their misleading false lights, have brought us on the rocks," replied Captain Barrett, who stood near, perfectly calm in the midst of the indescribable confusion and the wild howlings of the storm. "Lower the life-boats, Mr. Moore, and God be our trust, for it's every man for himself now; but steady! Life is life, and he who saves his must be brave, cool and stout-hearted. The rockets, boatswain. It may seem a vain hope, but help may be nearer than we think."
Two boats were lowered, but who got into them, or what became of them, Phil did not know. In far less time than it takes to relate it, he had pulled off his coat, vest and boots, put on a life-preserver and stood heroically awaiting his fate, whatever it might be.
He was pretty badly scared—there is no denying that—and he felt a little weak in the knees; but when the struggle came, and the battle waged was for life, he felt quite certain of making as brave a fight as anybody.
"Good-by, Mr. Herdic!" he said, extending his hand. "It's a chance if we live to see each other again."
"Good-by!" replied Mr. Herdic, in a choked voice; "and God be with and care for you, my dear boy."
Thad's deathly pale lips tried to form some intelligible sound, but failed, and, with a kind of dumb entreaty, he put his arms around Phil's neck, and dropped his head despairingly on the other's shoulder.
"Lelia did better than this," thought Phil, but he was too generous to say so, and when Thad sobbed out, "Will you stay by me, Phil?" he answered, quickly, "Yes, I will, upon my honor!"
In that moment of supreme peril, Thad seemed to prefer the help and protection of his brave young enemy to that of his uncle—strong man and good swimmer as was the latter.
The boom of a minute gun rang out above the roar of the tempest, and a second after a rocket went whizzing into the inky blackness, to burst into a shower of blue fire and fall hissing into the sea.
Another and another followed in quick succession; then came a mighty crash. The mast went by the board, carrying with it four sailors who had sought safety in the rigging.
The vessel broached to, lying broadside on the reef, the waves making a complete breach over her, and leaving her at the merciless sea. Thad uttered an unearthly shriek, and clung to Phil, who, in turn, clung to the iron grating of the companion-way. The cook had secured a mattress, the cabin-boy a door, and Mr. Herdic—but Mr. Herdic was gone; so, too, was Don Casimer, the captain, and Mr. Rolf.
The doomed steamer broke in two amidships, and all her upper works floated off, with such of her crew and passengers as had not already been engulfed in the pitiless flood.
The harsh rending asunder of strongly-riveted iron-plates, the surge and jar and strain of breaking timbers, was the last sound Phil was conscious of before he found himself thrown bodily into the sea, with Thad held in such a way in his arms as to keep the poor boy from grasping his neck, in his frantic struggles to keep his head above the waves.
Phil was stunned, breathless, half-strangled, bruised and beaten by he did not know what; everything, it seemed to him—dead and drowning bodies of men and cattle, boxes, furniture, spars, cotton-bales, pieces of the wreck of every conceivable kind and shape, trunks and sea-chests.
A portion of the saloon cabin floated within his reach; Phil clutched it, but the succeeding wave tore it from his grasp, and he went down, down, down to an awful depth.
The roaring in his ears was maddening; his brain felt as if it were on fire. How long did it take one to drown? Was there no end to the agony? But Phil came up again, and so did a Florida steer right under him, kicking, bellowing and plunging in its convulsive death-throes, like some dying leviathan of the deep.
Phil did not get out of its way, for he could not; but, just as the animal was rolling upon him, a great wave lifted him high on its foam-white crest and hurled him against a cotton-bale.
He caught hold of it with the desperate strength of one fighting for life, and held on with might and main. His companion, if not dead, was utterly unconscious, for when Phil called to him he did not answer, and lay a limp, lifeless weight on his shoulder.
The gale appeared to be subsiding, for the cotton bale became more steady, and the rain had ceased to fall some time before.
The clouds broke away at last, and in the speck of blue peeped out a star. Yet the swells were terrific, and carried them onward with fearful velocity—where, only the All-seeing knew—and when the dawn appeared in the east, exhausted, chilled to the heart, bruised and nearly naked, Phil and his insensible companion were flung ashore like two poor fragments of stranded sea-weed. He had just strength enough left to crawl up out of reach of the breakers, and that was all.
His grip on Thad's arm had not relaxed for a single second since the time he seized it at the moment of the ship's final going to pieces. His fingers seemed to have stiffened around it, and it was only by a sharp effort that he was able to force them away.
"Well, dead or alive," he murmured, "I stuck by him, as I said, upon my word and honor, I would! Thad! you can't speak? Then over you go!"
And Thad might have been a barrel by the way Phil rolled him about and shook him up.
This time, Phil got an answer—if a groan can be called such—and it encouraged him mightily.
"You are coming to?"
"You feel better?"
"Yes," with ghastly faintness.
"Any bones broken?"
"No-o; I can't tell. Where are we?"
The very question Lelia had asked him on a like terrible occasion.
"That's more than I know."
It was now broad daylight.
Phil looked around him, and his countenance fell. They were on a barren rock in the Gulf Stream.
Original contributions solicited from all. Puzzles containing obsolete words will be received. Write contributions on one side of the paper, and apart from all communications. Address "Puzzle Editor," Golden Days, Philadelphia, Pa.
|No. 1.||Knee-pen-the (Nepenthe).|
V A N I L L A
F I N E E R
L E G E R
L E E W A Y
A R R A Y E R
L I T H A N T H R A X
T R A C E R I E S
I R O N I S T
P R I E S
N A R
C H A R I V A R I
A S L R L S A
R I I I I R
T G O G T
I I N N I I
C N S E S N C
R A B
R E F E R
R U M O R E D
R E M O R A T E S
A F O R E T I M E
B E R A T T L E S
RT I L E S
D E M E S
S E S
G A L
S A L I S
S A L I N E S
G A L I N G A L E
M A L I N G E R I N G
L I N G E R I N G
S E A R I N G
S L I N G
E N G
"One more last glorious day for him,"
Says the king of the blessed gods.
And he looked with love on the warrior grim,
While the world shakes as he nods.
And well the hero fought that day
Around the god-built wall—
Fought as a tigress fights at bay,
Roused by her young whelps' call.
His brazen mail on his broad breast rang,
As before the host he came;
When there, through the foeman's first all sprang
Like a lurid tongue of flame.
But no mortal hands could have saved the town,
Or averted the fatal hour:
And from glory's fair ambrosial crown
Death last that brightest flower.
|Iowa City, Iowa.||Irish Foreman.|
Across: 1. Tending to recede from the centre. 2. Hernias of the thigh. 3. A little volume (Rare). 4. A kind of woolen cloth. 5. Musical syllable. 6. A letter.
Down: 1. A letter. 2. A type measure. 3. A snare. 4. An old woman. 5. A species of silk fabric. 6. One who deals in ice. 7. A genus of quadrupeds. 8. Mexican trees. 9. To become. 10. A Roman weight. 11. A letter.
|Newark, N. J.||Joe Hootey.|
When I was young, my parent old
I bore within my circling arms;
When I grew fat
I wore no hat.
But being old and pale and thin,
I wear a dainty, golden brim.
|Madison, Wis.||C. Ash.|
1. A letter. 2. A rod used by masons. 3. To hinder. 4. Patched (Obs.) 5. Those who accomplish. 6. Nuptial. 7. Benzoinated (Dunglison.) 8. To cut deeper. 9. To suffer. 10. Bad. 11. A letter.
|Washington, D. C.||Eugene.|
How quickly to two loving hearts
The ones seem to fly;
Though all unseen, time fast departs,
And, sweetheart, I
Must kiss thee once before I go,
And say good-by!
Oh, love, thy cheeks with tears are wet,
You sadly sigh
That I—I may thee soon forget;
Love, I reply
By kissing such foolish doubts away,
And then good-by!
One last look at thy fair, sweet face—
Nay, do not cry—
One lingering kiss, one sweet embrace.
Then, sweetheart, I
Must part with thee for one long day—
|Washington, D. C.||Guidon.|
1. A letter. 2. A boy. 3. Put in tune. 4. Certain candlesticks. 5. Yellow dyeing matters. 6. Mocking. 7. One made a citizen. 8. Parts. 9. Faculty by which external objects are perceived.
|Cincinnati, Ohio.||Green Wood.|
"I've cut my one! I've cut my one!"
Cried Mrs. Murphy's eldest son:
He nursed the one and hopped about—
His mother from the house ran out;
"Oh, two the blissid saint presarve!"
The frightened widow cried;
"My darlin' b'y how did ye carve
Your last so deep and wide?"
"Oh, mother dear! I came out here
To hoe the totals without fear;
But fortune frowns against your son—
His hoeing for this day is done."
1. Makes lawful. 2. Active principles of elaterium. 3. Followers of Galen. 4. Repeats. 5. States of holding the best and third best cards (Whist). 6. Certain minerals. 7. Costs. 8. Certain insects. 9. A river of Mongolia. 10. A plural affix. 11. A letter.
I'm first in the alehouse and third at the dram,
In midst of the breakfast, dividing the ham;
I'm first in the army, second in battle,
Unknown to the child, I'm found in his rattle;
I'm found in all waters, but never in wells;
I'm mixed up with witchcraft, but never in spells;
On lassies and ladies I wait all their lives,
But quit them the moment they call themselves wives;
Though strange contradictions in tales may be carried,
Where virtue prevails, I am found with the married;
With the grave and the gay I number my days,
I mix in their prayers and join in their praise;
I'm never in liquor—but once in the year,
Then with statesmen and gamblers and rakes I appear;
I'm not in this world, I'm not in the next,
But in the old saying, "between and betwixt;"
I mount with the atmosphere, taking the lead;
I visit the grave and am found with the dead;
I'm ancient as Noah, was first in the ark;
Unseen in the light, yet, I shine in the dark;
I shall last with the earth, with nature and man,
I was sketched with the draft and was found in the plan;
When nature and earth from existence are driven,
The angels will guard me eternal in heaven.
|———||A Lady Reader.|
1. To rest. 2. Small pieces of artillery (Rare). 3. Fixed deeply. 4. The girdle of a Jewish priest. 5. A constellation of the zodiac. 6. A long cloak extending from head to feet, worn by women. 7. To counterfeit. 8. A genus of lamellibranchiate bivalves. 9. A state of quiet or tranquility. 10. To throw back. 11. A sixpence. 12. Restrains. 13. A cave.
|Stone, Ala.||R. E. Porter.|
Nothing purer than the first was ever seen,
Or more lovely, colder, brighter, e'er I ween;
If you make a second of me, surely then
With practice you might hit a dozen men;
Lo! total, with its leaves of darkest green,
In some gardens, in summer, may be seen.
|Washington, D. C.||Waldemar.|
Answers will appear in our next issue; solvers in six weeks.
Puzzles in Puzzledom No. DCVII were correctly solved by Stocles, Helio, Carl, O. B. J., J. O'King, Rosalind, Charles Goodwin, Khaftan, Legs, Joe-de-Joe, Marcellus, Hercules, Spider, Romulus, Dovey, Theo Logy and Fred. E. Rick, Night, Windsor Boy, Claude Hopper, Janet, Goldey and Pen Ledcil, Stanna, Addie Shun, Osceola, Flora Nightingale, Katie O'Neill, Willie Wimple, Pantagrapher, Weesie, Lowell, May Le Hosmer and Magnolia, Horace, Carrie Wilmer, Green Wood, Mary McK., John Watson, Mary Roland, Rose Bourne, B. Gonia, Theresa, Brom Bones, Brig, Herbie C., Cartoon, Dorio, Little Nell, R. E. Flect, Mary Pollard, M. E. T., Joe King, Conpay, Eben E. Wood, Parus, Olive, V. I. Olin, Irish Foreman, L'Allegro, Jejune, Tam O'Shanter and Beta.
—The progress of the fall season is measured by the golden-rod.
—Said an absent-minded school-teacher:
"I hear a quiet noise in the right-hand corner of the room. I know very well who the guilty party is, but I will not mention his name. It is Tommy Jones."
—You can hail a street car, but you will be arrested if you stone one.
—Mr. Gummey: "Why do you call your dog 'Hen?' Is it an
abbreviation of Henry?"
Mr. Glanders: "No; I call him 'Hen' because he is a setter."
—The counterfeiter is satisfied if he can spend money as fast as he can make it.
—No fiddler ever gets tired of his own music.
—Benny: "Papa, I was playing with the sickle this morning, and I
fell down and cut a finger."
Papa: "Did you cry?"
Benny: "Nope, but Willie did."
Papa: "What did Willie cry for?"
Benny: "It was Willie's finger I cut."
—One peculiarity of the skin on an animal is, that the fur side is the near side to you.
—Mr. Staggers: "What a gross man McJunkin is!"
Mr. Sumway: "Yes, but you ought to see his brother. He is a grocer."
—It is the easiest thing in the world to borrow trouble and return a visit.
—"Now," said the professor, "I want you to illustrate the
difference between music and noise."
"Your own singing and somebody's else," replied the pupil, confidently.
—"This is a regular sugar loaf," said the candy-store clerk, when business was dull.
The boys wound it up and set it going around the room, and old Tom went for it.
A little rough handling loosened the spring which took pussy very much by surprise—
—and left the rat master of the situation.
A. E. B.—Extract of witch-hazel is made by distilling the leaves of that shrub, the scientific name of which is Hamamelis virginica. To do this, it will be necessary to secure apparatus especially adapted to the purpose.
Carrie N.—Polish the horns according to the directions given in Vol. 5, No. 43. They are very ornamental, but there is no great demand for them. You might be able to dispose of a pair or two among your friends.
J. N. D.—Stamp dealers usually begin as collectors, and thus gain an intimate knowledge of the various issues, colors, varieties and prices of all the stamps issued. Numerous illustrated catalogues are issued by the principal dealers in this country and Europe.
J. H. S.—1. When recharging a battery it is only necessary to remove any parts that may have decomposed and then add water. 2. The outfit requisite for producing the electric light described in Nos. 1 and 2 of the last volume will cost two or three dollars.
Old Subscriber.—Narrow shoulders may be strengthened and straightened by judicious exercise, and by walking and sitting erect, throwing them well back and never allowing them to droop. It is very doubtful, however, if their breadth can be increased to any appreciable degree.
H. B.—Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this paper cannot be furnished complete either bound or unbound, but from 6 to 12, inclusive, they can be supplied in either shape. A very limited number of bound copies of the fifth volume remain to be sold at the usual rate of $4 each, but in its unbound form it is incomplete, one number being out of print.
E. F. W.—White ink is made by mixing flake white with gum arabic and water. It should be sufficiently fluid to flow easily from the pen. Another mixture, erroneously called white ink, but which is in reality an etching fluid, and can only be used on colored paper, is made by adding 1 part of muriatic acid to 20 parts of starch water. A steel pen must be used.
A. G. D.—1. There is but one way to improve the memory, and that is to concentrate the mind upon but one subject at a time, never allowing it to wander off to some other idea. At first, this is a difficult matter, but in a comparatively short time the mind can be brought under control, and the memory will, in many instances, become far more retentive than ever before. 2. The growth of hair on the face cannot be checked, but can be controlled by the regular use of a razor.
Unus Plurorum.—Pilot charts may be obtained at all the branch hydrographic offices in our large ports, but the coast survey charts are not intended for general distribution. Every Congressman is allowed a limited number, and may, if he pleases, distribute them among his friends, and they are also furnished to schools, scientific associations, libraries and the like, when application is made for any special map. In all other cases they are for sale at stated figures, varying according to the size of the chart desired. A catalogue of all the maps issued by the Coast Survey is procurable from the chief of that office in Washington, D. C.
George C. W.—In mending crockery, one of the strongest cements for the purpose, and one which is easily applied, is composed of lime and the white of an egg. To use it, take a sufficient quantity of the egg to mend one article at a time—easily gauged by the extent of the break—shave off a small quantity of lime, and mix thoroughly. Apply quickly to the edges and place firmly together, when it will soon become set and strong. The reason for mixing a small quantity at once is that it hardens very quickly and then becomes useless.
Tiger Tom.—1. According to the game laws of California deer may be shot, in some parts of that State during the months of July, August, September and October, except in Siskiyou and Nevada Counties, where the open season begins in August and ends on the last day of January. Quail may be killed there in January, February, October, November and December. 2. Each State makes its own laws regulating the term of imprisonment for a specified crime. 3. One series of articles on making traps for small game is out of print. The only numbers in print containing such directions are 52, Vol. 6, and 1, Vol. 7.
Sailor.—The Philadelphia, Newark, Miantonomoh, Kearsarge, Concord, Chicago, Atlanta, Yorktown, Boston, Bennington, Petrel, Baltimore, San Francisco, Yantic, Thetis and Ranger are the United States war vessels that are available at the present time, or could be put in commission in the course of ninety days. A complete list and description of all the vessels comprising our naval force can be obtained from the Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C., but we cannot afford the space in which to give in detail such a mass of measurements, the number of guns, etc., as would be required to satisfy your wants.
W. H. K.—1. John Greenleaf Whittier, popularly known as the "Quaker Poet" and the "Bachelor Poet" resides at Amesbury, Mass. "Maud Muller," "Barefoot Boy," "Cobbler Keezar's Vision," "Barbara Frietchie," "In School Days" and "My Psalm" are the most popular of his short poems. "Snow Bound," written in 1866, is undoubtedly the best of all his poems, and is, in one sense, a memorial of his mother and sister, having been written after their death. He was born near Haverhill, Mass., on December 17, 1807. 2. Get a setting of bantam eggs from a local bird dealer.
Constant Reader.—1. All the foremost juvenile writers of the day are engaged on Golden Days; therefore, in our opinion, there are none better or more popular. 2. The various officers in the United States navy rank as follows: Rear admirals, commodores, captains, commanders, lieutenant commanders, lieutenants (two grades), ensigns (two grades), and naval cadets. Rear Admiral Walker is the head of that branch of the service at the present time. 3. They were published in a magazine bearing his name. 4. See the naval pay-table in the Letter Box of No. 15, Vol. 12.
A Jay.—1. Martin, the winner of the six-days' bicycle race at Madison Square Garden, New York city, last October, rode for 127 hours of the 142 allotted to the race, covering 1466 6-10 miles during that time, showing an average speed of 11½ miles an hour. His record is the best ever made, far exceeding any previous attempts in a six-days' match. 2. There are probably several bicycle clubs in your vicinity. Make inquiries, and, if so, you should experience no difficulty in being elected a member of any one of them.
An Aztec Prince.—The largest tunnel in the world is that of St. Gothard, on the railroad line between Lucerne and Milan. The summit of this tunnel is 990 feet below the surface at Andermatt, and 6600 feet beneath the peak at Kastelhorn of the St. Gothard group. The tunnel itself is 26½ feet wide, and 19 feet 10 inches from the floor to the crown of the arched roof. Its length is 9½ miles, while the Hoosac Tunnel, on the Fitchburg Railway, is 4½ miles long. The Mont Cenis tunnel is one and five-eighths miles shorter than that of St. Gothard.
Impatient.—1. All communications intended for this paper should be addressed to "James Elverson, Publisher of Golden Days, Philadelphia, Pa." If they contain queries intended for this department, that fact should be indicated by writing in the lower left hand corner of the envelope the words "Letter Box," and the real name of the writer in addition to the assumed title, should be placed at the end. 2. A chapter on polishing horns, bones, shells and stones was presented in Vol. 5, No. 43. 3. Oiliness of the skin may be remedied by washing with water containing a teaspoonful of borax or a tablespoonful of alcohol.
W. M. R.—Boys ranging in age from fifteen to eighteen years, from any part of the country, may enlist as naval apprentices on the U. S. training-ships, but not on the school-ships Saratoga or St. Mary's, which are, in reality, local institutions, supported by New York city and Pennsylvania. An excellent idea of the requirements in either case may be gained by reading the articles headed "The Nautical School of New York City," in No. 35, Vol. 8, and "Uncle Sam's Ships," in No. 18, Vol. 10. The school-ship boys serve but two years, while the naval apprentices remain until they reach the age of twenty-one, unless sooner discharged for misbehavior or disability.
134.—1. In military or naval parlance, a ration is a portion or fixed allowance of provisions, drink and forage, assigned to a soldier in the army or a sailor in the navy, for his daily subsistence. Its component parts are established by law, but may be varied by the Secretary of War or of the Navy; or, when necessary, by the senior officer present in command. The latter may also diminish the allowance, in case of necessity, but of course the persons whose allowance is thus lessened are reimbursed according to the scale of prices established at the time of such diminution. 2. The regulation chest measurement required of a seventeen-year-old applicant for admission on a training-ship is 29 inches.
F. B. H., Midshipman and W. H. E.—1. As there are but two schoolships in the United States, and none but New York and Pennsylvania boys are admitted on them, non-residents' applications for enlistment would not be considered under any circumstances. Boys desiring to enter the U. S. navy can do so by enlisting on a training ship, which is a government institution, and intended as a means of fitting our youth to perform the duties of sailors and petty officers in the regular navy. The schoolship boys, on the other hand, are trained for the merchant service. The Chief of the Bureau of Equipment and recruiting, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., is the one to whom all applications for enlistment on the training ships should be made. 2. No premium is offered for U. S. pennies coined in 1858.
General Napoleon.—1. A graduate of the schoolship Saratoga might be able to obtain an appointment as quartermaster on an ocean steamship at a salary of about $30 per month. The other officers on these vessels are shipped on the other side of the Atlantic, and have to show a certificate of service before being appointed as mates or to any other official position. The schoolship boys should experience but little trouble in getting some minor berths on coastwise vessels or other crafts sailing under American colors. The chief idea in establishing the two schoolships, St. Mary's and Saratoga, was to fit boys for the mercantile marine, and probably, if ever the trans-Atlantic liners sail under our flag, they will be given appointments on them. 2. The pay of the officers on steamship lines varies so greatly that no general average can be given.
Curious Reader.—1. There are several colleges in this country in which poor boys are afforded an opportunity of putting into practice legitimate plans for raising sufficient money to pay for tuition and other expenses. This subject was treated of in a very interesting and instructive article entitled "Working One's Way Through College," in No. 15 of the volume just ended. In it will be found many such plans, which will prove of great benefit to those intending to thus gain a collegiate training. 2. The Constitution does not require candidates for government positions to possess a college education—in fact, comparatively few heads of departments, commissioners, etc., are thus equipped. 3. There are no "free trade" colleges in the United States. We do not know of the existence of such institutions in any part of the world.
L. G. C. H.—1. In soldering, the edges of the metals to be put together must be perfectly clean, to insure which, as well as to counteract the oxidization which most metals undergo when heated, a flux is used which neutralizes these otherwise serious impediments, securing a firm joint. Borax, rosin, sal-ammoniac, common salt, limestone, glass and several other substances are used for this purpose, according to the nature of the metal used. Rosin or oil is usually employed in soldering tin and lead, while a mixture of muriate of zinc and sal-ammoniac is used with steel. 2. A complete outfit for printing an amateur paper such as that you describe will cost at least $200, and can be purchased from any dealer in printing materials. 3. Construct the camera according to the plans laid down in Vol. 9, No. 34. The cost of that issue will be 6 cents, postage free.
J. H. R.—Numerous articles on how to construct cabinets, bookcases, etc., have been published in previous volumes of this paper. Among these are the following: "How to Make a Refrigerator," "Cabinet-Making for Beginners" and "Screens and How to Make Them." Nos. 35, 47 and 48, Vol. 5; "How to Make a Desk," "Hanging Bookshelves" and "Corner Cabinet," Nos. 7, 15 and 22, Vol. 6; "Hanging Cabinet," No. 16, Vol. 7; "How to Make an Amateur Carpenter's Bench," No. 36, Vol. 8; "How to Make a Portable Bookcase," No. 2, Vol. 10, and "How to Make a Bookcase and Cabinet," No. 8, Vol. 12. These numbers will cost six cents each, no charge being made for postage. It is our intention to publish such articles in this and succeeding volumes, whenever the opportunity is presented of giving the boys novel and useful ideas in the "how to make" line.
M. S. S.—1. The sun's average distance from the earth is about 93,000,000 miles. Since the orbit of the earth is elliptical, and the sun is situated at one of its foci, the earth is nearly 3,000,000 miles further from the sun in midsummer than it is in midwinter in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, these conditions are exactly reversed. 2. U. S. Senators are elected by the legislatures of the States they represent, while members of the National House or Representatives are elected by the people. 3. It is not considered improper to write a short message or letter on a half-sheet of paper; in fact, some styles of writing paper consist of but a single sheet. 4. The use of a moderately stiff tooth-brush, clean water and castile soap will keep the teeth white and in good condition. Tooth-powders are injurious. 5. Nickel-plating should not be exposed to dampness, and must be kept bright by wiping with a soft rag.
Captain Chap.—The total population of the earth is estimated at 1,480,000,000—of which Europe has 357,000,000; Asia, 826,000,000; Africa, 164,000,000; America, 122,000,000; Australia, 3,500,000; the Oceanic Islands, 7,500,000. The density of population is greatest in Europe—Belgium standing at the head, followed by the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland, Italy, Japan, the German Empire, China, British India, Switzerland, France, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, West Indies and the United States. More than one-fourth of the human race is found in China and Japan, the former counting 350,000,000 and the latter 40,000,000; more than one-fifth is in India, 324,000,000, of which 286,000,000 belong to British India. The only one of the chief European States that exceeds this country in population is Russia, with 93,000,000. The others range thus: German Empire, 49,000,000: Austria-Hungary, 41,000,000; France, 38,000,000; Great Britain and Ireland, 38,000,000; Italy, 30,000,000; and Spain, 17,000,000.
Lelia and Philip.—1. A high-class eight-wheel passenger locomotive engine costs about $8500. 2. The strength of a steam engine is commonly marked by its horse-power. By one horse-power is meant a force strong enough to raise up 33,000 pounds one foot high in a minute. James Watt, the noted mechanician, engineer and scientist, famous as the improver, and almost the inventor of the steam engine, established the horse-power unit, and the figures were fixed in the following curious manner: He found that the average horse of his district could raise 22,000 pounds one foot a minute, and that this was the actual horse-power. At that time, however, Watt was employed in the manufacture of engines, and customers were so hard to find that it was necessary to offer extra inducements. So, as a method of encouraging them, he offered to sell engines reckoning 33,000 foot-pounds to a horse-power. Thus he was the means of giving a false unit to one of the most important measurements in the world, as, in reality, there are no horses to be found that can keep at work raising 33,000 pounds one foot a minute.
Inez and C. A. S. H.—Miles Standish was a Puritan soldier, who came to New England in the Mayflower in 1620. He was born in Lancashire, England, about 1584, and served as a soldier in the Netherlands. He was chosen captain of the New Plymouth settlers, though not a member of the church. In stature he was small, possessed great energy, activity and courage, and rendered important service to the early settlers by inspiring Indians, disposed to be hostile, with awe for the English. In 1625, Standish visited England as agent for the Plymouth Colony, and returned with supplies the next year. His wife, Rose Standish, was one of the victims of the famine and fever of 1621. Five years later, he settled at Duxbury, Mass., where he lived the remainder of his days, administering the office of magistrate, or assistant, until his death on October 8, 1656. A monument to his memory was erected several years ago on Captain's Hill, in Duxbury. Longfellow has written a beautiful poem describing the captain's second wooing, when he desired to make Priscilla Mullens his wife, entitled the "Courtship of Miles Standish."
District Columbia.—No vessel has ever been built that exceeded the Great Eastern in size. Her dimensions were: Length, 680 feet, between perpendiculars, or 692 feet upper deck; breadth, 83 feet, or 118 feet over paddle-boxes: height of hull, 60 feet, or 70 feet to the top of the bulwarks. The paddle-wheels were 56 feet in diameter by 13 feet in depth, with 30 spokes in each wheel, and the coal-bunkers, to supply all the engines, could contain 14,000 tons. Her propeller-shaft was 160 feet long, with a screw propeller at one end 24 feet in diameter. She had 6 masts, carrying 7000 yards of sail, as auxiliary to the steam power: 10 cables, some of which weighed 10 tons each. She had facilities for accommodating 800 saloon passengers, 2000 second class, 1200 third class and 400 officers and crew; or 5000 might have been placed on her, if emigrants or troops. She was used for several purposes, serving as a troop ship in 1861, as a passenger vessel, and then was permanently chartered for laying the Atlantic cable, all of the passenger fittings being removed in 1867. In this she proved a success, having been used, not only for the laying of the cable named, but also for several other important lines, in the Mediterranean, in the Red Sea, across the Indian Ocean and elsewhere. Then she was laid up, and the last report concerning her was that, after being run for a short time as a coal ship, she was sold and broken up, having outlived her usefulness. The enormous expense attendant upon the maintenance of such an ocean monster proved a drawback to continued success from the day she was launched, at Millwall, England, January 31, 1858.
Harry and Jay. Two exchange notices from one person are allowed in each volume, thus giving all our readers an equal chance.—Henry M. S. Your query was answered in No. 51, Vol. 12, in its regular turn.—F. H. G. Addresses of any description are never given in this department.—Billy. Commodore George Dewey is Chief of the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting, Navy Department. Washington, D. C.—Inquis I. Tive. "Electro-Motors and How to Make Them," No. 3. Vol. 12.—W. R. No premium.—Student. The book may be procured from a local dealer.—H. G. B. It is supposed to be a reliable institution.—Chas. McG. 1. The course pointed out is the only one to pursue. If you allow a false modesty to deter you, nothing remains to be done but suffer. 2. The exchange notice is too trivial.—Weekly Buyer. Stove trimmings are nickel-plated in the regular way. Read the article on electro-plating in Vol. 11, No. 23.—Edward B. Selling cheap jewelry and novelties on the street corners may net a living income in large cities to those who are experienced in such work, usually called "faking." It is not at all probable that it could be made a profitable calling in Texas.—X. Y. Z. Perpetual motion stands at the head of the absolute impossibilities of life; therefore, the government has never offered a prize for the solution of this mythical problem.—Ranger. Nitro-glycerine is one of the most dangerous explosives known; consequently, we cannot conscientiously describe its manufacture in this place, thus jeopardizing the lives of thoughtless persons who might attempt to make it if such a formula was furnished.—E. C. S. If in first-class condition, the three-dollar gold-piece of 1878 might be sold for $3.40.
Several communications have been received which will be answered next week.
Not a Local Disease
Because Catarrh affects your head, it is not therefore a local disease.
If it did not exist in your blood, it could not manifest itself in your
nose. The blood now in your brain is, before you finish reading this
article, back in your heart again, and soon distributed to your liver,
stomach, kidneys, and so on. Whatever impurities the blood does not
carry away, cause what we call diseases. Therefore, when you have
catarrh in the
head, a snuff or other inhalant can at most give only temporary relief.
The only way to effect a cure is to attack the disease in the blood, by
taking a constitutional remedy like Hood's Sarsaparilla, which
eliminates all impurities and thus permanently cures Catarrh. The
success of Hood's Sarsaparilla as a remedy for Catarrh is vouched for by
many people it has cured.
Sold by all druggists, $1; six for $5. Prepared only
by C. I. HOOD & CO., Apothecaries, Lowell, Mass
The Dancing Skeleton. A jointed figure of a skeleton. Dances to music and performs various tricks. When placed in a chair or on a table it will begin to move, stand up, lie down, &c., to the great astonishment of all. More fun than a box of monkeys. Just the thing for social gatherings. Sample by mail, 10 cents, three for 25 cents, one dozen 50 cents. Stamps taken. Address HOME NOVELTY Co., Providence. R. I.
In Luck Certain.
After trying to sell books, pictures and wringers, and nearly every contrivance imaginable, I became discouraged and thought there was no chance for a poor man to earn a living. There was nothing to do on the farm, and I could not get a job in town, when I happened to see how a teacher made money selling platers, and thought I would try my luck. I bought a $5 Lightning Plater from H. F. Delno & Co., Columbus, Ohio, and from that day my luck seemed to change. I carried the plater from house to house and plated knives, forks and spoons right before the folks, and it is surprising how many want their things plated. I made $3.70 the first day, and in one week $28. I can plate with nickel, silver or gold. The work is fine, my customers are pleased and I am happy. I hope some other fellow who is down on his luck will see this, and do as I have done and get up in the world. William Evans.
Our opinion of Golden Days is very plain and straight as follows: It is one of the purest publications to be found in the hands of the reading young people of the present day. It is full of short sketches that are interesting and instructive to the young and the old as well. The serial stories are all perfectly pure and are very interesting, besides setting good examples and morals for all who read them. I have read Golden Days more or less for seven or eight years, and I unhesitatingly pronounce it pure and instructive enough to be in the home circle of every family in the reading world. One fine feature is the International Sunday-School Lesson to be found in each number, about one week or so in advance of the time when it is to be used, thus giving an opportunity for thorough study.
From the Christian Advocate, Richmond, Va.
Any boy's or girl's days must be golden who reads that charming paper, published in Philadelphia, styled Golden Days. The day it comes, and every day after while its contents are not exhausted, will be golden with the charming adventures, incidents of travel and thrilling stories of childhood and youth. The children of every family should have it. Parents cannot make a better investment than to subscribe for Golden Days for their young folks. It is sent to any address for $6 per year. James Elverson, Publisher, Philadelphia, Pa.
From The Argus, Ashton, Dakota.
To the young people of Spink County who enjoy first class reading we can truthfully recommend Golden Days, published by James Elverson, Philadelphia. It is a weekly publication, and filled with the purest of reading matter, and yet the well-known desire of the young for stories of adventure is not forgotten, for while the interest of the reader is held by the power of the writers, yet there is nothing at any time that could offend the most fastidious, while the youthful mind is led on to emulate the good acts portrayed. Write for sample copies.
From the West Philadelphia Press.
Golden Days is far ahead of any weekly paper published in the United States having for its object the culture and amusement of the youthful mind. Now, in its Twelfth Volume, it exhibits every sign of strength, permanency and progression. Mr. Elverson, the proprietor and editor, is one of those men who believe it a duty to do what they can for their race, and wisely he is doing for the "rising generation" a work which, for him, is "a work of love." Aiming to benefit our youth, through history, science, philosophy, geography, mechanics, etc., in a manner easily comprehended, he has made his journal the efficient instrument of his noble purpose. Could he see the anxiety on the faces of his young friends awaiting the arrival of Golden Days by the mail or the news agent, he would feel that his efforts to please them were not in vain, and that the running of his great presses, day and night, at Ninth and Spruce Streets, was indeed to them a gratification and blessing.
From the Teachers' Journal, York, Pa.
Golden Days.—One of the most perfectly beautiful weekly magazines for boys and girls we have ever seen. It is published weekly and bound monthly. You can get the four weeklies bound together, if you prefer. Each monthly contains eighty large four-column pages, beautifully illustrated, with illuminated covers and the very best reading matter for the young. It is heartily indorsed by the best religious papers, and should take the place in our households of the injurious stuff that will find an entrance, if nothing better is supplied.
From the Maryland School Journal.
Golden Days (Elverson, Philadelphia) has fulfilled its promise, and is in every respect a suitable weekly paper to put into the hands of young boys and girls. We have carefully watched each number since the start, and have seen in it nothing to censure and much to praise.
From the Michigan City Dispatch, Ind.
We can unhesitatingly say that the Golden Days, published at Philadelphia by James Elverson, is the finest publication for boys and girls in America. The matter is first-class and of a high standard. If you are not a subscriber send for a sample copy.
From the Gazette, Charlotte Court-House, Virginia.
Golden Days.—Of all the publications for little boys and girls, Golden Days stands most conspicuous to the front, while its columns abound with stories and tales well calculated to entertain, amuse and please the youthful reader. There is a moral in its articles well calculated to make the young reader better for having read its columns. The subscription price is $3 per year, two copies for $5. Send for specimen copy, and you will be sure to take it.
From The Tribune, Maxwell, Iowa.
Of all the publications for little boys and girls, Golden Days stands most conspicuous to the front, while its columns abound with stories and tales well calculated to entertain, amuse and please the youthful readers. There is moral in its articles well calculated to make the young reader better for having read its columns. The subscription price is $3 per year; two copies for $5. Send for specimen copy, and you will be sure to take it.
The publisher will positively take no responsibility concerning exchanges effected by means of this department, neither will the reliability of exchangers be guaranteed. To avoid any misunderstanding in the matter, it would be advisable for those contemplating exchanging to write for particulars to the addresses before sending the articles desired.
Exchange notices containing offers of or for shot-guns, air-guns, pistols, rifles, poisons, dangerous chemicals, animals, odd numbers of papers, valueless coins and curiosities, birds' eggs, or "offers," will not be inserted.
Exchange Notices conforming with the above rules are inserted free of charge.
BAD COMPLEXIONS, WITH PIMPLY,
blotchy, oily skin, Red, Rough Hands, with chaps, painful finger ends
and shapeless nails, and simple Baby Humors prevented and cured by Cuticura Soap. A marvelous beautifier of
world-wide celebrity, it is simply incomparable as a Skin Purifying
Soap, unequalled for the Toilet and without a rival for the Nursery.
Absolutely pure, delicately medicated, exquisitely perfumed, Cuticura Soap produces the whitest, clearest skin
and softest hands, and prevents inflammation and clogging of the pores,
the cause of pimples, blackheads and most complexional disfigurations,
while it admits of no comparison with the best of other skin soaps, and
rivals in delicacy the most noted and expensive of toilet and nursery
soaps. Sale greater than the combined sales of all other skin soaps.
Aching sides and back, weak kidneys, and rheumatism relieved in one minute by the celebrated Cuticura Anti-Pain Plaster. 25c.
C. Willard, Box 707, Claremont, N. H., a volume of "Youth's Companion" and a book for a volume of Golden Days.
G. H. Barker, Shickley, Neb., a collection of foreign and U. S. stamps for a B-flat cornet or a silver watch.
J. N. Dodd, Box 181, Middletown, Del., a $20 zither and a complete printing outfit for a typewriter.
G. J. Frick, 2903 Fairhill St., Philadelphia, Pa., a cornet, 6 volumes of Golden Days, a lot of books, a pair of opera glasses, a watch, a pair of skates and 2 penknives for a clarionet, a bicycle or a "tuck-up" boat.
U. M. Reymar, 132 Academy Ave., Middletown, N. Y., 3 vols. of Golden Days, 3 books on athletic sports and other reading matter for a high-wheel bicycle or a banjo.
G. K. Mears, 128 West Jersey St., Elizabeth, N. J., a nickel-plated watch, an album with 250 stamps, 9 books, a polyopticon and a 2¼x4 press for a large self-inking press.
P. McNabb, 2208 2d Ave., N. Y. city, a pair of 2-pound Indian clubs, a pack of trick cards and 2 books on magic for dry plate holders for a 4x5 camera.
A. G. Randall, Tekonsha, Mich. a $20 typewriter for a watch, a photo outfit, books, a magic lantern or gymnastic goods.
G. A. Taylor, 469 Prospect St., Cleveland, Ohio, a self-inking press with 20 fonts of type, cabinet, leads and entire outfit for a Safety bicycle.
L. Spatz, 10½ Oswego St., Jersey City, N. J., a 48-inch bicycle, a pair of skates, a camera, 2 albums and a few stamps for a Safety or a 58 or 60 inch Ordinary (city offers preferred).
T. Fesmire, 802 Judson St., Phila., Pa., Vol. 10 or 11 Golden Days for a telegraph outfit (city offers preferred).
R. B. Gedye, La Salle, Ill., a 5x8 self-inking press and outfit for a watch or a Detective camera.
C. F. Ball, Irwin, Pa., 4 vols. of "The Argosy" and 1 vol. of Golden Days for a snap-shot camera.
H. V. Bisgood, Jr., 641 Prospect Ave., Buffalo, N. Y., a pair of patent lever skates for a collection of stamps.
W. Dorland, Hamden, N. J., a 52-inch bicycle for a screw-cutting lathe.
J. D. Saurman, 202 E. Jacoby St., Norristown, Pa., a violin, bow and case for a guitar or mandolin.
C. Ehrlich, 332 E. 51st St., N. Y. city, a $50 gold-filled watch for a 52-inch Ordinary and a Safety.
F. G. McNally, 47 Lincoln St., Lawrence, Mass., a small hand-printing-press with a lot of type and 200 stamps for a scroll saw, a pair of fencing foils or a pair of opera glasses.
E. A. Snape, Box 240, Gordonsville, Va., a Kodak camera for 2 telegraph keys and 2 sounders.
C. E. Cluckner, Box 215, Buena Vista, Colo., 700 U. S. and foreign stamps for a card press and outfit.
C. W. Bennett, 51 Ashford St., Brooklyn, N. Y., a gold watch, a vol. of "Once a Week" and a number of books for a collection of foreign and U. S. stamps.
D. Calhoun, 174a 6th Ave., Brooklyn, N. Y., a $10 physical exerciser and instruction book for a foot-power printing press.
E. E. Bullinger, 336 E. 84th St., N. Y. city, a 13½-foot canvas canoe for best offer of sporting goods.
C. M. Berger, 3342 Waterloo St., Phila., Pa., a telephone with 50 feet of wire, a stamp album and a lot of books for a typewriter or a camera worth at least $5.
J. F. Phillips, Box 186, Catasauqua, Pa., a typewriter, 750 foreign stamps, a combination square, rule and compass, a harmonica, a students' lamp and a pair of skates for a scroll saw and outfit.
C. Pierce, 740 N. 24th St., Phila., Pa., a 10-foot canoe for a scroll saw (city offers only).
R. Wilcox. Box 66, Chester, Conn., a lot of books for a Safety bicycle lantern.
S. L. Evans, 911 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. N. Y., a scroll saw with outfit, a pair of skates, a magnifying glass and a wood-carving outfit for a collection of minerals, a desk or a cabinet.
E. K. Hampton, 237 W. Decatur St., Decatur, Ill., an electric motor, a 1-cell bichromate battery, a pair of skates, an achromatic lens and 2 fonts of type for a photo-camera lens, etc.
H. Howard, 37 Howard St., Pittsfield, Mass., a 48-in. bicycle and a fishing rod, with reel and line, for books and tools of any description.
L. Jeffrey, N. W. cor. 5th and Federal Sts., Phila., Pa., a lot of scientific works on all subjects and 6 grammars in 6 different languages, with the dictionaries for each, for a camera and outfit or a telescope.
F. W. Fahnestock, 5 Main St., Cohoes, N. Y., a pair of foils, a pair of opera glasses, a photo camera, a fountain pen, 3 electric batteries, with lamp, and a pair of fencing foils, for a steam engine and boiler worth $20.
E. M. Evans, 340 S. 21st St., Phila., Pa., a scroll saw for a pair of ball-bearing pedals or a club lamp.
H. S. Clark, 34 Rookery Bldg., Chicago, Ill., a camera with rising front, swing back, 3 double holders, tripod and carrying case, and a scroll saw, with nickel-plated tilting table and emery wheel for a Detective camera.
S. F. Neely, Mount Ayr, Iowa, vols of Golden Days, "Once a Week," "Scientific American", "Home Magazine", "Home Journal", and 30 books for a bicycle, a typewriter or books.
F. H. Rouff, 303 S. Main St., Providence, R. I., Vols. 1, 2, 7, 8, 10 and 11 Golden Days, and 2 vols. of "The Argosy" and some books for Vols. 3, 4 and 6 same paper.
J. E. Woolverton, 123 Stockton St., Trenton, N. J., Vols. 9 and 10 Golden Days for Vol. 12, same paper.
Any man that puts an article in reach of over-worked women to lighten her labor is certainly a benefactor. Cragin & Co. surely come under this head in making Dobbin's Electric Soap so cheap that all can use it. You give it a trial.
Our Premium Knife!
Ivory handle, beautifully finished, Exactly as Illustrated. Made to our own order, and can only be had by subscribing to "Golden Days."
We will make this Knife a Present to any one who sends us THREE DOLLARS
For One Year's Subscription to "Golden Days."
The money must be sent direct to this office. Address
JAMES ELVERSON, Publisher "Golden Days," Phila., Pa.
Special Notice.—WHEN TEN CENTS FOR REGISTERING IS SENT, we consider ourselves responsible for the safe delivery, though we have sent several thousand Knives without one in a thousand being lost.
Children Cry for Pitcher's Castoria
THE WIZARD'S WONDERFUL CABINET!
The Performing Skeleton will dance to music, stand up, lie down and perform various tricks. Magic Trick Cards used by all magicians; no experience required to do the most perplexing tricks: The Lightning Trick Box, neatest trick ever invented; you take off the cover and show your friends that it is full of candy or rice; replace the cover and you can assure your friends that it is empty; and taking off the cover, sure enough, the candy has disappeared, or you can change it to a piece of money. A Cure for Love, curious, queer, but funny; ladies hand them to gentlemen; gentlemen to ladies, and have dollars' worth of fun. The Magic Nail; a common nail is shown and then forced through the finger; the nail is then withdrawn, given for examination and the finger shown without a cut or scar. The Fire Eater, the great sensational trick of the day; any person can apparently breathe fire and blow thousands of brilliant sparks from the mouth. We send material enough for several exhibitions. Magic Bottle Imp, a very amusing trick; it is a curiosity and a brain puzzler; will stand as straight as a flag-staff and no one can make it lie down, but when you take it down it goes like a sleepy kitten; it causes heaps of fun. Wonderful Paper Trick; this trick can be performed by any one; you produce the package of cigarette paper that we furnish, and take a sheet and tear it in small pieces and roll it into a ball; then unroll the ball, and there is the sheet of paper, perfect in size and not torn in the slightest. It can be repeated many times, as the book of leaves is a thick one. All the above tricks packed in a neat box with full directions with every article, so that any one can perform the tricks, and sent by mail, postpaid, for 25 cents, silver or stamps. Address Home Trick Co., 4. Eddy St., Providence, R. I.
Kennedy's Medical Discovery cures Horrid Old Sores, Deep Seated Ulcers of 40 years standing, Inward Tumors, and every disease of the skin except Thunder Humor, and Cancer that has taken root. Price $1.50. Sold by every Druggist in the U. S. and Canada.
The Hartford Safety.
From The Herald, Cannonsburg, Pa.
There are many excellent publications for boys and girls, and it is quite difficult to make choice among them. For more than a long time we have been a reader of Golden Days, a large and handsome weekly paper published in Philadelphia by James Elverson, and we have come to admire it very much. No matter is found in Golden Days that the most prudent parent could object to, and then everything is presented in such an attractive way that young folks are sure to read it and watch anxiously for the mail that brings the next Issue. Golden Days is also issued as a monthly, and subscribers can have their choice of receiving the paper weekly or getting each month's issues bound. The subscription price is $3 per annum.
From the Canton Press, Canton, Mo.
The Golden Days is pushing forward to a position in the field of juvenile journalism that will make it the ne plus ultra. Its stories sparkle with originality and interest, and its poems are the best. Published at $3 a year by James Elverson, Philadelphia, Pa. Send for a free sample copy.
From the Clifton and Lansdowne Times.
Golden Days.—We would like to be able to place this weekly journal in the hands of every girl and boy in the county who cannot afford to subscribe for or buy it from news agents. But the girls and boys of that kind, we fear, are "too many for us." A sad fact, too, by-the-way, when we reflect that a little thought and a bit of economy on the part of themselves or their parents would do what it is not in our power to accomplish. Nevertheless, they ought to know what Golden Days is, namely, a sixteen-page weekly journal, with finely-illustrated articles on various subjects of interest to young people, embracing natural history, philosophy and other branches of education, together with pleasing, instructive and moral stories by the best authors. It is just what is wanted for the youthful mind seeking for useful information, and ready at the same time to enjoy what is entertaining and healthful. If all girls and boys could peruse and profit by its columns every week, they in time would grow up to be women and men, intelligent, patriotic and influential in their lives; and lest any who may read these words are ignorant—which is hardly possible—of the whereabouts of Golden Days, we gladly give the address, James Elverson, Ninth and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia.
From the Cincinnati Suburban News.
Twenty copies of the Golden Days are sold weekly at Moore's book store. The number ought to be forty, for it is the best juvenile publication we know of. It is most beautifully illustrated, and the reading is of a very high order, much of it historical and biographical. The price is only six cents per week.
600 SONGS, 30c.
Including Comrades, Mary and John, Sweet Katie Connor, Little Fisher
Maiden, Rock-a-bye, Baby, Love's Old Sweet Song, In Old Madrid, That is
Love, Playmates, Leonore, etc., all with WORDS AND MUSIC complete.
From the Pine Plains Register, N. Y.
The Best of All.—Among the numerous publications for boys and girls, there is one every family should have—namely, Golden Days, published by James Elverson, Philadelphia, Pa. It is filled with the choicest stories, which improve the mind and elevate the morals, as well as please the fancy. The tone of this publication is pure, and yet Golden Days is not in the least prosy or dull. Try it for awhile, and you will not do without it. The price is $3 a year, but by special arrangements with the publisher, it will be furnished in club with the Register at $3.50 for both publications.
From the Juniata Herald.
Golden Days still comes up smiling every week to gladden the hearts of our young folks. It is the best juvenile paper published, and is even not a bad paper for old folks to read. That it is considered well worth the subscription is evidenced by its rapidly increasing circulation and popularity. While filled every week with intensely thrilling stories, which rival Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson, it has no tendency to corrupt the morals of the young, and can be given to them without hesitation or fear. Send to the publisher, James Elverson, Philadelphia, for a specimen copy.
From the Republican Journal, Belfast, Me.
Golden Days, the leading juvenile weekly (and monthly) continues to grow in interest and circulation, and is a welcome visitor to homes over all this broad land. The publisher's claim that it is "pure, instructive and entertaining" will be conceded by all who read it. James Elverson, publisher, Philadelphia.
From the News, Paris, Ky.
James Elverson's Golden Days, Ninth And Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, is a handsome weekly publication of the healthiest kind of reading matter for boys and girls. It furnishes quite a relief from the usual trashy productions which are placed in reach of the youthful reader. The pictorial features are far in advance of similar journals, and one worthy feature which should recommend it to parents is that it contains only the purest of reading. Nothing that would prove derogatory to the best moral or religious life ever finds the light through .
From the Standard, Belvidere, Ill.
James Elverson, Philadelphia, publishes a handsomely illustrated and interesting youth's paper called Golden Days. It should find a welcome in every home for the young folks, for the reading is wholesome, and such literature should be encouraged by prompt subscriptions. If the youngsters catch a glimpse of it they will find they need it as a recreation after study hours.
From the Philadelphia Times.
Of all illustrated Juvenile periodicals published in this country, none is more deservedly popular than Golden Days, published by James Elverson, this city. It strikes that happy medium which appeals to the masses of school children whose tastes have not been spoiled by overstrained appeals to their fancy, and while it is bright and varied, it aims to be instructive in a pleasant, homelike way. The monthly part, made up of the four weekly parts, is quite a treasury of short stories, pictures and puzzles.
From the Advocate, Tipton, Ind.
Golden Days fills a want that no other magazine attempts to supply. Pure and interesting stories for summer reading is a special feature. Highly illustrated. For sample copy, address James Elverson, Philadelphia.
From the News, Bloomfield, Ind.
Golden Days.—"To merit is to insure success" is certainly verified in the publication of Golden Days, by James Elverson, Philadelphia. This admirable weekly for the youth of this great land is now well established and has a large and well-deserved patronage. It is supplanting a poisonous literature, and performing a wholesome mission in this day when too much good seed cannot be sown by the friends of humanity. Parents wishing to put valuable reading matter into the hands of their children should subscribe. It is only $3 per annum, and can be had weekly or monthly as may be desired.
From the Pipe of Peace, Genoa, Neb.
Golden Days fills a want that no other magazine attempts to supply. Pure, clean, instructive and amusing, it furnishes reading matter, both for young and old, which is not surpassed by any other publication.
Published in attractive form, beautifully illustrated and in clear type, the mechanical work is in keeping with the reading matter it contains. Address for sample copies, James Elverson, Philadelphia, Pa.
From the Marietta Times, Marietta, Pa.
The monthly part of Golden Days is, as usual, replete with healthful and interesting reading, in the shape of instalments of several captivating serials by popular authors, short stories, natural history papers, practical papers, poetry, puzzles, etc., profusely illustrated. James Elverson, publisher, Philadelphia.
From the Advocate of Peace, Boston.
Golden Days.—"To merit is to insure success," is certainly verified in the publication of Golden Days, by James Elverson, Philadelphia. This admirable weekly for the youth of this great land is now well established, and has an increasingly large and well-deserved patronage. Its readers are not treated with trashy matter, but with pictures and puzzles and stories of thrilling adventure and useful knowledge. Golden Days is supplanting a poisonous literature, and performing a wholesome mission in this day, when too much good seed cannot be sown by the friends of humanity.
Thousands have asked for it.
That will hold 52 "Golden Days."
Heavy, embossed cloth covers, with flexible back. Golden Days stamped in gold letters on the outside. Full directions for inserting papers go with each Binder. We will send the HANDY BINDER and a package of Binder Pins to any address on receipt of 50 cents. Every reader should have one.
Address JAMES ELVERSON,
THIS BINDER is light, strong and handsome, and the weekly issues of Golden Days are held together by it in the convenient form of a book, which can be kept lying on the reading-table. It is made of two white wires joined together in the centre, with slides on either
end for pressing the wires together, thus holding the papers together by pressure without mutilating them. We will furnish the Binders at Ten Cents apiece, postage prepaid. Address JAMES ELVERSON,
Publisher, Philadelphia, Pa.
"Golden Days" Vol. XII
Is a Magnificent Book of 832 pages.
Over 400 Finely-executed Wood
This volume will be sent to any address, prepaid, on receipt of price, $4.00.
Publisher "Golden Days,"
Vol. XIII—No. 1. November 28, 1891.
PHILADELPHIA: JAMES ELVERSON, PUBLISHER.
|The North Avenue Archingtons||
At the western end of the third floor there was a stairway leading up to a room at the top of the building, which was occasionally used as an observatory.
A telescope was mounted there, but, as it was not very powerful, the astronomy classes generally used one at the private residence of their professor instead.
|The Black Hound||
The animal swam straight to the island and landed there. At my hiding-place I waited for it to appear on the opposite side of the island and swim across the bay. When it got well out into the open water I could catch it with my boat.
But the deer seemed contented to remain on the island, for it did not again show itself. It evidently thought it could thus baffle the nose of the pursuing hound, and escape the danger incurred by swimming across the bay. I made up my mind that in order to capture the deer, I must in some way get into the narrow channel between the island and the main shore; but with the deer watching me from the island, this would be almost impossible.