The Project Gutenberg EBook of St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls,
V. 5, April 1878, by Various

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Title: St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, V. 5, April 1878
       Scribner's Illustrated

Author: Various

Editor: Mary Mapes Dodge

Release Date: December 19, 2007 [EBook #23926]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Anne Storer and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

Transcriber’s Notes:
1) Table of Contents and Illustrations added.
2) Footnote B is incomplete due to text missing from original page.


[Pg 376]

Kitty kitty and the turkish merchant.



[Pg 377]



Vol. V.
No. 6.
APRIL, 1878.

[Copyright, 1878, by Scribner & Co.]





By Sara Keables Hunt.

Kitty was a pretty little girl, with gray, laughing eyes, and a dimple in each cheek; but from the time when she first commenced to toddle alone she began to be dangerously fond of running away from home. Let a door be ajar ever so little and out pattered the tiny feet into the streets of the crowded city and all sorts of dangers. Papa and mamma had long consultations of what should be done to correct this fault, while Aunt Martha, looking over her spectacles, timidly suggested a little birch tea; but mamma would not listen to that. Kitty was too small for any such bitter dose yet, and papa, who rather admired Aunt Martha’s suggestion, declared finally that his wife must settle the matter herself—he “didn’t know how to train a girl.”

So Kitty, left to an indulgent mother, went on her way, and hardly a day passed but the cry went from cellar to attic, “Kitty is gone!” Nurses without number came and went; they could never “stand Miss Kitty’s strange ways.”

The little one had reached her fifth year without any serious injury, notwithstanding her unfortunate habit, when there came a time of great anxiety in their home, for her mamma was ill, growing paler and weaker every day. The physicians suggested a winter in Egypt, and a trip up the Nile; so, one bright October day, the family, consisting of the father and mother, with Kitty and her nurse, sailed away from New York in a steamer bound for Liverpool. Kitty was delighted with the novelty of everything she saw on this grand trip. She did not once attempt to run away during the whole of the long journey to Egypt, though all the time, and especially in Liverpool, Maggie never failed to keep her “under her eye.”

On a bright, warm November afternoon they sailed into the harbor of Alexandria, and Kitty held tightly to Maggie’s hand in open-mouthed astonishment at the novelty of the scene. Vessels of all sizes and descriptions thronged the harbor, carrying crews from many strange nations—Arabs with long flowing robes and swarthy skins, black Nubians and portly Turks, all screaming, apparently at the top of their voices. Kitty’s mamma had read to her little girl some stories from the “Arabian Nights,” and now, as they approached this eastern land, they mingled curiously in her little brain. They were not long in landing, and as they drove to the hotel on the Grand Square, Kitty fairly gave herself up to staring about the streets. Here came a file of tall camels laden with merchandise, stalking along with silent tread; there rode a fat Turk on a very small donkey; then followed several ladies riding upon donkeys, and each wearing the invariable street costume of Egyptian ladies—a black silk mantle, with a white muslin face-veil which conceals all the features except the eyes. Kitty admired the Syce men running before the carriages to clear the way, and as she looked at their spangled vests and white, long sleeves waving backward while they ran, she inwardly wished it had [Pg 378]been her position in life to be a Syce. What could be more delightful and exciting!

Then there were the palm-trees and the water-carriers, with their goat-skins of water slung over their shoulders, and the bazaars—all most interesting to our travelers. But Kitty was too young to feel more than a dim surprise at the objects around her. She knew nothing, of course, of the history of Alexandria, once the first city in the world, where Euclid presided over the school in mathematics, and Aristotle studied and gave instruction. Here stood those vast libraries founded by Ptolemy Soter, which were subsequently destroyed, and here St. Mark presided over the church of Africa. Yet all this was unknown to Kitty, who was much more interested in the good dinner set before her at the hotel, with its dessert of fresh dates and great luscious grapes, and the comfortable bed which received her tired little form that night.

“Maggie,” said the invalid mother the next morning, “don’t let Kitty go out of your sight. I’m so nervous about her.”

“Oh no, mum!” replied Maggie, re-assuringly. “Shure and I’ll watch her like a cat does a mouse,” and the good Irish girl kept her word, so that the two days spent in Alexandria were disturbed by no frights concerning Kitty. At last they were off again, this time in the cars for Cairo. On, on they went, villages on either hand, and such funny houses, such as Kitty had never seen before, and mud hovels with domed roofs, but without windows and often without doors.

“Shure,” said Maggie, eyeing these rude dwelling-places with great disdain, “it’s glad I am that me mother was not an Egyptian, to bring me up in a poor hoot loike thim.”

For a time Kitty gazed wonderingly on the swiftly passing scenes, but by and by the little head drooped, the eyelids closed, and Maggie took the sleeping child into her lap, and let her sleep there until they reached the railroad station at Cairo and stepped out into the din and confusion of the motley crowd. With a bewildered look Kitty leaned back in the carriage which conveyed them to the New Hotel, opposite the Esbekiyah Gardens; then, as they approached the entrance, she looked up at the great building with its many balconies and columns, and exclaimed: “It looks just like a big church organ, mamma.”

Many exciting days followed before they left for their trip up the Nile. The bright sunshine of that cloudless sky appeared to revive the invalid. It seemed, she said, as if she could feel it warm in her lungs and heart, and she brightened so in the change that they all gathered hope and courage, and went about on merry little trips to the many objects of interest around Cairo, before their floating home was ready for their departure. Kitty made friends of everybody; and had funny pantomime conversations with the Arab waiter who took charge of their rooms, examining curiously the long blue robe which he wore, and the red fez with its black tassel on his head. “It’s awful funny,” she said, “to see people calling the waiters by clapping their hands instead of ringing a bell; I think it’s a very strange country!” So saying she would walk up and down the long rooms with her hands folded behind her as she had seen her papa do.

Such donkey rides as Kitty and her papa had over the hard, smooth road leading to the pyramids, with the long shadows of the acacias before them! And then, how she teased him to buy a donkey for her to take to America! But he only smiled in reply, saying, in true Arab fashion, “Bookrer” (to-morrow).

They spent one day in the bazaars buying all sorts of beautiful sashes, in brilliant colors, of Turkish embroidery. One bore the Sultan’s name in the Turkish language, worked with gold threads, and another had the motto, “God is good,” worked in blue and silver. Then there were shawls “perfectly lovely,” said the little New York girl, boxes of sandal-wood that she longed to be smelling of continually, a pair of slippers and a gold-embroidered smoking cap to be taken home to Uncle Harry, and a beautiful cloak and table-cover for Aunt Martha.

But, alas! this visit awoke Kitty’s long-slumbering propensity, and she determined to watch for a good opportunity and go alone to that wonderful bazaar. The opportunity soon came. It was just after breakfast. Maggie had gone to the laundry with some of Kitty’s white dresses. Papa was talking with a French gentleman about New York, while mamma was yet sleeping. “What a splendid chance!” whispered Kitty, and catching up her sailor hat she sped away through a side entrance and down the Mouski, which is the Broadway of Cairo. It is a narrow, crowded street, with tall houses, every story projecting a little over the one under it, so that if you should lean from a window of the upper floor you might shake hands with your opposite neighbor. Kitty’s bump of locality was pretty well developed, and she found the way to the bazaar without any trouble. In her chubby hand was clasped a little gold five-franc piece, which had been given her the previous day, and visions of glittering treasures which should be bought with that tiny gold piece floated before her eyes. She hurried on by the quaint fountains which are placed at the corners of the bazaars, to cheer those water-worshiping people, and soon found herself amid the charms and mysteries of the [Pg 379]bazaar, and in front of the little shops like bow-windows, with their owners sitting cross-legged in the midst of their goods, smoking and waiting indifferently for a customer. Walking toward one of these turbaned merchants, Kitty said, with a queer attempt at dignity, “Please show me some shawls.”

But this clearly spoken sentence was all lost on the foreign merchant, to whom English was an unknown language.

“Anni mush ariff,” said the man, puffing away at his pipe, and deliberately settling himself among his cozy cushions, as if for a long and dreamy nap.

Kitty, of course, did not understand Arabic, and the words, which really signified, “I don’t understand,” sounded to her unpracticed ears like “I am a sheriff!” a word which was always associated in the little runaway’s mind with policemen, a class of persons who were to Kitty objects of tyranny and terror.

“Oh, dear,” whispered Kitty, “if he is a sheriff, may be he’ll arrest me and lock me up.” So saying she fled from the presence of the astonished merchant, and darted round a corner through a motley crowd of donkeys, camels, and beggars blind and maimed. And now, her momentary fright over, she entered a still more narrow way, where were stalls of glittering diamonds set in every imaginable form, and gems of all sorts and sizes, arranged in brilliant order. Kitty forgot everything in her admiration. “I mean to buy a diamond pin. I just do!” she exclaimed, and, accosting the man, asked the price of a huge crescent of gems.

“Allah!” cried the man, rousing from his languor. And then, in his own language, he said to Kitty: “Little lady, where are you going? Are your papa and mamma gone?”

Kitty looked silently and wonderingly at the kind-hearted merchant a moment, and then her little mind began to realize that she was among a strange people who could not understand a word that she might say. The tears began to come in the gray eyes, and turning, she said, “I will go home.” But which way? Her little head grew bewildered, and, to crown all, an immense camel stalking along with silent tread nearly stepped on her little foot. She cried in earnest now, and the merchant kindly lifted her up beside him on a soft, Turkish rug, right in the midst of the flashing gems.

Quite a crowd had gathered now, listening eagerly while the man pictured in earnest language the position of the lost child. But none knew little Kitty; not a soul could speak to her in all that motley crowd of camel drivers, donkey boys, beggars, milkmen with their goats, merchants and dark-eyed women wrapped in their mantles and veils. There was none to help her. Suddenly, out from the crowd came a young Arab boy, one of those little fellows who carry about with them a vest full of snakes, exhibiting them for a living in front of hotels and other public places.

“Me know she!” he cried, as his eyes fell on the little girl sitting there on the rich Turkish carpet, her soft, golden hair floating around her, more beautiful than all the merchant’s gold and jewels.

The boy rapidly addressed the merchant, Kitty catching at the words, and trying in vain to understand them. They seemed to satisfy the merchant, however, and then the boy, pushing down a restless snake into its retreat, advanced to the troubled child.

“You Americano,” he said. “Me see you in New Hotel. You want see papa? Me tek you.”

Kitty, started up delighted; but at the sight of that inquisitive snake making its re-appearance from the boy’s pocket, she retreated and sat down again amid the jewels. The merchant laughed. “She likes my diamonds, Mahomet, better than your ugly reptiles.” Then, taking a little gold ring set with a small blue turquoise, he placed it on Kitty’s first finger and lifted her off the carpet, calling as he did so to a passing donkey boy, and giving him some hurried instructions. Kitty smiled her thanks for her pretty ring, and seeing the snake boy looking fiercely at the donkey boy, who had lifted her into the saddle, “Come, too,” she said, “you can talk, and this boy can’t.” So the two boys ran alongside of the donkey, watching carefully lest the little rider should fall; and very soon they emerged from the bazaar and were galloping along the Mouski.

Meantime, Kitty’s absence had been discovered at the hotel, and great excitement followed. Her mamma fainted, and Maggie wrung her hands in anxiety and despair. Her papa alone was cool and collected.

“She has run away so many times,” said he, quietly, “that I have no doubt she will come home safely, as always before.”

Nevertheless, he dispatched messengers without number here and there, and looked anxiously out into the streets for that dear little yellow head he so loved. It was nearly noon when he saw it—the bright sun glaring down on the tired little face under the sailor hat. He was going to be very stern as he lifted his naughty child from the saddle, but she looked so repentant, putting up her quivering lips for a forgiving kiss, that somehow his anger fled away and he gave her the pardoning caress. The two boys were sent away happy, with a generous baksheesh or present, and the next day [Pg 380] Kitty’s father sought out the kind-hearted jewel merchant and bought many a gem from his choice collection. Among them was a locket for Kitty, in which he then placed his own and her mother’s picture.

“Kitty,” he said, gravely, as he hung the pretty thing about her neck, “when you are tempted to do wrong, open this locket, and think how it will pain two hearts that love you.“

“Papa,” said the repentant Kitty, “I never will run away again.”

And she kept her word. So it came to pass that our little heroine lost her evil propensity in the Turkish bazaar at Cairo.


By Margaret Eytinge.




You’d never guess what ’t was I found
One morning in my basket;
Oh! such a precious, precious gem
For such a funny casket.

Gem, did I say? A wealth of gems:
Sweet eyes of sapphire brightness,
And, ’twixt two lips of coral red,
Pearls dazzling in their whiteness.

And gold was there on waving hair,
And lilies too, and roses
On rounded cheeks, and dimpled chin
And cunningest of noses.

“In here, mamma,” the darling cried.
“Look! I’m a little story;
The one you didn’t like, you know—
‘Prince Bee and Morning Glory.’

“And Rover, he’s a jingle, torn
’Cause he went wrong—poor Rover!
But I’m real pretty. Wont you take
Me out and write me over?”

I kissed the laughing eyes and mouth.
“My pet, you need not ask it;
No story sweet as you must stay
In mamma’s old waste-basket!”

[Pg 381]


By F. E. Corne.

“Oh, look! look! all those pretty little Easter things in the window already!” exclaimed my little sister one day, as we passed one of the largest confectionery stores in Stuttgart; and, true enough, though Lent was but half over, there they were, a pretty show. Eggs, of course, in quantities and of all sizes, from that of an ostrich to a humming bird’s, made of chocolate or of sugar, and gayly decorated with little ribbons and pictures. Then there were fat little unfledged chickens, some just emerging from their shells, some not an inch long, and others large as life; pure white lambs, with ribbons and bells round their necks; paste-eggs, with holes at the ends, and, looking through, behold, a panorama inside! and eggs with roses on one side, which, when blown upon, emit a musical sound.

An easter carriage an easter carriage.

But odder than all these were the goats playing on guitars, or dragging behind them fairy-like egg-shaped carriages, with little hares gravely driving; and in others of these carriages were reclining one or two (generally two) baby hares, or a hare mother rocking her little one in an egg cradle; there were sugar balloons, in the baskets of which hares watched over their nests full of eggs; wheelbarrows full of eggs, and trundled by a hare; and dainty baskets of flowers, with birds perched upon each handle, peering down into nests of eggs half hidden amidst the blossoms. When one knows that each nest comes out, and forms the cover to a box of bonbons neatly concealed underneath, this pretty structure certainly loses none of its attractiveness.

An easter fancy an easter fancy.

In all directions signs of the approaching season begin to appear. Every old woman in the market-place offers for sale a store of hard-boiled eggs, smeared over with some highly colored varnish, besides candy chickens, hares, etc., in abundance. All the various shop windows display pretty emblematic articles. Besides the sugar and chocolate eggs, there are eggs of soap and of glass; egg-shaped baskets and reticules; leather eggs, which really are ladies’ companions, and filled with sewing implements; wooden eggs and porcelain eggs, and even egg-shaped lockets made of solid gold.

It would be difficult to explain why these things appear at Easter, and what they all mean. The eggs, as every one knows, we have at home, and where they are in such abundance chickens will not be very far away. For the lamb and the goat we can find scriptural interpretations, but the rabbit and the hare—what can they have to do with Easter? Nine persons out of ten can only answer, “The hares lay the Easter eggs.” Queer hares they must be, indeed, but the children here believe it as devoutly as they do that the “Christ-kind” brings their Christmas presents, or as our [Pg 382] own little ones do in Santa Claus. No one knows exactly whence came this myth. Many think it a relic of heathen worship; but a writer named Christoph von Schmid, in an interesting story for children, suggests this much prettier origin:

An easter cradle an easter cradle.

Many hundred years ago, a good and noble lady, Duchess Rosilinda von Lindenburg, at a time when a cruel war was devastating the land, was obliged to fly from her beautiful home accompanied only by her two little children and one old man-servant.

They found refuge in a small mining village in the mountains, where the simple but contented and happy inhabitants did what they could for their comfort, and placed the best of all they had at the disposal of the wanderers. Nevertheless, their fare was miserable; no meat was ever to be found, seldom fish, and not even an egg; this last for the very good reason that there was not a single hen in the village! These useful domestic fowls, now so common everywhere, were originally brought from the East, and had not yet found their way to this secluded place. The people had not even heard of such “strange birds.” This troubled the kind duchess, who well knew the great help they are in housekeeping, and she determined that the women who had been so kind to her should no longer be without them.

Accordingly, the next time she sent forth her faithful old servant to try and gather news of his master and of the progress of the war, she commissioned him to bring back with him a coop full of fowls. This he did, to the great surprise of the simple natives, and the village children were greatly excited a few weeks later at the appearance of a brood of young chickens. They were so pretty and bright, were covered with such a soft down, were so open-eyed, and could run about after their mother to pick up food the very first day, and were altogether such a contrast to the blind, bald, unfledged, helpless, ugly little birds they sometimes saw in nests in the hedges, that they could not find words enough to express their admiration.

The good lady now saved up eggs for some time, then invited all the housewives of the village to a feast, when she set before them eggs cooked in a variety of ways. She then taught them how to prepare them for themselves, and, distributing a number of fowls among them, sent the dames home grateful and happy.

An easter load an easter load.

When Easter approached, she was anxious to arrange some pleasure for the village children, but had nothing to give them, “not even an apple or a nut,” only some eggs; but that, she concluded, was, after all, an appropriate offering, “as an egg is the first gift of the reviving spring.” And then it occurred to her to boil them with mosses and roots that would give them a variety of brilliant colors, “as the earth,” said she, “has just laid aside her white mantle, and decorated herself with many colors; for the dear God makes the fruit and berries not only good to eat, but also pleasant to look upon,” and the children’s pleasure would be all the greater.

Accordingly, on Easter Sunday, after the church service, all the little ones of about the age of her own met together in a garden; and, when their kind hostess had talked to them a while, she led them into a small neighboring wood. There she told them to make nests of moss, and advised each to mark well his or her own. All then returned to the garden, where a feast of milk-soup with eggs and egg-cakes had been prepared. Afterward they went back to the wood, and found to their great joy in each nest five beautiful colored eggs, and on one of these a short rhyme was written.

[Pg 383]The surprise and delight of the little ones when they discovered a nest of the gayly colored treasures, was very great, and one of them exclaimed:

“How wonderful the hens must be that can lay such pretty eggs! How I should like to see them!”

Coop full of chickens the old servant brings a
coop full of chickens.

“Oh! no hens could lay such beautiful eggs,” answered a little girl. “I think it must have been the little hare that sprang out of the juniper bush when I wanted to build my nest there.”

Then all the children laughed together, and said, “The hares lay the colored eggs. Yes, yes! the dear little hares lay the beautiful eggs!” And they kept repeating it till they began really to believe it.

Not long afterward the war ended, and Duke Arno von Lindenburg took his wife and children back to their own palace; but, before leaving, the Duchess set apart a sum of money to be expended in giving the village children every Easter a feast of eggs. She instituted the custom also in her own duchy, and by degrees it spread over the whole country, the eggs being considered a symbol of redemption or deliverance from sin. The custom has found its way even to America, but nowhere out of the Vaterland are the eggs laid by the timid hare.

To this day children living in the country go to the woods just before Easter, and return with their arms full of twigs and moss, out of which they build nests and houses, each child carefully marking his own with his name. They are then hidden behind stones and bushes in the garden, or, if the weather be cold, in corners, or under furniture in [Pg 384]the house. And on Easter morning what an excitement there is to see what the good little hare has brought! Not only real eggs boiled and colored, but sugar ones too, and often wooden ones that open like boxes, disclosing, perhaps, a pair of new gloves or a bright ribbon. He even sometimes brings hoops and skipping-ropes, and generally his own effigy in dough or candy is found trying to scamper away behind the nest.

Colored eggs “the hares lay the colored eggs.”

Then what fun they have playing with the eggs, throwing them in the air and catching them again, rolling them on the floor, exchanging with each other, and knocking them! This game is played by two, each child holding an egg firmly in his hand, so that only the small end appears between the thumb and forefinger, or under the little finger. The two eggs then are knocked smartly against each other until one cracks, when it becomes the property of the victorious party, who adds it to his stock. Those who have never tried to break an egg in this way will be astonished to find how many hard taps it is able to stand. But, as the game called “picking eggs” is played in some parts of the United States during the Easter holidays, it may be that many of our readers know all about this matter, and understand very well how to select the eggs that shall prove strong and victorious.

In Germany, presents are frequently bestowed upon servants at this season, and exchanged between friends; and on Easter morning the churches are crowded by many who scarcely ever think of entering at any other time. On Good Friday only, considered here the holiest day in the whole year, are they still more largely attended. The music is usually fine, but one misses the beautiful flowers which adorn our home altars.

Easter Monday is looked upon as a grand holiday by the peasantry in many parts of the country. Weddings are often deferred to this day, and many village games are reserved for this season. The lads and lassies all appear in their gala costumes; the girls with short, dark skirts, braided with gold or silver, snowy aprons and full white sleeves, bright colored bodices and odd little caps; the boys with knee-breeches, white stockings, low shoes, and scarlet or yellow vests, the solid gold or silver buttons on which are often their whole inheritance. But when they are dancing gayly together on the green, they look a good deal happier than if they were little kings and queens.

The thrower the thrower.

Games vary in different villages throughout the country, but one example will give some idea of what they are like.

[Pg 385] Two of the leading young men of the place take entire charge of the day’s amusements, selecting for the purpose as the scene of festivities some inn or Wirthschaft, to which is attached a large garden or meadow.

For several preceding evenings, when work is over, they go about from house to house, dressed in their best, and carrying large baskets on their arms. Everywhere they are kindly received, and bread with wine or cider is placed before them. While they eat and drink, the baskets are quietly slipped away by some member of the family, a generous donation of eggs is placed within them, and they are secretly returned to their places. The eggs are not asked for, neither are they alluded to in any way; but the object of the visit is well understood and prepared for long beforehand.

The catcher the catcher.

When Monday morning dawns, the inn is found to have been gayly decorated with garlands of green and flowers, and fluttering ribbons of many colors. The tree nearest the house is ornamented in like manner, and on it the prize to be contended for, conspicuously hangs. On the smooth grass hard by, a strip, a few feet wide and perhaps a hundred long, has been roped in, and at either end of this narrow plot a large, shallow, round-bottomed basket, called a Wanne, is placed, one filled with chaff and the other with eggs, dozens upon dozens, cooked and raw, white and colored.

The plan of the peculiar game which follows is that one player is pitted to run a given distance, while another safely throws the eggs from one basket to the other, he who first completes his task being, of course, the winner. Accordingly, when the young men and maidens have arrived, two leaders draw lots to determine who shall run and who shall throw. That decided, the contestants are gayly decked with ribbons, a band strikes up a lively air, a capering clown clears the way, and the game begins. He who throws takes the eggs, and one after another swiftly whirls them the length of the course, and into the chaff-filled basket, which is held in the hands of an assistant. Occasionally he makes a diversion by pitching a hard one to be scrambled for by the crowds of children who have assembled to see the sport. Meantime (while wagers are laid as to who will likely win) the other contestant speeds the distance of a mile or two to an appointed goal, marks it as proof of his having touched it, and if he succeeds in returning before all the eggs are thrown, the victory and the prize are his, otherwise they belong to his opponent. The game finished, the prize is presented to the victor with due ceremony and amid the cheers of the crowd; the hard eggs are distributed among the company, and the raw ones carried uproariously into the neighboring inn, there to be cooked in various ways and eaten.

The remainder of the day is spent in dancing and merry-making, and if a wedding can possibly be arranged to take place on that afternoon the fun is wilder than ever.

Dancers “happier than little
kings and queens.”

[Pg 386]


By Lucy J. Rider.

September 9th, 1877.

Dear Mother: I don’t feel very well. I want to come home. I am very sick. I could not eat any supper. My throat aches pretty bad. I think I had better come home. The boy that sleeps with me says most all boys feels so at first; but may be I shall die. I want to come home. I will study good at home. So good-by.—Your son,

P. S.—I want to come home. Dick.

October 26, 1877.

Dear Mother: Me and the boy that sleeps with me put a peace of paper on the door, and that made me feel better. I got the ten cents and your letter. I had to buy some pop-corn. All the boys buy pop-corn. A man has pop-corn to sell. Jim gave me some pop-corn that time my throat had a lump in it, and it felt better. It was red, and all sticky together. I think that was why.

It’s a buster of a house here, and it’s got a bell on top of it. A boy rings it. It comes right down in his closet. It comes through a little round hole, and he pulls it, and he let me pull it once, and that makes it ring. There’s lots of boys here, and some girls. There is doves living up where the bell is. I went up there. They kind of groan, and that is coon, when they coo. I like the doves, but I don’t like their coon. Every boy writes their names up there. Sometimes they cuts their names, but Mr. Wiseman says you mustn’t any more. Mr. Wiseman is the Principle, and he has got whiskers, and every boy has to mind him.

He points and he says, “Go to your rooms!” and we go. Some boy sent him a paper, and it made him hoppin’ mad. It was about a clock. It said:

“Half way up the stairs he stands,
And points and beckons with his hands.”

Jimmy has a room, and he sweeps it sometimes. I sleep with Jimmy. There isn’t any woman to make up the bedclothes. We fix ’em. It isn’t very hard. You just pull them up and tuck them down. There is a gong, and that makes you get up and eat breakfast. The breakfast is good. It is a round thing, and a girl pounds it. You put five tea-spoons of sugar in your tea-cup. A girl sits on the other side. There is lots of tables, and they make a noise. By and by, one gets through and walks out. There is a lock on the door, and that makes you hurry up or you can’t have any breakfast. You can’t get in. The ten cents is ’most gone. I hope you will write me again pretty soon.—Your son, Dickerson H.

P. S.—The peace of paper has got the days on it, and we scratch them off every night. There is sixty-one more to scratch off, and that will make it vacation.D. H.

November 3, 1877.

Dear Mother: There is ’bout ten pianos here, and folks play on them all the while. It sounds pretty. You can’t tell what tune they play ’most always. Mr. Wiseman has an noffice, and that’s where you have to go when you want to do things. Sometimes you have to go when you don’t want to do things. He sits in a chair and his legs go under the table. There’s a square hole where his legs go. It has a slate on it, and he writes your name on it. It don’t feel good. You ought to have seen Jim one day. He fell into the river, but he got out. There is a river. He had the cookies in his pocket. They were just as good, except the soap. He had some soap too, and that wasn’t very good. Jim didn’t get dry pretty soon, and he had the neuraligy or the toothache. The side of his cheek swelled out as big as a foot-ball. He went to the office. He was sicker. I made up the bed for a week, and he felt better. We went in swimming five times yesterday. We have to treat. All men have to treat. It’s molasses-candy and it’s pop-corn. To treat is to pay for what a nother feller eats. The button come off of my shirt. I lost it, but I sewed on one of the black ones like the ones on my jacket. The place to sew it on came out too, but I sewed it one side. It made my thumb bleed.—Your son, Dickerson Hardin.

November 17, 1877.

Dear Mother: Jim has got a box. His mother sent it to him. The other boys have boxes. We have to have boxes, ’cause they have hash that is made out of boots. It is not good to eat. The soup tastes like a tooth-pick. The butter is a thousand years old. A girl said so. If I should have a box, I think it would be good for me. Put in some cookies and some apples and cake and cheese and chicken-pie and a neck-tie and apple-pie and fruit-cake and that other kind of jelly-cake and some cookies and stockings and cans of fruit and fish-hooks and pop-corn and molasses and cookies. Jim found a half a dollar in his box, down to the [Pg 387]bottom. It was for his neuraligy. My throat is not quite well yet.

I take drawing. There is a nice lady to teach it. She wears a white sack with red pockets, and a blue bow. She pulls her hair down over her head. She says we must draw things, when we look at them. I drew a dog, but it came out a lamb. I can make a very nice bird. Jim put the feathers on to the tail.

Mr. Wiseman has got some snakes in some bottles, and a frog and a toad. He has got some grasshoppers with a pin stuck through them, and a spider and some potato-bugs. It is the museum. He thinks a great deal of them.

There is a foot-ball, and we play it. It is as big as a pumpkin, but you kick it. Then you get kicked and knocked down and your leg hurt; but you don’t cry. You never cry except when Jim’s asleep in the night, and your throat aches pretty bad.

There is twenty-four more days on the peace of paper.

Give my love to Tooty. How is the baby?—Your son, D. Hardin.

December 2, 1877.

Dear Mother: It is not a very big town. There is one store where you treat. It is Jerry’s. You walk right in. Jerry has molasses-candy and pop-corn and pea-nuts and string and oranges and canes and brooms and raisins and ginger-snaps and apples and fish-hooks and pise. Jim bought a pie once. It was wet, and you had to bite hard to bite it. He got it for the lock-jaw. A lock-jaw is a supper, but Mr. Wiseman don’t catch us. It is at night. We had a chicken, but I promised I would not tell where it came from. I will die before I will tell. All the boys will die before they will tell. It was the big boys, and they put a blanket up to the window and made a fire and roasted it. We had some salt and a jack-knife. John Simms roasted it. He’s a big boy. He knows how. He always roasts things. You just stick a sharp stick through it and roast it. It is good, but it makes your stummuck feel funny in the morning. There is a nother store, where the girls get things, and there is a place to get your shoes mended, and a depot, and a place for horse-shoes, and a church.

The box was very good. So good-by. D.

P. S.—Mr. Wiseman said you’d feel bad about these three demerits in my report, but you needn’t. Jim has got about ten demerits. All the boys gets demerits. One was a old bottle I threw in the hall, ’cause I didn’t want it on the table, and one was some water I threw out the window, and a boy was walking under. I had just washed me, and he got wet, and one was a noise. You make it with a tin tomato can and a string. I’ll fix one for you when I get home. The bottom has come out of my bank. And my trousers, the gray ones. How is the baby? Hardin.

P. S.—All the boys say Hardin.

Full stop a full stop.

[Pg 388]


By Louisa M. Alcott.

Chapter XI.


Mrs. Moss woke Ben with a kiss next morning, for her heart yearned over the fatherless lad as if he had been her own, and she had no other way of showing her sympathy. Ben had forgotten his troubles in sleep, but the memory of them returned as soon as he opened his eyes, heavy with the tears they had shed. He did not cry any more, but felt strange and lonely till he called Sancho and told him all about it, for he was shy even with kind Mrs. Moss, and glad when she went away.

Sancho seemed to understand that his master was in trouble, and listened to the sad little story with gurgles of interest, whines of condolence, and intelligent barks whenever the word “Daddy” was uttered. He was only a brute, but his dumb affection comforted the boy more than any words, for Sanch had known and loved “father” almost as long and well as his son, and that seemed to draw them closely together now they were left alone.

“We must put on mourning, old feller. It’s the proper thing, and there’s nobody else to do it now,” said Ben, as he dressed, remembering how all the company wore bits of crape somewhere about them at Melia’s funeral.

It was a real sacrifice of boyish vanity to take the blue ribbon with its silver anchors off the new hat and replace it with the dingy black band from the old one, but Ben was quite sincere in doing this, though doubtless his theatrical life made him think of the effect more than other lads would have done. He could find nothing in his limited wardrobe with which to decorate Sanch except a black cambric pocket. It was already half torn out of his trousers with the weight of nails, pebbles and other light trifles, so he gave it a final wrench and tied it into the dog’s collar, saying to himself, as he put away his treasures, with a sigh:

“One pocket is enough; I sha’n’t want anything but a han’k’chi’f to-day.”

Fortunately, that article of dress was clean, for he had but one, and with this somewhat ostentatiously drooping from the solitary pocket, the serious hat upon his head, the new shoes creaking mournfully, and Sanch gravely following, much impressed with his black bow, the chief mourner descended, feeling that he had done his best to show respect to the dead.

Mrs. Moss’s eyes filled as she saw the rusty band, and guessed why it was there; but she found it difficult to repress a smile when she beheld the cambric symbol of woe on the dog’s neck. Not a word was said to disturb the boy’s comfort in these poor attempts, however, and he went out to do his chores conscious that he was an object of interest to his friends, especially so to Bab and Betty, who, having been told of Ben’s loss, now regarded him with a sort of pitying awe very grateful to his feelings.

“I want you to drive me to church by and by. It is going to be pretty warm, and Thorny is hardly strong enough to venture yet,” said Miss Celia, when Ben ran over after breakfast to see if she had anything for him to do, for he considered her his mistress now, though he was not to take possession of his new quarters till the morrow.

“Yes’m, I’d like to, if I look well enough,” answered Ben, pleased to be asked, but impressed with the idea that people had to be very fine on such occasions.

“You will do very well when I have given you a touch. God doesn’t mind our clothes, Ben, and the poor are as welcome as the rich to Him. You have not been much, have you?” asked Miss Celia, anxious to help the boy, and not quite sure how to begin.

“No’m; our folks didn’t hardly ever go, and father was so tired he used to rest Sundays, or go off in the woods with me.”

A little quaver came into Ben’s voice as he spoke, and a sudden motion made his hat-brim hide his eyes, for the thought of the happy times that would never come any more was almost too much for him.

“That was a pleasant way to rest. I often do so, and we will go to the grove this afternoon and try it. But I love to go to church in the morning; it seems to start me right for the week, and if one has a sorrow, that is the place where one can always find comfort. Will you come and try it, Ben, dear?”

“I’d do anything to please you,” muttered Ben, without looking up, for, though he felt her kindness to the bottom of his heart, he did wish that no one would talk about father for a little while, it was so hard to keep from crying, and he hated to be a baby.

Miss Celia seemed to understand, for the next thing she said, in a very cheerful tone, was, “See what a pretty thing that is. When I was a little [Pg 389]girl I used to think spiders spun cloth for the fairies, and spread it on the grass to bleach.”

Ben stopped digging a hole in the ground with his toe, and looked up, to see a lovely cobweb like a wheel, circle within circle, spun across a corner of the arch over the gate. Tiny drops glittered on every thread as the light shone through the gossamer curtain, and a soft breath of air made it tremble as if about to blow it away.

“It’s mighty pretty, but it will fly off, just as the others did. I never saw such a chap as that spider is. He keeps on spinning a new one every day, for they always get broke, and he don’t seem to be discouraged a mite,” said Ben, glad to change the subject, as she knew he would be.

“That is the way he gets his living. He spins his web and waits for his daily bread, or fly, rather, and it always comes, I fancy. By and by you will see that pretty trap full of insects, and Mr. Spider will lay up his provisions for the day. After that he doesn’t care how soon his fine web blows away.”

“I know him; he’s a handsome feller, all black and yellow, and lives up in that corner where the shiny sort of hole is. He dives down the minute I touch the gate, but comes up after I’ve kept still a minute. I like to watch him. But he must hate me, for I took away a nice, green fly and some little millers one day.”

“Did you ever hear the story of Bruce and his spider? Most children know and like that,” said Miss Celia, seeing that he seemed interested.

“No’m; I don’t know ever so many things most children do,” answered Ben, soberly, for since he had been among his new friends he had often felt his own deficiencies.

“Ah, but you also know many things which they do not. Half the boys in town would give a great deal to be able to ride and run and leap as you do, and even the oldest are not as capable of taking care of themselves as you are. Your active life has done much in some ways to make a man of you, but in other ways it was bad, as I think you begin to see. Now, suppose you try to forget the harmful past, and remember only the good, while learning to be more like our boys, who go to school and church, and fit themselves to become industrious, honest men.”

Ben had been looking straight up in Miss Celia’s face as she spoke, feeling that every word was true, though he could not have expressed it if he had tried, and when she paused, with her bright eyes inquiringly fixed on his, he answered heartily:

“I’d like to stay here and be respectable, for, since I came, I’ve found out that folks don’t think much of circus riders, though they like to go and see ’em. I didn’t use to care about school and such things, but I do now, and I guess he’d like it better than to have me knockin’ round that way without him to look after me.”

“I know he would; so we will try, Benny. I dare say it will seem dull and hard at first, after the gay sort of life you have led, and you will miss the excitement. But it was not good for you, and we will do our best to find something safer. Don’t be discouraged, and, when things trouble you, come to me as Thorny does, and I’ll try to straighten them out for you. I’ve got two boys now, and I want to do my duty by both.”

Before Ben had time for more than a grateful look, a tumbled head appeared at an upper window, and a sleepy voice drawled out:

“Celia! I can’t find a bit of a shoe-string, and I wish you’d come and do my neck-tie.”

“Lazy boy, come down here, and bring one of your black ties with you. Shoe-strings are in the little brown bag on my bureau,” called back Miss Celia, adding, with a laugh, as the tumbled head disappeared mumbling something about “bothering old bags”:

“Thorny has been half spoiled since he was ill. You mustn’t mind his fidgets and dawdling ways. He’ll get over them soon, and then I know you two will be good friends.”

Ben had his doubts about that, but resolved to do his best for her sake; so, when Master Thorny presently appeared, with a careless “How are you, Ben,” that young person answered respectfully,

“Very well, thank you,” though his nod was as condescending as his new master’s; because he felt that a boy who could ride bareback and turn a double somersault in the air ought not to “knuckle under” to a fellow who had not the strength of a pussy-cat.

“Sailor’s knot, please; keeps better so,” said Thorny, holding up his chin to have a blue silk scarf tied to suit him, for he was already beginning to be something of a dandy.

“You ought to wear red till you get more color, dear,” and his sister rubbed her blooming cheek against his pale one as if to lend him some of her own roses.

“Men don’t care how they look,” said Thorny, squirming out of her hold, for he hated to be “cuddled” before people.

“Oh, don’t they; here’s a vain boy who brushes his hair a dozen times a day, and quiddles over his collar till he is so tired he can hardly stand,” laughed Miss Celia, with a little tweak of the ear.

“I should like to know what this is for?” demanded Thorny, in a dignified tone, presenting a black tie.

“For my other boy. He is going to church [Pg 390]with me,” and Miss Celia tied a second knot for this young gentleman, with a smile that seemed to brighten up even the rusty hat-band.

“Well, I like that—” began Thorny, in a tone that contradicted his words.

A look from his sister reminded him of what she had told him half an hour ago, and he stopped short, understanding now why she was “extra good to the little tramp.”

“So do I, for you are of no use as a driver yet, and I don’t like to fasten Lita when I have my best gloves on,” said Miss Celia, in a tone that rather nettled Master Thorny.

“Is Ben going to black my boots before he goes?” with a glance at the new shoes which caused them to creak uneasily.

“No, he is going to black mine, if he will. You wont need boots for a week yet, so we wont waste any time over them. You will find everything in the shed, Ben, and at ten you may go for Lita.”

With that, Miss Celia walked her brother off to the dining-room, and Ben retired to vent his ire in such energetic demonstrations with the blacking-brush that the little boots shone splendidly.

He thought he had never seen anything as pretty as his mistress when, an hour later, she came out of the house in her white shawl and bonnet, holding a book and a late lily-of-the-valley in the pearl-colored gloves, which he hardly dared to touch as he helped her into the carriage. He had seen a good many fine ladies in his life, and those he had known had been very gay in the colors of their hats and gowns, very fond of cheap jewelry, and much given to feathers, lace and furbelows, so it rather puzzled him to discover why Miss Celia looked so sweet and elegant in such a simple suit. He did not know then that the charm was in the woman, not the clothes, or that merely living near such a person would do more to give him gentle manners, good principles and pure thoughts, than almost any other training he could have had. But he was conscious that it was pleasant to be there, neatly dressed, in good company, and going to church like a respectable boy. Somehow, the lonely feeling got better as he rolled along between green fields, with the June sunshine brightening everything, a restful quiet in the air, and a friend beside him who sat silently looking out at the lovely world with what he afterward learned to call her “Sunday face.” A soft, happy look, as if all the work and weariness of the past week were forgotten, and she was ready to begin afresh when this blessed day was over.

“Well, child, what is it?” she asked, catching his eye as he stole a shy glance at her, one of many which she had not seen.

“I was only thinking you looked as if——”

“As if what? Don’t be afraid,” she said, for Ben paused and fumbled at the reins, feeling half ashamed to tell his fancy.

“You was saying prayers,” he added, wishing she had not caught him.

“So I was. Don’t you, when you are happy?”

“No’m. I’m glad, but I don’t say anything.”

“Words are not needed, but they help, sometimes, if they are sincere and sweet. Did you never learn any prayers, Ben?”

“Only ‘Now I lay me.’ Grandma taught me that when I was a little mite of a boy.”

“I will teach you another, the best that was ever made, because it says all we need ask.”

“Our folks wasn’t very pious; they didn’t have time, I s’pose.”

“I wonder if you know just what it means to be pious?”

“Goin’ to church, and readin’ the Bible, and sayin’ prayers and hymns, aint it?”

“Those things are a part of it, but, being kind and cheerful, doing one’s duty, helping others and loving God, is the best way to show that we are pious in the true sense of the word.”

“Then you are!” and Ben looked as if her acts had been a better definition than her words.

“I try to be, but I very often fail; so every Sunday I make new resolutions, and work hard to keep them through the week. That is a great help, as you will find when you begin to try it.”

“Do you think, if I said in meetin’, ‘I wont ever swear any more,’ that I wouldn’t do it again?” asked Ben, soberly, for that was his besetting sin just now.

“I’m afraid we can’t get rid of our faults quite so easily; I wish we could; but I do believe that if you keep saying that, and trying to stop, you will cure the habit sooner than you think.”

“I never did swear very bad, and I didn’t mind much till I came here, but Bab and Betty looked so scared when I said ‘damn,’ and Mrs. Moss scolded me so, I tried to leave off. It’s dreadful hard, though, when I get mad. ‘Hang it,’ don’t seem half so good if I want to let off steam.”

“Thorny used to ‘confound!’ everything, so I proposed that he should whistle instead, and now he sometimes pipes up so suddenly and shrilly that it makes me jump. How would that do, instead of swearing?” proposed Miss Celia, not the least surprised at the habit of profanity which the boy could hardly help learning among his former associates.

Ben laughed, and promised to try it, feeling a mischievous satisfaction at the prospect of out-whistling Master Thorny, as he knew he should for the objectionable words rose to his lips a dozen times a day.

The bell was ringing as they drove into town, and by the time [Pg 391]Lita was comfortably settled in her shed, people were coming up from all quarters to cluster around the steps of the old meeting-house like bees about a hive. Accustomed to a tent where people kept their hats on, Ben forgot all about his, and was going down the aisle covered when a gentle hand took it off, and Miss Celia whispered, as she gave it to him:

“This is a holy place; remember that, and uncover at the door.”

Much abashed, Ben followed to the pew, where the Squire and his wife soon joined them.

“Glad to see him here,” said the old gentleman with an approving nod, as he recognized the boy and remembered his loss.

“Hope he wont nestle round in meeting-time,” whispered Mrs. Allen, composing herself in the corner with much rustling of black silk.

“I’ll take care that he doesn’t disturb you,” answered Miss Celia, pushing a stool under the short legs and drawing a palm-leaf fan within reach.

Ben gave an inward sigh at the prospect before him, for an hour’s captivity to an active lad is hard to bear, and he really did want to behave well. So he folded his arms and sat like a statue, with nothing moving but his eyes. They rolled to and fro, up and down, from the high red pulpit to the worn hymn-books in the rack, recognizing two little faces under blue-ribboned hats in a distant pew, and finding it impossible to restrain a momentary twinkle in return for the solemn wink Billy Barton bestowed upon him across the aisle. Ten minutes of this decorous demeanor made it absolutely necessary for him to stir; so he unfolded his arms and crossed his legs as cautiously as a mouse moves in the presence of a cat, for Mrs. Allen’s eye was on him, and he knew by experience that it was a very sharp one.

The music which presently began was a great relief to him, for under cover of it he could wag his foot and no one heard the creak thereof; and when they stood up to sing, he was so sure that all the boys were looking at him, he was glad to sit down again. The good old minister read the sixteenth chapter of Samuel, and then proceeded to preach a long and somewhat dull sermon. Ben listened with all his ears, for he was interested in the young shepherd, “ruddy and of a beautiful countenance,” who was chosen to be Saul’s armor-bearer. He wanted to hear more about him, and how he got on, and whether the evil spirits troubled Saul again after David had harped them out. But nothing more came, and the old gentleman droned on about other things till poor Ben felt that he must either go to sleep like the Squire, or tip the stool over by accident, since “nestling” was forbidden, and relief of some sort he must have.

Mrs. Allen gave him a peppermint, and he dutifully ate it, though it was so hot it made his eyes water. Then she fanned him, to his great annoyance, for it blew his hair about, and the pride of his life was to have his head as smooth and shiny as black satin. An irrepressible sigh of weariness attracted Miss Celia’s attention at last, for, though she seemed to be listening devoutly, her thoughts had flown over the sea with tender prayers for one whom she loved even more than David did his Jonathan. She guessed the trouble in a minute, and had provided for it, knowing by experience that few small boys can keep quiet through sermon-time. Finding a certain place in the little book she had brought, she put it into his hands, with the whisper, “Read if you are tired.”

Ben clutched the book and gladly obeyed, though the title, “Scripture Narratives,” did not look very inviting. Then his eye fell on the picture of a slender youth cutting a large man’s head off, while many people stood looking on.

“Jack, the giant-killer,” thought Ben, and turned the page to see the words “David and Goliath,” which was enough to set him to reading the story with great interest, for here was the shepherd-boy turned into a hero. No more fidgets now; the sermon was no longer heard, the fan flapped unfelt, and Billy Barton’s spirited sketches in the hymn-book were vainly held up for admiration. Ben was quite absorbed in the stirring history of King David, told in a way that fitted it for children’s reading, and illustrated with fine pictures which charmed the boy’s eye.

Sermon and story ended at the same time; and while he listened to the prayer, Ben felt as if he understood now what Miss Celia meant by saying that words helped when they were well chosen and sincere. Several petitions seemed as if especially intended for him, and he repeated them to himself that he might remember them, they sounded so sweet and comfortable, heard for the first time just when he most needed comfort. Miss Celia saw a new expression in the boy’s face as she glanced down at him, and heard a little humming at her side when all stood up to sing the cheerful hymn with which they were dismissed.

“How do you like church?” asked the young lady as they drove away.

“First-rate,” answered Ben, heartily.

“Especially the sermon?”

Ben laughed and said, with an affectionate glance at the little book in her lap:

“I couldn’t understand it, but that story was just elegant. There’s more, and I’d admire to read ’em, if I could.”

“I’m glad you like them, and we will keep the rest for another sermon-time. Thorny used to do [Pg 392] so, and always called this his ‘pew book.’ I don’t expect you to understand much that you hear yet awhile; but it is good to be there, and after reading these stories you will be more interested when you hear the names of the people mentioned here.”

“Yes’m. Wasn’t David a fine feller? I liked all about the kid and the corn and the ten cheeses, and killin’ the lion and bear, and slingin’ old Goliath dead first shot. I want to know about Joseph next time, for I saw a gang of robbers puttin’ him in a hole, and it looked real interesting.”

Miss Celia could not help smiling at Ben’s way of telling things; but she was pleased to see that he was attracted by the music and the stories, and resolved to make church-going so pleasant that he would learn to love it for its own sake.

“Now, you have tried my way this morning, and we will try yours this afternoon. Come over about four and help me roll Thorny down to the grove. I am going to put one of the hammocks there, because the smell of the pines is good for him, and you can talk or read or amuse yourselves in any quiet way you like.”

“Can I take Sanch along? He doesn’t like to be left, and felt real bad because I shut him up for fear he’d follow and come walkin’ into meetin’ to find me.”

“Yes, indeed; let the clever Bow-wow have a good time and enjoy Sunday as much as I want my boys to.”

Quite content with this arrangement, Ben went home to dinner, which he made very lively by recounting Billy Barton’s ingenious devices to beguile the tedium of sermon-time. He said nothing of his conversation with Miss Celia, because he had not quite made up his mind whether he liked it or not; it was so new and serious, he felt as if he would better lay it by, to think over a good deal before he could understand all about it. But he had time to get dismal again and long for four o’clock, because he had nothing to do except whittle. Mrs. Moss went to take a nap; Bab and Betty sat demurely on their bench reading Sunday books; no boys were allowed to come and play; even the hens retired under the currant-bushes, and the cock stood among them, clucking drowsily, as if reading them a sermon.

“Dreadful slow day,” thought Ben, and, retiring to the recesses of his own room, he read over the two letters which seemed already old to him. Now that the first shock was over, he could not make it true that his father was dead, and he gave up trying, for he was an honest boy and felt that it was foolish to pretend to be more unhappy than he really was. So he put away his letters, took the black pocket off Sanch’s neck, and allowed himself to whistle softly as he packed up his possessions ready to move next day, with few regrets and many bright anticipations for the future.

“Thorny, I want you to be good to Ben and amuse him in some quiet way this afternoon. I must stay and see the Allens who are coming over, but you can go to the grove and have a pleasant time,” said Miss Celia to her brother.

“Not much fun in talking to that horsey fellow. I’m sorry for him, but I can’t do anything to amuse him,” objected Thorny, pulling himself up from the sofa with a great yawn.

“You can be very agreeable when you like, and Ben has had enough of me for this time. Tomorrow he will have his work and do very well, but we must try to help him through to-day, because he doesn’t know what to do with himself. Besides, it is just the time to make a good impression on him, while grief for his father softens him and gives us a chance. I like him, and I’m sure he wants to do well; so it is our duty to help him, as there seems to be no one else.”

“Here goes, then. Where is he?” and Thorny stood up, won by his sister’s sweet earnestness, but very doubtful of his own success with the “horsey fellow.”

“Waiting with the chair. Randa has gone on with the hammock. Be a dear boy, and I’ll do as much for you some day.”

“Don’t see how you can be a dear boy. You’re the best sister that ever was, so I’ll love all the scallywags you ask me to.”

With a laugh and a kiss, Thorny shambled off to ascend his chariot, good-humoredly saluting his pusher, whom he found sitting on the high rail behind, with his feet on Sanch.

“Drive on, Benjamin. I don’t know the way, so I can’t direct. Don’t spill me out,—that’s all I’ve got to say.”

“All right, sir,”—and away Ben trundled down the long walk that led through the orchard to a little grove of seven pines.

A pleasant spot, for a soft rustle filled the air, a brown carpet of pine-needles, with fallen cones for a pattern, lay under foot, and over the tops of the tall brakes that fringed the knoll one had glimpses of hill and valley, farm-houses and winding river like a silver ribbon through the low green meadows.

“A regular summer house!” said Thorny, surveying it with approval. “What’s the matter, Randa? Wont it go?” he asked, as the stout maid dropped her arms with a puff, after vainly trying to throw the hammock rope over a branch.

“That end went up beautiful, but this one wont; the branches is so high I can’t reach ’em, and I’m no hand at flinging ropes round.”

“I’ll fix it,” and Ben went up the pine like a [Pg 393] squirrel, tied a stout knot, and swung himself down again before Thorny could get out of the chair.

“My patience! what a spry boy!” exclaimed Randa, admiringly.

“That’s nothing; you ought to see me shin up a smooth tent-pole,” said Ben, rubbing the pitch off his hands, with a boastful wag of the head.

“You can go, Randa. Just hand me my cushion and books, Ben; then you can sit in the chair while I talk to you,” commanded Thorny, tumbling into the hammock.

“What’s he goin’ to say to me?” wondered Ben to himself, as he sat down with Sanch sprawling among the wheels.

In the grove ben and thorny in the grove.

“Now, Ben, I think you’d better learn a hymn; I always used to when I was a little chap, and it is a good thing to do Sundays,” began the new teacher with a patronizing air, which ruffled his pupil as much as the opprobrious term “little chap.”

“I’ll be—whew—if I do!” whistled Ben, stopping an oath just in time.

“It is not polite to whistle in company,” said Thorny, with great dignity.

“Miss Celia told me to. I’ll say ‘Confound it,’ if you like that better,” answered Ben, as a sly smile twinkled in his eyes.

“Oh, I see! She’s told you about it? Well, then, if you want to please her, you’ll learn a hymn right off. Come now, she wants me to be clever to you, and I’d like to do it; but if you get peppery, how can I?”

Thorny spoke in a hearty, blunt way, which suited Ben much better than the other, and he responded pleasantly:

“If you wont be grand I wont be peppery. Nobody is going to boss me but Miss Celia, so I’ll learn hymns if she wants me to.”

“‘In the soft season of thy youth’ is a good one to begin with. I learned it when I was six. Nice thing; better have it.” And Thorny offered the book like a patriarch addressing an infant.

Ben surveyed the yellow page with small favor, for the long s in the old-fashioned printing bewildered him, and when he came to the last two lines he could not resist reading them wrong:

“The earth affords no lovelier fight
Than a religious youth.”

“I don’t believe I could ever get that into my head straight. Haven’t you got a plain one anywhere round?” he asked, turning over the leaves with some anxiety.

“Look at the end and see if there isn’t a piece of poetry pasted in? You learn that, and see how funny Celia will look when you say it to her. She wrote it when she was a girl, and somebody had it printed for other children. I like it best, myself.”

[Pg 394] Pleased by the prospect of a little fun to cheer his virtuous task, Ben whisked over the leaves and read with interest the lines Miss Celia had written in her girlhood:

My Kingdom.

“A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard I find the task
Of governing it well.
For passion tempts and troubles me,
A wayward will misleads,
And selfishness its shadow casts
On all my words and deeds.

“How can I learn to rule myself,
To be the child I should,
Honest and brave, nor ever tire
Of trying to be good?
How can I keep a sunny soul
To shine along life’s way?
How can I tune my little heart
To sweetly sing all day?

“Dear Father, help me with the love
That casteth out my fear!
Teach me to lean on Thee, and feel
That Thou art very near;
That no temptation is unseen,
No childish grief too small,
Since Thou, with patience infinite,
Doth soothe and comfort all.

“I do not ask for any crown
But that which all may win;
Nor seek to conquer any world
Except the one within.
Be Thou my guide until I find,
Led by a tender hand,
Thy happy kingdom in myself,
And dare to take command.”

“I like that!” said Ben, emphatically, when he had read the little hymn. “I understand it, and I’ll learn it right away. Don’t see how she could make it all come out so nice and pretty.”

“Celia can do anything,” and Thorny gave an all-embracing wave of the hand, which forcibly expressed his firm belief in his sister’s boundless powers.

“I made some poetry once. Bab and Betty thought it was first-rate. I didn’t,” said Ben, moved to confidence by the discovery of Miss Celia’s poetic skill.

“Say it,” commanded Thorny, adding with tact, “I can’t make any to save my life—never could; but I’m fond of it.”

Pretty creter,
I do love her
Like a brother;
Just to ride
Is my delight,
For she does not
Kick or bite,”

recited Ben, with modest pride, for his first attempt had been inspired by sincere affection and pronounced “lovely” by the admiring girls.

“Very good! You must say them to Celia, too. She likes to hear Lita praised. You and she and that little Barlow boy ought to try for a prize, as the poets did in Athens. I’ll tell you all about it some time. Now, you peg away at your hymn.”

Cheered by Thorny’s commendation, Ben fell to work at his new task, squirming about in the chair as if the process of getting words into his memory was a very painful one. But he had quick wits, and had often learned comic songs; so he soon was able to repeat the four verses without mistake, much to his own and Thorny’s satisfaction.

“Now we’ll talk,” said the well-pleased preceptor, and talk they did, one swinging in the hammock, the other rolling about on the pine-needles, as they related their experiences boy-fashion. Ben’s were the most exciting, but Thorny’s were not without interest, for he had lived abroad for several years, and could tell all sorts of droll stories of the countries he had seen.

Busied with friends, Miss Celia could not help wondering how the lads got on, and, when the tea-bell rang, waited a little anxiously for their return, knowing that she could tell at a glance if they had enjoyed themselves.

“All goes well so far,” she thought, as she watched their approach with a smile, for Sancho sat bolt upright in the chair which Ben pushed, while Thorny strolled beside him leaning on a stout cane newly cut. Both boys were talking busily, and Thorny laughed from time to time, as if his comrade’s chat was very amusing.

“See what a jolly cane Ben cut for me. He’s great fun if you don’t stroke him the wrong way,” said the elder lad, flourishing his staff as they came up.

“What have you been doing down there? You look so merry, I suspect mischief,” asked Miss Celia, surveying them from the steps.

“We’ve been as good as gold. I talked, and Ben learned a hymn to please you. Come, young man, say your piece,” said Thorny, with an expression of virtuous content.

Taking off his hat, Ben soberly obeyed, much enjoying the quick color that came up in Miss Celia’s face as she listened, and feeling as if well repaid for the labor of learning by the pleased look with which she said, as he ended with a bow:

“I feel very proud to think you chose that, and to hear you say it as if it meant something to you. I was only thirteen when I wrote it, but it came right out of my heart, and did me good. I hope it may help you a little.”

Ben murmured that he guessed it would, but felt too shy to talk about such things before Thorny, so hastily retired to put the chair away, and the others went in to tea. But later in the evening, [Pg 395]when Miss Celia was singing like a nightingale, the boy slipped away from sleepy Bab and Betty to stand by the syringa-bush and listen, with his heart full of new thoughts and happy feelings, for never before had he spent a Sunday like this. And when he went to bed, instead of saying “Now I lay me,” he repeated the third verse of Miss Celia’s hymn, for that was his favorite, because his longing for the father whom he had seen made it seem sweet and natural now to love and lean, without fear, upon the Father whom he had not seen.

(To be continued.)


By Nathan Haskell Dole.


The swallow


Of all the birds that swim the air
I’d rather be the swallow;
And, summer days, when days were fair,
I’d follow, follow, follow
The hurrying clouds across the sky,
And with the singing winds I’d fly.

My eager wings would need no rest
If I were but a swallow;
I’d scale the highest mountain crest
And sound the deepest hollow.
No forest could my path-way hide;
No ocean plain should be too wide.

I’d find the sources of the Nile,
I’d see the Sandwich Islands,
And Chimborazo’s granite pile,
And Scotland’s rugged Highlands;
I’d skim the sands of Timbuctoo;
Constantinople’s mosques I’d view.

I’d fly among the isles of Greece,
The pride of great Apollo,
And circle round the bay of Nice,
If I were but a swallow,
And view the sunny fields of France,
The vineyards merry with the dance.

I’d see my shadow in the Rhine
Dart swiftly like an arrow,
And catch the breath of eglantine
Along the banks of Yarrow;
I’d roam the world and never tire,
If I could have my heart’s desire!

[Pg 396]


By Charles Barnard.

All the horses we see in the streets, or along the country roads, are tame. Such a thing as a real wild horse is hardly to be found anywhere, save in certain places in Texas, California, and parts of South America. Elsewhere, the horse is tame enough, and no one can remember, neither is it told in any history or story book, when or where men first tamed him and put a bit in his mouth. A long, long time ago, all the horses were wild, but no one knows when that could have been, for, as long as men can remember, they have had tame horses, dogs, cats, elephants, camels and cattle.

Now, the curious part of this is that there are wild horses both in North and South America at this day. They do not belong to any one in particular, and run wild, without saddle or bridle, all the year round. Yet they are not descendants of the original wild horses, for there was a time when their fathers were good cavalry horses, and belonged to the Spanish armies that invaded Mexico and Peru. When Europeans discovered the two continents on this side of the world, such a thing as a horse was totally unknown to the people living here, and, when they saw the Spanish cavalry, they thought the horses and riders some new kind of animal. Seeing the horses champ their brass bits, the people thought they were eating gold. So they brought lumps of gold to see them eat it. The soldiers slyly put the gold in their pockets, and said the horses had eaten it up, and the natives were simple enough to believe this wonderful story.

Many of the Spanish soldiers were killed in the wars with the Mexicans, and their horses broke loose and ran away. Some of them may have been caught again by the Mexicans, but many others escaped and were never captured again, and ran wild through the country. The descendants of these horses grew and multiplied and spread over parts of North and South America, going south into the great plains or pampas, and north into the prairie lands of Texas and the valleys of California. These horses still run wild, and are the only really wild horses in the world. At the same time, they may not precisely resemble the first real wild horses, for their fathers were tame, and, perhaps, they still remember something of this, and have strange legends among themselves of the old days when their ancestors were good Spanish cavalry horses.

The early settlers that landed in other parts of the country, at New Amsterdam, at Jamestown and Plymouth Bay, also brought tame horses with them, and these, in turn, spread over North America, as the settlers moved out toward the west. These horses are now called “American horses,” to distinguish them from the wild horses of Texas and California. The American horses, in time, met the wild horses, and then men noticed that they were very different animals. The wild horse is smaller and more muscular, he has stronger and stouter limbs, a larger head, and a more bushy mane and tail. His ears are longer and more inclined to lie back on his head, his feet are smaller and more pointed in front, and his hair is rougher and thicker. His color is often curiously mixed in black and white dots and flecks, like some circus horses that you may have seen; and, if his color is uniform, it is generally dark red or deep gray or mouse color. These mustangs are quite wild, and have no fixed feeding-ground. They scamper in droves over the rolling prairies and pampas, and sleep at night in such dry places as they can find. They keep in companies for protection against bears or other wild animals, and if they are attacked, they put their noses together and form a circle with their heels out, as if they had been told of the old Spanish fighting days, and of the soldiers forming with their pikes solid squares to resist attacks of cavalry.

They can defend themselves against the bears in this way, but against the lightning and men they have no protection, except to run away as fast as they can. A thunder storm, or a very high wind, fills them with terror, and away they go at furious speed through the grass, and, at last, disappear in a cloud of dust on the horizon.

The wild horse can run away from a man; but this protection fails at times. The horse-catchers—or “vaqueros,” as they are called—are famous riders, and to see them capture a wild mustang is better than to go to a circus. The vaquero puts a Spanish saddle on a tame horse, and starts out to see what he can find. In front, on the high pommel of the saddle, he hangs in large coils a leather rope, about a hundred feet long, and called a lasso. It is made of strips of raw hide, braided by hand into a smooth, hard and very pretty rope. One end is secured to the saddle, and the other end has a slip-knot making a sliding noose.

[Pg 397]

Capturing a wild mustang capturing a wild mustang.

The vaquero has not long to wait, for there are droves of horses cantering or walking about over [Pg 398]the swells and hollows of the prairie, with here and there a smaller group looking on, or watching a battle between two horses who wish to be captains of their bands or companies. Presently, there is a strange sound of tramping hoofs, like the sound of a squadron of cavalry, except that it has a grand, wild rush and swing such as no cavalry ever had, and a cloud of dark heads rises over a swell of the land. The leader sees the vaquero, and he halts suddenly, and the others pull up in a confused crowd, and toss their heads, and sniff the air, as if they scented danger near. The leader does not like the looks of things, and turns and slowly canters away, followed by all the rest, tramping in confusion through the yellow grass and wild barley. Presently they become frightened, and away they fly in a dusty throng.

The vaquero’s horse seems to think his chance has come, and he pricks up his ears, and is eager for the glorious fun of a dash after the mustangs. Away they go pell-mell, in a panic, and the tame horse galloping swiftly after them. Down they tumble—some knocked over in the confusion, snorting and flinging great flecks of foam from their dilated nostrils, trampling over each other in mad haste, each for himself, and the American horse sweeping after them. Now the vaquero stands up in his saddle, and the lasso swings round and round in a circle over his head. Swish! It sings through the air with a whirring sound, and opens out in great rings, while the loop spreads wider and wider, and at last drops plump over the head of a mustang. The vaquero’s horse pulls up with a sudden halt, and sinks back on his haunches, and braces his fore feet out in front. Ah! How the dust flies! The mustang is fast, held by the slip-knot, and he rears up and plunges in wild and frantic terror. The rope strains terribly, but the vaquero watches his chances, and takes in the rope every time it slackens. It is of no use! The poor mustang is hard and fast. Perhaps another rider comes up and flings another lasso over his head. Then they ride round him, and the mustang is twisted and tangled in the ropes till he can hardly move. He falls, and rolls, and kicks furiously, and all in vain. Panting, exhausted and conquered, he at last submits to his fate. His free days are over, and he seems to know it. A few more struggles, and he recognizes that man is his master, and, perhaps, in one or two days he submits to a bit in his mouth, and becomes a tame horse for the rest of his life. If, by any chance, he escapes before he is broken in, and runs away to join his wild companions, he seems never to forget that terrible lasso, and if he sees the vaquero again, he will stand, trembling and frightened, too much terrified to even run away.

The wild mustangs of the far West are rapidly disappearing. As the settlers come in, they capture them and tame them, so that in places where once the wild horses roamed in great droves, hardly one is now to be seen, and the much better American horse has taken his place. This picture shows two vaqueros in South America just making a capture. They came out from the plantation under the palm-trees, and the powerful white mustang has just felt the pull of the lasso round his splendid neck. Poor fellow! It is hard, but it will soon be over, and then he will one day enjoy chasing others quite as much as the splendid black horse has enjoyed the exciting chase after him.


By Joy Allison.

“Here’s a warm sunbeam, Daisy, Daisy;
April sent it to wake you, dear!
How can you be so lazy, lazy?
Haven’t you heard that Spring is here?”

Daisy murmured, sleepy and surly:
“Spring’s too young yet—the air is cool;
I don’t believe in a sun so early,—
He’s just playing at April fool!”

[Pg 399]

Easter Lilies easter lilies.



By Paul Fort.

One fine summer morning, many years ago, there sat upon a log, in a garden in Russia, an old man, who was mending a rake. The rake was a wooden one, and he was cutting a tooth to take the place of one that was broken. He was a stout, healthy old fellow, dressed in a coarse blue blouse and trousers; and as he sat on the log, whittling away at the piece of wood which was to become a rake-tooth, he sang, in a voice that was somewhat the worse for wear, but still quite as good a voice as you could expect an old gardener to have, a little song. He sang it in Russian, of course, and this was the way it ran:

“Zvœri raboti ne znaiut
Ptitzi zhivut bes truda
Liudi ne zvœri ne ptitzi
Liudi rabotoi zhivut.”

Expressed in English, this ditty simply set forth the fact that the beasts and the birds do not labor, but Man, who is neither a beast nor a bird, is obliged to work.

The old fellow seemed to like the lines, for he sang them over several times, as he went on with his whittling. Just as he was about to make a new start on his “Zvœri raboti,” a boy, about fifteen years old, came out of the house which stood by the side of the garden, and walked toward him.

“Nicolai Petrovitch,” said the boy, sitting down on a wheelbarrow, which was turned over in front of the gardener, “why is it that you are so fond of singing that song? One might suppose you are lazy, but we know very well you are not. And then, too, there is no sense in it. Birds don’t work, to be sure, but what have you to say about horses and oxen? I’m sure they work hard enough—at least, some of them.”

“Martin Ivanovitch,” said the old man, as he took up the rake and tried the new tooth, to see if it would fit in the hole, “this stick will have to be cut down a good deal more; it is hard wood. What you say about the beasts is very true. But I like that song. It may not be altogether true, but it is poetry, and it pleases me.”

“You like poetry, don’t you?” said Martin.

“Yes, indeed, little Martin, I like poetry. If it had been possible, I should have been a poet myself. I often think very good poetry, but as I cannot read or write, there is no sense in my trying to make use of any of it.”

“But how did you learn to like poetry, as you cannot read?” asked Martin.

“Oh! I heard a great deal of very good poetry when I was a young man, and then I learned to like it. And I remembered almost all I heard. Now, my daughter Axinia reads poetry to me every Sunday, but I do not remember it so well.”

“What kind of poetry suits you best?” asked the boy, who seemed to be tired of studying, or working, or perhaps playing, and therefore glad to have a quiet talk with the old man.

“I like all kinds, Martin Ivanovitch. I used to [Pg 400]sing a great deal, and then I liked songs best. I think you have heard me sing some of my good songs.”

“Oh yes!” said Martin, “I remember that song about the young shepherdess, who wanted to give her sweetheart something; and she could not give him her dog, because she needed him, nor her crook, because her father had given it to her, nor one of her lambs, because they all belonged to her mother, who counted them every day, and so she gave him her heart.”

“Yes, yes,” said old Nicolai, smiling; “I like that song best of all. I should be proud to have written such poetry as that. He must have been a great poet who wrote that. But I do not hear many songs now. My little Axinia is reading me a long poem. It is called the ‘Dushenka.’ Perhaps you have heard of it?”

“Oh yes!” said Martin.

“Well, she is reading that to me. She likes it herself, I do not understand it all; but what I do understand, I like very much. It is good poetry. It must have been a grand thing to write such poetry as that,” and the old man laid down his knife and his stick, and took off his cap, as if in involuntary homage to the author of “Dushenka,” which is one of the standard poems in Russian literature.

“You were not a gardener when you were a young man, were you, Nicolai Petrovitch?” asked Martin.

“O no! But long before you were born I became a gardener. When I was a young man I had a good many different employments. Being a serf, I paid a yearly sum to my master, and then I went where I pleased. Sometimes I was well off, and sometimes I was badly off. I have been out on the lonely steppes in winter, often only three or four of us together, with our horses and carts, when the snow came down so fast, and the wind blew so fiercely, that we could scarcely make our way through the storm; and even the colts that were following us could hardly keep their feet in the deep drifts. Sometimes, we would lose our way in these storms,—when we could see nothing a hundred feet from us,—and then we should have wandered about until we died, if we had not given up everything to the horses. They could always find their way home, even in the worst storms. And then,” said old Nicolai, knocking from the rake a tooth that was cracked (for the new one was finished and hammered in), “I used to drive a sledge on a post-road. That was harder, perhaps, than plunging through the snow-storms on the steppes, for I used to have to drive sometimes by day and sometimes by night, in the coldest weather; and a wind that is cold enough when you are standing still, or going along the same road that it is taking, is fifty times worse when you are driving, as fast as you can, right into the teeth of it. I used to be glad enough when we reached a post-house and I could crowd myself up against the great brick stove and try and get some little feeling into my stiffened fingers. The winter that I drove a sledge was the worst winter I have ever known. I did not care to try this hard life another season, so I went to Moscow, and there I became servant to a young fellow who was the greatest fool I ever knew.”

“What did he do?” asked Martin. “Why was he a fool?”

“Oh! he was a boy without sense—the only Russian boy I ever knew who had no sense at all. If he had belonged to some other nation, I should not have wondered so much. This fellow was about fifteen or sixteen, and ought to have known something of the world, but he knew nothing. He was going to the university when I was with him, but you might have thought he was a pupil at a mad-house. Whatever came into his cracked brain, came out of his mouth; and whatever he wanted to do, he did, without waiting to think whether it would be proper or not. The biggest fool could cheat him; and when anybody did cheat him, and his friends found it out and wanted to punish the rascal, this little fool of mine would come, with tears in his eyes, to beg for the poor wretch, who must feel already such remorse and such shame at being found out! Bah! I can hardly bear to think of him. Why, there was once a house afire, in a neighborhood where one of his friends lived, and what does this young fool do but jump out of his bed, in the middle of a stormy night, and run to this fire, with nothing but his night-clothes on!”

“This is very curious,” said Martin, laughing. “Nicolai Petrovitch, do you know——”

“Well, as I was going on to tell you,” said the old man, who seemed thoroughly wrapped up in his subject, “I couldn’t stand any such folly as that, and so I soon left him and went to live with Colonel Rasteryaieff. I stayed there a long, long time. There I became a gardener, and there I learned almost all the poetry that I know. The colonel had a daughter, who was a little child when I went there; but when she grew old enough, she became a girl of great sense, and she liked poetry, and used to come and read to me, out of the books she had. I always tried to get at some work which would let me listen to her, during the hour that she would come to me in the afternoon. She read better than my little Axinia. I used to wish I was a poet, so that I could hear her read some of my songs.”

“But, Nicolai Petrovitch,” cried Martin, his eyes fairly sparkling with a discovery he had made, “do [Pg 401] you know that I believe that that fool of a boy you lived with was the poet who wrote the songs and the poetry that you like best—that he wrote the ‘Dushenka,’ which Axinia Nicolaievna is reading to you?”

“What!” said the old gardener, laying down his knife and the piece of wood he was cutting.

“I mean what I say,” said Martin. “Wasn’t his name Bogdanovitch?”

A storm on the steppes a storm on the steppes.

“Bog-dan-ovitch!” repeated Nicolai, his eyes wide open in surprise. “Yes—that was his name. How did you know him? It was nearly fifty years ago since I lived with him.”

“Oh yes!” said Martin, still laughing, “it must have been that long ago. I read his life only a short time since, in the edition of ‘Dushenka’ which we have. It was surely Bogdanovitch whom you lived with. Why, Nicolai Petrovitch, you ought to be proud of having had such a master! He was one of our great poets. He wrote the song of the shepherdess, and he wrote the ‘Dushenka.’ He might have acted very simply when he was young, but he certainly became a great poet.”

“So he wrote the shepherdess song, did he?” said Nicolai.

“Yes, he wrote that, and many other good things, and he became quite a famous man. Queen Catharine thought a great deal of him, and the people at court paid him many honors. They did not consider him a fool, as you did. If you would like to know all about what happened to this young boy who was such a simpleton, I will lend you the book with his life in it, and Axinia Nicolaievna can read it to you.”

“My little Martin Ivanovitch,” said the old man, picking up his knife and the yet unfinished rake, “I do not believe that I ever could have become a poet, even if I had known how to read and write. It would have been impossible for me to have gone to a fire in my night-clothes!”

[Pg 402]

Page decoration



By Clarence Cook.

The Professor seated himself at the luncheon-table with an air of importance. He was twelve years old, but he might have been taken for six, or even for three, he looked so wise. The children’s nurse poured herself out a cup of tea. The teapot was too full, and a large drop fell upon the shining mahogany table. The Professor looked at the drop with evident pleasure.

“Stop, nurse!” he cried, as she was about to wipe it up with her napkin. “Let’s see who can take up that tea without touching it, and leave the table dry!”

“Thuck it up,” said Pip.

“Mamma doesn’t like you to drink tea,” said nurse.

“Besides, that would be touching it,” said Tom.

“Take it up with a thpoon,” said Pip.

“You couldn’t do it; it would spread all over,” said the Professor.

“And that would be touching it just as much,” said Bob.

“Don’t fink it can be done!” said Pip, shaking her head.

“All shut your eyes,” said the Professor. “You, nurse, shut yours, too. Don’t any of you look.”

Nurse shut both her eyes, hard. Pip put her two fat little fists into her eyes, and listened. Tom laid his head down sideways on the table, and curled his arms round it. Bob declared that he wouldn’t shut his eyes; he was going to see that the Professor acted fair.

“Now open your eyes,” said the Professor.

They all looked up, and there stood the sage, who had covered the drop with a little blue bowl. He lifted the bowl, and, on the spot where had been the drop of tea, stood a lump of loaf-sugar holding up the tea in its paws, or pores, whichever you please.

Nurse picked up the lump of sugar and ate it. The table was as dry as a bone.

“Oh, my!” said Pip.

The Professor walked over to the window.

“Oh, nurse!” said he, “why don’t you make Bridget wash this paint off the glass?”

“She has tried to get it off,” said nurse, “but she can’t do it.”

“What loths of little thpots!” said Pip.

“What careless fellows those painters were!” said Tom.

“Who knows how to get it off?” said the Professor.

“Take a thpunge and thum thope,” said Pip.

“’T wont do,” said nurse; “Bridget has tried.”

“Oh, I know!” said Bob. “Kerosene!”

“Thath dangeruth,” said Pip, “and thmells bad, bethides.”

“Nurse,” said the Professor, “what will you give me if I will show you how to take it off?”

“I’ll give you a cent,” said nurse.

“Give me a cent and I’ll do it,” said the Professor. “But I must be paid in advance.” He took the cent. “Now look, all of you,” he said; and, laying it flat on the glass, he held it with the tips of the first and second fingers, and rubbed it briskly over the pane. Off went the spots like buckwheat cakes of a cold winter-morning!

“Oh, how nithe!” said Pip.

“Any feller could do that,” said Bob.

“Yeth,” said Pip, “if they’d theen anybody do it before.”

“Why, Tom!” cried nurse, “where did you get that paint on your sleeve?”

“There! I told Fred Mason he’d get me all over paint, if he didn’t stop fooling,” said Tom.

[Pg 403] “It’th a wewy big thpot,” said Pip.

“It’ll never come off,” said Tom; “and it’s my new jacket, too! Mason pushed me against the door.”

“Well,” said the Professor, “there’s no use crying over spilt milk.”

“Oh,” said Pip, “is it milk in the paint that makth it so white?”

“Nonsense, Pip! The thing to do now is to get the paint off Tom’s coat. Who knows how to do it?”

“Don’t fink anybody duth,” said Pip.

“Hold out your arm,” said the Professor. And, with the sleeve of his own coat, he briskly rubbed the sleeve of Tom’s; and away went the spot of paint in a jiffy.

“He’s wubbed it onto his own thleeve,” said Pip.

But no; the Professor’s sleeve was as clean as Tom’s.

“Where ith it went to?” said Pip. “Oh, nurse! Ithn’t that thingler?”

“I say,” said Bob, “you couldn’t have got it off if it had dried on your coat.”

“Perhaps not,” said the Professor.

It was again luncheon-time, and Pip, Tom, and Bob were in the dining-room, where nurse Charlotte, seated at the head of the table, was already pouring herself out a cup of tea. She had cut bread and butter for the children, filled their tumblers with milk, and was ready, when they should be ready, to help them to the apple-and-sago pudding—“just the nithest pudding in the world,” as merry little Pip used to say every time it came on table.

All the children were there but the Professor; the others did not know where he was. Pip was the first one to see him coming across the lawn.

“How queer!” said Pip. “He’th all mud, and what hath he got in hith hand?”

“It’s a turtle,” says Tom.

“It’th a bird,” says Pip.

“Perhaps it’s a turtle-dove,” says nurse.

“Should say ’t was a mud-turtle by the looks of his legs,” said Bob.

“Nurth, do turtle-doves live in the mud?” said Pip.

“Nonsense,” said Bob, “as if birds ever lived in the mud!”

“Well,” said Pip, “thum thwallows, I know, make their neths of mud, and then they live in their neths, and that’s living in mud. But here comth the Profethor; let’s see what heeth found. It’s thumthin in a glath.”

The Professor came up, walking very slowly across the grass; then stepped carefully up upon the piazza, and, as he passed the window, he called for some one to come and open the front door.

All the children ran together, and opened the door with such a flourish, the Professor was obliged to call out, “Stand off! Hands off!”

“Will it splode?” said Pip.

“Will it bite?” said Bob.

“Will it fly away?” said Tom.

“It will splode,” said the Professor, “and it will fly away; but it won’t bite.”

“Oh my!” said Pip, “what can it be? I never heard of any creature splodin!”

The Professor looked pleased; his face was red, his hair was tumbled, his coat was torn, and his boots and trousers were muddy.

“You look as if you had had a hard time catching the creature, whatever it is,” said nurse. “You’d better leave it out-of-doors now, and clean yourself, and come and eat your luncheon.”

“Oh, please, nurse, let’s see it now!” said all the children; and nurse, who wanted to see it herself, agreed.

“You can’t see it,” said the Professor; “it’s invisible! You can’t see it till it disappears!”

“Oh dear,” said Pip, “I just ache to know about it.”

“Well,” said the Professor, “light mamma’s wax-taper.”

“I don’t see what good lighting a taper will do, if the creature’s invisible,” said Bob.

The Professor set his burden down on the table. It was a saucer filled with water, and in the water stood a tumbler upside down. There was nothing to be seen in the tumbler.

The Professor struck an attitude.

“What I have in this tumbler, nurse and children, was obtained with great difficulty. I’ve been about it ever since lesson-time.”

“Where did you find it?” says Pip.

“How came you to know about it?” says Tom.

“I should think it would be hard to catch nothing,” says Bob.

“I found it in the water, in the little pool in our woods. I saw it first the other night in the dark, and I caught it to-day when it was hiding. I took a long stick and gently stirred up the dead leaves that lie rotting on the bottom, and he began to come up—first one, then another—now here, and now there.”

“Ho! ho!” says Bob. “How could that be? How could he come up in pieces, and in different places?”

“Poor thing!” said Pip. “He wath dead!”

“Oh, if he’s dead I don’t care about him,” says Bob.

“He’s far from dead,” said the Professor; “and though he was in pieces, he’s all together now, and [Pg 404] safe in this tumbler.” And then, seizing the lighted taper, he turned up the tumbler, held the taper quickly to its mouth, and—Pop! went something, with a quick flash.

“Oh, fire-works!” says Bob.

“Oh, tell us truly about it!” says Tom. “Where did you buy it? Let’s have some for the Fourth!”

“Children,” said the Professor, “I have told you the truth about it. It’s gas. It’s carbureted hydrogen. I found it in the pond. ‘Carbureted hydrogen’ is its science name. Its poetry name is ‘Will-o’-the-wisp,’ and there’s another name besides.”

“I should think two names were enough for nothing,” says Bob.

“What’th the other name?” said Pip.

Ignis fatuus,” said the Professor. “It means ‘Cheating-fire.’ Sometimes this gas, rising to the top of the water in bubbles, takes fire (by what they call spontaneous combustion, or by mixing with some other gas, or in some other way), and then, as one bubble after another takes fire and goes flickering along, it looks as if some one were walking through the woods with a lantern.”

“And thath how it cheat-th, isn’t it?” said Pip. “But I don’t thee how it is thet afire. Perhapth, now—perhapth it’s the fire-flyth!”

“Oh, good for you!” said the Professor; and he chased her round the table, and caught her, and kissed her.

“Well, how did you ever get it with that tumbler?” said Tom.

“Well, easy enough. First, I filled the tumbler with water. Then I laid the saucer over the top. Then I plunged the whole under the water, holding tumbler and saucer with both hands firm, and turned them over in the water, and drew them out. The saucer, as well as the tumbler, was then full of water, and though the tumbler was upside down the water couldn’t fall out.”

“What hindered it, I’d like to know?” said Bob.

“Atmospheric pressure,” said the Professor, pushing the words out slowly. “The whole atmosphere weighs down on the water in the saucer and balances the water in the tumbler and keeps it in.”

“It had all leaked out before you reached home, anyway,” said Bob.

“The gas pushed it out,” said the Professor, “I told you how I stirred up the bottom of the pool. It was all covered with dead leaves. These as they rot give out gas, but it cannot easily escape from the bottom, and stays down among the leaves and slime till it is stirred up. Then the little bubbles of gas come popping up, and as they mount I am ready with my tumbler and saucer. I slip them both softly into the water a little way off, draw out the saucer, slide the inverted tumbler over the bubbles before they break; and the gas mounts into the tumbler, each bubble of gas displacing a little water; then over more bubbles, and more and more, until all the water in the tumbler is out and the gas is in its place; then I fill the saucer with water again, slide it under the tumbler, and bring it home.”

“Come to your luncheon, children,” cried nurse. “The pudding will be cold.”

“Oh, wait a minute,” said Tom. “You said the gas drove out the water in the tumbler. Why don’t it drive out the water in the saucer?”

The Professor looked puzzled.

“Well, it would in time, I suppose. But you see, its nature is to push upward, because it’s light——”

“Oh, now, it pushes the same every way,” said Tom.

“There’s something we don’t know,” said Bob.

“Oh, yeth, I am afwaid we don’t know it all,” said Pip.

“Well,” drawled the Professor, “I don’t know, only I guess it’s because the water is too dense—too close together, for one thing; and the same atmospheric pressure that kept the water in keeps the gas in, for another.”

“There, I do believe that’s it,” said Pip. “Oh, how nice it did pop off! Like a vewy small fwier-cracker a great way off. Now let’s have some pudding. Apple and sago! Just the nithest pudding in the world!”

One day an ant went to visit her neighbor;
She found her quite busy with all sorts of labor;
So she didn’t go in, but stopped at the sill;
Left her respects, and went back to her hill.

[Pg 405]


Mousies adventures

mousie’s adventures from garret to cellar.

[Pg 406]


By C. P. Cranch.


When swiftly in my first you glide along,
Naught ruffles up the temper of your mind;
All goes as smoothly as a summer song,
All objects flit beside you like the wind.

But if you should be stopped in your career,
And forced to linger when you fain would fly,
You’ll leave my first, and, very much I fear,
Will fall into my second speedily.

Till in some snug and comfortable room
Your friends receive you as a welcome guest,
You’ll own that Winter’s robbed of half his gloom,
When on my whole your feet in slippers rest.



my first.

I sunder friends, yet give to laws
A place to stand and plead their cause.
Though justice and sobriety
Still find their safest ground in me,
I spread temptation in man’s way,
And rob and ruin every day.


my second.

Success and power are in my name,
Men strive for me far more than fame.
One thing I am unto the wise,
But quite another in fools’ eyes,
Through me the world is rich and strong,
Yet too much love of me is wrong.


my whole.

My first and second when they meet,
As lawyers’ fees, my whole complete.
And yet my first too oft enjoyed,
Is sure to make my second void.
My whole is good and bad by turns,
As every merchant daily learns.



My first the stout Hibernian wields
On banks and streets and stubborn fields,
To earn the bread that labor yields.

My second is a name for one
Whose youth and age together run,
A leader all good people shun.

My whole in summer-time is sweet,
When youths and maids together meet
Beneath some shady grove’s retreat.

(So simple is this short charade,
That I am very much afraid
You’ll guess at once, without my aid.)



When I was a little boy, how welcome was my first;
When tired of play I went to bed, my lessons all rehearsed.
How soundly all the night I slept, without a care or sorrow,
And waked when sunshine lit the room, and robins sang good-morrow.

When I was a little boy, what joy it was to see
My second waiting at the door for Willy and for me;
And how we trotted off to bring ripe apples from the farm,
And piled our bags on Nellie’s back, nor felt the least alarm.

But when I was a little boy, I had an ugly dream,
A huge black bear was in my bed, I gave a dreadful scream,
And roused the house; they brought in lights, and put my whole to flight,
Since then I made a vow to eat no supper late at night.


[A] The answers will be given in the “Letter-Box” for May, 1878.

[Pg 407]


By Howard Pyle.

In old times, there was once a quaint little dwarf, who was known as the Kaboutermanneken of Kaboutermannekensburg.

In the very ancient times of good King Broderic and Frederic Barbarossa, he constantly lived above ground, and many times was seen trudging along through the moonlit forest with a bag over his shoulder. What was in the bag nobody exactly knew, but most people supposed it to be gold.

The Kaboutermanneken was a peppery little fellow, and at the slightest word his rage would fire up hotly. Since he was quite able, small as he was, to thrash the strongest man, he was very generally avoided.

It is a well-assured fact that, as churches increase, dwarfs and elfin-folk diminish; so, at last, when the town of Kaboutermannekensburg was founded, and a church built, the Kaboutermanneken was fairly driven to the wall, or, rather, into the ground, where he lived in the bowels of the earth, and only appeared at intervals of a hundred years. But, upon the last day that terminated each of these series of a hundred years, he would re-appear in his old haunts, and, I believe, continues the practice to the present day, in spite of railroads, steam-engines, and all the paraphernalia of progress, so destructive to fairy lore.


I.—The Golden Cup.

Once upon a time, after the Kaboutermanneken’s visits had become events of such rarity, there lived a worthy wood-chopper, who had a daughter named Catherine; a pretty little maiden of sixteen, and yet the wisest woman in the kingdom of Kaboutermannekensburg. Shrewd as she was, she had yet the best, the kindest, and the most guileless heart in the world; and many a sick man, troubled woman, and grieved child had cause to bless her and her wisdom. One winter, when labor was cheap and bread expensive, the wood-chopper, whose name was Peter Kurtz, chopped his hand instead of the stump he was aiming a blow at, and, in consequence, rendered himself unfit for work for many a day. During his sickness, the whole care of the family devolved upon Kate; for Peter’s wife had died nearly two years before; so it was Kate who tended the baby, dressed Johann, mended Wilhelm’s small-clothes, and attended to the wants of her father; for in those days a sick man was more complaining than a child two years old. Beside these acts of labor, she had to cook the meals, wash the dishes, sweep the house, run of errands, chop the wood, make the fire, and many other little odd duties of the kind; so that, upon the whole, her time was pretty well occupied.

There seemed a probability now, however, that one of these duties would be dispensed with, namely, cooking the meals; not that there was any indolence upon Catherine’s part, but because the necessary materials were not forthcoming. Indeed, the extent of the larder at present consisted of half a bowl of cold gravy, and about a quarter of a loaf of bread.

When Catherine, that cold morning, inspected the woeful emptiness of the cupboard, she wrung her cold blue hands in despair; but, wring her poor little hands ever so much, she could not squeeze good bread and meat out of them; something must be done, and that immediately, if she would save the children from starving. At length she bethought herself that many rich people of Kaboutermannekensburg were fond of burning pine-cones instead of rough logs, not only on account of the bright, warm and crackling fire they produced, but also because of the sweet resinous odor that they threw out, filling the house with a perfume like that which arose from the censers in the cathedral.

It was woeful weather for Catherine to go hunting for pine-cones. The snow lay a good foot deep over the glossy brown treasures, and she herself was but thinly clad; yet the children must have bread. Not having eaten any breakfast that morning, she slipped the remnant of the loaf into the basket to serve as lunch, and then started to face the wind toward the forest.

Bitterly cold blew the wind from the bleak north; tearing through the moaning pine forest, that tossed and swayed before the tempest, gnawing Catherine’s nose and fingers, and snatching up, as it were, handfuls of snow, and hurling them in a rage through the air. Poor Catherine was nearly frozen, yet she struggled bravely on through the drifting snow. Suddenly she caught sight of a quaint little cottage that she had never seen before, much as she had traveled this portion of the forest; but a more welcome sight still was the gleam of a cheery fire within, that illuminated the frost-covered panes with a ruddy glow.

Catherine, stumbling, sliding, struggling through the drifts, reached the cottage at last, raised the latch, and entered a door-way so low that even she, [Pg 408]small as she was, had to stoop her head in passing.

“Shut the door!” shrieked a shrill voice, with startling abruptness; and, for the first time, Kate perceived a very little old man seated in a very large chair, and smoking a very long pipe. A great beard reached below his dangling feet and touched the floor.

Very little old man “a very little old man
seated in a very large chair.”

“May I warm myself at your fire, kind gentleman?” said Kate, dropping a courtesy. The little old man grunted without looking at her.

“May I warm myself at your fire, sir?” repeated Kate, in a louder voice, supposing he must be deaf.

“I heard you!” growled the old dwarf, with sudden rage. “You don’t suppose I’m deaf, do you? I said yes. You don’t want to argue, do you?”

Kate murmured her thanks, feeling much astonished and very uncomfortable at the old gentleman’s conduct. Thus they sat in silence for a long while, the little old man smoking like a volcano. At length:

“Are you hungry?” said he, abruptly.

“Yes, sir,” said Kate, bethinking herself of her bread.

“So am I!” said the old man, shortly, at the same time resuming his smoking. Removing his pipe after another pause, “I haven’t had anything to eat for one hundred years; I feel kind of empty,” said he.

“I should think so,” thought Kate to herself; then, after regarding him in silence for a few minutes, she said, timidly, “I—I have a—a piece of bread in my basket, sir, if you would like to have it?”

“Like to have it? You speak as though you had no sense. Of course, I should like to have it! Why didn’t you offer it to me sooner?”

Kate, in spite of her hunger, that had recommenced gnawing her, now that she was warm, handed him the piece of bread. The old man seized it ravenously, opened his mouth to an astonishing extent, bolted the large morsel as one does a pill, and then resumed his smoking as though nothing of any note had occurred. Kate regarded him with silent astonishment.

“What are you doing out in this kind of weather?” said the old man, suddenly.

“I came to gather pine-cones to sell in the town,” said Kate.

“You’re a fool!” snapped the old man. “How do you suppose you can gather pine-cones in twelve inches of snow, not to mention the drifts?”

“Nevertheless, sir, I have to get the children something to eat, and father——”

“Oh! don’t bother me with that story!” said the old man, impatiently. “I know all about it. Your father’s Peter Kurtz, isn’t he?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Umph!” grunted the dwarf. Then, after another pause, “go to the closet yonder, and take one of the cups there, in return for the bread you gave me.”

[Pg 409] “Indeed, sir,” said Kate, earnestly, “I do not care for any return for——”

“Do as I tell you!” bellowed the dwarf, in a fury.

Kate crossed the room, opened the cupboard, and—what a sight met her eyes! All the dishes, bowls, cups and saucers were of pure gold.

“Take one of the cups?” said Kate, in breathless doubt.

“That’s what I said, wasn’t it?” snarled the dwarf. “You are just like all women, never contented with what you receive.”

Catherine was far too wise to answer foolish abuse with useless excuse; she silently took one of the beautiful cups and put it in her basket. She was so overcome that she did not think of any word of thanks until she had reached the door; then, turning: “May heaven bless you, sir, for——”

“Shut the door!” screamed the dwarf.

Kate hurried home, but before reaching the town she wisely covered the cup with snow, that no gossiping neighbor might catch sight of it; for she well knew that gossip was like the snow-ball that the little boys start rolling from the top of a hill—small in the commencement, but sure to grow before it ends its course.

“Where have you been all this time?” whined Peter.

When Kate recounted her adventure, her father could hardly believe her, and when she had carefully removed the snow from the cup, he could hardly believe his eyes. He placed it upon the table, and then, sitting down in front of it, he examined it with breathless astonishment and delight.

The cup was of solid gold, heavy and massive; carved upon it in bold relief was a group of figures representing a host of little elves at a banquet. So exquisitely were they engraved that they appeared actually to move, and it seemed as though one could almost hear their laughter and talk. A glittering, carved golden snake, curled around the brim of the cup, served as a handle; its eyes were two diamonds. After Peter Kurtz had feasted his eyes upon this treasure for a long time, he arose suddenly, and, without saying a word, wrapped up the cup in a napkin, drew his cowl more closely around his face, and, taking his staff, prepared to leave the house.

“Where are you going, father?” said Kate.

“I am going,” said Peter, “to take this cup to our master, the Baron von Dunderhead; that will be far more to our advantage than selling it to some petty goldsmith or other.”

“Take care what you do, father!” said Kate, quickly. “I foresee that danger will come of it, if you fulfill your intention.”

“Bah!” said Peter, and, without deigning another word, he marched out of the house; for Peter, like a great many men in those days, had a very poor opinion of the feminine intellect, and a very good opinion of his own. So off he marched boldly toward castle Dunderhead.

Examined with astonishment “he examined with astonishment and delight.”

When Peter presented the golden cup to the baron, with a low bow, that nobleman could not find sufficient words to express his admiration. He sighed with rapture, and examined the cup from every side with the utmost minuteness.

“Give this worthy man,” said he, “four bags of guilders; money is nothing to the acquisition of such a treasure of beauty.”

Here Peter secretly hugged himself, and chuckled at his daughter’s warning. Meanwhile, the baron examined the cup with huge satisfaction. Suddenly turning to Peter, “Where is the saucer?” said he.

“The saucer?” repeated Peter, blankly. “Please you, my lord, it never had a saucer!”

“Never had a saucer?” repeated the baron. “You don’t mean to tell me that such a cup as that was ever made without a saucer to go with it!”

“Nevertheless, my lord, I have no saucer,” said Peter, humbly.

“You are deceiving me,” said the baron, sternly. Then, fixing his eye upon poor Peter, “Where did you get that cup?” said he, abruptly. “Me-thinks you are rather a poor man to possess such a treasure.”

“Oh, good my lord!” cried poor Peter, “I will tell you the whole truth. An old man in the forest gave it to my daughter Kate.”

“Do you expect me to believe such a story as that?” exclaimed the baron. “You stole it, you [Pg 410]thief!” he roared, at the same time seizing Peter by the collar. “Ho! guards! Arrest this man, and throw him into the dungeon,” cried he to his attendants.

“Mercy! mercy, my lord!” cried poor Peter, falling on his knees. But the guards dragged him off in spite of his cries, and popped him into a dungeon, where he was left to meditate over his folly in not heeding his daughter’s advice.


II.—The Goose that was to lay the Golden Egg.

Catherine waited anxiously for her father’s return, but her fears told her all when night came and he came not.

After she had put the children to bed, having given them each a piece of bread, which she had borrowed from a kind neighbor, she threw a shawl around her head and started off in the direction of Castle Dunderhead, where her fears told her only too plainly her father was. The bars of the dungeon windows came upon a level with the ground, like those of a cellar.

“Father!” murmured Catherine.

“Oh, Kate!” was the response, followed immediately by the sound of violent crying, and Catherine knew her father was there. “Oh, Kate! if I—I had but l-listened to you!” sobbed the poor fellow; for, now that the discovery was too late to avail him, he felt perfectly sure of his daughter’s superior intelligence. Then, with much sobbing, he recounted all the particulars of his interview with the baron. “Can’t you do something to get your poor old father out?” continued he.

Kate was thoughtful for a moment. “I’ll try, father,” said she, at length; and, bidding him a hasty adieu, she hurried off. She ran, without stopping, to where the little cottage stood in the forest; but, as you have already probably guessed, the old man was the Kaboutermanneken, his day’s visit was over, and he had descended once more into the obscurity of the earth; consequently Catherine, much to her perplexity, could not discover the little cottage. After vainly seeking for some time, she at length saw the hopelessness of her task, and wended her way sorrowfully homeward. She lay awake nearly all night, vainly cudgeling her brains for some plan by which to deliver her father from his confinement. At length an idea occurred to her, and, smiling to herself, she turned on her pillow and fell asleep until the sun shining in her eyes awakened her. Then, arising, she donned her best frock and neatest cap, and proceeded to the Castle Dunderhead. She was directly presented to the baron.

“My lord!” said she, falling upon her knees.

“Well, my pretty damsel,” said he; for Kate looked very sweet in her saucy cap.

“My lord,” continued she, and the tears rose to her eyes as she spoke; “you have my father in custody.”

“Ha!” exclaimed the baron, frowning,—“Peter Kurtz?”

“Yes, my lord.”

“Bring forth Peter Kurtz!” cried the baron to the guard, and soon Peter made his appearance, crying like a good fellow. “Now that I have you confronted with each other,” continued the baron, “where did your father get that cup?”

He did not get it, my lord; an old man in the forest gave it to me,” answered Catherine.

“Humph!” grunted the baron. “Your father has taught you prettily.”

“My lord,” resumed Catherine, “I came to buy my father’s liberty.”

“Ha!” cried the baron, eagerly, “have you brought the saucer?”

“No, my lord.” The baron’s countenance fell. “But, if you release my father, we have a goose at home that I will give you, and every egg it will lay for you shall be of pure gold.” The baron’s countenance lifted again. “This, my lord, I offer you.”

Peter’s eyes had been opening in wide astonishment as Kate proceeded.

“Why, Kate,” exclaimed he, “I don’t know about——”

“Be quiet, father!” said Catherine.

The baron thought Peter’s exclamation arose from his regret at parting with such a treasure; so his eagerness arose in proportion.

“Can you swear to the truth of this?” asked the baron.

“I can!” said Kate, firmly.

Peter could contain himself no longer.

“Why, Kate! how can you——”

“Be quiet, father!” interrupted Catherine, again.

“He shall have his freedom,” cried the baron, eagerly, “and the cup to boot.”

“We do not want the cup, my lord,” answered wise Catherine.

“Yes, but we do!” cried Peter; for, as the prospect of his pardon increased, respect for his daughter’s wisdom diminished in direct ratio.

“You shall have it!” cried the baron; “release him, guards!”

“One thing more,” said Catherine; “a proclamation must be issued stating that you will never arrest my father again in connection with this affair.”

“It shall be done!” said the baron; upon which he dismissed them both with the golden cup, which [Pg 411] Peter had accepted in spite of his daughter’s protestations.

That same afternoon the proclamation was issued, and Catherine carried a large gray goose to Castle Dunderhead.

“Father,” said she, when she returned, “since you have accepted the golden cup, you must leave this place, for the baron will always look enviously upon you. Had you left it with him he would have paid no more attention to you, but now it is different.”

“Why so?” said Peter; “hasn’t the baron given his promise that he will never arrest me or mine again? And about that goose——”

A page was sent “a page was appointed to escort it.”

“Never mind the goose, father,” interrupted Kate. “I say again that every egg the goose lays shall be of pure gold.”

“Well, I’m sure I don’t understand it,” said Peter, testily; “and, moreover, I am not going to leave Kaboutermannekensburg. The idea of your trying to teach me wisdom!”

“No, I could never do that,” murmured Kate, with a sigh.

“No, I should think not, indeed!” said Peter, pompously.

The baron could not make enough of his goose. He had a splendid pen made for it, of ebony inlaid with silver, the nest was of purest eider-down, and a special page was appointed to escort it every morning to the water and back. It was fed upon sweet herbs and sponge-cake; it grew enormously fat; and, as time went on, its voice, its appetite, and its healthy condition increased to an astonishing extent. Only one thing troubled the baron, and that was it did not lay. Every day he himself went to the nest expecting to find the much-looked-for golden egg, and every day he did not find it. So matters continued for a long time.

One morning, as Kate and her father were at breakfast, a squad of soldiers, headed by the high-sheriff, marched into the house.

“Peter Kurtz and Catherine Kurtz, you are to consider yourselves under arrest,” said the sheriff.

“But the baron has issued a proclamation that he will never arrest me again,” said poor Peter.

“You are arrested,” continued the sheriff, without paying the slightest attention to Peter, “in the king’s name, upon suit of the Baron von Dunderhead, for obtaining goods under false pretense.”

Catherine said never a word—not even “I told you so”—but submitted, whilst poor Peter cried like a very child.

They were thrown into separate dungeons, in default of bail. Not many days elapsed, however, before they were brought forth to be tried by the grand tribunal.

The king sat upon a chair of state, with a learned judge at each side, to decide the extraordinary cases that were brought before him.

Peter and Catherine were led up to the bar, the latter calm and collected, the former weeping bitterly, and continually crying, “if I had but minded her! if I had but minded her!”

This doleful cry, which was continued in spite of the violent vociferations of “order in the court!” at length aroused the king’s curiosity, and he inquired what he meant. Amid many sobs, Peter contrived to tell the king the whole story. “Had I minded,” said he, in conclusion, “when she advised me not to take the cup to the baron; had I minded when she advised me not to receive it back again; or, had I minded when she advised me to leave Kaboutermannekensburg, I had never gotten myself into this trouble—miserable wretch that I am!” Here he commenced sobbing afresh with great vehemence.

The king put on his spectacles and looked at Catherine. “Faith!” said he, “thou art much wiser than most girls of thy age, and—ahem! very pretty, too, I vow!” Then, turning to the baron, “Prefer your charge, baron,” said he. Hereupon the baron told how Catherine had given him the goose for her father’s freedom and the golden cup, and how she had sworn that every egg it should lay would be of pure gold.

“Well,” said the king, “did she forswear herself?”

“N-no, not exactly,” hesitated the baron.

“I said that every egg it laid for you should be of pure gold, did I not?” said Kate to the baron.

[Pg 412] “Yes, you did,” snarled the baron, whose anger was commencing to boil.

“And I say again,” said Kate, calmly, “that every egg it lays for you shall be of pure gold.”

“Well, then, what is the matter?” said the king, scratching his nose in great perplexity.

The king sat upon a chair “the king sat upon a chair of state,
with a learned judge at each side.”

“Why, your majesty,” bellowed the baron, losing all control of himself, “it is a gander!”

The king burst into a roar of laughter.

“Faith!” said he, turning to Kate, “thou art the shrewdest maiden in the world.” Then, to the baron: “The maid was right, and every egg the goose lays shall be of pure gold.” And so Baron Von Dunderhead and his case were dismissed.

Catherine had made a great impression upon the king, both on account of her shrewdness and beauty; so, being a jolly monarch, he conceived the notion of marrying her to the heir apparent. The heir apparent had no objection, and so the ceremony was consummated with great state.

Even to this day the good folk of the kingdom of Kaboutermannekensburg look back with longing to the time when Catherine the Wise was queen, and ruled not only her husband, but his kingdom also.

As for Peter, he was appointed lord chief justice, for one did not have to be very wise to be a judge in those days.

Open the snowy little bed,
And put the baby in it;
Lay down her pretty curly head,
She’ll go to sleep in a minute.

Tuck the sheet down round her neck,
And cover the dimples over,
Till she looks like a rose-bud peeping out
From a bed of sweet white clover.

[Pg 413]


By Charles C. Abbott.

Not long since I wandered along a pretty brook that rippled through a narrow valley. I was on the lookout for whatever birds might be wandering that way, but saw nothing of special interest. So, to while away the time, I commenced geologizing; and, as I plodded along my lonely way, I saw everywhere traces of an older time, when the sparkling rivulet that now only harbors pretty salamanders was a deep creek, tenanted by many of our larger fishes.

How fast the earth from the valley’s slopes may have been loosened by frost and washed by freshet, and carried down to fill up the old bed of the stream, we will not stop to inquire; for other traces of this older time were also met with here. As I turned over the loose earth by the brook-side, and gathered here and there a pretty pebble, I chanced upon a little arrow-point.

The hatchet the hatchet.

Whoever has made a collection, be it of postage stamps or birds’ eggs, knows full well how securing one coveted specimen but increases eagerness for others; and so was it with me, that pleasant afternoon. Just one pretty arrow-point cured me of my laziness, banished every trace of fatigue, and filled me with the interest of eager search; and I dug and sifted and washed the sandy soil for yards along the brook-side, until I had gathered at least a score of curious relics of the long-departed red men, or rather of the games and sports and pastimes of the red men’s hardy and active children.

Arrow heads arrow-heads.

For centuries before Columbus discovered San Salvador, the red men (or Indians, as they are usually called) roamed over all the great continent of North America, and, having no knowledge of iron as a metal, they were forced to make of stone or bone all their weapons, hunting and household implements. From this fact they are called, when referring to those early times, a stone-age people, and so, of course, the boys and girls of that time were stone-age children.

But it is not to be supposed that because the children of savages they were altogether unlike the youngsters of to-day. In one respect, at least, they were quite the same—they were very fond of play.

Their play, however, was not like the games of to-day, as you may see by the pictures of their toys. We might, perhaps, call the principal game of the boys “Playing Man,” for the little stone implements, here pictured, are only miniatures of the great stone axes and long spear-points of their fathers.

In one particular these old-time children were really in advance of the youngsters of to-day; they not only did, in play, what their parents did in earnest, but they realized, in part, the results of their playful labor. A good old Moravian missionary, who labored hard to convert these Indians to Christianity, says: “Little boys are frequently seen wading in shallow brooks, shooting [Pg 414] small fishes with their bows and arrows.” Going a-fishing, then, as now, was good fun; but to shoot fishes with a bow and arrow is not an easy thing to do, and this is one way these stone-age children played, and played to better advantage than most of my young readers can.

Among the stone-age children’s toys that I gathered that afternoon, were those of which we have pictures. The first is a very pretty stone hatchet, very carefully shaped, and still quite sharp. It has been worked out from a porphyry pebble, and in every way, except size, is the same as hundreds that still are to be found lying about the fields.

No red man would ever deign to use such an insignificant-looking ax, and so we must suppose it to have been a toy hatchet for some little fellow that chopped away at saplings, or, perhaps, knocked over some poor squirrel or rabbit; for our good old Moravian friend, the missionary, also tells us that “the boys learn to climb trees when very young, both to catch birds and to exercise their sight, which, by this method, is rendered so quick that in hunting they see objects at an amazing distance.” Their play, then, became an excellent schooling for them; and if they did nothing but play it was not a loss of time.

The five little arrow-points figured in the second picture are among those I found in the valley. The ax was not far away, and both it and they may have belonged to the same bold and active young hunter. All of these arrow-points are very neatly made.

The same missionary tells us that these young red men of the forest “exercise themselves very early with bows and arrows, and in shooting at a mark. As they grow up, they acquire a remarkable dexterity in shooting birds, squirrels, and small game.”

Every boy remembers his first pen-knife, and, whether it had one or three blades, was proud enough of it; but how different the fortune of the stone-age children, in this matter of a pocket-knife.

Flint knife flint knife.

In the third picture is shown a piece of flint that was doubtless chipped into this shape that it might be used as a knife.

I have found scores of such knives in the fields that extend along the little valley, and a few came to light in my search that afternoon in the brook-side sands and gravel. So, if this chipped flint is a knife, then, as in modern times, the children were whittlers.

Fish hooks fish-hooks.

Of course, our boys nowadays would be puzzled to cut a willow whistle or mend the baby’s go-cart with such a knife as this; but still, it will not do to despise stone cutlery. Remember the big canoe at the Centennial, that took up so much room in the Government building. That boat, sixty feet long, was made in quite recent times, and only stone knives and hatchets were used in the process.

I found, too, in that afternoon walk, some curiously shaped splinters of jasper, which at first did not seem very well adapted to any purpose; and yet, although mere fragments, they had every appearance of having been purposely shaped, and not of accidental resemblances to a hook or sickle blade. When I got home, I read that perfect specimens, mine being certainly pieces of the same form, had been found away off in Norway; and Professor Nilsson, who has carefully studied the whole subject, says they are fish-hooks.

Instead of my broken ones, we have in the fourth illustration some uninjured specimens of these fish-hooks from Norway. Two are made of flint, the largest one being bone; and hooks of exactly the same patterns really have been found within half a mile of the little valley I worked in that afternoon.

The fish-hooks shown in our picture have been thought to be best adapted for, and really used in, capturing cod-fish in salt water, and perch and pike in inland lakes. The broken hooks I found were fully as large; and so the little brook that now ripples down the valley, when a large stream, must have had a good many big fishes in it, or the stone-age fishermen would not have brought their fishing-hooks, and have lost them, along this remnant of a larger stream.

But it must not be supposed that only children [Pg 415]in this by-gone era, did the fishing for their tribe. Just as the men captured the larger game, so they took the bigger fishes; but it is scarcely probable that the boys who waded the little brooks with bows and arrows would remain content with that, and, long before they were men, doubtless they were adepts in catching the more valuable fishes that abounded, in Indian times, in all our rivers.

So, fishing, I think, was another way in which the stone-age children played.


By M. M. D.


A very fair singer was Mynheer Schwop,
Except that he never knew when to stop;
He would sing, and sing, and sing away,
And sing half the night and all of the day—
This “pretty bit” and that “sweet air,”
This “little thing from Tootovère.”
Ah! it was fearful the number he knew,
And fearful his way of singing them through.
At first, the people would kindly say:
“Ah, sing it again, Mynheer, we pray”—
[This “pretty bit,” or that “sweet air,”
This “little thing from Tootovère”].
They listened a while, but wearied soon,
And, like the professor, they changed their tune.
Vainly they coughed and a-hemmed and stirred;
Only the harder he trilled and slurred,
Until, in despair, and rather than grieve
The willing professor, they took their leave,
And left him singing this “sweet air,”
And that “pretty bit from Tootovère;”
And then the hostess, in sorry plight,
While yet he sang with all his might,
Let down the blinds, put out the light,
With “Thanks, Mynheer! Good-night! good-night!”

My moral, dear singers, lies plainly a-top:
Be always obliging, and willing—to stop.
The same will apply, my dear children, to you;
Whenever you’ve any performing to do,
Your friends to divert (which is quite proper, too),
Do the best that you can—and stop when you’re through.

[Pg 416]


By Lizzie W. Champney.

“Boom-er-oom, a boom-er-oom, a boom, boom, boom!
Zim-er-oom, a zim-er-oom, a zim, zim, zim!”

It was a familiar sound, that of the great bass-drum. Puck Parker and Snarlyou and Kiyi had all heard it, time and time again. These little friends lived in Paris during the late war between Germany and France, when the German army was besieging the city, and soldiers were always marching about to the sound of the drum. This morning all three of them were at the kitchen door that opened into the corridor, which led into the court where you had a view of the street. Snarlyou was a little white Angora cat, and she puffed out her tail and waved it angrily over her back as she snarled fiercely at Kiyi, who was a little Prussian pup. Unlike the army he represented, he was getting the worst of the fray, and stood yelping in a cowardly way behind the scraper. Puck was doing all he could to encourage the dog by waving his porridge spoon at him, but it was of no use.

Leaning over the gate “puck was leaning over the little gate in the kitchen door.”

Puck Parker was a fat-faced little boy, who was leaning over the little gate in the kitchen door. He had been very naughty this morning, having run away with Kiyi, giving his nurse, Augustine, a regular hunt for him. She found him at last, wandering quite independently in beautiful Park Monceaux, a favorite resort for nurses and babies, where she had often gone with him before; and she could have forgiven him easily enough for running away, had he not sprawled himself upon the walk and kicked and screamed so that she could scarcely get him home.

This Augustine was a peasant woman, and when a little girl she had tended the sheep in the mountains of Auvergne, wearing the picturesque peasant-costume and carrying her distaff with her. She now had two children of her own, and every morning early before they were up she would kiss them good-bye, leaving them in her sister’s charge while she went to take care of the little American boy, of whom she became very fond. She would often tell stories to him and sing funny songs.

As we have said, Puck was leaning against the little gate which had been placed across the door to keep him from running away, though it was of no use now, for he was big enough to climb over it. Augustine, to punish him for his naughtiness, as well as to guard against such a thing happening again that morning, had undressed him, knowing that he would not be likely to run away with nothing on but his little shirt.

At first, Puck was at a loss for amusement, and so wandered disconsolately upstairs into his mamma’s room. She was seated at his papa’s writing-desk, while in front of her lay lots of little cards, like this, “Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Parker, P.P.C.

Some of these she put into small envelopes, directed to people that she knew, and the rest she shut up in her card-case.

“What are those?” asked Puck.

“These are cards,” said his mother, “which your papa and I are sending to our friends, to let them know that we are going away from the city. The letters ‘P.P.C.’ in the corner stand for ‘Pour prendre congé,’ which is French for ‘To take leave.’”

“Is oo doin away,” asked Puck, “an’ me too?”

“Yes, you are going with us,” replied his mother.

“Den me wants some tards, too,” said the little fellow; and Mrs. Parker, taking a number of blank cards, wrote upon them, “Puck Parker, P.P.C.

[Pg 417]

Balloon “up in a balloon.”

Cramming his mother’s work-basket upon his comical little head, he seized his cards and trudged away to distribute them among his friends. If he could only have gone out-of-doors, he could have found friends enough to have given them to; but he knew that Augustine would not relent so soon, and so contented himself with carrying them down to Snarlyou and Kiyi. But they were both out in the court, and would not come to him, even when he dropped porridge on the steps to tempt them.

Puck did not have many opportunities to distribute his cards, for the next day, while he was at dinner with his father and mother, they all heard a sound which went

“Boom-er-oom, a boom-er-oom!
A boom! boom! boom!”

It sounded as if some one was playing an immense bass-drum, a long way off, and playing very slowly.

“Listen!” Puck’s father explained. “It is time we were off; there are the cannon again, outside of the city.”

And so that very afternoon they left Paris. Can you guess how? Not by the railway, or by boat, or by omnibus, or by any ordinary means of travel. Guess again—something queer this time. Not perched on the back of a dromedary, or sent by express labeled “This side up with care, C. O. D.,” or telegraphed, or shot through the air in a bomb-shell, though the last is something like it. Yes, you are right now; they did go by balloon.

There were Puck and his father and his mamma, and an accomplished aëronaut to guide the balloon, which was one of the best kind, and, as the professor said, perfectly easy to manage. You know, perhaps, that during the siege of Paris it was almost impossible for any one to leave the city unless he went up in a balloon, and floated off above [Pg 418]the besieging army. A great many persons escaped from Paris in this way.

Poor Augustine was very sorry to lose little Puck, who gave her one of his cards when he bade her good-bye; and Kiyi set up a doleful howl when they all left the court, as though he knew he should never see them again.

When everything was ready, the balloon rose into the air, and Puck nestled down in his mother’s arms and watched the ground and the roofs of the houses sink away beneath him. That is, he looked over the side of the car once, and saw them falling; but it made him dizzy, and he did not try it again. His mother saw the sick look about her little boy’s mouth, and said, pleasantly:

“Isn’t it nice? It’s better than having wings. And then you can make believe you are in a big ship; see all those ropes stretching away up there; they look just like rigging.”

Puck gave a quick, frightened glance up, then shuddered and said, faintly:

“Yes, it’s awful nice; but me’s ’fraid, and so cold.”

The cold was, indeed, intense; and his mamma wrapped Puck as warmly as she could in a shawl, and held him tightly, and very soon he was fast asleep. When he awoke, he found that his mother was also asleep, and his father was holding him. He had forgotten all about the balloon while he was asleep, and so looked dazed and startled when he opened his eyes; and his father, to keep up his failing courage, sang cheerily:

“Up in a balloon, boys,
Up in a balloon,
All among the little stars
That twinkle round the moon.”

“Don’t see any stars crinkle,” said Puck; “nuffin but ugly gray fog.”

His mother awoke just then, and she caught her breath with a gasp as she looked up, for all the rigging of the imaginary ship had disappeared, and a dense fog was folded close around them. The balloon seemed, too, to have met with a new current of wind, for it was rushing along with fearful velocity, whither,—even the professor himself could not guess. Looking downward, they saw the same impenetrable fog, and the professor concluded to let the balloon drift on in its course for a while.

Presently, Puck exclaimed: “Mamma, don’t oo hear ze bears g’owl?” For some time, the others had heard a low menacing grumble. It sounded like the roar of machinery, with the falling of a heavy trip-hammer at regular intervals, and it seemed possible that they were in the vicinity of a manufacturing town. There was a little light in the eastern horizon, and Puck suddenly exclaimed, “T’ere’s anoder b’loon!” It was the full moon, instead, that rose majestically, and the fog seemed to be disappearing. Looking down, the professor thought he could see the land, and he allowed the balloon to slowly descend. By and by, they could all see that the ground was marked with white streaks and spots, which they supposed to be snow.

Lower and lower sank the balloon, and still Puck’s bears continued to “g’owl.”

Suddenly, the professor uttered an exclamation of horror—only two words, “The sea!” But they sounded like a sentence of doom to the travelers. They were floating over a wide and angry sea!

The professor threw overboard a bag of ballast, and the balloon darted upward again into space. Where were they? Was it the Bay of Biscay, the North Sea, the English Channel, or the open Atlantic?

Very soon, the balloon began to descend again. The roar of the waves was louder than ever, and they beat the same tune that the great bass-drum and the cannon had played:

“Boom-er-oom, a boom-er-oom!
A boom! boom! boom!”—

for they were striking against a rocky wall, and the white cliffs of Dover rose ghostly in the moonlight before them.

The professor threw overboard his last bag of ballast; Puck hid his face in his mother’s dress, while she, in the presence of that mighty danger, sang a hymn. Mrs. Parker was one of the singers in the choir of a church at Paris, and her voice had been much admired; but she had never sung before as she sang now. Her voice was sustained instead of drowned by the roar of the sea, and was re-echoed back from the rocky cliff marvelously clear and pure, as she sang “Save me, O God, from waves that roll.”

Slowly the balloon seemed to climb that sheer, chalky precipice, frightening the sleepy sea-gulls from their nests, but never grazing against the wall, as it seemed as if it inevitably must. Slowly it reached the summit, paused a moment poised over the edge, then swept landward a little way, when the guide-rope (which had been dragging in the water) caught on the rocks, and it stopped. The professor opened the escape-valve, and they alighted from the car, and then walked to the brink of the abyss and, silently and solemnly, looked down.

This was the last of aërial navigation that any of the party ever indulged in. The professor packed up his balloon and went to the United States to exhibit it. Puck Parker left one of his “P.P.C.” cards in the car of the balloon, and his parents were glad enough to get to a land where they did not forever hear the “Boom-er-oom, a boom-er-oom, a boom, boom, boom,” and the “Zim-er-oom, a zim-er-oom; a zim, zim, zim.”

[Pg 419]

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By Clara W. Raymond.

Dear Grandpa Lee, with little Grace,
Followed the path-way to the mill;
Bright daisies starred the shady lane,
And now and then a bird would trill.

Once, when a birdling spread its wings,
She said, “All things are fair and gay,—
The sky so blue where birdie sings!”
Said grandpa, “This is Easter Day.”

Thus happily they onward went,
Till Grace cried, “There is little Kate,
And Frank and Nellie, too—and oh!
Nell’s swinging on the garden gate!”

As Grace and grandpa came in sight,
The little ones to meet them sped,—
Their eager, prattling lips apart,
Eyes flashing bright and cheeks rose-red.

“Oh, grandpa! in the hedge we’ve found
Four Easter eggs, all colored blue;
They’re in the sweetest little nest;
We want to show our prize to you!”

Said grandpa, “Touch them not, my dears;
Those eggs God dyed with colors rare;
The mother-bird will soon come back,
And guard her nest with loving care.

“These Easter eggs, in leaf-hid nests,
Imprison countless song-birds bright,
That soon will break the tinted shell
And rise and sing in joyous flight.”

[Pg 420]

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By Laura Skeel Pomeroy.

Some years ago I went to see a great dog-show at the Alexandra Palace, in the north of London.

My friend Charley, a bright boy who knows the way all over this part of the city, was my escort. We concluded to go to the show by the underground railroad, and at half-past one o’clock we were at the station called South Kensington. We bought our tickets there, and passed through gateways where men in uniform examined our tickets, allowing but one person to pass at a time, then descended two long flights of stone steps, and went down, down, into the subterranean station.

Black and white setter a black and white setter.

Although it is nearly forty feet below the surface, daylight is let in from above at this station, as in many of the others on the line.

Before and behind us we could see the great black-mouthed tunnels, through which the trains were constantly passing.

When our train arrived we quickly found seats in a car, or carriage, as they call them here, and were soon rushing along underground.

Now and again we came out into the open air for a while; soon we were at Bayswater, then at King’s Cross, at which station we got out of the car and climbed up the iron stairs to the earth’s surface again.

From King’s Cross to Alexandra Palace was a ride of about twenty minutes more, this time on a railroad which ran, for some distance, above the surface of the earth. We sped above the tops of smoky houses, by sooty walls, through egg-shaped tunnels, beyond all these to the open country, where were smooth green grass, groups of picturesque trees, and tangled hedges.

The train stopped at the station called Muswell Hill, on which is built the new Alexandra Palace—a large red-brick building at the top of the hill. It is not so extensive as the Crystal Palace at Sydenham, but, like it, is covered over with glass, and contains tropical plants, many palm-trees, several theaters and lecture-rooms, and a large bazaar with gay booths, at which you can buy almost anything you wish for.

As we approached the central part of the hall, a deafening chorus of dogs, yelping, barking, growling and howling, assailed our ears. The stalls in which the dogs were chained were arranged to form several aisles. They faced each other, with a wide passage-way between, for the crowd of spectators. The stalls were open, and each one had from one to five animals chained in it.

The persons who exhibited dogs numbered one [Pg 421]thousand and thirty-nine, and, as each exhibitor sent several of his animals, you can roughly estimate the immense number of dogs brought together.

It made my heart ache at first to see the poor creatures jumping and pulling at their chains. Some looked worried and excited, and some of them seemed bored to death, surly and contemptuous, as if saying, “Go away, or I will bite you if you stare at me a moment longer;” and some were sulky and turned their backs, hiding their noses in the straw.

The little puppies slept unconsciously through it all, while the mother dogs struggled with their chains and barked furiously.

There were greyhounds,—great, tall, slender creatures, that looked as if they could run a mile a minute,—deer-hounds, beautiful pointers, setters, retrievers, and otter-hounds. These last were dangerous, and were kept in wire cages. There were bull-terriers, fox-terriers, spaniels, white and black Newfoundlands, shepherd dogs, mastiffs, and fierce bull-dogs that looked as if they would be glad to eat you without ceremony.

Black and  White Pointer a black and white pointer.

There was every variety of lap-dog, and among them the tiniest little Italian greyhound,—not more than eight inches long. This last was like a porcelain toy dog, and looked brittle, as if its thin legs would snap if much handled. I did not think it a pretty pet; it seemed too fragile to play with.

A very different creature was a Siberian greyhound, about four feet and a half tall, with long, wolf-shaped nose, and covered with bluish, short, curly hair.

The pet dogs called “pugs” had short, black noses, turned up in about as much of a curl as their tails. Their faces were sooty-black, and shone as if polished with a brush. They curled up their black lips, showing two small, very white teeth, with the tip of a pink tongue hanging out of the mouth, the most comical, and at the same time, the ugliest little beasts one ever saw.

Irish Setter an irish setter.

They were straddled upon showy velvet cushions, with their fore-paws wide apart, and their round, black eyes looking straight at you, snarling all the time, but not changing their position, being too fat and lazy to move.

All the black-and-tan terriers had their ears so cut as to make them very sharp and pointed.

There were beautiful spaniels of all shades, and little Maltese terriers. One of these was a perfect beauty. Its hair was like spun glass, of a bluish, pinkish gray, snow-white in the partings. When it trotted about, it looked like an opal, or a piece of live Venetian glass. Its name ought to have been “Jewel,” for it looked like one.

The King Charles spaniels were very like lovely English blondes, with their golden-brown ears hanging like long curls on each side of their innocent, milk-white faces. They had soft, hazel eyes, of melting tenderness, like those of the prettiest little girl-baby.

Most of these lay upon handsomely embroidered cushions, with the dog’s name neatly worked in front. One fairy-like specimen had the name “Pixie” worked in silver letters on a sky-blue velvet ground. Another tiny creature looked like a snow-white ball of floss silk, rolled up in a basket of quilted blue satin.

[Pg 422] Ladies’ maids were seated in chairs beside these dainty pets, with ivory-handled brushes and tortoise-shell combs, to arrange their curls; for many of them wore each a little top-knot curl, tied with a scarlet, pink, or blue ribbon, as best became the wearer’s complexion.

I could think of nothing but a dancing-school exhibition or a children’s ball, where nurse-maids sit by their charges, to keep their pretty finery in order. So choice were some of these doggies that they were covered with glass cases, open at the top.

Bloodhound head of bloodhound.

The grandest of all the dogs—the one I would have liked best to have—was a fine St. Bernard, of a tawny color, with white spots, and a grand, noble head. He sat up on his haunches and allowed every one to come and pet him, lifting his big, honest paw, as if to shake hands with the little children, and wagging his tail slowly back and forth in a very dignified manner. What deep brown eyes he had, and what a soft, warm breast!

The Prince of Wales sent two black and brown Thibet mastiffs from the north of India. They had long, black lips, and wore a very stern, dark expression. The Princess of Wales, also, sent a snow-white Russian wolf-hound.

Some of the dog-stalls were labeled “dangerous,” and I wondered that many of the persons who poked at the inmates with their canes were not bitten, for every little while you would see a sudden falling back of the crowd, and hear a sharp growl from some angry animal who was being teased, or was impatient to go home.

The bloodhounds were the fiercest and most sullen-looking of all. They did not join in the general barking and uproar, but kept their heads buried in the straw. Once, as we were watching them, away off in a remote end of the building, an acrobat began his performance of walking on a rope and jumping through rings, high up in the air. Then these hounds suddenly lifted themselves erect, and, fixing their sharp eyes on that little red and blue speck of a man suspended in the air, set up a loud, long, unearthly howl, which all the other dogs took up, and for a few minutes the sounds shook the whole palace, like the roar of all the wild beasts of the forest.

By and by four o’clock came, and the owners of the dogs came in to take them home. How glad they were to see them! They jumped up, rolled about, licked their keepers’ hands and faces, whining and yelping for joy. One dog, who had not been sent for, was jealous to see his neighbor petted. He growled at every loving caress, and sat snarling in his corner, discontented and sour, till he saw his own master, when he broke into a howl of intense delight and tugged furiously at his chain.

[Pg 423]

Pair of spaniels a pair of spaniels.

When the big hampers were brought to confine the dangerous ones, and the collars and chains were being unfastened, what a rollicking, rushing time it was! The glad creatures jumped and galloped all the way to the station.

The train was full of dogs—they were everywhere. Eager to be off, they were hurrying up and down the platform, dancing about the ticket offices, racing over trunks, for all the world like boys let out of boarding-school going home for the holidays.

We saw their impatient faces pushing out of every car-window, their tails wagging out of every door.

A gentleman in our carriage had two little mites of terriers in his overcoat pockets. One, he said, was a Skye, and the other a Yorkshire, terrier. Little Skye was tired and sleepy, and showed just the tip of his nose and one ear above the pocket; but little Yorkshire was perfectly wild with fun. He had on a small brown blanket, bound with scarlet braid, which his master said was his new Ulster coat.

He began his pranks by putting his nose in Charley’s pockets, looking for a shilling. Not finding one, the gentleman sent him into his own coat pocket, whence, after burrowing and tugging for a while, out he came, with a coin between his teeth, which he held tight and would not give up. His master said that when the dog found a piece of money he went alone to the cake shop, and the baker would give him a cake, which he would run home with and eat up immediately, being particularly fond of sweets. He was two years and a half old, ten inches long, with yellowish hair, which hung in a fringe over his mischievous black eyes. He was elastic as a ball of wool, and looked very much like one.

But we had to part company with him at King’s Cross Station, where his owner put him in his pocket again, and bade us good-bye. We could see the tip of the little tail wagging till we lost sight of him in the distant crowd.

It would take a long time to even mention all the handsome dogs, and many of the young readers of St. Nicholas will not need to be told more about them, as there have been several dog-shows in America since the time when Charley and I saw the one in the Alexandra Palace at London. The boys and girls who visited any one of the dog-shows held recently in New York, Boston, and other American cities, will no doubt remember many interesting and curious sights. But they did not have a greater treat than Charley and I had, all for the small price of one English shilling.

Skye Terrier skye terrier.

[Pg 424]

Kept in

kept in.

[Pg 425]


By Fleta Forrester.

Sprinkle, sprinkle, comes the rain,
Tapping on the window-pane;
Trickling, coursing,
Crowding, forcing
Tiny rills
To the dripping window-sills.

Laughing rain-drops, light and swift,
Through the air they fall and sift;
Dancing, tripping,
Bounding, skipping
Thro’ the street,
With their thousand merry feet.

Every blade of grass around
Is a ladder to the ground;
Clinging, striding,
Slipping, sliding,
On they come
With their busy zip and hum.

In the woods, by twig and spray,
To the roots they find their way;
Pushing, creeping,
Doubling, leaping,
Down they go
To the waiting life below.

Oh, the brisk and merry rain,
Bringing gladness in its train!
Falling, glancing,
Tinkling, dancing
All around,—
Listen to its cheery sound!


By Edwin Hodder.

Chapter V.

a catastrophe.

Blackrock School could never be the same again to Howard. Although he had “the answer of a good conscience” in regard to the matters implied against him, he could not but feel that, whereas he once could challenge all the world against holding a suspicion of his integrity, now there might be many who were in a state of doubt as to whether he were trustworthy or not.

He grew dull and somber, and, although he had the satisfaction of knowing that no cloud of distrust hovered over his home circle, he could not shake off that uneasy feeling which haunted him, and which none know how to appreciate save those who have been wrongfully suspected.

It was the early summer season, and the time was coming round for those school sports which usually sink everything else into forgetfulness. The cricket matches were planned, the bathing and boating season had commenced, the woods were green with summer verdure. In former years Howard and Digby always had thrown themselves heart and soul into all the sports, as leaders of the school. But now neither took much interest in things of the kind. Digby was morose and sullen, while Howard was sad, and unusually depressed.

I have said that the bathing season had commenced at the school, notwithstanding the fact that the weather was so changeable as to be one night as cold as October, and the next morning as hot as July. But I have not yet described the bathing-place, and, perhaps, I should have done so at the commencement of the story, as it accounts for the somewhat singular name of the school.

The river ran just at the end of the school grounds, within a stone’s throw of the favorite lounging-place of the boys, under the elms. The river bank at that part was very steep, and just under the [Pg 426]clump of trees a huge black rock, fern-grown and slippery, stretched out into the river. At one side of this rock the bank shelved down, gradually and evenly, into a large basin or hole, partially overhung by the trees, and quite out of the rapid current of the river.

This was the bathing-place, and it was one of the best I have ever seen. The boat-houses were about half a mile down the river, and bathing and boating were two of the special features of Blackrock sports. The Doctor maintained (as every sensible person ought), that while cricket and foot-ball are desirable, swimming is essential, and he laid it down as a rule that everybody should learn to swim, and that on no account should a boy be allowed to enter a boat until he was a sufficiently good swimmer to get safely to shore, should his boat be upset.

Monday morning was as bright and warm as the previous evening had been cold and miserable. Lessons were studied in the grounds instead of in the class-rooms, and when the breakfast bell rang, there were not a few who were talking about the forthcoming bath and the evening row.

At prayers, Digby was absent. Not for the first time, within the recollection of many; but as he had not sent in any excuse for non-attendance, Howard and McDonald, who occupied the rooms next to his, were asked if they knew what had become of him. Neither of them did, but McDonald remarked that he was up earlier than usual, which was not considered at all remarkable, as the morning was deliciously warm and bright.

The Doctor looked displeased, but no further notice was taken before the boys, although he had made up his mind to administer a serious caution to Master Digby for irregularities, which latterly were becoming so frequent as to call for special notice.

The time for bathing was fixed for an hour after breakfast, the doctor holding that while the weather was unsettled, and the water cold, bathing was more beneficial a little while after a light meal than before.

A rush was made to the clump of trees, and a pell-mell scamper down the steep bank. When Mr. Featherstone, one of the masters, came up two minutes after with some of the older boys, amongst whom were Martin and Howard, he was surprised to hear his name called loudly by several of the boys.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Digby Morton’s clothes are on the bank,” cried Aleck Fraser, excitedly, “but we can’t see him anywhere.”

Mr. Featherstone had all his wits about him. He knew the rough stepping-places up to the head of the Blackrock, from which he could scan the river up and down. In a moment he was standing on the rock, carefully taking within his view every yard of ground within range; but he could see nothing of Digby.

“Martin Venables,” he shouted from the rock, “run to the house, and ask the Doctor to come here at once. Howard and Aleck hurry down to the boat-house, and inquire about Morton. Send the boatman up at once with boats and men. McDonald and Marsden, go up to the meadow-dell and search. Look sharp, all of you!”

Swiftly sped the boys on their exciting errands, while Mr. Featherstone remained upon the rock, and the other boys with hushed whispers talked together in little groups, or looked into the water-holes with half-averted eyes.

Howard and Martin were the first to return, both flushed with anxious excitement. Then came the Doctor, sadly out of breath, and much distressed.

“But Digby is a good swimmer, is he not?” asked the Doctor.

“Few better in the school,” answered Mr. Featherstone. “I don’t like to think of the worst, but there are strong eddies in the pool this morning, and the river runs at a furious rate after the heavy rain. My fear is that he left the pool, and was caught by an eddy, and swung upon the rocks. In that case he may have been rendered insensible, and so have been drowned.”

The boys returned one after another, and each unsuccessful. The boatmen soon arrived.

“Have you heard or seen anything this morning of Mr. Digby?” asked the Doctor of Mason, the manager of all the boating arrangements of the school.

“No, sir; but my man, who was agoing out to see after his lines, about six this morning, said as how he see something dark floating down the river, but he didn’t pay much heed to it, till he called it to mind when the young gentlemen came down just now, and said as how Mr. Digby were missing.”

“Then, should we not commence the search low down the river?” asked the Doctor.

“’Taint no manner of use,” answered Mason; “with the current runnin’ like this, he’d be ten mile away and more, by this time, if it was him, or more likely out at sea, as the tide would have met the river by this time. But you see, sir, it mightn’t have been him after all, for there’s lots o’ snags and things floating down this morning after last night’s rain.”

But Dr. Brier would leave no stone unturned. Messengers were sent on horseback to every town and village on either side of the river, for twenty miles down; the river was dragged; boatmen were sent out to search; everything that could be done [Pg 427] was done. But the afternoon came and no tidings. Messengers were sent early to Mr. Morton. All the towns and villages around were in excitement, but nothing came of it, and by evening the conviction was borne home to every heart, too clearly for hope to set aside, that Digby Morton was dead.


Chapter VI.

a break-up.

Mr Featherstone “in a moment, mr. featherstone was standing on the rock.”

Pacing up and down the river bank in a terrible excitement, or sitting in some solitary place with his eyes staring vacantly, or with head buried in his trembling hands, through which the tears would trickle, a man might have been seen haunting the neighborhood of Blackrock. It was Mr. Morton, so altered that those who knew him best almost failed to recognize in him the same man.

Let us not inquire too narrowly into the causes of this remarkable change.

It was not until all hope with regard to the recovery of Digby’s body was abandoned, that it was so strikingly apparent. At first there was the rebellious cry from his heart, “It cannot be true; it shall not be true,” and then a gentler and more subdued frame of mind ensued, as he prayed, “Oh that it may not be true,” until at length it was useless to hope against hope, and the strong man bowed down his broken heart, as he said, “O God! it is true.”

And what of Ethel?

It was her first loss, poor child, and her first contact with a great appalling sorrow. She was perplexed and stunned with the dreadful blow. She seemed utterly alone now; whether or not she really could have relied on Digby in the past for advice and guidance, does not matter—she felt she could, and now this source of reliance had gone. Her father was changed, so changed that he seemed almost a stranger, and now in this crisis of her need she felt that he could yield neither help nor sympathy to her, while she was impotent to minister to him.

It was well for Ethel that at the time of her sad visit to Blackrock, Madeleine Greenwood was there, for in her she found a companion of her own age, and a comforter as well as friend.

As the time drew near for Mr. Morton to return to Ashley House, the attachment which had sprung up between the two girls became closer and more intimate, and when Ethel returned to Ashley House, it was a very great satisfaction to her to have [Pg 428] Madeleine with her for a lengthened visit, a concession which Mr. Morton could not deny to her earnest entreaties.

The clothes of poor Digby, his books and school treasures, were packed up and sent away. The Doctor held a funeral service with the boys on the Sunday after the catastrophe, and addressed them briefly, but with great earnestness and emotion, on the loss they had sustained, and the awful suddenness of death, urging upon all the necessity of preparation, as none knew the day nor hour when the change would come.

A week later a marble column was raised upon the spot where the clothes were found, bearing this simple inscription: “In loving memory of D. M., who was drowned while bathing, June 18, 18—, aged 17 years.”

On the evening of the day when the stone was raised, Martin and Howard sat together beside it.

Howard was very pale, and looked as if he had gone through a severe illness. He sat for some time gazing at the monument, until a tear dimmed his eye.

“My good fellow,” said Martin, “why do you give way to so much useless regret? You are so morbidly sensitive that you seem to blame yourself as though you had been guilty of poor Digby’s death.”

Howard made no reply to his friend’s remark, and for some moments remained quite silent. Then he said; “Martin, I shall never forgive myself about poor Digby. I fear I have wronged him.”

“You wronged him? What do you mean?”

“I mean that in that miserable affair about the miniature, I reflected the blame in some degree upon him; I could not at the time help thinking that he knew something about it, and I fear I caused a wrong suspicion to rest on him. It is useless to give way to regret, but I do so wish I could speak to him just once again, to say that I now feel that I wronged him by my suspicions.”

“Are you quite satisfied in your own mind, that you did wrong him?” asked Martin.

“Yes; something has happened which I have not mentioned to a soul, and shall not, except to you. Since poor Digby’s death, I have lost my overcoat. I wore it on that cold Sunday night, and afterward hung it up in my room. I should not have missed it, but that I had left in the pocket my Bible—you remember the one, it was given to me by my father when I first left home for school. I have searched everywhere for the coat, and cannot find it. It is a great loss to me, for I would have parted with anything else in the world rather than lose that Bible.”

“Have you not mentioned it to my uncle?” asked Martin, his face taking on a sharper look.

“No; he is worried and sad as it is, and I hate the idea of reflecting upon fellows in the school. It will turn up in time, perhaps, but I can’t help thinking that there must be some thief in the school, and that the coat has gone where the miniature went.”

“I really think it would be well to tell the Doctor,” said Martin.

“Well, I may do so yet; but we break up next week, and if the truth should not be discovered, every boy will leave with a suspicion resting upon him,—for this is not confined to the twenty,—and it will do the school a great injury. But I tell it to you, Martin, because as I shall not return after this term, you know, you can keep your eyes open in case anything should turn up about it.”

“What a wretched break-up we are having, altogether!” said Martin, after a little pause, in which he was thinking whether to take Howard’s view of the case, or to still persuade him to make the matter known. “A break-up of Mr. Morton’s home; a break-up of the Doctor’s health, I fear, for all this anxiety has distressed him sadly; and a break-up of our little fraternity here, for now that you are going, and Digby gone, and Aleck Fraser is on the move, our ‘set’ will never be made up again. I hope, though, that our friendship will not be broken up.”

“It never shall, if I can help it,” said Howard; “and now while we are talking about it, will you promise to write to me, and tell me all about the school, as long as you stay in it, and about the Doctor, and Mrs. Brier, and especially all about yourself?”

The promise was duly made, and unlike many promises of a similar nature, was faithfully fulfilled.

The day before the breaking up, Dr. Brier asked Howard to speak with him in the library.

“My dear Howard,” said the Doctor, putting his hand on his shoulder, “I cannot let you leave the school without telling you how deeply I regret parting with you. Your conduct has always been exemplary, and your influence beneficial in the school. I am sorry that the clouds have gathered round us so darkly lately, but some day we shall see through them, if we cannot at present. I want you to know that throughout, I consider you to have held a manly and a Christian course, and you have my unqualified approval of your conduct, as you have my sincere belief in the uprightness and integrity of your character. God bless you, my dear lad, wherever you go, and make those principles which have distinguished you in your school-life, useful to the world, in whatever part of it your lot may be cast! And now I wish to give you this little present, as a token of friendship, and let it serve as a reminder to you, that as long [Pg 429]as I live, I shall be glad and thankful to serve you.”

It was a handsome set of books the Doctor gave him, and more than all his other treasures of prizes and friendly presents, was this one preserved, for it assured him that the Doctor, who never said what he did not believe, regarded him with the same trust as ever.


Chapter VII.

a letter, and a fatal chase.

Three months had passed since the break-up at Blackrock School, and Martin had faithfully fulfilled his promise to keep up a brisk correspondence with his old friend. But no letter gave Howard a keener pleasure, than the one from which the following extracts are taken, and which will connect the history of events:

To Howard Pemberton.

My dear Old Chum: Every day I seem to miss you more and more, and I only wish the time had come for me to throw off school and take my plunge, as you have done, into the great stream of life. I don’t take an interest in anything now; even cricket is a bore, and the talks about forming for foot-ball fail to start me up. The Doctor evidently misses you, and very often inquires after your welfare. He is not himself at all. I think the end of last term shook him a great deal. Mrs. Brier is as she always was. I don’t know what some of us would do without her.

Is not my cousin spending a very long time at Ashley House? I think I told you I was invited to go and see her there, and I could write you a dozen pages or more about the visit, if time allowed—but it doesn’t. Madeleine and Ethel are as thick as thieves. I can quite believe that my cousin has cheered and helped them all very much in this time of their great trial, and I don’t wonder at any girl loving her, for she is a first-rate companion, and as good as she is beautiful.

I had a long chat with Mr. Morton, and he appeared to be much interested in hearing me talk of poor Digby’s ways and doings amongst us. But you hardly know sometimes whether he is awake or asleep when you are talking to him, for he keeps his head buried in his hands. He seems regularly smitten down, poor man! He is talking of going abroad for some months, and I think it will do him good. If he goes, it will only be upon the condition that Madeleine stays with Ethel. I shouldn’t be surprised if she were to become a permanent resident there.

I don’t know if you ever heard Madeleine’s history. It is a singular one, like my own. Her father and my father were partners in business. A fire ruined them both; and, as you know, an accident on the railway occurred which proved fatal to both. My poor mother I never knew, and she knew nothing of these troubles; but Madeleine’s mother had to bear them all, and the weight was too heavy; she died broken-hearted, the life crushed out of her by misfortune upon misfortune. So, up to the present time, Madeleine and I have been, to a very great extent, dependent upon others; and as our circumstances in life have been so strangely similar, we are more like brother and sister than cousins. I shall be very glad, for her sake, if she finds in the Mortons more than is ordinarily found in chance friends. And I shall be glad, for my own sake, when I can release the dear old Doctor from the burden with which he willingly shackled himself when he took me under his care.

I wish I could have a good long talk with you, my dear old boy, on this and a hundred other subjects; but I can’t. And now I must knock off for to-night, as the Doctor has just sent for me.

Martin Venables.

P. S.—I write in a violent hurry. The Doctor has read some extraordinary news in the paper just in from London. It is about the missing miniature, found on a prisoner. He will leave here for London by the 7.45 train in the morning. I want this to catch the post, so cannot write more, except that the Doctor wishes me to say he will be sure to see you before he has been long in London.

M. V.

This postscript threw the little household at Rose Cottage into a great flutter at the breakfast table the next morning.

“What can it mean?” asked Howard. “Have you seen anything in the paper, uncle, to which it refers? I have not seen the paper for a week.”

“’Pon my word, I don’t know,” said Captain Arkwright. “It can’t be—yes, it may, though. Just wait a minute.”

The Captain jumped up, snatched the paper of the day before from a side-table, and began to search for a particular heading, which, of course, was not on the pages he had first opened.

“Here it is!” he cried at length. “It is headed, ‘A Fatal Chase.’”

“Let me see it,” said Howard, almost trembling with anxiety, as he ran his eye hastily over the report.

It ran on this wise:

A robbery was committed a few days ago on the firm of Robinson & Co., of this city, a report of which appeared in our columns. From information received by the police, a person who had taken a passage on board the “Ariadne,” for New York, was suspected, and warrants were issued for his apprehension. The arrest was made, but as the police were bringing the prisoner from the vessel to the quay, a violent struggle ensued. Police-constable Janson was hurled by the prisoner over the edge of the quay into the water, while he, quick as lightning, made a rush to escape. He fled as far as the end of the quay, and was making for the draw-bridge, where he would soon have gained the open road, when his foot caught in a rope, which threw him with fearful violence over the wharf into the pool. In falling, he appears to have come into collision with a boat, and when his body was recovered he was found to be quite dead. The deceased was a young man of powerful build, and had taken his passage under the name of James Williams; but no clue has been obtained at present as to his antecedents. Upon his person was found a bundle of bank-notes, a sovereign, and some silver, and in a side-pocket was a miniature portrait of a young lady, of very beautiful workmanship, set in gold and studded with precious stones. The police are making searching inquiries, and as it is thought that this valuable portrait must have been stolen, it is believed that it will lead to further discoveries.

How Howard got through his work at the office that day, he was at a loss to know, for nothing remained on his mind for a moment at a time, except the vague and curious report about the Fatal Chase, and the anticipated visit of the Doctor with further particulars. No sooner had the clock struck six, than he sped away from the office, trusting to his legs to carry him more quickly than the omnibus or car.

Before he had time to ask, “Any news of the Doctor?” a well-known voice was heard, and the outstretched hand of his old friend grasped his.

“Well, my dear boy, how are you? You see, I need no introductions. Here I am, quite at home in your family circle.”

“And what news, Doctor Brier?”

“A great deal, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. [Pg 430]But come and sit down, and I will tell you the whole story.”

The whole story took a long time to tell, but it may be summed up in a few words.

The unfortunate man, who met his death so violently, was identified as a person who had once been in the employment of Messrs. Robinson & Co., ship-owners. The notes found upon him were traced as notes he had received in payment of a cheque forged in their name. But no information could be obtained as to his antecedents, nor the series of events that had brought his career to so pitiful a close. The greatest mystery hung about the fact of the miniature portrait; no clue of the faintest kind could be obtained as to how it came into his possession, but the Doctor had identified it, beyond the least shadow of a doubt, as the one stolen from Blackrock House.

It was necessary for the Doctor to remain in town for some days, and Mrs. Pemberton would not hear of his making a home anywhere else than at Rose Cottage. To this he was nothing loth; and to Howard, the presence of his old friend and master in the house, was a source of unqualified satisfaction.

Many a time they speculated about the strange secrets which lay locked up in that little miniature, and wished they could devise some means to extort them.

“But we must watch and wait,” said the Doctor. “I seem to feel satisfied that we shall clear up the mystery some day.”

The “some day” was very far ahead. Meantime, a verdict of “accidental death” was returned upon Williams. The miniature was formally made over to the Doctor, and when he had completed all the inquiries which could be instituted, and was nearly worn out with visits to and from the police and inquisitors generally, he bade adieu to the little circle of friends, and once more the veil, of which only a corner had been lifted, fell over the circumstances.


Chapter VIII.

like seeks like.

Howard Pemberton had thought often of his future, even in early school-boy days, and many a time he and Martin had talked together about the great battle of life, and how to fight it.

They both were indebted to dear old Doctor Brier for one thing; he had always insisted that the basis of all achievement worth achieving was in character, and that the basis of character must be a disciplined and educated sense of honor; the utter despising from the heart of everything mean.

Howard was certainly one of those of whom it might be predicted, that he was sure to succeed. And he accepted the responsibilities of success, and determined to make the best he could of his life. From his first start, he had thrown his heart into his business, and common figures, and dull routine, were to his mind invested with a power which could help him in his pursuit,—not the mere pursuit of making money, but of being something. Before a twelvemonth had passed, he had made himself master of every detail in his business; at the end of his second year, he was so invaluable that he was intrusted with duties which the firm had never before placed in the hands of any clerk; and, at the end of his third year, the period of which I now write, he had been told that on the retirement of the senior partner he would be taken into the concern.

I must, for the purposes of my story, relate some of the principal incidents, which in the three years that have elapsed, have helped to make up the true life of Howard.

In the first place, his friend, Martin Venables, has been his constant companion. Growing weary of school-life, and longing to plunge, as he had said, into the great stream of life, he had happened to mention his wish, on his visit to Mr. Morton, and that gentleman, having taken a great interest in Martin, had been successful in procuring for him a good government appointment, in an office where he found scope for honest labor, with vistas of future promotion, dependent upon his own exertions, and he was as happy as the day was long in his new sphere of work.

He took up his abode near to Howard, and scarcely an evening passed, except when he was at the Mortons, which they did not spend together. Madeleine was still at Ashley House “on a visit,” but with a few intervals, it had lasted for three years, and Martin was a frequent visitor there, especially after Mr. Morton’s return from Italy. A strong friendship had sprung up between the two, and Mr. Morton certainly looked forward as eagerly to the visits as did Martin.

And Howard, too, was a visitor at Ashley House.

At first, there was a great prejudice against Howard in the Morton family. Ethel could not bear to hear his name, for it was painfully associated in her mind with poor Digby’s death.

But after a time, through the quiet influence of Madeleine’s conversations about Howard and Martin’s evident affection for him, this prejudice died away, and Martin was invited to bring his friend to Ashley House.

Acquaintance ripened into a true and earnest friendship, and, under the influence of the young people, Mr. Morton found sources of happiness which he never had dreamed life could yield to him; [Pg 431]and even Mrs. Morton had so far thrown off her listlessness, as to be able to take an interest in their plans and purposes.

It was a lovely summer evening, toward the end of July, that the party of friends were all together upon the lawn; they had drawn the garden chairs up, and, after the game of croquet in which Madeleine and Howard had succeeded in beating Ethel and Martin, were prepared to devote the remainder of the evening to chat. Seeing this, Mr. Morton had put away his book, and drawn up his chair beside them, while Mrs. Morton, regardless of falling dews and rising damp, had followed the example of her husband.

“Now,” said Mr. Morton, “short holidays, like this Saturday afternoon, are good; but are not long holidays better? And now that everybody is thinking of taking a trip somewhere or other, should not we ‘do as Rome does,’ and think of the same thing?”

“I suppose, sir, we all have been thinking of it, more or less, for the past year,” said Martin; “and I for one must think of it seriously, for my holidays are fixed by official rules, and begin very soon.”

“And yours, Howard?” inquired Mr. Morton.

“I can take a holiday now, or later,” he answered. “But I do not generally get a month straight off, as these government officials do. However, I shall try for a longer holiday this year than I had last.”

“Well, now,” said Mr. Morton, drawing up his chair more closely to the group, “don’t you think we might make up a party, and all go somewhere together?”

A burst of assents went up like a flight of rockets. It was just the very thing that all the young people wanted. And then began such a storm of questions; such a variety of wild and improbable suggestions; such a catalogue of countries as would take years to explore, and such merry banter and repartee, that even Mrs. Morton caught the enthusiasm, and threw herself into the proposal with a vigor that caused her husband to open his eyes wide in a gratified astonishment.

After discussing places, from Siberia to the Sandwich Islands, the votes were unanimous in favor of a tour to the North of Scotland, including Skye and the Shetland Isles.

(To be continued.)

Seeing himself seeing himself as others see him.

[Pg 432]


By Mrs. E. T. Corbett.



Three wise old women were they, were they,
Who went to walk on a winter day.
One carried a basket, to hold some berries;
One carried a ladder, to climb for cherries;
The third, and she was the wisest one,
Carried a fan to keep off the sun!




“Dear, dear!” said one. “A bear I see!
I think we’d better all climb a tree!”
But there wasn’t a tree for miles around.
They were too frightened to stay on the ground;
So they climbed their ladder up to the top,
And sat there screaming, “We’ll drop! we’ll drop!”

[Pg 433]




But the wind was strong as wind could be,
And blew their ladder right out to sea!
Soon the three wise women were all afloat
In a leaky ladder, instead of a boat!
And every time the waves rolled in,
Of course the poor things were wet to the skin.




Then they took their basket, the water to bail;
They put up their fan, to make a sail;
But what became of the wise women then,—
Whether they ever got home again,
Whether they saw any bears or no,—
You must find out, for I don’t know.

[Pg 434]


By M. D. K.


Supper was ready and waiting. Our guest had not arrived, but there was another train an hour later. Should the family wait for my friend, or should I alone, who was the personage especially to be visited? My father paced the floor nervously, as was his wont when he felt disturbed. He had the evening papers to read, and he never opened them until after tea. This was a habit of his. He was very fixed—or, as some express it, “set”—in his little ways. It was Bridget’s evening out, and she had begun to show a darkened visage. Bridget was no friend to “company,” and it was policy to conciliate her. So the family seated themselves at the table, and I sat near, waiting until brother John should be ready to accompany me a second time to the station.

“What about this young lady friend of yours, Nelly?” asked my father. “Is she one of the unreliable sort—a little addicted to tardiness, that is?”

“I am obliged to confess, papa, that at boarding-school, where I longest knew Jeannette, she was inclined to be dilatory; but that was years ago. It is to be hoped that she has changed since then.”

“I should wish to have very little to do with a behindhand person,” said my father, shaking his head very gravely.

“Oh, papa!” I remonstrated, “you will not condemn a dear friend for one single fault. Jeannette is beautiful and accomplished, sensible and good-tempered. Everybody thinks she is splendid.”

“She may have very pleasant qualities, but I tell you, girls,” he added with sudden emphasis, “that a want of punctuality vitiates the whole character. No one is good for much who cannot be depended upon; and what dependence is to be placed on a man who is not up to his engagements? In business, such a man is nowhere; and in social life a dawdling, dilatory man or woman is simply a pest. But mind, my child, I am not characterizing your friend; we cannot tell about her till we see.”

The later train brought my friend. She was profuse in her regrets; she had been belated by a mistake in the time; her watch was slow. As she was pouring forth a torrent of regrets and apologies, I observed my father bestowing glances of evident admiration at the fair speaker, while the rich color came and went in her cheeks and her eyes kindled with animation. Truly, beauty covers a multitude of faults. Sister Bell, who was as punctual as my father, was appeased, and promised to take care of the tea-things and let Bridget go out. My father good-naturedly offered to regulate the halting watch by the true time.

To her chamber we went together, to talk as girls do talk when they meet in this way, after a long separation. Folding me in her arms, she told me all about her recent engagement to George Allibone; showed me her engagement ring, and her lover’s photograph. It was a noble head finely posed, and a most engaging face, and my ready and cordial admiration was a new bond of sympathy. It took until nearly midnight to say all that we girls, aged twenty, had to say to each other; and this, in addition to the fatigues of travel, was accepted as an excuse for Jenny’s tardiness at breakfast. She really had meant to be early.

But this was only the beginning. Throughout the whole three weeks of her visit, she was scarcely punctual in a single case where time was definitely appointed. She was late in rising, late at meals, late at church and for excursions, and, to our profound mortification, late for dinner appointments, even when parties were made especially on her account. She seemed sorry and mortified, but on each occasion she would do the same thing over again.

“What can she be doing?” my mother sometimes asked in perplexity, when my sister and I were ready and waiting.

“Doing her hair, mother,” we answered, “and she will do it over until it suits her, be it early or late.”

“Oh, these hair-works!” sighed my mother. “How much tardiness at church and elsewhere is due to over-fastidious hair-dressing! What is that line of good George Herbert’s? ‘Stay not for the other pin.’ I think he must have meant hair-pins.”

My sister and I sometimes agreed between ourselves to compel her to readiness by standing by, to help her in her preparations; but in vain. She must write a letter or finish a story before making her toilet. Why not accomplish the toilet first, to be sure of it—any time remaining, for the other purposes? She didn’t like to do so. No philosopher could tell why. It is an unaccountable, mysterious something, rooted deep in some people’s [Pg 435] natures—this aversion to being beforehand. I have seen it in other people since the time when it so puzzled and troubled me in Jenny. It marred the pleasure of the visit most miserably. I was continually fearing the displeasure of my father and the discomfort of my mother. The whole household were disturbed by what seemed to them downright rudeness.

“Now, Jenny,” I would plead, “do be early, dear, when papa comes with the carriage. It annoys him dreadfully to wait.”

She would promise to “try.”

“But pray, Jenny, why need you have to try. It is easy enough. For my part, I never will make any one wait for me. I go without being ready, if need be, or I stay behind.”

I had come to talk very plainly to her, out of love and good-will, as well as, sometimes, from vexation of spirit. For the twentieth time she would tell me how truly she had meant to be punctual in some given case, and that she should have been so but that she was hindered when nearly ready by some unforeseen occurrence.

“But, my dear, unforeseen hindrances will often occur, and you must lay your account with them, and give yourself extra time. You will run the risk of meeting some great calamity by trusting, as you do, to the last minute.”

And the calamity did befall her. Mr. Allibone spent a day with us. We were anticipating with great pleasure a second visit, when a telegram arrived requesting Jenny to meet him in Boston on the succeeding morning. A business emergency had summoned him abroad very suddenly, and he was to embark for Liverpool in the evening.

We all sympathized with Jenny in the startling effect of this sudden announcement, and offered her every sort of help when the hour for her departure was at hand. She had only to compose herself and prepare for the journey. Sister Bell would arrange her hair and bring her dress, and she would be spared all effort. She seemed grateful, but was sure she could be ready without troubling any one. She dreamed not how much she was, even then, troubling us, for we were beginning to tremble lest she should somehow manage to be late for this, her only train.

She kissed us all twice over when the hackman arrived at the door; but, suddenly glancing in the mirror and observing how ashen was her usually brilliant complexion, she declared against wearing the gray cashmere in which she was dressed, of a hue so like her face. George must not meet her thus. She seized her black silk, with which, in spite of remonstrances, she proceeded to array herself. There was time enough; the carriage must surely be too early. Alas! for the ripping out of gathers, in the violence of her haste, and for the loopings of her skirt, not to be dispensed with! Horses could not be made to do the work of five minutes in three.

She saw the cars move off without her!

No words were called for. My mother carried a glass of elderberry wine to the poor girl, and left her alone to her tears. They would do her good.

We ourselves needed rest, after the troubled scene of hurry and excitement, and we sat down, feeling as if a whirlwind had passed.

“It is beyond my comprehension,” said my father, when he came home to dinner. “I can understand tardiness,” he continued, categorically, “as the result of indolence. Lazy people dread effort and postpone it. There is a man in my employ who continues to work sometimes after hours. The men tell me that he is actually too lazy to leave off work and put away his tools. But Miss Jeannette seems active and energetic.”

“She miscalculates, papa,” I said. “She always imagines there is plenty of time until the last minute.”

“But herein is the mystery,” persisted my father. “Whence this uniformity of dereliction? Why not sometimes too early and sometimes just in the right time, instead of always and everywhere late, and making others late?”

“Poor girl!” said my mother, whose compassion was uppermost. “I pity her with all my heart; yet it is not a case of life and death. This trial may be attended with beneficial results. We will hope so.”

I am sorry that this hope was apparently not to be realized. The lesson failed to be read aright. Jeannette recovered her serenity, and resumed her tardy ways. A yet severer lesson was needed, and it came.

The steamer in which, after an absence of ten or twelve weeks, George Allibone was to embark for home, was lost, and not a passenger saved.

My father took me at once to my poor stricken friend, in her distant home. Pale and dumb with grief, yet with tearless eyes, she let us take her almost lifeless hand. From her bloodless lips came only the low, anguished cry, “If only I had said farewell!”

What comfort in words? We offered none. My father’s eyes brimmed over, and my heart was breaking for my poor Jeannette.

But relief came speedily. The joyful news was received that George was safe, having made a necessary change in his plans, and would arrive in a fortnight. Jeannette came up from the depths. What should her thank-offering be? She made the resolution to become at once faithful to her appointments, prompt and reliable. It was not [Pg 436]that she would try—she would speak the commanding words “I will.”

She has kept her resolution. Writing to me, after a lapse of years, she said: “You will hardly know your dilatory friend. I remember and practice your advice of former years, to be first ready for my appointments, and to reserve other work for the interval of waiting after I am ready. It is surprising how often I find not a moment left for waiting. Still, I feel the old tendency to procrastinate, and I am obliged steadfastly to resist it. ‘Delays are dangerous,’ as our old writing-copies used to run; the sentiment is hackneyed, but oh, how true! George says he owes you ten thousand thanks for your faithful counsel, and we shall speak them when you make us the visit of which we feel so sure, because your promises, as I well know, are faithfully kept.”


By David Ker.

Maurice de Saxe was a son of the King of Saxony, and a fine lad he was—tall and strong and handsome, and as brave as a lion. But the king, like a certain old woman of whom you may have heard, had so many children that he didn’t know what to do; and so, as Maurice had such a lot of elder brothers as to have not much chance of inheriting the crown, or anything else that would keep him in bread and butter, his father sent him out to seek his fortune, like many another prince in those days. So he went over to France, and entered the army of King Louis XV.

Now, at that time there was always a war going on somewhere or other, and the French armies were fighting in every part of Europe; and the king cared very little who his officers were, or where they came from, if they were only brave men and clever fighters, and ready to go wherever he liked to send them. So, as you may think, it was not long before our friend Maurice, who was quite as brave as any of them, and a good deal cleverer than most, began to make his way. First, he got to be a lieutenant, then a captain, then a major, then a colonel, and at last, while he was still quite a young man, he came out as Count de Saxe, and Field-Marshal of the Army of Flanders, with fifty thousand men under him! That was pretty good promotion, wasn’t it?

But, although he had got on so fast, no one could say that it was more than he deserved; for he was by far the best general that France had had for many a day. He beat the Germans, and he beat the Flemings, and he beat the English, though they fought against him as stoutly as men could; and, at last, his soldiers got to have such faith in him, that whenever he appeared the battle seemed to turn at once, as if the very sight of him brought good fortune along with it. And a gallant sight it was to see him prancing along on his fine black horse in front of the line of battle, with his plumed hat and laced coat glittering in the sunshine, and his sword gleaming in his hand, and his dark handsome face and large black eyes kindling like fire the moment the first gun was heard. Every picture-shop in Paris had his likeness in the window; and King Louis himself had the marshal’s portrait hung up in his cabinet, and liked nothing better than to invite him to dinner, and hear him tell of all the battles that he had won. Indeed, such a favorite did he become at court, that at last nothing would serve the king but he must go to the war too, and see how his friend Monsieur de Saxe disposed of the enemy. Saxe gained the victory, as usual; and after all was over, there was a great supper on the battle-field, and the king himself hung the Cross of St. Louis around the marshal’s neck, and the marshal sat at his right hand in triumph, and thought himself the finest fellow in the whole world.

But, curiously enough, the one thing that this great general specially prided himself upon was neither his skill in warfare nor his favor at court, but simply his strength. There was nothing he enjoyed so much as showing off the power of his muscles, and astonishing the people about him by bending an iron bar, or felling a horse with one blow of his fist; and he was fond of saying that he would give his purse and all the money in it to any man who was stronger than himself, if he could ever fall in with him.

Now, it happened that, one day, while the French and German armies were lying pretty close to each other, Marshal de Saxe sent a message to the enemy’s camp, asking some of the German officers [Pg 437]to dine with him; and after the meal he began to boast of his strength, as usual, till at last an old German general, who sat at his left, said that he would like to see a specimen of what his Excellency could do. Saxe made no answer, but took up a large silver dish, which was standing before him, in his strong white fingers (for, big and powerful as his hands were, they were white and smooth as any lady’s, and he was very proud of them), and, without more ado, rolled it up like a sheet of paper!

“Can your Honor unroll that dish again?” asked he, handing it to the German; and, although the general was a strong man, and tried his best, he found the task too hard for him, and was forced to own himself beaten.

“Your Excellency’s strength is very great,” said he, “but, nevertheless, I venture to think that there is one man in Flanders who can match it.”

“And who may he be?” asked Saxe, frowning.

“A blacksmith in the village of Scheveningen, Dirk Hogan by name. All the country around knows of his exploits; and when I met with him myself I saw such things as I should have thought impossible, had my own eyes not witnessed them.”

When the marshal heard this, he looked blacker than ever; and the first thing he did next morning was to send off messengers in every direction to inquire for a village called Scheveningen, and a man named Dirk Hogan. And, sure enough, some of them came back with news that there was such a village, and that Dirk Hogan, the smith, had been living there till quite lately; but that now he had sold his forge and gone away, and nobody knew what had become of him.

This was a decided disappointment for our friend Saxe, but he had something else to think of just then. The enemy’s army had lately received strong re-enforcements, and seemed inclined to attack him; and he was riding out one morning to reconnoiter their position, when suddenly his horse stumbled and cast a shoe.

“There’s a village just ahead of us, your Excellency,” said one of his officers. “Shall I ride on and see if I can find a blacksmith?”

“Do so,” answered Saxe; and the officer came back presently to say that he had found what he wanted. So the horse was led up to the door of the smithy, and the smith himself came out to have a look at it.

The moment he appeared, the marshal fastened his eyes upon him as if he would look him right through. And well he might; for this smith was such a man as one does not see every day—very nearly as tall as Saxe himself, and even broader across the shoulders, while upon his bare arms the huge muscles stood out under the tanned skin like coils of rope. The marshal felt at once that he could never be comfortable till he had had a trial of strength with this sturdy-looking fellow; so he bade him bring out one of his best horse-shoes.

The smith did so; and Saxe, looking at it, said quietly: “This ware of yours is but poor stuff, my friend; it will not stand work. Look here!”

He took it in his strong hands, and with one twist broke the iron like a biscuit.

The smith looked at him for a moment, and then, without seeming at all taken aback, brought out a second horse-shoe, and a third; but Saxe broke them as easily as he had broken the first.

“Come,” said he, “I see it’s no use picking and choosing among such a trashy lot; give me the first shoe that comes to hand, and we’ll cry quits.”

The smith produced a fourth shoe, and fitted it on; and Saxe tossed him a French crown—a coin about the size of a silver dollar. The Dutchman held it up to the light, and shook his head.

“This coin of yours is but poor metal, mynheer,” said he, saying the words just as the marshal had spoken his. “It wont stand work. Look here!”

He took the coin between his finger and thumb, and with one pinch cracked it in two like a wafer. [B]

It was now the marshal’s turn to stare; and the officers exchanged winks behind his back, as much as to say that their champion had met his match at last. Saxe brought out another crown, and then a third; but the smith served them in like manner.

“Come,” said he, imitating the marshal’s voice to perfection, “I see it’s no use picking and choosing among such a trashy lot. Give me the first crown that comes to hand, and we’ll cry quits.”

The Frenchman looked at the Dutchman—the Dutchman looked at the Frenchman—and then both burst into a roar of laughter, so loud and hearty that the officers who stood by could not help joining in.

“Fairly caught!” cried the marshal, suddenly, and added, “What’s your name, my fine fellow?”

“Dirk Hogan, from Scheveningen.”

“Dirk Hogan!” cried Saxe. “The very man I’ve been looking for! But I’ve found him in a way I didn’t expect!”

“So it seems,” said the smith, grinning. “I needn’t ask who you are—you’re the Count de Saxe, who was always wanting to meet with a stronger man than himself. Does it seem to you as if you had met with him now?”

“Well, I rather think it does,” quoth Saxe, shrugging his shoulders; “and as I promised to give him my purse whenever I did meet with him, here it is. And now, if you’ll come along with me, and serve as farrier to my head-quarters’ staff, I promise you that you shall never have cause to repent of having met with Maurice de Saxe.”

And the marshal was as good as his word.

[B] ...[missing text]... Hercules" is said to have achieved a similar feat more than once.

[Pg 438]


It is beginning to feel something like spring. However, we mustn’t be too certain, for April is the month for little tricks of all kinds. Let us be careful and not be caught by make-believe spring weather.


hair-braids in the olden time.

I’m told that, eight centuries ago, girls and women wore their hair in braids. Each woman had two braids, which she slipped separately into long, narrow cases of silk, or some other material, and wound with ribbon. They hung like base-ball bats. On the statue of a queen of those times, the braids, cased in this style, reached lower than the knees.

Years ago, every British sailor dressed his hair in a pigtail at the back, so that it hung

“Long and bushy and thick,
Like a pump-handle stuck on the end of a stick.”

I heard of one sailor whose mates did his hair so tightly that he couldn’t shut his eyes, and he nearly got punished for staring at his commanding officer,—a hair-breadth escape, as somebody called it.


knots and the north pole.

My feathered friends tell me of a bird called the knot, something like a snipe in shape, whose color is ashen gray in winter and bright Indian red in summer. They say he is very particular about the weather, and likes best fine bracing days with sunshine and a moderate breeze; so, in winter he flies south, but in summer he goes farther north than man has yet been able to go.

Now, I’ve been told that the farther north you go, the colder is the climate; but this bird, who likes pleasant weather so much, goes beyond the coldest places known! Perhaps he has found a cheerful and comfortable summer home, bright and bracing, somewhere near the North Pole, on which somebody will find him, may be, one of these days, quietly perched, preening himself, and looking at a distance like a bit of red cloth on a broomstick. If he has found a cozy spot away up there, he’s smarter than any Arctic explorer I ever heard of.


the trailing arbutus.

Johnstown, Pa., March, 1878.

Dear Jack-in-the-Pulpit: Some of your other chicks may like to hear what my uncle has just told me about the mayflower, or trailing arbutus, so as to know where to hunt for it as soon as spring comes. It grows chiefly in New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, and is always to be found among mountains, hills, and high lands. Late in March or early in April, under the brown and withered leaves of last year, you will find it—cool, shiny, fragrant, with clusters of star-like blossoms, the color being of all shades of pink from very deep to a pinkish white. Yet farther under the leaves you will find the trailing stems. I hope many will join in the search for this first sweet flower of spring.—Your true friend, Amanda S. K.


mira in cygnus.

On clear nights, during the first half of this month, my dears, the star called Mira, in the constellation Cygnus (or “The Swan”), can be seen in full luster. This is what the owl tells me; and he adds that it is one of those strange stars which vary in brightness. It shines for about a fortnight very brightly indeed; then by degrees it fades away, until, at the end of three months, it cannot be seen. After remaining five months out of sight, it gradually brightens up again. May be you’ve heard all about this before; but now is your time to see Mira twinkle her bright eye at you. I’ll take a peep at her from my pulpit, myself, if I can manage to catch sight of her.


a rare specimen.

Brookline, Mass.

Dear Jack-in-the-Pulpit: Did you ever hear this story about Agassiz? If not, please show it to the other boys and girls.—Yours truly, Nellie Chase.

One day, a man put together parts of various insects and submitted them to Agassiz as a rare specimen. He also pretended not to know to what species it belonged, and asked the professor to tell him. It was April Fools’ Day. Agassiz gave a single glance at the object and, looking up, said “Hum-bug.”


a sardonic grin.

Here’s a bit of advice which Deacon Green once gave to the boys of the red school-house. It came back to me all at once the other day as I was watching a plump little darkey eating a sour pickle, and making very wry faces.

The Deacon said: “Whenever you come across a word that you don’t understand thoroughly, don’t rest until you have found out all you can about it.”

Sometimes words grow out of queer things and in very odd ways. There’s “sardonic,” for instance. As applied to a grin, it means one that a man makes if he is forced to laugh when he doesn’t want to, or tries to smile when he really is ready to cry out with pain.

Now, the birds tell me that in the island called Sardinia there used to grow a plant with a very disagreeable taste; and whenever a piece of it was put into anybody’s mouth, it made his face pucker [Pg 439]up into a broad, unwilling smile—made him “laugh the wrong side of his mouth,” as I’ve heard boys say. Well, in course of time, the name of the island was given to the plant, and then, with a slight change, it was used to describe the wry face the taster made.

So you see, my dears, some words are like puzzles. By the way, I’d like to know what you yourselves can find out about this same word “sardonic,” for it may be that those chattering little friends of mine, the birds, have been trying to make an April fool of your Jack,—perhaps, just to see if I can smile a “sardonic” smile when I find out what they’ve done.


a poser from the little schoolma’am.

This letter, and the picture I give you with it, have just come to me. Now let’s see what your wits are worth, my dears.

The Red School-house.

My Dear Jack: I have a favor to ask of you. Will you please show to your chicks a copy of the picture which I now send to you, and ask them to give you the one word which will express the meaning of it. You can tell them, as a clue, if you like, that by means of what the picture means they can find out what it means.—Truly your friend,
The Little Schoolma’am.





Letters have come from Andrew A. Bateman, Frank Polley, M. E. Andrews, Edward Liddon Patterson, Bessie B. Roelafson, and Horatio Warren, all telling much the same story—that a man named Eric sailed from Iceland in the year 983, and, reaching the west coast of Greenland, saw there large herds of reindeer browsing on the meadows. This pleased him, and he called the country “Greenland.”

The Little Schoolma’am says that this is correct, and adds that in some parts Greenland is much colder than it used to be. She wants to know if you can give any reason why.


the feast of kites.

In Japan, the 23d of April is a splendid day for boys, I should think. I’m told that the Feast of Kites is held on that day, with kite-fights and kite-dances, and all sorts of good fun. Who knows anything more about this?


Answers to the “Tobacco” and “Cares” riddles were sent by W. P., N. E., W. L. and F. H. Amerman, Nellie J. Towle, A. B. Easton, “Ned,” L. C. L., E. E. B., Nessie E. Stevens, “Mione,” Mary H. Barnett, “Bessie,” “Lucy and Annie,” A. R. S., and Wm. V. F. Several sent amended versions of both riddles, but no one has given a satisfactory answer to Archbishop Whately’s rhymed puzzle. “Lucy and Annie” send this verse as the solution:

“To him who cons the matter o’er,
A little thought reveals,—
He heard it first who went before
Two pair of soles and ’eels.”

I’m afraid it is not the right answer, and I’m beginning to think that the archbishop made the riddle on the First of April!

[Pg 440]


Tabby was a great traveler. She knew every spot about the house—from attic to cellar—and just where everything that she liked was kept. There was hardly a rat or a mouse on the place that could hide from her. She crawled into every dark corner of the barn; could tell the number of eggs in each hen’s nest; and often she took long walks through the fields, creeping through every hole in the fence that was as big as her body.

Besides all this, she rode about the farm-yard a great many times. She had merry rides with little Harry in his baby-carriage, with Johnny and Fred as horses; she had lain curled up on the great load of hay when Mr. Dorr and the men drove in from the fields; and she had traveled ever so many miles in the empty wagon, when the boys played it was a train of cars. She liked this railroad journey best; but Fred always waked her up at every station by his loud Too-oo-oo-t! At other times, she did not know that they were moving, even when Fred said they were dashing along at a terrible rate!

But such a ride as the one I shall tell about, she never had had before in all her life! Indeed, she would never have taken it—but she could not help it. Ponto made her go. You see, Ponto and Tabby were good friends. They lived and ate together; they ran races and played all sorts of nice games; and they liked each other very much. Sometimes they had little quarrels; but they soon forgot their anger and were friends again.

Every evening, when Ponto came into the yard, the two friends would run down one little hill from the house and up another little hill to the barn where Mary was milking. Ponto would keep the pigs out of the yard, and Tabby would watch every hole in the barn floor for a rat or a mouse. Then, when Mary was done milking, she would pour some fresh milk into a pan for Tabby to drink.

But, after a while, there came a long rain-storm. Ponto had to stay in the yard for two or three days. Tabby did nothing but doze! It seemed as if it never would stop raining! But it did at last; and when Ponto and Tabby ran down the hill again, they saw at the bottom—a pond deep enough to drown them both!

Tabby did not know what to do. In all her travels she had never crossed a pond of water. She was frightened, and would have gone back to the house, but she looked toward the barn, and saw Mary and the pan of milk waiting for her beside the door.

[Pg 441] Ponto did not care for the water, for he could swim. So when they came to the edge of the pond, he plunged in and was soon across. Then he looked back to see what had become of Tabby. He thought she would be at his heels.

But no! There she was on the bank where he had left her. Her back was curled up till it looked as if it were broken, and her tail was waving over it! What in the world was the matter? She never looked so except when she was angry.




Now, Ponto thought Tabby was a wonderful cat. He had seen her catch rats, and he knew that she could do some things that even he could not. “Surely she can cross that pond,” thought he. He did not know what to make of it.

He called to her, with a bark, to “Jump in and swim across.” But she [Pg 442]only replied with a cross “Meouw,” which he did not hear. Then he said again, “It’s easy to swim across—come on!”

“As easy as for you to climb a tree,” said Tabby, in an angry way.

This was too much for Ponto! He could not climb a tree, and Tabby knew it. When he was too rough in his play, she would run up into the apple-tree, and there she was safe. So this reply made him angry. Tabby should not have said it—but then, she wanted the milk!

“It is so easy that I can swim across and carry you, too,” thought Ponto, and then he plunged into the water again. When he reached the shore, he seized Tabby by the back of the neck with his teeth, and rushed back into the water. Poor Tabby! She thought she certainly would be drowned.

But Ponto knew better. He held his head so high that the water hardly touched her pretty little paws. So she kept quiet and did not struggle. It was not so bad after all! And besides, there was the milk!

When they landed, Tabby had a stiff neck for a while, and Ponto had to shake his great shaggy sides until they were dry. Then they ran up the hill as fast as they could go, and into the barn,—and almost into the milk-pail before they could stop.

Tabby was very thankful to Ponto for this ride. She said to herself that she would help him to climb a tree the next time that he tried. But as she drank her milk, she was glad that they both could follow Mary home by the long path through the orchard.

Tabby did not forget her strange ride. But she has never taught Ponto how to climb a tree! She has not even helped him up to the lowest limb. Do you think she ever will?


Little boy John is sleepy,
Little boy John can rest,
Now that the sun all its labor has done,
And gone to its bed in the west.

Rattle goes into the closet,
Letter-blocks go there too;
Wait till the morn for the cow in the corn,
And the horn of the Little Boy Blue.

[Pg 443] Into the crib with Johnny,
As soon as his prayers are said;
Tuck him all in from the toes to the chin,
Alone in his soft, downy bed.

Then in the morning early,
Soon as the sun shall rise,
Little boy John, with the coming of dawn,
Will open his pretty blue eyes.

Butterflies in the garden,
Roses, and lilies fair,
Birds in the trees, and the big bumble-bees,
Shall welcome our little one there.

Yet if the day be rainy,
Dreary and dark the sky,
Still there is fun for our own little one,
In the nursery cozy and dry.

Beat a big drum all morning,
Build a card-house till noon,
Play after that with the dog and the cat,
Will keep little Johnny in tune.

Little boy John is sleepy,
Winks with his two little eyes,
Nods with his head—so we put him to bed,
And under the cover he lies.



[Pg 444]


The readers of St. Nicholas are so familiar, by this time, with the new cover of the magazine, that they can understand, better perhaps than at first, how much this cover, which Mr. Walter Crane has so carefully and thoughtfully drawn, is meant to express. The girl or boy who will take the trouble to study the meaning of the many distinct parts of which the design is composed, will see that pretty much every subject that St. Nicholas thinks it well to talk about, is, in some way, symbolized in the smaller pictures.

The department “For Very Little Folks” is represented by a baby in a cradle, with a youthful nurse reading to it. Below this scene, “Jack-in-the-Pulpit” holding forth to his hearers; and, in the next picture, the poetry of the magazine is personified by a boy mounted on Pegasus, the fabled winged horse that poets ride. A young hunter, who shakes hands with a friendly gorilla, indicates that stories of travel, in strange and distant countries, are to be found within.

In the upper picture, on the other side, two youngsters with telescope and globe show that scientific subjects may be treated of in such a way as to interest boys and girls; and a young artist, hard at work, illustrates how industriously and earnestly our artists work to make good pictures for the magazine. Sports and games are represented by the little fellow playing cricket, which, as well as base-ball, is an excellent game, and often played in this country, though not to so great an extent as in England, where Walter Crane lives. The young sailor in his canoe, starting out on the wide ocean in search of adventure, gives a good idea of how the readers of St. Nicholas go all over the world and see strange sights, in company with the writers of our stories of fun and adventure.

There are still other things to be noticed on this cover. At the very top, you will see a figure of young Time, probably the son of old Tempus, who holds out a tablet to let us know what month the number is for; and, at the bottom, are two round faces, like young worlds, which show that children, in both the eastern and western hemispheres, are always on the lookout for the coming of St. Nicholas.

At the top are the muses of Literature and Art, who see to it that we have plenty of good articles and pictures; while at the bottom are the two griffins, who keep out everything that is bad.

In the center is St. Nicholas himself, the good old patron of girls and boys.

Down at the bottom of this central picture, in the left-hand corner, just behind the girl’s foot, there is a curious little design. That is the artist’s distinctive mark, which he often puts on his pictures. INV. stands for invented, or designed, and under this are two V’s. In Old-English, V is the same letter as U, and these two V’s stand for double-u, or W—for Walter. Then there is a little picture of a crane. And so we can easily see that the meaning of the sign is, “Designed by Walter Crane.”

Thus we have shown that this cover tells quite a story, and, if we study it longer, we may see more in it than is mentioned here.

Roxbury, Mass.

Dear St. Nicholas: We have formed a club for playing battledoor and shuttlecock. Our highest scores are 5084, 4556, 3545, and 3496. Will you ask your subscribers, through the “Letter-Box,” if they know of any higher scores?—Yours truly,

The Brothers of the Battledoor.

Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dear St. Nicholas: I am very busy now putting pictures on Easter eggs, the insides of which have been blown out and replaced by very fine caraway-seed candy, put in through a little hole at one end and then covered by a picture. The money I get for these eggs is for my Easter offering. Duck-eggs are the prettiest to use, because they are of such a lovely greenish-blue tint. May be some of your other readers may like to make some of these Easter eggs. Mamma says she could scarcely keep house without the St. Nicholas now, and I think so too.—Your friend,
George M. A.

Chicago, Ill.

Dear St. Nicholas: Will you be so kind as to tell a little Scottish girl where to find the date when England claimed Scotland, as Mrs. Weiss says, in her story about the “Arms of Great Britain,” in the January number of your magazine? I cannot find any such date. King Edward I., I know, claimed it, but Robert the Bruce disputed it so successfully that none have ever claimed it since—Yours respectfully, Aggie Nicol.

William the Conqueror, in A. D. 1072, subdued Malcolm III. of Scotland, and received his homage. This was the first time England claimed, and exercised, sovereignty over Scotland.

Stella C.—Homer is the “Blind Man of Smyrna.”

Dear St. Nicholas: Will you please print this poem? It was written for my brother Bertie, by a well-known authoress, within five minutes, by my father’s watch, and with the alteration of but one word. I must tell you we gave her the subject. Hoping you will print this poem, I remain yours truly,
Charles H. M.


Do you wish to see her—
Bertie’s future wife,
The maid who’ll share his fortune,
Brighten all his life?

This is how I see her,
In my fancy’s eye:
Tall and fair and slender,
Cheerful, good and spry;

Eyes as deep as pansies,
Lips like cherries red,
And a wealth of sunshine
Growing on her head.

Kind her voice, and gentle,
Sweet her merry laugh,—
There, I’ve told you wonders,
Yet not told you half.

Nothing could be better
Than this lovely maid,
Now let’s see him get her:—
Hard work, I’m afraid.

Monroeville, O.

Dear St. Nicholas: I have for some time been anxious to take the St. Nicholas, but did not have the money. I was told that if I would gather hickory-nuts enough to amount to the sum, I might take it. I gathered three bushels, sold them, sent for the magazine, and, last evening, received two numbers, with which I was very much pleased.—Your faithful reader, Clara Lindsley.

Danbury, Ct.

Dear St. Nicholas: A party of us boys read about “Hare and Hounds” in the October number, and we tried the game the Saturday after. We all spent the day at my cousin’s; he lives on a farm where there is plenty of room for us to run. Our “hare” got a good start, and though we ran hard and followed up the “scent” well, we did not catch him. We caught our next “hare” though. We treat to apples instead of candy. We think the game is great fun.

I have taken St. Nicholas for two years and I think it is splendid. I liked the “Bass Cove Sketches,” and mamma laughed heartily when I read them to her. I am ten years old, and I hope to take you till I am twenty.—Your constant reader, Willie H. Allen.

A correspondent sends us the following account of some incidents of the great flood in Virginia last November:

After several days of rain, the James and other rivers rose very suddenly, and caused great destruction of life and property, carrying away houses, bridges, crops, and cattle, and covering large sections of the country with water.

There were no lives lost where the flood came during daylight, though many families lost food, clothing, and their homes; but where the sudden rage of the waters burst forth at night, many people were swept away and drowned.

Some one saw among the poor animals struggling with the waters, a poor, frightened little rabbit, on a plank, running from side to side, as it tossed and pitched up and down on the waves.

A queer instance of characteristic nature in an animal is worth [Pg 445]recording, although the creature could scarcely be considered a sufferer from the flood. One man, whose house was swept away and lodged on an embankment lower down, had a pet hog, whose dwelling had been under the house. Of course the man imagined him drowned, as no one had thought of him in the haste of the flight. The day after, when the fury of the waters was somewhat spent, the man and his son paddled out to the house to see if anything had escaped. On going in through the upstairs window, they found that the hog had coolly walked in and up the stairs, and, selecting a feather-bed, was now reclining very comfortably in the very middle of it, entirely unhurt!

But only this gentleman of ease and the wreckers profited by the great flood. To others it came like a cruel and stealthy foe, sweeping all before its merciless rush. One little girl, two years old, snatched from her bed and barely saved, said the next day, with a little face still sunshiny, as she pointed to their roof, just seen, with the upper windows above the waters: “Dess see! The flood came, and it dess took everysing—dollies and all!” M.

Several correspondents write kindly correcting an error in the February “Letter-Box,” page 301, in the item about “King Alfred and the Cakes.” It was “Prince William, son of Henry I.,” not “of Henry II.,” who was drowned.

Athens, Ohio.

Dear St. Nicholas: Reading what Jack said in February about the little birds being killed by flying against the telegraph wires, I thought I would write and say that we often pick them up. They look soft and pretty, as if they were asleep, as they are not cut and their feathers are not rumpled. I also want to tell you about my canary-birds. My little Toppie hatched three little singers, which I named Tom, Dick, and Harry. I sold Harry to pay for my St. Nicholas. We sent Dick to a little girl who had been praying for a bird. She was so glad to get it that she said she must be a good little girl. We still have the other one, who is singing nearly all the time. I was twelve on Washington’s birthday. I have one sister and three brothers, and we all love the St. Nicholas.—Your affectionate reader, Hattie F. Nourse.

Dear St. Nicholas: I have a dolly twenty-five years old. I am going to take her to Saratoga this summer. I think it will do her good. I am seven years old. I like St. Nicholas ever so much.
Mattie Wyckoff.

Providence, R. I.

Dear St. Nicholas: In the December number of St. Nicholas, in “A Chat About Pottery,” I find on page 105 the question, “Who ever saw a blue dog?” and the answer, “In life, no one, my dear.” During the past month I have seen, several times, a dog as blue as the sky on a summer’s day. He is of the “Spitz” breed, and, as his master keeps a dye-house, we think he is used as an advertisement.

He attracts a good deal of attention when on the street.—Yours truly, Edwin S. T.

Shawangunk, N. Y.

Dear St. Nicholas: My uncles have taken the St. Nicholas for me for three years, and I like it very much.

I see in your “Letter-Box” a letter from Alma Aylesworth asking how apples were made to grow sweet on one side and sour on the other.

They take a sprout of the sweet and another of sour, just as near the same size as possible, split each in two at the middle, press one-half of each to a half of the other, put grafting-wax up the cracks, and set it in like any other graft.

For a few years, this limb will bear apples sweet on one side and sour on the other; but when the tree gets old, the apples will be of one flavor throughout.—I remain your faithful reader,
Mamie C. Cocks.

Franklin, Pa.

Dear St. Nicholas: I would like to have you tell me what Cleopatra’s needle is. I read about its voyage in the papers.—Yours truly, B. L. F.

The obelisk known as Cleopatra’s needle, presented by the Khedive to England, is a great stone that was cut out in one piece from the quarries of Syene, Egypt, it is supposed in the time of Thothmes III. (about 1600 years B. C.), when, also, it was set up in the temple of Karnak, at Thebes. It is a tall, rectangular pillar, tapering from the base to near the top, where it is pointed like a flattened pyramid; its sides are inscribed with hieroglyphics. The obelisk was taken to Alexandria by Queen Cleopatra, and was named after her. Some think that Cleopatra’s Needle was another stone, quarried by order of Ramesis II., and set up in Heliopolis, the City of the Sun; but several obelisks have borne the name, and this may have caused uncertainty about them. The former account is believed to be correct.

Ashland, Wis.

Dear St. Nicholas: I saw, in your January number, two ways pictured for carrying the mails. Here, where I live, on the shore of Lake Superior, we see both ways at the present time. The mail from Bayfield comes on the backs of packers, and on the railroad the mails come from Milwaukie and other points south of us.

We have a jolly fire-place. It is large enough for Santa Claus to come right down without any trouble; and he filled our stockings full last year.—From your constant reader,
Estelle Wilmarth.

We have received the following letters in answer to Alice Clinton’s question, in the February “Letter-Box,” asking for a list of books pleasant to read:

Ogdensburg, N. Y.

Dear St. Nicholas: Will you please tell Alice Clinton, if she wants some interesting and instructive books, to read Dickens’s “Child’s History of England” and Higginson’s “History of the United States.”—Truly yours, Lulie James.


Dear St. Nicholas: I have taken you ever since you were born, and I like you better all the while.

I think Alice Clinton would enjoy “About Old Story-tellers,” by Ik Marvel; “America Illustrated,” edited by J. David Williams: and Parley’s “Universal History,” as they are all very nice.—Your friend, Cora Eugenia Alwyn.

Dear St. Nicholas: Inclosed you will find a short story which my little brother wrote, as he said he wanted to write something for good St. Nicholas.—Yours truly, J. S. H.

The Fisher.

Once there was a boy who did not obey his mother and went fishing and fell into the water how frighten was the mother when she found out that her boy was drowned and the father and mother began to cry and one day a man came to comfort them. But he could not and they never found that boy.

We have received the following lines as an answer to the geographical puzzle in the February number:

Queen Charlotte the fair
To a ball did repair
In the city of Aire,
And met all the Adams carousing there,
Sweet Alexandria, Sydney the swell,
And noble young Ellsworth, who pleased her right well.
They praised her fine Cashmere, with Brussels to trim it,
But found it Toulon(g) and Toulouse the next minute.
Her shoulders were Chili, she thought she should freeze,
But a warm Paisley shawl put her quite at her ease.
Her rich Diamond jewelry sparkled and shone;
Her shoes were Morocco, of smallness unknown;
And her kerchief diffused a sweet smell of Cologne.
A Superior dancer, she floated around,
With Washington great or Columbus was found.
With Madison flirting or dancing a jig,
Montgomery, Raleigh, she cared not a fig
For them, or for Jackson, who stared in surprise
When she said she was Hungary, coolly did rise,
And was borne off by Quincy from under his eyes.
At Table, Elk, Sandwich, and Orange she ate,
Sat drinking Moselle and Madeira till late;
Then, after an evening quite Pleasant, she said
Farewell to her hostess, and went home, they said,
With gallant Prince Edward, a gentleman bred.
Lizzie E. T.

Dear St. Nicholas: I saw in the January number a recipe for “chocolate creams.” I have a very good recipe for chocolate caramels. It is: Half a pint of rich milk, a square and a half (or an ounce and a half) of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, softened on the fire. Let the milk boil; then stir in the chocolate very hard; add half a pint of best white sugar, and three table-spoonfuls of molasses. Boil until very thick, taking care not to burn it. Pour on buttered tins, and, when nearly cold, cut in squares.

If you think this is a good recipe (which I am sure you will, as I [Pg 446]have tried it many times, and have never known it to fail), please put it in the “Letter-Box,” and oblige, your interested reader,
Mary Wharton Wadsworth.

Butte Creek, Cal.

Dear St. Nicholas: I am ten years old, and live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and my papa belongs to a mining company—mining for gold. I have a hydraulic mine of my own, but I don’t get any gold out of it. I have a dog whose name is Flora, and a wooden sword and dagger, and I play soldier with her and get cleaned out sometimes.

We have no school here, but I study my lessons every day, and papa hears me recite at night. I study arithmetic, geography, spelling, U. S. history, and writing. I may write to you again some time.—Yours truly, Scottie Hankins.

Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear St. Nicholas: I want to tell you about a girl we had. She was a German girl, and she asked my father, who is a druggist, for a label. She wanted to send it to Germany, so her friends could direct the letters. On the label was printed, “Dr. Siddall, Mantua Drug-store, Tinct. of Myrrh, No. 3526 Haverford St., W. Phila.” She sent this label, and when the answer came, the direction read, “Care Dr. Siddall, Mantua Drug-store, Tinct. of Myrrh, No. 3526 Haverford St., W. Phila.”

We had a good laugh over it, to think that anybody would put “Tinct. of Myrrh” on the direction of a letter.

I thought I would send you this to put in the St. Nicholas, so that everybody who reads this could have a laugh over it.—Very respectfully, J. R. Siddall.

Dora’s Housekeeping, by the author of “Six Little Cooks,” is a handy little book that tells about the troubles and triumphs of a girl fifteen years old, who is left unexpectedly to take charge of a house and provide daily meals for its six inmates. The story itself is pleasant, and it introduces useful hints about household duties—such as bed-making, sweeping, care of lamps, etc. The book is adapted to beginners, for its recipes contain fuller detailed directions than cook-books usually give. Solids and sweets are treated of in common-sense proportion, and waste is guarded against with tasty dishes prepared from remnants. The book is illustrated, and is published by Messrs. Jansen, McClurg & Co., Chicago.

Child Marian Abroad, by William M. F. Round, is a little book with eight full-page pictures. It gives a lively and interesting account of a bright little girl’s adventures during a tour in Europe with her uncle and aunt. She sees many great people and grand sights, plays with a princess, gets into comical scrapes,—some with the help of a little American boy named Harry,—and, altogether, has a delightful trip, very pleasant to read about.

A correspondent, having read in the November number the poem “My Girl,” by Mr. Adams, sends us this clever imitation:


A little crib in “mother’s room,”
A little face with baby bloom,
A little head with curly hair,
A little woolly dog, a chair.

A little while for bumps and cries,
A little while to make “mud pies,”
A little doubting wonder when
A little pair of hands is clean.

A little ball, a top to spin,
A little “Ulster” belted in,
A little pair of pants, some string,
A little bit of everything.

A little blustering, boisterous air,
A little spirit of “don’t care,”
A little tramping off to school,
A little shrug at woman’s rule.

A little odor of cigar,
A little twilight talk with Ma,
A little earnest study then—
A little council grave again.

A little talk about “my girl,”
A little soft mustache to twirl,
A little time of jealous fear,
A little hope the way to clear.

A little knowledge of the world,
A little self-conceit down hurled,
A little manly purpose new,
A little woman, waiting, true.

A little wedding gay at eve,
A little pang the home to leave,
A little mother lone at dawn,
A little sigh—my boy was gone! L. R. I.

E. I. S.—We believe that some consider it not quite certain whether “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” was the sign of mercy. But Appleton’s “American Cyclopædia” says that, when, in a Roman amphitheater, a gladiator was overcome in fight, he was allowed to appeal to the spectators; and, if they pointed downward with their thumbs, his life was spared,—but if upward, his opponent dispatched him on the spot.



I am composed of thirteen letters in two words that form the name of a king lately dead.

My 6 5 8 7 is the capital of his realm.
My 4 11 6 2 10 is the city of his birth.
My 1 7 10 2 3 12 is a noted port in his kingdom.
My 8 2 13 9 10 is a cathedral city in his dominions. l. h., v. h., +



1. A consonant. 2. A wager. 3. A city in Italy. 4. A part of the body. 5. A vowel. n. b. s.



Remove one word from another, and leave a complete word.

1. Take a crime from a clergyman’s house, and leave an attendant. 2. Take a summer luxury from worthy of observation, and leave remarkable. 3. Take savage from to puzzle, and leave a drink. 4. Take suffrage from a bigot, and leave a river in Great Britain. 5. Take to lean from a glass vessel, and leave an animal. cyril deane.



Each anagram is formed from a single word, and a clue to the meaning of that word is given, between brackets, after its anagram.

1. Any one can (trouble). 2. I anoint combs (joinings). 3. Cover no sin (change). 4. A rude song (perilous). 5. I’m no cereal (rite). 6. A mad girl (song). 7. Real blue ant (fixed). 8. An egg dies (liberate). w.



Every other letter is omitted.

H-  d-t-  m-c-  s-o  -o-h  -e-l  -h-t  -e  -a-h  -o  -o. c. d.



. . . .
  . . . .
    . . . .
      . . . .

Across: 1. Oversight. 2. Clean. 3. To fall. 4. To jump.
Down: 1. One hundred. 2. An article. 3. A color. 4. A title. 5. A part of the body. 6. A pet name for a parent. 7. A vegetable. h. h. d.



Pictorial puzzle

From the letters of the word which describes the central picture,
form words describing the remaining ten pictures. h. s. s.



     . . . O . . .

The central letter, o, is given in the diagram, and is used for both the Full Perpendicular and the Full Horizontal; but the central letter forms no part of the words that make the limbs and arms of the cross.
Full Perpendicular, eight letters: An American singing-bird.
Full Horizontal, seven letters: An instrument of war.
Top Limb, three letters: A short, jerking action.
Bottom Limb, four letters: Part of a chain.
Left Arm, three letters: A small gulf.
Right Arm, three letters: An instrument for catching fish. b.



In the full names of the nineteen presidents of the United States, find the following hidden words, each of which is selected entire from the name of some single president, although in one or two cases the spelling merely gives the sound of the word that is to be found:

1. An insect. 2. A household task. 3. Two birds. 4. A faithful woman. 5. A forest tree, familiar to school-boys. 6. Two Old Testament men. 7. Four New Testament men. 8. A product of the mine. 9. Two products of the pig. 10. The thousandth part of a dollar. 11. A heavy weight. 12. An inhabitant of the western part of Europe. 13. A famous spy, executed during the Revolutionary war. 14. A line of soldiers. 15. One of the supports of a bridge. 16. Dexterity. 17. A river crossing and river obstructions. 18. Fish eggs. 19. Affirmative votes. 20. A noted Philadelphia philosopher and statesman. 21. An old-time Grecian hero. 22. A useful timber. 23. An English statesman whose head was cut off. 24. A title-deed to lands or estates. 25. Three musical syllables. 26. A title of the Deity, mentioned in the Bible. 27. A delicious sweetmeat. 28. A domestic fowl. 29. A girl’s name. 30. Something added. 31. One of the members of a family. c. marvin.



1. Pleasing. 2. The ocean. 3. “A little house full of meat, with no door to go in and eat.” 4. A bar of wood. 5. A thought. 6. A tribe. 7. Pleased.

The initials and finals, read downward, spell the names of two powerful countries. del.



 1    2
3    4    5
 6    7

My 3 4 5 is to obstruct. My 1 4 7 is to bend under weight. My 2 4 6 is a carriage.

Place the letters in the positions indicated by the figures of the diagram, and read therefrom my whole, which is the name of a large island. h. h. d.



One word taken from each sentence in succession will form the answer.

  1. “Likeness begets love, yet proud men hate one another.”
  2. “They that hide can find.”
  3. “Trade knows neither friends nor kindred.”
  4. “It is better to be happy than wise.”
  5. “Gold may be bought too dear.”
  6. “If you would have a good servant, take neither a kinsman nor a friend.”
  7. “A gift long waited for is sold, not given.”
  8. “It’s time to sit when the oven comes to dough.”
  9. “Only that which is honestly got is gain.”
10. “Prudent people always ask the price ere they purchase.”
11. “Good advice is never out of place.”
12. “Friendship is the perfection of love.” cyril deane.



A word that means to cleanse, behead,
And leave of cloth a kind;
Behead again, and leave a seed
Canaries love to find;
Behead again, and it will leave
An animal behind.

Transpose my first, and it becomes
A set of antics gay;
Then curtail twice, and leave what oft
Projects into a bay;
Curtail again, and leave what boys
Will put in mother’s way.

Transpose again, and find a word
To horses may apply;
Curtail it twice, and leave a step
That one can measure by;

Behead it, and you have a card
That often counts for high.

Transpose again, and bring to light
A well-known proper name;
And in the very center find
A serpent known to fame,
That caused the death of one,—a queen,—
Who laid to beauty claim. h. h. d.



A member of a legislative body; a plant; new; periods of time; to allow, reversed; a preposition; a consonant. a. c. crett.


A Common Adage.—“Well begun is half done.”

Literary Enigma.—
“Sweet was the sound when oft at evening’s close
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose.”
Goldsmith’s “Deserted Village.”
1. Euripides. 2. Tasso. 3. Southey. 4. Hume. 5. Irving. 6. Carlyle. 7. Wordsworth. 8. Hawthorne. 9. Lyell. 10. Davy. 11. Emerson. 12. Mann.

Transpositions.—1. I pass no, passion. 2. Glare, large. 3. Let this, thistle. 4. United, untied. 5. One cadet, anecdote. 6. Towels, lowest. 7. Not impart, important. 8. Lambs cringe, clamberings.

Easy Reversals.—1. Drab, bard. 2. Reed, deer. 3. Door, rood. 4. Yard, dray. 5. Keel, leek. 6. Loop, pool. 7. Tram, mart. 8. Doom, mood. 9. Part, trap. 10. Room, moor.

Double Diamond.— Perpendicular: Ponderous. Horizontal: Gathering.

      p o d
    v i n e s
  g a r d e n s
g a t h e r i n g
  c a r r i e d
    s t o v e
      s u e

Curtailments and Beheadings.—Poe, poet. Raven, rave. Bells, ells.

Easy Numerical Enigma.—Robinson Crusoe. Robin, cross, ounce.

Pictorial Anagram Proverb-Puzzle.—“A new broom sweeps clean.”

Easy Unions.—1. Rest-o-ring, restoring. 2. Sweet-e-ned, sweetened. 3. Inter-e-sting, interesting.

An Old Maxim.—“Light cares speak; great ones are dumb.”

Rhomboid Puzzle.— e p o d e
o p e r a
e a r l y
n o t e d
r o s e s

Double Cross-word Acrostic.—Steam, Smoke. 1. ScissorS. 2. TeaM. 3. EchO. 4. ArK. 5. MandrakE.

Easy Diamond Puzzle.—1. T. 2. Era. 3. Trout. 4. Auk. 5. T.

Maltese-Cross Puzzle.—

  f r e s h
b   a s a   i
e i   s   a d
i n t e n s e
n n   n   h a
g   a c t   l
  c l e a r

Poetical Rebus.— “Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.”
Scott’s “Marmion.”

Numberical Enigma.—Nightingale. Nigh, tin, gale.

Double Acrostic.—Louisa M. Alcott, Ralph W. Emerson, 1. LumbeR. 2. OpheliA. 3. UsuaL. 4. ImP. 5. SumacH. 6. AndreW. 7. MoosE. 8. AsyluM. 9. LakE. 10. CondoR. 11. OlympuS. 12. TO. 13. TeN.

Word Syncopations.—1. La-wren-ce; wren, lace. 2. K-now-ing; now, king. 3. De-fin-ed; fin, deed. 4. Re-fine-d; fine, reed. 5. W-ant-ed; ant, wed. 6. F-urn-ish; urn, fish.


Abbreviations.—1. Beryl, bey. 2. Crown, cow. 3. Fairy, fir. 4. Grape, gap. 5. Steam, sea. 6. White, wit. 7. Halts, hat. 8. Honey, hoe. 9. Bevel, bee. 10. Pence, pen.

Answers to Puzzles in the February number were received, before February 18, from Lucian J., G.L., N.E., G.A.R.C., Mattie E. Doyle, Josie Brown, B.P. Emery, Réné L. Milhau, Willie C. Du Bois, “Dominie,” M.H.F., “Ben Zeen,” M. Alice Chase, W.L. and F.H. Amerman, Louie C.O. Haughton, Frank Haughton, Alice Stedman, Kittie Perry, Annie L. Zieber, Georgine C. Schnitzspahn, Anna M. Richardson, H.A. Warren, Constance Grand-Pierre and Sarah Duffield, W. Eichelberger, “Adelaide and Reggie,” Mason Romeyn Strong, Robert M. Webb, “L.,” “Yankee Girl,” Grace B. Latimer, Eugene L. Lockwood, “Bob White,” “Medea,” Robert Howard, Nellie J. Towle, Eddie H. Gay, Ray T. French, Gertrude C. Eager, Abbie G. Weed, Arthur C. Smith, Addie Campbell, “Bessie and her Cousin,” Lucy V. MacRill, M.W. Collet, L.C.L., Hattie M. Heath, “Little Eagle,” Edith Wilkinson, Grace Van Wagenen, Nessie E. Stevens, A.H. Babcock, Anna E. Mathewson, Clara B. Dunster, Ben Merrill, C.E. Sands, John Taylor, Jennie Taylor, Harry Durand, Nellie A. Hudson, Leonice B. Barnes, “Winnie, Brookline,” Bessie L. Barnes, Louise G. Hinsdale, Lizzie B. Clark, Lizzie M. Dow, Mabel Barrows, Miller Bowdoin & Co., R.T. McKeever, “Three Cousins,” “St. Nicholas Club,” Lizzie E.T., Anna F. Robinson, Florence E. Turrill, Ida N. Carson, Camille and Leonie Giraud, “New Friend,” George J. Fiske, Florence Wilcox, Fred M. Pease; No name, Cambridgeport; Eddie Vultee, Milly E. Adams, Perry Adams, Maude Adams, and Anna R. Stratton.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and
Girls, V. 5, April 1878, by Various


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