The Project Gutenberg EBook of Golden Days for Boys and Girls, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Golden Days for Boys and Girls Volume XIII, No. 51: November 12, 1892 Author: Various Editor: James Elverson Release Date: March 23, 2008 [EBook #24904] Language: English Character set encoding: UTF-8 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK GOLDEN DAYS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS *** Produced by Louise Hope, Juliet Sutherland and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
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|Vol. XIII—No. 51||November 12, 1892.|
Advertising (inside front cover)
Notices of Exchange (inside back cover)
Advertising (inside back cover)
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Testimonials (back cover)
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S ERVE YOURSELF, AND YOUR FRIENDS WILL THINK MORE O’ YOU
You’ll enjoy the good opinion of YOUR friends if you use
TRY A CAKE OF IT AND JUDGE FOR YOURSELVES.
From the Advocate, Londonville, Ohio.
Good reading matter is as essential to the young people as good food—its effect is seen in after years. Especially do they need good, pure fiction, which engages their attention and excludes mischievous ideas, leaving a lasting impression. In its great variety of short and continued stories, Golden Days is among the foremost, and its illustrations are artistic. Puzzledom delights the solvers, while the Letter Box contains much information and is read by old and young. Although the Exchange Column will not publish any notices of a dangerous character, yet it is always crowded and has been used to advantage by its readers. The publisher knows the wants of the young folks, and the pens of the young people’s favorite writers are employed for Golden Days. It can be purchased weekly, or bound in magazine form, at the end of the month. Send to the publisher, James Elverson, Philadelphia, for a sample copy.
From The Argus, Ashton, Dakota.
To the young people of Spink County who enjoy first-class reading we can truthfully recommend Golden Days, published by James Elverson, Philadelphia. It is a weekly publication, and filled with the purest of reading matter, and yet the well-known desire of the young for stories of adventure is not forgotten, for while the interest of the reader is held by the power of the writers, yet there is nothing at any time that could offend the most fastidious, while the youthful mind is led on to emulate the good acts portrayed. Write for sample copies.
From the Milton (Penna.) Economist.
Golden Days is filled with a choice selection of original stories and pure reading matter of the highest order, together with numerous illustrations. The contributors are many of the best and most widely-known story writers of the world. One grand feature of this journal is that it contains nothing that will be in any way leading to the tainting of the moral or religious life of the young, which is the case with so many of the story papers of the present day. We commend the paper to parents who wish to get the best juvenile paper; and those of our young readers who wish to get and read serial stories of a pure and moral tendency should not fail to subscribe to Golden Days.
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From the Daily News, Geneseo, N.Y.
We wish we could impress upon the mind of every father how cheaply he could make the home circle doubly attractive by subscribing for the Golden Days, decidedly the most valuable and most interesting pictorial newspaper we ever saw, not only for the children, but for the entire family. For the sake of his children we sincerely urge every father to send to the office for a specimen copy, when he can see for himself the great value it will be in his family, and he will thank us in his heart for calling his attention to it. Address James Elverson, publisher, Golden Days, corner Ninth and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, Penna.
From the Clifton and Landsdowne Times.
Golden Days.—We would like to be able to place this weekly journal in the hands of every girl and boy in the county who cannot afford to subscribe for or buy it from news agents. But the girls and boys of that kind, we fear, are “too many for us.” A sad fact, too, by-the-way, when we reflect that a little thought and a bit of economy on the part of themselves or their parents would do what it is not in our power to accomplish. Nevertheless, they ought to know what Golden Days is, namely, a sixteen-page weekly journal, with finely-illustrated articles on various subjects of interest to young people, embracing natural history, philosophy and other branches of education, together with pleasing, instructive and moral stories by the best authors. It is just what is wanted for the youthful mind seeking for useful information, and ready at the same time to enjoy what is entertaining and healthful. If all girls and boys could peruse and profit by its columns every week, they in time would grow up to be women and men, intelligent, patriotic and influential in their lives; and lest any who may read these words are ignorant—which is hardly possible—of the whereabouts of Golden Days, we gladly give the address, James Elverson, Ninth and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia.
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Golden Days is the title of a weekly publication for boys and girls, published by James Elverson, Philadelphia, at $3 a year. Each issue is filled with a choice selection of original stories and pure reading matter of the highest order, together with numerous illustrations. The contributors are many of the best and most widely known story-writers of the world. One grand feature of this journal is that it contains nothing that will be in any way leading to the tainting of the moral or religious life of the young, which is the case with so many of the story papers of the present day. We commend the paper to parents who wish to get the best juvenile paper, and those of our young readers who wish to get and read serial stories of a pure and moral tendency, should not fail to subscribe for Golden Days.
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The Golden Days is pushing forward to a position in the field of juvenile journalism that will make it the ne plus ultra. Its stories sparkle with originality and interest, and its poems are the best. Published at $3 a year by James Elverson, Philadelphia, Pa. Send for a free sample copy.
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[Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1892, by James Elverson, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.]
|Vol. XIII.||JAMES ELVERSON,
N. W. corner Ninth
and Spruce Sts.
|PHILADELPHIA, NOVEMBER 12, 1892.|
$3.00 Per Annum,
It was a raw, cold day in early April. Since morning, the clouds had been gathering, and they now hung, dark and heavy, over both land and sea. The wind, too, which had been steadily increasing for hours in violence, now blew little short of a gale. It evidently was going to be a terrible night, and that night was nearly at hand.
No one realized this more than the boy who, with a small bundle in one hand and a stout staff in the other, was walking rapidly along the road that runs, for the greater part of the way, in sight of Long Island Sound, from New Haven to New London.
He was a youth that would have attracted attention anywhere. Tall for his age, which could not have been far from eighteen years, he was also of good proportions, and walked with an ease and stride which suggested reserved strength and muscular development; but it was the boy’s face that was most noticeable. Frank, open, of singular beauty in feature and outline, there was also upon it unmistakable evidences of intelligence, resoluteness and honesty of purpose. A close observer might also have detected traces of suffering or of sorrow—possibly of some great burden hard to bear.
The boy was none too warmly clad for the chilly air and piercing wind, and now and then drew his light overcoat about him, as though even his rapid walking did not make him entirely comfortable.
He, moreover, looked eagerly ahead, like one who was watching for some signs of his destination. Reaching at length the foot of a long hill, he drew a sigh of relief, and said, aloud:
“I must be near the place now. They said it was at the top of the first long hill I came to, and this must be it.”
As he spoke, he quickened his pace to a run and soon reached the summit, quite out of breath, but with a genial warmth in his body that he had not experienced for some hours.
Pausing now a moment to catch his breath, he looked about him. Dim as was the light of the fast-falling evening, he could not help giving an exclamation of delight at the view he beheld.
To the west of him he saw the twinkling lights of several villages, through which he had already passed. To the north, there was a vast stretch of land, shrouded in darkness. To the south was the Sound, its tossing waves capped with white, its islands like so many gems on the bosom of the angry waters.
“It must be a beautiful place to live in, and I hope to find a home here,” he remarked, as he resumed his journey.
A few rods farther he reached a farmhouse 801b and turned up to its nearest door. As he was about to knock, a man came from the barn-yard, a little distance away, and accosted him.
“Good-evening!” responded the boy. Then he asked, “Is this Mr. Noman?”
“No, I’m Mr. Goodenough,” answered the man, pleasantly. “Noman lives on the adjoining farm. You will have to turn into the next gateway and go down the lane, as his house stands some distance from the road.”
“I was told,” explained the boy, “that he wished to hire help, and I hoped to get work there. Could you tell me what the prospect is?”
The man had now reached the boy’s side, and was looking him over with evident curiosity.
“Well,” he replied, slowly. “I think he wants a young fellow for the coming season, and hadn’t hired any one the last I knew. But I think you must be a stranger in these parts?”
“Yes,” the youth answered, briefly.
And then, thanking the man for his information, he turned away.
“I thought so,” Mr. Goodenough called after him, “else you wouldn’t want to go there to work.”801c
The boy scarcely gave heed to the remark at the time; but it was not long before he learned, by hard experience, the meaning of it.
A quarter of a mile up the road he reached a gate, and, passing through it, hastened down the narrow lane till he came to a long, low, dilapidated house; but in the darkness, which had by this time fallen, he was not able to form any definite idea of his surroundings.
A feeble light issued from a back window, and, guided by that, he found the rear door of the building.
To his knock there was a chorus of responses. Dogs barked, children screamed, 801d and above the din a gruff voice shouted, “Come in!”
A little disconcerted by the unusual sounds, the boy, instead of obeying the invitation, knocked again.
Then there was a heavy step across the floor, the door swung open with a jerk, and a tall, raw-boned man, shaggy-bearded and shock haired, stood on the threshold.
Eying the boy a moment in surprise, he asked, somewhat surlily:
“What do ye want, youngster?”
“Are you Mr. Noman?” the boy asked.
“Yes; what of it?” he answered, sharply.
“I was told you wanted help, and I have called to see about it,” explained the boy.
“Come in, then!” said Mr. Noman.
And his tones were wonderfully modified.
The boy now obeyed, and found himself in a large room, evidently the kitchen and living-room all in one. There was no carpet on the floor, and a stove, a table and a half-dozen chairs constituted its furniture.
Three large dogs lay before the fire, growling sullenly. A woman and four small children 802a were seated at the table. An empty chair and an unemptied plate showed that Mr. Noman had been eating when he was called to the door.
There was food enough upon the table, but its disorderly arrangement, and the haphazard way in which each child was helping itself, caused the boy to give an involuntary shudder, as his host invited him to sit down “an’ take a bite, while they talked over business together.”
Mr. Noman evidently meant to give his caller a flattering impression of his hospitality, for he heaped the boy’s plate with cold pork, brown bread and vegetables, and even called on his wife to get some of that “apple sass” for the young stranger.
The boy was hungry, and the food was, after all, wholesome, and he stowed away a quantity that surprised himself, if not his host.
When supper was eaten, Mr. Noman pushed back his chair and abruptly asked his guest:
“Who air ye?”
“Matt Rives,” promptly replied the boy.
“That’s a kinder cur’us name, now, ain’t it?” questioned Mr. Noman. “I dunno any Riveses round here. Where be ye from?”
“I came from New York State,” replied Matt, with the air of one who had studied his answer, but it seemed for some reason to be very satisfactory to his questioner.
“Any parents?” next inquired Mr. Noman.
“No, sir—nor brothers nor sisters. I’ve no one but myself to look out for.”
“I guess ye ain’t used to farm work, be ye?” now inquired Mr. Noman, doubtingly, and looking at Matt’s hands, which were as white and soft as a lady’s.
“No, sir; but I’m willing to learn,” assured Matt.
“Of course ye can’t expect much in the way of wages,” remarked Mr. Noman, cautiously.
“No, not until I can do my full share of work,” replied Matt, indifferently.
A light gleamed for a moment in Mr. Noman’s eyes.
“I might give ye ten dollars a month an’ board, beginnin’ the fust of next month, ye to work round for yer board till then,” he ventured.
“Very well,” responded the boy; and immediately after he added, “I’ve walked a good ways to-day, and if you don’t mind I’ll go to my room.”
“Perhaps we’d better draw up a paper of agreement an’ both of us sign it,” suggested Mr. Noman, rubbing his hands vigorously together, as though well pleased with himself and everybody else.
“All right, if that is your custom,” said Matt. “Draw up the paper to suit you, and I’ll sign it.”
After considerable effort, Mr. Noman produced the following document:
“On this 10th day of April, Matt Rives, a miner of New York State, agres to work for me, Thomas Noman. He’s to begin work May fust, an’ work 6 munths at 10 dollers an’ bord. He’s too work till May fust for his bord. If he quits work ’fore his time is up he’s to have no pay. To this we agre.
“Thomas Noman, on his part.”
Matt read the paper, and could scarcely suppress a smile as he signed his name under Mr. Noman’s, and, in imitation of him, added the words “on his part” after the signature.
He knew, however much importance Mr. Noman might attach to it, that as a legal document it had no special force. He simply set down the whole act as one of the whims of his eccentric employer, and gave no more thought to the matter. But it was destined to serve that gentleman’s purpose, nevertheless, until taken forcibly from him.
Mr. Noman now showed Matt up to a back room on the second floor, and, telling him that he would call him early in the morning, bade him good-night.
The room Matt had entered was bare and cold; a single chair, a narrow bedstead, a rude rack on the wall to hang his garments upon, were all it contained.
Yet it was evidently with some satisfaction that he opened his bundle, hung up the few clothes it held and prepared for bed.
As he drew the quilts over him, he murmured:
“I don’t think I ever had more uncomfortable quarters in my life, and the outlook for the next six months at least is far from encouraging. Still, I would not go back to what I have left behind for anything.”
He was tired. The rain that was now falling heavily upon the roof just over his head acted as a sedative and lulled him to sleep. But his was not an unbroken rest, for at times he tossed to and fro and muttered strange, disconnected sentences. One was:
“I know it was not he. I will pay it back to the last cent.”
After that the troubled sleeper must have had pleasanter dreams, for a smile played about his lips, and he murmured:
“It is all right now; I’ve a home at last.”802b
From these, however, he was rudely awakened by a gruff call:
“Matt, Matt! git up an’ come out to the barn.”
Sleepy, bewildered, he arose and groped about in the darkness for his clothing. By the time he was dressed a full consciousness of his situation had come back to him, and, with a stout heart, Matt went out to begin what was to him equally new duties and a new life.
It was still dark and the rain fell in torrents as Matt opened the kitchen door and ran hastily out to the barn, where Mrs. Noman, who was making preparations for breakfast, had told him he would find her husband.
He noticed the kitchen timepiece as he passed through the room and saw it was not yet four o’clock. Early rising was evidently one of the things to be expected in his new home.
Reaching the barn, Matt found Mr. Noman engaged in feeding a dozen or more gaunt and ill-kept cows, which seized the musty hay thrown down to them with an avidity that suggested on their part a scarcity of rations.
The same untidiness that marked the house was to be seen about the barn also, which, if anything, was in a more dilapidated condition than the former.
“Good morning, Mr. Noman. What can I do to help you?” asked Matt, pleasantly, as soon as he entered the barn.
“Hum! I don’t suppose ye can milk?” was the rather ungracious response.
“No, sir; but I’m willing to learn,” replied Matt, good-naturedly.
“Well, I’ll see about that after awhile. I s’pose ye might as well begin now as any time. But fust git up on that mow an’ throw down more hay. These pesky critters eat more’n their necks is wuth,” said Mr. Noman, kicking savagely at a cow that was reaching out for the forkful of hay he was carrying by her.
Matt obeyed with alacrity; and, when that job was finished, it was followed by others, including the milking, wherein the boy proved an apt scholar, until nearly six o’clock, when Mrs. Noman’s shrill voice summoned them to breakfast.
That meal, possibly on account of Matt’s want of the good appetite he had had the night before, seemed to him greatly inferior to his supper. The coffee was bitter and sweetened with molasses, the johnny-cakes were burnt, and the meat and vegetables cold.
He did his best to eat heartily of the unsavory food, however—partly that he might not seem to his employer over-fastidious in taste, and partly because the morning’s work had taught him that he would need all the strength he could obtain ere his day’s task was over. Stormy though it was, he felt sure Mr. Noman would find enough for him to do.
In fact, long before the first of May came, Matt realized fully the force of the words Mr. Goodenough shouted after him the night he stopped there to inquire the way to Mr. Noman’s.
Had he really known his employer and family, he certainly would not have been over-anxious to hire out to him for the season, for the dilapidated condition of the buildings, and the untidiness and disorder that marked everything about the place, were not, after all, the worst features with which Matt had to deal. He soon found that his employer was a hard, grasping tyrant, while his wife was a termagant, scolding and fault-finding incessantly from morning until night. There was not an animal on the place that escaped the abuse of the master, and not even the master himself eluded the tirades of the mistress.
Matt, by faithfully performing every task assigned him, and thus frequently doing twice over what a boy of his age should have been expected to do, tried to win the approval of both Mr. Noman and his wife. He soon found this impossible, and so contented himself with doing what he felt to be right, and cheerfully bore the scoldings that speedily became an hourly occurrence.
It was indeed astonishing with what good-nature Matt accepted the work and the hard words put upon him. Mr. Noman attributed it to the paper he had asked him to sign, and chuckled to himself at the thought that Matt’s fear of losing his wages kept him so industrious and docile.
He confidentially admitted to his wife, one day, that the boy was worth twice what he had agreed to pay him—“only I ain’t paid him nothin’ as yit,” he added, with a knowing look, which his wife seemed to understand, for she replied:
“Now yer up to another of yer capers, Tom Noman. There never was a man on the earth meaner’n ye air!”
But Mr. Goodenough, who knew his neighbors well, could in no way account for the boy’s willingness to endure what he knew he must be suffering, and finally his curiosity 803c got the better of him; for, meeting Matt one day as he was returning from the nearest village, he drew up his horses and said:
“Matt, do you know you are the profoundest example of human patience I ever saw?”
“No; is that so?” replied Matt, with a laugh. “What makes you think so?”
“Well,” remarked Mr. Goodenough, leaning on his wagon-seat and looking down into the smiling countenance before him, “I have lived here beside Tom Noman and his wife for a dozen years, and know them well enough to be sure that an angel couldn’t long stand their fault-finding, and yet you have actually been there six weeks, and are still as cheerful as a lark on one of these beautiful spring mornings. Will you explain to me how you manage to stand it?”
While he was speaking a far-away look had come into Matt’s eyes, and a shudder shook his robust frame, as though he saw something very disagreeable to himself; but he answered, quietly enough:
“Mr. Goodenough, there are some things in this world harder to bear than either work or unkind treatment, and I prefer even to live with Tom Noman’s family rather than to go back to the life I have left behind me.”
With these words, Matt started up his oxen and went on, leaving Mr. Goodenough to resume his way more mystified than ever.
On the first day of June, Matt asked Mr. Noman for the previous month’s pay.
They were at work in the cornfield, and the boy’s request took his employer so by surprise that his hoe-handle dropped from his grasp.
“Me pay ye now!” he exclaimed. “What air ye thinkin’ of?”
Then, as though another idea had come to his mind, he said, persuasively:
“Ye don’t need no money, an’ ’twill be better to have yer pay all in a lump. Jest think how much it’ll be—sixty dollars! an’ all yer own.”
“But I have a special use for the money,” persisted Matt; “and, as I have earned it, I should think you might give it to me.”
He spoke all the more emphatically because he knew that Mr. Noman had quite a sum of money by him, and that he could easily pay him if he chose to do so.
For reply, Mr. Noman put his hand into his pocket, and, taking out his wallet, opened it. From it he drew the paper of agreement that Matt and he had signed. He slowly spelled it out, and, when he had finished, asked:
“Does this here paper say anythin’ about my payin’ ye every month?”
“No, sir,” Matt reluctantly admitted.
“But it does say, if ye quit yer work ’fore yer time is up, ye air to have no pay, don’t it?” inquired the man, significantly.
“Yes, sir,” Matt replied, now realizing how mean and contemptible his employer was, and what had been his real object in drawing up that paper.
“Well, how can I know ye air goin’ to stay with me yer hull time till it’s up?” he asked, with a show of triumph in his tones.
“Do you mean to say you don’t intend to pay me anything until November?” asked Matt, indignantly.
“That’s the agreement,” answered Mr. Noman, coolly, returning the paper to his wallet and placing it in his pocket. “If ye’ll keep yer part I’ll keep mine.”
He then picked up his hoe and resumed his work.
For the first time since he came to the farm Matt felt an impulse to leave his employer. It was with great difficulty, indeed, that he refrained from throwing down his hoe, going to the house after his few effects, and quitting the place forever. But he did not, and went resolutely on with his work.
Fortunate for him was it—though he did not know it then—that he did so. Later on, he could see that the ruling of his spirit that day won for him, if not a city, certainly the happiest results, though severe trials stood between him and their consummation.
That night, at as early an hour as possible, Matt sought his little room. Closing the door carefully after him, he walked over to the rude rack on the wall and took down his light overcoat. From an inside pocket he drew a long wallet, and from that, a postal card. Addressing it with a pencil to “A. H. Dinsmore, 1143 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.,” he wrote rapidly and in small characters on the reverse side, without giving place or date, the following words:
“Dear Sir: My promise to send you some money every month until the total amount due you was paid, I cannot keep for this reason: Through a misunderstanding with my employer, I am not to have my pay until the six months for which I have hired out are ended. At that time you may expect a remittance from me.
It was several days later, however, before Matt had an opportunity to go to the neighboring village. When he did so, he took care not to drop the postal into the post office, but handed it directly to a mail agent on a passing train.
His reason for this act could not be easily misunderstood. Evidently, he did not care that the Mr. Dinsmore to whom he had written 804d should know his exact whereabouts. But his precaution was unnecessary; for, before the summer months had run by, he was to meet Mr. Dinsmore under circumstances most trying to himself.
Mr. Noman’s farm was a large one, and ran clear down to the shore, terminating there in a singular formation of sand and rocks, known throughout that region as “The Camel Humps.” A small cove lay west of the formation, while the main waters of the sound stretched out to their widest extent from the south and east. The only point, therefore, where the “humps” touched the mainland was at the north, and even this point of contact was so narrow as simply to furnish a roadway down upon the “humps” themselves.
Of these “humps”—for there were, as their name suggested, but two—the northern one was much the smaller, embracing perhaps an acre of rough soil, covered with a stunted grass, and dotted here and there with red cedars. The southern one, on the other hand, covered also with a scanty vegetation and scattered trees, broadened out so as nearly to land-lock the cove behind it, and cause its waters to rush in or out, according to the tide, through an exceedingly contracted passage at its extreme southwestern end, popularly known as “the sluiceway.”
The point of contact of the southern with the northern hump, like the northern hump with the mainland, was also very narrow, and to its narrowness was added another feature—it was so low, or, in more technical language, it was so nearly on a level with the high-water mark, that when there happened to be a strong wind from any eastern quarter, the waters of the sound, on the incoming tide, would rush with great force over the slight barrier and mingle with the waters of the cove, making an island, for the time, of the larger and more southern hump.
Three-quarters of a mile off shore, and a little to the northeast of these humps, was an island of an irregular shape and a few acres in extent, bearing the name of Sheep Island. The name had belonged to it since colonial days, but the reason was unknown, unless at that early period some enterprising farmer had used the island as pasture ground for animals of that kind, which gave the island its title.
This island had in later years, however, a more illustrious inhabitant. A gentleman of considerable means, tired of society, or for some reason at enmity with it, crossed over from the main shore, erected a small house, dug a well, set out trees, planted a garden and built a wharf—in fact, set up thereon a complete habitation. But not long did he endure his self-imposed solitude. Scarcely were his arrangements completed when an unfortunate accident caused his death, and the island and its improvements were left to be the home of the sea-fowls or the temporary abode of some passing fisherman.
This extended description has been given because it is essential that the reader should form a definite idea of the island and its relation to the “Camel Humps;” for on and about them no small portion of our young hero’s summer was destined to be spent.
During the fall and winter months previous to Matt’s coming to the farm, owing to the repeated storms, there had been landed on the “humps” immense quantities of seaweed, so highly prized by the farmer as a fertilizer. Mr. had contented himself, however, with simply gathering it into a huge pile on the summit of the southern hump, above high-water mark, intending to remove it to the barnyard in the spring. Thus it fell to Matt’s lot to cart from the heap to the yard as the weed was needed, and the first week in June found him engaged in this work.
It was a cloudy and threatening day. The wind was from the southeast, and blew with a freshness that promised a severe storm before night.
Perhaps it was on this account that Mr. Noman had directed the boy to engage in this particular work. He was himself obliged to be away on business, and this was a job at which Matt could work alone, and the weather was hardly propitious for any other undertaking. So, immediately after breakfast, Matt yoked the oxen to the cart and started for his first load.
“There ain’t over four loads more down there, an’ if ye work spry ye can git it all up by night!” Mr. Noman shouted after him, as he drove off.
The distance from the barn to the “humps” was such that, with the roughness of the way, one load for each half-day had usually been regarded as a sufficient task for the slow-walking oxen.
But Matt knew he had an early start, and he determined to do his best to bring all the weed home that day. He therefore quickened the pace of the animals, and before nine o’clock had made his first return to the yard.
Unloading with haste, he immediately started back for his second load. When he crossed from the north to the south hump, 803a he noticed the incoming tide was nearly across the roadway, but thought little of it.
On examining the heap of seaweed, he became convinced that by loading heavily he could carry what remained at two loads.
He therefore pitched away until in his judgment half of the heap was upon the cart. It made a big load, but the oxen were stout, and, bending their necks to the yoke, they, at Matt’s command, started slowly off.
As he approached the narrow roadway, he noticed the tide had gained rapidly and was now sweeping over it with considerable force and depth.
Jumping upon the tongue of the cart, he urged his oxen through the tossing waves. To his consternation, the water came well up around the patient animals’ backs, and had he not quickly scrambled to the top of his load he would have been thoroughly drenched.
The cattle, however, raised their noses high as possible and plunged bravely through the flood, soon emerging on the other side with their load unharmed.
The rest of the journey home was made without difficulty, and Matt at dinner time had the satisfaction of knowing that two thirds of his appointed work was already accomplished.
Mr. Noman had not yet returned, and, hurrying through dinner, Matt hastened off for his third and last load, hoping to get back to the yard with it before his employer came. But hardly had he started when it began to rain, and as he passed down upon the first hump the wind, having shifted a point or two, was blowing with a velocity that made it difficult for the oxen to stand before it.
Slowly, however, the passage across the first hump was made, and Matt approached the narrow roadway leading to the other, then he stopped the team in sheer amazement.
In front of him was a strip of surging water of uncertain depth, and he instinctively felt that there was a grave risk in attempting to push through to the other side. But he was anxious to secure his load. He had passed through safely enough before, and he resolved to attempt the crossing now, counting on nothing worse than a drenching.
This was a grave mistake, and Matt would have realized it, had he only stopped to think that there was quite a difference between his situation now and when he had made his successful crossing before dinner. Then he had a loaded cart, the wind and tide were both in his favor, and the water had not reached either its present depths or expanse. Now his cart was empty—a significant and important fact, the wind was blowing with greater force and directly against him, while the tide—as he would have seen had he watched it closely—had turned, and was rushing back from the cove and out into the open sound with a strength almost irresistible.
But, unmindful of these things, Matt bade his oxen go on, and, though they at first shrunk from entering the angry waters, he forced them onward, and at last they began the passage.
For a rod they went steadily on, though the waves dashed over their backs and into the cart, wetting Matt to the knees. Then came a sudden breaker, rolling outward, that lifted the cart and oxen from the road-bed and swept them out into the sound.
The moment Matt realized that the cart was afloat and the oxen swimming for their lives, his impulse was not to save himself, but the unfortunate animals that, through his rashness, had been brought into danger.
Springing, therefore, between them, he caught hold of the yoke with one hand, and with the other wrenched out the iron pin that fastened it to the tongue, and thus freed them from the cart. In the effort, however, he lost his hold upon the yoke, and the next minute found himself left alone, struggling with the angry billows.
He was now forced to look out for himself and could not watch the fate of the oxen, even had he had an inclination to do so, indeed with his water-soaked clothing, which greatly impeded his efforts, there was already a serious question whether he would be able to reach the shore, good swimmer though he was.
With a strength born from the very sense of the danger that overwhelmed him, he turned his face toward the fast receding shore, and swam manfully for it.
For a time he seemed to be gaining, but the tide was too strong for him and his strength was soon exhausted. Slowly he felt himself sinking. Already the waves were dashing over his head.
He made one desperate effort to regain the surface, then there was a faint consciousness of being caught by a huge wave and hurled against some hard object, and all was blank.
[TO BE CONTINUED]
—The average duration of lives in the United States is 41.8 years for storekeepers 43.6 years for teamsters, 44.6 years for seamen, 47.3 years for mechanics, 48.4 years for merchants, 52.6 years for lawyers, and 64.2 years for farmers.
The whip ray, sea bat or devil fish, as it is variously named, is fairly plentiful in Galveston Bay, so the appearance of four of these sea monsters at one time the other day did not excite any special remark. But they were seen by three boys, all under sixteen, and they determined to get one and sell it. So one of the boys borrowed a Winchester rifle while the other two got a rowboat and a harpoon, and out they went after their prey. The boys rowed around awhile, and soon saw one of the fishes, and pulled up within forty or fifty feet. One of the boys fired a shot into the ray, which immediately breached, scooting fully twenty feet out and ahead, like a flying fish. Two more shots were fired, and, after beating the water furiously, it died. Then a harpoon was thrown into the creature, and it was towed to the wharf, where it was slung and hoisted out with a windlass. This fish measured fourteen feet from wing tip to wing tip.
Another fish tale from the Gulf of Mexico relates to the adventures of five sailors who were running a small schooner down the coast off Corpus Christi. The vessel was gliding along smoothly when the monotony of the voyage was broken by a six foot tarpon leaping upon the deck from the water. The big fish at once began making things interesting on the boat, and for a time it looked as if the crew would have to jump overboard to escape being knocked lifeless. They finally regained control of their nerve, however, and decided to have it out with the fish, so one of them seized an axe and the others hand-spikes and at the tarpon they went. The struggle was long and fierce, and one of the sailors was knocked overboard by coming in contact with the tarpon’s tail. A rope was thrown him and he was pulled back on deck. At last the fish succumbed to the repeated blows of the axe and hand spikes and lay along the deck as dead as a mackerel.
When the steamer Dumois came into Boston recently, she brought as a passenger a man named John Calder, who came on board under peculiar circumstances. He was a Jamaica fisherman, and unwittingly hooked a sword-fish. Mr. Calder didn’t want that kind of a fish, but it would not let go, and, as he did not want to lose a long and valuable line by cutting himself away, both man and fish held on until forty miles at sea. At this juncture the steamer came along, the fish was captured, and the plucky fisherman sold the big catch to the marketmen.
“The prettiest battle I ever witnessed was between a young Cuban and two sharks,” said an American sea captain. “We had reached Havana and were lying half a mile from the docks, awaiting the signal to go on. Several fruit peddlers had boarded us, among them a swarthy, bare legged young fellow who looked like a pirate. The purser was standing by the rail, holding his five year old son in his arms, watching a couple of monster sharks that were hanging about the vessel, when the child slipped from his grasp and fell into the water. The father plunged overboard and seized him, and the sharks at once made to the pair. The bare-legged young buccaneer dropped the fruit-basket and went over the rail like a flash. As the first shark turned on its back, the invariable prelude to biting, the Cuban rose, and with a long, keen knife fairly disemboweled it. The other was not to be disposed of so easily though. The purser and his child had been pulled on deck, and the combatants had a fair field. The Cuban dived, but the shark did not wait for him to come up and changed his location. Finally the shark advanced straight upon his antagonist, his ugly fin cutting through the water like a knife, turned quickly upon his back, and the huge jaws came together with a vicious snap, but the Cuban was not between them. He had sunk just in time to avoid the shark, and, as the latter passed, shot the steel into it. The old sea wolf made the water boil, and strove desperately to strike his antagonist with his tail but the latter kept well amidships and literally cut him in pieces.”
As one of the Peninsular and Oriental steamers was steaming up the Red Sea, the lookout forward called the attention of the officer of the watch to the fact that a huge shark was jammed in between the bobstay-shackle and the stem. Investigation showed that the monster, which was over thirty feet long, was almost cut in two. The stem had struck him just below the gills, and, while his head protruded on the starboard side, his body had slewed in under the port bow. The sharp iron stem had cut into the creature to the depth of a foot, and all efforts to get it clear were unavailing. The captain at last ordered the vessel full speed astern, and that sent the adrift. The accepted theory was that the shark had been asleep on the surface of the sea when struck by the swiftly-moving steamer.
Original contributions solicited from all. Puzzles containing obsolete words will be received. Write contributions on one side of the paper and apart from all communications. Address ‘Puzzle Editor,’ Golden Days, Philadelphia, Pa.
|No. 1.||Tied, diet, tide|
C A L A M U S
A V E R I L L
L E G A L L Y
A R A M E A N
M I L E A G E
U L L A G E S
S L Y N E S S
A B J U R E S
A U G U R Y
R U M O R
E R O T I C
S Y R I N G E
|No. 5.||Beta, bet, be, bate, bat, at.|
N E T
G E N E R A T E
S E M I N A L
R E C O R D
D E N T S
P A D
P I L E D
P I C A M A R
A L A L I T E
D E M I S E D
D A T E R
R E D
|No. 9.||O we go|
S P E C T R E
A C T I O N
T I N T S
R O T A T E
E N S T A M P
|No. 11.||Edmund Dantes|
C A R
C A M E L
R A M B L E R
R E L A T E D
L E T T E R S
R E E N A C T
D R A G O O N
S C O R N E D
T O N E D
N E D
No. 1. Charade
Whate’er my one has brought to light
It never was a whole,
To think of it brings down my pride
And cuts me to the soul.
My principles will not allow
That I am “obs.” should two
Three any word that Webster calls
Not just exactly new.
For those of course who patronize
’Tis easy quite to build completes
And such like by the score.
|New York city||Lucrezius Borgers|
1. Pain in the ear. 2. Town of France. 3. A body reflecting light brightly. 4. A purchaser. 5. A sharp, shrill, harsh sound. 6. P.O. Ontario N.Y. 7. Placed in regular form before a court.
No. 3. Double Word Enigma
In “pine-clad hill,”
In “harvest home,”
In “cider mill,”
In “star-lit dome.”
Indulged and spoiled in tender years
He grew a wicked youth
He early learned to curse and steal
And never spoke the truth.
He did not love his books. He said,
me sitting on a stool
The livelong day! I’d rather be
A dunce than go to school.”
Instead of going to school, he’d hide
His books and run away,
With other bad boys like himself,
Into the fields to play.
Or take his gun into the woods
The harmless birds to shoot,
Or climb the farmer’s orchard trees,
And steal and eat their fruit.
On Sundays, when he should have gone
To Sunday school or church,
He’d take his fishing rod and go
To fish for trout and perch.
One day while fishing all alone
Down by the river side,
He tripped, and with a headlong plunge
Fell in the river wide.
In vain he cried aloud for help,
No one was near to save,
The waters closed above his head—
He found a watery grave.
Now let this bad boy’s fate teach us
Complete is wicked in God’s sight
And let us all henceforth resolve
To try and do what’s right!
1. A letter. 2. A pronoun. 3. A spectre. 4. Quadrupeds of the genus Equus. 5. Defensive arms. 6. Unsweet (Obs.). 7. Startles (Obs.). 8. A bone. 9. A letter.
|Pontiac, Ill.||Can’t Tell|
No. 5. Syncopation
A one arose between some bees—
Indeed of them ’twas very wicked—
They fluttered in about the trees,
Among the grass and in the thicket
Some thoughtless bees within the hive
A scheme upon the drones were working,
To make them labor they did strive
But “drones” were only made for shirking
The queen now on the scene appeared,
A fine her coming quickly making
For she among them all was feared—
Their hearts were filled with fear and quaking
Said she “A ’drone’ can never toil,
A ’sinecure’ is his position
He lives on those who till the soil,
Like any other politician.”
|New York city||Jejune|
1. Clairvoyance. 2. Computation. 3. Parts of a flower consisting of the stalk and the anther (Bot.) 4. Buffoons. 5. A hard amorphous mineral. 6. Open thefts (Rare.) 7. Belonging to it. 8. To see (Obs. Word Supp.) 9. A letter.
|Rochester N.Y.||Theo Logy|
No. 7. Charade
An old man sat in his easy chair,
The firsts of his life almost done
How thankful am I, in this world of care,
That my course is nearly run.
My second is waiting to greet me
In mansions so bright—far away
In the glorious house I shall soon be,
Where all is eternal day.
This would have been a hard total
From its cares I hope soon to be free
With me I think all things will be well
When the Son in His glory I see.
|Iowa City, Iowa||Tanganika|
1. To destroy. 2. A venomous reptile inhabiting the East Indies. 3. The bleak. 4. Little wheels. 5. Comely. 6. A friend. 7. An Arabian prince, military commander and governor of a conquered province. 8. Drives together (Obs.).
|Louisville, Ky.||X Actly|
No. 9. Beheadment
Palm tree boughs are lacing
Through which the moonlight steals,
And bathes the spot like silver
Where India’s daughter kneels
Her white robes round her falling
Her hair as black as night
Has its coil of richest rubies
Like a crown of crimson light.
A lamp on the shining water
It is a simple test,
Does he prime live, her lover—
Lone star on the river’s breast?
See it nears the turning
Now it’s rocking to and fro
In a splash, like liquid silver,
Then it flickers and grows low.
India’s white-robed maiden
Clasps her hands so tight
Her face grows pale with anguish,
Fine brighter grows the light,
Then on through the lily masses,
Like a spark amid the blue,
Floating safely onward—
Floating slowly from her view
1. A small cask. 2. A genus of climbing shrubs. 3. A kind of cover for the finger. 4. Exemption from oblivion. 5. To dye. 6. Images. 7. A genus of acanthopterygious fishes. 8. A house whose walls are composed of logs. 9. General figure. 10. To stir. 11. One who mingles. 12. A surgeon’s instrument for scraping bones. 13. To plow.
|Newark, N.J.||Jo Hooty|
No. 11. Numerical
Edith, dear, do you not recall
How we stood long years ago
2, 1, the bridge, one cold, bleak all
Looking at the pool below?
How we watched the dry leaves sailing,
2, 3, 4, 8 its cold breast
While the breeze was softly wailing,
As it bore them to their rest?
How you wondered, were they happy
Now their life was 2, 8, 4 last?
How can they 6 and 7 happy
When their summer life is past?
Ah! the years have fallen round me
Since we stood beside the stream
And I have shown the hopes that found me
Then to earth were but a dream.
Oh, were you and I together
On that bridge, once 5, 2, 8, 4
I would give a different answer,
Than I did in days of yore
I would tell of summers fading—
How the sun must set at night
And of all the thick mists shading,
Sun and summer from the sight
I would tell of that deep yearning
Springing from the fading years
For a sun that has no turning—
For a life that has no tears
Yes! those little leaves that we recall,
Drifting on the streamlet’s breast
They were glad, that bleak and chill all—
They were glad for they had rest.
|Charleston, W. Va.||R E Flect|
Answers will appear in our next issue solvers in six weeks.
Puzzles in Puzzledom No. 657. were correctly solved by Madora Carl, Hello Ian, Ran-de Ran, Night Owls, Lowell, Weesle, Charles Goodwin, Crovit, Willie Wimple, Romulus, Night, Windsor Boy, Osceola, Flora Nightingale, Addie Shun, Jejune, Stanna, Carrie Wolmer, Mary McK., Lucrezius Borgers, Claude Hopper, Katie O’Neill, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, John Watson, Dovey, Fleur de Lis, Rosalind, Little Nell, Spider, C. Saw, Legs, Joe-de Joe, Flare, Dorio, Marcellus, Maxwell, Louise M. Danforth, Cora Denham, Woggins & Co., Herbie O., Brig, War Horse, Essie E., B. Gonia, Mary Roland, Theresa, Mary Pollard, Uncas, Duchess, Olive, Coupay, May De Hosmer, Al Derman, Meandhim, Beta, Tanganika and Arcanum, V. I. Olin, Lib Bee and A. L. Vin.
The new three-wick and four-wick magic lanterns which are now made are so good, and give so much better results than the old oil lanterns, that they are coming largely into use, and for ordinary purposes they do remarkably well. The better class of them stands comparison even with the oxy-hydrogen light, although of course they are excelled by it. They are so easily manipulated that many boys now possess them and work them with good effect. The more expensive ones are fitted with first-class lenses, and can be used also with the oxy-hydrogen light.
Two years ago my boys became the happy owners of one, and many a pleasant evening has been passed since, looking at photographs and pictures by its aid.
It has been used with good effect, even in large rooms, to show diagrams, to illustrate lectures and to exhibit pictures to the Sunday-school children.
No sooner had the lantern been obtained, however, than a demand arose for pictures to show with it. In most large towns they can be hired from the opticians, but they cost at least twenty-five cents a dozen per night and, apart from the expense, it is not always convenient to get them; then to purchase them is more than most boys can afford, as the commonest, full-sized chromolithographed slides cost from two and a half to three dollars a dozen, while hand-painted pictures or photographs vary from three to ten dollars a dozen.
Accordingly we determined to try if we could not make slides for ourselves, and, as our efforts were crowned with a fair measure of success, I think it will interest the boy-readers of Golden Days, many of whom, I feel sure, own lanterns, to hear what systems we found to be the best and easiest. I shall confine myself to those pictures that can be made entirely by hand, and accordingly will leave photographs out altogether.
Bought hand-painted slides are usually first photographed on to the glass from a large outline drawing, and then colored; but so few boys have the means of making their slides in this manner that it will be best to pass this system by, especially as I shall describe a method of making the sketch which answers as well, and is much easier.
At the very outset, we were met with a difficulty that we feared would be insurmountable, and that was that it was almost impossible to make a neat, fine-lined sketch with a brush and paint on plain, smooth glass; and, even when this last had been managed, the coloring process often washed out the outlines and made unsightly smudges, and, as every little line, spot or smear shows with painful distinctness when magnified on the sheet, we soon saw that amateur work on these lines would never do. Fortunately I remembered a process, which I once saw used by a microscopist, to make diagrams for the lantern to illustrate his lectures, which answered admirably.
This was simply to draw, with a very hard lead pencil, on ground glass, then to cover the ground surface with varnish, which rendered the glass perfectly transparent.
I tried this plan, and got such good results from it that I can strongly recommend it. By following out the instructions and hints I shall give, any boy can readily and rapidly make a large series of excellent pictures for his lantern, which will answer his purpose quite as well as the most expensive bought slides.
This system has four great advantages: 1. Pictures can easily be traced on the ground glass, and to those who, like myself, would find it difficult to invent their own pictures, or to copy them, this counts for a great deal. 2. The outline can be made very fine, but still very distinct. 3. The paint will not take on the lead-marks; this renders it much easier to prevent the color going over the edge of an outline. 4. It is also very much easier to paint on the slightly rough surface of the ground glass.
There should be no difficulty in procuring this glass at any glazier’s. It need not be plate glass; ordinary ground glass will do, care being taken to select that with a sufficiently fine and smooth surface, and not too thick.
I have found water colors for lantern slides the best for painting with. They are very much easier to use than the oil colors, and are quite as transparent. Ordinary paints will not do, as some of them come out perfectly opaque, but a box of the special paints can be procured for a dollar. A camel’s-hair 804b brush, however, is of no use; you must have a stiff sable brush. One No. 3 or No. 4 will be a handy size, and will answer for all purposes, even for the finest lines.
In selecting subjects, use those where the outlines are clear and of a size adapted to the usual sort of slides, which are invariably made now three and a quarter inches square.
First rub a dozen ground glasses perfectly clean with a wash-leather that has been washed in water in which a little soda has been dissolved, to make it quite free from grease. During this cleaning process, the surface of the glass can be sufficiently moistened by breathing on it.
Trace the entire series of outlines on the ground glasses with an H. H. H. pencil, making the lines even lighter than the original, for it will be found most convenient to have a number of slides, say a dozen, in process at one time. Brush off any loose fragments of black lead, taking care that they do not mark the glass.
You are now ready to proceed with the coloring, but, as you will wish to be sure as you go on that you are keeping them sufficiently transparent, it will be found to be a great help if you can always see through them, even while painting them.
You had better, therefore, make an inclined stand, and this can easily be done, the only tools really required being a knife, a brad-awl and a screw-driver. Procure one piece of wood 14 inches by 6 inches, one piece of wood 12 inches by 6 inches, one piece of wood 14 inches by 12 inches, all ? inch or ¼ inch thick.
Divide the first piece along the dotted line A to B, by cutting right through it with the point of your knife. These two pieces will make the sides of your stand. The piece 14 inches by 12 inches will make the bottom.
Cut two laths 14 inches long, ½ inch wide, out of wood ¼ inch thick, and tack them along the upper inner edges of the two sides a quarter of an inch below the top. These will form two ledges. Now fasten the piece 12 inches by 6 inches to rest on these ledges, which will serve to support the hand. The upper portion remaining must be filled up by a piece of strong, clear glass, 14 inches by 8 inches, which will rest on the ledge at each side, and need not be fastened in, as it will sometimes have to be removed to be cleaned.
Fasten all the parts together with screws, so that you can take it to pieces and pack it away flat when not in use. Those screws with a ring at the end instead of a head, such as are used to fasten into the backs of picture frames to hang them by, are the handiest, as they can be put in with the fingers, and cost hardly any more than ordinary screws.
This stand will be large enough to hold six slides at once, and enables the light to shine right through them. A sheet of white paper should be placed underneath to throw the light up.
Should the light be too strong it can easily be modified by spreading a sheet of thin, white tissue-paper between the glass and the slides.
Of course daylight is best to work by, but I find you can get on very nicely with an ordinary oil lamp, if placed at a convenient distance from the stand.
An ordinary paintbox will contain twelve colors—namely, two blues, neutral, crimson, brown, yellow, scarlet, burnt sienna, orange, two greens and black, all but the last being quite transparent. These will be found sufficient for ordinary work, as they can be greatly varied by judicious mixing.
First of all the skies should be painted in on all twelve slides. As long as you do not go over the outlines, great care need not be taken about laying the color on evenly.
Now cut off a small piece of clean washleather, which has an even, smooth surface. Let the color become nearly dry, then proceed to dab it all over with the washleather, held on the end of the finger, breathing on the slide when necessary, in order to keep it sufficiently moist.
This process must be continued carefully until the whole painted surface is perfectly even and shows no mark of the brush, and only sufficient paint must be left on to give a blue tint.
You must always remember that if too darkly painted the pictures will be too opaque. Clouds can be put in nicely also with the bit of washleather, but extra work of this sort is hardly worth while.
Then proceed to tint the other portions of the pictures with suitable colors, doing one color at a time right through the set of slides, but after applying each color, immediately 804c dab with the washleather, to render the color even and light.
You will find that by keeping to one color at a time you will get along much quicker, and will also make the pictures more uniform.
When you have completely tinted all the pictures and “dabbed” all the colored portions, you may then go over them all again and shade them up where required with rather stronger colors, taking care, however, not to overdo this.
You will find for faces yellow, with a very slight addition of crimson, answers the best. It may not look all right on the slide, but it will when thrown on the sheet.
You will need to consider the effect of the various colors, as some show much more strongly than others. The next process is to varnish the glasses to render them transparent.
With most color boxes for painting magic lantern slides a bottle of varnish for this purpose is supplied, which answers fairly well. It has to be painted on, after the slides are thoroughly dry, with a large camel’s-hair brush.
Lay one coat on by drawing the brush right across from one side to the other, taking care that the lines of varnish so deposited slightly over-lap one another. When this coat of varnish is perfectly dry and hard, another and sometimes even a third coat must be applied, and it is best to lay it on at right angles to the previous coat, so that all the surface is sure to be covered.
Make each coat as thin as possible, and to this keep the brush soft by occasionally applying a little turpentine to it. This, however, is a slow and tantalizing process of varnishing, and there is an easier and better one. Procure a bottle of Canada balsam in benzole. It is used for mounting microscopic objects in, and can be got from any optician’s. It should be quite fluid. Get a large wide-mouthed bottle and pour the balsam and benzole into it. Then add to it as much again pure benzole. It should now be nearly as fluid as water. This is your varnish. Apply it just as a photographer coats his glass plate with collodion. That is done in this manner. Take hold of the slide by one corner and pour on to it a sufficient quantity of the balsam and benzole to cover it.
You may need to encourage it to flow by slightly tilting the slide, and sometimes it may even be needful to take a clean quill toothpick and direct it into some corners that otherwise would be missed. Then pour back all the superfluous varnish into the bottle from one corner of the slide; the varnish remaining will rapidly harden, as the benzole evaporates quickly, and the hardening may be hastened by applying a little heat, but while hardening the slides should be protected from dust.
I make mine perfectly hard by baking them on a thin iron plate fixed a few inches above a small spirit lamp, but you need to take care not to make the slides too hot, or they may crack. I can easily varnish and harden a dozen slides in less than an hour.
A thin plate of iron, such as is used for an oven plate, can be arranged on blocks of wood, a sufficient height over the spirit lamp. One coat of this varnish is usually sufficient to render the slides perfectly transparent, but a second coat can be applied as soon as the first is hard if necessary.
The slides are now finished, but the varnished surface will easily scratch, and must be protected by a piece of clean glass. Between the glasses a thin paper mount should be laid, which may be a circle, an oval, or a square, according to which is most suitable to the pictures, and then the two glasses must be fastened together by narrow slips of paper gummed round the edge. These mounts, and slips of paper ready gummed, can be procured from any optician, and will save labor, especially in fixing up the edges.
Before you join the glasses together insert at the right hand top corner a number, so that by looking at this number you can readily arrange the pictures in their proper sequence, and also tell which is the right side up when putting them into the lantern carrier.
Sometimes you may wish to copy some 804d other slides, but owing to their having the covering glasses on you cannot trace them readily direct on to your ground glasses.
This difficulty is overcome by using tracing paper, making the lines with a fine crow-quill and ink. Then you can easily trace from these copies through the ground glass. We also made some very good sets of shadow pictures by cutting out suitable sketches in paper from the comic and other illustrated journals, and mounting them between two sheets of glass. These answered admirably, and when carefully cut out, no one would believe, when thrown on the sheet, that they had not been painted.
We also made some sets of tracings on plain glass, of sketches in black and white. Of course ink would not do, as a fine line could not be drawn with it, and it was too transparent, but we found that, by using black water color, in which a drop or two of thin gum had been mixed, it was quite easy to draw upon plain glass with a fine pen, and then the solid parts could be filled in with a sable brush.
Comic sets copied from the illustrated papers were very easily made, and came out exceedingly well on the sheet and afforded great amusement. This system, and the cutting out in paper, is very simple, and of course takes much less time than the colored and varnished drawings on roughened glass.
A number of years ago there came over the cable an announcement that the Akhoond of Swat had died, and immediately there was an outburst of merriment in the newspapers. No one could tell who or what he was, many believed him to be a myth, and for a long time the Akhoond was a standing joke among paragraph writers all over the world.
But the Akhoond was a real personage and no joke, and it is only recently that we have found out what a really great man he was.
Swat itself is a considerable province of Afghanistan, bordering on India, and just southwest of the Pamirs. The Akhoond was not, however, its civil ruler. At any rate, he was not nominally so. The title Akhoond merely means “teacher,” and he was, primarily, a religious teacher and nothing more.
He lived in the town of Saidu, and he reached manhood and began to teach the people more than half a century ago, when Dost Mohammed was Ameer of Cabul.
An intense fanatic and a mystic, he exerted a marvelous sway over the people of Swat, who like all the Afghan tribes, are nervous, imaginative, and given to mysticism. So he became not only their spiritual prophet, but their military leader as well.
He led the hosts of Islam against the Sikhs, in the days when Dost Mohammed planned to conquer all India, and many are the stories told of his prowess.
Nor did he fight alone against the Indians, but in 1863 he led the Afghans in their battle with the British at Umbeyla, and made himself the most feared man in all the Afghan empire.
When not busy in the wars, the Akhoond was always to be found at Saidu. From sunrise to sunset he sat in his mosque, reproving the erring, comforting the mourners, encouraging the faithful, and cursing the obstinate unbelievers.
Disputes of every sort were brought to him for settlement. Troubles of all kinds were brought to him to be made right. Hundreds of miracles were performed by him every day. The sick were made well in an instant.
A man would come, lamenting that his horse was lost, and would find it the next moment at the door of the mosque. A carpenter was bewailing that a beam was three feet too short for the needed purpose, and in a twinkling it grew to exactly the length required.
A visitor in the city wished to return speedily to his home in Constantinople, thousands of miles away. He was bade to close his eyes, and the next moment opened them in his home.
To tell the people of Swat that these things were not so, would have been equivalent to telling them that light was darkness. No wonder, then, that the Akhoond was a power in the land, and that Ameer after Ameer sought his assistance.
Shere Ali was the last. When he began his last struggle with the British, he begged the Akhoond to lead his armies as of old. But death stepped in, and the Akhoond passed into history.
Yet still his virtues abide. The mosque in which he taught is the holiest place in all Swat, and miracles are daily wrought there. The Akhoond’s son does not succeed him as a teacher, but he inherits the worldly possessions of the Akhoond, and these are enough to make him the richest man in all Swat.
[This Story began in No.44.]
Lottie was so vexed and indignant that, for a moment, she could neither move nor speak. Eva, too, was perplexed, and whispered into Lottie’s ear:
“What does the woman want? Is she going to take our things away from us?”
Before Lottie could reply, the man who had been loitering around the barn and outside premises, came up to the door, and, with a smile meant to be ingratiating, bade them good-morning.
Lottie started at the sound of his voice. She thought she recognized it, but was not quite sure. She rose from her chair and returned the greeting.
“I’m one of your new neighbors,” continued the visitor, planting himself in the doorway and resting a hand upon the frame upon either side. “The old woman an’ me thought we’d come over an’ git acquainted. I reckon she has told you who we air?”
Lottie listened to this speech with intent ears. Yes, the voice was the same she had heard that evening, weeks before, plotting to deprive them of their home.
She did not doubt that it was he who had persuaded Jimmy to run away; that he was the “friend” who had promised the boy work and wages and independence, and so had gotten him out of his way.
Lottie crossed the room, Eva still clinging to her hand, and, when but a few steps distant from the man in the doorway, stopped, and, looking him straight in the eye, said:
“Yes, Mr. Highton, I know who you are. Will you please tell me where my brother Jimmy is?”
Mr. Highton’s hands dropped from the door-frame, and he took a step backward. A dark flush spread over his countenance; his eyes wavered and fell. But he recovered himself almost instantly, and, with a harsh, disagreeable laugh, made answer.
“Tell you where your brother Jimmy is? Why, miss, I didn’t know you had a brother Jimmy. Has the young man been gittin’ himself lost?”
“No, he has not been getting himself lost; but some one, pretending to be his friend, has persuaded him to leave us, promising him money and good times. And, Mr. Highton, I believe that you are the man!”
Mr. Mart Highton laughed again, more harshly and boisterously than before. Then he said, still pretending to be amused:
“I declare I didn’t expect to be treated this way, or I shouldn’t ’a come to see you. I’ll send one o’ the boys next time, an’ mebbe you’ll treat ’em better. You hain’t so much as invited me in to take a seat!”
Lottie turned indignantly away, and, without giving the solicited invitation, retreated to the sitting-room.
Here she found Mrs. Highton, seated in the big arm-chair, looking about her with a self-satisfied air.
As Lottie and Eva entered, she exclaimed:
“Well, you an’ Mart’s been gittin’ acquainted, I reckon. I heerd you laughin’ together. He’s mighty friendly, an’ easy to git acquainted with. We all be, fer that matter. Some folks is so kind o’ stuck up, or somethin’, that it takes a month o’ Sundays to git to know ’em. But the Hightons ain’t that way!”
Lottie made no reply to these remarks. She was troubled and disgusted, and did not know how to get rid of her unwelcome visitors. She sank, silently, upon the couch by the window.
Mrs. Highton stopped her rocking, and turned her chair so that she could face her listeners, and resumed:
“Mart an’ me’s bin talkin’ ’bout the way you children’s situated here. Mrs. Green told me all about it, afore she went away. An’ she says to me, says she, ‘Them poor, motherless, orphant children hadn’t orto be livin’ over there by theirselves,’ says she; ‘but the oldest girl’—that’s you, I reckon” 805b nodding at Lottie—“‘is mighty sot an’ determined, an’ is bound to stick to the place.’
“So Mart an’ me, we’ve been talkin’ it over, an’ we concluded to come an’ hev a talk with you. He says to me, says he, ‘If the children want to go to their relations, we’ll buy their housell stuff—fer we’re a-needin’ the things—an’ they kin take the money an’ go. But if they’d ruther stay, why, let ’em stay.’”
Mrs. Highton paused a moment, as if expecting to be thanked for this generous concession. But as Lottie made no response, she continued:
“Him an’ me thought that if you was so sot to stay here, mebbe you’d be willin’ to let us move in with you. His brother Ike’s got a big family, an’ they’re about took possession of the cabin the Greens moved out of. The boys is goin’ to put up shanties on their claims, but we’d like to git settled quick as we kin, for we’ve been livin’ jest ‘anyhow’ long ’nough. We could all live together in one family, an’ that way your livin’ wouldn’t cost you a cent. Mart says he’d look after things on the place, an’ I’d be a kind o’ mother to you. It wouldn’t be near so lonesome fer you, an’ it would be a ’commodation to us. Our gittin’ the use o’ the house an’ sich like would make you square about the board-bill. Now, what do you say to our offer?”
Lottie shuddered at the idea of living in the house with these people. And, being forewarned, she was quick to see that this was a plan designed to entrap her—that the Hightons wished to get possession of the house, and a hold upon the place, so as to oust her completely; for that they would not scruple to get rid of herself and Eva, when it suited them to do so, she was well assured. Jimmy, poor, credulous boy, had already been gotten out of the way. Oh, why did not her father come?
Her heart felt as if it would burst, and for a moment she could not utter one word. But she struggled bravely for composure, and presently said, in a voice that in spite of her trembled a little:
“I cannot make any such arrangement. I hope and expect my father home soon. And he would not be pleased to find his house filled with strangers. Eva and I are getting along very well, and we have plenty to live on.”
“It seems to me you orto be satisfied by this time that your father ain’t never goin’ to come back,” replied Mrs. Highton, in a harsh voice. “It’s orful silly of you to stick to that notion! An’ you orto consider ’tain’t fit fer you two girls to be livin’ here alone. There ain’t no knowin’ what might happen. It would be ’nough sight better if you had somebody here to look after you. Then ag’in, you wouldn’t be tied down to home like you be now. You’d hev somebody to leave the little girl with, an’ could git out an’ enjoy yourself like other young folks. 805c You’d better think twice afore you say ‘no’ fer good an’ all.”
Lottie felt Eva’s fingers closing tightly upon her own, the poor child was imagining herself left to the care of Mrs. Highton! She pressed the quivering little hand reassuringly and rose to her feet.
“I don’t need to think any more about it. I have given you my answer,” she said, firmly.
At that moment a heavy step was heard crossing the porch, and Mr. Highton, with a sneering smile upon his face, thrust his head through the open window.
“Come, old woman,” he said to his wife, “you go along home an’ see ’bout gittin’ dinner, an’ I’ll settle this matter with little miss, here.”
The stars were growing dim, and a faint light was dawning in the east, when, at last, Jimmy Claxton’s slumbers were disturbed and he opened his sleepy eyes.
There was a confusion of sounds filling his ears, a snapping and snarling and growling that frightened and bewildered him. It was several moments before he could remember where he was or why he was there, lying on the ground beneath the open sky.
But his brain cleared presently, and he sprang to his feet and looked about him. Where was his friend and companion of the previous day? Where were the horses he had himself so carefully picketed the evening before? And what was that snarling, fighting mass just visible in the dawning light but a few rods distant?
Jimmy found himself very much awake about this time, for it had flashed upon him that at least a score of prairie-wolves were there before him and that the yelping that had awakened him came from their throats.
He involuntarily opened his mouth to call out for Mr. Highton, but the thought came quickly into his mind that a sound from him might draw the attention of the pack to himself, and this restrained him.
He wondered where Mr. Highton could be, and what it was that the wolves were fighting over and feasting upon. A terrible fear took possession of him. Had the creatures killed Mr. Highton while he lay sleeping, and were they now devouring him?
He dared not venture nearer to investigate. 805d He was afraid to move at all lest the beasts should hear him. But, after a little hesitation, he resolved to try to get away to the opposite side of the ravine and there conceal himself until the pack dispersed.
Jimmy moved cautiously away, but had not gone far when, turning to look back, he saw half a dozen of the wolves coming toward him at a gallop.
He knew that he could not outrun them, and, looking about for any possible refuge, he saw, not far away, projecting ten or fifteen feet above the surface of the ravine, the scraggy branches of a tree, which overhung the depths beneath it.
With his best speed the boy dashed forward, and, scrambling down the sides of the gorge until he reached the spot in which the tree was rooted, he began to climb up its bent and twisted trunk.
The tree was but a small one, and its upper branches were hardly strong enough to bear his weight, but he climbed upward until they swayed and bent, and threatened to snap beneath him; then, grasping the largest of them, one in each hand, and resting his feet on the best support he could find for them, Jimmy braced himself and awaited his pursuers.
They soon came up, and leaped and howled and snarled about the tree, but they could not reach their wished-for prey; and, after awhile, they seemed to realize that they were losing their share—and a slender one it must have been, or they would never have deserted it—of the feast being enjoyed by their fellows, and trotted back, to renew their fight over poor Cottontail’s bones.
Jimmy breathed freer for a few minutes after their departure, but his situation was anything but comfortable or agreeable. It was a strain upon his muscles to maintain his position, and there was constant danger that the limbs he was supporting himself by would break and tumble him to the bottom of the ravine. And yet he dared not descend to the ground, becausethe wolves might attack or pursue him at any moment. The day grew brighter and the sun appeared, and still Jimmy clung to his swaying, uncertain support, until it seemed to him that he must descend and give relief to his aching arms and feet.
But he knew that a race between himself and the wolves upon the open prairie would 806a be a hopeless one for him; for, emboldened as the naturally cowardly creatures always were by numbers, they would never give up the chase until they had run him down.
Thus two long hours passed, and meantime a painful consciousness grew upon him that his usual morning meal was lacking. He thought, with longing, of the delicious, mealy, baked potatoes and corn-fritters, with their respective accompaniments of cream-gravy and fresh butter, that had probably adorned Lottie’s breakfast-table, and wondered if, when released from his very unpleasant predicament, he would have strength enough remaining to enable him to make his way to the ranch, ten miles further on, according to Mr. Highton, where he could procure something to fill the “aching void” that was making him more and more uncomfortable.
At length, to his great joy, the sounds of fighting and snarling grew less and less, and although he was unable to see from his station the place where the pack had congregated, Jimmy felt sure that they had dispersed, and, wearied and cramped, he ventured to descend to the ground.
He stole cautiously out of the ravine to reconnoitre, and found his surmise correct. There was not a wolf to be seen. They had stolen away through the tall grass to their abiding-places, and the prairie showed no sign of any living creature save himself.
After waiting a short time to make sure that they were really gone, Jimmy ran forward to discover what it was that they had been feasting upon. As he neared the spot, he uttered a cry of dismay. The tall grass had hidden the object until he was within a few yards of it, but now he saw that it had been his pony. The bones were not yet picked clean, although more than half of the carcass was eaten, and Jimmy wondered, as he rushed forward, that the voracious beasts had left a morsel undevoured. But he did not wonder long; for a low, peculiar sound, seeming to rise from the earth at his very feet, startled him, and he saw, stretched upon the ground like a great cat, not six yards away, an animal the like of which he had never seen before. But he had heard of the lions which sometimes came down from the mountainous and broken country farther west, and knew that this creature must be one of them.
He understood then what had driven the wolves away, and wished himself safely back in his tree-top. The lion lashed its tail and partly rose from its position on the ground, but it subsided again as Jimmy stood stock-still, with eyes of horror fixed upon it. The probabilities are that it was satiated with food, and only wished to guard the prey it had already secured from further molestation. However that may be, it made no other movement than to lift its head and swish its tail, as if in warning, and Jimmy backed slowly away as long as he could endure the strain of moving slowly; and then, when he felt that he must run, he turned and flew over the ground with the speed of a deer until he was forced to stop from sheer exhaustion.
When Jimmy at length stopped running, he found that he had left the ravine quite out of sight. The country about him was rolling, and as the wind waved the tall grass before his eyes, it was as if he were looking upon a great gray-green sea, and the ravine doubtless lay between the billow-like swells of land that spread out in vast expanse before him.
He looked about him and became more and more bewildered. He could not determine which course he ought to take in order to reach the ranch described to him by Mr. Highton.
It never occurred to him that this great cattle ranch, where he was to get “big wages” and have “lots of fun,” had no existence, save in his “friend’s” imagination.
Then again he fell to wondering where Mr. Highton could be. He could not bring himself to believe that a man—a grown man—had been so frightened by the lion that he had run away and left him—a boy—to take his chances, unarmed and alone!
And yet the last he knew of Mr. Highton, he was lying near him, with his saddle and bridle beneath his head, apparently sleeping and settled for the night.
And now Jimmy recalled the fact that, when he was awakened that morning and had looked about him, there was no saddle or other accoutrements to be seen, and the natural conclusion was that Mr. Highton had ridden deliberately away. It might be that he had gone upon some exploring expedition of his own and knew nothing of the lion—that he meant to return.
But Jimmy found little comfort in these reflections, and he began to wish most heartily that he was safely back in his own comfortable home.
Then his thoughts took a different direction. He wondered what Lottie and Eva would say, if they knew of the fate which had befallen poor Cottontail, their pet and 806b favorite! And what would Lottie think when she discovered that he had abstracted papers from his father’s desk? She had always guarded the contents of the desk so jealously, that nothing should be destroyed or mislaid that had been placed there by her parents for safe keeping.
His conduct had put on a new appearance to him, all at once, and he felt miserable and ashamed. Mr. Highton had assured him that he wanted the documents only for a short time, to compare some figures and numbers, which would help him the better to locate a claim of his own, about which there was some difficulty.
But Jimmy’s confidence in his whilom friend was weakening with a rapidity that made him very uncomfortable; and the longer he meditated the more certain he was that he had been fooled and that Mr. Highton had purposely deserted him.
He began to realize how much easier it is to take a wrong step than to retrace it. It seemed to him that he could never return home and tell the dismal tale of the poor pony’s fate, and of his own guilt in the matter of taking those papers from his father’s desk.
What then was to be done? Jimmy did not know, and his unhappy reflections became so unbearable that he could no longer rest, and he hurried on again.
The sun beat down upon him, his thirst increased and he grew faint with hunger and weariness; but he walked on and on, hoping every moment to see some sign of human habitation. But he hoped in vain; not so much as a herder’s hut met his eye. On every side stretched the sea-like prairie, and no living thing was to be seen.
And so for weary hours he toiled on, distracted with thirst, sick for lack of food and growing more bewildered and disheartened with every step. At length he sank down, utterly exhausted.
It was then about four o’clock in the afternoon, and he had been walking beneath a burning sun since early morning, and had had no morsel of food or drop of water since the evening before.
He fell into a sort of stupor, and while he thus lay dark clouds began to gather, and mutterings of thunder rolled along the sky. And presently the sun was obscured and a kind of weird twilight settled down upon the prairie.
For a time the thunder ceased, the air grew thick and close, and the silence of death seemed to have fallen upon the world.
Then came a mighty roar, as if the elements were defying each other, and the rain was dashed upon the earth or swirled through the air with furious force.
The dashing of the rain upon his face aroused Jimmy, and he rose up, fighting against the wind, which threatened to take him off his feet, and, holding out his hands, he gathered enough of the down-pouring flood to appease his thirst.
Then he staggered on, buffeted by the wind and blinded by the driving rain, turning this way and that to escape the lashings of the deluge that swept over him, until his strength gave out, and he dropped to the ground more dead than alive.
At that instant he felt himself picked up and whirled through the air as if he had been a feather.
Then he knew no more until, opening his eyes, he found the sun shining upon his face and the clear, blue sky above him.
But the sun was not more than an hour high, and the thought that he must pass another night alone upon the prairie was discouraging.
His clothes were wet as they could be, and the cool wind, blowing upon him, made him tremble and shiver.
He was bruised and sore and weak, but happily his “ride upon the storm” had not resulted in serious injury. There were no broken bones to disable him.
The water he had drank had refreshed him greatly, but oh, how hunger gnawed upon him!
He sat up and looked about him in shivering despair. He found that he had been lying upon the verge of a fissure in the ground, such as are often come upon in prairie countries.
It was but a few feet deep and three or four wide at the top. He threw himself forward, face downward, and looked listlessly into this cleft in the earth, thinking that perhaps, if he had strength enough left to gather an armful or two of grass to lie upon, a bed down there, sheltered as it would be from the wind, would be more comfortable than where he then was.
But as his dull eyes roved over the bottom of the narrow chasm, they saw something that put new life and hope into his despairing heart.
A few yards from where he lay, evidently blown there by the storm that had just passed, were three or four prairie-chickens, huddled together, with drenched plumage, their lives drowned out of them.
The trench had been filled with water by the tremendous fall of rain, which had now soaked away through the fissures in its bottom, and the chickens had lodged against 806c some unevenness of surface, as the water subsided.
Jimmy descended into the gap and quickly secured one of the birds; then he looked about for some means of cooking it. He was ravenously hungry, but could he eat raw meat?
Lottie was startled out of her self-possession by Mr. Highton’s speech to his wife. She turned quickly, and stretching out an imploring hand toward her, begged her not to go.
But Mrs. Highton, with a coarse laugh, exclaimed, “Oh, you needn’t be afraid. He ain’t a-goin’ to hurt you!” and walked out of the room.
There were a few whispered words between man and wife before the woman left the house, and while these were being said, Lottie’s courage was coming back, and when Mr. Highton came in he found her seated composedly upon the lounge, with Eva nestled close to her side.
He threw himself into the arm-chair which his wife had vacated, and sat for some minutes eying Lottie from under his shaggy eye-brows, without speaking. Then he shifted in his seat, crossed one leg over the other and said, in an insinuating tone.
“You seem to hev a very poor opinion of me, miss.”
Lottie made no reply to this, and he continued, more roughly:
“You think I had a hand in your brother’s runnin’ off. How did you come by sech an idea as that?”
“I have already told you that I know some one persuaded him to go. No one but you could have had any object in doing that,” replied Lottie, steadily.
“Wal, I declare! What did I want the boy to run off fer?” asked Mr. Highton, in pretended surprise, while an angry flush rose to his cheek.
“I can’t answer that question.”
“Wal, it’s best not to throw out insinerations that you can’t prove. An’ it will be all the better fer you, if you make up your mind to be friendly with me. Because, if you ain’t, you’ll find yourself in a middlin’ bad box before very long. My wife an’ me, we wants to be friendly, an’ is willin’ to do the best we kin fer you; that’s what we come over this morning to talk about.”
“I am getting along very well—I don’t need any kind of help from any one, at present,” said Lottie coldly.
“You’re mighty inderpendent fer a bit of a girl; but when you come to find out jest how you air fixed, you may change your tune,” and Mart Highton grinned maliciously.
Lottie made no answer, and he continued:
“We come to you, my wife an’ I did, to let you know that this place belongs to us; but, not wishin’ to be too hard on you, we offered you the privilege of stayin’ on here with us till you could make some other ’rangements. I told my wife to be easy on you, an’ not break the news too suddint, but she didn’t seem to work it jest right. So the next best plan is to come out plain an’ let you know exactly how you’re situated.”
“I’d like to know, if there’s anything I don’t understand,” said Lottie, so quietly that Mr. Highton looked rather astonished at the way she was taking the matter.
“Wal, then, this is the way the business stands. When your father settled down here, an’ entered his quarter-section, he jest made a mistake an’ put his improvements on the wrong quarter. Nobody didn’t happen to discover the mistake, fer folks wasn’t comin’ in here to no great extent; but, now a railroad is bein’ talked of, people is lookin’ after things middlin’ sharp. I found out how it was ’tother day, when I was over to the land office, an’ I jest clipped in an’ filed on it quicker’n a wink. So now I’m goin’ to come right along an’ take possession. You kin stay, as I said afore, ’till you kin make other ’rangements—purvided you’re a mind to make yourself agreeable! ’Taint everybody as would be so easy on you, you must remember!”
“No, it is not every one who would try to rob helpless children,” answered Lottie, scornfully. “I do not believe a single word of your story. You have prepared a scheme to rob us of our home—to drive us away from the only shelter we have; but you will not succeed in your wicked plans. I intend to keep possession here, until father comes back, and will defend his home against claim jumpers as long as there is life in my body.”
Lottie had risen as she made this declaration, and stood cool and resolute before the man whom she knew had determined to drive her out of her father’s house. Her cheeks glowed, her eyes gleamed, her form seemed taller by an inch, and she looked quite unlike the bright-faced, merry girl that she usually was.
Eva clung to her hand and looked up at her in wonder. What had this hateful visitor said that had made Lottie so angry? She was not able to understand the meaning of his words, but Eva knew he had offended her dear sister, and she bent her brows and sent indignant glances in his direction.806d
But Mart Highton paid little heed to the child; he was wondering how this young girl, whom he had expected so easily to impose upon, had penetrated his scheme, and how long she would hold out against him.
He knew nothing of the solitary night watch when those words of his which had put her on her guard had reached her ears.
That a young girl like this should “show fight,” as he phrased it to himself, was a complete surprise, and for a moment he stared at her silently. Then he burst into a loud laugh, and, when he had laughed long enough, he said, jocosely:
“An’ so you’re a-goin’ to hold on to my quarter-section, be you? You’re a mighty peart sort of a girl! I declar’ I admire your spunk! But if I was you, I wouldn’t look too strong fer that father o’ yourn. You’ll never set eyes on him till Gabriel blows his horn: an’ that’ll be a middlin’ long spell to hold out agin me an’ the land office.”
And Mart Highton laughed again at his own wit.
Lottie was too indignant at his brutality to make any answer. She felt her limbs trembling beneath her, and sat down again quickly that it might not be noticed, for she really feared the man.
But the gentleman in the arm-chair made no offensive movement, as she had thought he might do; for in her eyes he was a wretch capable of any crime, and, knowing that she and Eva were utterly alone and friendless in this isolated spot, might he not have it in his heart to kill them and so get them out of his way?
She knew instinctively that he was a man who would hesitate at nothing that would serve to gain his ends. If he could not get possession of the property he coveted in any other way, what was there to hinder him if he chose to take their lives? There was not a friend, not even an acquaintance, within miles of them who would be interested to inquire into their fate. And then a dreadful fear flashed upon her. Perhaps he had murdered Jimmy—had lured him away from home with fair promises, and had then killed him.
Her face blanched at the thought as she turned and looked searchingly at the hateful countenance confronting her, and, almost without knowing that she spoke, Lottie uttered the words, very nearly like those with which she had first greeted him:
“What have you done with my brother Jimmy?”
Mart Highton sprang to his feet, pale with anger, and, with one great stride, came to where Lottie was sitting.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
[This Story began in No. 45.]
At midday the big “dug-out,” called La Belle Acadienne, paddled up to the landing, under the charge of an old creole, who was to take Eph Clark to New Orleans and then to lodgings at a French house, when Eph was to seek an interview with the governor and carry out the instructions he had received.
The Belle Acadienne had an awning over her after part, where the passengers would be protected from the night-damp; and there were lots of things to eat, with a cooking place forward, presided over by a grizzled old negro, who produced some very nice dishes from his few pots and pans.
The “padron,” or head of the boat, and six paddlers, made up, with Eph and Eric and the old Creole, ten in all.
As soon as the passengers were on board, the canoe went away, almost north, up the bay.
By nightfall they had entered a deep but narrow bayou, and then there was a fresh surprise for Eph and Eric.
In the bow of the canoe, hanging well over the water, was an iron crane, which supported a grating, on which was kept burning, after dark, chunks of fat pine, which lit up everything around with a rich, yellow light.
As they got farther into the bayou, the banks seemed to disappear, and they were, as it appeared to Eph—who had never been in such a country—navigating between rows of huge trees, gray with moss, which hung from the branches in long festoons, like giant cobwebs.
The fire-light, glowing on the surroundings, showed the most surprising things to the boys, although the crew seemed to think nothing of them. Out of the darkness, among the trees and bushes, would peer two bright marks, which the men said was a deer.807a
Then would come a great plash in the still water of the bayou, and the pine knots showed a huge alligator, sulkily sinking, and apparently uncertain whether to make fight or not, at this invasion of his territory.
Great gar-fish shot away from the canoe as she went on, and big owls hooted at being disturbed, sometimes flapping almost into the burning knots. Herons, and other large birds flopped up from points where they had been fishing, and sailed away up the bayou with great croaks and hoarse calls, which were answered from the darkness of the dense bush and high trees by paroquets and many other birds and animals, disturbed in their slumbers by the unusual invasion.
The canoe paddled steadily on, until some time late in the night they reached a curious formation in the middle of the swampy forest.
It was an island, not more than an acre in extent, and quite high, where the padron said they were accustomed to stop to cook and sleep, for the men had had a long pull.
As soon as they had eaten the hot supper, which the cook served shortly after landing, the boys lay down in the canoe on soft mats and slept until the daylight began to show through the tops of the trees.
The old padron soon had the cook up, and he made a pot of coffee such as the boys, in their experience of ship’s cooking, had never tasted, and off they went again, threading the tortuous channels, which would be entirely impassable to any one not accustomed to them.
Once or twice they came into a great lake, full of cypress stumps and knees, and of alligators also, and several times, on the edges of the cane-brakes which they sometimes passed, were bears and deer and quantities of smaller animals, as well as birds.
Eph was so interested at all this that he almost forgot his new position as a messenger carrying important letters, and it was only, at last, when they pulled into a small canal, that he began to think about it.
This canal led up to a place where the water communication seemed to stop. The padron left them for a few moments, and then returned with a dozen negroes, who came from some huts in a grove of trees, and they quickly ran her up an incline, and were ready to launch her down again.
Then Eph and Eric were really astonished. They were on a great embankment, or levee, which seemed to hold in the water of a mighty river, running with resistless force.
The Mississippi, the padron told them; and then pointed to the other side, below, where there appeared the buildings of a large town, with towers and the masts of vessels.
It seemed strange to Eph to emerge from a wilderness and to see such evidences of civilization, but, young as he was, he had already passed through many strange scenes, and braced himself up for the business with which he was charged.
The men launched the canoe down into the brimming river on the other side of the levee—they were kept there for that purpose by Lafitte, Eph found out—and then they paddled away for the city.
It was a very different business from the navigation in the slack waters of the bayous. The current of muddy water ran with great swiftness, and great swirls, as of a whirlpool, sometimes almost turned the canoe round.
But she had Lafitte’s best crew, and they shot her across the wide, yellow expanse of water in a way which surprised Eph, as much as he had seen of boats and canoes.
As it was, they only brought up at the lower part of the town, where they landed.
There were some people there who seemed to know the canoe very well, and one long-bearded old Frenchman led Eph and Eric up to his house, where he gave them some dinner, and then told them they had better go to bed and rest.
He was Lafitte’s principal agent, and when he had read the letter his chief had sent him he at once began to prepare for an interview with the governor.
Everybody in New Orleans knew that an invasion by the British forces was now near at hand.
Governor Claiborne called his council together on the very day after Eph Clark got there.
Governor Claiborne was the first American governor of Louisiana, and he had a pretty hard time to reconcile American notions and laws with the long-settled customs of the district.
But he had a powerful advocate in Judge Edward Livingston, who spoke the language perfectly, and was a thorough lawyer.
Then there was General Villere, of the Louisiana militia, a brave and honest man.
When the governor heard that there was a messenger from Lafitte, he was at first much put out; but he called his council together, and summoned Eph Clark to appear.
Eph was under a sort of arrest—as two men followed him about—but he kept up a good face, and at ten o’clock appeared before the governor and his council with the letter Lafitte had charged him to deliver.
With it he delivered the letter of the English Captain Lockyer, with its proposals. 807b They were opened and read aloud by a clerk, while Eph stood at the foot of the table, gazed at by all the council. Then a member of the council spoke and said:
“I do not believe in making terms with pirates. This story about the English captain is no doubt merely a scheme to get his brother, who is a prisoner here, released. He is here on a charge of smuggling, as you all know.”
Eph Clark’s temper rose at hearing this speech, and, losing all shyness, he replied:
“If it pleases your excellency and the rest of the gentlemen, I may say that I know there are some bad men at Barataria, who are there from choice; but I was taken there against my will. I could not help myself. I am no particular champion of Lafitte, but he means right in this matter, I know, and I myself went with him to meet the Englishmen and bring them in. Captain Lockyer’s letter is genuine, and they mean all they say. Gambio and Johannot are bad men, but I believe Lafitte is not, and, if the enemy come here, will be willing to do all he can for our side.”
When Eph had got this far, and all the gentlemen had turned to listen, he stopped and stammered and blushed, astonished at his own temerity.
A thin, grave gentleman, whom he afterward knew to be Governor Claiborne, answered at once:
“Well spoken, lad! very well spoken!”
And then two other gentlemen, whom he afterward knew to be Judge Edward Livingston and General Villere, of the Louisiana militia, chimed in.
Judge Livingston said that he believed that Lafitte was well disposed, and that, as for his irregular trade, that was what was going on under the old state of things, and must be put a stop to gradually.
While he was speaking, a messenger hastily entered and gave the governor a written dispatch which announced the arrival of the enemy’s fleet, with troop ships, at the passes of the Mississippi.
In a few moments the feeling of the gentlemen who had opposed having anything to do with Lafitte, suffered a change, and it was agreed that Eph should hurry back by the way he came and bear a message accepting Lafitte’s offers of assistance in the defense of the city, as well as thanks for having declined the British advances.
When the letter was delivered to Eph, the governor and Judge Livingston and General Villere asked him about himself, and when Eph modestly and shortly told them his story, they were more astonished than ever.
“All right, lad!” said the governor. “Do you come back with any force which may be sent, and, after this trouble is over, these gentlemen and myself will promise to look out for you. Tell Lafitte that we know General Jackson is close at hand, with a force of Tennessee and Kentucky riflemen; but we need artillery for our works and men used to serving large guns. Let him send us those, and we shall be glad. Go now, and when you come back, let me see you.”
Eph was off at once to the agent’s, where he found Eric and the canoe’s crew, and was across the river and winding through the bayous before the sun went down. So full was he of his important message that he hardly allowed a halt of a few hours to cook and rest, and arrived at Barataria on the second morning after leaving New Orleans.
When the Belle Acadienne was announced as coming down the bay, Lafitte himself went to the landing, so anxious was he to hear the news of which Eph Clark was the bearer.
As they walked back together to the chief’s house, Eph told him all that had occurred in the council. And Lafitte told him that Johannot had reported the arrival of the British fleet, for he had been sent out to reconnoiter, and that he had also sent a message to the English captain which would prevent him from being certain whether they would be guided through the bayous or not.
While Eph got some needed refreshment, orders were sent to assemble all the guns’ crews of the pirate vessels in the fort.
There were about two hundred selected, the best and most capable gunners, and they were at once put under vigorous drill—Eph being made a lieutenant of the battery.
In the meantime canoes and boats were prepared to take the cannon and their carriages, with ammunition and stores and utensils of all kinds, through the secret route, and up to the plain of the east side of the river, where great works had been thrown up to resist the invaders, which works stretched between the river and the swamp on the left.
When the artillery and men arrived they were immediately sent to this work, where they found the battery of an American gun-boat, the Carolina, also stationed. There was another gun-boat, the Louisiana, afloat on the river, with a powerful battery of guns, which did good service in the approaching fight.807c
The long row of earth-works which the Americans occupied had not been quite finished, so the top of a great deal of the line was made of cotton bales, which protected the riflemen from the enemy’s bullets to a great extent, but were easily disarranged and set on fire by artillery. Some people thought that they would have been better without the cotton bales, but they were then, and they were always afterwards, associated with the battle.
When the firing actually began it was discovered that the British had found a quantity of sugar hogsheads in the plantations, and had used them in building their batteries, but they were not as good as the cotton bales at resisting fire, as it turned out.
Eph Clark had Eric as a sergeant in the battery of which he was lieutenant, on the night of the 7th of January, 1814, by which time all was ready.
They lay in a rough hut, back of the battery, and the men were talking and smoking, all around them, as they speculated on the chances of next day’s battle, for everybody knew it would occur then, probably at daylight.
At last they dropped off into an uneasy doze, and were roused from that by the order passed to turn out and man the battery.
They were hardly at their guns when General Jackson came along with a large staff, carefully inspecting the preparations by the light of the camp fires in the rear of the intrenchments.
General Villere, of the New Orleans militia, who had seen Eph Clark before, and who was accompanying General Jackson, said:
“Here are Lafitte’s men, general. And here is the youth I spoke to you about, an American boy.”
General Jackson had too many weighty matters on his mind that morning to do more than glance at Eph, in answer to the officer’s remark. But he did say:
“All right! Glad to see such pluck and determination.”
Then he passed on to the left of the lines—and all stood firm—peering into a dense mist, which had arisen as the day was near and obscured the field in front.
It was known that the flower of the British army was in front, and eager eyes and ears kept open to detect the first movement. The invaders had boasted that they would walk straight over the half-drilled riflemen from Kentucky and Tennessee and the militia of Louisiana. They had not quite heard of the artillery of Commodore Patterson and of Lafitte’s batteries, and were not prepared for them, while they had little idea of what the riflemen could do, although they wore no such gorgeous uniform.
Suddenly, before the sun had risen and while the haze still hung upon the ground like a curtain, a gun was heard from the left of the batteries—the one in which Eph Clark had charge of the guns.
His sharp sailor-eyes and ears had detected the advance of the enemy before any others, and, according to orders given beforehand, he fired a round of grape-shot slap into the advancing foe.
Just then the mist lifted a little, and, by the early light, could be seen the serried lines of the British force, advancing to the attack in magnificent order.
There were two columns of troops, one on the right and one on the left. At the head of each column was a regiment, bearing fascines for filling up the ditch and scaling-ladders for reaching the crest of the defense. Between the two columns were marching a thousand Highlanders, in their picturesque garb, ready to support either column on their flanks, as might be needed.
At once the riflemen, with their unerring aim, began a rolling fire, while the artillery, served with great steadiness and coolness, joined in the battle.
There was great slaughter and confusion among the attacking troops, but, like veterans as they were, they rallied and came on again.
At first, Eph Clark was shocked by the effect of the fire; but he soon became excited, and, going from gun to gun of his battery, saw that each was well loaded and well pointed.
Up to the very ditch surged the brave men in front of them, and one officer, a lieutenant, came over the breastwork uninjured. Seeing Eph and a captain of infantry standing by their guns, close to him, he called out:
“Surrender! surrender! The place is ours!”
Rather surprised at this speech from a single man, Eph replied:
“Look behind you, sir!”
The young English officer, whose name was Lavack, did as he was told, and saw his troops either dead or wounded or in full retreat, and already some distance away.
“I’ll have to trouble you for your sword, sir!” said Eph, after showing him this sight.
“And to whom do I surrender?” said the young officer, gazing at Eph’s rig of silk shirt and sash and loose white trowsers.
“To Lieutenant Clark, of Lafitte’s Battery.” And the young officer was led away, to be well treated.807d
In the meantime, while the surviving British troops were retreating from the front, Eph Clark and those about him heard the “advance” blown from a bugle in front of them, and, seeing no one standing so near as the notes seemed to come from, at last discovered, perched up in a small tree—which must have been exposed to all the storm of balls and bullets, for many of its branches were cut away—a small music-boy of one of the British regiments, who had sat up there, sounding the “advance,” all the time the fight was going on, and continued to do so when his regiment was half a mile away.
Amused at the curious courage and persistency of the little fellow, Eph and a lieutenant of Kentucky riflemen dropped down into the ditch, and went out and captured the courageous lad, who was not more than fourteen.
When they brought him in, the stolid little Englishman, who was entirely unhurt, was much astonished at the praises he received from those he considered deadly enemies.
The English did not renew their attack, but at once began preparations for retreat to their ships. And there was good reason, for the actual fighting had only lasted twenty-five minutes, and they had twenty-six hundred men killed, wounded or prisoners, while the American loss was just seventeen.
General Packenham, the English commander, General Gibbs, Colonel Keene and Colonel Dale, among the leaders, all lost their lives in that fatal assault.
And the worst of it all was that the battle was fought after a treaty of peace had been made between England and the United States. But there was no means of knowing that, as there would be in these days of steam and electricity.
That night Eph had the guard in his battery, for vigilance was not relaxed, as the enemy, though beaten, had not yet retired entirely, and he was pacing up and down the parapet, and wishing he could go to sleep, after all the long excitement and labor, when he heard a challenge of a sentinel at the rear, and soon a written order was brought by an orderly, directing him to report at headquarters on the following day at ten o’clock.
This official notice made him uneasy, but he did not know anything wrong which he had done, and he knew he had served his guns well. So, when the time came for him to be relieved, he quietly lay down and slept the sleep of a tired boy, until roused for the rough camp breakfast.
At the appointed time he went to the headquarters in a plantation-house in the rear of the lines, and reported himself.
An aid-de-camp came out and said:
“General Jackson wants to see you.”
Without a word, but with much inward perturbation, Eph followed the officer into the room, where a large, rawboned man, with hair standing straight up from his scalp, and clad in general’s uniform and high boots, was sitting at a table filled with papers.
Several officers were standing about the room, and Eph recognized General Villere and one or two others he had seen before.
The general looked up sharply from his writing—he had a piercing gray-blue eye—and said:
“My lad, you have been much commended for your conduct. You are an American?”
“Yes, sir. I did not go to Lafitte’s place of my own accord; but when I saw that I could do some good for my country, I worked as hard as I could.”
The general waved his hand and nodded approvingly.
“Yes,” he continued; “I have heard how you acted from Governor Claiborne and Judge Livingston and General Villere. You are a sailor, I believe?”
“Yes, sir. I have been a sailor for four years.”
“Do you like the life?”
“I have not had such success that I should like it. I think I would rather be a soldier.”
“Well said, lad,” and the grim general chuckled. “You shall be a soldier. They will listen to me after this work, and I promise you a lieutenantcy in one of the regular regiments. In the meantime I take you on my staff as a volunteer, and you may go to any tailor in New Orleans and be fitted out.”
“There is one thing I would like to say, general.”
“What is it? Speak quickly, for I have much to do.”
“There is a Danish youth, older than I am, who served in the battery, and was taken out of the brig with me. I should like to see what becomes of him.”
“Very good! I will give an order for his enlistment, and meantime he can remain with you.”
Two months after this Ephraim Clark received his commission as second lieutenant in the Second Regiment of United States Infantry, and Eric was transferred as a private to the same regiment, the headquarters of which were at the frontier town of St. Louis, in the Territory of Missouri.
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October, 1892, will long be remembered as the quadricentennial anniversary of America. It has been a festival month, and hardly a town or hamlet in this country but has celebrated, in some way, the landing of Columbus. New York devoted almost an entire week to land and water pageants, and Chicago, in formally dedicating the Columbian Exposition, had three days of impressive ceremonies.
Two remarkable features are to be noted in connection with the October celebrations. One is, that the United States, by common consent, have monopolized the honors in connection with the discovery of this Western Continent.
Of course, Columbus did not discover the United States any more than Canada. Every one knows now that he never put foot on North America at all, his nearest approach being the West India Islands, and that he did discover South America.
Nevertheless it has always been recognized that here, if anywhere, rested his claims as a discoverer, and here, therefore, it was fitting that the quadricentennial should be celebrated.
The second feature was the zeal with which the school children entered into the celebration. Schools, we may be assured, were little known in the days of Columbus, when monarchs thought it no shame to be unable to write their own names. Nor had Columbus any special desire to educate or civilize the people whom he found in the new lands he annexed to the Spanish crown.
Yet it may be said, without exaggeration, that of all the benefits accruing to civilization that grew out of the discovery of America, not one bears any comparison with the public school system of the United States. Our forefathers were men who imbibed the love of liberty with every breath, and they early realized that liberty without intelligence was not possible, and that learning was a deadly foe to tyranny of any kind—not the learning which is confined to the few, but the learning which is free to all, without cost.
There are nations, even at the present day, which designedly keep the people in ignorance, for fear that they will know their rights and demand justice. America has no such fear. Every avenue of knowledge has been opened to the child of the humblest, and in the public schools all meet on a plane of equality.
So it was eminently fitting that the school children should celebrate the discovery of this new world where they are rightly considered the keystone of our national greatness. And they have celebrated it in a way such as the world has never seen.
In the great civic parade in New York city on October 10, twenty-five thousand school children marched to the music of a hundred bands, before the grand-stands, on which sat the dignitaries of the nation, and to the admiring plaudits of half a million spectators who crowded the sidewalks, balconies and windows along the route.
Shoulder to shoulder, the pampered darling of Murray Hill and the “kid” of the Bowery marched in accord, with flashing eyes and conscious pride in being what they are, and at their head marched the mayor of the Empire City.
It was a sight long to be remembered, and one calculated to make the dullest thrill with love of country.
Later in the month, on the twenty-first, the schools all over the land, from the primary to the high schools, joined in celebrating, each 808b in its respective schoolhouse. Speeches were made, odes sung and flags raised.
Such a series of celebrations cannot fail to leave a deep impress on the youthful mind, and one that will tend to instruct and elevate.
In future years, when men and women, they will recall with justifiable pride that they were part of the quadricentennial festivities, and that the part they bore was second to none.
It will be a legacy to be cherished, and it is certain that in no portion of their lives will there be a brighter spot than when, as school children, they emphasized the power and dignity of the Republic.
In journeying through foreign lands, especially in the East, the English or American traveler is constantly amazed to observe upon what meagre diet the natives exist. Accustomed to meat at every meal, he sees thousands of people who eat meat perhaps not once a year; used to an abundance of vegetables and fruits of infinite variety, he encounters people who live on two or three vegetables and as many fruits.
In the mines of Hungary the workers dine on two slices of black bread and an apple; the Italians are content with a little oil and a handful of ; the Chinese exist almost entirely on rice, and the Arabs will live for weeks on dried dates. The surprise is not so much that these people exist, but that they are healthy and strong. Travelers again and again have noted that the Turkish porters in Constantinople will carry a burden that two strong Americans can hardly lift, and that coolies can tire a horse in running with the jinrikisha in China or Japan.
Doubtless most of this abstemiousness is due to poverty, since all nationalities soon fall into our ways of eating when they come to these shores, but their sparingness is none the less a proof that much of what we eat is an unnecessary burden to our stomachs. The primary purpose of eating is to sustain life, not to please the palate. We need material to replenish the waste of tissue, material to make blood and bone and flesh, and that is all.
Out of a pound of meat, not more than one tenth is of any value, and the same proportion holds good with many other articles of food. Now, it is evident that if some method existed by which the nutritious elements could be extracted and concentrated, the process of eating would be greatly simplified, and much to our advantage.
The first effort in this line was made thirty years ago in the shape of condensed milk, and the inventor was heartily laughed at. He lived, however, long enough to laugh at other people, and died worth seven millions of dollars. Now the condensing of milk has grown to be a very large industry.
The processes employed are very simple, the fresh milk being put into a great copper tank with a steam jacket. While it is being heated sugar is added, and the mixture is then drawn off into a vacuum tank, where evaporation is produced by heat.
The vacuum tank will hold, perhaps, nine thousand quarts. It has a glass window at the top, through which the operator in charge looks from time to time. He can tell by the appearance of the milk when the time has arrived to shut off the steam, and this must be done at just the right moment, else the batch will be spoiled.
Next the condensed milk is drawn into forty-quart cans, which are set in very cold spring water, where they are made to revolve rapidly by a mechanical contrivance in order that their contents may cool evenly.
When the water does not happen to be cold enough, ice is put in to bring it down to the proper temperature. Finally the tin cans of market size are filled with the milk by a machine, which pours into each one exactly sixteen ounces automatically, one girl shoving the cans beneath the spout, while another removes them as fast as they are filled.
People in cities nowadays use condensed milk largely in preference to the uncondensed, regarding it as more desirable because of the careful supervision maintained by the companies over the dairies from which they get their supplies.
For their consumption the product is delivered unsweetened, but even in this condition it will last fresh two or three times as long as the ordinary milk by reason of the boiling to which it has been subjected. Milk fresh from the cow contains eighty-eight per cent. 808c of water, condensed milk twenty-eight per cent.
After condensed milks come condensed jellies. They are made in the shape of little bricks, each weighing eight ounces, and with an inside wrapper of oiled paper. According to the directions, the brick is to be put in one pint of boiling water, and stirred until it is dissolved.
The mixture is then poured into a mold or other vessel and put into a cool place. In a few hours the jelly is “set” and ready to use, a pint and a half of it. It never fails to “jell,” which point is the cause of so much anxiety to amateur jelly-makers.
We have often heard that “one egg contains as much nourishment as one pound of meat,” which shows that nature has condensed the food essentials in this instance. But man has condensed them still more, mainly, however, because eggs have a bad habit of getting stale.
Great quantities of eggs are bought up in summer when the price of them goes down to almost nothing. They are broken into pans, the whites and yolks separated and evaporated to perfect dryness. Finally, they are scraped from the pans and granulated by grinding, when they are ready for shipment in bulk.
Bakers, confectioners and hotels use eggs in this form, which is an important saving at seasons when they are dear in the shell.
Extract of beef, although a liquid, is condensed beef; the vanilla bean is now concentrated into an essence and cocoanuts are condensed by ; cider and lime juice are also condensed, so that a spoonful mixed with water makes a pint of the original liquid.
Finally, some genius has condensed coffee into lozenges weighing only fifteen grains, one of which makes a generous cup of coffee. It is merely necessary to put the lozenge or tablet in the cup, pour boiling water on it and the coffee is made.
What a boon for the housewife as well as the camper-out, the more so since one hundred lozenges, weighing a little more than four ounces, will make one hundred cups.
The processes by which coffee is thus concentrated are very interesting. To begin with, the beans are roasted in an enormous oven and ground in a huge mill. Then they are put into a great iron vessel, which is nothing more nor less than a gigantic coffee-pot, holding two hundred and forty pounds at a time. Hundreds of gallons of filtered water are pumped into the coffee-pot, which acts on the drip principle, and the infusion is drawn off to an evaporating tank. A steam pump keeps the air exhausted from this tank, so that the coffee is in vacuo, being heated meanwhile to a high temperature by steam pipes. The water it contains rapidly passes off, and the coffee is of about the consistency of molasses when it is taken out. It is poured into trays of enameled ware, and these trays are placed on shelves in another evaporator.
When the trays are removed, a short time later, the coffee is a dry solid, which is scraped off the trays, ground to powder, and moulded into lozenges.
Some weeks ago we chronicled in Golden Days the particulars of a competition race in Europe, which was unique in its rules and intended to be scientific in its character. The Emperors of Austria and Germany arranged for a contest between the officers of their respective armies in the way of a long-distance ride between Berlin and Vienna, Austrian officers to ride from Vienna to Berlin, and German officers from Berlin to Vienna.
This entire distance of four hundred miles was to be covered in the shortest possible time, each rider using but one horse and choosing any route which suited his fancy.
Prizes were offered for the first man who covered the distance, and another prize was to be given to the contestant who brought his horse to the finish in the best condition.
It was a purely military race, and the outcome was expected to prove a great many things of value to Austria and Germany as to the endurance of man and horse, and naturally excited great interest, not only in Europe, but also in this country.
The result, however, has been far from gratifying. The start was made on time, and an Austrian officer was the first to cover the distance, in three days, one hour and forty-five minutes. A notable victory, no doubt, but at what a cost!
Hardly had the applause died away, when the noble horse which had accomplished the feat, died in his tracks; and this was only the beginning. Since then fifteen or twenty horses have died, and every one of the remainder are dying or rendered forever useless.
Stories of pitiless cruelty on the part of the riders have been reported—of whippings, spurrings, and even absolute torture, to urge on the poor animals.
Under the circumstances, it is not to be 808d wondered that the press and people are now unanimous in condemning the race as brutal and barbarous, and claiming that no good purpose was served by the exhibition.
It is true that a prize was offered to the rider who brought in his horse in the best condition, but this chance seems to have been lost sight of completely, and not a single horse arrived in a state less than pitiable.
Public sentiment in this age is quick to put the stamp of disapproval on unnecessary cruelty of any kind, and however much the Emperors of Austria and Germany may regard the result with satisfaction, or crown the visitors with laurels, humane people everywhere will condemn the exhibition and protest against any repetition.
In the days when the voyages and adventures of Captain Cook were read by every schoolboy, there was a great deal heard of the Navigators’ Islands, in the Pacific. Lying between seven and eight hundred miles south of the equator, this group of nine islands and some small islets has been a favorite port for many years, and all seamen and explorers unite in calling it an earthly paradise. The climate is perfection, the soil is rich, and the natives always have been friendly.
Similar conditions doubtless prevail in other islands of the Pacific, but our interests at present centre on the islands just described, since they are now known as the Samoan Islands, and in them lies the harbor of Pago-Pago, which our government has at last acquired, after years of negotiation.
The chiefs of the Samoan Islands have more than once petitioned to be taken under the protectorate of Great Britain or the United States, and in 1878 a commercial treaty was concluded with this country, and in 1879 Great Britain and Germany made almost similar treaties.
Had the United States so desired, the Samoan group would have been ceded to us years ago, but there is always vigorous opposition to this country acquiring territory outside of its present coast lines. No such scruples prevail in England or Germany, and, in consequence, both those powers are industriously engaged in annexing stray islands, whether the inhabitants desire protection or not.
But they did not take Samoa, mainly because of a well defined idea that the United States, although opposed to annexing these islands herself, was as strongly opposed to any other nation taking them, and European nations have, of late years, a wholesome respect for this nation.
It is true that our trade in the Pacific is not large, but it is rapidly increasing, and the need of a harbor has been apparent for some time. Of course all the harbors in the Pacific are open to our ships in times of peace, but there may come a time of war, when the ports will be closed to our shipping, and we will sorely need some ports of our own.
Then we need coal and supply stations for our men of war, such as England has in all parts of the world, and such as we ought to have and would have were it not for the perverse public sentiment which is opposed to any acquisition of territory, however needful or just.
Now at least we have Pago-Pago, and it is believed that Pearl Harbor in Oahu, one of the Hawaiian Islands, will be acquired in somewhat the same way.
The Germans have a harbor in Samoa and the English are negotiating for one, but Pago-Pago is believed to be the largest and best of all.
Here a coaling, supply and repair station will be built, the title to the land being vested absolutely in the United States.
Other nations may use the harbor as they please, but the United States will control it, and in case of any trouble in the Pacific it will be a point of vantage of the greatest value to this country.
—On Mount Washington, in New Hampshire, lives a little colony of butterflies that never descend below 2000 feet from the summit. They are completely isolated from others of their kind, no butterflies being found in any other spot in their immediate vicinity. It is supposed that the remote ancestors of this curious race were stranded on the mountain at the close of the glacial period.
[This Story began in No. 48.]
Since the night of the mutiny they had been flying a signal of distress, and when Frank saw it fluttering at the mast-head, through his bitter, blinding tears, he wondered if it would bring assistance to him, or must he float on and on over this wide, silent sea till he, too, died? The thought was an appalling one, and he threw himself on the deck in an agony of despair.
So intense was his strange fear and grief and loneliness that he did not realize the fact that the schooner was driving through the water at the rate of five miles an hour, though he heard the wash of the waves against her sides, and felt the momentarily freshening wind blow cool on his face and pipe lonesomely through the cordage.
Weary, sick at heart, and worn out with watching, he finally fell asleep, and when he awoke the wind was gone, the sails flapped idly against the mast, and the sun, in unclouded splendor, was just beginning to peep above the eastern horizon.
He got up, feeling refreshed, but very hungry, went to the galley, searched around till he found some bread and a bit of cheese, and then came back to the shade of the awning to eat it.
The long day passed, the night came and went, and another day dawned, only to find Frank still drifting aimlessly on before any breeze that chanced to blow.
A little past noon he saw a sail a long way to windward, and so great was his joy at the discovery that he shouted at the top of his voice, and ran hither and thither about the deck in a mad transport of sudden hope and delight.
The vessel proved to be the British bark Swallow. Frank could hardly restrain his gladness within rational bounds when he saw her change her course and stand directly toward the Sea Eagle, with all the speed the light wind that was blowing would permit her to make.
When within speaking-distance, the stranger hove to and hailed:
“What schooner is that, and where bound?”
“The Sea Eagle, from Ruatan to Philadelphia!” piped the boy’s voice from the schooner’s deck.
“Where is your captain?”
“His name and yours?”
“Captain Calvin Thorne. My name is Frank Arden, and I am all alone. First we had a mutiny on board, and then yellow fever, and now I am the only one left.”
“Yellow fever!” The captain of the bark repeated the words with a kind of terrified jerk. “Forward there, men! Bend on all sail and stand off!” he shouted to his crew, as he turned from the rail, where he had stood while speaking to Frank. “We can’t help you, boy. Sorry, but we can’t, if it’s yellow fever you have on board.”
And, to Frank’s unspeakable amazement, the bark was instantly put about, and was soon rapidly widening the distance between him and safety.
He had not thought of the dread pestilence the Sea Eagle carried in her every rope and spar and sail.
For a moment he felt as if he should die, so great was the reaction from eager hope and joy to bitterest disappointment and despair; but he rallied his sinking heart, after a little, and watched the bark disappear in the sun lit distance, with strangely-bright and tearless eyes.
No one could, no one dared, to help him, when they knew it was yellow fever that menaced them, and tainted the very air through which the Sea Eagle sailed. He no longer need look for relief by means of a passing vessel. That hope was gone utterly; for it would be wicked and cruel not to tell of what it was the captain had died. And who would aid him, when they knew it was to risk their life to do so?
Yellow fever, and with good reason, is only another name for death to a sailor, and Frank could not blame them for giving the schooner a wide berth.
When the Swallow was quite out of sight, he returned to his seat under the awning. It was now almost sunset, and the haze and mist of early twilight began to creep over the tossing waves.
For the first time since he was left alone on the vessel, he sat himself down to calmly think over the terrifying position in which he was placed and gravely consider what it was best for him to do.
He had passed through all there was, he thought, of sorrow, dismay, disappointment and horror; and whatever there might be of suffering and danger in store for him, he felt that, at most, they could give him no greater pain than he had already endured.
The reflection somehow was as comforting as it was sudden and startling to his weary energies and overtaxed strength. He would not give up again, and, from that moment, resolved to save both the vessel and himself, if he could.
Captain Thorne, when predicting his own speedy death, had spoken as if he thought Frank would live to reach land; and in this belief he had died, after giving into the lad’s 809c keeping his little all of wealth and telling him what to do in case he survived the perils of this most perilous voyage.
And, oh, how faithfully would Frank carry out his dead benefactor’s wishes, if he but lived to set foot on the soil of Pennsylvania again!
Buoyed up by this new hope and determined henceforth to make the best of all and everything that might befall him, Frank went to the galley, made himself a cup of strong coffee, and, with some hard biscuit, cheese and dried beef that he found there, made a hearty supper.
Everything remained in the galley just as poor Nat had left it, and during the whole time he was on the schooner it constituted the limit of Frank’s foraging-ground, for he had not the courage to enter the cabin yet, or search for other stores than the cook’s room afforded.
On the evening of the fifth day a brisk breeze sprang up, which set the whitecaps to tumbling far and near and sent clouds of spray flying from the schooner’s bows.
The sun set in the luminous west, leaving behind a long track of orange and purple light; the growing moon flung its yellow rays across the troubled waters, melting into the million phosphorescent gleams that sparkled and quivered along the surface like living jets of fire. Frank had never before seen so lovely a sunset, or one so utterly lonely and sad. He stretched himself on the deck, with his two hands clasped under his head, in lieu of a pillow, and watched the masts make eccentric circles through the stars, and the few fleecy clouds, that for a time had followed in the wake of the moon, vanish, as it seemed to him, into the sea.
“The vessel must be making six knots an hour, and doing it, too, easily.”
Frank fell asleep with some such vague calculation drifting disconnectedly through his mind. He was awakened about daylight by the loud screaming of a number of gulls that were flying near the vessel in anxious search of a morsel of food.
He jumped up in great excitement, not on account of the noise made by the gulls, but another sound he heard—a deep, continuous roar, not unlike the moan of the wind through a pine forest.
He looked around him, first confusedly and then with surprised wonder. His eyes brightened, and a cry of joy broke from his lips, for there, not a mile away, was land. A long, white line of surf marked the boundary of the beach, and beyond it he saw the feathery tops of palm and cocoanut trees, nodding in the fresh morning breeze.
Land at last!
Again Frank’s jubilant shout echoed oddly clear and solitary above the incessant booming 809d of the breakers and the monotonous wash of the waves.
Land, and no mistake, and the Sea Eagle was driving straight toward it with a speed that would strand her in twenty minutes, if she kept on.
And grandly determined upon her own destruction looked the staunch old schooner, in the fast brightening rays of the rising sun, as, with all sail set and never a hand at her helm, she plowed her way toward the low, sandy shore stretching away like the shadow of doom before her.
Frank meant to beach her, and take his chance on the island, for an island he felt pretty certain it was.
He flew to the cabin, and brought up the captain’s glass. He could do it now without superstitious fear. To the southward he saw a black, barren ledge of rocks, rising abruptly out of the sea, but to the north and east the shore was low, and there did not appear to be much surf.
He ran to the wheel, and gave it a turn a point or two more to the north and east. The vessel obeyed her helm splendidly. The tide was at the flood, the wind fresh but steady, and blowing directly on land.
With firm, shut lips, watchful eyes and pale, resolute face, Frank kept his small hand on the spokes, the rapid pulsations of his heart telling away the seconds so audibly that he could count them.
In less than ten minutes’ time she struck, grounding lightly and getting off again; then she plunged forward, driven high on the beach by an incoming wave, and was as motionless as if she had never pitched and tossed through mountainous billows or careened to the angry rush of the storm-lashed sea.
Frank relinquished his grasp of the wheel, and drew a long breath of mingled regret and satisfaction.
“Fast aground till a squall comes along and breaks you up,” he said, as if speaking to the vessel. “It’s all there was left for either of us to do, for we are death, it seems, to every one that comes near us.”
Hardly a dozen yards were between him and solid earth. Frank soon had the ladder over the side, and in two minutes more was on shore.
He ran up and down the beach a little way, shouting at intervals as loud as he could, but there was no answer.
Scores of beautiful little paroquets were chattering in the palm trees, and numbers of long-legged sea-fowl stalking about on the reef, but no human being, or any sign of one, did he see.
It was necessary that he should know something about the size of the island before deciding what next it was best to do, so he set out to explore its wooded portion and ascertain what the prospects were for living on it for an indefinite length of time.
An hour’s tramp showed him that it was perhaps two miles long by less than half that distance wide, and to all appearance no human being other than himself had ever set foot upon it.
The northern part was simply a barren rock, fissured and seamed by the action of the water, its base marked by a tossing line of foam of ominous import, for it told of the sunken reefs hidden beneath its restless ebb and flow, and extending far out to sea. The 810a southern and eastern end were covered with a dense growth of tropical vegetation, but fresh water he did not find, or any animal, great or small. Many varieties of brilliantly-plumaged birds flew screaming away at his approach, but they were the only living things he saw.
He came back to the schooner, clambered on board, went to the galley, got himself a good breakfast, and, while he was eating it in the shade of the awning, made up his mind what he would do.
The rainy season was near at hand—a period which Captain Thorne had told him was usually ushered in by frequent afternoon squalls, accompanied by terrific thunder and lightning, which was more than likely to be speedily followed by a hurricane of such violence as to destroy in a second a vessel beached and helpless as was the Sea Eagle. The tide was going out by this time, and the schooner’s bow was buried high and dry in the sand.
Frank’s first act after finishing his breakfast was to take in the sail. Such of it as he could not handle he cut away, and then began to carry it on shore. The captain’s small boat still hung in the davits, but he did not need it as yet.
With the sails and spars he made a nice roomy tent, under the largest of the palm trees nearest the shore, so he could always have the schooner in sight, and also an unobstructed view of the open sea.
His object now was to make himself as comfortable as he could on the island, and then wait patiently for a sail to come and take him off, or something to turn up in his favor of a nature calculated to restore him again to the world and enable him to carry out to the letter Captain Thorne’s dying request.
By noon he had his tent up; then he went to the vessel and quickly removed to his new quarters one of the smallest of the casks of water on deck, a case of ship biscuits and the tin box the captain had charged him to guard with untiring care.
He worked unceasingly until near sunset, and the surf was again beginning to play around the stranded schooner’s bow.
He was so tired he could hardly stand, and made his last trip to the vessel for that day just as the moon began to glimmer over the water.
It looked so very friendly, hanging directly above the mainmast, like a great golden world, that he thought it would be pleasant to eat his supper on land, by the light of its mellow rays, though the fire he had kindled an hour before flamed up brightly on the sand close by and the fragrance of boiling coffee mingled appetizingly with the briny breath of the sea.
After partaking of his supper, he swung his hammock in the tent, for he had no desire to pass another night on the schooner, and in five minutes was fast asleep.
He had a lively remembrance of the red ants, soldier-snails, gnats, lizards, mosquitoes and sand-flies of Ruatan; but none of these winged and creeping pests disturbed his slumber, and he slept on until the sun was fully an hour high and the palm trees vocal with the chattering of the paroquets.
He awoke refreshed, sprang from his hammock and ran to see if the schooner was all right.
Yes, there she was! Her tapering masts shining like polished marble in the brilliant sunshine, and the tide fretting and frothing against her sides.
After an exhilarating plunge in the surf, Frank set about getting his breakfast. The day previous he had carried on shore all the galley furniture, completely dismantling poor Nat’s late quarters of stove, cooking utensils, cups and plates, and everything portable, even to the zinc covering of the floor.
He had not ventured so far as the hold, but had taken everything of value from the captain’s cabin—his books and charts, the ship’s instruments, a fine eight-day chronometer clock, still going, and which he wound up with no little pleasure.
He carefully housed on shore the contents of the lockers, which included a case of port wine, a little bag of Spanish reals, another of doubloons, a case of canned meats, two of preserved fruits and jellies and a small medicine chest.
All the cargo, save the cocoanuts, was a rotten mass in the hold, the larger part of which he eventually pitched overboard.
There were coffee, chocolate, sugar, rice, beans, dried beef, barley, vermicelli, a small quantity of tea, salt pork, hard biscuit, flour, salt beef, lemons, honey, a cask of vinegar, a dozen sacks of salt and a few other supplies, such as a sailing craft of the kind usually carries.
In four days’ time Frank had every movable article out of her, yet the dreaded squall had not come nor a drop of rain fallen.
There lay the Sea Eagle, blistering under the sun by day and gauntly outlined under the stars by night, changed in no way since she stranded, except that she had settled quite two feet in the sand and was aground 810b so firmly that it looked as if it would take a pretty strong gale to blow her to pieces.
So far, Frank had been too busy and too much engrossed by the novelty of his situation to devote much time to thinking; but now, when the excitement and hurry was over and he had leisure to turn his attention to other matters, second only in importance to securing all there was of value in the schooner, he concluded to make a thorough exploration of the island and the grim, conical-shaped ledge of rocks that formed its upper, or southern part.
So, the fifth day of his landing on the island, he got ready the small boat, placed in it a bottle of water and a good supply of food, and set out to row around the reefs.
He made a complete circuit of the island, and found it to be one of the many results of volcanic eruption common throughout the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
At low tide, a long, black reef showed its frowning edge above the restless surf, connecting with the higher point of rocks overlooking the narrow strip of fertile land lying between it and the sandy beach, where the Sea Eagle had stranded, and still maintained the strange and lonely anchorage she had made for herself.
Frank, curious and venturesome as he might be, was yet keenly alive to hidden dangers, and, as he rowed around among the rocks, kept a sharp lookout for treacherous currents and submerged ledges.
The meridian sun was pouring down its fiercest rays, and he was thinking of returning to his tent and the grateful shade of the palm-trees, when, just as he had rounded the jagged spur of a particularly ugly-looking coral reef, he suddenly saw before him a deep, dark line of perfectly smooth water, over-arched by a natural bridge of grayish-white limestone, and flowing, as it seemed to him, directly under the island.
The entrance to this odd underground water-way was not more than four feet in height by six wide, but he unhesitatingly entered the narrow channel, bent upon seeing what there was of it and where it led to.
Drawing a long breath of surprise and satisfaction, he ceased rowing, and, as the boat came to a stand-still on the glassy surface of this subterranean sea, he uttered an exclamation of wonder, and looked around him in a maze of doubt and admiration.
The cool, grotto-like atmosphere and dim, half-twilight contrasted pleasantly with the heat and glare outside, though the silence was something oppressive, and different from any he had ever before known.
No sound of wave or sigh of wind or howl of tempest seemed ever to have been heard here. The water along the edges of the rocks was absolutely without motion, and the light from either extremity of the cave—as one might call it—nearly lost itself before it reached the vaulted centre.
Frank shouted loudly, and in answer the rocks sent back only the faintest and most weirdly far-away echoes.
When Frank had somewhat recovered from his astonishment, and his eyes had become accustomed to the dim light, he found the cay, or channel, to be some fifty yards in extent, cut through the soft, porous rock by the action of the water, that for ages and ages of time had beaten against its gradually-yielding base, until it had made for itself a passage such as man, with all his marvelous ingenuity, could never have fashioned.
Frank rowed the entire length of the cay—as the Bay Islanders call these little wave-made inlets—coming out on the opposite side to that which he had entered; and then, as it was getting late, he returned home, as the brave-hearted boy termed the spot where he had pitched his tent and stored his provisions.
Apart from finding the channel, he had made no discovery worth mentioning. With the exception of a few sea-birds, he saw no living creature, great or small; but this he did not much mind, for he hoped a sail would come his way soon, and solitude was no new thing to him. So he ate his supper with hearty relish, and, when it was dark, clambered into his hammock and fell peacefully asleep.
The morning of the tenth day of his residence upon the island Frank rowed around to the grotto—as he called his new-found giant’s causeway—taking with him his fishing-tackle and a substantial luncheon of bread and cheese and dried beef.
Fish of various kinds abounded in the quiet waters of the inlet, and in an hour he had caught as many as he wished to carry “home.”
He had seen no sharks anywhere near the reef, and so, when he saw a beautiful pearly-white shell lying at the bottom of the water, which was not more than five feet deep under any part of the natural arch of soft porous stone, he threw off his clothes and unhesitatingly made a dive for it.
He got the shell, and made a very important discovery at one and the same time. Happening to glance upward as he came to 810c the surface, his quick eye saw a low, narrow opening leading directly into what seemed to be the solid rock.
The mouth of the cavern was slightly shelving, and situated a little less than mid-way of the centre of the arch.
Frank lost no time in climbing into it, and was surprised to find himself in a semi-dark, sea-scented cavern, in shape something like an old-fashioned Dutch oven and fully seven feet in height.
There was sufficient light to enable him to see that the floor of the cave was thickly strewn with fragments of shells and gray-white coral, the stone itself being so soft that he could easily penetrate it with his jack-knife.
These submarine caves or grottos are numerous in the Bermudas, and the limestone rock of which they are mainly formed so extremely impressionable as to be readily cut into blocks for building purposes with a common saw.
Frank remembered having heard Captain Thorne speak of them, but he little thought at the time that he would ever be the discoverer of one on an island in the midst of the Caribbean Sea.
Solitude, and having to look out for himself, as the saying goes, if it had done nothing else, had sharpened his wits, and he was not long in coming to the conclusion that, by enlarging the cave inland, he could make an opening quite near his tent, and thus have both a dry and wet-weather habitation.
He returned to the beach, where the Sea Eagle was daily sinking deeper and deeper in the sand, full of his new plans. He could hardly prepare his supper, so eager was he to begin work on his latest project and have his stores securely housed before the rainy season set in.
He went to bed early, but was up with the dawn, ate his breakfast while yet the rays of the rising sun were but faintly illumining the east, and then, with hatchet and hammer and saw, some coils of stout rope and a plentiful supply of food, set out for the cave.
He was not long in reaching it, and by noon had cut through five feet of the calcareous stone, piling up the portion cut away in a kind of wall on the lower side, where the rocky floor sloped somewhat precipitously, forming a channel, through which a considerable rivulet stole silently along, to join and lose itself in the great ocean that for miles and miles surrounded it on every hand.
For four whole days he worked like a Trojan, cutting away and piling up the soft, limy stone, and on the fifth was rewarded by a glimmer of sunlight shining through the aperture he had made in the landward part of the rock.
From the small opening he could see the tent, the tall palm trees that sheltered it from the fierce rays of the meridian sun and the tapering masts of the old schooner as she lay fast aground on the blistering strand, and the landwash lazily undulating against her stern.
A little way beyond, some gulls and a blue heron were watching for flying-fish, great numbers of which would every once in awhile skim like so many silver leaves over the surface of the water, coming up and going down at short intervals, more in fear than play, for no doubt their relentless enemies, the dolphins, were after them, with a view to making a meal off as many as were so unfortunate as to come within their reach.
Frank could not repress a shout of delight, in which there was mingled a good deal of pardonable triumph, when he nimbly scrambled through the narrow aperture he had made with so much patient toil, and stood on the firm, warm earth without the gray, damp cavern.
All about his feet grew luxuriant ferns, soft mosses and trailing vines, the vegetation gradually lessening as it met the base of the dark rock forming the roof of the cave, and disappearing altogether before it reached the summit, or what Frank judged would be the summit if one were to approach it from the direction of the tent.
The next three days Frank spent in removing the most perishable part of his goods to the cave, and this he did none too soon, for the afternoon of the third day a dense black cloud suddenly arose in the northwest, accompanied with ominous rumblings of thunder and quivering flashes of lightning.
There was no fresh water on the island, so far as he had been able to discover, and the patter of the big rain-drops on the broad leaves of the palms was not only a pleasant sound, but one that assured Frank that for a time, at least, he was not likely to die of thirst.
This warning foretaste of what he might expect for the next three months, if he stayed so long on the island, admonished Frank to make himself as comfortable as possible in the cave, and from its snug shelter defy wind and wave.
He had heard Dunham say that these sudden storms were diurnal in their nature, and frequently of great fury and destructiveness, so the following morning he moved all his belongings into the grotto, as he liked best 810d to call the cave, and set up housekeeping in a manner that no hurricane, however severe, could interfere with.
“Nobody can say I am in the way here,” he said—for he had gotten into the habit of talking to himself—surveying, as he spoke, his rocky home, and smiling sadly. “I am neither a bother nor a burden to any one now. I’m alone on an uninhabited island, and may die here, for all I can tell to the contrary; but I don’t know but what that is better than being nagged by Aunt Susan, or driven about on the ocean, with nothing but an old schooner between one and the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. It’s just eighteen days since I landed on this island, and I was five days on the schooner—that makes twenty-three—and I’m alive yet. If I have to stay here a year, that will not be very long. I’ve provision enough to last that length of time, and it will an opportunity to grow and to think. I’ll read all Captain Thorne’s books, and there’s a good many of them, including works on navigation, history and science. I’ll fish and row when the weather is fine, and when it isn’t I’ll amuse myself in enlarging the grotto. I’ll make a collection of all the plants and flowers I find on the land and all the shells and seaweeds I find in the sea, or that may drift on the shore. I’ve a whole island that I may honestly call my own, a box of candles, plenty of matches, four cans of oil, a lamp and a lantern, a good boat, and lots of other things besides; so I am pretty well off, after all, and ought not to grumble at the hard luck which has befallen me.”
And Frank did try hard not to grumble; but, with the sea beating eternally around his rocky home, and no change anywhere, day after day, save in the scudding clouds and the waning of the old and the rising of the new moon, he grew very weary of his utter loneliness, and there came a time when he would have given his life to hear again a human voice and see again a human face.
Every hour in the day Frank scanned the horizon in hopes of seeing a sail. He felt that he could not be more than a hundred miles from the Bay Islands, and not altogether out of the track of sailing vessels.
Once he saw what appeared to be a long, low cloud hovering midway between the sky and water, and which he knew to be the smoke from a steamer; but it was so far off that, even with the glass, he could only make out the slow-moving line of smoke that marked her course.
His boat he kept in the channel forming the water entrance to the grotto, and during the roughest weather he had yet experienced on the island the tide never once rose higher than from four to six inches, and its ebb and flow was so silent that it was never heard, no matter how loud and tempestuously the surf was roaring without.
The rainfalls, though light, were more frequent, denoting the near approach of the dreaded wet season, when for days together he might be kept a prisoner in the cave, so he wisely took advantage of what remained to him of fair weather, and was out on the reef every morning as soon as it was light, looking, with longing eyes, for the hoped-for sail.
What wonder, then, after all this patient watching and waiting, that his heart leaped with indescribable joy when he saw a sail, not three miles away, and heading directly for the island!
At first he thought it was a turtle-sloop, by its size and rig, but, as it came nearer, it looked more like a pilot-boat, and somehow the sight of it strongly reminded him of his old enemy, Juan Montes, the wrecker.
They were beating up toward the point where the schooner lay, and their object evidently was to land and take a look at the stranded vessel.
A sudden fear seized Frank. It might be wreckers in search of spoils, and, in that case, from the recent experience he had had among them, it were better perhaps for him to retire to his cave until he knew something more of their intentions.
This he quickly did, taking care, however, not to break or bend a feathery fern or crush a tuft of moss, as he hastened within his retreat.
Then he hurriedly pushed to its place the block of stone that served for a door—or, rather, a window, for the aperture was only just large enough to admit of Frank’s crawling through—and, when this was done, he took up his position at one of the two small loop-holes he had made, as a precautionary means when stormy weather might make it necessary to close the window.
Both lookouts commanded an unobstructed view of the sea and that part of the beach where the Sea Eagle lay.
Frank watched the slow approach of the sailboat, with bated breath and loudly-beating heart.
It was Juan Montes! and with him Dick Turpie, the mulatto, Sagasta and Chris Lamberton.811a
A chill of mortal fear crept over Frank, from head to foot. He could not speak nor stir—scarcely to breathe—so great was his surprise and terror.
He saw them haul down the sail, drop the anchor, all four jump into the small boat towing astern, cast off the line and pull for the shore.
If discovered, he would surely be murdered, for as well might Frank hope to escape the blood-thirsty jaws of a wild beast, if in its power, as to expect mercy from these cruel, half-civilized, lawless men.
With a yell of exultant joy and malignant triumph, Sagasta cried, as he leaped on shore:
“It’s the Sea Eagle, by all that’s lucky! Come on, mates. She’s ours now; and no mean prize, either!”
The three quickly followed Sagasta’s lead, and were soon clambering up the side of the Sea Eagle, like so many overgrown, ill-favored monkeys.
But their joy speedily changed to anger and disappointment, when they discovered that the schooner had been already pillaged of everything of value about her. Even the cabin door and windows were gone, and every rope and spar and sail; the cook’s galley, hold and forecastle plundered of every article worth carrying off, and an air of general desolation and ruthless ransacking pervaded her from stem to stern.
“Somebody’s been here afore us!” said the wrecker, with a quick look shorewards. “I don’t understand it. Where’s her boat? What’s become of her captain? If he, or any of his crew, are a-hiding anywhere on the island, I’ll soon know it. Let’s have a look around, lads, afore we begins work. This way!”
He drew his knife from its sheath as he spoke, the others following his example, Sagasta alone of the formidable quartette producing a revolver in addition to his knife; and thus armed, and ready to meet and exterminate any foe who might happen to be near, they separated, Sagasta going around to the southward, Turpie to the north, while Lamberton made for the centre of the island and Montes bestowed all his attention on the reef and its immediate neighborhood.
Frank was pale with suspense and fear. If they should find the seaward entrance to the cave, he was lost. Yet they might easily discover the causeway, and even sail through it, and still fail to find the cavern itself. He had found it only by the merest chance.
The thought gave him new courage, and he dared to again fix his eyes on the beach and the bit of sea where the wreckers’ boat was gracefully rocking on the short land-swells.
All four returned in little more than an hour, and sat down under a wild plantain tree, not three feet from Frank’s place of concealment.
“There’s no one on the island, I’m certain of that,” said Montes, whose squat, ugly form was so near the loop-hole that it actually darkened Frank’s range of vision. “I can’t just make it out, but I know this much—that’s the Sea Eagle, and she’s ours dead sure! We’ll get her off to-morrow at flood-tide. There’s a bit of a blow in that cloud a-comin’ up in the east, but it won’t amount to much, so we’ll light a fire, get something to eat, and take it easy.”
“It’s pretty nigh a month since she stranded, by the depth of the sand around her,” remarked Turpie, looking first at the schooner and then at the fire he was kindling a little way from the others. “I’d like to know what’s become of the captain and the mate and Jack?”
“I reckon Dunham’s in Davy Jones’ locker, for that air slash Dardano gave him wasn’t no scratch, I can tell you. They was short of hands, and didn’t have no time to attend to him; but that don’t satisfactorily account for the schooner bein’ here, and dismantled as she is,” rejoined Montes, with a puzzled air. “Captain Thorne wasn’t the man to abandon his ship while a plank held together, and there’s the Sea Eagle with as sound a hull as ever floated, and a—”
“And the better luck for us,” roughly interrupted Sagasta. “I’d like to have got a whack at the boy; but, since he’s food for sharks, I’ll call it square. Wreckers have been here before us—there’s no doubt of that—and they’ve cleaned her out pretty thoroughly, too; but we’ll take the schooner, and she’s a good enough prize to suit me,” he laughed, with a cunning glance at Montes. “Yes, good enough, and as lawful a one as was ever picked up on the high seas,” he continued, in a rather more positive tone of voice. “All we have to do is to get her off, bend on a sail or two, and head her for Bonacca or Barbette. Once there, we’ll just paint out her old name and paint in a new one, and then, with that dark water-line transformed into a light blue, and I am Captain Sagasta, if you please, with fair pay for your services, of course, mates.”
This last remark of Sagasta’s did not seem to meet with much favor from Chris and the mulatto, but they were prudently silent, for the Spaniard was obviously the master-spirit of the unprepossessing gang. Even Montes, cruel and greedy as he was, 811b yielded him the palm of superiority in matters of this sort.
Having finished their hastily-prepared meal, Turpie acting both as cook and steward, they cut down several of the largest of the palm trees that grew in the vicinity, and began shaping them into rollers ready for getting the schooner afloat.
Frank was a frightened but very attentive watcher of all they did. Not till he saw them repair to their boat for the night did he venture to snatch a mouthful to eat.
Every word of their conversation, while seated under the plantain tree, he had heard, and the recollection of it, and the near proximity of such dangerous neighbors, prevented him from closing his eyes the live-long night.
By the first peep of day the wreckers were astir, and so was Frank—that is, he had taken up his station at the loophole, determined to let nothing escape him in relation to their plans and purposes.
As soon as the tide was out, they began shoveling away the sand that had collected around the schooner’s bow, the four of them working like beavers till there was space made sufficient to allow of placing the rollers under her, and, by this means, gradually extricating her from the imprisoning sands. They were still working when the tide was up to their knees and lapping high on the beach.
“Hurrah! There she goes!”
The shout startled Frank, and, with a sick heart and quivering lips, he saw the Sea Eagle slowly turn broadside toward the sea, and then fall off into deep water. The staunch old schooner was afloat once more, as sound as the day she was launched.
The pilot-boat was brought alongside and made fast, then they bent on all the sail they could muster, and, as the hastily-rigged canvas caught the wind, Sagasta waved his sailor-cap and exultantly exclaimed:
“Here’s to Captain Thorne, a hundred fathoms below soundings; and here’s to the Sea Eagle and her new commander!”
All repeated Sagasta’s shout with a hearty good will, for they were now fairly under way—the Spaniard, Chris and the mulatto remaining on the schooner, and Montes alone managing the pilot-boat.
Frank never took his eyes off the vessels, which kept close company, till both were nearly out of sight. Then he removed the stone, crept through the opening, and ran to the spot where only the ashes of the wreckers’ fire were to be seen.
He felt unutterably lonely. To look at the beach and not see the schooner there was like missing for the first time the face of a dear and only friend. He sat down on the sand and listened sadly to the moan of the surf fretting along the beach and the hollow boom of the breakers dashing against the reef.
The Sea Eagle now was but the merest speck on the ocean. It disappeared utterly, and the sun set in a bank of wrathy, black clouds.
Frank returned to the cave, too miserable to care for any supper, lay down on his bed, drew the blanket over his head and sobbed himself to sleep.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
Lester Drake’s detective camera first created the idea of photography in my mind. Before that, I hadn’t the slightest inclination toward the art whatever, but when Lester purchased his neat little leather-covered box, and went around merely pressing a button, and getting dozens of pictures by no other means, I immediately decided that I, too, must have a camera.
Lester’s was not an expensive one. His father had found it in one of the photographic establishments in Philadelphia, and being of a slightly scientific turn of mind himself, had purchased it and brought it home to Lester. The latter fitted up a corner of the cellar as a dark-room, and straightway launched himself as an amateur photographer.
Lester’s first attempts, revealed by the chemical development, were surprisingly good, and inspired a strong feeling of envy in the breasts of those of his comrades whose fathers were blind to the oft-repeated advantages and delights of amateur picture-taking. Even more exasperating, he straightway became the idol of all the girls at school, whose zeal in posing for him was only equaled by the grotesqueness of some of their postures.
I brooded long and deep over this unpleasant condition of affairs, and finally arrived at the conclusion that I would have a camera like Lester at any cost.
Lester was kind enough to initiate me into the mysteries of his dark-room, and to allow me to examine the interior of his camera 811c by ruby light. With the knowledge thus gained, I resolved to manufacture one myself. It wouldn’t be as handsome as Lester’s, perhaps, I thought, but it might do just as good work. So I made the attempt, using the lenses from an old microscope which I owned, but in vain. The instrument never reached the second stage of its construction.
The contrast between Lester’s clean, smoothly-covered box, and what I knew mine would appear, even if I could finally complete it, was too great, and I abandoned it in despair.
Then I tried another tack. My father was exceedingly skeptical concerning the desirability of amateur photography, and flatly refused to furnish the necessary funds. It was October then, so I conceived a plan by which I would earn money during the fall by corn-husking among the near-by farmers, so that when spring opened I would have the price of the coveted camera.
No one could have worked harder during the weeks through which the season lasted than did I. Huskers were in demand that fall, and I secured work wherever I applied.
It is just possible that if Lester had grown tired of his camera in the meanwhile, and had ceased to use it, my desire for one might likewise have gone by the board, but the snap of his shutter was heard everywhere and at all times, and even at night—by flash-light—in the barns, where the frequent huskings were progressing.
When, after a few weeks, the farmers ceased to require buskers, I struck up a bargain with our grocer, whereby I was to spend Saturdays running errands for him. The money from this helped out wonderfully, and, according to my expectations, when April opened, a snug little sum reposed as the fruit of my labors in one corner of my top bureau drawer.
As soon as the weather moderated slightly, Lester, who now posed as a photographic oracle, and myself, went to the city one fine morning to buy the camera.
The neat little leather-covered box was duly inspected and purchased, together with the pamphlet of instructions that seemed so enticingly mysterious to my uninformed mind.
The camera was just like Lester’s, with the exception of some minor improvements, which had been effected since the time when he had purchased his.
On the way home, Lester and I drew up a compact whereby I was to have the use of his dark-room and chemicals until I felt that I was fairly on my photographic legs. Then I was to fix up one of my own.
The camera had been sold loaded with plates, ready for use, and I lost no time in snapping several views here and there as the fancy seized me.
Lester taught me to develop them, and when the most of them came up under the chemicals clear and sharp, my delight was great.
And when I made prints from them, and the familiar home scenes and my playmates’ faces were there plainly before me, it seemed to me that the universe could hold nothing more entrancing than amateur photography. Of course I had failures, but they were few compared with the successes.
One morning in May, after I had become thoroughly versed in the art of using the camera and had fitted up a dark-room of my own in the attic, Lester and I sallied out with our cameras, for no other purpose than to secure a half-dozen snap-shots whenever desirable ones might present themselves.
It was an ideal day for picture-taking. Rain had fallen the night before and had left the atmosphere clear and brilliant, with none of that dim haze which is the camerist’s Nemesis so often.
We had strolled along the road, perhaps two miles out of the village, and had caught three or four very pretty views.
None had presented themselves, however, for some time, when, by a turn of the road, we came upon a man drinking from a spring at the side of the road. He was but a few feet away, and was stooping down with his back toward us.
“Let’s get him,” said I, in a low tone.
“All right,” replied Lester; “you do it, though. I’ve only got one plate left.”
I had several unexposed plates remaining in my camera, so I pointed the box toward the man and pressed the button. Just at the instant when the shutter must have operated, the man heard us and turned his head, facing us squarely.
He evidently understood what we were about, for he scowled deeply and walked rapidly away through the woods, without, however, offering to molest us. He carried a small black grip with him.
As the man’s retreating figure disappeared through the trees, Lester and I drew a long breath of relief, for we felt like criminals detected in a crime, and we were a trifle afraid of the fellow beside.
We wandered on a little further, snapping a few more wayside pictures, and then turned toward home and retraced our steps.
That afternoon, Lester came over to my father’s house to witness the development of the morning’s pictures.811d
As, one by one, we put the plates through the developer, a majority came out well. One or two were a trifle under-exposed, and there were minor defects in others; but, on the whole, they were very good.
The star negative of the lot, however, was that of the stranger whom I had photographed drinking, and who had turned his head and caught me in the act. That was perfect. Everything was brilliantly sharp, and the shutter had caught the man’s full face. In the negative, even so small an object as his eyes stood out beautifully.
We made a blue-print of this negative, and both Lester and myself recognized the faithfulness of the likeness, notwithstanding the fact that we had seen the man but a moment.
About the middle of the afternoon, my father returned from the neighboring town, ten miles away, in one of the banks of which he was clerk. He seemed to be much excited and perturbed about something. My mother noticed it also, and immediately inquired as to the cause of his uneasiness.
“The bank was robbed last night,” he answered, “and over fifty thousand dollars stolen. Every cent I had in the world is gone with the rest.”
My mother made an exclamation of dismay.
“And the worst of it is,” went on my father, “that we are almost certain who the thief is, but we haven’t a thing in the world to trace him by—not a vestige of a photograph or anything like it, which we could give to detectives to guide them in the hunt. The man’s gone, and the money with him.”
And my father sank despondently into a chair.
Meanwhile Lester and I stood by, listening silently, the still wet blue-print in my hand. After a minute I went and pressed the print out flat upon the table, on which my father’s arm was leaning. At any other time I would have proudly exhibited it to him, and would have been sure of his interest and appreciation, but I did not feel like intruding upon his present worriment.
As I laid the picture face upward upon the table, my father turned his head and looked at it indifferently. Suddenly he pushed me aside, and bent over the print so closely that his face almost touched it.
I recovered my balance with difficulty, and stared at him in frightened bewilderment. My father had never acted in this manner before, and I was almost afraid he had gone mad.
“Great Scott!” he exclaimed. “The very thing!”
Then, wheeling around, he grasped me by the shoulders, and wanted to know where I got that picture.
I was far too dazed by his strange actions to answer a word; so Lester interposed and told my father, in as few words as possible, of our morning expedition, and of the man whom we had photographed in the act of drinking.
“Bless the camera!” ejaculated my father, excitedly, “that’s Eli Parker, the thief! And the best likeness of him I ever saw, too!”
Then he questioned us closely as to the direction the man had taken when discovered, and ended by confiscating the print and the negative, and rushing out of the house to take the next train back to town. Lester and I talked about it all the afternoon, and felt ourselves quite heroes for having the temerity to stand before a real bank robber.
Fifty prints were immediately struck off from the negative, and these were given to detectives, who scoured the country in every direction. After a two days’ search, those nearest home were successful, and found Parker in the same woods where Lester and I had first surprised him. He had sought to evade capture by avoiding railroads, and hiding himself until the first excitement of the robbery had passed. As the whole amount of stolen funds was discovered in the little black grip which he carried, he was convicted of the crime without difficulty, and sentenced for a term of fifteen years in State prison.
The sequel of the incident was the most agreeable and the most astonishing of all. One day, a month subsequent, when Parker had been safely housed in the penitentiary, my father came home, and, with a mysterious smile upon his face, handed me an envelope. Upon being opened, the discovery was made that “Howard Benton and Lester Drake were authorized to draw upon the First National Bank of C——, for $100 apiece, in slight recognition of their part in apprehending Eli Parker, the perpetrator of the recent robbery upon that institution.”
I am still an ardent disciple of amateur photography. Who wouldn’t be under such circumstances?
—The umbrella is undoubtedly of high antiquity, appearing in various forms upon the sculptured monuments of Egypt, Assyria, Greece and Rome; and in hot countries it has been used since the dawn of history as a sunshade—a use signified by its name, derived from the Latin umbra, a shade.
BY REV. P. B. STRONG.
If a mean thing you would do,
Always put it off a day;
If a noble act and true,
Do not e’en a moment stay.
Ne’er by proxy do a deed.
Would you have it surely done;
It you’d never come to need,
Wait not wealth from any one.
Deem no coin too small to save,
Quit not certainty for hope;
Good denied, you cease to crave,
Neither o’er the future mope.
What you can’t by bushels take,
Get by spoonfuls, if you can;
Never mounts from mole hills make;
Ere you leap, the distance scan.
Shiver not for last year’s snow,
Nor bemoan the milk that’s spilt;
When you hasten, slowly go;
Keep your conscience clear of guilt.
These old rules, which here in verse
You behold thus newly set,
Well it would be to rehearse,
Till not one you could forget.
“So you boys think you came down here pretty fast, eh?” asked Randy Bronson, crossing one wooden leg over the other and stretching them both out toward the great fire of hickory logs that were roaring in the chimney.
Seven of us academy boys had piled into the only double cutter the village livery stable possessed, and had covered the nine miles between the school and Randy’s place down on the river road in forty-five minutes, and for a pair of farm horses we thought that pretty good time. Randy’s suppers, or rather his wife Maria’s suppers, were famous, and the doctor was always willing to let a party of us off for an evening at their little establishment providing we were back in good season. Randy and his wife were to be trusted to look out for the most harum-scarum boy who ever attended the Edgewood Academy.
While supper was being prepared we gathered about Randy and the wide open fireplace to wait for the repast, with all the patience at our command.
If Maria Bronson’s suppers had gained a reputation among us, so had Randy’s stories. He had been a sailor in his youth, and, indeed, in middle life, until during a naval engagement on the lower Mississippi, in the civil war, he had both legs shot away, and was doomed to “peg about,” as he jocularly called it, on wooden substitutes.
“So you thought you came down here pretty fast?” asked Randy, repeating the remark which opened this narrative. “And well you might, with the roads in the condition they are now. But I’ve been sleighing faster than any of you boys have traveled, unless it was on a railroad train, and over the roughest sort of a track, too.”
We all foresaw a story at once and were eager enough to hear the tale. So with little urging Randy began:
“When I was a boy you know I went to sea,” he said, and we all nodded acquiescence, for about every story Randy told commenced with just that remark. “My parents died when I was young and I was bound out to an old uncle; but farming wasn’t to my taste, and I was always longing so for salt water that finally he told me I wasn’t worth my board and clothes, and to clear out and go to sea if I wanted to.
“I didn’t need any second bidding. I went off that very night, and I never saw my Uncle Eb again.
“After going two or three trips to ‘the banks,’ I shipped aboard the New Bedford whaler Henry Clay, knowing well enough that whaling couldn’t be a great sight worse than fishing off Newfoundland in the dead of winter.
“As luck would have it, though, the Henry Clay joined the North Atlantic fleet and started for the Greenland fishing grounds. We lost the rest of the fleet in a big blow off Cape Farewell and worked northward alone, having the good fortune to fall in with several school of right whales, out of which we 812b captured three or four ‘balleeners,’* the oil and bone together being worth something like eighteen thousand dollars.
“The captain had begun to crow over the fine season we were having, when, early in October, we were caught in a nip in Cumberland Inlet, and the ice piled in so solidly around us that we knew we were good for all winter. There wasn’t any particular danger, for the Henry Clay was a well-built craft, strengthened to withstand just such a squeeze as the ice-pack was giving us.
“Captain Simon Lewis, as kind-hearted a man as ever I sailed under, made all needed preparations for winter at once, and we boys before the mast looked forward to a pretty jolly season.
“We were warmly clad, the fo’castle grub was better than is common with whalers, and there was every prospect for plenty of fresh meat and good hunting, as soon as the ice about us should become firm.
“After everything had been made ship-shape, we were given all the freedom we needed, and the library brought aboard by the officers was open to common use. Several days after this order of things had been established, the mate took half a dozen of us younger fellows out for a long tramp over the ice. There were three guns in the party, and we went along like a parcel of schoolboys out on a frolic.
“We made only about eight miles before noon, for the ice was so uneven that the traveling was rougher than any I had ever experienced, when suddenly, upon rounding an enormous ice hummock, we came in sight of a group of Esquimaux, sledges and dogs, and were discovered before we could retreat behind the hummock again.
“The crowd raised a cry of ‘Kabulenet! Oomeak! Kabulenet! Oomeak!’ which means, ‘White men and ships!’ and a general rush was made in our direction.
“The mate told us there was nothing to fear, as they were quite friendly, and he walked forward to meet them. He had been among them before and knew some of their words, so we were quickly on excellent terms with them.
“They surrounded us, laughing and chattering like so many children, shaking hands, examining our clothes and repeating, like parrots, the words and expressions the white men whom they had met before had taught them.
“One old chap, Kalutunah by name, seemed especially kindly disposed towards us, and, following his example, the entire party, finding the white men’s ship was so near, decided to make their winter quarters near us, knowing 812c that they would probably get what would be, to them, valuable presents.
“Captain Lewis was glad to have them for neighbors, too, for, if we should happen to run short of fresh meat or should get smashed in the ice—and there is always a possibility of that—the Esquimaux would be of great assistance.
“They built their igloos not far from the ship, and we interchanged frequent visits. Kalutunah and I became very intimate, and I tried to teach him English words and their meaning in his language; but he never got any farther than ees and noe—his pronunciation of ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
“Two months of such an easy life as we led tired me more than cutting up the biggest ‘balleener’ that was ever ‘ironed.’ Parties of the Esquimaux went off hunting every day, and, finding that Kalutunah was making preparations for a two days’ hunt up the inlet, I begged the captain to allow me to go with him, and permission was readily given.
“The trip was to be made on Kalutunah’s sledge, and if you have never read about or seen a picture of an Esquimau sledge, you want to look it up at once. It is one of the most ingeniously-built things I ever saw, considering the means at the command of the Esquimaux.
“The runners, which are of bone, are square behind and curved upward in front, usually five feet or more in length, three-fourths of an inch thick, and seven in . They are not of solid bone, but composed of many pieces of various shapes and sizes, yet all fitting together so perfectly that they are as smooth as glass.
“The shoe is of ivory from the walrus, and is fastened to the runner with seal strings looped through counter-sunk holes, and in the same manner the various bones making up the runner are fastened in place.
“When you take into consideration the fact that all this fitting and smoothing is done with stone implements, you will believe me when I say the Esquimau sledge is a wonderful thing.
“The runners are placed fourteen inches apart and are fastened together by cross-pieces tightly lashed by sealskin strings. Two walrus ribs are lashed to the after end of each runner in an upright position, and these are braced by other bones, forming the back, and, with plenty of skins and robes for cushions, the Esquimau sledge isn’t the most uncomfortable thing in the world to ride upon.
“Kalutunah was going after walrus, and I 812d borrowed a rifle of the mate, thinking that I might do a little shooting on my own account on the way
“Seven of the hungriest-looking and ugliest dogs among the large number belonging to the natives drew the sledge. The Esquimau usually hitches seven dogs to his sledge, and never drives them tandem, each dog being attached to the sledge by a single trace fastened to a breast-strap.
It doesn’t matter how rapidly they are running or what the obstructions are, they will keep their traces clear of one another. The dogs on either side have the most work to do, and, after holding that position for some time, a dog will jump over several of his fellows into the centre of the pack and let some other have his place on the outside.
“Kalutunah got on the sledge, and I sat between his knees, and, amid a great deal of shouting and chaffing from the rest of the crew, the dogs started off at Kalutunah’s cry of ‘Ka! Ka!’ and a touch of the whip.
“By-the-way, boys, that whip was a wonder. The lash was six yards long and the handle but sixteen inches. Learning to throw the lasso isn’t a circumstance to learning the ins and out of that whip.
“Of course, boy like, I wanted to try it before we had gone a mile. While traveling, the lash trails along in the rear, and by a quick motion of the hand and wrist is thrown forward like a great snake, snapping like a gun-shot over the heads of the team.
“The first time I tried it the end of the lash caught me on the arm, and, although the member was thickly covered, I felt the blow unpleasantly.
“Kalutunah laughed immoderately at my failure, but dodged the next instant as I tried it again, the lash this time coming within an ace of taking him across the face.
“The third time I essayed the feat, the end of the whip caught on a jutting piece of ice, and I was ‘snatched’ off the sledge in grand style, nearly wrecking it in my exit.
“That was going a little too far, so Kalutunah thought, and he wouldn’t let me try it again, so I contented myself with nursing the various bruises I had received in my tumble.
“But how those dogs could travel! The frozen inlet was strewn with hummocks and broken ice cakes, and I had to cling to the sledge with both hands sometimes to keep from being thrown off.
“I was profoundly grateful when we reached our stopping place about the middle of the afternoon. A week before Kalutunah had seen a walrus near this place, under some new ice that had formed over a breathing hole.
“The dogs were left fastened to the sledge, so that their presence would not disturb the walrus should one be near. The Esquimau got out his harpoon and line and approached the thin ice, telling me to keep back.
“I wasn’t very eager to stay near the walrus should the old fellow be lucky enough to iron one, for there had been one caught near the Henry Clay, and a more ferocious-looking beast I never saw.813a
“I stayed back near the sledge with my rifle, on the lookout for something to try a shot at, and in the meantime keeping my eye on old Kalutunah. He went forward carefully, dodging from hummock to hummock, but gradually getting nearer the thin ice. All at once I caught sight of another object on the ice a little to the right of the Esquimau. At first I thought it was a seal, for it lay flat on the ice, and was about to hurry after Kalutunah to tell him about it, when the figure rose up and I saw that it was a man—another Esquimau.
“The stranger walked rapidly toward Kalutunah, and had almost reached his side before the old fellow noticed him. Then he sprang up, and although they were too far away for me to hear them, even if my ears had not been covered with my hood, I saw that they were talking together.
“The stranger continued to advance, holding out his hand as though to shake Kalutunah’s.
“Having arrived quite near, he took a quick stride forward, and instead of offering his hand, as Kalutunah had evidently expected, suddenly raised a short club and struck Kalutunah on the head.
“It was a most brutal act, and so unexpected was it that for an instant I was stupefied.
“Kalutunah threw up his arm, and fell backward without a cry. The treacherous wretch leaned over him to repeat the blow, but I had found my senses by that time, and, raising my rifle, fired at him. The bullet probably flew wide of its mark, but it scared the rascal. Evidently he had not noticed me before, and least of all expected to find a white boy with the old man he had so cruelly attacked.
“With a wild yell, he ran at the top of his speed, expecting no doubt another shot every instant.
“I hurried forward to where Kalutunah was lying senseless on the ice. He was not dead, and, as I reached him, he raised up, with an evident effort, and cried:
“I remembered then what the mate of the Henry Clay had once told me about a tribe of bloodthirsty men in the interior, called by the well-disposed Esquimaux See-ne-mee-utes. These wretches approach a stranger to all appearances in a friendly manner, and, taking him unawares, assault him in the treacherous way that Kalutunah had been attacked.
“The old man was brave if he was an Esquimau, for I could understand by his motions that he wanted me to fly and leave him. But I wouldn’t hear of that.
“From the direction in which the See-ne-mee-ute had fled I saw a dozen figures approaching. Evidently there were plenty of reinforcements at hand, and, even with my rifle, I could not keep them at bay.
“Kalutunah was not a large man—Esquimaux seldom are—and the dog sledge was not far in our rear. I had strong arms and two good legs under me in those days, so, lifting the poor fellow, I carried him to the sledge.
“The dogs were up and excited, I could see by their actions; but I had no time to fool with them. I placed Kalutunah, who had again become unconscious, on the sledge and got on before him. By this time my pursuers were close at hand, and I was horrified to see two dog sledges following in the rear. Unfamiliar as I was with the management of Kalutunah’s team, the See-ne-mee-utes would overtake us in spite of all I could do.
“I raised my rifle and gave them a parting shot, and the dogs, frightened by the report so near them, started off like mad over the ice toward the distant ship.
“Again my bullet must have been badly aimed, for it only brought forth a howl of rage from my pursuers, as they saw me escaping. Hastily boarding their sledges, four of them started after me.
“I had a little start, but my dogs, having had only an hour’s rest, would likely be no match in speed for those attached to the See-ne-mee-ute sledges; but they started nobly, spreading out like a fan before the sledge and tugging at the breast-straps.
“Had Kalutunah been able to drive them, there might be more chance for us, I thought; but Kalutunah remained unconscious, and I had all I could do to hold both him and myself upon the swaying sledge.
“Without Kalutunah’s voice and whip to guide them, the dogs turned aside for very few obstructions, but tore over them all, 813b nearly wrecking the sledge at every leap. The pursuing sledges, guided by skillful drivers, were therefore able to gradually creep up on us.
“I knew very few Esquimaux words, but I yelled to the dogs at the top of my voice and managed to get ’em infused with some of my own fear, for they sped over the ice-field as I had never seen them travel before.
“On, on we went! The wind cut my face—from which the hood had fallen back—like a knife. I grew dizzy with the rush of air and the swaying of the sledge. It was impossible to get a shot at my pursuers, while the dogs were traveling at this rate; but I determined to make a desperate stand against the four men, should they overtake us.
“For some reason or other, their dogs were not so superior in endurance to Kalutunah’s as I had feared. After first gaining on us a little, they barely kept their pace for the first six miles. Then the speed began to tell on my dogs and skillful driving on my pursuers’. My animals were getting fagged out, and slowly but steadily I was being overhauled.
“Old Kalutunah had all the appearance of a dead man. For one dreadful moment I was tempted to throw him off the sledge. Their burden thus lightened, the dogs might be able to carry me safely back to the ship, still far down the inlet.
“But this cowardly thought possessed me only an instant. I recalled the old Esquimau’s unselfishness in wanting me to escape and leave him when he was wounded, and determined that, if I ever reached the Henry Clay again, he should.
“The See-ne-mee-utes were close behind me now, urging their dogs on with exultant cries. The foremost sledge was within fifty feet, and the other directly behind it.
“Risking a disastrous tumble upon the ice, I rose upon my knees and turned toward them, holding by one hand to the back of the sledge. Kalutunah lay on the bottom, and I held his body from rolling off by the pressure of my knees.
“The wretches saw my head appear above the back of the sledge, and they uttered a loud shout of rage, shaking their spears and urging on their dogs to still greater exertions. An extra heavy lurch of the sledge almost threw me overboard, but I braced myself and raised my rifle to my shoulder.
“As soon as they saw my weapon the two men in the foremost sledge burrowed like rats among the robes. Those in the rear were hidden from me.
“I had but an instant to reflect. We were rapidly approaching a terribly rough piece of ice, and I should be thrown out did I not sink down into the sledge again.
“The dogs were between me and the crouching occupants of the pursuing sledge, and kept me from getting a correct aim at the men.
“Quick as a flash I fired right into the pack, and then dropped into the bottom of my own sledge. The next instant we struck the rough stretch of ice, and I had all I could do to cling on until we had passed it. Then I looked back.
“Judge of my surprise when I saw that, by a fortunate accident, my pursuers had been stopped.
“My bullet had taken effect on one of the dogs, which had immediately tangled up the rest of the team and brought the sledge to a standstill.
“The sledge behind seemed to be completely mixed up in the disaster, and the two sets of dogs were fighting furiously, while the were running about trying to separate them.
“I was safe! Another two miles and the Henry Clay would be in sight, and, unless some accident happened to my own team, my pursuers would not be able to gain the vantage they had lost.
“When I reached the ship, the moon was high and all hands had turned in long before, but they roused out, as did the Esquimaux from their huts, at my halloo.
“Poor old Kalutunah was carried into the cabin, and the captain and mate worked over him a long time before they brought him to. He had been almost frozen in addition to his wound, so that he had a hard fight for life. But when he was finally on his pins again, how thankful he was to me! And the whole tribe was the same way.
“One bad result of my adventure, however, was that Captain Lewis would allow no more extended trips away from the vessel, and although we never saw anymore See-ne-mee-utes, every party that went out for even a short tramp was fully armed and under the command of an officer.
“Now you can’t tell me anything about rapid sledding,” concluded Randy. “I’ve had my day at it, and I must say that it was about as uncomfortable an experience as I ever had.”
* All the large whales of the region referred to are called “balleeners” as their mouths are furnished with the balleen or whalebone of commerce.
[This Story began in No. 43.]
The sudden collapse of Mr. Mackerly, while in conversation with his son, was a great shock to the latter, who could scarcely that the news he had just been relating should have such an extraordinary effect upon his imperious and lofty father. Was it possible that the statements at which he had scoffed had some plausibility, and that there was a grain of hidden truth in the charge brought by his rival, Alan Heathcote? There was no mistaking the fact that something external had caused the magnate’s startling indisposition, and Grant, even though he was badly scared at his father’s plight, drew his own conclusions in regard to the matter. Meanwhile he stood helplessly calling until he collected presence of mind enough to go around to the other side of the table and raise his father’s inanimate form to a more comfortable position.
“Help! Help!” he cried distractedly. “Father’s dying! Aunt Annie! James!”
He was warranted in his belief that his parent was breathing his last, for his face was of a deathly pallor, and to Grant’s inexperienced eye this was a symptom of the gravest import, and he gave his father up for lost immediately.
He did not stand long alone in his helplessness, for in another moment James, the butler, and Grant’s Aunt Annie came hurrying in. They both took in the situation at a glance, and while the first mentioned opened the window, in order to admit the fresh cold air, the latter bathed his temples with water and cologne.
Mr. Mackerly had fallen into a swoon of unusual severity, and the process of reviving him was slow and tedious. It was nearly a half hour before he was strong enough to speak to them.
“Shall I send for a doctor?” inquired his sister anxiously.
“No, by no means,” he feebly replied. “It’s one of my ordinary fainting spells. I’ve had them before. I’ll—I’ll be all right in a few minutes. Lay me on the couch in the library and—let me alone. What time is it?”
“Nearly half-past seven,” answered his sister.
“Where is Grant?” was his next query.
“Here I am, father,” and his son stepped before him. “What’s wanted?”
“Come to the library at eight o’clock. I want to speak to you. I will be much better then. Don’t forget.”
Grant promised, and with the help of the butler and the gardener his father was carried to the library and placed upon a couch, where he was left by himself in spite of his sister’s expostulations.
She was a widow, as Mr. Mackerly was a widower, and they made their home together in that magnificent residence on the hill back of Whipford.
Promptly on the chime of eight, Grant marched into the library, and found his father, pale but steady, seated at the secretary, busily examining a mass of papers.
“Are you better, father?” he asked, solicitously.
“Don’t you see I am?” was the cross response. “That spell was only temporary. I am afraid of them, as they are coming on more frequently. Doctor Sedgwick tells me I must take more exercise or I’ll fall sick in earnest.”
“I thought you took plenty,” said Grant, guardedly.
His father did not seem to hear his remark, but went on searching busily among the papers. Grant grew impatient and asked:
“Well, what do you want of me, father?”
“Oh, yes, I did ask you to come in, Grant, didn’t I?” he replied, as if just recollecting the fact. “Why, what were we talking about 813d when that dizzy feeling came over me? Do you remember the conversation?”
“Why, of course,” replied the son, considerably astonished at his parent’s alleged forgetfulness. “It was about that little affair between Alan Heathcote and myself. Just as I told you he denied his father owed you anything, you fainted, and I hadn’t a chance to finish. You—”
“Oh, I remember!” interrupted Mr. Mackerly. “You told me he stated that he had an envelope containing papers, didn’t you?”
“Not that I know of,” answered Grant. “I never said anything about an envelope, and he didn’t, either. He said he had papers to prove that you owed his father money, and that’s all. There was something more about witnesses—just what it was I don’t recollect.”
“Well, you had quite a wordy quarrel. What else did he say?”
The tone of anxiety with which this was asked was but barely concealed.
“Oh, all sorts of tough things, together with that little imp, Dick Percy!” responded Grant, bluntly. “But I gave them as good as I got, and don’t you mistake. Pretty soon that big chump Teddy Taft came up and put in his say, and, as I couldn’t stand up against three, I took my leave.”
“From what you say, this Heathcote boy is a determined fellow, is he not?” inquired Mr. Mackerly, toying with a paper-cutter.
“Bull-headed, I call him,” was his son’s vindictive reply. “He’s no gentleman, and I’ve told him so. What makes me so mad is that Cole and Mr. Nicholson have put me off the eleven, and put him in my place. Him! He can’t play football, the country jay!”
“It’s favoritism, that’s what it is,” remarked Mr. Mackerly, shortly.
He had heard rumors of the matter in the village, but held his counsel.
“They can do as they please,” asserted his son; “but if I don’t make that fellow sick, my name’s not what it is, that’s all. The idea of him saying he had proof that you were a rascal. It’s a mean, bold lie, and he ought to be drummed out of school.”
“You have my authority for branding it as a malicious falsehood,” said his father, “and if it is repeated, I shall take measures to have young Heathcote punished. But don’t say anything of it, Grant, until some one informs you. You needn’t take the trouble to deny it if he hasn’t told anybody. Perhaps he has been afraid to spread the tale among the boys at Whipford.”
“I guess he was afraid of the licking he knew he’d get from me,” said Grant, vauntingly; “so I don’t think he’s told anything like that.”
It was for another reason unknown to him that Alan had kept silent—because Beniah Evans had cautioned him to that effect—and not that he feared the vain-glorious Grant.
“Well,” remarked the magnate, “that may be. I hope he has kept a close tongue in his head for his own good, if nothing else. It will save him trouble. Go and tell James to pack my grip,” he directed, suddenly, as he scattered the raft of papers with a quick move of his arm and closed and locked the secretary. “Hurry up. I must catch that ten o’clock train.”
“Where are you going this time of night?” asked Grant, who, though used to his father’s absences, and caring little whether he was home or abroad, felt somewhat curious as to this rapid determination to travel.
“I’m going to Philadelphia and then possibly further south to see a man on very important business,” responded Mr. Mackerly. “I am restless and can’t stay at home. I originally did not intend to start until next week, but I’ve changed my mind.”
“But you aren’t well. What will Aunt Annie say?”
“She needn’t know,” was the short reply. Then, hastily, “You run and get the buggy out for me, and I’ll call the butler. I must catch that ten o’clock train at the Junction at all hazards. Stop at O’Brien’s house and 814a tell him to come and drive me over. If he isn’t there, James will have to try his hand at the reins.”
Grant hastened to obey his father’s directions, and in the space of a few minutes the team was ready, with O’Brien, the stable-man, and Mr. Mackerly as its occupants; and soon they were out of sight in the darkness, speeding for the train.
“There’s something up, that’s dead sure!” soliloquized Grant, as he stood in the doorway. “Father’s never in all that hurry for nothing. I wonder what the racket is? I’ll go a fiver that it has something to do with that Heathcote matter. He’s a perfect nuisance, and I hope father will squelch him this time, once and for all, the booby!”
Soon dismissing his father’s departure from his mind, Grant went up to his room and retired to bed.
The next morning he went over to the Hall very early, considering his past record, and was one of the first to take his seat in the assembly room.
Archer and Shriver, with whom he desired to speak, were somewhat tardy, and he got no chance to address them until the end of the first recitation.
“Hello, Grant!” called the former. “Where’ve you been all the time? Haven’t seen you for an age.”
“Been up at the house,” replied Grant, briefly. “Any practice to-day, George?”
“Yes,” answered Shriver; “at half-past twelve. You’re with Wilcox on the second eleven. Sorry that Heathcote dished you out of half-back, but it can’t be helped. I took Runyon’s place, and he was angry at first, but he came up to-day and shook hands with me like a little man, and said he hoped I would get along first rate, and that he’d try and oust me next year. He’s one of the substitutes this year, and you are to play substitute half-back with Wilcox.”
“I am, am I?” growled Grant, sneeringly. “Who says so?”
“Cole gave it out last night,” put in Lewis Archer, “so it’s settled.”
“It’s not settled as far as I am concerned,” declared the turned-down player, firmly. “I play on the regular team or not at all. That’s my proper place, and no miserable upstart like Alan Heathcote is going to crow over me.”
“Well, what are you going to do about it?” asked Archer, with a careless drawl.
Grant Mackerly was steadily dropping from the high placehe once held in his estimation, and every action now exhibited his selfishness to Archer, who, with all his laziness, was a boy of fine feelings.
“Why, let’s boycott him altogether,” said Grant, eagerly. “Let’s put all the fellows against him and show him up for just what he is. If he sees nobody speaks to him he’ll soon come down from his high horse. What do you say to it, fellows?”
Instead of making any immediate reply in words, his companions at first gave him looks of incredulity and amazement, and then burst into loud peals of laughter. It was some time before they sobered down.
“What?” demanded Shriver. “Boycott Alan Heathcote? Send him to Coventry? Ha! ha! Why, you’d have the heaviest contract on your hands you ever had in your life. It’s all nonsense.”
“There’s not a fellow in the whole school who would be fool enough to join you,” said Archer, plainly and in disgust. “Why, you might as well try that scheme on Cole or Mr. Nicholson. No, no, my dear boy, that plan of yours won’t work. The fellows, as a rule, like Heathcote pretty well. He attends to his own business, stands well in his class, or will when the next exam. takes place, and to add to it all he’s as fleet of foot as a deer on the foot-ball field; so you would be the solitary duck in the puddle if you tried to freeze him out.”
Grant Mackerly listened to these responses of his friends in silence. Then his face assumed a determined look, and without another word to either of them he turned away and walked quickly out of the door to the campus and disappeared among the trees.
“Mad as a hornet,” observed Archer, carelessly.
“He’ll cool down by to-morrow,” remarked Shriver.
And they went into the recitation-room talking it over.
The story of Grant Mackerly’s attempt to place a boycott on Alan soon leaked out among the boys, and great was the merriment it aroused at the Hall.
In the ridicule and disgust which the incident produced the prestige of the rich man’s son was lost forever. No one pitied him. It was all his own fault, and even his quondam friends deserted him, while his appearance would have been the signal for a universal grin.
Strange to say, he had not been seen at the Hall since he had made that proposition to Archer and Shriver, and now a couple of days had passed and no sign of him.
He did not respond to his name either in 814b the assembly or recitation-rooms, and Doctor Bostwick began to think something was wrong.
He summoned Lewis Archer one day in passing and asked him if he could call at the Mackerly residence and obtain some news of the missing boy.
“I am afraid that he is ill,” said the good principal, “or something unusual has happened to him. I have never known him to have been absent for so long a time without sending in an excuse or asking for leave.”
Archer called that very afternoon at the house on the hill, and, after repeated ringings, Mrs. Weldon, Grant’s aunt, came to the door.
“What’s become of Grant?” asked Archer. “Doctor Bostwick sent me up to inquire about his absence. He’s been away from the Hall for three days.”
“Yes, I know he has,” answered Mrs. Weldon; “but please tell Doctor Bostwick I don’t know the reason for his absence, except that one day he came home and said he was too ill to stay at school, and the day before yesterday he borrowed some money from me and went to Buffalo, where his uncle lives. I hope Doctor Bostwick will be patient with him. His father is away, too, and won’t return till over a week.”
“Well,” cogitated Lewis, as he carried this information to the doctor, “that’s very satisfactory, I must say. I wonder what Doctor Bostwick will think?”
The principal of Whipford Hall looked puzzled as Archer related to him the account of Mackerly’s whereabouts, but said nothing except, “I will communicate with Grant’s father on his return,” and thanked his schoolmate for the call he had made and bowed him out.
When the examination took place, Grant Mackerly was still absent, and it was understood that no word had been received from either himself or his father.
As a consequence he was dropped to the foot of the class, and a poor report was sent to his home.
Alan was overjoyed to find that he was very near the head, and still more so when he saw the accounts of his progress in study which was to be sent to Beniah Evans. The principal complimented him on his good work, and hoped he would keep it up.
Alan inwardly resolved to do so, and remit no exertion which would cause him to forge to the front at Whipford.
It was now the first week of November, and he had been at the Hall for nearly two months and was getting along famously with both the pupils and teachers.
As far as his intimacy with Cole, Taft and Kimball was concerned, it continued with unabated ardor and remained unbroken. The four of them conned their studies over to each other in their rooms, and Alan got many an idea from the older and more experienced genius of King Cole.
As for football, they were the backbone of the team, and many a new trick in the game was invented by one of them as they sat together in the autumn nights over the sputtering lamp.
By the boys of the school they came to be known as the “Big Four,” and it was to them that every one looked to uphold the honor of the Hall, both in study and athletics.
The team kept on practicing with persistent regularity, and the interest in the championship, which had somewhat abated after the Jamesville game, now began to arouse, for the Ripley Falls contest was at hand.
For three weeks the eleven had had a holiday, and played no heavy games except on two occasions, when a delegation from the Whipford Athletic Club had given them a sample of hard playing, and, sad to say, beaten them on both meetings. It was no wonder, though, for their team was composed of full-grown young men, some of whom had been to college and all of whom were in business or lived in the neighborhood.
It was no disgrace to be defeated by such good material, and while the Hall team went into the fight with no expectation of winning, they came out with a great stock of experience and many new points. It was a good practice to them, and a couple of the Athletic Club players took their eleven in hand and coached them for a whole week. Every boy was developing into a fine all-around player.
One Saturday afternoon in the middle of November, on a dull and chilly day, the team from the High School at Ripley Falls came over with a full complement of players, and the whole school to a boy following on their footsteps.
They were an enthusiastic but orderly crowd, and had the most implicit confidence in their team. In truth, their eleven deserved it, for they had met both Davenport and Jamesville and whipped those teams by good scores—the former by 16 to 4, the latter by 25 to 8, thus rendering their chances for the pennant null.
So far, they had won the same number of games as either the Whipford or Weston, and stood neck to neck with them in the race.
There was more uncertainty about to-day’s game than any the Hall boys had yet played, 814c but none of them would hear of defeat for an instant.
“What!” exclaimed Ike Smith, who was worked up to the shouting point, and who had heard one of the boys express a doubt as to the team’s ability to win except by a stroke of luck. “What do you say? Our eleven be frozen out? I guess not, young fellow. Look at Cole, just coming out of the gymnasium. Why, he’s cooler than most of us. There comes Heathcote now and Kimball, and there’s Teddy Taft. Hooray for the Big Four! Come, fellows, let’s give them a cheer.”
The group of Hall boys whom Ike headed followed his instructions and gave the four players a rousing yell of encouragement, which was duly appreciated.
As the four made their way to the scene of the conflict, Percy’s field, Ike and his company got together and marched up to the station, with the purpose of meeting the visitors.
When the train rolled in, carrying the High School boys, the latter, on alighting, were both surprised and pleased to see a whole line of Hall boys drawn up with military precision on the other side of the road, and saluting the newcomers with uplifted hands.
The fellows from Ripley Hall formed in twos in short order, and, escorted by their opponents, proceeded down the road to Percy’s field. Ike Smith, who was in his element, led the procession, and his proud strut was something comical to see.
The appearance of the two contending factions in one parade was a surprise to the town’s-people who had gathered to see the game, and they greeted the young collegians with applause.
After a few preliminary movements, the boys of the opposing schools settled in one place of their leaders’ choosing, and waited for the contest to begin.
The grounds were in fair condition, and had been put in good order by a number of the boys the day before. They had been measured off under the supervision of Mr. Nicholson, so that the field was a perfect rectangle of three hundred and thirty feet in length by one hundred and sixty in width, the five-yard lines and bounds being marked with streaks of lime, so that there could be no mistaking them.
Some of the boys had borrowed a roller from Mr. Percy, and by dint of much work had succeeded in leveling the field and pressing down the uneven spots. Although it was a fair place for playing, and, as the small field directly back of the Hall could not be utilized, this was of very good service. Unlike the Davenport grounds there was no stand, and the spectators moved from one end of the field to the other, keeping pace with the players. As the boys would rather stand than sit, it made no difference to them, and the majority of the others had vehicles in which they stood to view the play.
“Oh, if we only had the athletic grounds!” remarked Archer, who was gotten up in the height of fashion and carried a cane on which was a yard or so of blue ribbon. “That’s the place for a game.”
“It costs too much,” replied Ike, “and we can’t very well charge an admission.”
“They’re fine grounds and no mistake,” said another. “But here come the teams. Little Dick Percy is running ahead.”
In another moment the two elevens had vaulted the rails and burst into the grounds amid the cheers of their respective schoolmates.
The visiting team had changed their clothing in the gymnasium, and in company with some of the Hall eleven had set off for the grounds. Cole and Kimball had been trying for goals for some time, and when the rest came on they ceased practice and joined the eleven. After a few minutes’ preparatory work in kicking and passing, the two teams stopped while the captains tossed up for choice of the ball or position. Cole won and decided to keep the ball. The referee was a member of the Whipford Athletic Club and the umpire was from Davenport. As both were well acquainted with the rules of the game, there was no question of any disputed point remaining unsettled. Time for the play was called.
“Oh, now, fellows,” pleaded Ike Smith, “do your level best and beat ’em.”
“You bet they will,” said Archer, emphatically. “Look at George Shriver getting ready to spring at the ball. George means business and no mistake.”
“And look at little Dick Percy dancing around with his hands ready for service,” added Ike. “Isn’t he a little wonder now?”
The ball was placed in the centre of the field. The rushers of the High School eleven stood leaning forward expectantly, waiting the moment of charging. They were obliged to stand ten yards from the front of the leather sphere, the movements of which decided the fate of the game. It was plain to be seen they knew their business and were of much superior stuff to the members of the 814d Davenport and Jamesville teams. Their captain held the position of right half-back, and from that place gave his commands to the players, who were well trained and drilled in the intricacies of team work. On the other side the Hall team was the same that had played the game at Jamesville and looked like sure winners to a disinterested outsider. Wilcox and Mackerly were the substitute half-backs, and there were a dozen other players to be put on in case of necessity. But the latter named was still absent, much to the disgust of everybody, and as his non-appearance was unexplained, it was naturally put down to sulkiness and lack of school patriotism.
In the first exciting minutes his absence was not noticed by all, and attention was earnestly concentrated on the opening of the match that was to decide if Ripley Falls or Whipford should have the best chance for the pennant and should battle with the presumably successful Weston.
Teddy Taft, amid a death-like silence, advanced to the middle of the field, followed by all his supporters, and slowly picked up the ball.
He was the apex of a triangle of boys, who were ready to rush down the field the instant the ball was put into play. Dick Percy crouched behind him with extended hands ready to receive it.
The centre-rusher held the ball for a moment, and then passed it to the active quarter-back, who in turn passed it to Harry Kimball, and in the centre of the V, and protected by its side, the latter tore diagonally down the field for a gain of forty feet, until he was held by the rushers of the other side, who had finally broken through.
Quickly the teams lined up in the scrimmage, and Alan ran around the ends for a good gain.
Then, unfortunately, the Hall boys could not advance another yard, owing to the active tackling of the High School players, and on four downs, without a five-yard gain, the ball went to their opponents.
Then ensued a battle royal for the next quarter of an hour. Ripley Falls struggled hard to advance the leather into Whipford’s land, with some small success, but being in danger of losing the ball on downs, it was passed to their full-back, who punted it away up the field close to the blue’s goal-line.
It was caught by Cole, who no sooner clutched it than he was seized and held by the boys of the white and purple—the colors of the High School. He grasped it firmly, and was allowed a fair catch.
This gave Whipford the kick-off, and the ball was punted up the field with the whole eleven on its track.
Upon lining up for the scrimmage, McKenzie, the right end of the Hall team, broke through and was down on the captain of their opponents before the latter could run with the ball.
It was a big loss for Ripley, and when Adams, the left end, did the same thing an instant later, the noise from the Hall boys along the bounds was ear-piercing.
When it looked as if the captain of the High School eleven was good for a run the whole length of the field, with only Heathcote and Cole in front of him, and was very neatly stopped by the former with a gain of a few yards only and the loss of the ball, the racket was tremendous.
Then the blues did some tall playing. They had the ball and meant to keep it, and surely was it forced to within a couple of yards of the goal-line of the purple and white.
The next play of the Hall team settled the question, for when Dick Percy received the ball from Teddy Taft, instead of throwing it to Heathcote, as the enemy expected, it was passed over to Adams, who, with Shriver, Heathcote and Cole pushing him, crossed the line and touched the ball down amid the plaudits of their schoolmates.
As the touch-down was made near the centre of the goal immediately under the cross-bar, Cole had no difficult task to kick a goal.
It had been hard work, but was accomplished nicely, and the boys from Whipford felt highly elated, while the High School fellows looked mournful.
The first half ended without any further scoring, and the contestants threw their sweaters over their shoulders and retired to their benches for a rest, while their supporters talked the game over.
“I don’t see Grant Mackerly,” remarked a boy, looking over all the wearers of football costumes. “What in the world has become of him?”
“Well, he might as well stay away,” declared the ever-ready Ike. “He’s not needed in this game, anyhow. Alan Heathcote is doing the work of two like him. Now look how he stopped that half-back of the Ripley’s! Wasn’t that fine? Just like clock-work!”
“No question about that,” admitted Archer. “I thought for sure that fellow was headed for a touch-down, but Heathcote brought him to grass as neat as a whistle. He certainly is a plucky player.”
The sentiment among all the boys was practically to the same effect.815a
Meanwhile the conversation among the members of the team was of a decidedly earnest character. None of them shared the confidence of their schoolfellows in regard to winning by a large score, for they knew that the boys of the striped stockings had played a skillful and a bold game—a game that was persistent and wearing, and which might turn the tables the other way in the next half. So they took counsel together as they collected about their captain.
“Play a defensive game next half,” directed the latter. “Don’t try to roll up points, but let them do the struggling. We’re ahead, and we must keep ahead. And, by all means, keep your eyes on those half-backs. I tell you that captain of theirs—Young, I think his name is—is a splendid player. He’s full of tricks, and he hasn’t showed us them yet, and I look for a surprise in the next half.”
“I tell you,” said Shriver, as he wiped the perspiration from his forehead, “that fellow opposite me is giving me all I care to attend to. I’m pretty nearly done up trying to get past him.”
Cole looked alarmed.
“You’re not going to peg out, are you?” he questioned. “I told you, Shriver, that you didn’t pay enough attention to your training and kept too late hours. Now you see the result of it.”
“I’ll stand up against them,” declared Shriver, “if I have to be carried off the field in a wheelbarrow. Never worry for me, Cole.”
“Time!” called the umpire at this point.
“Well, now for the pennant, boys,” said Cole, encouragingly.
And the two elevens walked out for the last effort.
“High School’s ball,” announced the referee.
And on the word that team pounced upon it and carried it ten yards down the field toward Whipford’s goal.
The vim and energy of their playing was certainly phenomenal, and they dashed aside the opposition like charging war horses. Next a most alarming thing occurred, and it was no easy matter to say how it happened. It was one of the tricks of that captain of the High School eleven. His team had gained no ground since the first rush, and, rather than give the ball to his adversaries openly, it was expected that on the eve of the fourth down he would send it to the full-back for a kick. But before any one could realize the trick, the quarter-back threw the oval to the left half-back, and that player dashed through an opening in the rush line between Emmons and Blake, respectively the right guard and right tackle of the Hall, and, before he could be stopped by Kimball and Cole on that side, had made fully thirty yards.
Everybody was dumfounded but the High School boys, who waved their purple and white flags and shrieked themselves hoarse. It was certainly a fine play, and merited all the applause it received.
It brought the ball to within a yard of Whipford’s goal-line. Do all they could, it was an impossibility to stop the next move, which was to force the right-guard of the Ripley Falls team across the line and score a touch-down.
As the goal was kicked from it, a sigh of despair arose from three-score youthful Whipford followers, and three-score hearts felt as heavy as lead.
Their eleven had lost the lead, and the points were even on each side—six to six.
What would the rushing team of the High School do next?
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
The observing Colorado miner cannot furnish you scientific names, yet he will tell you at once that red snow is caused by the snow flea. The snow flea is very small. It would require about fifty of them to equal their larger brother of the East in size.
A person walking upright might think the snow covered by a very fine dust, but if your eyes are good, and you place your face within eighteen or twenty inches of the snow, you can easily discern the snow flea. Although so small as to be almost imperceptible to the naked eye, yet they are most active, jumping from twelve to fifteen inches.
To the naked eye they appear to be dark brown in color, but under a good microscope they would be found to be a reddish brown. During cold weather they stay under the bark of trees, but when it is a nice, warm day, and the sun shines brightly, you can find them on the southern and eastern slopes of the mountains, where they can get the direct rays of the sun.
During the day they will ascend the mountains, sometimes far above the timber line. When the sun disappears and it gets cold, the snow flea freezes to death. During the winter great numbers will be thus frozen, and their dead bodies color the snow.
Foot trails upon the south and east sides of the mountains will, if it be a hard winter, 815b be colored, for when the snow flea strikes a deep trail through the snow, millions upon millions of them never get out, but perish from the cold dining the night. Besides, a man with a good-sized foot might kill from one thousand to ten thousand of them every step.
The snow flea favors the south and east sides of the mountains, and it is there you will find the red snow. The non-observing will say there is no such thing as snow fleas, because they have never seen them, but you can easily prove to them, if you will look upon the right kind of a day, that they do exist in countless numbers.
Father was mad clear through! He gave Mr. Ridlet one look and walked off without a word.
That broke up everything between Bub Ridlet and me.
Was Bub going to speak to a boy whose father stole from his father? Was I going to speak to Bub, when his father accused mine of stealing?
We’d been great chums, chestnutted, set snares, skated, fished and gone winters to the district school together. Our houses were within a stone’s throw of each other, and no others nearer than a quarter of a mile. Never had an evening come but I was at Bub’s or Bub with us.
The change came hard, and it came hard on our mothers.
Mrs. Ridlet would come over to ask if mother could spare a couple of eggs. Mother would run to the barn and come back with half a dozen, saying:
“Don’t mind about returning them. I’ve so many, I like to get rid of them.”
Mother would go to Mrs. Ridlet’s and say she’d like to borrow a pound or two of butter. Her cream didn’t “come good” these cold days. Bub’s mother would give her a big pat, with a bunch of grapes stamped on it.
“Don’t you fetch it back, Mrs. Pomfrey,” she would say. “I’ve so much that I shall never miss it.”
Now, when they met, they would not look at each other.
Six months passed, and we were lonesome as could be. But we would have bitten our tongues off rather than speak to the Ridlets.
I didn’t have a speck of fun. I’d go swimming, but what’s swimming all to yourself? or tramping, but what’s tramping alone? or setting snares, or anything?
I knew father missed Mr. Ridlet on wet days, when they had used to sit in the barn talking over crops and stock, but he never let on.
Mother would look out of the window as if expecting some one; then she’d turn away and sigh. But she never spoke Bub’s mother’s name—not once.
I saw Bub running toward our house one day, and thought he was coming in. But no. He ran past without looking up.
It didn’t seem much use to do anything—that is, if you wanted to get any fun out of it.
I never knew exactly what Mr. Ridlet accused father of stealing, and it seems mother didn’t know, either, until one day, six months after the quarrel, when father said:
“I’d like to know if Ridlet’s found his wife’s silver dollars.”
“Was it those he lost?” asked mother, speaking quickly.
“Mrs. Ridlet’s been three years saving them. She said she meant to have a dozen as nice silver forks as could be made. She thought it would take about thirty-six dollars.”
“She had just thirty-six. She’d sent them to town by Ridlet, but the jeweler wouldn’t agree to make the forks for less than forty dollars. Ridlet says he brought them back, but it seems they were gone when he got home.”
“And he accused you of taking Mrs. Ridlet’s money,” said mother. “Now, I’ll never speak to her.”
“It’s odd where the money went,” continued father. “You know I borrowed his wagon to go to town, a few minutes after he came home. He said he put the package on the wagon-seat, and got out to unharness the horse. Before he had done so, Elijah Bangs came in at the south door of the barn, all excitement about his sick cow. He wanted Ridlet to see the animal—he had been so unlucky about curing his own sick cattle. While they were talking, I came in to borrow the wagon. Ridlet, who was going off with Bangs, said ‘Yes,’ hurriedly, forgetting all about the silver dollars, so he says; and he says nobody came into the barn but me and Mr. Bangs, and, as Bangs came in at the south door, he wasn’t near the wagon. Ridlet never thought of the silver till he was 815c half-way to Mr. Bangs’; but he did not worry, knowing it was safe with me.”
“Did he say, out-and-out, you’d taken it?” asked mother.
“No; but he said it was mighty queer a man could miss seeing a package as big as that. There was no use looking for it, or advertising for it; he knew that it was on that wagon-seat. I fired up and said, ‘Do you think I took it?’ He didn’t answer; and that settled it.”
“Well, if ever he does find it, I’ll never have anything to do with them,” said mother. “Suspect you of keeping her fork-money!”
“It’s very odd where it went,” repeated father.
“I am glad you’ve spoken at last. It’s been on my mind more than anything. I thought you might have misunderstood him, and was over touchy; but—her money!”
Father made no reply; and from that time mother stopped looking down the road.
Finding out just what Mr. Ridlet accused father of, made the estrangement between Bub and me seem worse. Our going together would never be fixed up now. I had hoped our fathers would, some time, settle things. It was tough. I couldn’t put my mind to anything, mother noticed.
“What’s the matter, Seth?” she asked. “Aren’t you well?” she went on, seeing I didn’t answer. “You don’t eat much, and you are moping all the time. How would you like your Cousin Mel to visit you a while?”
I rushed off. Mel was a real softy, with shining shoes, slick hair, and all that. About as ready to go on a tramp as a girl. I couldn’t bear the thought of him.
I went under the grape vine that grows over the trellis between Mr. Ridlet’s garden and ours.
I threw myself down, looking up into the leaves, making a mat overhead, and counting the green bunches, as if that was great fun.
It was a hot day—such a day as one likes to creep along barefooted in the wet grass by the brooks, fishing-pole in .
I thought of Bub, and how, if things had been all right, we’d been ready to start off, and, well—
Then I heard some one pulling apart the vines against the fence, and the next minute I sprung up as if I was shot, for Bub’s voice, rather shaky, called:
I turned my back on him.
I wouldn’t speak.
“Say, father will give me a licking, and if you’ll only speak to your father—say, Seth! Seth!”
I was half-way to the house.
His voice ought to have made anybody turn back, but I wouldn’t stop. He hadn’t spoken to me for over six months and his father was to blame, and now he spoke because he was going to get a licking. I didn’t think any boy would be such a coward. It didn’t seem like Bub.
Once I felt like running over to his house—I had seen him sneak back—then I was mad at myself for wanting to go there.
What wouldn’t I have given afterwards if I had gone?
After supper, as father and I were passing the Ridlets’, we heard Bub’s howls. They came from the barn.
Father had been almost as fond of Bub as of me. When he heard the cries, he stopped short. For a minute we didn’t hear any more, only Mr. Ridlet scolding hot and heavy, and Bub trying to put in a word or two.
He was a dreadful quick-tempered man, and, when angry, hardly knew what he did.
Bub’s howls began again. Father couldn’t stand it. He made for the barn.
“What’s this?” said he.
There stood Bub, with his jacket off, and his father, with a big, tough switch in his hand.
“This?” responded Mr. Ridlet, his teeth fairly chattering in his wrath. “This? It’s that this boy deserves the confoundedest whipping a boy ever had—and I’m giving it to him!”
He lifted the switch, and Bub yelled before it touched him. I knew he had been hurt pretty bad.
“Oh, now, neighbor,” said father, putting out his hand to prevent the switch from coming down, “your boy can’t have done anything so terribly bad. I’ve always thought a lot of your boy. Haven’t you punished him about enough?”
“Hasn’t done anything bad, hasn’t he? Oh, no! He hasn’t been the one to know about his mother’s fork money, and not say a word, and let the mischief be to play between two families? Take that!”
Down came the switch. Poor Bub’s screams made my ears ring. I would not have got that crack for twice the money in question.
“There, neighbor,” interposed father, taking hold of the rod. “I insist on your telling me all about Bub and the money, since I was accused of having it. Bub didn’t steal it?”
“No, no, no!” protested Bub. “I forgot, 815d that’s all. I took it and forgot it. That’s all, Mr. Pomfrey. Father knows that’s all.”
He took on awfully, but it was the pain. I could see he’d done no wrong.
“How did you take it? Come, Bub, tell me all about it,” coaxed father.
“It’s a pretty story,” burst out Mr. Ridlet. “A boy old enough to know something takes a package of silver dollars for nails! Nails! Takes it and tosses it into the old carriage room, where it gets covered up, and never comes to sight till to-day. And our two families set together by the ears in consequence, and not speaking for half a year. Tell me a boy doing such a senseless thing as that doesn’t deserve a whipping?”
“But I forgot it, father,” pleaded poor Bub.
“Has your wife’s money been found?” said father, looking real pleased. “Why, that’s the best news I’ve heard this long while. You and your wife must be glad. I would hear Bub’s story through before giving him such a whipping. Found it in the old carriage room? He put it there by mistake?”
“Mistake!” roared Mr. Ridlet. “If it was by mistake, why didn’t he remember it? It’s a likely story! I asked him over and over again where he was that morning.”
“You see I clean forgot it, Mr. Pomfrey,” sobbed Bub, not daring to speak to his father, “for I just ran in to see if father had got the nails I wanted, when I heard Seth outside. He’d come to get me to go out in his new boat. We had agreed to go that day. You see I asked father to get the nails for Seth to finish up the boat with; but Seth had found some. The good time I had that day just put everything else out of my mind. Then, not having anything more to do with Seth kinder mixed me up afterwards,” explained Bub; “made me forget worse, I suppose.”
“How happened it to turn up at last?” asked father.
“Why, Bub was rummaging round this morning, and he lighted on it, he says,” replied Mr. Ridlet. “Says he was so scared, he didn’t dare to tell me till to-night.”
Here Bub looked at me, and I understood how he wanted me to tell father when he had spoken to me under the grape vine. That would make it easier with his father.
I felt mighty mean then, I can tell you.
“Throw down your switch, neighbor,” said father. “You’ve got an honest boy, and that’s a fact. When I found you whipping him, I was dreadfully afraid of something bad. Why, neighbor, we’re all liable to forget; it’s human nature.”
Mr. Ridlet looked down.
“Your boy’s an honest boy,” repeated father. (How thankfully Bub looked at him!) “You yourself, Mr. Ridlet, forgot the silver, when you started for Mr. Bangs’,” continued father, with a laugh.
Mr. Ridlet looked foolish. He drew a step nearer father, dropping the switch.
“There’s one thing I’m not likely to forget,” said he, “and that is, my wronging you as I did. But I wish you’d forget it, neighbor. I offer my apologies.”
He held out his hand. Father took it, smilingly.
“Perhaps we’d both better forget the whole thing,” rejoined he.
“Bub,” said Mr. Ridlet, “run into the house and tell your mother that I’ve asked Mr. and Mrs. Pomfrey to spend the evening with us. Tell her to set out her best cake and that basket of blackhearts.”
Bub and I looked at each other, and then we ran in together.
“Why, Seth! Why, Seth!” exclaimed his mother.
When my mother came over, the two women hugged each other and cried a little.
Father and Mr. Ridlet sat side by side the whole evening long, talking stock.
Mother and Mrs. Ridlet sewed industriously, now and then looking up at each other and laughing.
After Bub and I had filled up on cake and cherries, we made molasses candy and planned for a tramp up Wachuset next morning.
Getting put out with folks is bad, but isn’t making up about O.K?
Thursday, the day upon which the late Prince Albert Edward died, is an unlucky day for English royalty, four sovereigns—Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth—having died on that day, but a far more fatal day is Saturday.
During the past two hundred years, for instance, William III died on Saturday, March 18, 1702; Queen Anne died on Saturday, March 14, 1714; George I died on Saturday, June 10, 1727; George II died on Saturday, October 25, 1760; George III died on Saturday, January 29, 1820; George IV died on Saturday, June 26, 1830; the Duchess of Kent, the present queen’s mother, died on Saturday, March 16, 1861; the Prince Consort, Queen Victoria’s husband, died on Saturday, December 14, 1861, and the Princess Alice, her daughter, died on Saturday, December, 14, 1878.
—Now is the time to kick. The football season is here.
—Any loafer will tell you that half a loaf is better than none.
—“A little of this will go a grate weigh,” said the man who was preparing a load of coal.
—Bertha breaks her doll, and it is sent out to be repaired. A few days later, Bertha goes to the store after it, but it cannot be found.
“Her name is Marguerite,” she explains, to facilitate the search.
—“Well, Tommy,” said the visitor, “how do you like your baby brother?”
“Oh, lots and lots—only I don’t think he’s very bright!”
“We’ve had him nearly two weeks now, and he hasn’t said a word to anybody.”
—The letter S, we must confess.
Was never made in vain,
For, take it from your “stars and stripes,”
But tar and tripe remain.
—“Is that really a glass eye?” said Maude to the optician.
“How strange! it is not transparent. How does the wearer see through it?”
—A little girl, aged nine, called her father to her bedside the other evening.
“Papa,” said the little diplomat, “I want to ask your advice.”
“Well, my little dear, what is it about?”
“What do you think would be best to give me on my birthday?”
—Little Girl: “I wish I was an angel.”
Little Boy: “Why?”
Little Girl: “Then I wouldn’t be ’fraid of ghosts.”
—Small boy: “Been fishing, mister?”
Small boy: “Can’t I sell you some fish?”
—Perry has a very musical father and mother, and the little lad knows good music from bad. His parents live in a city flat, and in the flat just above it one afternoon a young lady was trying to sing and not succeeding at all. Perry listened with a frowning brow for some time, and then said to his grandmother:
“If this keeps up much longer, grandma, I shall die. And what do you think you’ll do?”816b
—Little Harold, out walking with his mamma, saw some men lifting a square piano from which the legs had been taken, as usual, for convenience in removal, and a happy thought struck him.
“Mamma, didn’t you tell me the other day that our piano was an upright?”
“Yes, dear. Why?”
“Well, if ours is an upright, this must be a downright.”
—The small boy taunts the teacher new,
And she in vain may fret,
She knows, whatever he may do,
He’s “mommer’s little pet.”
—Mamma lay on the lounge, with her face toward the ceiling, when Jamie, who lay beside her, asked her to “look.” Mamma turned her eyes and looked at him, without moving her head.
“No, no, mamma!” burst out the little fellow. “I want you to look at me with your nose.”
—“Did you ever take a bicycle trip, Smithers?”
“Where did you go?”
“Straight over on my neck.”
—“Cousin Edith, you can’t send money in a letter.”
“Why, Bessie, what ever made you think that? I’ve sent it that way lots of times.”
“Well, I’m sure it’s wrong, because I’ve seen it printed on the fences to ‘post no bills.’”
—Contentment makes pudding of cold potatoes.
—“That wall-paper has a very cold look,” said a customer to a dealer.
“Well, you see, it is intended for a frieze,” was the dealer’s reply.
—“I have a notion to break your face,” said the boy to his watch.
“You may even do that,” said the watch, bravely, “but you can never make me run.”
—A copper trust—Giving a policeman credit for peanuts.
—Lady: “A ticket for me and two halves for my sons.”
Ticket seller: “Excuse me, madam, but one of your sons is much older than twelve years.”
Lady: “What of that? The other is as much under twelve years as the older is over twelve, so they only aggregate twelve years.”
Ticket-seller: “Excuse me; not to-day.”
The postal laws requite all manuscripts to be prepaid at letter rates—two cents for each ounce or fraction thereof—and manuscripts, sent in rolls or open wrappers, are not exempt from this provision. The large number of manuscripts reaching this office every day, on which postage is due, compels us in future to allow such matter to remain in the post office, unclaimed.
Declined.—October—A Talk With Santa Claus—Nina—A Hallowe’en Night—Sleep On—Who?—Blue-Eyed Nell—Mama, Sew the Pieces In.
Bert E.—Postage-stamp mucilage is prepared as follows: Gum dextrine, 2 parts; acetic acid, 1 part; water, 5 parts. Dissolve in a water-bath and add 1 part of alcohol.
Alan Heathcote.—A. A. Zimmerman made a mile on a Safety bicycle in 2 min. 6 4-5 secs. at Springfield, Mass., September 9, 1892. W. Windle, on September 29, 1892, at the same place, made 3 miles in 7 min. 4 3-5 secs; 4 miles in 9 min. 26 3-5 secs., and 5 miles in 11 min. 41 secs.
Camden.—1. His Royal Highness Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, is alive and hearty, at the age of fifty-one. 2. A silver dollar of 1827 has no premium value. 3. See “The Average Boy,” No. 50, Vol. 12, Golden Days. 4. There are a number of dealers in printers’ supplies in Philadelphia, and your best plan would be to go to them for a list of prices.
A. W. Ouldbe.—1. See answer to “Doc,” No. 41, Vol. 13. 2. The salary of an electrical engineer varies with his knowledge, position and scope of his duties. There are always positions for experts, but, as in every other profession, the beginner must commence at the foot and work his way up. Colleges do not secure situations for their graduates; they must do that for themselves.
A. G. M. and Others.—Golden Days is pleased to receive letters of commendation of the excellent serials which are a feature of the paper, but for obvious reasons we cannot remove the disguises which the authors choose to throw around their characters. It frequently happens that living characters are portrayed, who, though they do not object to having their adventures described, might not like the publication of their real names, residence or other personal particulars.
A. T. Reynolds.—The largest bell in the world is the “Czar Kolokol,” or King of Bells, cast in Moscow in 1734, during the reign of the Empress Anna. It is 21 feet high and the same in diameter, and weighs 193 tons. During a fire in 1737 it fell to the ground, a large piece being broken out in the fall and remained sunk in the earth until 1837. In that year it was raised and now forms the dome of a small chapel made by excavating the space below it. The worshipers enter through the opening where the bell was broken by the fall. It is very unlikely that any attempt will ever be made to restore it to its former use.
H. O. A.—In light oak graining, the ground coat is yellow ochre and the graining coat raw umber. House painters are not thoroughly agreed on graining for oak and walnut, so that they do not always mix the same shades; in fact, since there is no school of house painting, it is largely a matter of individual taste and skill.
T. P.—The first and second volumes of Golden Days, being out of print, are not for sale at this office, and naturally command a premium when sold by other parties. Bound volumes are usually quoted at ten dollars, and higher prices may have been given. They may be had, however, occasionally through the medium of our exchange columns.
A Subscriber.—1. The U.S. navy now has 116 vessels of all kinds, of which 44 are building or not in commission. 2. The greatest war ship of the English navy, and also the greatest in the world, is the Royal Sovereign, 380 feet in length, 75 feet in breadth, and of a displacement of 14,150 tons. The armament consists of four 13½-inch guns, ten 6-inch quick-firing guns, and twenty-five 6-pounder and 3-pounder machine guns.
Don’t Know.—Upon meeting a young married woman, upon her return from her wedding journey, it would be proper to congratulate her and wish her happiness in her new relation; but, if you had not previously known her in a single state, a simple acknowledgment of the introduction is all that would be necessary.
Archy Tect.—A knowledge of geometry is essential to a successful architect; in fact, he should be expert in all branches of mathematics, as well as a good draughtsman. See answer to “Arch-I-Tect,” in No. 42, Vol. 13, for your other questions, to which it is only necessary to add that architects are paid according to contract only.
J. B. McF.—A tun is a certain measure for liquids, as for wine, and its capacity equals two pipes, or four hogsheads, or 252 gallons. Being a measure, a tun may be made of any shape, so that the capacity is neither increased diminished. Any school arithmetic treats of this subject under the head of “measures.”
An Old Reader.—We do not think it would serve any good purpose to publish a list of the serial stories which have appeared in Golden Days since the first issue. They average more than twenty complete serials to the volume, and the titles are included in the annual index. If you, who have read the paper since the first volume, wish to refresh your memory, indexes will be sent you free, on receipt of your real name and address.
D. Embe.—Rotting tree-stumps may be easily removed in this way: With a one-and-a-quarter-inch auger, bore a hole in the centre of the stump, eighteen inches deep, and put in twenty ounces of saltpetre; fill the hole with water and plug it tight. In the spring, take out the plug, pour into the hole a half-pint of crude petroleum and set it on fire. The stump will burn and smolder to the end of the roots, leaving nothing but ashes.816d
H. H. P. L.—From No. 1, of Vol. 13, up to No. 33, of the same volume, the following-named serials were begun. The Young Engineer, The Hermit’s Protege, Little Miss Muffet, An Unpremeditated Journey, Johnny Henry’s Cruise on the Spanish Main, The Mystery of Valentine Stanlock, Lost In a Ceylon Jungle, Adrift From Home, Crowded Out, In Hostile Hands, In the Homes of the Cliff Dwellers, Una, Lost in the Slave Land, Smack Boys and Judge Dockett’s Grandson.
No Name.—1. When tinware is worn until the iron shows, it can be retinned by dipping it again; but the process would be too expensive, except as an experiment. It would first have to be washed in a chemical bath, and then dipped the same as tin plates. 2. Poultry raising is undoubtedly a profitable business, if followed intelligently, and is best done on an extensive scale, with the benefit of modern appliances. In Eastern cities, eggs and poultry bring very high prices during nine months of the year, and the demand is always in excess of the supply. You may gain some valuable hints on this subject by reading “Practicable and Profitable Poultry Keeping,” Nos. 13 and 14, and “Nell’s Chicken Farm,” No. 18, Vol. 13, Golden Days.
Detective.—If you have any serious notion of being a detective, the best thing for you to do is disabuse your mind of the idea. A boy who can speak three languages and writes shorthand should secure a situation in the office of a steamship company or a large importing house which has foreign correspondents. Such talents would be thrown away in the detective business, which is not the lucrative profession you imagine. The best detectives are now in the employ of the national government or city authorities, and the supply at all times exceeds the demand. At the beginning you could not expect more than three or four dollars a day, and only during the time you were employed, and the rewards of which you have read so much would go to the agency, and not to the men who do the work.
C. O. P.—1. The famous liberty bell still hangs in the corridor of Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, although it is proposed to take it to Chicago to exhibit during the Columbian Exposition. No proposition has ever been made to melt it and recast the metal into two smaller bells, as such a proceeding would justly be regarded as little short of sacrilege. 2. There are many kinds of pigeons, but only two kinds—the common pigeon and the turtle dove—have been tamed. All the fancy breeds now raised come from the common pigeon, which is descended from the wild rock pigeon or rock dove. The carrier pigeon is a special breed, larger than the common pigeon, with a long, slim neck, with a piece of naked skin across its bill and hanging down on each side. Carrier pigeons have been known from the most ancient times, especially in the East.
F. C.—1. By the census of 1890, the Indian population of the United States, exclusive of Alaska, is set down at 249,273. Of these, 133,382 are at schools or on reservations, under the control of the Indian Bureau; 66,289 are included in the five civilized tribes of Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles; the pueblos of New Mexico contain 8278; the Cherokees of North Carolina and the Six Nations of New York number 6189; Indians taxed or taxable, 32,567; and the remainder are prisoners of war or in jail for state offenses. 2. Admission to the Columbian Exposition has been fixed at fifty cents, for young and old. 3. The London-Paris telephone is open to the public on week days from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M., and the charge is two dollars for three minutes’ conversation. The distance by wire is nearly 170 miles. 4. The nearest telephone office in your city will give you distances and rates. 5. Your handwriting is plain and legible.
Napoleon I.—1. Although Napoleon Bonaparte is still idolized by the French nation and has elsewhere many ardent admirers it is now generally conceded that all his deeds sprung from personal ambition and that he had little of that love of country which characterized Washington. No one can call him a patriot; he was a soldier imbued with the love of conquest, and as such was merciless and even cruel. In his private life he was by no means a model, and his divorcing Josephine for State reasons has been generally condemned. He was perhaps the greatest soldier that ever lived, at any rate dividing the honors with Julius Cæsar, but many greater men have lived, if we may define greatness as that which confers the most good upon mankind. 2. If a boy could have the personal tuition of an expert civil engineer he could learn the profession, but the easiest and quickest way is to take a college course and then go to work as an assistant.
An Old Subscriber.—When training for a bicycle race, the rider should first get his stomach in good condition. He should begin the exercise easily, and work up day by day as his strength and agility increases. He must indulge in plenty of wholesome food, but never touch pastry or tobacco in any shape. Having got into good condition, he should decide what distance he proposes to race, and turn his whole attention to it, never striving to become a long and a short-distance rider at one and the same time. Two or three trials of speed, at forty or fifty yards distances, should be made every day, after getting in fair form, slowing up gradually each time. Then he should finish up the day with a run of from one hundred and fifty to two hundred yards at three-quarter speed, and so on, day after day, until the stipulated distance is covered at full speed. The same method should be pursued in training for a foot race, boat race or swimming contest. On the day of the race, if the contest occurs in the afternoon, the only exercise should be a gentle ride for a mile or two.
Darkey.—1. Architects’ assistants are paid salaries in accordance with their experience and skill, which varies greatly. 2. Government postage-stamp mucilage is not for sale, but can be easily made as follows: Gum dextrine, 2 parts; acetic acid, 1 part; water, 5 parts. Dissolve in a water bath and add 1 part alcohol. 3. William H. McKinley is an American. 4. We do not advertise periodicals of any kind in this department. 5. Detective agencies are private affairs, except those connected with the police department of various cities. The salaries are not by any means munificent, and are earned by a vast amount of privation, exposure and hard work. 6. There are now built or in commission 24 armored vessels, 11 unarmored vessels, 4 gunboats and 4 special class vessels of the new navy, and 59 iron and wooden vessels of the old navy, of which 30 are in commission. 7. Major Andre, on August 1, 1780, wrote “The Battle of Cow Chace.” It was in three cantos, and was a parody on the English ballad of “Chevy Chace.” 8. On the 1st of June, 1785, John Adams was introduced by the Marquis of Carmathen to the King of Great Britain as first ambassador extraordinary from the United States of America to the Court of London. 9. A considerable portion of the United States yet remains to be surveyed, but no portion remains unexplored. There are doubtless large tracts of forest and mountain land which are in primeval wildness, but the general topography is known. In Alaska, however, there are thousands of square miles which have never been visited by a white man, mainly in the interior; in fact, with the exception of a strip of sea-coast and the lands bordering on the Yukon River, all Alaska is terra .
Louis Granat.—Read “Some Points About West Point,” No. 12, Vol. 7 Golden Days.—C. B. Golden Days has never published directions how to make a star puzzle out of wood.—Curiosity Shop. See “Leaf Skeletonizing” in No. 39 Vol. 13.—S. W. Sir Moses Montefiore died July 28, 1885.—F. P. B. Electro-plating was described in No. 23, Vol. 11, and in answer to “Gualy Dids,” No. 38, Vol. 13, a method is explained of electro-plating without a battery.—A Reader. The ever-recurring question as to which goes faster, the top or the bottom of a wheel, was answered in Our Letter Box, No. 31, Vol. 13, in reply to “Three Boys.”
Several communications have been received which will be answered next week.
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Mr. L. B. Hamlen.
Of Augusta, Me., says “I do not remember when I began to take Hood’s Sarsaparilla; it was several years ago and I find it does me a great deal of good in my declining years.
I Am 91 Years
2 months and 26 days old, and my health is perfectly good. I have no aches or pains.
regulates my bowels, stimulates my appetite, and helps me to sleep well. I doubt if a preparation was ever made so well suited to the wants of old people.” L. B. Hamlen, Elm St., Augusta, Me.
N.B.—Be sure to get Hood’s.
HOOD’S PILLS cure sick headache, biliousness, assist digestion, the best after-dinner pills.
The publisher will positively take no responsibility concerning exchanges effected by means of this department, neither will the reliability of exchangers be guaranteed. To avoid any misunderstanding in the matter, it would be advisable for those contemplating exchanging, to write for particulars to the addresses, before sending the articles desired.
Exchange notices, containing offers of or for shot guns, air guns, pistols, poisons, rifles, dangerous chemicals, animals, odd numbers of papers, valueless coins and curiosities, birds’ eggs, or “offers” will not be inserted.
Exchange Notices, conforming with the above rules, are inserted free of charge.
R. Pier, West Hill, Dubuque, Iowa, hair-clippers, tent, U.S. and foreign stamps and $30 worth of other articles for boxing gloves or Indian clubs.
H. A. Cutting, Wakefield, Mass., books, papers or a piccolo for a Simplex or World or other good small typewriter.
F. L. Bebont, Addison, N.Y., Vol. 2 Golden Days for a Safety bicycle head-lamp or an Ordinary bicycle hub lamp.
W. G. Crease, 2043 Ridge Ave, Pa., Vols. 7, 8 and 9 Golden Days and a pair of mahogany drum-sticks for a piccolo.
H. C. Head, 185 Oakwood Boulevard, Chicago, Ill., a 4¼x6½ portrait and view camera and outfit for a self-inking printing press, a mandolin or a cornet (vicinity offers preferred).
W. T. Fuller, care of Davis Bros. Co., Henderson, N.C., $15 worth of complete volumes of story papers for a watch with gold-filled case.
E. P. Huff, Box 38, Aida, Ohio, about $65 worth of goods, including telegraph instruments, electrical goods books, etc., for a Safety bicycle, 30 inch, ball bearing.
C. Boyce, Troy, Pa., a hand-inking printing press (chase, 3x5), 6 fonts of type and outfit for a B flat or E flat cornet or viola.
B. Cornell, 427 Main St., Owego, N.Y., Vol. 65 of “Youth’s Companion” for a Harvard or a Glen camera and outfit in good order.
J. Havens, Box 212, Tom’s River, N.J., a New Rogers scroll saw with saw blades, or a bracket saw with saw-blades and a base-ball bat, for a New England Hawk camera and outfit or other 4x5 camera and outfit.
J. A. Bollinger, 1001 Dickinson St., Phila., Pa., a self-winding electric clock (value, $45), a C. & C. motor, ? H.P. and 4 cells Mason battery (value, $28), a telegraph key and sounder, 3 cells blue stone battery, lightning arrester and ground-switch, 3 box bells and 6-cells open circuit battery for a High Grade Safety bicycle or an improved Remington typewriter and stand.
A. J. Smith, Jr., 99 Mercer St., Jersey City, N.J., 4 batteries, a push button, a book on electricity and a pair of American club skates for Vols. 11 and 12 of Golden Days.
C. B. Gilliland, 114 Fifth St., Renovo, Pa., novels valued at $1, a pair of ice skates, 100 stamps and 25 cards for any vol. of Golden Days, in good condition, prior to the 9th.
C. S. Bontecou, 80 Broadway, New York, a cushion tire Credenta bicycle, 1892 model, with double chime bell (Harrison) and Orient lamp, in perfect condition, for a one-horse-power boat engine or a 5x7 photo camera of equal value.
R. W. McMichael, Rockland, Maine, set of chessmen, Vol. 12 Golden Days and a bound book, all valued at $4.50, for a set of boxing gloves.
C. Whitney, 825 Jefferson Ave., Detroit, Mich., a pair of Indian clubs for a Rugby football, or self-inking Baltimorean press, chase 2½x3½, with type, quads, cuts, joints, ink and 300 cards, for 22 inch Rugby football.
C. Renfert, 456 E. Madison Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, a 6½x8½ camera with rising front, a fine lens, 3 double plate holders, tripod and carrying case, for a Kodack, Hawk Eye or Premier camera.
J. C. Baxter, 2207 Memphis St., Philada., Pa., a 4x5 photograph camera, tripod, carrying case and complete outfit, and a set of boxing gloves for a B flat cornet (city offers preferred).
E. W. Putnam, 118 N. Terrace Ave., Chattanooga, Tenn., a dark lantern for books.
W. G. Holboron, 634 8th Ave., N.Y. city, Vols. 6 and 7 Golden Days and 40 Nos. of Vol. 8 for a banjo.
J. Neubauer, 407 E. 87th St., N.Y. city, a lot of boys weekly papers and other reading matter, for some musical instrument in good condition (zither preferred).
F. F. Cooke, 218 Menlo Ave., Sioux Falls, S.D., a magic lantern with 12 slides, a fountain pen, $3 worth of job type and a flute, for a 20-ohm telegraph key and sounder, any vol. of Golden Days prior to the 9th, a telescope or a collection of stamps.
E. A. Fellingham, West Side, Crawford Co., Iowa, 12 numbers Frank Leslie’s “Pleasant Hours,” a book called “Plain Facts,” a Domestic Encyclopedia and 2 story books for a telescope or field glass.
H. L. Maitland, Bordentown, N.J., a No. 3 catcher’s mask (A. J. Reach) for a Rugby football.
C. E. Proctor, 223 Ford St., Ogdensburg. N.Y., a bound book by Jas. Otis for “Looking Backward,” by Edward Bellamy.
G. J. Frick, 2093 Fairhill St., Phila., Pa., a cornet, clarionet, pair of opera glasses, 10 vols. of Journal Franklin Institute, 3 vols. of Golden Days, 1 vol. “Leisure Hours,” and sporting goods to the value of $15, for a Safety Bicycle, tuck-up boat, camera or typewriter.
M. Hulings, Mt. Pleasant, Henry Co., Iowa, 6 mos. of Vol. 13 Golden Days, a pair of ice skates and a fountain pen for a 14 inch (or larger) snare drum, with sticks.
Pimples, blackheads, red, rough, and oily skin, red, rough hands with shapeless nails and painful finger ends, dry, thin, and falling hair, and simple baby blemishes are prevented and cured by the celebrated
Most effective skin-purifying and beautifying soap in the world, as well as purest and sweetest of toilet and nursery soaps. The only medicated Toilet soap, and the only preventive and cure of facial and baby blemishes, because the only preventive of inflammation and clogging of the pores, the cause of minor affections of the skin, scalp, and hair. Sale greater than the combined sales of all other skin and complexion soaps. Sold throughout the world.
Potter Drug and Chem. Corp., Boston.
“All about the Skin, Scalp, and Hair” free.
HOW MY BACK ACHES!
Back Ache, Kidney Pains, and Weakness, Soreness, Lameness, Strains, and Pains relieved in one minute by the Cuticura Anti-Pain Plaster, the only pain killing strengthening plaster.
J. McKeough, 1621 Ave. B, New York city, “Tom Brown’s School Days At Rugby” and “Perils By Land and Sea” for any vol. of Golden Days up to the 11th. (City offers only.)
W. Troutman, 121 18th St., S.S., Pittsburgh Pa., a set of draughting tools for a guitar.
J. A. Brearley, 306 10th St., S.E., Washington D.C., Vol. 11 Golden Days (bound) for any other vol. (bound) prior to the 11th, except vol. 6 or 7.
L. P. Addison, Box 699, Saginaw, Mich., 5 fonts of type, 1 set of numbers and a foot-power scroll-saw, with patterns, saw blades, and a set of 6 finishing files, for a World typewriter or one of equal value.
F. Bennett, 202 West 134th St., New York city, a small typewriter, a magic lantern with slides and 2 games for a rugby football (city offers preferred).
L. C. Hamlin, Grand Junction, Mich., a U.S. flag 5 feet by 3 feet and a pair of extension, nickel-plated ice-skates for a watch.
A. McLean, Jr., 88 Highland Ave., Jersey City, N.J., a book of games and sports, 200 varieties rare stamps, 2 fonts short type and a fishing reel with line for a vol. of the Golden Days prior to Vol. 10.
H. S. Dunning, 314 Brodhead Ave., South Bethlehem, Pa., a 50-inch Columbia Volunteer bicycle, with all the tools, almost as good as new, for books, telescope, typewriter or camera.
F. A. Newcomb, Jr., 97 Cross St., Somerville, Mass., a printing press and outfit for a guitar or mandolin (guitar preferred).
W. P. Shaw, cor. 7th Ave. and Garfield Place, Brooklyn, N.Y., 10 books, an electric bell, a picture, 50 feet of copper wire, a solid rubber ball, a camera worth $15, a thermometer, 2 vols. Golden Days and 2 vols. “Youths’ Companion” for a tintype camera and outfit, making 4 pictures on an 8x4 plate.
A. Garrigues, 155 Lex’n Ave., N.Y. city, a foot-power scroll saw, a guitar, a set of boxing gloves and a stamp album containing 900 varieties of postage stamps for a bicycle. (Safety preferred).
W. Rieder 500½ East 80th St., N.Y. city, a magic pocket-lamp outfit, a Star Safety razor, a small pocket printing outfit with 3 fonts of rubber type, a gold scarf pin and some sporting goods for a small motor and battery, or telegraph key and sounder, or small steam engine or propeller.
C. A. Hayn, box 268 Manitowac, Wis., Vol. 12 or 13 Golden Days for any previous vol. of same paper.
W. F. Slusser, Rochester, Ind., a scroll saw and outfit, a collection of stamps worth $200, a pair of Indian clubs, a sketching camera, a collection of 500 covered stamp papers, an anchor puzzle, 1000 old postal cards, 40,000 mixed U.S. stamps, 1 vol. “Youth’s Companion,” a solid gold pencil, a steel engraver’s outfit, a silk watch chain, a pair of solid gold cuff buttons, a rubber printing outfit and dating stamp, 2 pocket banks and 5 games for U.S. stamps (rare), a 1 horsepower engine (marine), a printing press and outfit or a photographer’s outfit.
C. Wass, Kansas, Edgar Co., Ill., Golden Days from No. 33, Vol. 10, to No. 46, Vol. 13, a scroll saw and an electric motor of sewing-machine power for No. 18 or 20 magnet wire.
C. J. Deibert, 2009 N. 8th St., Phila., Pa., a foot power scroll saw for a set of boxing gloves.
A. Gross, 24 Stanton St., N.Y. city, a small hand printing press, complete, a few types missing, for any volume of Golden Days.
J. W. Neveil, 2317 Sepviva St., Phila., Pa., a rare collection of U.S. and foreign stamps, a collection of minerals and an actor’s make-up book for a nickel plated rim banjo.
M. Ross, 41 Maiden Lane, N.Y. city, a collection of 106 different U.S. and foreign stamps in Challenge Album, “Winter Evening Tales” (bound), “Stories About Animals” (bound), and Vere Foster’s “Animal Drawing Book” for a zither of 15 strings.
R. C. Morris, Box 473, Greenville, Bond Co., Ill., 4 vols. Golden Days for a banjo, guitar or B flat clarionet.
J. W. M. Schmitt, 1112 E. Monroe St., Springfield, Ill., a 4x5 view camera and complete outfit and some books for a good self inking printing press and outfit.
L. C. Hamlin, Grand Junction, Mich., a pair of extension ice skates and 2 vols. of “Youth’s Companion” for a watch or a small steam engine and boiler.
L. D. Brace, Nunda, N.Y., a silver Elgin watch, 1 vol. “Youth,” 23 books by Optic and Alger and 12 magazines for a self-inking printing press.
H. M. Emerick, 633 Putnam St., Brooklyn, N.Y., a $40 26-inch Safety bicycle for any 4x5 hand camera and outfit worth $15 or more.
W. Kolle, 438 First St., Brooklyn, N.Y., a 4x5 camera and outfit, a set of boxing gloves, a printing press and stage costumes for a camera worth at least $30.
G. B. Bissell, 306 W. 137th St., N.Y. city, a magic lantern and slides, 2 games and 5 books for a Rugby football (city offers preferred).
R. A. Epperson, 344 Hudson Av., Chicago, Ill., a catcher’s mask, a league ball and 2 cloth-bound books for a Rugby football.
C. E. Rice, Sardinia, N.Y., vols. of “N.Y. Weekly,” “N.Y. Ledger” and “Family Story Paper” for vols. of Golden Days or “Saturday Night.”
All who use Dobbins’ Electric Soap praise it as the best, cheapest and most economical family soap made; but if you will try it once it will tell a still stronger tale of its merits itself. Please try it. Your grocer will supply you.
The title of Golden Days was an inspiration, and the paper itself has been a revelation. Our golden days are childhood and youth, when all nature is bright and the future shows no cloud. It is the period when the mind is formed for good or evil, and, in many respects, is the most important period of life.
There was a time when anything was good enough for young people—cast-off clothing, second place at table and the poorest sleeping-room, with snubbing at every hand. As for literature, it made no difference how dull or prosy were the books, young people had to read them or none at all.
But the world moves, and Golden Days was the pioneer in recognizing that young people have tastes that must be consulted, if it is sought to interest and amuse them. They will absorb knowledge, as a sponge does water; but they will discriminate, as a sponge does not. A scientific article can be as interesting as a novel, and yet be as full of instruction as an egg is of meat; stories may point a moral unerringly and yet thrill with romantic adventure, like Robinson Crusoe; natural history teems with wonders far surpassing the Arabian Nights, and they are all true!
These are the principles upon which Golden Days is founded, and from which it has never deviated; and that is why it is to-day the most popular juvenile paper in the world. Do you wonder why? There is no mystery about its popularity.
Its broad and generous pages, coming every week all the year round, contain more reading than any other periodical in America. That is one reason; but the other and better reason is, that all the reading is just what the boys and girls want.
To keep Golden Days up to this standard, to make it bright, breezy and abreast with the times, requires writers who understand boy-and-girl nature; and it has them.
Every regular number of Golden Days contains liberal instalments of
Four Serials, together with Stories of Adventure, Articles on Science and Natural History, Our Letter Box, Puzzles, Humorous Miscellany, Illustrated Sketches,
and other interesting matter, and there is not a dull or common-place line from the first page to the last.
Children Cry for Pitcher’s Castoria.
Golden Days is far ahead of any weekly paper published in the United States having for its object the culture and amusement of the youthful mind. Now, in its Twelfth Volume, it exhibits every sign of strength, permanency and progression. Mr. Elverson, the proprietor and editor, is one of those men who believe it a duty to do what they can for their race, and wisely he is doing for the “rising generation” a work which, for him, is “a work of love.” Aiming to benefit our youth, through history, science, philosophy, geography, mechanics, etc., in a manner easily comprehended, he has made his journal the efficient instrument of his noble purpose. Could he see the anxiety on the faces of his young friends awaiting the arrival of Golden Days by the mail or the news agent, he would feel that his efforts to please them were not in vain, and that the running of his great presses, day and night, at Ninth and Spruce Streets, was indeed to them a gratification and blessing.
From the Christian Advocate. Richmond, Va
Any boy’s or girl’s days must be golden who reads that charming paper, published in Philadelphia, styled Golden Days. The day it comes, and every day after, while its contents are not exhausted, will be golden with the charming adventures, incidents of travel and thrilling stories of childhood and youth. The children of every family should have it. Parents cannot make a better investment than to subscribe for Golden Days for their young folks. It is sent to any address for $3 per year. James Elverson, Publisher, Philadelphia, Pa.
From the Albany Evening Post.
Golden Days is one of the very best publications for boys and girls in this country. Every number contains a valuable amount of information on athletic sports, fishing, hunting, and short stories on all kinds of interesting subjects. The best writers are engaged, and they give their best work to Golden Days. James Elverson has produced a weekly paper for young people that finds a warm welcome in every city, town and village from Maine to California. Golden Days can be found at all our bookstores and news rooms throughout the United States.
From Uncle Sam, El Dorado Springs, Mo.
Our opinion of Golden Days is very plain and straight, as follows: It is one of the purest publications to be found in the hands of the reading young people of the present day. It is full of short sketches that are interesting and instructive to the young and the old as well. The serial stories are all perfectly pure and are very interesting, besides setting good examples and morals for all who read them. I have read Golden Days more or less for seven or eight years, and I unhesitatingly pronounce it pure and instructive enough to be in the home circle of every family in the reading world.
From the Southern World.
Mr. James Elverson, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, deserves the thanks of parents who desire to see the minds of their children fed on healthy reading matter. His Golden Days, for boys and girls, is one of the handsomest and best weekly publications of the kind in the country, and should supplant the vile, sensational trash with which the country is flooded. The hope of our republic is in her youth, and if their moral characters are not elevated and made noble by a pure and lofty type of literature for boys and girls, we may expect serious trouble in the future of our race.
From the Advocate of Peace, Boston.
Golden Days.—“To merit is to insure success,” is certainly verified in the publication of Golden Days, by James Elverson, Philadelphia. This admirable weekly for the youth of this great land is now well established, and has an increasingly large and well-deserved patronage. Its readers are not treated with trashy matter, but with pictures and puzzles and stories of thrilling adventure and useful knowledge. Golden Days is supplanting a poisonous literature, and performing a wholesome mission in this day, when too much good seed cannot be sown by the friends of humanity.
From the News, Bloomfield, Ind.
Golden Days.—“To merit is to insure success” is certainly verified in the publication of Golden Days, by James Elverson, Philadelphia. This admirable weekly for the youth of this great land is now well established and has a large and well-deserved patronage. It is supplanting a poisonous literature, and performing a wholesome mission in this day when too much good seed cannot be sown by the friends of humanity. Parents wishing to put valuable reading matter into the hands of their children should subscribe. It is only $3 per annum, and can be had weekly or monthly as may be desired.
From the Journal, Philipsburg, Pa.
James Elverson, corner Ninth and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, publishes a handsome illustrated and interesting youth’s paper called Golden Days, only $3 per year. It should find a welcome in every home for the young folks, for the reading is wholesome, and such literature should be encouraged by prompt subscriptions. If the youngsters catch a glimpse of it they will find they need it as a recreation after study hours. Send for sample copy.
From the Gazette, Charlotte Court-House Virginia.
Golden Days.—Of all the publications for little boys and girls, Golden Days stands most conspicuous to the front, while its columns abound with stories and tales well calculated to entertain, amuse and please the youthful reader. There is a moral in its articles well calculated to make the young reader better for having read its columns. The subscription price is $3 per year, two copies for $5. Send for specimen copy, and you will be sure to take it.
From the Philadelphia Times.
Of all illustrated juvenile periodicals published in this country, none is more deservedly popular than Golden Days, published by James Elverson, this city. It strikes that happy medium which appeals to the masses of school children whose tastes have not been spoiled by overstrained appeals to their fancy, and while it is bright and varied, it aims to be instructive in a pleasant, homelike way. The monthly part, made up of the four weekly parts, is quite a treasury of short stories, pictures and puzzles.
From the Buckeye Vidette, Salem, Ohio.
Golden Days.—This deservedly popular paper begins the autumn ripe with golden fruit. Its stories and miscellany are rare gems of interest, being instructive and pure, and it completely accomplishes the delicate task of satisfying a boy’s taste for adventure without being sensational. The pictures are handsomely executed. Its articles on scientific subjects are of the best, its short stories good, and, in fact, it is a masterly combination of useful and fascinating literature.
OUR PREMIUM KNIFE!
We will make this Knife a Present to any one who sends us THREE DOLLARS
For One Year’s Subscription to “Golden Days.”
The money must be sent direct to this office. Address
JAMES ELVERSON, Publisher “Golden Days,” Phila., Pa.
Special Notice.—WHEN TEN CENTS FOR REGISTERING IS SENT, we consider ourselves responsible for the safe delivery, though we have sent several thousand Knives without one in a thousand being lost.
From the Standard, Belvidere, Ill.
James Elverson, Philadelphia, publishes a handsomely illustrated and interesting youth’s paper called Golden Days. It should find a welcome in every home for the young folks, for the reading is wholesome, and such literature should be encouraged by prompt subscriptions. If the youngsters catch a glimpse of it they will find they need it as a recreation after study hours.
From the Pipe of Peace, Genoa, Neb.
Golden Days fills a want that no other magazine attempts to supply. Pure, clean, instructive and amusing, it furnishes reading matter, both for young and old, which is not surpassed by any other publication.
Published in attractive form, beautifully illustrated and in clear type, the mechanical work is in keeping with the reading matter it contains. Address for sample copies, James Elverson, Philadelphia, Pa.
From the Methodist, New York.
James Elverson, Philadelphia, publishes a handsome, illustrated and interesting youth’s paper, called Golden Days. It should find a welcome in every Christian home for the young folks, for the reading is wholesome, and such literature should be encouraged by prompt subscriptions. If the youngsters catch a glimpse of it, they will find they need it as a recreation after study-hours.
From the Record, Union, Mo.
Golden Days, published by James Elverson, Philadelphia, is a weekly journal of literature and fiction for the rising generation. The paper is not of dime novel order, but its serials and short stories are instructive, moral and entertaining. The youths of this land must have reading, and Mr. Elverson, in printing such an exalted and high-toned paper, is winning the support and thanks of the people.
Binding “Golden Days”
Covers for Binding
Stamped in gilt and black lines, will be sent by mail postage paid, to any address, on receipt of
These covers can only be attached properly by a practical book-binder.
With the cover will be sent a handsome title-page and complete index. Address.
JAMES ELVERSON, Publisher.
From the Republican Journal, Belfast, Me.
Golden Days, the leading juvenile weekly (and monthly) continues to grow in interest and circulation, and is a welcome visitor to homes over all this broad land. The publisher’s claim that it is “pure, instructive and entertaining” will be conceded by all who read it. James Elverson, publisher, Philadelphia.
Thousands have asked for it.
A HANDY BINDER!
That will hold 52 “Golden Days.”
Heavy, embossed cloth covers, with flexible back. Golden Days stamped in gold letters on the outside. Full directions for inserting papers go with each Binder. We will send the HANDY BINDER and a package of Binder Pins to any address on receipt of 50 cents. Every reader should have one.
Address JAMES ELVERSON,
THIS BINDER is light, strong and handsome, and the weekly issues of Golden Days are held together by it in the convenient form of a book, which can be kept lying on the reading-table. It is made of two white wires joined together in the centre, with slides on either end for pressing the wires together, thus holding the papers together by pressure without mutilating them. We will furnish the Binders at Ten Cents apiece, postage prepaid.
Address JAMES ELVERSON,
“Golden Days” Vol. XII
A few illustrations were cut into two pieces to interlock with surrounding text. Links below lead to the complete versions.
A Plucky Girl
A Perilous Ride