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 VIII, No 25: May 21, 1887 Author: Various Editor: James Elverson Release Date: November 17, 2008 [EBook #27287] 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 https://www.pgdp.net
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|Vol. VIII.—No 25.||May 21, 1887.|
Advertising (inside front cover)
Notices of Exchange (inside back cover)
Advertising (inside back cover)
Testimonials (back cover)
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QUITE UP TO THE TIMES.
New Applicant—Do I know how to use Sapolio? Well, that’s fresh! Do I look like a girl who don’t know about Sapolio? Am I blind, d’yer think, or can’t read? Why, the babies on the block know all about Sapolio. What are ye givin’ me?
is a solid, handsome cake of House-cleaning Soap, which has no equal for all scouring purposes, except the laundry. Perhaps you have heard of it a thousand times without using it once. If you will reverse the position and use it once you will praise it to others a thousand times. Ask your grocer for a cake, and try it in your next house-cleaning.
No. 3. [Copyright, March 1887.]
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Vol. VII “Golden Days”
MAGNIFICENT BOOK OF 832 PAGES!
A perfect mine of everything that will interest young people.
It is Superbly Illustrated,
Over 400 Finely-Executed Wood Engravings!
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Advertisements inserted on Second and Third Pages of Cover at 50 cents per line, and on the Fourth Page at 75 cents per line, agate measurement
The perfect Electric Bell Button is made to pin on your breast, Fine ebony finish with white button sure to induce a push, which never fails to produce a shock with “Hail Columbia,” and variations. A Full Charge of electricity every time. The old joker is told “That is Good! Ring the Bell.” The Best Selling Article ever invented. 4760 sold by one agent in 3 weeks. Sample by Mail 15 cents.; two for 25 cents.; 14 for $1.00. 100 for $6.00. Try $1 worth. Stamps taken.
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NINE NUMBERS NOW READY.
Each number contains nearly 100 selections by Mrs. Anna Randall-Diehl, and bound in 4-color lithograph cover. Mailed for 12 cents each by J. S. Ogilvie & Co., Publishers, 31 Rose Street, New York. Send for one.
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 Binder at Ten Cents apiece, postage prepaid.
Address JAMES ELVERSON,
We want you as our Agent to sell the Perfection Slate Eraser in schools. It is attractive, well-made and indispensable. Send five 2-cent stamps for sample and particulars. WITTRAM MFG. CO., 525 Front St., San Francisco, Cal. (Box 2414.)
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1 Stone Ring, 1 Band Ring, 275 Scrap Pictures & Verses, Book of Poems, Book Flirtations, 40 Agt’s Samples, All 10c. Austin Card Co., New Haven, Ct
THE NEW DEPARTURE DRUMS
are made with patent double acting rods and folding knee rest. Light, substantial and handsome. Used in the best Bands and Orchestras. Unequaled for tone, surpass all others in finish and appearance. If nearest Music dealer does not keep them, write to us for Illustrated Catalogue.
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23 10c HIDDEN NAME MOTTO CARDS, Story Book and AGENT’S OUTFIT with each pack. Hamden Card Works, Hamden, Conn
REEL, 25 FEET HOSE, NOZZLE AND COUPLINGS, $4.00.
Sent on receipt of price.
Rubber Footballs, No. 1, $1.25 each
Additional sizes to No. 6, 25c. extra.
RUBBER GOODS of all descriptions—Gossamers, Shoes, Boots, etc.
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500 FOREIGN STAMPS, Australia, etc., 10c.; 105 varieties, 10c. F. P. Vincent, Chatham, N.Y.
STAMPS 106 varieties, 10c.; 1010 mixed, 20c. Putnam Brothers, Lewiston, Me.
STAMPS APPROVAL SHEETS. Agents wanted. E. A. OBORNE. Jamaica, N.Y.
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390 Funny Selections, Scrap Pictures, etc., and nice Sample Cards for 2c. Hill Card Co., Cadiz, Ohio
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(Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1887, by James Elverson, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D.C.)
|VOL. VIII.||JAMES ELVERSON,
N. W. corner Ninth
and Spruce Sts.
|PHILADELPHIA MAY 21, 1887.|
$3.00 Per Annum,
“Oh, dear!” sighed Linda Trafton, turning over the pages of a closely-written, school-girlish letter, which her brother Fred had tossed into her lap, on returning from the post office. “I do wish I could get silk pieces enough to make a crazy quilt. Cousin Dell writes all about hers, and it must be very pretty.”
“Crazy quilt! That’s about all I’ve heard for the last six months! I should think you girls had all gone crazy yourselves!” ejaculated Fred.
“Why, Fred!” was Linda’s only answer to this outburst.
She was a very sweet-tempered little maid, with soft, brown hair and soft, brown eyes, that matched in color as exactly as eyes and hair could match, and gave her a look of being—as indeed she was—too gentle to dispute, or even to argue, with anybody, least of all with Fred, who was fifteen, and three years her elder, and always took a tone of great superiority toward his little sister.
Still, he was a pretty good sort of brother, as brothers go; and, in Linda’s eyes, he was a prodigy of cleverness.
So, whenever they happened to differ in opinion, and Fred expressed himself in this vehement style, she only looked at him in a deprecating way, and murmured:
“Well, I should like to know,” continued Fred, “what could be more idiotic than the way you spend your time, you girls, fitting those ridiculous, catty-cornered pieces of silk together, and working them all over with bugs and cobwebs and caterpillars, and little boys in Mother Hubbard dresses! You may well call ’em crazy quilts! I don’t believe there was ever anything crazier, unless it was the lunatic who first invented them!”
“Why, Fred!” said Linda, again. “Now, I think they are too pretty for anything!”
“Pretty!” snorted Fred. “They’re made out of the last things that you’d suppose anybody would ever think of putting into a bed-quilt. I can’t get a chance to wear a neck-tie half out before somebody wants it. Kate Graham spoke for my last new one the next day after I bought it. And I hardly dare to put my hat down, where there’s a girl around, for fear she’ll capture my hat-band!”
By this time, Linda was laughing outright.
“Oh, you are so funny, Fred! But you only just ought to see Kate Graham’s crazy quilt. I know you couldn’t help calling it lovely. She has got pieces of ever so many wedding dresses in it; but I don’t know who would give me any. Aunt Mary never will get married, nor Cousin Susie, nor our Bridget, unless Pat hurries up with his courting—and there’s nobody else. Besides, they are all making 385b crazy quilts of their own. I would start one with papa’s old silk handkerchief and his Association badge, if I thought I could ever get pieces enough to finish it; but I don’t see how I could.”
“Bess Hartley told me that she was going to send off somewhere and get a lot of pieces that are put up to sell. You get a whole package of assorted colors for a dollar,” suggested Fred.
“Oh, that would make it cost too much! Mamma would not let me do that,” said Linda, shaking her head. “She says it is well enough to use up odd bits of silk in that way, if one happens to have them; but she doesn’t think it right to spend money in such a manner, instead of using it for better purposes—and I don’t suppose it is.”
“Well, I am sure I don’t know what you are going to do,” was Fred’s consoling observation. “You’d be as crazy as the rest of the girls if you began to piece a quilt; and I don’t know but you will go crazy if you can’t.”
With which conclusion, Fred walked off 385c whistling, and left Linda to read her Cousin Dell’s letter over again, and wish that Patrick O’Brien would propose to Bridget, if he was ever going to, so that she could get married, and have a new silk dress for her wedding.
However, Linda was not the girl to fret and worry after things which were unattainable.
Fred would have his joke, but she was not going to make herself unhappy just because she had not the materials for making silk patchwork, as Dell and the rest of her girl friends were doing. There were plenty of other pleasures and amusements within her reach, and the one that she enjoyed most of all came in her way, as it happened, the very next morning.
Her father said to her, as he rose from the table after breakfast:
“Linda, would you like a ride, my dear? I am going to drive over to East Berlin, and I will take you along, if you would like to go.”
“If I would like it! Why, papa, you know there isn’t anything that I like so much as a good, long ride with you!” cried Linda, dancing with delight, as she ran off to get ready for the drive.
For it was indeed a “good long” ride to East Berlin—fifteen miles at least—and 386a the day was just as fresh and bright and lovely as a day could be in the fresh and bright and lovely month of May.
The young grass was emerald green along the country roads, the apple trees were all in sheets of bloom, hill-sides were fairly blue with bird-foot violets, and sweet spring flowers were smiling everywhere.
Linda was so full of happiness that she could scarcely keep from singing in concert with the birds that trilled and chirped among the trees on either hand, as the pleasant road led through a piece of woodland.
But the woods came to an end abruptly where the trees had been cut off, and where some men with ox-carts were hauling away the long piles of cord-wood. Then there were fields of plowed ground on each side of the road, and then a long stretch of rocky hills and old pastures, and presently some houses came in sight.
Old, weather-beaten houses they were—a dozen, perhaps, in all. Two or three had once been painted red, and still displayed some dark and dingy traces of that color; but most of them were brown, and some had green moss growing on their broad, sloping roofs—roofs which were two stories high in front, but came down so low at the back that a lively boy might reach them from the ground with very little effort, only the place did not look as if anything so young or so lively as a boy had been seen there for at least twenty years.
Still, it was a pleasant place. There were thickets of lilac and mock-orange bushes around every house, and old-fashioned lilies and roses growing half-wild along the fences.
There were flagged walks leading up to all the doors, with borders of evergreen box, which had once been trim, and still was quaint and pleasing; there were old gardens, where everything was “all run out,” but where the bees and birds appeared to find congenial homes; there were gnarly old apple-trees, with bending, twisted branches that touched the ground and made the most enticing rustic seats.
Withal, there was a calm and stillness brooding on the place that filled one’s fancy with sweet thoughts of olden times and—
“Whoo-oo-oop! Hip, hip, pip, hoo-ray!”
“Good gracious!” cried Mr. Trafton, starting from his pleasant reverie, and clutching at the reins which lay loose upon his knee. “Good gracious! What’s that?”
“It’s a boy!” said Linda, with a quite disgusted accent.
Unquestionably, it was a boy—and a boy of the most aggressively modern type, clad in garments of the very latest cut, from his flannel yachting-shirt to his canvas “base-ball” shoes—a boy with a look as well as a voice, which proclaimed him all alive.
His close-cropped head was bare, and his white straw hat came spinning over the stone wall and into the middle of the road, as if impelled by steam-power, before the boy himself scrambled over, giving vent to another whoop, which would have done credit to a Comanche gone mad.
The whoop and the hat together were enough to startle almost any horse; and, although Mr. Trafton’s fine roadster, “Billy,” was pretty well trained, the combined effect was a little too much for his nerves. He gave a sidelong leap and started to run. His master checked him sharply, and veering from the road, he ran the wheels into a deep rut, and over went the buggy with a crash!
Linda screamed, as she was pitched headlong into a thicket of sweet-fern which grew along the roadside; but the bushes broke her fall, and, beyond the fright and a scratched hand, she received no injury.
Her father was equally fortunate, and, as Billy had recovered from his momentary panic and did not run, the accident appeared, at the first glance, to be nothing serious.
The boy who had caused it came forward, with a look of trepidation upon his countenance, exclaiming:
“I’m awfully sorry, sir; I didn’t mean to frighten your horse. I was down behind the wall and didn’t see you coming, or I wouldn’t have thrown my hat so. I was only scaring a squirrel.”
“He must have been pretty thoroughly scared,” said Mr. Trafton, drily.
However, the boy’s bright face wore an expression of such honest regret that he added, with a good-humored accent:386b
“Well, well, I was a boy myself once. You must be more careful another time, my lad.”
“That I will, sir.”
And as Mr. Trafton began to raise the overturned buggy, the boy took hold and helped him.
On getting the vehicle righted, they found that one wheel was broken so badly as to need repairs before the journey could be continued, and Mr. Trafton surveyed the damage with grave concern.
The boy gave a low whistle, and murmured:
“Here’s a state of things!”
“I don’t see what I’m going to do,” remarked the gentleman. “There’s nobody in this region who could mend that wheel, I suppose?”
“Oh yes there is!” cried the boy, brightening up. “Doran’s blacksmith shop is only a little ways down the road; you can get the wheel fixed there. I’ll go along and hold up this side of the buggy; and I’ll pay the bill, sir, as I caused the damage.”
Mr. Trafton looked at him approvingly, but answered:
“You need not do that, my boy. The bill won’t amount to much; but the job may take some time—and where can I leave my little girl? I suppose you would not care to wait in the blacksmith shop, Linda?”
Before Linda could reply, the boy said, looking at her frankly, and not at all abashed:
“She can stay with my grandma while you’re having the wheel fixed. Mrs. Deacon Burbank is my grandma; she lives right here, sir,” pointing out the house.
“And where do you live?” asked Mr. Trafton, who took a liking to Mrs. Deacon Burbank’s grandson, for all his annoyance at the trouble which that lively youth had caused him.
“I’m staying with grandma this summer,” said the boy; “but I live in Boston when I’m at home. My name is John Burbank.”
“Well, John, you will have to take Linda to your grandma, for I cannot leave Billy standing here with this broken buggy.”
“All right, sir; I’ll be back in a minute, and help you down to Doran’s.”
So saying, John Burbank led the way, and Linda followed, to the nearest of the brown old houses—a big, broad-roofed domicile, with wide, double doors and narrow windows, and with two great cherry trees in the front yard, looking like two great drifts of snow, they were so thickly covered with white blossoms.
A border of red and yellow tulips, gay daffodils, and “crown imperials,” edged the narrow walk which led from the front gate around to the side door, where they were received by a surprised old lady in gold-bowed spectacles, to whom John presented his companion, with the following concise account of the accident which occasioned her unexpected appearance:
“Grandma, here’s a girl, and her father is out there with his team, and they’ve just had a break-down, and it was all my doing; but I didn’t mean to! I scared the horse, hollering at a squirrel. I’ve got to go and help her father get the buggy down to Doran’s, and she’s going to stay here till it’s fixed, and her name’s Linda. I don’t know what her other name is.”
“Linda Trafton,” supplemented Linda, as the boy paused to catch his breath.
“Johnny,” said the old lady, speaking as severely as a stout old lady with dimples in her cheeks and a twinkle in her eyes could be expected to speak, when addressing her only grandson—“Johnny, I do declare for ’t, you air the worst boy! What under the canopy will you go to cuttin’ up next? Come right in, my dear,” she said to Linda, “and make yourself to home. Johnny, you run along and help the gentleman; and tell Mr. Doran your gran’ther will pay the bill.”
“Oh, I’m going to pay it myself, grandma, with my own pocket-money, if the gentleman will let me; but he says he won’t.”
And Johnny was off before he had done speaking.
“I declare for ’t,” said his grandmother, “that boy is a regular Burbank; jest exactly what the deacon used to be at his age—always into suthin’. I knew the deacon when he wa’n’t any older than Johnny, an’ I remember jest how he used to act. Take off your things, my dear, and make yourself to home.”
She took Linda’s hat and sacque, and 386c carried them into the spare bed-room, where there was a great “four-poster” bedstead, with blue-and-white chintz hangings and a blue-and-white spread; and then she came and sat down by Linda, and asked her a great many questions about the break-down, and about her father and mother and herself, but she was such a nice old lady that Linda did not mind her being a little inquisitive.
In return, she gave Linda quite a complete history of her own family, and told her a number of entertaining stories about Johnny and Johnny’s father, and about the deacon when he was a boy. Finally, she looked at the queer old clock on the kitchen mantle-shelf, and remarked:
“It’s time I was gittin’ my dinner over to cook, and I guess I shall have to leave you to amuse yourself a little while, my dear. You might go out an’ look ’round the garden, if you want; or maybe you’d ruther go up in the garret, an’ look at Johnny’s picture-books an’ things. He likes to stay up there, when it rains so’t he can’t go out.”
“Oh, I should like that, of all things!” cried Linda, delighted. “I do love a real old-fashioned garret, with all sorts of old things in it!”
“Do you now? Well,” said Mrs. Burbank, beaming over the gold-bowed spectacles, “our garret is full of old truck, an’ you can go up there an’ rummage ’round all you’ve a min’ to.”
She opened the door of a narrow staircase, with steep and well-worn stairs, and told Linda that was the way to the back chamber over the kitchen, and when she got up there she would see the garret stairs; and she guessed Linda could find the way up alone. She was pretty hefty herself, and she didn’t travel up and down stairs any more than she could help.
Linda very quickly found her way to the garret, which proved to be indeed a veritable treasury of “old truck;” and her brown eyes opened wide with ecstasy as she caught sight of a real, genuine spinning-wheel, stowed away under the low, sloping roof.
Then she discovered a smaller wheel, with a motto carved around its rim in quaint lettering, which Linda studied over a long time before she made it out—“Eat not the Bread of Idleness.” She learned afterward that this was a flax-wheel, on which Deacon Burbank’s mother used to spin the thread to weave her linen sheets.
Beside the flax-wheel stood a superannuated chest of drawers, with dingy brass handles, which had once, no doubt, been a fine piece of furniture.
Then there were broken-down chairs, with straight, stiff backs; queer, cracked jugs and bottles, and painted teacups with the handles broken off; and funny old spelling-books and school-readers, all inscribed, in beautiful handwriting, on their yellow fly-leaves:
“John Burbank, his book.”
Linda knew that the John Burbank who had learned his lessons from these old books must have been the deacon “when he was a boy,” and not her young friend, Johnny.
There were several old-fashioned wooden chests among the treasures of this delightful garret, and Linda hesitated to open them at first; but finally she called to mind that she had been given permission to “rummage” as much as she pleased.
One chest, painted green, stood near the narrow window, which threw a checkered square of sunshine upon the garret floor, and as Linda raised the cover she gave a little scream of rapture, for it seemed almost as if she had found a broken rainbow, there was such a glitter of gay colors in the sunlight.
“Oh! oh!” she cried, “what lovely, lovely pieces for a crazy quilt!”
For the old chest was nearly filled with scraps of silk and satin of every shape and size, from bits not over an inch wide to the large, three-cornered pieces, of which there seemed to be a great number, left in cutting trimming-folds “on the bias,” as Linda knew, for she had seen many such remnants proudly displayed by those of her girl friends who happened to be in the good graces of Miss Cranshaw, the village dressmaker. But such brocades and stripes, such “plaid” and “watered” and “figured” silks, such brilliant shades of color as she found among the contents of that chest, her eyes had never looked upon before.
“I wonder if these are pieces of Deacon Burbank’s mother’s dresses?” thought 386d Linda, as she turned them over, exclaiming, every other minute, “Oh, how pretty!” or “Oh, what a beauty!” for every new piece that she took up seemed prettier than the last. “Why, she must have had as many as Queen Victoria. Why don’t they wear such colors now? Most of the silk dresses that Miss Cranshaw makes are black, or brown, or sage-green, or some other sober shade; but these are all so bright. Oh, what a lovely blue!”
“It is a handsome piece of silk, ain’t it? That was the dress Miss Polly Newcome wore to the inaugeration ball at Washington, ’most forty years ago. They don’t have no such silks in these days.”
Mrs. Deacon Burbank had mounted the garret stairs with footsteps far from noiseless, being, as she said, a “hefty” old lady; but Linda had been too much absorbed to notice her approach until she spoke.
“Oh, Mrs. Burbank! What beautiful pieces!” cried Linda. “Where did they all come from?”
“Why, they come from all ’round, my dear,” said Mrs. Burbank, sitting down with Linda, beside the green chest. “You see, my girls used to take in dressmakin’, when they was young, and the pieces kinder gathered an’ gathered. The girls used to keep the silk pieces separate, thinkin’ they might do suthin’ with ’em sometime; but they never did. They was always too busy to do much putterin’ work. So the pieces have laid there ever sence the girls left home. They all got married, many a long year ago, my girls. Cecilia went to New York, and Evaline lives down in Pennsylvaney—she’s got to be quite an old woman herself now; and Nancy Jane, she’s layin’ in the cemetery over to East Berlin, with her own little girl buried ’long side of her,” said the old lady, sighing. “But they used to be called the best dressmakers there was anywhere round these parts; folks used to come from as far off as Tolland County to have their nice dresses made by the Burbank girls. Miss Polly Newcome went to Washington the winter that her father was elected to the Senate. She was a great beauty, Miss Polly was, an’ they made everything of her in Washington. But my girls had the makin’ of all her new clothes, ’fore she went. This was a dress she wore to a grand dinner-party that was given to her father, Senator Newcome.”
And the old lady picked out a scrap of marvelous brocade, with silver-white roses on a wine-colored ground, and smoothed it on her knee.
“This was the one she wore to the President’s reception”—selecting a bit of rose-colored satin, striped with sky-blue velvet; “and this,” she continued, smoothing out a long strip of changeable silk in green and ruby tints, “was another dinner dress. Here’s a piece of plaid silk that was made up for Squire Harney’s wife, when she was goin’ to Europe; and here’s a piece of Mrs. Doctor Thorne’s dress, that she had made on purpose to wear to a grand party over in Tolland.”
This last was a good-sized square of bright yellow silk, with polka-dots of mazarine blue.
Linda, looking at the gorgeous fabric with admiring eyes, exclaimed:
“I never saw such pieces in all my life! They would make the loveliest crazy quilt!”
“What kind of a quilt, my dear?”
“A crazy quilt,” said Linda, laughing. “Haven’t you ever seen one, Mrs. Burbank? Fred says the person was crazy who first invented them; but I think they’re just as pretty as they can be. It takes a great many pieces of silk, though, to make a bed-quilt, and some of the girls only make sofa-pillows and such things.”
“Oh, you mean patchwork. The land!” said Mrs. Burbank, “I used to make silk patchwork more than sixty years ago. It was all the style then, but I didn’t s’pose they ever done it now.”
“Oh, yes; it is all the style now,” said Linda, with a smile.
“Do tell! I want to know if you like to piece patchwork?” said the old lady, looking over her spectacles at Linda’s girlish face, with its gentle eyes and frame of soft, brown hair. “I declare for’t, you look just as my Nancy Jane did when she was your age! If you want them pieces, child, you can have ’em; I ain’t got any use for ’em, and don’t s’pose I ever shall have. I’m too old to piece patchwork, myself—my eyesight ain’t what it used to be.”
For a moment Linda was speechless with delight, but finally she found her voice, and cried out:387a
“Oh, Mrs. Burbank! All those lovely crazy pieces! Do you really mean to give them to me?”
“Of course I do, and I’m real glad to see ye so pleased, my dear. Them silk pieces have laid in that chest years an’ years, doin’ nobody any good; an’ they shan’t lay there no longer, if they can make a little girl so happy.”
And the good old lady looked happy herself as she opened another chest, and, taking out an old pillow-case of home-spun linen, began to fill it with the wondrous “crazy pieces.”
When she had crowded them all in and tied the bag with a piece of twine, she said:
“Now, you can take ’em right along with you, an’ whenever your father happens to come this way ag’in, he can bring me back the piller-case, for it was one of Mother Burbank’s, and I shouldn’t want to lose it. I declare for ’t she added, “I forgot all about your father, child, I got so took up with lookin’ over them pieces. He’s got the buggy mended, an’ he’s come back after you, so you must come right down. I want you an’ he should have dinner ’fore you go; it’s all ready.”
And happy Linda went down to the kitchen, where she found her father and Johnny, and Deacon Burbank, who had just come home to dinner.
Mr. Trafton was hungry, and quite willing to take dinner at the deacon’s, instead of waiting till they arrived at East Berlin.
They all became very well acquainted in the course of the meal, and Mr. Trafton promised to bring Linda to see Mrs. Burbank, whenever he came that way.
“And I will bring my crazy quilt and show it to you, when I get it done, Mrs. Burbank,” added Linda.
Whereupon Johnny spoke up, and said:
“If you don’t get on with your crazy quilt any faster than my sister does with hers, you won’t ever get it done!”
And Linda told him that sounded just like Fred!
Johnny carried the pillow-case out to the buggy and tucked it under the seat; and Linda could think of nothing but her crazy pieces all the way to East Berlin.
When she got home and showed them to Fred, he declared they were the jolliest, craziest lot of pieces he had seen yet!
And when Linda’s quilt was commenced, all the girls went wild over it; but she laughingly refused to tell them where her pieces came from.
She made a great mystery of the matter, asserting, in reply to all inquiries, that hers would be a crazy quilt with a history, and nobody should know anything about it until the quilt was finished.
A crazy quilt with a history is no trifling piece of work, and the girls have not yet heard the story.
“Never mind! It’ll come my turn some day, and then I’ll pay you boys up; and you’ll be sorry enough for all the mean things you’ve done to me,” and Davy Potter stooped to pick up the books which one of a group of a dozen boys had pushed from his arm.
The school-house yard was muddy from recent rains, and the books were so wet and dirty that Davy took out his pocket handkerchief to wipe them off.
“What’ll you take for that handkerchief, Dave?” asked Fred Bassett. “It’s a beauty, and no mistake.”
There was a loud shout from the other boys, and universal attention was directed to the little square of faded calico Davy was so industriously using.
A hot flush rose to the boy’s thin, freckled face; but he made no reply, except to mutter under his breath something which the boys could not catch.
But there was a bitter, vindictive feeling in his heart as he followed his persecutors into the school-house. He did not understand why all the wit—if wit it could be called—should be leveled at him; why he should be the target for every poisoned arrow, simply because he was poor, ugly and always at the bottom of his classes. He thought it unjust and cruel, and longed with all his heart for the time to come when by some real good luck he would have a chance to “pay the boys up.”387b
He knew that if he ever needed assistance in any such work, he could rely on old Sim Kane to help him; for the old man—a half-witted creature who earned a miserable livelihood by doing odd jobs of wood-sawing and cleaning for charitably-disposed people—had good reason, also, to hate the boys of the Prickett school, and long for revenge.
Davy lived with an aunt, who gave him a home as a matter of duty, and regarded him as a burden and a nuisance, often treating him so unkindly that he was made very unhappy, and spent as little time with her as possible.
He tried honestly to be dutiful and obedient; but he couldn’t help forgetting occasionally to wipe his feet before entering the kitchen, and sometimes he let the fire go out, or forgot to feed the chickens. Then he was severely reprimanded, of course, and told that he was ungrateful, as well as stupid.
But in the woods he was free to do as he liked, and there was no one to scold or find fault with him, and he had many dumb but affectionate friends there among the squirrels, rabbits and birds.
So he always took his way to the woods every Saturday as soon as he had cleaned up the yard about his aunt’s house, filled all the water-buckets, cut the kindling for the kitchen stove, and attended to the dozen or more other chores Miss Potter required of him.
He never shirked the least of them, no matter how anxious he was to get away; for he had been so frequently told how much he owed to his aunt, that he believed he could not do too much for her.
It was while exploring the depths of the woods, one day, that he discovered the secret retreat of the “Mystic Nine,” a club of nine boys who disappeared from the village regularly every Saturday morning during the spring, summer and fall, and remained away until sunset, often returning with torches to have a street parade after dark, or with a bag of plump birds for a grand “fry” in the kitchen of some indulgent mother.
That they had a hiding-place of some sort, where they held meetings and ate the generous lunches they carried with them, all the boys outside the nine felt sure; but none of the Mystics ever answered any questions concerning it, and threw out vague but impressive warnings as to the terrible fate that would befall any one whose curiosity led him to seek to penetrate the secret they guarded so closely.
Davy stumbled upon it quite by chance. Following the trail of a bird with a wounded wing, he found himself in a part of the wood he had never been in before, and came suddenly upon a great pile of brush a dozen feet high, behind which was the entrance to a deep cave in a rocky hillside.
He entered, and found it well furnished with rough blankets, a table, an oil stove, and many other things necessary to the comfort and convenience of nine boys. A large window in the roof, which was carefully covered with brush, afforded a means to obtain light, when that given by the mouth of the cave did not prove sufficient, or when bad weather made it necessary to drop the canvas which did duty as a door.
Davy, afraid of getting into trouble, kept his discovery to himself, but he made frequent stolen trips to the cave, and resolved that some day he would use his knowledge for the purpose of obtaining his revenge.
He had a vague plan in his head to guide about fifty of the roughest boys in the village to the cave, and thus give the secret to every one, and he fully determined to let this be his form of revenge, when, being called upon to read in class, he was forced to use the wet, soiled books.
His thoughts were directed so much to this subject that his lessons were recited even worse than usual, and as a result he was kept in to study for an hour after the close of school.
When he was at last free to go home, and left the school-house, he found that poor old Sim was in the hands of his enemies. The Mystic Nine had placed him in his own dilapidated hand-cart, and were wheeling him down one of the side streets as fast as they could go, shouting and laughing at his frenzied cries of distress and the ludicrous picture he presented, as he clung to the side of the cart, the brim of his torn straw hat flapping in the wind, and an old scarf of bright scarlet silk, which he cherished as his dearest earthly possession, streaming out behind.
Davy felt very sorry for the old man, 387c but did not dare interfere. He could only wait until the boys, becoming wearied of their sport, ran the cart into a shallow pond and went off to seek other diversion.
Old Sim was almost helpless with fright and exhaustion, and when Davy waded into the pond and pushed the cart out on dry land again, he threw his arms about the boy’s neck, and clung to him, sobbing and moaning like a child.
It was all Davy could do to comfort and quiet him, and to persuade him to go home, so apprehensive was he that another attack would be made on him. But Davy finally succeeded in convincing him that there was no further danger, and the old man went scuffling off to the miserable shanty he called home.
The next day was Saturday, and as the weather was clear and bright, Davy resolved to spend the whole morning in the woods. But his aunt found so much for him to do that it was nearly noon before he was able to get away.
As usual, he divided his lunch with the birds and squirrels, and then lay down under a tree to read a book he had brought with him.
But it failed to interest him, and his mind persisted in dwelling upon the unkindness with which he was so systematically treated, both at home and at school.
“I wonder if it will ever be any different?” he thought, as he sprang to his feet at last. “If I only could get to the head of the grammar class just once, they might treat me better. But of course there is no use in thinking of that, for there’s no chance of it.”
He strolled through the woods, his steps turning unconsciously in the direction of the secret cave.
He had almost reached it, when he suddenly became aware of where he was, and started to retrace his steps, fearing the boys would come out and discover him there.
But scarcely had he turned when, to his amazement, he saw old Sim Kane come rushing toward him from the direction of the cave.
The old man’s face was pallid with excitement, and he was swinging his long arms, and muttering and laughing to himself in a way that made Davy’s blood run cold.
“Sim! Sim! what’s the matter?” he cried.
But the old man paid no attention to him, and not pausing to question him again, but sure there was trouble of some sort at the cave, Davy ran toward that secret retreat.
His ears soon told him what the trouble was. The great pile of brush which concealed the entrance to the cave had been set on fire!
Terrible was the vengeance which the half-demented old man had taken on his boyish persecutors.
Davy, with a loud cry of horror, and forgetting in that awful moment all his own wrongs, seized a stout branch, and rushed upon the pile of brush without a moment’s hesitation.
The entire mouth of the cave was a mass of flame, and it was no easy matter to scatter the burning brands, so intense was the heat.
But Davy fought the fire right and left, with a wild energy far beyond his strength and years, and at last the mouth of the cave was clear, and the fresh air could enter it again.
Then, exhausted, faint, and suffering most intense agony from a dozen terrible burns, the brave boy sank to the ground.
At first he was scarcely conscious, but presently he became aware that some one was bending over him, and opening his eyes, he saw Fred Bassett’s face, so full of pity, admiration and kindness that poor Davy scarcely recognized it.
“We didn’t deserve this good turn of you, Davy,” said the boy. “But I can’t tell you how thankful we are to you. But for you we would have been suffocated inside of ten minutes. It was that old Sim who set the fire. We were busy at the back of the cave, making it deeper, and didn’t know anything about the fire until we heard the old man shout at us from the window overhead. He was half mad with joy, and was just about to light the brush on the window. He must have fired the pile in front in twenty places. There was no use in trying to get out. It was like a wall of fire. I tell you, we all thought our time had come. It was just awful.”
“I’m glad I came when I did,” said Davy, gently. “But I’m afraid you’ll have to help me home. My feet are so 387d badly burned I don’t believe I can take a step.”
“As if we’d let you even think of walking!” exclaimed Fred. “We’ll rig up a litter in short order.”
So Davy was carried into the village in state by seven of the boys, while the two others went on ahead to tell Miss Potter what had happened and engage the services of a doctor.
And it was not until his wounds were all dressed, and he was lying quietly in bed, with Fred Bassett and Tom Harper sitting beside him, that Davy happened to think that the “turn” for which he had waited so long had come at last, and he had failed to take the revenge he had so ardently desired.
But he never regretted this, for he never had to complain again of unkind treatment from either his aunt or his schoolmates. For Miss Potter, in taking care of her young nephew during the three weeks he was confined to the house, found good qualities of head and heart the existence of which she had never before even suspected, and she made up her mind that she had thought Davy a burden because she had never really understood him.
As to the boys—well, they made a hero of Davy, and the “Mystic Nine” became the “Mystic Ten,” by the admission to membership of the shy, freckled-faced boy who was always at the bottom of his classes.
And affection and encouragement brightened up Davy’s wits so much that he ceased before long to occupy that unenviable and lowly position, and astonished his teacher by his rapid progress.
No punishment was ever meted out to old Sim; but it is scarcely necessary to say that the boys were careful to let him severely alone after that memorable Saturday on which Davy became a hero.
Yes, it is true that I am blind (it was not always thus),
But oft it comes into my mind how God can comfort us.
For if, of some good gift bereft, we bend before His will,
He ever has a blessing left which should our sorrows still.
This very morn I found it so; scarce had the day begun,
Ere with small, pattering, restless feet that hither swiftly run,
The children came in joyous mood, and shouted, “Spring is here!”
And when they led me through the wood, I knew that she was near.
I felt her breath upon my cheek, and while we walked along,
A thousand times I heard her speak the rustling leaves among,
In tones as though a harp had thrilled beneath an angel’s touch,
And all my soul with rapture filled: yet when I said as much,
The others laughed and whispered low, “Nay, nay, it is the wind!”
To them perhaps it might be so; but, ah! if folks are blind,
They learn in every sound that floats around their pathway dark—
The breeze, the brook, the glad bird-notes—some hidden voice to mark.
Therefore, when spring begins to don her garments fresh and gay,
Because I cannot look upon her beauty day by day,
Nor see the pointed crocus flame above the garden mold,
Nor watch the snowy tips that frame the daisy’s heart of gold;
Because unto my longing eyes may never be displayed
The changeful glory of the skies, warm shine and soothing shade,
Nor the great sun’s far-reaching rays which crown the day with light,
Nor yet the star-lit purple haze that comes before the night;
She breathes the tender tale to me, in accents clear and plain,
Until I nearly rend the veil and see it all again.
And though I’m blind, I know quite well, when to the woods we go,
The place to find the wild bluebell, and where the lilies blow;
Shy violets tell me, as I pass, their buds are at my feet,
And through the lengthening meadow-grass run murmurs soft and sweet.
Oh! I thank God that He doth bring such daily joy to me,
For even I can welcome spring, like happy girls who see.
The covering is best made of what is known as “crash,” strong and close. It must be wide enough to go completely under the canoe, and can be had about 5 ft. wide, which will be quite wide enough. Seven yards of it will be sufficient.
To put on the canvas, turn the canoe over. Lay the canvas with the centre line along the keel. Stretch it well by pulling at each end, and tack it through the middle at the extreme ends with a few tacks in a temporary manner. Put in temporary tacks along the gunwale at moderate intervals, stretching slightly, and endeavor to get rid of all folds.
Begin in the middle and work toward the ends, and always pull straight away from the keel, and not along the gunwale. Then put in a second set of tacks half way between the first set of tacks on one side, pulling fairly tight. Then, on the other side, put in tacks opposite to the latter, pulling as tightly as possible.
The best way to do this is to seize the canvas with a pair of pincers, so that on pulling you can get the head of the pincers just over the gunwale, when they can be used as a lever to give an extra pull. A tack may then be put in on the outside of the gunwale; half-inch galvanized tacks will do.
Now remove the temporary set of tacks. To get rid of folds, which will not occur along the keel, but along the gunwale, keep bisecting the distance between two consecutive tacks by another tack, so that the canvas is equally loose on each side of it, always now pulling the canvas as tightly as possible.
In this way the folds will disappear, and the canvas be stretched tight and well-fastened to the gunwale. Leave that portion within a foot of each end untacked.
Next cut away all that portion which projects beyond the stem and stern-post; turn the edges in, and tack along the edges at moderate distances.
Bisect these distances, and these again, till you have a very close row of tacks, as in Fig. 12. Pull fairly tight, but not too tight, and do not use pincers for this part; quarter-inch tacks will be best.
The ends may be cut out and put on, lapping the edges over the side, as shown in Fig. 12, and enough canvas will be left to fill the part along the sides of the well, 388b into which the canvas should be tacked with a fine row of tacks, afterward being stretched over the gunwale. The canoe will now be completely covered in except the well.
Before putting on the top, however, give the lower part outside a good coating of boiled linseed-oil. This will be most of it absorbed into the canvas. The same may be done afterward with the top.
When this is dry—that is, after two or three days—give another good coating of the same. Then paint the canoe according to taste. Two coats for the bottom will be advisable, and paint which will stand water well should be used. It would be well to paint the framework with one coat before covering.
Make a stretcher (Fig. 13) for the feet, of half-inch board, and slips to fit it into (Fig. 10), with stops on the floor. Also, a backboard of half-inch board, to correspond (Fig. 14). Each piece in the latter may be 18x4 inches. They should be nailed into two cross-pieces behind, so as to form a hollow for back, and should be placed two inches apart, to allow a space for the spine.
I prefer myself to fit in the backboard by means of stops on the floor and back of the well, making it keep one position, and that at a considerable slope, and have not found a swinging backboard so comfortable as some appear to have done.
For the paddle, for which I think about 7 feet 6 inches long over all is a good length, take a light, clean piece of yellow pine, or fir, 1½x1¼ inches, not more, and 6 feet long. In the ends of this cut slots 6 inches long, each to receive two pear-shaped pieces of very light half-inch plank, 1 foot 3 inches by 8 inches. Nail them through with copper nails, if possible. The blades should be at right angles to the thickest direction of the handle.
Before nailing in, shave down the handle from an oval of 1½x1¼ inches for 2 feet of the middle to an oval of about 1⅛x⅞ inches near the beginning of the blades.
The handle should have its full thickness at the beginning of the blade, but should be well tapered off along the 388c blade, so as to be quite thin at its middle, where it ends. It should have its full breadth across the breadth of the blade. The blade itself may be shaved off thinner toward the edges.
I do not think that for ordinary purposes any strip of copper or tin need be put round the blade, and the weight is increased by using.
The great thing about a paddle is that it should be as light as possible, and, if it appears able to stand it, it may be reduced still further. It may be painted or varnished, all but two feet in the middle. I find no rings on the paddles necessary.
A short strip nailed outside the gunwale in the middle of the canoe is a good thing; it prevents wear from the paddle, and forms something to catch hold of in lifting the canoe.
A short outer keel is also a good thing at each end to prevent wear; but in making holes for the nails through the canvas into the keel care must be taken to turn in the edges round each hole, to tack with a close circle of tacks, and paint well, so as to render the place water-tight.
An apron is seldom wanted, but may be made of canvas rendered waterproof with boiled oil, if desired.
It is well to fasten some inflated bladders in each end, so as to make the canoe a diminutive lifeboat, in case of an upset or of a hole being knocked in her.
The canoe will now be ready for launching. The owner should learn to put her carefully into the water and take her out by himself—to carry her on his shoulder.
Superfluous wood may be cut from the central parts of the shapes, and also from along the keel toward the ends before covering. The floor forms a considerable item in the weight, consequently this should be made no wider or thicker than necessary. In paddling, learn to reach well forward and back, with a good swing of the body from side to side.
Such a canoe as described will be found to wear well, and one made by myself for a friend two years ago is now in use, and quite water-tight.
“When I first came to Canada,” says a writer from that locality, “I found there were various opinions as to the method of making the sound. One man, who read a great deal, but rarely went into the woods, said that the sound was produced by the bird’s voice. Some of the hunters told me that the bird struck its wings on the log, and others that it struck them together over its back.
“I did not give much heed to the bookman’s explanation, for all the woodmen laughed at it. I soon learned to discredit also the idea that the bird thumped the log with its wings, because whether it stood on a stump or a stone, a rotten log or solid timber, the sound was always the same. Lastly, I did not believe that the wings were struck together, because, when a pigeon or rooster strikes its wings together, the sound is always a sharp crack. At length, after watching the bird carefully, I came to the conclusion that it drums by beating the air only.388d
“It is not an easy matter to get sight of a partridge when he is drumming, but I managed to do it by crawling on my hands and knees toward the bird, lying still while he was quiet, and only moving forward when he renewed his noisy courtship; for it is only to woo and win his mate that Sir Ruffled Grouse indulges in these musical exercises.
“In this way I contrived to come within twenty feet without alarming him. Through the alder thicket I could just see his shapely form, strutting about like a turkey cock; then for a moment he stood upright, with his feathers lying close.
“Suddenly his wings flashed, and at the same moment I heard the loud thump. Then for a few seconds he stood looking about as though nothing had happened; but presently came a second flash and thump, and others followed at lessening intervals, until at last the serenade rolled a way like the galloping of horses or the rumbling of distant thunder.”
It is very interesting in the spring to watch the gradual development of a frog from the egg, through the tadpole stage of its existence, till at last it assumes its final form.
The old frogs emerge from their winter hiding-places in the mud, early in the spring, and during April their eggs may be found floating on almost every stagnant pond.
A group of these eggs in their early stages of development looks like a mass of clear white jelly, containing numbers of black specks, each of which is really the germ of the future tadpole.
In order to watch the development, a group of the eggs should be taken and put in a shallow vessel of water, which, if kept in the house, should have a bell-glass, or some other covering, over it, to keep out the dust.
The jelly-like mass which envelopes the future tadpole is so clear that all its changes can be easily watched.
First the head appears, then a flat tail, and in course of time the nostrils, mouth and large eyes, till at length the completed tadpole bursts open its gelatinous covering, and apparently not in the least embarrassed by its new surroundings, begins swimming briskly about, looking for something to eat.
The time occupied in hatching varies in different countries, according to the climate, from four days to a month.
The following stages are even more interesting, especially for those who can take advantage of the transparency of the parts to watch the circulation of the blood through a microscope.
The body of the tadpole gradually gets broader, while the tail gets thinner and thinner, till it finally disappears altogether; but before that happens, its place has been taken by two hind legs, which first appear under the skin and then gradually push their way through.
The fore legs next appear, and so on through all the stages of development, till in a longer or shorter time, according to the amount of warmth, light and food it can obtain, the complete frog appears.
But woe betide the unfortunate tadpole which, first of the shoal, attains to the dignity of possessing limbs, for so ferocious are the later ones, and so jealous of their precocious little brother, that they almost always fall upon him, and not content with killing, never rest till every morsel of him is eaten.
And unless several of the tadpoles assume their final change about the same time, this proceeding is repeated till their numbers are very considerably diminished, or, as sometimes happens, till only one survivor is left, who, having helped to eat all his brethren, instead of meeting with his deserts, is allowed to live on in peace, till some day, in the course of his walks abroad, he, in his turn, is snapped up as a delicate morsel by some hungry snake or water-fowl.389a
Be honest and true, boys!
Whatever you do, boys,
Let this be your motto through life.
Both now and forever,
Be this your endeavor,
When wrong with the right is at strife.
The best and the truest,
Alas! are the fewest;
But be one of these if you can.
In duty ne’er fail; you
Will find ’twill avail you,
And bring its reward when a man.
Don’t think life plain sailing;
There’s danger of failing,
Though bright seem the future to be;
But honor and labor,
And truth to your neighbor,
Will bear you safe over life’s sea.
Then up and be doing,
Right only pursuing,
And take your fair part in the strife.
Be honest and true, boys,
Whatever you do, boys,
Let this be your motto through life!
[This Story began in No. 22.]
Ralph had need of all his courage, as he realized what was before him. In a low, swampy spot, close under a pile of rock and earth, that rose out of it like a wall, was an animal such as he had never met with until this moment, although he instinctively guessed what it must be.
The creature appeared to be in a complete frenzy of rage. It was covered with mud and water, and with furious motions was trampling down the long, rank grass which grew about the place.
“A wild boar!” uttered our young friend to himself, with his heart leaping to his throat, as his glance took in the sharp back, the high shoulders, and the immense tusks that curved from the jaws like cimetars.
He had seen pictures of such animals, but had never dreamed how startling the reality would be.
The boar seemed to direct his fury against the ledge which formed the boundary of the muddy and grassy place where he was raging about; and looking a little above the savage brute, Ralph perceived a something which appeared like a human form in some manner confined among the rocks. He thought the body looked as if partially under a big stone that held it down.
Instantly the thought came to him:
“It must be that a man has got caught there under a rock, which he has pulled down upon himself in trying to clamber up.”
Just as this thought entered his mind, he saw the boar give a fearful spring and fall back with what seemed a strip of clothing between his jaws.
The position of the imprisoned man must be awful, and there was not a moment to lose. The next spring might be more successful.
The fierce jaws clashed together with a startling sound, and the huge head was shaken, as if the frenzy of the monster was increased by the possession of that bit of rag.
The prisoner gave another wild cry, and Ralph responded, with all the strength of his lungs:
“I’ll help you! I’ll help you!”
He was too far off for a successful shot, but he hoped by firing to attract the animal’s attention from the man to himself, and then, in case of need, he might retreat into some one of the trees among which he was then standing.
So, taking the best aim he could, he fired both barrels in quick succession. But the boar, except by a furious toss of the head and a single terrible “Whoosh!” paid not the slightest attention to him.389b
Indeed, the efforts of the animal to reach the intended victim became, if possible, more frantic than ever; and Ralph guessed that once, at least, the tusks came in contact with some part of the poor captive’s body.
“I can do nothing in this way,” he said to himself. “The man will be torn in pieces before my eyes. I must make a bold move and take my chance.”
Between himself and the scene of danger there was neither rock nor tree, but only the shallow mud and water, and the rank grass. The venture would be a desperate one, but nothing less would save the man from a terrible death.
Ralph had about him shells containing charges of all descriptions, from fine shot to bullets. Quickly throwing open his breech-loader, he slipped a ball cartridge into one barrel and a heavy charge of buckshot into the other.
Then springing forward, he went splashing across the morass, with the mud and water almost up to his knees.
“I am no marksman,” he thought, as he strode rapidly on, “and shall have to get close to him to hit him; but if he should come at me, I shall have my second barrel, besides a plenty of shells.”
There was some reassurance in this thought, especially as he had two of the spare shells in his hand, ready for use in case of need.
At a distance of only six rods from the enraged animal, he stopped and brought up his gun.
The boar was not still for an instant, but rushing about in its efforts to get up the rock. He had certainly struck the man, for there was blood on the rock and on the savage tusks. This probably rendered him all the more eager.
“I’ll try the buckshot first,” thought 389c Ralph, “for they’ll scatter a little, and some of them must hit him.”
He ranged between the two barrels, and pulled. “Bang!” sounded the report. “Whoosh!” uttered the boar, stopping short in his efforts against the rock, and turning his whole attention upon the intruder. Doubtless he was hit, but perhaps not mortally.
Ralph’s gun was again at his face. “Bang!” This time the single ball was sent, but through the smoke of the discharge he saw that the boar was rushing upon him.
An interval of six rods, and a wild hog, six feet long, bounding over it with clashing jaws! How the breech-loader sprang open, and how the two spare charges went into it! What if Ralph had not held them all ready in his hand?
“Bang! bang!” The boar’s head was not three feet from the muzzle as the second barrel was fired. The monster’s impetus carried him on with a plunge; and the young hero’s legs were knocked from under him by the weight of the huge body, so that he fell at full length in the mud.
For an instant he believed himself lost, and while scrambling to his feet he expected to feel the sweep of those sword-like tusks.
But there was no longer any danger; the last discharge had done its work to perfection, and with his knees bent under him, the boar lay just as he had plowed into the mire, having not even rolled over.
Picking up his gun, Ralph hurried to assist the person on the rock, whom he had already seen to be a negro, and whom he now found to be held down by a large stone, which lay upon his legs, he having doubtless pulled it from a position above 389d in his frantic efforts to escape from his pursuer.
The confined black could not help himself; but Ralph succeeded, without much difficulty, in relieving him from the heavy weight.
The stone could not have slipped more than two or three feet, for the negro was not much injured by it, although it had held him so firmly. He had the marks of the animal’s tusks on one of his legs; but the wound was not a dangerous one. Ralph bound his handkerchief around it, and felt very glad to find that the poor fellow was almost as good as new.
Finding himself able to walk, and seeming to realize how much he owed to his young rescuer, the stout negro grasped the boy’s right hand in both his own, and with tears glistening in his eyes, uttered a number of rapid sentences, only a few words of which Ralph could understand, but which were evidently the outpourings of gratitude.
Still, there was in his manner an appearance of apprehension, as if he feared that the lad might not be alone. He would glance furtively about, like one who is expecting an enemy; and it was plain that he was meditating a retreat.
Back of the rocks there was dry, firm land; and in this direction he looked, as if desirous of moving off.
Ralph recalled the conversation which he had heard the day before about the runaway slave.
“This man may be Jumbo himself,” he thought. “I’ll try to make him understand me.”
Then, looking kindly in the negro’s face, he said, in Spanish:
“I think you are Jumbo. I am only a boy, and I am all alone. You are free; you can go where you will.”390a
And he pointed to the deep, free woods.
Ralph had great difficulty in getting out this amount of Castilian; but the negro, whose own command of that language seemed to be of the most meagre description, comprehended his meaning. He took the spirit, if not the words.
A grateful expression came over his dark face, and again he clasped the boy’s hand, with the same flow of mingled African and Spanish upon his tongue.
Ralph bade him a kind good-by, and he walked away into the forest, waving his sable hand with a gesture full of feeling as he disappeared.
Our young sailor now proceeded to examine the animal he had killed.
It is said that the timid man is afraid before the danger, the coward during it, and the brave man after it. Ralph was afraid after it.
He felt a kind of weakness about the knees, and wondered that he had not noticed it before. He remembered how the bristles had stood up on the boar’s back, how the savage jaws had clashed together, and how he had seen the tusks standing out like long knives as the creature came straight for him.
Now how grim the monster looked as he lay in the mud and water, just where he had dropped dead—not on his side, but with the legs doubled under him, and the stout, hoggish ears sticking up like ears of corn.
“The next thing is to find my pony,” thought Ralph. “Let’s see—which way did I come? Here are my tracks. I must have come out of that thicket yonder.”
Then, looking about him, he saw another line of tracks, and, going to examine it, perceived that it was where the boar had chased the black man across the morass. Most of the negro’s footprints were lost in those of the hog.
Almost at the moment in which Ralph reached his pony, he heard the report of a gun at some distance, and guessed that Mr. Arthur was coming in search of him. He answered the signal, and the planter, who had become anxious for his safety, soon made his appearance.
“I had begun to be really alarmed about you,” said Mr. Arthur, “and feared I should have to go back and summon assistance in the search. If you had not heard my gun, I should have missed you, for I was just about to turn in the opposite direction.”
“Oh, I am sorry I have given you all this trouble!” said Ralph. “It is too bad. But you can’t think what I have killed! I am glad you have come, so that I can show you.”
“Why, how wet and muddy you are!” said the planter, “and how your clothes are torn! For heaven’s sake! where have you been?”
Ralph related his adventure, and told how the black man had gone into the forest.
“I would not have had you take such a risk for all I am worth!” said Mr. Arthur. “What would your father say if he knew of it?”
“But the man couldn’t get away, and the boar might have got at him before I could have had a chance to bring any one else here,” replied Ralph.
“Yes, I know; but it was a fearful risk. No doubt the man was the runaway that I was speaking of to Mr. Osborne. At least, I should judge so from your description. Osborne would have detained him, of course; but I am not sorry that you made no such attempt. I should have been tempted to let him go myself.”
It was a great relief to Ralph to find that Mr. Arthur took this view of the matter—a very singular one, he thought, for the owner of five or six hundred slaves; yet, from what he had seen of his kind friend, he was not surprised at it.
The planter was curious to visit the scene of the adventure, and, with some difficulty, they made their way to the place.
“Why, Ralph,” he exclaimed, looking at the dead animal, and then at the surroundings of the spot, “it is fearful! Had I known what you were about, I should have given you up for lost. Not a tree within twenty rods of you! Suppose you had failed to kill him? It frightens me to think of it!”
Going to the ledge beyond, they saw where the negro had scrambled up with muddy feet, and where the sharp hoofs of the boar had scratched long lines on the rock.
It was easy to see how the large, loose stone, which had prevented the fugitive’s 390b escape, had slipped from its place as he tried to climb over it.
“Well, well,” said Mr. Arthur, “you ought to have one good friend in the forest, and I guess you have! I don’t think that poor fellow will ever forget you.”
Ralph felt that this was pay enough, even though the friend was only a poor negro, whom he might never see again.
And now, leaving the huge game where it had fallen, he accompanied the good planter back to the little village of huts, where Mrs. Arthur and Camilla were awaiting them in some anxiety.
“Oh, how dreadful!” exclaimed Camilla, as she listened to the recital of what had taken place.
“I am thinking of his mother,” said Mrs. Arthur, “and I am so thankful—so thankful—that he is safe!”
Mr. Osborne took a very practical view of the matter.
“You could have kept the negro, I suppose,” he said, “as you had your gun; but then it might not have been very easy to get him anywhere, you being a boy.”
“I didn’t wish to get him anywhere,” replied Ralph. “I wished him to go where he liked.”
“Of course; it wasn’t your business to catch runaway negroes,” said the overseer, “and you did perfectly right. Only I wish I could have been there. Did he seem to be afraid of you?”
“No, sir; I laid down my gun.”
“Suppose he had taken it up?”
“I never thought of such a thing, sir; I was trying to help him, and he knew it.”
“I wouldn’t have trusted him,” remarked the overseer.
“I did trust him, sir; or, rather, I didn’t think anything about it. I wanted to stop his leg from bleeding.”
“Was he in a hurry to be off after you had fixed him up?”
“He looked uneasy, as if afraid that somebody else might come before he could get away.”
“Perhaps he expected you to take up your gun and order him to march for his old quarters?”
“I don’t know how that was,” said Ralph; “but the gun lay all the while where he could have taken it up if he would.”
“What did you say to him?”
“I told him he was free. And it almost made me cry to see how grateful he appeared for what I had done. I hope he has some good place to stay in.”
“No danger,” said the overseer; “he has a good enough place for this climate, and lives on the fat of the land, besides. I think some of my negroes could go straight to him within the next two hours, but they won’t tell.”
“And do they never run away, too?” asked Ralph.
“Yes; but I have generally got them back. Sometimes they are arrested by the Spanish soldiers, if they venture out of the woods; and sometimes, when they keep in their hiding-places, I track them out myself.”
“And do you whip them when you get them back?”
“Of course I do; that teaches them better than to risk it again.”
Somehow, Ralph did not like Mr. Osborne; for, besides that it was hard to help associating him with the cruel office he occupied, there was a something in him as an individual which repelled the boy’s quick, intuitive sympathies. Practically he might be better than most overseers, but how could he be otherwise under a superior like Mr. Arthur?
Ralph had brought in the parrots and paroquets that he had shot, for he had not forgotten them on remounting his pony, and he now took off their skins in a very artistic manner, leaving the beautiful plumage almost unruffled, much to the delight of Camilla, who thanked him for his thoughtfulness of her.
Upon the journey homeward, the two spotted ponies, keeping close together, galloped, trotted or walked, according to the fancies of their riders or the variations of the road, while the horses of the older people jogged more steadily.
“I wonder,” said Camilla, “if Jumbo will not often think of you? I know he will, though—he cannot help it.”
“I hope he will,” said Ralph; “and I hope, too, that he will not suffer. Your father does not seem at all anxious to get him back.”
“Oh, no! papa does not care for his running away. He says that if the revolution 390c should succeed, the new government would free all the slaves, and he is willing that this should be done. Somehow, he is a slaveholder against his will.”
“Do you like Mr. Osborne?” asked Ralph.
“Not very well. Papa has a high opinion of him as an overseer, but I do think that even papa himself is not quite satisfied with all that was done while we were away in the United States.”
“The revolutionists appear to ruin a great many sugar plantations,” said Ralph. “Do you ever feel afraid of being molested?”
“Yes, mamma and I do, because they sometimes come very near us; but papa says he does not think there is any danger. They know what his sentiments are; besides, he is an Americano, and they have a great respect for los Americanos.”
“And isn’t he afraid, then, of the Spanish government?”
“No; he takes no active part on either side; only his feelings are with the liberal party. I think papa is not much of a politician.”
“I know how he feels,” said Ralph; “he is good and kind, and wants everybody to be free. He is one of the best men I ever saw.”
“He really is!” exclaimed Camilla, enthusiastically. “He is just as good as any one can be. And,” she added, with childlike earnestness, “he likes you ever so much, too.”
Ralph was perfectly happy upon this ride; and when the party reached home, it was to be greeted by the unaffected welcome of the negroes, old and young, who were evidently much attached to their master and his household. The parrots chattered, and the song-birds sang, while the odor of the orange blossoms was well in keeping with the rest.
Next day the planter and his young guest visited the city, and returned with Captain Weston. He was thrilled by the story of Ralph’s encounter with the wild boar. It shocked him to think how narrowly a dreadful calamity had been escaped, and he all the while attending to his ordinary duties, in ignorance of the danger.
“Captain,” said Mr. Arthur, as they sat conversing together after reaching the plantation, “I have a proposition to make. Why not let Ralph remain with me till your return from Philadelphia? I may take a journey or two about the island within the next few weeks, upon business, and probably he would enjoy going with me. It would give him an opportunity to see more of Cuba than he is likely to see in any other way.”
“I don’t know what his mother would say,” replied the captain. “She expects me to bring him home, and I am afraid she would be troubled about it. Besides, I like to have him with me, though I know you would take every care of him.”
“I understand your feelings,” said the planter; “but my wife is about writing to Mrs. Weston concerning the debt of gratitude we owe him; and should you consent to his remaining, I think her letter will place the matter in such a light as to remove any objection on his mother’s part.”
Mrs. Arthur seconded her husband very earnestly.
“You cannot think how much we would enjoy having him here,” she said. “He has such a kind, lovable nature, and is so bright and active. I do hope it may be arranged that he may stay.”
Captain Weston revolved the matter seriously, and concluded at length that it should be left to Ralph’s decision. What that decision would be he could have had very little doubt, as he glanced toward the boy and girl who were at that moment enjoying a swing under an orange tree of unusual size, the vibrations of the rope occasionally bringing down some of the golden fruit.
Ralph was in ecstasies at the proposition, and Camilla’s bright face lighted up with a pleasure that she did not try to conceal.
“Oh, how nice it will be!” she said. “I am so glad you are to remain.”
A soft flush leaped to her cheeks as she spoke, and her beautiful eyes expressed an artlessness that was very bewitching.
So it was settled that Ralph should remain in Cuba during the two months which would probably elapse before the return of the Cristoval Colon to Santiago. 390d His mother (for he could not have endured to think of Mrs. Weston in any other light) would be comforted by the knowledge that he was in such good hands. And then how much he would have to tell her when he should go home!
Captain Weston was greatly pleased with the plantation and its management. He had seen much of Cuba, but never anything of this kind which appeared so satisfactory. He walked and rode with the planter, smoked his cigar with him, and admired his kind treatment of his slaves.
After a tarry of two days, he returned to the city, accompanied by the planter and Ralph.
As the latter mounted the side of the Cristoval Colon, he met a merry welcome from the tars, some of whom threw out sly innuendoes in their sailor style about pearls and pearl-divers, but he did not permit their harmless jokes to annoy him.
After a pleasant visit, Mr. Arthur returned to the plantation; but Ralph did not accompany him, as he desired to remain some days with his father during the vessel’s brief stay in port.
He was not a boy who was afraid of work, and now, putting on his everyday rig, he applied himself with a light heart to the duties of the ship, lying stoutly back upon the slack of the tackle, while the sailors hoisted the heavy articles of the cargo, or running aloft to loose the sails for drying after the drenching night dews, and assisting to furl them at evening.
“That boy is smart,” old Jack Evans would say to his shipmates. “He is the best fellow for a captain’s son I ever fell in with; he is always looking for something to do.”
One evening, when Ralph went into the forecastle, he found Jack alone there. The old sailor had just been overhauling his sea-chest, and had in his hand the baby’s shoe which he had so long carried for good luck.
“I was just looking at it,” he said, “because to-day I came across the father of that identical baby. I hadn’t seen him for about sixteen years, but I knew him in a minute. He was puffing his cigar, just as he used to do about the decks of the Moro Castle.”
“What!” exclaimed Ralph, “the very man? Oh, how I wish I had been with you! Who is he, and where does he live?”
“That I don’t know,” replied Jack. “Of course, he didn’t know me, and I hadn’t a very good chance to introduce myself. He was jabbering with a lot of other Spaniards on a corner, with his caramba and his como esta usted, so that I didn’t feel like going up to him with a yarn about a baby’s shoe. Which way he went I don’t know, for I had to get back to the ship.”
“When was it?” asked Ralph, with great earnestness.
“It was while I was ashore this noon.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” said the boy. “I would have gone right ashore. But, no—I couldn’t have found him without you. Dear me! I wish I could have been with you.”
“Why, my lad, it’s of no consequence,” said Jack. “You seem to think more of it than I do.”
“But I want to see him,” replied Ralph. “I wonder if he is about here every day?”
“Likely enough,” said Jack. “But I didn’t think you cared anything about the matter.”
“Well, I’m thinking of that baby’s shoe,” answered Ralph. “It seems so queer—the way you got it, and the way you have kept it.”
“I know that’s odd,” said Jack. “I suppose my keeping it is all nonsense.”
“No, it isn’t,” said Ralph. “I don’t think it is, I’m sure.”
“You believe a little in old shoes, then?”
“I believe in that shoe, Jack. I mean to go ashore with you, and have a good look for that man.”
“But we shouldn’t stand much chance of finding him,” replied Jack. “I’ve been here in Santiago a number of times, but this is the first time I have run across him here.”
Ralph looked anxious and excited; but he saw that Jack felt somewhat surprised at the interest he took in the matter, and so restrained himself.
“After all,” he thought, “it may have nothing to do with me. Just a baby on its 391a passage to the United States. But, then, it was going to Philadelphia, and it was a boy baby; and I must have been a baby at the same time. I wonder what Jack would say if he knew what I am thinking of?”
It would be strange, he thought, if he were really to get track of himself in such a way—the first of the tracks being made by that tiny shoe in Jack’s chest. And then he reflected how improbable it seemed, when there were so many babies in the world, that he should have been that baby.
“I almost hope the thing will never come to light,” he said to himself. “Perhaps it is better not to know.”
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
There is a distinct individuality among tigers, as among ourselves, some being gentle and tolerably tractable, while others are fierce, morose, and not to be trusted.
In Mr. G. Sanger’s menagerie, at Margate, England, there are two tigresses which are of exactly opposite characters. Both go by the name of “Bessy,” there being an extraordinary lack of originality in the nomenclature of animals.
The difference may be partly owing to the accident of birth, one having been captured while young, and the other born in a menagerie.
One might naturally imagine that the latter would be the better tempered of the two, she never having known the freedom of savage life. But, in accordance with the invariable rule, the “forest-bred” animal is the tamer, those which have been born in captivity being always uncertain in their ways, and not to be trusted.
Now, “Bessy the First” is forest bred. The head keeper, Walter Stratford, has the most perfect confidence in her, and can take any liberties with her.
After I had paid several visits to the menagerie, I thought that she began to recognize me, and therefore cultivated her acquaintance. Now, as soon as I enter the house, Bessy tries to attract my attention, expects to be patted and stroked, her ears to be pulled, and her nose rubbed, just as a pet cat would do.
One day I had an unexpected experience with her. Nearly the whole of the end of the room is occupied by a huge cage, in which Stratford delights in putting all sorts of incongruous animals.
There are several varieties of monkeys, a porcupine, a goat, some rabbits and guinea-pigs, a few geese and ducks, four cats, a coati-mondi, two raccoons, a jackal, a little white Pomeranian dog named Rose, two pigs, and other animals.
Thinking that the goat would like some fresh grass, I went to the lawn, gathered a large handful, and brought it to the goat.
Not a blade of that grass did she get. I had hardly held the grass to the bars when Rose flew at it, drove the goat away, and literally tore the grass out of my hands. Three times did I fetch grass before the goat was allowed to eat a blade of it. Ever since that time I have always furnished myself with a good supply of grass before visiting these animals.
On one occasion I stopped as usual at cage, and noticed that she stared fixedly at the grass. So I said, jokingly:
“Why, Bessy, you cannot want grass. However, here it is if you want it.”
So I put my hand into the cage, and was much surprised by seeing her gently scrape the grass out of my hand with her huge paw. Then she lay down, gathered the grass between her paws, and licked up every particle of it.
When she had finished it, she looked appealingly in my face as if asking for another supply; so I brought a fresh handful, the whole of which she took in the same dainty way.
Meanwhile Rose was performing the most extraordinary antics at the end of the room. She had seen me bring in the grass, and naturally imagined that it was intended for her. What with disappointment, and what with jealousy, she was simply frantic, barking, yelping, jumping up and down, scratching at the bars of the cage, and expressing her outraged feelings in the most ludicrous fashion. Now I always give Bessy her allowance of grass first, and then take another portion to Rose and the goat.391b
It is a rather remarkable fact that the carnivora are much more eager for the grass than are the deer, camels, antelopes and other vegetable feeders.
As to “Bessy the First,” she is so fond of Stratford, and places such reliance on him, that when she has cubs she will allow him to enter the cage, take away the cubs and hand them about among the visitors. In fact, she is quite pleased to see that her offspring attract so much attention.
Very different is “Bessy the second.” She never had a very good temper, but was not considered to be a very dangerous animal, until an event occurred which completely altered, or, at all events, had an evil influence upon her character.
Nearly two years ago, three young lion cubs were in the next cage to hers. One day she seemed to be seized with a sudden frenzy, smashed the partition between the cages, flew at the cubs, and killed two of them in a moment.
The whole attack was so quick and unexpected that Stratford had only just time to save the life of the third cub. Since that time she has been carefully watched, for when once a lion or a tiger has broken through a cage it is apt to repeat the operation.
“Bessy the Second” is restless, morose and suspicious, and if any of the animals make a sudden movement, she starts up, stares at them through the bars, and often sets up a series of roars, which have the effect of causing every lion and tiger in the place to roar for sympathy, so that the noise is deafening.
—Says a naturalist: “We came to a large piece of timber, and while passing through it, I had my first experience with the honey-bird of South Africa. This curious little bird is, in size and plumage, about like an English sparrow, and gets his name from the fact that the little fellow, who is very fond of honey, being unable to obtain it for himself, will lead men to the places where the wild bees have hidden their stores of rich, wild honey. Whenever this bird sees a man, he will fly close to him, hovering around, uttering a twittering sound; then he will go off in the direction of the place (generally a tree) where the honey is, flying backward and forward in a zigzag fashion. Then back he will come, twittering in the same manner, as if to say, ’Come along: I’ll show you where it is.’ These actions are repeated until the tree is reached, when the bird will indicate it very plainly by flying to it and hovering around it. If the distance is great (and sometimes the honey-bird will lead a person who is willing to follow a distance of ten miles); he will wait on a tree until the follower comes up, and will then continue his business of piloting. He is very persistent, and will do his best to draw any one on; but if the party is not posted about honey-birds, and refuses to follow, or goes in the wrong direction, the bird will leave, probably in search of some person who will appreciate his efforts to provide him with sweetmeats. While the bees are being smoked out, and the honey taken up, the bird will hover in the vicinity until the job is done, when of course his reward comes in the shape of a feast on the fragments that are left. If he knows of other hives, just as soon as one is disposed of he will lead the way to another, and I have, since this time, known as many as four trees taken up by a party in one day. When the honey-bird has shown one tree, if the hunters are satisfied with that, and refuse to follow him further, he leaves them; but I have never heard of an instance in which the bird misled any one in regard to finding honey. It frequently happens, however, that a honey-bird will lead a person into very dangerous places, and unless the hunter keeps his eyes about him when following this bird, he may run right into a lion, a venomous snake, or some other equally undesirable acquaintance.”
—A correspondent of a New Orleans paper writes: “Dick was only a big toad. The boys found him beside the road one day last summer when the June roses were in bloom, and triumphantly deposited him in one of the flower-beds, ‘to eat the bugs and things off’n the pinks and pansies and rosemary; and, besides, you know, mamma, the other boys will throw stones at him That settled it, and Dick (as they gravely informed me they had named him) was left to enjoy his flowery home. Occasionally, when cutting flowers, I noticed the exceeding tameness of the little creature, and was often assured by the boys, ‘Our Dick is the very best toad in town.’ However, I noticed nothing uncommon until two or three weeks after they had brought him home, when I was attracted by their peals of laughter, and presently heard them calling, ‘Dick, Dick! come, Dick!’ I slipped out and peeped around the corner of the house, and beheld a most comical sight—one of the boys down on his knees, holding 391c out his hands and calling to the toad, which was gravely hopping toward him, making a peculiar little noise, until he reached the outstretched hand, into which he hopped and sat contentedly blinking his bright, bulging eyes. After this I noticed the strange pet more closely, and found he would always come promptly when his name was called, and seemed very grateful when presented with a worm or bug. He would come at any kindly call, but showed greatest preference for eight-year-old, mischievous Teddy, into whose hand he would always hop, and whom he would hop around after as long as he would walk around the flower-bed where Dick made his home, but never beyond its limits. And such pansies, pinks and other sweet posies I had there!—no cut stem or bitten leaves. Dick ate all the floral enemies up that ventured there. When the cold days of autumn came upon us, he left us, and we have seen him no more. What is the moral of this? Nothing—only that kindness and mercy shown to even so humble a creature as a toad will bring pleasures and a sure recompense.”
—Writing from Tecumseh, Mich., a correspondent sends this: “A few years ago our house was infested with a large number of rats, which had taken up their abode in a recess of the cellar that had formerly been used as a landing-place for a dumb-waiter, but was now filled with odds and ends of every description. We had endeavored to rid ourselves of these pests, but all our attempts were in vain, and they held their daily matinees as usual. On hearing more of a commotion than common, one afternoon, I softly opened the cellar door, and, to my amazement, saw nine rats, one of which had mounted a box containing potatoes, while the others were stretched out in a line leading to their den—the recess before mentioned. Now comes the most curious part of my story: The rat that stood on the box of potatoes would push a potato over the edge, then the rat in line nearest the box would roll the potato to his neighbor, and so on with each one till the potato was safely stowed away. I watched them for some time, and, seeing the potatoes disappearing rather rapidly, I dispersed the earnest workers by a stamp of my foot.”
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.
B E S T O W
E P A U L E
S A C R E D
T U R B I D
O L E I N E
W E D D E D
C A L A B O O S E
A N I M A B L E
L I M E R O D
A M E N D E
B A R D S
O B O E
O L D
|No. 5.||Mark Tapley.|
M O C H E S
O T I O S E
C I C U T A
H O U D A H
E S T A T E
S E A H E N
F A I R S
A B N E T S
I N T A I L S
R E A L L I E D
S T I L E T T O S
S L I T H E R
S E T E E
D O R
|No. 9.||Byrnehc, Pygmalion, Traddles.|
G R A T I S
R E V E S T
A V E N E R
T E N U R E
I S E R I N
S T R E N E
H U M E C T A T I O N
P O L I A N I T E
B A T T E N S
S E T A E
D O R
No. 1. Numerical.
When trees and fields complete
Their garbs of green;
When birds and flowers sweet
Again are seen,
And airy zephyrs murmur by,
My 5, 4, 3 and 6 soars high.
Oh! how I’m in a state
6, 1 and 2 I get
’Twill be in vain—in vain my lay,
For spring will then have flown away.
1. The young of the great black-backed gull. 2. To come. 3. Carves. 4. Granters. 5. To entirely destroy (Obs.) 6. To grow smaller.
Prime not, ye fair ladies, or gentlemen wise.
To disbelieve what for your fortune will prove;
Next total, not gold, should select as a prize,
Three, friends, to the right, and marry for love.
1. A letter. 2. The pulp of fruit. 3. A shrub of the genus Corylus. 4. The Brazil nut. 5. Deep blue colors. 6. Contrite. 7. A detached bastion (Fort.) 8. To admit extension. 9. Rigid.
Like a hawk that pounces on its prey,
Swift as lightning on a summer day,
Through the stillness of the air you came,
Without life, and more—without a name.
Man has called you whole—perhaps you are
Dross ejected from some brilliant star!
But methinks the spheres their place will yield
Ere to time your mystery is revealed.
1. Gaps. 2. By reason of this. 3. A fleet of vessels. 4. A sort of flying fish. 5. A title addressed to a lady. 6. The principal gold coin of ancient Greece.
|East Brady, Pa.||St. Elmo.|
Come here, my second—lose no time;
First lively, don’t procrastinate;
Although, my all, I’ll spare no pains
To render you less obdurate.
My all! Yet truly as a last
I’ve learned to look upon my boy:
Most true it is, ’tis but a one
From sad distrust to life of joy!
First dame, indeed, I would not be
Held in my second’s inmost thought;
Transmuted by love’s magic power,
My all my last is, without doubt.
|Woburn, Mass.||Glen Cottage.|
1. Concise. 2. Birds resembling thrushes. 3. A poisonous substance composed of minute fungi. 4. Forms. 5. Kinds of liquor. 6. An iron chain (Obs.) 7. Exists. 8. A letter.
|Boston, Mass.||Pi Eta.|
The whole is a thing that drives away harm,
Defined by dear Webster as “a charm;”
My 5, 6, 2, 3, 3 is by the same called “not much;”
My 6, 7, 8, a “vassal,” “subject,” “person,” or such:
My 5, 2, 3, 1 is “taste,” “savor,” or “a sailor;”
My 1, 2, 4, 3 of a coat is oft shortened by a tailor.
Now I think you have all you require to solve this numerical;
If not, I will tell you the whole relates to nothing clerical.
1. Barley-water. 2. A small particle. 3. A fine white powder or earth, without taste or smell. 4. A paved way. 5. To convey or transfer. 6. Tidier.
|Chicago, Ill.||U. Reka.|
The law’s strong arm and stern decree
Are turned against monopoly;
Justice and equal rights for all
Be ours though the heavens fall!
|Hazleton, Pa.||P. O. Stage.|
Across: 1. The process of analysis by means of standard solutions (Analyt. Chem.) 2. Little tufts. 3. Species of walls made of stiff clay. 4. To steal (Obs.) 5. A letter.
Down: 1. A letter. 2. A pronoun. 3. To surpass. 4. To impair seriously. 5. A case in which the relics of saints were kept. 6. To produce. 7. A pronoun. 8. A bone. 9. A letter.
Answers will appear in our next issue; solvers in six weeks.
Special.—Golden Days Puzzlers’ Directory for each of the first correct solutions to Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.
Puzzles in “Puzzledom” No. CCCLXXI were correctly solved by E. C. Lectic, Maud Lynn, Demosthenes, Barnyard, Skye Buckeye, Gemini, Egerton, H. S. Nut, Jr., Will O’ the Wisp, F. Aitchell, Col. O’ Rado, Dorothy Doolittle, Grepwic, Cricket, P. O. Stage, Sub Rosa, Fairplay, Alcyo, Tunie H. S., R. M’Bride, Jo Jo, Khimo, Lorrac, Billy Bluebottle, May Le Hosmer, O. Pal, Vladimir, F. Arce, Nue Norton, J. H. Mowbray, U. Reka, Sim Sly, Clarence W. Chapin, Reklaw, Io, Tom B. Stone, Toodlewinks, Jo Ram, Craftsman, Fly, Alpheus, Chinook, Puzz L., Teddy, Wm. H. Deucker, Annie Gramme, W. T. Anderson, C. R. Irving, Jr., Bennie Knowels, Monte Christo, V. G. Ohnja, H. U. T., Alphonzo, B. L. Under, Bryx, J. I. C., Harry S., Jno. Bopp, Cale and Harry Allen, J. Evans, Alpha Sigma, Liberty, Brooklyn Boy, Jno. Beck, Howard H. Geiger, Earnest Fleet, Washingtonian, Annie A. Powell, Dick Ens, C. H. Sweetzer, Panama Derby, Orpheus, Jno. Fitzgerald, Henn, Reidsville, Mahdea, A. B. Y. Nomis, H. C. Williams, Mas Ten, Panama Hat, Tidal Wave, Primrose, Geo. W. Phinney, J. F. Ireland, Laf A. Yette, Freddie Geib, R. O. Chester, A. B. Williams, Lucrezius Borgers, Lackawanna, Laeno, Whisk, Effie W.McConkey, C. B. A., Puer and Swamp Angel.
Complete List.—E. C. Lectic.
The specials were awarded as follows:
No. 1. Cricket, La Porte, Ind.
No. 3. Clarence W. Chapin, Akron. Ohio.
No. 5. E. C. Lectic. Chicago, Ill.
No. 7. Alcyo, New York city.
No. 9. Jo Ram, New York city.
No. 11. E. C. Lectic, Chicago, Ill.
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A new Serial Story, entitled
Perhaps the strangest public work ever suggested by man was that of Dinocrates, whose scheme was to cut and carve Mount Athos into the form of a gigantic man, holding in one hand a town, in the other a cup to receive the drainage of the mountain before it reached the sea.
His king, Alexander the Great, declined to accept his plan; though, amused at his extravagant notion, he gave him a permanent place in his attendance.
A small village in Northern Italy to a wonderful extent fulfills the wild dream of the Macedonian architect, the houses being grouped in such a manner upon a broken eminence of land that from a certain point a striking resemblance to an upturned human face is outlined. In addition to a chin, nose and brow, a white chimney lends an eye to the profile, while a line of bushes at the crown has the appearance of shaggy locks.
Allowing that a vivid imagination has much to do toward perfecting these faces of nature’s sculpture, and that a range of hills or coast line will lend itself to almost any fancy we choose, there are in different localities stones and cliffs bearing a remarkable resemblance to the human countenance, individual peculiarity sometimes being easily traced in these grave omens.
As the voyager approaches Rio Janeiro, he sees in the distance, apparently rising from the sea, lonely and majestic, a massive stone head, with the profile of the Iron Duke of England, the brow, the nose, the chin, each feature perfect in its outline.
St. Vincent, of the Cape Verde group, has a huge volcanic rock which requires no grievous strain of the imagination to transform into the figure of George Washington in a recumbent position, the profile, the hair and even the collar frill being reproduced with remarkable clearness.
Rising grimly from the whirlpool of waters beating fiercely the rugged western extremity of Santa Catalina Island, in the West Indies, is an isolated block of basaltic rock, many feet in height, bearing a marked likeness of a human face. It is known as “Morgan’s Head,” from a fancied resemblance to that noted free-booter.
Among the countless rocks fringing the coast of Norway is one forming a striking picture of a horse and rider about to plunge into the surf, fifteen hundred feet below. This gigantic illusion, to the fanciful minds of the old bards presented the image of Odin as he disappeared before the advance of Christianity.
In Iceland, overlooking one of its picturesque 392b valleys, is a bluff surmounted by a colossal head, covered by a stunted growth looking not unlike a cap with frills. Before this august image the worshipers of Odin were wont to bow in serious reverence.
The rugged coast of England has several of these faces of nature. Off the Cornish point are seen the Great Lions, and lower down the shore the Armed Knight. There is also the Old Man, the Old Dame, Duke’s Nose and Witch’s Head.
Not the least remarkable of these freaks is the Old Man of the Mountain, who uprears his gigantic form amid a sea of cliffs and rugged heights, in the heart of that region known as the “Switzerland of America”—New Hampshire.
“What doth thy anxious gaze espy?
An abrupt crag hung from the mountain’s brow!
Look closer; scan that bare, sharp cliff on high;
Aha! the wondrous shape bursts on thee now—
A perfect human face—neck, chin, mouth, nose and brow!”
A face of granite that alone kept watch and ward over the country long ere the foot of man pressed its soil. In the grave, philosophical outlines is traced a resemblance to Franklin’s countenance. At the base of this singular mountain lies a sparkling sheet of water, called the “Old Man’s Mirror.”
More beautiful and wonderful than any of these grave images is the Maid of the Kaaterskill Falls, in the Catskill Mountains. With the mellow light of sunset falling obliquely upon the thin layer of water flowing over a sharp ledge worn and fretted by the continual wear of the current for ages, rock and spray together making up the illusion, is to be seen the fairy-like form of an Indian maid, with flowing hair and robes. So clearly does she appear that the beholder has at first the startling conception of gazing upon a living being, suspended in the waters.
Indian tradition says that this maid of the mist was once the beloved of the Great Spirit; but herself falling in love with a Mohawk brave, she perished here, fleeing from her angry master.
The formations from which this takes its name are among the greatest curiosities to be seen in Colorado. Pen cannot well describe them. They consist of a series of curiously shaped natural monuments, which have been formed from sandstone rock solely by the action of the weather, a thin strata of iron on the top having protected these particular pieces and preserved them.
No accurate estimate can be made of the thousands of years this work of the elements has been in progress. There are perhaps a hundred of the peculiar formations of different sizes and shapes, some of which are really fantastic.
The Garden of the Gods is also a remarkable freak of Nature, partaking somewhat more of the grand and imposing.
It is a secluded spot, hemmed in by great rocks stood up on edge and on end. They are some of the more marked of the numerous evidences on every hand here of a grand upheaval some time in the past.
Imagine tremendous flat rocks, large enough to cover a quarter of an acre of ground, standing up on edge, 330 feet high, and you will have some idea of what forms the chief wonder of this garden.
G. B. G.
It will surprise many persons of the present day to be told that the “backlog” of which we read so much in old-time stories was a large stone, a porous stone being preferred if possible. This stone was buried in the ashes, and on top was placed the “back stick.” The back stone in those primitive times played a very important part in the economy of early housekeeping. Matches were not then invented. Flint, steel and tow were the only means of lighting a fire or a lamp. Imagine for a moment the Bridget of to-day thus engaged, with the thermometer ten degrees below zero in the kitchen. The stone, together with the ashes with which it was covered, served to retain fire and heat through the night, and all that was necessary in the morning was a little kindling and gentle use of the indispensable bellows, and a fire was as readily made as at the present day.392c
An humble room in a tenement house,
Four stories above the street,
Where a scanty fire, a scanty light,
And a scanty larder meet;
A woman sits at her daily toil,
Plying the needle and thread;
Her face is pallid with want and care,
And her hand as heavy as lead.
There she sits with her weary thought,
While the tears drop full and fast;
There she sits and stitches away,
With her memory in the past;
Beside her, perched on her little stool,
Sits Mamie, a six-year-old,
Who says she is never hungry at all,
And never admits she is cold.
There she sits and chatters away,
Not seeing her mother’s tears;
“Mamma, ’tis a month since winter came,
And I think to me it appears
That the Lord will never find us out,
If He’s anything to give,
Unless we can, some way, let Him know
The street and the number we live.
“You see, mamma, last winter He passed,
While papa was sick in bed;
He doesn’t know we are here, mamma,
And He doesn’t know papa is dead;
And so it happened all winter long
We didn’t have anything nice,
And so I think it would only be fair
If He came this winter twice.
“Do you ’member, mamma, that little, old man
Who gave me the bright, new cent?
Well, it wouldn’t buy much to eat, mamma,
And it would not pay for the rent;
So I bought a sheet of paper, mamma,
And I’ve written a letter in print—
It’s written to heaven direct, mamma,
And I’ve given Him just a hint.
“Shall I read it aloud to you, mamma?
Yes! Well, this is what I have said:
‘Dear Lord, my name is Mamie St. Clair,
And dear, darling papa is dead;
I live forty-four in the street they call Fourth,
And the cold of the winter is here;
My mamma is poor, and I go to school,
And I hope you will send this year.
“’I hope you will send mamma a new dress
Of something that’s warm and nice,
A paper of flour, some loaves of bread,
And a couple of pounds of rice;
And dear, loving Lord, do, if you feel rich,
You could send her some shoes to wear,
And two or three pounds of beef for soup,
Or anything else you can spare.392d
“’I’ve heard my dear mamma say many a time
That a chicken would do her much good,
And so, dear Lord, if chickens is cheap,
A chicken also, if you could;
With three pails of coal, if it isn’t too much,
And some stuff for mamma’s lame knee,
And oh, my dear Lord, pray don’t think me mean,
But a dear little dolly for me.’
“That’s all, my dear mamma, and now let me run
And send it to heaven at once,
For if He don’t get it by Christmas time,
He surely will think me a dunce.”
The letter was posted, the letter was scanned,
With numberless grins by the men
Whose duty it was to assort all the waifs
That came from the wonderful pen.
“Now where’s the dear Lord?” said one of these men;
“That’s me,” said another, quite grave.
“Here’s a letter, then!”—tossing the missive to him,
“And a twopenny stamp you will save.”
The letter was opened, the letter was read,
There were very few tearless eyes;
The reader looked round on the silent group,
And then, with a nod, he cries:
“Now, boys, there is something in this that I like—
It’s nature right straight up to win,
And we’ve all of us got to be lords right here—
So here is my dot to begin.”
The dollars flew down on the table like snow,
They came from the crowd’s great heart,
A letter was written by proxy and signed,
The proposer to play the part.
And so it came off upon one winter night
That there happened this strange affair;
A tapping came soft at Mamie’s door,
And a very old man stood there;
He was clad from his head to his feet so warm,
And his beard it was long and white.
“Good-even!” he said, as he pushed in a box
Then vanished quite out of their sight.
They were speechless, and only could stare at the box
Directed to Mamie St. Clair,
From “The Lord in Heaven.” What did it all mean?
And a letter beside was there—
A letter from heaven read: “Be a good girl,
And never do anything ill;
Love mamma as well as you do to-day.”
And a fifty-dollar bill.
If I wrote from now till the crack of doom,
I could tell no more than this.
It was all packed down in that wonderful box,
And the dolly—oh, gracious! what bliss!
And in time that letter to heaven direct
Sent many and many a friend,
And perhaps a new papa—who knows?—may be sent
By heaven itself, in the end.
“Reckon we’ll get ’em burned out by Tuesday week, Tom, and be ready for Pylant’s oranges. Suppose the old fellow will want us to take pay in town lots, though.”
“He’ll get left if he does;” and the lad by the fire removed the skillet of fried bacon from the coals and put the coffee-pot in its place. “I’m willing to work out a five-acre lot, but don’t want any towns. Say, Dave, what do you think of the party going to Punta Rassa?” he added, as he thrust a stick into the bean-pot to see what prospect there was for an early supper.
“Well, from what I hear, I fancy there is plenty of good land to be homesteaded in that section, and if we didn’t have a good job here, I’d be for joining them. I begin to feel a little anxious to have some land where we can be starting trees of our own.”
“Same here; but the land will come in good time, and while we’ve got a week’s rations of bacon and hominy ahead, I shan’t kick against luck. But grub’s ready.”
Both lads fell to with a relish. Beans seemed to be the central dish at almost every meal, and yet they somehow never seemed to tire of them.
They had encountered a good many hard knocks since leaving their Western home, but were evidently none the worse for them.
Dave Freeman, the son of a hard-working Kansas farmer, had come South to better his prospects, and with a deep but unexpressed longing to help the home folks.
At Flomaton, or Pensacola Junction, as it is now called, he had fallen in with Tom Byrne, an Indiana boy, and the two had soon become fast friends.
By getting occasional jobs along the way, and not infrequently “tramping it,” they had reached their present quarters, near Panasofkee, in Sumter County.
Here they had taken a contract from a “papertown” proprietor to clear five acres of land for seventy-five dollars.
This was a low figure, as the ground was full of palmetto roots, and not only were the trees to be cleared from the land, but all stumps to be burned out.
The boys already had been at work over two months, and hoped that another week would complete the job. On the first, their employer was to commence gathering his oranges, and they expected several weeks’ employment with him.
Although the work of clearing was very hard, the boys were rugged and hearty, and thoroughly enjoyed their novel surroundings.
After finishing their beans, they put away the few dishes, and began the round of their stumps. Here and there one was dying out, and new fuel had to be piled around it. As one stump burned out, it was dragged from its hole and placed against the roots of another.
And so, from one stump to another, adding fuel to this or dragging that away, their faces covered with soot, and looking more like negroes than white folks, the boys darted around, shouting gleefully to each other whenever one of the tall pines burned through and came crashing to the ground.
A little to one side, and out of reach of the fires, the boys had built a little six-by-ten shanty, where they kept their belongings and occasionally slept. More frequently, however, they slung their hammock between two pines, near the camp-fire.
At first, the peculiar roar of the alligators from the swamp near by had disturbed their rest, but they very soon got accustomed to it, and also to the startling challenge of a large bat, which is apt to frighten strangers by its sudden appearance and shrill cry.
A few days before the boys finished their contract, a party of surveyors stopped at their shanty to get a drink of water, and to see if they could get them for a couple of days.
As the pay offered was good, the boys were glad to accept it, and five minutes were sufficient to put their few belongings into the shanty and to nail up the door.
It took the party some hours to reach their destination, and as soon as they had 393b partaken of a lunch, they began to survey a site for a new town.
The boys had seen a great many “paper towns” since they came to Florida, but as a rule had taken little interest in them. They were usually ventures of men who did not have money enough to make their speculations a success.
Tom and Dave were put to work carrying chain, and very soon became interested in the talk of their companions.
The spot chosen was a very beautiful one—a sloping hillside gradually narrowing into a strip six or seven hundred yards wide and running between two of the most picturesque lakes the boys had ever seen.
From the talk of the surveyors they learned that a number of them were railroad men, and that they were endeavoring to buy at nominal figures all the choice lands along the line of the new road before the settlers became aware of its value.
They discussed their plans before the boys without reserve, and it soon became evident to the latter that the future of this hillside could bear no comparison with the other paper towns they had seen. A number of very wealthy men were interested in it, and they proposed to make it the winter home of themselves and friends.
“You see, gentlemen,” said one of the men to his companions, as he pointed across the strip of land to the slope on the other side, “the road will wind around the lake, across the neck of land, and along 393c the western side of the lake to the right, and then in almost a bee-line toward Palatka. Ten years from now, and this hillside for forty miles will be a succession of orange groves. Near the depot we shall have a limited number of business lots, while the balance of the land will be surveyed into large orange grove and villa tracts. It will be specified in each deed that no cheap buildings shall be erected. It is not a mere speculation, as there are already a dozen or more men who will begin elegant residences as soon as the land is surveyed.”
“Do you know, professor, who owns that point jutting into the lake? It is a fine building site.”
The speaker was a tall, sharp-featured man of middle age, whom his friends addressed as doctor.
“No,” answered the professor, “but I think a man named Pylant is the owner, and that the twenty acres beyond belong to a Dutchman in Eustis. However, we do not wish to make inquiries at present. They saw us when we came out, and should we go back now and value their land, they will put on four prices. Our policy is to go back as though we were disappointed in the land, and by the time we return next week they will offer it at our own figures. We can probably get it for two to four dollars an acre. It is thirty miles from any town, and as Pylant got it from the government, four dollars will be a big price to him.”
“And in twelve months it will be worth as many hundred,” said the doctor.393d
Tom and Dave looked at each other curiously, and wondered how they would feel if they owned a few acres on this hillside.
At the end of the week—for the two days’ work had lengthened into five—the boys were paid fifteen dollars, and told they would be soon wanted for several months, should they care to return.
Everything was found safe at the shanty, and the boys went to work at the stumps with a will. At the end of the third day, the last root was reduced to ashes, and then Dave set to work to prepare a supper suitable for such an occasion. Fried quail (which they had snared), orange slump, pineapple shortcake, baked beans and a pot of steaming coffee graced the table (or rather box), while by way of dessert a pillow-case full of oranges, picked up in a neighboring grove, stood by the side of the banqueting board.
Next morning the boys went to see Mr. Pylant.
“So you’ve cleaned it up, have you?” he exclaimed, as the boys told him their errand. “I saw last week it was most done. Reckon you’ll want a little money and the rest in land. Sharp boys! know land is best—goin’ up, goin’ up all the time.”
“But if you please, Mr. Pylant, we’d rather have the money,” said Dave, quietly.
“Money!” exclaimed the “cracker,” in astonishment. “Why, boys, in one year there’ll be a city on that land, and you’ll be rich. The lots I let you have for thirty dollars’ll be worth a fortune.”394a
“We don’t want any lots,” replied Dave, decidedly. “We intend to get some land when we can, but we must have it large enough to put out a good grove on.”
“Well, I’ll sell you a five-acre lot near the village for two hundred dollars, and you can work it out.”
“Too much,” answered Dave. “We want cheaper land, and are willing to go a longer distance from town.”
“But that’s cheap,” expostulated Pylant, who began to fear he would have to pay out money. “How far would you be willin’ to go for land?” he added, as another idea seemed to strike him.
“Not particular, if the land is good and price low.”
“Then I’ve got the identical place for you,” cried Pylant, his face brightening; “splendid land, and on a beautiful lake.”
“Mebbe it’s twenty miles or so,” he at length said, slowly; “but it’s good, and I’ll let you have it low.”
“Twenty miles is a long distance from town,” said Dave, dubiously; “but what’ll you take?”
Fearing he would lose the sale, Pylant lowered the figures he had mentally fixed upon, and said, quickly:
“If you take the twenty acres, you can have it for three dollars and a half an acre. I reckoned on sellin’ to the party here last week, and I ’lowed to myself I’d ask five dollars. But, somehow, they didn’t seem to take to it.”
“Well,” said Dave, slowly, as though hesitating, “I reckon we’ll take it. Can you fix up the deed now?”
“Right off!” answered Pylant, quickly, fearing the boys might change their mind. “Here are the other five dollars I owe you.”
Ten minutes later, Dave and Tom were the owners of the coveted twenty acres.
For the next two weeks the boys worked in the orange grove and added another thirty-five dollars to their fund.
Their living cost very little, and they now had nearly fifty dollars between them.
Feeling comparatively wealthy, and with the prospect of, perhaps, weeks of idleness before them, if they remained where they were, the boys concluded to remove to their new possession.
Provisions enough to last two months were purchased, and with these, and with a miscellaneous collection of kettles, axes, and other tools, the boys set out.
Although the load was packed and strapped to their backs in the most convenient manner, it took two days to complete their journey.
The third was spent in making a camp and looking up the stubs which marked the boundaries of their twenty acres.
Like most of the high pine land in Florida, their tract was free from palmetto, and consequently much easier to clear than the low pine they had previously been at work upon.
Four weeks passed, and they had heard nothing from the surveying party.
Nearly three acres were cleared, and the boys were already calculating how many orange and lemon trees they would put out.
One morning, as Tom was digging a hole under the roots of a lofty pine, preparatory to setting it on fire, he was greeted with a surprised:
“Why, boys! What are you doing here?”
And he looked up to meet the keen eyes of the doctor.
“Clearing up our new purchase,” answered Tom, quietly.
The doctor’s shrewd face broadened into a smile.
“I see,” he said, pleasantly. “But how much are we to pay you boys for outwitting us? I saw Pylant yesterday, and was told that you had the land. The old man was nearly crazy, when one of us said we would be willing to go as high as twenty dollars an acre.”
“I reckon we don’t care to sell at present,” said Dave. “Our twenty acres wouldn’t make much difference to you, who own as many thousand around the lakes.”
The doctor and his friends laughed good-humoredly.
“That’s right, boys,” said the one called professor; “hold the land for an advance. It will come sooner than you expect, perhaps. But we shall want your services for the next three months, to help our surveyors; so be at our camp in the morning.”
After this the boys could not complain 394b of loneliness. A few weeks of surveying outlined the streets and blocks of the new town; a sawmill was quickly under way; buildings went up rapidly, and here and there were displayed the new goods of enterprising young merchants.
The fame of the new town spread through the surrounding country, and every day brought new arrivals, seeking work; and soon hundreds of axes could be heard on the hillside, clearing the land and making ready for the numerous young groves to be put out in the spring.
Dave and Tom had all the work they could do, and utilized the evenings and odd moments in burning the trees and stumps on their land. By the first of February they had five acres cleared and fenced, and ready for trees.
Believing the best to be the cheapest, they sent to one of the nurseries for three hundred and fifty budded trees. They took especial pains in setting them out, and in due time had as thrifty a young grove as one could wish to see.
The trees cost them all the money they had earned and most of what they had laid aside; but when they looked at their beautiful young grove, they were more than satisfied.
Before the end of the year the proposed railroad was built, and its advent made a tremendous rise in the value of land.
The boys had had many excellent offers for their land before, but invariably declined to consider them. As the depot had been built very near them, they knew their place must advance rapidly.
However, shortly after the erection of the depot, they received an offer of seven thousand dollars for the unimproved ten acres, and after a short consultation, decided to accept it. Dave had not seen his people for nearly two years, and was anxious to visit them. Tom, who was alone in the world, was to remain and look after their grove.
So a few weeks later saw Dave walking up the lane to the old homestead. Knowing how particular his father was, he was greatly surprised at the thriftless look of everything. A man was hobbling across the yard as he approached, and Dave saw with dismay that the haggard face belonged to his father.
Their meeting may be imagined, and Dave soon knew of the broken leg and the long, hard winter following it, with no one to look after things and unpaid bills accumulating rapidly.
“A sorry home-coming, my boy,” said his father, with a wan smile.
But Dave’s story quickly changed the aspect of things. The bills were paid; pinching want was a thing of the past.
And then Dave talked and argued until his parents agreed to return with him and spend the winter in Florida, and give that genial climate a chance to make his father well and strong again.
[This Story began in No. 21.]
I was handed over to the custody of a little man, with big, staring eyes, and a magnified head of hair that made him look like a gun-swab. This was Mr. Janks, the jailor.
He stood looking at me for some moments, swinging a bunch of keys on his finger, and then said, mournfully, “So, you’ve come, have you?” which made me think that he must have dreamed of my coming.
Then he took up a small lamp, and, after examining me from head to foot as if I were some strange animal, he gave vent to a dismal groan, and asked me if I was hungry.
Receiving a negative answer, he groaned again, and beckoned me to follow him.
He led the way along a damp and chilly stone corridor, lined with little iron doors, which I needed no one to tell me belonged to cells, and I followed him very readily. My previous notions of prison treatment included the immediate ironing of the culprit to the extent of several hundredweight, and, finding myself mistaken, my spirits rose accordingly.394c
He stopped before one of the little doors near the end of the corridor, and, opening it with a large key, ushered me into an apartment about eight feet square.
This was my cell. The walls and ceiling were whitewashed, and the only furniture was an iron bedstead, covered with two coarse, gray blankets.
Mr. Janks waved his keys around as if to welcome me to this abode, and then, instead of going out and leaving me to my reflections, he leaned up against the door and groaned once more.
“The wickedness of these boys!” he said, passing his hand through his hair, and apparently addressing the ceiling. “Why do they ever come here? Why did you come here?”
I hastened to explain that I did not come of my own accord, and so far from wishing to be in jail, if he would only have the kindness to open the door, I would promise him to make my exit, and never return.
“And so young!” continued Mr. Janks, without paying any attention to my remarks, and still apostrophizing the ceiling. “But it’s allus the way! The younger they are, the worse they are!”
Then he launched forth into a description of the number of bad boys who had passed through his hands, and endeavored to draw a parallel between their case and mine, but, I think, with poor success.
He kept up this monologue for at least ten minutes, while I sat on the couch and listened with anything but pleasurable emotions.
At the end of that time he came to a sudden stop, and went out slowly, groaning dismally.
When the sound of his footsteps had died away down the corridor, I surrendered myself to my thoughts. And how I did think!
What had been all my trouble compared to this? In prison! The thought was horrifying!
I felt now that I would not dare return home—for who would not shrink from me as a malefactor?
Besides, I was extremely dubious as to my impending fate. I was not afraid of being convicted of larceny, unless Mary Jane Robinson perjured herself; but I was desperately afraid of Mr. Barron.
I knew he took the Lancaster Examiner, and should he see my name in it, I felt certain he would pounce down on me, and then—well, something terrible would certainly happen.
The sky looked very dark and cloudy just then, and you may easily imagine how bitterly I regretted my foolishness in running away.
I lay awake for an hour or more thinking in this fashion, and then I fell into a fitful slumber.
How long I slept, I don’t know; but when I awoke it was with a strange feeling that I was not alone—that some one was in the cell with me.
I was wide awake in an instant, and my heart beat so loudly that I fancied I could hear it.
I listened intently, and presently heard a light “pitapat,” as if some one was walking across the floor; and while I was trying to muster up courage to call out, there was a sharp click, a flood of light illumined the cell, and I saw that the intruder was a man.
He was standing near the opposite wall, and in his hand he held a lighted wax taper, with the aid of which he was taking a survey of the room.
As he turned slowly around, I saw that he was young, rather good-looking, and well-dressed, and at the same time he saw me.
He started, and with an exclamation of alarm, dropped the taper.
In an instant, however, he recovered the taper and himself, and advanced toward me.
“Who are you?” he demanded. “And how did you get here?”
I related, in a few words, who I was and how I came to be incarcerated.
He laughed lightly when I had finished, and said:
“I suppose you wonder how I came here. Look!”
I looked, and saw an aperture in the wall about two feet square.
“I came through that,” he said, laughing softly at my evident astonishment. “My cell is on the other side. Now, I am going to escape from this jail, and I want you to go with me.”
I know now that his reason was to prevent my giving an alarm; but I thought then that it was because he took pity on me.
And I joyfully accepted his offer, 394d although I couldn’t imagine how he was to manage it, and I made a remark to that effect.
“Easy enough,” he said. “You have only a lock on your door, while there’s a dozen bolts on mine. That’s why I dug through, expecting to find the cell empty. However, it is all right. Take off your shoes.”
I did so, and then my companion put out the lights, having first opened the door with what looked like a piece of wire.
Then he whispered to me to keep hold of his sleeve, step cautiously and not let my shoes fall, and then we moved out into the corridor, now black as Egypt.
My guide also seemed to be in his stocking feet; but where his shoes were I couldn’t imagine.
We moved along slowly, but steadily, my guide seeming to know the way, and presently he opened a door with only a slight creak, and then whispered in my ear:
“We are in the lodge. Don’t breathe.”
Again we moved on and again stopped, and from one or two sharp clicks I judged him to be trying to open another door.
Suddenly he drew me forward. I felt a rush of cold air, and the next instant I was out of jail.
“Wait!” said my companion.
And he closed the wicket gate, and locked it noiselessly.
“If they find the gate open, they’ll smell a rat,” he remarked. “Now then, my boy, come on.”
I kept closely by his side, and for half an hour we moved along, keeping in the shadow of the houses, until we reached the outskirts of the town.
“Now then,” said my companion, speaking for the first time, “put on your shoes.”
I did so, and very glad I was to do it. At the same time he reached down and drew off his stockings, and then I saw they had been drawn on over his boots.
Then he took my hand, and we walked along steadily and swiftly for an hour, until the lights of Lancaster had faded in the distance, and not until then did my companion fall into a walk and conversation.
“What did you say you were in for?” he asked.
“For nothing,” I answered, promptly.
This seemed to amuse him greatly.
“Of course not,” said he, after an outburst of laughter. “I never saw a prisoner in my life who wasn’t innocent!”
I attempted to explain, but he wouldn’t listen.
“No matter—it’s not my business. It was forgery with me—ten years at the least; and I couldn’t stand that, you know.”
“Certainly not,” said I, not knowing what else to say.
Then, by way of turning the conversation, I inquired how he came to be provided with tools to effect his escape.
He looked at me suspiciously for a moment, as if he suspected me of some hidden motive in asking the question, and then, apparently satisfied with the scrutiny, he informed me that his friends had sent him pies every day for two weeks past.
“Pies?” I exclaimed, in open-mouthed wonder.
“Yes, pies,” he said, gravely. “Don’t you see? Nothing but the crusts. Inside were keys, saws and a jimmy.”
“Yes—here it is. That came in four pies.”
He took from his coat-pocket four pieces of steel, and in an instant fitted them together into a bar about two feet in length.
“Not much to look at, is it?” said he; “but it is a crowbar, chisel, hammer and wrench, all in one. It only took me two nights to cut into your cell.”
“And how did you know your way out in the dark?” I asked.
“Because I came in that way, and I always keep my eyes open. Hello!”
“What’s the matter?” I asked, in some alarm, as he came to a sudden halt.
“Nothing much,” he answered; “only that I must leave you here. I don’t know where you are going, and I don’t propose to let you know where I am going. Besides, it is much harder to follow two than one, and there is no use of us both being captured.”395a
“Captured?” I repeated, in dismay. “Do you think the officers will follow us?”
“Do I think so? I know they will.”
I was so terrified that my teeth chattered, at this announcement, and he noticed it.
“Don’t get too scared, young one,” he added, consolingly. “They won’t look for you half as much as they will for me. If you travel right straight on, and keep out of their clutches for a week, you’ll be safe.”
“But I haven’t done anything,” I said, tremblingly.
“Oh, yes you have,” said he, with a laugh. “You have broken jail, and that means a year at least, if you’re caught.”
I was so overwhelmed at this dread piece of news that I could only lean up against a convenient fence and stare at him.
“Come, come!” he cried, impatiently, “brace up! They haven’t got you yet. If you go straight through this cornfield you will strike a road that will take you to Columbia. Good-by!”
Before I had time to reply, he had plunged into the woods on the right of the road, and I was left alone.
I was terribly alarmed, and lost no time in making my way through the cornfield; and when I found the road, I sped along it at a rapid gait. Fear lent me wings, and I fancied every bush an officer.
It was a warm but pleasant night, and the moon was just rising. I calculated that it must be about midnight, and I determined that I would put many a mile between me and Lancaster before daybreak.
So I set off at a dog-trot, and I kept it up until I saw the sun rising over the eastern hills.
By that time I must have gone about twenty miles, and I was completely tired out, and very glad to crawl into the shelter of some neighboring woods and lie down to rest.
Before I knew it I was asleep, and I did not awake until late in the afternoon.
I was stiff and sore, and at the same time ravenously hungry. The first two ailments wore away as I started again on my journey, but the latter increased until I determined to brave anything rather than suffer any longer.
The first house I came to was a small yellow frame, close to the road, with a yellow dog chained on the porch, and a woman frying ham in the kitchen.
“Please, ma’am,” said I.
“G’way!” said she. “Here, Tige!”
“G’way, I say! We don’t want no tramps hookin’ everything they kin lay their hands on!”
“Please, ma’am,” I persisted, mildly, “I am not a tramp. I want something to eat”—the woman started to unchain the dog—“for which I am willing to pay.”
“Come right in,” said the woman, with a broad smile. “I declare I couldn’t have the heart to turn anybody away hungry. Tramps bother a person so that I get kinder suspicious, but I could see right away you were different from the general run.”
While she was talking she was busily engaged in setting the table with fried ham, potatoes, bread and butter and coffee, and I lost no time in falling to. I paid a quarter for it when I had finished, and got away as quickly as possible, as I feared the arrival of some of the men folks, who might have their suspicions aroused.
All that night I traveled on and slept in the woods again. Not to enter into particulars, it is sufficient to say that I kept this up for a week, until I found myself in the vicinity of Williamsport, and by that time I judged myself to be reasonably safe.
So I boldly entered that city in broad daylight, had a bath and my hair cut, a complete change of underclothing, and enjoyed a day of rest.
When I started out again, the next morning, I had recovered my usual spirits, and took to the road, determined to keep going as long as my money and strength held out. I had twenty-five dollars of the former and an unlimited supply of the latter.
All that day I tramped on steadily enough, buying both my dinner and supper for trifling sums; and, when night came on, I thought it would be just as well to camp in the woods again.
For that purpose I left the road, and, plunging into the forest on my left, I soon came to a secluded spot, near a ravine or 395b gully, and there I made myself a bed of dry leaves.
On this I lay down, and was fast drifting into the Land of Nod, when I was aroused by a sound something like the rattling of tinware.
I promptly sat up and listened. Again I heard the rattling, and as it evidently come from the ravine, I arose and began an investigation.
Peering over the edge of the gully, I saw at the bottom, about fifteen feet below, a bright light, and the rattling sound again smote my ears.
By this time my curiosity was excited to the utmost, and, catching hold of a small sapling, I leaned far over the edge to observe the why and wherefor. As I did so, I felt the sapling giving away, and I made a desperate attempt to recover myself.
It was no use. Down went the sapling into the ravine and I along with it.
The sapling and I fell directly on a fire of branches, from which came the light at which I had been gazing.
I was slightly stunned, but I scrambled to my feet just as a heavy hand was laid on my collar, and a gruff voice said:
“Vell! here’s a precious go!”
I looked up, and saw that the voice and hand belonged to the same person—a short, stout man, with sallow complexion and glistening black eyes. His dress was a curious compound of broad, glazed hat and blue shift of a sailor and the flashy check vest and pantaloons of a peddler.
“Vere did you come from, anyhow,” he demanded, before I had finished my survey, “a-busting down on a chap vithout varning, and a smashing of his pots and kettles?”
“Pots and kettles?” I repeated, inquiringly.
For answer he pointed indignantly to the ground, and then I saw what damage my descent had caused.
A rusty coffee-pot, a little dish and a skillet were scattered among the embers of the fire.
“That’s vot you did,” said he, resentfully. “Here vos I, a-cooking my supper and a-thinking of just nothink at all, when all of a suddent down you come, like a cannon-ball, and avay goes everythink! It was werry aggerwating because it was nearly done.”
“I assure you, sir,” said I, very contritely, “that I had no intention of falling on your fire or your supper.”
Then I explained the cause of my sudden descent, and wound up by offering to pay for the damage.
By this time the man had entirely recovered his temper—if he had ever lost it, which I very much doubt—and smiled kindly.
“Vell, vell, there ain’t much harm done except putting my supper back half an hour. Put up your money, my boy, and join me.”
Then he righted the utensils, and whistling a lively air, prepared the meal anew. And this he did with an adroitness that proved the task to be by no means an unusual one.
Within half an hour, he had made a pot of coffee, a pan of biscuits and a savory stew, and we were soon discussing this supper very amiably together.
After supper he washed out the dishes and utensils in a brook near by, and lying at full length on the ground, composed himself for a smoke.
All this time I had been regarding him in silence, but with considerable curiosity, and I had about made up my mind that he was a gipsy, on his way to join his tribe, when he startled me by saying, abruptly:
I intimated that I was all attention.
“Who are you?” he asked, bluntly.
“Jack Wood,” I answered, promptly, although a trifle nervously.
“My name is Miles Norris,” he rejoined, after a long pause. “I’m a wender of physics and knickknacs.”
“Not exactly,” he replied, rising on his elbow and winking at me significantly. “I cures people as hasn’t got nothink the matter vith ’em and thinks they has.”
This sentence was too deep for me to fathom, and on my intimating as much, he condescended to explain.
“I go round the country selling my own medicines, which is Norris’s Golden Balsam, wot cures all kinds of pains, cuts and bruises, whatsomedever they 395c may be; fifty cents a bottle, small bottles twenty-five. Then there’s the Lightning Toothache Drops, wot cures that hagonizing malady in one second, or money refunded—twenty-five cents a bottle. And finally, ’ere we ’ave the Great American Tooth Powder, which makes the blackest teeth vite in less’n no time, and makes the gums strong and ’elthy—ten cents a box. And each and every purchaser is presented vith a book containing fifty songs, all new and prime, free gratis and for nothink! Valk hup, ladies and gentlemen; who’ll ’ave another bottle?”
During this recital, Doctor Norris gradually assumed a professional demeanor, and near the close he rose to his feet, and gesticulated as if addressing a large audience.
But at the close he suddenly cooled down, and assuming his recumbent position, said, listlessly:
“Now you know me.”
“Certainly,” said I; “but then I do not see—”
“I hunderstand,” said he. “You don’t see no Balsam, nor Drops, nor Powder?”
“I do not.”
“And you vonder vere they are?”
“Your surprise is werry natural,” said Doctor Norris, with great gravity. “I am out of those inwaluable medicines at present, but ven I get to my laboratory, I shall roll ’em out wholesale.”
“Then you make them?”
“In course. I couldn’t trust anybody else.”
Then, after a pause, he added, slowly:
“I don’t know but that I might let you into my secrets if— What did you say your name was?”
I repeated my alias, and told my fictitious history.
“So you ain’t got nothink to do?”
“How would you like to work for me?”
“Selling my medicines.”
“Done!” cried I, joyfully.
“Hold hup!” said he, quickly. “I ain’t quite certain. Can you patter?”
“Can I what?”
“Gab, I mean—talk? Are you good on that?”
“I think I am,” I answered, modestly.
“And ’ave you got plenty of cheek?”
“Oh, yes! Why?”
“Because you’ll need it. You wouldn’t be afraid to stand hup before a big crowd and blow away about the Balsam, or the Powder, nor yet the Drops—hey?”
I assured him that the prospect did not dismay me in the least.
My companion then brought the conversation to a conclusion very summarily.
“Then, Jack Wood,” said he, “you’re my man!”
Then he rolled over and went to sleep, and although somewhat astonished at the suddenness of the doctor’s resolution, I thought his action a good one, and I rolled over and went to sleep, also.
I awoke at sunrise, or rather Doctor Norris awoke me by a vigorous dig in the ribs with the point of his boot, and told me that breakfast was ready. I arose at once, washed my face, combed my hair, and then astonished the doctor by the vigor of my appetite.
During the meal he confided to me his plans for the future. He had laid out a route through Butler and Beaver counties to the State line, and thence through Ohio until winter set in.
“I make enough in summer to lay hup in winter,” he explained. “It’s an ’ealthy and hinvigorating life, and I like it. I’ve traveled over nearly all the States between the Atlantic and the Mississippi, ’ave ’ad my hups and downs, and I wouldn’t change places with a king.”
I rather doubted whether the doctor knew very much about kings, that he could afford to speak so positively, but I felt that it would be neither polite nor prudent to disagree with him.
“I dare say I shall like the life very well,” I said, quietly. “But—what am I expected to do?”
“You’ll be my assistant,” said the doctor, in a lofty voice, as if he was announcing my appointment to a cabinet position.
Then he went into details, and explained that I was to assist him in concocting and selling the wonderful remedies of which he was the inventor.
This duty included filling bottles, pasting on labels, carrying his baggage, making his fires, and several other minor matters which he could not recall just then.
“Ve’ll camp out like this most of the time,” he added. “Hotels is hexpensive, and I never stops at ’em, unless it’s raining or I’m going to sell in the town. You von’t mind that, vill you?”395d
I was more than delighted at the prospect, and I said so.
“This man,” I told myself, “is evidently a great traveler, and he is going West. If I stick to him my fortune is made.”
It did not take the doctor long to pack up his traps, and, dividing them between us, we journeyed along very agreeably.
When we arrived in Butler we went to a hotel, and there, in the seclusion of our room, the doctor manufactured three dozen bottles of the balsam, as many of the toothache drops and twice as many boxes of the tooth-powder.
At this distance of time I cannot recall the ingredients of these justly celebrated remedies, but I can cheerfully testify to their harmlessness.
The balsam was composed of two or three simple aromatic oils, the toothache drops was merely a diluted essence of the oil of cloves, and the wonderful tooth-powder chalk powdered and scented.
The labels for the various compounds the doctor carried in his oilcloth bag, and the bottles, boxes and various ingredients he purchased at the village drug stores.
I am almost ashamed to tell you what enormous profits he made on his sales, and will only mention that he once told me that the bottle and label formed nine-tenths of the cost of the Golden Balsam, which retailed at one dollar.
In these days the street of physic is an ordinary sight, but a quarter of a century ago he was almost unknown outside of the largest cities.
After being a month in the company of Doctor Norris I easily understood why he followed such a life. In the town of Butler two days’ sales netted him sixty dollars, and he made nearly as much in Beaver.
He was not always so successful, but, taking one week with another, I judged that he cleared at least fifty dollars, which was a bank president’s salary in those days.
His methods were such as are in use among this class of gentry all the world over.
Having prepared his stock in trade, he would gravely walk down the main street, followed by your humble servant.
Halting on the most prominent corner, he and I would arrange the boxes and bottles in attractive pyramids on the top of a box or a barrel, taking as much time as possible, so as to attract the attention of the passers-by.
Having achieved this object, the doctor would mount on a soap-box, so as to raise himself above the crowd, and begin his harangue.
He always began gravely, and not until he had made several sales did he venture on a joke or a witticism, although he had a plentiful stock of cheap wit, such as crowds delight in.
Another thing: When he spoke in public he used excellent English, and the cockney dialect entirely disappeared. He never explained this to me, but I suppose he was like an actor on the stage when addressing a crowd.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he would say, in calm and measured tones, “Shakespeare has said, ‘Throw physic to the dogs; I’ll none of it!’ and he was right. Medicinal drugs are pernicious, even when given by a practiced physician, but when administered by quacks, it is little short of murder. Now, in my medicines I do not give you strange and deadly drugs. The articles I use are all known to you” (this was strictly true), “the mode of preparation only being a secret. No pain, no danger in their use, absolutely harmless to the smallest child, yet so powerful that the most deadly ailments yield to their power.”
Thus the doctor talked on for fifteen minutes, taking the crowd into his confidence in a learned and fatherly way, until some fellow bashfully thrust forward a coin, and then the money rolled in.
The doctor was now in his element; he was witty, he cracked jokes, he told stories, and even indulged in snatches of song, and he rarely failed to hold his audience until his stock was exhausted.
This operation sometimes consumed three or four hours, and sometimes his eloquence was wasted. But at all times he was cheerful and polite, and good and bad fortune seemed alike to him.
I thought then, and I still think, that he was a remarkable man; and I am sure that he treated me very kindly. He paid me a very liberal salary of ten dollars a month, and whenever he had an unusually good day, gave me an extra dollar.
All of this money I carefully stowed away in my belt for a rainy day, which I felt sure would come. And my experience did not deceive me.
After leaving Pennsylvania, we traveled through the small towns of Ohio until near the middle of December, as it was a very open winter, and it was nearly Christmas before the cold and snow drove us into winter quarters in Toledo.
The doctor intended to treat himself to a three months’ rest, and for that purpose hired two rooms and kept bachelor’s hall, and invited me to keep him company.
I received no wages; but as he was to bear all expenses, I willingly agreed to the arrangement.
These three months were absolutely uneventful, and about the first of April we started out again.
The doctor had laid out a new route for this season. We traveled across country by stage to Keokuk, Iowa, intending to travel up the river as far as St. Paul, and then work eastward thorough Wisconsin and Michigan, and close the season at Detroit.
But we never carried out our programme. My cruel fate pursued me—or was it punishment for my foolishness?—and at Davenport I was once more cast adrift.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
According to Jewish tradition, it was seven days after the Passover that the Israelites passed over the Red Sea.
Before they left they were directed by God to ask (not “borrow,” as it is in our version) of the Egyptians jewels of silver and gold, and other articles that would be of service to them.
It was customary thus on the eve of a journey, or at the close of a term of service, to ask gifts. The practice corresponded to the asking of backshish, still so common in the East.
The Egyptians, it seemed, readily and generously granted the request of the Israelites and supplied them abundantly. Thus, in some slight measure, they made return for the long years of unrequited service which the Hebrews had rendered to Egypt’s land and Egypt’s king.
While the Egyptians were bewailing their dead, the children of Israel, having finished hurriedly their Passover feast, started on their journey of escape. Leaving Rameses, the western part of Goshen, they assembled at Succoth—“place of tents”—so called because it was a camping place for caravans going east, then and now. They were, perhaps, four days gathering at this spot, about two millions of people all told.
The next point which they reached was Etham. This was a district of country just on the edge of the desert. From this point there were three routes to Palestine. The Israelites, by divine direction, took the most southern.
They were at first surprised at this order of march; but it was the only safe one for them. The most northern would have taken them right through the country of the warlike and hostile Philistines, and the middle route (after passing the great wall which stretched from Pelusium on the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf of Suez) would have brought them right out upon the desert.
Several days had elapsed since the Israelites started on their flight. Pharaoh already missed them. His important works were brought to a standstill; there was no one to make or handle bricks, and the loss of so large and so efficient a body of workers was severely felt.
A reaction takes place in the mind of the king; he charges himself with folly in letting the people go, and resolves to pursue them. He learns, also, that they have not yet got out of the land of Egypt, and he thinks that by the fact that they have turned south, and not gone directly to the east, they are confused, and he plans to catch them when they are hemmed in by the mountains and the sea.
With six hundred of his swiftest chariots he at once sets out after them, leaving orders, doubtless, for other chariots as well as foot soldiers to follow as soon as possible.
The Israelites were in the greatest alarm; there was no visible means of escape. They could go no further south, for the mountains were in front of them; they could not turn to the right for the same reason; the Egyptians were in their rear, and the Red Sea was before them. They were in a trap. This is what Pharaoh expected. The strategy on which he had reckoned (ver. 3) had worked admirably.
“And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
“And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel: and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.”
It is singular that this blind king should so soon forget that there was a God in Israel, and that he was to come into collision again with that Being who had so often foiled, and finally, in the death of the first-born, had utterly crushed him.
But none are so blind or so heedless as the obstinate and the unbelieving. It will be seen that the battle that is soon to follow will end as before—in the defeat 396b of Pharaoh, and, as some think, his death.
We have in this “angel of God” the same being that we have met so often before, who talked familiarly with Abraham and Jacob. He is the one who afterward came in the form of the flesh, and is called Christ.
This time His symbol was a cloud, and at night a pillar of fire. In such a large host as that of the children of Israel were at this time, it would be necessary that there be some elevated central object, so that those of the people scattered widely, in caring for the flocks and other like services, should not lose the location of the camp.
Some such arrangement was early found important in caravans crossing the deserts, so that it was customary to carry a round grate with fire, held aloft on a pole. The ancient Persians and some other nations carried a sacred fire in silver altars before their armies.
At night this cloud over the camp of the Israelites was illumined by some strong internal fire, so that the host dwelt amid the darkness of the desert as in a city brightly lighted. It was a marvelous miracle.
This cloud now changed its position as the Egyptians came near to the Israelites. It stood between the two hosts. Over the Egyptians it was a dense fog that cut off all their vision so that they could not tell what the Israelites were doing, while to the latter it was as though it had caught and held the rays of the setting sun, and poured a brilliant glory all over and through their encampment. The Egyptians, thinking that the rising sun will disperse the fog, wait for morning.
“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
“And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”
While the Egyptians were thus waiting, the Israelites were busy; they were making the best use of their time. They were making their escape by the way last of all thought possible—even the bottom of the sea!
The crossing was made in the neighborhood of what are now called the Bitter 396c Lakes. This was then most probably the head of the Red Sea.
It was at a time of the year when the tide would help the action of the wind. If there were shoals or flats at the place where the crossing is supposed to have occurred, as there are now at Suez, the wind and the tide clearing a passage there would leave deep water on both sides of the passage-way, and this most probably is the meaning of the expression that the waters were a wall to them on either side.
“They were a defense; not necessarily perpendicular cliffs, as they were often pictured. God could make the water stand in precipices if He should so choose, and such a conception is more impressive to the imagination, but it is certain that the language of the text may mean simply that the water was a protection on the right and on the left flanks of the host. Thus, in Nahum 3:8, No (Thebes) is said to have the sea (the broad Nile) for the rampart and a wall—that is, a defense, a protection against enemies. It is true that in poetical passages the waters are said to have stood ’as a heap’ (Exod. 15:8; Psa. 78:13); but so they are also, in the same style, said to have been ’congealed in the heart of the sea,’ and the peaks of the trembling Horeb are said to have ’skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs’ (Psa. 114:4). Of course these expressions are not to be literally and prosaically interpreted.”
The wind thus prevailed all night, to keep the passage open until all the Israelites had crossed and the pursuing Egyptians had got well into the sea.
“And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen.
“And it came to pass that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians.
“And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.”
Surrounded by darkness and enveloped by the fog, the Egyptians did not know that they were rushing into the midst of the sea. It is not said that Pharaoh went in, and yet as the post of the king is usually represented on the ancient monuments as leading his soldiers—marching at their head—it may be, as some think, that his chariot led those six hundred chariots, and that he perished with them.
“The chariots of Egypt were very famous. According to Diodorus Siculus, Rameses II had twenty-seven thousand in his army. The processes of manufacture of chariots and harness are fully illustrated by existing sculptures, in which also are represented the chariots used by neighboring nations.”—Rev. H. W. Phillot.
At this point the movements of the Egyptians are very much impeded. Shortly after midnight, the fog changed into a 396d storm cloud, blazing with lightning and growling with thunder. This was terrifying to the Egyptians in the extreme, as they were not accustomed to thunderstorms, and scarcely ever saw rain.
“Showers of rain also came down from the sky, and dreadful thunder and lightning, with flashes of fire. Thunderbolts also were darted upon them; nor was there anything which God sends upon men as indications of His wrath which did not happen at this time.”—Josephus.
Psalms 77:15-20 refers to this storm. Although the Israelites went through dry-shod, the pursuing chariots sank in the mire, were buried in the sand, and in some cases the wheels were wrenched off, so that the superstitious Egyptians recognized the fact that the God of Israel was fighting against them. They therefore began to retreat. In the meantime the children of Israel had an abundance of time to make good their escape.
“Before the captivity, the night (between sunset and sunrise) was divided by the Israelites into three watches—the first watch, the middle watch and the morning watch. It appears that the Israelites had the space of two watches, at least (or eight hours), for effecting their passage.”—Murphy.
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and upon their horsemen.
“And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it, and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
“And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.”
After the fugitives had safely gained the farther shore, and while the Egyptians were still struggling in the middle of the passage, through the gray of the dawn they saw the majestic form of Moses rise upon the opposite bank. They saw him stretch forth that terrible rod—that rod which had left so many deep scars upon the fair land of Egypt—and immediately the wind ceased, its strong pressure was relaxed, the sudden swell of the tide caught the waters, and they, as if impatient of restraint, leaped again to their wonted channel, burying the hopeless and helpless enemy.
“A sudden cessation of the wind at sunrise, coinciding with a spring tide (it was full moon), would immediately convert the low, flat sand-banks, first into a quicksand, and then into a mass of waters, in a time far less than would suffice for the escape of a single chariot or horseman loaded with heavy corselet.”—Canon Cook.
The destruction was as complete as it was sudden. Not one escaped. The disaster was overwhelming, crushing. The Egyptians never again disturbed the Israelites during all their after wanderings.
“But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left.
“Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore.
“And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians; and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.”
There was only one explanation of this event, and that was the Lord wrought it. There could be no room in the mind of any of the children of Israel to doubt that God was with them. Repeatedly had they seen their enemies baffled and discomfited; now they saw them destroyed. What folly to contend with such a God! Would it be possible for these people thus delivered ever to doubt God? ever to distrust Him? ever to disobey Him? It would seem not.
They had every reason to believe Him, to be grateful to Him, to love and serve Him devotedly. Without lifting a finger, they, an unarmed people, with not a soldier in all their ranks, nor a weapon worthy the name, had triumphed over a chosen detachment of the finest army in the world at that time, led, too, by a king who was familiar with battles and accustomed to victories.
Josephus says that, after the passage of the sea by the Israelites, a west wind set in, which (assisted by the current) drove the bodies of the drowned Egyptians to the eastern side of the gulf, where many of them were cast up upon the shore. In this way, Moses, according to him, obtained weapons and armor for a considerable number of Israelites.397a
“Where do you go,
Sweet, happy bird,
When wild winds blow
And storms are heard?
Do you not dread the rushing rain,
And wish the sky was bright again?”
“Tweet oh! I fly
To nestlings near—
To hush their cry,
And soothe their fear;
And o’er them all my wings I fold,
To keep them safely from the cold.”
“Where do you run,
Dear little duck?
Is the rain fun,
And best of luck?”
“Oh, yes! Quack! quack! I swim in glee,
It never pours too hard for me!”
“Of course, good sheep,
You do not care—
Out-doors you keep
Through foul and fair;
Your coat is surely thick enough
To shield you from a tempest rough?”
“Baa! baa! baa! baa!
I let the geese
Have all the wet;
For should my fleece
All soaking get,
’Twould be too heavy for my play—
So to my shed I skip away.”
“Why do you croak
So long and loud,
Queer froggie folk,
When comes a cloud?”
Because our pollywogs, we know,
When ponds are full will nicely grow!”
Your gauzy wings,
It seems to me,
Are flimsy things;
Should they get drenched, ’twould spoil them quite,
And you’d be in a sorry plight!”
“I crawl beneath
A lily bell—
A lovely sheath
That suits me well,
And when—buzz! buzz!—the sun I greet,
The roses all are fresh and sweet.”
“Well, surely you,
My little lad,
Feel very blue
In weather sad?
You mope and fret and whine and frown,
To see the torrents driving down!”
“Oh, ho! oh, ho!
You do not know;
For thus, you see,
My trowsers go
Up to my knee;
I make believe to wade and splash
In puddles nice, with Puss and Dash,
And we pretend the shower pours
As hard within as out of doors!”
We children had been wishing for a tame crow ever since reading Dickens’ charming description of his pet raven. There were no ravens where we lived; but Brother Tom said crows were just as good, and could be taught to talk, too.
And one day, when we were playing “Here we go round the mulberry bush” in the woods near the house, little Ikey, our colored washerwoman’s boy, came along with a live crow in his hands.
Of course we were curious to see and examine the wonderful bird, and we crowded around Ikey, who seemed bewildered at being the object of so much attention.
“Where did you get him?” “What you going to do with him?” “How much will you take for him?” asked Tom, Josie and Fred, in one breath.
But Ikey only grinned, as he answered each in turn.
“Got him out of his nest in a post-oak. Dey was more of ’em, but I couldn’t git ony dis one. I’m a-gwine to raise him if mammy’ll let me. But I mout sell him, if I git a good chance.”
The opportunity was not to be lost, and in a very few moments Ikey was trudging homeward with a handful of coppers and two nickels—all the change we could raise among us, and we proudly carried our new-found treasure to the house.
“Mercy on us!” cried mamma, holding up her hands. “What on earth have you got there?”
“A crow,” we told her. “And we’re going to tame him, and teach him to talk.”397b
“Nonsense!” said mamma. “You don’t suppose I’ll have a crow about the house, to kill the young chickens and eat up the eggs!”
But we begged and pleaded, till at last she gave her consent to let us keep it.
“It’ll be a great torment,” grumbled grandma. “It’s a young bird, and you’ll have to feed it like a baby.”
But we did not mind the trouble. Indeed, it was more of an amusement to us to feed our pet on scraps of meat and bits of bread. It opened its mouth so wide, and cried “Caw-aw-aw!” in such a satisfactory way.
Ikey had instructed us as to the manner of feeding.
“Jess you peck it on de head, an’ it’ll open its mouth like it does fur de ole birds,” he explained.
And we found his advice was good.
We named our pet “Jack-a-Dandy,” and he grew and throve so much that he was soon able to procure his own food, which consisted of crickets and other insects.
He was so tame that we could allow him perfect freedom, without any fear of his deserting us.
As he grew older, he used frequently to fly into the top of a tall post-oak near the front door, from which he would circle around and around the house, then alight on the ground, and come hopping in the door, with a cheerful “caw! caw!” as if asserting that there was no place like home.
“He’s better than Dick Hardy’s tame squirrel,” Tom used to say, “for that has to be kept in a cage.”
“And Bob Rooney’s pet coon has to be fastened by a chain,” said Josie. “But Jack-a-Dandy is as free as we are.”397c
But mamma was not particularly pleased with Jack, and grandma continued to grumble over his misdemeanors, especially when he would rummage in her work-basket, and carry off her silver thimble or bright steel bodkin.
“He’s a troublesome creature,” she would declare, “and if I had my way, he’d get his neck wrung.”
But we kept a good watch on our favorite, to keep him from getting into mischief.
We had used our best endeavors to teach him to talk, but he was a poor scholar, and could not even learn to pronounce his own name.
Still we loved him, and continued to take his part against his enemies.
Papa had never said much, one way or the other, about Jack, though he was not very favorably disposed toward the race of crows. But when the spring planting was done, he took sides with the opposition.
“If your tame thief pulls up my corn, I’ll shoot him,” he declared.
“If he troubles the young chickens, he’ll have to go,” said mamma.
“If he spoils my garden, I’ll wring his neck,” asserted grandma.
And, as may be imagined, we suffered considerable anxiety about our pet.
One day we were eating dinner, while Jack sat perched on the post-oak near the door.
Suddenly a terrible commotion occurred in the chicken-yard, caused by a hawk which had swooped down and seized a young chicken.
The hen-mother, however, attacked the marauder so furiously that it was unable to carry off its prey immediately, and before papa could seize his gun and reach 397d the scene of conflict, Jack-a-Dandy had flown to the hen’s assistance.
He attacked the hawk so desperately that it dropped its prey, and a terrible combat ensued, in which Jack came off the victor. But not satisfied with this, he pursued the flying enemy a long distance, attacking him sharply when occasion offered.
You may be sure we had a great many praises and a sumptuous dinner for our favorite, on his return.
Hawks had for years been a great pest to poultry raising, and even mamma espoused Jack’s cause after his successful battle with the rapacious foe.
And during Jack’s life, not another chicken was molested by the hawks, as he kept a vigilant watch, and attacked every one that dared to venture near the premises.
He even won the good-will of papa, by keeping rigidly aloof from the corn-field; but grandma was still fearful lest he might do some damage to the garden.
She was very careful of her early vegetables, and the garden-spot was paled in, to keep the chickens and rabbits from making depredations on the early lettuce, peas and cabbages.
But no fence would keep Jack out. Like the wind, he went “wherever he listeth.”
Much to our relief, however, he did not offer to molest the vegetables, but did good service in picking up the insects and cut-worms, which are usually such a pest about a garden.
When he fell to devouring the squash-bugs, which were sapping the life of the “Boston Marrows,” grandma’s last prejudice was overcome, and she declared that Jack was worth his weight in gold.398a
After that, she never went to the garden without calling Jack, who would give an answering “caw!” and hop gravely after her, or perch on her shoulder with all the confidence of a privileged favorite.
As long as he lived, Jack continued to grow in the good opinion of the household. But, alas! he could not live forever.
One day he sat drooping on his perch, and refused to be enticed away from it. He even declined the plump crickets Fred offered him in hopes of tempting his appetite.
The next morning he was found dead under his perch. He was mourned sincerely by the whole family, from grandma down, and we buried him with great ceremony under his favorite post-oak.
Tom sodded his grave, Josie planted a “mourning bride” over it, and Fred put up a shingle for a headstone, with this verse on it, which we all thought very beautiful:
Loves plum-cake and sugar candy.”
[This Story began in No. 15.]
Silas was so completely wrapped up in his own affairs that the boys got close to him before he was aware of their presence, and it is the greatest wonder in the world that he did not shoot one of them in his excitement.
He was really alarmed; but when he had taken a good look at the newcomers, in order to make sure of their identity, he laid his gun across the chair, pushed up his sleeves, and shook both his fists at Dan.
“So you thought you would fool your poor old pap this morning, did you, you little snipe?” he shouted. “Well, you see what you made by it, don’t you?”
“I never tried to make a fool of you,” stammered Dan, who had a faint idea that he understood the situation. “I never in this wide world!”
“Hush your noise when I tell you I know better,” yelled Silas; and one would have thought, by the way he acted and looked, that he was very angry, instead of very much delighted, at the way things had turned out. “Here you have been and tramped all over them mountings, and never got a cent for it, while I have made a clean twenty-five hundred dollars, if I counted it up right on my fingers; and I reckon I did, ’cause your mam put in a figger to help me now and then.”
“Why, how did it happen?” exclaimed Joe, who, up to this moment, had not been able to do anything but stand still and look astonished.
He knew that his father had captured one of the robbers without help from any one, and that was more than fifty other men had been able to do, with all their weary tramping.
“The way it happened was just this,” said Silas, who could not stand in one place for a single moment. “Hold on there!” he added, turning fiercely upon his prisoner, who just then moved uneasily upon the bench, as if he were trying to find a softer spot to sit on. “I’ve got my eyes onto you, and you might as—”
“Why, father, he can’t get away,” Joe interposed. “You’ve got him tied up too tight. Why don’t you let out that rope a little?”
“’Cause he’s worth a pile of money—that’s why!” exclaimed Silas; “and I won’t let the rope out not one inch, nuther. You Joe, keep away from there.”
“I really wish you would undo some of this rope,” said the prisoner, who, like Byron’s Corsair, seemed to be a mild-mannered man. “I have been tied up ever since two o’clock, and am numb all over. I couldn’t run a step if I should try.”
“Don’t you believe a word of that!” exclaimed Silas. “Come away from there and let that rope be, I tell you.”
“Say, father,” said Joe, suddenly, “what are you going to do with your captive? Do you intend to sit up and watch him all night long?”
“I was just a-studying about that when you come up and scared me,” replied Silas, 398b dropping the butt of his gun to the ground, and leaning heavily upon the muzzle.
He never could stand alone for any length of time; he always wanted something to support him.
“What do you think I had better do about it? I don’t much like to keep him here, ’cause— Why, just look a-here, Joey,” added Silas, moving up to the door, and pointing to some object inside the cabin. “See them tools I took away from him?”
The boys stepped to their father’s side, and saw lying upon the table, where Silas had placed it, a belt containing a brace of heavy revolvers and a murderous-looking knife.
“Now, them’s dangerous,” continued Silas, “and if this feller’s pardner should happen along—”
“But he won’t happen along,” interrupted Dan. “Brierly’s squad gobbled him.”
The ferryman looked surprised, then disgusted, and finally he turned an inquiring glance upon Joe, who said that Dan told the truth.
“You don’t like it, do you?” said the latter, to himself. “ hurts you to know that there is them in the world that are just as lucky and smart as you be, don’t it? Yes, that’s what’s the matter with pap. He don’t want no one else to be as well off as he is.”
And when Dan said that, he hit the nail fairly on the head.
“The other robber is not in a condition to attempt a rescue,” said Joe; “but, all the same, I don’t think you ought to keep this man here all night. The sheriff is now at Mr. Warren’s house, and it is your duty to hand the prisoner over to him at once. Be careful how you point those guns this way.”
This last remark was called forth by an action on the part of Silas and Dan that made Joe feel the least bit uncomfortable.
While the latter was talking, his hands were busy with the rope; and when the prisoner arose from the bench and stamped his feet to set the blood in circulation again, his excited and watchful guards at once covered his head and Joe’s with the muzzles of their guns.
“Turn those weapons the other way,” repeated Joe, angrily. “You don’t think this man is foolish enough to try to run off while his hands are tied, do you? Now, father, how did you happen to catch him?”
“It was just as easy as falling off a log,” replied Silas, resuming his seat and resting his double-barrel across his knees. “When you and Dan went away this morning, I just naturally shouldered my gun, walked up the road to the foot of the mounting, and set down on a log to wait for game to come a-running past me, just the same as if I was watching for deer, you know.”
This was all true; but there was one thing he did that he forgot to mention. The only “game” Silas expected to see was Dan Morgan, when he returned from the mountain at night, and the ferryman was prepared to give him a warm reception. Before he devoted himself to the task of holding down that log by the roadside, he took the trouble to cut a long hickory switch, and to place it beside the log, out of sight. He meant to give Dan such a thrashing that he would never play any more tricks upon him.
“Well, about one o’clock, or a little after, while I was a-setting there and waiting for the game to come along, I heared a noise in the brush, and, all on a sudden, out popped this feller. He was running like he’d been sent for, and that’s why I suspicioned him. Of course I didn’t know him from Adam, but I asked him would he stop a bit. And he ’lowed he would, when he seed my gun looking him square in the eye. I brung him home, and your mam she passed out the clothes-line, and I tied him up.”
“Where is mother now?” asked Joe.
“Gone off after more sewing, I reckon,” replied Silas, in a tone which seemed to say that it was a matter that was not worth talking about. “She helped me figger up what I would get for catching him, and then she dug out. I’m worth almost as much as you be now, Joey, and that there mean Dan, who wouldn’t stay by and help me, he ain’t got a cent. Now don’t you wish you hadn’t played that trick on me this morning?”
“Never mind that,” interposed Joe, who did not care to stand by and listen to an angry altercation which might end in a fight or a foot-race between his father and Dan. “If we are going to deliver 398c this man to the sheriff to-night, we had better be moving.”
“Do you reckon the sheriff will hand over the twenty-five hundred when I give up the prisoner?” inquired Silas, as the party walked down the bank toward the flat.
“Of course he won’t.”
“What for won’t he?”
“Because he hasn’t got it with him. Perhaps it was never put into his hands at all. I haven’t received my share yet.”
“Then I reckon I’d best hold fast to him till I’m sure of my money,” said Silas, reflectively. “I guess I won’t take him down to old man Warren’s to-night.”
“I guess you will, unless you want to get into trouble with the law,” said Joe, decidedly. “If you don’t give him up of your own free will, the sheriff will take him away from you.”
Silas protested that he couldn’t see any sense in such a law as that, but he lent his aid in pushing off the flat.
Dan, who was almost too angry to breathe, had more than half a mind to stay at home; but his curiosity to hear and see all that was said and done when the prisoner was turned over to the officers of the law impelled him to think better of it. When the flat was shoved off, he jumped in and picked up one of the oars.
We have said that Tom Hallet was so anxious to help his unlucky friend Bob in some way that he joined the very first squad that went out in search of him.
The man who had the name of being the leader of it was the sheriff’s deputy; but the two stalwart young farmers who belonged to his party were longer of limb than he was, and they pushed ahead at such a rate that the deputy speedily fell to the rear, and stayed there during the most of the day.
“Me and Cyrus have come out to win that there reward,” said one of the young men, when Tom remonstrated with them for leaving the officer so far behind, “and we can’t do it by loafing along like that sheriff does. We’ve got a mortgage to pay off on the farm, and we don’t know any easier way to raise the money for it than to capture one of them rogues.”
But this sanguine young fellow was not the only one who was destined to have his trouble for his pains; and what made his disappointment and his brother’s harder to bear was the reflection that if they had left Tom’s cabin half an hour earlier than they did, they might have succeeded in earning a portion of the money of which they stood so much in need.
They were not more than a quarter of a mile away when Brierly’s signal guns announced that one of the robbers had been captured. They ran forward at the top of their speed, hoping to reach the scene of action before the arrest was fairly consummated, but in this they were also disappointed.
When they came within sight of the successful party, they found the robber securely bound, and Brierly wearing the belt that contained his weapons.
“Too late, boys!” exclaimed the guide, who was highly elated over his good fortune. “You can’t lay claim to any of our money, if that’s what brung you up here in such haste.”
“We don’t care for the money,” panted Tom. “Where’s Bob?”
“That’s so,” said Brierly, who had not bestowed a single thought upon the prisoner during the whole forenoon. “Where is he? Say, feller, what have you done with him?”
“I have not seen him for two hours,” replied the prisoner. “As soon as we found out that the hills were full of men, we set him at liberty, and I suppose he made the best of his way home. We didn’t want to keep him with us for fear that he would set up a yelp to show where we were hiding.”
Just then, the deputy, who had been sitting on a log to recover his breath, managed to inquire:
“What have you done with your partners?”
“There were only two of us, and the other man has gone off that way,” answered the captive, nodding his head toward an indefinite point of the compass.
Tom Hallet had no further interest in the hunt. He stood by and watched the officer as he unbound the prisoner and substituted a pair of hand-cuffs for the rope with which his arms had been confined, and when Brierly’s party started off with their captive, Tom fell in behind them.398d
He went as straight to his cabin as he could go, and there he found Bob Emerson, who was rummaging around in the hope of finding something to eat.
“I haven’t had a bite of anything since last night, and you’d better believe that I am hungry,” said Bob, after he and Tom had greeted each other as though they had been separated for years. “But I am not a bit of a hero. I haven’t had an adventure worth the telling.”
“There’s nothing in there,” said Tom, seeing that his friend was casting longing eyes toward his game-bag. “I didn’t take much of a lunch with me, and I was hungry enough to eat it all. Can you stand it until we get home?”
“I’ll have to,” replied Bob. “By-the-way, did you ever see that before?”
As he spoke, he put his hand into his pocket and drew out a soiled and crumpled letter, which looked as though it might have been through the war.
It was the same precious document that he and Tom had left in Silas Morgan’s wood-pile.
“One of the robbers gave it to me last night,” continued Bob, in reply to his companion’s inquiring look. “You will remember that Dan Morgan lost the letter within a few feet of the log on which he sat when he read it, and that when he and Silas went back to find it, they were frightened away by something that dodged into the bushes before they could get a sight at it, and which they took to be a ghost. Well, it wasn’t a ghost at all, but one of the thieves, who had been to the Beach after supplies. He found the letter, and read it. Of course he was greatly alarmed, and so was his companion; for they couldn’t help believing that some one had got wind of their hiding-place. They could hardly believe me when I told them that you and I made that letter up out of the whole cloth, and that we never dreamed there was any one living in the gorge.”
“But we did know it,” said Tom.
“Of course we did after they frightened us, but not before. They spoke about that, too. We took them completely by surprise the day we came down the gorge. We were close upon their camp before they knew it, and for a minute or two they didn’t know what to do. Then one of them conceived the idea of making that hideous noise, and when the other saw how well it worked, he joined in with him.”
“But didn’t they know that we would be back sooner or later to look into the matter?” asked Tom.
“Of course they did, and that was another thing that frightened them. They saw very plainly that their hiding-place was broken up, and were making preparations to leave it when Silas and Dan put in their appearance. The robbers saw and heard them long before they got to the camp, and the one who found the letter recognized them at once. It was at his suggestion that that ghost was rigged up.”
“But they must have known that they could not scare everybody with that dummy,” observed Tom.
“To-be-sure they did, and they were in a great hurry to get away from there; but they needed provisions, and by stopping to get them they fell into trouble. They took Joe Morgan’s house for a wood-chopper’s cabin, and while we were robbing them, they were foraging on Joe. I tell you, Tom, it’s a lucky thing for us that we got out of that gorge when we did. They were mad enough to shoot us on sight.”
“I don’t wonder at it,” replied Tom. “It would make most anybody mad to lose a hundred and fifty thousand dollars in money and securities, no matter how he came by them. Where did they catch you? Did they treat you well?”
“They treated me well enough,” was Bob’s reply; “but I believe that if they had not stood in fear of immediate capture, I should have a different story to tell, if, indeed, I were able to tell any. I told you nothing but the truth in the postscript I added to their note.”
“I knew they made you write it, and that you did not express your honest sentiments when you told us to be in a hurry about giving back that valise.”
“I was sure you would understand it: but what could a fellow do with a cocked revolver flourished before his eyes by a man who was in just the right humor to use it on him?”
“He would do as he is told, of course,” answered Tom. “But do you suppose they thought they could get that valise back by threatening you?”
“I don’t know what they thought, for 399a they acted as if they were crazy. They caught me in less than half an hour after I left you, and it was through my own fault. I ran on to them before I knew it; and do you imagine I thought ‘robbers’ once? As true as you live, I didn’t. I took them for poachers, and told them, very politely, that these grounds were posted and they couldn’t be allowed to shoot there, when all on a sudden it popped into my head what I was doing. They saw the start I gave, and in a second more they had me covered. If I could have got away without letting them see that I suspected them, they wouldn’t have said a word to me.”
“Well, they covered you with their revolvers; then what?”
“Beyond a doubt, they made a prisoner of me before they thought what they were doing, and when they came to look at it, they found that they had got an elephant on their hands. Then they would have been glad to get rid of me; but they did not see just how they could do it with safety to themselves, so they made up their minds to use me.
“At first they thought they would wait and see if anything would come of the notice they left on the door of the cabin, and then they thought they wouldn’t—that they would hunt up another hiding-place as soon as possible; so they ordered me to take them where nobody would ever think of looking for them. And I could do nothing but obey.”
“Were you acting as their guide when they released you?”
Bob replied that he was.
“Why didn’t you veer around a bit, and lead them toward the railroad?”
“If I had, I shouldn’t be here now,” answered Bob, significantly. “They warned me to be careful about that, and they were so well acquainted with the hills that I was afraid to attempt any tricks. We camped over on Dungeon Brook last night, and set out again at an early hour this morning; but before we had been in motion an hour, we found ourselves cut off from the upper end of the hills, and that was the time they made up their minds to let me go. They didn’t say so, but still I had an idea that they didn’t want me around for fear I would make too much noise to suit them.”
“I know they were afraid of it,” said Tom. “The robber that Brierly’s squad captured said so.”
“Is one of them taken?” exclaimed Bob, who hadn’t heard of it before. “That’s good news. Where’s the other?”
“Don’t know. They separated after they let you go, and Brierly captured one of them. Perhaps we shall hear something about the other one now,” added Tom, directing his companion’s attention to a large party of men who were at that moment discovered approaching the cabin. “We went out in squads of four, and there are a dozen men in that crowd.”
“But I don’t see any prisoner among them,” said Bob. “They have all got guns on their shoulders, and that proves that they have not seen anything of robber number two.”
As the party came nearer, the boys saw that it was made up of citizens of Bellville and Hammondsport, who had abandoned the search for the day, and were now on their way home.
They were surprised to see Bob Emerson there, safe and sound, and forthwith desired a full history of the letter which had been the means of bringing about so remarkable a series of events.
Bob protested that he was too hungry to talk, but when he saw the generous supply of bread and meat which one of the men drew from his haversack, he sat down on a log in front of the cabin and told his story.
His auditors declared that the way things had turned out was little short of wonderful, adding, as they arose to go, that they were coming out again, bright and early the next morning, to resume the search for robber number two. They were not going to remain idle at home, they said, as long as there were twenty-five hundred dollars running around loose in the woods.
When the bread and meat were all gone, and the boys were once more alone, Tom wrote the notice which Joe Morgan found pinned to the door of the cabin, and then he and Bob set out for Uncle Hallet’s.
Although Silas Morgan had received the most convincing proof that he had 399b nothing more to fear from the “hant” which had so long occupied all his waking thoughts and disturbed his dreams at night, he would not have taken one step toward Mr. Warren’s house before morning, had he not been urged on by the hope that the sheriff would be ready to pay over his money as soon as the robber was given up to him. The desire to handle the reward to which he was entitled was stronger than his fear of the dark.
“And what shall I do with them twenty-five hundred after I get ’em, Joey?” said he. “That’s what’s a-bothering of me now.”
And it was the very thing that was bothering Joe, also. His father had always been in the habit of spending his money as fast as he got it, and the boy fully expected to see this large sum slip through his fingers without doing the least good to him or anybody else.
“I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t do with it,” said Joe, after a little hesitation. “I wouldn’t give Hobson any of it.”
“You’re right I won’t!” exclaimed Silas. “He’s got more’n his share already. What be you going to do with yours, when you get it?”
“I think now that I shall put it in the bank at Hammondsport,” answered Joe. “It will be safe there, and if I am careful of it, it will last me until I get through going to school. You don’t want to go to school, but you might go into business and increase your capital.”
“That’s it—that’s it, Joey!” exclaimed Silas, who grew enthusiastic at once. “I never thought of that. But what sort of business? It must be something easy, ’cause I’ve worked hard enough already.”
“Mr. Warren says that there is no easy way of making a living,” began Joe; but his father interrupted him with an exclamation of impatience.
“What does old man Warren know about it?” he demanded. “He never had to do a hand’s turn in his life.”
“But he don’t know what it is to be idle, and he is busy at something every day,” said Joe. “I’ll tell you what I have often thought I would do if I had a little money, and I may do it yet, if you don’t decide to go into it. The new road that is coming through here is bound to bring a good many people to the Beach, sooner or later. As the trout are nearly all gone, the guests will have to devote their attention to the bass in the lake, and consequently there will be a big demand for boats.”
“So there will!” exclaimed Silas, who saw at once what Joe was trying to get at. “That’s the business I’ve been looking for, Joey, and it’s an easy one, too. Of course, I can let all my boats at so much an hour, and I won’t have nothing to do but sit on the beach and take in my money.”
“And what’ll I be doing?” inquired Dan, who had not spoken before.
“You!” cried Silas, who seemed to have forgotten that Dan was one of the party. “You will keep on chopping cord wood, to pay you for the mean trick you played on me this morning. You see what you made by it, don’t you? I reckon you wish you’d stayed by me now, don’t you? How much will them boats cost me, Joey?”
“I should think that ten or a dozen skiffs would be enough to begin with,” answered Joe, “and they will cost you between three and four hundred dollars; but you would have enough left to rent a piece of ground of Mr. Warren and put up a snug little house on it.”
“Then I’ll be a gentleman like the rest of ’em, won’t I?” exclaimed Silas, gleefully.
“No, you won’t,” said Dan, to himself. “That bridge ain’t been built yet, and I don’t reckon Hobson means to have it there. He is going to bust it up some way or ’nother, and I’m just the man to help him, if he’ll pay me for it. Everybody is getting rich ’cepting me, and I ain’t going to be treated this way no longer!”
Silas was so completely carried away by Joe’s plan for making money without work that he could think of nothing else. He forgot how determined and vindictive Dan was, and how easy it would be for him to place a multitude of obstacles in his way, but Joe didn’t.
The latter knew well enough that Dan intended to make trouble if he were left out in the cold, but what could be done for so lazy and unreliable a fellow as he was? That was the question.
While Joe was turning it over in his mind, he led the way through Mr. Warren’s gate and up to the porch, where he found his employer sitting in company with the sheriff and both Uncle Hallet’s 399c game-wardens. The deputy was in an upper room, keeping guard over the other prisoner.
Of course, Tom and Bob, who were greatly surprised as well as delighted to see Joe and his party, wanted to know just how the capture of robber number two had been brought about, and while Joe was telling the story, the sheriff marched the captive into the house and turned him over to his deputy.
Then he came back and sat down; but he did not put his hand into his pocket and pull out the reward, as Silas hoped he would.
“This has been a good day’s work all around,” said Tom, who was in high spirits. “The next time there is any detective work to be done in this county, Bob and I will volunteer to do it. We can catch more criminals by sitting still and writing letters, than the officers can by bringing all their skill into play.”
The sheriff laughed, and said that was the way the thing looked from where he sat.
“The fun is all over now,” continued Tom, “and to-morrow we will go to work in earnest. You will be on hand, of course?”
Joe replied that he would.
“By-the-way,” chimed in Bob, “did this robber of yours have a gun of any description in his hands when he was captured?”
“Then, Joe, you and I are just that much out of pocket. The guns are gone up.”
“What has become of them?”
“They are out in the hills somewhere,” answered Bob. “When the robbers made up their minds that they had better let me go, one of them had my gun and the other had yours; but the robber Brierly captured says that the weapon impeded his flight, and so he threw it away. Whereabouts he was in the hills when he got rid of it, he can’t tell. No doubt your gun was thrown away also, and the chances are not one in a thousand that we shall ever find them again.”
While this conversation was going on, Silas Morgan, who stood at the foot of the steps that led to the porch, kept pulling Joe by the coat-sleeve, and whispering to him:
“Never mind the guns. Tell the sheriff that I’m powerful anxious to see the color of them twenty-five hundred.”
Joe paid no sort of attention to him, and finally Silas became so very much in earnest in his endeavors to attract the boy’s notice, that the officer saw it; and when there was a little pause in the conversation, he said, carelessly:
“Oh, about the reward, Silas—”
“That’s the idee,” replied the ferry-man, who thought sure that he was going to get it now. “That’s what I’m here for. You have got the in your own hands now, and I don’t reckon you would mind passing it over, would you?”
“I?” exclaimed the sheriff. “I haven’t got it. I have never had a cent of it in my possession.”
“Then who’s going to give it to me?” demanded Silas, who wondered if the officer was going to cheat him out of his money.
“Well, you see, Silas,” said the sheriff, “the reward is conditioned upon the arrest and conviction of the burglars. They have been arrested, and their conviction is only a matter of time; but you can’t get your money until they are sentenced.”
“And how long will that be?”
“The court will sit again in about six weeks. As some of the money was offered by the county, and the rest by the men who lost the jewelry and things that were found in that valise, you will get your reward from different parties, unless they hand it over to me to be paid to you in a lump.”
“That’s the way I want it,” said Silas, who was very much disappointed. “I’m going into business.”
“What sort of business?” inquired Mr. Warren.
“I am going to keep a boat-house down to the Beach.”
“Well now, Silas, that’s the most sensible thing I have heard from you in a long time,” said Mr. Warren. “I’ll rent you a piece of ground big enough for a garden, and you can set yourself up in business in good shape, build a nice house, and have money left in the bank. If you manage the thing rightly, you and Dan ought to make a good living of it.”
“Who said anything about Dan?” exclaimed Silas.
“I did. Of course you can’t ignore 399d him because you are wealthy. He wants a chance to earn an honest living, and he needs it, too. He’s a strong boy, a first-rate hand with a boat, knows all the best fishing-grounds on the lake, and would be just the fellow to send out with a party who wanted a guide and boatman. You can easily afford to pay him a dollar a day for such work as that.”
“Well, I won’t do it,” said Silas, promptly. “He’s a lazy, good-for-nothing scamp, Dan is, and I won’t take him into business along of me.”
“But you will hire him, and give him a chance to quit breaking the game law and make an honest living,” said the sheriff. “By-the-way, Silas, I guess you had better bring up those setters, and save me the trouble of going after them.”
“What setters?” exclaimed Silas, who acted as if he were on the point of taking to his heels. “I ain’t got none. I took ’em down to the hotel and give ’em up.”
“I am glad to hear it, because it will save me some trouble,” replied the officer. “I have had my eyes on those dogs ever since you got hold of them, and I should have been after them long ago if I had known where to find the owner. Don’t do that again, Silas. Honesty is the best policy, every day in the week.”
“If you will leave your business in my hands, I will attend to it for you, and you will not have to go to Hammondsport at all,” continued Mr. Warren.
And Joe was glad to hear him say it, because it showed him that the gentleman did not intend that his father should squander all his money, if he could help it.
“It is too late in the season for you to do anything with your boats this year, but I will give you and Dan a steady job at chopping wood, and if you take care of the money you earn, instead of spending it at Hobson’s bar, you can live well during the winter. If the reward is not paid over to you by the time spring opens, I will advance you enough to start you in business and build your house. Then I think you had better give Dan a chance.”
“So do I,” whispered Tom, to his friend Bob. “Dan has lived by his wits long enough, and if Silas doesn’t begin to take some interest in him, the sheriff will have a word or two to say about those setters. I can see plainly enough that he intends to hold that affair over Silas as a whip to make him behave himself.”
“Do you think Silas will ever have the reward paid him in a lump?” asked Bob.
“No, I don’t, because he doesn’t know enough to take care of so much money. Joe can get his any time he wants it, for Mr. Warren knows that he will make every cent of it count.”
Then, aloud, Tom said:
“Well, Bob, seeing that we’ve got to get up in the morning, we had better be going home. Come over bright and early, Joe, and we will take your things back to your cabin.”
“And I will send up another supply of provisions,” said Mr. Warren.
Joe thanked his employer, bade him good-night, and led the way out of the yard.
For a time he and his party walked along in silence, and then Silas, who began to have a vague idea that he had been imposed upon in some way, broke out, fiercely:
“What did old man Warren mean by saying that if I didn’t get all my money by the time spring comes, he would advance enough to set me up in business?” Silas almost shouted. “Looks to me like he’d ’p’inted himself my guardeen, and that he means to keep a tight grip on them twenty-five hundred, so’t I can’t spend it to suit myself. That’s what I think he means to do, dog-gone the luck!”
Joe thought so, too, and he was glad of it. If that was Mr. Warren’s intention, Joe’s mother would be likely to reap some benefit from the reward; otherwise, she would not.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
Feet have they, but they walk not—stoves.
Eyes have they, but they see not—potatoes.
Teeth have they, but they chew not—saws.
Noses have they, but they smell not—teapots.
Mouths have they, but they taste not—rivers.
Hands have they, but they handle not—Clocks.
Ears have they, but they hear not—cornstalks.
Tongues have they, but they talk not—wagons.
Teacher—“I am sorry, William, to have to whip a big boy like you. It grieves me terribly.”
William—“It don’t grieve you half as much as it does me.”
“Brisk as a bee.”
—Boswell’s Life of Johnson.
—In the drama of life the clerk plays a counter-part.
—Why is a whisper forbidden in polite society? Because it isn’t aloud.
—A tinsmith in the country has a sign which reads:
“Quart measures of all shapes and sizes sold here.”
—Customer: “Is your bread nice and light?”
Baker’s boy: “Yessum; it only weighs nine ounces to the pound!”
—“Home, Sweet Home”—a bee-hive.
—The egotist lives on an I-land.
—The Bank of England—a fog-bank.400b
—“April showers bring forth May flowers.”
Said Flora to her brother Bob: “Robert, dear, what do April showers bring forth?”
Said Bob: “Umbrellas, of course!”
—“Don’t you find the people around here very sociable?” asked Cobwigger of a new neighbor.
“Yes, indeed, I do,” was the hearty response. “Only a moment ago I met a beggar, and he held out his hand to me.”
—“Pa,” said little Jimmie, “I was very near going to the head of my class to-day.”
“How is that, my son?”
“Why, a big word came all the way down to me, and if I could only have spelled it, I should have gone clear up.”
—Mamma (coaxingly): “Come, Bobby, take your medicine now, and then jump into bed!”
Bobby: “I do not want to take my medicine, mamma.”
Father (who knows how to govern children) “Robert, if you don’t take your medicine at once, you will be put to bed without taking it at all.”
—A little girl in Charles Street, Boston, has an old-fashioned doll which has the following words worked in red silk letters on its sawdust-stuffed body:
“Steal not this doll for fear of shame,
For here you see the owner’s name.
—A little grammar found in an old garret in Portsmouth, N.H., has an illustration representing the difference between the active, passive and neuter verbs. It is a picture of a father whipping his boy. The father is active, the boy is passive, and the mother, sitting by herself on a stool, looking on, but doing nothing, is neuter.
—“Here, Johnnie, what do you mean by taking Willie’s cake away from him? Didn’t you have a piece for yourself?”
“Yes; but you told me I always ought to take my little brother’s part.”
—Young physician (who has just lost a patient, to old physician): “Would you advise an autopsy, doctor?”
Old physician: “No; I would advise an inquest.”
—“Pause!” cries the sire unto the lad,
“Let judgment teach you sense.”
“I will,” he answers, “when I’ve had
—Doctor: “Now, my little man, you take this medicine and I will give you five cents.”
Young America: “You take it yourself, and I will go you five cents better.”
—Mistaking the door, young Mr. Cipher walked into the dentist’s office instead of the doctor’s.
“Doctor,” he groaned, “I’m in bad shape. My head aches all the time, and I can’t do anything with it.”
“Yes, yes,” said Doctor Toothaker, cheerfully. “I see; big cavity in it; must be hollow; you’ll need to have it filled.”
And, seeing his mistake, young Mr. Cipher apologized and went out, and told it all around as a capital joke on the dentist.
|What he caught at the pond.||What he caught when he got home!|
Declined.—A Sad Catastrophe—A Stage-Driver’s Story—My Dog Carlo—The Children’s Celebration—Flossie’s Letter—The Scotch Yacht Thistle—Brave Dog Nero and his Friends—Our First Boat Ride—Little Sam, a Tale of Long Ago—Penny.
Q. K.—The first fire insurance office in the United States was established at Boston in 1724; the first life insurance at Philadelphia in 1812.
J. E. M. and R. B. G.—Every requisite for admission to the West Point Military Academy was fully detailed in No. 12 of the last volume, which will be mailed to any address upon the receipt of 6 cents.
Old Reader.—1. The oldest daily newspaper in this country is the North American and United States Gazette, founded in 1771, and still published in Philadelphia. 2. There may be some curiosity dealer in your city who would be willing to purchase the ancient paper in your possession.
Yum Yum.—Boulak is the port of Cairo, Egypt, being situated on the right bank of the Nile, one mile northwest of that city, of which it forms a suburb. A noble museum of antiquities is situated at Boulak, and the latest additions to its treasures are the mummies described in No. 22.
F. E. N.—Level is a term applied to surfaces that are parallel to that of still water, or perpendicular to the direction of the plumb-line; and when it is desired to ascertain the altitude of any specified locality, the level of the ocean’s surface is always taken as the standard from which such reckoning is made.
Alex.—The easiest and most skillful methods of killing setting and preserving insects were set forth in Nos. 18, 27, 47, 48, 49 and 50 of Vol. III. The process of making the “killing bottle” is too lengthy to be reproduced here, but is given in full in the first-mentioned issue, under the heading “Herme’s Museum.”
W. B. W.—By closely studying the construction and solution of the puzzles printed from week to week in this paper, any boy of average intelligence will have no difficulty in mastering them in a comparatively short time. A very interesting article on this subject was presented under the title of “An Instructive Pastime,” in No. 22 of Vol. VII.
Clarence B.—There is only one source of alcohol—the fermentation of sugar or other saccharine matter. Sugar is the produce of the vegetable world. Some plants contain free sugar, and still more contain starch, which can be converted into sugar. The best vegetable substances, therefore, for yielding alcohol are those that contain the greatest abundance of sugar or of starch.
A Subscriber, H. C. J. and S. O. K.—Boys aged from fourteen to eighteen years are eligible to appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. The limit of age for those enlisting on the government training ships is from fifteen to eighteen years. Both of these branches of the service are open to any American youths capable of passing the physical and mental examinations required of all applicants.
H. S. W.—The Bible informs us that Tubal-Cain, the son of Lamech and Zillah, was the “instructor of every artificer in brass and iron,” and on that account he is considered the first blacksmith of which there is any record. Respecting the tools used by him there is no mention made by historians. Jabal, another son of Lamech, “was the father of such as dwell in tents and of such as have cattle,” and his brother Jubal “of all such as handle the harp and organ.”
Franklin School.—We prefer to refrain from publishing medical recipes, such as pimple removers and the like, always advising a consultation with a first-class physician, who will prescribe some blood-purifying compound for the relief or cure of the trouble. In our younger days, a mixture of molasses, cream tartar and sulphur was considered a sovereign remedy for skin eruptions, and a weak solution of alcohol or ammonia a most excellent annihilator of “blackheads.”
Harkingopitcher.—1. The originator of puzzles is not known, nor is it at all probable that the mystery surrounding their inception will ever be cleared away. The fabled founder is the Sphinx of Egypt, who, the mythologists inform us, propounded the first enigma. 2. It is an invariable custom to notify our readers of the appearance of new serial stories, and therefore you will receive due notice of those written by your favorites, when we conclude to publish them.
Theo. H.—The action of machines used for making ice consists in evaporating ether, or any similar volatile liquid, in a vacuum, and again condensing the vapor to liquid, so as to be used afresh. Fifty-two degrees of cold is thus easily obtained, and the machines used for the purpose can produce several tons of ice each day in the hottest countries. Much artificial ice is now made by compressing atmospheric air, and by this method a freezing temperature is obtained on vessels employed in carrying fresh meats from distant countries.
Ink Bottle.—1. Mineralogists apply the term “pyrites” to a large group or family of minerals, compounds of metals with sulphur, or with arsenic, or with both. The name was originally given to the sulphuret of iron, known as iron pyrites, in consequence of its striking fire with steel (from the Greek pyr, fire), and it was used for kindling powder in the pans of muskets before gun-flints were introduced. Iron pyrites is commonly of a bright brass-yellow color, and is found crystallized in cubes, dodecahedrons and many other forms. It is a very widely diffused and plentiful mineral, and seems to belong almost equally to all geological formations. 2. Eagle cents issued in 1858 are of no value to collectors, because they lack rarity. 3. Your exchange is too trivial.
J. B. D., of Chicago, kindly informs us that he has been able to get a slight shock from a telegraph battery in the following manner: “On every learner’s instrument there are two binding-posts, and to one of them is joined a wire from the battery; a small file is fastened to the other; the key is closed, 400d and then the other wire of the battery is taken in your wet fingers, and, with the other hand, also wet, upon the file, the wire is run along the surface of the file, and a shock results.”
Walter R.—What is known as the registry system is intended to secure to valuable mail-matter in its transition through the mails the utmost security within the province of the Post Office Department. The fee on any registered matter, domestic or foreign, is fixed at ten cents on each parcel or letter, to be affixed in stamps, in addition to the postage. The money-order system is intended to promote public convenience, and to secure safety in the transfer through the mails of small sums of money. The rates may be ascertained by inquiring at a local office.
An Admirer of G. D.—1. Two French scientists, Captain Renard and M. Tissaudier, have invented a balloon whose motive power is electricity. The dynamo machine used by them is an intensely concentrated bichromate battery of one and a half horse-power. It is very light, weighing but 121¼ pounds. Several successful experimental trips have been made in this machine, and the inventors claim that by using all the battery power, they were enabled to navigate against the wind. They may be over-sanguine, but expect, after making some improvements in the balloon, to attain a speed of from fifteen to twenty miles an hour. 2. Constant base-ball practice will harden the hands. No artificial preparation is used by professionals.
Parxie.—John Howard, an Englishman, made on May 8, 1854, the greatest running long-jump, with weights, 29 feet 7 inches; without weights, the highest record is 23 feet 3 inches, made by M. W. Ford, August 14, 1886. Standing long-jump with weights, 14 feet 5½ inches, G. W. Hamilton, October 3, 1879; without weights, 10 feet 10½ inches, M. H. Johnson, September 4, 1884. Running hop-step-and-jump. 48 feet 8 inches, T. Burrows, October 18, 1884; standing hop-step-and-jump, with weights, 40 feet 2 inches, D. Anderson, July 24, 1865; without weights, 31 feet 10 inches, Gavin Tait, 1862. These are world’s records. The best one-mile amateur bicycle record—2.35 2-5—was made by W. A. Rowe, October 23, 1885. He has beaten this record—2.29 4-5—since he became a professional.
H. C. H.—In early days the coining of copper money for New Jersey was given by law to Walker Mould, Thomas Goodsby and Albion Cox. There were two mints, one at Elizabethtown and the other at Morristown. These coins display on their obverse a horse’s head, usually facing right, with a plow below it, and the legend is “Nova Cæsarea.” The date is placed in several positions. On the reverse is a shield, with the motto “E Pluribus Unum” around the border. In ordinary condition, these coppers are worth from ten to fifty cents. The rarest varieties are those having the date under the beam, which are worth $100 each: with the General Washington bust, $150 each; and with “Immunis Columbia, 1786” for obverse, $50. Doubtless the one in your possession is a common variety.
Grape City.—1. The modern express traffic was originated by William F. Harnden, on March 4, 1839. At first he carried the packages himself from place to place in a satchel; but his patrons grew in number until he had to establish an office in each city, with a daily messenger each day. Previous to this, all such packages had been sent by friends, or by special messengers. 2. The precise time of the invention of the telescope, as well as the name of its inventor, is unknown. Prior to the end of the thirteenth century, glass lenses were in use for the purpose of assisting the eye in obtaining distinctness of vision. Galileo is generally credited with being the first who constructed a telescope by which he was enabled to make many of the great discoveries upon which the science of astronomy stands for its foundation. 3. By good business methods you can doubtless build up a trade such as that stated. 4. Inquire at a book store.
Kickapoo.—1. At the beginning of the eleventh century it is said that the Northmen attempted to plant a settlement in the locality known as Rhode Island. In 1614, Block, the Dutch navigator, explored it, and the Dutch traders afterward, seeing the marshy estuaries red with cranberries, called it Roode Eylandt, “red island,” afterward corrupted into the name it now bears. Roger Williams, a Welsh-Puritan minister, pastor of a church at Salem, was banished from the colony of Massachusetts, fled to the head of Narraganset Bay, and there, with a few followers, planted the seed of the commonwealth of Rhode Island in 1636. The place selected by him for settlement he called Providence. 2. The first wife of Julius Cæsar was named Cornelia; the second was Pompeia, a relative of the noted Pompey; and the third was Calpurnia. 3. Napoleon Bonaparte was born at Ajaccio, Corsica, August 15, 1769, and died May 5, 1821, at St. Helena, to which island he had been exiled after the battle of Waterloo.
Nemo.—The recipe for making a copying-pad and the ink used thereon was given in No. 2, vol. V. —E. D. and Author. We are fully supplied with literary material by experienced writers. —Solomon C. Acrobats do not use any artificial preparation to increase their suppleness. Constant practice is the secret of the agility displayed by them. —W. B. The construction of a photographic camera was detailed in No. 13, Vol. IV; while the making of blue prints formed the subject of an article in No. 51, Vol. II. —Ninth Avenue. Interesting articles on the subject of electricity have been presented in Nos. 3 and 4, Vol. VI, and 16, Vol. VII. —Subscriber. An ingenious, painstaking boy can construct a very neat æolian harp by following out the directions given in No. 16 of the fifth volume. —Copperhead. 1. The drawing of the binder shows considerable ingenuity, and is doubtless novel and useful enough to warrant patenting. 2. One of the simplest and best forms of the canvas canoe was illustrated and described in No. 37, Vol. VI. In this and the previous number another kind is represented. —W. C. H. Any study can be mastered if the student is persevering and ordinarily intelligent. —D. P. H. 1. None of the curiosities in your possession are of any special value. 2. The gold coin will pass at its face value. 3. Nos. 2 and 18, Vol. II, are out of print. Three dollars per year is the regular subscription price of Golden Days. 4. The magazine is out of print. —Buckskin Bob. This paper has always been sold by us at a uniform rate of six cents per copy. —W. M. K. Tan the small skins according to the directions published in No. 7, Vol. IV. —S. C. Yes. —J. A. W. Place the matter in the hands of a lawyer. —W. G. W. The addition of a small quantity of japan dryer to printing ink will make it dry quickly. —Chestnuts. A boy of eleven should confine his reading to more useful literature than novels, leaving those to be perused at a maturer age. —Cow Boy. There is such a series of juvenile books. Make inquiry at a book store. —Golden Cross. A first class bookseller can obtain for you the books of travels written by Stanley and Livingstone. —Middy (Washington). The length of a ship’s cable is about 720 feet. —B. O. S. No premium is offered for 1819 quarter-dollars, Hong-Kong coins or French centimes.
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UNCONDITIONALLY WARRANTED TO GIVE SATISFACTION!
THE ILLUSTRATION SHOWS THE EXACT SIZE OF PENOGRAPH.
JUST THE BOOK FOR STUDENTS.
Ancient and Modern Technical Terms, Historical Accounts of all North American Indians, as well as Ancient Warlike Tribes. Also, Notices of Battles from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, with an Appendix containing the Articles of War.
We have arranged with the publishers for a limited number of this book, and will send
It and “Golden Days” one year on receipt of $3.25.
Money must be sent by the subscriber direct to this office—not through any agent. Address
WOOD’S PENOGRAPH consists of a first-class Diamond-Pointed Fourteen-Carat gold pen, and the only fountain holder ever constructed which is unconditionally warranted to give satisfaction. It needs no wiping and no dipping for ink, and it is carried in the pocket always ready for use on any kind of paper. The Penograph is totally unlike the McKennon, Livermore, T. Cross, and other Stylographic so-called pens, which have a rigid point incapable of making shaded lines. Hitherto a really desirable two-nibbed gold pen and fountain holder has been an expensive luxury in which comparatively few could indulge. The retail price of this Penograph is $3. It is warranted to be the par excellence of all fountain pens, and we place it within easy reach of every one by the following liberal offer:
Every Subscriber to Golden Days for One Year can have this valuable Fountain Pen sent to them postpaid by adding to the subscription price one dollar—in other words, send us $4.00, and we will send postpaid Wood’s Penograph and Golden Days for one year. In this way you will be getting the Penograph for one dollar, or one year’s subscription to Golden Days for one dollar, just as you please to look at it. Either way you get a bargain. The money must be sent direct to this office.
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 and Penographs without one in a thousand being lost.
The publisher will positively take no responsibility concerning exchanges effected by means of this department, neither will the reliability of exchangers be guaranteed. To avoid any misunderstanding in the matter, it would be advisable for those contemplating exchanging to write for particulars to the addresses before sending the articles desired.
Exchange notices containing offers of or for shot-guns, air-guns, pistols, rifles, poisons, dangerous chemicals, animals, odd numbers of papers, valueless coins and curiosities, birds’ eggs, or “offers”, will not be inserted.
Exchange Notices conforming with the above rates are inserted free of charge.
L. Boyd, N.E. cor. 18th and Hamilton Sts., Philadelphia, Pa., a set of boxing gloves and a book by Verne, for a miniature sailboat, 2 feet long.
S. A. Chevalier, No. 366 Columbus Ave., Boston, Mass., 49 photo negatives of notable yachts, buildings, etc., for an electrical outfit, a cornet, or a banjo.
J. Hirsch, Box 212, Corpus Christi, Texas, a collection of sea curiosities for stamps.
E. T. Warner, 155 S. 5th St., Brooklyn, N.Y., Vols. VI, VII (complete) and VIII (to date) Golden Days, and 20 books by Castlemon and Alger, for other books by Castlemon, Alger, Otis or Ellis.
L. G. Banks, 92 Maple Ave., 31st Ward, Pittsburg, Pa., a magic lantern with lens, lamp and 12 views, and “Robinson Crusoe,” for a Model printing press.
H. J. West, 1610 Hollins St., Baltimore, Md., a magic lantern with 13 slides, in a leatherette box, for a pair of 3-pound Indian clubs and a pair of 3-pound dumb-bells.
R. F. Baird, 205 Wylie Ave., Pittsburg, Pa., Vol. VII Golden Days, for a Waterbury watch.
E. D. Flugel, 134 E. 109th St., N.Y. city, a large bagatelle board with marbles, for a collection of not less than 300 foreign stamps only. (City offers only.)
F. L. Shipley, Box 275, Creston, Ia., Vols. LVII and LVIII “Youth’s Companion” and Vol. VIII (up to date) Golden Days, for a printing press and outfit.
H. B. Cochran, 345 N. 12th St., Phila., Pa., a Waterbury watch, a font of newspaper type, and 2 books, for a book on mineralogy and natural history or specimens of minerals.
E. Rudolphy, 389 S. Halsted St., Chicago, Ill. Vol. VII “Harper’s Young People,” for a photo tripod.
H. A. Eastman, Box 1080, Keene, N.H., a printing press and 5 fonts of type, for a telegraph key and sounder.
J. Tracy, Conneaut, Ohio, a maple-shell snare-drum with ebony sticks, for any vol. of Golden Days prior to the fifth.
M. Graham, Grove City, Pa., a magic lantern with 35 slides, a panorama, a 3x4 printing press with type, a telephone and a cabinet of tricks, for a telegraph instrument with batteries.
L. Randall, 1825 Garrison Ave., St. Louis, Mo., a collection of over 300 foreign and U.S. postage stamps and a collection of postmarks, for a Waterbury watch.
W. P. Simpson, Box 773, Jacksonville, Fla., Vol. VII Golden Days, a pair of roller skates and a set of books, for a silver watch or a press and outfit.
C. W. Hurst, 1825 Fitzwater St., Phila., Pa., Vols. I, II and III Golden Days, a xylophone, a magic lantern with 24 slides, and a stamp collection in an album, for the best offer of bicycle sundries.
T. J. McMahon, 41 Thomas St., N.Y. city, Vols. III, IV and V Golden Days, for best offer of a musical instrument.
S. M. Johnson, Lock Box 172, Round Rock, Texas, a $25 brass B-flat cornet with A and B crooks, for a 5x7 self-inking printing press and material.
J. Atwell, 10 W. Jefferson St., Syracuse, N.Y., a pair of nickel-plated extension roller skates and bag, for a banjo.
G. Frick, 2908 Fairhill St., Phila., Pa., a 48-inch steel-spoked rubber-tired bicycle, a watch, Vol. VII Golden Days, and “Tom Brown at Oxford,” for a Star bicycle.
C. E. Mason, 656 Franklin St., Phila., Pa., an International album containing stamps and about 5,000 loose ones, a New Rogers scroll saw, and 2 pairs of nickel-plated ice and roller skates, for a 26-bracket nickel-rimmed banjo, or a guitar, or photo materials.
G. Barker, 504 W. 129th St., N.Y. city, 7 books by Castlemon, Kingston and Dickens, for a violin and instruction book. (City offers preferred.)
Z. A. Stegmuller, 56 E. 25th St., N.Y. city, a game, a small steam engine, a silver watch and a gold pen-holder, for a self-inking printing press with type, or a rowing machine. (City and Brooklyn offers only.)
J. W. Edwards, 197 Hamilton Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y., a 16-foot flat-bottomed skiff with centreboard, sail, oars and oarlocks, for a 46 or 48-inch rubber-tired steel-spoked bicycle.
J. J. Morrow, 94 Pennsylvania Ave., Allegheny, Pa., a 3-lens microscope with a few mounted specimens, for Vols. V and VI Golden Days.
C. H. Montayre, 145 W. 11th St., N.Y. city, a self-inking printing press and full outfit, for a 6x6 canvas tent. (City offers preferred.)
F. Blake, Lock Haven, Pa., a telegraph outfit, for a $10 watch, or a set of boxing gloves, or a pair of 12-pound dumb-bells.
L. H. Reamy, 113 River St., Zanesville, Ohio, a polyopticon, for the best offer of Golden Days prior to Vol. VI.
C. V. Gibson. Box 1026, Natick, Mass., a 2½x4 printing press with cards, 200 postmarks. 1400 foreign and U.S. stamps, and a pair of skates, for a flute, a banjo, a violin and bow, or a cornet.
C. Perry, Ithaca, N.Y., a $25 upright engine, for a scroll saw with lathe attachment.
L. M. Geer, Box 663, Corry, Pa., Vols. II, III and IV “Harper’s Young People,” Vols. XLI, XLII and XLIII “Youth’s Companion,” a magic lantern with 12 slides, 6 books and 2 pairs of skates, for a rubber-tired steel-spoked bicycle.
G. V. Bacon. 52 Dudley St., Boston, Mass., a Ruby magic lantern, a set of carving tools, and a set of drawing instruments, for a pair of fencing foils.
G. Medina, Room 360, Prod. Ex. Bldg., N.Y. city, a complete $40 camping outfit, for a ½-nickeled bicycle with ball bearings.
C. O. Henbest, Marshall, Ill., Vol. V or VI Golden Days, or a printing press, for a collection of stamps.
F. A. Magee, Maiden, Mass., Vol. IV Golden Days, a canvas canoe, a printing press, 200 stamps, 200 postmarks, a pair of opera glasses, a magnifying glass and 200 good story papers, for a large press or a bicycle.
E. C. Cary, Box 147, N.Y. city, a New Rogers scroll saw with drill, saws and patterns, a hand-inking 2¼x3¼ printing press, with type, ink, furniture, etc., for a violin and bow, with or without case.
Children Cry for Pitcher’s Castoria
N. J. Waite, 401 Giddings Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, Vol. VII Golden Days, for any kind of electrical goods.
J. Clay Collier, Fort Smith, Ark., Vol. V and part of Vol. VII Golden Days, for books by Castlemon or Cooke.
F. Vansant, 770 St. Peter St., Baltimore, Md., $15 worth of books, for an 8x8x8 wall tent.
J. W. Robertson, 1180 Harvard St., Chicago, Ill., a collection of stamps and 4 books, for a pair of opera glasses or a printing press with type.
C. A. Lutz, Cane Spring, Ky., Vols. II (a few numbers missing). III, IV, V, VI (all bound, without covers) and VII (unbound) “Harper’s Young People,” for volumes of Golden Days or telegraphic apparatus.
G. Moulton, Virginia, Ill., an ebony 13-keyed B-flat clarionet, for a watch.
W. R. Clickner, Andover. Kans., a $25 5x8 printing press and outfit, for a rubber-tired bicycle.
C. Peck, 71 35th St., Chicago, Ill., 8 books by Reid and others, and a pair of ice skates, for a Morse telegraph outfit.
R. Buck, Sea Isle City, N.J., “Ragged Dick Series,” (6 volumes), for a telegraph key, sounder and outfit.
F. Schafer, 307 S. 3d St., Brooklyn, E.D., N.Y., a pair of opera glasses with case, and a fife, for a mandolin, or a banjo with 24 brackets (N.Y. or Brooklyn offers preferred).
F. Horton, Westfield, Pa., 2 volumes of “Youth’s Companion,” and a pair of roller skates, for a banjo.
W. A. Sherwood, Lutherville, Md., a magic lantern with 12 slides and a font of job type, for rare foreign and U.S. stamps.
W. A. Pickering, Box 797, Eureka Springs, Ark., a ¼-horse-power steam engine, for a nickel-plated B-flat cornet.
E. H. Gilbert, Lock Box 21, Glens Falls, N.Y., 2 pairs of skates and “Don Quixote,” for a pair of opera glasses with case.
L. A. Cox, Verden, Ill., Vols. V, VI and VII Golden Days, for a banjo.
R. F. Greene, Box 232, Arkansas City, Kans., Vol. LVIII “Youth’s Companion” and 2 books, for any bound volume of Golden Days except the sixth.
H. J. Hendrickson, 214 W. Market St., York, Pa., 950 foreign stamps and 700 foreign and domestic postmarks, for a collection of minerals.
C. V. B. Gettz, Moore’s, Pa., a $35 gas engine (⅓-horse-power), for a bicycle (American Challenge preferred).
H. H. Sellers, 73 Exchange St., Bangor, Me., a 10-keyed ocarina, a 6-keyed clarionet, 6 books and a stylographic pen, for a cornet.
C. W. Valentine, Millville, N.J., a volume of “Youth’s Companion,” “Tom Brown’s School-days” and a bagatelle board, for carpenters’ tools.
A. Spring, Jr., White Plains, N.Y., a magic lantern with 23 slides, for Vol. I or II Golden Days (bound).
J. G. Ross, Mariner’s Harbor, Staten Island, N.Y., a 12-foot round-bottomed row-boat with centreboard and oars, for a photographic outfit, a bicycle or a press.
J. C. Hubbard, 22 E. Main St., Battle Creek, Mich., a hand-inking press and a collection of curiosities, for type and material, or volumes of Golden Days prior to the fourth.
C. A. Wise, Gobleville, Mich., a pair of nickel-plated roller skates and a guitar, for the best offer of foreign and U.S. stamps.
H. A. Hammond. Box 276, Peabody, Mass., Vols. V and VI, or VI and VII Golden Days, for a fountain or stylographic pen.
R. A. Weston, W. Mt. Vernon, Me., 300 numbers of “Youth’s Companion,” Vols. II, III and IV “Harper’s Young People,” Vol. VII Golden Days, 3 books, 100 varieties of stamps, a pair of ice skates and a game, for a rubber-tired steel-spoked bicycle.
C. H. Dunham, 1098 Washington St. (Suite 12), Boston, Mass., a pair of roller skates, a Holly scroll saw with saws and patterns, and Vol. VII Golden Days, for a bicycle (Mass. offers preferred).
R. H. Stickney, Valparaiso, Ind., a stereoscope with 16 views, a magic lantern with views and photographic attachment, a dark lantern and a book by Kingston, for a 7x9 wall tent.
B. M. Wilson, 1824 Ridge Ave., Phila., Pa., an International album with 100 stamps, and Vol. V Golden Days, for a banjo.
E. S. Harvey, Ridge, Ohio, a hand-inking press with roller, furniture and a font of type, and a book, for an International stamp album or stamps.
J. Meighan, Jr., 386 Garden St., Hoboken, N.J., a pair of skates, for a catcher’s mask.
C. Bagley, 10 Olive St., Lynn, Mass., a pair of skates, Vols. IV, VI and VII Golden Days and a lot of musical instruments, for a rubber-tired bicycle (Mass. offers preferred).
E. F. Balinger, Mt. Union, Ohio, 2 vols. of Golden Days, a pair of roller skates, a telegraph key and sounder, an Indian bow and arrows, and some books and magazines, for a cornet with crooks.
S. L. Taylor, 333 Columbus Ave., Boston, Mass., a collection of 350 foreign stamps in an album, 900 traders, a magic lantern with 20 or 30 slides, and 5 books, for a B-flat cornet, a banjo, or a cork-handled tennis racquet.
J. E. Ackerman, Jr., 7 Nassau St., N.Y. city, a nickel-plated bicycle saddle and bell, for a Duryea saddle (style, A or C).
F. H. Meyers. 38 Bleecker St., N.Y. city, Vols. IV, V, VI and VII Golden Days, Vol. LIV “Youth’s Companion,” a vol. of “St. Nicholas,” 5 books; a magic lantern with slides, and 2 games, for a rubber-tired steel-spoked bicycle.
C. F. Souder. Box 199, Toledo, Ohio, a violin and bow, and Vol. VII Golden Days, for a banjo.
C. W. Howell, 646 Kentucky St., Lawrence, Kans., an accordion, a Waterbury watch, and a puzzle, for a complete telegraph outfit.
W. T. Cook, Royersford, Pa., 5 books by popular authors for any bound vol. of Golden Days prior to the fifth.
W. H. Field, 234 Ferry St., Easton, Pa., a Holly scroll saw and a set of tenpins for a wall or other tent large enough for four persons.
P. J. McConomy, 38 N. Prince St., Lancaster, Pa., Vols. I and II (a few numbers missing) and V and VI (complete) Golden Days, for a piccolo with at least 4 keys.
O. C. Cornwell, Girard, Kans., Vols. VI and VII Golden Days, 8 books, a pair of skates, 5 games, a set of drawing Instruments, and 500 foreign and U.S. stamps, for a self-inking printing press, or a silver watch.
W. Bell, Box 154, Norfolk, Va., Vols. I, II, III, IV and V Golden Days, for a Holly steam engine or a collection of 1500 to 2000 stamps.
G. E. Montgomery, Westernport, Md., Vols. VI and VII Golden Days and “Ames’ Mastery of the Pen,” for standard works on physiology and hygiene or a field glass.
C. C. Moore, 76 3d Place, Brooklyn, N.Y., a magic lantern with 16 slides, and a printing press with 2 fonts of type, for an instantaneous camera and outfit.
W. Willson, 561 Lorimer St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn. N.Y., a magic lantern with 12 slides for a pair of 9 or 9½ nickel-plated roller skates.
D. A. Trapp, 113 E. Maxwell St., Lexington, Ky., a collection of over 1200 stamps in an international album for a No. 2 or 3 Baltimorean press and outfit.
H. Edwards, 147 E. 114th St., N.Y. city, a magic lantern with 12 slides, and a hand-inking printing press, without type, for a set of boxing gloves.
F. Rowell, Stamford, Conn., Vols. VI and VII Golden Days, and some books, games and stamps, for Indian grammars, or histories of North American Indians, or Indian relics.
J. E. Caldwell, Sego, Kans., a $3 piccolo, a set of boxwood chessmen, and a box of water-color paints, for the best offer of Golden Days.
W. McIntosh, East Smethport, Pa., a 10x14 hand-inking press, with 20 fonts of type, 2 sticks, galley, leads, etc., for a 50 to 52-inch bicycle.
J. H. Cunningham, Room 507 Hamilton Building, Pittsburg, Pa., a pair of ice skates and “Tom Brown’s School Days” for a learners’ book on shorthand.
W. McVeagh. 831 W. 3d St., Williamsport, Pa., a New Rogers scroll saw for Vol. I or IV Golden Days.
A LIMITED NUMBER
Bound in Cloth.
Price, $4.00 each.
From the Daily News, Genesee, 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 and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, Penna.
The remaining testimonials were printed in three columns, filling the entire back cover.
A GOOD OPINION FROM REV. G. E. STROBRIDGE,
Pastor St. John’s M. E. Church, New York city.
Golden Days has been coming regularly to my house since its first number. It is always welcome. The children wait with impatience its weekly arrival, and even interrupt their meals to tear off its wrapper and scan its attractive pages. It is generously illustrated, and as to its reading matter, it is bright, breezy, instructive, and, best of all, pure. The most careful parent may dismiss anxiety while his happy child is absorbed in its columns.
A feature that adds to the paper an especial value is a weekly discussion of the International Sunday-school Lesson. This is given in a pleasant narrative style by Rev. D. P. Kidder, D.D., for many years editor of the Sunday School Advocate, and editor and writer of books for children. His widely-known name is a sufficient assurance that these lessons thus conducted will continue to be learned, clear and interesting.
From the West Philadelphia Press.
Golden Days.—This weekly journal for young people has reached a circulation that embraces the entire country. Indeed, there is hardly to be found a village or hamlet in the newest of the States or in our far Western Territories in which Golden Days is not a welcome visitor. The proprietor and editor, Mr. James Elverson, determined from the first to make it a journal that should please and at the same time instruct the young, and he has been completely successful. There is no weekly paper published in this or the Old World that so covers the field for the youthful mind as Golden Days. There is nothing heavy about it—nothing prosy or difficult to comprehend in the matter it contains. Its stories are graphic, entertaining and by the best writers, while each number has articles especially prepared on subjects of practical interest to boys and girls by authors whose fame in the arena of natural history, science, biography and art is national. Add to all these excellencies and attractions the fact that no impure line or thought ever stains its pages, and it must be acknowledged that Golden Days is pre-eminently fitted to become the intellectual and pleasant companion of the young in the American household.
From the Sunday Courier, York, Pa.
The remarkable success attained by Golden Days, the boys’ and girls’ periodical published by Mr. James Elverson, Philadelphia, is a most encouraging evidence that pure and healthful literature is not incapable of attracting the eager interest of “Young America.” Mr. Elverson seems, in fact, to have gauged the taste of the average child of our day with wonderful accuracy, as there appears to be but one opinion as to the universal popularity of this excellent periodical. So far as parents are concerned, its success should be a matter for general congratulation, as scrupulous care is evidently observed in excluding from its pages everything that could be considered as in any way tending to vitiate the minds of the young. On the other hand, its contents are far superior in vividness of interest for the little ones to those sensational publications which are the source of so much anxiety to all who have children to educate. Golden Days, in fact, appears to have struck the golden mean in juvenile literature, and it affords us sincere pleasure to be able to chronicle its conspicuous popularity.
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 Congregationalist and Boston Recorder.
Among juvenile periodicals, we think Golden Days likely to take high rank for variety, instructiveness, vivacity and freedom from objectionable characteristics. We have examined several numbers, and it seems to be well edited and likely to deserve and win popularity.
ANOTHER FROM REV. D. M’CARTNEY,
Pastor Clinton Avenue M. E. Church, Kingston, N.Y.
I have examined sample copies of Golden Days, and most heartily indorse it as meeting a felt want. Notwithstanding the large number of papers we subscribe for now, it looks as if Golden Days would have to be added to the number, as my children are enraptured with it.
Of the Methodist Episcopal Church, writes:
St. Louis, Nov. 26, 1880.
I have examined with great interest several numbers of Golden Days, and am much pleased with them. We greatly need all such publications for our young people, to save them from the corrupting trash that meets them on every side. I wish you great success in this worthy Christian enterprise.
FROM REV. O. C. DICKERSON,
Pastor of Congregational Church, Belleplain, Iowa.
Ed. Golden Days.—All hail! As a sterling friend of the young, your enterprise wakes loud echoes.
REV. RICHARD NEWTON, D.D.,
Pastor of the P. E. Church of the Epiphany, Philadelphia, says:
From what I have seen of Golden Days, it strikes me very favorably. There is a high tone of morality about it which is calculated to exert a very wholesome influence on the young people who read it.
From the Roman Citizen, Rome, N.Y.
A MODEL PAPER.—Two years ago, we informed the readers of the Citizen that a long-felt want was to be supplied—viz., a paper was to be printed which would give the young people (boys and girls) plenty of good reading without corrupting their morals or vitiating their tastes—in other words, would furnish them with stories which would gratify their love of adventure without inspiring in them a desire to imitate impossible heroes, and tempting them to desert their homes in search of adventures which never occur outside of blood-and-thunder papers and story books. The paper we allude to—Golden Days—promised this, and we have carefully watched it for two years to see how its pledge would be redeemed. We are glad to be able to state it has exceeded our most sanguine expectations. While it has been constantly filled with stories and sketches of the most fascinating character, we have never seen a sentence in it which we could have wished to have omitted.
From the Episcopal Recorder.
Golden Days.—We commend this as the best of the class of publications to which it belongs, and as being essentially different from all that are contemporaneous with it. And if it shall prove to be like Moses’ rod when turned into a serpent, and swallow up the serpent-rods of all cunning magicians of evil, and then become a rod of power for working good in the home, in the school, and wherever youth are found, we shall rejoice.
From the Christian Register, Boston.
Golden Days is well worthy the examination of parents who wish to provide their children with a large amount of carefully-prepared miscellany, at once entertaining, instructive and clean. It is edited with ability, and shows a quick sympathy with the pleasures of the young people, and a clear outlook for their welfare.
From the Maryland School Journal.
Golden Days (Elverson, Philadelphia) has fulfilled its promise, and is in every respect a suitable weekly paper to put into the hands of young boys and girls. We have carefully watched each number since the start, and have seen in it nothing to censure and much to praise.
From the Floyd Co. Advocate, Charles City, Iowa.
Golden Days, published by James Elverson, of Philadelphia, is a new first-class paper for boys and girls. Provide them with good, entertaining reading, and they will grow up good men and women.
From Town Talk, Mansfield, Ohio.
James Elverson, Philadelphia, publishes a handsome 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 Home and Sunday-School, Dallas, Texas.
We can heartily recommend Golden Days as one of the purest and most charming juvenile magazines we have seen. It is wholly free from corrupting influences—fresh, instructive, and eagerly welcomed by the boys and girls. Having seen nothing in it to censure and much to praise, we hope it may have the wide circulation it merits.
From the Christian Advocate, Pittsburg, Pa.
Golden Days comes to us in a magazine form, making a beautiful and interesting volume. This journal numbers among its contributors probably more popular writers of serial stories for youth than any juvenile publication in the country.
From the Presbyterian Banner, Pittsburg, Pa.
A great advance has been made within the last twelve months in a very important agency for good—the publication of cheap, and, at the same time, unexceptionable and attractive reading matter. For a long time the want has been seriously felt for something more than mere denunciation to overcome the growing evil of the demoralizing literature—cheap and vile—that has been scattered broadcast over the land. That want has been measurably supplied, in part, by the publication of standard English classics, at marvelously low prices, and in part by the issue of low-priced but superior periodicals, attractive in appearance and contents, and suitable for both young and old. We invite special attention to the latest enterprise in the latter department—Golden Days, for boys and girls, James Elverson, publisher, Philadelphia. It is a handsome juvenile journal, of sixteen pages (over eight hundred a year), filled with stories, sketches, anecdotes, poetry, puzzles, and humorous items, making up a total that will delight and at the same time instruct the boys and girls from eight to eighty. The pictorial embellishments are fine, and far in advance of the coarse deformities in the flashy sheets that are displayed on the news-stands to horrify every refined passer-by.
From the Baltimore Gazette.
The remarkable success attained by Golden Days, the boys’ and girls’ periodical, published by Mr. James Elverson, Philadelphia, is a most encouraging evidence that pure and healthful literature is not incapable of attracting the eager interest of “Young America.” Mr. Elverson, seems, in fact, to have gauged the taste of the average child of our day with wonderful accuracy, as there appears to be but one opinion as to the universal popularity of this excellent periodical. So far as parents are concerned, its success should be a matter for general congratulation, as scrupulous care is evidently observed in excluding from its pages everything that could be considered as in any way tending to vitiate the minds of the young. On the other hand, its contents are far superior in vividness of interest for the little ones to those sensational publications which are the source of so much anxiety to all who have children to educate. Golden Days, in fact, appears to have struck the golden mean in juvenile literature, and it affords us sincere pleasure to be able to chronicle its conspicuous popularity.
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 Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss.
A specimen number of Golden Days has fallen into our hands. This is a paper for boys and girls, and, from the cursory examination we have been enabled to give it, we think it deserving of support.
The illustration for “Linda’s Crazy Quilt” was cut into three pieces to interlock with surrounding text. The complete version is included here as a separate file.