Project Gutenberg's Harper's Round Table, October 29, 1895, by Various

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Title: Harper's Round Table, October 29, 1895

Author: Various

Release Date: July 15, 2010 [EBook #33181]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Annie McGuire


[Pg 1073]


Copyright, 1895, by Harper & Brothers. All Rights Reserved.





"What was it that Obed saw?" That question used to be asked by chimney-corners in the great farm-houses of an old New England neighborhood for many years.

For Obed in his boyhood on a certain last night of October, "when the moon was round," had seen a spectacle the account of which filled the minds of many good people with wonder and of simple people with terror. Even the cats and dogs seemed to be uneasy when it was discussed in an awesome tone of voice on old red settles, for such animals seem to share the fears of their masters. "Come, now, Obed is no fool," the work-people used to say.

"What do you suppose it was that he saw? It was proper strange!"

Obed lived in one of the farm neighborhoods near Medfield, a town famous in King Philip's war. The place has a fearful legend of a family who were killed by the Indians, and a very curious story of a farmer who saved his family at the time of the Indian attack by rolling out of the cellar a barrel of cider.

It is a quiet town to-day, not a long ride from Boston. It would delight a tired man or an artist; it is old-fashioned and full of rural beauty, a bit of old New England left over, as it were. Great elms throw their cloudlike shadows over the trim and well-kept roads in summertime. The churches, the homes, the farms all show a historic pride. Here great orchards once bloomed; here the Baltimore orioles still swing in the elms, and the bobolinks[Pg 1074] topple in the clover meadows. Here the lilacs still bloom by door-yard walls, and the people draw water from the round stone wells of the generations gone.

Obed was a "bound boy," as an apprentice lad was called. He was "bound out," to use another old New England term, to a certain Mr. Miller, who was a farmer and a cobbler. This Mr. Miller was named Brister—Brister Miller—a surname not uncommon in colonial times.

A bound boy was one who was "let out" by his parents or guardian or the "selectmen" to the service of another for a term of years; really, a slave for a limited time. Brister Miller had in his family a bound boy and a bound girl.

The girl's name was Eliza. She had come to Boston from England. Her parents had died, and she had been found a home on Brister Miller's bowery farm. Bound children and boys and girls worked hard in the old times, and had but few privileges. They were sometimes allowed to go to the "General Training," and to share in the husking frolics, and they were always permitted to listen for a time after "early candlelight" to the stories that were told on old red settles in cool weather by the open fires.

As Eliza had come from England she was called "English Eliza." She was a good-hearted, resolute girl. She became a great friend to Obed, whom her warm heart pitied, owing to her own hard and solitary lot.

It was the last day of October. There had been a warm rain, which had kept Obed and English Eliza from the husk heap. The weather had suddenly changed towards evening. A chill had come down from the north, and the family and work-people had gathered after supper around the crackling fire. Mr. Miller sat shelling corn with a cob, and Mrs. Miller began to knit by the tallow candle.

The work-people told stories. These stories were of a strange and exciting kind, and related to the times of the Indian war, or to people with haunted consciences who thought that they had seen ghosts. Young people listened to such tales in terror. English Eliza had never heard these tales before or any narratives like them. She saw that the ghost stories filled Obed with fear, and she pitied him.

On this particular night, after a story had been told that made Obed sit close to an older farm-hand, Mrs. Miller paused in her work, and, lifting her brows, said,

"There, English Eliza, what do you think of such doin's as that?"

Eliza looked at Obed, and his fixed eyes and white face nerved her to make a very honest and resolute answer.

"I don't believe in ghosts, marm."

"Why, Eliza?"

"Honest people never see 'em; if they think they do, they find them out. It is folks with haunted consciences that see such things, marm; folks with something wrong, or touched in mind, marm. I wouldn't be afraid to go right into a grave-yard at midnight. Why should I! I never did any one harm. This is an awful night to some folks in England—those who fear a death fetch and have sins on their souls. But to good people this is the merriest night of all the year, except Christmas, only. It is Halloween, marm."

What was the girl talking about? A "death fetch," and merrymaking and "Halloween."

Mrs. Miller dropped her knitting-work into her lap. The cat, who seemed to feel that there was terror in the air, leaped into the knitting. Mrs. Miller gave the poor scared little animal a slap, and then looking Eliza straight in the face, said,

"'Liza, do you speak true? Remember, 'Liza, that you are a bound girl."

"Never a word in jest, marm. My folks were honest people, marm, and I an honest girl."

"'Liza, what is that awful thing that you told about—that death fetch?"

"On Halloween a person goes into the church and says a prayer, and when he comes out into the church-yard he sees all the people who are going to die during the year. An old sexton did it, and he saw himself, marm. A death fetch is a warning, marm. There is no truth in such stories, marm; my mother taught me never to believe 'em, marm, and she was an honest, Christian woman, marm, and she used to say that a person who always did right had nothing to fear. I would believe my mother's word against the world, marm. She died in peace, marm, and I want to be just like her."

"'Liza, what is Halloween?"

Brister Miller stopped shelling corn. The company on the settle snuggled up close to each other, and the poor cat uttered a faint little "meow," and received another slap from her mistress, which seemed to be comfort.

"Ghost night, marm. The night when good spirits visit their friends, marm. It is All-Hallow eve—the eve of All Saints' day."

"'Liza, remember that you are a bound girl."

"I never forget it, marm."

"Now, tell the truth. What do they do on Halloween?"

"They put apples into deep tubs full of water, and bob for them with their heads, marm; and they puts 'em also on sticks like a wheel, and hangs the wheel from the ceiling, with a burning tallow candle on one side of the wheel, and you catch an apple in your mouth as the wheel turns, marm, or else get smutched with the candle, marm, which is more likely, and then you gets laughed at, marm. And you pare apples, and throw the paring over your right shoulder, and it makes the first letter of the name of the man that you are to marry, marm."

Mrs. Miller lifted her hands.

"And you eat an apple before a looking-glass, holding a candle in your left hand, and the one you are to marry comes and looks over your shoulder into the glass, marm. And they tell you to find fern-seed, and you will become rich, marm. But there ain't any fern-seed to be found, marm. And they do lots of things."

"'Liza, what do the saints have to do with such doin's as these?"

"They like to see young folks enjoy themselves, I expects, marm."

"It is the ghost of the living that seem to come, 'Liza."

"All the more interesting, marm."

"Oh,'Liza! 'Liza! such things bode no good! Mercy! what was that?'"

There came a succession of loud raps on the door.

"I hope that Halloween is not coming here," said Mrs. Miller.

The door suddenly opened with a gust of wind. A tall girl appeared out of breath, and said, "Please, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Hopgood's very sick. Ma wants to know if you'll let Obed go for the doctor?"

"Yes, yes, yes. Obed, you put the horse into the wagon, and go!"

"Yes," echoed Mr. Miller. "Obed, you go!"

Obed's face was filled with pain and terror. English Eliza saw the expression, and she understood it. Obed stood up, but did not move.

"Why don't you go?" said Mr. Miller, severely.

"It is that night!"


"Halloween," he added. "And I'll have to go by the way of the grave-yard."

English Eliza's heart was full. "I'm sorry I said these scary things, marm. Let me go with him, marm. I ain't afraid of anything, marm, and I do not wonder that Obed is afraid after such stories as they tell in this new country, marm."

"Yes, 'Liza, you may go. I can trust you anywhere."

Obed's cords seemed to unloose, and his feet flew. In a few minutes Obed and English Eliza were mounted on the carriage seat, and were soon speeding away towards the doctor's, which was in the centre of the town.

"Now, Obed, you shall keep Halloween. Young people in England sometimes ride on this night by lonely places just to test their courage. Obed, I believe that you have only one fault, and that is what my poor mother would have called superstitious fear. I think it is wrong to tell such stories to children as they have told you in this country. It will unman you."

It was a still cool night. The wind after a changing day had gone down. The moon hung high in the heavens,[Pg 1075] now and then shadowed by a fragment of a broken cloud. The road was filled with fallen leaves, which deadened the sound of the wheels. The walnut-trees with their falling nuts sent forth a pleasant odor, and there was a cidery smell about the old orchards that here and there lined the way. They emerged at last from a wood, and came into full view of the old country grave-yard on the hill-side, when something really surprising met their view.

Obed dropped the reins, and Eliza caught them. His knees began to shake, and he chattered, "Prophets and apostles!"

The horse trotted on.

"Whoa! What is that?"

"Go long!" said English Eliza, in a firm voice.

"Turn round—quick," said Obed.

"I can't, Obed; the road is too narrow. And I am on an errand of duty to a sick woman, and I will not do it."

"Eliza, it is awful. I shall go mad if you go on. My brain is turning now."

The sight indeed was a wonder. As it appeared from the road under the hill, a white horse arose from the grave-yard on the hill-side, and stood on his hind legs with his forefeet in the air.

"He is pawing the sky," said Obed; "never did any mortal man see a sight like that. He is climbing a shadow. I shall go crazy. Whoa!"

Eliza shook the reins, and said, firmly, "Go along!"

"Eliza, it must be that Halloween. My nerves are all shaken up. I've heard of white horses before. I tell you, stop! We'll get out of the back of the wagon, and run home."

"Never!" said Eliza.

"Well, I am going, anyway." Obed leaped from the wagon, exclaiming, "I'll give the alarm!"

"I am going for the doctor," said Eliza.

Obed flew. It was indeed a fearful tale that he had to tell when he reached the farm-house. We think that there seldom ever was heard a Halloween tale like that.

"It was a white horse, standing in the grave-yard, with his hind feet on the graves and his paws in the sky," said he, "and under him was a shadow like a cloud, and—"

"But where is Eliza?" asked Brister Miller.

"She rode right on after the doctor!"

"And you left her to meet such a sight as that!" said Mr. Miller.

"She would do it; she's onerary. There was no need that both of us should go for the doctor!"

Brister Miller called his hired people together, and they alarmed the neighborhood. At midnight a company of men had gathered before the house, who should go and see what this remarkable story could mean.

"I always thought that the girl was rather strange," said Mrs. Miller. "There may be some witchery or other about this Halloween."

Eliza, brave girl that she was, rode firmly towards the hill-side grave-yard. As she came nearer to it the white horse did not appear to be so large as when she first saw it. It was indeed a horse, a live one; it had its forefeet on the lower limbs of an old apple-tree, which limbs were bent downward toward the ground. It was eating apples off the high branches, reaching its long neck up to pick them.

Horses are very fond of apples, and try in every way to get into orchards when they have gained a taste for the fruit. They have been known to unhead apple barrels, and they will eat apples from the lower limbs of a tree, and reach high for the apple limbs after the fruit on the lower limbs are gone. They like sour apples, and in this way become cider drinkers.

Eliza stopped the wagon. She got out of it, and tied the horse to a tree by the roadside. It was midnight—Halloween. She thought of English merrymakings, of the games with apples, of the curious old stories and songs that she had heard on such nights as this in her girlhood. She hurried past the graves and came to the white horse, and said, "Jack! Jack!" The horse seemed alarmed, let his raised body down to the ground, snorted, and trotted away.

Eliza stood there all alone at that still midnight hour.

The moon rode clear in the heavens now; the woods were still, and around her were graves. Did she believe in spirits? Yes, in her mother's, and as soon as she thought of that she recalled that she had been sent for the doctor, and that it was her duty to hurry on. Her heart would have been light, but for her pity for Obed. He had indeed proved a coward, but he had been wrongly taught and trained.

She rode to the doctor's house, roused the doctor, and brought him back with her to the neighborhood, and left him at poor Mrs. Hopgood's, and then rode home.

She was surprised to see a crowd of men before the door. Obed stood among them. They awaited her coming in intense interest, but in silence.

She got down from the wagon, saying, "Some one will have to carry the doctor back again."

"Who will go?" asked Mr. Miller.

There was no response. No one wanted to meet a white horse with his body on a cloud and "his feet in the sky" on this mysterious night of Halloween.

"I will go," said Eliza, firmly.

"Yes, Eliza, you go," said Mr. Miller. "You are a brave girl."

Eliza mounted the wagon seat.

Obed stepped up to her, and whispered, "Say, Eliza, what was it?"

"I will never tell; remember, now remember once for all, for your sake, Obed, I will never tell. You played me a mean trick, Obed; but other people were to blame for it; you never had any one to teach you like my mother. For your sake, Obed, left, as you are, all alone in the world, I will never say another word. Now I have done my whole duty, Obed, and, although I cannot trust you, I will always be your friend."

Obed turned away.

"What did she say?" asked the people.

"She said that she would never tell what she saw," said Obed.

"I shall keep a close eye on that girl hereafter. There may be witches, and she may be one. This is a very strange night, this Halloween." So said Mrs. Miller.

Obed had received an arrow in his heart. "Although I cannot trust you," the words spoken by Eliza haunted him. He went about a dull, absent-minded young man, and the people attributed his sadness to the sight that he had seen in the midnight ride.

Eliza was always very kind to him. She never spoke to him of the night that he had deserted her but once. It was on the eve before she united with the village church.

"Obed," she said, "I have something on my conscience. I owe it to you to say that what I saw on that Halloween night would never have harmed you or me."

This confession added to his depression of spirits. He had indeed been a coward, and forfeited the trust of the best and truest heart that he had ever known.

The Revolution came. A new flag leaped into the air. Obed had heard the cannon of Bunker Hill, and seen from afar the smoke of the battle as it arose on the afternoon of that fateful day.

There was a call for minute-men. A horseman came riding into Medfield, blowing a horn, and calling upon the farmers to volunteer.

Obed started up at the sound. He knew what was wanted.

He called Eliza out under the great elms.

"English Eliza, I am going. I shall never come back. You will never see me again. I shall never come back. Some one must die in this cause, and who better than I? Coward you think me, but you do not know me. I am not afraid to die. We were thrown upon the world together, and I have thought well of you. Don't you remember how we used to go sassafrasing with each other?"

"Yes, Obed."

"And looking for Indian-pipe when we were not looking for anything?"


"And picking blue gentians in the old cranberry meadows?"[Pg 1076]


"And listening to the bluebirds when the maples were red; and to the martin birds when the apple-trees were in bloom; and to the red robins, and all?"

"Yes, yes."

"And we used to sing out of the same book on Sundays."


"You remember; I do. Eliza, I want you to make me one promise."

"I always thought well of you, Obed. I would die for you."

"I am going away, and I shall die for the cause. Some day the news will come back to ye that I am dead; that I fell on the field somewhere. I do not know where it will be. Will you forgive me, then, for being a coward on that Halloween night when I was a boy and you was a girl? Promise me that now."

"I forgave you long ago. I believe you to be a brave, true-hearted man, Obed. I think the world of you."

"But you don't know that I am not a coward. You will know. You will forgive all, then?"

"Yes; there is nothing between us now."

"'Yes,' you say. That word is all that I desire in this world. I am now ready to go."

He fell fighting bravely at Monmouth. Then English Eliza for the first time told the story of the midnight ride on Halloween, and what it was that Obed saw, and she added in tears,

"But he was a brave man, Obed was!"


She walked across the glistening sands,
Beneath the morning skies,
With tangled sea-weed in her hands,
And sunshine in her eyes.

Far off—as far as she could see—
The snowy surges beat,
And once—she laughed delightedly—
The water kissed her feet.

She tossed her pretty curly head—
Her lips, half-open buds—
"It's mermaids' washing-day," she said;
"The sea is full of suds!"

Then part in glee, and part in doubt,
And wholly in surprise,
She added, "When the wash is out,
I wonder how it dries?"

Martha T. Tyler.


Scarabæus. Scarabæus.

There is nothing prettier or more attractive, hanging on the walls of one's parlor or chamber, than a group of signet impressions in sealing-wax of various colors, artistically arranged and handsomely mounted; while the pleasure to be derived in seeking them is quite as keen as that which the coin or stamp hunter enjoys, without the expense attached to them, for our seals cost comparatively nothing. The outfit is simple, consisting of a dozen sticks of sealing-wax in different colors—black, brown, red, gold, white, and green, making a charming combination with any other shades that take the fancy of the collector. A light wooden or strong pasteboard box to carry the articles, a box of matches, a white taper (cut in half for convenience' sake), and, later on, a piece of stiff white card-board (16 x 22, 22 x 28 being good sizes) to mount them on.

Seal of Confederate States. Seal of Confederate States.

Keep in the bottom of the box containing the wax a dozen or more pieces of thick, white, unruled writing-paper cut into ovals, circular, oblong, and square shapes, varying in size from one-half inch in width to two inches in length. This is all that is required. Now for our hunt. As you meet friends and acquaintances notice their rings and watch-charms. When any are discovered with a figure, title, handsome monogram or initial on it, borrow it, and make your impression. This is accomplished by laying a piece of your writing-paper, at least half an inch larger than the seal to be used, on some smooth surface like a table. Then take a stick of wax between the thumb and forefinger of the right hand. With the left hand light a match or taper, and bring them together just on the paper where the wax melts sufficiently to drop freely, rub the end of the sealing-wax quickly over the middle of the paper. Then moistening the seal with the tongue to prevent the stone adhering to the burning wax, press it firmly into the hot bed prepared for it, a second or so, being careful to lift it straight up when taken off, thus securing a clean edge. If this is properly done a fine impression of your subject is secured. Repeat this operation several times, taking different-colored wax for duplicates, which will enable you to make exchange with other collectors, who are unable to get these same figures, but have others not in your collection.

Knights of Golden Cross. Knights of Golden Cross.
Socrates. Socrates.

In this manner one is able to secure rare and beautiful heads of men and women, animals, birds, and fishes. These should be placed in a box by themselves carried for the purpose—as fast as taken. When the writer started his group, which was mostly made in Washington, D.C., a few of the young people met one evening at a friend's house and decided to begin together, which greatly enhanced our amusement. Some one suggested we should assemble once a week at each other's homes, and bring our friends with us, so that all could see the impressions and make exchanges.

This was carried out an entire winter, and we found such a course added immensely to our finds and pleasure, as there is no collecting that adapts itself better for club purposes than this for both boys and girls. The capital proved, too, a particularly good field for us, being full of people who had seals gathered from all parts of the world. English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish coats of arms were found, besides quite a variety of exquisitely cut heads in antique rings, gathered from the tombs and curiosity shops of Greece, Italy, and Egypt. In most cities the seals may be found in museums and private collections, and as the act of making an impression in wax is not injurious to them, and requires but little time, we found people generally very willing to allow it. When a sufficient number of seals are gathered, i.e., enough to fill a card-board, they are mounted by first marking the place where they are to go faintly with a lead-pencil. Begin by making a square-cut line in the centre of the board, a little smaller than the writing-paper which contain the seal impressions. This is for the largest of them, then, according to size, graduating to the smallest.[Pg 1077]

Homer. Homer.
Treasury Dept. Con. States. Treasury Dept. Con. States.

The others may be clustered around the first, which should have the most space about it, with at least an inch of border. When the outlines are all drawn take a sharp knife and, following the pencil marks, cut entirely through the mounting-board.

The seals are placed in their proper position by covering the outer edges of the paper they are on with mucilage and then pressing the card-board on to them, taking care that the seal shows through the centre of the cut space.

For a pretty effect, if the largest seal in the middle is red, surround it by a circle of yellow ones, followed by blue, gold, brown, and black, giving a harmonious whole. Some collectors run a line of blue or red ink about the card-board, with ornamental curves at the corners as a finishing touch.

Have it framed in some light wood, like ash, oak, or holly, three and a half to five inches in width, with a glass over it.



Author of "Road Rangers," The "Mate" Series, "Snow-shoes and Sledges," "Fur-Seal's Tooth," etc.



When the rest of the Rangers were awakened to the fact that there were others on the island besides themselves, they were so certain that Captain Crotty had returned, and so excited over the prospect of being rescued from their unpleasant situation, that but for Will Rogers they would have rushed to the beach at once with shouts of welcome.

"Hold on, fellows," he said, in a low tone. "I don't believe the skipper is down there, for, you know, he never swears—at least we never heard him—while those men are swearing like pirates. The rest of you wait here while Hal and I slip round to that far point, where we can get close to them without being discovered. Come on, Hal."

The other boys were not at all satisfied with this arrangement, however, and the two scouts were hardly out of sight before Mif Bowers said:

"Look here, fellows, I don't see why we should be left behind doing nothing. We are just as anxious to know who those men are as anybody. Besides, supposing they should go off before Will and Hal got to the point. Then we'd be as bad off as ever, and I, for one, am too sick of this plaguey island to be left on it any longer. So I'm going to sneak down a little closer, and make sure they don't get away without our knowing it."

As the speaker started to carry out this intention the others followed him. Only little Cal Moody, who was afraid to go, and almost equally so to stay alone, remained behind. The others had not got more than half-way to the beach before they saw a tall figure coming directly toward them.

"Lie low, fellows!" whispered Mif Bowers, throwing himself flat amid a growth of bayberry and sweet-fern. The rest of the boys instantly followed his example, and the approaching figure had almost passed them without discovering their presence, when it stopped to listen to a sound of pattering feet and an anxious voice calling in suppressed tones: "Mif! Fellows! Wait for me!" The next moment little Cal Moody ran with a startled cry plump into the stranger's arms.


"Hello!" cried the latter. "What's this? Who are you? and what are you doing here? Answer me instantly, you young rascal, or I'll throttle you."

"Please, sir, I didn't mean any harm," gasped poor Cal, frightened nearly out of his senses. "I'm only a Road Ranger— I mean a sea— That is, I'm only a boy, and the others left me behind, and I got scared, and was looking for them. But I'll go right back, if you'll only let me go."

"So there are others, are there?" remarked the stranger, at the same time keeping a tight hold of Cal's arm. "Who are they? and where are they?"

"Only boys, sir, like me, and we're camping out, and waiting for Captain Crotty to come for us, and we've drunk up all our water, and are 'most out of everything to eat, so we thought, perhaps, you—"

"Where is your camp?" interrupted the stranger.

"Right back here a little way."

"Then come along and show it to me."

So Cal and the stranger started toward the tent, and the hidden Rangers crept after them to see what was to be done with their youngest member; only Cracker Bob Jones sped swiftly away in the direction taken by Will and Hal to notify them that the camp was discovered, and bring them back to its defence in case the new-comers should prove aggressive.

As Will and Hal were moving slowly, and with all the caution of scouts approaching an enemy's camp, Cracker Bob overtook them before they reached the point toward which they were making their way; and, on learning of the new turn of affairs, they hastily retraced their steps.

By this time daylight was appearing, and when the Ranger scouts neared their camp they saw the other boys gathered about a strange man, who did not appear either ferocious or inclined to enmity. In fact, they were all chatting and laughing in the most friendly manner.

As the three late comers approached, the stranger stepped forward, and extending his hand said, "So this is Captain Will Rogers is it? I am happy to meet you, my lad, and glad that I am in a position to offer you some assistance out of your present difficulty. My name is Bangwell, Zenas Bangwell, at your service, and I am the owner of this island, having recently purchased it. I am about to erect a summer residence here, and have just run over from Newport in my yacht Whisper, for the purpose of selecting a building site, getting acquainted with the harbor, and so forth. The season being so well advanced, I have got to hurry things, and took advantage of the calmness of the night to strip my yacht of her interior fittings, and fetch them ashore, as I intend to bring over my lumber and supplies in her. Now I am about to return to Newport, which is, as you doubtless know, only a couple of hours' run from here, and if you want to take passage with me I shall be most delighted to have you do so, especially as my young friend here tells me you are all good sailors. That will enable me to leave my crew behind, to begin clearing a place for the foundation of my cottage."

"But," said Will Rogers, doubtfully, "we are expecting some one—"

"Oh!" interrupted the glib stranger, "I forgot to say that I met your friend, Captain Crotty, who was forced to take his sloop, the Millgirl, to Newport for docking, and as he cannot be ready for sea under several days, he begged me to bring you back with me, always supposing that you were ready to leave the island. Now as I am in a great[Pg 1078] hurry to be off, for I hope to go to Newport and return to this place again before night, I must ask you to gather up your traps as quickly as possible, while I return to the beach and have a boat got ready to take us to the yacht, where you will find breakfast waiting, and, of course, plenty of fresh water. You need not bother to bring anything except your personal belongings, as I shall make Captain Crotty a handsome offer for the Camp as it stands, to be used by my workmen. In five minutes I shall be ready."

Thus saying, Mr. Bangwell took his departure, waving his hand pleasantly to the boys as he went.

"Isn't this the biggest kind of luck?" cried Mif Bowers. "I tell you what, Will, you are altogether too suspicious. Now, I didn't think those chaps were pirates or anything of the kind from the very first."

"Well," replied the Ranger Captain, "it may be all right; but I'm not wholly satisfied yet, and I don't know as we ought—"

"Oh, yes, we ought, fast enough," interrupted Mif Bowers. "We'd be great fools if we didn't take this chance, when Captain Crotty has sent for us too. Anyhow, I for one am not going to stay here any longer to die of thirst, let alone hunger."

"Nor I," and "Me, too," shouted others.

So Will yielded to the voice of the majority, and busied himself with rolling up his blankets. If he had not been so very thirsty he might still have argued the question, but no argument could prevail against a vision of the yacht's water-tanks. And, after all, Mr. Bangwell's story was very plausible. If at that moment he could have been present at an interview on the beach between the stranger who had just left them and several tough-looking men who had suspended their work to gather about him, the young Ranger's misgivings would have been replaced by certainties of a very disquieting character. The speaker was saying:

"You see, mates, I suspicioned that some of the kids we heard of as camping out on this island might still be here, so I just strolled up to have a look. Sure enough, I found them, or, rather, another lot, I take it, who are waiting here for some craft to come along and take them off. They are green as grass, though, and I pumped them dry in a hurry. As quick as I found that they are as anxious to get away from here as we are to have 'em, I faked up a yarn about having just bought the island, and being in a hurry to get back to Newport in my yacht for supplies. They claim to be first-class sailors, though, between you and me, I don't believe they know enough to navigate a scow at anchor. It gave me a lead, though, and so I invited them to help me sail the yacht over to Newport, while my crew—you fellows, you understand—staid behind to begin building operations. They jumped at the chance, and will be down in a minute with their plunder. So we want to be ready for them, and set 'em aboard at once without giving them a chance to examine any of this stuff." Here the speaker pointed to a miscellaneous pile of boxes, barrels, and bales, with which the other men had been busy.

"I'll sail far enough with them to get 'em well started," he continued, "and then give 'em the slip some way, and I don't believe they'll know enough to get back again, even if they want to. So we'll get rid of them, and the yacht, too, before the schooner comes, as well as throw any craft that's hunting us off our track, till we've had plenty of time to get clear, for they're certain to sight the yacht and follow her. Oh, it's a fine graft, and we want to work it for all it's worth! So, Scotty, you take the yawl up to the far end of the beach, and I'll take the gig, while you other fellows lie low till we are off."

The plan thus arranged was carried out to the letter, and ten minutes later the Sea Rangers found themselves once more afloat in a natty schooner-yacht, evidently brand new, with Mr. Bangwell at the wheel, and the gig towing astern, while the second boat was being rowed back to the beach by an evil-looking man, who answered to the name of "Scotty."

In his haste to be off, Mr. Bangwell had not waited to get up the anchor, but had slipped the cable, saying that he could pick it up on his return.

The yacht was not more than a mile outside the harbor, and Mr. Bangwell was just informing Will Rogers that the course for Newport was east by south half south, when the former noticed a dingy-looking schooner approaching them from dead ahead. Without drawing attention to her, he exclaimed:

"By-the-way, boys, breakfast is ready in the cabin, so just tumble down and pitch in without waiting for me. I'll steer till one of you can come up and take the wheel."

The Rangers having quenched their thirst immediately on getting aboard, were feeling more than ever hungry, and so needed no second invitation to breakfast. Thus in another minute Mr. Bangwell had the deck to himself. With a muttered excuse for so doing, which the boys only heard indistinctly and heeded not at all, he drew the companion-hatch and closed the cabin doors. Then he lashed the wheel in a certain position, cast loose the painter of the gig, slipped into the boat, and rowed rapidly away toward the on-coming schooner, leaving the yacht to take care of herself.



The breakfast that the boys found awaiting them was not particularly inviting, as it consisted principally of a big pot of muddy coffee, a pan of hardtack, and a dish of cold bacon. Still, they were too hungry to be dainty, and so pitched into it, with a right good-will.

"My! I should think he had stripped her," said Hal Bacon, gazing about the dismantled cabin. "It's a shame, too. The idea of carrying lumber in such a fine craft as this!"

"Yes. Isn't she a beauty?" cried Cracker Bob Jones, admiringly. "I'd like to cruise in her for a month. If Captain Crotty isn't ready for us, suppose we offer to help bring her back to the island again."

"I wouldn't mind taking a cruise in her," acknowledged Will Rogers, "if only Captain Crotty or some other first-class sailor was in charge, but somehow I can't wholly trust this Mr.—"

"Oh, pshaw, Will!" cried Mif Bowers. "If you aren't the most suspicious chap I ever knew. The man is trusting us, and I don't see why we shouldn't trust him. Besides, what could he do, anyhow, against so many of us? Why, we could take possession of this yacht and run away with her if we wanted to."

"Who'd sail her if we did?" asked Will, laughing at the idea of his Rangers turning pirates in that way.

"Why, we would, of course. I rather guess we know enough by this time, after all the experience we've had, to sail a boat of this size. I know I would, anyhow."

Just here there came such a tremendous flapping of sails, thrashing of ropes, and banging of blocks from overhead that the boys made a rush for the deck to see what was up. To their dismay the cabin doors were not only closed but locked. In vain did they pound, kick, and shout to be released. There was no answer to their cries, though the terrifying racket overhead continued with increasing violence.

"Something serious has happened," shouted Will Rogers, with a very pale face. "Perhaps Mr. Bangwell has fallen overboard, and a squall has struck us. Anyway, we must break open these doors."

But the doors were stout, and for several minutes resisted their utmost efforts. Finally, however, they gave way, and the boys poured on deck. By this time the alarming noise had ceased, for the yacht, which had thrown her head into the wind, had again filled away and resumed her course of her own accord.

The Rangers gazed about them in bewildered amazement. There was no trace of the man whom they had left on deck, nor of the boat that had towed astern.

"He must have fallen overboard and got drowned," said little Cal Moody, in an awe-struck tone.

"He must have deserted us and gone off, though I can't understand why, nor see where he has gone," answered Will[Pg 1079] Rogers, as he mechanically stepped to the wheel and cast off its lashing. "There is something wrong about this whole business, and we are left in a pretty pickle. Now the question is what shall we do about it?"

"Go back to the island and wait for Captain Crotty," suggested several.

"Keep on to Newport," advised others.

"But we don't know where it is," objected Sam Ray. "I'd run for the nearest land."

"And be wrecked again. Not much."

"We could anchor when we got near shore."

"No, we couldn't, 'cause we haven't got any anchor. Don't you remember we left it behind?"

"That's so. Well, then, let's keep on till we meet some vessel, and then ask where Newport is."

"We know the course to Newport," suggested Mif Bowers, "for I heard him telling you, Will."

"Yes," admitted the latter. "He told me that Newport lay east by south half south, but I don't believe it. In fact I think it lies just the other way."

"All right, then; let's go that way."

As it seemed to be the general opinion that this was the best thing to be done, Will Rogers, who was gradually getting the hang of the unaccustomed wheel, brought the yacht close on the wind, and ordered all sheets trimmed flat. This much he had learned on board the Millgirl. By thus doing, he could lay a course a little north of east, which he hoped would take them to the vicinity of Newport.

The others discussed their situation, the disappearance of Mr. Bangwell, and the probable ending of this most remarkable cruise with unwearied tongues. They still believed themselves to be good enough sailors to handle the yacht, and take her anywhere they chose. At the same time they devoutly hoped that fair weather would hold until they reached some safe harbor, and earnestly wished for the sight of one.

In the mean time Will Rogers was puzzled to account for his inability to keep the yacht on her course. She persistently fell off from it, and seemed to be making leeway almost as fast as she did headway, although a good breeze was blowing. "There must be a tremendous current," he said to himself, "and I guess I'd better head the other way."

So, in imitation of Captain Crotty's well-remembered order, he sung out, "Ready about!" and then put the helm hard down. He did not, however, remember to slack his head-sail sheets, and none of the others remembered it for him. The yacht shot up into the wind all right; but after hanging there for a minute with slatting sails, she gracefully tilled away again on her former tack. She had missed stays. Again and again Will tried to get her about, but failed in every instance.

Now, for the first time, the Rangers began to grow alarmed, and to realize that something was lacking in their knowledge of seamanship. Their craft would sail all right where she chose to go, but not where they wanted her to.

"I never heard of a boat acting this way!" cried Will Rogers, finally, and in utter despair.

"Let me try," said Mif Bowers; and, glad to share his responsibility, Will released the wheel.

Mifflin met with no better success than Will, and not only that, but became so badly rattled by a sudden puff that heeled the yacht over until her lee rail was under water, that he let go of the wheel in terror, yelling to Will to take it before they were capsized.

Even their hoped-for assistance from other craft failed them; for, though several, all evidently yachts, approached at different times during the day, they all sheered off when near enough to distinguish the signals fluttering from the Whisper's mast-heads.

So the unhappy Sea Rangers, growing more and more terrified with each passing hour, sailed all day without making any land or being able to hail a single vessel. By nightfall they were enveloped in a thick fog, the wind had whipped round and was blowing half a gale from the eastward, a heavy sea was running, and most of the boys were so prostrated by sea-sickness that they no longer cared whether they lived or died. Just before dark Will Rogers and little Cal Moody, who were the only ones not affected by sea-sickness, lowered all the sails, and managed clumsily to secure them.

None of the Rangers had ever dreamed of anything so awful as the long hours of darkness that followed, during which their craft drifted, rolling and pitching furiously, and utterly at the mercy of wind and wave. At length, after what seemed an eternity of darkness and terror, Will Rogers, who, with little Cal cuddled close beside him, was half dozing with utter weariness in the cockpit, was roused into a sudden activity by the unmistakable boom of breakers close at hand.

"Hello, fellows!" he yelled, springing to his feet, "tumble up here in a hurry and make sail or we'll be lost. We're almost on the rocks now!"

This thrilling summons was sufficient to banish even sea-sickness, and a few minutes later the yacht, under mainsail and jib, was slowly drawing away from the dangerous though still unseen reef.

Some hours afterwards a hot sun, scattering the sullen fog-bank, poured its cheery rays over the haggard-looking Rangers, who, in various attitudes of utter misery, occupied the wet decks of the yacht. All at once they sprang to their feet with shouts of dismay and terror, for, out from a low hanging bank of mist, that was slowly rolling away astern, there came a flash as of lightning, and the thunderous roar of a heavy gun. At the same moment, as though it had been cloven in twain by the shot, the fog opened and a United States man-of-war, snow-white and gleaming in the sunlight, loomed up directly behind them, terrible and yet grandly beautiful in its on-rushing majesty.

The Rangers gazed at this bewildering apparition in speechless terror, fully expecting that another minute would see them run down and crushed like an egg-shell. As the monster dashed up abreast of them, at the same time slackening her speed with reversed engines, an officer, hailing from the bridge, demanded to know the yacht's name.

"Whisper!" shouted Will Rogers, recovering somewhat his self-control.

"What do you mean by that, you impudent young pirate?" roared back the officer, angrily. "Why don't you heave to? Heave to, sir, at once, or it will be the worse for you."

"We don't know how," sang back Will, while all the others trembled in their bare feet, and almost expected to receive a broadside from the gleaming guns that grinned at them not a stone's-throw away.

"Then lower your sails and come to anchor, while I send a boat aboard," shouted the officer, as the great white ship glided by.

The yacht's crew could not anchor, but they let down their sails by the run, and a few minutes later were approached by a boat from the man-of-war, bearing a brass howitzer in its bows, and manned by a lusty crew of blue jackets.

"Way enough! Oars!" commanded a voice from the stern of the boat, as it dashed alongside, and at the sound every Ranger was thrilled as though by an electric shock. In another moment they had rushed forward, and were overwhelming with their clamorous welcome the younger of the two officers who had just gained the yacht's deck.

"Mr. Barlow! Sir! I am amazed. What is the meaning of all this?" demanded the elder officer, sternly.

To this Billy Barlow, Ready Ranger, and naval cadet, just now attached to the United States practice-ship Bancroft, made bewildered answer: "Why, sir, they are not pirates, after all, but my own schoolmates from Berks. I know every one of them, and can vouch for their character as for my own."

"Then, perhaps," said the lieutenant a little less sternly, but still with a decided trace of suspicion in his voice, "you can explain how they happen to be in possession of the yacht Blue Billow, which was stolen from her anchorage in the East River by a gang of thieves four days ago, and run off with the most valuable cargo of plunder ever taken out of New York city. If you or they can explain[Pg 1080] this satisfactorily, well and good. If not, it is my duty to clap them in irons, and convey them aboard the ship as prisoners."

"I think I can explain the situation to your satisfaction, sir," said Will Rogers, boldly, "though this is the first we have heard about thieves or stolen goods."

The officer listened with closest attention to Will's story, and when it was finished, he said, with a smile: "Well, young gentleman, I am very much inclined to believe you, and am very glad to be able to carry back such a favorable report to our commanding officer. Mr. Barlow, you will remain, with two men, in charge of the yacht. Make sail and stand off and on within easy hail of the ship."

As soon as the Lieutenant had departed, and Billy Barlow had carried out his instructions, the naval cadet was overwhelmed by a torrent of questions from the bewildered Rangers.

Why did he call this yacht Blue Billow when her name is Whisper? How did a man-of-war happen to be sent after her? How did you know where to find us? etc., etc.

"Because," answered Billy Barlow, laughing, "she belongs to Admiral Marlin, who has only just built her. He named her after your play, which he happened to see in Chester; and when she was reported stolen, we got orders to keep a lookout for her during our cruise down the Sound. We heard of you yesterday evening from several yachtsmen, who had recognized your flag; but thinking you were a lot of pirates, had no desire for a closer acquaintance. It's big luck, though, that I happened to be along to identify you, for our first luff is in a towering rage at your supposed insult in telling him to whisper when he hailed you."

The yacht was shortly hailed again, and ordered to follow the Bancroft to the vicinity of the island on which the Rangers had so recently camped, and which, to their great surprise, they now learned was not more than a couple of miles away.

As they sailed toward it, with Billy Barlow at the wheel, he asked Will Rogers how it happened that he had been trying to sail close hauled with his centreboard up.

"Why," replied the Ranger Captain, "I never thought of that, and don't believe I should have known what to do with it if I had, for, you see, the Millgirl didn't have any centreboard, and so we didn't learn about it."

"Which shows," remarked Billy Barlow, sagely, "that it isn't safe to go to sea, especially in command of a vessel, without a previous and pretty extensive experience in various styles of craft."

"And after you've got your extensive experience, perhaps you won't ever want to go to sea again," laughed Will Rogers. "At any rate, that's the way I feel now."

"I don't care whether you call it extensive experience or sea-sickness," chimed in Mif Bowers, "but I know I've had enough of it to last me a lifetime."

"Last night I promised myself that if ever I set foot on dry land again I'd stay there, and I mean to keep my promise, too," announced Cracker Bob Jones, with an expressive shake of the head.

"I think," said little Cal Moody, "that I'll resign from the Sea Rangers, for I don't seem to care as much about being one as I did."

And this was the opinion of the entire wet, ragged, dirty, barefooted, sunburned, hungry, and generally disreputable looking crew of the yacht Blue Billow.

At the island they found the Millgirl, with poor Captain Crotty almost beside himself with anxiety. He was so overcome with joyful emotion at the safe reappearance of his missing charges that, as they thankfully scrambled aboard the old sloop, he could only exclaim, "Waal, I'll be blowed!"

He had met a dingy old schooner sailing out of the harbor as he entered it, and described her so minutely that the commander of the Bancroft decided to go in pursuit of her at once. This he did, ultimately capturing her, with Mr. Bangwell and his pals, together with all their plunder, including the handsome fittings of Admiral Marlin's yacht on board.

The Blue Billow was sent to New York in charge of prize-master William Barlow and a picked crew of seamen, while the sturdy old Millgirl bore her picked crew of landsmen, who no longer had the least desire to become seamen, safely back to Berks.

Here, after showing up at their respective homes, the Rangers met in special session at Range Hall for the purpose of giving honorary member Pop Miller a full account of their recent expedition. The little old gentleman listened with absorbed attention, and when the tale was concluded he exclaimed:

"Marmaids, mutiny, shipwreck, cast away on a desolate island, hungry, thirsty, kidnapped, pirates, lost at sea, captured by a man-o'-war, and safe back home, all inside of one week, is a record what I don't believe can be beat by any other lot of Sea Rangers in the hull world"—which conclusion is fully shared by every member of the Ready Rangers of Berks.


[Pg 1081]




It was four years later, and it was again the day before Christmas.

Cynthia sat in her own room by the bed, which was covered with presents in various stages of completion; some tied up and marked, ready to be sent, others only half finished, and one or two but just begun. Bob, as usual, lay at her feet.

"There!" cried she, as with a loud snap her needle broke for the third time; "there it goes again. I believe I'll give up this wretched frame and all the other things that are not finished, and go to Boston this morning. I'll just buy everything I see, regardless of price."

"You would never get near the counters, the shops are so packed," observed Edith, who was hovering over a table full of lovely articles on the other side of the large room. "Just send what you have, Cynthia, and let the rest go. You can't possibly finish them in time. You give so many Christmas presents."

"Oh, it's all very well for you, with all those wedding-presents and the Christmas things you'll have besides, to think other people won't want them! You don't take half as much interest in Christmas as usual this year, Edith, just because you are going to be married so soon. Now I should never change about Christmas if I were to be married forty times—which I hope I sha'n't be. In fact, I've about made up my mind never to marry at all."

"Nonsense! I think I used to say that myself when I was as young as you are."

"And you're just two years older, so according to that you were saying so this time two years ago, which was not by any means the case, for you were already engaged to Dennis then! In fact, I don't believe you ever said it. Oh, another needle! I'm too excited to work, anyhow. What with weddings and Christmas and the boys coming home, I am utterly incapable of further exertion."

She tossed the unfinished photograph-frame across the bed and leaned back in her chair. Then she began to gather up her work materials. Finally she moved restlessly to the window.

"It is beginning to snow. I hope the boys won't be blocked up on the way. Wouldn't it be dreadful?"

"I suppose you mean Neal. Of course Jack can get out from Cambridge. Ah, here comes Dennis!" and Edith hastily left the room.

"Dennis, Dennis—always Dennis!" said Cynthia to herself. "I wonder if I could ever become so silly? Certainly I never could about Dennis Morgan, though he is a dear old fellow, and I'm very glad I'm going to have him for a brother-in-law."

Cynthia stood for some time at the window, looking out at the swiftly falling flakes which were already whitening the ground. Bob stood beside her, his fore-paws resting on the window-sill. He belonged to Cynthia now; but she patted his head and whispered in his ear that his master was coming, which made the black tail wag joyfully.

Four years had, of course, made considerable change in Cynthia; and yet her face did not look very much older. Her fearless blue eyes were just as merry or as thoughtful by turns as they had always been—at this moment very thoughtful; and the pretty head, with the hair gathered in a soft knot at the back, drooped somewhat as she looked out on the fast-gathering snow.

She was wondering how Neal would be this time. During[Pg 1082] his last visit he had seemed different. She wished that people would not change. Why was one obliged to grow up? If they could only remain boys and girls forever, what a lovely place the world would be! She had hated to have Edith become engaged, and now in two days she was going to be married and leave the old home forever. To be sure, she was to live in Brenton, in a dear little house of her own, but it would not be the same thing at all.

Of one thing Cynthia was sure. She would never marry and go away from Oakleigh; she would stay with her father and mother forever. The next wedding in the family would be either Jack's or Janet's. Jack had overcome his shyness and become quite a "lady's man," and as for Janet—but just then the young woman in question came into the room.

She was eleven years old now, tall for her age, and with her hair in a "pig-tail," but the roguish look in her eyes showed that, like the Janet of former times, she was ever ready for mischief.

She carried a pile of boxes in her arms, and was followed by Willy, who staggered under a similar load, and by Mrs. Franklin, also with her arms full.

"More wedding-presents," Janet announced. "Edith and Dennis have been looking at them, and they sent them up for you to see and fix."

As she uttered the last words one of the boxes slipped, and away went a quantity of articles over the floor—spoons, forks, gravy-ladles, and salt-cellars—in wild confusion, cards scattered, and no means of telling who sent what, nor in which box anything belonged.

"Janet," groaned Cynthia, "if that isn't just like you! You ought to be called 'The Great American Dropper,' for everything goes from you."

"Never mind," returned Janet, cheerfully. "Willy, you pick them up while I see who's coming. I hear wheels. It's a station carriage."

"Is it?" cried Cynthia. "Can it be already?"

"It's Aunt Betsey," was Janet's next piece of information.

"Oh!" came from Cynthia, in disappointed tones.

"Why, who did you think it was?" asked her young sister, turning and surveying her calmly and critically. "Aren't you glad to see Aunt Betsey? And why is your face so very red? Are you expecting any one else?"

"No, only the boys," said Cynthia, busying herself with the scattered silverware.

"The boys! I don't see why your face should look so queer for them."

Mrs. Franklin glanced at Cynthia quickly.

"Come," said she, much to her daughter's relief, "we must go and welcome Aunt Betsey."

The little old lady was as agile as ever. She had come for Christmas and for the wedding, which was to take place on the twenty-sixth.

"I am glad you didn't put it off," she said to Edith when she had kissed her and kissed Dennis, and patted them both on the shoulder. "Never put off till to-morrow what can be done to-day, as I learned to my cost late in life—though not so very late, either. And now I want to see the wedding-presents."

And she trotted upstairs in front of them just as nimbly as she did years ago, when she went up to show her nieces her new false front.

Jack arrived in the afternoon. He was a Sophomore at Harvard now—very elegant in appearance, very superior as to knowledge of the world, but underneath the same old Jack, good-natured, plodding, persevering. He still ran the poultry farm, though he paid a man to look after it while he was away.

The day wore on, night came down upon them, and still Neal did not appear. He was to have left Philadelphia that morning, where he had been living during the past four years. He had grown more accustomed to the confinement of business, he had made a number of friends outside of the Quaker element, and he expected Philadelphia to be his permanent home.

His cousin was apparently satisfied with his success, for Neal had risen steadily since the beginning, and would one day be a partner. He had come home to Oakleigh every summer for two weeks' vacation, but he had not spent the Christmas holidays there since the year that his sister was married.

This Christmas eve, Cynthia, in her prettiest gown, donned for the occasion, grew visibly more and more impatient, in which feeling her step-mother shared. Mr. Franklin laughed at them as he sat by the lamp reading the evening paper as usual.

"Watching won't bring him," he said when they opened the front door a crack for the twentieth time and then shut it hastily because of the snow that blew in; "and in the mean time you're freezing me!"

"Papa, how can you be so prosaic as to read a stupid old newspaper Christmas eve?" cried Cynthia, as she caught the paper out of his hand, tossed it aside, and seated herself on his knee.

"Seems to me my little daughter looks very nice to-night," he said, looking at her affectionately. "She has on a very fine frock and some very superior color in her cheeks."

"Well, it is Christmas eve, and the fire is hot," explained Cynthia.

"Ho!" laughed Janet, "that isn't it! You began to get blushy when you thought the boys were coming this morning. You thought—"

"Janet," interposed Mrs. Franklin, "run up stairs quickly and get the little white package on my dressing-table, dear. I forgot to put it in the basket. You can slip it in."

For the old Oakleigh custom still obtained, and the presents were deposited in the basket in the hall.

Janet, her explanations nipped in the bud, departed obediently, her love of teasing overcome by her desire to see, feel, and even shake the "little white package," which had an attractive sound.

And at last Neal arrived. The storm had begun at the south, and there had been much detention; but he had finally reached his journey's end, and here he was, cold and hungry, and very glad to reach the friendly shelter of Oakleigh.

From the moment he came in Cynthia found a great deal to do in other parts of the house—things which seemed to require her immediate and closest attention. She left her mother and sister to attend to the wants of the traveller, and beyond the first shy greeting she had very little to say to him. When there was nothing left to be done she devoted herself to Aunt Betsey. But as soon as Neal had appeased his appetite the excitement of opening the presents began, and the assumption of indifference to his coming was no longer necessary.

On Christmas afternoon Neal asked Cynthia to go out with him. The day was clear, the sleighing fine, and he anticipated having an opportunity for a long talk with her, uninterrupted by the claims of relatives. It seemed to him that there were more people than ever who received a share of Cynthia's attention. He would like to have her all to himself just once.

Very much to his chagrin, however, Cynthia, who accepted his invitation with apparent cordiality, insisted that they should go in the double sleigh, and that Aunt Betsey and some one else should go too.

"It would be very selfish and quite unnecessary for us to go in the cutter when Aunt Betsey is so fond of a sleigh-ride," she said, severely.

Neal grumbled under his breath, but could say nothing aloud, as Miss Trinkett was in the room. To be sure, when they drove off, Cynthia sat in front with him, while his sister entertained her aunt on the back seat; but it was not by any means the same thing as going with Cynthia alone would have been.

That young woman, with apparent unconsciousness of his dissatisfaction, chatted gayly about the wedding, the various bits of Brenton gossip, and everything that she could think of to keep the ball of conversation rolling. Somehow it had never before been so difficult to talk to Neal. She wished that he would exert himself a little more.[Pg 1083]

"How do you like the idea of being usher," she asked—"you and Jack and four others, you know? Tom Morgan is to be best man, Gertrude and Kitty Morgan are to be bridesmaids, and I maid of honor. But, Neal, did you hear the story about Tony Bronson?"

"No; what?"

"Oh, he did some terrible thing not very long ago. He forged his uncle's name, I believe. It got into the papers at first, and then it was all hushed up, and his father paid the money. But wasn't it dreadful?"

"I should say so! But it is just what one might have expected Bronson to do, Cynth."

And then Neal relapsed into silence again, and Cynthia determined that she would make no further effort at conversation. If Neal would not talk he need not, but neither would she. And after this, with the exception of Miss Betsey's voice from behind, nothing was heard but the jingle of the sleigh-bells until the drive was over and they were at home again.

The wedding the next day passed off well. The bride looked lovely, as all brides should, and Cynthia was as pretty as, if not more so than, her sister. After the ceremony at the church there was a reception at the house, which, notwithstanding the winter aspect without, looked warm and gay in its dress of Christmas-greens and wedding-flowers.

Edith was upstairs in her old room, and her mother and Cynthia were putting the last touches to her toilet when she had changed her dress to go away.

"Mamma, I want to say something to you," she said, putting her arms around Mrs. Franklin's neck. "You know how I love you now, and you know only too well how hateful I was to you when you first came to us. I look back on it now with horror, especially the day you heard me say it was so dreadful to have the Gordons come. I want to tell you, mamma, that next to Dennis the coming of the Gordons was the very best thing that ever happened to me in my whole life!"

Mrs. Franklin could not speak; she could only kiss her and hold her tenderly.

Cynthia said nothing aloud, but she thought that the coming of the Gordons was the very best thing that had ever happened to her, without any exception whatever. Dennis, in her eyes, was of minor importance.

The bride and groom went off amid a shower of old shoes, and then the guests slowly betook themselves to their homes. It was the first wedding at Oakleigh for many years, and it was celebrated in a manner befitting such an important occasion. Some of the intimate friends staid during the evening, and when they left, the family, tired and worn with excitement, separated early.

The next day Neal went to see some of his former friends. He was absent several days, for he had been granted extended leave, and was not due in Philadelphia until the 2d of January.

It seemed very lonely and strange at Oakleigh after the wedding was over. It was the first break in the family of that kind, and Cynthia could not become accustomed to it. She thought that accounted for the unusual fit of depression which seized her the morning Neal went away, and which she could not shake off, try as she would.

Edith and Dennis were to return the last day of the year, and spend a short time at the old homestead before going to their new house. Neal also was to come back that day, and Cynthia found herself longing for New-year's eve. She did want to see Edith so much, she said to herself a dozen times a day.

And at last New-year's eve came, and with it the absent members of the household. A merry party sat about the supper-table that night. Cynthia was the gayest of the gay. Her contagious laugh rang out on all occasions, but, indeed, everybody laughed at every one else's joke, and particularly one's own joke, apparently without regard to the amount of wit contained therein.

As the evening lengthened Cynthia grew more quiet. The last night of the year always impressed her with its solemnity, young though she was. She left the others where they were sitting about the fire waiting for the clock to strike, and wandered off to the dining-room, to the library, up stairs—anywhere. She could not sit still.


She was just coming down the broad old staircase when Neal suddenly appeared at the foot. He had been waiting for her. He was to go back to-morrow, and he had determined to speak to her before he left.

She paused a moment in surprise, and the light from the Venetian lantern which hung in the hall shone down on her soft curly hair and young face as she stood with her hand resting on the bannister. Neal thought he had never seen so lovely a picture.

"I want to speak to you, Cynth," he said, leaning against the carved post at the foot of the stairs and effectually barring the way. There was nothing for her to do but to listen. "I have tried for ages, ever since I came, and you never will give me a chance."

"Nonsense! You have been away. How could you expect to talk to me if you went away?"

"I know; but I had to go. Besides, you wouldn't have let me if I had been here."

"Let us go back to the parlor. It is almost twelve."

"No, I want you here."

Cynthia was about to reply defiantly, but something in Neal's eyes made her drop her own. She stood there in silence.

"Cynthia, do you remember that day on the river in the rain?"


"Do you remember what you called me then?" No reply.

"Tell me, Cynth; do you remember what you called me?"

"Yes," very low.

"You called me a coward. Do you think I am one now?"

"Oh no."

"But you also said you had faith in me, Cynthia; and in Philadelphia that spring I told you I was going to prove to you that I was worthy of your faith. Do you think I have, Cynthia?"

"Yes, Neal."

He said nothing for a minute. Then he glanced at the old clock in the back part of the hall. It was five minutes of twelve.

"Come to the hall window, Cynthia," he said, taking her hand; and Cynthia went with him. "That other New-year's eve we stood here and looked out on the snow just as we're doing now. Do you remember?"

"And I made good resolutions which I never kept," said Cynthia, finding her voice at last. "Oh, Neal, my bureau drawers are just as untidy and my tongue is just as unruly as ever! I make the same good resolutions every New-year's eve, but I always break them. You were wiser. You would not promise that night when I wanted you to, but you have done a great deal better than if you had."

"I would not promise when I should have done so. But won't you return good for evil, Cynthia, and promise me something? Promise me that before many more New-year's eves have come and gone you will be my wife! For I love you—love you, Cynthia! I have loved you ever since that day on the river—indeed, long before that! Hark! the clock is beginning to strike. Promise before it stops."

And Cynthia promised.

And the old clock struck twelve, as it had done thousands of times before, and the old year died, and for us the story is finished. But for Neal and Cynthia a new year and a new life were dawning, and for them the story had but just begun.



"Papa," said Jimmieboy, "you are the nicest man in the world."

"And you are the nicest boy in the world," said his father.

"Yes; I guess that's so," said Jimmieboy. "Isn't it queer how we both managed to get into the same family."[Pg 1084]



"A strange fleet is in sight to the westward." This is the startling report of the telephone from the Farallone Islands, situated twenty-eight miles nearly due west of San Francisco. The General receives the report without a sign of the anxiety he feels, and continues his study of the huge maps before him. He is contemplating the vast amount of work that has been accomplished in the last three months since war had been declared. Then San Francisco had been a defenceless city at the mercy of the most insignificant enemy; now it is as near impregnable as human skill and ingenuity can make it.

The General takes a lingering look at the maps on his desk; running over the different forts, he sees with pride that there is nothing left undone.

BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE GOLDEN GATE. Point Bonito. Point Diablo. Lime Point.
Point Lobos. Sutro Heights. Mortar Battery. Mining Station. Fort Point.


On Point Lobos, the southern cape of the outer harbor, on high bluffs, are three 16-inch rifles mounted on disappearing carriages, the guns, in the loading position, being behind breastworks of earth and concrete. In this position the guns are sighted, then going up to the firing position above the earthwork for only a few seconds on firing, and then recoiling to their position of safety. On the high land between Point Lobos and Fort Point are two 12-inch and two 10-inch rifles in Grueson turrets, the armor consisting of eighteen inches of Harveyized nickel steel. The turrets are segments of a sphere, and are manipulated similarly to those on a battle-ship. A little higher up is one of the two formidable pneumatic guns, the explosion of whose shell within twenty yards of a ship would send her to the bottom. At Fort Point, the southern cape of the Golden Gate, in earthworks of old design patched up and strengthened, are four 10-inch rifles with disappearing carriages. On the northern cape of the Gate, Point Bonito, are three 16-inch rifles mounted in a similar way. The second pneumatic terror is also at this point, commanding the entrance to the Gate. Point Diablo is fortified with three 12-inch and two 10-inch rifles on disappearing carriages, and Lime Point will defend the harbor with four 10-inch rifles mounted in the same way. The outer harbor seaward of Fort Point and Point Diablo has been well mined, making it impossible for a vessel to enter in safety even though she had escaped the tons of steel hurled at her. The cables from the mines are led to a central station on the bluffs back of Fort Point. If by chance the enemy's ships should ride over this hidden explosive, the simple pressure of a key in this station would send them all to destruction. At the mine station are two observers, who, by an instrument similar to a range finder, discover from time to time the position of the enemy on their chart. When the unlucky vessel is over a mine the key is pressed.

On Sutro Heights is a heavily armored tower, the inside of which to an inexperienced eye would appear like a central telephone station. It is the General's headquarters in action. From here he and his staff will direct and control the battle. This is the brain of the intricate fortifications. The nerves run to every battery and central station, making it but the work of a minute to transmit orders to any point. Before another half-hour has slipped away everything is activity within the forts. The wires from the General's tower are busy with the many orders transmitted.

Actual hostilities began months ago in the East, but as yet have not laid their cruel hand on the Pacific slope. New York has been the scene of most of the strife.

While the army has been making the Golden Gate a fortress, the navy has not been idle. All the fighting ships on the coast have been collected, and the work on the new ones so expedited that a formidable fleet has been massed in the harbor. The Oregon, the only first-class battle-ship of the West, cleared for action, the Admiral's blue flag flying at her truck,[Pg 1085] is lying behind Alcatraz Island; made fast to the different mooring-buoys by slip-ropes is the rest of the Pacific fleet. The Monterey, low and formidable, is nearest the island, barely distinguishable against the dark land; her heavily armored turrets, bristling each with two great 12-inch rifles, are a menace to any battle-ship. The Monadnock, a double-turreted vessel, is close to the Oregon; in her turrets she carries two 12-inch and two 10-inch rifles, and inside of her dark hull are brave men who will show the enemy that the American monitor is as deadly a foe as of old. The Olympia, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charleston, Bennington, and Yorktown, all protected cruisers, are equally ready to do battle with any of the enemy that it is their duty to encounter.

The foreign fleet is now in sight from Sutro Heights. A glance through the powerful telescope tells the General it is the enemy—six first-class battle-ships and eight cruisers, for the belligerent country depends upon the capture of this rich city to defray the heavy expense of the war.

They are approaching in double column, the battle-ships leading. Nearer and nearer they come. The range-finders at the different batteries show the range is rapidly diminishing. News has reached San Francisco, and the high bluffs about the city are thronged with an excited crowd. The blue-coated regulars have dispersed from the little knots about the guns, and have gone to their stations, and stand ready at the command to open the greatest battle the West has ever seen. On the ships of the enemy come, majestically cutting the smooth sea, throwing the silvery spray upon their bare forecastles, over which their heavy turret guns are to soon speak.

"Four miles, sir!" reports one of the General's aides. The batteries at Lobos and Bonito are ordered to open fire. The six big 16-inch rifles thunder forth their challenge almost simultaneously, and nearly three and a half tons of steel go speeding toward the approaching enemy. All eyes are turned seaward, and are just in time to see columns of water thrown up close aboard the on-coming ships. Again and again the heavy batteries speak; shot after shot goes on its deadly flight, making havoc on board the silent vessels. The fleet is approaching at nearly fifteen-knot speed; it will take them but eight minutes to reach the range, when tons of gun-cotton will be sent out to meet them both above and below the peaceful sea. They are heading directly for the entrance. What can be their intention? Will they dare attempt to run the forts? Do they suppose the harbor is clear of mines and they have naught to fear save the guns? The range-finder dials point to 4000 yards from the Gate. All the guns on the forts are blazing forth fire, but the gunners' aims are poor, and the better part of the shots are fruitlessly ploughing up the sea in the vicinity of the enemy. One well-aimed 16-inch shell strikes home on the nearest ship; her armor is pierced, and she has become unmanageable and drops out of the advancing columns. Nearer and nearer comes the fighting. At last the dreaded puffs of smoke dart from the battle-ships' turrets, and the shells are coming screeching ashore, tearing up the earth in the fortifications. With a glass one of the aides is scanning the sea at the entrance to the harbor. An exclamation escapes him as his glass focuses on some object of interest; with a flinger trembling with emotion he points out to the General two small red flags, barely distinguishable on the water's surface, midway between Point Lobos and the nearest ship. A glance shows it to be the flags on the Sims-Edison controllable torpedo. Out it goes at a terrific speed; nearer and nearer it approaches its intended victim. Harmless enough look these small pieces of bunting, but underneath the water not many feet lurk nearly five hundred pounds of deadly gun-cotton. It has passed astern of the leading ship. Will it run out its scope and fail? A small column of water is seen to ascend from the flags, and the next moment the second battle-ship is nearly engulfed in a mighty explosion. The first charge tears the torpedo net; the second makes one less ship to attack the batteries, for she is fast sinking. The gun-cotton has exploded against her steel hull. A cruiser drops out to render assistance.

An explosion that seems like an earthquake to those in the fortifications tells that the first gun-cotton shell has exploded near the enemy. One of the leading battle-ships heels over and slowly sinks beneath the waves; her seams have been opened by the force of the explosion. The enemy now is in irregular formation, more nearly like[Pg 1086] double echelon; they are pouring in a scathing fire on all the batteries. As they approach the torpedo range they starboard and stand out to sea, bringing to bear their after turrets. Some of their shots have committed awful havoc ashore; gun after gun has been dismounted, one of the pneumatic guns has been struck by a shell and is a total wreck. The remaining controllable torpedoes have failed.

The pneumatic gun on Point Bonito is aimed at the nearest ship, but a mile and a half away; the gauge on the accumulator shows the air pressure is sufficient. The lever is tripped, and the quarter-ton of gun-cotton, with a whir, is hurled on its errand of destruction. The eye can distinguish the aerial torpedo as it soars to the height of its trajectory, and then majestically and swiftly steals down toward its helpless prey. Will it explode? It strikes the water a few yards from the target, but the looked-for explosion does not follow; the fuse has failed. The next minute every gun of the enemy is trained upon this terrible weapon, knowing that if the shell is again let loose their ships will be like chaff before this tremendous power. The enemy is now confident of victory. Signals go up on the flag-ship, and in a very few minutes the old formation is resumed, and once again they head for the harbor.

The firing becomes hot and furious; broadside after broadside belches forth from the enemy's steel sides; a few shells go wide into the city, and dense columns of black smoke from the buildings set on fire lend a more awesome aspect to the picture depicted.


The observers at the mining-station are nervous with the suppressed excitement within them. The ships of the enemy plot on their chart only eight hundred yards away from their mines. Will it be their fortune to decide the fate of the Golden City? The ships still advance. Soon they will be over the mines. A pressure of the key under the hand will discharge tons of the hidden explosive.

But the enemy has stopped. What does this foretell? Five hundred yards from the mines the ships are nearly motionless in the troubled sea lashed to foam by the ploughing of so much steel.

All the batteries are now doing splendid work. Explosion follows explosion on board the intruding ships. Two cruisers are unmanageable and on fire; they drift onto the rocks almost within a stone's throw of one of the batteries. Suddenly torpedoes shoot from the bow tubes of the leading ships, and a few moments afterward tremendous columns of water are seen to rise from the bay, and the next second the sound of a mighty discharge reaches the expectant ears of the defenders of the Gate. The officer at the mining-key knows from the spark that jumps across under his hand that the enemy has countermined and the harbor is clear. The struggle has come to such close quarters that the rapid-fire and machine gun fire lends its sharp cracking report to the dull roar of the heavy guns.


But the foe has stopped too long! The mortar battery on Lobos has gotten his range. Suddenly with a whir a column of smoke rises in the air just over the bay, and a bunch of 16-inch mortar shells falls upon the battle-ships' unprotected decks. One shell strikes over the boilers of one of the ships, penetrating them a second later, the explosion of which rends her asunder; and where this powerful steel-clad had been but a moment before is but the hissing foam of troubled waters.

The General sees the fight has now reached the critical point; the cruisers have dashed ahead and will soon be within the harbor. Many of the batteries have been put out of action by the well-aimed shots of the enemy. The navy is needed, but the telephone connection with the station has been severed; the signal has not been made. Time is precious. A few minutes more, and the whole fleet will be within the bay of San Francisco, and, without the batteries, will be more than a match for the few United States ships.

An exclamation involuntarily escapes from the General's lips as he sees the famous Oregon emerge from behind Alcatraz Island, and come rushing down to the fight.

The small fleet was thought too valuable to hazard against such as the enemy brought. The plan was not to expose it till the signal was made. But the Admiral, behind Alcatraz Island, has been pacing up and down the deck of his battle-ship, tugging at the restraining bonds, growing more and more impatient as the cannonading has become more furious. The crews of the ships feel the inactivity keenly; anything is better than this suspense. Why does not the signal come? The Admiral will wait no longer, but slips his moorings, regardless of consequences, and appears in the nick of time with his fleet to bar the entrance to the bay.


The Oregon, Monterey, and Monadnock engage the two remaining battle-ships. There is no sea-room for manœuvring, and the rapid way in which the Yankee guns are served shows that they are more than a match for their huge enemies. The cruisers have closed in for the death-struggle; every weapon of modern warfare is being employed; two ships of the foe and one of his opponent's have been torpedoed, and in another moment one of ours rams their biggest battle-ship. The General on shore can almost hear the command, "Prepare to ram." It is so quickly and skilfully executed. The forts have now become inactive, fearing to fire lest by chance one of their own ships might be struck.

The enemy suddenly begins to retreat, leaving two of his ships on the rocks, while another is forced to strike the white flag.

Night has come on. The sun has an hour ago gone below the western horizon. The evening fog-bank comes in and mingles with the battle smoke about the silent batteries, which only a short time before were the scene of bloodshed and war. The brave defenders may sleep in peace in their blankets and hammocks. The pride of the enemy has been humbled, and the beautiful city of San Francisco is safe from torch and shell.



The Rajah made good progress south, the northeast trades blowing her thither swiftly. We were fast approaching the belt of calms, squalls, rain, and variable winds known to sailors as the "doldrums."

The skipper had four coops of fat ducks which he tended with loving care. He just doted on them stuffed with sage and onions, and while they were being roasted he used to hang about the galley enjoying the savory odors that escaped from the oven. One morning while it was raining as though the gates of heaven had been opened wide the Captain thought he would give his pets a treat. The ship was heeling over considerably, being close-hauled on the starboard tack, with all her flying kites dowsed to the puffy breeze. He ordered the lee scuppers to be plugged up, and as soon as a sufficiently large pool had collected on deck, he liberated the ducks so that they might enjoy the luxury of a fresh-water bath. The ducks were delighted, and demonstrated their joy by noisy quacks. The pigs in the pens forward responded with joyous squeaks. The cocks and hens in the long-boat joined in with a merry chorus of crows and cackles. The combined music was that of a barn-yard.


The ship heeled over until the scuppers were awash. The weight of all the fresh water on deck as the ship inclined to the squall and rose on the next wave was thrown against a lee port aft near which the ducks were disporting themselves. Now it happened that the lashing of this port was only of spun-yarn, rotten at that. The wash of the water against the port parted the lashing, swung the port wide open, and away went a dozen of the ducks into the sea with a great whir of wings and clamorous cackling.

One of the sailors closed and secured the port before any more of the birds escaped. Then the rest of the watch came aft, running helter-skelter at the hurried hail of the mate, and drove the rest of the flock into their pen. Had there been the slightest chance of capturing the runaways the Captain would have backed the main-topsail, hove the ship to, and lowered the quarter-boat.

Meanwhile the wind had died out. The sails flapped lazily against the mast, and the ship rolled sluggishly on[Pg 1087] the heaving bosom of old ocean. The clouds rolled away, and the pitiless burning sun shone down on the deck and dried up all the moisture on wood and rope in a few minutes. It was one of those sudden meteorological changes so common in equatorial latitudes. An awning was rigged up over the man at the wheel. The skipper put on a huge topee, or Indian pith helmet, to shelter his head from the sweltering rays which made the pitch boil and bubble up in the seams of the main-deck, and promised plenty of work for the carpenter's calking-irons.

The ducks, obeying a sort of homing instinct, I suppose, swam up to the now almost motionless ship, and continued their sport nearly within a stone's throw. Suddenly a bright idea struck the skipper.

"See the lee quarter-boat clear for lowering!" he shouted to the second mate. Then he put his head down the cabin skylight and ordered the steward to bring up his breech-loader and a lot of cartridges. The boat was lowered and manned. A side ladder was rigged; the Captain with his gun descended and took up a position in the bow, from which he directed operations. The cockswain seized the tiller-ropes. "Shove off let fall give way!" he cried, all in one breath, without any regard to punctuation, so excited was he, and in such a hurry to get within gunshot of the ducks. If he could not catch them alive, he meant to have them dead.

The boat was headed for the flock. When within easy range the skipper let them have it right and left. His aim was so good that he brought down three. It took some time to pick them up, which gave the scared flock an opportunity to get out of gunshot. None others, as it happened, were fated to fall victims to the deadly breech-loader of our sportsman-skipper. The dorsal fins of six sharks were observed sticking up above the surface of the water, and converging from different directions on the doomed ducks. Sharks are abundant in equatorial waters, and they follow ships for miles. Some of them are very large. All are voracious and ugly customers to tackle.

The way those sharks gobbled up those ducks was a sight to behold. They were disposed of in three minutes. The Captain was terribly angry. He tried to revenge himself by peppering the sharks with shot, but it is doubtful if the leaden pellets made the slightest impression on their tough hides, even if he succeeded in hitting them.

The boat pulled back to the ship, and was hoisted to the davits. The calm continued. Four of the sharks came up alongside, eager for more ducks. Such appetizing fare was seldom theirs. Stray garbage from passing ships, flotsam from the forecastle, composed the diet upon which they usually depended in addition to their steady prey of fish. The Captain brooded over the loss of his ducks for some time. Then he made up his mind to have a little shark-fishing, and thus combine revenge and recreation.

He sent below for a brand-new shark-hook with a sharp and cruel barb. To the ring of the hook was attached a stout chain a fathom long. A shark's teeth are so sharp and strong that they can bite through the stoutest rope with singular ease. To the end of the chain the skipper bent on a two-and-a-half-inch manilla line, and having impaled a four-pound piece of pork on the hook, hove it overboard, with the remark that he intended to have a slice of fresh shark for supper.

The sharks were playing about the rudder on the lookout for any stray trifles that might come along their way from a sailor down to a beef bone. They are not at all fastidious or dainty. It was my first experience of shark-fishing, and I was a keen and interested observer. The water was so clear that I could watch every motion of the four monsters as they swam slowly about, each one attended by his own particular body-guard of pilot-fish—pretty little creatures shaped something like perch, with blue vertical stripes. Ichthyologists declare that these fish attend the shark for the purpose of preying upon the parasites that infest him. This may be a true explanation, but I cannot understand how it is that a hungry deep-sea shark, that will snap up anything living or dead, permits these plump little fish to play unscathed about his enormous jaws. There are other curious things about these pilot-fish that naturalists cannot explain. They only attach themselves to the pelagic species found in deep water; there are always five or seven of them to each shark, never an even number; they stick to the shark while he is floundering about in the water with a hook through his jaws, but as soon as he is hoisted above the surface of the sea they immediately disappear. Nobody knows what becomes of them.

I have had several good opportunities of studying the habits of sharks, and have always been curious about them. As a matter of fact, very little is known concerning the ocean variety, which is quite distinct from that of the shore.

No sooner had the pork plashed into the sea than one of the rapacious monsters made a rush for it. The remarkable velocity of this fish was surprising to me, who had never before seen a deep-sea shark in his native element. The water was so beautifully limpid that his every action could be accurately observed. I thought he would gorge the bait immediately, but he did not. When he came up with it, he made a sudden stop. Then he sniffed at it with an air of expectant and suspicious curiosity. The next thing he did was to turn his tail to it contemptuously, and swim away a considerable distance.


"Watch him make a dart for it now," said the skipper, who was an old hand at shark-catching.

Like a flash the hungry fish went for the tempting bait, turning over so that he might grasp it more conveniently with his wide and cruel jaws. In an instant it was engulfed in his maw. And then there was such a floundering and threshing in the water as I had never before seen. The fierce shark, maddened with the pain of the sharp hook, made frantic but fruitless efforts to escape. He snapped savagely at the strong chain attached to the hook, with the sole result of damaging his own cruel-looking teeth. Meanwhile the fish had been dragged forward to the starboard gangway in spite of his wild struggles. A running bowline was sent down the line that held him, and as the shark was hoisted over the side it was passed over his body and hauled taut round his tail, in order to control the movements of this his most formidable weapon. Instances have been known of a blow from a shark's tail breaking a man's leg on the deck of a vessel immediately after being hauled in over the side.

This fish in question was gigantic. It took eight men to hoist him in-board. "Chips," the carpenter, stood by with a keen axe, and as soon as Mr. Shark's struggling carcass was landed on the deck, with one powerful blow he severed his tail from his body, and thus incapacitated him from mischief. From time immemorial it has been the ship carpenter's privilege and duty to out off the tails of all[Pg 1088] sharks captured during a deep-sea voyage, and the cook generally despatches him much after the fashion of a Japanese when he performs on himself the queer right of hari-kari.

"Chips," said the skipper, addressing the carpenter, "before you cut that shark up, just pull that rule out of your pocket and measure him. He seems quite a big fellow."

And a big fellow he proved to be, measuring 30 feet 8½ inches long. The Captain said he was the largest one he had ever seen, but the chief mate declared he had once captured one that measured 38 feet, and he had sailed with a skipper who had hauled one in-board that was fully 40 feet in length. As a matter of fact, specimens of pelagic sharks are displayed in museums that exceed 40 feet, but they are very rare. In Florida varieties of fossil sharks have been dug up whose length "over all" averages more than 50 feet, but these are now happily extinct.

Seafaring men are not as a rule a bloodthirsty race, but they look upon sharks as their natural enemies, and against them they wage relentless warfare; and whenever one is hooked they rejoice with an exuberant pleasure, and will sacrifice their watch below in order to see him cut and carved. There is also much curiosity with regard to the contents of his interior. I once had for a shipmate a man who swore hard and fast that he once found in a shark a ship's chronometer that was still ticking. He was quite a truthful man too, but somehow I never believed that yarn. Of course a shark is one of the most ravenous and rapacious of fishes, and queer articles have undoubtedly been discovered in their stomachs.

Inside the one just caught there were two of the Captain's ducks, and not a morsel of anything else, which probably accounted for the greed with which he swallowed the four-pound chunk of briny pork. It is a tradition among sailors that sharks will not bite at a piece of beef, and I never heard of one being hooked with any bovine bait. In this the shark shows excellent taste and judgment, for the "salt junk" served out to seafarers is by no means a succulent or dainty dish. As a matter of fact, I have known a sailor to whittle out of it a fair model of the hull of a ship, and to dry it in the sun for two or three weeks, when it would come out for all the world as hard as a block of mahogany, which it resembled—and this too after the beef had been boiled for hours in the cook's coppers!

The Captain ordered the cook to cut off the fins and prepare them for his own particular use after the Chinese fashion, the almond-eyed Celestials esteeming them as an especial dainty. Then he carved two long cutlets from the back, which he also ordered to be cooked for his supper. The rest of the huge carcass he surrendered to the crew. The boatswain cut out the heart of the shark, which was still palpitating, and placed it in a tin dish. He told me it would continue to beat till sundown, when it would suddenly become motionless. I did not believe him, and told him so, but he prophesied truly. I watched that throbbing heart pretty closely for several hours. It beat firmly and regularly until the upper rim of the sun disappeared beneath the western horizon. Then it made a sudden stop, and became limp and pulseless. This may seem a yarn fit only to tell to the marines, but it is gospel truth on the word of a sailor. I have told the story to scientific men, but they have pooh-poohed at it, and declared it to have been impossible. But then it was not to be supposed that they would know anything about sharks, having got all their knowledge from musty books instead of from the sea itself. Old sailors who have crossed the line will, however, corroborate me as to this phenomenon.

The carpenter claimed the backbone, which he fashioned into a quite handsome walking-stick by impaling the finest sections of the spine on a slender bar of steel. And I may as well tell you that the "shark walking-canes" so frequently offered in South Street by impostors disguised as hardy mariners are as a rule made of sections of ox tails, prepared in a very cunning manner, and well calculated to deceive the inexperienced.

The Captain gave me the jaws, which were immense. I boiled them all night in a big kettle until all the flesh fell off them and they shone like ivory. I preserved them for many years as a souvenir of my first deep-sea voyage and of the first shark I had seen hooked.

The tail was nailed in triumph to the end of the flying jib-boom, replacing one of much smaller dimensions that had long braved both wind and weather. Sailors think that a shark's tail at the extreme end of a ship's "nose-pole" is the harbinger of good luck. While these things were being done the rest of the shark's carcass was thrown overboard for his mates to gorge upon. The only people aboard the Rajah that ate shark for supper that night were the Captain and the spinner of this yarn. The skipper feasted on the fins, followed by a big dish of cutlets. Of the last named delicacy I partook very sparingly, I warrant you, being actuated less by appetite than by curiosity. Not being an accomplished ichthyophagist like my Captain, I am forced to confess that I found his flesh to be not only flavorless but coarse.[Pg 1089]


It is an excellent thing for young men to be eager and enthusiastic in their pursuit of sport, but they should never allow their eagerness and enthusiasm to get the better of them. In a hotly contested game it is sometimes impossible for spectators to retain that composure which lends dignity to the Supreme Court, but, on the other hand, we should never allow our partisanship to carry us beyond the bounds of good behavior. I don't want to preach a sermon here on the etiquette of sport, because I am fully aware that my readers know just as much about the subject as I do; I merely want to urge them now to act on the grand stand, or along the ropes, or in the field itself just as in calmer moments they know they ought to act, and feel confident that they will.

In looking over a bundle of school papers the other day, I came across an editorial which started me to thinking about the behavior of spectators and players at school games, and I want to quote a portion of it. It does not matter what particular schools are under discussion, and so I have eliminated their names from the paragraph, substituting A and B, but otherwise the quotation is taken word for word. I did not write it myself.

There is one thing that we must condemn, and condemn very strongly, too, and that is the ungentlemanly conduct on the part of our boys, in jeering their opponents and trying to rattle their contestants. It is true that the "A" School started this, but this is no excuse for the boys to so far forget themselves and their school, and act like anything but gentlemen. The boys feel somewhat justified in the act, in that they did not begin jeering for quite a while after the "A" School had started, but at no time and for no cause are they excusable for forgetting that they are gentlemen. But to cap all this, a free fight was engaged in after the field day on some trivial cause. The less said about this the better, but we very strongly condemn the conduct of both the "B" and "A" schools in the field day on Saturday.

The occurrences referred to above took place at a track-athletic meeting, but they might just as well have happened at a football or a baseball game. The two schools are rivals in sport, and the single aim of each is to defeat the other. This spirit is commendable and should be encouraged, and I know of no one who will yell louder and longer for his own side than I will. But when it comes to jeering, we must draw the line. It is unsportsmanlike, and that means that it is ungentlemanly, cowardly, and indecent. We go into sport in order that the best man may win, and if the best man is on the other side, this may be a disappointment, but it is never a disgrace. If we start in to jeer at the best man's efforts we are openly trying to prevent him from winning, which is conduct directly opposite to the motives that led us to encourage the competition. It is as cowardly to jeer at an opponent as it is to adopt unfair means to defeat him: and any act calculated and intended to injure the chances of an antagonist is unsportsmanlike.

As to the particular case mentioned in the editorial, I can make no comment beyond what has already been said, except that fighting after a friendly contest is wholly irreconcilable to sport. I don't know, of course, whether there was an actual fight or not. The editor may have exaggerated; let us hope that he did. But to allow one's feelings to get the upper hand in sport is always a sign of weakness, and persons of such weak character as not to be able to restrain their passions should not indulge in sport. They do not belong among sportsmen.

There is nothing better than athletic contests to develop character and to teach a man to restrain himself. Aside from all ethics in the matter, and looking at the case purely from the point of view of securing advantage, it is better to be able to master one's passions and feelings. The man who loses his temper on the football field, and begins to "slug" his opponent, or to adopt mean methods of play, invariably weakens his own efforts, because he is giving more thought to his spite than he is to his game. Of two teams absolutely evenly matched in every physical respect, the team whose members keep cool and collected, and do not lose their tempers, is bound to win every time. It is so in everything; in business the same as in sport. Therefore, let me repeat that whereas enthusiasm and eagerness cannot be too highly commended, any display of ill-feeling or displeasure in sport cannot be too severely condemned.

At a number of schools it is the custom to allow instructors to play on the football and baseball teams, and these instructors frequently go into match games against other school teams. Such a system, of course, is bad; but it is fortunate that it is not countenanced at those institutions which hold a prominent place in the interscholastic world. It is mostly at small private schools that the teachers play, but the principle is the same. In the first place, a man who is old enough to be a professor is too old to play against boys. He outclasses them in experience and in strength, and it is unfair to pit such a player against a young athlete who has gone into sport for the sake of trying his skill against his equals. It is also discouraging to any team of young men to have to face opponents among whom there may be one or more college graduates. The mere presence of an older man on a boys' team serves to overawe the other side.

A Captain is perfectly justified in refusing to play against any school team that puts an instructor or professional trainer into the field with the school players. In[Pg 1090] fact, I should strongly urge every Captain of a school team to refuse to arrange games with any institution where the professor habit prevails, and to retire from any contest in which the opponents propose to play an older man. A few years ago there was a school team in Pennsylvania that won most of its baseball games simply because the pitcher was so much superior to any school pitcher the team ever met, and so much better an all-round player than any school-boy could be, that their opponents had no chance. That was not sport. There was no glory in those victories. The school team did not win. It was the professor against the field. He was a graduate of Williams College, I think, and had been the crack pitcher of his year among college baseball teams. But I think that he no longer performs for that school, and I believe that the boys there have a truer appreciation of the ethics of sport now, and fight their own battles on the diamond and on the gridiron.

It is all very proper for instructors who were athletes in college to give the scholars at the school they teach in the benefit of their experience by coaching the players, and even by going out on the field and playing against the first school team. But they should always play against the team, not with it, except for the purpose of demonstrating a play. By coaching the school players they are doing much good for the school team and for sport. But by joining the school players in games against other schools they do injury both to the players and to the cause of sport.

The absurd reports which appeared in some of the New York daily papers concerning the injury received by Captain Mynderse, of the Betts Academy team, in the recent game against the Berkeley School eleven, only serve to corroborate the statements made by this Department two weeks ago. Fortunately Mr. Ely, the coach of the Berkeley team, came out promptly with a statement to the effect that the boy was not at all seriously injured, and that he returned to his school the next day with his companion players, and was not, as reported, laid up in the hospital in a critical condition. In closing, Mr. Ely remarks: "Any team of school-boys who are properly looked after and cared for while playing the game, and who are physically fit to play it, need have no fear of doing so, nor need their parents have any fear that their sons will be permanently injured or incapacitated from pursuing a collegiate or business career from injurious effects sustained upon the football field." Mr. Ely is perfectly right; and let me add that boys who are not properly looked after while playing the game, or who are not physically fit to play it, should not be allowed on the field.

The most promising eleven in the New York League, up to date, is the Berkeley School team. Bayne has been made Captain instead of Irwin-Martin, and he will, no doubt, put more life and snap into his men. The change is a good one, for Martin is a good deal of a back number in scholastic athletics, and has thoroughly outgrown the class of players who properly belong on school teams. The protests against him on the score of age will probably again this year pop up with persistent regularity in the meetings of the I.S.A.A. Martin ought to get a certified copy of his birth certificate from the Bureau of Vital Statistics, and settle this disputed question once for all.

The league games began last week, and the schedule is divided into two sections, as the baseball schedule was:


Oct. 22.—Cutler School vs. Hamilton Institute.

Oct. 29.—Trinity School vs. Columbia Grammar School.

Nov. 5.—Hamilton Institute vs. Trinity School.

Nov. 12.—Cutler School vs. Columbia Grammar School.

Nov. 19.—Cutler School vs. Trinity School.

Nov. 22.—Hamilton Institute vs. Columbia Grammar School.


Oct. 25.—Barnard School vs. De La Salle Institute.

Nov. 1.—Barnard School vs. Berkeley School.

Nov. 8.—Berkeley School vs. De La Salle Institute.

Nov. 29.—Championship game, winner first section vs. winner second section.

Should there be a tie, the deciding game will be played on November 26th at the Berkeley Oval, where all the championship matches are to be held.

The Brooklyn series began almost a week earlier than the New York games, and will be continued in this order:

Oct. 16.—Adelphi Academy vs. Bryant & Stratton.

Oct. 19.—Adelphi Academy vs. Pratt Institute; St. Paul's School vs. Bryant & Stratton.

Oct. 22.—"Poly Prep." vs. Bryant & Stratton; Boys' High-School vs. Bryant & Stratton.

Oct. 26.—Brooklyn Latin School vs. Bryant & Stratton; "Poly Prep." vs. Pratt Institute.

Nov. 2.—Pratt Institute vs. Boys' High-School; St. Paul's School vs. Adelphi Academy.

Nov. 5.—Brooklyn Latin School vs. Boys' High-School; St. Paul's School vs. "Poly Prep."

Nov. 9.—St. Paul's School vs. Pratt Institute.

Nov. 13.—"Poly Prep." vs. Boys' High-School.

Nov. 16.—St. Paul's School vs. Boys' High-School; Pratt Institute vs. Brooklyn Latin School.

Nov. 20.—"Poly Prep." vs. Boys' High-School; Brooklyn Latin School vs. Adelphi Academy.

Nov. 23.—Brooklyn Latin School vs. St. Paul's School.

Nov. 26.—"Poly Prep." vs. Adelphi Academy.

The game between Lawrenceville and the Princeton 'Varsity showed considerable improvement on the part of the school team; but it also emphasized the fact that the end players are still weak, and that both quarter and full back can be materially strengthened. On the whole, the playing was sharp, and the work of the team as a unit showed that it was made up of good stuff that will, no doubt, be moulded into shape by the time of the Andover game. The tackling and breaking into Princeton's interference were good, but the men were slow at the start off. Their own interference did not form in time, and as yet the defensive work is far inferior to that of last year's eleven.

THE HOTCHKISS SCHOOL FOOTBALL ELEVEN. Crane, r. e. Cheney, h.-b. Eliason, h.-b. Ellsworth, h.-b.
Cook, r. t. Babcock, m'gr. Reiland, l. g. Warner, f.-b. Savage, l. e.
Brown, r. g. McKelvey, q.-b., Capt. Hixon, c. McCormick, l. t.


At the Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, the outlook for football is good, notwithstanding the loss of such men as Cheney, Conner, Sheldon, Spencer, Gray, and Wells. Many players who were raw last year are developing well, and some good new men have come in. The line is heavier than last year, and will be better, but the ends and backs are light, averaging perhaps 140 pounds. Hixon, centre, plays a strong and steady game, and may always be depended on. Reiland, left guard, though he puts up a stiff game, is apt to lose his side much ground by off-side plays. Brown, right guard, makes good holes and breaks through well, but runs poorly with the ball. McCormick, left-tackle, is playing well, and runs with the ball with force, but is inclined to be overconfident, does not follow the ball closely, and is consequently out of many plays. Cook, right tackle, is playing hard, but has much to learn. Crane, right end, although very light, tackles well but is apt to be blocked off by the interference. Savage, left end, breaks up the interference well, but is a little weak in tackling.

McKelvey, at quarter-back, makes an excellent Captain, passes accurately, and shows good judgment in the generalship of his team. Warner, half and full, hits the line well, and plays a strong defensive game. Ellsworth, left half, runs around the ends well, but is weak in tackling. Warner must learn to punt better in order to hold his position at full back. At present the team plays a better offensive than defensive game. In offense the line-men block well and make good holes, but in the defense they do not break through quickly enough, and do not follow the ball as well as they should.

As the season advances and the teams of the Connecticut League get into form, the struggle for the championship seems to be narrowing down to a close fight between Hartford High-School and Hillhouse High of New Haven, with the chances slightly in favor of the former. Hartford played a strong game a week ago against the Yale Freshmen.

The Graduate.
[Pg 1091]


This Department is conducted in the Interest of Girls and Young Women, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question on the subject so far as possible. Correspondents should address Editor.

Gwendoline writes that she wishes to know the secret of being popular. "I'd like to be a popular girl," she says, "a girl beloved by everybody."

This is a natural wish, and in itself not wrong. There is a temptation to wrong in it if the desire be carried so far that, in order to become popular, the girl sacrifices valuable qualities of character, as, for instance, independence of judgment and sincerity.

But there is no need of this. The girl who chooses to be popular needs first to be unselfish. She must not consider her own ends first nor chiefly. The atmosphere enfolding her must be that of love and kindness. You know how some girls always try to have the best things, the best places, the pleasant things, while they do not try to pass the good times along to others. These are not popular girls. Nobody can be fond of a selfish person.

Again, a really popular person must have courage. Courage enough to be a leader. There are only a few leaders in any city, or school, or other corner of the world. Most people are followers. I heard of a leader this morning. She went to a boarding-school a long way off from home. Among the teachers there was a little shy Miss Somebody whom the girls did not like. They made fun of her prim manner and her queer tow-colored hair, and a sort of mincing walk the poor lady had, and they did not see that she was really a very learned woman who could teach them a great deal if they would attend to her. Maria Matilda observed the state of affairs, and decided that it was unjust, so she championed the little teacher. She sent flowers to her desk. She listened respectfully when Miss Diffidence was in the preceptor's chair. She began to be very fond of her, and discovered that Miss Diffidence was really a dear, only frightened out of her wits, among a crowd of unfeeling girls. Before long Maria Matilda changed the whole situation, and, she being a born leader, the rest followed her willingly. I need not add that Maria Matilda is popular, very popular.

Another requisite for the popular girl is savoir-faire; she must know how to do things. Any one of us can have this power. It is a mere affair of paying attention, of will, and of considering it worth while to be able easily, in whatever place you are, to do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.

Charm of speech, charm of look, charm of manner belong to the popular girl. Do you know how she acquires charm? By simply being genuinely interested in those about her. When she talks to you she looks you in the face. She has nothing to conceal. When you look at her, you see a good heart shining in her eyes.

Now that I have said all this, I must add that you would far better be unpopular your whole life through, than to make a study of the thing merely for the sake of ambition or vanity. He that saveth his life shall lose it, says the best of Books, which means that one who does anything for purely selfish—which are always purely low—motives, will in the end be sadly disappointed.



It is said that boys living in and about San Diego, California, are making money catching horned toads for the Hawaiian government, which is said to be importing them to destroy an insect which is ruining many crops in the island. The government want 5000 toads, and is paying the boys $1 a dozen for them.


Tod Forrest was one of those kind of boys that, when asked to exhibit the contents of his pockets, could produce the oddest lot of trash.

He stood one afternoon lazily hanging on to a split rail fence, gazing idly over the fields at a distant wood. "Well," he muttered, "I reckon I've got to gather some of those 'ere nuts, after all. Let me see. 'Holly eve' comes to-morrow, and the boys won't let me in on the games unless I do, so here goes."

Heaving a sigh, he climbed over the fence and made for the woods. He penetrated deeper among the trees than usual, and after going some distance he found himself on higher ground and in a new spot. A large chestnut-tree thick with burs stood near the centre of a small knoll. It was the work of a few minutes, and he was safely perched in a fork of the branches, breaking open the burs with his knife and filling his pockets with the nuts. He had filled two of those capacious maws, when he was startled by a deep growl. There beneath him, nosing around among the empty burs, was a good-sized bear. It frightened him so that he nearly lost his seat.

Tod could always find the humorous side of things, however, and it seemed that one of the burs he had thrown down had lighted on the bear's nose and stuck there, tickling him.

It made the bear snort and growl in the most ludicrous fashion. This was a short-lived matter, for through an incautious giggle on Tod's part the animal discovered him, and started for the foot of the tree. Now a bear can climb a tree about as good as any one, and Tod knew it, but lazy as Tod was, he had a mind for emergencies, and seizing a handful of chestnuts, he threw them at the bear. This second interruption attracted the animal's attention, and he began devouring the nuts, evidently something he was exceedingly fond of. After that to keep the bear out of the tree Tod was obliged to throw down handful after handful of chestnuts, the meanwhile despairing of his situation. He searched his pockets, and, lucky thought, there among the trash were two small rifle cartridges.

Selecting two of the largest nuts, he bored a hole in them and inserted the cartridges. Waiting until the bear had finished his last handful and stood greedily eying him, he gently threw the loaded nuts to the ground. Anxiously he watched as the bear nosed around in search of them. In a few moments one of them was found, but before the greedy animal munched on it he secured the other. Now it was funny, but the bear seemingly wanted to tantalize Tod, and lifting his head, stood looking at him without attempting to chew the loaded chestnuts. Tod was scared, and tears came into his eyes. The bear made one or two steps towards the tree, and then hesitating, sat back on his haunches, with his eyes on Tod, and commenced chewing.

Suddenly a very comical look of surprise came over that bear's face, and almost instantly an explosion took place. Tod claims that the bear jumped six feet into the air, and when he fell back on the ground again he never waited an instant to learn what happened him, but scampered off in the funniest lumbering fashion. Tod waited till he thought it was safe, and climbing down, made tracks for home. The boys let him in at the games on Halloween to hear him tell his story again, as they had by that time substantiated it by the blood tracks of the bear.

Hubert Earl.


Highest of all in Leavening Strength.—Latest U. S. Gov't Report.

Royal Baking Powder



[Pg 1092]


Editor will be pleased to answer any question on the subject. Our maps and tours contain much valuable data kindly supplied from the official maps and road-books of the League of American Wheelmen. Recognizing the value of the work being done by the L. A. W. the Editor will be pleased to furnish subscribers with membership blanks and information so far as possible.

Copyright, 1895, by Harper & Brothers. Copyright, 1895, by Harper & Brothers.

The map this week is of Boston and its vicinity, and the reader in using it on the road must remember that a great many streets in the city have been omitted here, and in many places it is impossible to put the names of streets, owing to the necessity for covering so much ground on a small map. Every macadamized or asphalted street is, however, represented on the map. The object in publishing this map is not so much to tell a rider how to get about in the city, i.e., in "old Boston," as to give him an idea of what roads to take in order to reach certain suburbs and to follow certain bicycle routes which we intend giving in the Department in the next few weeks. The city of Boston is eminently suited for bicycle riding owing to the beautiful parks which are either finished or in course of preparation at the present moment. As a usual thing, the starting-point for a trip in the vicinity of Boston will be laid at Copley Square, which is at the intersection of Boylston Street and Huntington Avenue. The best way for reaching any of the suburbs or towns to north and west is to run through any street from Copley Square to Commonwealth Avenue, proceeding thence to Massachusetts Avenue, turning right and crossing the Harvard Bridge, thence proceeding through Cambridge out North Avenue to Arlington, Medford, Malden, etc.

To reach Chestnut Hill, Brookline, or Brighton, Commonwealth[Pg 1093] Avenue should be followed across Massachusetts Avenue to Beacon Street, thence out Beacon Street. Any of the suburbs further westward, such as Newton, Wellesley, Jamaica Plain, etc., can be reached over one of the best roads that was ever made for bicycle riders, i.e., through the new park that has been built along the course of Stony Brook. To reach this you proceed across Massachusetts Avenue on Commonwealth Avenue and turn left into the Fenway, and follow what has been named "The Fens" by keeping on any of the roads inside the park, such as the Riverway, Jamaicaway, through Leverett Park, around Jamaica Pond, thence out through the Arnold Arboretum, and from there taking what direction is desired on the country roads. This run through "The Fens" and Leverett Park, which in time will be extended from the Arboretum over to Franklin Park, and thence to South Boston, will make one of the pleasantest short afternoon bicycle rides in America. It will have the advantage of never being monotonous, because there are many variations to the route, allowing you to wind about in the park, cross different bridges, and leave or enter it at many different points.

To reach Milton, Dorchester, Quincy, etc., there are many routes, the shortest of which, though not perhaps the best, being to leave Copley Square, to Commonwealth Avenue, to Massachusetts Avenue, turning to the left and proceeding thence straight across Boston, out Massachusetts Avenue to Five Corners. From Five Corners the rider should turn to the right, proceeding by Boylston Street to Upham's Corner, thence by Columbia Street to Franklin Park, turning to the left on Blue Hill Avenue, whence he can either run to Hyde Park or Milton, or, turning into Washington Street, and proceeding by Milton, to Quincy. Probably the best road, though somewhat longer ride, is to run out over the Fenway, Riverway, and Jamaicaway, across Franklin Park, and thence to Milton.

Note.—Map of New York city asphalted streets in No. 809. Map of route from New York to Tarrytown in No. 810. New York to Stamford, Connecticut, in No. 811. New York to Staten Island in No. 812. New Jersey from Hoboken to Pine Brook in No. 813. Brooklyn in No. 814. Brooklyn to Babylon in No. 815. Brooklyn to Northport in No. 816. Tarrytown to Poughkeepsie in No. 817. Poughkeepsie to Hudson in No. 818. Hudson to Albany in No. 819. Tottenville to Trenton in No. 820. Trenton to Philadelphia in No. 821. Philadelphia in No. 822. Philadelphia-Wiasahickon Route in No. 823. Philadelphia to West Chester in No. 824. Philadelphia to Atlantic City—First Stage in No. 825; Second Stage in No. 826. Philadelphia to Vineland—First Stage in No. 827. Second Stage in No. 828. New York to Boston—Second Stage in No. 829; Third Stage in No. 830; Fourth Stage in No. 831; Fifth Stage in No. 832; Sixth Stage in No. 833. Boston to Concord, 834.


This Department is conducted in the interest of stamp and coin collectors, and the Editor will be pleased to answer any question on these subjects so far as possible. Correspondents should address Editor Stamp Department.

Bureau, Engraving & Printing. 149 Bureau, Engraving & Printing. 149

Plate-number collecting is booming. The newest development is the issue of priced catalogues of the 1894 varieties, both with and without water-marks. As yet no one has ventured to price any of the earlier issues, but the demand for them is already greater than the supply.

A number of correspondents ask how many stamps are taken from each sheet in plate collecting. Usually three, and care must be taken that the stamps are not torn apart and that the margin is kept attached. The usual form of imprint on the sheets of the present issue is the following:

Some collectors keep the imprints from top, bottom, left, and right sides, but most are content with one only. Plate No. 89 is the rarest of all so far.

The Pittsburg Library has set apart an alcove for philatelic literature. The other American libraries will probably soon be obliged to do the same.

F. Schoenthaler.—The U.S. silver dollar of 1800 is worth $2. The trade dollar is worth bullion value only.

F. M. L.—The 1845 dime is worth 20c.

H. J. Leake.—Confederate bills are very common, and I therefore advise their collection, as it is comparatively easy to get a very large number by the expenditure of little money, and they are very interesting to all Americans. The dimes of 1829 and 1823 are sold by dealers at 25 cents each. Your half-dollar is worth face only. Mexican coins are worth their weight in silver only.

George France, Jun.—The 5-cent U.S. Internal Revenue is the ordinary kind, of which many millions were used. It is sold by dealers at 2 cents.

C. E. A.—I cannot undertake to look over a large lot of common stamps when a little study on your part would enable you to fairly understand them yourself. It would not be fair to you. One of the great merits in stamp-collecting is that it trains the eye as well as the mind.

S. Hall.—I cannot advise you about joining the A.P.A. Personally I am not a member.



is usually healthy, and both conditions are developed by use of proper food. The Gail Borden Eagle Brand Condensed Milk is the best infant's food; so easily prepared that improper feeding is inexcusable and unnecessary.—[Adv.]


Say, Boys!

We have been telling you about the

"Rugby" Watches

for some time.

If you have not sent for the "Rugby" Catalogue, you are pretty late. It is your misfortune.

Turn over a new leaf and send at once. You will have your eyes opened when you see the beautiful designs on the cases. The catalogue tells all about them.

The Waterbury Watch Co.,

Waterbury, Conn.


Constable & Co

Children's Wear.


Ladies' Silk Skirts,

Ladies' Underwear,

Children's School Dresses,

Misses' Coats and Dresses,

Children's Coats and Jackets,

Ladies' Wrappers and Tea Gowns,

Children's Frocks for Dancing-school.

Broadway & 19th st.


Postage Stamps, &c.

1000 Mixed Foreign Postage Stamps, including Fiji Islands, Samoa, Hawaii, Hong Kong, for 34c. in stamps; 10 varieties U. S. Columbian stamps, 25c.; entire unused 5c. and 10c. Columbian Envelopes, 25c. the pair. Only a limited number were issued by U. S. Government. E. F. GAMBS, Box 2631, San Francisco, Cal. Established, 1872.

STAMPS! 300 fine mixed Victoria. Cape of G. H., India, Japan, etc., with fine Stamp Album, only 10c. New 80-p. Price-list free. Agents wanted at 50% commission. STANDARD STAMP CO., 4 Nicholson Place, St. Louis, Mo. Old U. S. and Confederate Stamps bought.

100 all dif. Venezuela, Bolivia, etc., only 10c.; 200 all dif. Hayti, Hawaii, etc., only 50c. Ag'ts w't'd at 50% com. List FREE! C. A. Stegmann, 5941 Cote Brilliante Ave., St. Louis, Mo.

500 Mixed Australian, etc., 10c.; 105 varieties, and nice album, 10c.; 15 unused, 10c.; 10 Africa, 10c.; 15 Asia, 10c. F. P. Vincent, Chatham, N.Y.

FINE PACKETS in large variety. Stamps at 50% com. Col's bought. Northwestern Stamp Co., Freeport, Ill.

10 RARE STAMPS FREE. Send 2c. stamp. F. E. THORP, Norwich, N.Y.


Approval sheets at 50% com. Send at once.

THE OHIO STAMP CO., Carthage, Ohio.


As a sample of our 1000 BARGAINS we will send FREE this elegant Fountain Pen, warranted a perfect writer, and immense Illus. Bargain Catalogue, for 10c. to cover postage, etc.



Per Year:

HARPER'S MAGAZINEPostage Free,$4.00

Booksellers and Postmasters usually receive subscriptions. Subscriptions sent direct to the publishers should be accompanied by Post-office Money Order or Draft.



[Pg 1094]

Chapter Programmes Again.

One of the chief reasons that juvenile clubs often disband for lack of interest is because nothing is laid out for them to do. In the first place, let it be said that those Chapters succeed best which adhere to one or the other of the following policies:

1, Choose some older person to direct everything, and then obey implicitly the suggestions laid down by that older person; or, 2, Resolve the Chapter into a committee of the whole. Let all have a voice. Agree upon a programme, and then follow it. The thing to be avoided most is the running of the Chapter by a few of its members.

After the routine business have a subject for discussion. Select this subject a long time in advance. Name some particular phase of it, and appoint one member to open and lead the discussion. Then have three-minute talks, and urge each member to speak. Doing so is admirable practice. If others fail to get much from what is said, the speaker will himself get a good deal, because he acquires the habit of thinking on his feet.

A good subject for a whole winter is American history. In order to have a definite plan in its study take up the "Federal Principle." That might do for the opening evening. Tell the member who is to open it to consult Moore's American Congress, and learn how James Otis, in the Massachusetts Assembly, made the first suggestion that the colonies get together—furnished us with the Federal principle itself. Find out who Otis was, and what became of his resolution when it got to the Virginia House of Deputies. Getting down to the time of the Revolution, on later evenings, find out why the Articles of Confederation failed—because they had too little Federalism in them.

Another subject which Chapters might take up is American politics. This is a good topic for ladies as well as for men. Use Johnston's book with the above title for a basis, and get your arguments from the newspapers. Learn the structure of our local, State, and national government.

Another topic is the study of men and women of the past and present. Secure the exclusive use of a good biographical dictionary. Require each member present, under penalty of a small fine, to give the name of some famous man or woman, and tell why he or she is known to the world. This exercise will broaden your mental horizon wonderfully. For instance, Herbert Martin, when his turn comes, says he has found many interesting things in the life of Cavour. How many members of the average Chapter can tell who Cavour was? Yet he was a modern man of the first rank.

Plan something to do, and your Chapter is likely to be interested in it. To find out what that something shall be, consult your members, and follow their wishes. Then get outside help from older persons, not to tell you what to do, but to aid you to do that which you yourselves have chosen to do. Such a course will make a strong and profitable Chapter. Thousands of men of affairs will tell you, if you ask them, that one of the greatest sources of help to them in their later years was the knowledge and enthusiasm that they acquired in these juvenile societies.

The Word Hunts.

Not the slightest injustice will be done to any competitor in the "Word Hunts," because full rules were not published with the first announcement. Judges will cut out of all lists obsolete or other prohibited words, and the chances of success will not be lessened because such words were inserted. Do not roll your lists.

A Special Offer.

Teachers, students, superintendents of Sunday-schools, Ladies, members of the Round Table, and others willing to distribute ten to seventy-five Prospectuses and personally commend Harper's Round Table, will receive, according to number of Prospectuses distributed, bound volumes of Harper's Young People for 1893, gold badges of the Round Table Order, packet of fifty engraved visiting-cards, bearing their name, with copper plate for future use, rubber stamp bearing their name and address, nickel pencil resembling a common nail, or silver badge of the Round Table Order. This offer is restricted to one person in a town or neighborhood. In applying, state how many circulars you can place in the hands of those sure to be interested in them, what are your facilities for distributing them, and what prize you seek. Apply early.

For an In-door Evening.

The season of the year approaches when in-door parties are held. At these parties riddles are often called for. Several members send us some riddles. We group them here, with answers, that you may use them if you have need:

For no crime did I come to my end,
No rope round my neck was e'er tied;
Though no jury decided my fate,
I was hanged from a tree till I died.

Answer: Absalom.

I was a baron bold and bad,
A follower of King John;
I lost my place, I lost my power,
And all my wealth was gone.
My story, told in jingling rhyme,
Familiar is to all:
For I'm only —— ——
The —— that had a fall.

Answer: Humpty Dumpty. Egg.

My first a party leader is,
A river is my second,
Whoever bears my third will still
A man of mark be reckoned.
An emperor, in sad disgrace,
Knelt barefoot at the portal
Of him whose name my whole betrays,
In church and state immortal.

Answer: Hill-Dee-Brand.—Hildebrand.

I'm a very busy person
About this time of year;
At morning and at night-time
I'm almost always here,
But at high noon I steal away
To come again at close of day.

Answer: Jack Frost.

The Helping Hand.

At the approaching Christmas-time cannot the Ladies, the Knights and Patrons assisting, hold some fairs in aid of the School Fund? As a rule, these fairs prove the most successful of any plan so far followed. There is some work connected with such undertakings, but there is also much pleasure. Won't you speak to your friends about it at once? See what they say and what they will do. You will find all willing to help. What is needed is a leader. Won't you take the lead—set the ball rolling?

Prizes for Pen-Drawings.

Members are asked to bear in mind that we cannot send proof of the prize story promptly, as several of you ask us to do, since the Story Competition does not close till near the end of December. It is the first prize story of that contest that is to be illustrated. We have about fifty requests for the proof, so the contest is to be a spirited one. With the proof, to be sent to contestants early in January, there will be mailed hints about size, etc. The sum of $10 is offered for the best illustration. Contestants select their own subject. Those who wish to try for the prize should ask for proof. If, after you receive the proof, you think you cannot successfully compete, you merely throw the proof in the waste basket. Better try in the contest. You risk nothing.

By-the-way, do you remember the spirited illustrations of Mrs. Roosevelt's Heroes of America published last summer? They were the professional work of Mr. F. C. Yohn, who, as an aspiring young man, and then living in Indianapolis, tried in one of our pen-drawing contests, winning a first prize.

How Did the Gypsy Know?

Years ago an old gypsy called on my grandmother and wanted to tell her fortune. My grandmother didn't believe the gypsy's power to tell of future events. But the gypsy persisted. Finally, grandmother declared she had no money with which to pay her. "Yes," said the old gypsy, "you have five dollars hid in that old clock."

Well, my grandmother consented at this exhibition of the gypsy's supernatural powers. And then the gypsy told her, among other things, that she would have great trouble, leave Georgia, and go away down South, and be left a widow, and then years after go back to Georgia. Now, the strange part about this is that the gypsy's prophecy was literally true. My grandmother, sure enough, went away down on the Gulf coast, and her husband died soon after of paralysis, and now, seven years after he died, she is on her way back to Georgia. How did the gypsy know?

Harry R. Whitcomb.
Umatilla, Fla.

Prices of the Order's Badges.

The new badges are an exact reproduction of the rose, in the centre of which is claimed to be the original "round table" of King Arthur. You will find a picture of the top of this table on the back of the 1896 Prospectus, and the centre of it at the bottom of the Patent. The prices of the badges are: Pansy leaves or the rose, in silver, 10 cents—that is, 8 cents for the badge and 2 cents for postage; of the rose, in gold, 85 cents, with nothing added for postage. All are in the form of stick pins. Members are not required to purchase badges. We offer the silver rose as payment for giving to your friends, whom you are sure will appreciate them, fifteen Round Table circulars. The offer is open to all members.

The Order's Handy Book.

Have you the Table's "Handy Book"? It has thirty-six pages, mostly filled with useful facts. Full information is given about the Order and the School Fund; and there are values of rare stamps and coins; lists of words often misspelled; athletic records of 1895; books that all ought to read; information about gaining admission to West Point and Annapolis; populations of cities; rules of etiquette, etc. You may have copies for yourself and friends, if you apply for them. Some members get copies and give them to fellow-students in Sunday-school and day-school classes.

A Question for You.

In the ninetieth line of the First Book of Virgil, the first two words are Intonuere poli. The translation, as I have it, is "the poles resound," meaning that the earth echoes with the heavy thunders. Now will somebody please explain to me how the ancients knew there were poles without having some idea of the roundness of the earth? Almost the same expression is used in the 398th line, as follows, Et coetu cinxere polum, etc.

Alfred C. Baker.
Schaghticoke, New York.

A Venetian Night at Newport.

On an evening recently Newport Harbor presented a fine appearance. Of all displays ever given in Newport this was the most beautiful. The procession started at half past eight. There were boats of every description. They were decorated with Chinese lanterns and colored electric lights. Among the most noticeable decoration was the United States flag with a search-light behind it. It looked as though it was painted on the sky. Across Thames Street were electric lights constructed in such a way as to read:


Welcome Yachtsmen.

The Y.M.C.A. had a triangle made of Japanese lanterns. There were also pictures of the Defender made of cloth and outlined with electric lights. It is estimated that there were between 25,000 and 30,000 lanterns used. A great many lights were constructed in such a way as to make the whole outline of the boat show. There was red fire and green fire burning all the time, also many fireworks and two search-lights to brighten up the harbor. The sky had a reddish tint. The naval reserves had a sea-serpent about seventy-five feet long. Old Father Neptune took things easy on the back of the monster. The serpent looked very docile, and its eyes stuck out, taking in the grand display.

Chester Gladding.
Newport, R. I.
[Pg 1095]


Any questions in regard to photograph matters will be willingly answered by the Editor of this column, and we should be glad to hear from any of our club who can make helpful suggestions.


Our annual Photographic Prize Competition has, as usual, attracted a great deal of attention, not only from members of our Camera Club, but from many who wish to become members in order to enter the competition, for as this is the first time that the Round Table has opened a photographic competition to all amateurs without regard to age, the interest is much more widespread.

In order, however, that the younger members may not feel handicapped by being obliged to compete with older ones, there is a competition opened for them the same as in former years, and any who have not passed their eighteenth birthday may enter this competition. There are three classes—marines, landscapes, and figure studies. A correspondent asks if pictures of paintings or engravings would come under the head of figure studies. Pictures of pictures will not be admitted to the prize competition. All pictures must be original, not copied from any other picture. This would not prevent any one using a picture as a suggestion of grouping or arrangement of the subject. Take, for instance, the well-known picture by Murillo, "The Fruit Venders." A photograph of this picture would not be admitted in the prize competition, but one might take two children, pose them as nearly as possible like the children in the picture, and then photograph. Such a picture would be an original picture, but not an original idea.

Another question that was asked was if the pictures must be marked, or if one must send a separate slip of paper with name on, etc. Rule VII. says that "pictures must be marked with the name and address of the sender, the class to which it belongs, and the statement whether the artist has passed his or her eighteenth birthday." This means that the picture must be marked, and by the picture is understood the card on which it is mounted. The best place to mark a picture is on the back of the card mount.

In regard to the size of a picture, a picture taken with a 4 x 5 camera is meant, though a trimmed print is a little less than this dimension. The picture must not be trimmed enough to bring it down to 3 x 4, as, of course, that would bar it from the competition.

Competitors may send pictures to each class, and they are not restricted as to number.

The students of the Illinois College of Photography are going to enter the competition. As this is the only college of photography in the United States we shall expect to see some very fine work.

Will Sir Knight Robert H. Sanders, Jersey City, New Jersey, please send street and number. A letter addressed to him at Jersey City has been returned to the editor marked, "Not Found." If Sir Robert will send address the letter will be forwarded to him at once.

Ivory Soap

A luxury is "Anything which pleases the senses and is also costly or difficult to obtain."

Ivory Soap pleases the senses, but is neither costly nor difficult to obtain. Your grocer keeps it.

the Procter & Gamble Co., Cin'ti.

Every whale has barnacles—every success has imitators.

The De Long Patent Hook and Eye.

See that hump?

Richardson & De Long Bros., Philadelphia.


The popular and exciting new battle-game for 2, 3, or 4 players. For young or old.

Price $1.25.

The Parker Games


Ask for "Innocence Abroad," "Napoleon," "Chivalry," "Yankee Doodle."

Sold Everywhere.



has earned more money for boys than all other presses in the market. Boys, don't idle away your time when you can buy a self-inking printing-press, type, and complete outfit for $5.00. Write for particulars, there is money in it for you.


Baltimore, Md., U.S.A.

DEAFNESS & HEAD NOISES CURED by my INVISIBLE Tubular Cushions. Have helped more to good HEARing than all other devices combined. Whispers HEARd. Help ears as glasses do eyes. F. Hiscox, 853 B'dway, N.Y. Book of proofs FREE





"By a thorough knowledge of the natural laws which govern the operations of digestion and nutrition, and by a careful application of the fine properties of well-selected Cocoa, Mr. Epps has provided for our breakfast and supper a delicately flavored beverage which may save us many heavy doctors' bills. It is by the judicious use of such articles of diet that a constitution may be gradually built up until strong enough to resist every tendency to disease. Hundreds of subtle maladies are floating around us ready to attack wherever there is a weak point. We may escape many a fatal shaft by keeping ourselves well fortified with pure blood and a properly nourished frame."—Civil Service Gazette.

Made simply with boiling water or milk. Sold only in half-pound tins, by Grocers, labelled thus:


Homœopathic Chemists, London, England.


Sets any name in one minute; prints 500 cards an hour. YOU can make money with it. A font of pretty type, also Indelible Ink, Type Holder, Pads and Tweezers. Best Linen Marker; worth $1.00. Sample mailed FREE for 10c. stamps for postage on outfit and large catalogue of 1000 Bargains.

R. H. Ingersoll & Bro. 65 Cortlandt St. N.Y. City

"When Christmas was Christmas."

"Seven Crown Jewels."

A precious collection it is, indeed, both of old and new, this "Christmas in Song and Story," with its nearly three hundred Songs and Hymns and Carols, each in its musical setting. "Where can another such garner be found, so rare, so choice, and so full?" Twenty-two full-page illustrations, of Christmas subjects, from Nast to Raphael. The literary selections are long, but each is complete. "To have these seven crown jewels brought together into one diadem," says Christian Culture, "is alone worth more than is asked for the entire work, to say nothing of its rich setting both musical and pictorial." Large quarto, crimson cloth, $2.50. Address

Harper & Brothers, New York.

[Pg 1096]


I. They tied their queues together, so that if either broke through he would be rescued by the other. II. It seemed delightful until— III. One of them slipped and both fell; IV. But after a little practice they got on quite nicely, when— V. They both broke through, and— VI. Their caution and forethought proved the means of saving their lives.


The old proverb says that time was made for slaves. It is certainly true that it was not made for Alsacians, if the following story told by a traveller lately returned from Alsace be true. Says he: "On my return from Belchen, I looked upon the beautiful villages of the Lewen Valley, and being a tourist who likes to poke his nose into everything, I turned, by chance, into the church at Kirchberg. On coming out I took out my watch to regulate it by the clock in the church tower. But there was no clock to be seen. Hence I went into the village inn, and there asked the time. But my host could not oblige me. 'I can't tell you exactly, for, you see,' he said, 'we have no use for clocks. In the morning we go by the smoke rising from the chimney at the parsonage up on the hill. The parsonage people are very regular. We dine when dinner is ready. At 4 p.m. the whistle of the train coming from Massmunster tells us that the time has come for another meal, and at night we know that it is time to go to bed when it is dark. On Sunday we go to church when the bell rings. Our parson is a very easy-going man, and he doesn't mind beginning half an hour sooner or later."


Force of habit impels us to do a great many ridiculous things. That clever little compendium of wit and information, Tit Bits, well illustrates this fact with a story of a railway porter, living in Lancashire, who was in the habit of frequently getting up in his sleep, and from whose actions it was evident that his daily occupation was ever present in his mind. One night he jumped up hurriedly, ran down to the kitchen, vigorously opened the oven door, and cried out, "Change here for Bolton, Bury, and Manchester."


A good story is told of a self-respecting carpenter who was sent to make some repairs in a private house. As he entered the room in which the work was to be done, accompanied by his apprentice, the lady of the house called out, "Mary, see that my jewel-case is locked."

The carpenter understood, and, as he was an honest man, he was indignant. He had his opportunity, however, and he used it. He removed his watch and chain from his waistcoat with a significant air, and gave them to his apprentice.

"John," he said, "take these back to the shop. It seems that this house isn't safe."


It was a very cold morning, and Bobbie came rushing into the house very much excited.

"Mommer," he cried, "there's something the matter with me. Please send for the doctor. I'm breathing fog!"


A London dog story is apt to be a hard sort of a tale to believe, but it is never lacking in interest. The latest is of a dog who takes a daily walk with its mistress. The animal has observed that at a certain crossing the policeman stops the traffic to allow his mistress to pass over. The other day the dog went out alone, and when he came to the crossing he barked to attract the policeman's attention. The policeman observed what the dog wanted. He stopped the traffic, and the dog walked solemnly across.


"Now, Jimmie," said his teacher, "let us take up the alphabet. There are in all twenty-six letters."

"Hoh!" giggled Jimmie.

"What are you laughing at?" asked the teacher.

"You're trying to fool me," said Jimmie, "'bout them letters. Our postman has more'n a hundred every morning."

End of Project Gutenberg's Harper's Round Table, October 29, 1895, by Various


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