Project Gutenberg's How "A Dear Little Couple" Went Abroad, by Mary D. Brine

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Title: How "A Dear Little Couple" Went Abroad

Author: Mary D. Brine

Release Date: May 26, 2012 [EBook #39806]

Language: English

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Frontispiece—Dear Little Couple Abroad
"Polly drew her stockings and shoes on."
See p. 6








To my little friends who have known and loved our "Dear Little Couple" (Polly and Teddy) I herewith dedicate this story, which tells of more of the Doings of the Little Couple, and am lovingly the friend of all my little readers,





Po top Po top
LLY opened her blue eyes one lovely morning in May, and found the "sun fairies"—as she called them—dancing all about her wee bed-chamber, and telling her in their own bright way that it was high time little girls were up and dressing for breakfast.

At first she was sure she had been having a beautiful dream, for what else could make her feel so happy and "sort of all-overish," as if something very nice and unusual had come upon her? She was sure she had dreamed that a splendid surprise had happened, and it was something about going away, too!

Polly lay still in her little white nest of a bed, and thought over her dream, and lo! on a sudden, as she grew more and more awake, the real cause of her new and glad sensations came into her curly head, and she bounced, like a little rubber ball, right out of bed, and danced a wee lively jig on the floor.

Why, of course it wasn't a dream! No, indeed! it was as real—oh! as real as Polly Darling herself, and no wonder she had felt so[6] "all-overish" and so "glad all inside of her"! She sat down on the soft carpet and drew her stockings and shoes on, but it was slow work, because Polly was thinking, and she had a great deal to think about, you see.

Polly in nightgown

First—oh! how it all came back to her now!—first she remembered that last night after supper Papa had taken her on his knee and whispered in her ear: "Pollybus, how would you like to go with Mamma and Papa across the sea for a little trip?"

And while she was squeezing him almost to pieces by way of answer, Mamma had come along, and had shaken her finger at Papa, as she said: "Oh, naughty Papa! the idea of telling Polly that just when she's going to bed! She won't sleep a wink for thinking of it." And Polly remembered jumping down from Papa's knee, and going to Mamma's side, saying very earnestly: "Oh, yes, I will! I truly will, Mamma! I'll shut my eyes and think 'bout little lambs jumping over a fence, 'cause Cook says that's the best way to get sleepy, and it's worked be-yewtifully on her lots of times! Oh, true and true, black and blue, I'll go right to sleep! And oh, I'm so happy!"

And pretty soon after that the bed-time for little girls had come, and Polly had been kissed and petted a little, as was usual after she had snuggled down in bed, and had a little while alone with her dear Mamma, and then she had tried very hard to keep her promise, and "go right to sleep." But oh, dear, it had been such hard work to keep those blue eyes shut! No matter how much she thought of the lambs jumping, one after the other, over the imaginary fence, it did not make her the least bit sleepy, and the lambs all seemed to scamper off to Europe[7] as soon as they had jumped the fence, and of course Polly's thoughts had to go flying after them. So, you see, it had really been a long while before the little tired lids had closed over those dear soft blue eyes, and sleep had really come. But when it did come you may be sure it was a very sound, sweet sleep, and so when Polly awakened in the morning it could hardly be wondered at that she thought she had been having a beautiful dream.

She knew now that it was no dream, but a most delightful reality, and oh, how happy she was!

Mamma fixing Polly's hair

She came to the end of her long "think" at last, and turned her attention to her dressing, and just then Mamma came in to put the finishing touches to the process, and Polly's tongue wagged so fast all the while that it really seemed as though it were hung in the middle, like a little sweet-toned bell, and able to swing both ways.

However, Mamma patiently answered all the rapid questions, and explained that Papa, having to go abroad on business, had decided that[8] it would do Mamma and Polly good to go also, and be the best thing to keep him from being lonely, of course.

And she told Polly something else that had not been told the night before, but kept for an added "surprise" this morning, and that was that Teddy's Mamma and Papa had given permission for Teddy to go with Polly to Europe, as a great and wonderful treat for both little folks. But Teddy didn't know it yet, because both Mammas thought Polly would enjoy telling him herself and giving him a delightful surprise.

"So you may run over right after breakfast," added Mamma, "and tell him the good news."

This additional beautiful "surprise" was more than Polly could bear in an ordinary way, so she just simply cried for joy (you've heard of people doing that?), and in the midst of her tears she began to laugh, and then she cried a little more, and it seemed a long time before the little happy Polly settled down and was able to eat her breakfast.



PERHAPS before I go any farther I ought to explain to those of my little friends who have not chanced to read the first book about "The Doings of a Dear Little Couple" that Polly and Teddy were next-door neighbors in the pretty village which was their home, and that they had been, during all their acquaintance with each other, most loving and devoted little chums. They were each seven years old at the time of my last writing, but at the time of this story had become eight-year-olders, and Teddy insisted that because their birthdays came together they were "real truly twinses." Now I will return to my story.

When Polly finished her breakfast and was excused from the table, she scampered off as fast as she could down the garden till she came to the little gap in the fence of which my first book told you, you remember, and called: "Teddy! Ted-dee! Oh! Teddy Terry!" as loud as she could all the while she was running.

Now, it happened that Teddy Terry was eating his breakfast at that time, and he was just putting a piece of potato into his rosy mouth when he heard Polly's eager voice. He swallowed that piece of potato so fast that it nearly choked him, and when he had finally gotten it out of the way, he said: "Please 'scuse me, Mamma, Papa!" and, slipping from his chair, was off in a jiffy to meet his little chum, Polly.

"Oh, Teddy, come up in our tree!" cried Polly, as Teddy's curly brown head pushed through the low gap in the dividing hedge fence. "Come quick, quick, quick! I've got the goodest news in the world to tell you 'bout!" She danced about on her little toes while speaking,[10] and, Teddy's plump body having speedily followed his head, he left the fence, and with his little companion ran for the old apple-tree which—as you remember I told you in the first book—was the "consultation office" of our dear little couple whenever they had any especially private conversation with each other.

So up into the stout branches of the old tree they clambered, and settled comfortably down in a safe fork of limbs amid a thicket of green leaves, and then, after Teddy had followed his usual loving habit of kissing Polly on her soft little cheek, and receiving the same sweet greeting from her, she proceeded to tell her secret.

"I'd ask you to guess it first," she said, "but oh, Teddy Terry, you never could in the world! It's this: You 'n' I are going to Europe with my Papa 'n' Mamma! There! what do you think of that, Teddy Terry? Oh, isn't it the very bestest news we could have? Aren't you s'prised most to pieces?"

Teddy's brown eyes opened so wide that it is a wonder they did not stretch out of shape. Surprised? well, indeed he was, and when Polly had told him more about the matter he gave the loudest whoop-la! he could, and then a funny thing happened—he slid off that tree and disappeared in the wood-shed near by, and—I don't know surely—but I think it likely he went in there to hide the tears that came to his eyes, the tears of joy which Polly had had, you know, only Teddy didn't want her to see him turn "cry-baby," and so he had run quickly away. But Polly soon found him there, and together they went to see his Mother, and then he learned more fully all about the pleasure in store for him, and that Mamma and Papa had consented to let him go because they had been called unexpectedly away a long distance to see a sick relative, and it made them glad to know that their little son would be safe and happy with Polly and her Mother and Father during that time. Afterwards, when Teddy and Polly were again together, they talked the coming trip over as children do, and were greatly excited and delighted.

"I promised Mamma solermy, oh, jus' as solermy as could be, that I'd be the goodest behaving boy your Mamma ever saw!" said Teddy, when he and Polly, tired of jumping about and shouting[11] "whoop!" at last sat down on the grass to talk it over, "and—and—she said she wasn't 'fraid to trus' me at all."

"Course not," responded Polly; "you're the best that ever could be to keep promises, and if you forget 'bout 'em, it's jus' 'cause you couldn't truly help it."

The more they talked over the wonderful new surprise, the more excited the dear little couple were growing, and the number of times Teddy put soft kisses on his Polly's cheek (one of his sweet little ways of expressing his joy, at any time, over pleasures they were to share together) I cannot tell, but you may be sure he did not limit his kisses in the least, dear loving little chum as he was!




AS the days went by, the children grew very restless, wishing the "starting day" would come. Ted's Mamma had packed his little trunk, and marked it "T. T.," and finally, when only one more day remained of the "between days," as the children called them, Mr. and Mrs. Terry had bidden their little son good-bye and started off on their own journey. So Teddy was all the more glad when the "great day" came at last.

"Hurrah, hurrah, Polly! This is our starting day! Polly, why don't you halloo?"

"I'm going to halloo," replied Polly: "listen!" And her voice rang out in a clear shout which reached even down to the gate.

"Once more," cried Teddy, and this time his voice joined hers, and Mamma, coming to the hall door, looked out to see what was going on.

"Teddy's Mamma had packed his little trunk."

"It's 'cause we're so glad, Mamma dearie," replied Polly to the question asked, "and it's our starting day, you know." She was perched upon the piazza rail nearest the piazza of Teddy's house, [14]and Teddy was to have breakfast with her presently. Just now he was having his jacket well brushed by Bridget, as he stood on his own piazza, and he was so impatient to get over to Polly that he could hardly stand still long enough for the brushing.

"Goin' inter the dirty wudshed just to see 'bout that tricircle," said Bridget, grumbling as she brushed, "an' s'ilin' this bran' new suit yer Ma bought for yer trav'lin'! I told yer I'd put it safe away!"

"Well, I wanted to see if you hadn't only thought you'd put it safe," explained Teddy, who had considered it a very manly thing to investigate his affairs himself, and had consequently gotten his new clothes into disgrace.

"There now, yer clane and swate as a rose, an' it's ould Bridgie who'll be missin' the trouble of yersel', an' for sure'll be wantin' some more of that same!" said the good woman, giving him a parting hug and pat before he was off to join Polly. At half-past nine the carriage was to come for them and their trunks, and they would catch the ten a. m. train for New York, and say good-bye to their pretty village home for a long time. It was truly a very exciting morning, and Polly's mood for rhyming was so strong that she finally accomplished this wonderful couplet, which Teddy admired as much as she did herself. It ran this way:—

"Oh, Teddy Terry! we're going away!
For this—this—this is our starting day!"

So Ted caught the rhyme, and joined in the singing of it, and if it was sung once, it certainly was sung twenty times, till at last Papa put his head out of the window and asked "if they would mind giving him and the neighbors something new?"

Breakfast over, the little couple sat down on the sofa in the hall and watched the clock, and at last the little hammer inside lifted itself and struck against the bell waiting beside it, and lo and behold! there came the carriage, driving up the road, and through the big gate, and up to the door. Then the trunks were put on the rack behind (while Teddy watched closely to see that the man did not forget to go and get the "T. T." little trunk).


Teddy and maid

Bridget and Ann were on hand to say the last good-byes, Mamma gave a few last directions, and entered the carriage, Papa poked the small couple in, topsy-turvy style, got in himself, called out good-bye to the servants, who were wiping their eyes with the corners of their aprons, and—the long-anticipated "start" had taken place.

Polly was radiant. She hugged Papa, squeezed Mamma, threw her arms around Teddy, and kissed him over and over (getting as many kisses from him as she gave, you may be sure), and finally settled down with a long sigh of deep, pure content, and said "she was so happy she felt crowded inside of her, right up to her throat!" And Teddy, not willing to feel different from Polly, said: "So do I!"

I won't be able to tell you very much of the short journey to the city of New York, for I've neither time nor space for it. But you know Polly and Teddy were just like you, my dear little girls and boys, and they enjoyed the few hours of train ride past fields and villages, hills and meadows, and all the various kinds of landscape views, they watched from the windows of their car, just as much as you have enjoyed such little trips; and, moreover, they were just as restless and fidgety—when feeling that they wanted to have a good run about, and couldn't "because they were shut up in a railroad car so long!"—as all little folks (who are real live little folks) are apt to get under such circumstances. But the cars sped on and on, and after a while they rushed pell-mell into a long dark tunnel, which Polly at once[16] recognized as the "beginning of the end" of their journey to New York City.

"Now, jus' as soon as we get into the light again, and under a big high roof, and the cars stop, that will be New York! Oh, Teddy Terry, aren't you glad we're almost there?"

In his excitement Teddy forgot where he was, and, jumping to his feet, he shouted: "Whoop!" as loudly as if he had been standing in his own garden at home. Then, with an immediate sense of his mistake, the little boy dropped again into his seat, and covered his mouth with both hands, while his little crimson face was a pitiful sight to see.

"Oh, I forgot!" said he. "I truly did forget; but I did feel so full of halloo, I—I—it came right out 'fore I guessed it would!" He looked very penitent, but whispered to Polly:

"Don't you wish you could halloo, Polly darling? I should think you would!"

"Teddy Terry, I'm just bursting to halloo as loud as I can, but I s'pose we'll have to keep on wanting to and never doing it while we're European travelers. It'll be hard holding in, Teddy; but we've truly got to, else Mamma and Papa'll be 'shamed of our queerness again, don't you see?"

Teddy saw, and made up his mind to crowd his "hallooing feelings" as deeply down inside of him as possible in future; and just then the train gave a jerk, and began to move again very slowly, and at last New York was reached.



IT was a very fine morning when our party of four went on board the steamship (which we will call the Funda, though that isn't the real name) bound for the sunny Italian town of Naples. The water sparkled in the sunshine, and the harbor was gay with the many kinds of ships and vessels in port. The dock was crowded with people going away and the friends who had come down to see them off, as is always the case. Teddy and Polly clung to Mamma's hands, while Papa attended to the baggage, and at last they were safely on the steamer's deck, watching the crowd below and the handkerchiefs constantly waved from dock to deck and from deck to dock. Of course there was a great crowd of people on the ship also who were not going away, but were taking a look at the steamer's handsome saloons and state-rooms, and chatting with their departing friends or relatives until the warning cry: "All ashore!" would be heard. As Teddy and Polly presently went with Mamma down the grand staircase from the deck to the dining-saloon, and along the corridor to the two state-rooms reserved for their use, they noticed with great delight the quantities of beautiful flowers arranged on the dining-tables awaiting the passengers to whom they had been sent by friends as a "Bon voyage" and "send-off." (You know, perhaps, without my telling, that "Bon voyage" means "good voyage"—"pleasant journey" in other words.) There were a quantity of letters also waiting to be claimed, and presently Mamma found several for herself, and oh! joy for Teddy! one little letter addressed to him. How surprised he was! and how Polly rejoiced with him!

"Why, how did Mamma get it here all right on this ship, Auntie?" he asked, as Mrs. Darling opened it to read it to him.


"Oh, she knew just when the ship was to sail from here, and sent it along in the good old mail-bag, and so here it is, all full of surprise for her boy, and full of love and kisses." Then she read it to him, sitting—they three—in a quiet corner of the saloon, and Teddy's brown eyes filled with loving tears, and just a little bit of homesick longing for a sight of his dearly loved Mother's face. But the letter made him very happy, and after "Auntie" had finished reading he laid his soft little lips and then his cheek against it for a minute and handed it to her again for safe keeping.

Then they went to the state-rooms—Polly was to share with Mamma, and Teddy and Mr. Darling were to have the room connecting—and Mamma put everything in order for the voyage, and then they went back to the deck to watch the preparations for casting off from the dock. The trunks were rapidly being lowered into the hold, and Teddy screamed with pleasure and excitement when he chanced to see his little trunk borne along on the shoulders of a big sailor who handled it as though it were only a feather. The letters "T. T." stood out proudly enough on the end of the trunk, as though they felt the great importance of belonging to a boy who was being a "European traveler" for the first time in his life.

"And see, Teddy, see!" cried Polly, pointing eagerly to a man following next. "There's Mamma's trunk! I see the big red 'D' on the top. But Papa's isn't there! Oh, Teddy Terry, do you s'pose they're forgetting 'bout Papa's trunk? Don't you think I ought to find Papa and tell him 'bout it?"

"Hi! man!" began Teddy, in his zeal for the trunk's safety, but Mamma caught his little arm as he was waving it about frantically to attract the sailor's attention, and stopped further proceedings on the spot, explaining that nothing would be forgotten, and that they surely would find the trunk all safe and sound on arrival at Naples. Just then Papa came along, and they moved to the rail of the deck to watch the people obey the warning shout of "All on shore!" while the hoarse whistle of the steamer's "blow-pipe" and the hurried orders given by the ship's officers made a sort of confusion which was intensely interesting to our dear and wonder-struck little couple.


Impulsive Teddy, after his usual fashion when overcome with delight or deep feeling of any kind, threw his arm about Polly's neck and repeatedly kissed her fair little cheek, nor cared how many strangers were looking on. Indeed, I don't believe he even gave them a thought, as he was entirely absorbed in his joy, and his Polly; and as for Polly herself, she was so used to being kissed and loved by her little comrade that the presence of strangers did not trouble her at all, and she calmly kissed Teddy back again, greatly to the amusement of her Father and Mother, as also of some people standing near, who asked Mrs. Darling if the children were twins. Mamma laughingly explained about them, and told of their devotion to each other, and how Teddy happened to be with them on the trip.

Mamma reading to children

"Well," said one of the group, "I certainly think they are the dearest little couple I ever met." And Mamma smiled when she heard the usual title again given to her young charges. So you will readily believe me when I tell you that it wasn't long before Teddy and Polly[20] were prime favorites on board with all with whom they came in contact.

children waving goodbye

But we must return to our little ones, who, you know, were watching the dock and the preparations for the start. They didn't know anybody on the dock, but wished all the same to do as much handkerchief-waving as anybody else, so they went at it heart and soul; and, though the breezes didn't play tricks on any of the "grown-ups," yet they certainly did with Polly and Teddy, for presently there were two small handkerchiefs floating in the air, and far beyond the reach of the surprised little owners, whose eyes were following their property hopelessly enough.

But the little couple didn't care. "Let's play they're little white birds," laughed Polly, secretly wishing they had some more to float off. You see, they were too happy to mind any sort of mishap not serious. The little handkerchiefs floated farther on, and finally landed around the corner of the dock. While the children were pulling Mamma's gown to call her attention to it, and tell her about the mishap, there came a last shout of "Good-bye! good-bye!" from those on deck and on shore, and the gang planks were hauled in, and with a slow, very gentle movement, as the mooring-ropes were cast off and pulled on board, the big steamship moved away from the pier, and the distance gradually widened between her stern and the watchers on the dock, who were still waving hats, handkerchiefs, and canes with handkerchiefs fastened to their heads, so that the farewell signals might reach as high and as far as possible.



THE morning slipped away rapidly, and by the time the bugle blew its summons for luncheon the little couple had explored the steamer, under Papa's guidance, pretty thoroughly. You know children like to explore, and go scampering about to see all that can be seen, in a new place and amid strange surroundings, and Polly and Teddy made no exception to the rule, you may be sure. They had looked wonderingly down from the first-cabin deck upon the steerage deck, and had taken note of the funny and the too often sad scenes to be found in the steerage of a ship. It was all very interesting and very wonderful to see the emigrants of different nationalities all gathered on the deck: some stretched out in the sun, some eating out of dishes which Polly and Teddy thought looked "very dirty and horrid"; some resting their tired heads on their hands, supporting their elbows on their knees; crowds of little bits of children, babies, and untidy-looking men and women, mingling with others who were far more respectable in appearance, but too poor to be able to pay more than the low steerage fare. Our children took everything in with their bright, attentive eyes, and felt very sorry for those poor passengers below their own clean, comfortable deck. They had made friends with several of the sailors, and the "little sailor" (the captain's boy), and had been stopped by so many of the passengers who wanted to have a chat with the dear little couple that they felt quite well acquainted with everybody. They had—after the easy fashion of all little people—scraped acquaintance with the few other children on board, and had[22] finally gotten tired of racing about, and were really quite as hungry as little bears when luncheon was ready.

The luncheon in the beautiful flower-decked dining-saloon was, I will add, another most interesting event for them; and though they felt a little shy at first, and afraid of the attentive stewards, and of so many strangers at a time all about them, yet I can assure you they behaved like a little prince and princess, and nobody even guessed how shy they were (though everybody near them did notice, I will say just here, what cultivated little table manners "that dear little couple" possessed).

Well, it was some time since luncheon was done with, and while Papa and Mamma were lolling back in their steamer chairs reading, Teddy and Polly were standing close by, looking over the rail. The wind had arisen greatly during the afternoon, and big rolling waves were chasing each other over the water, making "soap-suds" white and foamy as Bridget and Ann at home used to make on washing-days.

Teddy wore a little velvet traveling-cap, black, of course, to match his velvet knickerbockers and the little jacket he wore over his white frilled shirt with its broad white collar. Just now the wind had blown his cap almost off his head (fortunately it couldn't blow it out to sea, for wise Mamma had secured it with a cord to a buttonhole in his jacket), and it was tilted a little on one side of his brown, soft curls, and was giving his pretty face a very roguish expression. Polly was wearing a dainty grey dress and little jacket, and a grey "Tam o' Shanter" cap upon her sunny head. The wind had a fine time blowing her long wavy hair about her shoulders, but her cap was as safely secured as Ted's, so they didn't mind the pranks of the wind, which seemed to blow harder every minute.

Although Teddy's face looked, as I have said, quite roguish, and although Polly was chattering away, seemingly as merrily as possible, yet neither of them felt very roguish or merry, and pretty soon Teddy said, in a sort of subdued tone: "I—I don't really think decks are nice as gardens, do you, Polly?"

Children playing with littler girl "Polly and Teddy made friends with the captain's little boy."

"Why, Teddy Terry!" was the surprised reply, "you said your [24]own self, jus' a teenty time ago, that you liked decks lots better'n our gardens!"

"Well, gar—gardens don't make you feel so—so sort of queer right here!" said Ted, laying his chubby hand on his chest. "Don't you feel something funny inside?"

"Well, I don't feel real good, Teddy, but—let's—oh, let's—I must go and ask Mamma what makes me feel so queer." And suddenly turning from the rail, the little girl, who had never before had such strange sensations, staggered over to her mother's side, and with pale face begged to go and lie down.

Teddy followed her, equally white and fearful, and Mamma and Papa at once led them down the stairs to the state-rooms.

"Poor little tots!" said Papa; "you're only having your first experience of sea-sickness! It won't last long."

Teddy and Polly didn't care how long or how short things might last, if only they could just that minute feel better. But the "funny feeling" relieved itself in the usual way very soon, and our little couple were put into their berths and comforted and petted until they fell asleep, and as they slept poor Papa and Mamma had their little turn at the same kind of discomfort, and, when they were relieved, followed the children's example and took a long nap. They didn't care for dinner that night, either of the party, and in fact very few of the passengers went to the dining-saloon, for the steamer was having such a wild frolic and dance on the waves that things were hardly comfortable on deck or in the saloons, and the stewardesses and stewards were very busy all night, and for all the next day, because the gale lasted so long and made so much seasickness on board that nobody felt very happy, you see.


children watching ship leave


THE discomforts of the voyage, however, were very few; and after the strong winds died away, and the sky got rid of the wind clouds, and brought forth its merry sunshine again, the passengers crowded the decks, and took their ease in their comfortable steamer chairs, reading, writing, or just being lazy awhile, and the children played the game of "shuffle-board," and "tag," and "hide-and-seek," and such games as little people when they get together whether on land or shipboard, enjoy with all their might and main. Polly and Teddy laughed as loud and as often as the rest of the children, and bumped with the "grown-ups" during "tag" quite as frequently, but they always said: "Excuse me!" when they did so, and if it was a lady they ran against Teddy's cap was off in an instant while he made his little polite apology. I regret to say the other little ones were apt to forget that small act of politeness; they were so fearful of being "tagged," perhaps they hadn't time for apologies for unintentional rudeness. But after awhile, in some way, they caught the trick[26] from Polly and Teddy, and surely that was a good thing, wasn't it? (I only mention this to show you that even little people—no matter how little they are—can influence each other for good or bad, and it is so much better to choose the "good," you know).

And now I come to the day—or rather the early morning of the day—when the good ship steamed into the beautiful Bay of Naples with her colors flying, her band playing, and a crowd of excited and early risers amongst the passengers at the deck railings. Amongst them, of course, were our little couple and Mamma and Papa, and the children were wild with delight over the novelty of the scenes before them: the swarms of small native boats, which hung around under the steamship's sides, at her bow, and under her stern; the natives themselves, calling out in their whining tones for "Monie, monie!" (money); the little Italian lads who were constantly diving for the pennies some of the laughing passengers were tossing into the water.

You would not believe they could possibly have found those pennies (they were not "pennies" as we call our coppers, but small coin of not even the value of one of our pennies, and which were called "centesimi") in the water; but then you must know the water in the Bay of Naples is very blue—oh! a beautiful blue—and very transparent, and those small imps of divers would dart head-first down below the surface, and catch the coin in their teeth, and come up laughing, ready for more.

Our children had, during the voyage, seen porpoises jumping out of the water, and had seen the signalling of the few passing ships, and had thought those sights great fun. Think, then, how "all-overish with gladness" they felt here in Naples harbor, watching these foreign scenes, and so happy with the novelty of their position that they fairly longed to open their rosy mouths and whoop after their usual fashion at home.

They looked ahead of them and saw the pretty city of Naples gleaming in the shine of the early rising sun, with its terraced gardens rising one above the other in masses of green foliage, through which the gaily-colored roofs of houses and other buildings could be seen. It made a charming and picturesque sight for everybody; and[27] even those who had seen it all many times before, perhaps, felt the same thrill of delight as our dear little couple were feeling as they beheld it all for the very first time.

"It makes me feel so full in here!" said Polly, to her mother, while her blue eyes shone like stars.

Teddy pulling a cart

"Me, too!" echoed Master Teddy, placing his hand as Polly did, on his heart, and drawing a long breath.

But we must hurry on with our story. (Don't blame me, children,[28] for hurrying, and leaving out much you would like to know, but blame the Publishers, for it is all their fault, I'll tell you privately.) When, at last, our party found themselves on the dock, and were waiting for Papa to finish attending to the baggage, Polly saw something which made her cry out: "Oh! look!" It was a little bower all decorated with large yellow lemons, larger than any lemons the children had ever seen before. The bower was coming straight towards them, and they couldn't see what made it move. From the top of the little arch (the inside of the arch, which was just like a tiny summer-house) more big lemons were hanging, and also some little glasses, which were hanging by handles. As the queer thing came nearer, the children discovered that the small bower was built upon a little hand-cart, and that a brown-faced Italian lad, no older than Teddy, was drawing it between shafts, as though he had been a little pony. He was so nearly hidden by vines and lemon boughs that it was no wonder he had not at first been seen by Teddy and Polly, whose bright eyes were seeing so much. Nestling amongst vines on the bottom of the cart was a bright tin pail, and that was full of lemonade, which looked very clean and nice because it had just been freshly made. The little lemonade vendor came close to our party, and began a low, bird-like beautiful whistle. It sounded like a flute at first, then like a bird, then like a sweet Eolian harp, and even Mamma was delighted to hear it. After he had finished, his black eyes twinkled, and he said in broken English which Italian children readily pick up: "Buy limonade! ze signorina buy limonade? vera chip" (cheap), "on'y fiva centa glass!" He filled a glass and handed it to Polly—"ze little mees!"

"We're very fond of lemonade, Auntie Darling," said Teddy, casting wistful eyes upon the cool drink.

"Well, you shall have some then," laughed Mamma, and Teddy and Polly took their first refreshment on Italian shores. The little Beppo grinned at them, pulled a ragged cap from a mass of black, close curling hair, and, dropping his centesimi (with which Mrs. Darling had provided herself before leaving the steamer, at the purser's office) into his pocket, he began a merry whistle again and moved off in search of more custom.



AS the hotel to which the Darlings wished to go was located on one of the city heights, commanding a fine view of the bay and famous old Mount Vesuvius (about which our little couple had been told by Papa), the drive there from the dock was of course long enough to let them see a great many funny sights on the way, and you may be sure they were greatly impressed by them all.

They saw men and women in queer costumes of gay colors—the women without hats or bonnets—going about the streets, and sunning themselves in the doorways, combing their children's heads or their own untidy locks; they saw them hanging out their washing on the backs of chairs right out in the street; they saw a woman and a cow together pulling a big wagon; they saw a wee bit of a donkey harnessed with an ox, and both tugging at a cart as placidly as though they weren't a funny pair; they saw a cow, a horse, and a donkey, all three harnessed before a vegetable-cart, on which sat a driver "not even as old as Teddy," the children were sure, though he may have been older than he looked, as so many of the poorer class of children in Naples are stunted in growth; they saw a wee little bony donkey pulling a wagon which carried six big men and women in it, and they didn't think it was a bit cruel to put so heavy a burden on such a little beast. But our dear little tender-hearted couple thought it so cruel that they could not even look at it after the first glance.

They saw lots of little children in the street going about with great beautiful bunches of flowers—red, red roses and Italian violets[30] in their dirty little hands, running after carriages, and holding their fragrant wares up to the ladies and gentlemen who were driving about to see the city. Polly wondered why the people didn't want to keep the flowers, but kept shaking their heads no all the time. She knew she would keep them and say: "Thank you," very politely if any little girl or boy offered her any.

And presently a small boy ran up to the carriage and held up his roses. Now, it chanced that Mamma and Papa were very busy at that moment searching for certain information in their guide-books, and so they did not notice the little flower-boy, nor hear Miss Polly's delighted thanks as she took the flowers in her eager hands. The carriage was going very slowly, and the expectant little Italian trotted alongside waiting for the coin which in her dear innocent heart Polly had no idea was wanted, for she was whispering to Teddy: "I think these Napelers are very kind and polite to us, don't you?" And she gravely proceed to divide her gift with her "chum."

"Una lira! una lira!" whined the impatient lad outside, and at that Mamma looked up and discovered Polly's funny mistake. How she laughed, and Papa too! How red Polly's cheeks grew! Redder than her roses, which she thought had been a polite gift to her.

"What does he mean?" Teddy asked, "saying all the time 'ooner-leerer'?"

"He means that he wants one lira (which means twenty cents of our money) for his roses," replied Mamma, "and I will let you give him the money, dear," passing it to Teddy, who felt very much like a grown-up man as he leaned over and dropped the price of Polly's beautiful roses in the outstretched and very dirty little hand of the Italian.

"I don't think Napelers are so polite and kind as I did," said Polly somewhat crossly, for, you see, she felt so astonished and so ashamed of her mistake that it did make her a little cross with herself and the circumstances.

Teddy and Polly in a carriage "A small boy ran up to the carriage, and held up his roses."

However, when Teddy sweetly and with great gallantry pinned one of his share of the roses to Polly's jacket, she smiled her crossness out of sight, and everything was cheerful again. As they drove along the children saw many other curious things, and stored them away in their memories to talk over together and tell to their little[32] friends at home. Finally they arrived at the hotel, and were shown to their rooms, which overlooked the bay.

Old Vesuvius, which had been through a state of fierce eruption (you all know about volcanos, of course, and must have heard about Mount Vesuvius, so that you will know what a volcanic eruption means, and I need not explain it here) some time before this, was now settling down into quite a calm state again, but that night after the sky had grown dark our little couple noticed the dull red glow on the crater's head, and saw little thin streaks of fire down upon the side of the mountain nearest the bay; and Papa told them all about the famous old mountain and its bad habits, and promised to take them to the ruins of the once beautiful and ancient city of Pompeii (I shouldn't wonder if my little readers had studied about it in their geographies), and tell them of the way old Vesuvius went to work, long, long, long ago to destroy the city and its inhabitants by throwing lava and hot ashes down upon it, on a day when everybody was happy, and careless, and little dreaming what was coming to them all.

After looking out upon the shining waters of the bay, and seeing the pretty reflection of the stars in them by-and-by, and listening to the twinkling music of mandolins and the tuneful voices of the Italian street-singers awhile, our little Teddy and Polly went sleepily to bed, and never even had a dream, their slumber was so sound.



MANY a nice walk about the streets of Naples did our dear happy little couple take with Mamma and Papa, and into many a shop did they go, completely fascinated with the pretty goods displayed there. They longed to buy up everything they saw, and, if they had been allowed a larger portion of coin than Papa good-naturedly gave them each day, I don't know how many wonderful things they would have purchased.

They enjoyed the street scenes, too, as they walked along. The long-eared donkeys, which carried on either side of their short round backs such enormous and heavily loaded paniers that sometimes all you could see of the little animals were their slender legs, their long wagging ears, and their tails. But they didn't seem to mind their burdens at all, and plodded along thinking their own donkey thoughts, and no doubt wondering what Teddy and Polly were laughing at them for! And then there were the little shops where fruits were sold, and over the doorways of which were hanging great branches full of oranges and lemons, just as the boughs were broken from the trees (as we in our country, you know, like to break a bough hanging full of cherries from our cherry-trees).

It was wonderful to Polly and Teddy to see such a sight, and to see, as they had seen at their meals in the hotel, those large oval lemons and the golden round oranges served to the hotel guests on the stems, with the clustering leaves adorning them. (You don't see such things as those in New York, do you?)

Well, and then there were the beautiful gardens, rising one above[34] the other in a bewildering mass of foliage of orange, lemon, and olive trees rich in fruit. Those gardens belonged to the wealthy class of Neapolitans, and their pretty dwelling-houses stood amongst the gardens on their terraces, overlooking the city like sentinels on the hills.

There were queer streets—side streets they were—which consisted only of a series of stone steps running straight up hill, like steps dug out of a steep cliff-side; and along the sides of those "step-streets," as Teddy called them, were little bits of houses and shops scooped out of the walls of the terraces and made comfortable, after a fashion, for those who lived in them, and who kept their tiny stores.

Polly and Teddy looked up at them as they passed, and noticed that the stone steps—from top to bottom—were swarming with children, men, and women, and nearly all of them, even the wee little people, carried baskets and various burdens as easily on their heads as in their hands; and the strange part was that some of those bundles, which were poised so safely on the heads, would have made a fair load for a horse, so large were they.

Another funny thing the little couple were greatly interested in was the sight of those peculiar decorations each horse, donkey, and cow, and even the oxen were wearing when in harness. It consisted of a long feather, as though from a rooster's tail, which was stuck securely over the animal's forehead, and waved and waggled to and fro as the animal walked along.

When there was no feather to be seen, there was always a tuft of hair or a tuft of fur fastened in place either between the animal's ears or on the harness, and it was considered a very wrong thing if either of those peculiar decorations was forgotten when harnessing.

Why? Well, because, unfortunately, the lower classes of Italians have many foolish superstitions, and that is one of them, for they fancy that "ill luck" is kept off and the "evil eye" of misfortune turned aside by the use of the feathers, the hair, or the fur in the manner I have described.

Polly and Teddy agreed that it was a very silly idea, and I'm afraid they didn't have much respect for the drivers of the animals they saw decorated in that absurd style.


One day Papa and Mamma took the children to the island of Capri. They had seen the island from their windows rising out of the bay in the distance, and the guide-book told them that it would be a fine excursion on a fair day. So they started off one lovely morning in the little excursion boat that takes passengers to and fro between Naples and the island of Capri and other points of interest in the bay.

street scene

I cannot take time to give all the particulars of the boat trip and its delights, but must tell you about the famous "Blue Grotto," which they reached before arriving at Capri.

The "Blue Grotto" is a cave in the rocks of one of the cliffs, and[36] when the water is smooth a row-boat can be paddled through the low opening which makes the mouth of the cave; but in rough weather no boat can make the passage, as the opening is so very small.

The rock on one side of the cave does not go to the bottom, but is only sunken a little way below the water. So the sunlight strikes down under the rock, as well as under the entrance hole, and is reflected upwards again through the water in the cave, which causes a wonderful silvery light, and a beautiful pale blue tint to the water and the roof of the cave.

Visitors to Capri always stop at the "Blue Grotto" on the way, and when the big boat—the excursion boat—stops at that part of the cliff there are a crowd of men in little row-boats, waiting to take passengers who wish to go into the cave and show them the wonders of it, for a small coin each passenger. So of course our little couple must see it, and so must Mamma. Papa, who had seen it all once before (when he and Mamma had taken a trip alone, before Polly could remember), did not go, for the boatman would only carry three passengers on the trip.

You may imagine how they enjoyed it, and when they saw a boatman from another boat jump over into the water and splash about to show his passengers how like a silver blue water-sprite he could look the children gave one of their delighted whoops right there, and then nearly fell out of their own boat with fright at the loud strange echo the cave gave back at their shout.

Well, after the passengers returned from the cave, the steamboat went on its way, and in due time the landing at Capri was made, and the passengers were told that they would have two hours of time in which to see everything of interest on the beautiful island, before the boat should start on to Sorrento (which is another charming resort not far from Capri).

Such a crowd of donkey boys and donkey girls as were on the dock when the steamboat stopped! They were all yelling at one time, trying to coax passengers to use their donkeys or their cabs, and pay them so much per hour.

boat going inside Grotto "The Blue Grotto of Capri."

Now, you see, Capri is a funny sort of island, for it is "taller than[38] it is broad," as people say. It rises right out of the bay in a lot of terraced cliffs, and as far up as you can see it is just a mass of green gardens and woods.

At the base of the island are the village streets, and odd little houses, and shops and hotels, and at one of the hotels our party of four ate a good dinner, before taking a carriage up the mountain road to Anacapri, a funny little bit of a village right at the very top of the island.

When the dinner was finished Mamma and Papa took the back seat in the open little "victoria" (as the carriage was called, though it was very small and crampy in its proportions), and the little couple, gay as larks, and wide-eyed with wonder, sat close together on the small footstool of a seat in front of the "grown-ups," and with a crack of the whip (which the horse didn't even jump at, because he is so used to it, and best of all, because the "crack" is only in the air and not against his bony sides) they all started off for "Anacapri."

I could tell you of a great many things they saw on the way, and of the natives they passed, who bobbed and curtsied to the travelers, and showed their white teeth, and held up their little brown babies, hoping for the gift of a coin or two. And I would like to describe the magnificent sight of the olive-gardens, and of the trees hanging full of lemons and oranges, and of the beautiful flowering vines which grew by the roadside, and the shade trees, and particularly of the grand sight which greeted their eyes with every turn of the winding road which brought the Bay of Naples (stretching itself far and wide and dotted all over with odd little ships and boats) into view. But I must skip all those things, and get you at last with the dear little couple to the mite of a village mentioned as "Anacapri."

From there our friends looked right down upon the bay and over at Naples, and if they had been little birds they would have spread their wings and taken a good fly into the blue sunny space before them—at least, that is what Teddy whispered in Polly's ear he would like to do.



At Capri
WHEN the carriage stopped in the midst of the small houses at Anacapri, instantly a swarm of little boys and girls surrounded it. While the horse was resting, the small natives stared at our friends, and gazed especially hard and long upon Polly and Teddy, who felt quite shy and uncomfortable over the matter. They finally decided to give a few stares back again, and little bashful Polly ventured to smile, though she didn't have anything in particular to smile about. Teddy, seeing Polly smile, thought he ought to, and in a few moments every little Italian face was on the broad grin also. Mamma and Papa had been talking with the driver, who could speak a little broken English, but they were ready to notice the pretty brown faces of the children who stood beside the carriage, and now decided that Anacapri could boast of the good looks of its "small fry" with good reason. There was only one ugly-featured little boy in the crowd, and he was very ugly indeed, and not only that, but his hair was red, and his eyes very blue, and he was so fair of skin that his face was covered with freckles. He spoke Italian, however, like a native, and Papa wondered what sort of little red-haired native he might be. So he spoke to him in English, to see if the boy would comprehend. To his surprise he answered with a merry smile, and then, another surprise, a little fellow beside him spoke up also in English, and explained that, though he was dark in complexion, and Italian all over, yet he was brother to the red-haired boy, who was Scotch; and that Jim's father was a Scotchman, and when he died his mother married an Italian whom she met in England, and when he died she was left poor,[40] and through some friends in Anacapri had come there to live only seven months before. He told all this in good, though of course childish and broken English, for he was only nine years old. Then Jim, the little Scotchman, put in his word, and when asked how they happened—in only a few months—to speak Italian like natives, when they had lived in other countries all their lives before, he replied, tossing his head proudly: "Oh, that ain't anythin'. We got it off the boys here!" Of course all this was deeply interesting to Polly and Teddy, and they took a great fancy to the little brothers. But presently a boy who had not spoken before, not knowing English, put his hand inside his shirt and pulled out a little brown bird. Holding it by both wee feet, he held it up, while its poor little heart was beating and its tiny wings fluttering with fear. "Monie!" he said, and it was the only English word he cared to know—"monie!" and he pointed to the bird[41] and then to the sky. The little couple looked wonderingly at him, and the Scotch boy explained that if Polly gave the boy a coin he would let the poor birdie fly away in safety. If he didn't get the coin, then he would take it home and his family would cook it for supper.

That made our little couple indignant, and vexed also the Mamma and kind-hearted Papa. So he paid over a coin, and up, up, up into the sunny space above flew little birdie, and the children—our children—shouted with pleasure to see the poor captive free. But—what do you think came next? Why, that cruel boy put his hand inside his shirt again, and out came another bird, and with it the same request for "monie." Of course, he was frowned upon, and not another coin was given him, for Papa found he had a "bunch of birds" hidden there to earn their freedom by coin-giving, at every chance offered, and as those same birds, after being freed, would be caught again in time, the outlook was discouraging, wasn't it?

And now, the horse being rested, the party turned about to go back to the steamboat landing below, and to the small Scotchie and his Italian brother only did Mr. Darling give a farewell gift of coin, as they drove away and finally left the little village behind them.

When they reached Sorrento a little while after, it was late in the afternoon, and Papa said they must spend the night there and go on by carriage to see the ruins of Pompeii the next day.

It was a delightful experience to our little European travelers when they saw that the steamboat did not go close up beside the landing dock, as at Capri, but that the passengers were to be taken off in small boats and rowed ashore. They could hardly wait their turn for it, but finally the blissful moment arrived, and the children were seated in the stern of the little boat, gliding over the blue waters. Oh! you have no idea how very blue and clear the water there really is. It is like beautiful azure blue ribbon, satin ribbon, and you feel as if you'd like to carry home bottles of it. But as it is the sunshine and the condition of the depths of water and bottom of the bay all combined which produce that color there—you would not be able to bottle it, would you?

Well, when the landing was reached, the children had to lift their[42] eyes to a height on top of a steep cliff wall before they could see the hotel in which the night was to be spent.

"I never in the world, Teddy Terry, can climb up there!" said puzzled little Polly. But Ted thought it would be real fun to climb it, and was quite disappointed when Papa pointed to a narrow railroad which ran up, up, up the cliff through a tunnel beginning not far from where they had left the boat. "It is called a 'funicular,' or, as the Italians call it, a 'funicolare,'" explained Papa, "and the little car we are to enter presently is drawn up to the top of the cliff by a cable, a strong wire rope, very thick and quite able to do its work safely, so you needn't look so frightened, little goosey," to Polly, for her eyes were full of anxious wonderment, and she took tight hold of her Father's hand.

"I'm not a bit frightened," declared Teddy, but I really think he was a tiny bit afraid, for he grasped the tail of Papa's coat pretty closely as they followed Mamma into the little car, which seemed to be standing almost on end, and looked as though at any moment it might roll backwards down the incline. However, they arrived in good condition at the top before long, and were able to rest themselves and by-and-by eat a good dinner in the fine hotel, which was located in the midst of a wonderful garden right there on top of the cliff. Next morning they visited the little shops where beautiful olive-wood articles were sold, and Papa bought a fine ruler for Ted, and a dainty little clothes-brush (both of carved olive-wood) for Polly.

Then it was time to drive to Pompeii, and after a long, rather dusty drive down the mountain road, they found themselves amongst the ruins of that ancient city at last. Of course such little folks as Polly and Teddy couldn't take quite as much interest in the old city as grown-up visitors were taking, but they were quick to observe everything especially interesting: the ruts in the paved streets worn deeply by the wheels of the chariots used in those days (something like the chariots you have seen, no doubt, when Barnum's big circus comes along, and all little folks go to see it, of course); the big flat stepping-stones in the streets, which were placed there so that people could have a clean, dry, and raised crossing from one side to the other (very nice[43] for rainy, muddy weather, wasn't it?); the bake ovens where loaves of bread were baking at the very moment the flood of hot cinders and lava came thickly down upon the city and destroyed it so suddenly and so soon; the old drinking-fountains still bearing the worn impressions and dents made by the hands which used to rest upon the fountain basins so long ago. Papa explained that according to history the city was seven hundred years old when destroyed, and it lay over a thousand years under twenty feet of ashes. You see, the ashes cooled, and the lava hardened, and there was no sign of any city there till all those many years had passed, and then by accident, history tells us, it was discovered that there was a city away down under all that earth (grass had grown over it in all that long time, and it looked like meadows). Then people set to work digging, and lo and behold! uncovered so much of it that everybody flocked to see it. So that is how Polly and Teddy at last got there, and people are still digging away, clearing more and more of the big city from the earth over it.

Papa made it all very interesting to our little couple (and when they got home what did Teddy do but bury away down deep in his garden, in the deepest hole he could dig with his little spade, a whole toy village of Polly's, and cover it up, and pound the earth and grass over it again, and by-and-by play he was "discovering Pompeii" and set to work to excavate the little city again).



WELL, after they had seen Pompeii, and looked at the curiosities in the little museum of the office and station building near by, our little couple felt very tired, and begged Papa to take them home.

Polly's little golden head ached, and Teddy's stocking had gotten into a wrinkle on his heel, and it hurt him to walk, and they both agreed that they didn't care one bit if "Vesulivus" did cover old "Pompawy" all over with ashes and dirt. They wanted to go home and rest Polly's head and Teddy's lame heel, and so Papa and Mamma confessed to being pretty tired also, and soon they were in the train, speeding rapidly towards Naples, having had two days of "round trip excursion," and a "jolly good time," as the children expressed it.

I would like to tell you about all the little couple did and all they saw while there for four happy weeks, but I must leave it all to your lively imagination, dear little readers, and whatever beautiful times you imagine for the children you may be sure they had.

Teddy talking to auntie "I have almost kept my promise to my Mamma and tried to be a good boy."

Papa was obliged to return to his business at home after a month of good times abroad, and so the day came when the trunks were packed again, and the clock was being watched, and the hotel "bus" being listened for, etc., and our little couple again in haste to go on board the steamship, for, much as they had enjoyed themselves, they confided secretly to each other the grand truth that—"After all, they liked their own gardens and playtimes at home lots better'n European things, and that Bridgie and Ann made things taste nicer to eat than the queer cooks in Naples; and 'sides all that, they hadn't seen any tree [46]at all that was half so nice as their own apple-tree where they could sit in amongst the leaves together, and—and—they guessed 'Merican things were nicer for little boys and girls, any way!"

Teddy had put into a snug corner of his small trunk a few little gifts for "dear own Mamma and Papa," and a nice present for his Bridget and Polly's Ann.

And Polly had carefully stowed away in Mamma's trunk also some pretty gifts for "Auntie Terry and Uncle Terry," and a present each for her Ann and Teddy's Bridgie; and the things they planned to do and the good times they planned to have when once more at their own pretty cottage homes, where the old apple-tree and the much-loved gap in the fence near it were waiting for them I can't begin to tell you.

We see them now—as they stand together with Teddy's loving arm about Polly, and her soft cheek pressed close to his—at the railing in the stern of the ocean liner, taking a farewell look at sunny Naples and Italian shores, and waving handkerchiefs to the men, women, and children in the small row-boats which were skipping about in the bay in the wake of the steamship, while shrill Italian voices were shouting: "Addio! addio!"

"We've had the beautifullest time that ever could be, and we've liked being European travelers ever so much, haven't we, Teddy Terry?" remarked Polly at last, as the children followed Mr. Darling to their steamer chairs; "and I must say," she added quite proudly, "that I think we've been such good children that some day maybe Papa'll take us to some other places. Won't that be fun?"

Teddy thought it would, but he could not be so conscientiously sure of having been as "good" as Polly fancied, for he had a distinct remembrance of certain occasions (of which I haven't had the heart to tell my little readers) when Mamma Darling had had to scold pretty severely, and he had been more humiliated about it than Polly, on account of his promise to his own Mamma. Thinking it all over now, as he sat in his chair beside Mrs. Darling on deck, he suddenly drew her head down to him and earnestly whispered: "Say, Auntie, I have almost kept my promise to my Mamma and tried to be a good boy,[47] haven't I? You see, I wouldn't like her to say I broke my word after she'd been and trusted me, you know, Auntie!"

Mrs. Darling put a tender kiss on the soft little tanned forehead, and whispered back: "I'm going to tell Mamma Terry that her boy was the best-behaved little traveler I ever saw, so cheer up, Teddy boy!"

It was a very happy little laddie who settled back in that big steamer chair and slipped his hand into Polly's after "Auntie" had made her whispered speech.

And now we must say good-bye to them, as the steamship speeds on towards America's shores, and I hope this story of more of the doings of our dear little couple will have given as much pleasure as your first account of them. The world is full of "Dear Little Couples," isn't it?

Transcriber's Notes:

Page 16, "city" changed to "City" (York City)

Page 21, repeated line of text was deleted. Original read:

blew its summons for luncheon the little couple had explored the
steamer, under Papa's guidance, pretty thoroughly. You know
the steamer, under Papa's guidance, pretty thoroughly. You know
children like to explore, and go scampering about to see all that can

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