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´╗┐Title: Teddy - The Story of a Little Pickle
Author: Hutcheson, John C. (John Conroy)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Teddy - The Story of a Little Pickle" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Teddy: The story of a Little Pickle

by John Conran Hutcheson
This short book is probably of more interest to ten or eleven
year olds, rather than any other age group, for much of the book
is taken up with describing sundry very juvenile misdemeanours.

It is well written, but my personal opinion is that it is quite

Still, it was quite amusing to scan it, OCR it, and edit it.  N.H.





"I want do d'an'ma!"

This sudden and unexpected exclamation, uttered as it was in a shrill
little voice like that of a piping bullfinch, and coming from nowhere in
particular, as far as he could make out, for he had fancied himself all
alone on the platform, made the tall railway porter almost jump out of
his skin, as he expressed it, startling him out of his seven senses.

He was a stalwart, good-natured, black-bearded giant of a man, clad in a
suit of dunduckety-mud-coloured velveteens, rather the worse for wear,
and smeary with oil and engine-grease, which gave them a sort of highly-
burnished appearance resembling that of a newly-polished black-leaded

Doing nothing, and thinking of nothing specially, for the three-forty
up-train had gone through the station, and it was a good hour yet before
the five-ten down express was due, he had been lazily leaning in a half-
dreamy and almost dozing state against the side of the booking-office.

From this coign of vantage, he was, as well as his blinking eyes would
allow, gazing out over the rails at the fast-falling flakes of feathery
snow that were quickly covering up the metals and permanent way with a
mantle of white; when, all at once, without a "by your leave," or seeing
or hearing anyone approach, his attention was summarily brought back to
the present by the strange announcement of the shrill little voice,
while, at the same time, he felt the clutch of tiny fingers twitching at
one of the legs of his shiny velveteen trousers, evidently as a further
means of attracting his notice.

The touch made the porter look downwards, when, perceiving that his
unknown interlocutor was a small mite barely reaching up to his knees,
he became more reassured; and, bending his big body so as to bring his
face somewhat on a level with the young person, he proceeded to
interrogate him in familiar fashion.

"Well, my little man," he said, desiring to learn how he might be of
service, for he was a genial willing fellow, and always anxious to
oblige people when he knew how--"what's the matter?"

"I want do d'an'ma!" repeated the small mite in the same piping tones as
before, speaking with the utmost assurance and in the most matter-of-
fact way.

It seemed as if, having now explicitly notified his wants and wishes, he
confidently looked forward, in all the innocent trust of childhood, to
their being instantly acted upon and carried out without any demur or

Jupp, the porter, was quite flabbergasted by the little chap's sang-
froid; so, in order the better to collect his ideas and enable him to
judge what was best to be done under the circumstances, he took off his
flat-peaked uniform cap with one hand and scratched his head
reflectively with the fingers of the other, as is frequently the wont of
those possessed of thick skulls and wits that are apt to go wool-

The operation appeared to have the effect desired; for, after indulging
in this species of mental and physical cogitation for a moment or two,
Jupp ventured upon asking the mite another question which had
brilliantly suggested itself to him as opportune.

"Where is your grandma, sir?" he inquired with more deference than he
had used before.

"Don-don," replied the small person nonchalantly, as if the point was
quite immaterial, looking the porter calmly and straight in the eyes
unflinchingly, without turning a hair as the saying goes.

Jupp had never come across such a self-possessed young mannikin in his
life before.  Why, he might have been the station-master or traffic-
manager, he appeared so much at his ease!

But, he was a little gentleman all the same, Jupp could readily see, in
spite of the fact that his costume was not quite suited for travelling,
the mite being attired in a very prominent and dirty pinafore, while his
chubby face was tear-stained, and he had the look of having come out in
a hurry and being perhaps unprepared for the journey he contemplated;
although, mind you, he had his luggage with him all right--a small
bundle tied up in a large pocket-handkerchief of a bright-red colour,
which he held tightly clasped to his little stomach as if afraid of its
being taken from him.

Jupp hardly knew off-hand how to deal with the case, it being of a more
perplexing nature than had previously come within range of his own
personal experience; still, he had his suspicions, and thought it best
to entertain the young person in conversation for a bit, until he should
be able to find out something about his belongings and where he came

"London's a large place, sir," he therefore observed tentatively, by way
of drawing the mite out and getting some clue towards his identity.

The little chap, however, was quite equal to the occasion.

"Don't tare," he said defiantly, checking the porter's artful attempt at
cross-examination.  "I want do d'an'ma!"

Certainly, he was a most independent young gentleman.

Jupp was at a nonplus again; however, he tried to temporise with the
mite, the more especially from his noticing that his little legs were
quite mottled and his tiny fingers blue with cold.

"Well, come in here, sir, at all events, and warm yourself, and then we
can talk the matter over comfortably together," he said, throwing open
the door of the waiting-room as he spoke, and politely motioning the
little chap to enter.

The mite made no reply to the invitation, but he tacitly accepted it by
following the porter into the apartment he had indicated, and the two
were presently seated before a glowing fire, on which Jupp immediately
emptied the scuttleful of coals, there being no stint of the fuel by
reason of the company standing all expense.

Thawed by the genial warmth, rendered all the more enjoyable by the
wintry scene outside, where the snow was now swirling down faster and
faster as the afternoon advanced, the little chap began to get more
communicative, egged on by Jupp in a series of apparently innocent

"Nussy bad ooman," he blurted out after a long silence, looking up at
Jupp and putting his hand on his knee confidingly.

"Indeed, sir?" said the other cautiously, leading him on.

"Ess, man," continued the mite.  "See want take way my kitty."

"You don't mean that, sir!" exclaimed Jupp with well-feigned horror at
such unprincipled behaviour on the part of the accused nurse.

"Ess, man, see did," replied the little chap, nodding his small curly
head with great importance; but the next instant his little roguish blue
eyes twinkled with suppressed intelligence, and his red rosebud of a
mouth expanded into a happy smile as he added, with much satisfaction in
his tones, "but I dot kitty all wite now!"

"Have you really, sir?" said Jupp, pretending to be much surprised at
the information, the little chap evidently expecting him to be so.

"Ess, man," cried the mite with a triumphant shout; "I'se dot po' 'ittle
kitty here!"

"Never, sir!" ejaculated Jupp with trembling eagerness, as if his life
depended on the solution of the doubt.

The little chap became completely overcome with merriment at having so
successfully concealed his treasured secret, as he thought, that the
porter had not even guessed it.

"Kitty's in dundle!" he exclaimed gleefully, hugging his handkerchief
parcel tighter to his little stomach as he spoke.  "I dot kitty here,
all wite!"

"You don't mean that, sir--not in that bundle o' yours surely, sir?"
repeated Jupp with deep fictitious interest, appearing still not quite
convinced on the point and as if wishing to have the difficulty cleared

This diplomatic course of procedure on the part of the porter removed
any lingering scruples the mite had in respect of his good faith.

"Ess, man.  I dot kitty here in dundle all wite," he repeated earnestly
in his very impressive little way.  "Oo musn't tell nobody and I'll so
her to 'oo!"

"I won't breathe a word of it to a soul, sir," protested Jupp as
solemnly and gravely as if he were making his last dying deposition;
whereupon the mite, quite convinced of the porter's trustworthiness and
abandoning all further attempt at concealment, deposited his little
bundle tenderly on the floor in front of the fireplace, and began to
open it with much deliberation.

The little fellow appeared so very serious about the matter, that Jupp
could not help trying to be serious too; but it required the exercise of
all the self-command he possessed to refrain from laughing when the
motley contents of the red handkerchief were disclosed.

Before the last knot of the bundle was untied by the mite's busy fingers
there crawled out a tiny tortoise-shell kitten, with its diminutive
little tail erect like a young bottle-brush, which gave vent to a "phiz-
phit," as if indignant at its long confinement, and then proceeded to
rub itself against Jupp's leg, with a purring mew on recognising a

"So that's kitty," said Jupp, holding the little thing up on his knee
and stroking it affectionately, the animal signifying its satisfaction
by licking the back of his hand with its furry little red tongue, and
straightening its tiny tail again as stiff as a small poker.

"Ess, man.  Dat's kitty," murmured the mite, too much occupied undoing
the last knots of the bundle to waste time in further speech for the
moment, struggling as he was at the job with might and main.

In another second, however, he had accomplished his task; and, lifting
up the corners of the red handkerchief, he rolled out the whole stock of
his valued possessions on to the floor.

"Dere!" he exclaimed with much complacency, looking up into Jupp's face
in expectation of his admiring surprise.

The porter was again forced to act a part, and pretend that he could not
guess anything.

"Dear me!" he said; "you have brought a lot of things!  Going to take
'em with you to London, sir?"

"Ess.  Da'n'ma tate tare of zem."

"No doubt, sir," replied Jupp, who then went on to inspect gingerly the
different articles of the collection, which was very varied in

They consisted, in addition to the tortoise-shell kitten fore-mentioned,
of a musical snuff-box, a toy model of a ship, a small Noah's ark, a
half-consumed slice of bread and butter, an apple with a good-sized bite
taken out of one side, a thick lump of toffee, and a darkish-brown
substance like gingerbread, which close association in the bundle,
combined with pressure, had welded together in one almost
indistinguishable mass.

"I suppose, sir," observed Jupp inquiringly, picking up all the eatables
and putting them together apart on the seat next the little man--"I
suppose as how them's your provisions for the journey?"

"Ess.  I ate dindin; an', dat's tea."

"Indeed, sir! and very nice things for tea too," said Jupp, beaming with
admiration and good-humoured fun.

"I touldn't det any milk, or I'd bought dat too," continued the mite,
explaining the absence of all liquid refreshment.

"Ah! that's a pity," rejoined the porter, thinking how well half a pint
of milk would have mixed up with the other contents of the bundle; "but,
perhaps, sir, the kitty would have lapped it up and there would have
been none left.  Would you like a cup of tea now, sir?  I'm just agoing
to have mine; and if you'd jine me, I'd feel that proud you wouldn't
know me again!"

"Dank 'oo, I'm so dirsty," lisped the little man in affable
acquiescence; and, the next moment, Jupp had spirited out a rough basket
from under the seat in the corner, when extracting a tin can with a cork
stopper therefrom, he put it on the fire to warm up.

From a brown-paper parcel he also turned out some thick slices of bread
that quite put in the shade the half-eaten one belonging to the mite;
and as soon as the tea began to simmer in the tin over the coals, he
poured out some in a pannikin, and handed it to his small guest.

"Now, sir, we'll have a regular picnic," he said hospitably.

"All wite, dat's jolly!" shouted the other in great glee; and the two
were enjoying themselves in the highest camaraderie, when, suddenly, the
door of the waiting-room was opened from without, and the face of a
buxom young woman peered in.

"My good gracious!" exclaimed the apparition, panting out the words as
if suffering from short breath, or from the effects of more rapid
exertion than her physique usually permitted.  "If there isn't the young
imp as comfortably as you please; and me a hunting and a wild-goose
chasing on him all over the place!  Master Teddy, Master Teddy, you'll
be the death of me some day, that you will!"

Jupp jumped up at once, rightly imagining that this lady's unexpected
appearance would, as he mentally expressed it, "put a stopper" on the
mite's contemplated expedition, and so relieve him of any further
personal anxiety on his behalf, he having been puzzling his brains
vainly for the last half hour how to discover his whereabouts and get
him home to his people again; but, as for the little man himself, he did
not seem in the least put out by the interruption of his plans.

"Dat nussy," was all he said, clutching hold of Jupp's trouser leg, as
at first, in an appealing way: "Don't 'et her, man, tate away poor

"I won't sir, I promise you," whispered Jupp to comfort him; however,
before he could say any more, the panting female had drawn nearer from
the doorway and come up close to the fireplace, the flickering red light
from which made her somewhat rubicund countenance appear all the



"Pray, don't 'ee be angry wi' him, mum," said Jupp appealingly, as the
somewhat flustered female advanced towards the mite, laying hands on his
collar with apparently hostile intentions.

"I ain't a going to be angry," she replied a trifle crossly, as perhaps
was excusable under the circumstances, carrying out the while, however,
what had evidently been her original idea of giving the mite "a good
shaking," and thereby causing his small person to oscillate violently to
and fro as if he were crossing the Bay of Biscay in a Dutch trawler with
a choppy sea running.  "I ain't angry to speak of; but he's that
tormenting sometimes as to drive a poor creature a'most out of her mind!
Didn't I tell 'ee," she continued, turning round abruptly to the object
of her wrath and administering an extra shake by way of calling him to
attention.  "Didn't I tell 'ee as you weren't to go outdoors in all the
slop and slush--didn't I tell 'ee now?"

But in answer the mite only harked back to his old refrain.

"I want do d'an'ma," he said with stolid defiance, unmoved alike by his
shaking or the nurse's expostulation.

"There, that's jest it," cried she, addressing Jupp the porter again,
seeing that he was a fine handsome fellow and well-proportioned out of
the corner of her eye without looking at him directly, in that
unconscious and highly diplomatic way in which women folk are able to
reckon up each other on the sly and take mental stock of mankind.
"Ain't he aggravating?  It's all that granma of his that spoils him; and
I wish she'd never come nigh the place!  When Master Teddy doesn't see
her he's as good as gold, that he is, the little man!"

She then, with the natural inconsequence and variability of her sex,
immediately proceeded to hug and kiss the mite as affectionately as she
had been shaking and vituperating him the moment before, he putting up
with the new form of treatment as calmly and indifferently as he had
received the previous scolding.

"He's a fine little chap," said Jupp affably, conceiving a better
opinion of the nurse from her change of manner as well as from noticing,
now that her temporary excitement had evaporated, that she was a young
and comely woman with a very kindly face.  "He told me as how he were
going to Lun'non."

"Did he now?" she exclaimed admiringly.

"He's the most owdacious young gen'leman as ever was, I think; for he's
capable, young as he is, not long turned four year old, of doin' a'most
anything.  Look now at all them things of his as he's brought from

"That were his luggage like," observed Jupp, smiling and showing his
white teeth, which contrasted well with his black beard, making him
appear very nice-looking really, the nurse thought.

"The little rogue!" said she enthusiastically, hugging the mite again
with such effusion that Jupp wished he could change places with him, he
being unmarried and "an orphan man," as he described himself, "without
chick or child to care for him."

"He ought to be a good 'un with you a looking after him," he remarked
with a meaning glance, which, although the nurse noticed, she did not
pretend to see.

"So he is--sometimes, eh, Master Teddy?" she said, bending down again
over the mite to hide a sudden flush which had made her face somehow or
other crimson again.

"Ess," replied the hero of the occasion, who, soothed by all these
social amenities passing around him, quickly put aside his stolid
demeanour and became his little prattling self again.

However, such was his deep foresight that he did not forget to grasp so
favourable an opportunity for settling the initial difficulty between
himself and nurse in the matter of the kitten, which had led up
logically to all that had happened, and so prevent any misunderstanding
on the point in future.

"Oo won't tate way kitty?" he asked pleadingly, holding up with both
hands the struggling little animal, which Jupp had incontinently dropped
from his knee when he rose up, on the door of the waiting-room being
suddenly opened and the impromptu picnic organised by the mite and
himself brought to an abrupt termination, by the unexpected advent of
the nurse on the scene.

"No, Master Teddy, I promise you I won't," she replied emphatically.
"You can bathe the poor little brute in the basin and then put it all
wet in your bed afterwards, as you did this morning, or anything else
you like.  Bless you, you can eat it if it so please you, and I shan't

"All wite, den; we frens 'dain," lisped the mite, putting up his little
rosebud mouth so prettily for a kiss, in token of peace and forgiveness
on his part, that the nurse could not help giving him another hug.

This display of affection had unfortunately the same effect on Jupp as
before, causing the miserable porter to feel acute pangs of envy;
although, by rights, he had no direct interest in the transaction, and
was only an outside observer, so to speak!

By way of concealing his feelings, therefore, he turned the

"And have you come far arter him, miss, if I may make so bold as to ax
the question?" he said hesitatingly, being somewhat puzzled in his mind
as to whether "miss" or "mum" was the correct form in which to address
such a pleasant young woman, who might or might not be a matron for all
he could tell.

He evidently hit upon the right thing this time; for, she answered him
all the more pleasantly, with a bright smile on her face.

"Why, ever so far!" she exclaimed.  "Don't you know that large red brick
house t'other side of the village, where Mr Vernon lives--a sort of
old-fashioned place, half covered with ivy, and with a big garden?"

"Parson Vernon's, eh?"

"Yes, Master Teddy's his little son."

"Lor', I thought he were a single man, lone and lorn like myself, and
didn't have no children," said Jupp.

"That's all you know about it," retorted the nurse.  "You must be a
stranger in these parts; and, now I come to think on it, I don't believe
as I ever saw you here before."

"No, miss, I was only shifted here last week from the Junction, and
hardly knows nobody," said Jupp apologetically.  "For the rights o'
that, I ain't been long in the railway line at all, having sarved ten
years o' my time aboard a man-o'-war, and left it thinking I'd like to
see what a shore billet was like; and so I got made a porter, miss, my
karacter being good on my discharge."

"Dear me, what a pity!" cried the nurse.  "I do so love sailors."

"If you'll only say the word, miss, I'll go to sea again to-morrow
then!" ejaculated Jupp eagerly.

"Oh no!" laughed the nurse; "why, then I shouldn't see any more of you;
but I was telling you about Master Teddy.  Parson Vernon, as you call
him, has four children in all--three of them girls, and Master Teddy is
the only boy and the youngest of the lot."

"And I s'pose he's pretty well sp'ilt?" suggested Jupp.

"You may well say that," replied the other.  "He was his mother's pet,
and she, poor lady, died last year of consumption, so he's been made all
the more of since by his little sisters, and the grandmother when she
comes down, as she did at Christmas.  You'd hardly believe it, small as
he looks he almost rules the house; for his father never interferes,
save some terrible row is up and he hears him crying--and he can make a
noise when he likes, can Master Teddy!"

"Ess," said the mite at this, thinking his testimony was appealed to,
and nodding his head affirmatively.

"And he comed all that way from t'other side o' the village by hisself?"
asked Jupp by way of putting a stop to sundry other endearments the
fascinating young woman was recklessly lavishing on the little chap.
"Why, it's more nor a mile!"

"Aye, that he has.  Just look at him," said she, giving the mite another
shake, although this time it was of a different description to the one
she had first administered.

He certainly was not much to look at in respect of stature, being barely
three feet high; but he was a fine little fellow for all that, with good
strong, sturdy limbs and a frank, fearless face, which his bright blue
eyes and curling locks of brown hair ornamented to the best advantage.

As before mentioned, he had evidently not been prepared for a journey
when he made his unexpected appearance at the station, being without a
hat on his head and having a slightly soiled pinafore over his other
garments; while his little feet were encased in thin house shoes, or
slippers, that were ill adapted for walking through the mud and snow.

Now that the slight differences that had arisen between himself and the
nurse had been amicably settled, he was in the best of spirits, with his
little face puckered in smiles and his blue eyes twinkling with fun as
he looked up at the two observing him.

"He is a jolly little chap!" exclaimed Jupp, bending down and lifting
him up in his strong arms, the mite the while playfully pulling at his
black beard; "and I tell you what, miss, I think he's got a very good
nurse to look after him!"

"Do you?" said she, adding a moment afterwards as she caught Jupp's look
of admiration, "Ah, that's only what you say now.  You didn't think so
when I first came in here after him; for you asked me not to beat him--
as if I would!"

"Lor', I never dreamt of such a thing!" cried he with much emphasis, the
occasion seeming to require it.  "I only said that to coax you like,
miss.  I didn't think as you'd hurt a hair of his head."

"Well, let it be then," replied she, accepting this amende and setting
to work gathering together the mite's goods and chattels that were still
lying on the floor of the waiting-room--with the exception of the
kitten, which he had himself again assumed the proprietorship of and now
held tightly in his arms, even as he was clasped by Jupp and elevated
above the porter's shoulder.  "I must see about taking him home again."

"Shall I carry him for you, miss?" asked Jupp.  "The down-train ain't
due for near an hour yet, and I dessay I can get my mate to look out for
me while I walks with you up the village."

"You are very kind," said she; "but, I hardly like to trouble you?"

"No trouble at all, miss," replied Jupp heartily.  "Why, the little
gentleman's only a featherweight."

"That's because you're such a fine strong man.  I find him heavy enough,
I can tell you."

Jupp positively blushed at her implied compliment.  "I ain't much to
boast of ag'in a delicate young 'ooman as you," he said at last; "but,
sartenly, I can carry a little shaver like this; and, besides, look how
the snow's a coming down."

"Well, if you will be so good, I'd be obliged to you," interposed the
nurse hurriedly as if to stop any further explanations on Jupp's part,
he having impulsively stepped nearer to her at that moment.

"All right then!" cried he, his jolly face beaming with delight at the
permission to escort her.  "Here, Grigson!"

"That's me!" shouted another porter appearing mysteriously from the back
of the office, in answer to Jupp's stentorian hail.

"Just look out for the down-train, 'case I ain't back in time.  I'm just
agoin' to take some luggage for this young woman up to the village."

"Aye, just so," replied the other with a sly wink, which, luckily for
himself, perhaps, Jupp did not see, as, holding the mite tenderly in his
arms, with his jacket thrown over him to protect him from the snow, he
sallied out from the little wayside station in company with the nurse,
the latter carrying all Master Teddy's valuables, which she had re-
collected and tied up again carefully within the folds of the red
pocket-handkerchief bundle wherein their proprietor had originally
brought them thither.

Strange to say, the mite did not exhibit the slightest reluctance in
returning home, as might have been expected from the interruption of his
projected plan of going to London to see his "d'an'ma."

On the contrary, his meeting with Jupp and introduction to him as a new
and estimable acquaintance, as well as the settlement of all outstanding
grievances between himself and his nurse, appeared to have quite changed
his views as to his previously-cherished expedition; so that he was now
as content and cheerful as possible, looking anything but like a
disappointed truant.

Indeed, he more resembled a successful conqueror making a triumphal
entry into his capital than a foiled strategist defeated in the very
moment of victory!

"I like oo," he said, pulling at Jupp's black beard in high glee and
chuckling out aloud in great delight as they proceeded towards the
village, the nurse clinging to the porter's other and unoccupied arm to
assist her progress through the snow-covered lane, down which the wind
rushed every now and then in sudden scurrying gusts, whirling the white
flakes round in the air and blinding the wayfarers as they plodded
painfully along.

"I don't know what I should have done without your help," she observed
fervently after a long silence between the two, only broken by Master
Teddy's shouts of joy when a snow-flake penetrating beneath Jupp's
jacket made the kitten sneeze.  "I'm sure I should never have got home
to master's with the boy!"

"Don't name it," whispered Jupp hoarsely beneath his beard, which the
snow had grizzled, lending it a patriarchal air.  "I'm only too proud,
miss, to be here!" and he somehow or other managed to squeeze her arm
closer against his side with his, making the nurse think how nice it was
to be tall and strong and manly like the porter!

"They'll be in a rare state about Master Teddy at the vicarage!" she
said after they had plodded on another hundred yards, making but slow
headway against the drifting snow and boisterous wind.  "I made him
angry by taking away his kitten, I suppose, and so he determined to make
off to his gran'ma; for we missed him soon after the children's dinner.
I thought he was in the study with Mr Vernon; but when I came to look
he wasn't there, and so we all turned out to search for him.  Master
made sure we'd find him in the village; but I said I thought he'd gone
to the station, far off though it was, and you see I was right!"

"You're a sensible young woman," said Jupp.  "I'd have thought the

"Go on with your nonsense; get along!" cried she mockingly, in apparent
disbelief of Jupp's encomiums, and pretending to wrench her arm out of
his so as to give point to her words.

"I'll take my davy, then," he began earnestly; but, ere he could say any
more, a voice called out in front of them, amid the eddying flakes:

"Hullo, Mary!  Is that you?"

"That's my master," she whispered to Jupp; and then answered aloud,
"Yes, sir, and I've found Master Teddy."

"Is Mary your name?" said Jupp to her softly in the interlude, while
scrunching footsteps could be heard approaching them, although no one
yet could be perceived through the rifts of snow.  "I think it the
prettiest girl's name in the world!"

"Go 'long!" cried she again; but she sidled up to him and held on to his
arm once more as she spoke, the blasts of the storm at the moment being
especially boisterous.

"Is that you, Mary?" repeated the voice in front, now much nearer, her
answer not having been heard apparently, on account of the wind blowing
from the speaker towards them.

"Yes, sir," she screamed out.  "I've found Master Teddy, and he's all

She was heard this time.

"Thank God!" returned the voice in trembling accents, nearer still; and
then a thin, haggard, careworn-looking man in clergyman's dress rushed
up to them.

He was quite breathless, and his face pale with emotion.

"Padie!  Padie!" exclaimed the mite, raising himself up on Jupp's
shoulder and stretching out one of his little hands to the new-comer
while the other grasped the kitten.  "I'se turn back, I'se turn back to

"My boy, my little lamb!  God be praised for his mercy!" cried the
other; and the next instant Teddy was locked in his father's arms in a
close embrace, kitten and all.

"Say, Miss Mary," whispered Jupp, taking advantage of the opportunity
while Mr Vernon's back was turned.

"What?" she asked, looking up into his face demurely.

"This ought to be passed round."

"Go 'long!" she replied; but, she didn't budge an inch when Jupp put his
arm round her, and nobody knows what happened before Mr Vernon had
composed himself and turned round again!



Three little girls were flattening their respective little noses against
the panes of glass as they stood by one of the low French windows of the
old red brick house at the corner of the lane commanding the approach
from the village; and three little pairs of eager eyes, now big with
expectation, were peering anxiously across the snow-covered lawn through
the gathering evening gloom towards the entrance gate beyond--the only
gap in the thick and well-nigh impenetrable laurel hedge, some six feet
high and evenly cropped all round at the top and square at the sides,
which encircled the vicarage garden, shutting it in with a wall of
greenery from the curious ken of all passers-by without.

With eager attention the little girls were watching to see who would be
the first of the trio to herald the return of the missing Master Teddy
and those who had gone forth in search of him; but, really, seekers and
sought alike had been so long absent that it seemed as if they were all
lost together and never coming back!

The little girls were weary almost of waiting, and being thus kept in
suspense with hope deferred.

Besides that, they were overcome with a sense of loneliness and
desertion, everyone in the house but old Molly the cook and themselves
having started off early in the afternoon in different directions in
quest of the truant Teddy; so, as the time flew by and day drew to a
close, without a sight or sound in the distance to cheer their drooping
spirits, their little hearts grew heavy within them.

Presently, too, their whilom bright eyes got so dimmed with unshed tears
which would well up, that they were unable to see clearly had there been
anything or anyone for them to see; while their little putty noses, when
they removed them occasionally from close contact with the glass, bore a
suspiciously red appearance that was not entirely due to previous
pressure against the window panes.

Nor were their surroundings of a sufficiently enlivening character to
banish the little maidens' despondency, the fire in the drawing-room
grate having died out long since from inattention, making them feel cold
and comfortless, and it had got so dark within that they could not
distinguish the various articles of furniture, even papa's armchair in
the chimney-corner; while, outside, in the gloaming, the snow-flakes
were falling slowly and steadily from a leaden-hued sky overhead.

The only thing breaking the stillness of the murky air was the
melancholy "Chirp, churp! chirp, churp" uttered at intervals by some
belated sparrow who had not gone to bed in good time like all sensible
bird-folk, and whose plaintive chirp was all the more aggravating from
its monotonous repetition.

"I'm sore sumtin d'eadfill's happened," whimpered little Cissy, the
youngest of the three watchers, after a long silence between them.  "Pa
sood have been back hours and hours and hours ago."

"Nonsense, Cissy!" said Miss Conny, her elder sister, who by virtue of
her seniority and the fact of her having reached the mature age of ten
was rather prone to giving herself certain matronly airs of superiority
over the others, which they put up with in all good faith, albeit they
were most amusing to outside onlookers.  "You are always imagining
something terrible is going to befall everybody, instead of hoping for
the best!  Why don't you learn to look on the bright side of things,
child?  Every cloud, you know, has its silver lining."

"But not dat one up dere!" retorted Cissy, unconvinced by the proverb,
pointing to the sombre pall of vapour that now enveloped the whole sky
overhead; when, struck more than ever with the utter dismalness of the
scene, she drew out a tiny sort of doll's handkerchief from as tiny a
little pocket in her tiny pinafore-apron, and began wiping away the
tears from her beady eyes and blowing her little red nose vigorously.
"It's all black, and no light nowhere; and I'm sore poor pa and Teddy
and all of dem are lost!"

With that, completely overcome by her own forebodings, the little thing
all at once broke down, sobbing in such a heart-broken way that it was
as much as Conny could do to comfort her; the elder sister drawing her
to her side and hugging her affectionately, rocking her small person to
and fro the while with a measured rhythm-like movement as if little
Cissy were a baby and she her mother, hushing her to sleep!

At this moment, Liz, who occupied the middle step between the two, and
was of a much more sedate and equable nature than either of her sisters,
suddenly effected a diversion that did more to raise Cissy's spirits
than all Conny's whispered consolation and kisses.

"I think I see a black speck moving in the lane," she exclaimed,
removing her face a second from the glass to look round at the others as
she spoke, and then hastily glueing it to the pane again.  "Yes,
somebody's coming.  There's an arm waving about!"

Conny and Cissy were instantly on the alert; and before Liz had hardly
got out the last words they had imitated her example, wedging their
little noses once more against the window, looking down the lane, and
trying somewhat vainly to pierce the haze obscuring the distance.

"No," said Conny, after a prolonged observation of the object Liz had
pointed out; "it's only a branch of the lilac tree blown about by the

A minute later, however, and Liz began to clap her hands triumphantly,
although still keeping her face fixed to the window.

"I was right, I was right!" she exclaimed in triumph.  "The speck is
getting nearer, and, see, there are two more behind."

"I believe you are right," said Conny, after another steady glance down
the lane.  "There are three people approaching the house, and--"

"Dat's pa in front, I know," shouted out Cissy, interrupting her and
clapping her hands like Liz, her whilom sad little face beaming with
gladness.  "I see him, I see him, and he's dot Teddy in his arms!"

"So he has," said Conny, carried away by the excitement out of her
ordinarily staid and decorous demeanour.  "Let us all run down and meet

Her suggestion was hailed with a shout of exclamation; and, the next
moment, forgetful of the falling flakes and the risk of getting damp
feet, which Conny the careful was ever warning the others against, the
three had run out into the hall, opened the outside door of the porch,
which the wind banged against the side of the passage with a thump that
shook the house, and were racing towards the entrance gate over the
white expanse of lawn, now quite covered with some six inches of snow.

Just as the little girls reached the gate, all breathless in a batch, it
was opened from without, and they were confronted by their father with
Master Teddy on his shoulder, still holding the kitten in his arms;
while, close behind, followed Jupp taking care of Mary the nurse.

"Oh, papa!" cried Conny, Cissy, and Liz in chorus, hanging on to their
father's coat-tails as if afraid he would get away from them again; and
so, in a motley procession, Teddy apparently king of the situation and
Jupp and Mary still bringing up the rear, they marched into the hall,
where Molly the cook, having heard the door bang when the little girls
rushed out, was waiting with a light to receive them.

"Take the porter to the kitchen, Molly," said Mr Vernon, "and give him,
mind, a good cup of tea for bringing home Master Teddy.  But for his
kindness we might not perhaps have seen the little truant again--to-
night, at all events."

"Lawks a mercy, sir!" ejaculated Molly with open-mouth astonishment,
curtseying and smiling: "you doant mean that?"

"Yes, I do," went on Mr Vernon.  "Mind you take every care of him, for
the porter is a right good fellow."

"Why, sir, I didn't do nothing to speak of, sir," said Jupp, quite
abashed at being made so much of.  "The young gen'leman commed to me,
and in course, seeing as how he were such a little chap and all alone
out in the cold, I couldn't do nothing else."

"Never mind that; I'm very much obliged to you, and so are all of us.
What you've got to do now is to go with Molly and have a good cup of
tea, the same as we are going to have after that long tramp in the
snow," said the vicar cordially, shaking hands with Jupp; while Teddy,
who was still perched on his father's shoulder, came out with a "tank
oo, my dood man," which made everybody laugh.

Jupp hesitatingly attempted to decline the proffered hospitality,
murmuring something about being wanted down at the station; but the
vicar wouldn't hear of his refusal, the more especially as Mary reminded
him that he had asked in her hearing his fellow-porter to look after his
work in his absence.

So, presently, in heart nothing loth in spite of his excuses, he was
following Molly the cook down the passage into her warm kitchen at the
back of the house; while Mr Vernon, opening a door on the opposite side
of the hall to the drawing-room, entered the parlour, where fortunately
the fire, thanks to Molly's care, had not been allowed to go out, but
was dancing merrily in the grate-lighting up the bright-red curtains
that were closely drawn across the windows, shutting out the gloomy
prospect outside, and throwing flickering shadows against the walls of
the apartment as the jets of flame rose and fell.

Nurse Mary at first wanted to march off Master Teddy to bed, on the plea
that he must be wet through and tired out with all the exposure he had
undergone during his erratic escapade; but the young gentleman
protesting indignantly against his removal whilst there was a chance of
his sitting up with the rest, and his clothes having been found on
examination to be quite dry on the removal of the porter's protecting
jacket, he was allowed to remain, seated on the hearth-rug in state, and
never once leaving hold of the tabby kitten that had indirectly led to
his wandering away from home, with Conny and Liz and little Cissy
grouped around him.

Here by the cosy fireside the reunited family had quite a festive little
meal together, enlivened by the children's chatter, Miss Conny pouring
out the tea with great dignity as her father said laughingly, and Teddy,
unchecked by the presence of his nurse, who was too prone to calling him
to account for sundry little breaches of etiquette for him to be
comfortable when she was close by.

While the happy little party were so engaged, Jupp was being regaled
sumptuously in the kitchen with both Molly the cook and Mary to minister
to his wants, the latter handmaiden having returned from the parlour
after carrying in the tea-tray.

Jupp was in a state of supreme satisfaction ensconced between the two,
munching away at the pile of nice hot buttered toast which the cook had
expressly made for his delectation, and recounting between the mouthfuls
wonderful yarns connected with his seafaring experiences for Mary's

Joe the gardener, who had also come back to the house shortly after the
others, with the report that he "couldn't see nothing of Master Teddy
nowheres," sat in the chimney-corner, gazing at the porter with envious
admiration as he told of his hairbreadth scapes at sea and ashore when
serving in the navy.  Joe wished that he had been a sailor too, as then
perhaps, he thought, the nurse, for whom he had a sneaking sort of
regard, might learn to smile and look upon him in the same admiring way,
in which, as he could see with half an eye, she regarded the stalwart
black-bearded Jupp.

Bye and bye, however, a tinkle of the parlour bell summoning the
household to prayers brought the pleasant evening to a close, too soon
so far as Jupp was concerned, although Joe the gardener did not regard
the interruption with much regret; and while Mary took off the children
to bed on the termination of the vicar's heart-felt thanks to the Father
above for the preservation of his little son, Mr Vernon wished him
good-night, trying to press at the same time a little money present into
his hand for his kind care of Teddy.

But this Jupp would not take, declining the douceur with so much natural
dignity that the vicar honoured him the more for refusing a reward, for
only doing his duty as he said.

Mr Vernon apologised to him for having hurt his feelings by offering
it, adding, much to Jupp's delight, that he would always be pleased to
see him at the vicarage when he had an hour or so to spare if he liked
to come; and, on the porter's telling him in return that he was only
free as a rule on Sundays, as then only one train passed through the
station early in the morning, between which and the mail express late at
night he had nothing to do, and being a stranger in the place and
without any relations the time somewhat hung on his hands, Mr Vernon
asked him to come up to the house after church and have dinner with the
servants, saying that he could go to the evening service in company with
the family.

This invitation Jupp gladly accepted in the same spirit in which it was
given; and then, with another hearty "good-night" from the vicar, to
which he responded by touching his cap and giving a salute in regular
blue-jacket fashion, he went on his way back to the little railway-
station beyond the village where Master Teddy had first made his
acquaintance--much to their mutual benefit as things now looked!



The winter was a long and severe one, covering the range of downs that
encircle Endleigh with a fleecy mantle of white which utterly eclipsed
the colour of the woolly coats of the sheep for which they were famous,
and heaping the valleys with huge drifts that defied locomotion; so that
Master Teddy, being unable to get out of doors much, was prevented from
wandering away from home again, had he been in that way inclined.

It may be added, too, that beyond breaking one of his arms in a tumble
downstairs through riding on the banisters in defiance of all commands
to the contrary, he managed for the next few months to keep pretty free
from scrapes--something surprising in such a long interval.

During all this time Jupp had been a very regular Sunday visitor at the
vicarage, coming up to the house after morning-service and being
entertained at dinner in the kitchen, after which meal he served as a
playfellow for the children until the evening, when he always
accompanied the vicar to church.

He had now come to be looked upon by all as a tried and valued friend,
Mr Vernon being almost as fond of chatting with him about his old sea
life as was Mary, the nurse; while Conny would consult him earnestly on
geographical questions illustrative of those parts of the globe he had

As for the younger ones, he was their general factotum, Teddy and Cissy
regarding him as a sort of good-natured giant who was their own especial
property and servant.

With all a sailor's ingenuity, he could carve the most wonderful things
out of the least promising and worthless materials that could be
imagined; while, as for making fun out of nothing, or telling thrilling
stories of fairies and pirates and the different folk amongst whom he
had mixed in his travels--some of them, to be sure, rather queer, as
Conny said--why, he hadn't an equal, and could make the dreariest
afternoon pass enjoyably to young and old alike, even Joe the gardener
taking almost as great pleasure in his society as Molly and Mary.

This was while the snow lay on the ground and Jack Frost had bound the
little river running through the village and the large pond in the water
meadow beyond with chains of ice, and life out of doors seemed at a
standstill; but, anon, when the breath of spring banished all the snow
and ice, and cowslips and violets began to peep forth from the released
hedgerows, and the sparrows chuckled instead of chirped, busying
themselves nest-building in the ivy round the vicarage, and when the
thrush sang to the accompaniment of the blackbird's whistle, the
children found that Jupp was even a better playfellow in the open than
he had been indoors, being nearly as much a child in heart as

Whenever he had half a day given him in the week free from duty he would
make a point of coming up to take "Master Teddy and the young ladies"
out into the woods, fern-hunting and flower-gathering, the vicar
frequently popping upon the little picnickers unawares, whilst they were
watching the rabbits and rabbitikins combing out their whiskers under
the fir-trees, and Jupp and Mary getting an al fresco tea ready for the

The little tabby kitten had long since been eclipsed in Teddy's
affections by a small Maltese terrier with a white curly coat of hair,
which his fond grandmother had rather foolishly given him, the poor
little animal being subjected to such rough treatment in the way of
petting that it must have over and over again wished itself back in its
Mediterranean home.

"Puck" was the little dog's name, and he appeared in a fair way of
"putting a girdle round the earth," if not in forty minutes like his
elfish namesake, at least in an appreciable limited space of time, Teddy
never being content except he carried about the unfortunate brute with
him everywhere he went, hugging it tightly in his arms and almost
smothering its life out by way of showing his affection.

Having once had his hair cut, too, unluckily by Mary, Teddy seized an
opportunity, when alone in the nursery, to treat poor Puck in similar
fashion, the result of which was that the little animal, deprived of his
long curly coat, not only shivered constantly with cold, but looked, in
his closely-shorn condition, like one of those toy lambs sold in the
shops in lieu of dolls for children, which emit a bleating sort of sound
when pressed down on their bellows-like stands.

Of course, Puck was as invariable an attendant at the picnic excursions
in the woods as Master Teddy himself, and, having developed sufficient
interest in the rabbits to summon up courage to run after them, which
Teddy graciously permitted him to do, these outings perhaps gave the
little animal the only pleasure he had in existence, save eating; for he
was then allowed, for a brief spell at all events, to use his own legs
instead of being carried about in baby fashion.

One day at the beginning of May, when the birds were gaily singing in
the branches of the trees overhead, through which an occasional peep of
blue sky could be had, the grass below being yellow with buttercups or
patched in white with daisies, Jupp and Mary were grouped with the
children beneath a spreading elm in the centre of a sort of fairy ring
in the wood, a favourite halting-place with them all.

The porter for once in a way had a whole holiday, and had spent the
morning helping Joe the gardener in mowing the lawn and putting out
plants in the flower-beds in front of the vicarage; so after their early
dinner, the children under Mary's care came out with him for a regular
picnic tea in the woods, carrying a kettle with them to make a fire,
with plenty of milk and cakes and bread and butter, for it was intended
to have quite a feast in honour of "papa's birthday," the vicar having
promised to come and join them as soon as he had finished his parish

The little ones had been romping with Jupp all the way to the wood under
the downs, running races with him and making detours here and there in
search of wild anemones and meadow-sweet, or else chasing butterflies
and the low-flying swallows that heralded the advent of summer, so they
were rather tired and glad to lie down on the grass and rest when they
reached their old elm-tree; albeit, on Jupp setting to work to pick up
sticks for the fire that was to boil the kettle, first one and then
another jumped up to help, for, really, they could not be quiet very

The sticks being collected and Jupp having slung the camp-kettle over
them by the means of two forked props, in campaigning fashion, as he
well knew how to do as an old sailor, a match was quickly applied, and
there was soon a pleasant crackling sound of burning wood, accompanied
with showers of sparks like fireworks as the wind blew the blaze aside.

Soon, too, a nice thick column of smoke arose that reminded Conny of
what she had read of Indian encampments, although Jupp told her that if
he were abroad and near any of such dark-skinned gentry he would take
precious good care when making a fire to have as little smoke as

"Why?" asked Conny, always anxious for information in order to improve
her mind.

"Because I shouldn't like them to discover my whereabouts, unless, miss,
I knew 'em to be friends," said Jupp in answer.

"And how would you manage to have no smoke?" she next pertinently
inquired, like the sensible young lady she was.

"By always burning the very driest wood I could find, miss," replied
Jupp.  "It is only the green branches and such as has sap in it that
makes the smoke."

"Oh!" ejaculated Conny, "I shall remember that.  Thank you, Mr Jupp,
for telling me.  I often wondered how they contrived to conceal their

Teddy, with Cissy and Liz, had meanwhile been lying on the grass,
overcome with their exertions in stick-gathering, and were intently
watching a little glade in front of the elm-tree, some distance off
under a coppice.  Here they knew there were lots of rabbit-burrows, and
they were waiting for some of the little animals to come out and perform
their toilets, as they usually did in the afternoon and early evening,
preparing themselves for bed-time, as the children said; but, for a long
while, not one appeared in sight.

"Dere's a bunny at last," whispered Cissy as one peeped out from its
hiding-place; and, seeing no cause for alarm in the presence of the
little picnic party, with whom no doubt it was now well acquainted, it
came further out from the coppice, sitting up on its haunches in the
usual free-and-easy fashion of rabbitikins, and beginning to comb out
its whiskers with its paws.

At the sight of this, Puck, who of course was cuddled up tightly in
Teddy's arms, began to bark; but it was such a feeble little bark that
not even the most timid of rabbits would have been frightened at it,
while as for the one Puck wished to terrify, this simply treated him
with the utmost contempt, taking no notice either of bark or dog.

Three or four other rabbits, too, impressed with the beauty of the
afternoon and the advantages of the situation, now followed their
comrade's example, coming out from their burrows and squatting on the
turf of the sloping glade in a semicircle opposite the children; while,
the more poor Puck tried to express his indignation at their free-and-
easiness, the more nonchalantly they regarded him, sitting up
comfortably and combing away, enjoying themselves as thoroughly as if
there was no such thing as a dog in existence, Puck's faint coughing
bark being utterly thrown away upon them.

"Imp'dent tings!" said Teddy, unloosing the small terrier; "do and lick
'em, Puck!"

The little woolly lamb-like dog, who certainly possessed a larger amount
of courage than would reasonably have been imagined from his attenuated
appearance, at once darted after the rabbits, who, jerking their short
tails in the funniest way possible and throwing up their hind-legs as if
they were going to turn somersaults and come down on the other side,
darted off down the glade, making for the holes of their burrows under
the coppice.

The artful Puck, however, having chased the gentry before, was up to all
their little dodges, so, instead of running for the rabbits directly, he
attacked their flank, endeavouring to cut off their retreat; and, in
this object succeeding, away went the hunted animals, now scared out of
their lives, down the side of the hill to the bottom, with Puck charging
after them, and Teddy following close behind, and Cissy and Liz bringing
up the rear.

Miss Conny was much too dignified to chase rabbits.

"Stop, Master Teddy! stop!" cried Mary.  "Come back, Miss Liz and
Cissy--come back at once!"

The little girls immediately obeyed their nurse; but Teddy, who perhaps
in the ardour of the chase might not have heard her call, continued on
racing down the hill after Puck, as fast as his stumpy little legs could
carry him, his hat flying off and his pinafore streaming behind him in
the wind.

"Stop, Master Teddy, stop!" called out Mary again.

"Why can't you let him be?" said Jupp.  "He's only enj'ying hisself with
the rabbits, and can't come to no harm on the grass."

"Little you know about it," retorted Mary, rather crossly it seemed to
Jupp.  "Why, the river runs round just below the coppice; and if Master
Teddy runs on and can't stop himself, he'll fall into it--there!"

"My stars and stripes!" ejaculated Jupp starting up in alarm.  "I'll go
after him at once."

"You'd better," said Mary as he set off running down the hill after
Teddy, singing out loudly for him to stop in a sort of reef-topsails-in-
a-heavy-squall voice that you could have heard more than a cable's
length ahead!

The momentum Teddy had gained, however, from the descent of the glade
prevented him from arresting his rapid footsteps, although he heard
Jupp's voice, the slope inclining the more abruptly towards the bottom
of the hill.  Besides, Puck in pursuit of the rabbits was right in front
of him, and the dog, unable or unwilling to stop, bounded on into the
mass of rushes, now quite close, that filled the lower part of the
valley, and disappeared from Teddy's sight.

The next moment there was a wild yelp from Puck as he gripped the
rabbit, and both tumbled over the bank of the river into the water,
which was previously concealed from view; the dog's bark being echoed
immediately afterwards by a cry of alarm from Teddy and a heavy plunge,
as he, too, fell into the swiftly-flowing stream, and was borne out from
the bank by the rapid current away towards the mill-dam below!



"Well, I never!" panted out Jupp as he raced down the incline at a
headlong speed towards the spot where he had seen Teddy disappear, and
whence had come his choking cry of alarm and the splash he made as he
fell into the water.  "The b'y'll be drownded 'fore I can reach him!"

But, such was his haste, that, at the same instant in which he uttered
these words--more to himself than for anyone else's benefit, although he
spoke aloud--the osiers at the foot of the slope parted on either side
before the impetuous rush of his body, giving him a momentary glimpse of
the river, with Teddy's clutching fingers appearing just above the
surface and vainly appealing for help as he was sinking for the second
time; so, without pausing, the velocity he had gained in his run down
the declivity carrying him on almost in spite of himself, Jupp took a
magnificent header off the bank.  Then,--rising after his plunge, with a
couple of powerful strokes he reached the unconscious boy, whose
struggles had now ceased from exhaustion, and, gripping fast hold of one
of his little arms, he towed him ashore.

Another second and Jupp would have been too late, Teddy's nearly
lifeless little form having already been caught in the whirling eddy of
the mill-race.  Even as it was, the force of the on-sweeping current was
so great that it taxed all Jupp's powers to the utmost to withstand
being carried over the weir as he made for the side slanting-wise, so as
not to weary himself out uselessly by trying to fight against the full
strength of the stream, which, swollen with the rains of April, was
resistless in its flow and volume.

Swimming on his side, however, and striking out grandly, Jupp succeeded
at length in vanquishing the current, or rather made it serve his
purpose; and, presently, grasping hold of the branch of an alder that
hung over the river at the point of the bend, he drew himself up on the
bank with one hand, holding poor Teddy still with the other, to find
himself at the same moment confronted by Nurse Mary, with Cissy and Liz,
who had all hurried down the slope to the scene of the disaster.

"Oh, dear! oh, dear!--he's dead, he's dead!" wailed Mary, taking the
little fellow from Jupp and lifting him up in her arms, preparing to
start off at a run for the vicarage, while the little girls burst into a
torrent of tears.

"You just bide there!" said Jupp, preventing her from moving, and
looking like a giant Triton, all dripping with water, as he stepped
forward.  "You just bide there!"

"But he'll die if something's not done at once to restore him,"
expostulated Mary, vainly trying to get away from the other's
restraining hold.

"So he might, if you took him all that long way 'fore doin' anything,"
replied Jupp grimly.  "You gie him to me; I knows what's best to be
done.  I've seed chaps drounded afore aboard ship, and brought to life
ag'in by using the proper methods to git back the circularation, as our
doctor in the _Neptune_ used to call it.  You gie him to me!"

Impressed with his words, and knowing besides now from long acquaintance
that Jupp was what she called "a knowledgeable man," Mary accordingly
surrendered the apparently lifeless body of little Teddy; whereupon the
porter incontinently began to strip off all the boy's clothing, which of
course was wringing wet like his own.

"Have you got such a thing as a dry piece of flannel now, miss?" he then
asked Mary, hesitating somewhat to put his request into words, "like,

"You mean a flannel petticoat," said the girl promptly without the least
embarrassment in the exigencies of the case.  "Just turn your back,
please, Mr Jupp, and I'll take mine off and give it to you."

No sooner was this said than it was done; when, Teddy's little naked
body being wrapped up warmly in the garment Mary had surrendered, and
turned over on the right side, she began under Jupp's directions to rub
his limbs, while the other alternately raised and depressed the child's
arms, and thus exercising--a regular expansion and depression of his

After about five minutes of this work a quantity of water that he had
swallowed was brought up by the little fellow; and next, Mary could feel
a slight pulsation of his heart.

"He's coming round! he's coming round!" she cried out joyously, causing
little Cissy's tears to cease flowing and Liz to join Mary in rubbing
Teddy's feet.  "Go on, Mr Jupp, go on; and we'll soon bring him to."

"So we will," echoed her fellow-worker heartily, redoubling his
exertions to promote the circulation; and, in another minute a faint
flush was observable in Teddy's face, while his chest rose and fell with
a rhythmical motion, showing that the lungs were now inflated again and
in working order.

The little fellow had been brought back to life from the very gates of

"Hooray!" shouted Jupp when Teddy at length opened his eyes, staring
wonderingly at those bending over him, and drawing away his foot from
Liz as if she tickled him, whereat Mary burst into a fit of violent
hysterical laughter, which terminated in that "good cry" customary with
her sex when carried away by excess of emotion.

Then, all at once, Teddy appeared to recollect what had happened; for
the look of bewilderment vanished from his eyes and he opened his mouth
to speak in that quaint, formal way of his which Jupp said always
reminded him of a judge on the bench when he was had up before the court
once at Portsmouth for smuggling tobacco from a troopship when paid off!

"Were's Puck an' de bunny?" he asked, as if what had occurred had been
merely an interlude and he was only anxious about the result of the
rabbit hunt that had so unwittingly led to his unexpected immersion and
narrow escape from drowning.

No one in the greater imminence of Teddy's peril had previously thought
of the dog or rabbit; but now, on a search being made, Puck was
discovered shivering by the side of the river, having managed to crawl
out somehow or other.  As for the rabbit, which was only a young one or
the little woolly terrier could never have overtaken it in the chase
down the glade, no trace could be seen of it; and, consequently, it must
have been carried over the weir, where at the bottom of the river it was
now safe enough from all pursuit of either Puck or his master, and free
from all the cares of rabbit life and those ills that even harmless
bunnies have to bear!

When this point was satisfactorily settled, much to the dissatisfaction,
however, of Master Teddy, a sudden thought struck Mary.

"Why, wherever can Miss Conny be all this time?" she exclaimed, on
looking round and not finding her with the other children.

"See's done home," said Cissy laconically.

"Gone home!" repeated Mary.  "Why?"

"Done fets dwy c'o's for Teddy," lisped the little girl, who seemed to
have been well informed beforehand as to her sister's movements,
although she herself had hurried down with the nurse to the river bank
in company with the others immediately Jupp had rushed to Teddy's

"Well, I never!" ejaculated Mary, laughing again as she turned to Jupp.
"Who would have thought the little puss would have been so thoughtful?
But she has always been a funny child, older than her years, and almost
like an old woman in her ways."

"Bless you, she ain't none the worse for that!" observed Jupp in answer.
"She's a real good un, to think her little brother 'ud want dry things
arter his souse in the water, and to go and fetch 'em too without being

"I expect you'd be none the worse either for going back and changing
your clothes," said Mary, eyeing his wet garments.

"Lor', it don't matter a bit about me," he replied, giving himself a
good shake like a Newfoundland dog, and scattering the drops about,
which pleased the children mightily, as he did it in such a funny way.
"I rayther likes it nor not."

"But you might catch cold," suggested Mary kindly.

"Catch your grandmother!" he retorted.  "Sailors ain't mollycoddles."

"Wat's dat?" asked Teddy inquiringly, looking up at him.

"Why, sir," said Jupp, scratching his head reflectively--he had left his
cap under the elm-tree on top of the hill, where he had taken it off
when he set about building the fire for the kettle--"a mollycoddle is a
sort of chap as always wraps hisself up keerfully for fear the wind
should blow upon him and hurt his complexion."

"Oh!" said Teddy; but he did not seem any the wiser, and was about to
ask another question which might have puzzled Jupp, when Liz interrupted
the conversation, and changed the subject.

"There's Conny coming now, and Pa with her," she called out, pointing to
the top of the glade, where her father and elder sister could be seen
hurrying swiftly towards them, followed closely by Joe the gardener
bearing a big bundle of blankets and other things which the vicar
thought might be useful.

"My!  Master must have been scared!" cried Mary, noticing in the
distance the anxious father's face.  "Master Teddy do cause him trouble
enough, he's that fond of the boy!"

But, before Jupp could say anything in reply, the new arrivals had
approached the scene of action, Conny springing forward first of all and
hugging Teddy and Cissy and Liz all round.  In the exuberance of her
delight, too, at their being safe and sound, when in her nervous dread
she had feared the worst, she extended the same greeting to Mary and
Jupp; for, she was an affectionate little thing, and highly emotional in
spite of her usually staid demeanour and retiring nature.

The vicar, too, could hardly contain himself for joy, and broke down
utterly when he tried to thank Jupp for rescuing his little son; while
Joe the gardener, not to be behindhand in this general expression of
good-will and gratitude, squeezed his quondam rival's fist in his,
ejaculating over and over again, with a broad grin on his bucolic face,
"You be's a proper sort, you be, hey, Meaister?" thereby calling upon
the vicar, as it were, to testify to the truth of the encomium.

He was a very funny man, Joe!

When the general excitement had subsided, and Teddy, who had in the
meantime been stalking about, a comical little figure, attired in Mary's
flannel petticoat, was re-dressed in the fresh suit of clothes Joe had
brought for him amidst the blankets, the whole party adjourned up the
hill to their old rendezvous under the elm-tree.

Here they found, greatly to their surprise and gratification, that
Jupp's well-built fire had not gone out, as all expected, during the
unforeseen digression that had occurred to break the even tenor of their
afternoon's entertainment, although left so long unattended to.

On the contrary, it was blazing away at a fine rate, with the kettle
slung on the forked sticks above it singing and sputtering, emitting
clouds of steam the while, "like an engine blowing off," as the porter
observed; so, all their preparations having been already completed, the
children carried out their original intention of having a festal tea in
honour of "Pa's birthday," he being set in their midst and told to do
nothing, being the guest of the occasion.

Never did bread and butter taste more appetisingly to the little ones
than when thus eaten out in the woods, away from all such stuck-up
surroundings as tables and chairs, and plates, and cups and saucers, and
the other absurd conventionalities of everyday life.  They only had
three little tin pannikins for their tea, which they passed round in
turn, and a basket for their dish, using a leaf when the luxury of a
plate was desired by any sybarite of the party--those nice broad ones of
the dock making splendid platters.

Now, besides bread and butter, Molly the cook had compounded a delicious
dough-cake for them, having plums set in it at signal distances apart,
so conspicuous that any one could know they were there without going to
the trouble of counting them, which indeed would not have taken long to
do, their number being rather limited; and, what with the revulsion of
feeling at Teddy's providential escape, and the fact of having papa with
them, and all, they were in the very seventh heaven of enjoyment.

Conny and Cissy, who were the most active of the sprites, assisted by
the more deliberate Teddy and Liz, acted as "the grown-up people"
attending as hostesses and host to the requirements of "the children,"
as they called their father and Mary and Jupp, not omitting Joe the
gardener, who, squatting down on the extreme circumference of their
little circle, kept up a perpetual grin over the acres of bread and
butter he consumed, just as if he were having a real meal and not merely

The worthy gardener was certainly the skeleton, or cormorant, so to
speak, of the banquet, eating them almost out of house and home, it must
be mentioned in all due confidence; and, taking watch of his depravity
of behaviour in this respect, the thoughtful Conny registered an inward
determination never to invite Joe to another of their al fresco feasts,
if she could possibly avoid doing so without seriously wounding his
sensibilities.  The way he walked into that dough-cake would have made
anyone almost cry.

The fete, however, excepting this drawback, passed off successfully
enough without any other contretemps; and after the last crumb of cake
had been eaten by Joe, and the things packed up, the little party wended
their way home happily in the mellow May evening, through the fields
green with the sprouting corn, with the swallows skimming round them and
the lark high in the sky above singing her lullaby song for the night
and flopping down to her nest.

Towards the end of the month, however, Teddy managed somehow or other to
get into another scrape.

"There never was such a boy," as Mary said.  He was "always in hot

The queen's birthday coming round soon after the vicar's, Jupp,
remembering how it used to be kept up when he was in the navy, great
guns banging away at royal salutes while the small-arm men on board
fired a _feu de joie_, or "fire of joy," as he translated it by the aid
of Miss Conny, who happened just then to be studying French, he
determined to celebrate the anniversary as a loyal subject in similar
fashion at the vicarage, with the aid of a couple of toy cannon and a
small bag of powder which he purchased for the purpose.

Teddy, of course, was taken into his confidence, the artillery
experiments being planned for his especial delectation; so, coming up to
the house just about noon on the day of the royal anniversary, when he
was able to get away from the station for an hour, leaving his mate
Grigson in charge, he set about loading the ordnance and getting ready
for the salute, with a train laid over the touch-holes of the cannon to
set light to the moment it was twelve o'clock, according to the
established etiquette in the navy, a box of matches being placed handy
for the purpose.

As ill luck would have it, though, some few minutes before the proper
time, Mary, who was trying to sling a clothes-line in the back garden,
called Jupp to her assistance, and he being her attentive squire on all
occasions, and an assiduous cavalier of dames, hastened to help her,
leaving Teddy in charge of the loaded cannon, the gunpowder train, and
lastly, though by no means least, the box of matches.

The result can readily be foreseen.

Hardly had Jupp reached Mary's side and proceeded to hoist the
obstreperous clothes-line, when "Bang! bang!" came the reports of
distant cannonading on the front lawn, followed by an appalling yell
from the little girls, who from the safe point of vantage of the
drawing-room windows were looking on at the preparations of war.

To rush back through the side gate round to the front was but the work
of an instant with Jupp, and, followed by Mary, he was almost as quickly
on the spot as the sound of the explosion had been heard.

He thought that Master Teddy had only prematurely discharged the cannon,
and that was all; but when he reached the lawn what was his
consternation to observe a thick black cloud of smoke hanging in the
air, much greater than could possibly have been produced by the little
toy cannon being fired off, while Teddy, the cause of all the mischief,
was nowhere to be seen at all!



Not a trace of the boy could be seen anywhere.

The cause of the explosion was apparent enough; for, the little wooden
box on which Jupp had mounted the toy cannons, lashing them down firmly,
and securing them with breechings in sailor-fashion, to prevent their
kicking when fired, had been overturned, and a jug that he had brought
out from the house containing water to damp the fuse with, was smashed
to atoms, while of the box of matches and the bag of powder only a few
smouldering fragments remained--a round hole burned in the grass near
telling, if further proof were needed, that in his eagerness to start
the salute, Master Teddy, impatient as usual, had struck a light to
ignite the train, and this, accidentally communicating with the bag of
powder, had resulted in a grand flare-up of the whole contents.

This could be readily reasoned out at a glance; but, where could Teddy
be, the striker of the match, the inceptor of all the mischief?

Jupp could not imagine; hunt high, hunt low, as he might and did.

At first, he thought that the young iconoclast, as nothing could be
perceived of him on the lawn or flower-beds, had been blown up in the
air over the laurel hedge and into the lane; as, however, nothing could
be discovered of him here, either, after the most careful search, this
theory had to be abandoned, and Jupp was fairly puzzled.

Teddy had completely vanished!

It was very strange, for his sisters had seen him on the spot the moment
before the explosion.

Mary, of course, had followed Jupp round to the front of the house,
while the little girls came out on to the lawn; and Molly the cook, as
well as Joe the gardener, attracted by the commotion, had also been
assisting in the quest for the missing Teddy, prying into every hole and

But all their exertions were in vain; and there they stood in wondering

"P'aps," suggested Cissy, "he's done upstairs?"

"Nonsense, child!" said Conny decisively; "we would have seen him from
the window if he had come in."

"Still, we'd better look, miss," observed Mary, who was all pale and
trembling with anxiety as to the safety of her special charge.  "He may
have been frightened and rushed to the nursery to hide himself, as he
has done before when he has been up to something!"

So saying, she hurried into the passage, and the rest after her.

It was of no use looking into the drawing-room or kitchen, the little
girls having been in the former apartment all the time, and Molly in the
latter; but the parlour was investigated unsuccessfully, and every nook
and cranny of the study, a favourite play-ground of the children when
the vicar was out, as he happened to be this evening, fortunately or
unfortunately as the case might be, visiting the poor of his parish.

Still, there was not a trace of Teddy to be found.

The search was then continued upstairs amongst the bed-rooms by Mary and
Molly, accompanied by the three little girls, who marched behind their
elders in silent awe, Jupp and Joe remaining down in the hall and
listening breathlessly for some announcement to come presently from

The nursery disclosed nothing, neither did the children's sleeping room,
nor the vicar's chamber, although the beds were turned up and turned
down and looked under, and every cupboard and closet inspected as
cautiously as if burglars were about the premises; and Mary was about to
give up the pursuit as hopeless, when all at once, she thought she heard
the sound of a stifled sob proceeding from a large oak wardrobe in the
corner of the spare bed-room opposite the nursery, which had been left
to the last, and where the searchers were all now assembled.

"Listen!" she exclaimed in a whisper, holding up her finger to enjoin
attention; whereupon Cissy and Liz stopped shuffling their feet about,
and a silence ensued in which a pin might have been heard to drop.

Then, the noise of the stifled sobs that had at first attracted Mary's
notice grew louder, and all could hear Teddy's voice between the sobs,
muttering or repeating something at intervals to himself.

"I do believe he's saying his prayers!" said Mary, approaching the
wardrobe more closely with stealthy steps, so as not to alarm the little
stowaway, a smile of satisfaction at having at last found him crossing
her face, mingled with an expression of amazement--"Just hear what he is
repeating.  Hush!"

They all listened; and this was what they heard proceeding from within
the wardrobe, a sob coming in as a sort of hyphen between each word of
the little fellow's prayer.

"Dod--bess pa--an' Conny an' Liz--an' 'ittle Ciss--an' Jupp, de porter
man, an' Mary--an'--an'--all de oders--an' make me dood boy--an' I'll
neber do it again, amen!"

"The little darling!" cried Mary, opening the door of the wardrobe when
Teddy had got so far, and was just beginning all over again; but the
moment she saw within, she started back with a scream which at once
brought Jupp upstairs.  Joe the gardener still stopped, however, on the
mat below in the passage, as nothing short of a peremptory command from
the vicar would have constrained him to put his heavy clod-hopping boots
on the soft stair-carpet.  Indeed, it had needed all Mary's persuasion
to make him come into the hall, which he did as gingerly as a cat
treading on a hot griddle!

As Jupp could see for himself, when he came up to the group assembled
round the open door of the wardrobe there was nothing in the appearance
of poor Teddy to frighten Mary, although much to bespeak her pity and
sympathy--the little fellow as he knelt down in the corner showing an
upturned face that had been blistered by the gunpowder as it exploded,
besides being swollen to more than twice its ordinary size.  His
clothing was also singed and blackened like that of any sweep, while his
eyelashes, eyebrows, and front hair had all been burnt off, leaving him
as bare as a coot.

Altogether, Master Teddy presented a very sorry spectacle; and the
little girls all burst into tears as they looked at him, even Jupp
passing his coat-sleeve over his eyes, and muttering something about its
being "a bad job" in a very choky sort of voice.

It was but the work of an instant, however, for Mary to take up the
unfortunate sufferer in her arms, and there he sobbed out all his woes
as she cried over him on her way to the nursery, sending off Jupp
promptly for the doctor.

"I'se not do nuzzin," explained Teddy as he was being undressed, and his
burns dressed with oil and cotton-wool, pending the arrival of medical
advice.  "I'se only zust light de match an' den dere was a whiz; an' a
great big black ting lift me up an' trow me down, and den I climb up out
of de smoke an' run 'way here.  I was 'fraid of black ting comin' an'

"There was no black thing after you, child," said Conny.  "It was only
the force of the explosion that knocked you down, and the cloud of smoke
you saw, which hid you from us when you ran indoors."

"It was a black ting," repeated Teddy, unconvinced by the wise Miss
Conny's reasoning.  "I see him, a big black giant, same as de jinny in
story of de fairies; but I ran 'way quick!"

"All right, dear! never mind what it was now," said Mary soothingly.
"Do you feel any better now?"

"Poor mou's so sore," he whimpered, "an' 'ittle nosey can't breez!"

"Well, you shouldn't go meddling with matches and fire, as I've told you
often," said Mary, pointing her moral rather inopportunely.  Still she
patted and consoled the little chap as much as she could; and when
Doctor Jolly came up from Endleigh presently, he said that she had done
everything that was proper for the patient, only suggesting that his
face might be covered during the night with a piece of soft rag dipped
in Goulard water, so as to ease the pain of the brows and let the little
sufferer sleep.

The vicar did not return home until some time after the doctor had left
the house and Jupp gone back to his duties at the railway-station; but
although all traces of the explosion had been removed from the lawn and
the grass smoothed over by Joe the gardener, he knew before being told
that something had happened from the unusual stillness around, both
without and within doors, the little girls being as quiet as mice, and
Teddy, the general purveyor of news and noise, being not to the fore as

It was not long before he found out all about the accident; when there
was a grand to-do, as may be expected, Mr Vernon expressing himself
very strongly anent the fact of Jupp putting such a dangerous thing as
gunpowder within reach of the young scapegrace, and scolding Mary for
not looking after her charge better.

Jupp, too, got another "blowing up" from the station-master for being
behind time.  So, what with the general upset, and the dilapidated
appearance of Master Teddy, with his face like a boiled vegetable
marrow, when the bandages had been removed from his head and he was
allowed to get up and walk about again, the celebration of the Queen's
Birthday was a black day for weeks afterwards in the chronicles of the
vicar's household!

During the rest of the year, however, and indeed up to his eighth year,
the course of Teddy's life was uneventful as far as any leading incident
was concerned.

Of course, he got into various little scrapes, especially on those
occasions when his grandmother paid her periodic visits to the vicarage,
for the old lady spoiled him dreadfully, undoing in a fortnight all that
Mary had effected by months of careful teaching and training in the way
of obedience and manners; but, beyond these incidental episodes, he did
not distinguish himself by doing anything out of the common.

Teddy leisurely pursued that uneven tenor of way customary to boys of
his age, exhibiting a marked preference for play over lessons, and
becoming a great adept at field sports through Jupp's kindly tuition,
albeit poor Puck was no longer able to assist him in hunting rabbits,
the little dog having become afflicted with chronic asthma ever since
his immersion in the river when he himself had so narrowly escaped from

If water, though, had worked such ill to Puck, the example did not
impress itself much on Teddy; for, despite his own previous peril, he
was for ever getting himself into disgrace by going down to the river to
catch sticklebacks against express injunctions to the contrary, when
left alone for any length of time without an observant and controlling
eye on his movements.  He was also in the habit of joining the village
boys at their aquatic pranks in the cattle-pond that occupied a
prominent place in the meadows below Endleigh--just where the spur of
one of the downs sloped before preparing for another rise, forming a
hollow between the hills.

Here Master Teddy had loved to go on the sly, taking off his shoes and
stockings and paddling about as the shoe and stockingless village
urchins did; and this summer, not satisfied with simple paddling as of
yore, he bethought himself of a great enterprise.

The pond was of considerable extent, and when it was swollen with rain,
as happened at this period, the month of June being more plentiful than
usual of moisture, its surface covered several acres, the water being
very deep between its edge and the middle, where it shallowed again, the
ground rising there and forming a sort of island that had actually an
alder-tree growing on it.

Now, Teddy's ambition was to explore this island, a thing none of the
village boys had dreamed of, all being unable to swim; so, as the
wished-for oasis could not be reached in that fashion, the next best
thing to do was to build a boat like Robinson Crusoe and so get at it in
that way.

As a preliminary, Teddy sounded the ex-sailor as to the best way of
building a boat, without raising Jupp's suspicions--for, the worthy
porter, awed by the vicar's reprimand anent the _feu de joie_ affair and
Mary's continual exhortations, had of late exhibited a marked
disinclination to assist him in doing anything which might lead him into
mischief--artfully asking him what he would do if he could find no tree
near at hand large enough that he could hollow out for the purpose; but,
Jupp could give him no information beyond the fact that he must have a
good sound piece of timber for the keel, and other pieces curved in a
particular fashion for the strakes, and the outside planking would
depend a good deal whether he wanted the boat clinker-built or smooth-

"But how then," asked Teddy--he could speak more plainly now than as a
five-year old--"do people get off from ships when they have no boat?"

"Why, they builds a raft, sir," answered Jupp.

"A raft--what is that?"

"Why, sir, it means anything that can swim," replied Jupp, quite in his
element when talking of the sea, and always ready to spin a yarn or tell
what he knew.  "It might be made of spare spars, or boards, or anything
that can float.  When I was in the _Neptune_ off Terra del Faygo I've
seed the natives there coming off to us seated on a couple of branches
of a tree lashed together, leaves and all."

"Oh, thank you," said Teddy, rejoiced to hear this, the very hint he
wanted; "but what did they do for oars?"

"They used sticks, in course, sir," answered the other, quite
unconscious of what the result of his information would be, and that he
was sowing the seeds of a wonderful project; and Teddy presently leading
on the conversation in a highly diplomatic way to other themes, Jupp
forgot bye and bye what he had been talking about.

Not so, however, Master Teddy.

The very next day, taking up Puck in his arms, and getting away
unperceived from home soon after the early dinner, which the children
always partook of at noon, he stole down to the pond, where, collecting
some of the little villagers to assist him, a grand foray was made on
the fencing of the fields and a mass of material brought to the water's

Teddy had noted what Jupp had said about the Tierra del Fuegans lashing
their rude rafts together, so he took down with him from the house a
quantity of old clothes-lines which he had discovered in the back
garden.  These he now utilised in tying the pieces of paling from the
fences together with, after which a number of small boughs and branches
from the hedges were laid on top of the structure, which was then pushed
off gently from the bank on to the surface of the pond.

Hurrah, it floated all right!

Teddy therefore had it drawn in again, and stepped upon the raft, which,
although it sank down lower in the water and was all awash, still seemed
buoyant.  He also took Puck with him, and tried to incite some others of
the boys to venture out in company with him.

The little villagers, however, were wiser in their generation, and being
unused to nautical enterprise were averse to courting danger.

"You're a pack of cowards!"  Teddy exclaimed, indignant and angry at
their drawing back thus at the last moment.  "I'll go by myself."

"Go 'long, master," they cried, noways abashed by his comments on their
conduct; "we'll all watch 'ee."

Naturally plucky, Teddy did not need any further spurring, so, all alone
on his raft, with the exception of the struggling Puck, who did not like
leaving _terra firma_, and was more of a hindrance than an aid, he
pushed out into the pond, making for the islet in the centre by means of
a long pole which he had thinned off from a piece of fencing, sticking
it into the mud at the bottom and pushing against it with all his might.
Meanwhile, the frail structure on which he sat trembled and wobbled
about in the most unseaworthy fashion, causing him almost to repent of
his undertaking almost as soon as he had started, although he had the
incense of popular admiration to egg him on, for the village boys were
cheering and hooraying him like--"like anything," as he would himself
have said!



The road from the vicarage to the village and station beyond passed
within a hundred yards or so of the pond; but from the latter being
situated in a hollow and the meadows surrounding it inclosed within a
hedge of thick brushwood, it could only be seen by those passing to and
fro from one point--where the path began to rise above the valley as it
curved round the spur of the down.

It was Saturday also, when, as Teddy well knew, his father would be
engaged on the compilation of his Sunday sermon, and so not likely to be
going about the parish, as was his custom of an afternoon, visiting the
sick, comforting the afflicted, and warning those evil-doers who
preferred idleness and ale at the "Lamb" to honest toil and uprightness
of living; consequently the young scapegrace was almost confident of
non-interruption from any of his home folk, who, besides being too busy
indoors to think of him, were ignorant of his whereabouts.  It was also
Jupp's heaviest day at the station, so _he_ couldn't come after him he
thought; and he was enjoying himself to his heart's content, when as the
Fates frequently rule it, the unexpected happened.

Miss Conny, now a tall slim girl of thirteen, but more sedate and
womanly even than she had been at ten, if that were possible, was
occupied in the parlour "mending the children's clothes," as she
expressed it in her matronly way, when she suddenly missed a large reel
of darning cotton.  Wondering what had become of it, for, being neat and
orderly in her habits, her things seldom strayed from their proper
places, she began hunting about for the absent article in different
directions and turning over the piles of stockings before her.

"Have you seen it?" she asked Liz, who was sitting beside her, also
engaged in needlework, but of a lighter description, the young lady
devoting her energies to the manufacture of a doll's mantilla.

"No," said Liz abstractedly, her mouth at the time being full of pins
for their more handy use when wanted, a bad habit she had acquired from
a seamstress occasionally employed at the vicarage.

"Dear me, I wonder if I left the reel upstairs," said Conny, much
concerned at the loss; and she was just about prosecuting the search
thither when Cissy threw a little light on the subject, explaining at
once the cause of the cotton's disappearance.

"Don't you recollect, Con," she observed, "you lent it to Teddy the
other day?  I don't s'pose he ever returned it to you, for I'm sure I
saw it this morning with his things in the nursery."

"No more he did," replied Conny.  "Please go and tell him to bring it
back.  I know where you'll find him.  Mary is helping Molly making a
pie, and he's certain to be in the kitchen dabbling in the paste."

"All right!" said Cissy; and presently her little musical voice could be
heard calling through the house, "Teddy!  Teddy!" as she ran along the
passage towards the back.

Bye and bye, however, she returned to the parlour unsuccessful.

"I can't see him anywhere," she said.  "He's not with Mary, or in the
garden, or anywhere!"

"Oh, that boy!" exclaimed Conny.  "He's up to some mischief again, and
must have gone down to the village or somewhere against papa's orders.
Do you know where he is, Liz?"

"No," replied the young sempstress, taking the pins out of her mouth
furtively, seeing that Conny was looking at her.  "He ran out of the
house before we had finished dinner, and took Puck with him."

"Then he has gone off on one of his wild pranks," said her elder sister,
rising up and putting all the stockings into her work-basket.  "I will
go and speak to papa."

The vicar had just finished the "thirdly, brethren," of his sermon; and
he was just cogitating how to bring in his "lastly," and that favourite
"word more in conclusion" with which he generally wound up the weekly
discourse he gave his congregation, when Conny tapped at the study door
timidly awaiting permission to enter.

"What's the matter?" called out Mr Vernon rather testily, not liking to
be disturbed in his peroration.

"I want to speak to you, papa," said Conny, still from without.

"Then come in," he answered in a sort of resigned tone of voice, it
appearing to him as one of the necessary ills of life to be interrupted,
and he as a minister bound to put up with it; but this feeling of
annoyance passed off in a moment, and he spoke gently and kindly enough
when Conny came into the room.

"What is it, my dear?" he asked, smiling at his little housekeeper, as
he called her, noticing her anxious air; "any trouble about to-morrow's
dinner, or something equally serious?"

"No, papa," she replied, taking his quizzing in earnest.  "The dinner is
ordered, and nothing the matter with it that I know of.  I want to speak
to you about Teddy."

"There's nothing wrong with him, I hope?" said he, jumping up from his
chair and wafting some of the sheets of his sermon from the table with
his flying coat-tails in his excitement and haste.  "Nothing wrong, I

Although a quiet easy-going man generally, the vicar was wrapt up in all
his children, trying to be father and mother in one to them and making
up as much as in him lay for the loss of that maternal love and guidance
of which they were deprived at an age when they wanted it most; but of
Teddy he was especially fond, his wife having died soon after giving him
birth, and, truth to say, he spoiled him almost as much as that
grandmother whose visitations were such a vexed question with Mary,
causing her great additional trouble with her charge after the old lady

"Nothing wrong, papa dear, that I know of," replied Conny in her formal
deliberative sort of way; "but, I'm afraid he has gone off with those
village boys again, for he's nowhere about the place."

"Dear me!" ejaculated the vicar, shoving up his spectacles over his
forehead and poking his hair into an erect position like a cockatoo's
crest, as he always did when fidgety.  "Can't you send somebody after

"Mary is busy, and Teddy doesn't mind Joe, so there's no use in sending

"Dear me!" ejaculated her father again.  "I'm afraid he's getting very
headstrong--Teddy, I mean, not poor Joe!  I must really get him under
better control; but, I--I don't like to be harsh with him, Conny, you
know, little woman," added the vicar dropping his voice.  "He's a brave,
truthful little fellow with all his flow of animal spirits, and his eyes
remind me always of your poor mother when I speak sternly to him and he
looks at me in that straightforward way of his."

"Shall I go after him, papa?" interposed Conny at this juncture, seeing
that a wave of memory had carried back her father into the past, making
him already forget the point at issue.

"What?  Oh, dear me, no!" said the vicar, recalled to the present.
"I'll go myself."

"But your sermon, papa?"

"It's just finished, and I can complete what has to be added when I come
back.  No--yes, I'll go; besides, now, I recollect, I have to call at
Job Trotter's to try and get him to come to church to-morrow.  Yes, I'll
go myself."

So saying, the vicar put on the hat Conny handed to him, for she had to
look after him very carefully in this respect, as he would sometimes,
when in a thinking fit, go out without any covering on his head at all!

Then, taking his stick, which the thoughtful Conny likewise got out of
the rack in the hall, he went out of the front door and over the lawn,
through the little gate beyond.  He then turned into the lane that led
across the downs to the village, Miss Conny having suggested this as the
wisest direction in which to look for Teddy, from the remembrance of
something the young scapegrace had casually dropped in conversation when
at dinner.

As he walked along the curving lane, the air was sweet with the scent of
dry clover and the numerous wild flowers that twined amongst the
blackberry bushes of the hedgerows.  Insects also buzzed about, creating
a humming music of their own, while flocks of starlings startled by his
approach flew over the field next him to the one further on, exhibiting
their speckled plumage as they fluttered overhead, and the whistle of
the blackbird and coo of the ring-dove could be heard in the distance.

But the vicar was thinking of none of these things.

Conny's words about Teddy not minding Joe the gardener, or anybody else
indeed, had awakened his mind to the consciousness that he had not given
proper consideration to the boy's mental training.

Teddy's education certainly was not neglected, for he repeated his
lessons regularly to his father and displayed the most promising signs
of advancement; but, lessons ended, he was left entirely to the
servants.  The vicar reflected, that this ought not to be permitted with
a child at an age when impressions of right and wrong are so easily
made, never to be effaced in after life, once the budding character is

He would correct this error, the vicar determined; in future he would
see after him more personally!

Just as he arrived at this sound conclusion the vicar reached the bend
of the lane where it sloped round by the spur of the down, a bustling
bumblebee making him notice this by brushing against his nose as he
buzzed through the air in that self-satisfied important way that all
bumblebees affect in their outdoor life; and, looking over the hedge
that sank down at this point, he saw a group of boys gathered round the
edge of the pond.

He did not recognise Teddy amongst them; but, fancying the urchins might
be able to tell him something of his movements, he made towards them,
climbing through a gap in the fence and walking down the sloping side of
the hill to the meadow below.

The boys, catching sight of him, immediately began to huddle together
like a flock of sheep startled by the appearance of some strange dog;
and he could hear them calling out some words of warning, in which his
familiar title "t'parson" could be plainly distinguished.

"The young imps must be doing something wrong, and are afraid of being
found out," thought the vicar.  "Never mind, though, I sha'n't be hard
on them, remembering my own young truant!"

As he got nearer, he heard the yelp of a dog as if in pain or alarm.

"They're surely not drowning some poor animal," said the vicar aloud,
uttering the new thought that flashed across his mind.  "If so, I shall
most certainly be severe with them; for cruelty is detestable in man or

Hurrying on, he soon obtained a clear view of the pond, and he could now
see that not only were a lot of boys clustered together round the edge
of the water, but towards the centre something was floating like a raft
with apparently another boy on it, who was holding a struggling white
object in his arms, from which evidently the yelps proceeded--his ears
soon confirming the supposition.

"Hullo! what are you doing there?" shouted the vicar, quickening his
pace.  "Don't hurt the poor dog!"

To his intense astonishment the boy on the floating substance turned his
face towards him, answering his hail promptly with an explanation.

"It's Puck, padie, and I ain't hurting him."

Both the face and the voice were Teddy's!

The vicar was completely astounded.

"Teddy!" he exclaimed, "can I believe my eyes?--is it really you?"

"Yes, it's me, padie," replied the young scapegrace, trying to balance
himself upright on the unsteady platform as he faced his father, but not
succeeding in doing so very gracefully.

"Why, how on earth--or rather water, that would be the most correct
expression," said the vicar correcting himself, being a student of Paley
and a keen logician as to phraseology; "how did you get there?"

"I made a raft," explained Teddy in short broken sentences, which were
interrupted at intervals through the necessary exertion he had to make
every now and then to keep from tumbling into the water and hold Puck.
"I made a raft like--like Robinson Crusoe, and--and--I've brought Puck--
uck with me, 'cause I didn't have a parrot or a cat.  I--I--I wanted to
get to the island; b-b-but I can't go any further as the raft is stuck,
and--and I've lost my stick to push it with.  Oh--I was nearly over

"It would be a wholesome lesson to you if you got a good ducking!" said
the vicar sternly, albeit the reminiscences of Robinson Crusoe and the
fact of Teddy endeavouring to imitate that ideal hero of boyhood struck
him in a comical light and he turned away to hide a smile.  "Come to the
bank at once, sir!"

Easy enough as it was for the vicar to give this order, it was a very
different thing for Teddy, in spite of every desire on his part, to obey
it; for, the moment he put down Puck on the leafy flooring of the raft,
the dog began to howl, making him take it up again in his arms.  To add
to his troubles, also, he had dropped his sculling pole during a lurch
of his floating platform, so he had nothing now wherewith to propel it
either towards the island or back to the shore, the raft wickedly
oscillating midway in the water between the two, like Mahomet's coffin
'twixt heaven and earth!

Urged on, however, by his father's command, Teddy tried as gallantly as
any shipwrecked mariner to reach land again; but, what with Puck
hampering his efforts, and his brisk movements on the frail structure,
this all at once separated into its original elements through the
clothes-line becoming untied, leaving Teddy struggling amidst the debris
of broken rails and branches--Puck ungratefully abandoning his master in
his extremity and making instinctively for the shore.

The vicar plunged in frantically to the rescue, wading out in the mud
until he was nearly out of his depth, and then swimming up to Teddy,
who, clutching a portion of his dismembered raft, had managed to keep
afloat; although, he was glad enough when his father's arm was round him
and he found himself presently deposited on the bank in safety, where
they were now alone, all the village boys having rushed off _en masse_,
yelling out the alarm at the pitch of their voices the moment Teddy fell
in and the vicar went after him.

Both were in a terrible pickle though, with their garments soaking wet,
of course; while the vicar especially was bedraggled with mud from head
to foot, looking the most unclerical object that could be well imagined.
However, he took the whole matter good-humouredly enough, not scolding
Teddy in the least.

"The best thing we can do, my son," he said when he had somewhat
recovered his breath, not having gone through such violent exercise for
many a long day.--"The best thing we can do is to hurry off home as fast
we can, so as to arrive there before they hear anything of the accident
from other sources, or the girls will be terribly alarmed about us."

Teddy, without speaking, tacitly assented to this plan by jumping up
immediately and clutching hold of the shivering Puck, whose asthma, by
the way, was not improved by this second involuntary ducking; and the
two were hastening towards the vicarage when they heard a horse trotting
behind them, Doctor Jolly riding up alongside before they had proceeded
very far along the lane, after clambering out of the field where the
pond was situated.

"Bless me!" cried the doctor; "why, here are you both safe and sound,
when those village urchins said you and Master Teddy were drownded!"

"Ah!  I thought these boys were up to something of the sort when they
all scampered off in a batch without lending us a helping hand!" replied
the vicar laughing.  "I was just telling Teddy this, thinking the report
would reach home before us."

"Aye, all happen, Vernon?  'Pon my word, you're in a fine mess!"

The vicar thereupon narrated all that had occurred, much to the doctor's

"Well," he exclaimed at the end of the story, "that boy of yours is cut
out for something, you may depend.  He won't be drowned at any rate!"

"No," said the vicar reflectively; "this is the second merciful escape
he has had from the water."

"Yes, and once from fire, too," put in the other, alluding to the
gunpowder episode.  "He's a regular young desperado!"

"I hope not, Jolly," hastily interposed the vicar.  "I don't like your
joking about his escapades in that way.  I hope he will be good--eh, my
boy?" and he stroked Teddy's head as he walked along by his side, father
and son being alike hatless, their headgear remaining floating on the
pond, along with the remains of the raft, to frighten the frogs and

Teddy uttered no reply; but his little heart was full, and he made many
inward resolves, which, alas! his eight-year-old nature was not strong
enough to keep.



He really did not mean any harm; but mischief is mischief whether
intentional or not, and somehow or other he seemed continually to be
getting into it.  Circumstances, over which, of course, he had no
control, continually overruled his anxious desire to be good.

As Doctor Jolly said, with his usual strident hearty laugh that could be
heard half a mile off, and which was so contagious that it made people
smile whose thoughts were the reverse of gay, Teddy was always in hot
water, "except, by Jove, when he plunged into the cold, ho, ho!"

With reference to this latter point, however, it may be mentioned here,
that albeit he had twice been mercifully preserved from drowning, the
vicar, while trustful enough in the divine workings of Providence, did
not think it altogether right to allow Teddy's insurance against a
watery grave to be entirely dependent on chance; and so, that very
evening, when Jupp came up to the house after he had done his work at
the station, he broached the subject to him as soon as the worthy porter
had been made cognisant of all the facts connected with the raft

"No," said the vicar, so carried away by his feelings that he almost
added "my brethren," fancying himself in the pulpit delivering a homily
to his congregation generally, instead of only addressing one hearer,
"we ought not to neglect any wise precaution in guarding against those
dangers that beset our everyday lives.  Lightly spoken as the adage is,
that `God helps those who help themselves,' it is true enough."

"Aye, aye, sir, and so say I," assented Jupp, rather mystified as to
"what the parson was a-driving at," as he mentally expressed it, by this
grand beginning, and thinking it had some reference to his not being
present at the pond to rescue Teddy in his peril, which he keenly

"This being my impression," continued the vicar, completing his period,
as if rounding a sentence in one of his sermons, wherein he was
frequently prone to digress, "and I'm glad to learn from your
acquiescent reply that you agree with me on the main issue, eh?"

Jupp nodded his head again, although now altogether in a fog regarding
the other's meaning.

"Well, then," said the vicar, satisfied with having at last cleared the
ground for stating his proposition, "I want you to devote any leisure
time you may have in the course of the next few weeks to teaching my son
to swim; so that, in the event of his unhappily falling into the water
again, when neither you nor I may be near, he may be able to save
himself--under providence, that is."

"I was just about a-thinking on the same thing, sir, when you began a-
speaking," observed Jupp thoughtfully, scratching his head in his
reflective way as he stood before the vicar cap in hand at the door of
the study, where the conference was being held.  "I fancied you didn't
like me taking him down to the river, or I'd have taught him to swim
long ago, I would, sir!"

"Then I may depend on your doing so now, eh?"

"Sartenly, sir!  I'll be proud, that I will, to show him," answered Jupp
eagerly, mightily pleased with the task intrusted to him, having long
wished to undertake it; and so, he being willing, and his pupil nothing
loth, Teddy was in a comparatively short space so well instructed how to
support himself in the water that he was quite capable of swimming
across the river without fear of being sucked down into the mill-race--
although he made both his father and Jupp a promise, which he honourably
kept, of never bathing there unless accompanied by either of the two.

Not only this, but he could also essay the muddy depths of the pond in
the meadow whenever the fancy seized him, exploring the little island in
its centre at his own sweet will; and this accomplishment, as will be
seen further on, stood him in good stead at one of the most critical
periods of his life, although this is anticipating.

But, learning swimming, and so lessening the risk attending peril by
water, did not prevent him from getting into scrapes on land; for, he
was a brave, fearless boy, and these very qualities, added to a natural
impulsiveness of disposition, were continually leading him into rash
enterprises which almost invariably ended in mishap and disaster, if not
to himself, to those who unwittingly were involved in his ventures,

In his ninth year, Jupp got a rise on the line, being promoted to be
assistant station-master at a neighbouring town, which necessarily
involved his leaving Endleigh; and, being now also able to keep a wife
in comfort, the long courtship which had been going on between him and
Mary was brought to a happy conclusion by matrimony, a contingency that
involved the loss to the vicar's household of Mary's controlling
influence, leaving Master Teddy more and more to himself, with no one in
authority to look after him.

Under these circumstances, the vicar, acting on Doctor Jolly's advice,
sent him to a small private school in the village where the farmers'
sons of the vicinity were taught the rudiments of their education, Teddy
going thither every morning and afternoon in company with his sisters
Liz and Cissy, who received lessons from a retired governess dwelling
hard by--the three children returning home in the middle of the day for
their dinner, and again on the termination of their tasks in the

Miss Conny, who had passed through the same curriculum, had grown too
old for her teacher, and now remained at the vicarage, installed as her
father's housekeeper and head of the family in his absence.

This arrangement worked very well for a time, although Teddy did not
make any very rapid progress at his studies, his mind being more turned
to outdoor sports than book lore; but the association with others made
him, if more manly, less tractable, developing his madcap propensities
to a very considerable extent, if merely from his desire to emulate his

One day, when going homewards with Liz and Cissy across the fields from
Endleigh, the trio came upon a group of the idle boys of the village who
were assembled in front of an inclosed paddock containing Farmer Giles's
brindled bull, a savage animal, whose implacable viciousness was the
talk of the place; not even the ploughman, with whom he was more
familiar than anyone else, daring to approach him without the protection
of a long-handled pitchfork.

Neither Farmer Giles nor any of his men were about, and the boys, taking
advantage of the opportunity, were baiting the bull by shying clods at
him and otherwise rousing his temper, when Teddy and his sisters came

Teddy fired up at once at the sight.

"You cowards!" he cried; "you stand there behind the fence pelting the
poor animal, but none of you have the pluck to go inside and do it!"

"No more have you, Meaister," retorted one of the biggest of the boys, a
rustic lout of sixteen.  "You ain't got the plook t' go inside yoursen!"

"Haven't I?" said Teddy in answer to this taunt; and before his sisters
could prevent him he had darted over to where the boys were standing,
and climbing over the stout five-barred gate that gave admittance to the
inclosure, let himself down into the paddock--confronting the bull
without even a stick in his hand.

The savage animal appeared so much surprised at the temerity of such a
little fellow as Teddy invading his domain, that he allowed him to
advance several steps without making a movement; when, putting down his
head, as if trying the points of his horns, and pawing the ground, he
uttered a wild bellow that brought forth a responsive shriek from Cissy.

"Come back, Teddy, come back!" she screamed, turning quite pale with
fright.  "He's coming after you, and will toss you on his cruel horns.
Oh, do come back!"

Teddy, however, still continued advancing towards the infuriated brute,
waving his arms and shouting in the endeavour to intimidate it.  He was
sorry he had gone into the paddock; but he had some idea that if he
retreated the bull would make a rush at him, and thought that by showing
he was not afraid, he might presently retire with all the honours of
war, so he preserved a courageous front, although his heart went pit-a-
pat all the while.

Again, the bull lowered his horns and tossed up his head.

He was quite close to him now; and Teddy stopped, the bull eyeing him
and he looking at it steadfastly.

The situation was alarming, so he stepped back gingerly, whereupon the
bull advanced at the same moment, with another loud bellow, the smoke
coming out of his red nostrils, and his little eyes flaming with fire.

This caused all Teddy's courage to evaporate, and the next moment,
forgetting all his previous caution, he turned and ran as hard as he
could for the gate; but, the bull, in two strides, catching him up on
his horns like a bundle of hay, tossed him high in the air, amidst the
screams and shouts of Cissy and Liz and all the village boys commingled,
the triumphant roar of the animal overtopping them all as it bellowed
forth a paean of victory.

Fortunately for Teddy, a pollard elm stood just within the paddock,
breaking his fall as he tumbled towards the ground, where the bull was
looking up awaiting him, with the intention of catching him again on his
horns; and the branches receiving his body in their friendly shelter, he
was saved from tumbling down, when he would have been at the mercy of
his enemy.

Still, there he hung, like Absalom, another naughty boy before him,
suspended by his clothes if not by his hair, the bull bellowing and
keeping guard round the tree to prevent his further escape; and it was
not until the ploughman had been called by one of the village boys and
driven away the animal that Teddy was able to climb down from his
insecure perch and regain the others.

He was glad enough to get out of the paddock, it may be safely asserted;
and then, when he was examined, it was discovered, much to the wonder of
everybody, including himself, that, beyond a scratch or two from the
branches of the elm, he was quite unhurt, in spite of the toss the bull
gave him and his unexpected flight through the air!

But his daring, if unproductive of any evil consequences towards himself
personally, caused harm to others, the ploughman being badly gored while
driving off the violent animal through his missing his footing when
aiming a blow at it with his pitchfork; while poor Cissy was in such a
fright at the mishap, that after screaming herself hoarse she went off
in hysterics, the attack ending in a fit of convulsions on her getting
home, making her so ill that the doctor had to be summoned to bring her
back to consciousness.

Teddy in consequence had a serious lecture from the vicar, who pointed
out to him the difference between real courage and foolhardiness; but
the lesson did not strike very deep, and soon he was his wayward self
again, his sister Conny being too near his own age to have any authority
over him, while his father was too much of a student and dreamer to
exercise any judicious control in restraining his exuberant nature.

By the time he was twelve years of age he was like a wild unbroken colt,
although he had still the same honest outspoken look in his bright blue
eyes, and was a fine manly little fellow who would not have, told a lie
to save himself from punishment, or wilfully hurt chick or child; but,
scapegrace he was still, as he had been almost from his earliest

He really could not help it.

When Jupp and Mary paid their periodical visit at the vicarage to see
how the family were getting on, bringing anon another little Jupp with
them, they were certain to hear of something terrible that Master Teddy
had done; for all the village talked of him now and took heed of his
misdeeds, the recital of which, as is usual in such cases, lost nothing
by the telling.

They were only ordinary boyish freaks; but they seemed awful to the
quiet, sleepy countryfolk who inhabited Endleigh.

Once, his grandmother rather unwisely brought down a pistol for him from
London; and Teddy thereupon having his imagination excited by what he
had read of pirates and highwaymen in the works of romance which he
devoured whenever he could get hold of them, went about fancying himself
a bold buccaneer and freebooter, firing at everything moving within as
well as out of range, along the solitary country lanes and hedgerows--
thereby frightening passers-by frequently with untimely shots close to
their ears, and making them believe their last hour had come.

It was in this way that he peppered old Stokes's sow, which was taking a
quiet walk abroad seeking a convenient wallowing place, when the squeals
of the unlucky beast were a nine days' wonder, albeit "it was all cry
and little wool," as the Irishman said when he shaved his pig, the
animal being not much hurt.

Still, old Stokes did not like it, and complained to the squire, who
remonstrated with the vicar, and the latter in his turn lectured Teddy--
the matter ending there as far as he was concerned, although the squeals
of the afflicted sow were treasured up and remembered against him in the
chronicles of Endleigh.

The place was so dull, that having nothing particular to keep him
occupied--for he had long since learned all the village schoolmaster
could teach him, and it was a mere farce his remaining any longer under
his tutelage--the wonder was, not that Teddy got into any mischief at
all, but that he did not fall into more; and Doctor Jolly was
continually speaking to his father about neglecting him in that way,
urging that he should be sent to some good boarding-school at a distance
to prepare him for the university, Mr Vernon intending that the boy
should follow in his own footsteps and go into the church, having the
same living after him that he had inherited from his father.

But the vicar would not hear of this.

"No," said he, "he shall stop here and be educated by me in the same way
as I was educated by my poor father before going to Oxford.  He's a
bright intelligent boy--you don't think him an ignoramus, Jolly, eh?"

"Not by any means, by Jove," laughed the doctor.  "He knows too much
already.  What I think he wants is a little proper restraint and
control.  Master Teddy has too much his own way."

"Ah!  I can't be hard with him, Jolly," sighed the vicar.  "Whenever I
try to speak to him with severity he looks me in the face with those
blue eyes of his, and I think of my poor wife, his mother.  He's the
very image of her, Jolly!"

"Well, well," said the doctor, putting the subject away, considering it
useless to press the point; "I'm afraid you'll regret it some day,
though I hope not."

"I hope not, indeed," replied the vicar warmly.  "Teddy isn't a bad boy.
He has never told me a falsehood in his life, and always confesses to
any fault he has committed."

"That doesn't keep him out of mischief though," said the doctor grimly
as he went off, atoning to himself for having found fault with Teddy by
giving him a drive out to the squire's, and allowing him to take his
horse and gig back by himself, an indulgence that lifted Teddy into the
seventh heaven of delight.

However, as events turned out, the very means by which the doctor
thought to clear the reproach from his own soul of having advised the
vicar about Teddy, indirectly led to his advice being followed.

On alighting at the squire's and handing him the reins, he told Teddy to
be very particular in driving slowly, the horse being a high-spirited
one, and apt to take the bit in his teeth if given his head or touched
with the whip; so, as long as he was in sight Teddy obeyed these
injunctions, coaxing the bay along as quietly as if he were assisting at
a funeral procession.

Directly he got beyond range of observation from the house, though, he
made amends for his preliminary caution, shaking the reins free, and
giving the horse a smart cut under the loins that made it spring forward
like a goat, almost jumping out of the traces; and then, away it tore
along the road towards the village at the rate of twenty miles an hour,
the gig bounding from rut to rut as if it were a kangaroo, and shaking
Teddy's bones together like castanets.

Once the animal had got its head, the boy found it useless to try and
stop him; while, as for guidance, the horse no more cared about his
pulling at the bit than if he were a fly, plunging onward in its wild
career, and whisking the gig from side to side, so that Teddy was fully
employed in holding on without attempting to pull the reins at all.

For a mile or two the roadway was pretty clear, but on nearing Endleigh
it became narrower; and here, just in front, Teddy could see a loaded
farm wagon coming along.

To have passed it safely either he or the wagoner would have had to pull
up on one side; but with him now it was impossible to do this, while the
driver of the other vehicle was half asleep, and nodding from amidst the
pile of straw with which the wagon was loaded, letting the team jingle
along at a slow walk.

A collision, therefore, was inevitable, and hardly had Teddy come to
this conclusion than smash, bang, it followed!

There was a terrible jolt, and he suddenly felt himself doing a
somersault, waking up the wagoner by tumbling on top of him above the
straw, whither he had hurled as from a catapult by the sudden stoppage
of the gig in its mad career; and when he came to himself he saw that
the fragments of the vehicle lay scattered about under the front of the
wagon, against which it had been violently impelled, the bay cantering
down to its own stable with its broken traces dangling behind it.

Teddy was thunderstruck at the mishap.

He had not thought there was any danger in disobeying the doctor's
instructions, and yet here was the gig smashed up and the wagoner's
horses injured irreparably, one poor brute having to be shot afterwards;
besides which he did not know what had become of the runaway animal.

All the mishap had arisen through disobedience!

He went home at once and told his father everything; but the vicar,
though comforting him by saying that he would get the doctor a new gig,
and recompense the farmer to whom the wagon belonged for the loss of his
team, seemed to have his eyes awakened at last to the evil to which
Doctor Jolly had so vainly tried to direct his attention.

He determined that Teddy should go to school.

But, before this intention could be carried out, there was a most
unexpected arrival at the vicarage.

This was no less a personage than Uncle Jack, whom neither Teddy nor his
sisters had ever seen before, he having gone to sea the same year the
vicar had married, and never been heard of again, the vessel in which he
had sailed having gone down, and all hands reported lost.

Uncle Jack hadn't foundered, though, if his ship had, for here he was as
large as life, and that was very large, he weighing some fourteen or
fifteen stone at the least!

What was more, he had passed through the most wonderful adventures and
been amongst savages.  These experiences enabled him to recount the most
delightful and hairbreadth yarns--yarns that knocked all poor Jupp's
stories of the cut-and-dried cruises he had had in the navy into a
cocked hat, Teddy thought, as he hung on every utterance of this newly-
found uncle, longing the while to be a sailor and go through similar

Uncle Jack took to him amazingly, too, and when he had become
domesticated at the vicarage, asked one day what he was going to be.

"What, make a parson of him, brother-in-law!" exclaimed the sailor in
horrified accents.  "You'd never spoil such a boy as that, who's cut out
for a sailor, every inch of him--not, of course, that I wish to say a
word against your profession.  Still, he can't go into the church yet;
what are you going to do with him in the meantime, eh?"

"Send him to school," replied the other.

"Why, hasn't he been yet?"

"Oh, yes, he's not altogether ignorant," said the vicar.  "I think he's
a very fair scholar for his years."

"Then why dose him any more with book learning, eh?  When you fill a
water-cask too full it's apt to run over!"

"I quite agree with you about cramming, Jack," said the vicar, smiling
at the nautical simile; "but, I'm sending Teddy to a leading school more
for the sake of the discipline than for anything more that I want him to
learn at present."

"Discipline, eh! is that your reason, brother-in-law?  Then allow me to
tell you he'll get more of that at sea than he ever will at school."

"Oh, father!" interrupted Teddy, who had been present all the time
during the confab, listening as gravely as any judge to the discussion
about his future, "do let me be a sailor!  I'd rather go to sea than

"But you might be drowned, my boy," said the vicar gravely, his thoughts
wandering to every possible danger of the deep.

"No fear of that," answered Teddy smiling.  "Why, I can swim like a
fish; and there's Uncle Jack now, whom you all thought lost, safe and
sound after all his voyages!"

"Aye and so I am!" chorused the individual alluded to.

"Well, well, we'll think of it," said the vicar.  "I'll hear what my old
friend Jolly has to say to the plan first."

But he could not have consulted a more favourable authority as far as
Teddy was concerned.

"The very thing for him!" said the doctor approvingly.  "I don't think
you could ever turn him into a parson, Vernon.  He has too much animal
spirits for that; think of my gig, ho! ho!"

Overcome by the many arguments brought forward, and the general
consensus of judgment in favour of the project, the vicar at last
consented that Teddy might be allowed to go to sea under the aegis of
Uncle Jack, who started off at once to London to see about the shipping
arrangements; when the rest of the household set to work preparing the
young sailor's outfit in the meantime, so that no time might be lost--
little Cissy making him a wonderful anti-macassar, which, in spite of
all ridicule to the contrary, she asserted would do for the sofa in his

Of course, Jupp and Mary came over to wish Teddy good-bye; but, albeit
there was much grief among the home circle at the vicarage when they
escorted him to the little railway-station, on the day he left there
were not many tears shed generally at his going, for, to paraphrase not
irreverently the words of the Psalmist, "Endleigh, at heart, was glad at
his departing, and the people of the village let him go free!"



"Well, here we are, my hearty!" said Uncle Jack, who was on the watch
for him at London Bridge station, and greeted him the moment the train
arrived; "but, come, look sharp, we've a lot to do before us, and
precious little time to do it in!"

Teddy, however, was not inclined at first to "look sharp."

On the contrary, he looked extremely sad, being very melancholy at
leaving home, and altogether "down in the mouth," so to speak.

This arose, not so much from the fact of his parting with his father and
sisters, dearly as he loved them all in his way; but, on account of poor
Puck, who, whether through grief at his going away, which the
intelligent little animal seemed quite as conscious of through the
instinct of his species as if he were a human being, or from his chronic
asthma coming to a crisis, breathed his last in Teddy's arms the very
morning of his departure from home!

The doggy, faithful to the end, was buried in the garden, Conny, Cissy,
and Liz attending his obsequies, and the two latter weeping with Teddy
over his grave, for all were fond of Puck; but none lamented him so
deeply as he, and all the journey up to town, as the train sped its
weary way along, his mind was busy recalling all the incidents that
attended their companionship from the time when his grandmother first
gave him as a present.  He was a brisk young dog then, he remembered,
the terror of all strange cats and hunter of rabbits, but his affection
had not swerved down to the last year of their association, when,
toothless and wheezy, he could hunt no more, and cats came fearlessly
beneath his very nose when he went through the feeble pretence of trying
to gnaw a bone on the lawn.

Poor Puck--_requiescat in pace_!

Still, doggy or no doggy, Uncle Jack was not the sort of fellow to let
Teddy remain long in the dumps, especially as he had said there was a
good deal to be done; and, soon, Teddy was in such a whirl of
excitement, with everything new and strange around him, that he had no
time left to be melancholy in.

First, Uncle Jack hailed a hansom, all Teddy's belongings in the shape
of luggage being left in the cloak-room at the terminus, and the two
jumping in were driven off as rapidly as the crowded state of the
streets would allow, to Tower Hill, where the offices of the shipping
agents owning the _Greenock_ were situated.

Here Uncle Jack deposited a cheque which the vicar had given him, and
Master Teddy was bound over in certain indentures of a very imposing
character as a first-class apprentice to the said firm, the lad then
signing articles as one of the crew of the _Greenock_, of which vessel,
it may be mentioned, Uncle Jack had already been appointed chief
officer, so that he would be able to keep a watchful eye over his nephew
in his future nautical career.

"Now that job's done," said Uncle Jack when all the bothersome writing
and signing were accomplished and the vicar's cheque paid over, "we'll
have a run down to look at the ship; what say you to that, eh?"

"All right!" responded Teddy, much delighted at the idea; and the pair
then were driven from Tower Hill to the Fenchurch Street railway-
station, where they dismissed their cab and took train for the docks,
the state of locomotion in the neighbourhood of which does not readily
permit of the passage of wheeled vehicles, a hansom running the risk of
being squashed into the semblance of a pancake against the heavy drays
blocking the narrow streets and ways, should it adventure within the
thoroughfares thereof.

On their arrival at Poplar, Uncle Jack threaded his way with amazing
ease and familiarity through a narrow lane with high walls on either
hand, and then into a wide gateway branching off at right angles.
Entering within this Teddy found himself in a vast forest of masts, with
ships loading and unloading at the various quays and jetties alongside
the wharves, opposite to lines of warehouses that seemed to extend from
one end of the docks to the other.

Uncle Jack was not long in tumbling across the _Greenock_, which had
nearly completed taking in her cargo and was to "warp out next morning,"
as he told Teddy, who didn't know what on earth he meant by the phrase,
by the way.

There appeared to be a great deal of confusion going on in front of the
jetty to which she was moored; but Uncle Jack took him on board and
introduced him to Mr Capstan, the second officer, as a future messmate,
who showed him the cabins and everything, telling him to "make himself
at home!"

The _Greenock_ was a fine barque-rigged vessel of some two thousand
tons, with auxiliary steam-power; and she gained her living or earned
her freight, whichever way of putting it may please best, by sailing to
and fro in the passenger trade between the ports of London and
Melbourne, but doing more in the goods line on the return journey,
because colonials bent on visiting the mother country generally prefer
the mail steamers as a speedier route.  Emigrants, however, are not so
squeamish, contenting themselves in getting out to Australia, that land
of promise to so many hard-up and despairing people at home, by whatever
means they can--so long only as they may hope to arrive there at some
time or other!

Teddy was surprised at the gorgeousness of the _Greenock's_ saloons and
cabins, and the height of her masts, and the multitude of ropes about
running in every conceivable direction, crossing and recrossing each
other with the bewildering ingenuity of a spider's web; but Uncle Jack
took all these wonders as a matter of course, and rather pooh-poohed

"Wait till you see her at Gravesend," he said.  "She's all dismantled
now with these shore lumpers and lubbers aboard, and won't be herself
till she's down the river and feels herself in sailors' hands again.
Why, you won't know her!  But come along, laddie, we've got to buy a
sea-chest and a lot of things to complete your kit; and then, we'll go
to granny's and try to see something of the sights of London."

So, back they trudged again to the Poplar station and were wafted once
more to Fenchurch Street, where Uncle Jack dived within the shop of a
friendly outfitter, who had a mackintosh and sextant swinging in front
of his establishment to show his marine leanings and dealings.

Here, a white sea-chest, whose top was made like a washing-stand, and
several other useful articles, were purchased by Uncle Jack without
wasting any time, as he had made up his mind what he wanted before going
in and knew what he was about; and these things being ordered to be
forwarded to the cloak-room at the London Bridge station, to be placed
with Teddy's other luggage, Uncle Jack rubbed his hands gleefully.

"Now that business is all settled," he said, "we can enjoy ourselves a
bit, as the ship won't be ready for us till next Monday.  Come along, my
hearty!  Let us bear up for granny's--you haven't been to her place
before, have you, eh?"

No, Teddy explained.  Granny had often been down to Endleigh to see him,
but he had never been up to town to see her; that first attempt of his,
which had been frustrated by Mary's pursuit and the machinations of
Jupp, having deterred him, somehow or other, from essaying the journey a
second time.  Indeed, he had never been to London at all.

"_My_!" exclaimed Uncle Jack.  "What a lot there'll be for you to see,
my hearty, eh?"

What is more, he showed him, too, all that was to be seen, taking Teddy
to monuments and exhibitions, to galleries and even to the theatre.

The time passed by rapidly enough--too rapidly, granny thought, when the
day came for her to say good-bye to Teddy; but he was nothing loth to
go, longing to be on board the _Greenock_ as one belonging to her of
right, and feel himself really at sea.

Granny wanted him to have another little dog in place of Puck; however,
he couldn't make up his mind to a substitute to supersede the former
animal's hold on his affections.  Besides this, Uncle Jack said the
captain did not allow anybody to have dogs on board, and that was a
clincher to the argument at once.

Monday morning came, and with it another railway journey.  It really
seemed to Teddy as if he were "on the line," like Jupp!

The _Greenock_, having taken in all her cargo, had been warped out of
dock and then towed down the river to Gravesend, where she was now lying
moored in the stream off the Lobster.

"There she is!" cried Uncle Jack when they got down to the beach.

"Where?" asked Teddy, not recognising the dirty untidy hulk he had seen
in the docks, as she first appeared to him before he was taken on board
and noticed the elegance of her cabins, in the thing of beauty he saw
now before him; with every spar in its place and snow-white canvas
extended in peaceful folds from the yards, as the vessel lay at anchor
with her topsails dropped and her courses half clewed up, ready to
spread her wings like an ocean bird.

What a change there was in her!

"Look, right in front there, laddie," said Uncle Jack.  "Can't you see?
She's just about making-sail, so we'd better get on board as soon as
possible.  Hi, boatman, seen any one belonging to the _Greenock_

"Aye, aye, sir," answered the man addressed, "her boat's just over there
by the p'int, just agoin' to shove off."

"Thank you, my hearty," said Uncle Jack, giving him a trifle for the
information; and in another minute or so Teddy found himself in the
_Greenock's_ jolly-boat in company with a lot of the new hands, like
himself, going off to join the ship.  Here on his arrival on board, he
was introduced to Captain Lennard, the monarch of all he surveyed as far
as the deck of the _Greenock_ was concerned, and his future commander.

Teddy liked the look of him; while he, on his part, seemed to like the
look of Teddy, smiling kindly when he saw him come over the gangway
after Uncle Jack.  He had the general appearance of a brown Jupp, being
of the same height and with just such a smiling good-humoured face, with
the exception that his hair and beard, instead of being black, was of a
lighter and ruddier hue.

Oh, yes, Teddy thought, Captain Lennard was the man for him.  He looked
easy and kind-hearted and would not bully people, as he had read of some
brutal captains doing.

"This your nephew?" he asked Uncle Jack politely.

"Yes, sir," replied the other, touching his cap, being in regular
nautical rig now, as also was Teddy, who, clad in spick-and-span reefer
costume, felt as proud as Punch.

"Ah! then, if he's like you I think we'll get along very well together,
Mr Althorp," said the captain with a bow and smile.  "He looks like a
chip of the old block too!"

"You're very good to say that, sir," stammered Uncle Jack, blushing at
the compliment.  "The youngster's very like my poor sister, and I
suppose resembles me, as she and I were twins.  I've no doubt, though,
you'll find him teachable when he's licked into shape; for, he isn't a
bad lad from what I have seen of him as yet, and is plucky enough, if
all I've heard of him down at Endleigh be true."

"Well, Master Vernon, I hope you'll justify the character your uncle
gives of you.  If you only obey orders there'll be no fear of our
falling out.  But, mind, I'm captain of this ship; so look out for
squalls if you shirk duty or try on any tricks!"

The captain said this pleasantly, but there was a stern look combined in
the twinkle of his hazel eyes beneath their thick brown eyebrows, like
penthouses overshadowing them; and Teddy felt that, with all his
gentleness and joking way, he was a man who intended to command and
likewise to be obeyed.

A moment later Captain Lennard changed the conversation by asking Uncle
Jack if all the hands were on board.

"Aye, aye, sir," said the other.  "The whole batch, I think, came out
with us.  Isn't that so, Mr Capstan?" he asked, turning to the second-
mate, who was standing close by.

"Yes, all hands aboard," replied the second-mate laconically.

"Then make sail at once," said Captain Lennard, going aft on the poop;
while Mr Capstan bustled forwards, shouting out as he scrambled up on
the windlass bitts and thence to the fo'c's'le, "All hands make sa-i-
il!" drawling out the last word as if it were a chorus to some mariner's
ditty he were singing.

The crew were all picked men, the majority having been in the ship on
one or two previous voyages; so they were quite at home, and sprang into
the rigging long before the second-mate had got to the end of his

In a second, the topsails were dropped and sheeted home, and the
rattling of the clewgarnet blocks told of the courses following their
example; after which the hands aloft then loosed the topgallant, there
being a fine breeze fair for the Downs.

Teddy was puzzled for a moment by all the seeming confusion that reigned
in the ship, with ropes flying about and cordage cracking, while the
hoarse orders issued by Mr Capstan and Uncle Jack were answered by the
cheery cry of the men, singing out lustily as they hoisted and pulled at
the halliards with a will.  But, the confusion was only momentary and in
appearance only; for, hardly had he begun to realise what all the bustle
was about, than the ship was clothed in canvas from truck to deck, like
a lady attired for a ball all in white!

The headyards were then backed, and Captain Lennard's voice rang through
the vessel fore and aft as clear as a bell--

"Hands up anchor!"

Then, the windlass was wound; and, slip, slap, click, clack, it went
round the pawl belaying every inch of cable got in.

"Cheerily, men! heave with a will!" urged the second-mate; and the
brawny fellows bent all their strength to the handspikes, heaving them
down with sheer brute force.

"Hove short!" presently sang out Mr Capstan.

"Up with it!" responded Captain Lennard from the poop, where the pilot
now appeared by his side awaiting all these preparations to be completed
before taking charge of the ship.

Half-a-dozen more heaves and the anchor-stock showed above the water.

"Hook cat!" cried the second-mate.

"I wonder what that means!" thought Teddy.  "I hope they won't hurt the
poor thing!"

But, the next moment, he was undeceived.

Nothing in the shape of cruelty to animals was about to be perpetrated.

Mr Capstan only ordered the men to hook on the tackle by which the head
of the anchor was to be braced up; and, before he could say "Jack
Robinson," if he had been that way inclined, the falls were manned and
the anchor run up to the cathead with a rousing chorus as the men
scampered aft with the tail-end of the rope.

The headyards were then filled, and the ship bowed her head as if in
salute to Father Neptune, the next instant gathering way as the sails
began to draw.

"Port!" sang out the pilot from the bridge.

"Port it is," responded the man at the wheel, shifting the spokes with
both hands like a squirrel in a cage, it seemed to Teddy, who was
looking at him from the break of the poop, where he had taken up his
station by Captain Lennard's orders so that he might the more easily see
all that was going on.


"Steady it is," repeated the helmsman in parrot fashion.

And so, conning and steering along, the _Greenock_ was soon bounding on
her way down channel, passing Deal and rounding the South Foreland
before noon.

Teddy at last was really at sea!



The weather was beautifully fine for October, with a bright warm sun
shining down and lighting up the water, which curled and crested before
the spanking nor'-east breeze, that brought with it that bracing tone
which makes the month, in spite of its autumnal voice warning us of the
approach of winter, one of the most enjoyable in our changeable
climate--especially to those dwelling along the south coast, which the
good ship _Greenock_ now trended by on her passage out of the Channel.

Teddy as yet, although this was his first experience of "a life on the
ocean wave," was not sea-sick; for, although the vessel heeled well over
to the wind on the starboard tack she did not roll, but ploughed through
the little wavelets as calmly as if on a mill-pond, only rising now and
again to make a graceful courtesy to some cross current that brought a
swell over from the opposite shore of France, for after passing Beachy
Head she kept well off the land on the English side.

A west-nor'-west course brought the _Greenock_ off Saint Catharine's
Point; but the evening had drawn in too much for Teddy to see anything
of the Isle of Wight, and when he woke up next morning the ship was
abreast of the Start Point.

From thence, he had a fair view of the Devon and Cornish coasts in the
distance all the way to the Lizard, the scene being like an ever-
changing panorama, with plenty of life and movement about in the vessels
the _Greenock_ was continually passing either outwards or homewards
bound; while the little trawlers and fishing-boats clustered in groups
here and there, and there was the occasional smoke from some steamer
steaming along the horizon, like a dark finger-post above the level of
the sea in the distance.

He enjoyed it all, as, although he had found his bunk in the cabin
rather close and stuffy after his nice airy bed-room at the vicarage, he
was still not sea-sick; and, as he leant over the taffrail, watching the
creamy wake the ship left behind her, spreading out broader and broader
until it was lost in the surrounding waste of waters, what with the
sniff of the saline atmosphere and the bracing breeze, he began to feel
hungry, longing for breakfast-time to come and wondering when he would
hear the welcome bell sound to tell that the meal was ready.

No one was on deck, at least on the poop, when he came up, save the
helmsman, and Mr Capstan, the latter walking up and down briskly on the
windward side and exchanging a word now and again with the pilot on the
bridge; so Teddy felt a little forlorn.

Presently, the second-mate, taking a longer turn in his quarterdeck
walk, came up and spoke to him.

"Well, young shaver," he said, "how are you getting on?"

"Very well, thank you, sir," replied Teddy, touching his cap, as Uncle
Jack had told him he must always do to his superior officer.

"Ah! you're like a young bear, and have all your troubles before you,"
the other next remarked consolingly, adding immediately afterwards the
query: "Seen any of your messmates yet?"

"No, sir," replied Teddy, looking a bit puzzled--"that is, excepting
yourself and the captain, and Uncle Jack, of course.  Are there any
other midshipmen like myself?"

"Aye, if you call the apprentices so, young shaver," said Mr Capstan
with an ironical grin which did not improve his rather ugly face.
"There are two more of you; and the lazy young hounds must be snoozing
below, for they haven't shown a leg yet.  However, I'll soon rouse 'em

So saying, he shouted out to one of the hands in the waist forwards:
"Here, Bill Summers!"

"Aye, aye, sir," replied the man, looking up towards the break of the
poop, whence the second-mate had hailed him, leaning over the rail.

"Just go and call Jones and Maitland.  Tell 'em to turn out sharp or
I'll stop their grog," cried Mr Capstan.

"Aye, aye, sir," said the man, proceeding towards the deck-house, which
occupied a middle position in the ship between the poop and fo'c's'le;
and presently, although hidden from the gaze of those aft, he could be
heard rapping at one of the doors, repeating in whispered tones the
order the second-mate had given him.

Ere long, a couple of striplings appeared, dressed in dirty uniforms
which presented a marked difference to that of Teddy; and he noticed
besides that one was considerably taller than he was while the second
was shorter and a little slimmer.

"Here, you, Jones and Maitland, I won't have you caulking away this
bright morning when the sun ought to be scorching the sleep out of your
eyes.  What do you mean by it, eh?" began Mr Capstan as if lashing
himself into a passion, but had not quite got enough steam up yet.

"I thought, sir, as this is our first day out and the ship still in
charge of the pilot, we needn't turn out so early," said Jones, the
biggest of the two, acting as spokesman.

"You thought!" snarled the second-mate, catching up a rope's-end with
the apparent intention of laying it across the shoulders of Jones, only
he kept a wary distance away.  "I've half a mind to give you something
for answering me like that!  No one has any business to think on board

"Aye, where you're boss!" said the offender speaking aside.

"What is that you're jabbering?" quickly interposed Mr Capstan--"some
impudence, I reckon.  Now, just you pull off those patent-leather pumps
of yours and set to work washing decks.  It's gone six bells, and it
ought to have been done half an hour ago."

Teddy thought this was a very unkind cut of the mate at poor Jones's
boots, which were a dilapidated pair of bluchers that needed mending
badly; still, he couldn't help smiling, which didn't seem to please Mr
Capstan, who, turning round, now addressed him:

"And you, my fine young shaver, with your dandy rig, you'd better be
doing something to earn your salt, and not be a useless lubber, looking
on like a fine lady!  You just put off and go and help Jones."

Teddy, though he didn't relish the job, obeyed willingly; and soon he
was paddling about in bare feet with his trousers rolled up to the knee,
while the crew under Jones's direction rigged the head pump and sluiced
the decks down from end to end of the ship, beginning with the poop and
ending with the midship section in the waist, where all the water was
collected in a sort of small lake and had to be swabbed out of the

Young Maitland meanwhile had been sent up the main royal mast to clear
the dog vane, which had somehow or other got fouled; so Mr Capstan,
satisfied at seeing everybody busily employed but himself, paced
contentedly up and down the poop, sniffing about and snorting
occasionally like an old grampus, as if in satisfaction at "taking it
out of the youngsters."

The man was naturally a bully, and loved to display the little authority
he had by "hazing" those under him, to use the technical sea phrase.

By dint of continually nagging at the men below from his commanding
position above, the second-mate hurried them up so with their work that
in a very short space of time the decks were scrubbed and washed, the
sun drying them almost without the use of the swab.

Mr Capstan then set them to work coiling down the loose ropes lying
about, there being nothing else to do, as the ship had not altered her
course but remained on the starboard tack with the wind well on her
quarter; and, although everything had been made snug before leaving the
Downs, he was just going to tell the hands to unship the motley contents
of the long-boat and stow it again afresh in default of some other task,
when eight bells struck, and Uncle Jack came up from below to relieve
him from his watch--a relief, it may be added, to all hands in more than
one sense!

Presently, Captain Lennard came on deck too; although he must not be
thought lazy for being so late, for he had remained up with the pilot on
the bridge all night conning the ship, only turning in for a short nap
at daylight.

Then, the passengers, of whom there were some sixty in the first-class
saloon, began to creep up the companion, one by one as if not yet
accustomed to the somewhat unsteady footing of a ship's deck at sea; as
for the steerage emigrants they remained below, and even after they had
been weeks afloat it required almost force to drive them up into the
fresh air.

Teddy was looking at the queer figures some of the gentlemen and ladies
presented on the poop, when all at once the breakfast gong sounded, and
they all scuttled down much faster than they had come up, the sea air
having given those able to get out of their bunks fresh appetites after
they had paid homage to Neptune.

He was not invited to go down with these, however, having to mess along
with Jones and Maitland in the deck-house close to the galley, where the
three mids consoled themselves with the reflection that if they were
excluded from the saloon, at all events they were nearer the place where
their meals were cooked, and so had the advantage of getting them

After breakfast the pilot left the ship, a boat putting out for him from
the land when they were near Saint Michael's; and then Captain Lennard,
hauling round a bit, shaped a west-south-west course, steering out into
the broad Atlantic until he had reached longitude 12 degrees West, when
the vessel's head was turned to the south for Madeira and the Canaries.

Strange to say, Teddy up to now had not been once sick.

It is true they had not as yet had any rough weather; but the sea was
brisk enough to try the stomachs of all the landsmen on board, so it was
curious he was not affected in any way by the ship's motion.

As Uncle Jack said at the first, he was a born sailor!

Soon he began, too, to understand his duties; and being naturally quick
of intellect and active, he after a time became handier on the yards and
up aloft than little Maitland, who had been two voyages out and home
before; while Jones had to exert himself to hold his own with him--with
Uncle Jack, besides, coaching him up in seamanship, Teddy ere the vessel
had reached Madeira was a greenhand no longer.

At Teneriffe Captain Lennard put in to coal, the ship being, as formerly
mentioned, an auxiliary screw, and able to enlist the aid of steam when
she came to the calm latitudes, which they were now approaching.

The passengers being allowed to go on shore for a few hours, Teddy
received permission to accompany those taking advantage of the
opportunity of landing.

There was no time to try and climb up the celebrated peak, which can be
seen so far out at sea that it looks like an island in the clouds; but
there was much amusement gained in donkey riding and studying the
manners and customs of the natives.

The garments, Teddy noticed, of the ladies were rather limited in
dimensions; but what they lacked in quantity they made up for in style,
all the dresses being provided with those "improvers" of late fashion in
England.  These made the skirts of the Portuguese damsels stick out all
round, giving them a very funny appearance with their brown skins and
bare feet!

It was well they coaled here, for while they were yet in sight of the
huge cloud-cap't mountain above Santa Cruz, the wind that had favoured
them so well up to now dropped to a dead calm; so, Captain Lennard,
ordering the sails to be furled and the screw-propeller lowered, the
vessel was able to proceed under steam across the equator, making almost
as good time as when sailing before a good breeze--almost, but not
quite, as she was a clipper under canvas.

They touched once more at the Cape of Good Hope, to fill up the coal
they had expended in case of another emergency necessitating their
steaming again; but, the wind being favourable when the _Greenock_ got
below the forties, she bowled along steadily before it under canvas,
reaching Melbourne within sixty days.

Altogether, the voyage was uneventful except for one thing, and that was
the persistent bullying of Mr Capstan the second-mate, who, whether
from his relationship to Uncle Jack, his superior officer, or from some
other cause, had apparently conceived such a dislike to Teddy that he
tyrannised over him more than he seemed to think necessary either with
little Maitland or Jones--although they suffered, too, at his hands!

Teddy would not complain, though, to the captain; and as for his Uncle
Jack, he would have thought it dishonourable to breathe a word to him.
He would rather have suffered the crudest torture the bully could
inflict than that!

However, he and little Maitland matured their plans together, and coming
to the conclusion that they could not very well have any satisfaction
from Mr Capstan without telling tales, they determined to steal away
from the ship when she got into harbour, and run away ashore up into the
bush, Val Maitland retailing for Teddy's benefit the most wonderful
stories anent gold-digging and bush-ranging--stories that cordially
agreed with his own fancy.

Not long, therefore, after the _Greenock_ had entered within Port Philip
Heads and got up to Sandridge Pier, the two boys, mixing amongst the
crowd of passengers landing, touters touting for various boarding-
houses, and all the different sorts of people that throng round the
newly-arrived at the colonial metropolis, especially at its harbour
mouth, managed easily to get into the town unobserved, giving the slip
most successfully to their ship and all its belongings.

"And what shall we do now?" asked Teddy, his companion, although smaller
than himself, taking the lead, from being an older sailor and having
been previously in Australia.

"Do! why, go into the bush, of course!" promptly answered the other.

"And how shall we get there?" next inquired Teddy cheerfully, wishing to
start off that very moment for the golden land he had dreamt of.

"Why, by train," said Val.

"By train!" echoed Teddy in a voice of consternation, the idea was such
a terrible come down to what he had imagined.

"Yes, by train; come along with me," repeated little Maitland, catching
hold of his arm; and turning into Collins Street he soon made his way to
the railway depot and took a couple of tickets for Ballarat.



"I say," began Val presently when the train was in motion.

"Well?" said Teddy rather grumpily.

He could not stomach the fact that here they were journeying along by
the aid of an ordinary railway, just as they would have done in England.

When Val had suggested their going to the diggings he had imagined they
would tramp thither through the bush, with their blankets and swag on
their shoulders, as he had often read of men doing; and that they would
end by picking up a big nugget of gold that would make all their

The train disposed of all these dreams in a moment; for, how could they
pick up nuggets along a line of "permanent way," as Jupp would have
called it--a beaten track that thousands traversed every day by the aid
of the potent iron-horse and a bucket of hot water?

It was scandalous that Val hadn't told him of the railroad!

It dispelled all the romance of the expedition at once, he thought
grumblingly.  Despite all Mr Capstan's bullying, he had not run away
from the ship for that; so he was not at all in a mood to have any
conversation with such an unprincipled fellow as Val, who ought to have
enlightened him before.

"Well?" he said again, seeing that young Maitland hesitated about
proceeding, his grumpy tone acting as a sort of damper to his
contemplated eloquence.

"I say, old fellow," then began Val again, making a fresh start and
blurting out his question, "have you got any money?"

Teddy was all sympathy now.

A comrade in distress should never appeal to him in vain!

So he commenced searching his pockets.

"I ought to have some," he said.  "Father gave me a five-pound note
before I left home, and Uncle Jack when I was in London with him tipped
me a sovereign, and I haven't spent or changed either for that matter;
but, now I come to think of it, they're both in my chest in the cabin.
I never thought of taking them out before we left the _Greenock_."

"That's precious unlucky," observed Val, searching his pockets too, and
trying each vainly in turn.  "I've only a couple of shillings left now
after paying for the railway tickets.  Whatever shall we do?"

"Oh, bother that!" replied Teddy sanguinely; "we sha'n't want any.  The
fellows I've read about who went to the diggings never had a halfpenny,
but they always met with a friendly squatter or tumbled into luck in
some way or other."

"That was in the old days," said Val in a forlorn way.  "The squatters
have all been cleared out, and there are only hotels and boarding-houses
left, where they expect people to pay for what they have to eat."

"They're a stingy lot then, and quite unlike what I've read in books
about the customs in Australia; but what can you expect when they have a

Teddy spoke in such a scornful manner of this sign of civilisation that
he made Val laugh, raising his spirits again.

"All right, old chap!" said the little fellow.  "I daresay we'll get
along very well although we haven't any money to speak of with us.  Two
shillings, you know, is something; and no doubt it will keep us from
starving till we come across luck."

Teddy cheerfully acquiesced in this hopeful view of things; and then the
two, being alone in the carriage, chatted away merrily on all sorts of
subjects until they arrived at their station, which a porter sang out
the name of exactly in the same fashion as if they were at home.

This quite exasperated Teddy, who, when he got down and looked about
him, opened his eyes with even greater wonder.

Surely this large town couldn't be Ballarat!

Why, that place ought to be only a collection of hastily-run-up wooden
shanties, he thought, with perhaps one big store where they sold
everything, provisions, and picks and shovels, with cradles for rocking
the gold-dust out of the quartz and mud.

Where were the canvas tents of the diggers, and the claims, and all?

But, yes, Ballarat it was; although the only diggings were quarries
worked by public mining companies with an immense mass of machinery that
crushed the rock and sent streams of water through the refuse, using
quicksilver to make an amalgam with--companies that were satisfied to
get a grain of gold for every ton of quartz they excavated and pounded
into powder, and realised a handsome dividend at that, where ordinary
diggers wouldn't have had a chance of keeping themselves from starving.

He and little Maitland wandered about; and then, feeling hungry,
exhausted all their capital in one meal, "burning their boats," like the
old Athenians.

They would now have either to find something to do to get lodging or
food, or else tramp it back to the ship.

They slept that night in the open air, under some scaffolding round a
new building that was being run up on the outskirts of the town; and the
next morning were wandering about again, feeling very miserable and
wishing they were safely back on board the _Greenock_, it being just
breakfast-time, when they were accosted by a stout, hairy sort of man,
dressed in a species of undress uniform.

"Hullo, my young friends!" the man said, his voice being much pleasanter
than his looks, "where do you hail from?  I don't think I've ever seen
you in Ballarat before."

"You wouldn't again if we could help it," replied Teddy so heartily that
the hairy man laughed as jollily as might have been expected from his
musical voice.

"Ah!  I think I know who you are," he observed, eyeing them both

"Well, you must be a conjuror if you do," answered little Maitland, who
had a good deal of native impudence about him, "considering we haven't
been twenty-four hours in Australia!"

"What say you to Maitland being your name and Vernon that of your
companion, eh, my young cocksparrow?" said the man with a quizzical
look.  "Am I conjuror or not?"

The boys stared at each other in amazement.

"Well," exclaimed Teddy at length, "this is certainly the funniest
country I have ever been in.  The diggings that I've read about in print
over and over again have all vanished into nothing, and here there are
railways running through the bush, with people knowing who you are
twenty thousand miles away from home.  It is wonderful!"

"Not so very wonderful after all, Master Teddy Vernon," suggested the
hairy man at this juncture.  "I'm an inspector of police here, and we
received a telegram last night which had been circulated in all
directions from the chief office at Melbourne, saying that you two young
gentlemen were missing from the ship _Greenock_, just arrived from
England, and that any information about you would be gladly received and
rewarded by Captain Lennard, the commander of the vessel."

"I'm very glad," said Teddy, interrupting any further remark the
inspector might have made.  "We came away suddenly because of something
that occurred on board; and now I sha'n't be at all sorry to go back
again, for we have no money or anything to eat.  Besides, the place
isn't a bit like what I expected--there!"

"Ah! you're hungry, my young friends, and that soon takes the pluck out
of a body," observed the inspector kindly.  "Come along with me and have
some breakfast, after which I'll see you into the train for Melbourne."

"But we haven't got any money," said Teddy, looking at him frankly in
the face.

"Never mind that," he replied jokingly.  "I daresay I can put my hand on
an odd sixpence or so, and this I've no doubt your captain will pay me

"That he will," cried Teddy and Val together in one breath; "besides,
we've got money of our own on board the ship, only we forgot to bring it
with us."

"And a very good job too," said the inspector laughing, "otherwise, you
might not perhaps have been so glad to meet me this morning; but come on
now, lads.  Let us go into the town to some restaurant, and then I will
see you to the depot, if I can depend on your going back."

"That you can, sir," replied Val drily, "if you buy the tickets for us."

"Oh, I'll see about that," said the inspector; and so, under his escort,
they went into the nearest restaurant and had a good meal, after which
the inspector took tickets for them, seeing them into the railway-
carriage.  The worthy policeman must also have said something to the
guard, for after he had given Teddy his name, at the lad's especial
request, and wished them good-bye, some official or other came up and
locked the door of the compartment, so that they could not have got out
again if they had wished save by climbing through the window.

"He needn't have been alarmed at our giving him the slip," observed
little Maitland.  "I am only too glad to be sent back in any fashion,
ignominious though it may be to be under charge of the police."

"So am I," said Teddy; "but the inspector is a nice fellow after all,
and has behaved very well to us."

He had been even more thoughtful, however, than the boys imagined; for,
on the train arriving once more at the Melbourne terminus, who should be
there to meet them but Uncle Jack!

"Well, you're a nice pair of young scamps," was his exclamation when the
door of the carriage was opened by another policeman, and they got out
right in front of where he was standing.  "What have you got to say for
yourselves, eh, for taking leave in French fashion like that?  Why, you
ought to be keel-hauled both of you!"

But he saved them a long explanation by telling them that Jones, the
other midshipman, having been knocked down with a marlinespike by the
second-mate, Captain Lennard had both him and Mr Capstan brought before
him, when, sifting the matter to the bottom, Jones had made a clean
breast of the way in which he and the other youngsters had been bullied.

"And the upshot of the whole affair is," continued Uncle Jack, "Captain
Lennard has dismissed Capstan from his ship, giving him such a discharge
certificate that I don't think he'll get another second-mate's place in
a hurry!  As for you, my young scamps, I don't think the skipper will be
very hard on you; but, Teddy, you ought to have told me of the treatment
you three poor beggars were receiving at that ruffian's hands all the
voyage.  Old Bill Summers, the boatswain, confirmed every word that
Jones said, and was quite indignant about it."

"I didn't like to tell, you being my uncle and over Mr Capstan," said
Teddy; "I thought it would be mean."

"It is never mean to complain of injustice," replied Uncle Jack gravely;
"still, the matter now rests with the skipper."

Captain Lennard gave the boys a good talking to for running away, saying
that it wasn't manly for young sailors to shirk their work in that way
for any reason.  However, considering all the circumstances of the case
and the lesson they had learnt, that boys couldn't be absolutely
independent of those in authority over them, he said that he had made up
his mind to forgive them, telling them they might return to their duty.

The passengers having all landed and the ship cleared of her home cargo,
she began immediately taking in wool for her return voyage, and in a few
weeks' time set sail from the Heads for England--though _via_ Cape Horn
this time, as is generally the routine with vessels sailing to Australia
when coming back to the Channel.

There were only two passengers on board, the captain and mate of a
vessel that had been sold at Melbourne, she having only been navigated
out by these officers for the purpose, and the vessel being unencumbered
by emigrants the sailors had more room to move about.  Teddy found it
much pleasanter than on the passage out, as Captain Lennard was able to
spare more time in teaching him his duty, a task which he was ably
backed up in by Uncle Jack and Robins, the new second-mate, a smart
young seaman whom the captain had promoted from the fo'c's'le to take
Capstan's vacant place, and a wonderful improvement in every way to that

After leaving Port Philip, they had a fair enough passage till they got
about midway between New Zealand and the American continent, Captain
Lennard taking a more northerly route than usual on account of its being
the summer season in those latitudes, and the drift-ice coming up from
the south in such quantities as to be dangerous if they had run down
below the forties.

When the _Greenock_ was in longitude somewhere about 150 West and
latitude 39 South a fierce gale sprung up from the north-east, right in
their teeth, causing the lighter sails of the ship to be handed and the
topgallants to be taken in.

At midnight on the same day, the wind having increased in force, the
upper topsails were handed and the foresail reefed, the ship running
under this reduced canvas, and steering east-south-east, the direction
of the wind having shifted round more to the northward.  The next
evening, the wind veered to the westward, and was accompanied with such
terrific squalls and high confused sea that Captain Lennard, who had
thought at first he could weather out the storm under sail, determined
to get up steam, and lowered the propeller so that the ship might lay-to
more easily.

Later on in the afternoon, however, another shift of wind took place,
the gale veering to sou'-sou'-west in a squall heavier than any of its
predecessors; while a heavy sea, flooding the decks, broke through the
hatchway and put out the engine fires.

Being a smart seaman, the captain had sail set again as soon as
possible, hoisting reefed topsails and foresail to lift the vessel out
of the trough of the following seas, in which she rolled from side to
side like a whale in its death flurry.

All seemed going on well for a short time after this; and he and Uncle
Jack thought they had weathered the worst of it, when the foresheet
parted and the clew of the foresail, going through the lower
foretopsail, split it in ribbons.

The barque was then brought to the wind on the port tack under the lower
maintopsail, and she lay-to pretty well; but the wind kept on veering
and beating with frequent squalls from sou'-sou'-west to west, so that
at noon a strong gale prevailed again fiercer than before.

Teddy had not seen anything like this; but he wasn't a bit frightened,
and he was as active as the oldest sailor in lending help to carry out
the captain's orders, jumping here, there, and everywhere like a monkey.

The skipper was so pleased with his behaviour that he complimented him
by telling Uncle Jack he was as good as his right hand!

Later on, the weather seemed calming down and all were very busy
repairing damages; but, in the evening, a tremendous sea broke on board
carrying away the bulwarks and chain-plates fore and aft on the port
side, the accompanying violent gust of wind jerking the maintopsail as
if it had been tissue paper out of the ship.

Immediately after this, with the first lee roll, the foremast broke off
almost flush with the deck and fell with a crash over the side, taking
with it everything that stood but the lower main and mizzen masts,
leaving the _Greenock_ rolling a hopeless wreck on the waste of raging



The gale suddenly ceased during the night, but all hands remained on
deck; for, the sea was still rolling mountains high and coming in
occasionally over the broken bulwarks, causing Captain Lennard much
anxiety about the boats, which, fortunately, the broken top hamper kept
from being washed overboard.

In the morning it was quite calm again; but the poor old ship presented
a piteous scene of desolation, with her broken sides, and her gay array
of towering masts and spreading yards and spread of canvas all swept

Teddy could nearly have cried at the sorry sight; not reflecting that
through the merciful care of a divine providence watching over all not a
life had been lost.

With the daylight, Captain Lennard took a rapid review of their

He had caused a stout tarpaulin to be lashed over the engine-room hatch,
thus preventing any more water from passing down into the hold there in
any perceptible quantity; still, the carrying away of the bulwarks and
chain-plates had strained the ship very much on the port side, and when
the carpenter sounded the well at eight bells the ship was found to be
leaking fast, having already a depth of two feet in her.

"Man the pumps!" cried the captain; when Uncle Jack lending a willing
hand, the crew under his encouragement were soon working away steadily
with a clink-clank, clink-clank, the water pouring out through the
scuppers in a continuous stream.

However, on the well being sounded again presently, it was found to be
flowing in equally steadily, having risen already six inches more in
spite of all their pumping!

What was to be done?

The captain and Uncle Jack deliberated together, summoning the new third
mate to assist their counsels; but, they could only arrive at one

The ship was sinking fast, and all hands knew it as well as they
themselves; for, in addition to the damage done to the sides and
bulwarks, the heavy propeller had aided the waves in wrenching away the
rudder, which carried with it the greater portion of the stern-post.

"We must take to the boats," said Captain Lennard.  "Thank God, they are
all right, and haven't been washed away in the storm!"

Leaving the useless pumps, therefore, for it was of no avail fatiguing
the men with the unnecessary exertion any longer, all the pumping in the
world being idle to save the vessel, the hands were at once set to work
clearing the boats and getting them over the side.

It was a ticklish job, the long-boat especially being very heavy, and
there being no means, now they had lost their masts, of rigging a tackle
aloft to hoist it off the chocks amidships.

Still, necessity teaches men alternatives in moments of great peril; so,
now, knocking away the under fastenings of the boat by main force, the
crew managed at last to get it free.  Then, improvising rollers out of
pieces of the broken topmast, they contrived by pulling and hauling and
shoving, all working with a will together, to launch it over the side
through the hole in the bulwarks.

The jolly-boat followed suit, an easier task; and then, the two being
deemed sufficient to accommodate all on board, just sixty-one in number
including the two passengers, Captain Lennard gave the order to
provision them, telling the steward to bring out all the cabin stores
for this purpose, there being now no further use for them on board the
ship, and officers and men being entitled to share alike without

The captain himself, while this was being done, saw to the ship's log
and other papers, taking also out of the cabin his best chronometer and
a chart or two, as well as a sextant and some mathematical instruments.

These preparations for departure, though, were abruptly cut short by a
warning cry from Bill Summers, the boatswain.

"We'd better look sharp, sir," he called out to Uncle Jack, who was
busily engaged superintending the stowage of the provisions in the two
boats.  "The water is arising rapidly, and is now nearly up to the

Uncle Jack passed on the word to the captain, who instantly came up the

Seeing the truth of the boatswain's statement from the deeper immersion
of the ship since he had gone below, he at once ordered the men down
into the boats, the passengers going first; then the foremast hands;
and, lastly, the officers.

"Mr Althorp," said the captain, "you will take charge of the jolly-boat
and shove off as soon as she's got her complement.  I will command the
long-boat myself."

"Aye, aye, sir," responded Uncle Jack, descending into the boat when she
had as many in her as she could safely hold; when, shoving off from the
ship's side and rowing a few strokes, the men lay on their oars,
remaining some twenty yards off so as to be out of the whirlpool or eddy
that would be formed when the vessel presently foundered.

The long-boat now received its quota of passengers, all descending into
it and seating themselves on the thwarts and in the bottom so as not to
be in the way of those rowing, Captain Lennard waiting till the last to
get into her.

Just as he got in, however, he suddenly remembered that he had forgotten
a compass, and hastily climbed back on board to get it.

"Look sharp, Cap'en!" shouted Bill Summers from the bow as the ship gave
a quiver all over.  "She's just about to founder."

The captain was quick enough, racing back to the companion and down the
stairs in two bounds, where, although the cabin was half full of water,
he contrived to wrench away the "tell-tale" compass that swung over the
saloon-table; and he was on the poop again with it in an instant.

The instrument, however, was heavy, but he had hard work to carry it
with both hands; and he managed to get to the side with it, when bending
down handed it to Bill Summers, who stood up in the bow of the boat to
receive it.

At that instant, the ship gave a violent lurch, and some one sang out to
shove off; when, the oars being dropped in the water, the boat was
impelled some yards from the side, leaving Captain Lennard still on

"What, men, abandon your captain!"  Teddy cried, his voice quivering
with emotion.  "You cowards, row back at once!"

"We can't," sang out the same voice that had before ordered the men to
shove off.

Who it was no one noticed in the general flurry, nor knew afterwards;
but, while the men were hesitating which course to adopt, Teddy, without
saying another word, plunged overboard and swam back to the sinking
_Greenock_, having no difficulty in getting up the side now for it was
almost flush with the water.

"Come on board, sir!" said he jokingly, touching his forehead with his
finger, his cap having been washed off as he dived.

"My poor boy!" cried Captain Lennard, overcome with emotion at the
gallant lad's devotion; "you have only sacrificed two lives instead of
one!  Why did you not stay in the boat?"

"Because," began Teddy; but ere he could complete the sentence there was
a violent rush of air upwards from the hold, and a loud explosion, the
decks having burst.

At the same time, the ship made a deep bend forwards.

Then, her bows rose high in the air above the waves as the stern sank
with a gurgling moan; and, the next moment, Teddy and Captain Lennard
were drawn below the surface with the vessel as she foundered!

Teddy was nearly suffocated; but, holding his breath bravely, as Jupp
had taught him, and striking downwards with all his force, he presently
got his head above water, inhaling the delicious air of heaven, which he
thought would never more have entered his nostrils.

When he came to himself, he saw the captain's body floating face
downwards amongst a lot of broken planks and other debris of the wreck,
by some fragment of which he must have been struck as the _Greenock_

To swim forwards and seize poor Captain Lennard, turning him face
upwards again and supporting his head above the water, was the work of a
moment only with Teddy; and then, holding on to a piece of broken spar,
he awaited the coming up of the launch, which, now that all danger was
over from the eddy rowed up to the scene, when he and the captain were
lifted on board--all hands enthusiastic about the courageous action of
the little hero, and none more so than Captain Lennard when he recovered
his consciousness.

"You have saved my life!" he said.  "Had you not been close by to turn
me over when I rose to the surface I should have been drowned before the
boat could have come up.  I will never forget it!"

Nor did he, as Teddy's subsequent advancement showed; but, there was no
time now for congratulation or passing compliments.

The peril of those preserved from the wreck was not yet over, for, they
were thousands of miles away from land floating on the wide ocean!

Hailing the jolly-boat, Captain Lennard announced what he thought the
proper course should be.

"The best place for us to make for now is Valparaiso," he said; "and if
we steer to the east-nor'-east we ought to fetch it in three weeks or so
under sail; that is, if our provisions hold out so long."

Uncle Jack approving, this course was adopted; and, day after day, the
boats, setting their sails, which Bill Summers had not forgotten to
place on board, made slow but steady progress towards the wished-for

One morning, all were wakened up by the welcome cry of "Land ho!" from
the look-out forwards in the bow of the long-boat, which kept a little
ahead of the jolly-boat, although always reducing sail if she forged too
much forward so as not to lose her.

A signal was made, therefore, telling the glad news to Uncle Jack and
those with him; while the boat pressed onwards towards the spot where
the hazy outline of a mountain could be dimly seen in the distance.

"That is not the American continent," said Captain Lennard to the men,
in order to allay any future disappointment that might be afterwards
felt.  "We are nearly a thousand miles off that yet.  It must be Easter
Island.  That is the only land I know of hereabouts in the Pacific; and,
although I have never visited the place myself, I have heard that the
natives are friendly to strangers.  At all events we'll pay them a call;
it will be a break in our long journey!"

Bye and bye the boats approached the shore and all landed, when a lot of
copper-coloured savages came down to the beach waving branches of trees
in sign of welcome.

The islanders had not much to eat; but Captain Lennard, seeing that
their provisions were well-nigh expended, determined to stop here, while
sending on Uncle Jack with a small party to Valparaiso to charter some
vessel to come and fetch them all, the boats being so crowded that
misfortune might await them all if they continued the voyage in such
small craft.

For months and months all awaited in constant expectation Uncle Jack's
return; but, he came not, and they at length believed that he and those
with him must have been lost in some hurricane that had sprung up off
the Chilian coast, and so had never reached Valparaiso at all!

They had no fear of starvation, however, the islands abounding in
poultry in a semi-wild state, which they had to hunt down for
themselves; for the natives lent them no assistance.  Indeed they were
rather hostile after a time; although the Englishmen were too numerous
for them to attack, especially as they were always on their guard
against surprise.

In wandering over the island, which is only some thirty miles round,
Teddy was surprised, like the others, by the numbers of stone obelisks,
rudely carved into the semblance of human faces and statues, which could
not possibly have been executed by the present inhabitants.

It is believed by geographers that Easter Island must have formed a
portion of a vast Polynesian continent peopled by some kindred race to
those that designed the colossal monuments of an extinct civilisation,
now almost overgrown with vegetation, that are yet to be found as
evidences of a past age amidst the forests of Central America.

One day, more than a year after Uncle Jack had left, and when they had
almost given up all hope of ever seeing him again, or of being relieved
from their island prison--the long-boat being dashed to pieces in the
surf soon after he started--a schooner in full sail was discovered
making for the island.

Presently, she came nearer and nearer.

Then she hove to, and a boat was seen to be lowered from her side, and
shortly afterwards being pulled in to the shore.

A moment later, and Uncle Jack's well-known face could be seen in the
stern-sheets, a glad hurrah being raised by the shipwrecked men at the
sight of him.

Soon, Uncle Jack landed, and he had a long tale to tell of the jolly-
boat losing her sail, and being tossed about on the ocean till picked up
by an American whaler, which first took a cruise down the South Seas,
there detaining him many weary months before landing him at Sandy Point,
in the Straits of Magellan, from whence he got finally to Valparaiso
after awaiting a passage for weeks.

Arrived here, however, he at once got in communication with the British
consul, and chartered a schooner to go to Easter Island and fetch his

Uncle Jack, too, mentioned that he had written home to the owners of the
_Greenock_, telling of her loss and the safety of all hands on their
temporary island home; and he had also sent a letter to Endleigh, he
said, narrating all about Master Teddy's adventures, and saying that he
was safe and well.

Captain Lennard did not long delay the embarkation of his little band,
who were glad enough to leave Easter Island; so, in a couple of weeks'
time all landed safely in Valparaiso, where they luckily caught the
outgoing mail steamer as they arrived, and started off to England,
rejoicing in their timely rescue and preservation from peril amid all
the dangers of the deep.



It was a bright August day at Endleigh.

There was a scent of new-mown hay in the air, and gangs of reapers were
out in the fields getting in the harvest, the whirr of the threshing-
machine, which the squire had lately brought down from London, making a
hideous din in the meadows by the pond, where it had been set up;
puffing and panting away as if its very existence were a trial, and
scandalising the old-fashioned village folk--who did not believe in such
new-fangled notions, and thought a judgment would come on those having
to do with the machine, depriving, as it did, honest men who could wield
the flail of a job!

In the garden of the vicarage, the warm sun seemed to incubate a dreamy
stillness, the butterflies hardly taking the trouble to fly, and the
very flowers hanging down their lazy heads; while the trees drooping
their leaves, as if faint and exhausted with the heat.

Everything out of doors looked asleep, taking a mid-day siesta.
Everything, that is, but the bees, which carried on their honey-
gathering business as briskly as ever, utterly impervious to the warmth.
Indeed, perhaps they got on all the better for it, probing the petals
of the white lilies yet in bloom, and investigating the cavities of the
foxglove and wonderful spider-trap of the Australian balsam, or else
sweeping the golden dust off the discs of the gorgeous sunflowers, a
regular mine of mellifluent wealth; a host of gnats and wasps and other
idle insects buzzing round them all the time and pretending to be busy
too, but really doing nothing at all!

The heat-laden atmosphere was so still that it had that oily sort of
haze that distinguishes the mirage in the East, when the air appears
composed of little waving lines wavering to and fro that dazzle your
eyes with their almost-imperceptible motion as you look at them; and the
silence was unbroken save by the chuck-chuck-chuck of some meddlesome
blackbird in the shrubbery annoying the sparrows in their nap, and the
answering click-clink-tweedle-deedle-dum-tum-tweedle-um of the yellow-
hammer, telling as plainly as the little songster could tell that he at
all events was wide awake, while, in the far distance, there could be
heard the coo of ring-doves and the melancholy lament of the cuckoo
investigating the hedgerows in quest of other birds' nests wherein to
lay its solitary egg, and finding itself forestalled at every turn!

But if everything was so quiet without, such was not the case indoors at
the vicarage.

A telegram had been received from Uncle Jack, saying that he and Teddy,
having reached London in safety, would be down by the afternoon train;
so, all in the house were in a state of wild excitement at meeting again
those they had thought lost for ever.

Even the vicar was roused out of his usual placidity, although Uncle
Jack's letter from Valparaiso had told all about the wonderful escape of
the survivors of the _Greenock_; while, as for Miss Conny, who was now a
perfectly grown-up young lady of eighteen, all her sedateness was gone
for the moment and she was every bit as wild as the rest.

"Dear me, I'm sure the afternoon will never come!" exclaimed Cissy,
walking to the window after arranging and re-arranging the flowers in
the vases on the little table in the centre of the drawing-room and on
the mantel-piece for about the one-and-twentieth time.  "It's the
longest day I ever knew."

"Don't be so impatient, dear," said Conny, trying to appear cool and
tranquil as usual, but failing utterly in the attempt as she followed
Cissy to the window and looked out over the lawn; "the time will soon
pass by if you'll only try and think of something else but the hour for
the train to come in."

"You're a fine counsellor," cried Cissy laughing, as she watched Conny's
hands nervously twisting within each other.  "Why, you are as bad as I
am, and can't keep still a moment!  Only Liz is calm--as if nothing had
happened or was going to happen.  I declare I could bang her, as Teddy
used to say, for sitting there in the corner reading that heavy-looking
book.  I believe it must be a treatise on metaphysics or something of
that sort."

"Mistaken for once, Miss Ciss," said the student, looking up with a
smile.  "It's a volume of travels telling all about the Pacific Ocean
and Easter Island, where Teddy and Uncle Jack stopped so long with the
natives; so, it is very interesting."

"Well, I'd rather for my part wait and hear about the place from our own
travellers," rejoined Cissy impatiently.  "I do wish they would come!  I
think I will go and see how Molly is getting on with the dinner.  I'm
sure she'll be late if somebody doesn't look after her."

"You had better leave her alone, Cissy," remonstrated Conny.  "Molly,
you know, doesn't like being interfered with; and, besides, it is very
early yet, for they can't be here before three o'clock at the earliest."

"Oh, she won't mind me, Con," replied Cissy as she whisked out of the
room, gaily singing now, the idea of having an object or doing something
banishing her ennui; "Molly and I are the best of friends."

However, on entering the cook's domain Cissy found the old servant the
reverse of amiable, for her face was red and hot with basting a little
sucking-pig that was slowly revolving on the spit before a glowing fire
that seemed to send out all the more heat from the fact of its being
August, as if in rivalry of the sun without.

"Well, how are you getting on?" asked Cissy cheerfully, the sight of the
little roasting piggy which Molly had selected for the repast that was
to welcome Teddy, with some dim association of the fatted calf that was
killed on the return of the prodigal son, making her feel more assured
that the time was speeding on, and that the expected ones would arrive

But, Molly was not amenable to friendly overtures at the moment.

"Excuse me, miss, I don't want to be bothered now," she replied, turning
her perspiring countenance round an instant from her task and then
instantly resuming it again and pouring a ladleful of gravy over the
blistering crackling of her charge.  "There, now--you almost made me
burn it by interrupting me!"

"I'm very sorry, I'm sure, Molly," said Cissy apologetically; and seeing
that her room was preferred to her company, she went out into the
kitchen-garden to seek solace for her listlessness there.

It was a vain task, though.

The bees were still busily engaged hovering from flower to flower and
mixing up in their pouches the different sorts of sweet flavours they
extracted with their mandibles from the scabius, whose many-hued
blossoms of brown, and olive, and pink, and creamy-white, scented one
especial patch near the greenhouse.  This corner the industrious little
insects made the headquarters of their honey campaign, sallying out from
thence to taste a sweet-pea or scarlet-runner and giving a passing kiss
to a gaudy fuchsia, who wore a red coat and blue corporation sort of
waistcoat, as they went homeward to their hive.

On the ground below quite a crowd of sparrows were taking baths in turn
in a flat earthenware pan which was always kept filled with water for
their particular delectation; and the butterflies, too, waking up, were
poising themselves in graceful attitudes on the nasturtiums that twined
over the gooseberry bushes, which were running a race with the broad-
leaved pumpkins and vegetable marrow plants to see who would first
clamber over the wall, the red tomatoes laughing through the greenery at
the fun.

But there was little amusement for Cissy in all this at such a period of
expectancy, when her pulses throbbed with excitement; so, she turned
back towards the house with a yawn, uttering her longing wish aloud,
"Why can't Teddy come?"

It being summer time, all the doors and windows were wide open to let in
all the air possible, and as she retraced her steps slowly and
disconsolately from the bottom of the garden at the back she heard a
noise in front like the sound of wheels in the lane.

To dart through the side gate instead of returning by way of the kitchen
was the work of a moment; and she reached the front of the house almost
as soon as Conny and Liz, who had only to step out on to the smooth turf
from the low French windows of the drawing-room.

It was only a false alarm, though, Doctor Jolly having driven up from
visiting a patient to know when the travellers were expected.

"By the three o'clock train, eh?" he said on being told; then looking at
his watch he added: "Why, it's close on two now.  Any of you going down
to the station to meet them?"

"Yes," answered Miss Conny in her prim way, "I was thinking of taking
the children, if you do not consider it too warm to venture out in the
heat of the sun?  Poor papa is not so well to-day and unable to walk so

"Pooh, pooh!" ejaculated the doctor, with his hearty laugh.  "Call this
fine day too warm; you ought to be ashamed of yourself!  You need not
any of you walk.  Go and put on your bonnets, and tell the vicar, and
I'll cram you all into my old shanderadan and drive you down."

The Reverend Mr Vernon, however, besides suffering from one of his
usual nervous headaches, which always came on when he was excited by
anything as he was now, wished to be alone on first meeting with his
lost son again, so that none might witness his emotion, being a
particularly shy man amongst strangers; so, although he came out of his
study on hearing Doctor Jolly's voice he begged him to excuse his going,
while accepting his kind offer for the girls--who were ready in less
than no time, Miss Conny losing her primness in her anxiety not to keep
the doctor waiting, and the generally slow Liz being for once quick in
her movements.

In another minute they were all packed within the hybrid vehicle, half
gig, half wagonette, which the doctor only used on state occasions, and
must have brought out this afternoon with the preconceived idea of its
being specially wanted.

"This _is_ jolly!" exclaimed Cissy as they all drove off gaily down the
sleepy lane, passing neither man nor beast on their way.  "You are very
good to us, doctor!"

"Ho, ho, ho!  Miss Cissy," laughed he; "you're getting extremely
familiar to address me like that.  Jolly, indeed! why, that's my name,
ho, ho!"

"I--I didn't think," stammered poor Cissy rather abashed, blushing
furiously, while Conny took advantage of the opportunity to point out to
her the evil effects of using slang words; but the little lecture of the
elder sister was soon joked away by the doctor, and they arrived at the
station in the best of spirits.

Here they met with a wonderful surprise.

Some one who must have heard the news somehow or other of Teddy's return
home had decorated the front of the old waiting-room with evergreens and
sunflowers; and a sort of triumphal arch also being erected on the
arrival platform of the same floral pattern.

Who could have done it?

Why, no less a person than Jupp, whose black beard seemed all the
blacker, surrounding his good-humoured face, as he came out of the
office with Mary on his arm, and a young Master Jupp and another little
Mary toddling behind them--the whilom porter no longer dressed in grimy
velveteens, but in a smart black frock-coat, his Sunday best, while his
wife was equally spruce.

"I know it's ag'in the rules, miss," he explained to Conny; "but I see
the telegram as said Master Teddy'd be here this arternoon, God bless
him, and I'm thankful, that I am, he's restored safe and sound from the
bottom of the sea and Davy Jones's Locker, as we all on us thought.  So
says I to Grigson, my old mate as was, who's in charge here now, and we
detarmined as how we'd make a kind of show like to welcome of him home."

"You're a right-down brick, Jupp!" said Doctor Jolly, shaking him by the
hand, while Mary kissed her former nurse children all round; and, while
they were all exchanging congratulations, up came the train rumbling and
whistling and panting and puffing into the station, the engine bearing a
Union Jack tied to the funnel, for Jupp's interest in two of the special
passengers being brought to Endleigh was well-known on the line.

Hardly had the train come to a standstill than out jumped Teddy, a
trifle taller and broader across the shoulders as might have been
expected from his two years of absence, but the same open-faced boy with
the curly brown hair and blue eyes that all remembered so well.

What a meeting it was, to be sure, and how he hugged his sisters and Dr
Jolly and Jupp and Mary all round--Uncle Jack almost being unnoticed for
the moment, although he did not appear to mind it, looking on with a
sympathetic grin of delight at the general joy expressed in every
countenance present!

The doctor's "shanderadan" had a full cargo back to the vicarage,
everybody talking to everybody all at once and none being able to finish
a complete sentence--little Cissy keeping tight hold of Teddy's arm the
while as if fearful of losing him again and thinking it might be all a

When they got to the house Teddy was through the gate and across the
lawn in two bounds, tapping at the door of the study before his father
knew that he had come.

Like another father, the vicar was overcome with glad emotion, clasping
him in his arms and embracing him, weeping as he cried in a broken

"This, my son, was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!"

Only a word more.

The terrible experiences Teddy had had, and the sense of discipline
inculcated in him during his short training at sea, made such a change
in his character that henceforth he lost his former justly-earned
titles, being never more called either "pickle" or "scapegrace."

He has not, however, abandoned the profession he originally adopted, in
spite of its many perils and dangers, and the fact that a sailor's life
is not altogether of that rose-coloured nature which story-writers
usually make out.

No, he still sails under his old captain in the same line, and voyages
backwards and forwards between Melbourne and London with praiseworthy
punctuality, in the new ship Captain Lennard commands in place of the
old _Greenock_.  The vessel, too, is a regular clipper in her way,
beating everything that tries to compete with her, whether outwards or
inwards bound.

Teddy looks forward some day to taking his skipper's place when he
retires from active life afloat, and following the example of Uncle
Jack, who is already a captain too in his own right; for he is as steady
and trustworthy now as he was formerly impetuous and headstrong.

But, mind you, he has lost none of his pluck or fearless spirit, and is
the same genial, good-tempered, and happy-dispositioned boy he was in
earliest childhood--knowing now the difference between true courage and
mere bravado, and the value of obedience to those in authority over him.

As for Miss Conny, in spite of her ordinary sedateness of demeanour and
constant asseveration that she would only marry a clergyman like her
father, she is, to use Teddy's expressive diction, "spliced to a
sodger," having become engaged some time since to a gallant captain in a
marching regiment that was quartered for a while at Bigton, within easy
access of Endleigh.

Cissy and Liz are both growing up nice girls; while the vicar is still
hale and hearty, giving his parishioners the benefit every Sunday of a
"thirdly" and sometimes "fourthly, brethren," in addition to the first
and second divisions of his sermon; and never omitting his favourite
"lastly" with "a word in conclusion" to wind up with.

Doctor Jolly, to complete our list of characters, is yet to the fore
with his catching laugh, as "jolly" as ever; and, Jupp and Mary have
likewise been so tenderly dealt with by time that they hardly look a day
older than on that memorable occasion when Master Teddy introduced
himself to public notice.

Don't you remember?

Why, when he casually mentioned to the porter and reader alike, and all
whom it might concern, in the most matter-of-fact way in the world, that
he wanted to "do dan'ma!"


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