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Title: Chatterbox, 1905.
Author: Various
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.

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CHATTERBOX

[Illustration: Chatterbox]

Founded by J. Erskine Clarke, M.A.



Boston: Dana Estes & Company, 212 Summer Street.

Copyright, 1878, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1879, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1880, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1881, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1882, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1883, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1884, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1885, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1886, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1887, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1888, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1889, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1890, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1891, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1892, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1893, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1894, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1895, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1896, by ESTES & LAURIAT. Copyright, 1897, by ESTES & LAURIAT.
Copyright, 1898, by DANA ESTES & CO. Copyright, 1899, by DANA ESTES & CO.
Copyright, 1900, by DANA ESTES & CO. Copyright, 1901, by DANA ESTES & CO.
Copyright, 1902, by DANA ESTES & CO. Copyright, 1903, by DANA ESTES & CO.
Copyright, 1904, by DANA ESTES & CO. Copyright, 1905, by DANA ESTES & CO.

Presswork by
Colonial Press: C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, U.S.A.



CONTENTS.

[Illustration]

1905.


                                                                    Page
A Boy's Heroism                                                      179
A Coat of Paint                                                      319
Advice that Saved a King's Life                                      279
A Fair-sized Field                                                   358
Affectionate Eagles                                                   71
Afloat on the Dogger Bank         188, 198, 202, 214, 218, 226, 238, 242,
                                  253, 258, 266, 277, 285, 291, 300, 308,
                                  317, 324, 334, 342, 346, 354, 366, 374,
                                  378, 386, 398, 402, 410
A Hundred Years Ago                      15, 34, 142, 163, 210, 322, 382
A Kindly Visit                                                         3
A Lesson in Steering                                                 127
All Prime Ministers                                                  243
A Monkey's Memory                                                     11
A Mother Rabbit's Courage                                            122
A Motor-car of the Past                                              331
Anecdotes                          98, 130, 167, 195, 230, 262, 290, 339,
                                   371, 394
Animal Makeshifts                           220, 251, 275, 340, 371, 397
An Impression of Zanzibar                                            391
An Indian Custom                                                      22
An Ocean Policeman                                                    19
An Old-fashioned Grace                                               109
A Novel Rain Protector                                                58
A Queer Address on a Post-card                                       390
A Peep at Northern Italy                                             247
A Sparrow's Coolness                                                 183
A Story of Stanley                                                    87
A Stroll amongst Ferns                                               358
A Strong Motive                                                      299
A Timely Rescue                                                      259

Chased by Seagulls                                                    63
Clever Billy                                                         323
Cruisers in the Clouds           2, 62, 98, 154, 190, 223, 250, 266, 298,
                                 346, 370, 395
Cuban Lizards                                                        119
Curious Names in London City                                         110

Diamonds                                                             299
Doctor Abernethy's Advice                                            263

Earning an Honest Penny                                              110
Eastern Jugglers                                                     197
Encounters with Lions                                                311
Encouragement                                                        133
Ethel's Orange-plant                                                 339

Faith and Sight                                                      211
Freed in Vain                                                          3
Frost-bitten in the Red Sea                                          187

Generosity                                                           251
Gemmal Rings                                                         315
George II. at Dettingen                                               38
'Ginger for Pluck'                                                   114

Heroes and Heroines of Famous Books      38, 42, 166, 171, 274, 351, 354
He set the Example                                                   246
His First Wolf Hunt                                             390, 406
How Hetais Wore his Medal                                            359

Indian Wireless Telegraphy                                           395
Insect Ways and Means                29, 43, 77, 109, 149, 179, 211, 237,
                                     261, 283, 307, 357, 364, 387
In the Snow                                                          373

Japanese Plums                                                       146
Jim's Shower-bath                                                    227

Life in Bohemia                                                      282

Magic Rods                                                           122
May Day                                                              143
McLeod of Clere                                           66, 78, 82, 90
Mice on a Submarine                                                  279

Nature's Noblemen                                                    158
Never Caught It                                                      270
Never draw a Sword except in a Cause that is Just and Right          170
Nicolo in Vienna                                                     411
No Hurry                                                             155
Nothing is Perfect                                                    18
Not the same Thing                                                   146

Old Conduits                                                         323
One Good Turn deserves Another                                       306
One More Chance                                                      295
One was Missing                                                      287
Outwitting Himself                                                   255

Philip Wood and Sir Christopher Wren                                 314
Pussy's Playmate                                                     287
Puzzlers for Wise Heads              30, 58, 98, 130, 167, 195, 230, 263,
                                     290, 339, 371, 395

Rat-skins                                                            270
Ready!                                                               283
Regiments in the City                                                350
Rice-paper                                                           203
Rudel and Lisbeth                                                    150

Saved by the Enemy                                                    51
Saved by Twenty Guineas                                               47
Served her Right                                                     207
Smithfield Tournaments                                               170
Spy or Guide?                                                        394
Steeple-climbers                                                      74
Strange Children                                                     290

The Admiral and the Fisherman                                         50
The Best Beginning                                                    98
The Best Lesson                                                       11
The Black Leopard                                                    234
The Black Swan                                                       364
The Boy Tramp                  6, 12, 22, 26, 34, 44, 54, 58, 69, 74, 85,
                               94, 102, 106, 117, 125, 134, 138, 146,
                               158, 162, 173, 181, 187, 194
The Captain and the Invalid                                           66
The Captain's Cigar                                                   90
The Captain's Turn First                                              47
The Cashmere Stag                                                    231
The Castle Light                                                      10
The Chinese Laundryman                                               382
The Cow-tree                                                         307
The Cypher Telegram                                             123, 130
The Duke and the Traveller                                           167
The Duke of Wellington's Head Gardener                               219
The Eagle's Nest                                                     349
The Elephant and the Crocodile                                        78
The Feast of Cherries                                                175
The Flower-girl                                                      207
The Frog and the Geese                                                22
The Gate-keeper of Rambouillet                                       231
The Generous Bakers                                                   71
The Girl who Did Not Run Away                                        130
The Great Northern Diver                                             133
The Hidden Room                                            327, 330, 338
The Indian Chief and the Bishop                                       11
The Intruding Squirrel                                               186
The Jumping Mouse                                                    299
The Legend of Helfenstein                                             63
The Lime or Linden                                                    98
The Little Bush-boy                                                  155
The Man with the Glasses                                             213
The Mysterious Chest                                                  30
The Old Clock                                                        271
The Parks of London                                        205, 245, 270
The Pitcher-plant                                                    221
The Poet Crabbe's First School                                       234
The Potato                                                           263
The Puff-adder                                                        90
The Reason Why                                                       107
The Sago-tree                                                        210
The Story of Slate                                                   186
The Teal                                                              53
The Teeth of Hyenas                                                  231
The Wreck of the _Hope_                                              391
Torn to Rags                                                         178
Toys from the Streets                                      379, 389, 403
Twenty Pounds Reward                                                 362
Two Medals                                                           219
Two Ways of Reading a Sentence                                       150

Ulrich's Opportunity                                                 234

Whalebone                                                             50
What Katie Heard                                                     303
White Negroes                                                        178
Without a Hen to Buy Stamps                                          143
Wonderful Caverns                    18, 51, 83, 115, 139, 195, 229, 294,
                                     315, 332, 363



POETRY.


                                                                    Page
A Busy World                                                         382
Against Odds                                                         406
Bouquets                                                              66
Discontent brings Dulness                                            157
Don't Begin                                                          244
Fairy Song                                                           350
Good-bye to the Last Fire                                            163
Good-night, Good-day!                                                 50
Growing Up                                                           115
How Tom Dresses                                                      282
Invitations                                                          148
Jack's Wish                                                          259
My Friend                                                             38
My Garden Concert                                                     63
My Picture-book                                                      234
One and One make Two                                                 222
Our Puss                                                             122
Sad Company in the Nursery                                           299
Take Care of the Days                                                 47
The Bat and the Ball                                                 142
The Contented Pansy                                                  358
The Father of All                                                    279
The Fox's Serenade                                                   306
The Friendly Light                                                    29
The Great Picture-book                                               186
The Jealous Kittens                                                  101
The Lover-doll                                                       390
The Naughty Kittens                                                   11
The Pioneers                                                         170
The Promise of the Storm                                             394
The Rabbit and the Hare                                              331
The Slate's Story                                                    371
The Song of the Broom                                                294
The Startled Hares                                                    92
The Trumpet and the Drum                                             227
The Two Dolls                                                        315
The Way to Win                                                         3
The Weather Sprites                                                  195
Too Clever                                                           178
Too Tempting to be Lost                                              204
Travellers' Tales                                                    134
Waiting                                                               22
Welcome to the First Fire                                            323
What am I?                                                           214
What Insects Love                                                    342
Why the Sea Sobs                                                     363
Willie's Sum                                                         251



ILLUSTRATIONS.


COLOURED PLATES.

"Why Should We Wait Till To-morrow?"                      _Frontispiece_
Home for the Holidays,                                     facing p.  64
On a Voyage of Discovery,                                  facing p. 128
All Hands to the Pump,                                     facing p. 192
Crossing the Brook,                                        facing p. 256
Good News of the Boy,                                      facing p. 320

                                                                    Page
A Cliff-dwelling of North America                                    229
A Corner of Hyde Park                                                205
A Countryman's Well-deserved Rebuke                                   17
Afloat on the Dogger Bank (Illustrations to),    189, 200, 201, 216, 217,
                                                 225, 240, 241, 253, 257,
                                                 268, 277, 285, 292, 301,
                                                 309, 317, 325, 336, 344,
                                                 348, 356, 368, 376, 377,
                                                 385, 400, 401, 409
'After all, I will wait'                                              93
'A great number of seagulls were chasing the fugitive'                64
'A horseman galloped to the spot in the hope of
        finding them still alive'                                    153
A Monkey's Memory                                                     12
Andrée's Departure for the North Pole                                297
An Eastern Snake Charmer                                             197
Animal Makeshifts (Illustrations to),  220, 221, 252, 276, 341, 372, 397
An Ocean Policeman                                                    20
An Old-fashioned Motor-car                                           332
A Peep at Northern Italy                                             248
A Picture Puzzle                                                      28
A Scene in Clissold Park                                             245
A Scene in Regent's Park                                             269
'As we cleared the water we could hear the wolves close behind'      403

'Billy allowed the letter to be taken'                               324
'"Boh! Boh!" the clear voice shouted'                                 81

Chinese Laundrymen                                                   381
Cliff-dwelling, New Mexico, and Cave-pottery                         333
Cuban Lizards                                                        120

'Daisy soon grew clever at keeping the head to the wind'             128

East Front of the Rock Temple of Elephanta                           140
Entrance to the Grotto of La Balme                                   316

'Fight against my country! Not for the ransom of a king!'             49
Fingal's Cave, Staffa                                                 52

Hans Christian Andersen                                              164
'He could hardly find words to welcome them'                           5
'He deliberately lighted a cigar with a scrap of the burning rope'    89
'He hit out with all his force'                                      349
'He loaded the children with cherry branches'                        176
'He looked wistfully at the pair of crutches'                        124
'He ran towards the bull and opened his umbrella quickly'            260
'He saw an old man, who seemed to be very weary'                     353
'He started, and let the lancet fall'                                280
'He steered his balloon round the Eiffel Tower'                      369
'He told his son he would disinherit him and turn him out of doors'   40
'His grandfather lay gagged and bound on the floor'                    9
'How dare you strike me when you know God can see you?'              165
'How it tasted--well, I've never heard'                              204
'How would you like to earn twenty pounds reward?'                   361

'I am afraid I have no berth here for you, my lad'                   305
'I am worth something when I can call that brave boy my son'         152
'I cannot bear to sit out here'                                       21
'I don't know what to do'                                            157
'If you hang him, you shall hang me too'                             169
'I got these easily from the cellar'                                 329
Insect Ways and Means (Illustrations to),      29, 44, 77, 109, 149, 180,
                                               212, 237, 261, 284, 308,
                                               357, 364, 388
'I saw it first--'tis mine--let go!'                                 244
'It hopped into the space between the rails'                         184
'It is a terrible thing, is a wreck on this coast'                   392
'It is good! very good'                                              313
'It rose at once to the ceiling'                                       1
'It was fortunate that we put them off the scent'                    132
'"I will add this too, lady," said the pedlar'                       337
'I will take care of Boh'                                             80

'Jack worked with a will'                                            320
'Jim got a terrible drenching'                                       228
'Just as Lord Massereene was leaving the prison, he was arrested'    209

'Katie stood on the doorstep'                                        304

'Live on sixpence a day--and earn it'                                264
'Look out, father, they are going to shoot you'                      118

'Maung and his young companion came to what they sought at last'      68

'May turned away, feeling ashamed and miserable'                     340
'M. Charles stepped into the blue and golden car'                    100
'My master wishes to speak with you'                                 352

Nicolo and the Krampus                                               412
'No, little lass, I do not want any flowers'                         112

October 21st, 1805                                                   321
'One bolder than the rest stabbed it with a pitchfork'                61
'One pig went squealing down the road'                               177

'Paralysed with fear, he clung to the bough'                           4
'Please do not shoot me'                                             393

'See what my speckled hen has hatched'                               328
'Seven miles high!'                                                  265
'Shame on you all, to hit a helpless man'                             16
'She could hardly stand still while Alice tied the ribbon on'        114
'She managed to drag her on shore'                                   129
'She was just high enough, and could light the lamps'                 41

The Best Beginning                                                    97
The Black Leopard                                                    233
The Black Swan of Australia                                          365
'The bottle stood in the air as though hanging there'                396
The Boy Tramp (Illustrations to),          8, 13, 24, 25, 36, 45, 56, 60,
                                           69, 76, 85, 96, 104, 105, 117,
                                           125, 136, 137, 148, 160, 161,
                                           173, 181, 193
'The cat washed the jackdaw in its turn'                             289
'The commanding officer advanced towards the bier'                   360
The Death of a Deserter                                               33
The Deerslayer in the hands of the Indians                           172
'The driver heard them, and reversed his engine'                     224
'The dog hailed his master as he passed'                             345
'The eagle seized its wounded mate with its beak and claws'           72
'The empty branch bore a label'                                      145
The First Post-office in the Sky                                     192
The Giant's Hall, Luray                                              293
'The grateful mother handed the doctor a handsome pocket-book'       256
The Grottoes of Han in the Ardennes                                  116
The Great-Northern Diver                                             133
'The horse nearly carried the King into the French lines'             37
The Jealous Kittens                                                  101
The Jumping Mouse                                                    300
'The little bush-boy appeared'                                       156
The Mammoth Cave, Kentucky                                            84
The Man with the Glasses                                             218
'The men set to work to load their muskets'                          272
'The other passengers thought him mad'                                57
'The peacock took all her play in good part'                         288
'The rabbit bit the stoat in the most infuriated manner'             121
The Rock Temple of Kailus at Ellora                                  196
'The sailor-pupil climbed into the car'                              249
'The second lion seized him'                                         312
The Simplon Pass                                                     141
'The soldiers forgot the prisoner, and scrambled for the money'       48
'The stag stayed by his mate's body'                                 232
The Teal                                                              53
'The two were soon locked in fight'                                  384
'The women of Bohemia act as bricklayers labourers'                  281
'The woodpecker fled in fear'                                        185
'They burnt the Shakespeare, breaking the spell'                      88
'They came hopping in, Paul an easy first'                            92
'They stumbled along, supporting the stranger as best they could'    373
''Tis the very man!'                                                 273
Toys from the Streets (Illustrations to),                  380, 389, 404

'We charged at the midst of the foe'                                 405
'We will see where this rat came from'                                32
'What is it?--a fire? Speak, boy!'                                   236
'Who'll buy?'                                                        208
'Wootton stood quite upright on the pinnacle of the steeple'          73
'Would you take a message of importance for me?'                     168

'Your Majesty is certainly wrong'                                    108
'"You shall go," said the captain, "if I lose every passenger"'       65
'You young rascal'                                                   296



Chatterbox.


[Illustration: "It rose at once to the ceiling."]



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

I.--THE TWO BROTHERS OF ANNONAY AND THEIR PAPER BALLOON.


In the chimney corner of a cottage in Avignon, a man sat one day
watching the smoke as it rose in changing clouds from the smouldering
embers to the sooty cavern above, and if those who did not know him had
supposed from his attitude that he was a most idle person, they would
have been very far from the truth.

It was in the days when the combined fleets of Europe were thundering
with cannon on the rocky walls of Gibraltar, in the hope of driving the
English out, and, the long effort having proved in vain, Joseph
Montgolfier, of whom we have spoken, fell to wondering, as he sat by the
fire, how the great task could be accomplished.

'If the soldiers and sailors could only fly,' he thought, 'there would
be no difficulty.' He looked at a picture of the Rock lying on the table
beside him, and saw many places on its summit very suitable for such
flying foes to settle on. 'But, ah! who could give them wings?' He
turned to the fireplace, and his eyes fell once more on the column of
smoke, silently, silently rising; and yet not so silently as the world
might think, for though he had not yet quite understood its meaning,
Joseph Montgolfier had been striving for some time past to learn the
lesson which he felt sure it was to teach him at last. And to-day the
secret came out. Thoughts so active as his did not take long to get from
Gibraltar back to the smoke, and they had not been there many minutes
when Montgolfier jumped from his seat, and, throwing open the door of
the room, called to his landlady. A great idea had occurred to him, and,
to carry it out, he required some light, silky material, called taffeta.
This the good landlady quickly supplied, and when she entered the room
some time later, she found her lodger holding the taffeta, which he had
formed into a bag, over the fire. As the smoke filled it, it certainly
showed an inclination to rise, but once out of reach of the warmest glow
it toppled over and collapsed on the floor.

The landlady watched the experiments for some time in silence. Then,
with a little laugh, she said, 'Ah, M. Montgolfier, why do you not tie
the fire to the bag?'

The great inventor had not thought of that; but he did not require to be
told twice, and obtaining a little bunch of some inflammable material,
he tied it under his bag and set it on fire. The smoke and heat inflated
the tiny balloon, and it rose at once to the ceiling. A few minutes
later the inventor called for pen and ink, and wrote the following
letter:

'Prepare without delay a supply of taffeta and cordage, and you shall
see one of the most astonishing things in the world.'

This hasty note was addressed to M. Stephen Montgolfier at Annonay, near
Lyons, and never was a request made that was more likely to be carefully
and promptly granted. Stephen Montgolfier, like his brother, had busy
thoughts concerning means for rising in the air, and when Joseph
returned from Avignon, they set to work with stronger hope of realising
their dreams. As they were the largest and best paper-makers in Annonay,
they did not lack material for carrying on experiments, and when these
experiments had repeatedly resulted in success, they decided that the
rest of the world should be admitted into their secret. A large balloon,
made of paper and taffeta, should be inflated in the public square, and
be allowed to rise before the eyes of any who might gather there to see
it. And they carried out this determination on June 5th, 1783. On that
day there assembled at Annonay a number of local celebrities, and no
better opportunity could have been chosen.

In the public square a large circular space was railed off to keep the
crowd at a proper distance, and in the centre of this space rose a
wooden platform to accommodate the new cloud-ship and the fire which was
to fill it with the power of flight. Never had the brothers Montgolfier
had a busier morning; never had the good people of Annonay seen such
excitement in their quiet village. The crowd had gathered from far and
near, and watched the busy workers round the mysterious platform with
widely different thoughts. Some were silent with expectation, some
jeered noisily; but, unconscious of praise or laughter, the two brothers
directed their little band of workmen, confident of coming triumph.

At last the specially invited guests had all arrived, and when they were
accommodated with seats, one of the brothers made a little speech of
explanation, ending with the remark that he would apply a torch to the
heap of chopped straw and wool beneath the platform. The smoke arising
from these different kinds of fuel formed, when combined, he said, the
most suitable gas for raising a substance into the air. These diligent
brothers, however, had only partly learned the truth as yet, or they
would have known that it was the _heat_, and not the _smoke_, which
lifted the paper bag.

The torch was put to the straw, the yellow flames leapt up, and the
smoke, passing through a hole in the platform, entered the open end of
the globe-shaped bag, which up to the present had, of course, been lying
flat and empty. Instantly a paper dome seemed to rise from the platform.
This continued to grow in size, while the workmen stood round in a ring,
each holding a rope which passed to the top of the dome. The ropes grew
longer and longer as the balloon filled, and it soon became hard work to
hold them. But on no account were the men to let go until the word was
given.

When at last the paper walls were extended to their uttermost size, the
wondering spectators saw a huge ball of some one hundred and ten feet in
circumference, swaying uneasily to and fro with every breath of air, as
though straining at its fetters. At last came the word. The ropes were
released, and the great body rose rapidly into the air, followed by a
thunder of applause. With straining eyes the crowd followed that
wondrous flight. Higher and higher, nearer and nearer to the clouds,
till what a few moments before was so very imposing in size seemed no
bigger than a child's plaything. Then, caught in a current of air, it
drifted out of sight for ever.

Such was the launching of the first ship in the new navigation of the
clouds. On the place from which it started a handsome monument has been
erected, bearing the names of the two builders--Joseph and Stephen
Montgolfier--the brothers who always worked together, sharing equally
the fame that their discovery brought, and never selfishly seeking for
self-advancement. Recent searchings seem to show that the principal
honour is due to Joseph, the elder, and, if one of the many stories told
in detail (and repeated at the beginning of this article) may be relied
upon, surely we ought to also remember with some praise the unknown
woman who let lodgings in Avignon.

JOHN LEA.



THE WAY TO WIN.


    'I wish I could win one!' a lassie was sighing,
      When sitting quite still in a meadow one day,
    And thinking of prizes not won without trying--
      Not won by mere wishing as time slips away.

    And as she sat wishing she heard a hen clucking;
      She lifted her eyes and that hen she could see,
    And soon it was rapidly scratching and chucking--
      As gay and as busy and glad as could be.

    She watched how it struggled to upturn a treasure,
      A thing it was wishing for, something to eat,
    A worm to be dug for with patience and pleasure!
      'Twas found, and it gave Henny-Penny a treat!

    That worm the hen wished for she could not have eaten
      Unless she had scratched it right up from the ground;
    And Mabel had seen that the hen was not beaten--
      By carefully _working_ the prize had been found.

    So Mabel thought quietly over the matter,
      And learnt the good lesson, 'No prize can be won
    By thinking and wishing, by waiting and chatter!'
      And soon she jumped up and to work she begun.

D. H.



FREED IN VAIN.


Prince, the parrot, was a proud and happy bird; he was proud of his
gorgeous red and green feathers, of his ability to say 'Pretty Poll' and
'How do?' and, above all, of his fine gilded cage, which stood just
inside the breakfast-room window.

But, in an evil hour, Prince, watching the birds which flew to and fro
outside the glass, was struck with a desire for freedom. He thought no
more of his splendid feathers, or his handsome cage; but, from morning
till night, he wondered how he should get out. There was not wit enough
in his parrot brain to make him understand that the cold English garden
was not in the least like the flowery forest of his native island.

His chance came one snowy morning; the French window had been opened,
after breakfast, that some one might go out and scatter crumbs for the
robins. The cage-door happened to be open too. Unobserved, Prince darted
swiftly out, and perched amid the leafless boughs of one of the high
trees on the lawn.

He was free! but, oh, how cold it was! How wretched he was already
beginning to feel! He crouched shivering on a bough; and when the snow
began to fall again in large, wet flakes, he was more miserable than he
had ever been in all his petted life.

Paralysed with cold and fear, he clung to the tree, too unhappy even to
cry out and let people know where he was.

[Illustration: "Paralysed with fear, he clung to the bough."]

Poor Prince! he must soon have died if some one had not noticed the
empty cage. The alarm was given at once, but it was some time before the
bird was seen on his lofty perch.

When they did see him, and everybody called and coaxed 'Poor Prince!
dear Prince!' to come down, he was too stupefied with cold and misery to
do as he was told.

At last Tom, the page-boy, volunteered to climb the tree and try to
reach Prince. It was rather a dangerous task, as the bark was slippery
from the frost and snow; but Tom persevered, and, by dint of much
effort, got hold of the parrot.

Prince was restored to his cage, but he had caught a bad cold, and never
again held up his head as jauntily, or seemed as proud of himself, as he
had done in former days.

C. J. BLAKE.



A KINDLY VISIT.


Willie Mortimer was a cripple, but he did not often complain of his lot,
nor, as a rule, did he feel very unhappy about it. His love for drawing
and painting was such a resource to him, that when he could hobble on
his crutches down to the shore, he was never tired of watching the sea
and the boats, and of trying to make sketches which he could work up
into pictures at home, as he sat in the window of the little cottage.

But it was a year since the accident which had made the amputation of
his leg a necessity, and for the first time Willie's cheerfulness was
beginning to forsake him. He could not help noticing how worn and
anxious his mother looked, and he knew how hard it was for her to earn
enough money, by her plain sewing, to keep up the little house. Until
the previous summer she had let lodgings, but she could not manage it
when she was nursing Willie, and waiting on him after he left the
hospital, and this year no people had applied for her rooms yet.

One of her former lodgers had been an artist, and it was he who, being
struck with Willie's talent, had given him instruction, and taught him
all he knew about art. But the boy was now thirsting for more knowledge.
If only he could be trained to be an artist! That was his dream, and
often he would sit at his little window, looking over the blue waters
of the bay, while his eyes would fill with tears as he thought how
impossible it was for a little ignorant boy to paint pictures which
would have any beauty.

His pathetic face attracted Dora and Elsie Vaughan as they passed the
cottage every day. They were having a perfectly lovely time in this
Devonshire village, where their father had taken a house for the summer
holidays. Mr. Vaughan was a celebrated artist, and Willie would watch
him eagerly as he passed with his canvas and sketching materials, and
would long for a sight of the pictures which would soon be so famous.

'That poor little cripple boy does look sad,' Dora said to her sister.
'I think we ought to go and visit him and take him some flowers.'

'But he is not always a prisoner,' Elsie answered. 'I see him on the
beach sometimes with his crutches, and he is often trying to sketch
boats and things.'

[Illustration: "He could hardly find words to welcome them."]

'Anyway it must be dull for him, and we might cheer him up a little,'
Dora persisted.

'It is rather tiresome, though, when there are such heaps of lovely
things to do, and the holidays do fly so quickly,' Elsie argued, for she
was not as unselfish as her sister, and did not much care to give up her
own pleasure.

However, Dora had her way, for Elsie knew from former experience that if
she were really set on a thing, it saved trouble to give in at once and
make the best of it. She even found a box of chocolates not quite
empty, and with the sweets that were left, and some of Dora's, was able
to fill a smaller box. Then they begged some cakes from the cook, and
hunted up a couple of story-books from the number they had brought with
them, and in the end had quite a well-filled basket for Elsie to carry.
Dora picked a bunch of roses and then they set out for the cottage.

When they arrived Willie was sitting before his easel, looking sadly at
his latest attempt at a picture, and thinking how poor it was compared
with the scene his imagination painted. He was so shy and so much
overcome by the honour of their visit that he could hardly find words to
welcome them, but the girls' exclamations of delight when they saw his
picture soon set him at ease.

'How lovely!' Dora cried. 'Did you really paint it yourself?'

'I have watched you sketching on the beach, but I never thought you were
so clever,' Elsie told him, and Willie blushed with pleasure at their
praise.

Then he opened the box on which his painting materials stood, and showed
them all the pictures and sketches he had done in the past year.

'You see, Miss,' he said to Dora, 'now I cannot get about much, it
passes the time; but I do wish I had somebody to tell me all the faults
in them, and help me to do better.'

'We must bring Father to see them; he will not be backward about
pointing out faults,' said Elsie, laughing, 'though I cannot find any
myself.'

'But Mr. Vaughan is such a great artist, he would never look at my poor
little pictures,' Willie said, flushing at the very thought.

'He may be a great artist, but he is a very kind father,' Elsie told
him, 'and he nearly always does what we ask him.'

Certainly he did not disappoint his daughters this time. Moreover, he
was amazed at the progress the boy had made with so little help, and saw
that he was worth training.

'Your son has great natural talent,' he said to Willie's mother. 'I am
even inclined to think he may be a genius. You must allow me to make it
easy for him to be trained in the best schools.'

And so poor crippled Willie, instead of being a burden to his mother,
became her pride and joy, beginning a career which was one day to make
him even more famous than the artist who had given him a helping hand.

M. H.



THE BOY TRAMP.

CHAPTER I.


The first time I saw Captain Knowlton, we were living in lodgings at
Acacia Road, Saint John's Wood. My Aunt Marion had breakfasted in bed,
and I, having nothing better to do, wandered downstairs to what our
landlady called the 'hall,' where I stood watching Jane as she dipped a
piece of flannel into her pail, and smacked it down noisily on to the
oilcloth, until there was a loud ringing of the street-door bell.

As Jane rose from her knees, rubbing her red hands on her apron, I edged
along the passage, keeping touch of the wall, and staring unabashed at
the tall, well-dressed, distinguished-looking visitor.

'Does Miss Everard live here?' he inquired.

'Yes, sir,' answered Jane.

'I should like to see her.'

'Master Jack!' cried Jane, 'do you know if your aunt has come down yet?'

But as I was on the point of running upstairs to find out, the visitor
called me back.

'Half a second,' he said. 'Are you young Everard?'

'Yes,' I replied; and fixing an eyeglass in his left eye, he looked at
me with considerable curiosity.

'Tell your aunt,' he continued, 'that Captain Knowlton wishes to see
her.'

And upon that I ran off, shouting, 'Aunt Marion! Aunt Marion!' at the
top of my voice. 'Aunt Marion,' I repeated, entering the sitting-room,
'Captain Knowlton is downstairs, and he wants to speak to you.'

'Captain Knowlton!' she murmured.

'Shall I bring him up?' I asked.

Rising from the sofa, and laying down the newspaper which she had been
reading, Aunt Marion walked towards the door. She must have been near
her thirty-fifth year at that time, about the same age as our visitor.
She was tall, fair, and nice-looking, good-tempered, and perhaps a
little careless. That morning she was wearing a light blue
dressing-gown, although it was past eleven o'clock.

'Yes, bring Captain Knowlton up,' she answered, 'and ask him to wait a
few minutes.'

As she went to the bedroom, I returned to the street door, where Captain
Knowlton stood gazing at Jane as she continued to smack the oilcloth
with her wet flannel.

'You are to come upstairs,' I cried, and following me to the
sitting-room, he sat down and began to stare afresh.

'So you are poor Frank Everard's boy!' he said.

'Did you know my father?' I demanded, for I had no recollection of
either parent, or of any relative with the exception of Aunt Marion,
under whose charge I had moved about from lodging-house to lodging-house
since I was four years of age.

'Well,' said Captain Knowlton, 'if I had not known him, I should not be
here to-day.'

He became silent for a few moments, and then added, as he took my hand
and drew me against his knee, 'Your father once saved my life, Jack. How
old are you?' he asked.

'Eleven next month,' I replied, and, somewhat to my disappointment, Aunt
Marion entered the room as I spoke, wearing the dress in which she went
to church on Sundays.

'I have often heard of you, Captain Knowlton,' she said, as he rose from
his chair, 'although I have never seen you before.'

'Oh, well,' he answered, 'I have been in India the last five years! I
came home last week, and from a few words I heard at the club, I
gathered that poor Frank Everard's boy----'

Aunt Marion's cheeks flushed, and she held her head a little further
back.

'I have done the best I could for him,' she exclaimed.

'I am certain of that,' he continued; 'but, anyhow, I made inquiries,
and, after some difficulty, succeeded in discovering your address.
Perhaps,' he added, glancing in my direction, 'you would not mind
sparing me a few minutes alone.'

To my great disgust, she told me to run away, so that I returned to the
damp passage, which was now deserted by Jane. After waiting there what
seemed a long time, I saw Captain Knowlton on the stairs. After bidding
me good-bye, he let himself out of the house.

'Aunt Marion!' I cried, before there was time to reach the sitting-room,
'he says that Father saved his life!'

'Well, Jack, he said what was quite true.'

'But,' I continued, 'why did Captain Knowlton call father "poor Frank
Everard?" Was he really poor?'

Aunt Marion sighed before she answered.

'Goodness knows, he ought not to have been,' she said. 'Your father had
a lot of money when he came of age, but he was foolish enough to spend
it all, and the consequence was that nothing remained for your mother,
or for you when she died.'

'Hasn't Captain Knowlton any money either?' I asked.

'He has lately come into a large fortune,' she said; and then she told
me that he had promised to come again at the same hour to-morrow
morning, and take me out with him.

Captain Knowlton seemed so satisfactory in every way that the mere
prospect of walking in the street by his side was enticing. I lay awake
that night a long time, wondering where he would take me.

When I awoke the next morning, Aunt Marion said I was to put on my best
clothes (which were nothing to boast of), and insisted on washing me
herself, putting a quantity of soap into my eyes, oiling my hair, and,
in short, doing her best in readiness for Captain Knowlton's arrival.

'Well, Jack, are you ready?' he asked, as he entered our room.

'Rather!' I answered.

'Have you got a handkerchief?' said Aunt Marion, and I drew it from my
jacket as proof.

'Come along, then,' cried Captain Knowlton, and I rejoiced to see that
he had kept his hansom at the door.

The first stoppage on that eventful morning was at the hair-dresser's,
where I sat in a high chair, enveloped in a loose cotton wrapper, while
Captain Knowlton smoked a cigarette and a man cut my hair, after which
we went to a tailor's, where I was measured for two suits of clothes.
Having visited a hatter's and a hosier's in turn, we entered a large
restaurant, sitting down one on each side of a small table, Captain
Knowlton leaning across it and reading the bill of fare aloud for my
benefit.

'I think I will have roast turkey,' I said, after prolonged consideration,
and I accordingly had it, with the accompaniment of sausage and bread
sauce, to say nothing of the sweets and the ice which followed. But
even what Captain Knowlton described as luncheon, and what I regarded as
a kind of king of dinners, was eclipsed by what came afterwards, for we
were driven to a theatre, where a comic opera was being played; and at
seven o'clock that evening a very tired and sleepy boy, with his right
hand tightly clenched on a half-sovereign in his jacket pocket, was
deposited on the steps of the house in Acacia Road.

During the next few weeks Captain Knowlton was a frequent visitor,
while, for my own part, I wished that he would come every day. One
afternoon he arrived in the rain and stayed to tea.

'Now, Jack,' he said, setting down his empty cup, 'I should like to hear
you read.'

But as I was bringing one of our small collection of books from the
sideboard, he called me away.

'No, none of that,' he cried, with a laugh; 'something you have never
seen before. Try the newspaper.'

Although I appeared to win approval by my reading of the extremely
uninteresting leading article, he shook his head at the sight of my
handwriting, whilst he seemed to be astounded by my total ignorance of
Latin and French.

'The fact is,' he said, 'it is high time you went to boarding-school!'

Before he left the house that afternoon he had another private
conversation with Aunt Marion, and a week or two later he arrived with
the announcement that 'everything had been arranged.'

'Windlesham has been very strongly recommended to me,' he explained.
'The Reverend Matthew Windlesham, to give him his full title.'

'Has he a living?' inquired Aunt Marion.

'No, but he has a capital house, with a large garden and a meadow, at a
place called Castlemore.'

'Where is that?'

'About a hundred miles from London. Windlesham has a wife and five
daughters, and at present there are only six or seven pupils. As Jack is
rather backward, it will suit him better than a larger school.'

So everything was decided, and I fancy that Aunt Marion looked forward
to my departure with a satisfaction equal to my own--it could scarcely
have been greater. Boys and girls were at that time an unknown quantity
to us, as were most of their sports and pastimes.

It was true that there were scarcely enough of us at Ascot House for
football or cricket; nevertheless we did our best in the meadow at the
bottom of the garden, our scanty numbers being eked out by Mr. and Mrs.
Windlesham's five girls. They were nice, kind people, and, when the
first shyness had worn off, I settled down happily at Castlemore. During
the next three uneventful years I received occasional visits from
Captain Knowlton, while I grew greatly in stature, and, it is to be
hoped, in knowledge.

The holidays were, for the most part, spent with Aunt Marion, sometimes
in boarding-houses at the seaside, sometimes in London, and I had no
anticipation of troubles ahead until shortly after I passed my
fourteenth birthday.

(_Continued on page 12._)

[Illustration: "'Does Miss Everard live here?' he inquired."]

[Illustration: "His grandfather lay gagged and bound on the floor."]



THE CASTLE LIGHT.


'I wish you would tell me, Grandfather, how it was you first thought of
building a lighthouse tower.'

'Well, Conrad, if you _will_ know, you shall hear the story,' and Sir
Matthew Cairns, as he said these words, looked kindly down into the
bright young face uplifted to his own.

'It was twenty years ago that the thought first came to me that Cairns
Castle might serve as a beacon to those far out at sea. The reason for
this was that on a certain winter's night a vessel was wrecked on these
shores, solely on account of there being no light to warn her of her
peril. More than a hundred souls went to their doom, to the joy, it is
said, of the wreckers, who made a fine harvest on the coast at
daybreak.'

'Oh, Grandfather,' Conrad said with a shudder, 'how awful! Surely we
have no such people about now?'

His grandfather sighed, and, to turn the subject, proceeded to explain
to the little lad his method of lighting the lamp.

Cairns Castle was an ancient building which overlooked the sea, its
isolated position rendering it a very lonely dwelling-place. Sir
Matthew, its present possessor, though by no means a wealthy man, had
spent a considerable sum of money in adding a lighthouse tower to the
castle. From the window-panes shone forth a gleam so clear and
brilliant, that many a gallant seaman was guided safely home thereby.

'Let me light the lamp to-night, Grandfather,' said Conrad, after
listening intently to all Sir Matthew's instructions. 'Perhaps it will
guide Father and Mother on their way home from India.'

'Aye, laddie, perhaps it will; the good ship _Benares_ should be nearing
our coast by this time,' was the reply.

'Then may I, Grandfather?' said Conrad.

'Yes, my boy, and I will look on to see that you do it properly.'

Ah! little did Sir Matthew think, as he said these words, of the
incidents which would take place, ere the castle light should next fling
its friendly rays across the sea.

       *       *       *       *       *

The November afternoon was creeping on apace, and Sir Matthew, absorbed
in thought, drew long whiffs from his pipe, as he sat over the
dining-room fire. The wind was wild and stormy, and dashed against the
window-pane with angry force.

Conrad, who was busy preparing his lessons for his tutor next morning,
looked up anxiously. But the words he was about to say were checked by
the entrance of a rough-looking man of the fisher type.

It was William Forrest, or Black Bill as he was called by his
neighbours, partly on account of his swarthy appearance, and partly
because of his evil deeds.

The baronet rose in surprise, wondering at his entering the room
unannounced.

'Good evening, Forrest,' he said.

'Evening, master,' was the sullen reply; 'I have come on business, and I
want to see you alone.'

Sir Matthew bade Conrad take his lessons into the library, whilst he
spoke to his visitor. The boy obeyed, unwillingly enough, for
instinctively he felt that Black Bill meant no good to his dearly loved
grandfather.

Somehow he could not give his mind to his lessons, and at length,
thinking the interview must be ended, he returned to the dining-room.
The sight which there met his eyes made his heart stand still with
terror and alarm. His grandfather lay gagged and bound upon the floor.

It was the work of a few moments to remove the gag, and when Sir Matthew
could find voice, he told the story of his attack.

Black Bill, who was in reality a wrecker, for some evil reason of his
own, had endeavoured to extract from the baronet a promise not to light
the lamp that night. Upon Sir Matthew's indignant refusal, he, with the
aid of two colleagues who were waiting near, had next proceeded to
render him helpless. They had already gagged and bound the three old
servants of the castle. So massive were the walls and lengthy the
passages that not a sound had reached Conrad's ears; and the men had
apparently forgotten his presence in the castle.

The boy, in terrible distress of mind, tried to unloose the cords which
bound his grandfather hand and foot.

'Never mind the cords, Conrad,' said the old man at last, 'they are more
than you can manage. Go and light the lamp, for it is already past the
hour, and may Heaven protect you.'

Conrad, sick at heart, turned to obey.

'I will do it, Grandfather,' he replied, looking fearfully around lest
Black Bill and his colleagues should be listening. 'Then I will come
back and help you,' he added bravely.

With light, fleet footsteps, the little ten-year-old laddie made his way
along the passage, towards the staircase. Presently sounds fell on his
ears which sent all the colour from his face. Black Bill and his
comrades were talking together in a room close by, the door of which was
open; and to reach the lighthouse staircase he must pass that very room.
For a few minutes he crouched in shadow, too panic-stricken to move. He
thought of his promise to his grandfather and of the homeward-bound
_Benares_ battling with wind and wave; then like an inspiration came the
thought of Him Who stilled the waters of Galilee, and Who at this moment
was watching over him.

The lad hesitated no more. On he sped past the open door, towards his
goal. But, alas! Black Bill had noted his light footsteps.

'Stop, boy!' he shouted, 'or it will be the worse for you.'

But never once paused Conrad.

Then the men gave chase, and despair filled the brave young heart.

Mercifully in the darkness the men took a wrong turn, and the boy
mounted quickly up, up, up, until he was safe in the shelter of the
lighthouse tower.

It took him but a few seconds to turn the key in the lock, and to slip
the heavy bolts. Then he was safe from his pursuers.

Meanwhile the good ship _Benares_ was tossing on the angry sea, out of
its course and in sore peril, with no castle light to guide it home.

Then, almost at the moment of its extremity, shot forth a brilliant
gleam, and the gallant vessel was saved--saved by a little lad's courage
and daring.

Black Bill, after hammering vainly at the door, at length turned away,
muttering threats of vengeance.

An hour crept by on leaden wings, and at last, to Conrad's joy, he heard
his grandfather's voice calling him by name. In a very short space of
time they were face to face, and Conrad heard how that one man, more
tender-hearted than the rest, had secretly returned to the castle (after
Black Bill's departure) and freed Sir Matthew from his bonds.

       *       *       *       *       *

Cairns Castle is now falling into decay, and its light no longer exists.
But on the coast near by stands a magnificent lighthouse, which sends
forth its life-saving gleam across the sea. Conrad has left boyhood far
behind him, and has now little lads and lasses of his own. Many are the
stories which their parents have to tell of the once stately home of the
Cairns family, but the story the children like best to hear is how
Father lit the Castle Light.

M. I. HURRELL.



THE INDIAN CHIEF AND THE BISHOP.


Bishop Whipple, who did so much work among the Indians of North America,
tells how a great Indian chief became a Christian. 'One day,' he writes,
'the chief came to see me, and said that he wished to be a Christian;
that he knew he must die some day, but he had been told of the new life
into which Christians entered after death, and that he also would like
to enter that life.'

'Shall I cut your hair?' asked the Bishop.

This strange question was understood perfectly well by the chief. It
meant that he must cut off the bad old habit of going on the war-path.

'No, I cannot allow you to cut my hair,' he answered, reluctantly, for
he was not ready to give up going on the war-path.

'Well, you cannot become a Christian unless you cut your hair,' said the
Bishop, sorrowfully.

The chief went away, but he still attended the services which the Bishop
held, and after some months came again to the Bishop.

'I want to be sure of that life after death,' he said. 'Please make me a
Christian.'

'Shall I cut your hair?' asked the Bishop again.

'Yes; do whatever you like with me so long as you make me a Christian,'
answered the chief.

Thus the chief eventually became a Christian, and many of his tribe
followed his example.



THE NAUGHTY KITTENS.


    'Look at old Puss,' the Kittens said,
    'He's fast asleep, he nods his head;
    How dull and stupid it must be
    To be as slow and old as he!
    He lies and sleeps there in the sun,
    And does not try to play or run;
    Creep up and gives him just a pat--
    He ought to run, he gets so fat!'

    But Puss awoke. 'Hullo,' said he,
    'You think to play your tricks on me?
    I know I'm old, I'm glad I'm fat--
    My dear, kind mistress sees to that;
    I scare the birds while lying here--
    They dare not come when I am near,
    To steal my mistress's nice fruit;
    My time to some good use is put.

    'But you! what have you done to-day,
    Except to romp and run and play?'
    The Kittens, looking quite subdued,
    Said, 'We are sorry we were rude.'
    'Well then, this time I let you go,'
    Old Puss replied, 'for now you know
    That older folk are wiser far
    Than silly little kittens are.'

    With this remark Puss walked away
    And left the Kittens to their play.
    I'm glad to say they ne'er forgot
    The lesson that they had been taught,
    And from that day tried hard to be
    From naughty, idle ways quite free;
    In fact they now behave so well
    That I have nothing more to tell.

C. D. B.



THE BEST LESSON.


A good man once had a serious illness, during which his life was several
times despaired of. On his becoming convalescent, a friend said to him,
'It will be a long time before you are able to collect your thoughts to
preach again, or to think of material for your sermons.'

'You are mistaken, friend,' was the answer. 'This illness has taught me
more than all the books and learning I have studied in the whole of my
life before.'

He had been not far from death, and had learnt more fully than any books
could teach him, that there is something greater than mere human wisdom.



A MONKEY'S MEMORY.


A French lady on one occasion saw an organ-grinder ill-treating his
monkey. She was moved with pity, and bought it. It became her chief pet,
and used to follow her about everywhere. Once she invited a party of
guests to a concert. The monkey was allowed to watch; but instead of
staying where she had put it, it took the hat of one of the guests, and
made a collection, much to the delight of the audience, and then emptied
the contents into the player's lap. It had not forgotten its old
habits.

[Illustration: A Monkey's Memory.]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 7._)

CHAPTER II.


'Jack,' said Captain Knowlton, who had come to see me at Castlemore for
a few hours, 'I have brought some news. Your aunt is going to be
married.'

'Aunt Marion?' I cried.

'You haven't another aunt, have you?' he asked.

'No, of course not,' I answered; 'but I thought she was too old.'

'Anyhow,' he said, 'she is going to marry Major Ruston, and in about a
month I shall come to fetch you to the wedding.'

'But,' I asked, 'what shall I do in the holidays?'

'We must manage as best we can,' he answered. 'You understand that I
have taken you entirely off her hands. In the future you must look to
me. Will you object to that?'

'I shall like it immensely,' I said; and the following morning Mrs.
Windlesham helped me to compose a suitable letter of congratulation to
Aunt Marion.

In due course Captain Knowlton came, according to his promise, to take
me to the wedding, and we were driven direct from the London terminus to
his own rooms in the Albany, where I made the acquaintance of Rogers,
his servant, a pleasant-looking man, about twenty-seven years of age,
who seemed always to wear a blue serge suit. Rogers took me to the
Hippodrome that evening, and the next afternoon to a house at South
Kensington, where I found Aunt Marion looking younger and more smartly
dressed than I had ever seen her before.

'Did Captain Knowlton tell you the news?' she asked, when I had sat by
her side for a few moments.

'I _was_ surprised!' I exclaimed.

'I am sure I don't know why,' she answered, with a peculiar kind of
laugh.

'Is Major Ruston here?' I asked.

'No,' she said; 'you won't see him until Captain Knowlton brings you to
the church to-morrow. It is to be a very quiet wedding, and we shall
start for India the next day.'

When Rogers returned to fetch me an hour later, Aunt Marion put her arms
around my neck and kissed me a great many times, telling me to be good,
and try in every way to please Captain Knowlton--advice which I
considered very unnecessary.

After the wedding ceremony the following day, we went to an hotel, where
the four of us had luncheon, and, later on, Captain Knowlton stood on
the pavement without his hat, and took a white satin slipper from his
pocket, throwing it after the carriage as Major and Mrs. Ruston were
driven away.

[Illustration: "I shook hands with the three in turn."]

'I don't think much of Major Ruston,' I remarked as I walked to the
Albany with Captain Knowlton.

'What is the matter with him?'

'He is too fat, and his face is too red,' I answered, whereupon he
laughed.

After Rogers had cleared the table that evening, and brought two cups of
coffee, and Captain Knowlton had lighted a cigar, 'Jack,' he said, 'how
old are you by this time?'

'Turned fourteen,' I replied.

'Ah, a grand age, isn't it?' he exclaimed. 'I was talking about you to
Windlesham. He gave you a pretty good character on the whole.'

'I am glad of that,' I said, for although I had never thought much about
my character hitherto, it seemed desirable to possess a good one, if
only to please Captain Knowlton.

'A bit mischievous,' he continued, 'and rather headstrong. Inclined to
act too much on the impulse of the moment. It is time you set to work in
earnest, you know, Jack. You will have to look sharp if you wish to go
to Sandhurst.'

'That is just what I should like!' I cried, with a great deal of
excitement.

'That is all right then. You are quite old enough to understand things.
I feel certain your father would have liked you to enter the army. Now,'
he added, 'I am afraid you will have to spend the next holidays at
Castlemore. I have one or two engagements which cannot very well be put
off, and unfortunately there is nobody in the world who can be said to
belong to you.'

I looked up abruptly.

'Well?' he asked.

'Oh--nothing!' I muttered.

'Come, out with it, Jack!'

'There is you,' I said; and he leaned forward, resting a hand on my
knee.

'Quite right,' he answered. 'I want you to feel you have me. Understand,
Jack?'

'Yes,' I cried, and suddenly I seemed to realise what a bad thing it
would be if I had not Captain Knowlton to depend upon.

The next day I returned to Ascot House, naturally disappointed at the
prospect of spending the holiday at school. The other fellows all went
home at the end of March, and about a week later I was surprised when
Elsie Windlesham, the eldest of the five girls, told me that Captain
Knowlton was waiting in the drawing-room. But my satisfaction faded when
he explained that he was going abroad for some months, and that he had
come to say good-bye. 'The fact is I have not been up to the mark,' he
continued, 'so I have bought a small steam yacht.'

'What is her name?' I interrupted.

'The _Seagull_--a jolly little craft, and I hope to make a voyage round
the world in her. I shall get back again before the summer holidays, and
then we will have a good time together. I have had a chat with Mr.
Windlesham,' said Captain Knowlton, 'and told him to keep you well
supplied with pocket-money and so forth. You will be a good chap,' he
added, 'and work hard for Sandhurst.'

As he would probably be absent on my fifteenth birthday, he had brought
a silver watch and chain, which certainly went some way towards
consoling me for his departure. So I said good-bye to Captain Knowlton,
little dreaming of what was destined to occur to both of us in the near
future.

For now events began to happen quickly one on the top of another, and it
was less than a fortnight after Captain Knowlton's departure that Elsie
told me, as a great secret, that her father had been offered a lucrative
living in the north of England.

'But,' I asked, 'how about the school?'

'That is why he has gone to London to-day,' she explained. 'He wants to
sell the school before next term begins, and he has heard of somebody
who will very likely buy it.'

A few days later, Mr. Turton appeared on the scene, accompanied by his
wife and his only son, Augustus. Mr. Turton was not a clergyman,
although he dressed a little like one; he was short, rather stout, with
a pale face and an untidy dark beard. But his wife was tall and lean,
and her face looked gaunt and pinched, while, as for Augustus, it was
difficult to judge whether he ought to be described as a boy or a man.
Taller than Mr. Turton, he had a long, thin face like his mother's, and
a growth of fair down upon his chin. With a boy's jacket he wore a very
high stand-up collar, while his hair sadly needed cutting.

I shook hands with the three in turn, and as I tried to think of
something to say to the painfully bashful Augustus, I overheard a remark
of Mr. Windlesham's which led me to believe I was being spoken of as an
important source of revenue.

The result of Mr. Turton's visit was that the holidays were lengthened
for eight days, to allow the Windleshams to move away and their
successors to take possession of Ascot House. I learnt from Elsie that
the furniture had been bought as it stood, and that Mr. Bosanquet--the
assistant master, and a thoroughly good fellow--was to stay on for one
term, after which Augustus would take his place.

'I have felt a little at a loss,' said Mr. Windlesham, the day before
his departure. 'All the other boys are returning, but in your case I
have been compelled to take Captain Knowlton's approval for granted.
However, I have explained all the circumstances to Mr. Turton, and I
have no doubt you will be very happy and comfortable.'

Still, I had certain doubts, and, in fact, after I had reluctantly said
good-bye to Mr. and Mrs. Windlesham, and to Elsie and her sisters, and
the fellows came back from the holidays, a change was at once
perceptible. Perhaps, in some ways, an impartial observer might have
regarded it as a change for the better. Everything was conducted in a
far more orderly manner. We rose an hour earlier in the morning, and
went to bed half an hour earlier at night. We had the same kind of meat
every week-day in regular rotation, and less of it; our bread was cut
thicker, and spread with less butter; we were no longer permitted to
wander about the small town at our own sweet wills.

It became necessary to ask leave before we spent any money, and although
Augustus shared for the present our lessons with Mr. Bosanquet, he acted
as a kind of tyrannical overseer during the rest of the day.

One morning in June, about two months after Captain Knowlton's departure
from England, I was summoned to Mr. Turton's study, and I found him with
a more than usually grave face.

'Everard,' he said, 'you must be prepared for the most serious news.'

'Not about Captain Knowlton?' I cried, for it seemed that there was
really no one else in the world for whom I very much cared.

'What was the name of his vessel?' asked Mr. Turton.

'The _Seagull_. You don't mean that she has been wrecked?' I faltered.

'Unfortunately, that is the fact,' was the answer.

Turning aside, I leaned against the door with my face buried in my
sleeve.

Mr. Turton spoke kindly, as did Mrs. Turton in her rather cold,
unsympathetic way; but nothing that any one could say made the slightest
difference. I felt that I had lost my best and, indeed, my only friend.

(_Continued on page 22._)



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1805.

I.--IN THE PILLORY.


One summer's day in the year 1805, a farmer's wife, carrying a heavy
basket of eggs, was slowly trudging along a lane leading to the market
town, when a woman ran hastily to her, calling out as she passed, 'You
are in luck to-day, Mrs. Hodge! Eggs are so scarce that you can ask any
price you like.'

'Why is that?' asked Mrs. Hodge, surprised.

'Why?' laughed the woman. 'Because every one wants them! A man has just
been put in the pillory for speaking against the King, or the
Parliament, I don't rightly know which; but at any rate he is safe in
the pillory, and folk are having rare fun pelting him,' and the woman
passed on to join in what she called 'the fun!'

Mrs. Hodge, however, was a woman of a different sort. 'I will sell none
of my eggs for such cruel work as that,' she said resolutely. 'Sooner,
by far, would I take the whole lot back unsold, that I would, than
ill-treat an unfortunate man in that way.'

She had now reached the market-place, and there, on a platform raised
several feet above the ground, stood a wide wooden post, with three
round holes in it, through which appeared a man's head and his two
hands. Thus imprisoned and utterly unable to protect himself in any way,
he furnished sport for a thoughtless, cruel mob, who were aiming at him
with rotten eggs, cabbage-stalks, and any rubbish that came to hand.

Mrs. Hodge's blood boiled with indignation as she saw the terror and
agony in the poor man's eyes, as missile after missile hit him, each hit
being greeted with a shout of delight from the populace.

'Shame on you!' cried the honest woman, and hastily leaving her basket
at a shop-door, she somehow pushed her way through the masses, and
climbing the platform, stood right in front of the pillory. 'Shame on
you all, to hit a helpless man!' she cried again.

'Get down! get down!' shouted the mob, furious at any one interfering
with their fun. 'Get down, or we will treat you the same!'

'More shame to you,' said the dauntless woman. 'I shall not leave for
all your threats! Surely there will be one amongst you all who will not
see a helpless man tortured.'

'But he is a bad man. He was trying to set folk against the Government.
He deserves to be punished!' was shouted by different voices in the
crowd.

'If he has done wrong he is being punished for it,' said the woman
firmly, still continuing to shelter the man by standing before him. 'It
is bad enough for him to stand all day in the pillory under this
broiling sun, without having his eyes blinded and his nose broken. We
shall all, maybe, want a friend one day, so let us help this poor fellow
now. Here, Ralph,' she continued, catching the eye of the chief leader
of the rioting, 'you said, when I saved you from bleeding to death in
the hay-field last summer, that you owed me a good turn. Pay it me now!
Leave this poor fellow alone, and get your friends to do the same.'

The man stood irresolute one minute; then his feeling of gratitude
conquered him, and he said, half-sheepishly, 'Have your own way, Mother!
I will see that no one throws any more at him.'

'That is right, Ralph,' said Mrs. Hodge, heartily, for she knew that
Ralph's influence was great. 'Now for a pail of fresh water, and let me
see if I cannot get all this dirt off this poor fellow's face and hair.'

'Thank you, Missis, you have been real good to me,' the man said,
hoarsely. 'I could never have stood it much longer.'

The mob--fickle as mobs so often are--were now as ready to help as
before to injure, and instead of jeering and reviling, there were now
those who remarked that 'perhaps the chap was no worse than the rest of
us,' whilst others were glad they had been stopped in time, for only a
few weeks before a man had been killed, whilst standing in the pillory,
by those who were only 'amusing' themselves in much the same fashion as
folk on that day.

One of the crowd fetched water, and a woman brought a mug of milk, which
was sweet as nectar to the poor man's parched throat, and now, though he
had still many hours before sundown to stand in the pillory, yet it was
shorn of its chief terror, as Ralph undertook to shield him from all
further injury.

So he once more thanked Mrs. Hodge, and she returned to her eggs with a
mind at ease.

       *       *       *       *       *

It may surprise our readers to know that the punishment of the pillory
remained on the Statute-book of this country until the year 1837, though
it had practically fallen into disuse for many years before it was
repealed.

The pillory came down to us from Anglo-Saxon times, and there was a law
passed in the reign of Henry III., ordering every village to set up a
pillory when required for bakers who used false weights, perjurers, and
so on.

CLARENDON.

[Illustration: "'Shame on you all, to hit a helpless man!'"]

[Illustration: A Countryman's Well-deserved Rebuke.]



NOTHING IS PERFECT.


An Italian artist had painted a little girl holding a basket of
strawberries. One of his friends, who was at the time a great admirer of
his genius, wishing to show the perfection of the picture, said to some
people who were looking at it, 'These strawberries are so very natural
and perfect, that I have seen birds coming down from the trees to peck
them, mistaking them for real strawberries.'

A countryman, on hearing this ridiculous praise, burst out laughing:
'Well, sir,' he cried, 'if the strawberries are so well represented as
you say they are, it must not be the same with the little girl, since
she does not frighten the birds.'

The painter's friend could answer nothing; he had received a
well-deserved rebuke for his flattery.

MORAL.--Excessive praise wrongs rather than benefits the person upon
whom it is bestowed.

W. YARWOOD.



WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

I.--ON CAVERNS IN GENERAL.


Long ago, in the dark ages of the world, when superstitious terrors
ruled the mind of savage man, caverns were looked upon with awe and
peopled with supernatural beings. The mysterious waters that issued from
some, the depth and length of the winding ways of others, the
unaccountable sounds that echoed through the vaults and galleries of
all, gave rise to wonderful legends in many parts of the world.

Beneath the Holy Peak of Kailas, supposed to be the centre of the Hindoo
Universe, are caverns in which, according to legend, live the four
sacred animals, the elephant, the lion, the cow, and the horse, from
whose mouths issue the four great rivers of India, the Ganges, Sutlej,
Indus, and Brahmapootra.

According to Scandinavian mythology, Loke, the incarnation of evil, was
for a long time bound to points of rock in a cavern, with a huge serpent
crouching above and spitting venom on the prisoner.

Hastrand, the nether world of the Vikings, was also depicted as a cavern
of colossal size, furnished with poisonous serpents and unlimited
sources of torture for mind and body.

The Greeks held caverns to be sacred to various gods--Pan, Bacchus,
Pluto, and the Moon. The Romans peopled them with Sibyls, or priestesses
of Fate, and beautiful nymphs; whilst in ancient Germany and Gaul,
fairies, dragons, and evil spirits shared the gloomy recesses which no
mortal might invade and live.

In the Middle Ages there were many legends of evil spirits dwelling in
caves, who beguiled human beings to their rocky homes, whence the
visitors never returned. Probably the truth of this particular fable
lay in the growing spirit of exploration into the recesses of Nature,
the dangers of which--ill provided with light, ropes, and modern means
of security as they were--must have been extreme.

About this era, too, the forests of Northern Europe were largely
thinned, and fairies, dwarfs, and such folk, it was thought, were
obliged to take refuge in caverns and grottoes. Within the last hundred
years a legend was common in the Hartz Mountains, that if a wedding
feast lacked copper or brass kettles, cooking-pans, or plates, the needs
would be supplied on invoking the dwarfs at the entry of their rocky
homes. No payment was asked for or expected, but a little meat left in
the pans on their return was appreciated and might lead to future
civilities.

Moorish children are still brought up to believe that Boabdil, the last
King of Granada, with his mighty host, is still sleeping in a huge
cavern, whence he will some day issue to a last great victory over the
Christians.

So far we have seen only the imaginative ideas of these great hollows of
the earth, for 'hollow' is the true meaning of the Latin word _cavea_,
from which cave or cavern is derived: now we will glance at the more
practical purposes to which the smaller and more superficial caves have
been adapted.

With the dawn of Christianity, many men and women, shocked at the
excesses of Greek and Roman civilisation, retired from the world and led
simple lives as hermits in remote caves. To this day, 'The Hermit's
Cave' is a common name in England, and, though it is not always a
genuine one, it usually denotes that in olden times some hermit or
'anchorite' passed his lonely existence in the spot in question.

Long before this era, in Hindoostan, advantage had been taken of natural
caverns to hew into shape the marvellous rock temples of Elephanta,
Ellora, and Ajunta, still accounted as amongst the wonders of the world.

In New Mexico and Arizona in remote ages whole tribes lived in caves,
some natural, but more often made habitable by the aid of masonry. Most
of these are high up on shelves edging precipitous cliffs, and were
clearly chosen as places of refuge from enemies of the plain.

All over Europe caves are found containing bones of human beings, most
of which are recognised by scientists to belong to an earlier race, who
made use of these homes provided by Nature, both for abiding-places
during life and resting-places for the dead. In many of these caves,
sketches on bone, horn, and ivory have been found, remarkable for their
clear and vigorous drawing at a time when art was an unknown quantity.
It is noticeable that drawings found amongst the Esquimaux relics depict
seals, whales, and walruses, whilst those of more southern races show
mammoths, wild horses, and bisons; the only animals drawn by both being
the reindeer.

Numerous caves in Britain, and indeed all over the world, contain bones
of animals, and from classifying these, learned folk have found out a
great deal respecting the geological and geographical changes which have
taken place on the crust of the earth since the Creation.

Now that we have thought of the terrors with which caverns inspired our
remote forefathers, as well as of the practical uses to which they have
been put by less imaginative men and animals, let us try to see how and
why these mighty hollows came to exist at all.

Earthquakes are often accountable for rocks heaped in wild confusion,
leaving great chasms below. Volcanic agency also deposits huge roofs of
lava over tracts of ice and snow, and the melting of the latter leaves
empty spaces of vast extent. The neighbourhood of Mount Etna, in Sicily,
has various wonderful caverns of this formation. Landslips and
rock-falls on the surface account for many small grottoes, but water is
the main origin of all the most celebrated caverns of the world.
Underground streams and rivers gradually eat their way along the surface
of their rocky flooring, the carbonic acid in the water acting
chemically on the stone in addition to the wearing force of the element.
Once a shallow channel is worn, new forces set to work to deepen it:
sand, pebbles and grit of all kinds, washed down by the current, grind
and wear away the rock. In course of time great depths are hollowed out,
and if it happens that some obstacle turns the course of the water, and
the river finds a new outlet, a long deep gallery is left dry, and here
and there an apparently bottomless pit where the water has acted on
specially soft stone. From above, also, a steady action of moisture has
been eating away the cliff, adding height to the cavern, as well as
coating its roof and sides with a sparkling substance derived from the
union of water and particles of the limestone, in which caves usually
abound.

Nothing can be more beautiful, when illuminated, than a roof of
stalactites, with ascending pillars of stalagmite often meeting and
forming pillars, like those which will be later on described in the
Mammoth Cave and others. The building of these fairy grottoes is really
a simple matter, but one only possible to the Great Architect to whom a
thousand years are as one day; for a very little bit of one of those
stony icicles would take hundreds of years in formation. Water flowing
above a cave is certain to contain carbonic acid, some given to it by
the atmosphere, and some imparted from decaying vegetation. This water
oozes slowly through the rock, and the carbonic acid in passing
dissolves a mite of lime, carrying it through the roof, to which the
lime adheres whilst the water evaporates. Drop follows drop, each tiny
particle sliding down its fellow, until, as weeks and years and
centuries roll by, a lovely long pendant is formed, known as a
stalactite. Sometimes the drops of acidulated watery lime fall through
the roof by an easier passage, and fall right on to the floor of the
cavern, when an upward process takes place, each drop exactly striking
the one before, until one of the stately columns arises known as a
stalagmite.

HELENA HEATH.



AN OCEAN POLICEMAN.


Amid a flutter of flags and the cheers of onlookers, the 'ocean
policeman,' H.M.S. _Speedy_, first took to the water on May 18th, 1893.
Its birthplace was the banks of the Thames at Chiswick, but hardly had
it settled itself on the smooth surface of the river when orders came
from official quarters that it should proceed at once to school. They
were no easy lessons that it had to learn, and the subsequent
examinations were extremely difficult and trying, for they were
conducted by a large crowd of the most learned gentlemen in England and
the Continent connected with naval matters. The school was at Sheerness,
and here the _Speedy_ spent four months in preparation. On September
28th the first run was made, and three weeks later the examiners were
delighted to find that this splendid new boat was able to steam at a
speed of twenty knots an hour. Everything the inventor and designer had
claimed for her was proving true. The new style of tubing in the boilers
made it possible to get up steam very quickly after the fires were
lighted, so that when the order came to start there was no 'Oh, wait a
minute, please; I am not quite ready!'

The engines, four thousand five hundred horse-power in strength, did
their work far more nimbly than those in any previous gunboat of the
same size. The vessel is two hundred and thirty feet long, and can steam
triumphantly through water no more than ten feet deep. That in itself is
enough to terrify evil-doers who would otherwise hope to escape by
getting into shallow water beyond her reach. But in addition, she
carries two large guns and a search-light.

Having thoroughly satisfied the examiners, this huge scholar soon had
the honour of receiving a commission, and is now on duty in the North
Sea among the brown-sailed fishing-smacks, like a gigantic duck watching
over her ducklings. There are several gunboats of the British navy
employed in the same way, but few of them quite so modern as the
_Speedy_, or so capable of guarding the interests of the fishermen. Any
foreign smack or lugger that comes within three miles of the English
coast is 'trespassing,' and is immediately called upon by the _Speedy_
to give an explanation. If the trespasser hesitates, a boat is lowered
from the steamer with an officer on board to make inquiries, and should
the answers to his questions be unsatisfactory, the stranger and his
boat are sent prisoners to the nearest English port.

Thus, up and down among the great fleet of peaceful fishers, the
_Speedy_ plies all day, and even in the darkest night her watching is as
keen and sure, for then her search-light, a dazzling beam, sweeps over
the sea in all directions, and not the tiniest rowboat could escape
unseen. Many a time it has revealed some stealthy marauder who hoped,
under the cover of darkness, to pull in a net of fish from these
forbidden waters and then sail into some French or Dutch port
undetected. All chance of escape, however, is over when once that
dazzling light falls upon the dishonest craft.

[Illustration: An Ocean Policeman by Day.]

[Illustration: An Ocean Policeman by Night.]

And who would begrudge such protection to our fishermen? Their busy
fleets are floating towns of industry, in which some thirty-three
thousand men and boys are employed. In 1901 their harvest represented
eight million six hundred and forty-seven thousand eight hundred and
five hundred-weight of fish, and realised six million eight hundred and
forty-eight thousand one hundred and ninety-two pounds in money. A
very large portion of this came from the North Sea.

But such treasure is only secured at great danger and with loss of life.
In this same year 1901, over three hundred fishermen were drowned, some
in wrecks and collisions, some in missing barks, and many by being
dragged overboard by the cumbersome fishing gear. At all hours of the
day and night, at all seasons of the year, these perilous labours are
carried on, and when we think of this, is it not some gratification to
know that the rights and privileges of our fishermen are jealously
guarded by such stalwart ocean policemen as the _Speedy_?

JOHN LEA.

[Illustration: "I cannot bear to sit out here."]



WAITING.


    In London town the streets are gay,
      And crowds go quickly by,
    It is a glorious summer day,
      But I sit here and sigh;
    The pavement's hot, my feet are sore,
    Yet I must wait outside the door.

    I cannot bear to sit out here,
      But I am tied up fast,
    I saw my master disappear,
      But I could not get past;
    'No dogs allowed inside this shop'
    They said, so here I have to stop.

    Ah! here he is, and off we go!
      'Tis jolly to be free!
    I bark, and do my best to show,
      As he caresses me,
    How much I love him, for to part
    From him I know would break my heart.

C. D. B.



THE FROG AND THE GEESE.


Two wild geese, when about to start southwards for the winter, were
entreated by a frog to take him with them. On the geese consenting to do
so if a means of carrying him could be found, the frog produced a stalk
of long grass, got the two geese to take it one by each end, while he
clung to it in the middle by his mouth. In this manner the three were
making their journey, when they were noticed by some men, who loudly
expressed their admiration of the plan, and wondered who had been clever
enough to discover it. The proud frog, opening his mouth to say, 'It was
I,' lost his hold, fell to the earth, and was dashed to pieces.

_From_ LA FONTAINE.



AN INDIAN CUSTOM.


'Look here!' said a young fellow as he opened the door of the log-house,
in Canada, where he and a friend were 'camping out.' 'See what I have
found dangling from a tree in the forest;' and he held up for his
friend's inspection a tiny pair of leather moccasins gaudily embroidered
with coloured beads.

'You must put those back where you found them,' said his friend quickly.

'They are of no value,' interrupted the other; 'there is a hole in the
toe. I expect some Indian mother hung them there to get rid of them.'

'No! no! they were hung there because the child who wore them is buried
under that tree, and these moccasins are put there for its use in the
next world,' explained his friend.

'Oh, if that's the case!' said the young fellow, 'I will go back at
once, and replace the little shoes, for I would not hurt their feelings
about their dead friends for anything.'

So the little shoes were once more hung on the bough of the big
fir-tree.

Mistaken as are the Red Indian's ideas of the next world, he is yet as
careful as we are to honour the last resting-place of his loved ones.

S. C.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 15._)

CHAPTER III.


Mr. Turton lent me the newspaper in which he had read the account of the
wreck of the _Seagull_, and upstairs, in the room which I shared with
two other fellows, I sat down on my bed to master it.

It appeared that the skipper of the vessel, with seven of the crew, had
been landed by a British cargo steamer at Hobart Town, Tasmania. The
_Westward Ho!_ had picked them up in a small boat about seven days out
from Capetown.

According to the story of the _Seagull's_ skipper--Captain Wilkinson--she
had experienced extremely bad weather for some days, and, becoming
almost unmanageable, had been run down by a large liner in the middle of
a dark night at the height of the gale.

Whether the liner was British or foreign, Captain Wilkinson could not
state; but, in any case, she had continued on her way without attempting
to stand by to save life. The _Seagull_ foundered in less than ten
minutes, Captain Knowlton persisting in his refusal to leave in the
first, and--as Captain Wilkinson declared--the only, boat which got
away. He had done his utmost to stand by, in spite of the fury of the
gale; but when day broke, and the storm to some degree abated, there was
no sign of either Captain Knowlton or the _Seagull_. That she had
foundered with the remainder of the crew and her owner the skipper had
not the slightest doubt, although he went as far as to admit, to the
newspaper reporter, the possibility that the small boat in which he had
escaped might have drifted some distance from the scene of the wreck in
the darkness.

My only gleam of hope was due to Mr. Bosanquet, although I felt inclined
to discount this, because he was given to look at the brightest side of
things, and often predicted fine weather just before a storm.

'Still,' he urged, 'you do not know for certain that Captain Knowlton
was drowned. I admit there is a great probability that you will never
see him again, but, after all, it is quite within the bounds of
possibility that the skipper's boat drifted away, and that the owner and
the rest of the crew managed to leave the _Seagull_. Of course,' he
added, 'if I am right, you are pretty certain to hear something farther
in a week or two.'

Accordingly I lived in the most acute suspense during the next few days;
but the time passed without news of Captain Knowlton, and such faint
hope as I had cherished faded entirely away. In the meantime it seemed
evident that Mr. and Mrs. Turton had not shared it. I learned from
Augustus that his father had written to Mr. Windlesham, asking that I
might be removed from Ascot House as a bad bargain.

Moreover, I began to observe a kind of resentfulness in Mr. Turton's
demeanour, and especially in his wife's. It was rumoured in the school
that they were 'hard up,' and hence the shorter supplies of meat and
butter. But it was Augustus who first made me realise my new situation.

'I say, Everard,' he said, when we were alone one day, 'I should not
care to stand in your shoes. Now Captain Knowlton is dead you cannot
stay here, you know.'

'Well,' I answered, 'who wants to stay? I am going to Sandhurst soon.'

'I guess you are not, though!' he exclaimed. 'There is no one to pay for
you, and Windlesham is mean enough to say he won't take you off our
hands.'

The entrance of Mr. Bosanquet put an end to Augustus's gloomy forecast
of my future, and, as the assistant master seemed to be the best friend
I had left, I asked his opinion on the subject.

'Of course,' he said, taking my arm, 'it is a rather difficult position.
If Captain Knowlton has left a will with a legacy to you, there need not
be much difference; but Mr. Turton is of opinion that if this were the
case, he would have heard from the solicitor. Mr. Turton is a good deal
perplexed to know what to do with you, though we will hope for the best,
in spite of everything.'

Now, I was fifteen, and fairly tall and strong for my age. I could
easily perceive the difficulties at which Mr. Bosanquet hinted, and
that, if Captain Knowlton were actually dead, and had left me nothing in
his will, there was only Aunt Marion to whom it was possible to look for
help; and she had taken no notice of me since her wedding-day. I was
ignorant of her address in India, and felt that I should be little
better off even if I knew it. So, after a few days' reflection, I
determined to speak to Mr. Turton.

'Well, Everard, what is it now?' he demanded, a little impatiently, as I
entered his study.

'I want to know about the holidays,' I answered. 'Where am I to go?'

'Just what I should like to be in a position to tell you,' he exclaimed.
'At present I have been unable to discover the name and address of
Captain Knowlton's solicitor, but, when I go to London with the boys at
the end of the term, I shall do my best to gain farther information. We
will put off the discussion until my return.'

It was, however, impossible to keep the question of my future in the
background, and no day passed without many speculations. Numerous
out-of-the-way projects had one peculiarity in common--they were all to
end satisfactorily. Even if I were fated to endure certain trials and
hardships, I felt perfectly confident in my ability to rise above them
eventually.

The first important difference which I experienced as a result of the
loss of the _Seagull_ occurred on the Saturday after this interview with
Mr. Turton. It was the custom to go to Mrs. Turton after dinner on
Saturday for our pocket-money; my own allowance since Captain Knowlton's
departure having been a shilling a week.

'What do you want, Everard?' asked Mrs. Turton, when my turn came.

'My shilling, please,' I answered.

But she ominously shook her head.

'I am afraid there will not be any more pocket-money for you this term!'
she exclaimed--and, suddenly understanding, I walked dejectedly away.
Before I had gone many yards Smythe took my arm.

'I can lend you fourpence, old chap,' he said.

'Awful ass if you do,' cried Augustus, who had a knack of overhearing
what was not intended for his ears.

'Why am I an ass?' demanded Smythe.

'Because Everard will never pay you back.'

'Suppose I don't want him to pay me back?'

'Oh, well!' said Augustus, 'of course, if he is beggar enough to take
your money!'

I should have liked to kick Augustus as he walked away with a snigger;
but at least he had made it impossible to take advantage of Smythe's
offer. It was a new and painful experience to stay outside the
confectioner's shop while the other fellows entered, and the matter was
freely discussed in my presence by Smythe and the rest on our return.
Indeed, justice compelled me to agree with Barton's opinion that, as
Turton stood uncommonly little chance of being paid for the current
term's board and tuition, it was scarcely to be expected that he should
feel inclined to provide me with additional pocket-money.



CHAPTER IV.


The end of the term soon came, and on the last afternoon I stood
listening while Smythe, Barton, and the rest of the fellows boasted of
all the wonderful things they intended to do during the holidays.

'I should not care to stand in Everard's shoes,' said Augustus. 'As
likely as not he will have to go to the workhouse before he has done. He
will see when my father comes back from London.'

Before they all set out to the railway station the next morning, Mr.
Bosanquet took me apart for a last word of hope and encouragement. He
was not to return to Ascot House after the holidays, and for my part I
felt extremely sorry to bid him good-bye.

'I feel confident Mr. Turton will do his best for you,' he said. 'But
you must try to make allowances if he seems a little put out. He is not
by any means a rich man, and, of course, he had to pay Mr. Windlesham
for the goodwill of the school. Mr. Turton will feel the loss of your
bill, you understand--that is to say, if Captain Knowlton does not turn
up again.'

'If he had been rescued,' I asked, 'don't you think we should have heard
news of him before now?'

'Well, in all probability we should,' said Mr. Bosanquet. 'But strange
things happen sometimes, you know; and, after all, I do not consider it
impossible that he may be stranded somewhere, and prevented from
communicating with his friends.'

'Still,' I answered, 'all the newspapers and Mr. Turton say he must be
dead.'

'Anyhow,' he insisted, 'there is no positive proof, and even at the
worst his solicitor may be able to satisfy Mr. Turton about your
future.'

(_Continued on page 26._)

[Illustration: "'I can lend you fourpence, old chap,' said Smythe."]

[Illustration: "'Hullo, Susan!' cried Augustus."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 23._)


At last the other fellows went to the station with Mr. Turton and Mr.
Bosanquet, leaving me to enjoy the company of Augustus and his mother,
who did not make much of an attempt to disguise her disfavour. It may be
imagined with what anxiety I awaited Mr. Turton's return from London. He
arrived at Ascot House late the following evening, having passed one
night away from home. Although he had a long talk with Mrs. Turton, he
did not speak to me that evening; but an ominous note seemed to be
struck when Augustus told me I was henceforth to breakfast alone in the
schoolroom. So, to my great disgust, the following morning, whilst
Augustus and Mr. and Mrs. Turton breakfasted in the dining-room, a cup
of milk and water, with five thick slices of bread and scrape, were
brought to me on one of the desks; no bacon or egg, or relish of any
kind, accompanied the meal.

Presently the door opened again, and Mr. Turton entered with a troubled
face.

'Well, Everard,' he said, 'I succeeded in finding the address of Captain
Knowlton's solicitor, and I had a long conversation with him.'

'Does he think Captain Knowlton is dead?' I exclaimed.

'I regret to say that he has no doubt about the fact; but, at the same
time, the estate cannot be administered for some months yet. In any case
that will make no difference to you. Captain Knowlton had not made a
will, and everything he died possessed of will pass to his nearest
relatives.'

'Then--then, what am I to do?' I asked.

'The circumstances are extremely unfortunate,' was the answer. 'For me
it is a serious loss, and I confess it is difficult to know what to do
for the best. I understand you have no relatives of any kind.'

'Only my Aunt Marion.'

'Ah, that is the Mrs. Ruston whom Mr. Windlesham mentioned. She is in
India, I believe?'

'Yes,' I answered, 'but I do not know her address.'

'I can no doubt find it out in an Army List,' he said. 'But from what
Captain Knowlton told Mr. Windlesham, I fear little is to be gained in
that direction.'

From that day nothing was the same, and I soon began to realise that my
presence in the house was regarded as a nuisance. All my meals were
solitary, and I seldom had enough to eat.

'Everard!' cried Mrs. Turton, directly I had finished breakfast two
mornings after the above conversation, 'all the servants are very busy
this morning, so you must make your own bed.'

If she had told me to stand on my head, I should not have felt more
surprise.

'Don't you understand?' she demanded.

'Yes, Mrs. Turton.'

'Then why do you stand staring there? Please set about it at once.'

I went upstairs to the bedroom which I had occupied alone since the
beginning of the holidays, and after staring at the bed for a few
moments, I was about to strip off the clothes, when I heard a snigger at
the door.

'Hullo, Susan!' cried Augustus.

Darting to the dressing-table, I seized a hair-brush, and threw it at
his head. Unfortunately it hit him on the forehead, making an ugly cut,
and, of course, he at once went to show Mr. Turton, who came upstairs a
few minutes later, by which time my bed was made--after a fashion.

'What was your reason for attacking my son?' demanded Mr. Turton.

'Well,' I answered, rather sullenly, I am afraid, for I was growing
somewhat desperate, 'he should not be cheeky.'

'You will not leave this room until dinner-time,' he said, 'and your
meal will consist of bread and water.'

I spent a miserable morning staring out of the window on to the garden
and the fields beyond, without a book to pass the time, my only comfort
being the sight of Augustus with a strip of court-plaster above his left
eyebrow.

At half-past one a servant came to tell me to come down to dinner. Alone
in the schoolroom, I at first determined to refuse my food, until hunger
conquered my resolution, and I ate it every scrap. Soon afterwards Mrs.
Turton entered, but she said nothing about Augustus's injury.

'You must not spend your time in idleness,' she exclaimed.

'There was not anything to do in my bedroom,' I answered.

'The house is being cleaned,' she said, 'and all the woodwork has to be
washed. You may as well go down to the kitchen for a pail of hot water
and begin with the wainscotting in the hall.'

'I'm not a servant!' I answered.

'Honest work is no disgrace to anybody,' she said. 'You must try to make
yourself useful in every possible way, and be careful not to splash your
jacket.'

Raging inwardly at my task, I only hesitated a few moments; then, going
down to the kitchen, I asked the good-natured cook for a pail of water.

'I call it a shame!' she muttered. 'Things were different in Mr.
Windlesham's time. A shame I call it.'

'Oh, it doesn't matter,' I answered, feeling not a little embarrassed by
her sympathy.

She filled an iron pail at the boiler-tap, and, as I stood waiting, my
thoughts flew back to earlier days at Acacia Road, and to Jane and her
energetic manner of smacking the oilcloth. But I suppose my ideas had
developed since those times, and certainly I felt this morning that I
was being subjected to the lowest humiliation. However, I carried up the
pail, slopping the water on the stairs at every step, with a
scrubbing-brush in the other hand, and then I set to work. When once I
had begun, I cannot pretend that I found the actual washing of the
wainscot particularly distasteful, although it seemed rather hard, after
I had done my best, that Mrs. Turton should upbraid me for soiling my
clothes.

It was perhaps a week later that the notion of running away definitely
entered my mind. By that time I had cleaned a considerable portion of
the woodwork of the house, lime-whitened a portion of an outside wall,
filled several coal-scuttles, and swept the yard. My clothes were
naturally not at the best at the end of the term; I had grown
considerably since they were new, and now they were splashed with
distemper and soiled with dirt. One Monday morning I noticed the absence
of the boy who cleaned the boots and knives and forks, and remarked upon
it to Augustus.

'You see we shall not want him now,' he answered, with one of his
irritating sniggers, and I fully understood the significance of his
words. I try to do the Turtons no injustice, reminding myself that, to
begin with, they were far from rich, and that they had lost the forty
pounds or more which should have been paid for the last term's board and
schooling. Moreover, they had not known me for some years, as the
Windleshams had done; I was in their house, requiring food and shelter,
and perhaps they could not reconcile their consciences to turning me
out. So they determined to make me useful in the only possible way.

Already I had begun to wonder what would happen when Smythe and the
other fellows came back after the holidays. One thing I knew for
certain, and this was that Augustus would not fail to tell them how I
had spent the time since they left; in fact, he had more than once
hinted at their interest in my proceedings. The dismissal of the
boot-boy made me more and more apprehensive that I should still continue
to be degraded after the beginning of the term, while I felt humiliated
by the conviction that, even in the present circumstances, Mr. and Mrs.
Turton were keeping me only on sufferance.

But this Monday morning brought me to a determination. I had finished
breakfast, and was wondering what I should be set to do next, when
Augustus opened the schoolroom door.

'Everard,' he said, 'you are to clean my boots.'

'Clean them yourself,' I retorted.

'I shall tell Father,' he exclaimed.

'Tell your mother, too, if you like,' I said.

He went to tell them, and a few minutes later Mr. Turton entered the
room.

'Everard,' he said, 'I wish to speak to you.'

'Yes, sir,' I answered.

'You understand,' he continued, 'that I have no desire to say or do
anything to hurt your feelings. I can quite sympathise with you, and I
am grieved that this necessity has arisen. But the fact remains.'

'I am not going to clean Augustus's boots,' I answered.

'Do you think work is disgraceful to you?' he demanded.

'I am not going to clean Augustus's boots,' I insisted.

'You compel me to take harsh measures,' he said. 'I have no wish to take
them, but I shall give orders that you have no food until you obey me.
You have to work for your living. I certainly cannot afford to keep you
in idleness. You will go to your bedroom, and stay there until you clean
the boots and bring them to my study.'

Looking back, I am never able to forgive myself for surrendering. Yet I
did surrender, although not at once. I passed Mr. Turton at the door and
walked slowly upstairs, where I shut myself in the bedroom. Then and
there I finally made up my mind. Without any definite scheme when I
succeeded in reaching my destination, I determined to go to London. I
did not possess a penny of money, but I had my silver watch and chain,
which surely it must possible to sell.

The hundred-miles' walk caused me not the least alarm. I was strong and
well, although I had grown thinner during the holidays; the weather was
warm, and I reckoned on reaching my destination in about a week. As to
what I should do on my arrival I had very little idea; but, for one
thing, I thought I would try to find Rogers and ask his advice. I had
read many books about boys who had gone to London without a penny in
their pockets and made immense fortunes, from Dick Whittington
downwards, and I saw every reason to believe that, in some wonderful
way, I should be equally successful. At all events, I would go. I would
put some clothing into a bundle, and then I would await a favourable
opportunity and take my departure, for at the worst it seemed certain I
should be safe from pursuit. Mr. and Mrs. Turton would be thankful
enough to get me off their hands, although Augustus might miss me as his
butt.

The hours passed very slowly in the bedroom, and, having breakfasted on
bread and water, I began presently to feel more and more hungry.

'I will not clean Augustus's boots,' I repeated at intervals, and I
tightened the strap behind my waistcoat. But, as the long afternoon
began to wear away, and my hunger still increased, I sang to a different
tune. 'What did it matter whether I cleaned the boots or not?' I asked
myself, especially if I could succeed in finding Augustus alone in the
garden for a few quiet minutes before I left the school. Anyhow, it
would be the first and the last time. So, just after the clock struck
seven, I opened my door, went down to the hall, and thence to the
kitchen, and knocked at the door.

'Cook,' I said, 'where do you keep the boot-brushes?'

'In the coal-cellar, Master Everard,' she answered. 'I would have done
them with pleasure, only Mrs. Turton forbid me.'

I went into the coal-cellar, took the brush and blacked the boots, and,
oddly enough, I did not cease until I had made them shine far more
brightly than Augustus's boots had ever shone before. Then I took them
in my right hand and carried them upstairs, knocked at the door of Mr.
Turton's study, and was told to enter.

'I have brought the boots,' I said.

'Ah,' answered Mr. Turton, 'I am glad you have come to a less
unreasonable state of mind. You can go to the kitchen and ask Cook for
some food.'

(_Continued on page 34._)



[Illustration: A PICTURE PUZZLE FROM HISTORY.

(_For Answer see page 130._)]



THE FRIENDLY LIGHT.


    Wildly the wind doth rage,
      Loudly the waters roar,
    And anxious are the hearts of those
      That wait upon the shore,
    Till through the darkness of the night
    The lighthouse sends its friendly light.

    Warning and guiding light,
      It shines across the bay.
    And helps the sailor steer his course
      Till safely on the way:
    The harbour gained, and home once more,
    He greets his loved ones on the shore.

C. D. B.


[Illustration:

1. Water-bug's Lancet (much magnified).
2. Water-bug.
3. Sting of Bee and Poison-dart (both much magnified).]



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

I.--STINGS AND LANCETS.


Bees and Spiders, Earwigs, Beetles and Snails, Dragon-flies,
Grasshoppers, and Butterflies are familiar enough to us all; yet how
many realise how 'fearfully and wonderfully' they are made? What a
marvellously complex weapon is the 'sting' of the bee! What a wonderful
'rasp' the snail possesses! How many can tell how an insect smells, and
where its organs of taste and hearing lie? Since these are questions
which young people often ask again and again, some of them will be
answered in the course of these articles. To explain such matters
clearly is a very difficult task, but with the aid of drawings,
specially made for this purpose, the main facts at least should be easy
to grasp.

       *       *       *       *       *

Most of us agree to treat the bee respectfully, having a wholesome dread
of the vengeance he is likely to inflict on those who offend him. But
how does a bee sting? and what is the sting like?

To take the last question first. The sting of the bee is really an
extremely cunningly devised weapon, so complex that only the bare
outlines of its structure can possibly be described clearly.

If you turn to the illustration of the bee-sting, you will notice, in
the right-hand figure, at the upper end, three pointed projections or
'processes' marked. The two outer ones (S S) we may neglect, for they
are only protecting sheaths; that in the middle (I S) is the sting
proper. This consists of two parts, (1) a strong gouge-like portion, and
(2) a pair of darts of marvellous delicacy. These darts we cannot see in
position because they lie on the other side of the gouge-like piece. But
to the left you will notice a long sword-like blade, drawn separately,
with a curiously crooked handle and a sharp barbed point. This is one of
the pair of darts. Those who have had the misfortune to be stung may be
interested to know that this painful wound was inflicted thus: When the
bee alighted on you, he first thrust through the skin this hard, pointed
gouge; then one of the darts was pushed down, then the other, a little
further; then the gouge penetrated still deeper, and the opposite dart
deeper still, and so on, first one dart, then the other, going deeper
and deeper, the gouge following. As they penetrated, little drops of
poison oozed out from the barbs of the dart, and this caused the pain
and inflammation.

This poison is made in what is called the poison gland, the long,
slender, coiled tube (P _g_) in the picture. As the poison is made, it
is stored in the big bag (marked P) at the back of the sting, and when
this is working, the poison is forced down between the gouge and the
darts, to find its way out at the barbs into the flesh.

But this sting is not only used for the purpose of giving pain. The bee
long ago discovered the fact that food, if it is to be preserved for any
length of time, requires to be specially dealt with. Accordingly the
honey which is destined to be kept is preserved from fermentation by the
addition of a drop of formic acid deposited by the sting.

Only the workers and the queen-bees of a hive have stings: the males are
stingless.

In stinging it often happens that the barbed darts are thrust so far
into the wound that they cannot be withdrawn. As a result, the whole
apparatus is left behind, and the bee pays the penalty with its life.

But whilst some insects, such as the bees, inject poison by means of a
'sting,' others effect the same end by peculiar modifications of the
mouth-parts. The gnat is a case in point: the water-bug, common in our
ponds and ditches, is another.

Strangely enough, the mechanism adopted is precisely similar in character,
though the parts of which this mechanism is made up are of a totally
different kind. Here, the mouth-parts are specially modified, so as to
form a supporting and piercing weapon, like the 'gouge-like' piercing
weapon of the bee, with delicate pointed and barbed weapons corresponding
to the barbs of the bee's sting. This piercing organ may be used for
sapping the tissue of plants, or, as in the case of gnats and fleas,
they may be employed for the purpose of absorbing the blood of animals.
In the latter case, after the surface of the skin is pierced, a poison
is forced down into the wound, for the purpose, it is thought, of making
the blood more fluid. But this poison is of a highly irritant nature,
and leaves a very painful feeling, accompanied by more or less
inflammation of the parts attacked.

The water-boatman, which almost every one must have seen swimming
back-downwards in ponds, can inflict a very painful wound in this
manner. The illustration shows the 'lancet' of _nepa_, the water-bug.
The piercing organ just described is the spear-shaped piece bounded on
either side by two long filaments.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.


1.--GEOGRAPHICAL ACROSTIC.

An American Republic, having a hot climate on the coast-line, but cooler
inland. It is a rich and fertile country, where many valuable trees
grow. Useful plants and fruits are produced in great abundance, and
there are many wild animals, and birds of brilliant plumage. Numerous
shallow rivers water the land, and gold, silver, iron, copper, and other
metals are to be found there.

1. A mountain near Athens, famous in old times for honey and marble.

2. A decayed seaport in Italy, with a castle which gave the title to a
celebrated story.

3. A Cornish fishing village, much frequented by artists.

4. A village in Ireland, where a notorious fair was formerly held.

5. A small country or district on the eastern side of an African lake;
its chief town is the terminus of a great caravan route.

6. A city of Virginia, U.S.A., built on a river of the same name.

7. A tea-growing district of British India, abounding in wild animals.

8. The most important seaport of central China.

C. J. B.


2.--ARITHMOGRAPH.

A word of eight letters, naming the hero of a noted poem.

1.--6, 5, 4. A game; also the toy with which the game is played.

2.--7, 3, 4. A wild berry.

3.--1, 3, 6. A covering for the head.

4.--4, 7, 2, 6. A tiny particle.

5.--6, 7, 5, 4. To melt, dissolve, or become fluid.

6.--7, 8, 1, 3. A peculiar kind of fence.

7.--4, 1, 3, 6. An interrogation.

8.--4, 2, 6. Mental faculty.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 58._]



THE MYSTERIOUS CHEST.


'It is hard lines it should rain the first day of the holidays,' said
George, somewhat gloomily, as he looked out at the heavy downpour, which
was fast changing the tennis-lawn into a miniature lake.

'No chance of a game!' sighed Pelham, thinking of the swamped
cricket-field.

'If you two lads want an indoor job, I have one for you, and one that
has baffled me,' said Mr. Carteret, looking up from his paper.

'What is it, Father?' asked Pelham, the eldest boy.

'A lot of things were sent here from Vale Place last month, and amongst
them an oak chest, which I cannot unlock, try as I may, so I waited for
you two, as I know you are more handy with your fingers than I am,'
answered his father.

'We will soon tackle it!' said Pelham, confidently.

'Father,' here broke in George, 'I thought _you_ were to have Vale Place
when old Mr. Pelham died?'

'So did I,' said Mr. Carteret shortly.

'But it is left to some one else, is it not?' went on George, anxious to
understand the matter, which had greatly puzzled both boys for some
weeks.

'Yes, I meant to tell you about it when you came home,' said their
father. 'It was no good writing bad news, but you must know it sooner or
later. You know,' he continued, 'that my father and Mr. Pelham were
brother-officers in India, and when both my parents were swept away in
one week by cholera, Mr. Pelham brought me home to Vale Place, where I
was brought up as his son and heir. But after his death, a few months
ago, no will could be found, though he had repeatedly told me that he
had made one, leaving Vale Place to me and my children.'

'Then who has Vale Place now?' asked George, as his father paused a
minute.

'It passed to the heir,' said Mr. Carteret. 'He is a distant cousin, who
cares nothing about the property, and means to sell it for building
land.'

'What a shame!' said Pelham, hotly.

'Well, I do not know that there is any shame about it, for this cousin
has never lived there, and it has none of the old associations for him
that make me regret its loss so deeply. He seems a very considerate man
in some ways, and begged to be allowed to send me all the old furniture
which stood in my room at Vale Place, thinking I should value it, as
indeed I do. So that is how the old chest came to me, and here are the
keys. See what you can do with them.'

'Come on, George!' said Pelham. 'Where is the chest, father?'

'Upstairs in the attic. You will want a candle; it is in a dark corner,'
was the answer.

'I am coming too!' announced Nannie. 'I want to see what is in the
chest. I have fed my birds, and I may not stay out in the rain.'

'Little girls should not be inquisitive,' said George, who dearly loved
to tease his sister. 'You may see more than you want.'

'Oh, George! what?' said Nannie, in rather a shaky voice. 'What do you
think is in the chest?'

'You will see by-and-by, and remember I have warned you!' said George,
mysteriously.

Nannie, though alarmed, bravely stood her ground and watched the two
boys as they tried every key on the bunch; then, finding that none
fitted, they used a screw-driver, and at last were successful.

'Now, Nannie!' shouted George, as Pelham lifted the heavy lid. 'Look
out! I am sure I heard something stirring inside.'

Pelham held up the candle and looked eagerly into the dark chest.

'Empty! quite empty!' he cried, in a tone of the utmost disgust.
'Nothing at all in it but an old letter!' and he threw the paper on to
the ground by the side of the chisel.

'I told you so,' began Nannie, but the sentence was hardly out of her
mouth before she gave a little shriek and leapt high into the air. 'A
rat! a horrid rat!' shrieked the child. 'It ran over my foot.'

George did not shriek; but he, too, was startled, for the rat had
appeared so suddenly.

'It came right out of the chest,' he said, as if to excuse his alarm.

'It could not!' said Pelham, bluntly. 'I was looking in the chest when
Nannie shrieked, and there was nothing in it--that I know! I saw no rat
anywhere.'

'But I saw it!' said George. 'Look! look!' he shouted, excitedly. 'There
it goes! Just by your foot! You may depend upon it this box has a false
bottom. Let us turn it over and see.'

'I believe you are right, George!' said Pelham. 'Hold the candle, Nan,
and we will see where this rat came from.'

The chest, empty as it appeared to be, was yet so heavy that it was with
difficulty that the two boys could turn it over, but they did it at
last, and now there was no doubt where the rat had come from, for the
floor was strewn with little bits of nibbled paper, and there was a
biggish hole in the false bottom by which he had evidently gnawed his
way into the chest.

'Now, then, the fun is beginning!' exclaimed Pelham, excitedly, 'We must
get inside this false bottom; it is full of old letters. I can see that
much! Perhaps we shall find a love-letter of William the Conqueror to
Joan of Arc!'

'Oh, no, you will not!' said Nannie, wisely, 'for Joan of Arc lived many
reigns after William I. I read about her only last week.'

But neither Pelham nor George heeded Nannie's superior information, so
busy were they prizing off the somewhat thin layer of wood which formed
the false bottom of the chest.

It gave way at last, and disclosed a whole heap of letters, some nibbled
into mere powder by the busy rat and some still uninjured, and on the
top of all a yellow parchment folio bearing in large letters the words,
'_Will of George Pelham, Esquire, of Vale Place, Surrey._'

Pelham got very red as he exclaimed, excitedly, 'Surely this is the lost
will!'

'If it is, we owe it to the rat!' said George, half thinking Pelham was
joking.

'I must take it at once to Father,' said Pelham, and he ran down the
attic stairs closely followed by the no less excited George and Nannie.

'See, Father, this will! Is it right? Will you have Vale Place after
all?' said Pelham, eagerly; as he held out the papers.

Mr. Carteret took the bundle, looked at the heading, and then turned it
hastily over to see the signatures at the end.

Yes, it was duly signed and witnessed, and without doubt was the
long-sought will!

       *       *       *       *       *

Why Mr. Pelham should have so carefully concealed his will was never
explained, but people from time immemorial have done odd things with
their wills, and will probably continue to do so. It was, after all, of
little consequence now where it had been found, so long as the will was
a true one, and of that no doubt was ever raised.

Before many months were over Mr. Carteret and his family were settled at
Vale Place, where the 'mysterious chest,' as Nannie always called it,
has the place of honour in the entrance hall.

S. CLARENDON.

[Illustration: "'We will see where this rat came from.'"]

[Illustration: The Death of a Deserter.]



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1805.

II.--SIGNOR ROSSIGNOL'S PERFORMING BIRDS.


It was April, and the year 1805, when two little fellows, out for the
day from Charterhouse School, stood at the bow window of a large house
on Ludgate Hill, London, waiting for the return of their uncle from his
country house.

'Here he comes!' said the lads, as a portly figure came round the
corner, and the next minute he was in the room, exclaiming, in his
cheery way, 'Well, lads, glad to see you! What must we do this
afternoon? Is it to be the Tower of London, or the river, or the
Monument? Anything you choose will suit me.'

'Then, sir,' said the elder boy, eagerly, 'do let us go and see the
performing birds. All our fellows are talking about them.'

'To be sure we will! I, too, have heard about this Signor Rossignol, as
he calls himself, and we will have a bit of dinner, and start off at
once to Charing Cross.'

The 'bit of dinner' proved to be a very ample meal, to which our
schoolboys did full justice, for school meals a hundred years ago were
far from satisfying, and a dinner like this one was not a thing to be
hurried over. However, there must come a time when even hungry
schoolboys can eat no more, and at last, when even another fig seemed an
impossibility, a start was made for the birds. They arrived at the Hall
in good time, and had excellent seats, just facing the stage.

When the curtain drew up, it disclosed a long table, on which were
placed a dozen cages, each containing a little bird. Their 'tutor,' as
Signor Rossignol styled himself, stood at the head of the table, and,
after a low bow to the audience, he began: 'Behold my little family of
birds! They have all the true military instinct, and are ready, as you
will see, to do all in their power to defend this land of freedom.'

Loud and prolonged cheers greeted this speech, for the Battle of
Trafalgar had not yet taken place, and the dread of a sudden landing of
the French 'tyrant' was never long out of the thoughts of any Briton.
When the cheering had ceased, Rossignol opened the cages one after
another, and each bird hopped out in a sedate way, and placed itself on
the table, waiting for orders.

'Fall in!' shouted Rossignol, in a loud military voice, and at once the
birds formed themselves into two ranks. Then their tutor fitted a little
paper helmet on to each bird's head, and fixed tiny wooden muskets under
their left wings.

Thus equipped, the birds, at the word of command from their tutor, went
through the usual exercises of soldiers amidst the applause of the
audience.

Then another bird, not previously exercised, was brought forward.

'Death of a deserter,' explained the tutor, as six birds placed
themselves three on each side of the new arrival, and solemnly conducted
him from the top to the bottom of the table, where there was a small
brass cannon, charged with a little gunpowder.

The unfortunate deserter was placed in front of this cannon, his guards
retired in an orderly way, and he was left alone to meet his fate. A
lighted match was now put into the claws of another bird, who hopped
slowly up to the cannon and discharged it. At the sound of the explosion
the deserter fell down on to the table, and lay there as if rigid in
death.

'Oh, I say! That is too bad!' said the younger boy. 'I don't think poor
birds ought to be blown from the gun like that. It's cruel, is it not,
sir?'

Before the uncle could reply came the sharp order, 'Stand!' and, behold,
the dead deserter came to life again, and hopped away to join his
friends!

The birds were now replaced in their cages, and it was the signor's turn
to occupy the stage.

First of all he gave a clever imitation of the notes of all birds,
ending up with the prolonged 'jug-jug' of the nightingale, which he did
to such perfection that you could hardly believe there was not a grove
full of those birds on the stage.

'He may well call himself "Rossignol"' (the French for nightingale),
said the boys' uncle as he gave a hearty clap to the clever performer,
'for he seems as real a nightingale as I ever listened to.'

Next Rossignol produced a fiddle without any strings to it, and going
through all the airs and graces of a real violinist, he sawed the air
with an imaginary bow, making the notes with his voice so well that you
could not imagine it was not a real violin playing. This delighted the
audience most of all, and he was encored again and again, and when the
entertainment was finished, the two boys said 'they wished they could
have it all over again!'

       *       *       *       *       *

For many months Rossignol continued to draw large audiences to hear his
imitation of birds, &c., but one fatal day it was discovered that the
sounds were produced by an instrument--probably a pierced
peach-stone--which he concealed in his mouth, and after that no one
cared to hear him, and he died in great poverty a few years later.

S. CLARENDON.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 27._)

CHAPTER V.


My chief fear when I went to bed that night was that I might not wake
early the following morning, for in this event my departure would have
to be put off. I must leave Ascot House before any of the Turtons were
up, if I left at all; I was bent upon getting away from Castlemore at
the very earliest moment. In my room there were three beds, two being
unoccupied during the holidays, and there was a chest of drawers which I
shared with my companions. On the knob of one of the drawers hung the
bag in which were kept my brush and comb, and this I thought would serve
to hold the few things I intended to take with me. Not daring to get the
things ready that night, lest Mr. Turton should pay one of his
occasional visits to the bedroom when he turned out the gas, I lay down,
and in spite of the important coming event, soon fell fast asleep. When
I awoke the sun shone into the room, and getting out of bed and looking
at the watch which was to be shortly converted into money, I saw that it
was twenty minutes to six.

Losing no time over dressing, putting on the better of my two
knickerbocker suits, I removed the brush and comb from the bag, putting
in their place two pairs of stockings, a spare flannel shirt, a pair of
gum-shoes, two handkerchiefs, and a flannel cricket cap.

Having little fear that any one but the servants would be about the
house, I tightened the string of my bag, and went quietly downstairs. In
the room where we kept our hats and overcoats I put on my laced boots,
which already were somewhat thin in the soles, and my straw hat, as the
sun had been extremely hot the last few days; and then I began to think
of breakfast, because I made up my mind that it would be wise not to
attempt to dispose of my watch and chain until Castlemore had been left
some distance behind. About ten miles on the London road, although I did
not know the precise distance, stood the small town of Broughton, and
there, I thought, it might be safe to replenish my exchequer.
Consequently, having not a penny in my purse at present, I must wait
until I reached Broughton for breakfast, unless it were possible to
obtain something to eat before I left the school.

So, leaving my bag in the hat-room, I went to the kitchen, where the
cook was in the act of lighting the fire.

'Good morning, Cook,' I said.

'You are up early this morning, Master Everard,' she answered.

'I am most awfully hungry,' I continued. 'Do you think you could give me
something to eat?'

Turning her broad back to the fireplace, she stared at me from head to
foot, seeming especially to be impressed by the fact that I had put on
my boots. But if she had a suspicion of my intention, she kept it to
herself, and going to the larder, returned with a plate on which lay a
thick slice of dry bread and another of cold beef.

Thanking her, I took the bread and meat and left the plate, then,
returning to the hat-room for my bag, unbolted the front door without
making a noise and walked calmly away from the house, beginning to eat
my breakfast as soon as I reached the road. It was a beautiful summer
morning, and the birds sang in the garden trees as I walked towards the
margin of the town. Holding my bag by the long string I let it hang over
my left shoulder, and stepping out briskly soon passed the last houses
in Castlemore. Although my chief feeling was one of relief at having
left Ascot House and the Turtons behind, it was impossible to avoid a
glance back at the days which I had spent so happily with the
Windleshams. I no longer had the least doubt that Captain Knowlton had
been lost with the _Seagull_, and as I covered the first mile or two of
my long journey, I became impressed with a conviction of all the
difference his death had made to my life. Instead of Sandhurst, I could
not tell what lay before me, and yet I scarcely doubted that, whatever
it might be, the end would prove satisfactory.

I determined to lose no time over my first stage, and after walking for
three-quarters of an hour, I passed a finger-post, which conveyed the
information that Broughton lay still eight miles distant. Although I had
told myself yesterday that Mr. Turton was very unlikely to start in
pursuit, that he would be only too glad to get rid of an unremunerative
boarder, this morning seemed to make the affair look different. He might
consider that his duty compelled him to set out in search of the
runaway, so that it would be wise not to rest until the first ten miles
had been put between myself and the school.

I felt anxious to reach Broughton, in order to dispose of my watch and
chain, being already somewhat afraid that there might arise some
difficulty about its disposal. I had never attempted to sell anything
before, nor was it easy to form an opinion concerning the value of the
only things I had to barter. Still, four pounds appeared a likely sum,
or three pounds ten at the lowest, and this would surely serve to
provide food and shelter until I reached London.

Very few persons passed me by the way, but coming within sight of the
first houses of the small town, which was in reality little more than a
large village, I began to overtake and soon passed a man who I little
imagined would cross my path again. Broughton is approached by a long
decline, at the foot of which, on the right, stands a rural inn. Before
its door this morning were a couple of waggons, one laden with hay, the
other with sheep-turnips. A smock-frocked carter stood eating a chunk of
bread and fat bacon, while a fox-terrier begged for scraps. Having
walked ten miles in the hot sunshine, I was glad of any excuse to halt,
so that a few minutes after passing the man in the road, I stopped to
watch the dog.

While I stood there the man caught me up again, and he also came to a
stop, between myself and the waggons. He was quite young, probably not
more than one or two and twenty, tall and well-built, although he walked
with a slouching gait. He wore corduroy trousers fastened round the
waist by a narrow strap, and a blue shirt, with an unbuttoned jacket of
fustian. On his head was a limp-brimmed, dirty, drab felt hat, and in
his left hand he carried a red handkerchief, which apparently contained
all his possessions, and in his right a stout stick which had been
obviously cut from a hedge. His hair was extremely short and black, but
he could not have shaved for some days; his face was deeply sunburnt and
one of the most evil-looking I had ever seen. I imagined that he was
looking for a job at hay-making or harvesting, and in that case he would
have little difficulty in finding one at the present season.

Without entering the inn, he walked on towards the main street, which
contained two dozen or more of small shops, and a few minutes later I
took the same direction, soon beginning to look about for the kind of
shop I wanted. After I had passed the tramp a second time, I saw the
usual sign of a pawnbroker's, and, thinking it would look better to
remove my watch and chain before entering, I took the bar out of my
button-hole.

[Illustration: "The tramp stood outside, watching me with the greatest
intentness."]

Stopping outside the shop, I stood a few minutes gazing in at its
window, which was filled with a miscellaneous collection: teapots,
telescopes, knives, spoons, pipes, and one or two flutes and
concertinas. Presently I summoned enough resolution to enter, and going
to the counter, held out the watch and chain to the rather elderly man
behind it.

'I want to sell this watch and chain,' I said.

'Oh, you do, do you?' he answered, and opening the watch, he began to
examine the works. He looked so doubtful that I began to fear he would
refuse to buy, in which case I scarcely knew what to do, as it seemed
unlikely that I should find another such shop that day. It was already
past eleven o'clock, and after my walk I was beginning to feel hungry.
Certainly he had no right to buy the watch from a boy of my age, but I
suppose that after a little hesitation he was unable to resist the
temptation to make a bargain.

'How much do you want for it?' he asked, as he closed the lid with a
snap.

'Four pounds,' I answered, thinking that a reasonable demand.

Still holding the watch with the chain hanging down between his
fingers, he broke into a laugh which did not sound very merry.

'Four pounds!' he exclaimed. 'Think yourself lucky if you get ten
shillings. I will give you fifteen.'

It was a terrible disappointment, but at the time it did not occur to me
to doubt the man's good faith. I came to the conclusion that I had
ignorantly over-valued my property, and at least fifteen shillings would
be better than nothing.

'Very well,' I answered, and, placing the watch and chain on a shelf
behind him, the man opened a drawer under the counter. While he slowly
counted out the money in silver, I happened to glance at the window. In
a moment my eyes seemed to be riveted by those of the tramp, whose
existence I had quite forgotten. He stood outside the shop, watching me
with the greatest intentness, and suddenly I felt afraid, and wished he
had gone on his way, and left me to go mine. I spent as long a time as
possible counting the money and putting it in my knickerbockers' pocket,
but when I at last left the shop the tramp was still staring in at the
window.

Still, he took no notice of me as I walked away from the door, not even
turning his head. With money in my pocket, my appetite suddenly became
urgent, and seeing a coffee-shop a little further down the street, I
entered and sat down at a table, which sadly required scrubbing. An
untidy girl came to ask what I wanted, but when I suggested a chop--for
'chops and steaks' was painted over the window--she said I could only
have eggs and bacon.

'I will have some eggs and bacon,' I answered.

'Poached or boiled?' she asked.

'Poached, please.'

'Tea or coffee?' she suggested.

'Coffee,' I replied, and, after waiting ten minutes or longer, I was
supplied with a plate of hot eggs and bacon, a thick slice of bread, and
a cup of coffee. Not in a mood to be very particular, I ate every scrap
with the greatest relish, and altogether I could not have spent less
than three-quarters of an hour in the coffee-shop. My meal cost
eightpence, and its effect was to make me feel extremely lazy and
sleepy; but, having a long day before me, I determined to find some
shady spot and rest for an hour or two until the heat of the day had
passed. Then I would push along until I was about twenty miles from
Castlemore, when I must find a lodging for the night.

(_Continued on page 44._)

[Illustration: "The horse nearly carried the King into the French
lines."]



GEORGE II. AT DETTINGEN.


At the battle of Dettingen, George II. was on horseback, and rode
forward to reconnoitre the enemy. The horse, frightened by the
cannonading, ran away with the King, and nearly carried him into the
midst of the French lines. Fortunately, however, one of the attendants
succeeded in stopping him. An ensign seized the horse's bridle, and
enabled the King to dismount.

'Now that I am on my own legs,' said he, 'I am sure that I shall not run
away.'

The King then abandoned his horse, and fought on foot at the head of his
Hanoverian battalions. With his sword drawn and his body placed in the
attitude of a fencing-master who is about to make a lunge, he continued
to expose himself without flinching to the enemy's fire, and in bad
English, but with the utmost pluck and spirit, called to his men to come
on.

This was the last occasion upon which a sovereign of Great Britain was
under the fire of an enemy.



MY FRIEND.


    Who is my friend? Not he who seeks
      By flattery to sway;
    Who, whether I be good or bad,
      Gives me his praise alway.

    Who is my friend? Not he who frowns
      On me when I am wrong,
    But never gives encouragement
      To make me glad and strong.

    Who is my friend? 'Tis he who makes
      My highest good his aim;
    Whose love sincere is shown alike
      In praise or wholesome blame.

E. DYKE.



HEROES AND HEROINES OF FAMOUS BOOKS.

I.--'THE WATCHERS ON THE LONGSHIPS.'[1]


The scene of this story is laid at Land's End in Cornwall, or, to be
precise, to the west of the little village of Sennen Cove, and the time
chosen is toward the end of last century.

The month of the year was November, and the night was wild and
tempestuous, so that the storm beat against the little thatched cottage
in one room of which a woman was dying. Gathered about her bed was her
husband, Owen Tresilian, and their son Philip and daughter Mary. We pass
over the sad scene connected with the death of Mrs. Tresilian, just
referring to her last words to the father of her children. There had
been times in Owen's life when, finding himself without means and
without work, with want staring himself, his wife, and his family, in
the face, he had resorted to bad ways of obtaining money. He would never
have yielded to the temptation had it not been for the persuasive words
and occasionally the threats of his mates. Many of these men were
wreckers; that is to say, they deliberately placed on the coast false
lights which lured passing ships to destruction. It was from the wrecks
of the disabled vessels that they gathered up the treasures carried to
them by the waves, and it was known that one or two of the more
desperate characters among them had not hesitated to throw back into the
water the poor unfortunate creatures whom they had lured to destruction,
as they struggled to reach the shore. Owen, indeed, had never gone thus
far, but he had participated in their illicit gains, and had himself
helped to kindle the lights that were to wreck the boats. His dying
wife, whose trouble when she heard of this was very great, had made him
promise that whatever might occur after her death, he would never again
be guilty of such wicked work. He had promised her faithfully that none
should ever force him again to engage in such undertakings, and he had
added solemnly, 'They may kill me first, but I would rather starve than
do it.' Scarcely had she finished speaking to husband and children, when
wild shouts were heard outside the cottage, from the midst of the storm,
'Come on, men! come on--a wreck! a wreck!' Lights passed the little
windows, and the clatter of many feet along the path close by told the
family what manner of men were about.

The story goes on to tell how Owen, after his wife's death, his son
Philip and his daughter Mary, endeavoured to lead lives very different
from those of the greater number of their neighbours. They had come
under the influence of Wesley's teaching, and were not afraid to let it
be seen that they wished to honour God and keep His commandments. Owen's
mates, who had known him in the days when he had thought very much as
they did, left no stone unturned to show their ill-will to him and his
family now that so marked a change had taken place. There was in the
village a certain Arthur Pendrean. He was the son of old Squire
Pendrean, who had at first greatly opposed his son's wish to become a
clergyman. On one occasion, when Wesley had been preaching in the
village, and had been in danger from the rough crowd, Arthur, then but a
boy, had been so indignant at their behaviour, that he had rushed
forward with the intention of placing himself between the old man and
his rough assailants.

A few days later this story reached the Squire's ears, who, in a violent
passion, sent for his son and told him that if he ever went near the
Methodists again, he would disinherit him and turn him out of doors. A
few years later, when, between sixteen and seventeen years of age, the
youth left school, he told his father boldly that he wished to go to
Oxford, and that he intended to become a clergyman. The boy had a hard
time of it before he won the old Squire's consent, but in time leave was
given.

Arthur Pendrean had from the first taken a keen interest in the
Tresilian family, and had watched most carefully over Philip. He was
aware of the ill-will felt by the rest of the villagers towards his
charges, and made it no secret that he was one of the sternest opponents
of the evil practice of wrecking. It was well known that Arthur had set
his face against their evil designs, and that it was his determination
to have a lighthouse built, no matter at what cost, to warn off ships
from this doubly dangerous spot. The worst-disposed among the men would
have made short work of the young clergyman could they have had their
way and escaped consequences. At least, they would prevent, if it lay in
their power, the carrying out of his cherished plan, the erection of a
lighthouse. It was perhaps natural that hating the 'parson,' they should
not feel kindly disposed towards those who closely followed his advice
and over whom he so carefully watched. It was in these circumstances
that the following occurrences took place. Arthur was about to ride to
St. Sennen one Sunday morning, when his faithful old servant, Roger,
came up to him and said, 'I hear, Mr. Arthur, that a cutter with a
press-gang on board is at anchor off Sennen Cove. Sunday is a favourite
day for those chaps to land; they always find the men at home then, and
so they are easier to catch. I thought I would warn you about it, sir,
because their game is to carry off all the men and lads who are called
Methodists.'

'This is bad news,' Arthur had replied. 'I knew a press-gang was in the
neighbourhood, but never thought of their coming our way. I will gallop
down to Sennen Cove at once.'

Arrived at the Cove, Arthur found everything as usual, the cutter lying
quietly at anchor and a few men and boys sitting or lying lazily on the
beach watching her, and speculating as to the intentions of those on
board.

On Sunday afternoon we again see the young curate; we hear his stern
voice as he asks a group of six stalwart men, 'What are you doing here,
men? Take your hands off those lads at once; what right have you to drag
them away?' We see the men, furious at this repulse, falling upon Arthur
from behind and dragging him to the ground, and Philip with him. The
young clergyman, brave man that he was, was no match for six assailants
at once, and was of course unable to withstand the combined attack.
Promising Philip that he would have him released when he reached
Plymouth, for he was under seventeen, and handing him as a memento a
small Testament, and commending him to the care of God, he was obliged
to witness the rowing away of the boat that carried his young charge
every minute farther out of sight.

Philip's capture would not have been brought about had it not been for
the ill designs of the youths of his own age who were no friends to
Arthur Pendrean. The scheme for decoying him into the immediate
neighbourhood of the press-gang belonged to two of the worst characters
in the village. But we will not enter into details of their scheming. It
is enough to know that for the time being their wicked designs were
successful, and we find Philip within a very short time on board the
_Royal Sovereign_, one of the finest line-of-battle ships in Earl Howe's
fleet.

The trouble and grief of his father and little sister when they learned
what had happened was great. Owen at first refused all comfort. It was
in vain that Mr. Pendrean promised to spare no pains to bring the lad
home again: the bereaved father would not be comforted. It was in this
state of mind that he set out for Falmouth, accompanied by Arthur
Pendrean, as they thought it not improbable that the cutter might put
into this port before proceeding to Plymouth. Her crew were, however,
too wide awake, and the press-gang too anxious to secure prize-money, to
run any risk of losing those whom they had captured, and pressed for his
Majesty's navy; they therefore made straight for the fleet. How Philip
Tresilian subsequently fought in the battle of the first of June, how he
saw for the first time and understood something of the horrors of war,
are all graphically described by the author.

(_Concluded on page 42._)


FOOTNOTE:

[1] This favourite book is by James F. Cobb. (Wells Gardner, Darton, &
Co., London.)


[Illustration: "He told his son he would disinherit him and turn him out
of doors."]

[Illustration: "She was just high enough, and could light the lamps."]



HEROES AND HEROINES OF FAMOUS BOOKS.

I.--'THE WATCHERS ON THE LONGSHIPS.'

(_Concluded from page 39._)


We shall now take a peep at the lighthouse and its first watcher. 'That
will never be finished,' said one of the wreckers, when he saw the work
slowly progressing on the lonely rock at Land's End. But it was
finished. Arthur Pendrean wrote to many rich ship-owners in London and
elsewhere, and at length, by the aid of their money and the toil of
skilful workmen, a light began to burn in the Longships Lighthouse on
September 29, 1795. Those were early days of lighthouses, and experience
had hardly yet proved the risk and the danger of leaving one man alone
on a solitary rock to attend to the lights, often cut off for days, or
even weeks, from all communication with the shore. In these days things
are very different. Three men, and sometimes four, are appointed to take
charge of lighthouses, such as the Longships, Eddystone, and others.

One night a furious gale from the south-west raged along the coast; many
were the watchers at Sennen and other villages along the shore, keeping
a sharp look-out for wrecks; but whether owing to the lighthouse or to
the fact that there were not many vessels about just then, the evil
hopes of those who were longing to profit by the misfortunes of others
were frustrated. Owen felt very anxious about the lonely
lighthouse-keeper, whom he could not help thinking of as trimming his
lamps on the solitary rock with the roar of the ocean around and below
him. He knew that one who had not been there could not possibly have any
idea of the awful noise on the Longships Rock occasioned by the roaring
and the raging of the waves in the caverns underneath. We cannot stay to
describe all that Jordan, the lighthouse-keeper, in his loneliness
experienced, nor to tell how the waves, leaping above the lighthouse,
sometimes completely covered it. We see him as he walks about, now up
and now down, almost terrified by the fierce yells and shrieks which
fell upon his ears, and at last watch him, in despair, fling himself
upon his bed. Oh, that he had never been tempted to come to this
accursed, haunted rock--for haunted he felt certain it was! Like most
sailors, he was more or less superstitious, and the angry roar in the
caverns beneath sounded to him like the roar of hundreds of imprisoned
wild beasts, until, by-and-by, losing all his presence of mind, his hair
turns white in a single night with terror, and he becomes a maniac. It
was thus that Arthur Pendrean found him several days later, when,
seeing, to his great grief, that the lamps were unlit, he put out to
learn the cause in a little boat manned by Owen and one or two of his
friends. How Owen and the others failed to effect a landing on the
rock, and how the brave young clergyman made a bold leap, springing
safely upon a projecting ledge of the Longships, is all thrillingly told
in the chapter headed 'A Hazardous Voyage and a Bold Leap.'

Perhaps the most surprising part of the story is the bravery of Mary
Tresilian, Philip's little sister, who, although only a child, when she
sees that no man can be found to undertake the dangerous and difficult
work of keeping the lamps lit on the Longships, begs her father most
earnestly to himself undertake the task, and permit her to accompany
him. At first he would not hear of it, neither would Arthur Pendrean;
but the child pleaded so earnestly and fearlessly that, in the end, no
one else coming forward to undertake the duty, they yielded to her
prayers. And so we find the light burning again in the lighthouse,
thanks to the courage and unselfishness of a brave little girl.

'Trust me, I will be a match for them, somehow or other,' said Nichols,
when he knew who the new lighthouse-keepers were. 'I have an old grudge
against that Tresilian, and I mean to pay him out. As to that parson,
you all know what I think of him.'

'Well, John, there's many a chap here will be glad enough to help you,'
said Pollard.

A very exciting chapter is that entitled 'A New Conspiracy,' which tells
how Owen, coming ashore with some fish, was waylaid by a ruthless gang
of wreckers and smugglers, who tied him up as a prisoner, and would have
left him to starve had it not been for one of them with a little more
heart than the rest, who cut the cords that bound his wrists, seeing
there was no chance of his escape from the cavern into which they thrust
him, bolting and barring the gate that closed it. A more wretched
dungeon could scarcely be imagined. Dark even in brilliant noon-day,
damp and dripping with slimy sea-weed, the ground full of pools of
stagnant sea water, the air so chilly that it seemed to freeze one to
the very bones, such was the place to which these cowardly enemies
consigned the unfortunate man. And he? His thoughts were of his little
child. Truly his troubles were great; his wife was dead, his son torn
from him, and now his daughter, his only child, doomed, as he thought,
to a terrible fate, while he, her father, was a prisoner and powerless
to help her. But was he powerless? Could he not pray? It was this
thought that caused him to fall on his knees in his lonely prison and
entreat protection for her from the Father in heaven.

And Mary, what was she doing? At first, when she found that her father
did not come back, she gave way to grief. The darkness coming on and the
tempest rising, with trembling hands she tried to make a fire. Suddenly
the thought struck her that the lamps were not lit, and she determined,
brave child that she was, to light them herself. She had often watched
her father do it, and she knew how. She stood on tip-toe to reach the
lamps, but they were far, far above her. Nothing daunted, she piled one
thing above another until every article that she could lay hold of was
in use except the old Bible. Being a very reverent little girl, she
could not bear the idea of treading on the Holy Book; but, at last, when
she had reflected that her standing on the book for the purpose she had
in view, the saving of the lives of many poor sailors, could do it no
harm, she placed it reverently on the top of the pile, and above it,
that she might not tread directly on to it, a large basin. And now she
was just high enough, and found, to her great delight, that she could
light the lamps. Great was the surprise of Nichols and his companions
when they saw, as they ascended rising ground with their false light,
the bright rays of light streaming out from the Longships. For a minute
or two they could say nothing; then a volley of wicked words proceeded
from them.

'Who would have thought it? That child has managed to light the lamps,
and there they are burning as brightly as ever.'

'Who would have thought it indeed?' exclaimed Nichols. 'If it had ever
entered my head that the girl would have been up to those tricks, I'd
have rowed out in Tresilian's boat, carried her off from the lighthouse,
and locked her up with her father; and now here's all my fine plan
spoiled.'

For the beautiful ending of this attractive story, of Owen's release and
Philip's rescue from drowning by his own father, and of the punishment
that befell the wicked men who occasioned the deaths of so many brave
fellows, we can only say that our young readers should go to the book
itself, where they will find these facts all set forth in a thoroughly
interesting manner. To-day a new lighthouse stands on the Longships, and
the light shines out at an elevation of one hundred and ten feet above
high-water mark, and is visible at a distance of eighteen miles.



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

II.--SOME WEAPONS OF OFFENCE.


The sting of the bee and the lancet of the gnat, although fashioned of
very different materials, bear a close likeness in their mechanism. In
each case the piercing organ is, in the first place, a gouge-like weapon
which prepares the way for more delicate lancets. But in the spider we
find a very different piece of machinery for the injection of the
poison. It is formed by a pair of peculiarly modified legs which act as
jaws, and are armed each with a powerful claw, at the tip of which, as
in the poison-fang of the viper, is a small hole. Out of this hole a
drop of poison oozes when the prey is seized, and this has the effect of
paralysing the victim. The poison is formed in a curious bag, or 'gland'
(G.L), which communicates with the claw by means of a long tube or duct.

Many people feel a remarkable repugnance or even dread for spiders.
This, in many cases at least, is due to the supposed venom in their
bite. Yet, except the famous 'Tarantula,' no spiders really inflict a
painful wound. Tales of fearsome black spiders are common enough. One of
the spiders known as 'line weavers' is reputed to have a very poisonous
bite. To test the truth of this, one authority on spiders repeatedly
allowed himself to be bitten, yet suffered no inconvenience! In the
early and barbarous days of medical practice, a spider was frequently
applied to the wrists of patients suffering from fever.

Even the virulence of the dreaded Tarantula's bite has been greatly
exaggerated. It was supposed to cause the disease known as Tarantism:
the victim was seized with a mad desire to dance. The mania, while it
lasted, was accompanied with leaping, contortions, gesticulations, and
wild cries, until finally the fit of hysteria, for such it was, wore
itself out. The methods of treatment were many and curious. One of the
most favoured was to bury the patient up to the neck! But the dulcet
strains of music were believed to be the most powerful of all cures, and
certain peculiar tunes came to be regarded as especially effective, and
hence became known as Tarantella!

Parts of India now desert are said to have been deprived of their
inhabitants through the dread caused by certain huge spiders known as
the Galeodes. Their bite is without doubt extremely painful, and may
cause violent headache, fainting fits, or even temporary paralysis.
Camels and sheep are sometimes so severely bitten by these spiders that
death results.

Occasionally the spider catches a Tartar, for wasps and bees now and
again get entangled in the web spread for more helpless victims. Rushing
out in a blind fury, the spider closes with his captive, and then
follows a fight to the death. Sometimes the spider wins, but as often as
not the sting of his would-be victim is thrust home with deadly effect,
for the soft and pulpy body of the spider offers a target not easily
missed.

       *       *       *       *       *

There is a saying that we should 'eat to live,' but the dragon-flies
seem to have reversed this rule, for they appear almost to 'live to
eat,' their appetites being enormous. This is especially true of the
larval or infantile stages of growth, and the manner of capturing their
prey is peculiar.

Readers of _Chatterbox_, who combine a love of natural history with a
fondness for boating, have probably many a time watched the gauze-winged
dragon-fly hawking for flies. But how many have realised that, below the
surface of the stream, the coming generation of dragon-flies was waging
a precisely similar war--a war, too, even more relentless? The
full-fledged dragon-fly cannot bring himself to venture out, even to
eat, unless the sun be shining; but the budding dragon-fly has not yet
learnt to be so particular, and hunts incessantly, be the weather fine
or wet. The apparatus by which his prey is captured cannot, however, be
easily described. The mouth of an insect is made up of many separate
parts, and that which in other insects forms the 'under-lip,' is in the
young dragon-fly peculiarly modified to form what is known as the
'mask.' This remarkable piece of apparatus may be compared to a pair of
nippers mounted on a jointed and freely movable handle. When not in use
these nippers are kept folded up close under the head; but as soon as
prey comes within reach, the nippers flash out, and the victim is seized
and brought to the powerful jaws, where it is rapidly torn to pieces.

The weapons of offence of the spider and dragon-fly larva differ in one
important particular from those of the bee and the water-bug, and
similar insects: the former are used for the capture of victims intended
as food, whilst the latter are employed, in the case of the bee, for
attack or defence; and in the case of the water-bug for robbing the
animal or plant of a small and quite insignificant quantity of its
blood, or sap, as the case may be.

W. P. PYCRAFT, A.L.S., F.Z.S.

[Illustration:

1. Young Dragon-Fly and "Mask" (magnified).
2. Dragon-fly.
3. Poison Gland of Spider (much magnified).
4. Spider and Bee Fighting.]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 38._)


Thoughts of the ill-favoured tramp had once or twice come into my head
while I ate my eggs and bacon, but, perhaps as one result of the meal, I
felt very little doubt that he had by this time got some distance ahead,
while the rest which I had determined to take would allow him to leave
me still further behind. On coming into the street again, however, I
took the precaution to look to the right and left, and rejoiced to see
no sign of the man. The houses of Broughton soon grew farther and
farther apart, but I had to walk a mile or more without seeing any
tempting resting-place. The sun was very hot, and my legs were beginning
to ache, when, at the foot of a slight hill, I saw that the road was
edged on each side by a thick wood, whose shade looked particularly
inviting. As soon as I reached the shade, I found that I was not alone,
for sitting in the road were two men wearing wire spectacles and
breaking stones with a hammer. They paid not the slightest attention to
me, while, for my part, I felt rather glad of their presence. The shade
made the spot seem more lonely than the road I had as yet traversed, so
that I stepped into the wood on my right with a pleasant feeling of
security. A few yards from the road I lay down at the foot of a large
beech-tree, and resting my head on my bag, after listening for a few
minutes to the ring of the hammers in the road, I must have fallen
asleep. On reopening my eyes I instinctively felt for my watch, and when
I realised that I should never see it again, it seemed that I had lost a
familiar friend. The sun now shone lower in the sky, and it must in any
case be time that I continued my journey.

Throwing the bag over my shoulder, I walked towards the road, when what
was my dismay to see the tramp, who I imagined had long left me behind,
seated by the roadside, smoking a very short, black pipe and gazing
silently at the stone-breakers. Although he took no notice of my
presence, I now began to wonder whether he had deliberately followed me
from Broughton, or whether his presence in this shady part of the road
was merely a chance coincidence. It was quite possible that he had
hidden himself while I was in the coffee-shop, watched me from its door,
and set forth in my wake. If this were the case, his purpose seemed
scarcely doubtful, for he had certainly seen me receive the money for my
watch and chain.

[Illustration: "His left hand gripped the collar of my jacket."]

Still, it was not possible to stay where I was all day, so reluctantly
turning my back on the stone-breakers, I walked on, trying to hope that,
after all, the tramp might be perfectly harmless in spite of his evil
appearance. Though strongly tempted to look behind and ascertain whether
he was following or not, I warned myself that it would be wiser to
appear to take no notice, till, at last, when the stone-breakers must
have been half a mile to the rear, I looked back, and saw, to my horror,
that the tramp was still dogging my steps.



CHAPTER VI.


Half panic-stricken for the moment, I quickened my pace; but when I
looked behind again ten minutes later, it appeared that the tramp had
lessened the distance between us.

It now began to seem like a nightmare. There was no prospect of getting
away from my pursuer. If I hastened, he walked faster, and I no longer
felt the least doubt that his intention was to rob me. Although the road
was little frequented, it was by no means deserted. An occasional
bicyclist would pass, or a waggon, or a dog-cart, while here and there
stood farm-houses and cottages by the way-side.

I believed that the tramp would dog my steps until dark, and that in the
meantime he would not allow me out of his sight. Yet, until the present,
I had no actual cause for complaint, and when I met a policeman, there
seemed no excuse for referring to the tramp's existence. Feeling bound
to speak to the policeman, however, I stopped to inquire the time, and
he eyed me curiously as he took out his watch. My clothes were by this
time covered with dust, and no doubt I appeared a disreputable figure.

'Five past five,' said the policeman. I must have slept in the wood
longer than I had thought.

'Thank you,' I answered, and he passed on, greatly to my regret.

The finger-posts told me that a place named Polehampton lay ahead, but I
would not inquire the distance, and so tell the policeman that I did not
know much about my destination. But when I fancied he must be close to
the tramp, I looked back, just in time to see them exchange a nod in
passing.

Every time I looked behind after this, my pursuer appeared to be gaining,
although he took care not to overtake me. He could easily have done so
had he wished, because I was becoming extremely tired, the more, no
doubt, because of the fear which oppressed me. As this gained strength,
I did the worst thing possible--playing, as it were, into the tramp's
hands if his purpose was what I suspected. But this walk along the
straight, open road as evening fell became gradually more and more
unbearable. I even began to ask myself whether it could be actually a
nightmare, and I should presently awake to find myself in bed at Ascot
House, scarcely knowing which would be preferable.

Seeing a stile leading to a field-path on my right, I suddenly determined
to climb over it, and though I had no notion whither it lead, to take to
my heels, regardless of everything but the chance of leaving the tramp
behind. In a second I was over, and, doubling my fists, began to run.
There were some cattle in the field, and the path appeared to end at
another stile, beyond which was a plantation of chestnut-trees. To the
left, beyond a hedge, lay a large plot of waste ground; to the right, a
dense wood, where I could hear some pigeons cooing.

I did not stay to look back until I reached the farther stile, a good
deal out of breath, and then, to my intense relief, I saw nobody in the
path. I persuaded myself that the tramp must have reached the first
stile before now, and that, as there was no sign of him, he had gone on
his way. Perhaps, I thought, as I climbed over the second stile, I had
wronged the man after all, and had simply been the prey of my own
timidity. Resting on the top of the stile a moment, I began to look
around. In front was a narrow path through the chestnut plantation, and
it must lead somewhere, though I knew not where. But I determined to
follow it, thus making a slight divergence from the main road, and
finding a way back to it to-morrow. Meantime, I might come to a village,
where it would be possible to obtain some supper and a bed. So,
rejoicing to have shaken off my nightmare, I sprang to the ground on the
other side of the stile, when immediately I felt a hand on my collar,
and saw the dark eyes of the tramp once more peering into my own.

He had, of course, dived into the wood when he saw me climb over the
first stile, and, cutting off the corner, had been coolly awaiting my
arrival. On the whole, I think that being in his grasp was almost
preferable to the feeling that he was dogging my steps. His left hand
gripped the collar of my jacket and flannel shirt, and instantly I began
to wriggle, twisting my leg about his own in an attempt to bring him to
the ground; but the man was of enormous strength, and, freeing himself,
he shook me as a terrier shakes a rat, until I felt there was little
breath left in my body.

Yet I did not give in without another struggle. I knew that he would
take every penny I possessed, and that there was nothing else on which
to raise any money. I was still nearly ninety miles from London, and
already ready for another meal. I butted my head into his stomach, I
struck out madly with my fists, I writhed and kicked, until, raising his
right arm, he brought down his fist on my head, and after that I knew
nothing for some time.

When I regained consciousness, I lay in the plantation about two yards
from the path, just where I had been flung, I suppose. My head and body
seemed to ache all over, but, on attempting to rise to my feet, I found
no difficulty, beyond a slight giddiness. My bag had disappeared, my
knickerbocker pocket, which had contained my total capital of fourteen
shillings and eightpence, was sticking out empty, and, of course, there
was no sign of the tramp. Walking to the stile, I found that my left
ankle pained me, although not very severely; I could also see in the
lessening light that my clothes were considerably torn.

So hopeless appeared the outlook that I confess I rested my arms on the
top of the stile, buried my face on them and sobbed, until the
increasing darkness warned me that crying would not provide a bed for
the night. A bed for the night! But how could I obtain a bed without
money? Still, it was not practicable to remain where I was, while I
thought it would be better to take my chance through the plantation than
to return to the road, where I might even meet the tramp again.
Certainly, whichever direction I followed, I had no wish to walk very
far. I had never felt quite so worn out in my life, as I continued my
way through the plantation and a field beyond, the gate of which opened
into a pleasant country lane. Here I turned to the right, as the main
road lay to the left, and I had not walked many yards before I reached a
pretty farm-house, standing well back, with a barn on its left, in which
some cows were lowing. The sky was by this time of a dark blue, and one
small star twinkled. I could not help looking rather longingly at the
cosy house, and, while I looked, a lamp was carried into one of the
front rooms and a red blind was drawn down. However, it was no use
lingering there, so I walked on beside a hedge, fragrant with
honeysuckle, past one or two fields, until I came to a black gate with
something shadowy behind it. Stopping by the gate, I saw that the object
in the field was part of a haystack, one side being cut into a kind of
terrace. Four black calves came to the gate, but they turned tail and
trotted away again as I put my leg over the top rail, for I at once made
up my mind that there would be no better place to sleep than the
haystack. The night was fine and hot, and my body ached to such a degree
that I felt I could sleep anywhere.

(_Continued on page 54._)



TAKE CARE OF THE DAYS.


    The little days come, one by one,
      And smile into our face;
    Each hath its dawn and set of sun,
      Each hath its little place.

    Then scorn them not, but use them well,
      Treat each one as a friend;
    Neglect them not! We cannot tell
      How soon our days may end.

    Heed not the years! Make _every day_
      With love and labour fair;
    The years, then, as they roll away,
      Will need no further care.

E. D.



THE CAPTAIN'S TURN FIRST.


The captain of a merchant ship, on being appointed to a new vessel,
heard that his crew had a very bad name for the use of oaths. He
determined to put an end to bad language on his ship, and, knowing how
hard it would be to do so by the mere exercise of authority, thought of
a novel plan which was entirely successful. He summoned the men and
addressed them thus:

'I want to ask you all a favour, and I know that British sailors will
hardly refuse a favour to their new captain. It is my duty to take the
lead in everything, and especially in one thing. Now, will you grant me
my favour?'

'Aye, aye, sir,' said the men, not knowing what he would ask.

'It is this, then. I want to take the lead in swearing, and to use the
first oath on board this ship, before any of you begin to swear.'

The men were at first surprised at the strange request, but they soon
recovered and gave the captain a rousing cheer. Needless to say, the
captain's oath was never uttered, and so the men had no excuse for
swearing.



SAVED BY TWENTY GUINEAS.


Thanks to his quickness of brain and fleetness of foot, M. de B----, a
French Royalist officer, was able to use a well-known device and so
effect an escape from imminent death.

On a certain memorable morning, sixty-nine brave soldiers were executed
by the Republicans. The story of these deaths, and of one remarkable
escape, is related by a fellow-prisoner who witnessed the scene.

At nine o'clock in the morning the prisoners were startled by the
entrance of a Republican officer, who held a piece of paper in his hand,
and was attended by an escort of about twenty soldiers. As he came in he
announced:

'Citizens! you are to accompany me. Those whose names I shall call will
not return to this place. As I read out the roll, let each one named
range himself on the right-hand side.'

The men obeyed this order in silence; no one knew what it meant, and all
feared the worst. Only two names were excepted from the roll; the other
prisoners, seventy in number, stood in line, awaiting their unknown
fate.

'The word was given to march,' says the narrator, 'and the whole
seventy-two of us, guarded by a large number of Republican soldiers,
filed out from the gloomy gaol. We were taken to the seashore, where a
halt was made; then the officer in charge read the death-sentence,
adding, as he turned to us--the two whose names were excepted from the
fatal list--these words:

'"These others will not be sentenced until further evidence has been
heard, but they will be present at the execution of those condemned."

'The unhappy men were then and there shot, one by one. This work of
horror went on for an hour, and we, whose time had not yet come, were
forced to stand by, fully expecting that the same fate would shortly be
our own.

'Sixty-nine had fallen, and at last came the turn of De B----. The four
men told off to shoot him said, "We are extremely sorry to do this, but
it is the law, and we cannot help ourselves; and now, if you have any
money about you, please bestow it upon us."

'A happy thought flashed through the Royalist's brain. "I have twenty
guineas," he replied calmly, "but I do not desire to cause any jealousy
amongst you. I will therefore fling down the coins, and let each one get
what he can."

'With a dexterous movement of his hand he sent the golden coins spinning
in all directions. The soldiers, in their greedy eagerness, forgot the
prisoner for a moment, and scrambled for the money; this was what M. de
B---- had reckoned on. As he was an excellent runner, taking to his
heels, he promptly fled, got safely away, and was never recaptured.'

[Illustration: "The soldiers forgot the prisoner, and scrambled for the
money."]

[Illustration: "'Fight against my country! Not for the ransom of a
king!'"]



THE ADMIRAL AND THE FISHERMAN.


M. de Tourville, a French Admiral who lived in the beginning of King
William the Third's reign, proposed to make a descent on the English
coast, and, as his intention was to land somewhere in Sussex, he sent
for a fisherman, a native of that county, who had been taken prisoner by
one of his ships, in hopes of obtaining some useful information
concerning the state of the Government. He asked the fisherman to whom
his countrymen were most attached, to King James or to the Prince of
Orange, styled King William.

The poor man, confounded by these questions, made the Admiral this
reply: 'I have never heard of the gentlemen you mention; they may be
very good lords for anything I know; they never did me any harm, and so
God bless them both. As for the Government, how should I know anything
about it, since I can neither read nor write? All I have to do is to
take care of my boat and my nets, and sell my fish.'

'Then, since you are indifferent to both parties,' said the Admiral,
'and are a good mariner, you can have no objection to serve on board my
ship.'

'I fight against my country!' answered the fisherman, with great vigour.
'No, not for the ransom of a king!'

W. Y.



GOOD-NIGHT, GOOD-DAY!


    We got up to welcome the swallows
      This morning as soon as the sun;
    Then over the hills and the hollows
      We went for a beautiful run.
    The daisies were ready to meet us--
      All over the meadows they grew;
        But now we must say:
        'Good-night, O good-day!
      We've been very happy with you.'

    We sang with the busy bees humming
      O'er blossoms too bright to forget,
    And when the soft breezes were coming
      We saw the grass bow as they met.
    Oh, may all the hearts that have known you
      Now beat with a pleasure like ours,
        And cheerfully say:
        'Good-night, O good-day!
      And thank you for sunshine and flowers.'

JOHN LEA.



WHALEBONE.


Many thrilling stories have been written about the dangers of
whale-fishing. The perils and hardships of whaling expeditions are
braved in order that we may be supplied principally with two
things--whale-oil and whalebone. If you can learn what whalebone is, and
what is its use, you will know a good deal about the habits of the whale
itself.

The substance which we call whalebone is not true bone. It would be much
more correct to call it whales' teeth, as it occupies the same position
as teeth, and, in a measure, serves the same purpose. Moreover, the
whale has a skeleton of true bones underlying its flesh, and serving as
a framework for its huge, bulky body. These bones are very light and
porous, and this is a great advantage to the whale, which spends most of
its time floating upon the surface of the water without having to make
much effort.

There are numerous kinds of whales, and they do not all yield the
substance which we call whalebone. The sperm whale, or cachalot, has
teeth in its lower jaw, and no whalebone whatever. The Greenland whale,
on the other hand, which is the one most sought after for its oil, has
no teeth, but abundance of whalebone, which hangs from the sides of its
upper jaw.

In order to get some idea of what this whalebone is like as it hangs in
the whale's mouth, we must try to picture what the whale itself is like.
The largest of them grow to something like sixty feet in length. The
head is unusually large, and forms about one-third of the whole body,
and the inside of the mouth is about as large as a ship's cabin or a
very small room. The strips of whalebone, which reach from the upper jaw
to the lower one, must, therefore, be very large. The largest strips,
which hang in the middle of the jaws, are rather like large planks,
being from ten to fifteen feet long, and about twelve inches across at
their widest part. They are thinner than planks, however, and perhaps we
might better compare them to long and broad saw-blades. There are
altogether about three hundred of these whalebone planks or blades in
the whale's mouth. They are set transversely--that is to say, one narrow
edge of each piece touches the tongue, while the other edge lies against
the cheek or lip. They lie so close together that from the middle of the
edge of one blade to the middle of the edge of the next the distance is
less than an inch, and yet there is a space between them. The whole set
extends like a huge grate round the whale's mouth, the bars of whalebone
being long in the middle of the sides of the jaws, and growing shorter
near the back and front.

Whalebone is very fibrous or stringy, and it splits very readily. The
lower ends of the pieces in the whale's mouth are split and frayed into
stiff bristles, and the inner edges are frayed in the same way, while
the outer edges are made smooth, so that they do not hurt the inside of
the animal's lips. The roof of the whale's mouth is covered with smaller
pieces of whalebone hanging down like bristled quills. Many of these are
only a few inches long, but they make the whole of the upper part of the
whale's mouth rough and bristly.

The creature's tongue is an enormous one, often measuring six yards long
and three yards wide. Its throat, however, is so small that sailors
often say a herring would choke it. What can be the use of such a large
mouth and tongue, and such large bars of whalebone to a creature which
has so small a throat?

On the surface of the Arctic Sea, where the whale lives, there are
swarms of living creatures. Some of these are jelly-fish, like those
which are often left upon the sea-shore when the tide goes out. But one
of the commonest of these lowly animals is a little soft-bodied
creature about an inch and a half long, which moves along through the
water with the help of two organs like wings or paddles. It is called
the _Clio borealis_, and it is very rarely seen near the shore. It is
upon these creatures that the whale feeds. Opening its mouth wide, it
rushes through the sea, and takes in a crowd of these soft-bodied
animals, along with the water in which they are swimming. Closing its
mouth, it drives out the water through its plates of whalebone, and the
little creatures are caught in the bristles as in a net. Its great
tongue is lifted up, and crushes them all into soft pulp, which is
easily swallowed, even down the whale's small throat.

Thus every part of the whale's mouth is altered to suit its strange mode
of feeding. The hard teeth, which would be of no use for biting small
pulpy animals, are done away with, and a new growth of whalebone
appears, which is of the utmost service in catching the whale its food.

Whalebone has been used for many purposes. It is split up into little
pieces, and used for light frameworks, which are required to be stiff,
but, at the same time, elastic. It used to be used for the ribs of
umbrellas and for ladies' hoops. It was also split very small and used
for the bristles of brushes. But it is now becoming scarce, and other
substances are generally used in its place.

W. A. ATKINSON.



SAVED BY THE ENEMY.


The following story of the Crimean War, told by the Russian author,
Turgenieff, is well authenticated.

A young Russian Lieutenant, named Sergius Ivanovitch, was one cold night
with an attacking party whose object was to drive a body of French
soldiers from their position in front of the Russian lines. Wishing to
be as free from hindrances as possible, this young lieutenant did not
take his military cloak.

The French proved to be well posted on the edge of a wood. At the end of
a desperate fight, the Russians were forced to retreat, leaving behind
them their dead and wounded. Among the latter was Sergius Ivanovitch.

How he now longed for his cloak! He suffered even more from the cold
than from his wound. Although a bullet was in his leg, he knew that the
exposure, rather than the wound, would be the death of him. With many a
shiver and groan, he was trying to examine his leg, when he heard some
one say in French:

'You had better leave it alone. Be patient, and disturb your wound as
little as possible.'

The man who thus spoke was a veteran French captain, who lay close by,
more severely injured than Sergius.

'You are right, no doubt,' said the Russian; 'but I shall die of cold
before morning.'

Then the Frenchman blamed him for coming out in the snow without his
cloak. 'I have learned by experience,' said he, 'never to go out without
mine. This time, however, it will not save me, for I am mortally
wounded.'

'Your people will fetch you presently.'

'No, my dear enemy, I shall not last until help arrives. It is all over
with me, for the shot has gone deep. Here! take my cloak. Wrap yourself
up in it and sleep. One can sleep anywhere at your age.'

The young Russian protested in vain. He felt the cloak laid upon him,
and its warmth sent him to sleep.

When he awoke in the morning, the French captain lay dead at his side.
The Russian never forgot this generous act of one whom the policy of his
nation had made his enemy.

E. D.



WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

II.--FINGAL'S CAVE, STAFFA.


While we shall have to consider some of the most wonderful caverns of
other lands, we must not forget that Great Britain can boast of perhaps
the most beautiful cave in the world. As we are a nation of sailors, it
seems fitting that our marvellous cavern should rise directly from the
sea, and that its pavement should be the mighty ocean. It is claimed as
the most beautiful because it has the advantage of light to exhibit its
wonders, as well as the endless variety of the dancing waves to
illuminate its dark pillars with a never-ending flash of gems, as the
waters dash against its walls in storms, or lap lovingly round them in
the summer sunlight.

Fingal's Cave is one of many fringing the cliffs of the little island of
Staffa, off the coast of Mull, in Scotland. These caves are all formed
of what learned people call basalt, which means rocks moulded by the
action of fire. Basalt contains a good deal of an opaque glassy
substance, and its colour may be pale blue, dark blue, grey, brown, or
black. This rock has a special faculty for building columns with
(usually) six sides, but the form varies as much as the colour. These
pillars are divided at fairly equal distances into lengths, just as
stone pillars in a cathedral are generally built, and, wonderful to say,
the joints, when closely examined, are found to be of the cup-and-ball
pattern, on which our own bones are put into their sockets.

Basalt is usually hard and tough, and it is supposed, though with no
certainty, that the regularity of the columns is the result of the
contraction of the rock in cooling after undergoing great heat.

The name Staffa is a Scandinavian word meaning 'Pillar Island,' and no
doubt its wonders have been known from very remote times. It is quite
near the island of Iona, one of the earliest settlements of the
Christian missionaries from Ireland.

[Illustration: Fingal's Cave Staffa.]

A little distance from the shore is the tiny island of Bouchallie, or
the Herdsman, which is entirely composed of basaltic rocks of great
beauty; and from this islet a colonnade of pillars leads to the entrance
of Fingal's Cave. The mouth of the cave is forty-two feet wide, the roof
is fifty-six feet above, and the length of the cavern is two hundred and
twenty-seven feet.

All down the sides pillars line the walls, and from above hang the ends
of pendant columns. Below is the clear blue water, where even at low
tide there is a depth of eighteen feet.

Sir Walter Scott was so impressed with this marvel of Nature, that he
wrote:

    'Where, as to shame the temples decked
      By skill of earthly architect,
    Nature herself it seemed would raise
      A Minster to her Maker's praise.'

Certainly no service that human tongues could utter could surpass in
impressiveness the strains raised to the glory of the Creator by the
waves as they enter this temple of His own building, and toss aloft
their offerings of glistening water and snowy foam.

Fingal, the hero from whom the cave takes its name, was a mighty man of
renown in the legendary days of both Scotland and Ireland. He figures in
the poems of Ossian, as well as in Gaelic ballads as Fion or Fion na
Gael, and no other lore has ever been so dear to the peasants of these
countries as the record of the marvellous deeds of Fingal.

Another remarkable cave in Staffa is 'Clam-shell Cave,' which is of
immense size. It is really a huge fissure in the cliff, of which one
side is wonderfully like the ribs of a ship or the markings on a
clam-shell. This appearance is the result of immense pillars of basalt
crossing the rock in even lines.

A rough iron stairway has been put up the cliff to enable visitors to
look into the cave from above.

The 'Boat Cave' is smaller than that of Fingal, but the basaltic
formation is even more regular: this cavern runs for one hundred and
fifty feet, and is about twelve feet broad.

Indeed the whole coast of Staffa is studded with caves, into some of
which a boat can enter when the water is smooth, but this is not of very
frequent occurrence on this storm-beaten coast.

HELENA HEATH.

[Illustration: The Teal.]



THE TEAL.


What is the Teal? It is a bird once plentiful in many parts of Britain
from which it has now vanished, owing to the draining of marshes and the
cultivation of coast-lands, for it loves watery places. Being a notable
species of the duck tribe, it is a prize to the hunter of wild-fowl. Not
only is the bird thought a delicacy, but when the hunter comes upon a
party of them he can generally manage to secure several. It is a shy
bird, avoiding the abodes of mankind and large ponds or rivers. What it
likes is a still, rushy pool, or some sluggish brook overhung with
vegetation. About the South of England it is seldom observed except in
winter; occasionally it keeps company with other wild ducks when the
weather is severe. Should one of them be alarmed by the approach of a
possible enemy, while it is on a brook, it usually flies up and skims
just above the water for some distance, when it will quietly settle near
the bank, or it may drop into the water and swim away rapidly.

In their appearance the male and female birds are very different. The
male teal is particularly handsome; the head is chestnut brown, having a
glossy patch on each side; the neck and back are black, pencilled with
grey; the wings exhibit a green spot, set in velvety black, and
underneath, the colours are black and buff. But his female companion has
no bright tints; she is attired in dull black and grey, which is an
advantage to her, helping to her concealment at the period of nesting.
About July the old teals moult, and, losing for a time their quill
feathers, they are unable to fly, though able to walk and swim. Thus
deprived of their fine feathers, the male birds are less handsome, and
resemble the females till spring comes. Often in September and October
teals assemble to migrate, flocks of them flying hundreds of miles to
some winter resort, which they quit when the wonderful instinct given
them by Providence tells them to journey elsewhere to make their nests.

Teals do not like to place the nest flat on the earth, and it is
generally put on the ground rather above the marshes or streamlets, a
hollow being scraped under a small bush. One or other of the parents
lines the nest, perhaps with heather, or perhaps with fragments of
grass. Eight, nine, or ten creamy-white eggs are laid, and then the
hen-bird plucks from her body the soft down underlying the feathers,
which is put round the eggs, making a soft bed for the young when
hatched. They soon swim and run well, following their mother about as
she goes insect-hunting.

J. R. S. C.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 47._)


The haystack seemed to be cut exactly for my purpose, and, mounting step
by step, I found a terrace more than sufficiently large to allow me to
lie at full length. The scent was warm and sweet, and when I had said my
prayers, I lay staring up at the sky, watching as the stars came out one
by one. For a while, sleep would not visit me, although my head went
round and round, as it were, and I seemed to be conscious of nothing but
the tramp pursuing me along the white, dusty road. Yet I must have
fallen asleep before long, because I was suddenly awakened by the
barking of a dog.

'Heel, Tiger,' said a man's voice. 'Good dog, heel!' I still heard the
dog growl in a painfully threatening manner, then the man's voice again.
It was a somewhat rough voice, yet with a kindly note in it. 'Now,' it
said, 'whoever you are, I advise you to show yourself. I don't want to
hurt you, but if you don't show up in another minute, I shall set my dog
on to you.'

As it was, I felt in mortal dread lest Tiger should spring at me during
my descent; still, I rose to my feet, feeling still a little giddy and
confused, climbed down to the foot of the haystack, and walked a little
timidly towards the gate, where I could distinctly see the tall,
stoutly-built figure of a middle-aged man in the light of the rising
moon.

'What were you doing there?' he demanded.

'I was only asleep,' I answered.

'Think my hayrick is a proper place to sleep on?'

'I had nowhere else,' I cried.

'Well,' he said, 'come along with me, and we will have a better look at
you.'

As I walked by his side, with Tiger, a large retriever, sniffing
suspiciously at my heels, I realised that we were going in the direction
of the cosy-looking farm-house. The possibility of being offered a
comfortable bed, with a chance of taking off my clothes, and of
something to eat, seemed delightful, and, before we came within sight of
the red blind again, I had lost all fear of my companion, although he
had not opened his lips during our short walk.

He came to a standstill in front of a five-barred gate beyond the barn,
in which I could hear the cows chewing. 'Now, then,' he said, and,
without any second bidding, I entered the farmyard. 'This way,' he
continued, and the next minute he was tapping the door of the house with
his stick. It was opened by a short woman, who wore a white apron over a
dark dress, and had one of the ugliest and pleasantest faces I have ever
seen.

'Who is that?' she asked, stepping back in surprise on seeing that the
farmer was not alone.

'I went to see if the calves were all right,' was the answer, 'and the
youngster was asleep on the rick. Tiger found him out--didn't you,
Tiger?'

'Well,' said the woman, 'he looks as if something to eat would do him
good, anyhow.'

'Take him to the kitchen, Eliza,' cried the farmer, and, opening a door
to the left of the passage, she bade me enter and sit down; whereupon I
suppose I must have again fallen asleep, for I was conscious of nothing
farther until I opened my eyes, and saw Eliza in the act of placing a
tray on the deal table; on the tray I rejoiced to see a large pork chop,
a cup of hot cocoa, and a thick slice of bread.



CHAPTER VII.


My spirits seemed to rise with every mouthful of food, and I felt that I
had at last reached a haven after all the unfortunate turmoils of this
first day. Although the evening was hot, the kitchen fire seemed only to
add to the sense of comfort, and although there were no looking-glasses,
there were many things so bright that I could easily have seen my face
in them.

Eliza, who was Mr. Baker's housekeeper, watched me with evident
enjoyment, and before the plate was empty she rose to replenish it. I
felt thankful that Providence had guided me to Mr. Baker's door, and
devoutly hoped that I should not be turned away that night. I realised
instinctively that these were the sort of people who would not turn a
dog from their door if he needed succour, and by the time I had finished
my meat, and had begun to eat a large portion of apple tart with a great
many cloves in it, it appeared certain that there was shelter for one
night, at least. At last I finished the last piece of thick and rather
heavy piecrust, and sat waiting to see what would happen next.

'Now,' said Eliza, 'I should think the next thing ought to be to clean
yourself.'

'I should like it immensely,' I answered.

So she led me to a wash-house behind the kitchen, and brought a large
bowl of enamelled iron, filling it with very hot water. A cake of yellow
soap and a jack-towel were provided, and taking off my jacket and
waistcoat, I enjoyed a thoroughly good wash.

'Let me see what I can do with those,' said Eliza, taking my jacket and
waistcoat, and when she brought them back as I dried my hands they
certainly looked a little less dusty. She lent me a hard brush to brush
my knickerbockers, stockings, and boots, and although there were several
rents in my jacket, I began to feel something like a respectable member
of society again.

'Now,' cried Eliza, regarding me with evident approval, 'suppose you
come and see Mr. Baker.'

She led me to the room where I had seen her, earlier in the evening,
draw down the red blind, and he was seated in an arm-chair with a wooden
pipe in his mouth.

'Sit down,' he said, and nothing loth, for my legs still ached
painfully, I took a chair by the door. 'Now,' he continued, 'how did you
get yourself into such a state, and how is it you are wandering about
the country alone?'

'I ran away,' I answered, and Mr. Baker looked towards the door, which
Eliza had left half open.

'Eliza,' he exclaimed with a kind of chuckle, which seemed to confirm
the assurance that I had found a sympathetic listener--'Eliza,' he
shouted, 'the youngster's run away.'

'Has he, though?' said Eliza, coming to the threshold, where she
remained standing.

'From school?' he asked, and sliding down farther into his chair,
evidently prepared to enjoy my story, while Eliza stood in the doorway
with her arms folded. I told it from the beginning. Every now and then
Eliza would interrupt with an expression of sympathy, and Mr. Baker
slapped his knee when I told him how I had thrown the hair-brush at
Augustus. When I came to the end, having described the day's adventures,
the sale of my watch and chain, with the theft of the fifteen shillings
by the tramp, Mr. Baker shook his head, and looked into Eliza's
pleasant, plain face.

'Now,' he said, 'the question is what's to be done with the youngster?'

'Supposing you got to London,' she suggested, turning to me, 'what did
you think of doing?'

'I know I could do something,' I answered confidently.

'Still,' said Mr. Baker, 'you have not done much good for yourself
to-day now, have you?'

'No,' I was compelled to admit, 'not to-day.'

'And you have no money left?' cried Eliza.

'When I get to London I am going to find some work to do,' I assured
her; but she shook her head, and smiled a little sadly.

'Come to think of it,' said Mr. Baker, 'this Turton is about your only
friend.'

'I don't call him a friend,' I answered.

'Anyhow,' exclaimed Eliza, 'it is too late to do anything to-night.'

'I suppose you can make the boy up a bed somewhere?' said Mr. Baker.

'If you ask my opinion,' she replied, 'the sooner he's inside it the
better.'

'Yes; and directly after breakfast to-morrow morning,' he said, 'I shall
drive the youngster back to Castlemore.'

'Not to Mr. Turton's!' I cried.

'What else do you think I can do with you?' he asked, as Eliza went away
to prepare my bed.

'I would sooner do anything--anything,' I said, 'than go back.'

'I dare say you would,' he answered. 'Only you see there is nothing else
to be done. I can't say I believe in boys running away, but still you
seem to have been badly treated, and if you had a home, I don't say that
in the circumstances I would not see you to it safe and sound. But you
have not; and the consequence is that it is my duty to take you back.
And,' he added, solemnly, 'however severely he treats you it won't be
half so bad as what you would meet with if I let you go your own way.'

I could find nothing to answer. With all his kindness, Mr. Baker seemed
to mean what he said, and I realised that a remonstrance would be only
waste of words. Besides, I am afraid I was become cunning in my efforts
at self-preservation, and if I said nothing, I certainly thought the
more. My sleepiness seemed to have left me, and all my wits were at
work. If I could prevent him, I determined that Mr. Baker should not
take me back to Ascot House, although as yet I had not the remotest
notion how to hinder his purpose.

One thing appeared certain. He was only to be defeated by strategy, and
not by force. As I looked at his large fist resting on his arm-chair, I
knew that if I attempted to resist I should be as powerless in his arms
as I had been in those of the tramp. Presently Eliza re-entered the room
to say the bed was ready, and when I arose Mr. Baker held out his arm to
shake hands, causing me to feel not a little shamefaced. My friend
seemed to have become an enemy. He had treated me kindly, and, indeed,
still intended to do what he considered best for me, while my chief aim
was to oppose him. But to have said right out that I would not go back
to Castlemore would have defeated my own ends, so that I put my hand in
his, received a cordial shake, and then followed Eliza upstairs. She
carried a candle, which she set down on the washing-stand, and I saw
that I was in a small room, extremely cool and clean, with one window,
in front of which stood a muslin-covered dressing-table.

'Now tumble in quick,' she cried, 'and I will come to take the candle.'

(_Continued on page 58._)

[Illustration: "I felt in mortal dread lest Tiger should spring at me
during my descent."]

[Illustration: "The other passengers thought him mad."]



A NOVEL RAIN PROTECTOR.


One day, some years ago, a number of people were travelling in Ireland
by coach. The day turned wet, and threatened to continue so till night.
The moment the coach stopped, one of the outside passengers, who was
without an umbrella, rushed into an ironmonger's shop and came out with
a grid-iron in his hand. All the other outside passengers thought he was
mad, but he wrapped himself in a large cloak, which covered his cap and
most of his face and came down to his feet, and seated himself on his
gridiron in the middle of his seat. In a couple of hours it was seen
what he meant.

While the other passengers were sitting in pools of water from the
dripping of the umbrellas, he was sitting high and dry above the seat on
his gridiron; all the water ran under it, and when they got to their
destination, the man on the gridiron was as dry as a bone, whilst the
other outside passengers were soaked to the skin.

W. YARWOOD.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

3.--PIED CITIES.

 1. S, B, T, U, R, C, A, E, H.
 2. N, O, U, E, R.
 3. R, W, I, B, N, S, U, K, C.
 4. E, T, U, A, B, S, P, D.
 5. G, I, N, T, O, A, S, A.
 6. C, O, F, A, S, S, A, N, N, C, I, R.
 7. N, A, B, S, E, E, R.
 8. G, U, P, E, R, A.
 9. A, P, A, S, O, V, L, R, A, I.
10. T, E, N, S, A, N.

C. J. B.


4.--GEOGRAPHICAL ENIGMA.

    To gently walk, to move with ease;
    An edge, or margin, if you please:
    Combine the two, and you will find
    The home of persons great in mind.
    A spot of northern English ground
    Near which a mighty poet found
    A still retreat: a teacher sage,
    And lady honoured in her age,
    Were dwellers in this district too,
    And all its wondrous beauties knew.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 98._]



ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 30.


1.--_Honduras._

1. Hymettus.
2. Otranto.
3. Newlyn.
4. Donnybrook.
5. Ujiji.
6. Roanoke.
7. Assam.
8. Shanghai.


2.--_Hiawatha._

1. Taw.
2. Haw.
3. Hat.
4. Whit.
5. Thaw.
6. Haha.
7. What.
8. Wit.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 55._)


I hurried out of my clothes as soon as Eliza had closed my bedroom door,
although I did not turn into the inviting bed until I had bathed my
feet, which were already slightly blistered. Then I lay down, having a
difficult task to keep my eyes open until she came to take away the
candle. To my surprise, Eliza bent over the pillow and kissed my
forehead, thus making me feel more guilty than ever. It seemed a poor
way to repay the kindness I had met with at her hands and Mr. Baker's,
to run away during the night, although unless I did this it appeared
certain that I should be taken back to Turton's the first thing after
breakfast the next morning. Concerning such a calamity I felt desperate,
and I believe there were few things I would not have done to secure
freedom.

It was not that I feared any tremendous punishment, for I had never
known Mr. Turton raise his hand to a boy, and my treatment could
scarcely be worse than that which I had met with to-day. But it was the
idea of the shame and degradation of being hauled back, of the jeers of
Augustus, and his telling the other fellows on their return. Indeed, I
was incapable of reasoning; I simply felt that any fate would be
preferable to a return to Castlemore, and the only alternative seemed to
be flight for the second time.

At present I could not tell whether even this would be practicable,
although at the best I perceived that there would be many difficulties
to overcome--Tiger not being the least. I had no idea whether Mr. Baker
gave him the run of the premises at night, although this appeared
extremely probable, or whether he was on the chain, and, if so, where.
Whatever I did must be under cover of darkness, and the nights were
short at this season. I knew that a farmer's household would be early
risers, and that in fact there was little time to spare.

As I lay in bed, I could hear voices downstairs, and guessed that my own
affairs were under discussion. I remembered a tale I had read of some
travellers who were lost on a mountain, and in spite of their terrible
weariness, feared to lie down in the snow, knowing that if they once
fell asleep they would never again awaken in this world. My case seemed
rather like theirs, although I lay in a comfortable feather bed. How
delightful it was, how cool and fresh the linen sheets, how willingly I
could have closed my tired eyes and fallen asleep! But in that case I
feared that I should be lost. I certainly could not feel sure of waking
before daylight; indeed, I felt I could sleep for a week, whereas, long
before dawn, I had to put a considerable distance between myself and Mr.
Baker's farm.

Afraid of closing my eyes in spite of myself, I sat up in bed, anxiously
waiting for the voices to cease, for until it became safe to open my
window, and ascertain what was underneath it, I could not tell even
whether escape were possible. The window was the only hope! The house
was so small that I could not imagine myself opening the door, going
downstairs, and finding a way out without disturbing its inmates. If the
window was not too high, and the ground was fairly clear beneath it, I
might be able to get away, but otherwise there seemed no alternative to
an ignominious return to Castlemore to-morrow morning.

At last the voices became silent. I heard a key turned and bolts shot
home into their sockets, heavy footsteps on the stairs, the shutting of
first one door, then of another, followed by total silence. Getting out
of bed about a quarter of an hour later, I walked about the room, and
going to the washstand, sluiced my face in the basin to make myself more
wakeful. Again I sat on the bed for what seemed a long time, until a
clock downstairs struck the hour of midnight. Now, I thought, Mr. Baker
and Eliza must be asleep, and groping for my clothes, I began to dress
with all possible speed. As I rose from lacing my boots I trod on a
loose board, which creaked so loudly that I felt certain it must be
heard throughout the house. Lest any one should be aroused, I got
quickly into bed again, dressed as I was, but although I lay there some
time I heard no sound. Creeping cautiously across the room, I moved the
dressing-table, and then, with the utmost care, drew up the green cotton
blind. The moon shone brightly, almost at the full, but this might be
either an advantage or a drawback. At least, it served to show my
surroundings, and, before opening the window, I stared through the panes
for some minutes. The house consisted of only one story above the ground
floor, and the rooms were by no means lofty. My window overlooked what
was evidently a fair-sized kitchen-garden, surrounded by a low hedge,
beyond which I could see nothing but fields.

Now, if it happened that Tiger was chained, and I could succeed in
reaching the garden, I determined to give up for the present every
thought of gaining the road to London or anywhere else. I would simply
get through the hedge at the earliest moment lest any one should detect
me in the bright moonlight, then make a straight dash across country. By
this means it promised to be far easier to avoid pursuit than if I
followed any kind of road. Being fully dressed, with the exception of a
hat, which did not seem to matter, I cautiously pushed up the lower half
of the window and leaned forward to survey the ground. Immediately below
me lay a bed about two feet wide, with flowers growing in it and one or
two standard roses. I saw that the distance would not be too great to
drop, and, anxious to lose no more time, I climbed out to the sill,
crouching there a minute with alarming thoughts of Tiger. But all was
perfectly still; one or two birds began to rustle in the leaves of the
ivy which seemed to cover the back of the house, that was all, until
turning round on the narrow sill, I heard the jangling of a chain.
Peering forth once more, however, I could see no sign of a kennel, so
that it seemed probable that Tiger was secured at the side of the house
or in the front. Placing my hands on the sill, I gradually lowered
myself until I hung by the fingers, then the next moment I dropped all
of a heap, but without making much noise, on to the bed, the only damage
being a scratch on the left cheek from a thorn on one of the standard
roses.

Finding my feet at once, I made for the hedge, scrambling through it as
Tiger began to give tongue. Turning to the left on the other side, I ran
with all my might until I floundered into a wet ditch. Over a second
hedge I scrambled, across a meadow with sleeping cows and calves, which
rose at my approach, looking rather ghostly as they crowded together in
a bunch. I clambered over gates, floundered into other ditches, and
presently found myself entering the completer darkness of a wood, on the
other side of which came a park, then more fields, until I began to
pant, and to think that Mr. Baker's farm was sufficiently far behind for
safety.

How long I had been running I have no idea, but the moon was fast
sinking towards the horizon, and, before it disappeared altogether, it
seemed advisable to find a place where I might secure some much-needed
sleep. In a large field I espied a wooden shelter--intended, no doubt,
for cattle--and open at one side. This being empty I entered, and was
fortunate enough to find a goodly heap of dry clover in a corner.
Spreading this out over the ground, without more ado I threw myself,
just as I was, at full length upon it, too weary to think or to do
anything but fall at once asleep.



CHAPTER VIII.


I must have slept for many hours in the shed, for, when I opened my
eyes, the sun was high in the sky. I think it must have been past ten
o'clock, and it took some minutes before I could succeed in determining
which of my recent experiences were real, and which the result of
dreams. Little by little I began to put together the circumstances,
which had occurred since yesterday morning, in their proper order, and
my cheeks tingled with shame as I tried to imagine the feelings of Mr.
Baker and Eliza when they discovered my flight. They had treated me with
genuine kindness, and it must appear that I had repaid them with the
basest ingratitude; while yet I cannot pretend to have repented of my
flight from the farm-house, for I knew that, in similar circumstances, I
should act in the same way.

At first I felt tempted to lie down and go to sleep again, but this
might be to run no little risk. It was impossible to decide whether I
was still on Mr. Baker's land or not, for, although I had covered some
miles last night, there was no proof that I had run in a straight line,
and it seemed quite likely that I had described something resembling a
circle.

So I rose and stood gazing down at my legs, which now bore no traces of
the brush which Eliza had lent me after supper. My boots were completely
coated with mud as the result of the ditches into which I had floundered
in my headlong flight, my stockings were splashed, and even my
knickerbockers were freely covered with dry mud.

On stepping out from the shelter of the hut, the sun shining full in my
eyes reminded me that I had not put on my hat, and, entering again, I
looked about for it for a few seconds before remembering that it had,
of course, been left behind at the farm-house.

[Illustration: "The first person I saw that morning was a young man,
mending a puncture."]

As I crossed the field, the situation seemed peculiarly depressing, and
it was impossible not to contrast it with my circumstances at the same
hour yesterday. It was one consolation that nobody could rob me to-day,
for I had not a penny in my pocket. Every one of my limbs seemed to have
a separate ache, and although I had not been accustomed to very
luxurious fare of late, I felt a great longing for breakfast.

Although my confidence in the good fortune awaiting me in London had
been somewhat shaken since I left Castlemore, I still determined to set
my face in that direction. Where else could I go unless I returned to
Mr. Turton? An unthinkable proposition. Making my way towards a black
five-barred gate, I rejoiced to see a lane on the other side of it,
and, without a notion of my locality, I thought it better to turn to the
left. The lane, a mere cart-track, led to a wider road, prettily
undulated, and, for half a mile or so, entirely deserted. The first
person I saw that morning (it must have been about half-past eleven) was
a young man of about three-and-twenty years of age, engaged in mending a
puncture in his bicycle-tyre. The machine was turned wheels upwards,
while he stood pressing the punctured portion of the collapsed tyre
between two pennies. From curiosity, and the desire, perhaps, to be near
some one for a few minutes, I stopped, while he chalked the patch,
stooped to replace the outer covering, and then, turning the bicycle
right way up again, took off the pump.

(_Continued on page 69._)

[Illustration: "One bolder than the rest stabbed it with a pitchfork."]



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

II.--M. CHARLES AND HIS PARIS BALLOON.


News, like sound, travels fast; and the applause which greeted the
ascent of the Montgolfier balloon at Annonay had hardly ceased when it
seemed to reach the ears of the people in Paris, and put the whole town
in quite a flutter of excitement. Some of those who had been present at
the great experiment wrote an account of it to their friends in Paris,
who at once began to make arrangements for inviting the Montgolfiers to
send up another balloon from the capital. But these arrangements took
too long to satisfy the impatience of the people of Paris, and they were
better pleased when M. de Saint-Fond opened a subscription to pay
expenses for a separate experiment.

No one in all France had heard of the event at Annonay with more
interest and delight than a certain M. James Alexander Cæsar Charles, a
young and clever scientist who took great pleasure in showing people the
wonderful things he had discovered. When Franklin brought lightning out
of the clouds with a kite, M. Charles followed the road thus pointed out
to him, and soon found new wonders which he had a great talent for
explaining. Thus, though he might not be a great original discoverer, he
was quick to see in what direction truth lay, and was able to lead those
who were less learned than himself. What wonder, then, that the people
of Paris were full of expectation when they heard that M. Charles had
put away his electrical studies to devote his attention to balloons?
Sufficient money having been collected he set to work with the
assistance of two brothers named Robert, and constructed an 'envelope'
of silk, which, when filled, would make a balloon twelve feet two inches
in diameter. This was very small when compared with the giant of
Annonay, but the gas that M. Charles was going to use would make it
thirteen times stronger. 'You see,' said he, 'the air that the
Montgolfiers use is twice as light as the atmosphere. I shall use
inflammable gas' (as hydrogen was then called), 'which is fourteen times
lighter; though to retain this it will be necessary to paint the silk
with rubber dissolved in turpentine.'

But if the gentlemen who sat around the platform at Annonay had gathered
to see this baby balloon inflated they would have grown very weary, for
it took nearly four days. Every morning outside Charles's house a notice
was hung up to inform the eager crowds how the wonderful little giant
was growing; and at last it became necessary for mounted police to
protect his door, so great was the crush. Then, on the twenty-sixth of
August, though the balloon was not quite full, it was decided to carry
it to the Champs de Mars, the open space from which the ascent was to
be made. There the filling could be completed. But as not even a king,
travelling in state, would be likely to draw such excited throngs as
this balloon, arrangements were made for moving the silk bag in the
middle of the night. First, all the tools which would be required at the
launching were sent in advance; then, at two o'clock in the morning, the
procession set out. A strong body of mounted soldiers accompanied the
waggon on which the half-filled balloon was placed, while in front of it
marched a body of men carrying torches. The journey was only two miles
long, yet in that short distance the cavalcade was greeted with enough
applause to satisfy the most ambitious. All vehicles encountered _en
route_ were drawn aside, and the drivers doffed their caps as they
watched it pass. As the balloon swayed solemnly from side to side, an
imaginative on-looker might have fancied that it was acknowledging these
respectful salutations.

In due course the scene of action was safely reached and the filling
process continued. As the gas had to be made from sulphuric acid and
iron filings, it naturally took some time, but when the clocks of Paris
were striking five on the evening of August 27th, 1783, Charles's
cloud-cruiser was ready for the voyage. The bells had hardly done
chiming when a cannon-shot was heard. It was the signal for departure.
The thousands of spectators heard it with a thrill of interest, and as
its echoes reverberated over Paris, the watchers of the high towers of
Notre Dame, and the military school, directed their telescopes to the
Champs de Mars. One of the guests was Stephen Montgolfier, for though
Charles might add improvements to others' inventions, he always
acknowledged to whom the first honour belonged.

In spite of the heavy rain that was falling, the balloon shot into the
air with great rapidity, and in the space of a minute or two disappeared
behind a cloud. The moment it vanished another cannon was fired as
though in farewell, but the watchers (richly dressed gentlemen and fine
ladies) regardless of the weather, continued to keep their eyes upon the
clouds, and were surprised to see it once more, far above them, sailing
in the direction of Gonesse, fifteen miles away. Here in a field it
settled, three-quarters of an hour after leaving Paris, and--met its
doom. The country people, imagining it to be a large and unknown bird,
approached in fear, until one, bolder than the rest, stabbed it with a
pitchfork, when the sighing sound, made by the out-rushing gas, only
confirmed their conviction that it was endowed with life. In vain did
the village _curé_ try to dissuade them, and when at last the silk bag
lay flat and 'lifeless' on the ground, they tied it to a horse's tail
and set him galloping through the field. With wild excitement they
followed in chase, till hardly a shred of poor M. Charles's
carefully-built balloon remained to be trodden on.

When the country folk were so ignorant as this, we can hardly be
surprised to read that the Government soon found it advisable to make
Montgolfier's discovery widely known, so as to allay 'the terror which
it might otherwise excite among the people.'

JOHN LEA.



MY GARDEN CONCERT.


    I hear a splendid concert in my garden every day,
    When the breezes find by grove and lawn some instrument to play;
    They shake the shiny laurel with the clatter of the 'bones,'
    And from the lofty sycamore draw deeper 'cello tones,
    And giving thus the signal that the concert should begin,
    The brook beside the pebbled path strikes up its mandoline.

    Then all the garden wakes to sound, for not a bird is mute:
    The robin pipes the piccolo; the blackbird plays the flute;
    While high upon a cedar-top a thrush with bubbling throat
    Lifts up to this accompaniment her clear soprano note.

    Then by-and-by there softly sounds, beside some flowering tree
    The oboe of the dancing gnat, the cornet of the bee.
    Such tiny notes--and yet with ease their cadence I can trace,
    While over-head some passing rook puts in his noisy bass,
    Or from a green and shady copse, a daisied field away,
    I hear the jarring discords of a magpie and a jay.

    The Wind conducts the orchestra, and as he beats the time
    The flood of music sinks and swells in melody sublime;
    Till, when the darkness deepens and the sun sets in the West,
    They all put up their instruments and settle down to rest;
    And when I seek my slumber, like the daisy or the bird,
    My rest is all the better for the concert I have heard.



THE LEGEND OF HELFENSTEIN.

A German version of an old story.


In former times there ruled at Olmütz, in Moravia, a Duke who allowed
himself, when in anger, to do many cruel things. One day, Bruno, his
falconer, came trembling before his master and announced to him that the
finest of the falcons was dead. When the Duke heard this, he flew into a
passion, and commanded his servants to chastise the man severely. Bruno,
however, succeeded in escaping the intended punishment, and hid himself
in the thick forest which extends from Olmütz to the Oder valley. There
he lived by hunting, and occupied himself with charcoal-burning.

It happened one day that as Bruno, armed with bow and arrow and battle-axe,
was going through the forest, he suddenly heard the well-known hunting-cry
of the Duke. He quickly hid himself behind an oak-tree, in order that
his master should not discover him, and saw, to his horror, that his
master was pursued by a wild bison. The Duke would have lost his life,
if Bruno, with his battle-axe, had not courageously attacked the furious
animal and given it a mortal wound. Deeply touched, the Duke thanked the
deliverer of his life for his proved fidelity, and bade him ask any
favour he pleased.

Bruno did so. He asked to be allowed to possess as much land as he could
encircle with the skin of the dead bison. Smilingly, the Duke promised
to grant the request.

The falconer began to cut the skin into small strips, and with them
encircled the whole hill upon which he had saved his prince's life. The
Duke was highly pleased with this proof of Bruno's cleverness as well as
courage, made him into a knight, and put him in a position of honour at
his court. Bruno became dearer to his master every day, and rendered him
many and great services. In later times he built a castle on the hill,
which, in memory of the Duke's deliverance, he called Helfenstein.

W. Y.



CHASED BY SEAGULLS.


Seagulls are a very distinct tribe of birds, mostly lovers of the sea,
yet from time to time showing themselves inland. They look larger than
they really are, owing to their having a quantity of down and feathers,
the wings being also long and the head large. They are equipped with a
strong and straight bill, by means of which they devour a great variety
of food. They will occasionally go out to sea hundreds of miles from
land, but they are not welcome sights to the mariner, for he usually
regards them as signs that bad weather is approaching. The most familiar
species is the common seagull, white and grey, with greenish legs.

One of the peculiarities of the seagull is its habit of dashing in
parties after any object that attracts its notice. This now and then
furnishes amusement to men and boys who are strolling along the Thames
banks or bridges. Supplying themselves with bits of bread or fragments
of meat, they fling these upon the river, and watch the birds eagerly
pursue the food.

Seagulls will also give chase to birds of other species they may come
across. Not long ago the Cunard steamer _Campania_, from New York, was
nearly due south of Nova Scotia, when the look-out observed a bird close
at hand flying rapidly. In fact, it went faster than the ship, which was
then moving twenty-four statute miles an hour. A great number of
seagulls were chasing the fugitive, but could not make enough speed to
catch it. At length the bird settled upon the deck, wearied, and proved
to be a fine specimen of the snowy owl.

The snowy owl is a species chiefly found in the Arctic Circle,
especially about Greenland and Iceland. It is a hardy bird, and has its
nest among the rocks. The bill is hooked like a hawk's, having round the
base a few stiff feathers. Its plumage is snowy white touched with some
brown.

J. R. S. C.

[Illustration: "A great number of seagulls were chasing the fugitive."]

[Illustration: HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.]

[Illustration: "'You shall go,' said the captain, 'if I lose every
passenger.'"]



THE CAPTAIN AND THE INVALID.


A fine instance of moral courage occurred not long ago at a small
seaport. The captain of a little passenger-boat, a tall, sun-browned
man, stood on his craft superintending the labours of his men, when the
boat train came in, and about twelve minutes after, a party of
half-a-dozen gentlemen came along, and, deliberately walking up to the
captain, thus addressed him:--

'Sir, we wish to go by this boat, but our further progress to-day
depends upon you. In the train we have just left there is a sick man,
whose presence is extremely disagreeable to us. We have been chosen as a
committee by the passengers, to ask that you will deny this man a
passage on your boat; if he goes, we remain here.'

By this time others had come from the train.

'Gentlemen,' said the captain, 'I have heard the passengers through your
committee. Has the invalid any representatives here? I wish to hear both
sides of the question.'

To this unexpected inquiry there was not a single answer. Without a
pause, the captain crossed to the car, and, entering, beheld a poor,
emaciated, worn-out creature, who was obviously very weak and ill.

The man's head was bowed in his hands, and he was weeping. The captain
advanced and spoke kindly to him.

'Oh, sir,' said the invalid, looking up, his face lit up with hope and
expectation, 'are you the captain, and will you take me? The passengers
shun me, and are so unkind. You see, sir, I am dying; but if I can live
to see my mother, I shall die happy. She lives at B----, sir, and my
journey is more than half performed. I am a poor printer, and the only
child of her in whose arms I would wish to die.'

'You shall go,' said the captain, 'if I lose every passenger for the
trip.'

By this time the whole crowd of passengers were grouped around the
gangway, with their baggage piled on the pier, waiting for the decision
of the captain, before engaging their passage.

A moment more, and that decision was made known, for they saw him coming
from the cars with the sick man cradled in his strong arms. Pushing
directly through the crowd with his burden, he ordered a mattress to be
put in the cabin, where he laid the invalid with all the care of a
parent.

Then, scarcely deigning to cast a look at the astonished crowd, he
called loudly to his men: 'Let go!'

But a new feeling seemed to possess the passengers, that of shame and
contrition at their own inhumanity. With a common impulse each seized
his own baggage, and went in a shamefaced way on board the boat.

In a short time a message was sent to the captain, asking his presence
in the cabin. He went, and one of the passengers, speaking for the rest,
with faltering voice told the rough captain that he had taught them a
lesson--that they felt humble before him, and they asked his
forgiveness.

W. Y.



BOUQUETS.


    Buttercups and daisies,
      Violets and May,
    Pimpernels and cowslips,
      Make a sweet bouquet.
    Not a rose among them;
      Nought the garden yields.
    Yet a lot of beauty
      Taken from the fields,
    Gathered in the sunshine,
      Through the happy hours--
    What a sweet bouquet, dears,
      Made of simple flowers!

    Patience and forgiveness,
      Kindness to the weak;
    Willing in our labour
      All the happy week;
    No exalted actions
      Striving after praise,
    Yet a lot of beauty
      From life's lowly ways,
    Gathered through the day, dear,
      By the heart that heeds--
    What a sweet bouquet, dear!
      Made of simple deeds.

J. L.



McLEOD OF CLERE.

Founded on Fact.

I.


The moonlight lay in soft brilliance over the land of Burmah. Its rays
pierced the small slit windows in the cell of the fanatic An-we-lota,
and lighted up the fierce faces of the dacoits and desperate men, who
from time to time stealthily entered, until a close-packed band had
collected. Near and far a message had reached these malcontents that an
attack would be made on some of the British outposts scattered here and
there over the newly conquered territory, and held by English officers
and a brave force of Sikhs and Pathans.

'We are as nothing,' said An-we-lota; 'these Ingalay' (Englishmen) 'have
taken our country, and are now setting up their camps everywhere among
us, for these men to spy on us. They say the glorious King Theebaw is
dead. Know we not well that he will come again and reign over us? I am
myself possessed of magic power. I have swallowed the all-powerful
mercury, which makes me proof against bullet and steel, which turn to
water as they touch me. Have I not also the coins of invulnerability
bound in the flesh and blood of my arm?' and the fanatic stripped up the
sleeve of his yellow robe and showed his bare, skinny upper arm, where
the edges of buried coins were visible in deep cuts. 'I am king as well
as priest; I am the Prince Setkia Muntna, who was drowned in the
Irrawaddy seventy years ago. I have come to life again--behold, I am
he.'

Dusky hands were raised in salutation, and one evil-looking warrior
stepped forward: 'I am also proof against bullets. Was I not Theebaw's
chief "Boh"?' (head warrior). 'I am ready to lead any expedition against
these robbing English. See, we are all armed.'

The moonlight flashed on the murderous-looking 'dah' knives raised for
an instant from the folds of the garments of the assembled men.

'Our first attack,' said An-we-lota, 'shall be on the Sardu Station. Our
scout, Al Met, has brought word that much of their force has been called
away to quell the Wahs. Our attack shall be swift and sure, and with our
band here we shall outnumber them, and exterminate the whole while they
are sleeping. When shall we start?'

'No time like the present,' was the cry, and the dahs flew out again and
were uplifted.

In a few minutes the cell was emptied, and the stealthy march began, by
rock and jungle and secret paths, to the doomed outpost station.

The hours passed, and the early morning light showed pale on the blazing
huts of Sardu Fort, and on dead and dying scattered about. Where the
dead were thickest lay a young English officer gasping, 'Inez, my
darling, we shall meet again soon, and our little son----'

Close at hand lay the fanatic, An-we-lota, dead, his magic coins and
mercury-fed body no proof against British steel.

From the distance there came the tread of a returning force--too
late!--and in the deepest shades of the jungle a native woman, with
horror-stricken face, pressed forward through tangle and thorn, with a
living, wailing bundle clasped close to her breast.

How many days she spent in weary wandering over well-nigh a hundred
miles of jungle and plain, helped by log-boat up strange waters, ever
heading for the homes of her people, the Karens--a bourne she was never
to reach--who can say?

       *       *       *       *       *

It was early morning. The first faint streaks of dawn were chasing the
night shadows from hill and valley. Early risers in a little jungle
village far distant from Fort Sardu shivered as they rose from their
sleeping-places, and pushing aside the curiously woven mats, hung from
the eaves of the sloping roofs, descended to the waking world outside.
The native dogs howled hideously as they were unceremoniously driven
from the still smouldering embers of last night's fires.

Maung Yet, one of the first astir, twisted the folds of his waist-cloth
closer round him, and looked forth upon the morning. The rising sun was
turning into gold and bronze the ripening paddy fields close at hand,
glorifying the reed roofs of the native huts under the feathery palms,
and gilding the distant belt of jungle, stretching away to the horizon.

The huts of the Tounghi tribe were raised breast-high on stout posts, as
protection against wild beasts and snakes. Many dark-skinned natives
moving around in busy preparation showed that the labours of the day
would be beginning early.

It was the time of the Burmese harvest, and the first of the ripe paddy
fields would be gathered in that day. Already might be heard the hoarse
voice of crows, and the screams of hundreds of bright-hued parrakeets,
descending for their feast on the precious grain. At the sound, many of
the village youths ran up quickly, and with cries and rude bird-clappers
scared the birds away, only to set to work again at some more distant
spot.

Many and various were the sounds echoing around Maung Yet, and ever and
anon he seemed to distinguish from among them a sound like a human cry.
Once more it came, and Maung stood keenly listening. Yes, a cry for
help, certainly, and a dog's strange, shrill bark, too--and both from
the far-off jungle. Maung Yet trembled. Was it the cry, perchance, of
some robber luring him to destruction, or was it really a
fellow-creature's cry for help?

The Burman, like all his race, was very superstitious, and avoided the
jungle as being haunted; but his heart was kind. Arming himself with his
primitive sickle, he beckoned to Lan Wee, his young brother, who was
squatting on the ground eating a huge mass of rice, and set off at full
speed towards the spot whence the cries proceeded, attracted onward
against his will by the voice of misery. The youth followed him closely,
his eyes wide open with fear, as they neared the dreaded jungle. In its
dark shadows who could say what dangers lurked? They pressed on,
however, through trails of prickly foliage, clinging undergrowth, and
fallen timber, which lay like so many traps for unwary feet. The cry had
sunk to a moan, but the dog's whine was shriller and more urgent as they
neared the end of their quest.

Both Burmen were tattooed over breast and shoulders with a glorious
blazonry of red--a decoration performed with religious rites as a
protection against 'evil spirits.' Few Burmen would face the jungle
unless thus fortified. Maung felt a few qualms even in spite of his
tattoo, but invoking the 'aing-sohn' (the good spirits), he and his
young companion, breathless and panting, struggled on, and came to what
they sought at last.

Half resting against a fallen tree-trunk lay an apparently dead native
woman, reduced to almost a skeleton. Her bare feet told of long, rough
journeying, and from wrist to elbow of the left arm was a half-healed
wound, such as Maung Yet knew well the keen 'dah' could leave. From her
neck was slung a baby, and standing fiercely on guard, a lean, whitish
dog.

With the curious canine instinct, divining rightly friend or foe, the
dog allowed the approach of the two Burmen. Maung knelt and raised the
prostrate woman; the weak head fell heavily on his shoulder, then
stirred uneasily, the eyes opened, and the dying lips tried again and
again to find utterance. Broken words at last whispered faintly over and
over again, 'Bébé Ingalay--Mah Kloo! Thakin Missee Bébé!' Then the
wasted hands tried to remove the baby. Maung understood, and signed to
the youth to lift it from her neck. The movement woke the child, and it
uttered a thin cry. The sound roused the flickering life of the dying
woman for an instant; with a last movement she lightly touched the wee
dark head, smiled faintly, and died.

[Illustration: "Maung and his young companion came to what they sought
at last."]

A shallow grave was hastily dug. A pouch in the tattered garments
contained a few coins of money and a curious small gold cross. Maung Yet
touched his tattoo anxiously as he took the latter: it must be, he
thought, some strange charm. Then he placed the coins in the mouth of
the dead woman, in the belief that this provided ferry-hire over the
death river, and he and Lan Wee lifted the woman into the grave. Then,
with all speed, the two Burmen left the hated jungle, carrying the tiny
infant, the lean dog following closely.

(_Continued on page 78._)

[Illustration: "She looked a little suspiciously at my muddy legs."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 61._)


The cyclist was a good-looking, short, but well-built man, clad in a
light, home-spun suit, with knickerbockers and a Panama hat. On the
frame of his bicycle was an ordinary mackintosh haversack, and, strapped
behind the saddle, a paint-box, a folding sketching-stool, and a
good-sized sketching-block. Fixing the pump, he knelt down to inflate
the tyre; but the pump was rather small, the sun was hot (as I felt,
having no hat), and the man seemed soon to weary of his job. He had
glanced once or twice in my direction, and now he rose, blew out his
cheeks, and cried: "Hi, boy! do you want to earn a copper?"

'Rather!' I answered, thinking of breakfast.

'Just pump up this tyre for me, then,' he said; and, going down on my
knees by the roadside, I began to pump with a will, while he took out a
pipe and began to fill it. 'Think that's all right?' he asked, as I rose
to my feet.

'It feels pretty hard,' I answered.

'Well, here's twopence for you,' he cried.

'Thanks, awfully,' I said, putting out my hand.

Holding his machine, on the point of wheeling it into the middle of the
road, he paused, staring into my face.

'Where are you bound for?' he inquired.

'London,' I replied. 'Can you tell me which is the road?'

He stared again for what seemed a long time, and it was evident that I
caused him a little perplexity.

'Of course,' he muttered, half to himself; 'it must be the holidays just
now.'

'They began last month,' I answered.

'Yet I am sure you are running away,' he cried.

Somewhat alarmed, in consequence of my recent experiences, I thought it
time to get on my way.

'Don't be in a hurry,' he said. 'I think you and I ought to have a
little talk.'

'I want to get along,' I retorted.

'Where to?'

'To get some breakfast,' I replied.

'Hungry, eh?' he asked.

'A little.'

With that he looked at his watch; then, saying that it was nearly
twelve, he took from a side pocket of his jacket a tin case, packed with
tempting-looking sandwiches.

'Just put yourself outside those,' he said, handing me the tin.

'But--but,' I suggested with an effort, 'won't you want them?'

'I am all right,' he said, with a laugh; 'you needn't bother about me.
Sit down and start.'

Needing no further persuasion, I sat down on the grass by the way-side,
and steadily emptied the sandwich tin. Before this was accomplished,
however, he produced a flask, pouring some of its contents into a small
cup which fitted on to one end. It seemed to put fresh life into me.

'Feel better?' he inquired, as he replaced the flask in his pocket.

'Ever so much,' I answered.

'Well, then, suppose you tell me all about yourself.'

'I would much rather not,' I insisted.

'Why?'

'Because you--you might try to take me back!'

'Think for a moment, and don't be stupid,' he said. 'How can I take you
back if you don't tell me where you have come from? Besides, you would
be as much as I could carry with my bike, you know. So fire away,' he
added, and I sat on the grass and once more told my story from the
beginning, except that this time I omitted to mention Mr. Turton's name
or address.

'When you reach London,' he asked after I had become silent, 'what are
you going to do?'

'Other fellows have been able to do things,' I answered.

'But, you know,' he said, with a kind sort of smile, 'you have not even
got a cat.'

'I believe I shall be all right if only I get there,' I persisted. 'If
you would not mind telling me the way to the main road.'

'Well,' he said, 'all roads lead to London.'

'Any one will do for me,' I answered, and upon that he wheeled his
machine into the middle of the road.

'Ever ridden on a step?' he asked.

'Rather!'

'Then get up behind me, only don't upset my baggage.'

He mounted as he spoke, and in a second I was standing on the step
behind him. In spite of the circumstances, I thoroughly enjoyed that
eight miles ride, and felt sincerely sorry when it ended. Now we coasted
down a hill, now we both dismounted to walk up one, and, after one such
walk, my companion stopped, unfastened his haversack, and took out a
cloth cap.

'Think you could wear that?' he asked, and, trying it on, I found it was
only slightly too big.

'Thank you most awfully,' I said as we rode on again, and then we did
not stop until we reached four cross-roads. Seeing the word
'Polehampton' on a finger-post, I perceived that I had returned to the
road from Castlemore to London, which I had left to cross the fields in
my futile endeavour to avoid the tramp. It was true that I had made a
fairly wide circuit, for my new friend told me I should still have five
miles to walk to Polehampton.

'I am immensely obliged to you for the lift and--and everything,' I
said, as he seemed to be on the point of starting. I felt extremely
reluctant to part from him.

'That is all right,' he answered, thrusting his hand in his
knickerbocker pocket. 'This may help you on your way.' He put something
into my hand as he pressed it, then, without another word, mounted his
bicycle and rode away. Opening my hand, I found five two-shilling
pieces. For the next few yards I did not see things very clearly, for I
felt too thankful.

After looking back once or twice until he was out of sight, I set out in
a business-like manner to walk the five miles to Polehampton. The events
of the morning had filled me with fresh courage, and now that my face
was once set towards London, earlier hopes began to reawaken. I should
have liked to know my companion's name, to keep in my memory with that
of Mr. Baker and Eliza, but I never saw or heard of him again. Still, I
have not forgotten him or the good turn he did me, and I wish that this
story might come into his hands to show that I am not ungrateful.

Having passed through so much in a short time, I was inclined to expect
every mile to bring forth its own peculiar adventure, but Polehampton
came into sight without any remarkable occurrence. I scarcely enjoyed
the walk, as my legs ached more than ever, and I rested many times by
the roadside.

To-day being Friday, I determined, on the strength of my ten shillings,
to look for a cheap temperance hotel, or some place of the kind, and
make a bargain with the proprietor to stay over Saturday and Sunday.
This would give me time to rest and make myself a little more
presentable, because, in my present muddy condition, I knew that it
would be impossible to obtain any kind of work.

For that was what I intended to do. Instead of hoping to reach London in
six days, as at first, I would try to earn a little money by the way,
because I perceived that it would be no use entering in such a condition
as I was at present.

Polehampton appeared to be even a smaller place than Broughton, and by
no stretch of imagination could it be described as a town. Still, it
felt pleasant to see a few people about; and noticing a clean-looking
whitewashed cottage, with a few bottles of sweets and ginger-beer in the
window, I entered, sitting down on an empty box while a white-haired,
round-backed old woman opened a bottle of ginger-beer, and a spaniel
came from a back room and began to lick my hands. Having paid my penny,
I sat sipping the ginger-beer, when it occurred to me that it would be a
capital place to lodge, if only the old woman would take me.

'I say,' I exclaimed, 'do you know where I could get a lodging?'

She looked a little suspiciously at my muddy legs.

'For yourself?' she inquired.

'Yes.'

'How long for?'

'Till Monday morning,' I answered. 'You see, I want to know how much it
would cost for a bed and food until then.'

'That is three nights,' she said, thoughtfully. 'There is a small room I
might make up a bed in, on the floor, if that would suit you, and there
will be a joint of pork for Sunday.'

'To-day's only Friday,' I hinted.

'There is a bit of cheese and a bit of bacon,' she explained. 'Till
Monday morning, you say? I should not think five shillings would hurt
you.'

So I gave her five shillings, thus leaving only five and a penny in my
pocket; but so sorely at that moment did I feel the need of rest that I
did not hesitate. The old woman--Mrs. Riddles--lived alone with her old
brown spaniel. There was a room behind the shop, which served the
purpose of a kitchen, a sitting-room, and a wash-house. In one corner
stood a step-ladder, leading to one bedroom and a kind of cupboard,
without either window or fireplace, or any furniture but one bottomless
chair. This I discovered was intended for my own use, and, indeed, so
long as I might lie down in it, I cared about little else.

After an early supper, consisting of bread, some very fat cold streaky
bacon, and cheese, Mrs. Riddles put a sofa-cushion, a pillow, two thin
blankets, and a sheet on the cupboard floor, and advising me to leave
the door open for the sake of air, retired to her own room. It was a
vastly different kind of bed from that which had been given to me by
Eliza at Mr. Baker's farmhouse, but at least it did not prevent me from
sleeping the moment my head touched the pillow. I did not reopen my eyes
until Mrs. Riddles brought me a can of cold water and a basin, with soap
and a towel, on Saturday morning.

'It is seven o'clock,' she said, 'and breakfast is ready when you are.'
For Mrs. Riddles' credit I must confess that I have seldom enjoyed a
breakfast more. It consisted of dry bread, oatmeal porridge, and coffee.
Oddly enough, the coffee was delicious, and the porridge was equally
good, so that, thoroughly refreshed by a long night's sleep and an ample
breakfast, I brushed my knickerbockers, cleaned my boots, and went forth
into the main street of Polehampton feeling fit for anything that might
happen.

(_Continued on page 74._)



THE GENEROUS BAKERS!


A deputation of a guild of bakers once presented themselves before the
chief magistrate, asking for permission to raise the price of bread,
which in those days was regulated by the corporation. When the time came
for leaving, one of the deputies dexterously left upon the table a bag
containing six hundred pounds in money. Some days afterwards they came
again, fully believing that the purse had pleaded very powerfully for
them. But the magistrate said to them, 'Gentlemen, I have weighed your
reasons in the scales of justice, and have not found them of sufficient
weight. It has not seemed just to me to make an entire town suffer by an
advance so ill-understood. Besides, I have had distributed between the
two hospitals in the town the money which you left me, not doubting that
you would wish it to be put to such a use. I also believe that, being
rich enough to make similar alms, you cannot be losing in your trade as
you say.'

W. YARWOOD.



AFFECTIONATE EAGLES.

A True Anecdote.


A man working on a farm one day saw an eagle fluttering over the
barn-yard, no doubt meaning sooner or later to swoop down in search of
prey. He determined to save his chickens, and fetching a gun, fired at
the would-be robber. But he only succeeded in hurting its wing. Instead
of falling to the ground it flapped about in the air in a helpless sort
of way, uttering loud cries of pain.

The man was just going to fire again when he noticed another eagle
coming up in the distance. It was evidently the mate of the one he had
wounded, for it came straight to its rescue. Seeing that the first eagle
could not fly away itself, the new-comer seized its wounded mate with
its beak and claws, and, half carrying it, helped it to fly slowly away
to the mountain-side, where it put it down, as it thought, in a safe
place. For a whole week the men on the farm saw it, day after day,
carrying food to the disabled bird. It would have been quite easy for
them to have killed both the eagles during this time; but the farmer
forbade his men to molest them in any way, because he was so pleased at
the affection and courage the one had shown on behalf of the other.
After a time the wounded eagle got well, and they both flew away.

[Illustration: "The eagle seized its wounded mate with its beak and
claws."]

[Illustration: "Wootton stood quite upright on the pinnacle of the
steeple."]



STEEPLE-CLIMBERS.


Cleverness or skill in doing some particular thing has been noticed to
recur in families, and steeple-climbing is one example, we are told. At
Nottingham there was a family named Wootton, members of which had for
centuries the reputation of being daring steeple-climbers, not for
adventure, but in the way of business. Such persons were also called
steeplejacks, and they were paid liberally for their exploits, as they
deserved to be.

Robert Wootton, who lived in the time of King George III., was famous
for repairing steeples and spires without using a scaffold; he did his
work by the help of ladders, hooks, and ropes. When he repaired St.
Peter's spire, Nottingham, in 1789, having finished his work, he beat a
drum at its top, thousands of people looking on. Another of the Woottons
undertook the perilous task of ascending the spire of St. Mary's,
Manchester, which was very lofty. By a tremendous wind the ball and
cross had been bent down, and looked dangerous. This steeple-climber
raised ladders one after the other, assisted by blocks and ropes, and
secured each in succession to the stonework with clamps. When he got
near the top of the spire the work became more difficult, and the
spectators anxiously watched him as he fixed the last ladder. Having
accomplished this feat, Wootton stepped from the ladder on to the crown
or pinnacle of the steeple, and stood quite upright, with his hands
free. Then he raised a cheer, which was responded to by the crowds
below. More extraordinary still, one of these steeple-climbers is said
to have performed the feat of standing upon his head on a steeple's top;
but there is some doubt about the story.

J. R. S. C.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 71._)

CHAPTER IX.


It was agreeable to think that I had nothing to do, and with my hands in
my pockets I turned to the right, strolling towards the railway station,
a few yards from which was a level crossing. The station yard and
booking office stood on the left, and before the entrance were one or
two old-fashioned-looking cabs; one in particular I noticed, having a
body like a small stage-coach and yellow wheels.

As I hung about the doorway it was alarming to realise that in spite of
my two days' journeying, and of all the accompanying dangers, I might
take a ticket and reach Castlemore in little over half an hour, and that
consequently any one else could travel from Castlemore to Polehampton in
the same short time. But it was easy to persuade myself that nobody
would feel the least desire to travel a yard on my account, although I
denied myself the pleasure of going on to the platform. Leaving the
station yard, I turned towards Mrs. Riddles' cottage again, and passing
this came to a standstill in front of a few shops on the opposite side
of the way. One was a butcher's; next to the butcher's was a grocer's,
and in its window I saw a card:

     'ACTIVE LAD WANTED.'

I read, and as I stood gazing at the card, a short, red-haired man came
to the door, rubbing his hands and looking smilingly about him.

'Do you want a berth?' he asked, after he had eyed me once or twice.

'I don't know,' I answered.

'A stranger here?'

'Yes,' I said.

'Ah, well,' he answered, 'even if you wanted a job, I could not take you
without a character. But Mr. Raikes, at the Home Farm down the road,
would take any one this morning. He has got his large field of hay down,
and it will probably rain before Monday. If he does not get it carried
to-night, as likely as not half will be spoilt.'

With that he re-entered his shop, while I strolled on at first aimlessly
down the street.

I began to wonder how far it was to the Home Farm. A day's hay-making
seemed to be a kind of play, and if one could be paid for such
amusement, so much the better. For now that I had paid Mrs. Riddles I
had only five shillings, and when once I started again they would not go
very far. I had sufficient forethought to return to the cottage and ask
for some luncheon to put in my pocket; then, armed with a slice of bread
and a chunk of the fat bacon from which I had supped the previous night,
I set out for the farm.

There was a large field adjoining the road, with an open gate. At the
farther end, two carts were being loaded, but nearer the road, several
men and women were busily making the rows of hay into cocks. Close at
hand stood a tall, sparely built farmer with a cane in his hand and a
fox-terrier by his side. He seemed to be trying to hurry everybody
along, and there was an air of bustle and haste about the whole scene.
Although the sun shone hotly, threatening clouds were coming up, and it
would require a hard day's work to get all the hay carried by nightfall.

'Here, youngster!' he cried, as soon as he saw me, 'do you want a job?'

'Yes, please,' I answered.

'Fire away then. You will find a fork against the hedge. Go and join
those men,' and he pointed to the haymakers with his cane. Taking the
fork, I ran across the field and set to work with a will. But the sun
shone fiercely, and when twelve o'clock came I would gladly have lain
down in the shade of the hedge. The moment we had finished dinner the
farmer urged us to work again, and so we kept at it through the
afternoon, until the last load was carried at seven o'clock and we all
drew round the farmer for our money. He gave me a shilling for my day's
work, and I confess I walked back rather proudly to Mrs. Riddles'
cottage, feeling that I had made a beginning and earned my first
shilling.

There was no difficulty about sleeping that night. The bells were
ringing for service while I dressed the next morning. Having made my
appearance as decent as possible, I walked across some fields to a small
church. On the way home to dinner I noticed a stream which looked
extremely tempting. Mrs. Riddles had spread a clean but much-darned
tablecloth, and the roast pork was ready. During the meal, the rain,
which had been threatening since yesterday, began to fall, but when it
ceased at half-past three I borrowed a towel, and ran across the damp
fields to the river and soon plunged in.

The swim was delightful, and having partly dressed again, I sat on the
bank and washed my socks, which I carried home in my hands. On the whole
it was a good day, although the wet which set in again towards the
evening made me anxious about to-morrow. If the rain continued, all my
plans would be upset. I had determined to sleep out of doors for the
next night or two, thus eking out my money, but I could not very well
sleep without shelter unless it were fine and dry.

Unfortunately, Monday proved to be a drizzling morning, so that instead
of setting forth as I had intended before eight, I hung about the door
of the cottage, hoping the weather might improve. Towards ten o'clock,
the rain began to cease, and looking inside the back room I said
'good-bye' to Mrs. Riddles, who inquired in which direction I was going.

'To London,' I answered, and this was the first sign of curiosity she
had betrayed concerning either myself or my destination. She was a very
old woman and somewhat deaf, treating my presence entirely as a matter
of course.

However, I bade her good-bye, and was on the point of stepping from the
shop into the small front garden, when instinctively I sprang back and
shut the door.

To my horror I had seen Mr. Turton and Augustus walking along the middle
of the road, each carrying an umbrella; Mr. Turton had an anxious
expression on his pale, bearded face. As I crouched, peeping between the
bottles of sweets in the window, I saw them pass the gate and come to a
standstill. They had the manner of persons on the look-out for some one,
and it seemed impossible to doubt that the some one was myself.

I confess that I felt surprised. Why should Mr. Turton want me back at
Castlemore, unless, indeed, for the sake of taking revenge for my
flight? At least, I could conceive no other reason, and while feeling
deeply thankful for my narrow escape, I determined to spare no effort to
make this effectual. That Mr. Turton should have hit upon my precise
locality did not appear very remarkable.

These thoughts passed through my mind in far less time than it takes to
set them down on paper. I remembered that my friend on the bicycle had
said that all roads led to London, and now the idea occurred that the
best way to evade Mr. Turton and yet to attain my purpose, would be to
make a dash across to some other main road, keeping almost paralled with
my pursuers.

After appearing to hesitate in the middle of the road, only a few yards
from my hiding-place, Augustus and his father approached the door of the
opposite butcher's shop, presumably with the intention of inquiring
whether a boy of my description had been seen in the place. I regretted
now my short conversation with the grocer, who had nodded to me in a
friendly way as I came home from church on Sunday, and no doubt had seen
me enter Mrs. Riddles' cottage.

If he directed Mr. Turton thither, I was lost, unless I could succeed in
leaving Polehampton before the Turtons came out again. Now, close to the
station yard was a lane, which led I knew not whither, but at least it
could be reached without passing the opposite shops. Opening the door,
as Mr. Turton left the butcher's and entered the grocer's, while his
back and his son's were towards me, I made a dash through the garden,
turned to my right, nor looked behind until I had reached the other side
of the street. Then to my alarm I saw Mrs. Riddles standing at her door,
which I had just left, while Mr. Turton and Augustus were hurrying
across the roadway towards her. Fortunately they seemed too excited to
look about them, so that I guessed that the grocer had set them on my
track.

Taking to my heels I sped down the lane, soon leaving the few cottages
behind and finding myself between low hedges with wheat growing on one
hand and sheep-turnips on the other. A short distance ahead, I saw a
butcher's cart on the point of leaving a cottage door.

'Are you going straight on?' I cried to the boy, only a little older
than myself, who was driving.

'What if I am?' he demanded.

'You might give me a lift, that's all.'

'Oh yes, I dare say!' he answered.

'I will give you sixpence,' I said.

'Up you jump,' he exclaimed, and the next instant I was seated by his
side, clinging to an iron railing on the top of the cart.

'How far are you going?' I inquired.

'Only to Hincham--about two miles,' he answered. 'I have got to fetch a
calf.'

Two miles would be better than no start at all, for I felt certain that
Mr. Turton would follow me. Mrs. Riddles had seen the direction I had
taken, and he might hire one of the railway-station cabs to overtake me.
Fortunately, the butcher's boy drove at a smart pace--faster, I thought,
than any cab; but when we reached Hincham and I paid his sixpence and
alighted, I scarcely knew what to do.

My experience on leaving the road for the fields on the first day had
not been encouraging, so without much notion of where I was going, I
determined to push along the lane for some distance, keeping a frequent
look-out in the rear. Turning at intervals to look back along the
straight, level lane, I walked on for a few miles, while the rain
continued to hold off and the sun came out again. Stopping once more to
make certain there was no pursuit, I saw to my dismay a vehicle rapidly
approaching.

Recognising it as the queer-looking fly I had noticed on Saturday in the
railway-station yard, I felt no doubt that it contained Mr. Turton and
Augustus. The driver turned and stooped down towards the off-side
window, as if to speak to them, while the next instant, a head being
thrust out, he pointed in my direction with his whip.

[Illustration: 'To my horror I had seen Mr. Turton and Augustus.']

Now what was I to do? It seemed that although they might be able to see
that I was a boy, the distance was too great to enable Mr. Turton to
recognise me, with any certainty, as his runaway pupil. Fortunately, the
lane began to wind to the right a few yards ahead, and taking to my
heels, I was soon out of sight of the occupants of the cab.

A few yards further still, the lane bent again, and more sharply, so,
seizing the opportunity, I climbed over a gate on the left into a large
meadow, which contained a great many sheep and cattle.

(_Continued on page 85._)



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

III.--HOW BUTTERFLIES, FLIES, AND SNAILS FEED.


When we come to examine the methods by which the more lowly creatures
take up their food, we cannot but feel astonished at the marvellous
number of contrivances by which this is done. To bring home this fact,
let us compare the methods of feeding of two of our commonest insects
with those adopted by another and very different group of animals--the
Mollusca, taking the common snail as an example.

By the butterflies and moths the food is taken in a liquid form--honey
procured from flowers--by means of a most marvellously complex 'tongue'
or 'proboscis.' This organ, when not in use, is coiled up so as to be
out of harm's way, but when the creature desires to feed it can be
extended with wonderful rapidity. Its length is astonishing: in many
cases, as in some of the hawk-moths, it attains a length of four to five
times that of the body, and in some species it may be as long as ten
inches! The general shape of this tongue you will see in the figure
marked A, which shows what the tongue is like when seen under the
microscope.

[Illustration: Fig. A.--Tongue of Butterfly (greatly magnified).]

Carefully examined by the aid of a microscope, this tongue will be found
to be made up of two separate tubes lying side by side, and, as each
tube is grooved along its inner side, it follows that when the two
separate halves are brought together, a third tube lying between the two
outer ones is formed. So closely do these two halves fit when closed
that this middle tube is perfectly air-tight. This union is secured by
a number of hairy projections which interlock, much as one's clasped
fingers interlock. Only the middle tube is used for the passage of the
honey, the side tubes being used, as some think, for breathing purposes,
while others hold that they serve to help in pumping up the fluids into
the mouth. By this interlocking contrivance the tube can easily be
opened and cleaned, should the passage become blocked by solid
particles.

Delicate as this wonderful 'tongue' appears to be, it is in some cases
capable of inflicting wounds on the tissues of the food plants. A
species of moth, for instance, causes considerable damage to crops of
oranges by inserting its trunk through the peel so as to suck the juices
of the enclosed pulp. The sucking action is performed by means of a
small bag inside the head, the size of which can be alternately
increased and decreased by the action of muscles, thus causing a pumping
action.

[Illustration: Fig. B.--Fly's Tongue (greatly magnified).]

It will probably surprise many readers of _Chatterbox_ to learn that
this wonderful tongue is by no means always found in butterflies, for
there are many species which have no mouth, and take no food whatever
after they emerge from the chrysalis stage. They simply live long enough
to lay their eggs, and then die!

[Illustration: Fig. C.--Common Fly.]

The tongue of the fly is every bit as wonderful as that of the
butterfly. Strictly speaking, perhaps it ought not to be called either a
tongue or a proboscis, for it is really a spout-like mouth bent upon
itself, and furnished at its end with a curious pair of flaps or lobes.
You may get an idea of what it is like if you imagine the spout of a
teapot to turn downwards at first instead of upwards, and then picture
the spout turned sharply forwards near its middle. The body of the
teapot corresponds to the fly's head; the end of the spout would
correspond to the mouth of the fly. On each side of this mouth there
will be found in the fly a pair of ear-shaped flaps or lobes, and these
play a very important part. Each flap or lobe (see fig. B), where it
joins the mouth, contains a long tube, and this tube gives off, along
its outer side, about thirty smaller tubes, which are open below. Now,
when the 'tongue,' as it is called, is extended, as in feeding, a
copious flow of saliva is sent down the long tubular mouth into the tube
of each flap, and when this is full the liquid escapes into the smaller
tubes, and as these are open below, it flows out, of course, on to the
food. Let us imagine this to be sugar. The saliva meets the sugar, and
the syrup which is of course formed is then drawn up along the same
channel as that by which the saliva came down. New surfaces for the
saliva to work upon are constantly exposed by means of some fifty or
sixty exceedingly tiny 'teeth,' which, by the aid of the microscope,
will be found at the opening of the mouth, just where the tube-bearing
flaps join it. The two rod-shaped, hairy organs at the base of the
'tongue,' in the illustration, are organs of touch, and not part of the
'tongue' proper.

(_Concluded at page 109._)



THE ELEPHANT AND THE CROCODILE.

A Fable.


An Elephant and a Crocodile were once standing beside a river. They were
disputing as to which was the better animal.

'Look at my strength,' said the Elephant. 'I can tear up a tree, roots
and all, with my trunk.'

'Ah! but quantity is not quality, and your skin is not nearly so tough
as mine,' replied the Crocodile, 'for neither spear, arrow, nor sword
can pierce it.'

Just as they were coming to blows, a Lion happened to pass.

'Heyday, sirs!' said His Majesty, going up to them, 'let me know the
cause of your quarrel.'

'Will you kindly tell us which is the better animal?' cried both at
once.

'Certainly,' said the Lion. 'Do you see that soldier's steel helmet on
yonder wall?' pointing at the same time across the river.

'Yes!' replied the beasts.

'Well, then,' continued the Lion, 'go and fetch it, and bring it to me,
and I shall be able then to decide between you.'

Upon hearing this, off they started. The Crocodile, being used to the
water, reached the opposite bank of the river first, and was not long in
standing beside the wall.

Here he waited till the Elephant came up. The latter, seeing at a glance
how matters stood, extended his long trunk, and reached the helmet quite
easily.

They then made their way together back again across the river. The
Elephant, anxious to keep up with the Crocodile in the water, forgot
that he was carrying the helmet on his back, and a sudden lurch caused
the prize to slip off and sink to the bottom. The Crocodile noticed the
accident, so down he dived, and brought it up in his capacious mouth.
They then returned, and the Crocodile laid the helmet at the Lion's
feet. His Majesty took up the helmet, and addressing the Elephant,
said:--

'You, on account of your size and trunk, were able to reach the prize on
the wall but, having lost it, you were unable to recover it. And you,'
said the Lion, turning to the Crocodile, 'although unable to reach the
helmet, were able to dive for it and save it. You are both wise and
clever in your respective ways. Neither is better than the other.'

MORAL: Every one has his special use in the world.

H. BERKELEY SCORE.



McLEOD OF CLERE.

(_Continued from page 68._)


There was much excitement in the Tounghi huts when the story was told,
and Maung Yet's wife took possession of the 'Bébé Ingalay.' Much talking
and gesticulation, too, among the mothers of the tribe over the white
skin of the little stranger. Frail and weak, he seemed at first inclined
to slip away from his adventurous life, but Mah Soh had a big motherly
heart under her dark skin, and loved Bébé with a great love, and tended
him with all the care she knew.

Thus, in spite of strange food and surroundings, the little one throve.
His dark eyes took in the brightness of sunshine and moonrays, he slept
on his red sleeping-mat under the shade of gorgeous blossoms, waking to
the sound of water and the scream of red and green parrakeets, and his
tiny hands were raised, with coos of excitement, to catch these
bright-hued creatures flitting from branch to branch above him. There he
heard the cries of the boys as they goaded the lazy oxen to pull the
clumsy carts faster as they came laden from the steaming paddy fields.
Bébé learned to love even the pye-dogs which congregated under the huts,
and would let him touch them. He loved Mah Soh the best, of course, but
almost as much his own white dog, who guarded Bébé jealously, and gave
alarm if any evil threatened him. Bébé soon learnt to twist his tiny
fingers in the dog's metal collar to keep him near.

When the rice was all gathered, the paddy boats were laden and shipped
down the river to the market at Rangoon. Then quieter days began, and
Mah Soh, dressed in her best on gala days, would stand at the hut door
and chat to the neighbours in their curious musical language.

'How could the Bébé Ingalay have got into the jungle?' 'It was the woman
who had died who had brought him there.' 'Did she not call herself Mah
Kloo, and had not Maung thought she was a Karen woman?' 'Yes, that was
so, but Bébé could not have been her child; had she not said he was
Ingalay?' 'It must have been sad for a "Mem" or a "Thakin Ingalay" to
lose him.'

Ah, it was hard to understand, and there was the queer charm the woman
had, but it and Bébé had brought good fortune--never had Maung Yet
gathered in a better harvest. And the little subject of all this talk,
dressed like a Burmese baby in Mah Soh's arms, heard all, and understood
nothing, not knowing how all-important it was to him.

The rainy season was unusually severe that year, and came all too soon;
then fever broke out in the jungle villages--it came to Maung Yet's
house, and Mah Soh was one of the first to die. Bébé cried, and when no
one knew, he crawled to her. They took him away when they found him
there; he lay hot and restless on his sleeping-mat, for he too had taken
the fever. Maung Yet was a sad man that day, and he and his fellows
talked much of the trouble. They said the evil spirits must be angry,
and some dread thing would happen if the white baby died. Had they not
tied round its neck the metal charm, and it had worked no cure yet? Then
one told of a camp of white men, Thakins (captains) and native soldiers,
who had raised many tents and huts by the big lake: would it not be wise
to take Bébé to them?

Maung Yet resolved to do so; they would start at moonrise. Wrapped in
cloth and skins tenderly by the women, Bébé was placed in the tappa (a
Burmese basket of creel-shape), and slung over Maung's shoulder. They
paced rapidly through the night, he and his fellows, until at sunrise
they saw the shining of Lake Ownwi, and later the sentries and huts of a
camp, and knew that their wandering was nearly ended.



II.


It was the first day of the summer term, at Oakwood Preparatory School,
and the head master, Dr. Rayne, was interviewing in his study various
parents bringing new boys, all of the latter more or less subdued by so
august a presence.

A ring had heralded a fresh arrival, and the butler announced 'Captain
Ferrers.' A middle-aged man, bronzed and tall, and followed by a dark,
handsome boy some ten years old, entered, and was warmly greeted by Dr.
Rayne, who, grasping him by both hands, exclaimed: 'Welcome back to
England, Ferrers! It is good to see you again. I got your note, and am
most interested--this is your little charge, of course--glad to see you,
my little man.'

'Yes, this is Paul. I have been telling him a lot about my old days
here, and how I was one of your first boys. I have to hurry away to-day,
and would like a few words with you first. Paul could perhaps----'

'I will give him into my daughter's hands. New boys are her special
function. Come with me,' and a kind arm was passed round the boy's
shoulders.

'Shall I see you again?' The child's big, dark eyes were turned
wistfully to Captain Ferrers.

'Oh, yes, dear boy, and you can show your dog to Miss Rayne; it is
waiting outside.'

'Now for our chat,' said Dr. Rayne, returning. 'I want to hear all you
can tell me about this child. He is a fine boy truly.'

'And a fine character, too, proud and passionate, but affectionate and
honourable to a degree; among natives he has often helped me by his
fearless truth and sense of right. It is more than nine years since he
came to me. I was at the time newly arrived at Fort Caidman, one of the
stations in the Shan Highlands on the China-Burmese frontier. As you
know, my men are all Sikhs and Pathans, and only I and my
fellow-officers were British. One morning early, my man came to me
saying that some natives wished to speak to me. I went directly. I
found they were Tounghis, a friendly people a long way from my station.
The spokesman carried a tappa (a native carrying-basket) over his back,
and in it, wrapped in a blanket, a child apparently about a year old,
dying, as far as I could see. It was brown with exposure, and its cheeks
and eyes bright with fever. I took it for a native infant, but the man
assured me by an interpreter that it was white. His story was rather
involved, but I gathered that he had received the child from a dying
woman in the jungle--a "Karen" he called her. It was moons ago, and how
the woman had got it he did not know--she had said "Bébé" and "Ingalay"
and had died. Yes, she had said "Mah Kloo," which must have been her
name. These Burmese women generally have the prefix "Mah," and so this
was little clue. They call anything white "Ingalay" (English) as a rule,
so that also is no guide. I thought possibly the child might be
half-caste, but feel sure now he is pure European, more suggestive of
Spanish or Italian blood, I think. However, I am going from my story. I
hesitated what to do, but the man was in such trouble, and so insistent,
repeating over and over the necessity of propitiating the "good spirit,"
that I called my wife, and she decided we must take the little waif, or
it would die in the basket.

'For many days it seemed only just alive. My wife was doctor and nurse,
however, and we managed to pull him through, and in a few months he was
a beautiful walking and talking boy, the pet of the whole station; and
while my wife lived, he was her bright, happy shadow; his black head,
with a curious white lock (possibly from some bad cut), was always
cuddled close against her shoulder, and how she loved him! But she died
some months ago, and I gave up my outpost work for a time, with a year's
leave, and have come to England until my next billet is fixed. We named
the boy "Paul" after myself, and have given him the surname which was
with difficulty made out on the brass collar of a dog which came with
him--the name of "Fife," presumably that of its former master. I seemed
to gather from the man that the dog had been found with the child, but
cannot be sure. It is a breed I do not know. Inquiries and
advertisements were of no avail--no white child seemed to be inquired
for, and we had so little to go upon, as you see. And now he must be
educated, and there is no one else in the world I can turn to so surely,
or leave him with so thankfully, as you, Dr. Rayne.'

Dr. Rayne thanked him for his confidence, and they went back to see Paul
again. Mary Rayne, the Doctor's bright-faced daughter, was making
friends with little Paul, who sat on the floor, his arms round his dog's
neck. The Captain stooped, and lifting the boy, kissed him tenderly.
'Good-bye, dear old man; you will be happy, I know, and get a clever
boy, besides lots of football and cricket. I will take care of "Boh,"
and we will have no end of a good time in the holidays.' As Captain
Ferrers spoke he slipped a thin chain into the dog's collar, and led him
away. Pressed against the window a little lonely boy, with clenched
hands, trying to keep back the tears that would come, watched those he
loved best disappearing down the long drive.

(_Continued on page 82._)

[Illustration: "'I will take care of Boh.'"]

[Illustration: "'Boh! Boh!' the clear voice shouted."]



McLEOD OF CLERE.

(_Continued from page 79._)


'Hullo, new kid, what's your name?'

'Paul Fife,' said the newcomer, who had just been left by Dr. Rayne in
the school playground, where boys of all sorts and sizes, from ten to
fourteen, were congregated, newly arrived from home and holidays, and
while they waited for the tea-bell, were inspecting the 'new boys.'

'Oh, "Paul," what a jolly name. "Paul Pry," "Poll parrot," "Polly put
the kettle on." Well, Polly, and where do you come from?'

'Let him alone, Briggs,' said the school captain (a pleasant-faced, tall
boy). 'Dr. Rayne asked me to look after him a bit. I say, though, young
'un, call yourself "Fife," that's quite enough; we don't have Christian
names here, you know.'

'Well, Christy, you needn't punch my head, I don't want to harm the
infant,' cried Briggs. 'He can tell me where he comes from,
anyhow--can't you, new kid?'

'I lived at Fort Caidman, in the Shan States--Burmah, you know.'

'And what can you do, play football and cricket?'

'No, I have not really played them, but I want to. There were no white
boys besides me, but I can shoot, and ride, and row, and fence, and
throw darts.'

A group of boys had gathered round--little Paul tried not to feel shy.

'Where did you row?' asked one; 'was there a river?'

'Not near, but there was a big lake like a sea--the Inthas live there.
They are called lake-dwellers, and their huts stand on the top of the
water--Uncle Ferrers took me to their huts sometimes. The Inthas row so
funnily, partly with their legs. They can row, oh, so fast, and fish,
and hold an umbrella, all at the same time!'

'Oh, I say, that must be a cram, anyhow. Tell the infant he must not
tell lies, Christy.'

'I don't, and I won't tell you things if you say that,' and the child
drew himself up haughtily and turned away, clenching his small brown
fists.

'It is a shame, you chaps,' said Christy. 'I know he has come from some
queer place in Burmah.'

'Did you see his hair?' said Fane. 'It's as black as a coal, and just in
one place is a white streak--he is a regular magpie. Hurrah! there's the
tea-bell.'

'Oh, I have heard my mother say some one she knew had a lock of white
hair--it looks rather jolly,' rejoined Christy. 'I say, little piebald,
don't mind our ragging. I'm awfully hungry, and I dare say you are.
There is cold beef always for tea first night of term--worth having, I
can tell you. Come along with me, and I will show you where to sit.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Paul soon began to feel more at home as a small unit in the hundred boys
at Oakwood.

'Wonderful at mathematics and no idea of classics' (was the verdict of
the masters), 'but can talk Gramouki and Pushtan dialects like a
native.'

'No good at football and cricket, but promises well,' said the boys,
'and can climb and jump anything, and use his fists, too.'

Ten days had passed, and Dr. Rayne, at work in his library, was
disturbed by a knock, and the matron entered.

'I am sorry to interrupt you, sir, but it is about that new little boy,
Paul Fife. I cannot get him to eat his dinner properly; he seems hungry
at first, and then leaves off--later, I look at his plate and it is
cleared. I find from some of the boys that he puts the greater part of
the meat in his pocket, and, I suppose, throws it away. I thought I had
better come to you.'

'Certainly; send Fife to me.'

A timid step, and the small boy came shyly in.

'Come here, little man,' the Doctor called, pleasantly. 'I want to talk
to you. You are not too big to get on my knee. No, I thought not. You
see, you are one of my little boys now, and we all want to be as happy
as possible. You are very thin; do they give you enough to eat?'

'Oh, yes, sir,' the child pressed his hands nervously together.

'And you like what you get, I hope. We have not Burmese and Indian
cooks, you know.'

'Yes, I like it all, thank you.'

'And yet Miss Owen tells me you do not eat your dinner, but pocket it--I
hope you don't waste and throw away good food, Paul.'

'No, sir--indeed, no,' the boy looked up earnestly.

'Then see that it doesn't happen again, for I don't want to punish you.'

'Oh, what shall I do--what shall I do?' and to the astonishment of the
doctor, the child covered his face, and his whole body shook with sobs.

'Control yourself, dear boy. No, I cannot allow such crying, you will
make yourself ill. That is better. Now tell me anything in confidence,
and I will see what can be done.'

With an effort Paul gradually quieted, and then said: 'Yes, I will tell
you; please--please, I didn't mean to be naughty, but I do love Boh so
much. It is my dog; you saw him, and Uncle Ferrers took him away. I
don't know how he got loose, but several days ago he came running up to
me in the cricket field--he was so thin, and his ear was torn--I was
eating my lunch bun, and I gave him all I had left. He just gobbled it.
When some of the fellows came up, I sent Boh off, and he ran into the
wood, but each day I whistle, when I can get by myself, and he comes; he
is thinner than ever, so now I eat only part of my dinner even if I am
hungry, but I save nearly all the meat for Boh. He is the oldest friend
I have, for Uncle Ferrers says he came with me. He looks often as though
he could speak and tell me whose little boy I used to be. Please, sir, I
can do quite well with half a dinner, if he may have the other.'

Dr. Rayne stroked the smooth, dark head, deeply touched by the boy's
story. 'There,' he said, 'come with me, and let us see about this dog.'

So hand in hand child and master passed through the big school
buildings, and out towards the breeze-swept cricket ground.

'It is a curious name for your dog,' said the Doctor; 'how do you spell
it, B-e-a-u?'

'Oh, no, sir, B-o-h--it is Burmese. It means "head warrior" or chief
fighting-man. Uncle Ferrers' Sikhs and Pathan soldiers called him that,
because whenever he fought with the pye-dogs or other dogs, Boh always
won. May I call Boh now?' (for they had reached the high ridge near the
wood).

'Yes; I only hope he is still there.'

'Boh! Boh!' the clear voice shouted, and then followed endearing words
of Eastern dialect. A few seconds, and a joyful bark announced the
delighted animal, who leapt up rapturously, his paws on the shoulders of
his little master. The boy's eyes shone as he raised them to Dr. Rayne,
fearlessly, but the voice trembled as he urged: 'If I might just see him
now and then, we should neither of us mind so much.'

'You shall, I will see to it. Now, bring Boh round to the stables, and
John shall find him a kennel and a good dinner. There, there, I didn't
want so many thanks, dear boy; I wish I had thought of it before. Now,
off to your form master, and I shall expect no more complaints from Miss
Owen.'

So Boh also became a member of Oakwood, and a letter was dispatched at
once to Captain Ferrers relieving his mind as to the missing dog, who
had found his way through so many miles of unknown country safe to his
happy owner.

(_Concluded on page 90._)



WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

III.--THE MAMMOTH CAVE.


In the State of Kentucky, in the United States, not far from Louisville,
is a table-land formed of limestone, perforated with holes like a
sponge, down which rain rushes with great force. Far below run rivers,
and there are also still, deep lakes partially fed by the water from
above; and, as might have been expected, here also are the most
wonderful caverns in the world. It is said that to explore all the halls
and galleries communicating with each other, and connected with the
Mammoth Cave alone, it would be necessary to walk or climb one hundred
and fifty miles. This may well be believed when we hear that the cave
contains fifty-seven domes, eleven lakes, seven rivers, eight cataracts,
and two hundred and fifty-six avenues, besides thirty-two pits or
abysses, and a Gothic church.

The great Mammoth Dome is over four hundred feet high, and light comes
in from above through holes which, at such a height, look like stars
shining in a dark sky. One of the chief lakes is called the Dead Sea,
from its stillness and gloom, and when light is flashed over it from
above it is wonderfully impressive, with its surrounding fringe of
gleaming stalactites.

A terrible abyss is known as the Bottomless Pit, the depths of which
have never been sounded. On one of its sides rises a huge
crystallisation in the form of a spinning chair, which gleams out from
the surrounding blackness, and is called the Devil's Chair. This
appalling chasm is credited with various terrible tales. One is of two
young lovers who hid in the Mammoth Cave, but finding themselves
pursued, tied themselves together with the girl's girdle, and jumped
into the abyss. However misguided and foolish we may think these young
folk, we can have nothing but pity for two runaway slaves from Alabama,
who, after horrible sufferings and privations in the swamps and forests,
hoped to have found a resting-place in the great cavern. Alas for their
hopes! before long they heard the voices of their pursuers, the cracking
of their heavy whips, the baying of the bloodhounds which had tracked
them to their refuge. Further and further they retreated in the
darkness, only to hear the dreadful sounds draw nearer and nearer, until
they found that they could go no further, as they had arrived at a small
rocky platform overhanging the Bottomless Pit. Before was certain death,
though it was hidden in the horrors of mystery and darkness; behind were
the terrors of a death of protracted agony, as a warning to other
fugitive slaves! One second's hesitation, and then, as their captors
reached out to seize their prey, the despairing men leapt from the rock
into the awful pit.

One very singular cave is known as the Church, and is curiously like the
crypt of an English Cathedral, such as Gloucester or Canterbury. It is
very nearly the same size as the latter. Here stalactites and
stalagmites of colossal size have joined to form pillars, united by
Norman arches, with wonderful effect. Religious services have often been
held in this veritable 'temple not made with hands.'

Indian mummies have been met with in parts of the cavern, proving that
it was known to native tribes in past ages. The skeleton of a mastodon,
an extinct form of elephant, stands in one of the great halls, and a few
live creatures still inhabit the gloomy depths. A cave-rat as large as a
rabbit was caught, which, although it had very bright eyes, was quite
blind when taken from the cave; but after a month's experience of
daylight it gradually began to make use of its eyes. Various kinds of
eyeless fish and crabs live in the dark waters, and a live frog was seen
wearing an unhappy expression of countenance.

The slow rate at which stalagmites grow has been tested in this cavern
by a lantern which was dropped in 1812 and found cemented to the floor
in 1843, since which its upward progress has been carefully watched. The
Mammoth Cave contains immense quantities of nitre. During the great
American Civil War, most of that used was found here, and as gunpowder
contains two-thirds of nitre to all its other ingredients, these caverns
were of great value to the nation. The Mammoth Cave is now private
property, belonging to Dr. John Crogan, who gave ten thousand dollars
for it.

HELENA HEATH.

[Illustration: The Mammoth Cave Kentucky]

[Illustration: "'I don't remember seeing a boy.'"]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 76._)

CHAPTER X.


Beyond the meadow lay a field of wheat, tall and yellow, although not
yet quite ripe for the sickle. Stooping until my hands almost touched
the ground, I ran as fast as possible under the shelter of the friendly
hedge, until, reaching the cornfield, I scrambled through another hedge,
and lay down on my face amidst the wheat.

But still it was impossible to feel in the slightest degree safe, the
road being only a few yards distant, while I distinctly heard the sound
of approaching wheels. If it had not been for the bend in the lane, I
should scarcely have been able to delay capture many minutes, and even
as it was, I lay quaking while I wondered whether Mr. Turton would be
able to see me from the road.

The cab passed my hiding-place, however, so that I began to hope it
might not be going to stop, until on the point of rising, I heard the
horse pulled up, heard the door opened, and recognised Mr. Turton's
voice as he told Augustus to alight.

'The boy must be hiding somewhere hereabouts,' he exclaimed.

'He might easily have got into that wood,' said Augustus, and I
regretted that in my haste I had not taken to the wood on the other side
of the road.

While Augustus and his father must have gone to inspect the woods, I
heard the sound of an approaching motor-car, and guessed that it had
stopped close to the cab on the other side of the hedge.

I lay on my face with the thick wheat growing high all around, my eyes
raised to the hedge, above which I could see the top of a man's straw
hat. I supposed that his motor-car had broken down, but at any rate, his
companion alighted and came on to the raised path, so that I could see
her hat and face.

She looked about my own age, although she must have been unusually tall.
Young as she was, she wore a thick veil, which she had turned back under
the brim of her white hat. A quantity of fair hair hung loose, and she
had dark, rather mischievous, but friendly-looking eyes.

The next moment I heard Mr. Turton and Augustus returning from the wood,
to inquire whether the driver of the motor-car had seen any one
answering to my description. For the car had been coming to meet the
cab, as if the driver were making for Polehampton.

'A boy of about fifteen,' said Mr. Turton, as they all drew nearer to
the hedge. 'I saw him--I am almost certain it was he--about this spot.
Then I lost him in the bend of the lane, and I thought it was possible
that you might have seen him running to meet you.'

'I don't remember seeing a boy,' was the answer; 'but then, this
wretched car is enough to occupy all my attention. Did you see a boy,
Jacintha?' he added.

'No, Uncle,' she answered, and I thought what a strange name it was--one
which I certainly had not heard before. 'Has he run away from school?'
she asked, with obvious interest, the next moment.

'Yes,' said Mr. Turton, while I could imagine Augustus's snigger; 'he
has caused me an immense deal of trouble, and I am extremely anxious to
take him back with me--extremely anxious.'

While I lay in the wheat, able to see the tops of their heads as they
moved closer to the hedge, it did not seem altogether improbable that
Mr. Turton would gain his wish; and while he was still discussing me
with the driver of the motor-car, whom 'Jacintha' had addressed as
'Uncle,' the girl came quite close to the hedge, turning to look at the
ripening corn. As my eyes were upraised, they looked straight into
hers, which seemed to hold them as if I were fascinated.

Now, I thought, everything is over with me! I had not realised that I
could be so easily seen by any one looking down into the field from the
higher path. Jacintha was evidently startled; she stepped abruptly
backwards, as I supposed, to tell Mr. Turton that she had found the
object of his search. I was already making up my mind how to act. Mr.
Turton was unlikely to be a very swift runner, while I knew that I could
give Augustus a pretty good start. The moment Jacintha came back to the
hedge to point out my hiding-place I determined to rise from the ground,
dart towards the adjoining field where the sheep were pastured, and
taking a line across country, at the worst I would lead them all a good
chase before I gave in.

A second later, though it seemed a long second in my suspense, Jacintha
returned to the hedge and again looked down into my upturned face.
Gradually her lips parted in a smile, and then my heart began to thump
against my ribs, for I knew that she was not going to betray me. As I
smiled back in my relief, she nodded her head ever so slightly, and
turning, walked away from the hedge.

'Why don't you drive on to Barton?' she cried, raising her voice, I
supposed, for my especial benefit.

'Barton? How far is that?' asked Mr. Turton.

'Five miles, isn't it, Uncle?' she answered.

'Five and a half,' he said. 'You keep bearing to your right.'

'But,' suggested Augustus, 'I feel certain Everard disappeared about
here.'

'Is that his name?' asked Jacintha.

'Yes, Jack Everard.'

'Perhaps he has gone down through a trap-door,' said Jacintha with a
laugh, and Augustus sniggered in return. How I wished there had only
been Augustus to deal with, with perhaps Jacintha to look on during the
process. But it would not have been his boots that I should have
blacked!

'Uncle!' cried Jacintha, 'do you remember the steep lane we passed on
our left?--that would be on your right,' she added, evidently turning to
Mr. Turton.

'What about it?' he asked.

'There was a finger-post which said "Pathway to Barton." If they were to
take that path don't you think they would get to Barton more quickly?'

'Why, yes, of course,' was the answer.

'Then,' said Mr. Turton, 'if we follow the road, we might be able to
intercept the boy. I am very much obliged to this young lady. But in
case you should see him after all,' he continued, 'allow me to give you
this card. If you could manage to detain him while you communicate with
me at Castlemore you would confer the greatest favour.'

I could not catch the answer, but a few minutes later, I heard the
cab-door shut and knew that Mr. Turton and Augustus, thanks to Jacintha,
had been driven off in the direction of Barton, five and a half miles
distant. So that they would have eleven miles to drive before they
returned to this spot, leaving me at least two hours (reckoning for the
search at Barton and so forth) to make good my escape.

In the meantime the motor-car still continued to make strange noises,
and every now and then its owner gave vent to curious exclamations.

'Don't you think,' suggested Jacintha, 'it would be best to try to get
as far as the farrier's we passed opposite the footpath to Barton?'

'Upon my word, I almost think it would!' was the answer. 'Come, suppose
you take your seat.'

'Oh!' cried Jacintha, 'but if you don't mind I think I would sooner
walk--it is not far, you know.'

So a few moments later the motor-car made stranger noises than ever and
moved away, evidently with difficulty, and when it had gone a little
distance Jacintha came to the hedge again.

'It's all right now,' she cried, and rising I came to the edge of the
field.

'I am most awfully obliged to you,' I said.

'What made you run away?' she asked eagerly.

'I was not going to stand all that,' I answered.

'All what?' she asked.

'I don't think I had better stay,' I said. 'Because they might change
their minds and come back.'

But Jacintha shook her head.

'I don't think they will,' she answered. 'Because I heard him tell the
driver to go to Barton. What shall you do?' she asked.

'I shall go to the left as they have gone to the right.'

'I wish we could give you a lift,' she cried.

'Where are you going?' I inquired.

'You see,' she explained, 'I really live in London, only I am staying
now with my uncle and aunt--I always come to stay with them in the
summer.'

'Do you live near here?'

'Why,' she returned, 'we have come miles and miles this morning. My
uncle has just bought a motor-car--a beauty. We started quite
early--soon after seven, and it began to rain just before, so my aunt
wouldn't come. We were going to Polehampton, and we have broken down
lots of times, though we get along splendidly in between.'

'I slept at Polehampton last night,' I said.

'Where are you going?' she asked.

'To London.'

'Why didn't you take the train?' inquired Jacintha.

'You see I had no money,' I explained. 'I sold my watch and chain, but a
tramp robbed me.'

'Where do your people live in London?' she asked.

'I have no people.'

'Oh, I am sorry!' she exclaimed. 'What are you going to do?'

'Well,' I said, 'I don't quite know till I get there.'

Jacintha's face grew very solemn.

'I wish I could tell Uncle,' she said. 'You know he is most awfully
nice, only I am afraid he might put you in the motor-car and drive after
the cab--we could catch it easily if we tried.'

'Yes, of course,' I answered.

'Uncle will be wondering why I am so long,' she continued. 'I expect we
shall go straight back now the motor-car has gone wrong.'

'Where to?' I inquired, from sheer curiosity to learn as much about her
as possible.

'Uncle lives at Colebrook Park,' she answered.

'Where is that?'

'About a mile this side of Hazleton,' she said, on the point of going
away. 'I do hope those people won't catch you,' she continued, 'and that
you will reach London all right, though it doesn't seem much use if you
haven't got any people. I never knew any one who had run away before,'
she added, regarding me with evident interest, and with that to my great
regret Jacintha walked away.

'Thank you ever so much,' I cried, and then in order to see the last of
her, I came round into the road, standing on the path watching until a
bend took her out of sight. Even then I did not at once set out on my
journey, but, having taken the precaution to bring some bread and cheese
in my pocket, I sat down to eat it, near the spot where Jacintha had
recently stood, when I saw something shining on the path.

Taking it in my hand, I found that it was a heart-shaped locket, which
doubtless belonged to Jacintha. I imagined that she had worn it
suspended from a chain round her neck, that it had caught in one of the
twigs of the hedge and been broken off when she started back in
astonishment on first seeing me lying amidst the corn.

Ignoring any possible risk from her uncle, I now thought only of
returning the locket, and accordingly set forth at a run, nor stopped
until I reached the farrier's shop, opposite the footpath to Barton.
Then I saw, to my extreme disappointment, no sign of a motor-car before
the door.

(_Continued on page 94._)



A STORY OF STANLEY.


Sir H. M. Stanley, the famous African explorer, once had a strange and
unpleasant experience, from which he was saved by his presence of mind
and readiness of resource. He was travelling in Africa, and had to stay
some time at a village. The people here were extremely ignorant and
superstitious and quite unused to the ways of white men. After a time
some of them noticed him making entries in his note book--for this was
new country to him, and it was important that he should remember what he
saw--and not understanding what he was doing they jumped to the
conclusion that he was bewitching them in some mysterious way. This
report spread all over the village, and a crowd of about five hundred
savages collected, and threatened to kill the explorer at once unless he
destroyed the book. Stanley was, naturally, very unwilling to give up
all the notes which had cost him so much trouble and danger to collect,
but on the other hand it would be very much worse to lose his life.
Suddenly he had a bright idea. He happened to have with him a volume of
Shakespeare's plays: he thought that in all probability the savages
would not know one book from another, so he offered it to them instead
of his note-book. The natives were quite taken in. They accepted the
Shakespeare, and, amid much rejoicing, burnt it to ashes, thus breaking,
as they thought, the spell that Stanley had cast upon them.

[Illustration: "They burnt the Shakespeare, breaking the spell."]

[Illustration: "He deliberately lighted a cigar with a scrap of the
burning rope."]



THE CAPTAIN'S CIGAR.


The ship was on fire! The boats were lowered, and were quickly filled by
the terrified passengers and crew. Amid the general excitement, the
captain alone remained cool and collected, and when the time came for
him to follow the others, he did a very curious thing. Before descending
the ladder into the boat, he shouted to his sailors, 'Hold on for a
minute!' Then he drew a cigar from his pocket, and deliberately lighted
it with a scrap of the burning rope which lay close by. This done, he
went down steadily and slowly, and ordered his men to push off.

One of the passengers asked him afterwards, 'How could you stop at such
a moment to light a cigar?'

'Because,' replied the captain, 'it seemed to me that unless I did
something to divert the minds of the people in the boat, there would
probably be a panic. Then the boat would have been upset, for, as you
know, it was over-crowded. My seemingly strange act attracted your
attention. Watching me, you forgot your fright and your own danger for
the moment, and so we got off in safety.'

Apparent folly is sometimes wisdom in disguise.

E. D.



THE PUFF-ADDER.


The Puff-adder is the most common, as well as the most deadly, of
African snakes. It is generally about four feet long; the evil-looking
head is broad and flat, while the body, which is as thick as a man's
arm, tapers very suddenly towards the tail. The puff-adder is of a
uniform brown colour, checked with bars of darker brown and white. It is
slow and torpid in all its movements, and is peculiarly dangerous from
its habit of lying half buried in the sandy track, not caring to move
out of the way of passers-by, as other snakes generally do; still, if
not molested or trodden upon, it does not attack man. If any unfortunate
creature, however, should be bitten by this reptile, death occurs in a
few hours. When irritated or alarmed, this snake has the power of
swelling out the whole body, from which fact it derives its popular
name.



McLEOD OF CLERE.

(_Concluded from page 83._)

III.


It was Sports day at Oakwood School, a glorious 18th of June. Guests
were gathering from near and far, and every lodging and primitive inn in
the neighbouring villages was reaping a harvest from the invasion of
relatives and friends of boys past and present. On the school tower, a
landmark for miles, the house flag and the Union Jack floated proudly.
The hundred boys looked a goodly sight below, clad alike in white with
varying racing colours in broad sashes and ties.

It was Paul Fife's third term, and he had just been welcoming Captain
Ferrers. 'I must go directly,' said the boy; 'I am in the sack race for
boys under twelve. I must tie Boh up first, or he will come rushing
after me and spoil my chance.'

Alert and active, Paul hurried off, and Captain Ferrers joined Dr.
Rayne.

'So glad you think we are taking care of him,' said the Doctor. 'He is a
favourite with us all; not quite a typical English boy yet, though. I am
glad to see so many "old boys" here to-day, and parents too. Bless me,
there's General McLeod of Clere; I have not seen him for years. It must
bring back many sad memories: his son was here years ago, a splendid
fellow--his death was a terrible blow,' and Dr. Rayne went off to speak
to his old friend.

The bell rang for the sack race, and there was a general movement to the
starting-post, where the eight small boys in for the final were
standing, each tied up to the neck in his sack, ready for the start. The
old General was keenly interested, and was standing immediately behind
Paul.

The master starter yielded to the request, 'May we have our caps off?'
and uncovered one after the other each little competitor's head. General
McLeod made a hurried exclamation as the dark head before him was bared.
Paul heard him, but had no time to look round, for with an 'Are you
ready?--are you ready?--off!' the boys were started. Blundering,
tumbling, struggling up again, they rounded the opposite post, and came
hopping in, Paul an easy first. As he touched the winning tape, his
uplifted face beaming with pride, the old General turned white to the
lips, and stretching out his trembling hand he laid it on the head of
the laughing boy, and gasped uncertainly, 'Miguel Sarreco!'

       *       *       *       *       *

There was very earnest talk in the Head Master's study that night,
between Dr. Rayne and the General and Captain Ferrers, glad of a quiet
hour at last.

'If I might suggest it,' said Dr. Rayne, 'you should tell your story
first, General; it may throw light on small things, which otherwise may
escape my friend Ferrers's notice and remembrance of all concerning this
poor little child.'

'I quite agree with you, and will reserve my story until after,' and
Captain Ferrers sat down, listening eagerly while the General began.

'I must go back many years. My wife, as you know, Rayne, was of
Portuguese descent, an ancestor of hers having married a señora in
Lisbon, after the Peninsular war. She (my wife) inherited a little
property there, and in some business connected with it I had met, at
different times, a far distant connection of hers, Don Manuel Sarreco,
with whom I became fast friends. About fifteen years ago I received an
urgent message to go to him at once. I travelled day and night, only to
find him dying--he had been mortally wounded in a duel. He knew me, and
urged on me his last request, to take his two children and bring them up
as my own in England. I hesitated, but his entreaties and the love I had
for him prevailed, and I took on myself the charge. The eldest was a
beautiful girl of seventeen, Miguel two years younger. They were
wonderfully alike, only in the boy's case the raven black hair had a
lock of white on one side, the "Sarreco streak," as it was proudly
called, which appeared in the family generation after generation. I
brought the children home with certain of their most cherished
possessions, some fine riding-horses, and a pair of curious dogs of
Andalusian breed.

'My son, Hugh (as you know) had joined the army, and having helped in
the final subjugation of Burmah, was then stationed at Mandalay, in
command of native troops. I sent the boy Miguel to Harton, and Inez
rapidly picked up English at home. Two years later Hugh returned, as he
had obtained a year's leave. To make a long story short, he fell in love
with Inez, and they were married before he returned to Burmah.

'I ought to mention that, some months before, the addition of two fine
puppies of the Andalusian stock had become the pride of our kennels:
they were born the day of the wedding of the Princess Louise with the
Duke of Fife, and were unanimously christened "Fife" and "Louise." The
dog I saw to-day was the same breed. When Hugh and Inez went away, Fife
was an important part of the luggage. We went to see them on board,
waving good-byes as the vessel steamed away, and I never saw them
again.'

The General's voice faltered and failed, but soon he resumed: 'You may
perhaps remember the sad bathing accident at Harton School, of which no
one quite knew the end. Miguel Sarreco was one of the two boys drowned;
his dog, Louise, had apparently tried to save him, for their bodies were
washed in together some hours after the accident. The boy had been the
only young one left with us at Clere: he was the darling of us all.
Judge, therefore, the shock I felt to-day when a face like his looked
into mine, and his own dog apparently jumped as formerly round him.

'Inez was so shocked by the news that a change from Mandalay was
suggested, and Hugh obtained the command of Fort Sardu, one of the
outpost stations in the Shan States. The Dacoit attack on this fort you
will remember. We were just rejoicing over a letter from Hugh, telling
of the birth of a little son, when we were stunned by the ghastly news
of the massacre of every living soul at Fort Sardu.

'I travelled out to Burmah at once, hoping against hope. But all had
perished. A sentry near the jungle alone was living, sorely wounded.
When questioned, he was delirious, but just before he died he had
quieted, and said that Pahna, the Karen woman, had got away into the
jungle, but her arm was wounded, and as she went he heard the wailing of
a child, and a dog with burning hair had rushed out from one of the huts
after her. No one could say if it was truth or delirium, but every
inquiry was made. No such woman had been heard of, nor had she returned
to any of the Karen encampments, so if she had got away she must have
died in the jungle, they said. The body of an infant had been seen among
the dead at the fort and buried with the others, so that the sentry's
tale seemed but a myth.

'Many months later, a letter, delayed some while, reached me from my
boy. It had been written the day after the child's birth apparently. I
have it here. After some private matter he says: "Our little son is a
fine fellow, very dark, and his thick black hair has the 'Sarreco
streak' very visible, which Inez is absurdly delighted at. The English
nurse has jungle fever, and is kept away, but Pahna, the Karen woman, is
a splendid substitute: she is the wife of my faithful native servant.
Pahna is devoted to 'Bébé Ingalay.' Her English is curious; Inez she
usually called 'Missee Sahib,' but now she has got to 'Missee Mahkloo,'
'Thakin Mahkloo' meaning me--her nearest rendering of McLeod." You
start, Captain Ferrers?'

'Yes; I will say why presently--please go on,' said Captain Ferrers. 'I
cannot say how interested I am.'

'The letter goes on,' resumed the General: '"Inez hung the Ragged Cross,
the 'Sarreco badge,' round the baby's neck for a few moments to dub him
true 'Sarreco.' Pahna looks on it as a charm especially his own, and
hangs it over his cot. 'Fife' watches the little one jealously, so he is
well protected."

'That is practically all,' said the General, folding the thin letter
reverently with hands that trembled; 'but I feel surer and surer--my
heart tells me that the little boy Paul Fife must be my own flesh and
blood. He is Miguel Sarreco's very image: the same haughty poise of the
head, and lean, sinewy body; but when he speaks, the voice is my son's,
and the curve of the lips his also.'

'I think I can help you,' said Captain Ferrers, rising. 'I have here in
my pocket-book the exact description of the finding the dying woman and
the child in the jungle as given me by the Tounghi, "Maung Yet"--he is
still to be found, I believe, if more is required. Her dying words over
and over were as you see: "Thakin Ingalay--Bébé--Mah Kloo." He took the
last to be the woman's own name, and impressed me with the same idea.
But it must be meant for Macleod. This alone, coupled with the white
lock of hair, is almost proof-positive. But still further, the dog was
there, and on his brass collar (which I removed at once, not to risk
losing it) was the word "Fife," the name of his owner, we thought, and
so we called the child Fife too. Last, but not least, I believe I have
in safe keeping the veritable "Sarreco badge" you mention, a curious
kind of gold cross, fastened to a thin gold chain. Maung Yet gave it to
me as a charm found on the dead woman. I may add that these Karen women
are wonderfully faithful; probably both husband and her own infant were
slain early in the fight, and she had alone been able to take away the
English baby, and had carried him all those weary miles, saving him only
to die herself. The hardships endured are terrible to think of.'

There was a pause--the old General's head was bowed over his clasped
hands. Then he rose to his full height and said: 'It is quite enough to
assure me of what I felt sure of before. I thank God for all His mercy!
and now I should just like to kiss my little grandson before I go. I
will be here again early to-morrow.'

Captain Ferrers and Dr. Rayne, both frequent visitors at Clere, assert
that the General grows younger. It may well be so, for the dark clouds
of sorrow have lifted, and the sun shines for him with the laughter of a
happy child. He can look hopefully forward now to life's evening. He is
not the last of the McLeods.

MARTIA.

[Illustration: "They came hopping in, Paul an easy first."]



THE STARTLED HARES.


      Four hares were at dinner one day--
        The sweetest of herbage was theirs--
      And as they all nibbled away
        They seemed to be rid of their cares;
    For the grass was so green and the sky was so blue,
    They had plenty to eat and nothing to do.

      The sun shone so brightly that day,
        They did not think danger was near;
      The hunters and dogs were away,
        There was nothing around to cause fear.
    When, alas! from the sky there dropped with a plump,
    A something which made their poor hearts give a jump.

[Illustration:

    "After all, I will wait--
    I must hurry off home, it is getting quite late!"]

      Poor Fred was knocked backward at once,
        And Charlie fell flat on the ground,
      While Peter stretched out his long legs
        And fled without making a sound;
    But Tom, who was boastful, cried, 'Stop! Don't you see,
    It is only a kite from its string broken free!

      'Just let me catch hold of that boy,
        I'll give him a box on the ear--
      I'll teach him to fly his old kite
        Beside us, to cause us such fear....
    Why, there _is_ the boy! After all, I will wait--
    I must hurry off home, it is getting quite late!'

      Then off with a rush went brave Tom,
        His heart beating loud with dismay;
      While Charlie, and Peter, and Fred
        Cried, 'Isn't Tom valiant to-day?'
    And the boy shook with laughter to see Tom in flight,
    For he knew that fine words never drive away fright!

D. B. M.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 87._)

CHAPTER XI.


The blacksmith, a tall, broad-shouldered man, wearing a leather apron,
stood at the door with a hammer in his right hand, his shop being a kind
of barn beneath a tall elm-tree, directly opposite the narrow lane, with
a board signifying that it was a footpath to Barton. It was exactly the
place I should have selected in order to get away from the main road had
I known of its existence.

'Has the motor-car gone?' I inquired, stopping in front of the
blacksmith's.

'Don't see much sign of it, do you?' he answered, rather gruffly.

'How long ago did it start?' I asked.

'About a quarter of an hour,' said the smith, and I saw that it would be
useless to think of following it in the hope of overtaking Jacintha.
Perhaps it was just as well, as she had suggested that her uncle might
take me forcibly back to Mr. Turton, whose eagerness to bring me once
more to Castlemore still furnished matter for surprise.

But still, even if I ran some risk, I was determined to lose no time in
returning the locket to its owner, who had certainly done me a good
turn. My direction, which a little while ago had appeared uncertain, was
now decided for me, and henceforth, instead of directing my steps
towards London, I aimed at reaching Hazleton, whence the journey could
be continued with greater safety from pursuit.

'Can you tell me how far it is to Hazleton?' I asked before moving on
from the smithy.

'Jim,' cried the blacksmith, turning towards a man who was hammering a
horse-shoe, 'here's the champion walker wants to know how far to
Hazleton.'

'About thirty miles,' said Jim.

'Which is the way?' I demanded.

'Bear to your left till you come to the main road,' said the smith,
'then take the left again.'

Having thanked the man, I walked on, still looking sharply out for Mr.
Turton's cab, until I came to a small village with a green, on which a
few boys were playing cricket. Here there were two forked roads, and
after staying five minutes to watch the game, I followed that to the
left. I took the precaution to place the locket in my empty watch-pocket
for greater safety, and as I left the village behind, I took out all the
money in my possession--four shillings and sevenpence--and counted it,
although I knew perfectly well what it amounted to. Even if the weather
remained fine, which appeared extremely doubtful, I could not hope to
reach Hazleton in less than two days, and then I must hang about the
entrance to Colebrook Park until I succeeded in seeing Jacintha alone.
As to what was to happen after that, I did not trouble myself; Hazleton
had now become my fixed destination, and by securing a free bed in the
open air for two nights, I reckoned it would be possible to fare well on
the way.

Now that I had set my back towards Barton, I felt perfectly safe from
Mr. Turton, and the road became so hilly and beautiful, with woods and
undulating fields on each hand, that it soon began to engage all my
attention. Villages came close together, and, indeed, the only drawback
that afternoon was the lowering sky, which certainly foreboded a bad
night.

At about five o'clock I passed through a kind of model village, with
some quaint cottages and a few nourishing shops, in one of whose windows
I saw some extremely tempting-looking small pork pies. Having eaten only
bread and cheese for dinner, I was beginning to feel ravenously hungry,
so, entering the shop, I inquired the price.

'Twopence each,' said the girl behind the counter, 'fresh made this
morning.'

'I will have one,' I answered, when it occurred to me that if I was
going to sleep out of doors, it might be wise to buy two, keeping one in
reserve for supper. Then I asked for a glass of milk, and as there was a
penny change out of sixpence, I bought a large cake of chocolate.

On leaving the shop, the sky looked blacker and more threatening than
ever, and I wondered whether Jacintha and her uncle had arrived home
yet. Eating one of the pork pies as I walked on, I followed it by half
the cake of chocolate, and then the rain began, with large drops, which
made me dread a thunder-storm.

After a little while the rain ceased, however, and quickening my steps,
I began to think I should be driven to pay for a night's lodging after
all. Presently I came to a kind of open moor, covered with bracken,
bramble, and brilliant patches of heath. A rabbit scampered across the
road, but there was no one to be seen, although a railway ran close at
hand through a cutting on the right. I could see the tops of the
signal-posts and hear the rush of passing trains now and then. When I
had walked a mile or more across the moor, the rain began again with
flashes of vivid lightning and long rolls of thunder. I turned up my
collar and buttoned my jacket, which was soon nearly wet through, and at
last stood up in the wet bracken under a beech-tree. A more vivid flash
of lightning, however, reminded me that I had heard of the danger of
standing beneath trees in storms; so, plunging into the deluge again, I
followed the road up a steep hill, in the hope of seeing a village, or
some kind of shelter, from the crest.

But the only human habitation in sight was a solitary house, which
looked curious enough amidst those lonely surroundings. It stood at the
corner of a cross-road still several hundred yards distant, a
new-looking house, built of red bricks, with a tiled roof, with a garden
and railings in front. Determined to find shelter somewhere, I set off
down the hill at a run, and, as I drew near the house, rejoiced to see
that it was apparently empty. By the iron railings stood a black board,
announcing that it was to be let unfurnished, while the wisps of straw
about the path seemed to show that the tenants had but recently forsaken
it, because of its lonely situation, no doubt. Opening the gate, I went
up the stone steps and stood beneath a small porch before its front
door, where at least I was out of the rain, which now poured down in
torrents. On each side of the small porch was a shelf, evidently
intended to support flower-pots, and underneath one of the shelves I saw
an old sack.

This I picked up and examined, and finding that it was not very dirty, I
thought there could be no harm in taking possession of it, for if the
rain continued, the sack would serve the purpose of a cape to protect my
shoulders. Placing it round them at once, I stood gazing at the rain,
while the evening gradually darkened. The thunder sounded as if it were
exactly overhead, and the lightning seemed to dance around me. Presently
I began to wonder how to pass the night, since it would be madness to
leave this shelter in the deluge, while yet I could not very comfortably
remain where I was.

It must have been between seven and eight o'clock when a happy thought
occurred. How idiotic to feel doubtful where to sleep when here was a
whole house apparently at my disposal! It could not injure anybody if I
made it a shelter for myself for the night, whereas it would be an
immense boon to have a roof over one's head until the rain
ceased--although it looked as if it never would leave off.

Drawing the sack over my head, I came forth from my shelter and
inspected the front of the house, only to find that every window was
securely fastened. Going round to the side gate of lattice-work, I found
it unlocked, however, and made my way at once to the back garden. There,
by great good fortune, was a window with the bottom pane broken, and
having enlarged the hole, I was able to put in a hand and push back the
fastener, so that to open the window and effect an entrance was the work
of a few seconds.

Having shut the window, I looked about, and saw that I stood in a kind
of breakfast-room, entirely empty; but on going to the adjoining
kitchen, there was a heap of shavings and paper by a packing-case in one
corner, and on this I determined to make a bed. The rain still pelted,
the thunder rolled, and the lightning flashed, while the interior of the
house seemed dismal and oppressive, I confess to a feeling of timidity
which I had not experienced since I left Castlemore--such as, indeed, I
had scarcely been conscious of in my life before. The evening was
already dark, and the night promised to be absolutely black. When I went
to the kitchen door and looked out into the stone-floored passage, I
could scarcely see my hand before me, and there was no means of
obtaining a light.

Returning to the kitchen, I shut the door, and, making the most of the
still remaining light, I began to prepare my bed for the night, but as I
turned the shavings a mouse ran over my hand, and for the moment I felt
so startled that I walked to the farther side of the room.

There I began to persuade myself that there was no danger to be feared
from a mouse, and presently, returning to the corner, I shook out the
shavings and pieces of paper until they somewhat resembled the shape of
a bed. A few minutes later, however, it seemed to become suddenly black,
save when the flashes of lightning lighted the room, for, of course, the
windows were without blinds. Sitting down on the bed, I determined to
eat my supper and try to sleep, not caring how early I woke, so long as
it was daylight. I congratulated myself on the possession of the second
pork-pie and the chocolate, and lest the morning should prove as wet as
the night, I only ate half of my provender, although I could very
readily have dispatched the whole.

Then, having taken off my boots and spread the sack out to dry, I said
my prayers and lay down at full length; but, instead of falling asleep
at once, my thoughts turned to the past, and I seemed to live over again
every interview I had ever had with Captain Knowlton. When I remembered
his cheerful personality, it seemed impossible to realise that he could
be dead, and yet by this time I had not the slightest hope of ever
seeing him again. I tried to dwell on Mr. Bosanquet's encouraging words,
but it was useless to-night as I lay watching the lightning; and,
oppressed by grief at Captain Knowlton's loss, I could not keep back a
few tears. Then I must have fallen asleep, for, I know not how much
later, although the kitchen was still in total blackness, I found myself
sitting up, and thinking for the moment that I was back in my room with
Smythe and the other fellows at Mr. Turton's. Before I had quite
realised the actual surroundings, I grew cold from head to foot, with
that uncomfortable sensation called goose-flesh, as if every individual
hair were standing on end. My teeth began to chatter as I strained my
ears to listen.

There could be no doubt about it. I could distinctly hear a low, pitiful
weeping apparently just above my head. That the sounds came from some
human being in intense distress I entertained no doubt whatever, and
yet, inconsistently enough, I felt frightened out of my wits. Rising, I
felt my way by the empty dresser to the door, and there stood listening.
Still the melancholy sound continued; such a dismal wailing as I had
never heard before. How I longed for the day to break, or even for the
lightning, which had now ceased, although in unison with the sounds of
continuous weeping I heard the rain beating against the window-panes.

Afraid to open the door, feeling that I would gladly endure any penalty
in exchange for a box of matches, I did not make the least attempt to go
to sleep again, but stood close to the kitchen window on the look-out
for the first sign of dawn. Never had time seemed to pass so slowly. The
sounds of mice in one corner made me shudder, and for once in my life I
was thoroughly and shamefully terrified.

The first shade of grey on the ceiling caused a feeling of intense
relief, and I began to upbraid myself for timidity. As the light gained
brightness, courage returned, and when at last it was day, although
nothing could have appeared much more dismal than the outlook from the
window, I determined to pull myself together and to make a tour of
inspection.

(_Continued on page 102._)

[Illustration: Alone in the Empty House.]

[Illustration: The Best Beginning]



THE BEST BEGINNING.


Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was not only an excellent ruler and
fine general, but deeply religious.

On one occasion, at the beginning of a great war, he landed his troops
in Germany. Directly he landed in the early morning, after giving some
necessary orders to some of his officers, he retired a few paces from
them and knelt down to pray. He noticed that this action on his part
appeared to surprise some of his men; whereupon he said, 'The man who
has finished his prayers has done one half of his daily work.'



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

5.--ARITHMOGRAPH.

A word of ten letters; a woman's name.

1.--4, 8, 7, 10. A great river.
2.--7, 1, 3, 4. Not fat.
3.--7, 8, 10, 5, 6. A vassal, or the lord to whom he is bound.
4.--2, 1, 3, 7. Young meat.
5.--2, 8, 7, 10. Very bad.
6.--9, 3, 8, 7. A horny substance; and a small, pointed piece of metal.
7.--5, 6, 4, 10, 2, 3. A city in Switzerland.
8.--9, 3, 2, 10. The body of a church.
9.--5, 3, 8, 9.--Something obtained.

C. J. B.

[_Answer on page 130._]


ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 58.

3.--1. Bucharest.
    2. Rouen.
    3. Brunswick.
    4. Budapest.
    5. Santiago.
    6. San Francisco.
    7. Benares.
    8. Prague
    9. Valparaiso.
   10. Nantes.

4.--Amble-side, in the Lake District, near which place lived Wordsworth,
Dr. Arnold, and Harriet Martineau.



THE INDIAN'S CONSCIENCE.


An Indian once asked his neighbour for some tobacco. The neighbour put
his hand in his pocket and gave him a handful. The next morning the
Indian came again, and brought a quarter-dollar which he had found
between the tobacco. The neighbour was surprised at such honesty, and
asked the Indian why he had not kept the money.

'It is just like this,' he answered. 'In my heart I have a good man and
a bad man. The good man said, "The money does not belong to you; give it
back to its owner." The bad man said, "It has been given to you; it
belongs to you." The good man replied, "That is not true, and such
conduct is evil; the tobacco belongs to you, but the money belongs to
him who has given it away by mistake; you must give it back again." The
bad man answered, "Think no more about it, and do not let such a trifle
disturb you. Keep the money." I was in doubt as to which voice of my
heart I should listen to. At last I lay down in bed, but the good man
and the bad man quarrelled so all the night in my heart that I had no
peace, so I felt obliged to bring you back your money.'



THE LIME OR LINDEN.


The Lime, or Linden, is very notable amongst our trees on account of its
beauty and usefulness, and also because it will grow anywhere. It is
especially a London tree, for we see it in parks, squares, many private
gardens, and along some roads in the metropolis. But the smoke of London
seldom allows the tree to attain its full size. Often the stroller in
July, passing along a road or lane, becomes suddenly aware of a
delicious scent floating upon the summer breeze. He looks up, to find
this perfume comes from a lime, putting forth its clusters of flowers
upon their leafy branches--flowers to which, by day or night, crowds of
bees, flies, and other insects resort. About the suburbs of London the
lively sparrows often have their assemblies in lime or plane-trees; and
in most years, the London limes, towards autumn, put forth a few fresh
leaves.

The lime is a hardy tree, and flourishes even in the cold regions of
Sweden and Russia. It is supposed to have been introduced to Britain by
the Romans, who brought trees and plants into these islands from various
countries where the Roman banners had been carried. Amongst the Swiss,
this tree has been regarded as an emblem of liberty, and planted for a
memorial. From the lime, called in Sweden 'lind,' the greatest of our
early botanists took his name; it was chosen by him because a large
lime-tree overhung his father's house, and so he has always been known
as Linnæus.

'Linden' comes from the Swedish name, but 'lime' is an ignorant mistake,
which cannot be altered now. Properly, the tree belongs to the citron
family, akin to the orange and lemon, and the other name of the linden
seems at first to have been 'line,' because the bark was used for making
cord and other lines.

From 'bast,' as the inner bark is called, a great number of mats are
made in Russia, and sent all over Europe; a small quantity is also woven
in Lincolnshire and Monmouthshire. Hats and shoes have been made from
lime-bark, and the solid wood is serviceable in many ways. It has
supplied bowls, plates, sounding-boards for pianos; and some beautiful
carving--that of Gibbons, for example--has been executed in lime-wood.
It is white, but very tough when properly dried.

A handsome tree when solitary, the lime is particularly beautiful in an
avenue. There is a famous avenue of large size at Ware Park, and another
remarkable one in the Cathedral yard at Winchester.



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

III.--PROFESSOR CHARLES' FIRST VOYAGE.


Notwithstanding the superior power of Professor Charles' gas balloon,
the Montgolfiers stuck to their hot air, 'for,' said they, 'see how much
cheaper it is, and how much more quickly the balloon can be
inflated--about ten minutes against three days.' So, in answer to
frequent demands, their air-ships sailed into the skies, and even the
applause of royal hands increased the uproar with which each successful
experiment was greeted.

On the morning of September 19th, 1783, the road between Paris and
Versailles was crowded to excess. The stream of carriages seemed
endless, and the eager throng pushed its way between the vehicles till
there was hardly room for horse or man to move. The windows all along
the route were full of faces, while the house-tops themselves were
invaded by sight-seers. And all this excitement was because the King had
commanded Stephen Montgolfier to send a balloon up from the gardens at
Versailles. This time, however, there were to be passengers, and as no
human being had ever breathed the upper air before, it was questioned
whether he could do so and live. The pioneers, therefore, should not be
human, and in due course a cock, a sheep, and a goose were chosen. These
were the first living passengers in the cloud-cruisers, and after a
voyage at a great height, of eight minutes in duration, they returned to
the earth in perfect health. But what bird or animal could have wondered
if, after that 19th of September, they had quacked, and crowed, and
bleated with more pride than before?

Then Montgolfier was busier still, and on November 21st, in a
fire-balloon specially decorated for such a great occasion, two
gentlemen, named Pilâtre de Rozier and D'Arlande, made the first ascent.
Of the former of these we shall have to speak again.

But as hot air, as a means of flight, has been surpassed by hydrogen
gas, we ought to give more attention here to the grand voyage made
eleven days later by Professor Charles and his skilful helper, M.
Robert. During the preparations all went well. The balloon was made and
fitted at the Tuileries, with a lovely car in the shape of a fairy's
boat, bright with blue panels and golden ornaments. But when things had
gone thus far, trouble began.

On November 29th a rumour (too soon confirmed) ran through Paris that
the King forbade the ascent to be made. At midnight Charles was aroused
from sleep and summoned to appear before a high official, who presented
him with the royal order to give up his project. We may readily believe
that after this he passed a restless night, and his trouble became
harder to bear when his enemies whispered that he himself had asked for
the order to be made because, at the last moment, his courage had failed
him. Sad to say, such whispers as these will travel as fast and far as
shouts of praise, and Professor Charles felt thoroughly depressed. But
there was some comfort in the heavy rain that fell, for no one could
expect the balloon to ascend in such weather, and before the clouds
cleared away perhaps his difficulties would clear away too.

The King, however, was deaf to all appeals; maybe he thought Professor
Charles was too valuable to France to run the risk of being killed. But
if this was the reason, there were four hundred thousand people in Paris
who did not agree with him, and when the next morning broke quite
cloudless, they gathered at the Tuileries in a somewhat impatient
manner. Who was to be obeyed, the people or the King? Well, up to the
last minute Professor Charles would not decide. The arrangements were
continued. The great balloon was moved into the open space, with a small
one, five and a half feet in diameter, beside it. This was to be sent up
first, to see if the air was sufficiently quiet. The rope which
controlled it was placed in the hand of Stephen Montgolfier, 'for,' said
Professor Charles, 'it was you who first showed us the way to the
clouds.' At a signal given, M. Montgolfier cut the rope, and for a
moment the attention of the spectators was engrossed by this little
pioneer as it rose into the blue above them.

Finally, at a quarter past one, M. Charles made up his mind to keep his
promise to the people, and disobey the King for once, and, accompanied
by M. Robert, stepped into the blue and golden car. Amid a deafening
tumult, that must have been heard at Versailles, they rose slowly into
the air. His own description of the voyage has been preserved, and as he
was a man who could describe what he felt and saw (and let all
'chatterboxes' know that this is harder than it seems), no story could
be more interesting. They rose straight up for one thousand eight
hundred feet, and then hung poised in the air. The view was entrancing,
and as the aeronauts looked down at the Tuileries and the buzzing crowd,
Professor Charles felt as though he had escaped from a swarm of wasps
ready to sting him without mercy if he failed to please them. However,
his troubles from that point of view were over, and he turned his
thoughts to the delights of his voyage. Presently they heard the report
of a cannon, which meant that the people of Paris could no longer see
them. Far below, like a silver brook, wound the river Seine, and twice
the balloon floated across it. Village after village drifted away
beneath them, till, at the end of two happy hours, they settled in a
broad meadow at Nesle, twenty-seven miles from Paris. Here they were
joined by three Englishmen who had ridden after them from Paris on
horseback. These Englishmen, together with the village clergyman, signed
Professor Charles' papers to prove that they had witnessed his descent,
while the awestruck peasants gathered round and helped to hold the
balloon.

The sun had already set, but the gas was not all gone, and so Professor
Charles went up once more, this time alone. He clapped his hands as a
signal to the peasants to let go, and ten minutes later was soaring at a
height of nine thousand feet. In that ten minutes he had passed from an
atmosphere of spring to that of winter; for although it was December
1st, it was warm weather on the earth. Perfect silence was around him,
and when he clapped his hands the noise was quite startling. As already
stated, the sun had set when he left the earth, but now he saw it again
just above the far horizon. All below was dark with shadow, and on him
and his balloon alone the sun was shining. Delighted by these new
experiences, he turned his eyes in all directions. Not a human being was
visible, not a human voice could be heard, and while he looked and
listened the sun sank out of sight once more. Professor Charles, for the
first time in his life, had seen two sunsets in one day. Perhaps he
thought that was enough, for he pulled the valve-line, and a few minutes
later alighted in a field two miles from his starting-place, and the
home of one of the Englishmen. The next morning he and Robert entered
Paris in triumph, and a few hours later, through another gate, the
balloon entered in triumph too, being escorted by bands of music and
crowds of people.

[Illustration: "M. Charles stepped into the blue and golden car, and
they rose slowly into the air."]

The kind old King evidently forgave Professor Charles for disobeying
him, for he immediately presented him with a pension, and first-class
lodgings in the Tuileries, where he continued his studies till his death
in 1823.

JOHN LEA.

[Illustration]



THE JEALOUS KITTENS.


    When Jack and Tom were little kits,
      No settled home had they;
    But Mother found within the barn
      A hamper full of hay,
    And there she took her children two,
    And told them what they ought to do.

    She said, 'Now, darlings, make no noise,
      And if you do no harm,
    And learn your business, you will live
      In comfort at the farm.
    Just catch a mouse--for that's your trade--
    And then your fortune will be made.'

    Now, when the kits were left alone
      They soon began to play,
    For neither cats nor children can
      Be busy all the day;
    But as they tossed the hay about,
    A little mouse came creeping out!

    'Look! look!' cried Jack, with eager eyes.
      'I see!' cried Tom, 'I see!
    You go and seek another mouse,
      And leave this mouse to me.'
    'Indeed, I won't!' cried Jack at once;
    'You surely take me for a dunce!

    'That mouse is mine--I saw it first;
      So, Tom, away you go,
    And let me tackle it at once,
      And lay the rascal low.'
    But naughty Tom would not submit;
    He said, 'It's mine--I'll capture it.'

    But while they quarrelled loud and long,
      They quite forgot their prey,
    And when at last they made it up
      Miss Mouse had slipped away--
    For if you fight and disagree,
    You ne'er will catch the enemy.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 95._)

CHAPTER XII.


The most probable explanation of the noise I had heard seemed to be that
the house had not after all been empty--indeed, it could not be empty!
Although the regular occupants had gone they might have left some one
behind as a caretaker, who certainly must be in the depths of despair.
Heedless of the fact that my presence might be resented, I opened the
kitchen door, crossed the stone-paved passage, and going up a few
stairs, came to a fair-sized hall. Here there were four doors, one
leading out to the porch where I had found shelter yesterday afternoon,
one to a room right at the back, and two which apparently opened
respectively into the drawing-room and dining-room.

As the front room was above the kitchen I determined to try that first,
for thence the weird sounds of the night had seemed to come. Advancing
rather nervously towards it, I gathered sufficient courage to turn the
handle, when, discovering that the door had been locked from the
outside, I began to hesitate about turning the key.

Unless somebody had been shut in by mistake, how had he or she obtained
admission? But as I stood there hesitating, I suddenly broke into a
laugh of perfect relief. The truth now seemed plain enough. I could hear
scampering feet, and an eager whine, which ended in an impatient bark.
Opening the door, I saw a small rough-coated terrier with a patch by his
tail; bounding forward he began to yelp and spring and fawn upon me,
licking my hands and showing every sign of joy and satisfaction.

I think my own pleasure was almost equal to the terrier's. It is
impossible to make any one understand the intense joy of finding a
companion after the night I had passed. Although he looked rather thin,
his condition did not suggest that he had been locked up longer than a
day or two; but picking him up in my arms while he whined and licked my
face, I carried him downstairs, and turning on the tap over the sink let
him drink as much water as he wished. Fortunately I had still half of
the pork-pie in my pocket, and it was good to see him eat it bit by bit
from my hand. It was true that my remaining small piece of chocolate
made an unsatisfactory breakfast, and that the terrier eyed me a little
reproachfully even when I ate that, but he would not leave me for an
instant, and in less than half an hour it seemed as if he had belonged
to me all my life.

'What's your name, old chap?' I asked, and he wagged his stump of a tail
as if he would have told me if he could. 'Anyhow,' I said, 'you must
have a name of some sort. What shall it be?'

It took some time to decide upon a suitable name, and then we did not
arrive at anything more original than 'Patch.' Having settled this
pressing question, I stripped to the waist and had a good wash at the
sink, drying myself as well as I could on the shavings which had served
as a bed. By this time the rain had almost ceased, and I began to think
that it might be advisable to get outside the house before I chanced to
be seen. So, having got through the window with Patch in my arms, I shut
it again and was going round to the front when I saw that the terrier
was poking his muzzle into every nook and corner, as if in search of his
lawful owner.

Still, he came to my whistle, and not forgetting the sack, I went round
to the front of the house, standing under the porch at the top of the
steps until presently the rain entirely ceased, the clouds broke, and
the sun shone in a feeble kind of way.

The first order of the day was breakfast, then to make my way to
Hazleton with the object of returning Jacintha's locket. With the sack
rolled up beneath my arm, with Patch running excitedly around me, I set
forth along the muddy road across the moor. Having left this behind and
followed a winding lane for some distance, we seemed to be approaching a
village. Passing one or two houses, we crossed over a railway bridge,
passed a dozen or more cottages, and then, at the corner of two roads, I
saw what appeared to be a kind of mixture between a temperance hotel and
a mission hall.

After the various escapades through which I had passed since leaving
Castlemore, my clothes were in a sad condition, my boots especially
being coated with mud, so that for a moment I shrank from entering the
building. Summoning courage, however, I pushed open the door and found
myself in a bare-looking room with several large illuminated texts on
the walls, and three wooden tables, at one of which a man was seated
drinking a cup of tea.

A clock over the mantelpiece showed that it was a quarter-past ten,
although I had thought it considerably later. As Patch followed me into
the room, leaving damp footmarks on the clean linoleum, a short
thin-faced woman, with fair hair drawn very tightly back, entered from
the opposite door with a wet dish in one hand and a cloth in the other.

'We can't have dogs in here!' she cried by way of greeting.

'Will it matter if I nurse him?' I asked.

'If he doesn't spoil my floor,' she answered, and as I took Patch up in
my arms she added, 'What is it you want?'

'I should like some breakfast.'

'Tea and bread and butter?' she asked.

'How much are eggs?' I inquired.

'Three-halfpence each. Tea a penny the cup, bread and butter a halfpenny
a slice.'

I made a hasty calculation in my mind, and being extremely hungry
determined to spend sixpence, though it made a rather serious inroad
into my remaining four shillings and a penny.

'I will have two boiled eggs, four slices of bread and butter, and a cup
of tea,' I answered. Soon afterwards, while I sat with Patch on my
knees, the other customer left the room. When the woman returned with my
breakfast and received the sixpence in exchange, I was agreeably
surprised by her altered manner. At first she had created an
unfavourable impression, but now as I ate she stood watching with kindly
interest, presently remarking, however, that it was beginning to rain
again.

'How far is it to Hazleton?' I asked.

'Close on twenty-six miles,' she answered.

'I was told that it was thirty yesterday,' I said, 'and I know I have
walked ten miles since.'

'Are you walking to Hazleton?' she inquired.

'Yes.'

'Well, you won't be able to get far on your way in this rain,' she
replied, and indeed it was again coming down in torrents. 'We make up
beds here,' she added. While she was speaking, a small, fair-headed
child of four or five years ran into the room, and, encouraged by the
way the woman caught him up and kissed him, I thought that I would
confide in her.

'You see,' I explained, 'I have only three and sixpence to last me to
Hazleton, and this weather I can't get along very quickly--that is the
worst of it.'

She pursed her lips as she looked into my face. 'Well,' she answered, 'I
can give you a bed for sixpence if you're not too particular. Then
there's dinner----'

'I shall not care about dinner,' I said, feeling perfectly satisfied
after two eggs and four thick slices of bread and butter, 'if I could
have some bread and cheese for supper.'

Finally, she agreed to give me some tea in the afternoon, some supper, a
bed, and a plain breakfast the following morning, for one and ninepence;
this would leave the same sum to carry me to Hazleton, beyond which my
plans did not at present extend. The woman, moreover, offered to tie
Patch up in an out-house and give him some scraps, and later in the day
she said that if I would go to bed early she would wash my shirt, which
sadly needed such attention. Altogether it seemed that I had found a
friend; and as the rain did not cease all day, I amused myself reading
such books as the place contained. At six o'clock I had supper and went
to bed, putting everything but my cap and cloth clothes outside my door,
where, after a long night's sleep, I found them nicely ironed and
folded. On coming downstairs, I borrowed some boot-brushes, so that on
Wednesday morning I set out looking far more respectable than I had
done on my arrival, in excellent spirits, with one and ninepence in my
pocket and Patch at my heels.

A short distance from the reading-room, or whatever it ought to be
called, I met a postman who told me it was only twenty-three miles to
Hazleton, although, after I had covered quite four miles more, a member
of the county police told me it was still twenty-two miles. Seeing that
it would be impossible in any event to reach Colebrook Park to-day,
although I could easily manage the distance to-morrow, I did not hurry,
but, the sun being hot, allowed Patch several rests by the way, until on
making another inquiry at about half-past five that evening, I was
informed that Hazleton was still eighteen miles distant.

Although the day had been fine, the ground was still wet, far too wet to
sleep out of doors with comfort. I had economised as much as possible,
but walking is hungry work, and now I found myself with only one and
fourpence by way of capital. The consequence was that a free lodging of
some kind must be discovered, and I looked about vainly for another
empty house.

At about six o'clock I happened to pass a farm; a good-natured-looking
man stood leaning against a gate, smoking a pipe.

'Should you mind if I were to sleep in one of those barns?' I asked.

'On the tramp?' he exclaimed.

'To Hazleton,' I said.

'Pretty near twenty miles.'

'No one seems to know exactly how far it is,' I answered, and he chuckled
as he puffed at his pipe. Then he began to eye me inquisitively, and
presently, knocking out his pipe with a good deal of deliberation, he
turned and walked away. I was beginning to feel that I had met with a
rebuff, when he looked back and told me to follow him.

'Better pick up that terrier,' he said, 'because of the chickens.'

With Patch in my arms I followed the farmer round the house to an empty
shed behind.

'You can have a shake-down here if you don't mind being locked in,' he
said; and, although I would rather not have had the key turned, I at
once consented. It was a large shed, and quite clean and fresh, but
entirely bare. When I had been there about half an hour a maid opened
the door, with a plate of cold beef and potatoes in her hand, and she
stayed talking while Patch and I shared the meal. Soon after she had
gone, taking the plate and knife and fork, the farmer came again,
followed by a man with an armful of straw.

'I shall not lock you up,' he said, 'though I have been done so often
you can't tell whom to trust and whom not. If you go to the back door
to-morrow morning, you will get some breakfast.'

I have slept in more comfortable places, but still the shed was quite as
good as anything I had a right to expect, while Patch's presence proved
the greatest comfort. He lay down close beside me, artfully taking
advantage of the straw, and when I felt very lonely--for I could not get
to sleep for some time--I put out a hand and felt his coat.

(_Continued on page 106._)

[Illustration: "'You can have a shake-down here,' said the farmer."]

[Illustration: "'The question is, where did you get the dog?'"]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 103._)


It was half-past six the next morning when I went to the farmer's back
door, where the rough-looking maid provided me with a cup of coffee and
a chunk of bread and butter, then, followed by Patch, I set out that
Thursday morning on the road to Hazleton. The weather could not have
been better, although the middle of the day promised to be excessively
hot.

As I trudged along the pleasant road, I had some wild idea of reaching
Hazleton that evening, but this was soon destroyed, for about a mile
from the farm where we had slept, I noticed that Patch was limping.
Sitting down on a heap of stones by the roadside, I looked at his near
hind paw, and saw that it was nastily cut, so that he could only walk in
great pain. I suppose he had trodden on a piece of glass in the road.

Now I realised that I was in an awkward plight. Of course, Patch must on
no account be left behind; but, on the other hand, how was I to get him
along? Tearing a piece off the edge of the sack, I frayed out some of
the thread and made a kind of bag, which I put over the wounded paw,
tying it round the leg. This took some time, and, as the job was
finished and Patch was licking my hand by way of thanks, I saw a large
van approaching from the direction of the farm, driven by one of the
fattest men I had ever seen. The cart was laden with bottles of
ginger-beer and mineral waters, but, as it passed us by, at a fair pace,
a nosebag, which was tied behind, fell off into the road.

The driver, alone in the van, was entirely unaware of his loss until,
rising from the heap of stones, I shouted to him to stop, and, picking
up the nosebag, ran after the van. Pulling up his horse, he leaned down
to take the bag, and then asked where I was going.

'To Hazleton,' I answered, as usual.

'That is about seventeen miles,' he said.

'The worst of it is,' I continued, 'my dog has cut his foot and can't
walk.'

'Like a lift, doggie?' asked the fat driver.

'We should most awfully!' I exclaimed, eagerly.

'Well, now, listen to me,' was the answer. 'My round doesn't take me as
far as Hazleton, but I am going to Watcombe, and that's ten miles short.
We shall not get there much afore evening, because you see I have to
travel a good bit out of the main road, and stop at ever so many places
on the way.'

At any rate, the proffered lift would take me within ten miles of
Colebrook Park, whereas without such help I did not see how I was to get
even so far unless I carried Patch in my arms. Besides, the drive was
tempting in itself, the only drawback being that my remaining capital of
one and fourpence would have to bear an extra strain, and, in case of
more bad weather, it would probably be exhausted before I reached my
destination. However, in a very few moments Patch and I were seated on
the top of a wooden box full of lemonade bottles, the fat driver whipped
up his horse, and we sped gaily along the country road.



CHAPTER XIII.


As I sat on the box of lemonade bottles, with a hand on Patch lest he
should show a desire to jump down from the van, I noticed that he was
sniffing curiously at the back of the driver's coat; and presently the
driver in his turn began to look with equal interest at the terrier.

'He seems to know you,' I remarked.

'Come to that,' was the answer, 'I seem to know him. Looks to me most
uncommon like Mr. Westrop's dog, he does.'

'Who is Mr. Westrop?' I inquired, holding Patch more tightly.

For a few minutes, without answering (for the fat driver was slow of
speech and spoke in a deep voice which seemed to come from the direction
of his boots), he divided his attention between the horse and the dog,
and then fixed his small eyes on my face.

'The question is,' he said slowly, 'where did you get him?'

'You see, I found him,' I replied.

'Mr. Westrop's been in a bad way about his dog,' continued the driver.
'A very bad way. What do you think about it, Sam, old chap?'

The terrier, to my sorrow, showed what he thought about it by wagging
his stumpy tail and whining with satisfaction, so that it would have
been ridiculous to attempt to persuade myself that he failed to
recognise the name of 'Sam.'

'I know most people betwixt here and Barton,' said the driver, laying
his whip gently across the horse. 'Come to that, so I ought.'

'Do you live at Barton?' I asked, thinking of Mr. Turton and Augustus,
and their wasted drive to that town.

'Just this side,' was the answer. 'That's where our factory is--half a
mile this side of Barton. And every day of every week, for fifteen years
or more, I've driven round the country with this van.'

'Are you going back to-night?' I inquired.

'Why, of course,' he exclaimed. 'Back by the straight road, after I've
done my round.'

We had already left the wider road, and as the driver spoke he pulled up
the horse at the door of a small rustic inn. Fastening his reins to a
hook on his seat, he slowly dismounted, took a box of bottles from the
van, carried it into the inn, returning after a short interval with the
same box filled by a similar number of empty bottles. Then he climbed up
to his seat again, unhooked the reins, and cried 'Gee-up' to the horse,
which at once started at a smart trot along the lane.

'Now about this dog,' he began. 'Mr. Westrop used to live at the Beacon
on Ramleigh Forest--I can remember before the house was built. He moved
out last Friday to a house near Barton, and sure enough he has lost his
terrier. Where did you find him? That's what I should like to know.'

'I don't know whether the house was called the Beacon,' I answered,
'because I didn't see any name. Patch had got locked in the
drawing-room.'

'Well, now!' cried the driver, 'who would have thought the dog was fool
enough for that! Locked in the drawing-room, were you, Sam, old chap?
And how did you get him out?'

When at some length I explained how I had been caught in the storm, and
sought shelter in the empty house, and slept in the kitchen, and had
been frightened by the ghostly noises in the middle of the night, the
driver leaned forward and laughed so uproariously that I felt afraid
lest he should fall from his seat on to the horse: and as soon as his
merriment permitted him to speak, he turned to me with his great red
face redder than ever.

'Well,' he cried, 'you are a nice young man for a small party, you are!
A nice young burglar, to be sure! Going and breaking into people's
houses, cool as you please, and stealing their dogs. Howsoever,' he
added, 'Mr. Westrop will be no end glad when I take Sam back to him
to-night.'

I clasped Patch more closely.

'You're--you are not going to take him back?' I said.

'Why, what do you think?' he demanded. 'You wouldn't go and keep a dog
that didn't belong to you!'

I am afraid I might have been tempted to keep Patch or Sam, whichever he
ought to be named, on any terms, if circumstances had permitted; and
useful as the lift on my way had appeared, I began to regret that I had
ever seen the driver or his van. But before I had time to reply we were
pulling up in front of another inn, where another box of mineral waters
was carried in, and a box of empty bottles was brought out.

'Not but what,' the driver continued, 'I am sorry to take the dog from
you, because he is just the sort you could soon grow fond of--aren't
you, Sam? But right is right,' said the driver, looking straight in
front of him, as he laid the whip on his horse.

During the next two hours we stopped at numerous inns, and I might have
been able to enjoy the drive through the country lanes, and the remarks
which the driver exchanged with almost every one we met, if it had not
been for the necessity of restoring Patch to his rightful owner. It was
impossible to pretend that the driver had not right on his side, but the
fact remained that the terrier's companionship had become very valuable,
and I would have borne a great deal rather than give him up. On the
other hand, I began to persuade myself that it would have been perhaps
difficult to keep him in London, especially if I succeeded in obtaining
work as quickly as I hoped, when necessarily I should be occupied most
of the day.

When we stopped at a more important inn at one o'clock, the driver took
from beneath his seat two plates, one covering the other, and tied up in
a clean napkin. Without a moment's hesitation, he offered to share his
meal with me, and there appeared to be quite enough rabbit-pie for two.
After dinner, as we drove on again, he became more talkative, and asked
a good many questions about myself, with the result that he soon
learned where I was going after I left Hazleton, and how much money I
had in my pockets, though I did not mention the gold locket.

'Now where did you think of sleeping to-night?' he asked, and I told him
that I intended to wait to see what might turn up in the way of shelter.
'You see,' he continued, 'I always like fair play. Fair play is a jewel.
It was you who found the dog, though you had no business to have been on
the spot, so to speak. But Mr. Westrop is pretty sure to give me a tip
for bringing Sam back, and I don't see why you should not have your
share.'

'Oh, that is all right,' I answered.

'Of course it is, because I am going to make it all right,' he said. 'I
told you I would set you down at Watcombe, ten miles from Hazleton; but
half a mile short of that my sister-in-law lets lodgings. I will speak
to her, and arrange that you shall have some supper and a bed and
breakfast, and then I think we can cry quits, eh--what do you say?'

I said that it was very kind of him, and he proved as good as his
promise. The house was not particularly tempting-looking, but, at all
events, it was far better than no place to sleep in. I climbed down from
the van, followed by Patch, from whom I was so soon to part, and
accompanied the driver into a kind of kitchen, where a tall, stout woman
in a cotton dress was busily employed as we entered. She glanced at me
once or twice while the driver carried on a whispered conversation and
handed her some money. Then she went out at a back door and returned
with a piece of rope.

'This is the only bit I can find,' she said.

'That's enough,' answered the driver, and, going down on his knees, he
whistled to Patch, who went obediently, and stood wagging his tail while
a loop was fastened round his neck. I followed when the driver led him
out at the door, lifting him into the van, and tying the end of the rope
to the rail behind his own seat. Standing on an empty box, Patch looked
down at me and whimpered, so that I climbed on to one of the wheels to
pat his coat and hold his muzzle as a last good-bye. The driver mounted
to his seat and unhooked the reins.

'Down you jump!' he cried. 'So long! be good!' and, whipping up his
horse, he drove away, while Patch began to run about on the top of the
box, and strained at the rope as if he were as sorry to leave me behind
as I was to let him go.

(_Continued on page 117._)



THE REASON WHY.


Louis XIV., King of France, was very fond of playing at chess. One day
he was having a game with one of his courtiers, and during the game made
a false move, to which his adversary respectfully called his attention.
The King, who did not easily suffer contradiction, did not wish to
acknowledge that he was wrong, and appealed to the noblemen who
surrounded the table, but none of them made any reply. Just then the
Duke de Grammont came into the room, and immediately the King saw him he
appealed to him, and wished to explain to him the subject of the
dispute, but the Duke hardly allowed him to finish.

[Illustration: "'Your Majesty is certainly wrong.'"]

'Your Majesty is certainly wrong,' he said, with a firmness of tone
which astonished the King, and caused him to frown.

'How do you know that I am wrong, Monsieur le Duc?' replied the King;
'you have not even given me time to explain to you what the question
was.'

'I know undoubtedly,' replied the Duke of Grammont, 'for all these
gentlemen, whom your Majesty was consulting at the moment I arrived,
only replied by their silence. They would every one have hastened to
take your part if your Majesty had been right.'

The King was struck with the sense of this argument, and admitted that
he had made a mistake.



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

III.--HOW BUTTERFLIES, FLIES, AND SNAILS FEED.

(_Concluded from page 78._)


When the method of feeding employed by the Snail is compared with that
of the Butterfly or the common Fly, a very striking difference in the
construction of the mouth-parts will be noticed. The common snail (fig.
D), for example, feeds by the constant licking, or rather rasping,
motion of a very wonderful tongue--a tongue which, stretched out,
appears to be longer than the whole body! Yet only a small portion of
this curious organ is in use at one time.

[Illustration: Fig. D.--Common Snail.]

[Illustration: Fig. E.--Section of Snail's Head (much magnified).]

This tongue (fig. F) consists of a long flat ribbon, or 'radula,' as it
is called, the surface of which is beset by a series of minute teeth,
set in rows across the ribbon. The number of these teeth varies greatly
in the different species of Mollusca--the group to which the snail
belongs. In some there may be as few as sixteen; in others, in some
relatives of our garden snail, for example, there may be as many as
forty thousand! The working portion of this ribbon is fixed to a sort of
tough cushion, which, by means of muscles, can be drawn forward and
protruded from the mouth, where it is worked backwards and forwards with
a licking or rasping action that effectually scrapes away, in a fine
pulp, the edge of the cabbage leaf on which the creature is feeding. The
teeth serve, in fact, the same purpose as the horny spines on the tongue
of the lion, or, on a small scale, of the cat. You all must have noticed
how rough a cat's tongue is when, in a burst of affection, pussy insists
on licking your hand. If she went on licking long enough she would wear
away the skin. As the snail's teeth wear away in front they are replaced
from the reserve store which is kept in a sort of pocket, which lies
behind the 'cushion' in the drawing of a section of a snail's head (fig.
E). It is here that new teeth are being constantly formed, and pushed
forward to supply those lost.

[Illustration: Fig. F.--Snail's Tongue (much magnified).]

In this drawing, by the way, you will notice a long arrow (A-B): this
marks the passage which the food takes from the mouth to the gullet, and
thence to the stomach. The head of the arrow points towards the snail's
interior.

In many mollusca, the teeth, instead of resembling one another
throughout the series, are of different kinds, very large and very small
teeth alternating one with another in endless variety.

The horny jaws, to which reference has been made, are generally not
conspicuous; but in the Cuttle-fish and Octopuses they are of huge size,
and have been aptly compared to the beak of a parrot. But we must return
to this subject again on another occasion, for it is one of quite
unusual interest.



AN OLD-FASHIONED GRACE.


This little 'grace before meat' was written two hundred and fifty years
ago by Robert Herrick, a Devonshire clergyman who became a famous poet.
'Paddocks' is an old name for 'frogs,' and 'benison' means blessing;
'heaving up' means 'lifting up in prayer.'

    Here a little child I stand,
    Heaving up my either hand;
    Cold as paddocks though they be,
    Here I lift them up to Thee,
    For a benison to fall
    On our meat and on us all.--Amen.



CURIOUS NAMES IN LONDON CITY.


Time and progress have swept away many of the old streets, lanes, and
alleys for which London City was remarkable. Most of them had names with
a meaning, though it is sometimes difficult to find this out now. One
reason is that, as the years went on, names often got altered in very
odd ways. There were few of what might be called 'fancy' names, such as
are now often given to new streets or roads. Frequently a name arose
from the business of the people who lived in the street, or perhaps it
kept in remembrance some notable person who had a house there.
Occasionally it happened that a lane or alley had several names, and it
is not easy to tell which is the oldest. The citizens sometimes gave two
or three streets the same name.

When it could be done, old names have been kept, or not much altered,
though the street is changed. Old-time Londoners would stare at Cannon
Street of nowadays, so different from the Candle-wick or Candlewright
Street of the past, where lived dealers in tapers and candles. It is
said that Paternoster Row got its name from the fact that stationers and
writers had shops there, who sold, among other things, copies of the
Lord's Prayer. It had an Amen Corner, and Creed Lane is also near.
Afterwards mercers and lacemen invited customers to shops in the Row,
and finally it became famous for books and magazines.

Chancery Lane and Fetter Lane still keep the old names they had when
their appearance was not that of streets or business thoroughfares, but
quiet lanes between Holborn and Fleet Street, dotted with private
houses. Fetter Lane had nothing to do with fetters or prisoners; it was
so called because 'fewters,' or idle persons, were often found lurking
amongst the back gardens. One of the short turnings out of this lane had
the odd name of Three Leg Alley; nobody seems to know why. It is
supposed that Gracechurch Street is a reminder of a church in the
locality, St. Benet's, Grasschurch, thus called because near the church
was a herb-market, where wild or garden plants were sold. Occasionally
the name is found in books written by chance as Gracious Street. At
first the Gresham Street of our day was called Cateaton Street, but an
old writer about London states that this was also shortened to 'Catte.'
There was a surname Catte or Katt, which might have belonged to a person
who built houses along the street. Hog Lane, Spitalfields, we are told,
was visited now and then by the porkers that were allowed to range in
the fields and obtain what food they could. Doubtless they strolled up
the lane on the chance of getting fragments from the kitchens of
citizens. Was Duck Lane, Smithfield, damp enough to be attractive to
ducks? It may once have been, but later it was known as Duke Street.

Many places in the city were named from eatables or other articles that
were sold in them. This was the case with Pudding Lane and Pie Corner;
Milk Street, too, is supposed to have been a milk market, but Honey Lane
was not a depôt for honey, nor remarkable for its sweetness. The
historian Stow says that it was both narrow and dark, needing much
sweeping to keep it clean. The Poultry was a market for fowls, and
Scalding Alley, close by, had houses in which people scalded poultry and
prepared them for sale. An old name given to Grocers' Alley was
Coney-slope Alley, for it had a market where coneys or rabbits could be
bought. In Rood Lane formerly stood the Church of St. Margaret Pattens,
beside which the women offered pattens to by-passers. These wooden
elevators for the feet were much in demand at the time when London
streets were often deep in mud, and the fields splashy or sticky with
clay. But they did not sell bucklers in Bucklersbury; so far as we know,
it was called after a citizen named Buckle, to whom the manor belonged.
Grub Street did not have at all a pretty name, though some say it was
first Grape Street; then it was altered to Milton Street in honour of
our great poet. Little Britain or Britagne Street had a residence
belonging to the Dukes of Brittany, and Barbican was notable for its
Roman tower, around which were large gardens.



EARNING AN HONEST PENNY.


'I wish we could scrape enough money together to buy poor old Father a
pair of slippers for his birthday,' said Jack; 'his old ones are all in
holes, and I know he can't afford a new pair--he has had so many
expenses since Mother's illness.'

Geoffrey looked up from his home-lessons and sighed deeply. '_My_
money-box is quite empty,' he remarked, 'and Nellie and Hilda have not a
farthing in the world.'

'That is true enough,' laughed Nellie. 'But, oh, Jack,' turning to her
eldest brother, 'if only we could do _something_ for Father, I should be
so glad! He seems so worried lately, and I am sure it's because he can't
get Mother all the nice things she ought to have now that she is getting
better.'

'Couldn't I take out a broom and sweep a crossing?' asked Geoffrey;
'that would bring in a little, and I would not mind what I did, if it
helped.'

'You must find your crossing first,' returned Jack. 'The roads are as
dry as a bone at present, so _that_ won't work, little stupid!'

'Little stupid' sighed again. 'If only I knew how to earn an honest
penny!' he murmured.

'Or twopence,' said Hilda. 'I think twopence would be a little better.'

'I would rather it was half-a-crown,' put in Nellie.

There was silence for a moment; then Jack said slowly: 'I wonder what
became of Uncle Harry after he went out to Australia. Father never
writes to him; he doesn't know where he is now, and we have moved so
many times that I expect Uncle does not know where _we_ are either. I
dare say if he knew we were so badly off he would help us.'

'It's no good talking about Uncle Harry,' said Geoff; 'the question is,
Can _we_ help Father?'

'Look here,' cried Jack, suddenly; 'supposing, instead of saying "_Can_
we," we say "We _must_." Supposing,' he added, 'we all make up our minds
to earn a shilling each as best we can, so that we may have four
shillings to buy Father some slippers?'

'Capital!' exclaimed Nell; 'but _how_ are we to earn it?'

'Oh, we must each hit upon a plan for ourselves,' returned Jack; 'I vote
we draw lots for the first victim to-night, and we will allow each
victim two days to earn the shilling in, and then will draw for the
next.'

Of course, they all began to puzzle their young brains about plans; but
Jack cut some slips of paper into different lengths, and, placing them
between his thumb and first finger, while he clasped his other fingers
tightly over the ends inside his hand, he bade them each take one, and
whoever drew the longest was to earn the first shilling.

Well, they all drew, and Jack took the slip which was left; but Nellie
got the longest, and she retired to the window, and stared out for
inspiration.

'I know what I shall do,' she announced, at last; 'I'll cut my twelve
chrysanthemums out of my garden, take them down to town, and sell them
in the street for a penny each.'

'Nellie!' cried Jack; 'you mustn't think of doing such a thing! Father
would not like it, and I am sure _we_ should not. You are not half
strong enough to go out into the streets.'

But Nell was firm. 'It's the only thing I can think of, Jack,' she
replied, 'and I _will_ do it. We must earn some money somehow, and no
one will recognise me if I put on my old frock, and a shawl over my
head. We can't help being poor, Jack, and it is an _honest_ way of
earning a shilling.'

Jack, however, looked a little worried. He admired Nellie's pluck, but
he did not like the thought of her going out into the streets alone.
Nevertheless, after some discussion, it was decided that she should have
her way, on condition that Jack went with her to see that she was quite
safe. It was agreed that the matter should be kept dark, and that if
Mother asked where Jack and Nellie had gone next evening, the others
were to say it was a secret.

So, after tea the following day, the two children stole out. Mother was
resting in her own room, and Geoffrey and Hilda were at their lessons,
though it must be confessed they found it hard to give their whole
attention to them.

It was a good mile and a half down to the town, but Nellie trudged
bravely on with her treasured chrysanthemums (she alone knew what it
cost her to cut them), and Jack walked a little behind, for his sister
said that flower-girls never had any one to escort them, and he must not
let any one see he belonged to her.

When they arrived in town, Nellie took up her station at a busy corner,
and timidly offered her flowers for sale, while her brother stood in a
doorway not far off, pretending to read a book by the light of a street
lamp, but in reality he was watching to see that she came to no harm.

One honest penny was earned--two; then Nell grew bolder, and ran after
a man whom she thought a likely customer. But he pushed her roughly on
one side, and she fell upon the pavement. Jack could have kicked that
man, but he was out of sight in an instant, so the boy went and helped
Nellie to rise instead. Gathering up her flowers, he entreated her to
return home, and not to trouble any more. But the little girl bravely
held out, assured him she was not hurt, and in the end persuaded him to
go back to his doorway.

Ten minutes passed away without any more flowers being sold, then Nellie
held out the best of all to a kind-looking gentleman who was passing
slowly by.

He stopped, looked at the child somewhat curiously, and then said, 'No,
little lass, I do not want any flowers; but I wonder if you can tell me
where Greenfield Road is, eh?'

Nellie started, for that was the name of the road where she lived.
However, she simply directed him, and was turning away to seek for
another customer when he slipped a bright half-crown into her hand. The
child was so astonished that for the moment she could say nothing, and
when she recollected herself the gentleman had gone, and Jack was by her
side, asking what had happened.

'Well,' he said, when she had told him, 'no more selling flowers
to-night, Nell, so you can just come home at once, for you have done
your part and more,' and he would not hear of her staying there any
longer.

Together the two started for home, feeling very happy indeed; but
scarcely had they got inside the door when Geoffrey literally rushed at
them.

'Oh, Jack! Nellie!' he cried, 'you can't think what a splendid thing has
happened! Who do you think turned up ten minutes ago? Uncle Harry; yes,
_Uncle Harry!_ He has been hunting for us for days. Oh, it seems too
good to be true! He's in the dining-room now, with Father, and----'

'Oh, is he?' said a voice from behind, and who should appear on the
scene but the kind gentleman who had given Nell half-a-crown! 'Why!' he
exclaimed, suddenly, 'what's this I see? Well, if it isn't----Why, what
does it all mean?' he asked, turning round to Father, who had followed
him out, and was looking equally puzzled.

There was an awkward silence. Nellie coloured, and in her nervousness,
down went all her pretty flowers on to the floor. But Jack came to the
rescue, and blurted out the whole story on the spot.

Father turned his head away as Jack explained; indeed, he was much
touched by the children's thoughtfulness; but Uncle Harry patted Nell's
head, and praised her for her pluck. He said that Father ought to be
proud of his four children, and I am sure Father was, though he said
they must never think of going into the streets to sell flowers again.

Of course, the earning an honest penny business came to an end, for
Uncle Harry had come back much better off than when he went out to
Australia, and he gave the children a shilling each to buy Father some
slippers, and something else for themselves besides.

Later on, he and Father became partners in a business of their own, and
Nellie never had to think of selling her flowers again, or Geoffrey of
sweeping a crossing.

J. A. VIVIAN.

[Illustration: "'No, little lass, I do not want any flowers.'"]

[Illustration: "'Look out, Father, they are going to shoot you!'"]



'GINGER FOR PLUCK.'


Thomas M'Calmont had blue eyes, a mop of red hair, a moderate share of
brains, and a most insatiable thirst for adventure. When his
school-fellows made insulting remarks about his red locks, he was wont
to answer, 'Ginger for pluck;' and, indeed, on several occasions, he had
acted up to this saying there and then on the persons of his unfortunate
persecutors.

Tommy was only eleven years old. Mrs. M'Calmont, his mother, regarded
him as the most wonderful boy in the world, and would have utterly
spoilt him, after the fashion of adoring mothers, had it not been that
Mr. M'Calmont, seeing nothing more wonderful in his son than a
red-headed, mischievous boy, set himself most diligently to curb Tom's
youthful energy, and make an honest, sensible fellow of him.

They lived in the country, and Tom had three miles to go to his school.
But Mr. M'Calmont also had business in Barton, so the pair set out
together each morning in a trap drawn by a steady-going horse, who never
shied or ran away, or did anything at all exciting. Tom was set down at
the door of his school at nine o'clock, and called for at half-past four
precisely, just like a grocery parcel. Never a chance for a frolic over
the fields in the clear morning air, never any scrapes to get into! No
gentle dawdles through the lanes after school, with occasional
excursions into hedge or spinny after wild creatures, or the chance of a
nice creepy adventure in the darkness of some winter's evening. The
whole business, Tom thought, was humdrum and commonplace.

But at last, one early springtime, it happened that Mr. M'Calmont had
urgent business at the town of Greenhurst, twenty miles away. It was a
cross-country journey, where railways did not fit, so Mr. M'Calmont
departed in his trap, leaving Tom and his mother in sole possession for
a whole fortnight at Red House. Mrs. M'Calmont was secretly rather glad
to be able to spoil her son as she liked.

Tom made the most of his advantages, and mother and son together
revelled in the glorious sense of doing everything they liked best.
Tom's favourite dishes appeared at every meal, bedtime came a good hour
later than usual, and Tom also managed three clear days'
'old-soldiering' on the strength of a slight cold. But the last morning
of liberty came, and as Tom dressed he carefully turned over in his mind
how he should celebrate it. It was a beautiful morning after a week of
heavy rain, and Tom had no wish for another day of coddling indoors.

Tom's mother packed his lunch-case with many dainties, and kissed him
good-bye. Tom felt rather mean, 'like a wriggle-up worm' as he
afterwards put it, and he half resolved to give up his plan and go
soberly to school, for, to tell the truth, he had already resolved to
play truant. Unhappily, as he turned into the lane from the drive gates,
a rabbit dashed across the road right in front of him, and frisked into
the hedge in a most tantalising manner, as if to show his contempt for
stupid human beings who plod along the beaten track. That killed all
Tom's scruples, and he was soon scurrying through the fields, scrambling
over hedges, leaping ditches, and getting his clothes into as pretty a
pickle as could be desired.

What a splendid day he spent, following no settled route, but wandering
here and there as the impulse of the moment directed, and feeling in all
his boyish frame the gladness of life and of spring! He lunched in a
little wood, with a fallen tree for a throne, and a rippling stream to
play him music while he feasted. Then he sauntered leisurely on in the
afternoon sunlight, many thoughts busy beneath his comical red thatch.
The long hours in the open after his three days indoors made him sleepy
at last, and he was glad to discover behind the temporary abode of a
railway navvy a little rough wood hut, where, with a friendly dog for
company, and some straw for a couch, he was soon fast asleep.

Tom was dreaming. He heard a babel of voices fierce and angry, and was
striving very hard to hear what they were saying; but, though the voices
seemed loud, he could not distinguish one word from another, and in
trying to do so he awoke. The voices continued, but they were not loud
at all, though rough and angry. They came from the navvy shelter, and
Tom could hear plainly every word. He was about to move away when he
heard his father's name mentioned, qualified with expressions of hatred.
Plainly it was right that he should hear what these men had to say about
his father, so Tom crouched nearer the wall of the hut and listened. His
blue eyes grew big and round, and his face filled with horror.

Tom knew that the navvies at work in the district were not regular
workmen, but a very rough set. A gang of them had been almost a terror
to the neighbourhood, and Tom's father had been foremost in bringing the
guilty ones to justice. Three of their friends were in the hut, one with
a revolver. They had learned from a workman that Mr. M'Calmont was to
return from Greenhurst that evening, and they were discussing the spot
where they could best waylay and shoot him. 'We won't kill him, only
damage him a bit,' were the last words Tom heard as he crept from his
hiding-place and made his way quietly into the wood.

Tom's fear began to give way to excitement. He had an adventure at last,
and all to himself. To go home for help would be no use and would only
terrify his mother. The setting sun showed that the evening was
advancing, and his father would soon be coming, so that the only thing
was to go and hide near the spot where the men had planned to wait. This
was where two roads merged into one, at the bottom of a steep hill
overhung with trees. Mr. M'Calmont might come by either of the two
roads--it would depend on whether he wished to go into Barton or not.

Tom made his way to his post as quickly as possible, and found himself a
hiding-place in a hole beneath the hedge, where only a boy could
wriggle, and where he hoped that in the dusk he would be unobserved. His
post was just the point where the road forked; the men had planned to
stand some yards from that point, where it was more shaded by trees, so
Tom hoped that when he heard the trap approaching, and could distinguish
on which road it was, he would have time to run and warn his father, who
would then, he did not doubt, with the aid of his valiant son, be a
match for any three men.

It was rather a lonely watch. Tom was getting hungry again and very
tired and stiff. As the light faded, his excitement faded too, and it
was almost a relief to hear the stealthy arrival of the conspirators.
Then another long wait, until at last he heard the cart-wheels going
over unrolled stones, which told that it was not on the Barton road. Out
of his hiding-place he crept, and darted along the grass at the
road-side. An unlucky stumble over a fallen branch betrayed him, but as
he fell he shouted with all his might, 'Look out, Father, they are going
to shoot you!' Then there was a rush, a crack as something came into
violent contact with his head, the world went round, and then--darkness.

When Tom woke, the morning sun was shining into his own room. His mother
was busy at the window, fixing the curtain to keep the light from his
face, and Tom could see that she was crying. A great fear entered his
mind, and, as his mother turned and looked at him, all he could say was
'Father?'

'Quite safe, my brave laddie, for you frightened the men away. My dear,
brave boy.'

Then joy filled the heart of Thomas M'Calmont, and for once the fault of
playing truant went unpunished.

JESSIE HARVEY.



GROWING UP.


    When birthdays come, we always write
      Our names upon the nursery door,
    And carefully we mark the height,
      Each standing shoeless on the floor.

    How strange to think birthdays will be
      When we shall never add one more
    To all those marks which gradually
      Are climbing up the nursery door!



SOME WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

IV.--THE GROTTOES OF HAN IN THE ARDENNES.


A narrow opening high on an oak-covered hill; a cluster of women, girls,
and boys, each carrying a slight iron bar connecting two oil lamps; a
crowd of tourists of many nationalities--all waiting to enter the
Grottoes of Han. Presently the guide arrives, and delivers a brief
speech as to the possible consequences should visitors deface or purloin
the treasures of the cave, demanding silence during his explanations,
and declaring that one light-bearer would accompany every four persons.
He ceases, and away we go. Down, down, down, apparently into the very
heart of the earth, through damp and chilly air and profound darkness,
broken only by the glimmer of the friendly lamps. Then we cease
descending, and emerge in a cavern where the lights are flashed upon
thousands of fossilised insects, and on into the 'Hall of the Foxes,'
where countless generations of their species lived, died, and were
buried. After this the great caverns succeed each other rapidly, each
with some special interest of its own, until we find ourselves in the
'Hall of the Trophies,' where electric light is installed to exhibit the
marvels of the roof. A thick fringe of stalactites, many of immense
size, descend to meet the columns of stalagmite ascending from the
floor.

Right through the caverns, a distance of nearly two miles, a rough path
has been made which is fairly dry and clean, but on either side are
rivers and banks of mud, so that it is well to be careful and watch the
way. Once as we went along we heard behind us a splashing thud, and,
turning, beheld a portly Belgian floundering on his back in the mire,
whence he presently emerged, coated with mud, looking rather like a
hippopotamus. No rule of silence could avail to stifle the peals of
laughter that rang through the grotto, and we had the less scruple in
enjoying the fun because any one of us might at any moment have the
happiness of similarly amusing his or her fellow-creatures.

Our merriment ended before the wonders of the 'Hall of Mystery,' where
the electric light travelled round to show 'The Mosque,' standing out in
glittering points of light; 'The Curtain,' a veil of gleaming lacework
in stone; and 'The Alhambra,' furnished royally with every combination
of diamond-like crystals. It would be easy to invent names for most of
the objects, for shrines, pulpits, thrones, and such-like are everywhere
carved, of dazzling whiteness and richness of design.

Next we enter the gloomy magnificence of the 'Hall of the Dome,' where
the roof towers up two hundred feet into the darkness. As we ascend the
steep path we turn and see below the gleam of water. This is the
subterranean river Lesse, the architect of these gloomy grottoes, which
until some forty years ago had heard no voice save that of the water
hammering and chiselling the rocks at its own sweet will. Legend
declares these stately halls to be the palaces of the little Brown
Dwarfs, who, issuing from their homes at night, by counsel and more
practical aid enabled the early builders to produce the wonderful
edifices of Bruges, Ypres, and other Flemish cities.

Still we go on, up and down through grotto after grotto of marvellous
beauty; sometimes along the banks of the shadowy river, reflecting in
its depths the fairylike beauties of roof and wall, then up high, narrow
ridges or down into the depths of inky blackness, until at last we find
ourselves in the 'Hall of Embarkation.' Here a small wooden platform
projects over the river, and near it are a number of large boats capable
of carrying all our party. The boats push off, all lights are
extinguished, and the sensation of total darkness in such conditions is
more weird than pleasant. We are told that the water is of unknown
depth, and it takes some confidence to repress thoughts of collisions
and perils by water of various kinds.

[Illustration: The Grottoes of Han in the Ardennes.]

The boats move on in solemn procession, and soon a tiny speck of light
appears, and grows gradually larger and brighter. By degrees the light
pervades dimly roof, walls, and transparent water, and then, all in a
moment, a flood of glorious sunshine gleams through the lofty portal
which we are approaching. Behind us fringes and bosses of stalactite are
tinged with the warm glow, and stand out in bold relief from the
darkness; before us the banks are green with grassy slopes and waving
trees; below us the river dances along in the sunlight as if full of joy
at escaping from prison, and we too share its happiness as we float back
into our every-day world from the gloomy glories of the Grottoes of Han.

HELENA HEATH.

[Illustration: "Jacintha was off her machine at once."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 107._)


For the next hour I felt extremely miserable, but, remembering that I
should, in all probability, see Jacintha to-morrow, I began to wish it
were possible to do something to improve my appearance for the occasion.
For not only were my clothes in a far from satisfactory condition, but
the soles of my boots were full of holes, so that one stocking touched
the ground.

There was nothing to do but wander about and look at the chickens until
I was summoned to supper, which consisted of bread and very strong
cheese.

On being shown to the bedroom, I found that it contained two beds, in
one of which a small boy was already reposing. Although he seemed to
watch me with considerable curiosity, he made no attempt at
conversation; but it was a very noisy house, and I found it impossible
to get to sleep for some time.

When my room-fellow awoke me at about six o'clock the following morning,
the sun was shining brightly into the shabby room, so that this promised
excellently for the day's tramp. I said my prayers, and having washed,
dressed, and partaken of a somewhat scanty breakfast, wondering, as I
ate, what had by this time become of Patch, I set out, at a little after
half-past seven, in the direction of Hazleton.

Presently, passing through a village, which seemed to be on the outskirts
of the town of Hazleton, I bought two penny sausage rolls at a small
baker's shop, and asked for a glass of water. As I walked on, eating the
rolls, it soon became evident that the town was close at hand. At
intervals I passed large houses, standing in their own grounds, and
carefully I read the names on their gate-posts, lest one should be
Colebrook Park. The path, which had been almost indistinguishable from
the roadway, was now asphalted, and I stopped to read a notice board
concerning vagrants, wondering whether I ought to be reckoned under that
denomination. I do not know whether the sun had affected me--for it
shone with brilliant force that morning--or whether I was tired after my
ten miles' walk without much food, but as I drew near to Hazleton, which
I had formerly felt so anxious to reach, my usual spirits seemed to
forsake me, and, if it had not been for the necessity to return the
locket, I think I should have passed on my way without making the least
attempt to see Jacintha again.

I seemed to have lost pride in myself, so that it became difficult to
keep up much hope. Perhaps it might be possible to get the locket safely
into Jacintha's hands without seeing her, especially if there happened
to be a lodge at the entrance to Colebrook Park, when I might leave the
trinket with the lodge-keeper.

With the object of making up my mind, I lay down on the wide border of
grass on one side of the road, thankful for the shelter of the hedge. It
was about half-past twelve, and several carriages passed as I lay there,
as well as a few bicyclists. But now the straight, wide road was clear;
no one was in sight, either to the right or to the left, until, from a
gate a hundred yards away, in the direction of the town, a girl on a
bicycle came forth, and I knew at once that she must be Jacintha.

She wore a wide-brimmed, white straw hat, and a white cotton frock, and
was sitting very upright as she turned and coasted on her free-wheel
machine down the slight hill towards me. For an instant I thought of
turning away my face, so that, even if she remembered it, she should not
recognise me; but she looked so bright and pleasant an object in the
middle of the sunny road that, on the impulse of the moment, I rose to
my feet, crossed the margin of grass, and lifted the cloth cap which had
been given to me before I reached Polehampton.

Jacintha was off her machine at once. 'Why,' she cried, 'you are the boy
who ran away!'

'My name is Everard, you know,' I answered.

'But I thought you said you were going to London?' she suggested.

'So I am.'

'It is not the nearest way from where you were to come through
Hazleton,' said Jacintha.

'You see,' I explained, thrusting my fingers into my waistcoat pocket,
'I came to bring back your locket,' and I held it out towards her in the
palm of my right hand.

'My locket?' she said, gazing at it while she held the handle of her
bicycle.

'Yes,' I answered. 'I found it on the path just by the hedge where you
were standing.'

'But I did not bring a locket with me from London,' she exclaimed, and I
felt immensely disappointed.

'Isn't it really yours, then?' I asked.

'Of course not,' she returned. 'How can it be if I didn't bring one?'
and then she removed one hand from the bicycle, and took the locket from
my palm, which I wished had not been so extremely grimy. 'I think it is
very pretty,' she continued, 'and I believe it is gold.'

'Oh, it is gold right enough!' I said, 'because it has a hall-mark. It
is eighteen carat.'

'Have you come out of your way just because you thought it was mine?'
she asked, giving me back the trinket.

'It was not very far,' I persisted.

'Rather nice of you, though,' said Jacintha.

'If it comes to that,' I answered, 'you were rather nice to me that day.
Some girls would have given me away, and then I should have been back at
Ascot House before now.'

As I was speaking, she took a small gold watch from her pocket.

'I must not be late,' she cried, 'because both Dick and I were late for
breakfast.'

'Who is Dick?' I asked, as she put away her watch.

'Dick is my brother,' Jacintha explained. 'He only came down yesterday.
Dick's a year older than I am. I really ought to go,' she added. 'If my
uncle were to see me talking to you he mightn't like it.'

'I suppose,' I cried a little angrily, 'he would think I was begging?'

'At all events,' said Jacintha, candidly, 'he would be rather surprised,
you know. Because you do look most tremendously dirty--just as if you
were a regular tramp--and yet your face would be all right if it were
only washed and you had your hair properly cut.'

I felt that my cheeks were growing red, and for the moment I was tempted
to make an angry retort, although, remembering what I owed to Jacintha,
I simply held out my hand and muttered 'Good-bye!'

'Oh, you mustn't go on yet,' she exclaimed. 'I want to hear all you've
been doing. I must go in now, but please promise to wait till I come out
again. I won't be long.'

'I am not in a hurry,' I admitted.

'Only don't stay here,' she said. 'Wait till I am out of sight, and then
follow me until you come to our hedge. Right in the corner you will
find a place you can get through, and nobody ever comes to that field.
You get through the hedge and stay till I come back.'



CHAPTER XIV.


I stood in the road while Jacintha mounted her bicycle and rode up the
slight hill to the gate, when she looked back and waved her hand as she
turned into the grounds. Having waited a few minutes, I followed her
directions, found the weak spot in the hedge, scrambled through, and at
once sat down on the grass.

I saw I was in a remote corner of a large field, in which a few Jersey
cows were grazing. But this was not quite an ordinary field, as it
contained a good many foreign trees with iron railings round them. It
was more like a park. In the middle stood a small mound, looking as if
it had been made artificially, with a kind of arbour on the top
overgrown with some sort of creeper and shut in by trees.

The time seemed to pass very slowly, but at last I saw the flash of
Jacintha's white dress in the sunshine as she walked rapidly towards my
corner, the house not being visible from where I sat. To my vexation,
however, she was not alone. A few yards behind came a boy of about my
own age and size, with a straw hat on the back of his head, a
red-and-blue blazer thrown over his white cricket shirt, and his hands
thrust in the pockets of his flannel trousers.

While Jacintha tripped quickly over the grass, her companion, who, no
doubt, was her brother, seemed to follow far less cheerfully. I could
not help thinking there was something unwilling, almost resentful, in
his manner, so that I felt prepared to pay him back in his own coin.
Although I might look as dirty and as much like a tramp as Jacintha had
suggested, I was not going to stand any nonsense.

When they reached the arbour they came to a standstill and seemed to be
holding an argument, until, a few minutes later, Jacintha tossed back
her long hair and set forth at a run in my direction, whereupon I went
to meet her.

'You didn't mind my bringing Dick?' she suggested, looking doubtfully
into my face.

'Have you told him, then?' I asked.

'I told him yesterday,' she said. 'I mean I told him about seeing you in
the wheat-field, and your running away from school, and when I just had
time to whisper that I had met you before lunch, he said I must not
come; but I told him I had promised, and then he said he would come
too.'

By this time we were within a few feet of Dick, who looked all right,
although he seemed to think a great deal of himself. He was fair, like
Jacintha, and he did not take his hands out of his pockets, so I put my
hands into my pockets also, and stared at him as hard as he stared at
me.

'Dick!' cried Jacintha, 'this is Everard.'

'Well, look here,' he answered, 'if you don't want to be collared, you
had better come in, instead of standing out here all day.'

(_Continued on page 125._)



CUBAN LIZARDS.


The Cuban anolis is one of a large family of lizards, all of which are
confined to America and the West Indian islands. This family is nearly
related to that of the iguanas; but whereas some of the iguanas attain a
length of five or six feet, the anolis is always small. It is a
remarkably active little creature, and often singularly beautiful,
offering a striking contrast to the ugly and sluggish horned lizards of
North America and Mexico. It is usually rather more than a foot long,
and its general colour is a beautiful green. It has a white throat, and
a white band passing over each shoulder and for some distance along each
side. The little creature has the power of puffing out its throat, and
distending it till it looks like a ball upon its neck. When it is
irritated, angry, or alarmed, it invariably blows out its throat in this
way, and tries to frighten its enemy by this means. Most of these
lizards have also more or less power of changing their colour, like the
chameleon, and, indeed, a few of them can out-rival the chameleon in
this respect.

A striking peculiarity of this lizard is the structure of its toes. They
are rather long, and furnished with sharp hooked claws, and the last
joint is swollen out into a kind of pad. At first sight we should be
inclined to think that these little swellings near the tips of the toes
would be rather an inconvenience to the anolis, by impeding its
movements. But a closer examination shows that these curious growths
have a use. They act to some extent as suckers, and enable the anolis to
climb the perpendicular faces of rocks, or even to hang from the under
side of a branch.

The males of these little lizards are often very quarrelsome, especially
at certain times of the year, when two of them rarely meet without
having a fight. They fly at each other furiously, rolling over and over,
and biting savagely. These fierce battles generally end in one of the
combatants losing his tail, for in these lizards, as in many others, the
tail is not very strongly attached to the body. The victor sometimes
makes off with the tail of his foe in his mouth, and sometimes he even
devours it. The loss of his tail is a great blow to the vanquished
anolis, for he seems to have a great pride in it. When he is deprived of
it, he accepts defeat at once, and though he recovers from the injury
without much trouble, he is generally but a timid and crest-fallen
creature afterwards. He seems to look upon the loss of his tail as a
disgrace--very much, perhaps, as a regiment of soldiers regards the loss
of its colours.

Another pretty little Cuban lizard is the chameleon-eyed lizard. It is
of a brownish colour spotted with white, especially about the head. It
has many resemblances to the anolis just described, being small,
slender, and active. Both frequent trees, thickets, and rocky places,
where they run and climb with such quickness as to be sometimes easily
mistaken for birds hopping to and fro. The numerous tropical insects are
their usual food, varied occasionally by berries and fruits.

W. A. ATKINSON.

[Illustration: Cuban Lizards.]

[Illustration: "The rabbit bit the stoat in the most infuriated
manner."]



A MOTHER RABBIT'S COURAGE.

A True Anecdote.


Not long ago a gentleman heard of a remarkable fight between a stoat and
a rabbit; he gives an account of it in the _Field_ newspaper. His
gardener was walking in an orchard when he heard a scuffling and
squealing on the other side of a hedge. He looked over, and to his great
surprise, saw a rabbit in close pursuit of a stoat. Just as they reached
the hedge the rabbit caught up with its enemy, but the stoat hid in the
hedge for a few seconds, and then ran along it swiftly, escaping the
rabbit's notice for a few minutes. Then it rushed out into the field
again, some thirty yards from where it had entered the hedge. Its object
soon became clear. 'It pulled a young rabbit out of a bunch of grass,'
says the writer, 'and began to drag it to the hedge. When the old rabbit
turned and saw the stoat it went for it again, and jumped on it and bit
it in the most infuriated manner, driving it away from the young rabbit,
and running it squealing with terror into the hedge, where they both
eventually disappeared.' It is sad to learn that this brave attempt of
the mother rabbit to save her young one was in vain; the little bunny
was dead when the gardener picked it up a few minutes later.

Stoats will often pursue rabbits across country for very long distances,
going steadily on and following the track by the power of scent alone;
but it is very seldom that a rabbit will show such courage as to turn
the tables and attack its foe.



MAGIC RODS.


The people of the olden time had great faith in the powers of magic rods
and wands. Not only was this the fact amongst the Greeks and Romans, but
the belief was found in our own country not so very long ago. Certain
trees were famed for their magical virtues, because they were supposed
to be the home of some spirit, and rods cut from them were said to have
wonderful powers. The belief survives in the conjurer's wand, which, as
we all know, does marvels when waved to the sound of 'Hey presto!'

To the pretended wonder-worker of the past, his rod was a most important
thing, for by its help he accomplished marvels, or at least pretended to
do so. There is a story told about a man who had seen a magician produce
water by means of his rod. Getting hold of the rod one day, he thought
he would supply his house with water by its aid. He said to it, 'Bring
water.' Soon the wand rushed to and fro with big pails, but when the
floors were getting flooded, he thought there was enough water, and told
the wand to stop. He did not know the word of command, and so the wand
went on just the same. In his rage, he took a chopper, and cut the wand
in two, but instead of stopping it brought twice as much; a double lot
of pails appeared, and at last the torrent of water washed away the
house of the meddlesome man.

The magic rod or wand has had several names given to it. A common one
was that of 'divining rod.' By the Germans it was called the 'wishing
rod,' or 'wishing thorn,' which points to the fact that it was often
cut from the blackthorn or sloe. It was supposed that the person who
could use the magic rod most successfully was the seventh son of a
seventh son, if such a person could be found. The wand, too, should not
be cut from very old wood, but it must be more than a year old. Some
folk said that the twig chosen to make this rod ought to be one upon
which the sun shone both in the morning and afternoon. Again, the magic
rod was not simply a straight piece of wood; it had to be of a
particular shape--that of the letter Y. When using it, the hands grasped
the two arms, so that the unforked part pointed outwards. In houses
about the West of England, people will show visitors magic or divining
rods, cut many years ago, and now carefully kept as memorials of the
past.

These rods had various uses. They were not only supposed to show where
metal was hidden, or springs of water might be found, but one brought to
a person ill of fever might cure him, though he had to pay whatever was
asked for it, and make no objection to the price. In some countries, men
believed that a magic rod might be got to point the direction in which a
lost person had gone.

The Chinese, ages before the Westerns knew them, had their magic rods,
and generally cut them from fruit-trees, the peach being often chosen.
But in Europe, the hazel or cob-nut tree stands at the head of the list
of the trees favoured. German farmers formerly cut a hazel rod in
spring, and when the first thunder-shower came, they waved it over the
corn that was stored up, believing that this would make it keep sound
till it was wanted. Next to the hazel in importance was the rowan or
mountain ash, a tree always associated with the pixies and fairies;
magic rods were frequently made from it, and also little crosses, which,
if put over the door, were supposed to bring good fortune into a house.
Another tree furnishing such rods was the willow, and another was the
apple; one carefully avoided was the elder.

J. R. S. C.



OUR PUSS.


    She came with the evening shades,
      At the close of a winter day,
        And her manner implied,
        As she trotted inside,
      'I am here, and have come to stay.'

    Where she came from nobody knows,
      And no one has claimed her yet;
        But she made so free,
        It was easy to see
      That she had been somebody's pet.

    Now the homeless waif on our hearth
      Gives a homelike look to the place;
        With her warm grey fur,
        And her satisfied purr,
      And content in her comely face.

    She has all the craft of her race,
      Though she does not look like a thief,
        For she climbed of late
        Up to Charlie's plate,
      And calmly ate some of his beef!

    But we all have our little faults,
      And well will it be with us
        If, when ruin impends,
        We can win new friends,
      Like our gentle and brave stray puss.



THE CYPHER TELEGRAM.


'What a shame it is, Hugo, that when your father is giving the whole
class this splendid treat in honour of your recovery, you yourself
should be the only boy absent.'

Hugo laughed somewhat sadly. 'Yes, I should like to be going, but the
doctor says that I must not walk much before Christmas, and no one wants
to spend three days in the woods in the middle of December. I should
have liked the chance of catching a swallow-tailed butterfly for my
collection.'

'I will try and get one for you,' answered Franz, 'though they are
scarce this year. But what is this? How did you get your medal back?' as
he picked up a silver disc from the table.

Hugo had won this medal a year before for a Latin composition for boys
under fifteen, and when Baron Rosenthal's beautiful collection of coins
and antique silver had been stolen, the medal had gone too.

'A friend of Father's saw it in a Berlin curiosity show among a lot of
coins, and he sent it back to me.'

'And the coins--were they also your father's?'

'He has gone to Berlin to look at them, and he will be back to-night.
But all coins are not easy to recognise. If it had been any of the
silver boxes or cups he would have known his own at once.'

'And none of these have been traced?'

'No, not one. My father thinks they have probably been sold in some
foreign country--America, perhaps, or England. But see, he left this
money for you, so that you can let me know what you are doing. Then you
can send me a long cypher telegram every day from the station on the
Observatory, and it will give me something to do to translate it,' and
he handed Franz some silver.

During his illness, Hugo had occupied himself in inventing a most
elaborate cypher, which was the envy of the whole school. Not even the
masters could read it, and it was an endless source of amusement to
himself and Franz, who alone was in the secret.

'All right!' answered Franz; 'I will send you three telegrams, and catch
you three swallow-tails too if I can manage it.'

As he went out of the room, his school-fellow looked wistfully at the
pair of crutches that stood beside his invalid's chair. He was the only
son of a very rich German nobleman, and six months before he had been
nearly killed in a railway accident. When he began to recover, the Baron
had promised to give a special treat to his son's class in honour of
the event, and now that the time for the annual excursion had arrived,
he was paying all expenses for the boys to remain three days in the
forest instead of, as was usual, only one. It is the custom in German
schools for each master to take his class for a long day's expedition
into the country during the summer, in which he is supposed to open
their eyes to the beauties of nature and the wonders of the botanical
world; and the Baron, who was a very wealthy man, had caused this
privilege to be extended that year. But now his son was unable to enjoy
it, and this use of telegrams was a suggestion of his father's to
prevent his being too depressed by the thought of his disappointment.

[Illustration: "He looked wistfully at the pair of crutches."]

       *       *       *       *       *

At five o'clock on the following morning there was a very cheerful party
of boys waiting at the station for the little hill-climbing train that
was to take them into the heart of the Black Forest. The master, Herr
Groos, was also in the best of spirits, in spite of his failure to make
any of the boys listen while he explained to them how the train was
enabled to climb a hill. The boys, with their yellow caps, which was the
distinctive colour of their class, and their butterfly-nets, botanical
presses, and green specimen-cases, were much too excited to listen to
him.

At last the train arrived, and they all filed into an open third-class
carriage, whose only other occupants were two strangers, a tall and a
short one, also armed with butterfly-nets and enormous green cases.

'Did you see Hugo yesterday?' inquired Herr Groos of Franz, who was
sitting next him.

'Yes, sir; I was there a long time. He wished he was coming with us.'

'Well, we all wish it too,' said the master heartily. 'What does he do
with himself all day? Invent more cyphers?'

'No, sir, he does not mean to invent a new one,' answered Franz,
laughing, 'till some one has solved the present one. I am to send him a
long telegram in it every day.'

'What is that?' asked the short stranger, good-humouredly. 'I did not
know there was such a thing as a cypher that could not be solved.'

'One of my pupils has invented one that no one has solved yet,' answered
Herr Groos proudly.

'He should let me see it,' laughed the stranger. 'I would undertake to
read it in half an hour.'

Then the master and the two strangers began to talk sociably together,
and the conversation drifted to a discussion on the best place in the
locality for the capture of butterflies, especially swallow-tails.

Franz listened attentively, for he was firmly resolved that he would not
return without at least one specimen to adorn Hugo's collection. Herr
Groos was of opinion that the Kühberg was the best place for them; but
the strangers said, 'No, for every one found on the summit of the
Kühberg there are at least three on the sunny slopes of the
Hirsch-felsen on the opposite side of the valley.'

But at last the train journey came to an end, and the boys arrived at
the little inn which was to be their head-quarters. There they were soon
devouring rolls and hot coffee, almost faster than the inn-keeper and
his good-tempered wife could bring them out of the kitchen. Then, with
their pockets and knapsacks full of rolls and German sausage, they
started on their first day's expedition to a little lake at the foot of
the Kühberg. It was a lovely walk, and as they passed now under the cool
green pine-trees, and now along sunny slopes where the cows, with their
tinkling bells, were almost buried in sweet-scented flowers, both
botanists and butterfly-hunters were busy. Finally, after two hours'
walk, they reached their halting-place at the edge of the forest lake.

(_Continued on page 130._)

[Illustration: "I took the locket from my waistcoat again."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 119._)


Jacintha led the way up a path on the mound, and we all entered the
summer-house, which was quite large, with seats round the sides and a
table in the middle.

'Have you got the chocolates, Dick?' she asked, and at the same time
began to unload her own pocket, which contained a bag with some
preserved apricots in it, two oranges, and two pears. 'I often bring my
dessert out here,' she explained, 'only to-day Auntie said she hoped I
should not make myself ill.'

'Mind you don't,' said Dick.

'Have a pear, Everard,' she suggested, and accordingly I took one.
'Uncle has just started out with Auntie in the motor-car,' she
continued, 'so I want you to begin at the beginning and tell us
everything, you know--just everything.'

I looked at Dick, who was pinching an orange so as to make a hole in it
to suck the juice, but he did not speak; so, having eaten a preserved
apricot, I sat down next to Jacintha, wishing she had not so hastily
drawn away her white skirt, and began.

I cannot accuse myself of speaking a word that was not true that
afternoon, but it must be confessed that the chief object was to impress
Dick with the conviction that I was not what he might easily take me to
be. Accordingly, I glossed over the character of Aunt Marion's
household, and dwelt upon the wealth and importance of Captain Knowlton.
I brought tears to Jacintha's eyes when I told her of the loss of the
_Seagull_, of his death and the difference in my treatment at the hands
of Mr. Turton; but what seemed to have the greatest effect on her
brother was the story of my encounter with the tramp who stole my money,
and the other events of my journey.

'Still,' he said, being the first to speak when I ended the story, 'I
don't see what you are going to do when you get to London.'

'Neither do I,' cried Jacintha.

'Oh, I shall do something right enough,' I answered with all the
confidence I could assume.

'I tell you what I believe,' said Dick. 'I believe Captain Knowlton is
not dead after all. You see if I am not right. You don't know really
that he was drowned.'

'If he were not,' I answered, 'he would have sent a telegram, because he
would know the _Seagull_ had been reported lost.'

'Still, you cannot tell,' Dick insisted, 'and if I were you, as soon as
I got to London, I should go to his rooms in the Albany.'

But this was a point I had already considered.

'You see,' I said, 'very likely Mr. Turton has been there and told them
to keep me----'

'I did not think of that,' Dick admitted. 'Still, I don't see what you
will do in London. And, of course, I live there, though I'm going to a
crammer's at Richmond next term.'

'Everard was going to be sent to Sandhurst, too,' said Jacintha quietly.

'What a lark,' he exclaimed, 'if Captain Knowlton should turn up, and
you should be there at the same time.'

But this was more than my imagination at the moment was capable of. I
felt very, very far from going to Sandhurst, and, indeed, a kind of
sense that Dick and Jacintha belonged to a different world from mine was
fast growing upon me.

'I say,' said Dick, presently, for his manner had now become all that I
could desire, 'how much money have you got left?'

'One and twopence,' I answered, and he looked solemn at that.

'But still,' cried Jacintha, 'you forget the locket.'

'Why, of course, there is the locket,' said her brother; 'let us have a
look at it, Everard.'

I took it from my waistcoat again, and holding it close to his nose,
Dick at once looked for the hall-mark.

'It is gold right enough,' he added.

'You can sell it for quite a lot of money,' urged Jacintha, 'because you
picked it up, and you can never find the real owner. I should think you
would get a good deal for it.'

'If you don't mind my saying so----' began Dick, and pausing, he looked
into my face.

'Cut along,' I said.

'Well, if you took it to sell, the chap might--he might think you had
stolen it.'

'You see,' said Jacintha hastily, 'we could take you to the bath-room,
and Dick could lend you some of his clothes; but Auntie would be certain
to find out, and Uncle has kept Mr. Turton's card, and he said that if
he saw you he should take you back to Castlemore.'

'Can't go back,' said Dick, in a tone of authority. 'I know!' he
exclaimed, after a thoughtful silence.

'What?' demanded his sister.

'Look here, Everard,' he explained, 'there is a good shop in High
Street, Foster's, where my people buy things. I know old Foster--a
decent sort of chap. If I were to take the locket----'

'What would you say when he asked you where you got it?' asked Jacintha.

At that we all stared into each other's faces, and I felt disappointed
at the suggestion. For I had judgment enough, after my experience in
selling my watch and chain, to see that in my present untidy condition I
could not myself deal with the trinket to the best advantage. A
respectable jeweller would probably decline to buy it at all, whereas a
less honest dealer would not give me a third of its value.

'I have it!' cried Dick, after a few minutes' pause. 'You drop the
locket on the floor, Everard,' and with a glimmering of his purpose, I
took it again from my pocket and let it fall on to the boarded floor of
the summer-house. He immediately stooped.

'Now,' he said, 'I can tell old Foster I have picked up a locket and
that I don't know whose it is, and I want to sell it. I will get my
bicycle and ride into the town at once; but look here, old chap,' he
added, taking my arm in quite a friendly way, 'you had better not wait
here. Just hang about outside in the road, and don't let them see you if
they come back first in the motor-car. I say, Jacintha, it will look
better if you come to Foster's too.'

'It's awfully good of you,' I answered as we all went down the slope.
'How much do you think I shall get?'

'I should think you might get twenty-five shillings,' said Dick, as if
he knew all about it.

'I wish I might,' I cried.

'Well,' he insisted, 'you get into the road and keep dark a bit, and we
will scorch into the town like anything.'

With that they both set off across the field while I scrambled through
the gap in the hedge, and returned to my former position on the grassy
side of the road, lying down and waiting expectantly to see Dick and
Jacintha ride out through the gate; and with the prospect of obtaining
possession of twenty-five shillings, it really began to seem as if the
foundation of my fortune had been laid.



CHAPTER XV.


A very few minutes later Dick rode through the gate followed by Jacintha,
who raised an arm as she turned to the right, pedalled up the slight
hill, and soon disappeared as she began to descend on the other side.
Rising to my feet I had waved my arm in return, and I was strolling
about the grass beside the road, already impatient to see Dick and
Jacintha returning and to learn the full extent of my wealth, when I
heard a motor-car panting along the road.

A glance showed that it was driven by the man who had accompanied
Jacintha that morning she spied me in the corn-field, and a few moments
later he steered the car into his gate. It seemed a long time before I
saw the head of Dick and then of his sister appear above the crest of
the hill. Dick, in his eagerness to reach me, pedalled all the way down.

'I say, Everard,' he exclaimed as soon as he reached me, 'how much do
you think?'

'Did you get the twenty-five shillings?' I asked.

'Two pounds----' began Jacintha, dismounting from her bicycle.

'Let me tell him,' cried Dick. 'Two pounds three and sixpence,' he added
with an air of triumph.

'I am most awfully obliged to you,' I said, as he took a purse from his
jacket pocket.

'Not so bad,' he continued, 'is it? You see I told old Foster he must
give a tip-top price, and of course he knows me. At first, I thought he
was not going to buy the thing at all; he said he didn't know whether my
uncle would like it, and all that.'

'And he said we ought to have bills printed to say it was found,' added
Jacintha.

'But I talked him out of that,' said Dick, 'and here is the money,' he
continued, counting out the two sovereigns, a half-crown and a shilling.

'Mind you don't lose any of it,' suggested Jacintha.

'No fear,' I answered.

'I say, where are you going to sleep to-night?' asked Dick.

'Oh, well,' I replied, and I am afraid that my newly acquired wealth
made me a little proud, 'I dare say I can find an hotel in Hazleton.'

'Do you think they will take you in?' said Dick.

'I wonder whether we shall see you in London,' cried Jacintha, 'because
we are going home next week.'

'And I say, Everard,' said her brother, 'take my word for it, I should
not be a scrap surprised if Captain Knowlton was rescued after all.'

'Dick,' suggested Jacintha, 'don't you think we ought to go in to tea?'

'Perhaps we ought,' he admitted. 'Well, good-bye,' he added, and with
that he held out his hand. When I shook Jacintha's a moment afterwards,
I wished once again that my own hands were cleaner.

'Good-bye,' she cried. 'I am glad the locket was not mine,' and then
they both re-mounted their bicycles, rode up the hill, waved their hands
once more, and disappeared from my sight.

In spite of the possession of the money for the locket, a sense of
depression fell upon me. I had grown quickly friendly with the pair, and
they seemed to bring me back to the life which I felt more acutely than
before I had lost for ever.

(_Continued on page 134._)



A LESSON IN STEERING.


It was a perfect day for the water, and the Fletcher boys, with a good
supply of sandwiches, meat-patties and ginger-beer, had gone off for a
day's boating. Their sister Daisy thought it was very hard lines to be
left at home, but Mrs. Fletcher would not allow her to go unless a
boatman were in charge.

'The boys know what they are about, and I feel fairly happy about them,'
she said, 'but I cannot let my little daughter run any risks.'

This was disappointing, though the real grievance lay in the fact that
the boys did not seem very anxious to have her. They were very fond of
their sister, but, of course, they said there were times when a girl was
'a bit in the way.'

So Daisy wandered down to the pier, feeling rather forlorn, and longing
for the time when the boys' boat would come in sight.

Old Steve Tucker was sitting on the end of the pier, smoking his pipe,
when Daisy came along.

'Fine day for a sail, Missie,' he said, and indeed the dancing blue
waters of the bay looked most inviting.

Then Daisy poured out her troubles, and the old man shook his head in
sympathy.

'I wonder now if you would be allowed to come along with me in my little
sailing-boat?' he suggested.

'Do you mean it?' Daisy cried. 'Oh, you good old Steve! I will run home
and ask Mother this minute.'

'Right you are, Miss Daisy! and I will just go down and put the _Mary
Jane_ ship-shape.'

Daisy soon came flying back, having gained the desired permission.

Soon the little boat was dancing over the waves. The breeze filled the
sail, and they made such speed that the houses on the shore fast
dwindled behind them. Old Steve showed Daisy how to manage the sail and
then gave her a lesson in steering. At first the sail slackened and the
boat wobbled a little, but his pupil soon grew clever at keeping the
head to the wind and steering a straight course.

'Oh, I am enjoying myself!' she cried. 'This is ever so much better than
going with the boys, because they always want to manage the sail and the
steering, and I never have a chance of learning anything.'

'Well, Missy, you shall come out sailing with me a few times, and I will
soon teach you all there is to know about a boat.'

'And then they will not be able to refuse to take me because I am no
good, will they?'

'No fear, Missy! You will soon know as much as the young gentlemen--and
I do believe that is their boat just ahead.'

'So it is,' cried Daisy, in great excitement. 'Now we will race them,
Steve, and give them a surprise.'

'Ship ahoy!' called Daisy as they flew past, and her brothers were
indeed astonished to see their sister steering the boat like any old
salt. After that they never said that a girl was 'a bit in the way.'

[Illustration: "Daisy soon grew clever at keeping the head to the
wind."]

[Illustration: ON A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY.]

[Illustration: "She managed to drag her on shore."]



THE GIRL WHO DID NOT RUN AWAY.


A little French girl only seven years old, named Eudoxie, was playing
with tiny Philomène in a field, when the young child made two stains on
her pink pinafore.

'Mother will scold,' thought the little maid, and trotted off to the
river to wash them out.

A plank stretched out from the bank to make it easy for people to draw
water, and on this Philomène stepped, but she did not know how rotten it
was. Before she could touch the water there was a splash, and the little
girl was in the river.

Eudoxie heard her cry out, but did not run away as some children have
been known to do when a companion was in danger. She ran at once to the
bank, and caught her little friend by the foot, nearly losing her own
balance in doing so.

Though Philomène, all wet and breathless, was a heavy weight for
Eudoxie, still she managed to drag her on shore, kiss her, and try to
console her.

But poor little Philomène was frightened at the idea of facing 'Maman'
after her scrape; she must have been rather a scolding mother, as the
little girl was afraid to go home in her wet clothes.

So Eudoxie partly undressed in the sunshine, and wrapped her in her own
frock, while she ran to beg a change of clothes from the sharp-spoken
Madame.

The mother asked why they were wanted.

'Promise not to scold, and I will tell you,' said the child. The promise
was given, and Eudoxie told the adventure. 'It was not Philo's fault,'
she said.

'Oh, then! my wicked, naughty, precious, darling Philo! take me to her,'
said Madame.

Poor Philomène was sitting smiling in the sunshine when the two reached
her, Eudoxie with her garments, the mother with tears and kisses all
waiting to be showered on her tiny daughter.

Some one told the story in Paris, and many people were pleased with
Eudoxie's presence of mind, and the French Humane Society presented the
brave girl with a medal for saving the life of her friend.



THE HARDEST WORK.

A Fable.


A famous Persian king once called around him all the wisest men in his
kingdom, and put the following question to them: 'What is the hardest
work in the world?'

Some answered one thing and some another, but it was thought that still
harder work might exist.

At last a sage came forward and said, 'I have lived many years and seen
a great many things. I have come to the conclusion that the hardest work
in the world is to be forced to do nothing at all; and no one can spend
the whole day without doing something or other.'

The king, anxious to prove the truth of it, tried his best to find out
whether this were so or not, as did also his courtiers, but they were
obliged to own that what the sage had stated was the truth. Hence the
proverb: 'No work, the hardest work.'



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

6.--DOUBLETS.


Changing one letter at a time, in as few steps as possible, make

1. Cat into Dog.
2. Yes   "  No.
3. Will  "  Won't.
4. Pony  "  Cart.
5. Dry   "  Wet.


7.--ARITHMOGRAPH.

_A Short Proverb._

 1.--9, 10, 12, 11, 8. A French city.
 2.--9, 7, 10, 12. A delicious fruit.
 3.--12, 10, 8, 9. A kind of file.
 4.--3, 2, 4, 5. To turn in different directions.
 5.--12, 11, 9. To tear, to cut asunder.
 6.--1, 2, 10, 5. Close at hand.
 7.--1, 2, 5, 3, 4, 8. Organs of sensation.
 8.--8, 9, 10, 11, 1. A country in the south of Europe.
 9.--8, 9, 10, 1. A very short space.
10.--6, 5, 11, 9. To fall in drops.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 167._]



ANSWER TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 98.

5.--_Evangeline._

1. Nile.
2. Lean.
3. Liege.
4. Veal.
5. Vile.
6. Nail.
7. Geneva.
8. Nave.
9. Gain.

ANSWER TO PICTURE PUZZLE ON PAGE 28.

This picture contains the key to itself in the letters which are found
on the walls, the corner-stone, and the gateway--I, C, U, S, X. If these
letters are named in the order given, they form the sentence 'I see you,
Essex,' which Queen Elizabeth is said to have written on a wall or a
window of one of her palaces, as a warning, or perhaps an encouragement,
to Lord Essex.



THE CYPHER TELEGRAM.

(_Concluded from page 124._)


Though it was still only eleven o'clock, the boys were quite ready for
dinner when they reached the lake; and when it was finished and they had
hidden the rest of their provisions in some bushes, Herr Groos gave them
leave to amuse themselves as best they chose till he sounded his horn to
collect them for another meal at four o'clock. He himself was going to
take charge of a botanising party on the Hersch-felsen, and a junior
master was to superintend those who wished to fish in the lake; but
Franz decided to join neither party, as his one idea was to catch a
swallow-tailed butterfly for his friend. At last, finding no one with a
similar ambition, he started on his quest alone.

'I will try the Kühberg first,' he said to himself. 'If we should meet
the strangers again, it would be fun to prove to them that Herr Groos
was right and they were wrong.'

It was very hot as Franz toiled up the mountain-side, and when at last
he reached the place where his search was to begin, he lay down panting
under some trees at the edge of the wood. On the opposite slope he
could see the yellow caps of his comrades, and the tall figure of Herr
Groos; but where he himself was all was solitude and silence. After a
few minutes' rest he rose, and having filled his cap with some delicious
berries, sat down, almost buried amongst the cool, green plants, to
enjoy them. They were soon finished, but he was still too lazy to move,
and rolling himself down till the cranberries nearly met above him, he
fell fast asleep.

He was awakened by the sound of voices, and, thinking it was some of his
schoolfellows, he lay still, meaning to surprise them. He was so well
hidden that he knew he could not be discovered unless he moved. Then he
realised that it was not his comrades, but the two strangers from the
train.

'Look at all those boys over there,' said the tall man. 'It was
fortunate that we put them off the scent. If they had chosen to spend
the day up here it would have upset our plans nicely.'

'Are you sure, though, that they are all there?' asked the other,
doubtfully. 'There were thirty-two in the train, and I can only count
twenty-five yellow caps now.'

'You are right, Schmidt,' answered the tall man, after a short pause.
'And who can tell where the others may be?'

'Not I! We must put off our digging till we are sure that they have all
gone away for the night.'

'We shall miss the American boat,' said his friend, angrily, 'and all
because of a pack of schoolboys!'

'Not necessarily. If we return to Freistadt by the nine o'clock train
instead of by the five o'clock, we ought still to catch the steamer at
Hamburg. That is the worst of taking things from a well-known man like
Rosenthal. He makes it unsafe to dispose of a single recognisable thing
in Germany. We were lucky to get rid of the coins, even.'

'And a mere nothing we got for them,' replied the grumbler. 'Are you
certain you remember where we buried the rest of the collection?'

'Under this stone here, by the big tree, and it has evidently never been
moved since we left it. See, the cranberries are already beginning to
grow round it.'

'Which shall we take this time? I wish we could get the stuff all sold
and done with!'

'So do I! but we cannot take too much to one country. If we make a good
haul in America, we will return, and try and see what we can do in
England with the rest.'

'If we cannot dig now, what are we to do?' asked the tall man,
disgustedly.

'We must go on to the Observatory, and pass the time there. There is
nothing else to be done.'

When they had quite gone, Franz raised himself slowly. There was the
great stone, just as the short man had said, and underneath it were
evidently most of the treasures stolen from Baron Rosenthal. What was
the best thing to do? If he dug the treasures up and hid them elsewhere,
they would be safe, but then the thieves would probably escape. If he
went straight back to Freistadt by train and warned the police, Herr
Groos would think he was lost, and there would be such a hue and cry in
the woods that the strangers would probably hear of it and have their
suspicions aroused.

Then an inspiration came to him. He would telegraph to Hugo in cypher,
and then, even if Baron Rosenthal himself were not there, Hugo would
have the sense to arrange matters. It took him some time to concoct his
telegram, and put it into cypher. It ran as follows:--

'A tall man in grey and a shorter man in brown, with butterfly nets and
big specimen cases, will reach Freistadt station at ten-thirty. Have
them arrested, as their cases contain some of your father's silver, and
the rest is hidden in the woods.--FRANZ.'

Visitors were always allowed to use the telegraph at the Observatory on
the top of the hill, and so he decided to go there at once and send off
his message. Then a fresh danger occurred to him. The two strangers were
going to the little inn by the Observatory. If they chanced to see his
telegram, or even asked to look at it, he would arouse their suspicions
if he declined to show it, and yet, if the short stranger were as clever
as he professed to be, he would probably decipher it and learn
everything. So he wrote a companion message, using some of the same
words and figures as in the cypher one, but arranging them so that they
could not possibly be translated to make sense.

When he arrived at the top of the hill, he found the two strangers, as
he had expected, sitting at a little table outside the building.

'Hallo, youngster, have you caught your swallow-tail yet?' inquired the
tall one.

'I have not even seen one,' replied Franz, truthfully. 'I am afraid they
have all left the Hirsch-felsen since you were there. I gave it up at
last and came on here to send a cypher telegram to my friend.'

'Ah! the cypher!' said the fat man. 'Show me what you are going to say,
and I will warrant myself to read it.'

'Very well, but be quick, for I want to send it off,' replied Franz,
seeing that this would disarm suspicion.

He gave the strangers the copy he had specially prepared for them, and,
to his surprise, the stout man _did_ manage to read it, though,
naturally, he thought nothing of its contents. Then Franz took the real
telegram to the clerk at the Observatory, who dispatched it carefully,
though he chaffed Franz a good deal about the enormous importance of a
message that required to be sent so secretly.

When he rejoined his companions by the lake, just in time for the
afternoon meal, he was well teased by them because he was the only boy
who had no important find to announce. Then followed a merry walk back
through the woods, then supper, and then bed, and through it all Franz
never had a chance of a private talk with Herr Groos.

The next morning the boys were still at breakfast when the early morning
train came creaking into the station, and the first person to come
towards the inn was Baron Rosenthal.

He shook Franz warmly by the hand. 'Thanks to you, my boy,' he said,
'the thieves are in prison. It only remains for you to show us where the
rest of the silver is hidden.'

The other boys gazed at Franz in surprise, but he was not long in
telling the whole story, and explaining how it was that he had been the
only boy who had had no time to collect specimens. Half an hour later
the whole party started for the Kühberg, with Franz to guide them.

[Illustration: "'It was fortunate that we put them off the scent.'"]

Afterwards, when the winter came, and the boys of the class discussed
the great summer excursion, they always agreed that the most exciting
part of it had been the digging for Baron Rosenthal's treasures under
the pine tree. Not a few of them also, though without success, tried to
invent a cypher that should rival the famous one which had proved of
such real and unexpected value.

A. KATHARINE PARKES.

[Illustration: The Great Northern Diver.]



THE GREAT NORTHERN DIVER.


Amongst our water-loving birds there are few that can rival the great
Northern Diver. He is strong of wing, with remarkable legs and feet, and
a body so formed that it can take in a wonderful amount of air. He is a
beautiful bird, too, and a glance at him gives you the impression that
he is very knowing--as is, indeed, the fact. He has not a tuneful voice,
for he does not belong to the singing birds, but he utters a plaintive
and wild cry, which seems to suit the regions that are usually his home.
For, though the species does not keep entirely to the cold northern
regions, where summer is brief and winter is long, they are his chief
resorts, and their loneliness seems to suit him. He has often been seen
along British shores, in the Firth of Forth, for instance, and upon the
coast of Wales and Ireland. But if you wish to see the great northern
diver in abundance, you must go beyond the Hebrides, towards Labrador,
Iceland, and Spitzbergen. Nature has provided the bird with the means of
obtaining a great amount of animal heat, which enables him to bear
comfortably the intense cold of arctic regions.

A solitary specimen often attracts the notice of those on board passing
ships. They observe on a headland this tall, gaunt, white-breasted
sea-bird, motionless, it may be, yet looking round sharply with his keen
eyes. Is he thinking of the family cares of the last season, or
considering where the next meal is to come from? Suddenly he moves and
darts towards the sea, into which he plunges. Two or three minutes
after, he reappears many yards away. He has probably been fishing. He
seems to know before entering the water what the fish are doing, and the
formation of his body and limbs makes him a capital diver. It is the
habit of the Northern Diver to seek out especially the shoals of
herrings and sprats, of which both young and old birds consume great
quantities. There is only one brood yearly, the young birds hatching
during the brief summer of the far north.

The bird's head and neck are black, the bill being strong and pointed at
the tip. The breast is white, but the back, tail, and legs are black,
with scattered white spots; its feet are webbed. Though his wings are
short, and his body appears heavy, the Northern Diver can fly powerfully
and swiftly, owing to the strength of his muscles. The body, too, is
smooth and rounded, adapted either for swimming or flying. Another name
for it is the Immer, or Immer Diver.

J. R. S. C.



ENCOURAGEMENT.


Be as encouraging as you can. There is no end to the good sometimes done
by a few kindly words.

When Sydney Smith was a boy at school, a visitor found him one day, in
the play-hour, poring over a lesson-book. 'Clever boy!' said the
stranger, as he bestowed a shilling upon the young student, 'that is the
way to conquer the world.'

This bit of encouragement brightened the neglected boy's life like a
ray of sunshine. That kind man was not forgotten by Sydney Smith, who
was never weary of praising his deed. Little dreamed the stranger, as he
went his way, of the great good effected by his pleasant words. The lad
whom he had encouraged rose soon afterwards to be prefect of his school,
and, as we know, became in after years a very distinguished man, and
possibly the first real start he had in life was this little piece of
encouragement.

E. D.



TRAVELLERS' TALES.


    They say there is a country where snowstorms never fall,
      And sliding is a game they never knew:
        They never saw a lake
        Paved with ice that wouldn't break--
      I would rather stay in England, wouldn't you?

    They say there is a country where the bright sun never sets,
      But still continues shining all night through;
        And you needn't go to bed,
        For there's always light o'er head--
      That's a country I should like, wouldn't you?

    They say there is a country where the people all talk French--
      I can't imagine what they ever do!
        For who amid their chatter
        Could understand such patter?
      I should answer 'Speak in English,' wouldn't you?

    They say there is a country where the women cannot walk,
      And everything is made out of bamboo,
        And the people's eyes are wee,
        And they live on rice and tea--
      I should like to go and see them, wouldn't you?

    They say there is a country where the elephants are wild,
      And never even heard about our Zoo;
        And through the woods they roam
        Like gentlemen at home--
      I should like to go and see them, wouldn't you?

F. W. H.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 127._)


After a few minutes' useless waiting, and wishing that I might have
accompanied Jacintha and Dick into the house, I turned my back towards
Colebrook Park and set out in the direction of the town, which I entered
by a steep hill. The hill brought me into the middle of the High Street,
at about half-past four in the afternoon, and my attention was soon
absorbed by the fresh surroundings. In the street was a constant stream
of well-dressed persons, there were good shops, many carriages, and I
stood at the corner wondering which way to turn. Every now and then I
put my hand into my pocket to make certain the money was safe, and at
last I began to feel a certain sense of recklessness, as if I had now
the power to launch out into extravagance. To tell the truth it seemed
difficult to be in possession of such a sum without immediately looking
out for something to buy, and indeed there were several things I could
have added to my stock with advantage.

On the left I came to the railway station; the line passed over the
road, and beyond it the High Street sloped steeply upwards. At the top
of the hill I saw some public baths. Noticing on the opposite side of
the way a large shop with cheap clothing in the window, I entered and
made my first purchase, which consisted of a pair of stockings and some
shoes--of brown canvas, because these were the cheapest. Carrying my
parcel, I entered the baths, and came forth feeling much cleaner and
more presentable.

I next treated myself to an egg for tea, with ample bread and butter and
a cup of cocoa, and then I thought it high time to seek a place in which
to sleep. In speaking of an hotel, I had in my mind a Temperance Hotel,
although I had not entered into details before Dick; but, as I walked
away from the tea-shop, exploring small streets, I passed a tailor's,
where a man was seated cross-legged on a board, busily stitching. In the
window was a card bearing the inscription, 'Bedroom to let to a single
man,' and then a happy idea occurred to me.

My clothes were sadly in need of repair, my jacket being torn and
stained, and my knickerbockers requiring a patch on the right knee. Now,
I thought, if I engage a bed at the tailor's, he might consent to repair
my suit while I occupy it. So I opened the door and entered the warm,
moist air of the shop, with an inquiry about the bedroom, whereupon the
tailor gazed at me doubtfully a moment and shouted for 'Emma!'

She was a pleasant-looking woman with a baby in her arms, and a second
child clinging to her skirts, and she also seemed to regard me
suspiciously.

'I want a room for one night,' I explained, and then she glanced at her
husband.

'Got any money to pay for it?' he demanded.

'Rather,' I said. 'I can pay you first if you like.'

'Well, that is what I _should_ like,' he answered. 'Show the room,
Emma.'

She took me upstairs to a clean but poorly-furnished room, for which she
demanded a shilling, but after some conversation she agreed to supply me
with a good breakfast the next morning for one and ninepence. With this
offer I closed, and then, having given her one of my sovereigns, she
took me downstairs again to ask her husband for the change. When I had
counted this, I broached the subject of my clothes, suggesting that I
would go to bed at once if he would put them in good order by to-morrow
morning. We made a bargain for two and sixpence, and this sum I paid
also; then I turned into bed as soon as Emma had prepared the room. But
for some time I could not feel inclined to sleep, lying there thinking
of the time I had spent with Dick and Jacintha, and trying to decide
about the future.

Before closing my eyes I came to one determination. The first thing
to-morrow morning I would walk to the railway station and inquire the
cost of a third-class ticket to London. With so much money in my pocket,
it seemed folly to walk the rest of the distance, and the sooner I
reached my destination the sooner I should begin my real career.

My last waking thought that night was of Captain Knowlton, but in spite
of Dick's hopefulness it seemed impossible to believe that by any chance
my friend could be still living. For a few moments I exercised my
imagination, I built air castles, and pictured his reappearance on the
scene. I saw myself again at some other school, mixing once more with
the fellows on an equality: I saw myself going in due course to
Sandhurst, with Dick as my companion; I saw myself a guest at his house
during the holidays, discussing with Jacintha the experiences through
which I was at present passing. Whether or not I was awake when I
fancied these things, or my last thoughts melted into dreams, I have not
the remotest notion, but I knew nothing else until Emma knocked at my
door at eight the following morning, laying down my clothes outside, and
then all the pictures my imagination had painted appeared unreal and
extremely tantalising.

There was a small looking-glass on the bare wooden dressing-table, and
by its aid I saw that the tailor had given me good value for my money.
Feeling quite respectable with the new stockings and shoes and the
renovated suit, I determined to improve matters further by accepting
Jacintha's hint and having my hair cut.

During breakfast I realised that the day was Saturday, and that if I
travelled to London, it would not be practicable to take any steps
towards finding employment until Monday. As I was at present in cheap
and comfortable quarters, it seemed judicious to remain over Sunday,
especially as there would be a chance of seeing Dick and his sister once
more before I left Hazleton.

Having made a satisfactory arrangement with Emma, I went to the nearest
hairdresser's; and afterwards bought for two and fourpence a white
flannel shirt with a collar attached. Then, turning my steps to the
railway station, found that the price of a third-class ticket to London
was five shillings and threepence, and that there were several trains
during the morning.

When I had returned home to change my shirt, I wandered along the road
in the direction of Colebrook Park, but passed the lodge gates several
times without the satisfaction of seeing any sign of Jacintha or her
brother. Later in the day rain began to fall again, and continued until
bedtime, throughout the night, and through the whole of Sunday, so that
I only went out to church in the morning, and spent a far from
unpleasant afternoon listening to stories from Emma's husband. It
appeared that he had been a soldier, and passed through an Egyptian
campaign, to the success of which, according to his own account, he must
to no mean extent have contributed. In the evening I went again to the
church a few doors off. On Monday, seeing that the sun was shining, I
determined to make one more effort to see Dick or Jacintha before
setting out to London. The walk to Colebrook Park, where I hung about
for an hour or more, proved again entirely unavailing, however, and
turning towards the railway station, I changed another sovereign for a
ticket, and reached the platform ten minutes before the half-past eleven
train was due.



CHAPTER XVI.


While waiting for the train, I took the opportunity to count my money,
and finding how rapidly it had diminished, almost regretted the
determination to travel luxuriously by the railway, instead of walking
the rest of the distance to London. But, on the other hand, it appeared
highly desirable to present a respectable appearance when at last I
began to look for work in earnest. I had learned enough since leaving
Castlemore to understand that it would not do to be too particular as to
the nature of such employment, but that it could be possible to search
in vain scarcely seemed to me likely.

There being few passengers, I entered an empty third-class compartment,
and began to eat some meat patties which I had bought on the way from
Colebrook Park. At the first stoppage a middle-aged woman entered the
compartment, taking a seat by the farther window, but at Midbrook, about
three-quarters of the way to London, we were joined by a man, who
lowered himself gently into the seat facing my own, with his face
towards the engine.

He looked sixty years of age, or perhaps somewhat older, and had one of
the most benevolent-looking faces I had ever seen. He was clean shaven,
and he wore a tall black hat. His long frock coat was made of shiny
black cloth, with a waistcoat to match, and grey trousers. He exposed a
large amount of white shirt-front, and wore a neatly-tied narrow black
bow; indeed, he looked noticeably neat and well-brushed from top to toe.

But, although he was so well dressed that I felt surprised at his
travelling third-class, he had the appearance of a highly respectable,
old-fashioned butler out for a holiday, rather than a gentleman. A pair
of double eye-glasses hung from a broad black ribbon, and he sat with
both hands resting on the knob of his umbrella as he gazed benevolently
into my face.

'I wonder,' he suggested, soon after the train had restarted, 'whether
you would object to changing sides with me?'

'I don't mind at all,' I answered.

'A great pity,' he continued, 'to put up the window on such a lovely
warm day, but I am a great sufferer with a tickling in my throat, and
anything of a draught--thank you, my lad, thank you,' he said, as I took
the seat which he had left.

Resting his umbrella by his side, he took a small packet from his
waistcoat pocket, and helped himself to a lozenge. 'May I offer you
one?' he said, holding out the packet in a somewhat shaky hand. 'You
won't find them at all unpleasant.'

As I noticed the smell of aniseed, I accepted the offer at once. He
seemed to speak as if I were a man rather than a boy of fifteen, and no
doubt I felt flattered. But his voice was scarcely in accordance with
his general appearance, and it was easy to detect a note of
ill-breeding.

(_Continued on page 138._)

[Illustration: "'May I offer you a lozenge?'"]

[Illustration: "He gave me back the half-crown."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 135._)


Before we reached the next station, the old gentleman made several
remarks about the condition of the crops, the beauty of the country, and
the unusual quantity of rain that had recently fallen, and when
presently the train stopped again, and the woman at the farther end of
the compartment rose from her seat, he put out a hand to open the door,
though he nodded without raising his hat when she turned to thank him
from the platform.

'Now, I wonder,' he said, when we were on the way again, 'if you are
able to oblige me?'

'How?' I asked.

'I want two shillings and sixpence or sixpenny-worth of coppers for a
half-crown piece.'

'I think I can do that,' I answered, thrusting a hand into my pocket.

'You may think it strange that I should ask you,' he suggested.

'Not at all.'

'But,' he continued, 'I hadn't time to get change, and I want a paper at
the next station.'

Bringing out a handful of silver, I gave him two shillings and a
sixpence, whereupon he handed me a half-crown in exchange.

'It looks like a new one,' I remarked.

'I trust it may bring you good fortune, my lad,' he answered. 'Though,
in one respect, you certainly seem to be well provided for already.'

I suppose I smiled with satisfaction.

'But,' he continued, 'never forget one thing. Money is the root of all
evil--the root of all evil.'

'Do you live in London?' I asked presently.

'Yes,' he replied, 'although it does not agree with my delicate throat.
But we cannot choose where we would wish to live.'

'I wonder,' I said, a little hesitatingly, 'whether you could tell me
where to find a lodging?'

'Ah,' he cried, 'you may be sure of this! If I can assist you in any way
I shall be very happy--very happy indeed. Of course it is to some extent
a question of what you are prepared to pay.'

'I must not pay much,' I said, 'because, you see, I may not get anything
to do just at present.'

'So you have come to London to try your fortune?'

'Yes,' I said. 'I only want just a bedroom.'

He was looking up at the rack over my head.

'Your luggage is in the van?' he remarked.

'I have no luggage,' I answered, realising that this must appear a
somewhat serious drawback.

'May I inquire how much money you possess?' he asked.

'A little over a pound.'

'Ah!' he cried; 'and that is to be the beginning of a fortune, we will
hope. I have always taken a great interest in young men,' he continued.
'Now, let me see what we can do. I live with my son and my
daughter-in-law, and it is just possible she might accommodate you, if
you would like to come with me when we get out of this train.'

'I should like it very much indeed,' I answered, congratulating myself
that I had not been backward in asking his advice. I felt no shadow of
doubt concerning his good faith. He looked so entirely respectable that
I should have gone anywhere at his bidding. So, when the train stopped
at the London terminus I walked by his side through the booking-office,
out of the station-yard, and took a seat on an omnibus without an
instant's hesitation. I noticed that he had a way of turning his head
very quickly, almost as if he were looking out for some one, and I
thought it nice of him to insist on paying my fare. We took two
omnibuses before we alighted at the corner of Baker Street and
Marylebone Road, when, holding my arm in a most friendly manner, he led
me in the direction of Lisson Grove, although at the time I had no idea
whither we were going.

After passing through one or two quiet squares and dingy streets, we
reached one which looked more dingy still, with its rows of narrow, high
terrace houses, a number of unkempt children playing about the road, and
a fish-hawker bawling by the kerb. At one of the dingy-looking houses my
companion stopped, taking a latch-key from his waistcoat pocket; but as
soon as he opened the door a woman came out of a room, standing with her
arms akimbo in front of him, while I brought up the rear.

She was tall, like the old man, but her face was red and puffy, while a
wisp of fair hair fell untidily over her forehead. She wore a
dirty-looking dress, with several buttons missing, their places being
supplied by pins.

'Who's the kid?' she asked, and it was impossible to imagine that she
felt pleased at my presence.

'A young friend I happened to meet in the train,' he answered in a
curious tone. 'This way, my lad,' he added, 'this way,' and, stepping
past the woman, he opened a door of a back room. 'Just sit down for a
moment till I come back,' he said, although there was nothing to sit
upon but a bed.

Closing the door, he went away, and I heard him entering the front room.
I suddenly became the prey of all manner of anxious feelings. The house
itself was close and stuffy, with a curious odour as of some pungent
acid. I did not feel favourably impressed by the appearance of the
woman. But when a few minutes had passed the sound of voices reached my
ears, although it was impossible to hear the words with any
distinctness. Knowing that the old man was in all probability discussing
me with the woman who must be his daughter, I did what I may safely say
I had never attempted before in my life. Overcome with eagerness to
learn what was being said concerning myself, I stole towards the door,
opened it, and played the eavesdropper.

Even now I could not make out half their meaning, and what I heard only
served to perplex and frighten me.

'I tell you he is just what we want,' said the man, and the only word I
could catch in the woman's answer was--'Risk!'

'An open-faced, honest-looking boy,' he continued. 'You have only to
look at him a second to feel you can trust him. Dress him properly, and
he is as good as a fortune.'

If it had seemed possible to dart along the passage and out through the
front door, I should have done so, but my knees were shaking under me;
and, hearing fresh movements in the next room, I drew back and reclosed
the door. A few minutes later the man returned.

'Come this way,' he said, and I followed him into the front room. 'My
daughter, Mrs. Loveridge,' he continued, 'does not like strangers, but I
have persuaded her to treat you as a member of the family----'

'But if you would rather not!' I cried, looking up into her face.

'We are not rich people,' he said, entirely ignoring my outburst, 'but
what we have we are willing to share--now, no one can say fairer than
that. You give up what money you have got in that pocket of yours, and,
when you have taken it out in board and lodging, we will see whether we
can't manage to find you some useful work to do. So hand out, my lad!'



CHAPTER XVII.


Although he had looked so benevolent in the train, I had already begun
to fear this urbane old man far more than I had previously feared the
tramp at Broughton. With an uncomfortable feeling that he had got me in
his power, I could see no way of quickly getting out of it. To refuse to
hand over my money was out of the question, although, with an appearance
of kindness, he gave me back the particular half-crown which I had
changed for him in the train.

The next few hours went by wretchedly enough. Mr. Parsons (for that I
learned was his name) did not leave me for a moment alone, and there was
nothing to divert my thoughts from the extremely disagreeable situation.
I could see no sign of any kind of book; and, indeed, the only form of
print in the house seemed to be half of an old newspaper. At about
half-past eight, Mrs. Loveridge began to prepare for something
resembling a meal by placing on the table, without a cloth, a piece of
bacon, and some bread and cheese. When it was supposed to be ready I
made the acquaintance of Mr. Loveridge, a small, pale-faced, dark-haired
man, with one leg shorter than the other. He wore a boot with a very
thick cork sole, and walked with crutches. Mr. Loveridge scarcely opened
his lips, but greeted me with a long, keen stare. Although I did not
feel the least appetite, I made a pretence of eating.

After supper, we all sat round the table, just as it was, while the men
smoked, and talked in a jargon which it was impossible to understand.

'Better put the kid to bed,' said Loveridge, presently; and, indeed, I
was beginning to feel exceedingly curious as to my sleeping quarters.

Rising from her chair, Mrs. Loveridge led the way upstairs to the top of
the house, where she opened a door and said that was to be my room.

'Can I have a candle?' I asked.

'No, you can't,' she answered. 'And you needn't be afraid. We always
lock the front door and take out the key, and sleep with one eye open in
this house.'

With that she went downstairs and I shut the door. The window had
neither blind nor curtains, and the room was almost dark. I could,
however, distinguish a bed on the floor, and suddenly I remembered the
last and only other time I had slept in a bedroom without a bed--at Mrs.
Riddles', at Polehampton--and sincerely wished myself back in that
cupboard, despite its nearness to Castlemore. I prayed earnestly to God
to watch over me, for I knew instinctively that I was in some great
danger. I felt that I had fallen among thieves--if these people were not
thieves, what could they be?

I reproached myself for having been so easily deceived by Parsons, and
determined to make my escape at the earliest opportunity. The hint in
Mrs. Loveridge's parting words had not been necessary to convince me of
the uselessness of trying to get away during the night, so I lay down on
the mattress and the blankets (there were no sheets) and tried to make
up my mind how to act. I could not believe that the object of Parsons in
bringing me to his house had been merely to obtain the small sum of
money I possessed. Yet he appeared eager to detain me, and he had
persuaded his daughter of the need for such detention. It seemed to
follow that he meant to make use of me in some way--some undesirable
way, no doubt. In vain I racked my brains, before I fell asleep that
miserable night, to see through his design. But I realised that my
situation had become worse than ever, and it seemed difficult to imagine
that only yesterday I had been the companion of Jacintha and her
brother. I determined to do my utmost to disguise my suspicions, to
exercise patience and--for once--judgment, and to await a favourable
opportunity with all the courage I could muster.

(_Continued on page 146._)



WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

V.--THE ROCK TEMPLES OF INDIA.


Perhaps next to their own country, English folk know more about India
than of any other part of the world. So many of us have either been
there ourselves, or have relations who have spent long years there, that
in a way it seems rather like a home-land than a foreign country. The
great difficulty is to realise what a huge piece of the world it is,
with its population of over two hundred and seventy millions of people.
We have to remember that this population is made up of many different
races which have from time to time conquered and settled in various
parts. India is above all things an _old_ country. Its sacred books, its
temples, indeed, the way of life of the people date back to very ancient
times, and it is believed that considerable intercourse took place
between Hindustan and ancient Egypt, which may account for the likeness
between the rock tombs and temples of the two kingdoms. New races have
from time to time supplanted the former owners of the land, but except
the Mohammedan invaders of the tenth century, the conquerors seem more
or less to have fallen in with the faith and traditions of their new
subjects.

[Illustration: East Front of the Rock Temple of Elephanta.]

The greater part of the natives of India are worshippers of Buddha,
though many have been converted to Christianity. The teaching of Buddha
depended greatly on meditation and freedom from the distractions of the
world, and Buddhists at a very early date began to withdraw into
communities of hermits living by themselves, and, partly from
convenience, partly from a love of mysterious places, availed themselves
largely of the many natural caverns with which the rocks of India and
Thibet abound.

At first a small cave would be enlarged, and by the aid of masonry
turned into a habitable cell for one or more of the hermits. Next a
verandah would be added, where the good men might meditate, and at the
same time enjoy light and fresh air. Later on a large cavern would be
chosen, which, with some building, and the addition of pillars to
support the roof, would be adapted to the form of a great central hall,
with small surrounding cells for each of the brethren. To our ideas it
sounds rather cold and gloomy, but those were not days of luxury, and in
Southern India, where coolness means comfort, these old cave-dwellers
might have been worse off.

Some of these Buddhist temples are marvels of genius as well as of
industry, being richly decorated with carvings of men, women, and
animals, and with pillars, roofs and galleries cut from the solid rock.

One of the most celebrated of these rock buildings is on a small island
a few miles from Bombay, called by the natives, Garapur, though in the
sixteenth century the Portuguese gave it the name of Elephanta, from a
huge black stone elephant which they saw on landing. The great temple is
reached by a paved causeway from a beach below, and is chiefly
underground, though both centre and wings have handsome outside
frontages. The chief hall is one hundred and thirty feet long (or about
as large as a fair-sized English church), and formerly had many columns,
though most of these have fallen. The roof of the cave in the east wing
projects seven feet beyond the line of pillars, and is about fifty feet
long. On square pedestals guarding the entrance sit stone animals,
either leopards or tigers, and inside are statues, whilst over the head
of an image of Buddha are flying cherubs.

The view from outside, over the Bay of Bombay, is very beautiful, and
the temple is still held sacred by the Hindus, who celebrate there the
festival of Shivaratri. An important religious fair is also held before
the first new moon after the middle of February in each year.

HELENA HEATH.



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1805.

III.--THE SIMPLON ROAD.

[Illustration: The Simplon Pass.]


In the year 1805 Napoleon accomplished a work which for many years had
occupied his thoughts, namely, a good carriage road from Switzerland to
Italy, over the Simplon Pass, thus associating his name with that of the
great Carthaginian general, Hannibal, who had crossed that Pass with his
troops many hundred years before.

This road of Napoleon's--still perhaps the best-graded mountain road in
Europe--was a marvel of engineering, and was considered perfect in all
respects. Every stone which marked the miles (or rather kilometres)
along the route was stamped with the imperial eagle, and each bridge
over the rushing torrents bore the words 'Napoleon fecit' ('Napoleon
made this'), so that succeeding generations should honour his name.

How little could Napoleon have imagined that, just one hundred years
later, human moles, boring an underground passage through the mountain,
would render his grand road all but useless, and that the opening of the
Simplon Tunnel would cause his road to be neglected and forsaken.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some conversation on this topic was passing between the travellers on a
diligence (or coach) not long ago; as the five horses gaily trotted
along the Simplon road from Brigue to the Italian side, an English
schoolboy, who had been attentively listening, broke in.

'This grand road to be left to decay? The road Napoleon made! Why is it
to be given up? I never saw a better road in all my life!'

'There could certainly be no better road,' answered an elderly gentleman
who sat next to the lad, 'but now that the Simplon Tunnel is almost an
accomplished fact, this road will be no longer needed. People will not
sit for eight or ten hours on a diligence when they can do the journey
in less than an hour by rail.'

'I would choose the diligence all the same, tunnel or no tunnel!' said
the lad heartily. 'Just see how jolly it is to be trotting up-hill, with
a precipice on one side of you, a great slab of rock on the other, high
snow mountains in front, and hundreds of butterflies dancing about in
the sun. Isn't that better than being dragged through a dark tunnel,
boxed up in a stuffy train?'

'I agree with you there, at any rate in summer,' said his neighbour,
smiling; 'but for all that the tunnel is a grand thing for this country,
and it will benefit English folk too, for it will considerably shorten
the distance between the Straits of Dover and the Adriatic, and so our
Indian mails will go through the Simplon tunnel to Brindisi. The tunnel
is twelve miles long--the longest railway tunnel in the world.'

'I know the tunnel is very wonderful,' went on the lad, 'and I dare say
it is necessary, but why, because there happens to be a tunnel inside
the mountain, should this beautiful road be allowed to go to rack and
ruin? That beats me!' and the boy looked round as if to request an
explanation from some one.

A Swiss gentleman--speaking, however, most excellent
English--enlightened the lad.

'You only see the road in summer, when every yard of it has been
carefully inspected, and if necessary renewed. The winter storms and
avalanches do great damage here every year: bridges are swept away, and
the roads blocked with immense rocks brought down by the avalanches, so
that the cost of keeping this road in repair comes every year to over a
million of francs. When the tunnel is open, the Government will be able
to save this money, as the road will be no longer needed.'

'Poor old road,' said the lad. 'Then will no one ever come up it in
future?'

'Oh, yes,' answered the gentleman, 'it will always be used by the
peasants--they cannot afford to pay railway fares, and I hope for their
sakes the monks at the Hospice yonder will still continue their good
offices, and not forsake the home and the refuges, as there is some talk
of their doing, now that the number of travellers on the road will be so
greatly diminished.'

'Of course,' said the boy eagerly, 'I have heard of the St. Bernard
monks, and their hospital and their dogs, and how they dig travellers
out of the snow, and so on; but what are refuges, please? I never heard
of them.'

'They are also shelters for travellers, a sort of off-shoot from the
parent-house at the top of the Pass. It is fifteen miles from the valley
to the Hospice, and in winter-time the road is often blocked by snow,
and if it were not for these refuge houses, where food and warmth is
freely given to all comers, many a poor traveller would perish in the
snow.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Napoleon's fame will have to live without the help of the great road
which he built to keep it alive. Though many obstacles have been met
with, including a break-down caused by an underground spring, when there
were only a few yards between the borings from each end, the tunnel is
at last practically finished, and it is hoped that in 1905, a hundred
years after Napoleon made his road, it will be open for railway traffic.

S. C.



THE BAT AND THE BALL.


    'I'm quite knocked up!' exclaimed the Ball,
      While mounting to the skies;
    'I know I shall have such a fall
      After this dreadful rise.
    I speak no ill of any one,
      However they provoke,
    But many things the Bat has done
      Are something past a joke.'

    'Just watch that Ball, how high he goes,'
      The Bat exclaimed with glee,
    'But yet he never says he owes
      His rise in life to me.
    No, no, that's not his way at all;
      And though I do my best,
    His graceless growls at every fall
      Are something past a jest.'

JOHN LEA.



WITHOUT A HEN TO BUY STAMPS.


A native from the shores of Lake Nyasa, in Central Africa, lately
enlisted in the King's 2nd African Regiment, and went off to the war in
Somaliland.

He had had some education in the Mission School in his own village, and
by-and-by sent home a very good letter describing his work, and how he
learnt signalling, and so on; and then he ended up with this pathetic
little reproach to his 'brothers' in Nyasa-land for leaving him without
a letter.

'And what? all the people who knew us, have they finished to die' (that
is, are they all dead?), 'or are they alive and laugh? Brethren of
Mbamba, how are ye without a hen to buy stamps?'

A fowl in Central Africa, it may be explained, costs about a penny, and
is the usual means of barter, so that stamps are bought with hens. But
let no one think an African fowl is as plump as its English sister; on
the contrary, it is such a poor, skinny thing, that three of them form
the usual breakfast for a European, who after all often gets up hungry.

X.



MAY DAY.


The village children were making great preparations for May Day, and
none were more excited than Alice and May Risdon, for it would be little
May's birthday, and she had been looking forward to it for a long time.

Early in the morning, before some people were out of their beds, the
children would start maying, carrying garlands and bunches of flowers
tied on poles, and calling at each house to sing the May greeting. Some
would give them pennies, and others only smiles, but the fun and the
frolic were what the children loved, and they would be certain to have
plenty if the sun shone and the skies were blue overhead.

On the last day of April, Alice and May hurried home from school, for
they meant to start off directly after tea to pick the flowers they
would want.

'I do wish Mother would give me a ribbon for my garland,' little May
said, as she ran along, trying to keep pace with her elder sister.

'I don't think she will,' Alice replied. 'Mother says pennies are none
too plentiful, and she cannot waste them on finery for us, so I am sure
she will not buy ribbon just to decorate our flowers.'

'Annie Mock had hers tied with a lovely bow of white satin last year,'
May said, with a sigh. 'I don't want to go maying if I have no ribbon
for my flowers.'

May was just a little bit spoilt because she was much younger than
Alice, and her elder sister was so devoted to her that she always
thought of her first, and gave way to her in everything.

'We will find the very prettiest flowers we can, dear, and then nobody
will miss the ribbon.'

'Do coax Mother to buy me a bit,' May begged, but Alice knew that this
would be quite useless.

How she wished, though, that she could satisfy her little sister! If
only she tried hard enough, perhaps she would be able to think of some
plan.

However, when they reached home she was afraid that May might be
disappointed, not only of her ribbon, but of her flowers and garland as
well, for she found Mrs. Stevens, the Squire's wife, had called and
asked Mrs. Risdon to send Alice to the Lodge to help with some weeding.

'Oh, Mother, need I go? I must get the flowers for the maying,' Alice
said.

'Nonsense, my dear; I cannot disoblige Mrs. Stevens when she is always
so kind to us.'

So Alice had to go to the Park Lodge, leaving May in tears, because she
knew she could not get nearly as many flowers without her sister to help
her.

'Never mind, dear! Pick some primroses and ferns, and I will get up
early to-morrow to gather may-blossom and make the garland,' Alice
promised, as she kissed her good-bye.

It was growing dark when the weeding was finished, but Mrs. Stevens was
very much pleased with the neat look of the borders.

'You have been a good, industrious girl,' she said to Alice. 'Now you
must come in and have some cake and milk, and I have a few little scraps
of finery your mother may like for her patchwork.'

She brought a bundle of pieces of bright-coloured silk, and among them
Alice saw, with delight, a length of lovely green ribbon.

Her eyes shone with excitement as she thanked Mrs. Stevens.

'Do you think, ma'am, we might use that beautiful ribbon for our
garland? It would still do for Mother's patchwork if we ironed it
afterwards.'

Then Mrs. Stevens had to hear all the story of May's wish and her
sister's fears for her disappointment. She gave Alice leave to go
through their orchard on her way home, and to pick as many of the wild
jonquils--'White Sundays,' the children called them--as she liked. So
Alice was a happy girl, and, although she saw by the tears on little
May's cheeks that the child had cried herself to sleep, she knew how
glad her waking would be.

Alice was awake at daylight to weave the garland and arrange the bunch
of flowers on the pole. When all her preparations were finished, she
roused May and told her that it was May Day and she had a delightful
surprise for her. She brushed the little girl's golden hair till it
shone, and put on her best white frock, and then, looking from the
window, saw some other children coming to meet them.

'Run off, dear,' she said; 'I will follow with your garland.'

She just had time to slip on a clean pinafore, and then hurried after
her down the hill.

'Oh, how lovely!' cried May, when she saw the green ribbon; and she was
so excited she could hardly stand still while she held the garland and
Alice tied it on.

The other children were full of admiration, and May's happy little face,
with the hug she gave her kind sister, quite repaid Alice for her hard
work the evening before, and for getting up with the sun to prepare for
a joyful maying.

M. H.

[Illustration: "She could hardly stand still while Alice tied the ribbon
on."]

[Illustration: "The empty branch bore a label."]



NOT THE SAME THING.


At a college in Cambridge there was once a master who was extremely fond
of figs. He watched his fig-tree very closely and tenderly, for he held
that in the existence of a fig there was but one fit and proper moment
at which the ripe fruit should be eaten. To eat a fig either before or
after that supreme moment was, said the master, a neglect of an
opportunity and a sad mistake.

One year, for some reason, the tree produced only one good fig; and one
day the master's examination of this solitary fruit led him to the
conclusion that it would be at its best on the day following. Then he
did an exceedingly foolish thing--considering that there were
undergraduates about! He wrapped his precious fig in a piece of silver
paper and labelled it 'The Master's Fig!'

At what he judged the exactly right moment of the next day the master
went to the tree, anticipating a brief but exquisite pleasure. Alas! the
fruit had vanished, and the empty branch bore a label with these words;
'A Fig for the Master!'

H. J. H.



INVITATIONS.


    The daffodils are nodding;
      There's a swaying of the trees;
    The playroom window rattles
      To the fragrant summer breeze.
    There is sunshine in the garden,
      And the bees are all a-hum.
    Oh, hark, the invitation:
      'You must come, come, come!'

    The butterfly is glancing
      On his wings of golden hue;
    Ah! see where now he loiters
      O'er that bed of pansies blue;
    A moment since he hovered
      At this very window-pane,
    To see if we were coming
      To the garden and the lane.

    Hats! hats! for those who want them;
      Boots! boots!--oh, lace them, _do_!
    Fling open doors and windows,
      To let the sunshine through!
    When birds and bees and blossoms
      Invite us out to play,
    Oh, who could well refuse them
      Upon so bright a day?

JOHN LEA.



JAPANESE PLUMS.


Plums, especially if pickled, are a favourite ration of the Japanese
soldiers. These plums are said to be such marvellous thirst-quenchers
that if you have once tasted them the mere recalling of their name is
sufficient to allay the severest thirst.

There is a saying in the Japanese army that when a regiment shows signs
of being overcome from want of water, the officer in command has only to
say, 'Two miles from here, my men, there is a forest of plum-trees.'

At once, says a Japanese writer, the men's mouths begin to water, and
the danger is past.

X.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 139._)


I fell asleep at last, and, on opening my eyes the next morning, saw the
sunlight shining into the squalid room. Evidently it had been empty on
my arrival at the house, and Mrs. Loveridge had flung these things on
the floor, and placed a basin and what looked like a duster on a
broken-backed chair, and considered the room furnished. Not aware of the
time, but believing it to be quite early, I got up and said my prayers
and began my toilet, with the intention of going downstairs to explore
the house. Having lain down in my clothes, I now washed as well as I
could without soap, opened my door, went out to the landing, and
listened. All that I could hear was snoring; so, taking courage, I tried
to walk downstairs without noise--a task in which I only partially
succeeded.

Passing the first floor, I went on to the rooms which I had entered
yesterday, and then to the front door. I saw that it was locked, and
that the key, as Mrs. Loveridge had hinted, had been taken away. At the
back of the passage was a flight of stairs, and, in the wild hope of
finding some kind of back door, I went down.

In this basement were two rooms, that in front being an ordinary kind of
kitchen--the door of the back room being locked. I was in the act of
stooping to look through the keyhole, when I felt a hand on my collar.

'Now, get away from that,' cried Mrs. Loveridge, flinging me heavily
against the wall. 'None of your prying down here, or it'll be the worse
for you.'

I returned upstairs without speaking, and there I hung about the room,
where the supper things still remained on the table, until I smelt an
odour of frying bacon. Both the men came to breakfast, and nobody spoke
during the meal. When it ended, Mr. Loveridge left the room, and I heard
him downstairs, opening and shutting the door of the room where I had
been caught trying to peep. I strained my ears for any fresh sound,
fancying that some one must be blowing a pair of bellows, such as may be
seen in any blacksmith's shop, until my attention was suddenly diverted.

'I never expect gratitude,' said Mr. Parsons, 'so I am not disappointed
if I don't get it. There are private goings on in every house, come to
that, and visitors have got to behave themselves.'

'Of course,' I answered, remembering the caution I had administered to
myself last night.

'People tell me I am what you may call a good-natured man,' he
continued. I noticed how thin his lips had become, and what an
unpleasant expression had come into his eyes. 'But if you rouse me,' he
exclaimed, 'I'm a Tartar--a Tartar I am! So you had better be careful.'

I was rapidly growing convinced that there was a mystery connected with
the house, and that the clue was to be found downstairs in what ought
to have been the back kitchen. But I had no time to think of this at
present, because Mr. Parsons said he intended to take me out. He
accompanied me into the passage, where he carefully brushed his tall hat
with his sleeve, and opened the street door, whilst I determined to lose
no opportunity of making my escape before we returned. The next minute
we were walking away from the house, and, to my surprise, Mr. Parsons
put his hand through my arm, holding it with what seemed to be a grip of
iron.

'Where are we going?' I asked, as we left the street.

'I want to make a deal with a friend of mine,' was the answer.
'Appearances are very important in this world, my lad. I like to see a
boy nicely dressed. I'm always very particular myself what I wear.'

'My clothes are all right,' I muttered.

'Ah, you think so, do you? Now, I'm very fond of a short black jacket
and a tall hat--a tall hat is most important.'

'You mean Etons?' I suggested.

'You will see what I mean before you're much older,' he answered, still
keeping his grip of my arm.

In a wider street in the neighbourhood of Edgware Road we stopped before
a good-sized second-hand clothes-shop, which was kept by a man, who
appeared to be a friend of Parsons. Telling me to enter first, he stood
blocking the doorway while he carried on a whispered conversation with
the shopkeeper.

'Take off your jacket,' he said, a few minutes later, as the shopman
began to show some folded suits of clothes.

Although I did not in the least like the notion of exchanging my own
clothes, shabby as they were, for a suit which had already been worn by
somebody else, it was a part of my plan to offer no unnecessary
objection. Besides, it must be confessed that, in his quiet way, Mr.
Parsons had succeeded in filling me with something very like terror. In
a manner, he seemed like a volcano, looking perfectly harmless, and even
pleasant, but yet capable of a terribly dangerous eruption.

The shopman brought out an armful of clothes, and the second jacket I
tried was only a trifle too small. In less than a quarter of an hour I
had taken off my own suit and put on in its place an ordinary suit of
Etons, such as we all wore on Sundays at Castlemore. Although obviously
far from new, it was not in very bad condition; but the hat, which had a
soiled lining, required to be filled in with paper to prevent it from
coming down over my eyes. Mr. Parsons sold my old suit (it could
scarcely have fetched a very high price), and paid the difference to the
shopman, who, I observed, examined the money, coin by coin, with close
attention.

'Now,' said Parsons, as we walked in the direction of Edgware Road, 'you
look a little more genteel.'

We entered a cheap hosier's shop next, and there he bought me a white
shirt, two wide Eton collars, and a dark tie, all of which I carried
home in a brown-paper parcel.

So far the morning had been passed harmlessly, if unpleasantly, for I
continued to resent the second-hand suit, and especially the hat, and
now we walked direct back to the house. After a meal, of which the less
said the better, Mr. Parsons took me into his own bedroom, telling me to
change my shirt and look sharp about it. When I had put on the white
shirt, a wide collar, and the new necktie, I returned to the front room,
but was sent into the passage to fetch the tall hat.

In the front room I found Mr. and Mrs. Loveridge, as well as a
rough-looking man whom I had not seen before. Mr. Parsons placed his
hand on my shoulders, and turned me round and round as if he were proud
to show the change he had affected in my appearance.

'Won't he do beautiful?' he cried, excitedly. 'Did ever you set eyes on
a nicer, genteeler-looking lad? Don't he take the cake?'

They all began to laugh, evidently with approval, while I bit my lips
and tried to look as if I also liked it, although I think it was one of
the worst minutes of my life.

'Well,' said Loveridge, 'we shall see what we get for our money.'

Mrs. Loveridge muttered something which I could not understand, and Mr.
Parsons shook his head with a significant frown.

'Trust me for that,' he answered. 'Come along, Jacky! Handsome is that
handsome does, you know.'

A few minutes later we were again out in the street, and while any
casual passer-by would have imagined that I was accompanied by an
affectionate old gentleman who held my arm, I knew very well what was
his real motive. It was a hot afternoon, and presently we took an
omnibus to Oxford Circus, where we at once turned down a side street.

'I dare say you are thirsty, my lad,' he exclaimed, suddenly. 'Now, two
or three doors from here there's a nice shop where they sell delicious
ginger-beer--a penny the bottle. Go and get yourself a bottle, Jacky.'

'I--I don't want any,' I answered, as he took a coin from his pocket.

'Jacky,' he said, looking full into my face, 'you will find it always
best to do as you're told. Go and get yourself a bottle of ginger-beer,
my lad.'



CHAPTER XVIII.


Taking the two-shilling-piece, I walked on and entered the small shop,
where a clean-looking woman stood behind the counter. Opening a bottle
of ginger-beer, she poured the contents into a glass, counting out the
change for the florin while I drank. In the meantime Mr. Parsons was
waiting directly outside the door, and the moment I reached his side he
again gripped my arm.

'Change!' he muttered, whereupon I put the one and elevenpence into his
shaky hand.

When we had walked a little farther, he stopped at another shop--a
tobacconist's this time.

'Just go in there and buy me a box of wax lights,' he said, giving me
half-a-crown.

Accordingly I entered the shop, where a young man was smoking a
cigarette just within the door.

'A box of wax lights,' I cried, placing the money on the counter. Having
given what I asked for, the man began to examine the coin. He rang it
on the counter, he tried it with his teeth, and then he looked curiously
into my face.

[Illustration: "'Take off your jacket,' Mr. Parsons said."]

'Haven't you got any smaller change?' he asked.

'No,' I answered, and, with another curious glance, he examined the
half-crown again, and finally gave me the change.

(_Continued on page 158._)



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

IV.--HOW INSECTS SEE.


Of the five senses, sight is to mankind undoubtedly the most precious.
The changes of the seasons, the beauty of scenery, sunset and sunrise,
the wonders of nature, and the triumphs of art are only to be
appreciated through the eyes, which have aptly been described as the
'windows of the soul.' Yet there are many who pass through life without
even realising what we may call the 'gilding' of the world--the delights
of colour. Quite a large number of people have no colour-sense, and are
unable to tell red, for instance, from green. The writer knows an
eminent botanist who is unable to tell the colours of the flowers he so
loves to study!

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Head of Insect with eyes at side (greatly
magnified).]

How is it with the little people of the insect world in this matter?
Their eyes are constructed on an entirely different plan from ours. What
sort of a world is it that they look on? Taken as a whole, it would seem
that the insect inhabitants of our world see but very little of it; they
perceive it rather through the sense of smell. Only a very few insects,
such as dragon-flies, for example, see well, and even their length of
sight probably does not exceed six feet or so. They are a near-sighted
race. Moreover, they see moving objects more easily than stationary
ones.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Head of Drone Bee (greatly magnified). 'Ocelli'
at O.]

That many recognise colours there can be no doubt, and many show
preferences for certain colours. Bees show a great liking for blue, and
ants for violet. White butterflies appear to prefer white flowers, and
yellow butterflies yellow flowers. Orange and yellow are also attractive
to bees, whilst other colours seem to have no charms for them.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Head of Worker Bee (greatly magnified).]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Eye of Bibio Fly. 'Ocelli' at O (greatly
magnified).]

There is no doubt that some insects, however, see much more of the world
than others, for the eyes of the insects and their near relations, the
spiders and scorpions, are of two different kinds, and both kinds differ
greatly from ours in structure. Let us take the simple eye found in the
spider or scorpion, for an example, and look at it. If you catch a
spider, and carefully examine the front of his head, you will notice a
number of bead-like bodies of different sizes, arranged sometimes in the
form of a circle, sometimes on a prominent swelling or 'tubercle,' or it
may be in some other fashion, according to the kind of spider. These are
the eyes. A section cut through one of these eyes and placed under the
microscope would show that the surface of the eye was formed by a
transparent body like a lens, and that behind this lay a complicated
arrangement of rods passing gradually into the nerves of sight. Only
_ocelli_, as these eyes are called, are found in the spider and his
kind. But in true insects, like the dragon-fly, or the butterfly, we
meet with eyes of another kind, in addition to ocelli. These are known
as compound eyes. Where compound eyes are found, the ocelli never exceed
three in number, and are arranged in the form of a triangle, and placed
in the middle of the head (figs. 2, 3, and 4).

The compound eyes vary greatly in their size. In some insects they are
placed one in each side of the head (fig. 1); in others, as in the drone
bee, they meet one another at the top of the head (fig. 3, spot marked
O) and extend downwards to the mouth. In others, yet again, they may
attain a huge size, and occupy even the whole front of the head,
crowding over the ocelli to form a little group at the top, as in the
head of a species of fly known as the Bibio (fig. 4).

The compound eye is so delicate and wonderful, that great knowledge of
anatomy or the science of optics is necessary before it can be really
appreciated. Briefly, it is made up of a cluster of simple eyes, in each
of which there are several parts. Beginning at the surface we have what
is known as the facet, or cornea, which roughly corresponds to the
surface of our own eyes. Next we meet with a clear, glassy rod, and this
passes downwards into the nerve of sight. Around these rods is a sheath
of black colouring matter, so that each eye is cut off from its
neighbour. Thus the whole eye may be likened roughly to a bundle of
telescopes.

Of what use, it may be asked, are the three little eyes in the middle of
the head of insects which have these wonderfully complex eyes? Well, the
large compound eyes are used to watch the movements of other animals;
thus they are enabled to escape their enemies. Many of you doubtless
have tried to catch butterflies, and if so you will know how suddenly
and quickly they avoid the master-stroke that is to land them in the
net. But the use of the three little eyes seems to be to enable their
possessor to see in the dark. By their means the bee (figs. 2 and 3) can
distinguish objects even in the darkest parts of the hive; so too the
ant can find his way about the galleries of his underground home.
Night-flying moths all have these little eyes, whilst in butterflies,
which fly in the daytime, they are wanting.

W. P. PYCRAFT, A.L.S., F.Z.S.



TWO WAYS OF READING A SENTENCE.


People in high stations of life often receive from authors presents of
their works, and are expected to say something flattering about them in
return. They do not like to hurt the author's feelings if the book is
worthless, and so Benjamin Disraeli, when Prime Minister, used to answer
those who approached him in this way: 'I have received your book, and
shall _lose no time in reading it_.' This sentence, as you can see, is
capable of being read in two ways, but the sender of the book was, of
course, intended to understand the more flattering reading. It was a
kind of deception, and was not very honest, but it was done out of
kindness.

A musical composer found another way of answering the many applicants
for his opinion: 'I have received your music,' he would write, '_and
much like it_.'

S. CLARENDON.



RUDEL AND LISBETH.

By the Author of 'The Silver Flagon,' 'The Red Rose Knights,' &c.


Rudel and Lisbeth were a little girl and boy who lived many years ago in
a beautiful gabled farmhouse on the edge of a forest in Germany. The
forest was far from any town, and the children were dressed in the
quaint and pretty costumes of German peasants at that time. Lisbeth
looked like a tiny copy of her old grandmother, except that her own hair
hung down in two long, tight flaxen plaits, while her grandmother's was
completely hidden under a high cap.

The forest, which was many miles wide, lay on one side of the farmhouse;
on the other it was open country, and from the top of a low hill in the
neighbourhood you could see villages and churches for miles round. This
hill was a favourite playground of the children, for it was full of
caves and hiding-places; it was in fact the great 'show-place' of the
neighbourhood, but the children only thought how delightful it was to
play houses in.

Rudel and Lisbeth were very strictly brought up, and were punished for
the slightest fault. They seldom spoke to their grandparents unless
spoken to, and were never talked to about anything that was going on.
Like other children, however, they had a good deal of curiosity about
their elders, and it puzzled Rudel very much one day when he saw that as
his grandmother went about her household work, the tears were running
down her face.

About this time Rudel stopped playing at houses, and took to playing at
soldiers. The new game absorbed him so much that he could think of
nothing else. The neighbours also began to talk of soldiers, and at last
the children came to know that there was a war going on in Germany, and
that certain States speaking the same language were fighting with one
another. This was very sad, but the children thought it very exciting
and delightful.

One night Rudel said to Lisbeth, 'We must get up early to-morrow and go
and storm the hill. I am going to play at having a siege. I heard
grandfather say to-morrow is to be a holiday.'

Lisbeth joyfully agreed, and they went to bed full of plans for the
siege.

In the middle of the night, as it seemed to Rudel, he woke and heard a
loud noise in the living-room below. Two men were talking in loud, angry
tones, and a woman was sobbing. Presently the crying ceased, and the two
men seemed to leave the room. Rudel sprang up and looked out of his tiny
window--yes! there were his grandfather and another man going towards
the forest. But after taking a few steps they paused, spoke together
for a little while, and then turned in the opposite direction.

'They are going to our hill,' thought Rudel, as he went back to bed.
Hours afterward, as it seemed to him, a light flashed into his eyes, and
he awoke again. His grandmother was standing over him with a candle. She
was crying, and as she wept she bent down and kissed Rudel, which
frightened him very much.

'Oh, Rudel,' said Grandmother, sobbing, 'will you always be a good boy?
Promise me you will.'

Rudel promised, and, after kissing him again, Grandmother went away.
Rudel wondered if she was going to see Lisbeth, and make her also
promise to be a good girl. Rudel fully meant to keep his promise, but he
was a forgetful little boy, and he broke it the very next day.

'Children,' said Grandfather, just as he and Grandmother were setting
off on business, 'you are not to go to the hill to-day, nor anywhere
near it--keep to the orchard and garden.'

And, without even stopping to make them promise, he went away, while
Rudel stamped his foot in a rage, and Lisbeth began to cry.

'If Grandfather thinks,' said Rudel, after they had been wandering about
for some time, 'that I am never to be a man, and do as I like--oh,
Lisbeth, we didn't promise Grandfather--if we had promised it would be
wrong to go; but we didn't! Let us go to the hill--no one will see us.'

Lisbeth stood out against her brother for a little while, but she was so
accustomed to follow his lead in everything that she gave in at last,
and the children went to the hill.

They played at the foot for some little time, and then mounted to the
top, Rudel busy explaining the plan of his siege; but on reaching the
top and looking round they uttered cries of amazement on seeing a party
of soldiers--an army they thought it--riding rapidly towards the hill
and surrounding it on every side. Rudel was fascinated by the horses and
trappings, but Lisbeth was frightened and began to cry.

'Let's go and hide,' she said.

'You may,' said Rudel, 'but I shall go and speak to the soldiers, and
ask them what they want. And mind, Lisbeth, don't come out or speak, but
stay till they are gone.'

The children ran down the hill to a cave they knew of, which could
hardly be found by any one who did not know where to look, and Lisbeth
went in. But her terror may be imagined when she found it already
occupied. A fierce-looking man rose up at her entrance, seized her, and
pressed his hand over her mouth.

'Silence,' he whispered into her ear, 'or it will be the worse for you.'

Meantime, Rudel went to face the soldiers.

'Hallo!' cried a rough-looking soldier, who seemed in authority, 'is
this the spy and deserter we are seeking?--truly a dangerous ruffian!'

The other men laughed loudly, and pressed round Rudel, who began to be
frightened.

'Where's your father, boy?' asked the leader.

'He has gone away,' answered Rudel.

'You know where he is. I remember your face now; aren't you the grandson
of old Peter Klinger, who holds yonder farm? Well, we are looking for
his son, Rudolf Klinger, whose children we know live with the
grandparents. We believe that he came here last night, and is hiding
somewhere in the neighbourhood. Tell us where he is, and you shall have
as many sugarplums as you can eat.'

'You are not looking for my father,' said Rudel boldly; 'he would not be
a spy and deserter, and if he were I should not betray him.'

'We shall soon see that. If you don't tell us where he is you shall be
shot as a deserter in his place. We have no time to waste.'

The soldiers laughed. They were accustomed to their leader's cruel
jokes, but Rudel was not. He turned pale, and began to tremble a little.

'Now, then, tell us,' said the leader.

'You may kill me,' said Rudel, 'but I will not tell.'

Full well did Rudel guess now the cause of his grandmother's tears last
night, and who the visitor had been.

'Fall in, men,' commanded the leader, winking at the next in command;
'form a shooting party.'

Soldiers were rough and cruel in those times, especially in time of war,
and poor Rudel fully believed he was going to be shot. He watched the
preparations with fascinated eyes, and allowed himself to be placed in
position against a low stone wall. Then he burst into tears.

'Once more--will you tell?'

Rudel did not answer, but shut his eyes and began rapidly to repeat the
Lord's Prayer. The leader glanced round with a grim smile, and the men
clicked the locks of their muskets. Then fear overcame the poor little
fellow, and he sank down in a heap on the ground.

Meanwhile, in the cave, which was quite close, Lisbeth had heard all.
She began to struggle, and uttered a stifled scream. The man released
her, and, to her surprise, gently touched her flaxen hair.

'Fear nothing, little one,' he said, and taking her hand, went with her
out of the cave, and walked straight up to the soldiers.

'I may be a spy and a deserter,' he said loudly to the leader, 'but I am
not a brute as you are.' And he struck the officer a violent blow in the
face.

'Take that!' he said, 'and shoot me as soon as you like. I am worth
something when I can call that brave boy my son.'

The soldiers surrounded and seized him, and when Rudel came to his
senses he found them already gone, and his grandfather lifting him into
his arms and preparing to carry him home.

The next morning both children were punished for disobedience. Rudel
thought this very cruel, and years afterwards, when for the first time
he dared to ask about his father, he asked his grandfather why he had
done so.

'To make you forget all you had gone through,' answered the old man,
smiling, 'and only remember the beating. Besides, you had disobeyed me!'

Rudel never saw his father again, for when the deserter had undergone a
long imprisonment for his offence, and was free again, he was ordered to
leave the country for ever; and Rudel and Lisbeth stayed on with their
grandparents.

[Illustration: "'I am worth something when I can call that brave boy my
son.'"]

[Illustration: "A horseman galloped to the spot in the hope of finding
them still alive."]



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

IV.--THE FIRST CATASTROPHE.


The Countess of Villeroy was a very old French lady who was strongly
inclined to think that people were wrong in supposing they could cruise
among the clouds in balloons. But when she saw Professor Charles and his
companion rise into the blue sky, she was ready to agree with any one
who said that men had conquered the upper air. Alas! only a few months
later an event occurred which would have made her change her opinion.

Day by day the ballooning fever grew more intense, and when the King of
Sweden visited Paris of course he had to be entertained with a grand
display of the new discovery. Pilâtre de Rozier, a young physician who
had, like Professor Charles, devoted much attention to the subject,
ascended in a balloon bearing the French arms, with the flag of Queen
Marie Antoinette floating from the car. The voyage was quite successful.
Scarcely had the fanfare of trumpets which greeted its start died away
when the aeronauts landed on the estate of the Prince of Condé, who
welcomed them with more heartiness than his ancestors were wont to
bestow on visitors from the King. Mingling with the buzz of delight
which accompanied these experiments, was an ever-growing rumour that
certain Englishmen had made up their minds to cross the Channel in a
balloon. It would never do to let them be first in performing such a
feat, so Pilâtre de Rozier lost no time in asking the French Court for
forty thousand francs, to build a special balloon which would take him
across the English Channel. 'It is a matter of national honour,' said a
writer of the time; and as most people agreed with him, De Rozier's
request was granted.

The balloon was different from any other yet made, being a combination
of both the systems. The lower section was a large bag to be filled with
hot air, after Montgolfier's plan, and round which the platform for the
travellers was arranged. The upper part was a huge gas balloon. 'My idea
is,' said De Rozier, 'that by this invention much gas will be saved, for
when I wish to descend I shall simply cool the hot air in the
Montgolfier instead of letting out the gas. Then, to rise again it would
only be necessary to rekindle the fire. This also renders ballast
unnecessary.'

It was very ingenious, but most people will agree with Professor Charles
that 'it was like lighting a fire under a barrel of gunpowder.'

However, the balloon was built, and measured, when complete, seventy-two
feet from platform to summit. The race for the honour of crossing the
narrow sea had begun, and Pilâtre took his giant to Boulogne. But here
on the very shore he was doomed to stay, for the winter winds blew
shrill and strong from the west. Day after day he waited for more
favourable weather, and day after day he heard with still greater
concern that an Englishman named Blanchard was already at Dover, waiting
only for the winds to subside a little before he set out in his balloon.
Pilâtre's anxiety was increased every time he thought of the forty
thousand francs he had begged from the Government, and, hoping that
report had been exaggerated, he took ship to Dover to see if Mr.
Blanchard was really as well prepared as people said. There had been no
exaggeration, and he returned to Boulogne more disturbed than ever.

With the assistance of a young doctor, named Romain, he made a number of
small balloons, and sent them into the air at frequent intervals to see
if they would rise into some current which would waft them to England,
and show a way that he might follow. But they all fell back on the
French coast, and the hopes of success grew less and less. At last the
rough weather died away and a lighter wind blew from the west. Letters
came from Paris urging him to ascend, and reminding him of the money
paid for the experiment. Contrary winds were not considered by the
officials of Paris, and poor Pilâtre could only repeat that it was
impossible to sail against them. With eager eyes he watched the sea in
the direction of Dover, and one day (it was the 7th of December) he saw
Blanchard's balloon come sailing majestically over the grey waters, and
knew that the strange race was lost. France would not have the honour of
having first crossed the Channel through the air. But Pilâtre de Rozier,
being a brave man, hastened to Calais, and was among the first to
congratulate his successful rival. He would now have been willing to
abandon his project, but such a thing was not to be permitted. He was
told that it was easier to sail from England to France, since the latter
had a much longer coast-line, whereas it would be a great feat for him
to accomplish the reverse journey. It was vain to point out that his
balloon had become weather-worn in the long waiting, and how his
materials had suffered from the attacks of rats. The forty thousand
francs must not be spent for nothing; so Pilâtre patched his taffeta as
best he could, and with the heroic assistance of his friend, Romain, had
things fairly in order by June 13th, though he was so uncertain of
success that he declined to endanger the life of a gentleman who asked
to be allowed to accompany him.

On the morning of June 15th, the loud report of a cannon told the
inhabitants of Boulogne that he intended to start. At seven o'clock he
and Romain stepped into the gallery and the balloon was released. With
majestic slowness they rose into the air and sailed out over the sea;
but a moment later the wind, that had so long been his enemy, drove them
back. The crowd watched with great anxiety. Twenty-seven minutes after
starting, the balloon, at a height of one thousand seven hundred feet,
was still only a short distance away. Then, to the horror of the
spectators, Pilâtre de Rozier was seen to make a gesture of alarm, and
the next moment a blue flame leapt from the summit of the balloon. With
terrible speed the unfortunate aeronauts were dashed to the earth. A
horseman, who tells the terrible story, galloped to the spot in the
hope of finding them still alive. Pilâtre de Rozier lay in the gallery
quite dead, with scarcely a bone in his body unbroken, and the young
Romain lived only to mutter an incoherent word or two.

In memory of the sad event an obelisk was erected on the place where
they fell, and in the cemetery at Wimille, their place of burial is
marked by the stone carving of a flaming balloon.

JOHN LEA.



NO HURRY.


Here is a story which a missionary lately told his congregation.

Some evil spirits were consulting together as to the best way to lead
men astray.

One said, 'Let us go and tell them there is no God.'

Another said, 'Let us tell them there is no Heaven.'

But the third said, 'Let us go and tell them there is no hurry!'

'No hurry' often leads to more harm than many deliberate wrong acts.

X.



THE LITTLE BUSH-BOY.


A fine leopard had just been killed by an English hunter in South
Africa. The beautiful skin was speedily stripped off its back and
reserved for home use. While this operation was going on the native
beaters gathered eagerly round, assuring their master that the lair of
the dead leopard was well known, and that its mate was there with
probably a couple of young cubs; would he not like to have them? Not a
doubt about it! the master would like to secure the little ones alive;
but how? One leopard had doubtless been destroyed, but the other parent
was still alive and would have to be dealt with; while to rob a mother
leopard of her young was an act from which even the boldest of English
sportsmen might well shrink.

But the natives knew what they were about, and while they had not the
least intention of exposing themselves to danger, their plans were laid
so as to secure the cubs, and, perhaps, themselves to share in the
profits of the work. Therefore they gladly led the way to the rocky
kloof, thickly studded with clumps of brush-wood, where the leopard's
den, a dark cave, was situated, the entrance to it being covered with
fine white sand. Upon inspecting this sand the foot-marks showed that
the female leopard had lately gone forth, perhaps to fetch food for her
little ones or to look for her mate. The cubs were therefore alone; but
how could they be secured, as the mother leopard might return at any
moment, while the cave was a long and low one, with three different
entrances, each separated from the other?

How were the little cubs to be secured? We shall presently see. The
native beaters had added to their party a small bush-boy, who though
twelve years of age was scarcely four feet high. He was a very ugly
little fellow, but affectionate towards those who treated him kindly.
Like all his race, he well knew the habits of the wild animals of the
country, and he had a wonderful power of tracking their footsteps. The
beaters proposed that this little fellow should crawl into the den, and
bring the cubs to the outer air. But eager as the Englishman was to
secure the leopards, he called a halt when he understood the frightful
danger to which the boy was to be exposed. But the little bush-boy was
quite undaunted; he laughed in the sportsman's face, apparently looking
forward to the task with as much pleasure as an English boy would feel
at the prospect of catching a couple of young rabbits. They went to work
silently but quickly, as no time was to be lost. The Englishman with his
rifle kept watch at the principal entrance to stop the mother leopard,
if she should return, while the natives watched the other two approaches
to the cavern.

All being now ready, the boy disappeared into the cave. It was an
anxious moment: the sun was sinking, and the Englishman, somewhat
nervous at his novel position, could not help feeling uneasy about the
poor little fellow, who would certainly have to fight for his life
should the female leopard by any chance contrive to reach her family.
Suddenly, though he heard no noise whatever, he saw, not twenty yards
away from him on the ridge of the rocky glen, the head and shoulders of
the mother leopard with a kid in her mouth.

The fierce creature had paused, wondering who was the intruder who had
dared to place himself at the very door of her home. This pause of the
leopard gave the hunter time to recover his coolness and to take good
and sure aim; her head and shoulders being just over the rocky ridge
were clearly marked out upon the sky-line. Slowly raising his rifle
then, he fired, the leopard leaping into the air, while with the report
of the weapon came the natives who had been stationed at the other
entrances of the cave, all eager to see what had happened, and quite
forgetting the little bush-boy, who must have heard the report of the
weapon, too, and been in some anxiety as to the result. On the ground
lay the body of the dead kid, but the leopard herself, only wounded, had
disappeared, having got into the thick bush that clothed the sides of
the kloof.

Feeling thankful that the fierce creature had not made a dash for her
den, the Englishman hastily called to the boy, desiring him to come out
immediately, whether successful or not in his search. This was
absolutely necessary, as in the long run the wounded animal would
certainly return to the cave, though in the first moment of alarm she
had escaped in another direction.

But there was no reply from the boy. 'Come along, boy; come along; never
mind the cubs,' repeated the Englishman, peering into the dark mouth of
the cave, and desperately anxious to have done with this unpleasant
adventure.

'All right, master,' was at length heard in hollow tones, yet with a
dash of triumph in them; 'all right, I have got the young ones;' and in
a few minutes first one brown leg appeared, then a second, for the
brave little fellow had to travel backwards, the hole being too narrow
and winding to admit of turning. At length he appeared, gasping for
breath, but full of delight, and carrying two little growling and
spitting cubs. Hastily securing the prey and reloading his rifle, the
Englishman and his attendants made for home as fast as they could. They
reached the camp in safety, while the female leopard was found dead the
next day some distance up the kloof.

[Illustration: "The little bush-boy appeared, carrying two growling
cubs."]

The little bush-boy was well rewarded for his pluck, and taken into the
Englishman's service; but the reward he seemed to appreciate most was a
hearty meal off the dead kid, for good food did not often come in his
way.

B. M.

[Illustration: "'I don't know what to do!'"]



DISCONTENT BRINGS DULNESS.


    As Johnny by the window stood
      And watched the cloudy sky,
    He seemed in discontented mood
      And soon was heard to sigh:
    'I don't know what to do to-day;
      There seems no fun at all;
    At cricket there's no chance to play,
      For I have lost the ball.

    'And tops are seldom spun in May,
      And if I had a kite
    There's not a breath of air to-day
      To help it in its flight.'
    With peevish frown he left the room
      And roamed the garden through,
    And murmured in a tone of gloom:
      'I don't know what to do.'

    And thus all day he idly went
      From dreary place to place,
    The saddest gloom of discontent
      For ever on his face;
    And when the stars began to peep,
      And night its shadows threw,
    He murmured in his restless sleep:
      'I don't know what to do.'

J. L.



NATURE'S NOBLEMEN.


It was said of a man who rose to a high position in the State through
his conscientiousness and high principles, that he was at one time a
shoeblack.

One day, meeting the son of Lord ----, he was accosted in a tone of
scorn: 'I remember when you blacked my father's boots.'

His answer came without anger, and as brave as true, '_Yes, and did I
not do it well?_'



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 148._)


By this time Mr. Parsons' peculiar proceedings were beginning to arouse
my suspicions. I could not fail to notice that he had twice told me to
make trifling purchases, and that, although he had received some pennies
in exchange for the first florin, he yet brought out a half-crown for
the wax lights. My dawning suspicions grew stronger on the way home on a
penny omnibus, when he offered the conductor another two-shilling piece.

The conductor was an amiable, talkative man, and Mr. Parsons had already
begun a conversation with him.

'Haven't you got anything smaller?' he asked, 'because I have been doing
nothing but giving change half the day.'

'Sorry I haven't,' said Mr. Parsons.

'Well, I shall have to give you a shilling's worth of coppers,' answered
the conductor.

'All right--all right, it can't be helped,' said Mr. Parsons, and, of
course, I knew that he had already several pennies in his pockets.

'There was the change out of the wax lights and the ginger-beer,' I
suggested.

'So there was,' he cried, with a sharp glance over his shoulder, as if
to make certain that the conductor had left the roof.

When the omnibus stopped at our turning, I rose quickly, always on the
look-out for a chance to escape, but I felt a grip on my knee.

'Age before honour, Jacky,' said Mr. Parsons, who took the precaution to
alight first and to help me down the last step.

'Once upon a time,' he remarked, as we walked towards the house, 'I knew
a lad about your age who was just a leetle too clever, and perhaps you
would like to hear what happened to him.'

'What?' I inquired with a shudder.

'That little lad, Jacky, was licked with a strap. The little lad, Jacky,
was kept in one room without any food till he learnt how to behave and
keep his thoughts to himself. See, Jacky?'

'Yes,' I answered, 'I see,' and I felt helpless.

We had not been in the house more than half an hour, when he went to a
cupboard on one side of the front room and took out a coiled strap.

'That's what I was telling you about, my lad,' he said with a smile.
'Don't be afraid; take it in your hand and feel it. A good bit of
leather--there's nothing like leather, you know. Just hold it in your
right hand; now open your left. Try it, Jacky, try it,' he cried, with a
strange glitter in his eyes, and I dared not think of disobedience, but
raised the strap and brought it down lightly on my palm.

'Now, good obedient boys find me very kind to them,' he continued; 'very
kind indeed, Jacky. And if there's anything you'd like to amuse
yourself, why, you have only to say the word.'

Apart from worse evils, I found the hours drag terribly slowly,
especially as I had nothing whatever to divert my thoughts. Moreover, I
felt extremely anxious to fall in with his humour.

'I suppose there isn't a book I could have?' I suggested.

'Why not, my lad?' he answered. 'I didn't want particular to go out
again to-day, but anything to encourage a good young chap. There is a
nice shop in Edgware Road--hundreds of books for fourpence-halfpenny
each. Come along, Jacky!'

I had not counted on being taken so quickly at my word, but Mr. Parsons
at once put on his hat, and, giving me mine, led me out into the street,
and so to the large bookshop, where I saw piles of cheap novels. Not
daring to refuse to buy one even if I wished, I selected, after some
hesitation, a copy of the _Three Musketeers_, which I paid for with
another two-shilling piece. At least, it enabled me to forget some of my
troubles for two hours that evening. I had never read the book before,
and sitting in a corner of the ill-lighted room, I soon became lost in
the exciting story.

When it was bed-time, Mr. Parsons himself accompanied me to my room,
where the bed was exactly as I had left it that morning.

'Be careful of your collar, Jacky,' he said when we reached the top
story. 'I set great value on a nice clean collar. Mind you don't crumple
it.'

When I had entered the room I was not surprised to hear him put a key in
the lock and turn it. Although it was not pleasant to feel that I was a
prisoner, I had little fear of personal injury unless I openly rebelled.
Perhaps this is what I ought actually to have done; if so, I can only
say that I did not possess sufficient courage.

I understood now, beyond a doubt, that the people with whom I had become
connected were neither more nor less than makers of false coin. While
Mr. Loveridge, and the third man whom I had seen that day, conducted the
manufacture in the basement, Mr. Parsons spent his time in getting rid
of the result of their labours. I imagined that he had begun to meet
with difficulties, and that he thought a decently dressed boy of honest
appearance would prove an excellent tool for his purpose.

It was plain that having once permitted me to learn his occupation, Mr.
Parsons could not, for the sake of his own safety, afford to let me go,
lest I should give information to the police. At any cost he would keep
me under observation, and as far as I could see I should find it
extremely difficult to escape. Yet, on the other hand, I felt certain
that as long as I obeyed, I should be free from actual ill-usage. That
he could be cruel on occasion I had no doubt, and he had certainly
managed to overawe my little stock of courage. But when I had said my
prayers that night, I felt stronger and braver; before I fell asleep I
determined to do my utmost to keep my spirits up; I would meet cunning
with cunning, and above everything give him no cause for suspicion.

But the next day a slight difficulty arose. In the morning I lay on my
bed reading the adventures of D'Artagnan and the rest, until Mr. Parsons
was pleased to unlock my door and let me out of the bedroom, when I made
no complaint of his conduct in turning the key. Having had breakfast,
although every meal in that house was repulsive, and I felt as if the
food would choke me, and almost wished it might, we set out as usual,
and before we had gone far, Mr. Parsons stopped at a tobacconist's shop,
and, giving me a half-crown, told me to buy a threepenny packet of
cigarettes.

It was a shop of a better class than any he had sent me into before,
and, placing the coin on the counter, I asked for what I had been
ordered to buy. But the man behind the counter seized upon the
half-crown at once.

'That looks to me like a bad one,' he cried, gazing into my face, and I
suppose that my heightened colour, or some expression of guilty
knowledge, told him that I knew that as well as he did. Placing the rim
of the coin in a metal niche on the edge of the counter, he easily broke
the false half-crown into two pieces, which he flung into my face. One
of them hit my left cheek a little painfully.

'Now be off and never show your face here again,' he shouted, 'or I will
have you locked up.'

Without a word, although my blood was boiling, and I had never been
spoken to in this way before, I hung my head and walked out of the shop.

As soon as I reached the street, Mr. Parsons seized my arm as usual.

'Change!' he said.

'I have not got it,' I answered.

'How's that?' he sharply snapped out.

'The man said the half-crown was bad, and broke it in halves,' I
exclaimed, and gripping me more tightly Mr. Parsons quickened his pace
and turned aside down the first street on our right.

I felt that he was eyeing me significantly as we went, and my thoughts
were busy in an attempt to determine the wisest line of action. Perhaps
my circumstances were making me artful, and it is true that I felt
convinced that my escape could only be accomplished by strategy.

It may appear that nothing would have been more simple than to free
myself, especially as I spent some hours in the public streets every
day. Now that I look back on those days from a position of safety, I
even wonder whether a little more resolution, a little more courage,
might have earlier put an end to my difficult position. Surely it must
have been possible to have wrenched my arm from Parsons' grasp, and he
would not have dared to raise the hue and cry after me, or do anything
to attract attention to himself. Or I might have appealed to any
policeman for protection, or to a passer-by, and so have shaken off my
tormentor.

Perhaps some such attempt might have succeeded, but unfortunately a
potent factor in my case was the terror with which in some way Mr.
Parsons still succeeded in inspiring me. I have found myself since those
days in positions of some peril, but never have I known such fear as of
that old, smug-looking man. This dread had an almost paralysing effect,
nor could I fail to forget the terrible penalty I should certainly have
to pay if my bid for liberty were not to succeed. So that Mr. Parsons
held me in a grip tighter than that of his hand on my arm; for after all
I was scarcely more than fifteen years of age at the time, and it was no
disgrace to be afraid.

As we hastened away from the neighbourhood of the tobacconist's shop, my
fear was that Parsons might suspect that I was dissembling. He could
scarcely believe I was sufficiently stupid not to have had my eyes
opened by this time, and if I appeared to treat the affair as a matter
of course his watchfulness might be redoubled.

His deliberate purpose was, indeed, to pollute my mind, to show me that
my easiest course was to fall in with his wishes, and now as we hastened
along the streets, I determined to try to lead him to believe that his
efforts were already beginning to prove successful.

'I believe that other money was bad, too,' I said.

'Oh, you do, do you, Jacky?' he answered.

'Yes,' I cried, 'and you make it downstairs at your house.'

'Jacky, my lad, you haven't forgotten the story I told you about the boy
who was too clever?'

'Still,' I replied, 'one needn't be a fool although one needn't be what
you call _too_ clever.'

'True for you, my lad,' said Mr. Parsons.

'Only,' I continued, playing my part with as much skill as I possessed,
and more than I could have believed myself capable of a few days ago, 'I
don't want to get locked up.'

'No, no,' he answered, 'I don't want you to get locked up either, Jacky.
I should miss you, you know, very much. But you act sensibly, and you
will be all right. What's more, I will show you how to make your fortune
before we have done.'

'I should like to make a fortune,' I said, with perfect truth. But,
still, as we walked home by a round-about way, without attempting any
further business that morning, I could not quite make up my mind whether
I had succeeded in hoodwinking my companion or not.

(_Continued on page 162._)

[Illustration: "'Be off, or I will have you locked up!'"]

[Illustration: "I took to my heels at once."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 159._)


At least Mr. Parsons could not fail to be aware that I now understood
something of the truth about his occupation, while I had certainly done
my utmost to make him believe that I regarded it without any deep
dislike.

Had I succeeded or not? On the answer to that question my prospects of
escape to a great degree depended. When we reached the house, his manner
undergoing no change, I went to bed more hopefully than usual. During
the morning we had walked round a large block of buildings forming one
shop, with three doors in Oxford Street and two in another street
behind. Now, if I could induce Mr. Parsons to let me enter by one of the
front doors, it would be easy enough to pass through and make an escape
from the rear, for he had never yet accompanied me into a shop.

During the next few days, however, we did not go near Oxford Street; the
first day was wet, so that Mr. Parsons stayed at home, and when the
weather changed, we took a train to Uxbridge, where I succeeded in
exchanging five half-crowns--not without many self-reproaches.

The next day being Sunday, none of us left the house, and I think this
was the most miserable time of all that I spent beneath Mr. Parsons'
roof. I missed the Sunday service, and felt very lonely and helpless. At
last, pretending to be overcome by drowsiness, I asked permission to go
to bed at seven o'clock.

Whether or not it was due to the brightness of the morning, I awoke with
a sense of unaccustomed exhilaration, and something seemed to assure me
that I should find my longed-for opportunity to escape before night.



CHAPTER XIX.


As to what was to happen if I escaped, I had very little idea. Once let
me get away from my present surroundings, and nothing else seemed to
matter; things could not easily become worse. But, as a matter of fact,
I had thought once or twice that I would run the risk of trying to
discover Rogers, Captain Knowlton's servant, who had certainly not
accompanied him on board the _Seagull_. I knew that Captain Knowlton had
given up his rooms before he left England, but still I might succeed in
finding some one who could tell me where Rogers lived, and I felt
certain the man would help me if possible. Hitherto I had determined to
avoid the Albany, thinking that Mr. Turton would take care to anticipate
me, and perhaps make arrangements for my capture, for, in spite of all I
had passed through, I shrank as much as ever from the idea of returning
to Castlemore, and Augustus and the other fellows at Ascot House. Still,
I had in my pocket only the bad half-crown which Mr. Parsons had given
me in the train, and it seemed wiser to take the risk of being
intercepted, and to make my way to Captain Knowlton's old quarters. But
at present I stood no chance of making my way anywhere alone, and the
first thing I had to do was to get clear of Mr. Parsons and the
Loveridges.

'A lovely morning, Jacky,' Mr. Parsons remarked on Monday, as he took my
arm and led me away from the house. 'Makes me feel quite young again.'

'Which way are we going?' I asked.

'Ah, now, which way?'

'I like Oxford Street best,' I answered.

'Do you, my lad?' he cried, amiably. 'Then suppose we try Oxford
Street?'

There were a great many people in the street, and it was about eleven
o'clock in the morning when I found we were drawing near the shop which
I had planned to enter by one door and to leave by another.

'Couldn't we buy something there?' I asked.

'Where, my lad?'

'There,' I said, pointing to the chief entrance.

'That is too dear for the likes of us, Jacky.'

'Oh,' I cried, 'but I know what I could buy.'

'What?' he demanded, and I began to wonder whether I had betrayed too
much eagerness.

'An evening necktie,' I replied. 'They only cost about fourpence.'

'Jacky,' said Mr. Parsons, and I felt his grasp on my arm tighten,
'Jacky, that is the sort of shop a lad like you might easily get lost
in. He might even make a mistake in the door, Jacky. No, we won't go in
there, but I will tell you where we will go.'

'Where?' I asked, quaking with fear.

'We will go home, my lad, and I will give you such a nice little lesson
as you will never forget as long as you live.'

So we turned back the way we had come, walking towards the Marble Arch,
and I knew that if once I entered that hateful house, I should pay a
terrible penalty for the attempt which had been so easily seen through.

For the next few minutes I was utterly hopeless and helpless. But I
murmured a few incoherent words of prayer, and my head grew clearer. As
the danger drew nearer with every step I took, my courage began to
return, and I determined to make a bid for freedom. Mr. Parsons' threat
in a way defeated his own end. Hitherto the fear in which I held him had
served to cow me, to make me afraid to make a dash for liberty; but this
morning the very danger seemed to encourage boldness, and as we went on
our way with his strong fingers gripping my arm just above the wrist,
yet in such a manner that he appeared to be holding me affectionately, I
cudgelled my brains to devise some method of circumventing him.

At last, as we were close to Duke Street, Oxford Street, a bold plan
flashed across my mind. Whatever was done, it should be attempted while
there were some people about, to whom, in the last resort, I might
denounce Mr. Parsons; and yet I did not wish my actual deed to have a
spectator, since any one who saw me treat such a benevolent-looking old
gentleman as I fully intended to treat Mr. Parsons must think I was a
young rascal.

He hesitated a moment at the corner, and then turned to his right down
Duke Street, and I fancied that he looked forward with some enjoyment to
the threatened 'little lesson.' A short distance ahead stood a
policeman at a street corner, and, as we approached, I looked up into
Mr. Parsons' face and summoned all my courage--it was certainly the
courage of despair.

'If you don't let me go,' I said, 'I will tell that policeman who you
are as we pass.'

In an instant he had swung me round to retrace his steps, but, doubling
my free fist, I drew back my arm and hit him with all my strength just
about the belt. The effect was instantaneous. Releasing me at once, he
was completely doubled up, standing in the middle of the pavement
outside a grocer's shop, his hands pressed against his body, gasping for
breath. Fortunately no one had seen the blow struck, though Mr. Parsons
was soon surrounded by a gaping, sympathetic group. I took to my heels
at once, almost running against the policeman, and turned to my right,
in the direction opposite to that of Mr. Parsons' dwelling-place. Soon,
however, I ceased to run, feeling fairly certain that I should not see
him again--that day, at least. And as I walked--still towards the
City--I tried to take stock of my situation.

Besides the clothes I stood in, I possessed only a bad half-crown, and
although I had, under compulsion, changed similar coins for Parsons, I
had no intention of defrauding anybody on my own account. Taking the
coin from my pocket, I stooped and dropped it down a grating. Now that I
had nothing, I determined to risk a visit to the Albany, which I
reached--always on the look-out for Mr. Parsons--at a little past two
o'clock. Nothing, however, but disappointment awaited me here. I saw a
man who appeared to be a kind of porter, and he told me that Captain
Knowlton had given up the rooms on leaving London--a fact which I knew
perfectly well already. But he had no notion where I could find Rogers,
so that I walked away in a somewhat dejected mood.

Nevertheless I was able to rejoice at the successful escape from
something much worse than I had yet endured, and having once triumphed
over Parsons, I no longer feared him as I used to do. Even if I met him
in the street, I believed I could prevent him from taking me back to his
house, and the more pressing difficulty was how to obtain food and
shelter, and, subsequently, work.

Becoming hungry as the afternoon wore on, I went into St. James's Park,
and, taking off my jacket and waistcoat, did not put the waistcoat on
again, but carried it under my arm to a small pawnbroker's shop near
Victoria Station, where I obtained eightpence in exchange. For my tall
hat I received a shilling, and then, passing a very cheap shop, I bought
a grey cloth cap for threepence three-farthings, so that on the whole I
gained about one and fourpence by the deal.

Knowing that I must husband my resources, I bought a penny saveloy and a
chunk of bread at an eating-house, and then wandered about the streets
until nearly nightfall, wondering where I should sleep. The first night
was, however, by no means uncomfortable, for, passing a large
stable-yard, I saw it contained several empty omnibuses, and, waiting
until nobody was looking, I made a rush into one of these; I lay down
at full length on the seat, and slept until a stable-man woke me at
half-past five the next morning.

But over the next few days I intend to pass rapidly, for indeed they
were too full of wretchedness to be dwelt upon. From early morning until
late at night I wandered about the streets or in the parks, where also I
slept. I took every care of my scanty stock of money, but at last it
came to an end. Once I held a horse for twopence, once I carried a heavy
portmanteau from Charing Cross to Tottenham Court Road for a penny, and
once a lady took pity on my condition and gave me threepence. Then I
parted with my jacket, and lived on the proceeds for three days while
walking about with nothing above my shirt.

(_Continued on page 173._)



GOOD-BYE TO THE LAST FIRE.


    Good-bye, old fire! We won't forget
      Your pleasant warmth and glow,
    When evening shades were dark as jet,
      And outside lay the snow.
    But now, you see, we're right in May,
      It's spring, without a doubt,
    And so, good fire, I grieve to say
      It's time that you were out.

    The little leaves are springing green,
      The skies above are blue;
    The primrose everywhere is seen,
      The almond's blooming too.
    Of course, you don't expect to stay
      When flowers are round about,
    And so, good fire, again I say
      It's time that you were out.

    But when, once more, November chill
      Its cloak of mist has spread,
    And o'er the lonely winter hill
      The sun goes soon to bed,
    We'll call you back with joyous shout,
      And, as the shades descend,
    We'll draw the blinds to shut them out
      And greet you as a friend.

JOHN LEA.



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1805.

IV.--THE STORY OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN.


On the 2nd of April, 1805, was born, amid very humble surroundings, a
little Danish boy named Hans Christian Andersen, who, in later years,
became the most popular tale-writer that perhaps the world has ever
known. Andersen's Fairy Tales, though written in a past century, and for
another generation, are just as popular to-day as they ever were, and it
seems as if all children (and grown-up people who have kept their
child-like hearts) could never tire of these delightful stories. We can
all read, and re-read, the 'Ugly Duckling,' or the 'Eleven Wild Swans;'
we can sympathise with the love of the faithful 'Tin Soldier;' and who
can resist laughing at all the outrageous performances of 'Little Claus
and Big Claus?' Truly, Andersen had the key to unlock all hearts!

[Illustration: Hans Christian Andersen.
Born April 2, 1805.        Died August 4, 1875.]

Now for the story of the writer's life.

The father of Hans Andersen was only a poor shoe-maker, but he loved
reading and poetry, and seems to have taught his little boy a similar
love. The shoe-maker amused himself by making a toy theatre for his
little Hans, and showed him how to work the puppets, and make them act
little plays. This was a winter amusement. In the long summer days he
would often take the child to the woods--and here, in the great birch
forests, the two would spend the hours, hardly saying a word to each
other, but each dreaming his own dreams as they sauntered along the
shady paths.

But these happy childish days soon came to an end: the kind father died,
and Hans had to go to a charity school, where he learnt little beyond
reading and writing.

Money was now very scarce in his home, and both Hans and his mother were
often hard put to it for a meal.

One day they went out into the fields to glean corn, and were chased off
the ground by a cruel bailiff, who ran after them with a heavy whip. The
bailiff, with his long legs, soon overtook the little eight-year-old
Hans, and was about to bring his whip down on the child's shoulders,
when Hans turned round, and looking full at the angry man, exclaimed:
'How dare you strike me when you know God can see you?'

The bailiff was so taken aback at this rebuke from the mouth of a child
that he dropped his whip, and, fumbling in his pocket, produced some
money, which he offered to Hans to make up for his unkindness.

A year or two later a widow wanted some one to read aloud to her, and
Hans got the place. The widow's husband had been a poet, and, as Hans
read out his poems, the boy's ambition was fired.

'I too will be a poet!' he cried, and, on returning home, he at once set
to work and wrote--a tragedy!

The news of this performance spread amongst the neighbours (very likely
the mother boasted of it, as mothers will), and all wished to hear it;
so they came together in one of the larger cottages, and Hans read his
wonderful tragedy to the company, and felt bitterly hurt when the
greater part of them laughed heartily at the play.

Meanwhile the mother was growing poorer and poorer, and Hans had to
leave school, and to try and earn his bread.

[Illustration: "'How dare you strike me when you know God can see
you?'"]

He went to a large factory, and here the workmen, finding Hans had a
good voice and knew many ballads, would get him to sing to them, and to
act scenes for their amusement from the great Danish writer, Holberg,
whilst another of the boys employed in the factory was told off to do
Hans' work for him.

After a time, however, the men tired of Hans and his songs, and he had
to take his place amongst the other boys, who, being jealous of the
notice that had been taken of Hans, led him a sorry life. At last he
could bear their persecution no more, and left the factory--never to
return to it.

The next few months he spent quietly at home, reading eagerly any book
he could get hold of, and specially delighting in a copy of Shakespeare.
The old toy theatre was had out once more, and the puppets were put
through the scenes of the _Merchant of Venice_ and _King Lear_.

After a short time it was decided that Hans was to be apprenticed to a
tailor. Hans, however, had other ambitions than to sit cross-legged on a
board; he had read much lately of famous men, and he now said to his
mother, 'I want to be famous, too!'

He had his plans all made, and had, he said, plenty of money to carry
them out, for he had lately earned the immense sum (as it seemed to him)
of thirty shillings, by singing and reciting at the houses of rich
people. With this capital he begged his mother to let him go to
Copenhagen and try his fortune.

She consented unwillingly at last, and the fourteen-year-old boy set off
to make his own way in the world.

He reached Copenhagen--the city which now proudly claims him for her
own--late one September afternoon, and at once went to the theatre and
begged for employment, telling the manager he had a good voice and loved
acting.

'You are too thin for the stage,' said the manager, shortly.

'Let me have a salary of a hundred dollars, sir, and I will soon grow
fat,' quickly answered the boy.

'We only take people of education here,' said the manager, and poor Hans
had to go away with a heavy heart.

Could he only have foreseen that in a few years' time his own plays
would be acted at that very theatre, and a throng of eager citizens
would be applauding the words of the now friendless boy!

But this was all in the future. At present misery and starvation stared
him in the face.

At last, after he had met with endless failures, a rich Copenhagen
merchant saw there was genius in the boy, and, finding that he lacked
education, sent him to school to learn Latin and mathematics.

It was, of course, very galling to Hans, now a tall lad of seventeen, to
have to sit on a bench with little boys of nine and ten, and be jeered
at by both master and scholars for his backwardness. But Hans
persevered, and at last he passed all his examinations, and was granted
a travelling scholarship.

Meanwhile he had published his first book, which was at once successful;
the promise of his boyhood began to be fulfilled, for he wrote the fairy
tales by which he became famous, not only in his own country, but all
over Europe.

He travelled in Italy, France, Germany, and Spain, and in 1847 he came
to England, where, to his great delight, he found his stories better
known than even in his own country. He was a welcome guest at many of
our great houses, and, on a second visit to England some few years
later, he stayed with Charles Dickens at Gad's Hill.

Andersen never married; he lived in Copenhagen when not on his travels,
and here he loved to gather round him children of all ages and all
ranks, whom he would delight with some of his wonderful tales.

On his seventieth birthday he was fairly overwhelmed with letters and
presents of kindly greetings from all parts of the globe, and these
tokens of love and goodwill much pleased the old man.

The end came a few months later, and on August 4th, 1875, Hans Christian
Andersen died, regretted by all who had come in contact with him, and
most of all by the band of children whom he had so loved to gather round
him.



HEROES AND HEROINES OF FAMOUS BOOKS.

II.--THE DEERSLAYER.[2]


Hurry Harry, Deerslayer, Judith, and Hetty are the four principal
characters in Cooper's famous book, which has delighted many thousands
of readers.

Hurry Harry, as he was nicknamed, his real name being Harry March, had a
dashing, reckless, off-hand manner, and a restlessness that kept him
constantly moving about from place to place. He was six feet four in
height, well proportioned, with a good-humoured, handsome face.
Deerslayer was a very different man from Hurry Harry, both, in
appearance and character. He, too, was tall, being six feet high, but
with a comparatively light and slender frame. His face was not handsome,
but his expression invited confidence, for it had a look of truth and
sincerity.

Hurry was twenty-eight years of age and Deerslayer several years
younger. Their dress was composed of deer-skins, and they were armed
with rifles, powder-horns, and hunting-knives. The two men were guided
by very different principles, those of Hurry Harry being entirely
selfish, while Deerslayer sought, backwoodsman though he was, to live up
to what he called 'white-man's nature.'

Judith and Hetty were supposed to be the daughters of a man known as
'Floating Tom,' otherwise Thomas Hutter, a man who had been a noted
pirate in his younger days, but in his later years had settled down--as
he hoped, beyond the reach of the King's cruisers--to enjoy his plunder.

At the time at which the story is laid Britain and France were at war,
fighting in Canada, and it is said that neither side had refrained from
offering payment for scalps. Whatever excuse there may have been for
tribes of Indians taking the scalps of their enemies, there can have
been none for Christian white men, and so Deerslayer held, but not so
Hurry Harry and Thomas Hutter, both of whom, as we shall notice,
suffered for their cruel practices.

If Hurry and Deerslayer were unlike in appearance, character, and
principle, so, too, were Judith and Hetty. Judith was very handsome,
quick-witted, fond of admiration and fine clothes, while Hetty was not
beautiful to look at. Hetty was possessed of a weak mind, and cared
little for the admiration of others, although she was of an affectionate
nature. Her principles were good, and she ever sought to follow the good
she knew, her constant companion being her Bible, for which she had the
deepest reverence, while the good counsels of her mother, whose body
rested beneath the waters of the lake beside which the family dwelt,
were put in daily practice by the devoted child.

Two other characters of the story deserve more than a passing word. One
was Chingachgook the hunter, the other 'Hist,' a lovable maiden, both of
whom were great friends of Deerslayer; they were Delaware Indians by
nationality.

(_Concluded on page 171._)

FOOTNOTE:

[2] _The Deerslayer_, by J. Fenimore Cooper. There are several cheap
editions published which can be easily obtained.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

8.--RHYMED METAGRAM.

    1. Now thin and plain, now rich and sweet,
       But nearly always good to eat.

    2. A pigment painters use when they
       The lovely blushing rose portray.

    3. A garden tool we sometimes need
       When smoothing soil and sowing seed.

    4. Our true regard for any friend;
       The purpose, final cause, or end.

    5. To seize, to choose, to get, to hold,
       Sometimes to catch, as we catch cold.

    6. Active, alive, to cease from sleep;
       A noisy Irish feast to keep.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 195._]



ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 130.

6.--1. Cat. 2. Yes. 3. Will. 4. Pony. 5. Dry.
       Rat.    Yet.    Pill.    Pond.    Day.
       Rag.    Pet.    Pile.    Bond.    Way.
       Hag.    Pot.    Pine.    Band.    Pay.
       Hog.    Not.    Pint.    Bard.    Pat.
       Dog.    No.     Pent.    Bare.    Pet.
                       Went.    Care.    Wet.
                       Won't.   Cart.


7.--_Never despair._

 1. Paris.
 2. Pear.
 3. Rasp.
 4. Veer.
 5. Rip.
 6. Near.
 7. Nerves.
 8. Spain.
 9. Span.
10. Drip.



THE TWO PUPILS.

A Hindu Fable.


An old philosopher who had two pupils one day gave each a sum of money,
and told them to purchase something with it, which should fill the room
where they did their studies. One pupil went out into the market and
bought a large quantity of hay and straw, and the next morning he
invited his master to see his room, which he had almost filled with the
results of his purchase.

'Ah! very good, very good!' exclaimed the philosopher; and now turning
to the other pupil, he said, 'Well, friend, and what have you bought?'

'A small lamp and some oil, which will fill the room with light in the
dark evening hours. This will enable us to continue our studies by night
as well as by day, if we should so wish,' replied the pupil.

'You have made the best purchase,' said the philosopher.

A wise pupil, who profits by instruction, is the delight of the master.



THE DUKE AND THE TRAVELLER.


For a quarter of an hour, during one of the greatest crises of the
Battle of Waterloo, when the Duke of Wellington had sent all his
_aides-de-camp_ with orders to the different divisions of the army, he
found himself alone at the very moment when he most needed help. While
watching the movements of his troops through his field-glasses, he saw
Kempt's brigade beginning a manoeuvre which, if not promptly
countermanded, would probably lead to the loss of the battle. But there
was no officer at hand to convey his orders. Just then he turned round
in his saddle, and saw not far off a single horseman, rather quaintly
attired, coolly watching the progress of the strife. The instant the
Duke caught sight of him, he beckoned to him, and asked him who he was,
why he was there, and how he had passed the lines.

He answered: 'I am a traveller for a wholesale button manufactory in
Birmingham, and was showing my samples in Brussels when I heard the
sound of the firing. Having had all my life a strong desire to see a
battle, I at once got a horse, and set out for the scene of action; and,
after some difficulty, I have reached this spot, whence I expect to have
a good view.'

The Duke, pleased with his straightforward answer, determined to turn
his sense and daring to good account, and addressed him as follows: 'You
ought to have been a soldier. Would you like to serve your country now?'

'Yes, my lord,' said the other.

'Would you take a message of importance for me?'

Touching his hat in military fashion the traveller replied, 'Were I
trusted by you, sir, I would think this the proudest day of my life.'

Putting his field-glass into the man's hands, the Duke explained to him
the position of the brigade that had made the false move, and added: 'I
have no writing materials by me; see, therefore, that you are very
accurate in delivering my message.' He then entrusted to him a brief,
emphatic order, which he made him repeat, that there might be no
mistake.

The orders were barely delivered before the stranger was off at the top
of his horse's speed, and soon disappeared amid the smoke of the battle.
After a few minutes' interval, the Duke turned his glass in the
direction of the brigade which was at fault, and exclaimed, in a joyful
tone, 'It's all right, yet. Kempt has changed his tactics. He has got my
message, for he is doing precisely as I directed him. Well done,
Buttons!'

The Duke used to say he considered the alteration of Kempt's original
movement the turning-point of the battle. Wishing to reward our hero for
his intelligence and courage, he caused inquiries to be made for him in
every direction, but in vain. It was not till many years afterwards that
he accidentally heard of the man's whereabouts, and managed to secure
for him a good appointment in the West of England, in recognition of his
services.

[Illustration: "'Would you take a message of importance for me?'"]

[Illustration: "'If you hang him, you shall hang me too.'"]



NEVER DRAW A SWORD EXCEPT IN A CAUSE THAT IS JUST AND RIGHT.


An English sailor, when travelling through France, arrived at the town
of Vernon, where he met with a great crowd of riotous men and women. The
mob had laid hands on a wealthy man, though he had done no wrong, and
knew the use of money much better than they did. The rich man was to be
hanged. In vain did the young sailor plead with the crowd: they only
laughed at him, and pushed him aside with words of scorn. As a last
resource he boldly pushed his way through the crowd, and with a strong
grasp clung fast to the man who was so near his death.

Above the wild yells and uproar, his voice was heard: 'This man has done
no wrong. I come to save you from a great sin. If you hang him, you
shall hang me too.'

The worst of hearts are often touched by a noble act of self-sacrifice,
and the fearless words of truth. The Frenchmen gave a cheer for the
brave sailor, and were ready to carry him off like a hero. This gave
time for the captive to escape. When the incident became known in Paris,
the sailor received much honour, and a sword was presented to him, for
they said, 'He who had no arms, and yet could save a stranger at the
risk of his own life, will never draw a sword except in a cause that is
just and right.' The sailor became afterwards Admiral Nesham, who lived
to serve his country for many years, and died at Exmouth in 1853.



THE PIONEERS.


    A crocus peeped out from its snow-covered bed,
      In a wood where the red robins sing,
    And sighed, 'I could fancy, where brown leaves are spread
      I heard the first footfall of Spring.'

    And e'en while it spoke, from a tree-top above
      There fluttered the song of the Wind:
    'I come from the south, with a message of love,
      And the Spring follows closely behind.'

    Then while the soft echo was stealing along,
      The snow melted gently away,
    And over the meadow a bee's early song
      Told stories of April and May.

    The bluebell and primrose are blossoming fast,
      And see, where the snow-drifts still cling,
    The Sun his rich mantle has gallantly cast
      At the feet of her Majesty, Spring.



SMITHFIELD TOURNAMENTS.


Many _Chatterbox_ readers have, no doubt, visited Smithfield, and others
have seen pictures of it as it was in the olden time, when it was known
by its executions and burnings. Upon St. Bartholomew's Eve, 1305, Sir
William Wallace was put to death under the elms, a large clump of which
then stood on one side of the open space. At Smithfield, too, Wat Tyler
met King Richard II. on June 15th, 1381, when he received his death-blow
from the Lord Mayor of London. In more recent years it was familiar to
the public as a big cattle market, now fortunately removed to a better
spot north of London. Evidently, too, it was for centuries a very
favourite resort with the citizens, the name at first, so historians
think, being 'Smoothfield.' The level open space was turfed, and made
suitable for horse exercise and a variety of sports.

During the Middle Ages our kings had a palace in the city, and many of
the nobles built themselves houses within the walls, or not far off. For
some centuries tournaments were forbidden on account of their danger,
and they were seldom held in England till after the reign of Richard I.
The position of Smithfield was very convenient for holding jousts and
tournaments. None but those who were esquires or knights were allowed to
take part in these contests, which usually celebrated some important
event, such as a royal marriage or a great victory. These tournaments
gave an opportunity for a display of courtesy and chivalry. Galleries
were arranged for ladies, and one in particular was chosen to preside,
who was usually called the 'Queen of Beauty.' If any dispute arose, this
lady settled it, and she also gave away the prizes awarded to the
victors. A remarkable tournament was held in 1374 at Smithfield. A grand
procession was started from the Tower; the King rode first in a
triumphal chariot, followed by a number of ladies on horseback, each of
whom had a knight leading her horse by the bridle. Many gallant feats of
arms were performed, and the tournament lasted a week.

After the battle of Poictiers, a three-days' tournament took place in
the cold weather of March, when the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and the
sheriffs offered to hold the field against all comers. The chief of the
heralds and minstrels had forty pounds given him for his services--a
large sum in those days. Richard II. held a great tournament in 1394,
when the Earl of Mar and other nobles from Scotland appeared in the
field. Then, and for several years afterwards, there were several jousts
and combats between Scots and Englishmen. A remarkable combat took place
in 1398 on London Bridge, a wooden structure broad enough to give room
for the fighters and spectators. Sir David Lindsay and Lord Wells agreed
to run courses on horseback for life or death, and this was done in the
presence of King and court. After a desperate struggle, Sir David
Lindsay won. Again, there was a joust at Smithfield during the same
reign, when the Queen gave as prizes to the most successful in tilting a
gold coronet and a rich bracelet. At this tournament, too, there was a
grand procession from the Tower; in front there rode an array of
minstrels and heralds, while along the streets flags and banners were
displayed.

The fifth Henry held several famous tournaments, and so did the fourth
Edward. Edward IV. had a tournament at Smithfield in which his queen's
brother, Lord Scales, engaged the young Duke of Burgundy. They fought
with spears, swords, and pole-axes, until Lord Scales slightly wounded
the Duke. It seems probable that tournaments at Smithfield ceased after
the Wars of the Roses.

It may be as well to explain the difference between a tournament and a
joust. Jousting, or tilting, was a frequent amusement; in this the
knights fought with blunt lances, and each tried to break his opponent's
lance or to unhorse him. But in a tournament they engaged with sharp
weapons, and the combatants were often wounded, sometimes killed
outright. The large open space in St. James's Park, next to the Horse
Guards, was at first called the Tiltyard, because of the tilting that
went on there when our kings came to reside in Westminster.



HEROES AND HEROINES OF FAMOUS BOOKS.

II.--THE DEERSLAYER.

(_Concluded from page 167._)


'The Deerslayer' abounds in incident. One of the most thrilling
adventures is that which befell 'Floating Tom' and Hurry Harry, who had
so far forgotten what was due from their white man's nature as to plan
to enter the camp of the Indians at night, with the object of securing
the scalps of unwary men, women, and children, and so obtaining the
bounty offered by the Government for each scalp. On one of these
occasions, when they had gone ashore, they were taken captives by the
Indians and came very near to losing their lives. They only escaped
through the brave conduct of Hetty, the well-known straightforward
dealings of Deerslayer, and the fact that hidden away in an old
sea-chest of Hutter's, amongst fine clothes and other relics, were some
beautifully chased ivory chessmen, among them being four castles
supported by elephants, an animal unknown by sight to the American
Indians. When the grim old warriors who held Hutter and Hurry prisoners
saw the little ivory animals, their delight knew no bounds. They were
familiar with horses and oxen, and had seen towers, and found nothing
surprising in creatures of burden. They supposed the carving was meant
to represent that the animal they saw was strong enough to carry a fort
on its back. It was fortunate for the prisoners that the old sea-chest
contained such treasures; had it been otherwise, they would probably
both have lost their lives.

They were not so fortunate when they fell a second time into the hands
of the Hurons, who had secretly gained possession of 'Muskrat Castle,'
as Hutter's house had been called. This 'castle' stood in the open lake,
at a quarter of a mile from the nearest shore. There was no island, but
the house stood on piles, with the water flowing beneath it. The lake in
other directions was of a great depth, but just where the piles had been
driven was a long narrow shoal, which extended a few hundred yards in a
north and south direction, rising to within six or eight feet of the
surface of the lake. Floating Tom had built his house strongly, while
the position made him safe against attack unless his assailants came in
a boat. One day when Hutter and his friends were absent from the
'Castle,' the Hurons took possession of it, and when Hutter and Hurry
returned they knew that they had fallen into a complete trap. Only a
short time previously, Hurry's reckless spirit had led him to commit an
act of wanton cruelty,--that of raising his gun and firing from the
canoe in which he was seated into the woods. His random shot struck down
an Indian girl, and caused her death, so that the Hurons felt no
goodwill towards him. The Indians knew, too, that Tom and Hutter would
have been only too willing to attack any of their party should it lie
within their power to do so. Hurry, whose conduct towards his foes had
been ferocious, was captured by means of a rope of bark, having an eye,
which was thrown so dexterously that the end threaded the eye, forming a
noose and drawing his elbows together behind his back with a power that
all his gigantic strength could not resist. A similar fastening secured
his ankles, and his body was rolled over on to the ground, as helpless
as a log of wood.

Hutter fared even worse, for he was found by his daughters wounded, and
in a dying condition.

'Oh, Judith!' exclaimed poor, weak-witted Hetty, as soon as they had
attended to the sufferer, 'Father went for scalps himself, and now where
is his own? The Bible might have foretold this dreadful punishment.'

A different scene is that which tells what befell Deerslayer when he
fell into the hands of the foe. They had let him out on furlough, well
knowing that they could trust his word. It was in vain that his friends
in 'Muskrat Castle' tried to persuade him that he was not obliged to
keep faith with such a cruel foe. Deerslayer was firm. A promise to
return had been given, and it must be kept, for God had heard it, and
God would look for its fulfilment. Well he knew that the cruelties of
the Indians would be practised on him, and that he would be put to the
'tortures'--the young Indians, all of whom hoped to become warriors,
would not, he knew, hesitate to subject him to such woes that even to
read of them makes one's heart sink. Yet this knowledge could not deter
him from keeping faith with them.

Bound so tightly to a tree that he could not stir an inch, he was
obliged to submit while the various young men of the Indian tribes threw
their tomahawks so as to strike the tree as near the victim's head as
possible without hitting him. His nerves stood the terrible test, and he
neither winced nor cried out with fear. The second torture was that with
the rifle, only the most experienced warriors taking part in this. Shot
after shot was sent, all the bullets coming close to the Deerslayer's
head without touching it. Still no one could detect even the twitching
of a muscle on the part of the captive or the slightest winking of an
eye.

But we will not continue to describe the tortures to which the brave
Deerslayer was subjected, none of which could cause his brave spirit to
quail. Hetty, whose feeble mind won for her the esteem and care of the
Hurons--who believed that the feeble-minded were under the special
favour of the Great Spirit--unable to endure the thought of what
Deerslayer, their good friend, might be suffering, made her way to the
camp of the foe, carrying her Bible with her, and there addressed the
chiefs and warriors assembled at the 'sports.' They listened to her
patiently and kindly for a time, but after a while bade her sit down,
and proceeded with their dreadful work. In vain did Judith, dressed out
in all the brocaded finery from the old sea-chest, suddenly appear on
the scene, telling them that she was a great mountain-queen who had come
in person to demand that Deerslayer be set free. Both the sisters'
attempts failed, and death would have been the lot of the good man had
not troops from the nearest garrison arrived at the very moment when
they were most needed, and so saved Deerslayer.

[Illustration: The Deerslayer in the Hands of the Indians.]

[Illustration: "He grasped my left wrist."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 163._)


I descended to terrible depths during those homeless days, and, at the
lowest, when half-starving, dirty, hopeless, it happened that I almost
ran against Mr. Parsons. It was about a quarter to three, in Brook
Street. He stopped abruptly, and stood gazing at me with an evident
effort to maintain his usual expression of benevolence.

'Now,' he said, smoothly, 'you will just make up your mind to come along
with me, my lad.'

'I know I won't,' I answered.

He stood with his hands on the crook of his umbrella, while his lower
jaw moved as if he were trying to swallow something; but whether it was
one of his favourite aniseed lozenges, or his indignation against
myself, was more than I could tell. One thing, however, seemed certain:
if he strove to hide his wrath, it could only be with the object of
getting me once more into his power.

'Ah, Jacky, my lad,' he exclaimed, shaking his head, 'you have not done
much good for yourself since you turned your back on your best friend. A
great mistake, Jacky--a great mistake!'

Indeed, I must have looked very disreputable. A pair of grey trousers,
supported by one brace--the other having given way some days ago--a
dirty shirt, neither jacket nor waistcoat, unwashed hands and face,
boots coated in mud, hair which had not lately known a comb and
brush--it would have been difficult to find a grubbier street-arab
within a few miles.

'Anything is better than living with you,' I cried.

He had drawn closer, but at the same time I took the precaution to edge
away, determined on no account to allow him to put a hand on me again.

'Don't be afraid, my lad,' he said.

'I'm not,' I answered, though it was only half-true.

'I don't want to hurt you, Jacky,' he continued, in a wheedling voice.
'I want to be your friend. You look hungry, my lad; now come along with
me--not home, but to a nice little eating-house I know. The hot joints
will be just ready. Nice hot joints, Jacky--roast beef and Yorkshire
pudding, and apple pie to follow. It is waiting for you round the
corner, Jacky, as much as you like to eat, and then we can have a nice
quiet chat together.'

It appeared inconsistent, but the naming of these luxuries caused a
feeling of something like temptation for the moment, which only those
who have been in need of food can understand. While I knew that nothing
in the world could induce me to accompany Mr. Parsons, still the mention
of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding tickled my palate, and a great
longing for something to eat came over me. I had tasted no food that
day, and yesterday only a few scraps.

Instead of answering, I turned my back, whereupon Mr. Parsons thrust out
his umbrella, catching my right arm with its crook, while at the same
time he grasped my left wrist with his disengaged hand. Now I had been
conscious of a strange giddiness and weakness, with a tendency to let my
thoughts wander, during the whole of yesterday and to-day, and at this
moment the fear suddenly seized upon me that I might be unable to resist
the man and consequently fall into his hands again. So raising my voice
I shouted with all my might, 'Police! police!' and although no policeman
appeared, two or three passers-by soon collected around us, while Mr.
Parsons still gripped my wrist.

'Would some gentleman kindly call me a cab?' said Parsons, in a voice
which might have deceived anybody. 'You will break your father's heart,
Jacky,' he continued. 'Now come home to your mother without making any
more trouble.'

'You are not my father,' I answered, still speaking as loudly as I
could. 'You are a thief, you make false coin, and you live at----'

'Ah!' cried an old lady, who formed one of the small crowd which by this
time had collected, 'here is a policeman at last,' and at the same
moment I felt Mr. Parsons' grasp relax. Pushing his way through the
throng, he stepped into the middle of the road, stopped a passing
hansom, entered it and was driven off. While the old lady intercepted
the policeman, I seized the opportunity to get away, turning my steps
towards Hyde Park, where I sat down on a seat.

Now I began to find a difficulty in keeping my eyes open; my chin
constantly dropped on to my chest, and then I would wake again with a
start.

I seemed to be living again through all that had occurred since I left
Castlemore: again I was selling the silver watch and chain at Broughton,
while the tramp gazed at me through the window; again I was being
pursued along the main road, sleeping under the tree in the wood, robbed
of all I was possessed in the chestnut plantation. Once more I was
awakened after a short sleep by Mr. Baker's dog, Tiger, and taken to the
cosy farmhouse with the red blinds, where Eliza gave me food and a
comfortable bed, in which I dared not lie down to rest, because I knew
that Mr. Baker would be certain to carry me back to Ascot House the
following morning. Then again I was racing across fields, floundering
into damp ditches in the darkness, sleeping in the shed, and afterwards
helping a bicyclist to blow up his tyre in the country lane. Once more I
seemed to be lying prone in the cornfield, while Mr. Turton inquired
whether Mr. Westlake had seen me, and Jacintha was looking down from the
other side of the hedge at the same moment. I was sleeping in the empty
house on the forest, and shivering at the weird, ghostly sounds in the
night; I was again delighted to make friends with Patch, and regretful
to have him taken away from me by the fat ginger-beer man.

I could almost taste the pear and the preserved apricot which I had
eaten in the arbour at Colebrooke Park with Jacintha and Dick; once more
I made the acquaintance of Mr. Parsons in the train.

Which, if any, of these were waking memories, which were feverish
dreams, it is quite impossible to tell, but every day's experience
seemed to be lived through again, and, at all events, at last I must
have fallen pretty soundly asleep; and after I actually woke again,
reality appeared like a dream. It seemed perfectly natural, after my
recent adventure with Parsons, to meet Jacintha and a lady, who, from
the likeness, in a confused kind of way I imagined must be her mother.

I fancy that I must have opened my eyes for an instant, and then,
unwillingly, have closed them again. At any rate, as I sat on the seat,
there stood Jacintha, much more gaily dressed than I had seen her
before, with gloves and a sunshade, and high buttoned boots, but
apparently taking no notice of me as she continued to talk very quickly
and excitedly to her companion. They were still in the same position,
Mrs. Westlake listening with a kindly, grave face, Jacintha looking
almost as if she had been crying, when I once more opened my eyes.



CHAPTER XX.


'Jacintha!' I murmured, and still she seemed to be almost a part of my
dream.

'Mother, he is awake!' cried Jacintha, and Mrs. Westlake leaned forward
towards me.

'I want you to come home with me,' she said, but when I tried to stand,
it seemed as if I should have fallen if she had not put a hand beneath
my arm. With Mrs. Westlake supporting me on one side and Jacintha on the
other, I managed to cross the road to the nearest gate, where a hansom
was hailed, and I found myself seated by Mrs. Westlake's side, while
Jacintha was perched on her knees. Probably I dozed off again the next
minute, for the next thing I knew was that the hansom had stopped before
the door of a large house, where a middle-aged butler carried me through
the hall and laid me down on the dining-room sofa.

Mrs. Westlake seemed to be holding a whispered conversation with a
short, stout, rather elderly nurse, whose name was Harper, and presently
she left the room, to return a few minutes later with a breakfast cup
full of beef-tea, after drinking which I felt very much better. A little
later, the butler half-led, half-carried me upstairs, and I seemed to be
getting into a deliciously comfortable bed, where I quickly fell asleep
in earnest. I have an idea that Harper came to look at me once or twice
during that night, and the next morning she took my temperature with a
thermometer, but although she declared there was not anything the matter
with me, I felt very tired, and not in the least sorry when she brought
me my breakfast in bed.

It was about twelve o'clock when Mrs. Westlake herself came to tell me
to get up, and then Harper brought a dressing-gown, which together with
everything else in the room must have belonged to Dick, who was away
from home on a week's visit.

'First of all, you are to have a nice warm bath,' she said, and she led
the way to a bath-room, where she had already made everything ready. The
water was quite a foot deep and delightfully hot.

When I had had a bath, and put on a summer vest, a white shirt, a suit
(almost new) of drab tweed with knickerbockers, a collar and a decent
blue and white spotted tie, I confess that I regarded my figure in the
glass with considerable approval.

'If you're quite ready,' said Harper, outside the door, 'you're to come
to lunch,' but first she led the way to what was evidently Mr.
Westlake's smoking-room. I fancied from his manner that he only
half-approved of all that Mrs Westlake had done for me. He reminded me
of Captain Knowlton, not because the faces were alike so much as because
they both seemed to dress and speak in the same way. Captain Knowlton
had been dark-haired, and wore a moustache, while Mr. Westlake was fair,
and his upper lip was shaven, but he also wore an eyeglass, and stood
nearly six feet in height, appearing a little stiff before I knew him
properly. As Mrs. Westlake led me towards him, she said a few words in
French, and I knew that they referred to her own boy, and the
possibility that he might want friends some day, but still Mr. Westlake
did not offer his hand, but only nodded and said, 'How d'ye do?'

'Let us go to luncheon,' he exclaimed the next moment, and I stepped
forward to open the door for Mrs. Westlake. In the dining-room I saw
Jacintha, who at once met me with her hand outstretched.

'You gave me quite a shock in Dick's clothes,' she cried.

'I am most awfully obliged to you,' I said, turning to Mrs. Westlake.
'I--I don't know what to say.'

The butler stood with his back slightly bowed, ready to remove a
dish-cover; Jacintha shook back her hair, and looked tearful; Mrs.
Westlake stared at the plates at her end of the table, and her husband
put a pair of hands on my shoulders and pushed me towards my chair,
facing Jacintha.

'That's all right,' he cried. 'Sit down and have a good luncheon. We
will talk by-and-by.'

(_Continued on page 181._)



THE FEAST OF CHERRIES.


Readers of _Chatterbox_ will remember a story which told how a child
saved a German town; here is another tale of a siege in which children
played an important part.

One morning, during the siege of Hamburg, a weary merchant was slowly
returning to his house. With other business men, he had been aiding in
the defence of the walls. So severe had been the fighting that he had
not taken off his clothes for a week.

He reflected bitterly that all his labour was in vain, for by the
following day famine would have compelled a surrender. Passing through
his garden, he found himself admiring his cherry-trees, which were
loaded with fruit. The mere sight was refreshing, and a thought occurred
to the merchant. He was aware that the enemy were suffering from thirst.
How glad they would be of that juicy fruit! Could he not by its means
purchase safety for his city?

There was no time to lose, and he speedily made up his mind. He
collected three hundred small children belonging to the city, had them
all dressed in white, and loaded them with cherry-branches from his
orchard. Then the gates were opened, and they were sent forth in the
direction of the enemy.

When the commander of the besieging force saw the white-robed procession
passing through the gates he suspected some trick, and prepared for
battle; but when the children came nearer, and he saw how pale and thin
they were from want of food, tears filled his eyes, for he thought of
his own little ones at home.

As the thirsty--and, in some cases, wounded--soldiers received the juicy
fruit from the children's hands, a cheer arose from the camp. Love and
pity had conquered. The little ones returned accompanied by waggons of
food for the famished citizens, and an honourable treaty of peace was
signed the next day.

For many years, the anniversary of the day on which this deed was done
was kept as a holiday, its name being 'The Feast of Cherries.' The
streets were thronged with children, each one carrying a cherry-branch.
Then they ate the cherries themselves, in honour of their brave little
forerunners, the saviours of their city of Hamburg.

[Illustration: "He loaded the children with cherry branches."]

[Illustration: "One pig went squealing down the road."]



TOO CLEVER.


    Jim Brown stood at the farmer's door--
      'I want a job,' he said.
    'Well, lad, have you done aught before?'
      But Jim just shook his head;
    An idler boy he'd always been
    Than any in the village seen.

    'Well, tell me now, what can you do?'
      'Oh, anything,' said Jim.
    'Oh, anything!' said Farmer Grey;
      Then looking hard at him--
    'Well, drive these pigs to neighbour Pratt--
    'Tis time they went, they're prime and fat.'

    Jim drove the pigs from out the yard,
      But, ere they'd gone a mile,
    One pig went squealing down the road,
      And one towards a stile;
    And while Jim pondered what to do,
    The naughty pig just wriggled through.

    Just then the farmer chanced to pass;
      'Hullo!' said he, 'what's wrong?'
    And when he saw Jim's downcast face,
      He laughed both loud and long.
    'My lad,' said he, with knowing wink,
    'You're not as clever as you think.'

C. D. BOGLE.



TORN TO RAGS.


The curious and interesting 'little ways' of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the
designer of the Suez Canal, gained for him the favour of many prominent
Egyptian officials, when he was in Egypt, and he was often able to get
over a difficulty and do a kind act by unusual means. Among his duties
was the inspection of a large number of convicts in the Egyptian
galleys. Some of these were political prisoners--rather more than four
hundred unfortunate Syrians, who had been brought from Syria by Ibrahim
Pasha, son of Mehemet Ali, the famous Viceroy.

The Syrian prisoners begged the French count to help them to freedom. De
Lesseps had no real power to do this, but he had a kind heart, and did
his best to procure the release of the prisoners.

When, however, he mentioned the subject to Mehemet Ali, the Viceroy
shook his head.

'These men,' said he, 'are my son's captives, and in such a matter I
could no more handle him than I could handle the lightning.'

De Lesseps would not be put off. Mehemet, impressed by his persistence,
and wishing to stand well with the French, at last told De Lesseps that
he would manage to get five prisoners released quietly every week, until
all were free.

He kept his word, and this piecemeal business of freeing the prisoners
began. But very soon De Lesseps' house was besieged by the relatives and
friends of the Syrians still imprisoned, all begging him to use his
influence to get their own special friends included in the next batch to
be set free.

The anxious folk thronged round the Frenchman, and in their eagerness
plucked at his sleeve and tore it. He resolved to turn this fact to
account with the Viceroy. He had an old suit of clothes torn into
actual tatters, and wore it upon his next occasion of seeing Mehemet.

Mehemet was naturally greatly astonished at his friend's strange
appearance.

'What on earth has happened to you?' said the Viceroy.

'In arranging that five of those prisoners should be freed each week,'
replied De Lesseps, 'you have made me the prey of the relatives of those
who yet remain in the galleys. The number of the Syrians was four
hundred and twelve; therefore your Highness can easily reckon up and
tell how long I must go in rags.'

The Viceroy was highly amused with the serious and pitiful look which De
Lesseps put on as he said these words. After indulging in a hearty
laugh, he gave orders for the immediate release of the remaining
prisoners. Thus, by his ready wit, De Lesseps persuaded the Viceroy into
an action which he would never have done if asked plainly at first.

E. D.



WHITE NEGROES.


Have you ever heard of a white negro? Perhaps you will laugh at me for
asking the question, but there really are such people in the world, and
travellers and missionaries have met with them. I do not mean to say
that there are whole tribes of white negroes in some far-off countries,
which are not often visited by travellers, but that, scattered among all
or nearly all the black races, there are individuals who are white.
These persons are like the rest of the tribe in size and shape; they
have the same features, and the same kind of hair; but their complexion
is white, their hair is either quite white or straw-coloured, and their
eyes are lighter in shade than those of their companions.

Dr. Livingstone met with several of these white natives in some parts of
Africa, while in other parts he never saw any. One of these strange
people was a young boy, a very fine, intelligent fellow, of whom his
mother was very fond. His features were exactly like those of his
parents, who were both black. His woolly hair was yellow, and the pupils
of his eyes were pink. His father looked upon him with horror, very much
as an English father might be expected to look upon a black child, and
he treated him always as an outcast. The great traveller knew others,
both men and women, who were quite white. Their skins were always very
sensitive, and the heat of the sun blistered them very much. One of the
white women, perhaps through a sort of shame for her colour, was most
anxious for Dr. Livingstone to make her black, which was more than he
could do.

A missionary who had spent many years in Fiji had met with five Fijians
who were white. Three of these were grown-up persons, and one was quite
a little baby, being only two or three weeks old. This baby's skin was
much whiter than that of an English baby, although both its parents were
young and healthy, and as black as any Fijian could be. The grown-up
persons were as white as, if not whiter than, a weather-beaten
Englishman, and their hair was flaxen. Their skin was very smooth, and
looked like a kind of horn, and it was cracked and blistered with the
heat of the sun, like the skin of the white negroes whom Livingstone
saw. The white Fijians had pale blue or sandy-coloured eyes, which could
not bear the heat of the sun, and the poor men went about with their
eyes half closed. Similar men with white skins and white hair are found
among the other black races which inhabit the islands of the South Sea.

Among the red men of North America there are a few who have no colour in
their skins, and there are a great many who have light-coloured hair. In
one tribe a traveller found a great many men and women who had had grey
or white hair all their lives. He thought this was a very strange thing,
but had he known as much about other countries, he would have been aware
that this peculiarity is found among the dark races in nearly every part
of the world. White men are found not only in the countries already
named, but also in India, where they are looked upon with some amount of
dislike by their fellow-countrymen. In some parts of Africa, on the
other hand, these white men are regarded as magicians, and held in
honour by the rest of the tribe.

Strange to say, not only are there negroes who are white, but there are
some who are patched or spotted black and white all over. I have a
picture of such a negro before me as I write. He is a native of Loango,
on the west coast of Africa. From head to foot he is spotted in black
and white patches like a piebald horse, though in all other respects he
seems a large, well-made, healthy man. I have also before me the picture
of a spotted negro boy; who was exhibited as a curiosity in one of the
London fairs nearly a hundred years ago.

When a negro is white or piebald, it is because he has been born without
the black colouring matter which other negroes have in their skin. He
suffers from a defect, and deserves to be pitied. The black colour of a
negro's skin enables him to bear the heat of a fierce sun, and, as we
have seen, the negro whose skin is white suffers much pain and
inconvenience. A similar colouring matter in the eyes helps to shield
them from the bright glare of the sunlight, and the poor man whose eyes
are without this protection is compelled to go about with half-closed
eyes.



A BOY'S HEROISM.

A True Anecdote.


A couple of boys were once climbing about some disused scaffolding in a
lonely place, when a beam on which they were standing gave way under
their feet. Both fell, the elder a little before the younger. But just
in time the elder managed to clutch another beam and hold fast to it. By
a providential coincidence, his brother, catching wildly at anything
within his reach, seized his legs, and the two hung suspended thus, with
all the weight on the elder boy's arms. Before long, the strain became
too great, and he called out to the other that they were lost, for he
could hold on no longer. No one was near, and there was little hope that
their cries would attract attention.

'Could you save yourself if I let go?' asked the younger.

'I think so.'

'Then good-bye, and Heaven bless you,' said the little boy.

With these words he let go, and was dashed to pieces upon the ground
beneath. His brother, thus released from the additional weight, was able
to pull himself up to a place of safety.



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

V.--HOW INSECTS FLY.


The wings of insects are like those of bats and birds only in the work
they do. In another respect they are quite different organs. The wings
of the bird and the bat, for instance, are formed from the front pair of
limbs, but the wings of insects are formed on a very different plan from
the walking limbs, of which there are never less than three pairs. The
bat and the bird have only one pair of wings, the insects have two,
though in many cases the hinder or second pair have been reduced to the
merest stumps, or vestiges, as they are called. In other words, they are
all that is left of a once useful pair.

The butterfly has two pairs of wings; the fly is a good example of an
insect which has but one pair. The stumps or vestiges of the second pair
can only be found after careful search. But these vestiges--which are
known as the 'balancers'--have a new use, and probably act as organs of
hearing as well as to guide the flight. The butterfly uses both pairs of
wings in flight, the beetle only the hinder pair, the pair that in the
fly are only 'vestiges.' The front pair of wings in the beetle form hard
horny cases or shields for the protection of the hinder wings, which lie
beneath them when not in use.

The wings of insects are often brilliantly coloured, and this colour may
be caused in two very different ways. Generally the colours of the wings
are due to the way the surface of the wing is made, for this surface
reflects light. But the colour of the wing of the butterfly is to be
traced to a quite different cause. If the fingers be rubbed over the
surface of a butterfly's wing, they will be found to be covered with a
fine coloured dust, whilst the wing itself will become quite transparent
(as in fig. 1). If this dust be looked at under the microscope, it will
be seen that it is made up of a number of tiny scales, most beautifully
shaped (as in fig. 2). Each scale is fixed to the surface of the wing by
a tiny stalk and in a regular order.

From the shape of the wings in the butterfly or moth we can tell more or
less how the insect flies. Long and narrow wings give a swift and rapid
flight, broad round wings a slow and leisured flight.

The wings of insects are moved by only a few muscles, but with wonderful
rapidity. It has been calculated that the common fly makes with its
wings three hundred strokes per second, the bee one hundred and ninety.
The dragon-fly and the common cabbage-white butterfly of our gardens,
however, have a much slower beat of their wings, the former twenty-eight
strokes per second, the latter only nine. The machinery by which they
move is like that of an oar.

[Illustration:

1. Butterfly's Wing (magnified).
2. Scales from Butterfly's Wing (greatly magnified).
3. Earwig (magnified): one wing folded, the other open.
4. Foot of Fly (greatly magnified).]

Insects' wings are folded in various ways. Those of the butterfly, when
at rest, are raised up over the back, so that the upper surfaces of the
right and left wings come together. In the moth the hinder wings pass
under the fore-wings, which are held flat over the back. But the beetle
and the earwig hide their hind-wings beneath a hard case not used in
flight. The size of the hind-wings, however, is so great that before
they can be covered by the horny case, they have to be folded up, and
this is done in a really wonderful manner, especially by the common
earwig.

Most people probably think of the earwig as flightless; but, nevertheless,
beneath a tiny pair of horny wing-cases, a very wonderful pair of
transparent wings is cunningly tucked away. The marvellous way in which
they are folded up after use we cannot describe in detail here. In each
wing there is a hinge shaped somewhat like a half-moon, in the middle of
the stiff front edge (fig. 3, in the wing extended on the left). When
the hinge is bent, the outer half of the wing folds over towards the
tail, and the tip points forward. The further inward folding of the
hinge of this rod next appears to divide the wing into two, the second
portion passing under the first, and thus bringing the wing down to half
its original size. By this time the mechanical or automatic folding
process stops, and the rest of the folding up has to be done by the aid
of the pincers at the end of the body. Finally the packing up is
complete, and the two hard outer cases, like a couple of tarpaulins, are
drawn over the delicate wings to protect them.

On the right side of the body, in fig. 3, the wing has been folded up,
and is covered by the wing-case.

The folding of the beetle's wing is also done by means of a hinge, but
the packing up is less close, as the outer covering cases are larger.

       *       *       *       *       *

Most insects walk as well as fly, and their walking is not less
wonderful than their flight. Fig. 4 represents the foot of a fly. It
will be seen, under a strong microscope, to have a pair of large claws
and a pair of leaf-like plates, one on each side. The claws and the
plates have different uses. The plates are used when the fly is walking,
say, up a window-pane or along a ceiling. They are moved so as to lie
flat on the surface which the fly is crossing, and when they are laid
flat a number of tiny hairs are pushed out from them, from the tips of
which a sticky liquid oozes, so that the fly is practically glued to the
surface on which it is crawling. The claws are used to cling on to
uneven surfaces, on which they can get a good grip. In the next article
we shall say more about the way in which insects walk.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.

[Illustration: "There stood Captain Knowlton."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 175._)


During the meal Mr. Westlake talked about cricket, asking whether I
played, and I explained that there had not been enough of us at
Castlemore to make a proper eleven. He inquired further about Mr. Turton
and Mr. Windlesham, and gradually led the conversation round to the days
when I used to live in Acacia Road with Aunt Marion. I told him that she
had married Major Ruston, and gone to India, but that I did not know her
address nor Major Ruston's regiment.

'We can soon find that out,' he said, and sent the butler for the _Army
List_. When he had looked in this, he raised his eyes to my face again,
mentioning the number of the regiment, and explaining that it was at
present at Madras.

Then he turned to the book again. 'I don't find Captain Knowlton--didn't
you say that was the name?' he asked.

'Yes,' I answered, 'but he left the service when he came home from
India, four or five years ago. He came into a lot of money, you see.'

'And Captain Knowlton was your guardian?' he asked, fixing his eyeglass.

'Not exactly an ordinary guardian,' I explained. 'My father was a
soldier too, and Captain Knowlton said he saved his life, and that was
why he looked after me.'

After I had told him all about Mr. Parsons, he rose and went to the room
where I had first seen him, calling me to follow. I shut the door when
Mrs. Westlake had entered, and Mr. Westlake stood lighting a cigar.

'Upon my word,' he said, in his slightly drawling voice, 'there seems to
be only one thing that is possible to be done with you for the present,
Everard.'

'What is that?' I asked, with considerable misgiving.

'Naturally,' he continued, 'I shall write to Major Ruston and explain
the exact circumstances in which Mrs. Westlake found you, and I have no
doubt that when he hears what I shall tell him, he will make some sort
of arrangement for your future.'

'But it will take a long time to get an answer.'

'No doubt, but you seem to be placed in a very awkward position. As far
as I can understand, Captain Knowlton had every intention of looking
after you if he had lived----'

'Oh, yes!' I cried, 'because he told me I was to go to Sandhurst.'

'But, you see,' he said, 'he did not make a will. Is that right?'

'Yes,' I answered. 'Mr. Turton found out the address of his solicitor,
and told me there was no will.'

'So that, except your aunt in India,' he continued, 'there appears to be
no one upon whom you have the least claim. Yet, Mr. Turton----'

'I don't want to go back to Mr. Turton,' I cried, taking a step towards
him.

He took his cigar from his lips, and stood gazing for a few seconds at
the ash, which he then knocked off into the fender.

'That is all very well,' he said. 'I suppose no boy who ran away from
school ever felt any strong desire to return. But I understand that you
admit that Mr. Turton tried to find you--that, in fact, he would have
found you if Jacintha had acted as she ought to have done.'

'I don't want to get Jacintha into a row,' I exclaimed, and the
slightest of smiles lighted his face.

'I am certain you don't,' he answered, 'and you need not trouble
yourself on that score. But as Mr. Turton tried to find you, it is
pretty clear that he wished to take you back with him. Now, if he
wished to take you back, he could not have had any strong objection to
keeping you. You don't complain that he treated you brutally?'

'No,' I said, 'I never saw him give any fellow a licking; but,
still----'

'Anyhow,' Mr. Westlake continued, 'I have decided to write to Major
Ruston, and tell him all the circumstances, offering to do anything on
your behalf which he wishes; then I shall take a train to Castlemore the
first thing to-morrow morning and have a chat with Mr. Turton.'

'I wish you wouldn't,' I exclaimed.

'That is what I feel compelled to do,' he said, 'and what I hope will
happen is this. I hope that Mr. Turton will take you back and promise me
to treat you well until there's time to get an answer from Madras. If
that answer is unfavourable, though it is not in the least likely to be,
I shall see Mr. Turton again. In any case, we must have no more
wanderings. There has been enough of that. Supposing that Major Ruston
cannot do anything, and Mr. Turton declines to keep you, we must make
the best of a bad job. No doubt I can find you employment in a firm with
which I am connected, and you ought to have sense enough to see that
this is the very best thing to be done in the circumstances.'

'Couldn't you find me work at once, and not tell Mr. Turton?' I
suggested eagerly, while Mrs. Westlake fixed her eyes on his face. But
he slowly shook his head.

'Understand,' he said, 'I don't intend to lose sight of you again. At
the worst, you will have to work for your living; but, in the meantime,'
he added, 'I am going to put you on your honour. You must give me your
word not to attempt to leave the house alone until my return.'

Of course I gave my word, but I felt that my last hope had gone. All
that I had done, all that I had passed through, had been to no purpose.
I might as well--far better--have stayed at Castlemore, since there
seemed little doubt that I should be taken back to Ascot House
to-morrow. I could imagine Augustus's triumphant snigger, and all the
humiliation of the return.

'I should not be surprised,' said Jacintha, later in the afternoon, 'if
Mr. Turton refused to take you back, and if he does,' she exclaimed,
'Father is going to see whether Mr. Windlesham will have you until he
hears from Major Ruston.'

'I should not mind that,' I answered. 'I shall not mind anything if I
don't go back to Mr. Turton's.'

I went to bed early that night, and slept perfectly until one of the
maids knocked at my door the next morning. But when--as soon as we had
finished breakfast--Mr. Westlake was driven away from the door in a
hansom, I felt that my own departure might be only a matter of a few
hours. During the morning Mrs. Westlake took me out for a drive with
Jacintha, but try as I might it was impossible to show them a cheerful
face, and while I understood that Mr. Westlake was doing what he
considered the best for me, it seemed difficult not to regard him as an
enemy. That afternoon I sat in the dining-room, unable to attempt to
make my escape because of the promise which I had given Mr. Westlake,
yet feeling that there were few things I would not endure rather than
eat humble pie and go back to Mr. Turton.

Four o'clock had struck, and Mr. Westlake might arrive at almost any
moment with the news of my fate.

'Do you think,' suggested Jacintha, 'that Father will bring Mr. Turton
with him?'

'I should not be a scrap surprised,' I answered, dismally. 'Then I shall
sleep at Ascot House to-night.'

'Mind you write,' she exclaimed, 'and tell me everything that horrid
Augustus says, and all about things.'

A little later, as the clock struck half-past four, Mrs. Westlake
entered the room.

'I think Mr. Westlake must have missed the train which he expected to
catch,' she said. 'The next will not bring him home until about
half-past six.'

'We were wondering whether Father would bring Mr. Turton with him!'
cried Jacintha.

Mrs. Westlake came to my side, resting a hand on my shoulder. 'You
know,' she said, gently, 'that at the very worst you will only stay at
Castlemore until we hear from Mrs. Ruston.'

But, for some reason, I placed very little confidence in Aunt Marion,
who, I felt certain, had entirely washed her hands of me before her
marriage. Presently Jacintha suggested that we should go to another room
where there was a chess-table, but it was impossible to fix my thoughts
on the game, and she checkmated me twice in ten minutes.

'It's no good,' I exclaimed. 'I can't think of anything but Mr. Turton.'

When the clock on the mantelpiece struck six, I rose from my chair and
began to fidget about the room, looking every few minutes to see how the
time was passing.

'I think I heard a cab or something stop at the door!' cried Jacintha
presently.

'So did I!' I muttered.

'I wish I knew whether Mr. Turton had come,' she said.

'Can't you find out?' I suggested.

'Perhaps I can see from the hall,' she answered, and as the front door
bell rang again she left me alone in the room.

A few seconds later she hastily re-entered.

'There _are_ two!' she cried, excitedly.

'Is one of them Mr. Turton?' I demanded.

'I could not see distinctly through the glass door,' she said. 'Only I
am quite positive there are two.'

As she spoke, and I gave myself up for lost, the butler hastened past
the open door of the room in the act of thrusting his left arm into his
sleeve. The bell was rung a second time.

'Do have another look!' I urged, and once more Jacintha darted out of
the room, while I felt, for my own part, as if my feet were riveted to
one particular part of the carpet.

'It isn't Mr. Turton,' she exclaimed, returning the next instant, and
this was at least a reprieve.

'Perhaps he wouldn't have me back after all,' I answered, and then I
felt suddenly cold from head to foot, for the voice of Mr. Westlake's
companion sounded remarkably like one which I had never hoped to hear
again. Unable to restrain myself, I ran out to the hall, and there stood
Captain Knowlton giving his hat and stick to the butler.

'Ah, Jack!' he said, with one of his casual nods; and he took my hand as
if he had parted with me yesterday, and had been expected back as a
matter of course to-day. But I began to laugh and cry by turns, clinging
to his hand as if I were fully determined never to let him go again.

(_Continued on page 187._)



A SPARROW'S COOLNESS.


Our commonest bird is the sparrow, that plucky, impudent, little
creature which hops about in our gardens and yards, and twitters upon
our roofs all day long. It seems rather difficult at first to understand
why it should be so much more common than other birds. It is not large
or strong, or swift on the wing, and it seems to have none of those
advantages which would help it to defend itself against enemies. It is
not handsome, and it is not a sweet songster, so that man is not
disposed to give it much protection. He is often prompted to destroy it,
because of the injury which it does to his gardens and his crops.

But in spite of all its difficulties, the sparrow thrives, and brings up
a numerous family, because it has less fear of man than other birds
have. It frequents the haunts of men, while other birds are scared away
from them. It requires some courage to brave the noise and tumult of a
town, but the sparrow possesses this courage, and is rewarded
accordingly. As other birds are too timid to trust themselves to a life
among houses and streets, the sparrow needs no protection from them.

Ordinary as the sparrow is in almost every respect, we cannot but admire
its courage and its wariness. It is surrounded by many dangers, and it
is not only surprising how it braves them, but also how watchfully it
looks out for them, and how cleverly it learns to avoid them. We all
know how it watches the cats and the dogs, and even a man with a gun,
and seeks a place of safety at the first sign of danger.

One of the newspapers recently gave a very striking instance of a
sparrow's confidence and coolness. A passenger who was waiting for a
train in one of the Underground Railway stations observed a sparrow
hopping upon the rails in search of crumbs. A train came into the
station from the direction in which the passenger wished to travel, and
he had leisure to watch the sparrow. It allowed the engine to come
within a few feet of it, and then, instead of flying away, it quickly
hopped off the rail upon which it stood, and hopped into the space
between the rails. There it lay until the train puffed out of the
station, when it jumped upon the rails again, and resumed its search for
crumbs. Presently another train entered the station, and the sparrow was
seen to repeat its previous action, and to take refuge once more between
the wheels of the train.

W. A. ATKINSON.

[Illustration: "It hopped into the space between the rails."]

[Illustration: "The woodpecker fled in fear."]



THE INTRUDING SQUIRREL.


The squirrel in the woods is as full of frolic and play as a kitten. One
would think that it had not a care or anxiety of any kind to break in
upon its play. And yet it has food to find, a family to bring up, a
winter nest to make, and several stores of food to lay up ready for
those occasional days when it wakes up from its long winter's sleep.

This winter sleep of the squirrel, and some other animals, is something
very strange, which we do not thoroughly understand. With the first
touch of winter's cold, they curl themselves up, and fall into a sleep
which lasts until the return of spring. This sleep, or hibernation as it
is properly called, is a very useful habit for the animals which are
subject to it, because it enables them to live on at a time when their
food is very often scarce. During this sleep their bodies scarcely waste
away at all, and a few good meals, when they wake, soon put them right;
whereas, if they were always running about, they would be almost
incessantly hungry, and would probably die of starvation during the
winter.

Some animals remain torpid throughout the winter, while others wake up
occasionally, and enjoy a day's life every now and then in the midst of
their long sleep. The common squirrel is one of the latter. Whenever
there is a warm, mild day in winter, it wakes up, feeling very hungry,
and turns out of its nest for a run. If it trusted to chance for a meal,
it would have to return to its nest hungry. But during the autumn it has
gathered large quantities of hazel-nuts, acorns, beech-nuts, and
fir-cones, and has stored them away in various holes near its nest.
When, therefore, it has enjoyed one of its winter runs, it visits one of
these store-houses, makes a hearty meal, and then returns to its nest to
sleep for a few more days, or a few more weeks, until another warm day
comes round.

The squirrel selects for his storehouses various holes in the trunk of
the tree near his nest, which are often the deserted nests of some
wood-pecker. Indeed, he is not always content to wait until the
wood-pecker deserts her nest, especially as he relishes the taste of an
egg. A writer in the _Standard_ describes how he saw a wood-pecker
turned out of her house to make room for an impudent squirrel. The
squirrel, descending backwards down a tree-trunk, suddenly found his
hind legs in a hole. Probably he felt something sharp pecking at them,
for he drew them out quickly, and rapidly climbed to a branch
immediately above. A moment later a wood-pecker flew out of the hole.
The squirrel watched her out of sight, and then returned to the nest,
and helped himself to an egg or two, which he carried up to his perch,
and ate.

When these were disposed of, he descended once more to the wood-pecker's
nest and waited for the return of the bird. The moment she appeared at
the entrance to her nest, the squirrel flew at her like an angry cat.
The startled wood-pecker fled in fear, and the squirrel came forth
triumphantly and went away for a short time. Whilst he was away the
wood-pecker came again and looked into her nest. Something, however,
probably a broken egg, displeased her, and she flew away again. Shortly
afterwards her mate looked into the nest, but he, too, was dissatisfied,
and flew away. Many times they returned to the nest, but always with the
same result. At length they seemed to make up their minds that they
could never make their home in that nest again, and they flew away to
another part of the wood. The squirrel promptly took possession of the
deserted nest, and when autumn came he turned it into a store-house for
nuts.

W. A. ATKINSON.



THE GREAT PICTURE BOOK.


    The world's a pleasant picture-book,
    Wherein my eyes may daily look,
    And see the things set there to please:
    Mountains and valleys, rocks and trees.

    Soft rivers where the sunbeams play;
    The blue sky spread far, far away;
    Bright flowers that blossom at my feet,
    The tender grass, the ripened wheat.

    Though I am young, I may grow wise
    When on this book I turn my eyes,
    And, as I look, with reverence see
    The pictures painted there for me.

    'Tis God Who made this book so fair,
    Who gave the colours that are there;
    Who paints the daisies red and white,
    And in the sky sets stars at night.

FRANK ELLIS.



THE STORY OF SLATE.


Slates are not so much used in our schools as they were years ago,
exercise-books being cheaper now. Still, there are some schools where
the children have slates, and pocket-books are to be bought, containing
a slate tablet, on which you can write notes, and rub them out
afterwards to make fresh ones. Slates upon the roofs of houses are
objects familiar to us all. Probably few, young or old, who have to do
with slates, ever think what this substance is, and where it has come
from. Yet slate is one of the most wonderful things in this world of
ours.

Supposing the first question put to us was, 'What is slate?' our answer
would be, 'It is simply a sort of dried mud.' If the second was, 'What
is its place amongst the rocks of our earth?' we should say, 'Slate
belongs to the Cambrian formation.' This is a big series of rocks,
sometimes eighteen thousand feet thick. It contains in the middle what
geologists call _flags_ and _grits_, but the larger part of it is
slates. There is but one series of rocks more ancient than the Cambrian,
and that is the one called the Laurentian, which is said not to be found
in Britain.

'Cambrian,' some might say: there is a reason for that name, which of
course is only another word for Welsh. Though, in their first order,
these slaty rocks lie deep down, they have been lifted high up, and they
show us some of the grandest scenery we have in this island. The hills
and precipices of Wales, and the hollows where the mountain streams
flow, tell of the shakings and twistings that the Cambrian rocks have
gone through. Amongst them grow ferns and rare flowers, while many a
tourist draws in new strength as he mounts them. Sometimes, high up, the
rains and winds have made the rocks so bare that even mosses cannot live
upon them, and in the clear sunlight the slates appear of various
shades, from pink to deep blue.

One curious thing about slate is that the layers are often twisted or
wrinkled. This has been caused, partly at least, by their being thrust
up when half hardened, so as to cause a sort of fold or crease. This was
chiefly done by the still harder granite.

It is wonderful to think of the succession of plants and animals that
slate has had to do with; it was in existence when the coal forests were
forming, and it must have been trodden by the strange creatures of other
strata, which are now extinct, but of which relics are dug up. Another
remarkable fact is that the slate-beds have had wonderful ups and downs
over and over again during the earth's changes--being at one time under
a deep sea, at another lifted to form hills, as we frequently see them
now.



FROST-BITTEN IN THE RED SEA.


A strange accident happened a few years ago on board a large steamer in
the Red Sea.

One of the assistant-stewards had occasion to go to the ship's ice-room
to fetch something which had been forgotten when the day's provisions
were given out in the morning.

The man was not missed for some time, and, when search was made, the
poor fellow was found nearly frozen to death. Some one had thoughtlessly
slammed the door of the refrigerator, which could only be opened from
the outside.

The prisoner had a terrible experience, and after doing what he could to
attract attention, had sunk exhausted on the floor.

Fortunately, the head steward noticed that the key of the ice-room was
missing, and this led to the man's discovery. If he had not been found
till the following day, he would probably have been the first man to be
frozen to death in one of the hottest parts of the world.



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Continued from page 183._)

CHAPTER XXI.


With the return of Captain Knowlton the story seems to come to its
natural end; but, although he had heard from Mr. Westlake all about my
own adventures, there still remained, of course, a great deal to
discuss.

When he was presented to Mrs. Westlake, she insisted that we should both
dine in Grosvenor Gardens, and as it was difficult to refuse anything to
one who had shown me such kindness, Captain Knowlton apologised for his
travelling clothes and consented. Presently, when we were all sitting
down together, Mrs. Westlake begged for Captain Knowlton's story. He
leaned back in his arm-chair, beginning in an easy, conversational tone,
as if he were telling us about a walk from one part of London to
another.

'It was April when I left the Solent in the _Seagull_,' he said, 'making
for Gibraltar, where I picked up two or three men of my old regiment,
and cruised for a week or two in the Mediterranean. Early in May I
sailed for Madeira, touched at the Canaries, then steamed south, crossed
the line, and in due course reached Capetown. There the man who was to
have accompanied me for the whole trip found a telegram to the effect
that his father lay seriously ill in Vienna, so that I had to continue
the voyage without him. A few days out from Capetown we got into very
bad weather, which grew worse and worse until, in the middle of the
roughest night I ever experienced, we were run down by a huge liner,
which brutally went on her way, leaving us to our fate. The skipper
wanted to be the last to leave the _Seagull_, but I sent him off with
seven or eight of the crew, and, before the rest could get away, the
ship went down under us. I found myself in the water, one moment lifted
high on the crest of an enormous wave, the next sunk in the trough. I
gave myself up for lost, when something was washed against my arm, and
seizing it, to my great good fortune, I found that it was one of our
life-rafts, which had served as a seat on the _Seagull's_ deck.

'The night was the blackest you can imagine; from the moment the ship
foundered I saw nothing either of the boat's crew or of the men who had
been left with me. For what seemed an endless time I clung to my raft,
and I imagine that the tide must have carried me some distance from the
scene of the wreck. As the night wore on--it seemed as if it would never
pass--I grew weaker and weaker, but presently the sky became lighter,
and just as I was telling myself that I might as well let go of the raft
and bring things to an end, I saw a small schooner close by. After half
an hour of terrible suspense, I began to think she was bearing down upon
me, and, with such strength as I had left, I shouted. At last, thank
Heaven, I succeeded in attracting attention; a line was thrown, and
after some little trouble, more dead than alive, I was hauled on board.

'The schooner was a Spaniard bound for Valparaiso, but she had lost two
men--washed overboard in the storm--and been a good deal knocked about.
In fact, I began to think that my end had only been postponed for a few
hours. She had sprung a leak, the water seemed to be gaining, and after
a short rest I took my turn at the pumps with the crew. However, we rode
out the storm, and then, two or three days later, we lay becalmed for
three weeks. She was, at the best, the slowest craft I have ever seen,
and everything seemed to be dead against her. We were many miles out of
our course, the stock of provisions--such as it was--and of water ran
short, and although the captain seemed very little dissatisfied, I grew
more and more hopeless.

'Naturally,' said Captain Knowlton, with a glance in my direction, 'I
thought a good deal of Everard. I knew that there was no one but myself
to provide for him, and that in any case I should be given up for lost.
Even if (as happily proved to be the case) our skipper succeeded in
getting to land, he would be certain to report all the crew that were
not in his boat as drowned--as, in fact, they all were except myself. I
fumed and fretted to reach land, but that was all I could do, and when
at last we got to Valparaiso, I lost no time in sending Mr. Windlesham a
telegram.'

(_Concluded on page 194._)



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure in the North Sea and in China.

By H. C. MOORE, Author of 'Britons at Bay,' &c.

CHAPTER I.


'I want a North Sea fisherman's outfit.'

'Yes, sir,' the Grimsby shopkeeper answered cheerfully, suspecting that
his young, gentlemanly-looking customer required the things for a
fancy-dress entertainment or theatricals. In two or three minutes he had
produced for inspection a jersey, thick trousers--commonly called
'fear-noughts'--heavy top-boots, and a set of oilskins.

'I will try them on,' the lad said, and, retiring behind a screen,
changed his clothes. Then he looked round for a glass, anxious to
satisfy himself that he had the appearance of a North Sea fisherman. The
shopkeeper, unasked, assured him that he had, and, as there was no one
else there who could be consulted, the youth purchased the outfit.

'Do my other things up in a parcel,' he said to the shopkeeper. 'I will
keep these on.'

'But it's raining hard, sir,' the man exclaimed, not believing that his
customer wanted the clothes for real use.

'I don't mind that at all. I want a little of the newness rubbed off.
Now I come to think of it, I might just as well have had a second-hand
outfit.'

The shopkeeper rustled the brown paper, and pretended that he had not
heard what was said.

'May I send it home?' he asked when he had made a neat parcel of the
suit, cap, and boots which the boy had taken off.

'Yes. I will write the address.'

When the bill had been paid, the lad stepped out into the dirty Grimsby
street, and strode off in the direction of the docks.

The clothes _were_ meant for use after all. Charlie Page--for that was
the lad's name--was not going to a fancy-dress ball, but had purchased
his fisherman's outfit because, on the following morning, he was to
begin work as a deck hand on board the steam trawler, _Sparrow-hawk_.

How it came about that he was bound for the Dogger Bank needs
explanation. His father was a prosperous Lincolnshire man who had built
up a large export business, which was now about to be converted into a
limited liability company. Mr. Page was to become managing director of
the new company, but, unfortunately, he could find no suitable position
in the concern for his son Charlie. He determined, therefore, to
purchase, with a portion of the money which he would receive from the
company, a new business for his son.

He had heard that there were three Grimsby steam trawlers for sale, and
entered into correspondence with the respective owners. The price which
they asked for the trawlers was not high if they really earned what it
was asserted they did, but Mr. Page had a strong suspicion that the
amount of their profits was exaggerated.

'Shall I go to Grimsby and discover the truth?' Charlie said to his
father one evening rather suddenly. 'I might get a job on one of those
three trawlers and keep a sharp look-out all the while I was aboard her.
I could count the boxes of fish, and get all the information that I
could from the crew.'

'A good idea, my boy, but do you think that you could carry it out? A
North Sea fisherman's life is a terribly rough one. It would not be a
pleasure trip for you.'

There was a great deal of discussion before Charlie's daring plan was
finally adopted. Mr. Page was struck by his son's grit and keenness, and
knew, moreover, that the experience would do him good. In his own young
days, before he returned to Lincolnshire and settled down to business,
Mr. Page had spent three eventful years in South America, and although
he had had many decidedly unpleasant adventures, he by no means
regretted them. He was glad, too, to find that his son inherited some of
his love of adventure, especially as it was to be used, in this case,
for a good, sensible purpose. Charlie was only sixteen, but he was big
and strong for his age, and the sea air and hard life would probably do
him good physically as well as morally.

'I will give you ten pounds,' he said to Charlie on the following
morning, 'and as you are not likely to be away much more than a week, it
will, I think, be ample for your wants.'

Charlie thanked him heartily, and an hour or two later started for
Grimsby. He knew the town well, and making his way to the docks, had
little difficulty in finding where the _Sparrow-hawk_ lay. She was
coaling when he discovered her, and knowing that all hands would be
busy, he sat down on the black scaffold-like dock and watched from a
distance as truck after truck was tilted over, sending its load of coal
into the shoot, down which it ran with a rattle on to the ship's deck.
The trawler's men, black as niggers, shovelled the coal quickly into the
hold. Fortunately the greater portion of the load had been taken aboard
before Charlie arrived, and after waiting for about half an hour, he saw
the last truck-load shot down. He knew then that in about an hour's time
some of the _Sparrow-hawk's_ men would be coming ashore. He watched them
with interest as, having shovelled all the coal into the hold, they
turned the hose on the deck, and with brooms and swabs worked hard to
remove the coal-dust which coated everything. When this task was
finished, the men gathered around two buckets and washed themselves.
They needed washing badly.

[Illustration: "'I will keep these on,' he said to the shopkeeper."]

The first two men who came ashore had friends waiting for them, so that
Charlie had no opportunity of speaking to them. The third man to come
ashore had no one waiting for him. He was a short, bow-legged little
man, with a goatee beard and a small brass ring in the lobe of each ear.
Charlie spoke to him.

'Thank you, sir,' the man answered, as he took the tobacco which Charlie
offered. 'Smoking is not allowed here, so I will save it till I get
outside the gates.'

'Are you a Grimsby man?' Charlie asked.

'No fear. I come from Gorleston. If this was Yarmouth I should be able
to enjoy myself at home, but as it's Grimsby I don't expect to have much
of an evening.'

Charlie felt that he had come across the very man he wanted.

'Come to my hotel and have a chat,' he suggested. 'I want some
information about North Sea fishermen.'

'Certainly, sir. Are you a journalist?'

The bow-legged fisherman had a great respect for journalists, having on
one occasion received from a newspaper representative a good big 'tip'
for describing how a trawler worked.

Charlie could not, however, by the greatest stretch of imagination, call
himself a journalist, and so he ignored the question put to him. The
fisherman put his silence down to modesty.

The hotel at which Charlie had taken a room was close to the docks, and,
therefore, the manager and waiters were not horrified, as they would
have been at a London hotel, at seeing a rough fisherman brought into
the building.

After Charlie had seen that the man had some food, they went to his
sitting-room.

'I'm happy now, sir,' the fisherman declared, having lighted a pipe and
thrown himself back into a roomy chair.

For a few minutes there was silence. Then Charlie said, 'I should very
much like to make a trip to the North Sea on a steam trawler.'

'I should not advise you to do so, sir. A trawler is no place for a
gentleman.'

'Nevertheless, I mean to go out in one.'

'Ah! I see your game, sir. You have heard what a rough time we fellows
have in the North Sea, and you have come down here to get information,
and then put it in a London newspaper. But it's no good, sir. There's no
skipper in the North Sea who wouldn't guess what you were up to, and
make some excuse for not taking you aboard his ship. You must give up
the idea, sir.'

'I mean to get a job on a trawler, and go to sea as an ordinary
fisherman. Then I shall be able to obtain, from personal observation,
all the information I want.'

The bow-legged fisherman sat up in his chair deeply interested.

'That's a splendid idea, sir,' he declared, 'and I only wish you could
get a job on the _Sparrow-hawk_, for you would see enough on that
trawler to make you write till you wore out your pen. The skipper is an
old villain, and that crafty too----'

The bow-legged fisherman did not finish his speech, but nodded his head,
and raised his hands in horror, as if words were too weak to express the
real character of the skipper. Naturally, Charlie became more anxious
than ever to make a trip on the _Sparrow-hawk_.

'Can't I get a job on her?' he asked.

'No, sir. All the same hands are taken on for the next trip.'

'Couldn't I bribe one of them to stay away, and let me go aboard in his
place?'

'Pretending that you are he?'

'Yes.'

''Course you could. Take my place, sir.'

'I am afraid that is not possible,' Charlie remarked, thinking of the
fisherman's bow legs and goatee beard.

'Why not? It isn't hard to pretend you are bandy-legged. Lots of boys
pretend they are bandy-legged when they see me coming.'

'It would be rather tiring to have to continue the pretence for two or
three weeks. Moreover, I haven't a beard.'

'You could say you had shaved it off.'

'That would mean that I should have to shave nothing every morning, just
to keep up the deception. If I didn't, the crew would wonder why my
beard didn't grow. But, joking apart, I am very anxious to make a trip
in the _Sparrow-hawk_, and if you, at the last moment, will pretend that
you are too ill to go aboard, and will send me as a substitute, I will
pay you your wages, and give you a present as well.'

'I agree, sir,' the fisherman declared, promptly.

'When does the _Sparrow-hawk_ sail?' Charlie asked.

'In two days' time.'

'Then I must buy my outfit to-morrow. Where shall I meet you to-morrow
afternoon?'

'At the Fishermen's Home, sir.'

'Very well. I will be there at four o'clock, and here is
half-a-sovereign for you, to show that I am in earnest.'

'Thank you, sir,' the fisherman exclaimed, and departed, more than ever
convinced that journalists were the most generous fellows in the world.

(_Continued on page 198._)



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

V.--THE FIRST ASCENT IN ENGLAND.


Though the English people, on the whole, disbelieved the tales they
heard of the French balloonists, they became very interested when a
certain young Italian, named Vincent Lunardi (Secretary to the Naples
Ambassador), gave out that he was willing to build a balloon and make a
voyage in it. Those devoted to science contributed willingly to the
expenses, and large crowds paid to be allowed to see the balloon while
it was being made. When nearly complete, it was exhibited in the Lyceum,
and the arrangements made with the proprietor of that building very
nearly led to disaster. He proved to be a greedy, dishonest man, and
when Lunardi wished to move the balloon to where the ascent was to be
made, he refused to let it go unless he was paid half of all Lunardi
secured by the venture, and a large share in any profits that might be
made on future occasions. Here was a difficulty Lunardi had not
expected, and it came with many others equally unlooked for. When
Lunardi first made the proposal, he had got leave from the Governors of
Chelsea Hospital to ascend from their spacious grounds; but, while the
balloon was being made, a certain Frenchman had set up in opposition,
and announced that he would give a display immediately. This promise he
failed to keep, and the disappointed sightseers paid him back by
breaking up his machinery. The idea of such a thing being repeated
terrified the Governors of Chelsea Hospital, and they requested Lunardi
to go elsewhere. He had just got over this trouble by being promised the
ground of the Honourable Artillery Company, when the proprietor of the
Lyceum refused to release the balloon. The Artillery Company, thinking
themselves the victims of a fraud, ordered the apparatus, which had been
sent to them, to to be thrown off the ground unless Lunardi found
securities in five hundred pounds to cover any injuries their premises
might suffer at the hands of the mob. But the proprietor of the Lyceum
had overreached himself, and when the matter was explained he was
compelled to give up the balloon, which was forthwith taken to the
artillery grounds under a special guard.

Two days later the scene of action was thronged by a noisy crowd, and
Lunardi has spoken of the dread he felt lest anything should happen to
delay the ascent. While the balloon was being filled, he viewed the
assembly from the upper storey of the Artillery House. Windows, roofs,
and scaffoldings were crammed, while in the large square below, the
people were so closely packed that it 'looked like a pavement of human
heads.' And they were by no means orderly, for most had come with the
idea that they were to be deceived. The arrival of the Prince of Wales,
however, put them in a better humour, and in less than two hours after
the appointed time, Vincent Lunardi carried out his promise. He would
not risk a longer delay. Though the balloon was only two-thirds full of
gas, and he had to disappoint a friend who had arranged to sail with
him, he gave the signal and weighed anchor.

The grumblings of the fickle crowd turned to roars of applause, as the
balloon rose slowly over the house-tops. The noisiest and the roughest
there forgot the jests they had made at Lunardi's expense. And Vincent
Lunardi forgot them, too, for his worry was over, and his long labour
rewarded.

He had made his balloon without any valve at the top, and in order to
descend, had fitted it with long oars, shaped like lacrosse sticks.
These he now began to work in order that the vast crowds, who had not
been near enough to see him embark, might know that he was in the car.
But scarcely had he placed his hands upon them, when one of the oars
snapped off, and returned to the earth. It was instantly broken into
fragments by the crowd, the pieces being kept as relics by those who
were fortunate enough to secure them.

Lunardi then gave himself up to the enjoyment of his voyage, and watched
the great city spread beneath him till it became no more than a doll's
town.

Over the common of North Mimms Lunardi again plied his oars, and landed,
with the assistance of some country folk, in a field called Etna. Here
he released a cat which he had brought from London. It had felt the
coldness of the upper air considerably. A dog and some pigeons had also
accompanied him, and with these he continued his journey, finally
landing at Ware. A stone erected on the spot tells, to this day, the
story of his adventure.

As regards his mention of the oars, it has been pointed out that, since
Lunardi had to throw out ballast when rising the second time from Etna
field, it is hardly likely that his descent was due alone to the working
of the oars. It must have been through loss of gas, and he deceived
himself in thinking otherwise.

London was delighted at the news of his voyage. George III., who had
broken off an important state conference to peep through his telescope
at the wonderful balloon, afterwards allowed the young Italian to kiss
his hand at a brilliant levée. Military honours were bestowed upon him,
and with fewer obstacles in his way he now made fresh flights.

But perhaps his greatest triumphs were in Spain, the king of which
country gave him a residence in the royal palace at Madrid. Here, on
January 8th, 1793, he made a grand ascent, taking with him a number of
carrier pigeons. In the car of his balloon he wrote particulars of all
he saw, with as much ease as he would have done in his study. Carefully
folding the manuscript, he sent it on by one of the pigeons to the
governor of Madrid. It was the first time that the world had ever known
of a post-office in the sky, but, for all that, the letter was delivered
as promptly as any one could wish.

Lunardi's cruises in the clouds were sometimes attended by great danger,
particularly one he made in Portugal, on August 24th, 1794. It was a
windy day, and when, on nearing the earth, he threw out the anchor, the
rope snapped as it caught against a tree. The balloon rose to a height
of three miles, and fearing that he would be blown out to sea, Lunardi
pulled the valve-rope. Unfortunately this broke too, but enough gas
escaped to cause the balloon to descend rapidly. A quarter of an hour
later the car struck the ground with great violence, and a sack,
weighing twenty pounds, was jolted out. Relieved of this weight it rose
again, but less powerfully, and Lunardi found himself, a little later,
being dragged and bumped along the ground at a great pace. Some ignorant
peasants, terrified by the balloon, ran for their guns, and the poor
aeronaut was treated to a shower of bullets. Fortunately, the speed soon
carried him out of range; then, seizing an opportunity, he leapt from
the car, among a tumbling mass of ballast and scientific instruments.
When he found his feet, it was to see the balloon sailing at a great
height towards the sea, and a few minutes later it disappeared from his
sight for ever.

JOHN LEA.

[Illustration: The First Post-office in the Sky.]

[Illustration: ALL HANDS TO THE PUMP.]

[Illustration: "We were driven away from that truly hospitable house."]



THE BOY TRAMP.

(_Concluded from page 188._)


'There was nothing more to be done,' continued Captain Knowlton, 'till I
reached England. Of course I had no idea that Mr. Turton had taken Mr.
Windlesham's place at Ascot House. I reached Southampton yesterday,
travelled direct from there to Castlemore without touching London, and
saw Mr. Turton. It appears that he opened my telegram the day after you
ran away, Everard. By-the-bye,' demanded Captain Knowlton, 'I should
like to hear just why you did run away?'

'When they thought you were dead,' I answered, 'and that my school bill
would not be paid, and I should be left on their hands, they began to
treat me as if I were a servant. I did not believe I should ever see you
again; I knew I wasn't wanted there; I--I couldn't stand it, and I ran
away.'

'Well,' continued Captain Knowlton, 'Mr. Turton didn't seem to know
exactly what to say for himself. He explained, however, that he had paid
Mr. Windlesham a long price for the goodwill of the school, and that he
reckoned you as one of the most profitable pupils. He could ill afford
the loss of your account, to say nothing of your being left on his hands
to lodge and feed. Yet he assured me he had no intention to turn you
out, although he saw no harm, in all the circumstances, in making you
useful.'

'Still,' I exclaimed, 'he need not have made me black Augustus's boots.'

'That,' said Mr. Westlake, 'was evidently the last straw.'

I noticed that Jacintha watched Captain Knowlton's face with some
anxiety, thinking, perhaps, that he would show signs of displeasure at
my flight.

'Mr. Turton admits,' he continued, 'that since you had taken the law
into your own hands, he made no effort to overtake you until the arrival
of my telegram. Then, imagining you had turned towards London, he took
the train to various towns on the way, and no doubt did his utmost to
find you.'

'Oh!' cried Jacintha, abruptly.

'Well,' asked Mr. Westlake, 'what is it?'

'If I had told Mr. Turton where Everard was hiding,' she said, 'he would
have explained that Captain Knowlton was alive, and everything would
have been all right!'

'All's well that ends well!' remarked Captain Knowlton.

'Everard did not think it would end well the day before yesterday,'
cried Jacintha.

'The night is often the darkest just before dawn,' said her mother; but
for my own part I kept silent, for, looking back only a few days, and
recollecting what had been the outlook, I felt afraid of making an idiot
of myself if I ventured to open my lips.

'I gave Mr. Turton a cheque,' said Captain Knowlton, 'and I am afraid I
lost my temper. I saw the real state of affairs, and reckoned him up so
candidly that we did not part very good friends.'

'You certainly made an impression on him,' cried Mr. Westlake. 'He began
a long rigmarole when I explained my business this morning, but the main
point of it was that you had turned up and addressed him in language
which he really could not describe as polite.'

'No,' admitted Captain Knowlton, gazing at the tip of his cigar, 'I am
afraid he really couldn't.'

'He gave me the name of your hotel,' Mr. Westlake continued, 'and,
taking the next train to London, I was driven at once to Northumberland
Avenue, where luckily I found you at home.'

'I had just come back from an interview with my lawyer,' said Captain
Knowlton. 'Of course, I was very anxious to discover what had become of
this youngster, and, in fact,' he added, 'a private detective is already
looking for him, and to-morrow morning he will see himself advertised
for in every London newspaper.'

'A day after the fair!' cried Mrs. Westlake.

'And that,' said her husband, 'is about the end of the tale.'

'Not quite,' answered Captain Knowlton, rising from his arm-chair. 'The
most important thing remains to be done, and the most difficult.'

'That is all right, Knowlton,' said Mr. Westlake.

But Captain Knowlton paid no attention. 'I should very much like to
know,' he said, 'how to thank you kind people for all you have done.'

'Remember,' suggested Mrs. Westlake, 'that if Jacintha had acted
properly, the worst troubles would have been avoided.'

'In my opinion,' said Captain Knowlton, 'Jacintha is a brick. I
understand,' he continued, 'that you would rather not be thanked. All
the same I shall never forget your kindness, and I hope Everard will not
either.'

'No--no fear,' I muttered as I rose, trying to smile, and failing in the
most lamentable manner. But there seemed to be a general desire to treat
the affair lightly; we shook hands all round, the butler whistled for a
hansom, and appeared pleased with the tip which Captain Knowlton pressed
into his hand. So we were driven away from that truly hospitable house,
and that night I slept in a comfortable room at a great hotel in
Northumberland Avenue; the next morning being given up to various visits
to the tailor's, the hatter's, the hosier's, and so forth. After
luncheon, Captain Knowlton took me to his room and insisted that I
should once more relate my adventures from beginning to end; and, when
this was reached, we set out for New Scotland Yard, where in a private
room I was called upon to tell all I knew about Mr. Parsons and his
companions in the presence of an officer in plain clothes.

When I had finished, Captain Knowlton begged the police officer, if
possible, to dispense with my appearance as a witness. A few days later
we heard that Parsons, Loveridge, and another man had been arrested,
although I believe not at the house where I had passed so many miserable
hours. On investigation, it proved that there was evidence to convict
them without my aid, and although the trial did not take place for some
time, the three men were eventually sentenced to terms of imprisonment
which would prevent them from preying upon the public for many years to
come.

Captain Knowlton consulted Mr. Westlake about the choice of my next
school, with the result that a few weeks later found me settled at
Richmond with the 'crammer' who was expected to do great things for
Dick. Dick and I soon became the best of chums, and, later on, it
happened that we entered Sandhurst together, and were in due course
gazetted to our respective regiments the same month.

Shortly afterwards, we sailed for South Africa within a few days of each
other, and there, at Paardeberg, I received an unwelcome Mauser bullet
in my left thigh. While on sick leave at Capetown, waiting until it is
possible to rejoin my regiment at the front, I have passed the time by
writing this account of my adventures; and, now it is finished, it will
shortly be on its way to England, whither, if all go well, I hope,
before very many months have passed, to follow it.

THE END.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

9.--TRANSPOSITIONS.


These are the names of two famous soldiers, sailors, poets, novelists,
and two queens.

 1. EGLLINNOTW.
 2. ABGHMLOORRU.
 3. ELNNOS.
 4. ABEKL.
 5. AAEEEHKPRSS.
 6. ENNNOSTY.
 7. COSTT.
 8. CDEIKNS.
 9. ABEEHILTZ.
10. ACIIORTV.

[_Answers on page 230._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWER TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 167.

8.--1. Cake.
    2. Lake.
    3. Rake.
    4. Sake.
    5. Take.
    6. Wake.



A CENTRAL AFRICAN CAKE.


'Hiplay! lu--lu--lu--lu!'[3] some coal-black natives shouted joyously as
they stood by the shore of Lake Nyasa, and saw across the blue waters
what a European would have taken for water-spouts, or pillars of smoke.

But the natives knew better! Those great pillars darkening the air were
dense masses of that African delicacy, the Nkungu fly.

The men hurriedly seized the saucer-shaped baskets which they had with
them, and waved them round their heads till they were full of flies.

The next thing to do was to crush the flies in their hands, roll them in
leaves, and lay them to roast in the ashes of a wood fire.

When finished the mass looked rather like coffee-grounds, and tasted
like liquorice.

This is the only cake a Central African ever makes for himself. English
people would hardly want to rob him of it, but to him it is delicious.

FOOTNOTE:

[3] This is the Central African way of shouting 'Hurrah!'



THE WEATHER SPRITES.


LAST NIGHT.

    The Weather Sprites in slumber lie,
      'Tis plain as plain can be,
    For clouds have hidden all the sky--
      A mist is on the sea,
    They laid the brooms of wind away
      Before the day was done,
    And left a curtain, dull and grey,
      To hide the setting sun.

    'Wake, Weather Sprites! oh, wake again!
      You slumber all too soon,
    And, look you, drawn by imps of rain
      A ring is round the moon.
    With all your might rub out the ring,
      Mop all this rain away,
    For such a night can only bring
      An even duller day.'


THIS MORNING.

    Then through the darkness, ere I slept,
      I heard them passing by;
    Across the roof their brushes swept,
      Then cleared the misty sky.
    They mopped away with all their might,
      And dried the garden soon;
    While busy dusters rubbed from sight
      The ring around the moon.

    And as I throw the shutter wide,
      And look out at the dawn,
    The garden paths are neatly dried,
      And all the clouds are gone.
    But hark, where in the morning light
      Yon chestnut lifts its dome,
    I hear the last, last Weather Sprite
      Dragging her broomstick home.



WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

VI.--THE ROCK TEMPLES OF AJUNTA AND ELLORA.


On one of India's loneliest glens, called Ajunta, travellers come upon a
perfect settlement of buildings and temples, cut in the face of a
semicircle of cliffs about two hundred and fifty feet high. Over the
cliff leaps a brawling river, making seven distinct falls before
reaching the valley below.

From a distance only pillared fronts appear, but on a closer view the
real grandeur and beauty of the temples come to light. The inside walls
are covered with paintings, well drawn, and fairly well preserved. The
pictures chiefly illustrate the life of Buddha, and the sacred tree
beneath which he used to sit often appears in them, hung with rich gifts
from his followers. The good works which he did for the poor and
suffering are constantly painted. Other paintings show hunting scenes
and battles, drawn with great vigour and of huge size; others have
pictures of peacocks, elephants, apes, and other animals.

The architecture of these caves is very fine. We can hardly imagine the
enormous labour of cutting out the deep ribs of the roof, the light
twisted pillars, and elaborate framework for pictures which adorn the
galleries. The marvel is how human hands could have done such work,
especially when we remember that the natives of India, like those of
Egypt, who did great feats in rock architecture, had the smallest and
most delicately-shaped hands of all human races.

[Illustration: The Rock Temple of Kailus at Ellora.]

There are thirty-four distinct rock-temples at Ellora, near Aurangabad,
in India. Most of them are of the usual pattern of cave-temples, some
the work of Buddhists, others of a sect called Jains, who are famous for
kindness to animals. The more modern ones are built by Brahmins, and
these are the true marvels of Ellora, though they can hardly be
accounted as cave-temples, being cut bodily out of the rock outside as
well as inside. The way in which these monuments of industry were
probably built was as follows:--The builders first marked off a large
square of the cliff, and outside this square dug a wide deep trench,
leaving an immense mass of stone standing in the centre. Out of this
mass, which may or may not have contained natural caverns, they cut a
magnificent temple, standing on a raised platform, and adorned with
domes, galleries, colossal statues of animals and the richest forms of
ornament. Fancy the patient toil, lasting year after year, even when the
outside was finished, of scooping out the interior, with its great halls
and passages!

The most wonderful of these temples is called 'Kailus,' and is dedicated
to Siva the Destroyer. It has a great court, in which are ponds,
obelisks, figures of the Sphinx, and other ornaments, whilst in the
middle stands an immense group of elephants. Above these huge creatures,
rows of stately columns, in four tiers, one above the other, support the
actual temple, and the effect is so light that the building seems to be
hung in the air.

Kailus is the sacred mountain in Thibet, from which flow the four great
rivers of India, and every year thousands of pilgrims toil in solemn
procession round its ice-covered rocks, to bathe in the waters of the
sacred Lake Manseroeur, which lies below.

HELENA HEATH.

[Illustration: An Eastern Snake Charmer.]



EASTERN JUGGLERS.

Some True Anecdotes of Wonderful Feats.


Eastern kings and princes are careful, like those of Western countries,
that those visitors who come to them should have amusements. There is no
difficulty, at any time, in obtaining performers with snakes, for
serpent charmers and trainers are well-known and popular. The
fearlessness these men show is amazing; it has been said, indeed, that
they operate only with harmless snakes, or those deprived of their
fangs, but there seems to be evidence they can manage poisonous reptiles
in good condition for stinging. The charmers probably influence the
snakes in three ways--by music, by fumes arising from substances they
burn in a dish, and also by certain movements of their own bodies.
Sometimes they practise a sort of fortune-telling by snakes, the motion
of the reptile's head towards some object being supposed to give an
answer to a question.

A show of wild animals, too, often furnishes an entertainment, and
sometimes, after the animals have performed various tricks, or have had
mock fights, there is a second part consisting of conjuring and feats of
agility. A traveller in the East, describing one of these
entertainments, tells us of one Hindoo whom he saw, with very stout arms
but rather thin legs. He was bare to the waist, wearing white trousers
and a smart skull-cap of blue and yellow silk. A slight yet firm ladder
was placed upright; across the top was a strong pole, and at each end of
the pole a stout cord hung down. The ends of the cords were staked to
the ground, so that the apparatus could not give way. Having made a
salaam to the spectators, the Hindoo began his operations.

Rubbing his hands together, the juggler went to the ladder, and grasping
the first bar above his head, mounted with surprising activity, keeping
his feet motionless about six inches from the frame. Having reached the
top by the help of his hands only, he threw his feet upward, and was
seen resting upon his head with his arms crossed over his chest and his
legs closed. Thus he remained motionless for over a minute. Next, a cord
being flung to him from below, he caught it and drew up an iron ball
about six pounds in weight, enclosed in a netting of twine. Still
remaining upon his head, the Hindoo raised the ball to about three yards
from his hand, and then swung it circularly; after a few whirls he
launched it through the air, sending it a long distance over the heads
of the spectators. His next performance was even more startling. First,
he dexterously laid himself upon his back along the pole on top of the
ladder. Thus balanced, he had six native daggers, with broad,
double-edged blades, thrown to him, and caught each one in turn. Having
got them all, he threw them one by one several yards above his head,
catching them as they fell, and having always four in the air at the
same moment. After a few minutes he let all the daggers drop upon his
body, with the blades uppermost.

His next feat was, if possible, still more remarkable. An iron rod about
three feet long was stood upright on the pole; upon the top of it he
rested a large, shallow, wooden bowl, holding the rod balanced so
exactly that it kept quite perpendicular. With a sudden jump, the
performer seated himself in this bowl and caught twelve brass balls
thrown up to him. Projecting the whole lot into the air, he kept them
constantly in motion for several minutes, then sprang to his feet and
_stood_ in the bowl with the balls spinning round him. After a few
minutes he jumped upon the pole, letting the balls, the rod, and the
bowl drop to the ground. As a finish, the little man descended the
ladder upon his hands, going head first, and amid shouts of applause
bowed and retired.

J. R. S. C.



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 190._)

CHAPTER II.


From the clothes shop Charlie went to the Fishermen's Home, where he
found his bow-legged friend.

'Well,' Charlie said, when they were alone, 'what do you think of my
rig-out?'

'No good at all, sir,' the fisherman declared.

'Why not?' Charlie asked, somewhat astonished.

'Because, when you are cooking, the fewer things you have on the better
you work. When you have a oven each side of you----'

'Are you a cook, then?' Charlie interrupted.

'Yes, sir.'

'Then why did you not tell me so? I can't go aboard the _Sparrow-hawk_
as a cook, for I have never cooked anything but chestnuts in my life.'

'That doesn't matter, sir. North Sea fishermen are not very particular.
The great thing to remember is always to serve up a meal at the proper
time. If it isn't done, don't keep them waiting, but let them have it
underdone. Never let your fire go out day or night, and always keep your
kettle boiling.'

'Do the fellows ever want pudding?'

'Plum duff three times a week.'

'I shall have to give up the job, then, for I couldn't make plum duff to
save my life.'

'That's just what I used to say when I first went as cook aboard ship,
but I had a shot at it, and a nice mess I made of it. But when I came
home from that trip I gave another cook a shilling to teach me how to
make a few fancy things, and now I'm thought as good a cook as any in
the North Sea.'

'But you know how to make plum duff. I don't.'

'I will tell you. When I discovered how to make anything, I put the
particulars down in writing in a little book. I will lend you the book.'

The bow-legged cook put his hand in his pocket and drew out a grimy,
paper-covered note-book.

'Plum duff comes first,' he said, as he handed the book to Charlie. 'Can
you read it?'

'There are a few words which I can't quite understand,' Charlie replied,
for the cookery-book was an extraordinary work. The writing was bad, the
spelling was worse, and the abbreviations were confusing. But the cook
went right through the book with him then and there.

'Now you'll be able to cook anything,' he declared, when they had got to
the end.

'I'm not so sure of that,' Charlie answered; 'but anyhow, I shall have
some idea of how to set to work. What time to-morrow shall I have to be
aboard?'

'At six in the morning.'

'Won't the skipper discover me before we get out of the river?'

'No. He doesn't often pop his head into the galley. Anyhow, he cannot do
without a cook, and if he does see you, he won't turn you off when he
finds that I am not aboard. I will write a letter to the mate for you to
give him, and perhaps he won't say a word to the skipper about you.
Don't you worry yourself, you will be all right.'

Charlie slept that night at the Fishermen's Home. He had a clean and
comfortable bed for ninepence, and a good breakfast for a few coppers.
The bow-legged cook met him in the morning outside the Home, and gave
him a letter to the mate.

'It took me two hours to write,' he declared, 'and when I finished it I
didn't think it was worth while going to sleep. But that doesn't matter;
I shall get plenty of sleep during the next few weeks. I'm going to live
like a gentleman for a time.'

Charlie smiled, and drew his purse out of his pocket. 'Here is three
pounds,' he said. 'The other three I will give you when I return.'

'Suppose you don't return, sir? Accidents happen at sea as well as on
land. If you got washed overboard, should I lose my three pounds?'

'Oh, no. I have written to my father, telling him the agreement I have
made with you, and if I should not return he will pay you the money.
Here is his address.'

'Thank you, sir, very much,' the cook answered. 'And now, as it's a
quarter to six, you had better hurry off to the _Sparrow-hawk_. Light
the fire and put the kettle on it directly you get aboard. The chaps
will want some tea long before they have their breakfast.'

'I'll remember,' Charlie promised; 'good-bye.' And with his bundle of
belongings on his shoulder, he hurried off to where the _Sparrow-hawk_
lay.

'Where is the mate?' Charlie inquired of a boy who looked at him sharply
as he went aboard the _Sparrow-hawk_.

'For'ard,' the boy answered.

Charlie went for'ard, and seeing a man standing with his arms folded,
watching three men who were working hard, concluded rightly that he was
the mate, and handed him the cook's letter.

'Who is it from?' the mate asked.

'The cook, sir,' Charlie answered.

The mate tore open the envelope and glanced at the letter. 'He wrote it
with a toasting-fork, I should think,' the mate declared, after looking
at it for a few moments. 'He says he is ill. At any rate, he has not
turned up. So you're his substitute? Well, take your things below and
get into the galley sharp. I want a mug of tea as soon as possible.'

Charlie went down into the foc's'le--a small, dark, stifling place where
eight men slept. The thought of having to spend his nights in that
dirty, close den made him half-inclined to jump ashore before the boat
started. Quickly overcoming the thought, he set to work to discover
which was his bunk, and while he was searching for some sign that would
help him to settle the matter, a Chinaman came below. He was dressed in
ordinary North Sea fishermen's clothes, and his pigtail was wound
tightly round the top of his head. Charlie mistook his natural
expression for a friendly smile, and therefore smiled in return.

'Which is the cook's bunk?' he asked immediately, and the Chinaman
pointed it out to him.

The Chinaman watched Charlie as he stowed his things away and donned his
cook's apron. Then he exclaimed suddenly, 'You no sailor-man!'

Charlie looked at the Chinaman in surprise. 'How can you tell?' he
asked.

'Never mind,' the Chinaman answered, now smiling in reality; 'me no
tellee any one. Me likee you first chop.'

Charlie's knowledge of 'pidgin' English was slight, but he concluded
that 'first chop' meant 'very much,' and was pleased to find that he had
made one friend so quickly.

'My name Ping Wang,' the Chinaman continued, 'but sailor men callee me
Chinee. Skipper Dlummond welly bad man. Callee me tellible bad names.
Good morning; no can stop.'

Ping Wang went on deck, and a few moments later Charlie followed and
hurried to the galley, where his difficulties commenced. In spite of all
his efforts he could not light the fire, and, remembering the bow-leg
cook's injunction to keep the kettle always boiling, he began to think
that he was making a very bad start. He left the galley in order to ask
one of the men to show him how to make the fire burn, and met Ping Wang.

'Can tellee me how lightee fire?' Charlie asked.

Ping Wang nodded his head, popped into the galley, and pointed out to
Charlie that he had omitted to pull out the damper. Then he relaid the
fire, and, when he lighted it, it burned up quickly.

'You no sailor-man; you no cook!' Ping Wang whispered merrily, and then
hurried away.

'Ping Wang and I will get on very well together,' Charlie said to
himself as he filled the huge kettle with water. The kettle boiled
quickly, and almost immediately after the ship had left the dock the
mate's mug of tea was ready.

'Have you given the skipper any?' the mate asked; and when Charlie
replied 'No,' he exclaimed, 'You had better be quick and take him some,
then.'

Charlie filled another mug with tea and took it up on the bridge, but,
just as he reached the top step of the ladder, he stumbled, and, to
prevent himself from falling, dropped the mug. It fell with a crash on
the bridge, and the tea splashed the skipper's shore trousers, which he
had not yet changed.

Skipper Drummond, a short, stout, ill-tempered fellow, was thoroughly
disliked by every one who knew him. He glared at Charlie for a moment as
if he had committed some terrible offence, and then shouted fiercely
'What did you do that for, you idiot?'

'It was an accident,' Charlie answered bluntly, indignant at being
abused.

'Saying it was an accident won't mend the mug.'

'I will pay for a new one,' Charlie rather unwisely replied.

'Pay for it, will you? So we have got a millionaire aboard, I suppose. I
wonder you ever came to sea. Why did you? Do the police want you?'

Feeling that if he remained on the bridge he might speak his mind too
freely, Charlie turned to go, but the skipper called him back.

'Come here, you ape!' he shouted. 'Do you think I am going to pick up
these pieces? Gather them up and throw them overboard.'

(_Continued on page 202._)

[Illustration: "The mug fell with a crash on the bridge."]

[Illustration: "The skipper glanced at his watch."]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 199._)


As soon as Charlie had filled another mug with tea, he hurried back to
the bridge.

'You have been a fine long time getting this,' the skipper declared,
anxious to resume bullying. But Charlie was determined not to give him
an occasion for fault-finding, and therefore he made no reply; but, as
he walked back to his galley, he vowed to himself that, do what he
might, the skipper should not have the satisfaction of making him
miserable. Already he had come to the conclusion that the man was
dishonourable, and was more than ever determined to find out to what
extent he hoped to defraud his father. He found that the galley
contained very few cooking utensils, but the need of them was not likely
to be felt that voyage, as the provisions consisted almost entirely of
tinned meats. There was not even one joint of fresh or salted meat
aboard. Charlie, therefore, did not have much difficulty in preparing
the dinner, as each tin of provisions bore instructions for the cooking
of its contents. Punctually at one o'clock he took a plate of
mock-turtle soup to the skipper, who was then in his cabin under the
bridge.

As Charlie entered, the skipper glanced at his watch hanging on a nail
at the side of his bunk; but, finding that he could not abuse him on the
ground of being late, he contented himself with scowling. But, a few
moments later, he pretended that he had a real cause for complaint.

When Charlie returned with the next course the skipper said, sharply:
'Look here, young fellow, don't you be so generous with other people's
things. There is enough meat for two men here. I'll eat it this time,
but remember I won't have any waste on this trawler. I know exactly what
provisions you have, and if they go too quickly, I shall give you in
charge for robbery. So just you be careful.'

Charlie had not given the skipper a very big allowance of food, and was
naturally surprised at the reprimand which he had received. Had he known
that the skipper had a private stock of provisions, kept under lock and
key in his cabin, he would not have been surprised at his small
appetite.

'Can I bring you anything more, Sir?' Charlie asked.

'No,' the skipper replied, 'and don't you come bothering for these
things until after two o'clock.'

That order was given so that Charlie should not return until he had
removed all traces of his private provisions.

Glad to have finished for a time with the skipper, Charlie, with the aid
of the ship's boy, carried the men's food to the foc's'le. There was no
mock-turtle soup for them, but simply tinned meat, boiled and floating
in brown liquid.

The crew of the _Sparrow-hawk_ were a brutal, low-minded set of men, and
their conversation sickened Charlie even more than the discomfort of his
life; so, after swallowing a few mouthfuls of the food, he went on deck,
and, going aft, sat down on a coil of rope to think.

When he had been there about ten minutes Ping Wang joined him.

'This is the first time you have been to sea on a trawler,' the Chinaman
declared as he sat down beside him.

'How do you know?' Charlie asked, astounded to find that Ping Wang could
speak excellent English.

'I could see that you were surprised at the way in which the men eat and
talked. If you had known that they behaved in that manner, you would not
have come to sea.'

'That is very likely,' Charlie admitted.

'Why have you come?' Ping Wang inquired.

'One must do something for a living.'

'You could have got a better job ashore. I am certain of that. You have
come to sea for fun.'

'If I had, I fancy that I should be disappointed.'

'The skipper has been bullying you, I suppose. He bullies every one.'

'Yes, he has been bullying me, but I will let him know very soon that I
won't stand much of it.'

'I advise you not to quarrel with him. I should not have come aboard
this trip had I known that he was coming. He told us last voyage that
that was his last trip.'

'Where did he expect to be? In jail?'

'No,' the Chinaman answered, smiling; 'he said that he was going to
retire. He was going to sell the trawler to some rich old fellow who
knows nothing about such things. The mate told me that the skipper hopes
to get half as much again as the trawler was worth. Last trip he cut
down expenses, and he is doing the same again now, so that the gentleman
who is buying her will think the cost of running a trawler is less than
it is. We are a hand short this trip.'

'Is the trawler a sound boat?'

'This is the only one I have ever been on, but the fellows on the
foc's'le say that she is the rottenest trawler on the North Sea. The
engines are patched up, and they have to be very careful of them.'

'Then the skipper intends to swindle the man over the sale of her?'

'Of course he does.'

'I hope that the man won't buy her.'

'So do I, but the skipper is confident that he will. If he doesn't, the
skipper's temper will be worse than ever next voyage. I shall take very
good care not to make another trip with him.'

'Do you like a fisherman's life?'

'No. I dislike it very much indeed.'

'Then why are you aboard this ship?'

'Did you not tell me that one must do something for a living?'

'That is true; but, at the same time, I cannot understand why an
educated Chinaman should travel so many thousands of miles to become a
fisherman.'

'I came to England to make my fortune,' Ping Wang declared. 'I thought
that when I got to London, I should be able, having an English
education, to get employment in the office of some merchant doing
business with China. But I soon found that nobody wanted me. The only
offers I received were not to my liking. One was a place in a laundry,
and the other was to stand outside a tea merchant's and distribute
bills. No one seemed to think that it was possible for a Chinaman to be
a gentleman, or to have any self-respect. At last, when all my money was
gone, I got a job as steward on board a pleasure boat. The owner became
bankrupt, and I was paid off at Yarmouth. I walked from Yarmouth to
Grimsby, and, after I had been hanging about the docks for a few days,
the skipper of this boat took me on.'

'Then he is not such a heartless brute as I imagined,' Charlie remarked.

'It was not out of compassion that he took me,' Ping Wang answered. 'He
said that as I had never been on a trawler, he would have to give me
small wages. After I had been at sea three days I could do my work as
well as any of the other men, but I only received half the wages that
they did. He knew very well that I should be able to do my work after a
few days' practice, and by taking me on he made a saving in his wages
bill. This trip he is giving me three-quarters of what he pays the other
men. We were only in dock for two or three days, and I had no time to
find another job, but I have made up my mind never to go to sea again on
a trawler, even if I have to starve. When we get back to Grimsby I shall
go to London, and see if the Chinese Embassy or the Home for Asiatics
will pay my passage home. I am afraid, however, that they will not
believe my story of being able to repay them, and I do not desire
charity. In fact, now I come to think of it, it would be very foolish of
me to tell my story to the people at the Embassy.'

'Is it, then, such a wonderful story?'

'An Englishman would think so, but a Chinaman would not.'

For a few minutes Ping Wang was deep in thought, and Charlie got up to
look at a passing Norwegian ship. When he returned to his seat on the
coil of rope, Ping Wang said to him suddenly, 'Have you any Chinese
friends?'

'No.'

'Have you any English friends living in China?'

'No.'

Ping Wang gave a slight sigh of relief.

'Then, if you will promise not to repeat what I tell you,' he said, 'you
shall hear my story.'

'I promise,' Charlie answered. 'But I hope that you are not going to
tell me any anti-European plots.'

(_Continued on page 214._)



RICE-PAPER.


Chinese rice-paper is a thing which we frequently hear of, but do not
often see. It is very curious and pretty, but far too frail for most of
the uses to which we put our English paper; and, for this reason, it has
no commercial value in European countries, and is only brought away by
travellers and traders as a curiosity.

The rice-paper which I have seen was cut into small squares about three
by two inches, each of which had a beautiful coloured picture of a
Chinese man or woman. The paper was very white and thin, slightly rough,
like blotting-paper, stiff and brittle. It was impossible to fold it,
as the least effort to bend the sheet broke it in two. The pictures upon
these little sheets had evidently been painted by hand, and were very
beautiful and interesting. The surface of the paint was bright and
clear, and the paper was transparent enough to permit the picture to be
seen from the back, with all its colours and details only a little
dimmed, as if seen through a thin sheet of ground glass.

Notwithstanding its name, rice-paper has really nothing to do with rice.
It is not made from rice, nor even from the rice plant, but from the
pith of a kind of ivy, the _Aralia papyrifera_, which grows abundantly
in the island of Formosa. This _Aralia_ is not much like our English
ivy. It is, in fact, a small tree, which may attain a height of twenty
or thirty feet, and is crowned with a number of large leaves, shaped
like those of the sycamore. It bears clusters of small, pale yellow
flowers, which contrast beautifully with the dark green foliage. The
stem is ringed with the marks of the fallen leaves, very like the stems
of the castor-oil plants which are often seen in pots in England.

The stem of the rice-paper plant is hollow, and filled with a pith
which, though it is rather broken in the centre, is firm and compact
outside. After the tree has reached a certain age, the pith becomes less
serviceable, and so the tree is usually cut down when it is about twelve
feet high, before it has attained its full growth. The stem is cut into
lengths of nine or twelve inches each, and the pith is pushed out by
inserting a stick at one end, and hammering it through the core of the
tree. The little rolls of pith obtained in this way are placed in hollow
bamboos, which permit them to swell a little, but prevent them from
curling up as they dry. When properly dried, they are ready for the
cutting, which is the really skilful part of the making of rice-paper.
The man who cuts up the pith has a long, sharp knife, which he places
against the side of the roll of pith in such a way that it will take off
a thin paring as he turns the roll round and round. It is like paring
off the bark of a log by rolling it round against a sharp knife, with
these differences, however, that the paring is as thin as paper, and
that it is part of the log itself, and goes on until the broken centre
is reached. The parings, or sheets, when stripped off, are about four
feet long, and they are placed one upon the other and pressed, after
which they are cut into squares like those described above. The squares
are made up into packets of one hundred each, which the Chinese sell for
five or six farthings a packet. Many of these little squares are dyed or
stained different colours, and are used for making little artificial
flowers; others, as we have already seen, are covered with little
pictures, representing sometimes the people and the costumes of China,
and sometimes the birds, butterflies, and animals of that country.

There are a few other trees or plants which yield a pith from which
rice-paper can be made; but the _Aralia_ is the most important. Though
the tree grows best in the northern part of Formosa, the paper is made
less by the Formosans than by the Chinese, who barter their goods for
the rice-paper trees or logs.

[Illustration: "How it tasted--well, I've never heard!"]



TOO TEMPTING TO BE LOST.


    A fox one day had left his cosy den,
    And wandered forth amid the haunts of men.
    What did he want? Of course he wanted food--
    A tender duck, or something quite as good;
    But though he wandered far and wandered near,
    No duckling could he see his heart to cheer.

    Through fields and copses did the poor fox go,
    With hungry longings and a heart of woe.
    Thought he, 'It's very plain that dainty food
    I cannot find to-day; still, something good
    May yet turn up. But stay! what's that I see
    Hanging asleep upon the old ash-tree?

    'I do declare the creature is a crow--
    Not very tempting to the taste, I know;
    But still, if nothing better can be had,
    Perhaps it may not taste so very bad.
    So up at once he jumped, and seized the bird,
    But how it tasted--well, I've never heard!

M. K.

[Illustration: A Corner of Hyde Park.]



THE PARKS OF LONDON.

I.


I wonder if you who read this are a Londoner, and, if so, whether you
have ever sailed paper boats on the Serpentine? Can you remember
watching your fleet of snowy paper spreading their white wings and
sailing away into the far distance, after the manner of Christopher
Columbus or Vasco di Gama? Or have you seen your toy ships driven by
fierce winds on to a lee shore bristling with cruel crags and yawning
clefts?

A very ocean it is, no doubt, to the feathered creatures that float upon
its waters, shelter beneath its rush-lined banks, and spend their whole
family life within its borders. Here the babies are born, and here the
tiny birds take their first airings--some perched on their mother's
back, some swimming beside her without a thought of danger. Nothing is
more delightful to the children of all classes who daily throng the park
than a family of ducklings having their first lesson in the way to take
care of themselves. One way or another, the duck tribe come in for more
practical attention than all the other birds put together; for most
people like to have their kindness warmly met, and no duck ever says
'No' to an offer of food.

Once in a way a stately swan may condescend to pick up a bit of bun or
biscuit, but it is done with such a proud air, that the duck's ready
gratitude and eagerness is more attractive. Here and there, in very
quiet nooks overlooking the water, may be seen a group of bunnies,
nibbling some dainty weed, and far too much at home to pay attention to
the warlike looks and noisy cries of Father Duck, who clearly thinks his
family is in danger.

On the right of the Serpentine towards the north, a wide slope of grass
and trees above the water has been fenced off for the benefit of the
Peacock family, and these are objects of great interest to admirers of
all ages. The males come in for most attention, owing to their beauty.
It is a very droll sight to see Mr. Peacock, with gorgeous tail and
crest fully outspread, his richly coloured breast and neck gleaming in
the sunlight, bowing, strutting, and scraping before the peahen whom he
admires. On this same ground moorhens and other shy aquatic birds make
their home in bush and sedge, from time to time crossing the open grass,
evidently aware of their safety, but taking little interest in the
lookers-on.

Memories of the past have very much to do with this oldest of the
national parks. The Serpentine recalls to us one of London's lost
rivers, the Westbourne, the current of which still helps to swell its
volume of water. Rising in the Hampstead heights, and passing the
villages of Paddington and Kensington, this stream flowed through and
often overflowed the pleasant Manor of Hyde, which then belonged to the
rich Abbey of Westminster, and from which the present park takes its
name.

Good Queen Bess thought her own amusement and that of her courtiers of
more importance than the enjoyment of the common folk, and filled the
park with antlered stag and timid deer, while for many a long day the
merry 'toot, toot' of the hunter's horn echoed amongst its glades, until
merriment vanished before the grim tragedy of King Charles's execution
in 1649. Then for twenty years and more the stately avenues were quiet
and peaceful, and little children played beside the river until Cromwell
died and Charles II. 'came to his own again.' Nothing less than turning
the park into a race-course would content the new king, and the
enclosure echoed with the sound of galloping horses, whilst an army of
men with pick and shovel cleared and cut out the circular drive now
known as Rotten Row, a name which is supposed by some to be a
corruption of the French 'Route du Roi' (King's Way).

North-east of the park, close to where the Marble Arch now stands, was a
plot of ground connected with more horrors than could be found elsewhere
in England. This was the site of the famous Tyburn Tree--London's
hanging-place in the days of old, when even a child might be hanged for
stealing a few pence. Many a procession of carts came from Newgate in
the City, laden with men, women, boys, and girls, followed by an excited
crowd eager to watch the execution. Round the gallows galleries were
erected and let out at high cost to fashionable folk--fine ladies and
gay gallants all ready for the show. Happily humanity has made progress
in the last century, and such dreadful sights have long been done away
with.

William III., like most of his Dutch relations, was a great gardener,
and cut quite a large slice out of Hyde Park to improve the gardens of
Kensington Palace, where he and Queen Mary made their home. At the same
time he made a great many improvements in the actual park, although for
the Serpentine we have to thank Queen Caroline, wife of George II.

Since then Hyde Park has always been the playground of the rank and
fashion of the United Kingdom, and nowhere else in England can such
numbers of magnificent carriages and horses be seen as here in the
season. The alleys bordering the drives are filled on summer afternoons
with thousands of well-dressed people--many perhaps admiring the
splendid clumps of rhododendrons, which form one of the sights of the
park in early summer. The rich, too, are not the only people who
appreciate this national playing-place. Thousands of poorly-clad women
bring their white-faced children from crowded courts and alleys to enjoy
the fresh air, and unlimited room in which to play.

Turn where we will, Hyde Park is, in our times, a scene of peaceful rest
both of body and mind for weary citizens. Yet matters far less suitable
to its beautiful surroundings have often disturbed its peace. In the
days of duelling, the north side beneath the trees was a favourite place
of meeting. Here on a Sunday in 1712, the first Duke of Hamilton, a
statesman who could ill be spared by his country, engaged Lord Mohun,
and both adversaries were carried dead from the field.

As we stand on the bridge, looking down and watching the quiet water,
with all its living things, and the rabbits in their corner, it seems
hard to believe that we are in the midst of a maze of human dwellings,
and that miles and miles of busy streets surround us. But pause and
listen awhile, and you will hear, above the music of the birds, the ring
of voices and echoes of children's laughter, above the dull hum of
well-hung carriages and pattering of horses' feet, a never-ending
roar--the sound of the greatest city the world has ever seen. All round
us, shut off only by a little space of grass and trees, lie its
pleasures and its miseries.



SERVED HER RIGHT.

Founded on Fact.


Not long ago there was a story told of a young girl whose kindness to an
old man brought her a great reward. She was in the crowd upon the
occasion of Queen Victoria's first Jubilee, and observed a rather
shabbily dressed old gentleman who appeared to be ill. Taking him by the
arm, she made a way for him through the dense throng of people, and got
him safely into a quiet street. There he explained to her that he had a
weak heart, and that he had foolishly ventured out sight-seeing, but the
excitement and the closeness had made him faint. He thanked the girl
warmly for her help, and asked for her name and address, which she gave
him.

A few years after this little adventure, the girl received a letter in a
big blue envelope. It was a communication from a lawyer, who informed
her that the gentleman whom she had so kindly helped on Jubilee Day had
died, and had left her by his will the greater part of his large
fortune.

There is another story rather like this, but about a different sort of
girl. A gentleman happened to read the above tale out of a newspaper as
he sat with his family at breakfast. His little daughter, as she
listened to her father, thought how nice it would be if _she_ could win
a fortune thus easily. So the next time she saw an old man shivering on
the brink of a crossing, she went up to him, and, with a sweet smile,
said in her politest tones: 'May I have the pleasure of assisting you?'

But the man chanced to be a cross-grained old fellow, and, thinking that
the girl was making fun of him, he brandished his stick at her,
whereupon, in a great fright, she ran away as fast as she could.

I think you will agree with me that the little girl quite deserved this
rebuff, because of the unworthiness of her motive.

E. DYKE.



THE FLOWER-GIRL.


'Fine window-plants! Who'll buy?' shouted the man with the flower-laden
donkey-cart; but it was Mary, his daughter, who did most of the selling.
She stood on the edge of the pavement, a plant in each hand, and smiled
at the passers-by, and few could resist the pretty picture she made.
They would stop and admire the flowers even if they could not afford to
buy, and Mary had smiles for all, though perhaps the brightest were kept
for those who made a purchase.

And yet the girl's heart was heavy, and tears lay very close behind the
smiles. Trade had not been very brisk of late, while illness in the home
had made the expenses heavy. Her favourite little brother was still
ailing, and seemed to make no progress. The doctor had said he needed
change of air and nourishing food; but how could the doctor's orders be
obeyed when money was so scarce?

The morning was getting on, and still the cart had not lost much of its
load. Smiles were more difficult to manage as the hope of being able to
take home something dainty for Dicky's supper grew less.

A lady with her little boy had just passed, but looks of admiration were
all they gave. In the distance an old gentleman appeared, and he was
even a more unlikely customer. He peered through his spectacles, and
seemed too much wrapped up in his own thoughts to spare attention for
anything else.

As he was passing the cart he slipped, and would have fallen had not
Mary put out her arm quickly to steady him. But, alas! in doing so the
flower-pot she was holding fell, and lay in fragments on the pavement,
with the delicate blooms of the azalea quite ruined.

'Thank you, my dear,' the gentleman said. 'It was kind of you to come to
an old man's help.' But he did not notice the broken flower-pot, and
passed on, while Mary gazed in dismay at what meant a loss they could so
ill afford.

'Run after him, my girl,' her father said. 'Tell him he must pay for
that flower. A fine thing to come damaging other folk's property, and to
slip off without a word!'

But at that moment a girl came hurrying along the pavement. 'Oh,' she
cried, 'I saw what happened. That is my grandfather, and he is nearly
blind. I must overtake him, and I am sure he will come back and repay
you.'

Mary watched anxiously, and when they arrived, the old man leaning on
the girl's arm, her spirits rose again.

'My grand-daughter says I always get into mischief when she leaves me
for a minute,' he said, smiling. Then he put his hand in his pocket and
took out a few coins. 'Will this make good the mischief I have done?' he
asked.

'Oh, sir, it is too much,' Mary said. 'The price of the flower was only
eighteen-pence.'

'But I must pay for my rudeness in running away without apologising, and
you can buy a ribbon for yourself with the extra money.'

'I shall get something a great deal more useful than that,' she said.

'You seem to be a sensible young woman for your age. I wonder what this
useful purchase will be?'

'Something to make my little Dicky strong,' Mary said softly.

'And who is Dicky?' asked the pretty grand-daughter; and she looked so
sympathetic that somehow the whole story came out, for Mary's heart was
full, and words came readily in response to this touch of kindness.

'I shall call and see him,' the girl promised, when she had inquired
where Mary lived. And so the misfortune of the broken flower-pot turned
out to be the best bit of good fortune Mary had ever enjoyed. Not only
did her new friend come laden with delicacies for the invalid, but she
interested herself in having him sent with some other children for a
month to the sea-side. And when Dicky returned, brown and rosy, and full
of life and spirits, Mary felt she could sell her flowers with a smiling
face again, and look forward to the future with a light heart.

M. H.

[Illustration: "'Who'll buy?'"]

[Illustration: "Just as Lord Massereene was leaving the prison, he was
arrested."]



A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.

True Tales of the Year 1805.

V.--LORD MASSEREENE'S IMPRISONMENT.


'Truth is stranger than fiction,' says a very old proverb, which is
certainly illustrated by the following tale of an eccentric nobleman's
life.

Lord Massereene was born in 1742, and in due course sent to Cambridge
University, where, however, he learnt next to nothing except how to row
on the river, and this he did to perfection.

On coming of age, he started off to do the 'Grand Tour,' as it was
called--a leisurely visit to the various capital cities of European
countries. This was a custom much in vogue amongst the young men of the
wealthier classes a hundred years ago. Our young friend, however, went
no further than Paris, for that fascinating city was too much for the
foolish fellow, and he spent his money right and left, till he was
almost penniless. He then fell into the hands of an unscrupulous
adventurer, a native of Syria, who put before him a plausible tale of
how easy it would be to make a fortune by importing salt from Syria to
France. Lord Massereene, in the hope of regaining the money he had
wasted, invested all he could lay his hands on in this wild scheme, and
of course, as it was a fraud, lost every penny.

The next misfortune that happened to him was an arrest for debt, and he
made acquaintance with the inside of 'La Châtelet,' one of the largest
prisons in Paris. He could, however, have satisfied his creditors, and
been released from prison, had he been willing to allow his estates to
be charged with his debts; but this he persistently refused to do.

There was at that time a law in France permitting debtors who had
suffered twenty-five years' imprisonment to be allowed to go free, with
all their liabilities discharged, and this extraordinary young man
actually decided to do this, and to settle his debts by undergoing a
quarter of a century of prison life!

Beyond the inability to leave the prison, Lord Massereene seems to have
suffered at first but few privations, for cheerful society was not
denied him, and he managed to woo and wed the daughter of one of the
principal officials of the place.

A plan of escape was at length made, and as the young lady's father was
able and willing to help in the matter, it was very nearly successful.
But not quite! For, just as Lord Massereene was leaving the door of the
prison to enter the carriage which was in waiting for him, he was
arrested, and taken back to the prison. It appears that the Governor's
suspicions had been aroused by seeing a carriage and pair loitering
about the gate. As soon as he had caught the escaping prisoner, he
ordered him to be lodged in the dungeon, a gloomy cell, below the Seine,
on which Le Châtelet was built.

Lord Massereene now knew all the rigours of a French prison. He was left
to languish in damp and darkness, with no companions but the rats, and
only the coarsest food.

When at last the twenty-five years were ended, and his release came, he
was indeed a pitiful object: gaunt, yellow, with a long unkempt beard
reaching below his knees.

But his wife had remained constant to him, and together they set out for
England. On landing at Dover, Lord Massereene was the first to step on
shore, and falling on his knees, he exclaimed fervently,--

'God bless this land of freedom!'

       *       *       *       *       *

He lived nearly twenty years in the enjoyment of the estate for which he
had suffered imprisonment for so long, and died in 1805.



THE SAGO-TREE.


Sago is made from the pith of a tree-trunk. This tree--the sago-tree--is
a kind of palm, like the date-tree and the cocoanut-tree. It is found in
the East Indian Islands, where it gives food to many thousands of
people, particularly in the large island of New Guinea, where a great
part of the population is almost entirely dependent upon it.

The sago-tree grows in swampy places, either by the sea or in little
hollows by the hill-sides. It is thicker than the cocoanut palm, but it
does not grow quite so tall, being about thirty feet high when full
grown, and perhaps twenty inches in diameter. What looks like the root
of the sago-tree is really a creeping underground stem, from which a
spike of flowers grows up when the tree is about ten or fifteen years
old. For some years, while the plant is young, the upright growing stem
is covered and completely hidden by very large spiny leaves. These are
rather like enormous feathers, of which the centre stems, or midribs,
corresponding to the quill of the feather, are from twelve to fifteen
feet long, and, in their widest part, as thick as a man's leg. They are
used like bamboo by the natives, for building houses, and also for
making the roofs and floors of houses that are built of other kinds of
wood.

The bases of the midribs widen out and wrap round the stem like a kind
of sheath, as almost all leaf-stalks do to some extent. But the sheaths
of the sago-tree are so large that, when they are broken off and
trimmed, they are like large baskets or troughs--wide in the middle,
where they have grasped the stem, and narrow at the ends, where they
have joined the tree or are rolled up to form the midrib of the leaf. It
is interesting to remember this, because the natives actually use the
sheaths as baskets and troughs.

The hollow stem of the growing sago-tree is not more than half an inch
in thickness, and it is filled with a light, pithy matter, from which
'sago' is made. This pithy matter varies in colour from a rusty tinge to
white, and is rather like the eatable part of a dry apple. Strings of
harder, woody fibre run through it like straight veins, and these are of
no use for making sago. The pith is best for use when the tree is full
grown and just about to flower, and it is then that the natives cut it
down.

The tree is cut close to the ground, and, as it lies on the soil, its
leaves are cut off, and a portion of the bark is shaved away from the
upper side of the trunk so as to lay the pith bare. A native takes a
club with a sharp stone in the end of it and beats the sago-pith with
it. By this means he breaks up the fibres and the pith into little
chips, taking care that they are kept within the trunk. From time to
time these chips are loaded into one of the sheaths of the midribs, and
carried away to be cleaned. The beater continues to break up the pith
until there is nothing left but the hollow tree-trunk.

The sago is separated from the fibres in the pith by the aid of water.
The natives take two sheaths of the sago-plant and make them into
water-troughs. They set them up upon little frames, one sheath a little
higher than the other, with one of its narrow ends projecting like a
spout over the lower sheath. A kind of net-like bark or skin, obtained
from the cocoanut tree, serves as a strainer or sieve, and is stretched
across the upper sheath or trough. They empty the broken pith into the
trough above the strainer, and pour water upon it. The soft part of the
pith is a kind of starch, which dissolves in the water, and so flows
through the sieve and down the spout into the lower trough, but the
fibres are held back by the sieve. In order to get all the sago-starch
out of the pith, the sago-maker kneads and squeezes the pith until
nothing but fibre remains. This is waste, and is thrown away. When the
sago-laden water falls into the lower trough it rests awhile, and the
sago sinks into the bottom of the sheath as a soft reddish sediment,
while the clear water rises to the top, and by and by trickles over the
end of the sheath. When this trough is nearly full the sago-starch is
taken out, made into rolls, and wrapped in the leaves of the tree.

The sago thus prepared is known as raw sago, and is used by the
islanders without being further refined. They boil it in water, and eat
it with fruits and salt, or they bake it into cakes in a little clay
oven. When these cakes have been well dried they will keep for years; a
man can make in a few days sufficient sago-cakes to last him a whole
year. It has been calculated that a single tree will produce about
eighteen hundred of these cakes.

The sago which we use for our puddings is made by refining the raw
sago. When our grandfathers and grandmothers were young, the best raw
sago used to be mixed with water and rubbed into small grains before it
was sent to Europe. At the present time the sago, after being moistened,
is passed through a sieve into a shallow iron pot, placed over a fire,
and in this way the round pearly sago which we use is produced. As this
sago is half-baked in this operation, it will keep for a very long time.

The Malays call the sago-tree the _rumbiya_ and its pith _sagu_ from
which word we get our name _sago_. We have here an instance of a Malay
word which is in daily use in the English language.



FAITH AND SIGHT.


A little story is told which helps to show the difference between faith
and sight.

The master of an infant school told a boy to move a stool in such a way
that he was not seen by the little ones himself. Then he taught them
this lesson.

'You cannot see any one moving the stool; is it not alive?'

'Oh, no, sir! it never was alive. Some one _must_ be moving it.'

'But you cannot see anybody; perhaps it moves itself.'

'No, sir; though we don't see anybody, that makes no difference. It
cannot move itself.'

Then he told them of the moon and stars, which, though we see no one
move them, certainly do move, and no one could do it but God, whom we do
not see.

'Yes!' they said; 'it must be God.'

'But then we cannot see Him.'

'Please, we must believe that it is He.'

'You do believe it, then?'

'Yes sir.'

'Then this is Faith.' He added: 'If you have little faith, what will you
do then?'

'I will shut myself up in a corner,' said one little mite, 'and pray for
more.'



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

VI.--HOW INSECTS WALK.


Grown-up insects seem to be very short of legs compared with many of
their distant relatives. Thus, while no member of the insect tribe--when
grown up--has more than six legs, the Centipede or the Millipede may, as
their names imply, possess a far greater number--as many, indeed, as two
hundred and forty-two! But there is one curious likeness between the
legs of the insects and those of their relatives--the number of pairs of
legs is always odd. The insect has three pairs; the centipede and
millipede have a very variable number, ranging from fifteen to one
hundred and twenty-one pairs!

We have seen how wonderful the foot of the fly is, with its two sticky
plates for smooth surfaces, and its two claws for rough ones. The
Honey-bee has very similar feet, but the two plates are joined to form
one! As in the fly, when climbing rough surfaces the flat plates are
raised up, and the claws used instead; but when a smooth or slippery
place has to be crossed, the claws are pulled backwards and the plates
are brought down.

The legs of insects vary much, according to the purpose for which they
are used. Thus, the Gnats, which spend the greater part of their time on
the wing, have long slender legs, suitable for breaking the shock of
alighting. Whilst in other insects the legs are used for all kinds of
work, such as seizing prey, carrying it, climbing, digging, and so on.
When this is the case the legs are provided with spines, or bristles.

In the Mole Cricket (fig. 1) the fore-legs are very strong, being short
and broad, and ending in a broad comb-like plate, which is used for
digging. They are very like the great digging paws of the mole.

The exact way in which insects walk is not easy to describe, and much
study has been given to this most puzzling subject. Many devices have
been adopted to make the insect draw a map of its course. In one
instance the legs of a slow-walking beetle were painted, and the insect
was then made to walk upon a clean sheet of paper; the track made by
each leg being distinguished by the use of a different colour.

From this and other experiments it appears that there are always three
legs in motion at the same time, or nearly so; meanwhile the remaining
three legs support the body. First (as in fig. 2) the left fore-leg
steps out, then the right middle-leg and the left hind-leg. Then the
movement is taken up by the legs of the opposite side of the body, and
so on.

If the movement of the legs in the six-legged insects is difficult to
find out, what shall we say when the centipede (fig. 3) and millipede
come to be examined? These, though not insects, are nearly related to
the insects, and since they are common in our gardens, must be referred
to here.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Mole Cricket (magnified).]

According to the lines of a humorous poem, the centipede was said to
have been--

                   'Happy till
      One day a toad, in fun,
    Said, "Pray which leg moves after which?"
    This raised her doubts to such a pitch
    She fell exhausted in the ditch,
      Not knowing how to run.'

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Beetle walking.]

The last pair of legs in the centipede and millipede are never used for
walking, and are generally much longer than the rest. In a South
American species they are provided with delicate nerves, and are used as
antennæ or 'feelers,' so that the animal is armed with organs of touch
at each end of the body! In one kind of millipede, in the male the last
pair of legs has a sound-producing apparatus, consisting of a ridged
plate, which, by being rubbed against a set of tiny, bead-like bodies
set in the surface of the last shield covering the body, produces a
peculiar noise.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Centipede (magnified).]

Centipedes and millipedes generally shun the light, and hide under
stones and in crevices during the day. But there are some which love the
sunlight. These kinds are remarkable for the great length and
slenderness of the legs, which they part with readily when handled! Most
of these long-legged species are brightly coloured with black and yellow
stripes or spots. In their native haunts these creatures may be seen
darting about after their prey in the sun, heedless of the notice they
attract by reason of their pretty colours. Few birds or beasts would
think of eating them, for these creatures have a providential instinct
which tells them that the gaudily-coloured animals are generally very
nasty to the taste!

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.

[Illustration]



THE MAN WITH THE GLASSES.


So common is short-sightedness nowadays that military officers, and
sometimes private soldiers, are allowed to wear spectacles. Formerly
this was not the case. Where, by special permission of the authorities,
exceptions had been made, the unfortunate wearers of glasses in the army
came in for the ridicule of their comrades.

At the time when the French were fighting the Algerian chief,
Abd-el-Kader, there was in a battalion of foot-chasseurs a spectacled
adjutant named Duterbre. His companions made great fun of him. A man
who wore glasses could not, in their opinion, be much of a hero. One day
Duterbre, engaged in a reconnoitring expedition, was slightly wounded,
and taken prisoner by the enemy. He was brought before the Arab chief.
The remainder of the French force had, in the meantime, taken refuge in
a walled enclosure close by.

'Go to your companions,' said Abd-el-Kader to Duterbre, 'and tell them
that their lives shall be spared if they will surrender. Yours, in that
case, shall be spared also. But if they refuse to surrender, I will
utterly exterminate them, and I will have you beheaded. And understand
this clearly: I send you to your people on one condition--that whether
or not they accept my terms, you are in any case to return to me. Do you
accept my conditions?'

'I do,' replied Duterbre.

Duterbre left the Arab camp, well aware that his only chance of life lay
in the surrender of his battalion. If the French soldiers resolved to
fight on, he was bound in honour to go back to death.

Duterbre returned to his companions. He had always been a man of few
words, and he said very little on this occasion. But what he said was to
the point. It was this: 'Chasseurs! If you do not surrender, the Arabs
are going to cut off my head. Now die rather than yield, every one of
you!'

Then the brave fellow turned his back, and went straight to the Arab
camp, with the message that the French refused to surrender.

The chief carried out his threat. The adjutant was beheaded, and his
head--spectacles and all--was carried round the camp upon a pole for
public exhibition. None could say that it was not the head of a brave
man.

E. D.



WHAT AM I?


    No one can be pleased with me,
    I am dark and dull to see;
    Those whom money troubles tease
    Hate me, for I spoil their ease.

    Welsh am I, and English too,
    Scottish, in another view;
    Wide and narrow, small and great,
    Dreary, too, and desolate.

    Let him think of me, who eats
    Marmalade, and other sweets;
    Full of work am I, and wealth,
    Though too closely packed for health.

[_Answer on page 230._]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 203._)

CHAPTER III.


'What I am going to tell you,' Ping Wang began, 'is purely a family
matter. It is the reason why I left China. My father was the mandarin of
Kwang-ngan, and although he did not become a Christian, he was very
friendly with the English missionaries, and when I was quite a little
boy he asked them to teach me all the things which English boys were
taught. When I was ten years old I was sent to a school at Hongkong,
kept by an Englishman, and I remained there until I was eighteen. That,
of course, accounts for my speaking English fairly well. When I was
eighteen my father sent for me. But I found Chinese manners and customs
were not pleasing to me after so many years among English people.
Therefore I asked my father to permit me to return to Hongkong and
become a merchant. He was considering the matter, and I believe that he
would have given his consent, when he was seized by Chin Choo's orders
and executed. He was unpopular with the authorities at Peking. The
mandarin of every town has to squeeze as much money as he possibly can
out of his people and send it to the authorities. My father was a
kind-hearted man, and as he did not squeeze his people so much as most
mandarins, he did not send so much money to the Imperial coffers as the
authorities wished. Twice they reprimanded him, and Chin Choo, who lived
at Kwang-ngan, hearing of this, went to Peking and asserted that my
father retained for his own use the greater part of the money which he
had squeezed out of the people. The high officials believed this false
tale, and, having received bribes from Chin Choo, empowered him to have
my father executed and succeed him as mandarin. My mother and brother
were also killed, and our house burnt to the ground. Fortunately for me
I was not in the town at the time, and hearing what had taken place I
started off at once for Hongkong. Of course, it was useless for me to
attempt to get Chin Choo punished, for such events are of frequent
occurrence in parts of my poor country. So, having a little money, which
I obtained by selling some jewellery which I possessed, I took a passage
to England. What has happened to me since I have already told you.'

'It is a very sad story,' Charlie declared, feelingly; 'and I am
exceedingly sorry for you. But what surprises me is, that after having
suffered so much in your native land you should think of returning to
it.'

'I will tell you my reason. Chin Choo confiscated all our property, but
I hope to be able to recover a very valuable portion of it. Before our
house was burnt to the ground, everything that it contained was removed
to Chin Choo's residence. Among those things was a large brass image of
Buddha. If I can recover that I shall be a rich man!'

'But brass images of Buddha are not very valuable.'

'That one is, because it was my father's safe--a receptacle for his very
precious rubies. He made the idol himself, and no one but he and I knew
how to open it. Chin Choo will never discover the secret, or guess that
the idol contains anything. Therefore I wish to return to my native
place in disguise, and obtain that idol by some means or other. If I
succeed in obtaining it, I shall be a rich man.'

'I should like to go with you,' Charlie exclaimed.

'I wish you could,' Ping Wang answered, eagerly. 'I can read character
well enough to know that you are not what you pretend to be. You have
come to sea for novelty or curiosity, but not for necessity. If you
accompany me to my native place, I promise you that if I recover my
father's idol I will repay you all the expense to which you have been
put, and give you some of the precious stones.'

'I wasn't thinking of the stones, but of the adventure and experience.
If my father raises no objection, and will supply me with the necessary
money, I will go with you gladly.'

Ping Wang was delighted, and Charlie added to his high spirits by
confiding to him the reason of his being aboard the _Sparrow-hawk_.

'So your father is the man whom the skipper hopes to swindle!' Ping Wang
exclaimed, and went off into a fit of laughter.

'Stop that row!' the skipper shouted, coming aft. 'Can't you find any
work to do? I'll have no loafers aboard my boat. Here, you Chinee, you
get for'ard, and trim the lamps.'

Ping Wang rose to obey.

'Hurry up!' the skipper growled, and kicked him.

In a moment Charlie was on his feet. 'You wretched little bully!' he
said to the skipper. 'If you ill-treat that man again, I will knock you
down.'

'You dare to threaten me on my own ship!' the skipper shouted, white
with rage. 'I'm the skipper, and I'll let you know it. I'll clap you in
irons if you give me any of your back answers.'

'Why not try kicking me instead?'

'I'll give you in charge for mutiny when we get back to Grimsby.'

'I shouldn't be in a hurry to enter a police-court, if I were you.
Prosecutors are sometimes asked unpleasant questions.'

The chief engineer at that moment came up from the engine-room.

'Skipper, I want a word with you,' he said.

'Right you are,' the skipper replied, and walked over to him, well
pleased to bring his argument with Charlie to an end. Charlie was not
really a very formidable opponent for a grown man, but Skipper Drummond,
like many bullies, was a great coward.

Charles, left alone, resumed his seat on the ropes and, forgetting for a
time the skipper's existence, spent a pleasant half-hour in thinking
over the story which Ping Wang had related to him.

About three hours after the quarrel, the _Sparrow-hawk_ arrived at the
'Dogger,' a submarine bank, the nearest point of which is about sixty
miles from England. It is one hundred and seventy miles long and seventy
miles broad.

'We shall shoot in an hour's time,' the mate said to Charlie, 'and you
must give us a hand.'

'Whom are you going to shoot?' Charlie inquired, jokingly.

'I know whom you would like to shoot--the skipper. He has taken a
dislike to you, and tells me that you are the biggest scoundrel he ever
had aboard.'

The mate smiled as he spoke, and added, after a few moments' interval:
'The skipper is a queer customer, and, if you take my advice, you will
do all you can to please him. Anyhow, he says that you are to give a
hand when we shoot and when we haul the trawl.'

'I am to be fisherman as well as cook. Is he going to pay me double
wages?'

'You had better ask him. Got a mug of tea handy?'

Charlie had, and he gave it to him.

'We shall want tea again after shooting,' the mate said to Charlie as he
replaced the mug on the hook.

Leaving the big kettle on the stove, Charlie went out to witness the
preparations for beginning fishing, and was just in time to see the men
anchor a small buoy, fitted with a light and a flag. This was anchored
so that the _Sparrow-hawk_, by keeping it in sight, should not wander
away from the fishing-ground. They were in about twenty-six fathoms of
water, and, if they lost sight of the buoy, they would probably steam
into deeper water, and the net would then be unable to reach the bottom.
By day the fishermen keep within sight of the buoy-flag; by night they
watch the buoy-light. In fishing fleets, when some twenty or thirty
steam trawlers belong to one firm, an old smack called a 'mark-ship' is
anchored on the fishing-ground. It can be seen for many miles in
daylight, and by night its whereabouts is made known by rockets fired
from it. But 'single boaters,' such as the _Sparrow-hawk_, have to rely
upon their own little flag and light-buoys.

When the _Sparrow-hawk_ had anchored her buoy she steamed off, and,
punctually at five o'clock, 'shot her gear,' or, in plainer language,
lowered her big triangular fishing-net. This having been done without a
hitch, the men had their tea. Charlie took his in the galley, having
determined to spend as little time as possible in the foc's'le. He had
discovered that the crew of the _Sparrow-hawk_ was composed of the black
sheep of Grimsby and Hull. They were men whom no decent North Sea
skipper would have had on his boat. On nearly all the trawlers working
out of Yarmouth, Grimsby, and Hull, the men are fine, manly,
thoroughbred Englishmen, facing danger fearlessly and uncomplainingly
year in and year out. Drunkenness is almost unknown among them, and bad
language is rarely heard. If Charlie had been on almost any other boat
than the _Sparrow-hawk_ he would have thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the
foc's'le table, having a chat with the men. But to save a few pounds the
skipper had engaged, at low wages, men who were known to be bad
characters, and who could not, therefore, get a job on any other
trawler. Skipper Drummond had himself been discharged for drunkenness by
the owners of a fleet in whose employ he had been for some years. Where
he got the money from to purchase a trawler was a mystery to most
people, although it was discovered later that a betting-man was in
partnership with him.

Charlie, being satisfied that the skipper intended to make an attempt to
swindle his father, was anxious to get back to Lincoln as speedily as
possible to make known what he had discovered. He had forgotten to ask
the bow-legged cook how long the _Sparrow-hawk_ would remain at sea, and
could, therefore, form no idea of when he would get home.

(_Continued on page 218._)

[Illustration: "The skipper cruelly kicked the Chinaman."]

[Illustration: "'Can he do this?' Charlie asked."]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 215._)


While Charlie was regretting his ignorance of trawlers' movements, Ping
Wang appeared at the galley-door.

'Well,' Charlie said, 'has the skipper said anything more to you?'

'No,' Ping Wang answered, smilingly; 'I believe you have frightened him.
But he will pay you out somehow or other.'

'I hope, for his own sake, that he won't attempt to, for I hate the
little fellow already, and if he interferes with me unnecessarily I will
give him a sound thrashing.'

'He is very strong,' Ping Wang remarked, warningly.

'Can he do this?' Charlie asked, catching hold of a bucket full of water
and holding it easily at arm's-length straight from the shoulder.

Ping Wang made no reply but gazed at Charlie in astonishment. Charlie
was slightly built, and Ping Wang had no idea that he was so strong. But
he had gone in for a course of physical development exercises before
coming to Grimsby, and was in fine condition.

'If the skipper thinks, as I did, that you are not very strong,' he said
at last, 'he will be very surprised.'

'Well,' Charlie said, rather pleased at the astonishment he had caused,
'let us forget him for a time. When do we return to Grimsby?'

'In three or four days.'

'So soon? I thought we were out for three weeks, at the least. I had an
idea that steam trawlers always remained out for three weeks.'

'Boats belonging to the fleets do. A steam carrier collects the boxes of
fish from them every morning, and carries them off to London. But single
boaters have to take in their own fish to Grimsby, and therefore they
have to run in every few days, or else the fish wouldn't be fresh.'

'Then I shan't have to endure the skipper for as long as I expected.'

'You'll have to endure him for seven or eight weeks, I'm afraid. When we
run in just to land fish we are not allowed to quit the ship. After
unloading we sail as soon as possible.'

'But do you mean to say that he can prevent my leaving the ship at
Grimsby?'

'I believe he can. You see, if men were allowed to leave whenever they
liked, the fishing industry would soon be upset.'

'I didn't think of that. However, I will get a substitute if possible.
There will be no objection to that, I suppose?'

'I don't know. The skipper is a curious kind of fellow, and he may
refuse to let you go, so that he may have the pleasure of bullying you.
Why don't you pretend that you are ill? He would put you ashore very
soon then.'

'I don't like the idea of getting out of an unpleasant position in that
way. By-the-bye, how do you pass the time away before hauling the
trawl?'

'Some of the men turn in, and others play cards or draughts. Do you care
about draughts?'

'Oh, yes, but I won't go down in the foc's'le to play.'

'I will bring the board up here if it is not being used.'

Ping Wang hurried away, and returned in a minute or two with the
draughts.

'They are having a sing-song in the foc's'le,' he said. 'The skipper is
there, and is a little bit the worse for drink.'



CHAPTER IV.


Charlie won the first game at draughts, and they had just begun a second
when the skipper suddenly appeared at the galley door. His face was
flushed, and there was a wild look in his eyes.

'The galley is not the place for playing draughts,' he said, and with
his hand swept the pieces off the board.

Charlie and Ping Wang made no remark. It was plain to them that he had
paid that visit for the sole purpose of bullying them, and they were
wondering what his next complaint would be.

'I want a mug of tea,' he said, seeing that the kettle was not boiling.

Charlie put the kettle on the fire at once.

'That's the result of playing draughts when you ought to be at work,'
the skipper growled. 'I always want some tea at this time.'

'In future it shall be ready, sir,' Charles replied, calmly.

'Future--eh?--I want it now. What's that Chinee doing here?'

'I thought you noticed that Ping Wang was playing draughts with me.'

'You're not paid to think. I do that for all the crew.'

Then the skipper turned his attention to prying into the pots and pans,
to see if he could discover anything which would give him an opportunity
to find fault. To his evident annoyance he did not succeed in
discovering anything, for Charlie had done his work thoroughly, and the
cooking utensils looked much cleaner than when he entered on his duties.

In a few minutes the tea was ready, and as soon as the skipper tasted it
he made a grimace, and exclaimed, 'Beastly wash!--Do you hear?' he
exclaimed, finding that Charlie did not speak. 'It's wash!'

'It is made in exactly the same way as the other tea you have had during
the day,' Charlie declared.

'Then I must have drunk wash before. But I won't drink this. Here,
Chinee, you drink it.'

'Me no want any, skipper,' Ping Wang answered.

'Don't want it, eh? What does that matter? Drink it at once.'

Ping Wang shook his head, and the skipper immediately flung the contents
of his mug full in the Chinaman's face. The tea was very hot, and with a
cry of pain Ping Wang ran at his tormentor. Stepping backwards quickly,
to avoid him, the skipper stumbled over the weather-board at the
entrance to the galley, and fell heavily on to the deck.

The mate, who had been pacing the deck, ran to pick him up. 'What's the
matter, skipper?' he asked.

'That Chinee has knocked me down,' the skipper declared.

'He did nothing of the kind,' Charlie declared, and related to the mate
exactly what happened.

'You'd better get an hour or two's sleep before we haul,' the mate said
to the skipper, and, taking his arm, led him away.

'I think we had better turn in also,' Ping Wang said, and Charlie at
once went forward with him.

The other men were already asleep. The ventilators were all closed, and
the foc's'le was so close and stuffy that Charlie thought, at first,
that he would have to go on deck again. But, being very tired, he
determined to stay where he was, and clambered into his bunk. He slept
soundly, in spite of the bad air, until Ping Wang aroused him. It was a
quarter to eleven, and the men were donning their oilskins, with a view
to hauling.

'You had better put the kettle on,' Ping Wang said to Charlie; 'all
hands will want tea before they turn in again.'

Charlie, wearing his oilskins, went to the galley at once. As he passed
along the deck he shivered, for a breeze had sprung up, and the air
struck cold, after the stuffiness of the foc's'le.

(_Continued on page 226._)



THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON'S HEAD GARDENER.


'We must not forget the gardener,' says a visitor, describing Walmer
Castle at the time when Wellington was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
This gardener, a fine-looking, elderly man, was at the battle of
Waterloo, and when his regiment was disbanded, the Duke offered him the
post of head gardener at Walmer Castle.

The good fellow objected, for, to use his own words, he 'did not then
know a moss rose from a cabbage,' but the Duke was determined, and, as a
soldier, the man could but obey orders. 'But now,' he said to the
visitor, 'I get on pretty well.'

'And like it?' he was next asked.

'Oh, yes.'

'But suppose war were to break out--would you be a soldier again?'

'Why, that must depend on the Duke: if he said I must go, of course I
must.'

'How did you manage when you first came here?'

'Why, as well as I could. It was rather awkward.'

'Perhaps you studied hard--read a good deal?'

'No, I didn't read at all.'

'You looked about you, then?'

'Yes, I did that.'

'And now you get on very well?'

'Why, yes; but I am plagued sometimes: the names of the flowers puzzle
me sadly.'

'And what does the Duke say to that?'

'Oh, I have him there,' said the soldier gardener, 'for he doesn't know
them himself!'

The visitor also stated that the garden abounded in flowers--not rare
ones, but rich and luxuriant, with a well-kept lawn, in the midst of
which was a lime-tree, which the Duke always declared to be the finest
he had ever seen.

The experiment of turning a soldier into a head gardener seems to have
been quite successful.



TWO MEDALS.


A little English schoolboy was sauntering along the quay, looking rather
bored. It was a picturesque scene--this port of the Black Sea--with the
varied craft in the harbour, and the varied nationalities represented by
the groups of men who chattered and gesticulated, or lounged and slept
in the sunshine.

But what, he thought, were the summer holidays without cricket? Of
course, it was jolly to be with his people again, but Dick did wish they
lived in England. The boys at school had envied him because his journey
home would take him through the unrestful Balkan territory, and he might
have all manner of adventures. It was very hard that there had been
none, though the train after his had been held up, and had not got
through without some fighting.

He reached the end of the stone pier, where half-a-dozen men were
leaning over a low parapet.

'What is your pleasure, little Milord?' one asked him. This was their
nickname for the boy, who had been a favourite with them since he had
learnt to order them about in their own tongue when not much more than a
baby.

'My pleasure is a cricket match,' he answered, 'and as far as I can see
it is a pleasure I shall have to do without.'

'Would not little Milord like to fish?' asked another. 'See, one already
is trying his luck,' and he pointed to a boy about Dick's age sitting on
the parapet with his line in the water below.

'A foolish place to try, with the current running as strong as it does
round the end of the pier,' Dick said. 'He is not likely to get a bite
there.'

Even as he spoke the boy jumped up suddenly and turned round. No one saw
exactly how it happened, but he missed his balance, and with a scream
fell into the water.

For a minute Dick waited. He was such a little chap, and of course one
of those big men would jump in after the boy. But no! they stood staring
at each other with terrified faces, and never moved.

Then over the wall went Dick into the water beneath. The boy had risen,
and he struck out for him, reaching him easily enough, for the current
carried him. It was getting back which was difficult.

The men at the pier-head ran about and shouted in a frantic way. 'A
boat!' shouted one. 'A rope!' called another; while a third wrung his
hands and moaned, 'They are lost! they are lost!'

And Dick battled and battled against the current with the dead weight of
the boy hindering him from making any perceptible way. It never even
occurred to him that by letting his burden go he might at any rate save
himself. And his English pluck came to his help. He wouldn't be beaten.
He just _had_ to get to land somehow, and he must not let himself think
of anything else. The men, too, had at last found a rope and were
flinging it to him. If only he could get near it! Once it was just
within his grasp, but he was beaten back again. Then, with a final
tremendous effort, he struck out again and reached it, and held on like
grim death, though the singing in his ears and his struggling, panting
breath warned him his strength was nearly exhausted. By this time,
however, a boat was nearing them, and soon the boys were on land, though
the lad Dick had saved was with difficulty brought back to
consciousness.

Dick himself was rather white and limp, but otherwise not much the worse
for his adventure.

'Why didn't one of you go in after him? I gave you a chance,' he said to
the men.

'The water was too cold,' muttered one.

'Too deep!' said another.

'Too dangerous!' growled a third.

And the small schoolboy shrugged his shoulders and went home, to be made
a great fuss over by his mother and sisters, which he thought absurd;
but he liked the quiet look of pleasure his father gave him when he came
in after hearing the news in the town, though he only said, 'Good
business, my son!'

And although he is very shy of showing them, I think Dick is rather
proud of his two medals: one of the country where the courageous act was
performed, and that other of dull bronze which the Royal Humane Society
presents to England's brave sons and daughters.

Dick thought it took far more courage to walk up and receive this medal
amidst the cheers of the boys and their gay company on Prize-day, than
it did to jump in to the rescue of the boy in the Black Sea.



ANIMAL MAKESHIFTS.

True Anecdotes.

I.--INSTEAD OF A HAND.

[Illustration: "The elephant uses his nose as a hand."]


The wonderful contrivances by which animals manage to do beautiful work
without tools, to walk without feet, to fly without wings, to talk
without a voice, and to make their wants known not only to each other
but to their human friends, without understanding or speaking human
words, would fill a large book. No creature boasts of a hand like our
own; even that of the monkey, though his fingers resemble man's, has a
thumb which is nearly useless. The American spider-monkeys prefer to use
their long tails as hands, plucking fruits with the tips and carrying
them to their mouths. The elephant uses his nose as a hand (for his
trunk is nothing else but a long nose), and with this makeshift hand he
can pick up either a heavy cannon or a sixpence from the ground. The
horse uses his tail as a hand to drive off flies which he cannot
otherwise reach. On board ship a hen was once seen to use her neck as a
hand. She and the other fowls used to quarrel over the laying-boxes, and
though the nests looked all alike to a human eye, this hen coveted one
special box, and would lay nowhere else. One day her master took the
china nest-egg out of the box and put it into another one, to see what
she would do. He watched her through the chink of a door, and saw her
hunt till she found the egg, curl her neck round it like a big finger,
lift it thus, and carry it back to the old box, where she sat on it in
triumph.

Stories of rats who have been seen to carry off eggs, embracing them by
their tails, are common enough, and everybody has watched animals of
different kinds using their mouths to carry things from place to place.
Not only lions, tigers, wolves, and bears carry their young in this way,
but rabbits, squirrels, mice, and many other creatures. The mother-whale
tucks her little one under her huge fin, using it as a hand and arm in
one; in time of danger she carries him off thus at the risk of her own
life from under the very harpoons of the whalers.

All young animals have an instinct which prompts them to run to their
parents for protection when frightened, trusting not only in the older
and wiser heads, but in the faithful hearts which have never failed
them. Though sheep, cattle, deer, and such-like, have no notion of using
their jaws as hands, or of lifting their little ones, many of the young
will use their limbs to cling to those who are stronger and swifter
than themselves. The four-footed elders will perish rather than desert
the youngsters, and will, if possible, contrive to beat a retreat,
helping along the weaker ones as best they can.

A very touching story of the devotion of deer to their fawns comes from
America. While two men were riding along a creek in California, they
saw, some distance ahead, a doe and her fawn drinking from the river.
The bank was very steep, and the river deep at that point. When the deer
saw the hunters they were startled, and in trying to turn, the little
one lost its balance and fell into the creek. The water was running very
swiftly, and of course the fawn was carried down-stream. At this the
poor mother seemed to lose all fear of the men, and ran wildly along the
bank, trying to reach her little one with her head, but in vain. She
next ran forward for a short distance, plunged in, steadied herself by
planting her feet firmly among some rocks, and waited. Presently the
fawn was washed against her, and, as it was being swept by, caught hold
of its mother, stretching out its forelegs and clasping her neck, much
as a little child uses his arms in clinging to his nurse. The doe then
carefully stepped ashore with her precious burden. She lay down beside
the baby deer, and, although the hunters were not thirty yards away, she
licked and fondled the little thing till it rose to run, when she too
sprang up, and the pair trotted off unharmed to the woods.

[Illustration: "He saw her curl her neck round the egg like a big
finger."]

Many birds use their wings as arms and hands when flight will not serve
their turn. A partridge was seen to hustle and drive her little troop of
chicks into the shelter of a rabbit-hole with her wings, out of the way
of a hawk whose shadow had fallen on the grass at their side. Here she
kept them prisoners till all was safe.

[Illustration: "The fawn caught hold of its mother, clasping her neck."]

The lesson to be drawn from such stories is that even wild, untaught
creatures do not use their limbs in a senseless way as parts of a
machine, without thinking, but are able to turn them to a variety of
uses in times of difficulty. We shall, of course, find that tame animals
such as the horse, dog, and cat act more wisely in such ways than their
wild relations. The dog, for instance, turns his rough idea of using his
mouth for carrying food or young ones, to fetching and carrying for his
own benefit or his master's. A handsome brown spaniel lately noticed
that his mistress, in carrying a bowl of water, upset some of the
contents on the floor. Off dashed Master Jack, intent on 'making himself
generally useful,' and quickly returned with the house flannel from the
kitchen. This he laid beside the pool, with an intelligent, uplifted
look which said, 'There! wipe it up.' Did not this sensible fellow's
mouth become a splendid makeshift hand, and his glance an excellent
speech?

EDITH CARRINGTON.



THE PITCHER-PLANT.


The leaves and flowers of plants often grow into very strange shapes.
The flowers of various kinds of orchids are very remarkable for the
peculiar forms which they take. Some of them have a great resemblance to
bees, flies, or butterflies, and this resemblance is at times so great
that we wonder whether it is only an accidental likeness, or whether it
serves some useful purpose. One of the oddest shapes which any plant
takes, however, is that of the leaves of the pitcher-plant; and in this
case naturalists, who have studied the plant carefully, are able to show
us that the strange shape of the leaf really serves a purpose.

The pitcher-plants are most abundant in the islands of Borneo, Java, and
Sumatra, and in the Malay Peninsula. Though not so plentiful elsewhere,
they are also found in Ceylon, Madagascar, the Moluccas, and one or two
other places. The plant is a kind of creeping or climbing shrub which
runs along the ground, or climbs up other shrubs and short trees. It
seems to thrive best upon the mountaintops, and the summits of the
mountains of Borneo are often gaily decked with it.

There are thirty or forty different kinds of pitcher-plants, varying in
size a great deal. But the strange thing about all of them is that the
ends of their leaves are shaped like pitchers, or perhaps it would
describe them better if we said they were like jugs with lids. It is
from this peculiarity that the plant takes its name. The leaf is the
shape of any ordinary leaf until it reaches its point, where it is drawn
out into a long stalk or tendril, at the end of which is the jug or
pitcher, which, you must remember, is formed out of the leaf itself.
Each plant has its own shape of jug, and the jugs vary in size a good
deal. Some are long and slender; others are broad and shallow. Some are
tiny jugs only an inch deep, while others are perhaps twenty inches
deep. Their colour is green, but the mouth of the jug and the under side
of the lid, which is always open, are spotted with red or purple,
somewhat like a flower.

Not only do these strange leaves look like jugs, but they are also used
as jugs. Each of them contains a little supply of water, varying with
the size of the jug from a few drops in the smallest, to as much as two
quarts in the largest of them. Thirsty travellers have sometimes
quenched their thirst from these natural jugs, when no other water was
to be found. Though the water itself is palatable, it is a little warm,
and it is always full of insects.

If any one were to watch one of these jugs of the pitcher-plant for some
time attentively, he would soon find that it served as a trap for flies
and insects. One by one the little creatures alight upon the outside of
the jug, and creep into the open mouth, and few or none of them ever
return. They slip into the water at the bottom of the jug and are
drowned.

If we examine a jug carefully, in order to learn why the insects enter
it, and how it is that they cannot get out again, we shall be surprised
at the clever way in which the trap is made. The mouth of the jug has a
thick ring round it, which makes it firm, and keeps it always open. The
lid stands over this mouth, and seems to be always raised a good deal,
so that insects and flies may enter freely; but it covers the mouth in
such a way as to prevent anything from falling accidentally into the jug
from above. The underside of the lid and the mouth of the jug are often
gaily coloured, so as to attract insects, as brightly-coloured flowers
do. Some of the jugs even make a little honey, which, forming just
inside the mouth, attracts insects by its scent. Within the jug, just
below the mouth, there is a row of stiff hooks, which have their points
turned inwards towards the bottom of the jug. Below the spikes the sides
of the jug are so smooth and slippery that few insects could stand on
them.

It is easy to see how the trap works. Insects are attracted to the
pitcher by the bright colours of the lid or the scent of the honey. They
creep into the mouth, and crawl between the hooks, whose sharp points
are set the other way, and they step upon the smooth and slippery inside
of the jug. In another instant they have slipped into the water at the
bottom of the jug. Do what they will, they cannot climb up the slippery
sides of the pitcher, or pass the row of sharp hooks, whose points are
turned against them. They are caught.

Now all this is very strange and wonderful, and it makes us wish to know
why Providence has given the plant this clever machinery. We cannot help
asking ourselves why the pitcher-plant entraps these insects. I am
afraid that you would hardly be able to answer this question for
yourself, however carefully you might watch a pitcher-plant. Indeed, it
is only a few years since clever men, making careful experiments, were
able to find out the real truth. The fluid at the bottom of the pitcher
_digests_ those insects, and the pitcher-plant feeds upon them. Just as
the juices of our stomach dissolve meat, so that it may pass into the
blood and nourish us, so the fluid in the jug of the pitcher-plant
dissolves the flesh of the insects which fall into it, and makes that
flesh fit to nourish the plant. This strange plant lives, in part at
least, upon flesh; and all the clever mechanism of its jug is used
simply to get a meal.



ONE AND ONE MAKE TWO.


    As through the busy world you go,
      Remember this is true,
    That though one seems a little thing,
      Yet one and one make two.

    The task one could not do alone,
      Is done with help from you,
    For though you are a little one,
      Yet one and one make two.

    The thread that's rolled the reel around,
      That baby's hands can break,
    When with it other threads are bound,
      The strongest rope doth make.

    The rope thrown by some helping hand,
      And drawn the waters through,
    May bring a drowning man to land:--
      So one and one make two.

    The minutes grow into the hours,
      The hours into the day,
    The days to weeks, to months, to years,
      And thus time flies away.

    And deeds of good by children done,
      Though small they seem to you,
    May grow into a mighty sum,
      For one and one make two.



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

VI.--THE GIANT AND ITS ADVENTURES.


Two hundred needlewomen were busy for a month making the 'Giant's' coat.
It contained twenty thousand yards of white silk, of double thickness,
at six shillings a yard, and when finished measured ninety yards round
and sixty yards in height. When it was filled it held 6098 cubic yards
of gas. M. Nadar, its master, introduced it to the people of Paris in
the hope that the money they would pay to see it would enable him to
carry out his experiments with flying machines. On October 4th, 1863,
the Giant was ready to make its first voyage in the clouds, and nearly
five hundred thousand people assembled to see it start.

It was like a cottage made of wicker-work, and mounted on small wheels.
In two of the four walls there was a door with two small windows each
side of it, and inside there was a little world of wonders. The
'cottage' was only fifteen feet long, twelve wide, and eight high; but
it was divided up so carefully by thin partitions that there was room
for a small printing-office, a photographic department, a
refreshment-room, a compartment for the captain's bed and passengers'
luggage, and another at the opposite end, with three beds in it. Outside
all this, but inside the walls of wicker-work, was an inflated rubber
lining, so as to prevent it from sinking if, by any mischance, the
'Giant' should fall into the sea. Thus, according to circumstances, the
building could be either the car of a balloon, a ship at sea, or a
caravan being drawn by horses upon the wheels already mentioned along a
country road. From the inside a narrow stairway led on to the roof, or
deck.

When all was ready, M. Nadar, leaning from the deck, gave the word. The
ropes were let go, and the Giant rose solemnly towards the sky. Fifteen
voyagers waved their hats and handkerchiefs over the bulwarks, returning
the greetings of the crowd till carried beyond sight and hearing.

Though the launch was a success, the poor Giant had been served very
badly by some careless persons, all unknown to those on board. The
pilot, a clever aeronaut, named Godard, was a little surprised that very
soon after leaving the ground he had to begin throwing out ballast, to
stop them from sinking. This went on for some hours, and when darkness
had fallen, and all the world had disappeared, it became clear that the
balloon must descend. They had attained a height of many thousand feet.
It was nearly nine o'clock, and supper on deck was over, when Godard,
finding that the descent was becoming too rapid, called out, 'Hold to
the ropes!'

Every passenger seized some portion of the ropes, so that the shock of
contact with the earth might be somewhat lessened. Down came the Giant,
a great deal more swiftly than it had risen; and the last bags of
ballast were emptied over the side with little effect. The blow was
tremendous, and the wonder is that the passengers escaped with their
lives. An inquiry was held, and the Giant itself was proved blameless.
The valves for allowing the escape of gas had never been properly
closed! Thus, from the very moment when they left Paris, the gas was
pouring out at the top; and it was only through the enormous quantity
used that they succeeded in rising at all.

A fortnight later M. Nadar was ready to sail again. This time the Giant
had nine passengers, who were destined to make an eventful voyage.
Anchor was weighed in the evening, and very soon, at a great height, all
eyes were turned to watch the beautiful sunset. As the shadows of night
gathered round them, however, more than one traveller looked anxiously
at the gigantic ball above. Supposing anything should go wrong with it!
It looked such a tremendous distance down to the earth.

When day dawned again at last, after a night during which no one had
closed his eyes, they found themselves hanging over the fens of Holland,
many miles from Paris. Fearing that the wind might carry them out to
sea, they agreed to descend. But, on reaching the lower air, the huge
balloon was caught in what proved to be almost a hurricane. It drove
them towards the ground at a long angle, until, like a falling kite, the
Giant struck the earth head foremost, dragging the car behind it at a
terrible speed. The travellers hung on for dear life. Again and again
the car struck, and rebounded thirty or forty feet into the air. With
the first blow the valve-rope was jerked beyond reach, so that it became
impossible to let the gas escape.

Mile after mile they tore through the country, crashing into trees, and
scattering herds of cattle right and left. All the anchor-ropes, dropped
one after the other, had been snapped like thread, the last catching in
the roof of a cottage, and tearing it open before giving way. Then, to
the horror of the passengers, a railway-train appeared a short distance
ahead, spinning along at great speed. A collision seemed inevitable; but
with one united effort they shouted to the driver. He heard them, and
reversed his engine, and the next moment they whirled by, dragging
telegraph wires and poles after them. And now a hero came to their
rescue. Jules Godard, the pilot's brother, after many fruitless
attempts, climbed into the network and secured the valve-rope. The gas
was now slowly discharged, and before the bag was empty the passengers
had either jumped or been jolted from the car, bruised and shaken, but
happily without loss of life.

After making such a wonderful name for itself, the Giant took a short
sea voyage on board a real ship, and crossed the Channel to England,
and, blown out with harmless air, hung under the great glass dome of the
Crystal Palace for visitors to admire. After this it made only one or
two more journeys to the clouds, and ended its career as a poor captive
balloon in the gardens of Cremorne.

[Illustration: "The driver heard them, and reversed his engine."]

[Illustration: "One of the fishermen prevented him from sneezing
again."]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 219._)


Much to his relief, Charlie found that the galley fire had not gone out.

'I kept it going, cook,' a grimy young trimmer declared. 'It would have
gone out long ago if I hadn't looked after it. And I've filled the
kettle for you. Got a bit of grub to give me?'

Charlie took out a chunk of bread, dabbed a spoonful of marmalade on top
of it, and gave it to the lad.

'Any time you want anything done, I'll do it,' the trimmer declared, and
departed.

As there was nothing to detain Charlie in the galley he went forward to
assist in hauling. The skipper was on the bridge; the mate was working
the donkey-engine, which was fast drawing in the long wire ropes
attached to the net, and the deck hands stood at the starboard-side
gunwale, watching for the net to appear. An electric light was hung up
at the bridge, so that the men could see to do the work they had in
hand. For a moment or two Charlie stood at the foot of the bridge,
waiting for the skipper or the mate to tell him what to do.

'Stand here,' Ping Wang said, quietly, but loud enough for him to hear.

Charlie nodded his head and took up his position about three feet away
from the Chinaman. Soon the net appeared above water, and the men,
bending over the gunwale, grasped it with their hands, and, tugging all
together, pulled it slowly but surely upwards.

'Where are the fish?' Charlie asked, surprised at seeing none in the
part of the net at which they had been tugging.

'For'ard,' Ping Wang answered, and as he spoke the donkey-engine started
panting and puffing, and the part of the net to which the Chinaman had
pointed was now raised high above the gunwale. It resembled a huge
cooking-net which had been lifted out of a gigantic pan. It was crowded
with fish, and as it was pulled in and suspended over the pound made on
the deck, the very small fish, mostly dead, fell through. Others, with
wide-opened mouths, were caught in the meshes. A fisherman now stepped
under the dripping net, untied it at the bottom, and sprang quickly
aside as the catch of fish fell with a thud into the pound.

'What a mixture!' Charlie exclaimed as he gazed at the fish jumping,
wriggling, and sliding about in the pound. 'What are they?'

'Cod, plaice, haddock, and turbot,' Ping Wang replied, but he only named
a few of them. The catch included also ling, sole, whiting, dab, gurnet,
oysters, crabs, whelks, cat-fish, star-fish, and a large amount of ocean
scrapings.

Charlie stood watching the struggling mass, deeply interested, but Ping
Wang whispered to him, 'Come away, or you'll have the skipper at you. We
are going to shoot now.'

Charlie bestirred himself at once, and assisted in shooting the gear.
When that had been done without a hitch, the work of sorting, cleaning,
and packing the fish was begun. Three men stepped into the pound,
trampling on the fish until they had made a clear space for their feet.

'Give a hand there, cook!' the skipper shouted, and Charlie stepped into
the pound. He had not the heart to tread on the still living fish as the
others were doing, and in his anxiety to avoid hurting them, he slipped
and fell against the gunwale, his sou'-wester falling overboard. The
other men stopped work at once, and looked at him in a by no means
friendly way. The skipper abused him loudly and fiercely.

'It was my own sou'-wester,' Charlie declared, unable to understand why
the skipper should be so excited over the loss.

'Then why don't you jump overboard and save it? We will fish you up next
time we haul.'

The men laughed heartily at this grim joke.

'Take the skipper's advice, mate,' one of them said. 'I want some new
boots badly.'

'It is thought a bad omen if a fisherman's sou'-wester is blown
overboard,' Ping Wang explained in a whisper, whereupon Charlie laughed
loudly at the superstitious idea.

'Stop that row,' the skipper shouted, 'and start cleaning the fish.'

Charlie took out his clasp-knife, and seized a plaice.

'Don't cut that,' Ping Wang warned him. 'Put the plaice in the box just
as they are.'

Charlie hesitated, for the fish was not yet dead, and he did not like
the idea of packing it away while it was alive.

'Here, stow it away,' a fisherman growled, and snatching it out of his
hand flopped it in the box and smacked a dead fish on top of it.

The plaice were the only ones which had not to be cut open. As each fish
was cleaned it was tossed into another pound, and when the whole of the
catch, with the exception of the plaice, oysters, whelks, and the
useless fish, were in this, the hose was turned on to the silvery mass.

When the fish had been thoroughly cleansed with water, they were packed
away in boxes, which were at once stowed away in the hold between layers
of ice.

Charlie was not required to assist in the work in the hold, and
therefore he hurried to the bucket, on which was painted 'All hands,'
and indulged in a wash. He was fortunate in being first, for fresh water
is not plentiful on a trawler, and one bucketful has to suffice for the
whole crew.

From the bucket, Charlie went to the galley and made the tea. Every one,
from the skipper to the ship's boy, had a mugful; some had two. The
North Sea fishermen are inveterate tea-drinkers.

Having drunk their tea, the men threw off their oilies and turned in
again with all their clothes on.

'It isn't worth while undressing,' Ping Wang said to Charlie. 'In about
three hours' time we shall have to turn out again. If you don't undress
you will have a little longer time to sleep.'

Charlie did not undress, and consequently he was ready to start work at
once when the time came. He put on a peaked cap in place of his lost
sou'-wester.

'Don't forget the tea, cook,' one of them said to Charlie as he climbed
up on deck. 'Let's have it before we start hauling.'

Thanks to the trimmer the kettle was boiling, and Charlie was therefore
able to bring the men mugs of hot tea in less than five minutes from
turning out.

'Cook is one of the right sort, after all,' one of the fishermen
declared as he returned his empty mug to Charlie, and the others
assented by nods and grunts. But before long Charlie was again in hot
water. As he was assisting to haul in the net he sneezed loudly. In a
moment one of the fishermen placed his big, dirty hand over his mouth
and effectually prevented him from sneezing on the net again.

The skipper, looking down from the bridge, broke into loud abuse.

'What harm is there in sneezing?' Charlie answered, angrily.

'None of your back answers, or I'll clap you in irons.'

'If you do, you'll have to pay for it dearly when we get back to
Grimsby. I insist upon knowing what harm I have done.'

'It is thought very unlucky to sneeze on a trawl,' the mate explained
quietly, anxious to save Charlie from any further bullying. 'It is
supposed to bring bad luck to the trawler. Now, grab hold of the net.'

Charlie again tugged at the net, and, when the catch was emptied into
the pound, it was found that it was an exceedingly small one.

'That comes of having you aboard!' the skipper declared, pointing at
Charlie.

'I don't see how my sneezing could have affected this catch,' Charlie
answered, 'considering that it was almost on board when I sneezed.'

'But how about your sou'-wester last night? That was what ruined this
catch, and your sneezing will spoil the next one.'

Charlie laughed openly at this prediction, but it was rather unfortunate
for him that, when the next haul was made, it was found that the catch
was still smaller than the previous one.

'I told you so!' the skipper declared, white with rage.

'It is a coincidence,' Charlie replied, calmly. 'If I sneeze on the net
now you will probably have a fine catch next time.'

'No back answers. Don't you try to teach me anything. Get away to the
galley at once, and be careful what you do.'

Charlie returned to the galley, hardly knowing whether to be angry or
amused. It was very galling to have to submit to the abuse of an
ignorant, blustering fellow like the skipper, but, at the same time, he
could not take the man's superstition seriously.

'I would not have believed, unless I had seen the skipper, that it was
possible for there to be such a superstitious Briton living at the end
of the nineteenth century,' Charlie said to the mate, about half an hour
later.

'Oh, there are many like him in the North Sea,' the mate answered, 'and
all the arguing in the world won't convince them of their foolishness.
After a time you will not find his ignorance and superstition amusing.
However, what I want to say to you is this: the men in the foc's'le
declare that the grub isn't well cooked, and that you haven't given them
plum duff yet. You must let them have it to-morrow.'

'I will,' Charlie declared, as if plum duff were the easiest thing in
the world to make.

When the mate left him, Charlie took out the bow-legged cook's written
instructions to see what ingredients were necessary. His idea was to
make and boil the pudding that evening, so that, if it turned out a
failure, he would have time to make another one. If it proved to be a
success, he would be able to warm it up on the following morning. But,
just as he began to read the recipe, he noticed that the fire had burnt
low and needed instant attention. In his anxiety to prevent it from
going out, he put down the flimsy little book and began shovelling coals
on the fire. While he was doing that a gust of wind swept through the
galley, and carried the recipe-book out through the porthole and into
the sea.

Charlie, gazing out at it, saw it float for a moment or two, and then
lost sight of it.

'Well,' he muttered, ruefully, 'I don't know how I am going to make plum
duff now!'

(_Continued on page 238._)



THE TRUMPET AND THE DRUM.


    Said the Trumpet to the Drum:
    'Less noise, good fellow! come!
    For nobody can hear
    My voice, when you are near.'

    'Boom! boom!' the Drum replied,
    'The fault is on _your_ side;
    You blow with such a sound
    That _my_ poor voice is drowned.'

    And after that, all day
    They blew and boomed away,
    In contest so absurd
    That _neither_ could be heard.

    Now, when you want to speak,
    O children, never seek
    To drown in noisy tone
    All voices but your own;
    But learn to shun in life
    The Drum and Trumpet's strife.



JIM'S SHOWER-BATH.


The kitchen was very hot, and Aunt Christy, the old black cook, was very
busy. With her sleeves rolled up above her elbows, and her cap all awry,
she bustled about, hurrying the slow movements of the girls who were her
helpers, and scolding the four little dusky children whenever they got
in her way. She declared that they were all as full of mischief as they
could be, and that there was not a pin to choose between them. But if
one of the four _did_ happen to be worse than the others, that one was
certainly Jim.

Jim was nearly seven; his young mind was full of eager questions; he
wanted to know the reason of everything, and it was really because he
was so curious and prying that Aunt Christy thought him worse than the
rest.

[Illustration: "Jim got a terrible drenching."]

On that morning he poked about the kitchen, opening baskets and peering
into dishes, until his eyes fell upon a large bright pail, which was set
upon a stand too high for him to reach.

'That's a new pail. Why's Aunt Christy got a new pail? Wonder what's in
it? I will see.'

So said Jim to himself; and when he found that, even by standing on
tiptoe, he could not reach, the little rascal trotted off for his
three-legged stool, mounted on that, put his chubby arms as far as they
would stretch round the pail. A three-legged stool, however, is but a
treacherous support, and this Jim found to his cost. As he stood there,
it slipped from under his bare feet, and the pail, which was full of
warm water and vegetables, suddenly overturned.

Poor Jim got a terrible drenching; it was lucky for him that the water
was not very hot, or he would have been sadly scalded. As it was, a big
turnip hit him on the head, and the handle of the pail hurt him. Wet and
bruised he crept away, a sadder and a wiser boy, inwardly resolved to
have nothing more to do with things which did not concern him.

C. J. BLAKE.

[Illustration: A Cliff-dwelling of North America.]



WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

VII.--THE CLIFF-DWELLERS OF NORTH AMERICA.


If you take a map of North America, and trace the line of the Rocky
Mountains downwards, you come to the State of Colorado, with New Mexico
and Arizona lying below; and if you tried to explore this country you
would find yourself in a perfect network of mountains. In Colorado there
are magnificent snow-peaks, with richly wooded valleys lying between
them, whilst in New Mexico and Arizona the land is much more bare,
mountain ridges, often covered with stones and pebbles, dividing flat
table-lands of great extent.

Common to all three States are wonderful gorges, or splits in the
cliffs, of immense depth. Sometimes from below one can hardly see the
sky between the precipices; at other times the gorge may open out into
quite a broad valley; but, whether narrow or wide, we may be quite sure
that wherever there is a canyon (as these rock-splits are called in
Western America) there will be a river running down it.

One of these rivers, named the Colorado, travels for more than three
hundred miles along a channel of its own cutting, never less than a mile
below the level of the surrounding country. If we remember that we take
from fifteen to twenty minutes to walk a mile, and then fancy that mile
standing on end like a pole, we may get some idea of what the cliffs are
like in these canyons.

The currents of the mountain rivers, like those of all waters flowing
from high lands, are very strong and swift; and when the snows are
melting, or after heavy rainfalls, the force of the stream is enormous.
The result is that the channel is worn deeper and deeper, whilst the
cliffs at the side are eaten away in places. The hardest rocks remain in
jagged points and ledges, and the softer parts are in time washed away,
leaving caverns of all shapes and sizes.

The kind of people who lived in this country of highlands and canyons
were tribes of American Indians, whose food was chiefly found in
hunting, and whose main interests lay in making war upon their
neighbours. Some tribes were strong, and others weak, so that by degrees
the powerful folk drove away the less warlike people from the rich
hunting-grounds and wooded country into the barren rocks. Now, if these
hunted tribes were to exist at all, it was clear they must find some
means of protecting themselves; thus it may have happened that
scrambling up the cliffs one day to avoid their foes, some fugitive
Indian came into one of the dwelling-places hollowed out in bygone ages
by the river which roared below. What joyful news he would carry home to
his friends when he ventured to go back to them! Shelter from rain, and
snow, and wind! Homes easily defended from marauding foes! What a new
life of ease for the persecuted people! One by one families would climb
the cliffs, until at last a great population looked down from their
eyries in certain gorges of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, where
only eagles or mountain-goats might be supposed to dwell.

The table-lands above the ravines were, as a rule, fairly fertile, and
the Indians were able to grow maize, or Indian corn. When they were
obliged to give up the roving life of hunters, animal food must have
become a scarce luxury.

Being an industrious race, they were not long content to live in the
rugged caverns as nature made them, but with wonderful labour built
walls, floors, and roofs, to make their homes more comfortable, and to
keep out the icy winds which howled up the canyons. The marvel is how
they reached their homes, which are often at great heights; and one
shudders to think of how many stray babies, clambering children, and
nervous folk of all ages, must have stumbled and fallen over the rocky
platforms to certain death. Every drop of water, every bit of fuel, and
all food of every kind, must have been carried up those awful
precipices, usually on ladders placed from ledge to ledge, and drawn up
after the climber. That any people should choose such dwelling-places
shows how unsafe life down in the plains must have been, and later on we
will try to see how far the Cave Indians contrived to secure peace and
comfort in their cliff houses.

HELENA HEATH.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

10.--OBLIQUE PUZZLE.


Each word is one letter shorter than the one before. The initials, read
downwards, give the name of a South American city.

 1. The highest degree of respect.
 2. Bitter hatred.
 3. A common and useful covering for the floor.
 4. A model of excellence.
 5. A woman's name.
 6. A sharp instrument.
 7. A curved structure.
 8. Congealed water.
 9. An adverb.
10. A vowel.

C. J. B.


11.--CHARADE.

My first is thick and dark; my second is connected with the sea; my
whole is an acid concrete salt, or some one keen and irritable.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 263._]



ANSWER TO PUZZLE ON PAGE 195.

9.--1. Wellington.
    2. Marlborough.
    3. Nelson.
    4. Blake.
    5. Shakespeare.
    6. Tennyson.
    7. Scott.
    8. Dickens.
    9. Elizabeth.
   10. Victoria.

ANSWER TO 'WHAT AM I?' ON PAGE 214.

Dun-dee.



DECEIVING THE HORSE.


An omnibus, in the course of its journey, had to be taken up a long and
toilsome hill. Frequently passengers, out of pity for the poor horse,
would get out at the bottom and walk up a part of the way, so as to
lighten its load. In time, the sagacious beast got to expect this, and
would sometimes stop of its own accord, as if to let them descend from
the vehicle.

One day, a gentleman, travelling up the hill for the first time in this
conveyance, was much annoyed by the conductor frequently opening the
door, even when no one wanted to get out, and banging it close again.

He inquired of the man what he meant by such conduct, when it was
explained that it was done to deceive the horse, which, each time the
door was banged, thought another passenger had alighted, and pulled away
with more will in consequence.

H. B. S.



THE TEETH OF HYENAS.


Hyenas have stronger jaws than any other animals in the world. They have
a large tooth at each side of the upper jaw, which bites against the
keen edge of a tooth like it on the lower jaw, thus forming a pair of
shears sharp enough to cut paper and strong enough to crack the
thigh-bone of an ox.

Hyenas live entirely on meat. A lion, on the contrary, eats a large
quantity of fresh grass when it can get it, and in captivity will lap
milk from a pan with as much greediness as an ordinary pussy.



THE GATE-KEEPER OF RAMBOUILLET.


It is difficult for Englishmen to realise the intense devotion which
Napoleon the First inspired in the hearts of his French soldiers.
Ambitious and utterly careless of human life as he undoubtedly was,
these men overlooked all this in their admiration for the victorious
General.

As a rule, Napoleon certainly behaved as the Father of his soldiers, and
seemed to feel both with them and for them. Here is an account of the
way he cheered an old 'Sapeur' whom he find lying in the ward of a
military hospital.

'How now, my friend?' said the Emperor, halting at the soldier's
bedside. 'You are one of my Sapeurs, I see! I thought that regiment
prided itself on never being ill?'

'I am not ill, your Majesty!' said the soldier, proudly, as he saluted
his chief; 'but the doctor wants me to have my leg cut off, and I do not
wish it.'

'Why not?' asked Napoleon. 'Are you, who have faced death so often,
afraid of an operation of a few minutes?'

'Afraid, Sire!' said the man, with a quiet smile. 'Fear is not a disease
that attacks Sapeurs, as your Majesty knows; but if I change my leg of
flesh for a wooden stump, I shall never be able to return to the
regiment, and I would rather be buried entire than bit by bit.'

'Where were you wounded?' asked the Emperor.

'At Wagram, Sire.'

'Have you received your medal?'

'No, Sire,' said the soldier, eagerly. 'I was in the ambulance when you
distributed the medals.'

'Suppose I were to give you the medal now?' said Napoleon, looking
fixedly at the soldier.

'Oh, Sire!' said the man, almost leaping up in his delight. 'I should be
quite well then, I know.'

'Well, then, I give it you,' said the Emperor: 'but on one condition:
you must let the surgeon cut off that leg.'

'Just as you order me, Sire; if you wish my head cut off I am ready!
Only I can never serve you again, if I have a leg off.'

'How do you know that, you foolish fellow?' replied the Emperor,
smiling. 'Make haste and get well, and I appoint you gate-keeper of my
castle of Rambouillet.'

The soldier said no more. His heart was too full of joy and gratitude,
for that was indeed a post of honour.

Some months later the Castle of Rambouillet had a new gate-keeper, an
old wooden-legged sergeant of Sapeurs, wearing the coveted medal on his
well-brushed uniform!

X.



THE CASHMERE STAG.


India is rich in animals of the deer kind. To name only a few, there are
the Sambur, the beautiful Axis Deer, the small, but fierce, Hog Deer,
the Rusa Deer, the Bahrainga Deer, and the noble Cashmere Deer. The
habits of these animals are exceedingly varied. Some live upon the
hills, while others frequent the low lands and the jungles, and are
never seen upon the higher ground. Several of the species are nocturnal,
and are so rarely seen in the daytime that any one might think they were
scarce animals, although they are really very common.

The Cashmere Stag or Deer is one of those which live on the high lands,
upon the slopes of the mountains of Cashmere, Nepal, and the countries
to the north-west of India. It prefers forests and well-wooded country,
in which it finds shelter and seclusion. It rarely descends to the lower
and more open country, and it is in fact so retiring and alert that it
is seldom met with. By day it hides itself in the woods, but in the
early morning it is tempted forth to drink at the lakes and pools which
lie upon the skirts of the forest. It changes its pasture-grounds with
the seasons, climbing the mountains in summer, probably to enjoy the
cool, fresh air of the upper regions, and returning to lower ground in
winter in search of food.

The male is a fine animal, with large branching horns, somewhat like
those of our own stag or red deer, but not quite so large. In a fine and
well-developed specimen the horns will often display sixteen branching
points. The general colour of the stag is a rather dark grey or brown,
with patches of yellowish white upon the haunches, and for some little
distance along the back. The neck of the male is covered with longer
hair somewhat resembling a mane. The female is very similar in colour to
the male, but she is smaller, and has neither horns nor mane.

The Cashmere stag is sometimes called the Nepal stag, and it has also
other names, mostly derived from the localities where it is found. Many
of these are native names conferred upon it by the inhabitants of
various parts of the north of India, and when they are taken up and
repeated by sportsmen and travellers they prove very confusing to
naturalists, who cannot always be sure that they all refer to one
animal.

All stags are very attentive to their mates, and the least cry of the
female will draw her companion to her side. A hunter once saw a fine
male come running up at the cry of his mate, which had just been shot.
The poor thing was dead, but the stag stayed by her body, and would not
be frightened away until he was quite sure there was no life left in
it.

[Illustration: "The stag stayed by his mate's body."]

[Illustration: The Black Leopard.]



THE BLACK LEOPARD.


There are few animals more beautiful than the leopard, which inhabits
India and Africa. Looking at its handsome fur, we cannot fail to be
struck with the regular way in which the black spots or rings are
arranged upon the reddish-yellow ground, and how regularly they vary in
shape and size in different parts of the body.

Besides the ordinary spotted leopard there is, however, a black leopard.
It is found in India and some other countries of southern Asia where the
ordinary leopard lives, and seems most common upon the high lands. It is
very much scarcer than the ordinary leopard, and is, indeed, very rare.
The natives of India have a great dread of it, for they think it is more
cunning, more ferocious and stronger than the spotted leopard, which is
one of the fiercest and most active of the flesh-eating animals. It
climbs trees and sports among the branches with all the agility of a
cat. It is as ferocious as the tiger, and though not so large, its
activity and strength make it a very dangerous foe.

Though the black leopard is different in colour from the ordinary
leopard, it is in other respects very similar, and naturalists now
regard it as only a variety of the spotted leopard. After getting
together all the information which they can about the colours of the
leopard and similar animals, they have come to the conclusion that the
leopard family has a tendency to turn to black. This does not mean that
full-grown spotted leopards sometimes turn black quickly, but that the
cubs are occasionally born black, or grow dark soon after they are born.

The leopard is also known to show other variations of colour, but
examples of these are very much rarer than black ones. All animals are
liable to occasional variations of colour, which cannot be
satisfactorily explained. In the leopard these variations occur more
frequently than in most other animals, and the colour is nearly always
black.



THE POET CRABBE'S FIRST SCHOOL.


Crabbe, the poet, whose _Village Tales_ were the delight of a past
generation, was sent to a boarding school whilst still so young that he
had not even learnt to dress himself.

When he awoke in the morning after his first night away from home, he
saw the other boys dressing, and was much disturbed. He whispered to his
bedfellow (for all schoolboys slept at least two in a bed in those
days), 'Master George, can you put on your shirt? for--for I'm afraid I
cannot!'

This school, though only for small boys, seems to have been a very
severe one, for Crabbe and his friends were punished for simply 'playing
at soldiers.' He was condemned, with his friends, to be shut in a large
dog-kennel, known by the terrible name of 'the Black Hole.' Little
Crabbe was the first to be pushed in, and the rest were crowded in on
top of him, till at last the kennel was so full of boys that they were
all but suffocated. Crabbe in vain cried out that he could not breathe,
but no notice was taken of him until, in despair, he bit the lad next
to him violently in the hand.

'Crabbe is dying! Crabbe is dying!' roared the sufferer, and the
sentinel outside at length opened the door, and allowed the boys to rush
into the air.

Crabbe, when telling this story to his children in after years, always
added, 'A minute more and I must have died!'

X.



MY PICTURE-BOOK.


    Oh, what a pretty scene is this,
      Of meadow, hill, and brook,
    I wish that I was small enough
      To get inside the book.
    Upon this stream I'd launch my boat;
      I'd pluck this willow wand;
    Then round that reedy curve I'd float,
      And past the mill beyond--
        If I were only small enough.

    Then where the meadows are so green
      I'd moor my boat again,
    And overtake that little boy
      Who's trotting down the lane.
    I'd ask him to be friends with me,
      I'd take him by the hand,
    And through my pretty picture we
      Would go to fairy-land--
        If I were only small enough.



ULRICH'S OPPORTUNITY.


The Thirty Years' War was raging, and Europe was torn by bitter party
strife. All over the country men ranged themselves under their
respective leaders and fought grimly to the death.

At the time of this story, the little German town of Bamburg had
remained loyal to the Emperor Ferdinand, and had in consequence been
closely besieged for many weeks by the troops of the Elector of Saxony.
The flag still floated from the tower of the Town Hall, and a bold front
was shown to the enemy; but in reality the inhabitants were in sore
straits, when news reached them that if they could hold out one week
longer help would come.

A council was summoned, and all who could bear arms were called to hear
the glad news and to form fresh plans for the further defence of the
town. Shrewd and cautious advice was sorely needed, and none was fitter
to give it than stout old Karl Sneider, the keeper of the water-gate. So
to-night he was not in his place in the little watch-tower that looked
out over the broad river that flowed by the wall of the little town.

His watch was taken by Oscar Halbau, the clock-maker, who, although he
was not a Bamburg man by birth, had lived there so long that the good
people had come to regard him as one of themselves. Upstairs, in a
quaint little room with sloping roofs and curious corners, lay Karl
Sneider's crippled son Ulrich.

Usually bright and cheerful, to-night Ulrich was sadly depressed. To-day
was his fifteenth birthday, and were not boys of fifteen allowed to take
their places in the council? Caspar Shenk and Peter and Johann Hofman
had run up to see him on their way to the Rathhaus, and had joined with
him in begging his father to allow him to go, too, for with the help of
his crutch and a friendly arm he could make his way to the Cathedral,
and the Town Hall was not much further away.

'Nay, my son,' said his father firmly, 'a council is not like a service
at church. Stay quietly here, and when I return I will tell thee all.'

He spoke cheerfully, but his heart ached to see the boy's disappointment,
and when the other lads had gone he bent tenderly over him, saying,
'Only wait patiently, my son; thy turn will come, bringing the bit of
work Providence means thee to do. There is work for every one if only we
wait quietly for it.'

Long after he had gone, Ulrich thought over these words. They might be
true, but it seemed as if there could never be work for him to do. His
life seemed bounded by his couch and his chair by the window. Sometimes
he went out, it was true, but at best it was a slow and painful
business, and lately he had fancied the children laughed to themselves
when he passed.

He was roused from these sad thoughts by something coming sharply
against the window. He listened, and the sound was repeated again.
Someone was throwing stones at the glass. Who could it be? and what
could they want at that hour?

Stretching out his hand for his crutch, he moved softly across the room
and peered out. There was just enough light to enable him to see a boat
moored to the steps which ran up to the gate. He opened the window
gently, and was about to speak when he heard the clockmaker's voice
saying cautiously, 'Is that you, Captain?'

Ulrich knew then that the stranger had struck his window by mistake;
clearly it was the guard-room window he had aimed at, and if that were
so, why had the stranger chosen the very night that his father was away,
and how did Oscar know him? As quickly as he could he put out his lamp
and listened breathlessly. Oscar was speaking again.

'All is going well--better than I dared to hope. The fools think I am as
loyal as themselves, and they have left me to guard the gate. The
council will not be over till near midnight, and in half an hour the
moon will be gone. I will open the gate when it is quite dark and admit
your men, and the game will then be in our own hands.'

'You are a good fellow, Oscar, and shall be remembered,' replied the
stranger. 'To-morrow, when the town is ours, your name shall be on every
one's lips, and your pockets shall be filled with gold.'

He then turned back to his boat, and Ulrich leant back in his chair sick
with horror. To think that here, in his father's house, sat a traitor,
and that unless help came soon the town would be lost!

What could he do? It was useless for him to crawl downstairs and
confront Oscar. He had only to carry him back to his room and lock the
door to ensure safety. It was no less useless to cry for help, for a
long row of warehouses separated the guard-room from any other dwelling.
Oh! if he had only been like other boys, how easily he could have
stolen downstairs, and rushed to the Town Hall and given the alarm! It
seemed absolutely impossible for him to do it as he was. He had never
gone downstairs alone in his life; his father had always been there to
help him; even if he managed to crawl down he could not take his crutch
with him, and he could not walk without it. No, clearly it was
impossible.

And yet, as the slow minutes dragged away, and as he thought of the
shame it would be if the town were lost, he decided to make the attempt.
Slowly he crawled across the room and down the narrow, twisted
staircase. He was trembling from head to foot, and his breath seemed to
come in great gasps. What if Oscar heard him? His door was ajar, and the
lamp threw a ray of light on the landing outside; but Oscar was deep in
his plans, and did not notice the black shadow that moved slowly across
the lamp-lit space.

At last Ulrich was outside, and he breathed more freely in the open air.
If he had only had his crutch now, things might all have gone well, but
how was he to crawl along the long Breite Strasse, and round the corner
and up the still longer Gast Strasse to the Town Hall? His heart failed.
Still, he could only try his best. Perhaps he might meet some one....

Alas! all who were not at the council were safely in their houses, and
there was no one to notice the bent figure slowly dragging itself along,
or to hear the feeble knocks as he tried to reach the great brass
knockers, which were just too high for him to reach.

At last he came to the Cathedral, where he sometimes attended service,
but he had his father's strong arm to lean on then, while now he was
alone and quite exhausted. He could never reach the Town Hall in time;
but the church door was open, perhaps some one was inside who could take
the message. But the church was closed; it was only the porch which was
open.

With a sob of despair the boy entered and sank down on a low bench by
the door. After all it was no use; he could go no further, and even now
the traitor might be opening the gates.

As Ulrich raised his hand to wipe away the big tears that would fall, he
struck something soft hanging above his head; in the darkness he felt
it. It was a rope.

Instantly his strength came back with a rush. There was hope yet! Was
not the bell of the Cathedral the loudest in the town, and was it not
used as an alarm in cases of fire? He grasped the rope and pulled with
all his might. It was hard work, but soon the sound came--crash! crash!
crash!

That would surely rouse the town. And so it did. Soon hasty footsteps
were heard, and a watchman ran in, frantically waving his lantern.

'Where is it? What is it?--a fire? Speak, boy!' but Ulrich seemed to
have lost his tongue. It was not until several others had gathered round
him that he managed to gasp out, 'The water-gate--quick! Oscar is
letting in the soldiers!'

The words flew like wild-fire, and off the crowd rushed--men, boys,
burgomaster, and watchmen, just in time to capture the traitor and to
drive back the enemy.

[Illustration: "'What is it?--a fire? Speak, boy!'"]

So his father had been right after all, and Ulrich's bit of work had
been ready for him, and nearer than he thought. And he did his best, and
doing his best saved the town. For help did come, and Ulrich was thanked
by the Emperor himself, who put him under the care of his own doctor.
The doctor, although he was not able quite to cure him, did him so much
good that he was able in the course of time to walk without a crutch.

E. W. GRIERSON.

[Illustration:

Fig. 1.--Aphis, showing "Tracheæ" (greatly magnified).
Fig. 2.--"Tracheal Filaments" of Aphis (greatly magnified).
Fig. 3.--"Spiracles" of Water Beetle (greatly magnified).
Fig. 4.--Section of Crayfish, showing gills (magnified).]



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

VII.--HOW INSECTS BREATHE


Animal life cannot be sustained without breathing, though, strange as it
may seem, many of the lower animals have no special breathing organs. By
breathing, we mean supplying the body with the life-giving oxygen
contained in the air. Animals which live in the water breathe by taking
in the oxygen held in solution in the water.

In the simplest animals which live in water, the body is only a small
'blob' of jelly, so small that the oxygen passes directly into the body.
The bodies of some worms are so delicate that the oxygen easily passes
through the outer layers and mixes with the blood within.

In more complicated animals this life-giving gas is conveyed all over
the body by means of the blood, which is brought into contact with the
water, or the air, by structures known as gills. In the crayfish, for
example, the gills are placed above and rise from the bases of the legs,
being saved from injury by a broad shield lying behind the head. (In
fig. 4 this shield has been cut away so as to show the gills, marked G,
which it really covers.) By means of the circulation of the blood, the
crayfish breathes. This blood is carried to the gills and bathed by a
constant stream of fresh water, which enters behind the covering and
shield, and passes forwards till it comes out on each side of the mouth.
The blood, thus refreshed by the oxygen in the water, is carried again
all over the body, and in its course loses more and more oxygen, and
becomes more and more charged with poisonous gases, which are got rid of
on the return of the blood to the gills. The letter S in this figure
marks the stump of the leg, which, for the sake of clearness, has been
cut off.

In ourselves, the work of breathing, or of purifying the blood, is done
by means of the lungs. The lungs are large, spongy organs in the chest,
and are continually supplied with fresh air, which passes in through the
nose and mouth and down the wind-pipe, by what we call the act of
breathing.

Insects take in oxygen in a way quite different from that of the
crayfish or mankind. In some larval insects, which live in water, as in
some worms, the body is so thin that no special breathing organs are
necessary; others breathe by means of gills like those of the crayfish,
but arranged differently--sometimes along each side, and sometimes at
the tail end of the body. But in the ordinary adult insect the work of
breathing is carried on by means of a system of tubes, known as
'tracheæ,' which run all over the body. Into these tubes the air is
drawn through a number of holes on the surface of the body, called
'spiracles,' or breathing pores. The tracheæ or tubes are everywhere
bathed by the blood, which is thus constantly 'aerated,' or kept fresh.

One very remarkable thing about these tubes is the way they are kept
open. A horny, spirally-twisted thread runs through them, and thus they
are prevented from closing up by pressure, or by the bending of the body
or limbs. In fig. 2, this thread is marked C. This plan of keeping open
the passage in a tube likely to be blocked by sudden bending, has been
imitated by mankind, in making rubber gas tubing, for example. As a
plain rubber tube is easily bent, the gas would be in constant danger of
being cut off. To prevent this, Nature's patent is usually imitated, and
a coil of wire is placed along the inside of the tube. Thus, a sharp
bend, such as would instantly obstruct the passage of the gas, is
prevented.

The openings at the end of the breathing tubes, on the surface of the
insect's body, are known, as we have said, as 'spiracles,' or
'stigmata.' They can be closed at will by special muscles, and, to
prevent dust from getting into the tube, the rim of each spiracle has a
more or less complicated fringe or strainer. In fig. 3 the spiracle is
shown open, the opening being marked by the letter O. When closed the
fringes interlock like clasped fingers.

Fig. 1 shows the position of the breathing tubes in the aphis or green
fly. The spiracles or pores are marked O, the breathing tubes T.

Some insects which live in water, such as the water-beetle, breathe air
in the same way as their relatives who live on land. To do this they
have to come frequently to the surface of the water to take in fresh
supplies of air. In the great Dyticus water-beetle this is done in a
curious way. The creature, rising to the surface, first thrusts its tail
up into the air, and then bending it downwards, lets the air rush in to
fill the space between the body and the upper wing-cases. This done, the
tail is pressed back again, and the beetle returns to the depths, where
the imprisoned air is taken in through the pores into the tubes.

Besides the system of tubes just described, many insects possess a
wonderful system of air-cells, which give extra help in breathing during
flight. These air-cells are largest in insects which fly most. It is a
curious fact that birds have an exactly similar system; in many cases,
even the bones of birds are filled with air. It is generally stated,
indeed, that birds with the strongest flight have the most 'pneumatic'
bones. This not quite true, for the swallow, for example, has the long
bones of its wing filled with marrow, and not with air. Other birds,
however, like the storks, which fly much, and the owls and nightjars,
have all the bones in the body thus filled with air which they obtain
from the air-cells.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 227._)

CHAPTER V.


'I shall not be able to make plum duff,' said Charlie to Ping Wang,
about half an hour after his loss of the cook's recipe-book.

'There will be a row if the men discover that you don't know how to make
it,' Ping Wang declared, looking serious. 'But never mind that, I have
something more important to tell you. Come aft; the skipper may be
listening to what we are saying.'

They went right to the stem of the trawler and stood against the
gunwale.

'No one can come near us without our seeing him,' Ping Wang said, and
continued at once: 'Could you swim a mile in a sea like this?'

'I think so.'

'Then let us desert the _Sparrow-hawk_ when darkness comes on.'

'But where are we to swim to? I don't see any boats within five miles of
us.'

Ping Wang pointed to the horizon, where the smoke of about half-a-dozen
trawlers was plainly visible.

'That's a fleet of steam trawlers,' he declared, 'and before midnight we
shall be among them. When one comes within a mile or so of us, we will
jump overboard and swim to her. The skippers and men on the steam
trawlers belonging to the large fleets are splendid fellows, and when
they hear what a beast Skipper Drummond is, they won't send us back. We
must start as soon as possible after the midnight shoot, if there is any
trawler near us then.'

'Suppose the skipper thinks we have fallen overboard and sends a boat to
rescue us?'

'I don't think that he would take the trouble. But listen! I can hear
him on the bridge. Don't let him see us talking, in case he suspects
that we are up to something.'

Ping Wang made his way for'ard, while Charlie returned to the galley and
busied himself in making buns. He had made some on the previous evening,
and although he did not enjoy the one that he tasted, the crew found no
fault with them.

As he worked, he could see through the porthole that the fishing fleet
was drawing nearer. Some of the trawlers were miles away on the
starboard bow, and others on the port.

Three hours later, when it was dark, Charlie counted twenty-five
trawlers, and every now and again he could see the mark-ship's rockets
piercing the night gloom. At ten o'clock he calculated that the nearest
trawler was quite three miles away, and judging from the course the
steamers were taking, he began to fear that it would come no nearer. But
shortly before the men turned out to haul, Ping Wang popped his head
into the galley and beckoned Charlie to come outside.

'As soon as we have hauled and shot,' he said in a whisper, 'we must
slip off aft and dive overboard.'

'We shall have to swim nearly two miles.'

'Oh, no; nothing like that distance,' Ping Wang declared, and pointed to
a smack on the starboard side which Charlie had not noticed.

'It's a mission ship,' Ping Wang explained, 'and she will lay to until
daybreak. By the time that we have hauled and shot we shall be abreast
of her, and won't have more than half a mile to swim. The skipper is
fast asleep, and, as the mate is not going to disturb him, we shall have
a quiet haul.'

A few minutes later, Charlie and Ping Wang were tugging at the cold,
dripping net, delighted at the thought that it was the last time they
would have to perform such work.

'It's a splendid haul,' the bo's'un called out to the mate, as the net
of fish was swung over the pound.

As he spoke, the fish fell with a splash in the pound, and, the catch
being extra large, many of the bigger fish jumped out of the enclosure
and wriggled and slid about the deck. Charlie and another man picked
them up and tossed them back into the pound.

As soon as the net had been let right out again, Charlie walked aft and
found that Ping Wang was already there. The other men had gone for'ard
to clean and pack the fish.

'Are you ready?' Charlie asked.

'Quite,' Ping Wang answered, and at once they began to undress.

'I shall not take off my under-clothes,' Charlie said, 'in case the
water is very cold.'

'Nor will I,' Ping Wang said.

In a few moments both were ready.

'Chinee!' the mate shouted from the bridge. 'Chinee!' the men in the
fish-pound repeated.

'They have missed us,' Charlie said. 'I'm off.' He climbed on the
starboard gunwale, balanced himself for a moment and then dived into the
sea. Ping Wang was after him in an instant.

Charlie saw the sailing-boat and made towards it.

'Let us keep close together,' he said to Ping Wang, 'in case anything
should happen to either of us.'

Ping Wang did not wish to waste his breath in talking, but showed that
he agreed with Charlie's suggestion by drawing closer to him. For a
time--they did not know for how long--they swam silently onwards, but
there was a big ocean swell, and often the ship for which they were
bound was completely hidden from their sight for some minutes. When they
did catch sight of her, they found that they were not making rapid
progress. They were still a long way from the ship, and when they had
been swimming for a good time, Ping Wang's courage began to fail him.

'I shall never reach her,' he declared, 'I'm getting tired. It is all up
with me.'

'Nonsense, man,' Charlie answered, swimming a little closer to him.
'Have a rest; float.'

Ping Wang acted on Charlie's advice.

'She was much farther from the _Sparrow-hawk_ than we thought,' Ping
Wang declared, when he had rested for a few moments.

'You're right,' Charlie answered; 'but we shall reach her in ten minutes
at the latest.'

Ping Wang, encouraged by what Charlie had said, turned over and resumed
swimming.

For more than ten minutes they swam steadily onward without saying a
word, but still the sailing-boat was a long way from them, and Charlie
vowed to himself that never again would he attempt to judge distances at
sea.

A few minutes later Ping Wang again turned on to his back. He did not
utter a word, but Charlie knew by his heavy breathing that he was nearly
exhausted. When he had lain there for some minutes he said, with a gasp,
'I will have one more try,' and started off again. But when he had swum
a few yards he said, feebly, 'I can't reach her. Don't you bother about
me. Look after yourself.'

'I won't go aboard her without you,' Charlie declared, and kept a closer
watch on his companion. Soon he saw that Ping Wang, if left to himself,
would be drowned.

'Turn on your back and lie still,' he said, 'and I'll tow you.'

Very fortunately Charlie had often practised the art of saving life from
drowning, and therefore had no difficulty in supporting Ping Wang, who
had the presence of mind to lie still. In a few minutes the Chinaman
recovered somewhat, and Charlie, seeing the improvement, said, 'If you
can support yourself for a few moments I'll hail the ship.'

'All right,' Ping Wang replied, and Charlie, letting him go, turned over
and shouted towards the sailing ship, 'What ho, there!'

For two or three minutes he waited for an answering shout, but none
came.

'What ho! what ho!' he sang out, and almost immediately he saw some
lights moving about on the deck of the ship.

'Help, help!' he shouted with all his strength.

'Coming,' was the faint reply that reached him, and almost at the same
moment he noticed that a boat was being lowered.

'We shall be picked up in a few minutes,' he said to Ping Wang, and the
good news had such a reviving effect upon the Chinaman that he turned
over and began to swim again.

'Lie still,' Charlie shouted, knowing that his companion's strength
would otherwise soon expire.

Ping Wang obeyed instantly.

'Where are you?' the men in the boat called out.

'Here,' Charlie answered, and so that the boat might not have much
difficulty in finding them, he hailed her every few moments.

Sometimes he caught sight of her on the top of a wave, and then he would
see nothing more of her for quite a minute. But at last she reached
them.

'Take my friend first,' Charlie sang out to the man who was holding
aloft a big lantern to get a look at them.

In a moment the boat was brought alongside Ping Wang, who was fished out
in a state of collapse. Charlie, almost unaided, scrambled in, and at
once busied himself in striving to revive his companion. Fortunately he
was successful, and by the time the boat reached the ship, Ping Wang was
not much the worse for his long and unpleasant swim.

(_Continued on page 242._)

[Illustration: "Ping Wang was fished out in a state of collapse."]

[Illustration: "Charlie sprang upwards, and climbed aboard."]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 239._)

CHAPTER VI.


The three men who had rescued Charlie and Ping Wang were not talkative,
and beyond saying, 'That's all right,' when they were thanked for their
assistance, scarcely said a word. The skipper of the sailing ship was,
however, very different.

'Get down below, boys, and put on some dry togs,' he exclaimed genially,
as Charlie and Ping Wang scrambled over the gunwale. 'There are chests
full of them.'

The fugitives obeyed him willingly, but as Charlie put on the dry things
provided for him, he took stock of the saloon, and was astonished at
what he saw. Pictures of prize-fighters and race-horses hung on the
walls, and at the far end of the saloon there was a sort of bar, behind
which he noted some black bottles.

'Surely this can't be a mission ship,' Charlie said, in an undertone, to
Ping Wang.

'It isn't what I expected to find on one,' Ping Wang answered. 'However,
we shall soon know, for here comes the skipper.'

'Well, how are you feeling now?' the skipper inquired boisterously.

'Better,' Charlie answered, wondering what his nationality was, for
although he spoke English fluently, he was evidently a foreigner.

'That's good,' the skipper replied, 'but why didn't you tip me the wink
that you were coming over to us? I would have had the boat hanging
around for you. Do any of the other fellows want to come aboard?'

'No, they have all turned in by now.'

'What a crew they must be. Who is your skipper?'

'Drummond, of the _Sparrow-hawk_.'

'I know him. He passed a bad five-shilling piece on me the last time he
was aboard this craft.'

'Will he come aboard to-morrow do you think?' Ping Wang asked, with
difficulty concealing his anxiety.

'Not likely. I told him that if ever he set foot on the _Lily_, I would
go for him. However, we don't want to talk about him. What are you going
to drink?'

'Tea or coffee, I don't mind which.'

The skipper threw back his head and laughed heartily, as if Charlie had
said something that was witty. 'Do you really mean it?' he asked at
length.

'I do.'

'Well!' the skipper gasped, and was evidently overcome with surprise.

After a few minutes' silence his spirits revived.

'I'll send you some tea down before long,' he said, and then went on
deck without another word.

'Do you know what this ship is?' Charlie asked as soon as he was gone.

'If this is not a pleasure-boat, I do not know what it is,' Ping Wang
answered.

'It's a coper.'

'A coper! What is that?'

'I thought every one in the North Sea knew.'

'This is only my second voyage, and your countrymen do not talk to me as
freely as if I were an Englishman. What is a coper?'

'It is a boat that sails about the North Sea to sell drink and tobacco
to our fishermen. She flies a flag to show that she has tobacco for
sale, and when the men come aboard her, they are tempted to drink, just
as we were a few minutes ago. As a rule the poor fellows do drink, and
if their money is not all spent by the time that they are intoxicated,
they are cheated at cards or robbed. I am very much afraid that we have
not bettered ourselves by leaving the _Sparrow-hawk_, for if the skipper
of the coper finds that we have money, even though we neither drink nor
gamble, he will be anxious to get rid of us.'

A few minutes later a boy brought down to them two mugs of what was
supposed to be tea.

'What awful stuff,' Charlie exclaimed after tasting it. 'One sip is
quite enough for me.'

'There must be something besides sugar and milk in it,' Ping Wang
declared.

'That is very likely. The skipper hopes that it will get in our heads
without our knowing that we have been drinking intoxicants. We will
upset the rascal's plans by not drinking any more of the tea.'

In about a quarter of an hour the skipper returned.

'Well, boys, how are you getting on?' he exclaimed. 'Have some more
tea?'

'No, thank you,' Charlie replied. 'We haven't drunk this. There's
something about the taste that we don't like.'

'It's first-class tea. I've never had any complaints about it until now.
I'm very sorry that you don't like it, for you need something warming
after your long swim. But look here, if you are tee-totalers, what did
you come aboard the _Lily_ for?'

'We made a mistake. We mistook her for another boat.'

The skipper looked at Charlie searchingly. 'Did you think she was a
revenue cutter?' he asked.

'Oh, no; we mistook her for a mission ship.'

Now, coper skippers have the same hatred for mission ships that they
have for revenue cutters, for the former, by selling tobacco at low
prices, keep the North Sea fishermen away from the copers, and so have
spoiled their traffic in intoxicant drinks.

'You thought she was a mission ship, did you?' the skipper growled.
'Well, you made a fine mistake.'

'We know that now,' Charlie replied.

'Then why are you sticking here? Jump overboard, and swim back to the
_Sparrow-hawk_.'

'I should be drowned,' Ping Wang declared.

'Well, that wouldn't be much of a loss. There are too many Chinamen
already.'

'Look here, skipper,' Charlie interrupted, anxious to prevent a quarrel,
'I have a proposal to make. My friend and I left the _Sparrow-hawk_
because the skipper was a wretched little bully. I suggest that we stay
here, as passengers, until we meet a boat for Grimsby that will take us
aboard.'

'You will have to pay me before you leave the _Lily_.'

'I'll do so, willingly, unless your charges are unreasonable.'

'Will you pay in advance?'

'Certainly not; but I'll settle up with you every evening.'

'Then hand over sixpence for those two cups of tea.'

'Sixpence!' Charlie answered, 'Why, you are charging as if you had put
brandy in them. I'll give you threepence.'

Charlie took his belt from his pocket, and, as he undid the pouch
attached to it, in which he kept his money, the skipper caught sight of
three or four sovereigns.

'Well,' he said, as he pocketed the three pennies which Charlie gave
him, 'I ought to let Skipper Drummond know that you are aboard; but, as
I owe him a grudge, I won't. I haven't any spare bunks for you, so you
must sleep on the cushions here.'

Charlie and Ping Wang were far from considering that a hardship, for the
coper's saloon was a little palace compared with the _Sparrow-hawk's_
foc's'le.

'Well,' the skipper continued, 'I'm going to shut up for the night.'

He drew a sliding-door down over the bottles, and locked it, and left
them. As soon as he had gone they lay down and, finding the saloon
cushions fairly comfortable, were soon asleep. They awoke about seven
o'clock and, going on deck immediately, found that during the night the
_Sparrow-hawk_ had steamed away. The coper was, however, in the midst of
a busy scene; for the stream-trawlers belonging to the fleet which
Charlie and Ping Wang had seen on the previous day had closed in, and
were busy sending their boxes of fish aboard the steam-carrier that was
waiting to hurry off with them to Grimsby. The fish was conveyed from
the trawlers to the carriers in small, but strongly built, rowing-boats,
and some of these, after getting rid of their load, came to the _Lily_.
As the men sprang over the gunwale on to the deck, the skipper greeted
each with a hearty 'What cheer, sonny?'

Many of the fishermen were easily prevailed upon to go below and drink.
Some indulged in one glass, and then hurried off to their ships; but two
men remained in the saloon long after the others had departed. When they
had been there for half an hour their skipper blew his siren loudly, as
a command for them to return at once. Each came on deck quickly; but
they were intoxicated to an extent that surprised Charlie, considering
the short time they had been on the _Lily_.

'They will never get back to their ship,' Charlie declared to the
skipper of the coper.

'That is their look-out, not mine,' the skipper answered, and turned
away, evidently not caring what happened to them.

The _Lily_, in common with all the North Sea trawlers, had no ladder by
which men quitting the ship could descend into the small boat. The
departing man has to hang from the gunwale until the small boat is
lifted high on a wave, and then he drops quickly into it. A moment's
hesitation may result in his falling into the sea, sometimes with the
risk of being crushed between the ship and the small boat. Charlie had
good reason, therefore, for thinking that the two poor fellows might
meet with an accident, but the men themselves did not consider that
there was any danger.

'We shall be all right,' one of them answered noisily, when Charlie
advised them to be careful, and the man who spoke certainly dropped into
the small boat as easily as if he were sober. The other man, however,
hung to the gunwale longer than he should have done, and, consequently,
when he did release his hold he had a long way to drop. He landed with
both feet on one of the seats, and after struggling for a moment to
balance himself, fell backwards into the sea, but, fortunately, not
between the boat and the ship. His mate broke into a laugh, but made no
attempt to rescue him. Possibly he thought that the man could swim, but
it was clear to Charlie that he could not, and that unless he went to
his assistance he would be drowned. So he pulled off his coat and dived
into the sea. He came to the surface just beside the man, and, seizing
him, pushed him along until they reached the boat, into which the now
sober fisherman quickly scrambled. In the meanwhile the other man,
seeing Charlie dive to the assistance of his shipmate, had come to the
conclusion that he also ought to do something. He dived in, but in
consequence of the muddled state of his head, swam in the wrong
direction, and by the time that it dawned on him that he had made a
mistake his mate had been rescued by Charlie.

Being a good swimmer, the man regained the boat easily, and Charlie was
glad to see that the water had sobered him as effectually as it had his
mate.

'You've had a very narrow escape,' Charlie said to the man whom he had
rescued. 'Now take my advice, both of you, and don't you ever again set
foot on a coper. If you want tobacco, go to a mission ship.'

Charlie got on the seat as he finished speaking, and as the little boat
was lifted on a big wave he sprang upwards, grasped the _Lily's_ gunwale
and climbed aboard, leaving the men to whom he had denounced copers to
wonder why he was on one. Loud blasts from their trawler's siren
instantly drove all thoughts of Charlie's action from their minds, and
rowing hard they worked their way back to their ship, where they
received a lecture from the skipper which they did not forget that
voyage.

(_Continued on page 253._)



ALL PRIME MINISTERS.


Many years ago there was a clever and kind doctor at a Paris hospital
where the patients were of the poorest class. The skill of this doctor
somehow reached the ears of the then Premier of France, who, being about
to undergo a very serious operation, sent for this doctor to perform it.

'You must not expect, doctor,' said the Prime Minister to the surgeon as
he entered the room to arrange for the operation, 'to treat me in the
same rough manner as if I were one of your poor wretches at the
hospital.'

'Sir,' answered the doctor with dignity, 'every one of those poor
wretches, as you are pleased to call them, is a Prime Minister in my
eyes.'

X.

[Illustration: "'I saw it first--'tis mine--let go!'"]



DON'T BEGIN.


    Two little dogs, one summer's day,
      Who tired of play had grown,
    Discovered lying in their way
      A most attractive bone.

    'I saw it first--'tis mine--let go!'
      The one in anger cried;
    'I shan't, how dare you say 'tis so,'
      The other one replied.

    And so no doubt they wrangled on,
      Although I cannot tell
    Where those two little dogs have gone,
      Or how the fight befell.

    But quarrels, as we know, take two,
      And some one must give in,
    So far the wisest thing to do
      Is simply--don't begin.

C. D. B.

[Illustration: A Scene in Clissold Park.]



THE PARKS OF LONDON.--II.


In the days of Queen Bess the pretty village of Stoke Newington was a
pleasant object for a country walk of about three miles from the City
boundary of London. The village lay amid dense woods whence came its
name--Stoe being the Saxon word for wood, and Stoke Newington meaning
the new town in the wood. Its derivation shows what an old place it is,
and we may picture to ourselves how, ages ago, the dwellers within the
City walls would joyfully leave London, on holidays, by the Moor Gate,
and wend their way northward to the shady trees and grassy banks of the
roadway known as the 'Green Lanes'--names which, like Stoke Newington,
still survive. Along that road the royal chariot of Queen Elizabeth
might occasionally be met coming from the Tower; for at Stoke Newington,
in a mansion beside the church, dwelt some of the Dudley family, whom
she delighted to honour.

A story is told how, when her Majesty was the persecuted Princess
Elizabeth, living under the stern rule of her sister, Queen Mary, she
paid a stolen visit to London to see how Court matters were progressing.
The Dudleys befriended her, and went so far as to hide her in a brick
tower in the Park, communicating with their home by a secret passage. To
judge by what history tells of Queen Mary, these devoted friends ran no
slight risk, and Queen Elizabeth, in later years, did her best to repay
their kindness. We read that, on one visit after her accession, she took
a jewel of great value from her dress and presented it to the daughter
of the house, Lady Anne Dudley. One avenue off the Park is still known
as Queen Elizabeth's Walk, and tradition says she was fond of pacing up
and down there with the master of the house.

The next time we hear much of Stoke Newington Park, it was in the hands
of Mr. Jonathan Hoare, one of the founders of the great banking house of
that name; and, later still, it was rented from the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners by one of the Crawshay family, then known as 'the iron
princes' of Wales. His lease set forth that he was to pay the sum of one
hundred and nine pounds a year rent, with one good, fat turkey, the
latter probably appearing at the annual dinner of his landlords. For
this consideration he was allowed to call house and land after his own
name, but was forbidden to cut down timber. Mr. Crawshay's tenancy
closed romantically with the incident which won the place its present
title.

He had two fair daughters, whom no doubt he wished to see married to
rich and noble husbands. Great, therefore, was his anger when he found
that one of them had given her affections to the curate of the parish,
Mr. Clissold by name. Mr. Clissold was forthwith forbidden to set foot
within Crawshay Farm again. To ensure this, the walls of the place were
made higher, and the hard-hearted parent expressed his firm resolve of
shooting any messenger who tried to carry letters secretly. How long
this state of affairs lasted does not appear, but it was ended by the
death of Mr. Crawshay. Then the curate and his hardly-won bride became
tenants of the mansion, and changed its name to Clissold Park or Place.

As Clissold Park it was bought from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for
ninety-six thousand pounds, and formally opened by Lord Rosebery in
1889.

Perhaps the greatest charm of this particular park lies in its evident
old age--trees, turf, and the disused mansion all bear witness that it
is no newly planted recreation ground, but a noble relic of the days of
old, with a stately dignity all its own.

A number of deer enclosed in the middle of the park prove that these
pretty creatures are not always shy. A family of kittens could not be
less afraid of the admiring crowd which watches them. At the same time
the deer were presented to the park, a number of guinea-pigs were also
introduced, and they still flourish in their cosy enclosure, giving
endless delight to the children of the neighbourhood.

The beauty of the park is greatly increased by the waters of the New
River, which wind in and out of the grounds as well as round them,
although the charm of the stream is somewhat spoilt by a close iron
fencing, walling in the water on both sides. This, however, appears to
be a necessity, to protect the numerous fish from the keenness of
would-be fishermen.

Bridges cross the river in many places, and two lakes of some size,
studded with wooded islets, afford homes for swans, ducks, and other
water-fowl. Near the mansion there is a bandstand, and all about the
grounds there are seats and rustic shelters for the elders, whilst the
young folk and children are making merry with games.

In the spring and autumn a very favourite place for basking in the sun
is the terrace before the old house, in part of which refreshments are
provided. Some of the views in the park are exceedingly pretty,
especially in the direction of the deer park, looking towards the
mansion, where the old parish church stands out against the trees,
whilst the fine open tower of a new church, with a graceful spire, rises
above the green foliage.

Stoke Newington has been the home of various celebrated men: John
Howard, the philanthropist, who did so much to alleviate the horrors of
prison-life; Defoe, whom we all love for the sake of _Robinson Crusoe_;
Dr. Watts, author of many of our best-known hymns, among the number.

It is pleasant to know that the leafy walk of the Green Lanes is still
an attractive one for Londoners, although the mossy banks of former days
have long been lined with handsome houses, and though a wide expanse of
densely populated town lies between Clissold Park and the street still
known as London Wall, whence the Moor Gate, with all its companion
portals, have long vanished.



HE SET THE EXAMPLE.


A gentleman was once entertaining his friends at a grand dinner. He was
a sad boaster, and was often guilty of describing deeds that he had done
when an officer in the army, which those who knew him well felt sure
were greatly exaggerated. He was in the midst of some such anecdote when
the butler brought him word that a man wished to see him.

'Tell him I am engaged with my friends, and can see no one,' said the
gentleman, pompously.

The butler retired, but soon came back to say the man was most urgent in
wishing to speak to the gentleman, and said he had been in his regiment
at a famous battle, where he owed his life to the officer.

'Show him in! show him in!' said the host, much gratified. 'This good
fellow says I saved his life at X----,' he added, turning to his guests
as the old soldier came in. 'How was it?' he went on, 'for I am sure I
forget; in the heat of battle one does brave things almost
unconsciously.'

'It was like this, your Honour,' said the soldier: 'I owed my life to
you, for I certainly should never have thought of running away if you
had not set me the example!'



A PEEP AT NORTHERN ITALY.


It is comparatively easy now to run over to Switzerland, and through the
lovely scenery of the St. Gothard Pass, to the plains of sunny Italy;
but this land of light and song is very little known to English boys and
girls.

Of all the lovely lakes that reflect the deep blue of the summer skies,
none is more beautiful than Lake Lugano, although Como is larger and
Maggiore has a charm of its own. The town of Lugano stands at one end of
the lake. It is pretty and bright, with many things to interest and
amuse; but it is in the villages dotted along the south side of the lake
that the real life of the people is to be seen.

These villages are surrounded by vineyards. The grapes are gathered in
October, when the whole scene is very animated and gay. Every one--men,
women, children, even the ox-waggons of the country--is pressed into the
service, and the vineyards resound with songs and laughter. From these
grapes a red wine is made. It is the ambition of every peasant to own a
small vineyard and a boat.

On the other side of the lake rises a range of hills covered almost to
the water's edge with deep green woods. In some places cliffs rise
between wood and water, and in these cliffs are many small natural
caves. These have been enlarged and enclosed with doors, so as to form
wine vaults, and in them is stored much of the wine made in the
district.

On Sunday afternoons in summer the lake is alive with boats, each
holding a happy family party of father, mother, and children, and laden
with cakes made from _polenta_, and other dainties. They are all bound
for the caves, where a series of merry picnic parties is soon in
progress.

The provisions are taken from the boats, the wine vault is opened with a
key, for all are kept carefully locked, and then the feast begins. Soon
the air is filled with song and laughter. The whole afternoon is spent
in this way, and only in the cool of the evening do the merry revellers
return to their simple homes across the lake.

The boats look very pretty. They are rather wide and shallow, and in the
middle a white canvas covering is stretched from side to side, supported
on bent canes, to make a shelter from the heat of the sun. The boatman
in the dress of the country stands at the end, and drives the boat
through the water with rapid strokes from his single oar.

The streets are narrow and crooked, and the houses are built very
irregularly. There is no pavement, and the dust is amazing. The
brown-faced, bare-legged children, with large solemn-looking brown eyes,
tumble about in it, munching ripe red tomatoes with their hunches of
brown bread. In the grass by the road-side funny little green lizards
run in and out, hurrying away at your approach as fast as their legs
will carry them.

It is very strange to see even the smallest cottages fitted with
electric light, but this is the case in one village, Marroggia. A clever
German has set up some works close by, and drives the machinery by power
derived from a beautiful waterfall near the village.

From Marroggia a young Italian went to London some years ago to seek his
fortune. He succeeded so well that he soon became rich. Returning to his
native village, he built there a beautiful villa, with gardens and lawns
sloping down to the lake. When it was finished he gave a feast to all
the villagers. Thousands of fairy lamps and Chinese lanterns were sent
for from London to illuminate the gardens, and turn them for the
occasion into fairyland. The peasants had never before seen anything
like it. They danced, they sang, and ate the good things provided for
them. They would willingly have lingered there all night, and it was
only when the last lamp flickered and went out that they returned home
to dream of what they had enjoyed.

At one end of the lake stands Monte Generoso. The top is reached by a
mountain railway, which zig-zags its way up through the woods. It feels
very strange as the engine goes up panting and puffing, turning a sharp
corner at every few yards; but the view from the summit is very fine,
and the journey down still more exciting than the ascent.

At the other end of the lake is a famous china and earthenware
manufactory. You can reach it by steamboat, but it is much better fun to
go in a small boat, where you can lie under the awning and watch the
boatman, in his white shirt-sleeves and coloured velvet waistcoat,
steering his boat like the gondoliers of Venice.

The china manufactory is old-fashioned, but very interesting. The
potter's wheel is still used there, and it is wonderful to see the ease
and quickness with which a lump of clay is made into a cup, a saucer, a
vase, or any other article you may ask for. After it is taken off the
wheel, it is dipped into liquid glaze, then ornamented with some design
transferred from coloured paper, and finally fired in the furnace.

Most people who visit the Italian lakes go on to Milan, a very
important, busy town. On the way you pass through large tracts of
country covered with maize and rice fields. The maize grows to an
enormous height, and the rice is watered artificially by tiny streams,
which may be seen trickling through the fields in all directions.

ELAINE CARRUTHERS.

[Illustration: A Peep at Northern Italy.]

[Illustration: "The sailor-pupil climbed into the car."]



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

VII.--BALLOONS AT THE SIEGE OF PARIS IN 1870.


Towards the close of the war between France and Germany, in 1870, the
German troops lay so closely round the walls and fortifications of Paris
that all communication with the outside world was cut off. No letters
could be sent to friends, and no letters from friends could be received,
for, once outside the walls of the town, they would surely fall into the
hands of the enemy. But the post office was anxious to continue doing
its duty, and the Government felt bound to find some means for sending
out and receiving official dispatches. The only way to accomplish this
was by the use of balloons. Paris had always been very busy with
balloons, but, when inquiries were made, it was found that there were
not more than six in all the city, and these were far too old and worn
out to use. Balloons must, therefore, be made, said the authorities, and
two gentlemen, named Godard and Yon, were requested to begin the work at
once. As railway stations were not wanted for trains in Paris at that
particular time, the two largest were chosen in which to build balloons.
Henceforth their 'trains' would journey silently through the sky instead
of noisily over the iron roads.

Needles and cotton and calico were all carried in large quantities to
the Gare du Nord and the Gare d'Orléans (as the two stations are
called), and in less than four months sixty balloons were built and
dispatched.

Some people in Paris, however, were so anxious to try the experiment
that they could not wait for the new balloons, but used an old one,
called the 'Neptune,' and M. Durnof, a daring aeronaut, made a flying
dash in it out of Paris. Those who witnessed his adventure say that the
old Neptune bounded almost straight up into the air, and fell beyond the
enemy's camp in much the same manner. It was as though a large cannon
ball had been fired (only very slowly) from the streets of Paris.

The successful path of the Neptune was soon followed. M. Gambetta, the
great statesman, stepped into the car of the 'Armand Barbès' on the
morning of October 7th, and, after many narrow escapes from the enemy's
guns, landed safely among friends. Three days later a pretty
grey-feathered pigeon settled in Paris, bringing in one of its quills
the story of his journey.

But among the many wonderful ascents made in that terrible time, none is
more interesting than that of M. Janssen, a great astronomer, who went
to Algeria to see an eclipse of the sun. Certain learned societies in
France, very anxious that the progress of science should not be delayed
by this unhappy war, were delighted to find him willing to undertake
the dangerous journey. England offered to obtain a safe-conduct for him
through the Prussian camp, but the astronomer said: 'No, thank you. I do
not wish to be under any obligation to the enemy.'

So, packing his telescope and other instruments with very great care, he
carried them to the Gare d'Orléans on the morning of the 2nd December
(three weeks before the eclipse would take place), and, settling himself
in the car of his white balloon, the 'Volta,' gave orders for the anchor
to be weighed. At that time in the morning it was quite dark, and, ere
daylight was an hour old, he and his companion (a young sailor) had come
to earth again by the mouth of the Loire. They had travelled nearly
three hundred miles in a little more than three hours. A swifter journey
has hardly ever been made. It is disappointing to learn that, after such
a daring exploit, M. Janssen reached his destination only to find dense
clouds covering the Algerian sky at the moment the eclipse took place.

The frequency with which balloons left Paris soon made it necessary to
increase the number of aeronauts, for those who departed were, of
course, unable to return. As the professional men became fewer, it was
found that the best to take their places were sailors. But, that they
might first have lessons in the art, a car was suspended from the roof
of the factory, and into this the sailor-pupil climbed. He soon learned
how to cry out, 'Let go all!' Then, after throwing out the ballast,
pulling the valve-rope, and dropping the anchor, he was ready, with more
courage than discretion, to call himself an aeronaut. And into the air
he went, with bags of letters and cages of pigeons, and, on the whole,
succeeded very well as a postman in the clouds.

The mention of pigeons leads us to another story of ingenuity, though it
has not much to do with balloons.

After the question of how to dispatch letters had been solved, the next
that arose was, how to receive replies. The balloons that _left_ the
city had got nearly all Europe to settle in, but it was hopeless to try
to steer them back to so small a spot as the city itself. But a carrier
pigeon would have no such difficulty in returning. Means must be found,
however, to make it possible for each bird to carry many letters. M.
Dagron, a clever photographer, discovered this means. He showed how he
could photograph a letter and reduce it in size till the writing became
unreadable, even under an ordinary magnifying glass. This could be done
on films so thin that a roll of twenty of them could be inserted in one
quill, each film representing a large number of letters. Having proved
to the authorities the success of his invention, M. Dagron departed in a
balloon, to explain to the various towns in France how letters must be
sent to Paris.

Every day after that the welcome sounds of flapping wings was heard in
the beleaguered city. The letters that they brought were placed between
two sheets of glass and enlarged. Then, by means of a magic lantern,
they were reflected on to a large screen, while post-office clerks,
sitting at a table opposite, copied them down on to separate sheets,
and dispatched them to their different addresses in the city. Nearly one
hundred thousand letters were sent to Paris in this way during the four
months of the siege, and the hostile army outside its walls was
powerless to intercept them.

JOHN LEA.



WILLIE'S SUM.


    Willie laid his pencil down,
      And put his books away,
    And with a sad and peevish frown
      He hurried out to play.
    But as he ran, the blackbird's song
      From poplars in the lane,
    Rang out: 'You know that sum was wrong,
      And should be done again.'

    Yet Willie heeded not the sound;
      Pretended not to hear,
    Till trees, and hills and all around
      Kept singing in his ear:
    'It's no use, Willie! Trust us, do!
      You can't enjoy the fun
    Until the task that's set for you
      Is well and justly done.'

    Then in a sad and sorry state
      He homeward turned amain:
    Took up his pencil and his slate
      And worked the sum again.
    _This_ time the answer wasn't wrong,
      And as to play he went,
    His conscience sang an altered song
      Which made his heart content.



GENEROSITY.


A father of a family wished to settle his property between his three
sons. He therefore made three equal parts of his chief possessions and
gave one part to each son. There remained over a diamond ring of great
value, which he reserved for the son who should perform the noblest and
most generous action within the space of three months. The sons
separated, and at the appointed time presented themselves before him.

The eldest son said, 'Father, during my absence I had in my power all
the riches and fortune of a person who entrusted them to me without any
security of any kind; he asked me for them, and I returned them to him
with the greatest honesty.'

'You have done, my son,' replied the father, 'only what was your duty,
and I should die of shame if you were capable of doing otherwise, for
honesty is a duty; what you did was just, but not generous.'

It was now the second son's turn, and he spoke thus: 'I was on the banks
of a lake, when, seeing a child fall in, I threw myself in, and with
great danger to myself drew him out. I did it in the presence of some
countrymen, who will testify to the truth of it.'

'Well and good,' replied the father, 'but there is only humanity in that
action.'

At last came the turn of the third son, who spoke thus: 'I found my
mortal enemy, who had strayed during the night, and was sleeping on the
edge of a precipice in such a manner that the least false movement on
waking would have thrown him over. His life was in my hands; I was
careful to wake him with precaution, and drew him out of danger.'

'Ah, my son!' exclaimed the father, overjoyed, embracing him, 'without
doubt you deserve the ring.'



ANIMAL MAKESHIFTS.

True Anecdotes.

II.--TIME WITHOUT A CLOCK.


'The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times,' says the Bible,
and the turtle-dove, the crane, and the swallow to this day 'observe the
time of their coming.' What a wonderful law is theirs! They need not
learn it, for it is born in them. Migratory birds know not only the need
for their journeys, but the fixed times for them. It has been thought
that the rules of their airy road have been handed down from generation
to generation, but this is not always true. Nothing is positively known,
except that the travellers are in search of food or quiet nesting-places,
when they move from land to land.

As the time draws near for birds of passage to travel, they seem to know
it by an inward restlessness; they long to be away--they know that delay
is dangerous, and, so strong is the longing to be gone, that migratory
birds kept back by accident or wilful cruelty, often die of the desire
to go. The young cuckoo never survives an attempt to detain him. A poor,
wild goose, with a lame wing, was seen bravely setting out on foot to do
his journey of hundreds of miles over sea and land, when he saw his
brethren depart for another clime.

One of nature's grandest sights is the yearly flight southwards of wild
swans from Norway to the great lakes in Turkey. The birds fly at the
rate of about one hundred miles an hour, in vast flocks, shaped like the
letter V, the sharp end foremost, as an arrow passes through the air. At
the point flies the leader or captain, the strongest and wisest of the
band, and ahead of the main army he sends a skirmishing swan to keep a
sharp look-out. This swan's business it is to see if the coast is clear.
From time to time he comes rushing back with some warning note. Then
there is a great cackling, a pause, and a council. After holding this
noisy parliament, the army resumes its course, or changes it, according
to the news brought. When the swans reach the lake, they do not swoop
down till the captain has made a careful search around, poking among the
reeds, flapping over the surface, and even taking a sip of the water, to
make sure that nothing has happened to make the lake dangerous for swans
since the last time he was there. All being well, he signals to the
band, who descend with a rush, and soon cover the water with their
graceful forms.

Do pigeons carry watches? How do London pigeons, for instance, tell the
hour, and turn up punctually at the feeding-places? At Guildhall Yard
the birds come early in the morning to eat the breakfast provided for
them, but they do not stay all day. At Finsbury Circus, Draper's Hall
Gardens, and other places in London, there are flocks which are
carefully fed at regular hours, and those who have the care of them
agree that at feeding-time the flocks are always joined by large numbers
of guests from without. Perhaps the pigeons ask each other out to dine,
mentioning the hours for the meals!

[Illustration: A Flight of Wild Swans.]

The rough idea of time which all living things possess is keenest in
domestic animals. The dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, and others, who know
certain days in the week and hours in the day without clock or almanac,
may be guided by noticing little events which we do not, but which show
them the time; or they may even feel the position of the sun, though it
cannot be seen. However this may be, they show a sense which we must
admire and may envy. Horses are great observers of time, as many
anecdotes show, perhaps none better than this one: A horse belonging to
a news-man knew the houses at which his master's journals were
delivered, and, when he took them round in the trap, always stopped at
the right doors. But this was not all. There were two people--living one
at Thorpe, the other at Chertsey--who paid for a weekly paper between
them, taking it in turns to read it first. The horse found this out, and
would stop one week at Thorpe and the next at Chertsey, alternately.

[Illustration: "The mule pulled the string of the bell."]

The mule is not behindhand. A Spanish milk-seller was taken ill, and,
being unable to go the rounds or to spare his wife, they agreed to send
the mule, who always carried it, alone. A paper was written, asking the
customers to measure their own milk, and place the money in a little can
for the purpose; this was fastened to the animal's neck, and off he
went. At every house where his master was in the habit of selling milk
he stopped and waited; but _he did not wait an unreasonable time_. If
nobody came, he tried to push the door open, or pulled the string of the
bell, which, in Madrid, is usually rung by a cord hanging down. The
simple peasants laughed, and fell into the joke; they scorned to cheat
the dumb milkman, and the clever mule took his money home in triumph.

It is not the higher animals alone who are time-keepers. Menault tells
of a friendly toad, living in a garden, who would appear at the family
dinner-time, and sit upon the stone ledge outside the window to get a
share. The hour was changed, for some reason, from noon to three in the
afternoon, and, for the first time, the uninvited guest was
absent--once, but once only. On the second day after the change he was
squatting at the new hour ready for his saucer of milk.

EDITH CARRINGTON.

[Illustration: "'Let me bind up your hand.'"]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 243._)

CHAPTER VII.


Three days passed, and Charlie and Ping Wang were still on board the
coper, no boat bound for Grimsby having been met. During that time
Charlie and his friend had seen many things which filled them with
loathing for the boat on which circumstances had placed them.

On the third evening, when the coper's boat returned from a trip around
the trawlers, Charlie and Ping Wang were surprised to see that the
passengers were two men who had been sent away early on the previous
evening, because their money was spent.

'How can they have got money since last night?' Charlie said to Ping
Wang.

'They've borrowed from their mates,' Ping Wang suggested, but they soon
discovered that his explanation was not the right one. As the boat
bobbed up and down by the side of the _Lily_, the men took from the
bottom of it a fishing-net, and handed it up to the skipper, who was
leaning over the gunwale.

'They have stolen that net,' Charlie remarked, guessing the truth, 'and
the skipper is going to buy it from them.'

'It's a new one, skipper,' one of the thieves exclaimed, as he jumped on
board.

'All right,' the receiver of stolen property answered, 'Go down below
and enjoy yourselves.'

The two men descended at once into the saloon, while the skipper, after
examining the net, dragged it aft, and removing a hatchway dropped the
net into the hold. As he did so Charlie stepped forward, and looking
down, saw, by the light of the wire-guarded lamp, that the hold was half
full of nets, oars, buckets, ropes, cooking utensils, brass fittings,
mops, oilies, and other things too numerous to mention.

'All that is stolen property, I suppose?' Charlie said to the skipper.

'Well, it wasn't stolen from you,' the skipper answered, 'so you have no
cause to grumble.'

He closed the hatchway, and then turned to Charlie to abuse him more
freely, but just as he began a seaman came up and told him that a
mission ship had joined the fleet of trawlers.

Forgetting all about Charlie, the skipper hurried away to look at the
new craft, and found that the news was true. Very bad news he considered
it, for he knew that the North Sea fishermen never came aboard a coper
if there was a mission ship with the fleet. Tobacco is sold cheaper on a
mission ship than on a coper, and naturally the fishermen, who have very
little money to spend, buy in the cheapest market. Moreover, every man
aboard a mission ship is a friend of the fishermen, and there is not a
trawler in the North Sea on which it is not possible to find two or
three men who have good reasons for blessing mission ships. Hundreds of
men have been carried aboard these floating hospitals and nursed back to
health.

When the mission ship was about half a mile from the _Lily_, Charlie
said to the coper skipper: 'Now is your chance to get rid of Ping Wang
and me. Hail that boat and send us aboard her.'

'Hail a craft like that?' the skipper answered roughly. 'I'd sink her
with pleasure if I had the chance; but as for hailing her----I'd rather
die!'

'I'll give you a sovereign to take us aboard her.'

'Wouldn't do it for ten sovereigns.'

Charlie went back to Ping Wang and told him of the skipper's decision.

'I'm not surprised,' Ping Wang declared. 'He will sail off as quickly as
possible, I fancy.'

That, indeed, was the coper skipper's intention. He wished to start
immediately, and would have done so had it not been for the two thieves
who were drinking in the saloon.

'Now then,' said the skipper, coming down to the saloon and addressing
the thieves, 'if you won't leave, I shall have to sail off with you.'

'Right you are; I don't care,' one of them declared, and the other added
that he would thoroughly enjoy a cruise in a coper.

The skipper, however, had no intention of keeping on board two men
without money, and was compelled to wait about for their departure. But
just as he expected them to go, one man had a heated argument with his
companion, which ended in a fight. The skipper, fearing that his saloon
might be damaged, tried to stop the fight by seizing hold of the smaller
man, who, however, promptly freed himself, and with two quick-following
blows with his fist knocked the skipper down. The other man had in the
meanwhile jumped across the counter and seized a bottle, which he put in
his pocket.

'Come on, Jack,' he shouted to the man whom he had been fighting, and
hurried up on deck. Jack, seeing that the skipper was not likely to
interfere with him, followed his shipmate quickly on deck, and they made
for the coper's boat, but none of the ship's crew were in it.

'Cut the painter, Jack,' the taller man commanded, and Jack, using his
knife, soon did so. Then they grasped the oars and rowed away. It was
the only boat that the coper possessed, and when the skipper discovered
what the two fishermen had done he hurried on deck and shouted abuse at
them. The men took no notice, and soon arrived safely at their own ship.
Before they climbed aboard, the taller man said, 'Now let us sink the
coper's boat. Cut a hole in her.'

The other man was delighted with the idea, and without delay removed the
bottom boards and let in the water. That done, he followed his mate
aboard the trawler, sending the small boat adrift.

The skipper of the coper had, in the meanwhile, by tacking, made an
effort to keep his stolen boat in sight, but the night was dark, and the
fear of a collision with a trawler made his endeavour a fruitless one,
and he was compelled to lay to until daybreak would give him an
opportunity of renewing his search. But, of course, when morning came he
could see no signs of his boat, and after several hours' search he
sailed away. About six hours later he sighted another fleet. He at once
made for it, but finding on approaching nearer that there was a mission
ship with it, he sailed off in another direction.

The skipper was now in a very bad temper, and his ill-humour spread to
his men, who were mostly foreigners. It was evident to Charlie and Ping
Wang, although they did not understand Dutch, that the latter were
relieving their feelings by making insulting remarks concerning them.

While the coper's men were speaking about Charlie and Ping Wang, the
Chinaman, innocent of any intention to be rude, made some gesture which
one of the crew took for an insult. Instantly he rushed at Ping Wang and
struck him a heavy blow in the face with his fist. He was about to
strike him again, but Charlie pushed him roughly aside and faced him
with clenched fists.

The sailor struck viciously at Charlie, who warded off two blows and
then landed his opponent a heavy one full in the mouth. This he followed
up with a blow between the eyes, knocking the man down. For a moment
the sailor lay still; then, seeing that he was likely to get the worst
of the encounter, he quickly ran to the galley, and, seizing a big
shovel, prepared to continue to fight with it. But the skipper, hearing
a disturbance, hurried aft to see what was taking place. He met the man
with the shovel, and, hearing his threat, drew his revolver and pointed
it at him.

'Take it back!' he commanded, and the man obeyed reluctantly. 'I don't
want murder done aboard my ship,' the skipper added, turning to Charlie
and Ping Wang, 'so don't annoy my men.'

'We have done nothing whatever to annoy them,' Charlie declared, 'and
the assault upon Ping Wang was quite unprovoked.'

'There must have been some reason for the fellow hitting him,' the
skipper declared, and at once questioned his men, who, of course, made
known the nature of the insult which they had received from the
Chinaman. He explained the matter to Charlie and Ping Wang, and
afterwards assured his men that no insult had been intended. The sailor
who had assaulted Ping Wang then made an apology, and the whole incident
was concluded by his shaking hands with Charlie. But in the middle of
the night Charlie had an experience that was far more unpleasant than
his brief fight. He was sleeping, as usual, on the cushioned seat in the
saloon when he woke suddenly, feeling some one tampering with the belt
which he wore, and which contained the whole of his money.

'You scoundrel!' he shouted, as he gripped the thief's hand. The next
moment Charlie uttered a cry of pain, for the thief, who was under the
table, drew a knife across his hand. Charlie released his hold of the
thief instantly, and then jumped up in the hope of catching the man
before he could escape. But the thief was too quick for him. The room
was in darkness, and, before Charlie could make his way out of his
cramped quarters at the side of the table, the thief had climbed up the
ladder and closed the iron door behind him.

Ping Wang was now awake, and, finding the place in semi-darkness, struck
a light.

'Turn up the lamp,' Charlie said, and, when the Chinaman had done as he
desired, he told him what had happened.

'How much has he taken?' Ping Wang inquired.

'Half a sovereign,' Charlie replied, after counting his money.
'Evidently the scoundrel had only tried one of the little pockets when I
woke. It is a good thing that I distributed my money all round my belt.'

'It is, indeed,' Ping Wang answered. 'Now let me bind up your hand.'

The cut was not very severe, the thief apparently having had no desire
to inflict a deep wound.

'Let us go and complain to the skipper at once,' Ping Wang suggested,
and, after putting on a few clothes, they went on deck, where, somewhat
to their surprise, they found the skipper at the wheel.

'Hallo!' he sung out. 'What's up? Going to try another midnight swim?'

In as few words as possible Charlie told him what had happened.

'You've been dreaming,' the skipper declared, with a laugh. 'I've been
at the wheel for the last three-quarters of an hour, and you are the
first person I have seen come out of the saloon. No one could come out
without me seeing him. Get down below again, and don't lie on your back;
you are sure to dream if you do.'

'Dreams do not cut a man's fingers,' Charlie observed, sharply.

'Well, I'll make inquiries, but it is not likely that the man who did
rob you--if you were robbed--will confess. Now get below, or you'll
catch cold.'

Charlie and Ping Wang returned to the saloon, very dissatisfied with
this conversation.

'I believe,' Ping Wang said, 'that it was the skipper himself who robbed
you.'

'So do I,' Charlie replied; 'but how can I prove it? And if I could
prove it, what good would it be while we are on his ship? All we can do
is to take extra precautions against being robbed.'

After talking for about half an hour, they fell asleep, and were not
again disturbed.

When they went on deck, shortly after breakfast, the skipper summoned
all hands on deck, and questioned each man as to whether he had been
into the saloon during the night. Each one denied having done so, and
Charlie believed them.

'It is my opinion,' the skipper said to Charlie an hour or two later,
'that it was that Chinaman who robbed you.'

'If you knew Ping Wang as well as I do, such a foolish idea would never
have entered your head.'

'All Chinamen are very crafty. You had better let me make him sleep in
the foc's'le.'

'So that it would be easier for me to be robbed.'

'What do you mean? Do you accuse me of robbing you?'

'I do not accuse any one unless I can prove my charges. At any rate, I
shouldn't be doing you an injustice if I did call you a thief, knowing,
as I do, what a collection of stolen property you have in the hold. A
receiver of stolen goods is not an atom better than a thief.'

With this parting shot Charlie walked away.

(_Continued on page 258._)



OUTWITTING HIMSELF.


A celebrated physician once attended the child of a wealthy French lady,
who was so grateful for the recovery of her boy that she determined to
give a larger fee than usual for his attendance. As he was taking leave
on his final visit, the grateful mother handed to the doctor a handsome
pocket-book, which she said she had worked with her own hands. The
doctor bowed stiffly, and said, 'Madam, the pocket-book is quite a work
of art, and I admire it exceedingly, but my fee is two thousand francs.'

'Not more?' she replied; and taking the pocket-book back, she removed
from it five one-thousand franc-notes, and handed two of them to the
doctor, bowing stiffly in her turn, and, replacing the other three notes
in the rejected pocket-book, she retired.

[Illustration: "The grateful mother handed the doctor a handsome
pocket-book."]

[Illustration: CROSSING THE BROOK.]

[Illustration: "'Come over here and surrender.'"]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 255._)

CHAPTER VIII.


From the coper skipper's point of view the two following days were very
unsatisfactory. Not an ounce of tobacco nor a drop of drink was sold, in
spite of the fact that several fishing-boats were met. Growing reckless,
the skipper determined to approach the English coast, so as to meet the
boats coming out of the Humber.

'Now you will soon be able to transfer us to a Grimsby-bound boat,'
Charlie said to the skipper, when they were about two miles from land.

'I have come here to look after outward-bound boats,' the skipper
answered, sharply, 'and I can't bother about you. I have quite enough to
think about.'

A few minutes later, Charlie understood what the skipper meant. He was
in British waters, and to sell tobacco or drink there would render him
liable to be seized by a cruiser or revenue cutter. Every sailing ship
that came out of the Humber the captain watched closely through his
marine glasses, and not until he had satisfied himself that she was
harmless did he approach her.

The skipper was well pleased with his work at the end of the day, and
when darkness came on he sailed out of British waters, with the
intention of returning at daybreak. Charlie and Ping Wang, however,
considered that the day had been a most unsatisfactory one.

'I can't stand another day of this,' Charlie said to Ping Wang, when the
two were alone. 'I mean to get ashore to-morrow somehow or other. Shall
we jump overboard, and swim to the nearest ship making for the Humber?'

'I have lost confidence in my swimming powers,' Ping Wang answered.

'But there will be no necessity for us to have such a long swim as our
last one. Besides, there will be plenty of boats about, and some of them
are sure to come to our help.'

'When do you mean to start?'

'As soon as we are again in British waters. That will be to-morrow
morning. To-morrow night we shall be in Grimsby, or perhaps at my home.
You agree, don't you?'

'Oh, yes. But now let us get to sleep. We ought to start as fresh as
possible.'

They lay down almost immediately, and slept soundly until about six
o'clock. Then they were awakened rather suddenly by hearing a gun fired.

'What's the meaning of that?' Charlie asked, as he sat up and listened.

Ping Wang shook his head, and in a few minutes was again asleep.
Charlie, a little later, lay down and slept; but in about a quarter of
an hour they were again awakened, this time by men descending into the
saloon. Looking up over the saloon table, they saw two bluejackets, with
cutlasses in their hands, at the foot of the ladder. An officer ran down
the ladder and joined them.

As soon as Charlie and Ping Wang saw the sailors, they guessed that the
coper had been captured in British waters, and in their delight they
jumped off the seat on which they had been sleeping and stood up on the
cushions. In a moment the officer covered Charlie with his revolver.

'All right,' Charlie exclaimed, 'we are not Dutchmen.'

'I didn't suspect your mate of being one,' the officer replied, smiling,
but still covering Charlie. 'Come over here and surrender.'

'With pleasure,' Charlie said. 'We are jolly glad you have boarded this
wretched coper.'

'The skipper denies that she is a coper. Possibly you can save us the
trouble of hunting for his liquor and tobacco?'

'That is where it is kept,' Charlie declared, pointing to the cupboard.
'The skipper has the key.'

'Throw down the skipper's keys,' Lieutenant Williams sang out to his men
on deck.

For two or three minutes the revenue officer sat on the saloon table,
dangling his legs and whistling cheerfully.

'The skipper says he hasn't any keys, sir,' a sailor called down. 'We
have searched him, and can't find any, sir.'

'Very well, then,' the officer said; 'we must do without them. Force
open that cupboard.'

One of the two sailors pulled out his knife and forced the lock with
little difficulty; then he slid back the shutter and displayed the
coper's stock of spirits, wines, tobacco, and cigars.

'A very nice collection indeed,' the revenue officer declared. 'I am
very much obliged to you for your assistance,' he continued, addressing
Charlie; 'but I must ask you to explain why you are on board this boat.
You are my prisoner, although you do not appear to be in league with the
skipper.'

Charlie related all that had happened to him. The story of his and Ping
Wang's adventures amused the revenue officer highly.

'Well,' he said, at the end of the story, 'I'm very glad to have met
both of you. After I have had a peep in the hold, I will take you aboard
my cutter.'

The hold, with its stock of nets and other stolen property, added to the
revenue officer's satisfaction at the capture he had made. Leaving five
men on the coper, to man it--three on deck and two in the saloon--he
returned to his cutter, taking Charlie and Ping Wang with him. As soon
as they were aboard, the cutter started, escorting the coper into
Grimsby.

'How did you manage to catch the coper?' Charlie asked the lieutenant,
as they were watching the land coming nearer and nearer.

'I discovered her yesterday, but could not get close to her while she
was in British waters. I saw that the chances of catching her were
against me, so did not make the attempt. At night I went out to sea with
covered lights, and kept my eye on her. Just before daybreak she went
back into British waters, and I followed her. When there was light
enough for her to see me, she fancied, as I intended she should, that I
was a fishing-boat returning to Grimsby. While she had two trawlers'
boats alongside I made for her. Then she guessed who I was, and tried
to escape, but when I sent a shot across her bows she lay to, and the
skipper demanded to know what I meant. I soon told him.'

'I fancy,' Charlie said, 'that the coper skipper is an old hand at the
game.'

'I am certain of it,' the revenue officer replied, 'and that makes me
all the more pleased. Now, I must be off.'

With that he went on deck, and Charlie and Ping Wang followed him. They
were now in the Humber, creating some excitement among the vessels in
the river. All hands mustered on every ship to see the coper, and
frequently, when the nature of the boat was known, loud cheers were
given for the captor.

The news of the capture had reached Grimsby before the two boats
arrived, and, consequently, there was a large crowd waiting to see the
prisoners brought in. Among the people was the former cook of the
_Sparrow-hawk_, whose astonishment at beholding Charlie and Ping Wang on
a revenue cutter highly amused his two acquaintances. Charlie nodded to
him, but there was no opportunity to settle up with him just then, as
the prisoners were immediately marched off to the magistrate.

To the revenue officials' surprise, the coper skipper pleaded guilty to
selling spirits and tobacco in British waters. He did so because, seeing
Charlie and Ping Wang in court, he knew that they would give evidence
against him. On his pleading guilty, the stock-in-trade, together with
the stolen property which he had purchased, was confiscated. As Charlie
and Ping Wang came out of the court they found the bow-legged cook
waiting for them, anxious to get the balance of money due to him from
Charlie, and also to hear how he had fared on the _Sparrow-hawk_. They
went to the Fisherman's Home, and there the cook was paid.

Charlie then related, in as few words as possible, all that had happened
to him from the time he went aboard the _Sparrow-hawk_, and concluded by
asking the bow-legged cook not to mention to Skipper Drummond, if he met
him during the next few days, that he had seen him and Ping Wang.

Charlie and Ping Wang shook hands with the cook and left him.

'Now,' Charlie said, 'we must go to a cheap tailor's. I think that I
have enough money to buy a ready-made suit for each of us.'

'Perhaps the tailor will give us something for the coper's things,' Ping
Wang remarked. 'You paid enough for them.'

'I did, and if I tell a tailor, or any one else, what I gave for them, I
shall be thought a madman.'

Half-a-crown was the value which the Grimsby tailor placed upon the
clothes which Charlie and Ping Wang were wearing. The new clothes which
they purchased were rather loud in pattern, and by no means a good fit,
but they were cheap, and a great improvement on the things which they
had taken off.

After surveying themselves in the glass--and immediately wishing that
they had not done so--they quitted the shop and made their way to the
railway station, to start for Charlie's home.

(_Continued on page 266._)



JACK'S WISH.


    'Oh, how I wish,' cried Jack, one day,
      'That I was grown up quite,
    For then I should not go to school,
    Or have to keep some silly rule.
      I'm sure they're made in spite.
    Why should I go to bed at eight,
    If I desire to sit up late?'

    'Oh, very well,' his father said;
      'Go to the Bank for me,
    And sit, as I do, all day long--
    I think you soon would change your song,
      And long at school to be.
    Just try to be content, my boy,
    And then your life you will enjoy.'



A TIMELY RESCUE.


'It looks just as if we were going to have a thunder-shower,' Mrs.
Marston said. 'I wish, George, you would find Rose and Elsie, and tell
them to come home.'

'But I don't know where to look for them,' George said.

'They are certain to be somewhere in the fields. And take an umbrella
with you. Elsie has such a bad cold, I shall be vexed if she gets wet.'

'Oh, Mother, I don't believe it will rain, and I do want to finish
painting this rabbit-hutch! It is such a nuisance to leave things half
done.'

'My boy, it is not right to argue with your mother when she asks you to
do something for her.'

'Bother those kids,' George muttered crossly, as he went off, grumbling,
to hunt for an umbrella.

It was a hot, thundery day, and he was feeling still more cross after
searching through three fields and finding no trace of the children.

'The clouds are clearing away, and blue sky is showing everywhere,' he
said to himself. 'It is perfectly idiotic to go on with this wild-goose
chase.'

Then he climbed a stile for a look into the next field, and what he saw
almost made his heart stand still.

Rose and Elsie were sitting on the grass, busily arranging some flowers
they had been gathering to make a nice bunch for their mother.

Behind them was a large freshly made gap in the hedge, and coming
through it was a fierce bull belonging to a neighbouring farmer.

George was horror-struck. What should he do? If he shouted and alarmed
the children, they would be too frightened to know what to do, and
should the bull give chase, they might be overtaken before they could
reach the stile.

In a moment his mind was made up. He jumped over into the field, and ran
as fast as he could to try and get between the bull and the children.

He was only just in time. Rose and Elsie started up when they saw him,
but when they realised their danger, they were almost too scared to
move.

'Get to the stile as quickly as you can,' George called to them; and
then he ran towards the bull, and opened his umbrella quickly before the
astonished animal.

[Illustration: "He ran towards the bull and opened his umbrella
quickly."]

The fierce creature lowered his horns and seemed uncertain whether to
charge his enemy or to flee before him.

Again George fired off his umbrella as if it were a gun, and this time
the bull decided it would be better to retreat in a dignified way to his
own domain. You may be sure George lost no time in getting out of the
field.

'My brave boy!' his mother whispered when the breathless children had
arrived home and had told their story. 'How thankful I am that I have an
obedient son!'

'But, Mother, I nearly disobeyed,' George confessed, and he grew pale
when he thought what it would have meant if he had not arrived in time.

M. H.



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

VIII.--HOW INSECTS MAKE MUSIC.


Though the sounds made by insects may not in themselves be musical,
according to our standard of music, yet many insect performers give us
great pleasure, perhaps because of the pleasant memories which they call
up. Who among us does not love the hum of the bee? How delightful is the
lazy drone of the great steely-blue dor-beetle, as he rambles along in
the twilight of a summer night! The lively chirping of the cricket, too,
has inspired more than one poet, and the great novelist, Charles
Dickens, used it in a well-known story.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Above, leg of American Grasshopper, magnified;
musical instrument at T. Below, musical instrument of American
Grasshopper, greatly magnified.]

The simplest means of making a noise is that used by the beetle known by
the grim name of the 'death-watch.' In our own houses this little beetle
often causes great alarm by the ticking or tapping sound which it makes
by striking its head against the wall. Ignorant people look upon this
noise as a warning of approaching death; but, really, it is meant to
charm and attract any other beetles of the kind which may be within
hearing!

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Cicada, as in life.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Cicada, showing "drums" (marked D), magnified.]

But many insects, like the crickets and grasshoppers, have a specially
constructed instrument on which they play. Fig. 1 shows a part of the
instrument used by an American grasshopper. It is formed by a row of
tiny teeth, marked T, placed along the inner side of the thigh of the
great leaping leg. When this creature feels very happy, or wants to
charm his mate, he produces a shrill sound by rubbing these teeth across
the hard 'nervures,' or wing 'veins.' What these teeth are really like
can be seen in the lower part of the illustration, which shows eight
little spear-heads set in sockets. These are 'teeth,' which act much as
a comb would do if drawn lightly over a tightly stretched wire.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Scorpion, in act of "playing."]

The 'stridulation,' as this form of musical production is called, in
some locusts is so loud that it can be heard on a still night for a
distance of a mile. Some South American locusts are such wonderful
performers that the Indians keep them in wicker cages, in order that
they may enjoy the playing. There is a North American locust which is
quite famous as a musician. It is known as the Katydid, on account of
its peculiar notes, which resemble the words _Katy-did-she-did_. This
note is kept up throughout the night. Our field-cricket plays by rubbing
a row of teeth, about one hundred and thirty in number, placed on the
under side of one of the supporting rods, or 'veins,' of the wings,
against another rod very like it, but without teeth, in the upper
surface of the opposite wing. First one wing is rubbed over the other,
and then the process is reversed.

A near relative of the grasshopper, the cicada of North America and of
Southern Europe (fig. 2), has a really wonderful instrument, rather like
a kettle-drum. But it is an unusual sort of kettle-drum, for it is
played from within. The drum-heads are shown in fig. 3, marked D, one on
each side of the creature, like the drums on a cavalry horse, except
that they are underneath the animal in the case of the cicada. If the
'skin' of the drum be removed, a very complicated instrument is seen,
and this, by causing vibrations, increased by the tightly stretched
drum-head, gives rise to the sounds for which these insects have long
been famous.

The great traveller-naturalist, Fritz Müller, tells us that musical
contests between two or three rival cicadas--only the males play--often
take place. As soon as one had finished his song, another immediately
began, then another, and so on all through the night. Another
naturalist, Bates, tells that when in the Amazons he used to listen to
the cicadas, which began with sunset. The tune began with a jarring
sound, and ended in a long loud note, like 'the steam-whistle of a
locomotive engine!'

In insects which hum the sound mainly comes from the abdomen. In flies
and humble-bees, for example, the 'voice' is caused by air rushing out
from the mouths of the air or breathing-tubes. But these sounds are
deepened by the vibration of the wings. Those who know something of
music will understand what is meant when they are told that the note of
the honey-bee on the wing is A; its ordinary 'voice,' however, is an
octave higher, and often goes to B and C. From the note produced by the
wing, the speed with which it is vibrated can be reckoned. Thus, the
house-fly, which produces the sound F, vibrates its wings 21,120 times a
minute, or 335 times a second; the bee, which makes the note A, 26,400
times a minute, or 440 times a second!

But, besides insects, there are many spiders and scorpions which may
claim to be musical. The instrument of the spider is formed on the same
principle as that of the grasshopper--that is to say, by a raised
tooth-like edge, which can produce vibrations. Beneath the front of a
spider's head there is, on each side, a stout jaw, ending in a long,
movable fang, like a claw. Behind this jaw is a short leg, formed like a
walking leg, and known as the 'palp.' It is never used, however, for
walking, but is carried straight forwards, so that the inner surfaces of
its joints are close to the outer surface of the jaw. Now, whenever the
'palp' is moved, it is rubbed against the 'teeth' in the jaw, and this
consequently, in many spiders, produces a sound like the humming of a
bee! In some spiders which have this apparatus, the sound produced
cannot be heard by human ears.

It is to be noted that, whatever the sound produced, its purpose is to
serve one of two very different ends. It may be used, as in some
spiders, when it is found only in the males, to charm its mate in
courting; for she has a very bad temper, and must be approached most
cautiously. But in the case of the huge bird-eating spiders, this
curious buzzing sound appears to be made for the purpose of frightening
its enemies, which, connecting the buzzing sound with the power of
stinging, give the spider a wide berth as soon as the buzzing begins! To
make itself appear more terrible, the spider raises the fore part of the
body and legs high in the air, and thus, partly by this threatening
attitude, and partly by the sound, persuades those about to attack that
'discretion is the better part of valour!'

The scorpion hisses. Some describe the noise as like that produced by
rubbing the finger-nail over the hairs of a stiff tooth-brush. The
vibrating instruments are found in different places, according to the
species of scorpion. But the plan of its construction is the same in
all, and is like that of the spider. Thus, in some species (as in fig.
4) there are, at the outer side of the base of the great pair of
pincers, a number of sharp spinelets, shaped like a tiger's 'fang.'
These make up the 'scraper.' Against it the scorpion rubs a number of
tubercles, or little rounded bodies, which are seated on the base of the
first pair of walking-legs; these form the 'rasp.' The movement of the
rasp on the scraper produces the hissing sound. Sometimes the hissing is
produced by a similar rasp and scraper placed on the inner surface of
the little pincers which project in front of the body, between the two
great pincers. In other cases the rasp and scraper are found, the rasp
on the top of the base of the little pincer, the scraper on the under
surface of the overhanging shield of the body. But, however formed, the
noise produced is similar, and appears to be meant to terrify enemies.
This purpose is further aided by the habit the creature has, when angry,
of turning the poisonous sting at the end of the tail over the back.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



A TRIFLING OFFENCE.


Noucherivan, King of Persia, had a very violent temper. One day he
condemned a page to death for having by accident spilled a little sauce
over him while waiting at table. The page, knowing that he had no hope
of pardon, proceeded to pour the whole contents of the plate over his
master. Nouchirevan, almost forgetting his anger in his surprise, asked
the reason of this outrageous act.

'Prince,' explained the page, 'I am desirous that my death should not
injure your renown by being undeserved. All nations esteem you as the
most just of sovereigns, but you would lose that glorious title were it
to become known that you had condemned one of your slaves to die for so
trifling a fault as the one which I first committed.'

This answer made such an impression upon the king that, ashamed of his
passion, he pardoned the slave, and also tried by his bounty to atone
for his contemplated cruelty and injustice.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

12.--CURTAILMENTS.

1. Curtail stiff and strict, and leave a Swiss mountain.
2. Curtail a large country in Asia, and leave the point of the under jaw.
3. Curtail a scooping instrument, and leave to push.
4. Curtail acute and discerning, and leave a kind of mouse.
5. Curtail a raised floor or platform, and leave a horned animal.
6. Curtail an island on the Kentish coast, and leave a Saxon nobleman.

C. J. B.


13.--CONICAL PUZZLE.

The middle letters of each word read downwards give the name of a
well-known English poet.

1. A consonant.
2. A price fixed after all deductions have been made.
3. To gaze, to look with fixed eyes.
4. To disperse, to throw loosely about.
5. Kindnesses, good wishes, benefits, favours.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 290._]

       *       *       *       *       *

ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 230.

10.--_Valparaiso._

 1. V eneration.
 2. A nimosity.
 3. L inoleum.
 4. P aragon.
 5. A melia.
 6. R azor.
 7. A rch.
 8. I ce.
 9. S o.
10. O

11.--Tar-tar.



THE POTATO.


Amongst our English vegetables, the potato is the most abundant and
useful. It is liked by nearly all, and it is indeed a chief article of
food in some districts. Other vegetables are largely eaten--cabbages and
turnips, for instance--but the potato is in the greatest demand.

We have in the potato an illustration of a plant which belongs to a
poisonous family, but has roots (or tubers) very nourishing and
agreeable to eat. But if anybody was to eat the berries which follow the
showy flowers of the potato, they would most likely be made ill, nor are
the leaves wholesome to us, though they furnish food to the big
caterpillar of the Death's-head moth.

We have to thank the Romans for bringing into Britain many fruits and
vegetables; others, later on, came from France and Germany, or some
other part of Europe; but the potato we owe to America. The potato first
known in these islands, however, was not the one familiar now; it was
the sweet potato, or Batatus, cultivated by the Spanish and Portuguese;
it is supposed to have been brought over from the Continent early in
the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It was a vegetable much liked by those who
could get it, and this is the potato of which one of Shakespeare's
characters says, 'Let it rain potatoes and hail kissing comforts.'

No one can tell positively who, of the voyagers to America, towards the
end of the sixteenth century, it was who came upon the true potato and
brought it back to his own country, more as a curious plant than for any
other reason. Some have given the credit to the great Sir Walter
Raleigh, but it seems more likely that he himself was not the
discoverer, but one of his followers, named Heriot. In a book Heriot
wrote he exactly describes the potato amongst his finds, calling it
'open-awk,' a name he had heard in America. 'There are roundish roots,'
he says, 'some the size of a walnut, some much bigger; these hang
together on the other roots, and are good either boiled or roasted.' By
roasting he no doubt meant putting them in the hot ashes of a fire. The
question of how potatoes should be cooked seems to have been troublesome
at first. People dipped them in hot water, and then complained that they
were hard, or sticky like glue. Potatoes brought to the table of King
James I. are said to have cost two shillings a pound, and for a long
while the vegetable remained scarce, perhaps because people did not know
the best way to raise a crop as we do now, by planting slices of the
tubers. Several of the old books only refer to it as an ornamental
garden plant.

Sir Walter Raleigh does appear to have introduced this vegetable into
Ireland, at least. Going one spring to his estate at Youghal, Cork, he
took some potatoes, and gave them to his gardener, who planted them.
Fine specimens had grown up in August, but the gardener did not think
the berries were of any good, and told Sir Walter he did not admire the
wonderful American plant. 'Then pull it up and throw it away,' said Sir
Walter; but when the man saw the potatoes on the roots, he thought
differently.

The first place in England where the potato was grown in fields was
North Meols, Lancashire, about 1694. For many years the Scotch only grew
it as a curiosity, till Thomas Prentice, of Kilsyth, stocked his garden
with potatoes in 1728, and distributed them amongst the villages near.
Early in the reign of Queen Victoria, it had become abundant, especially
in Ireland; but the potato disease or murrain caused great distress in
1845 and later, nor has it ever been got rid of entirely. The potato has
been introduced to our Indian Empire, and though it was unpopular at
first, the people have since become partial to it.

J. R. S. C.



DOCTOR ABERNETHY'S ADVICE.


Doctor Abernethy, the great surgeon, was famous for his short, pointed
sayings and good advice, as well as for his skill as a doctor. One day a
gentleman who was accustomed to live in great luxury, and who suffered
from gout in consequence of this easy life, came to consult him. He told
the great surgeon all his ailments, and how he usually lived, and asked
what he ought to do.

'Live on sixpence a day--and earn it!' was the reply of Dr. Abernethy.

[Illustration: "'Live on sixpence a day--and earn it!'"]

[Illustration: "Seven miles high!"]



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

VIII.--THE HIGHEST FLIGHT--SEPTEMBER 5, 1862.


The frequent and successful voyages in balloons at last led scientific
men to wonder if the ascents might not be used for solving some of
nature's riddles, and so conferring benefits on mankind, instead of
being undertaken only as pleasure trips. It was to help answer this
question that, in 1862, Mr. James Glaisher began a series of balloon
voyages. He was by no means the pioneer in this class of enterprise, for
many others--both French and English--had been up with the same object
some years before. But as Mr. James Glaisher, with his captain, Mr.
Coxwell, went higher than any one before or after, his flight ought to
be given special attention.

In order to make careful observations, it was necessary to take a large
number of delicate instruments, and these were arranged on a board,
which rested its ends on either side of the car. Seated before this
narrow table, Mr. Glaisher meant to read the secret of the skies. When
all was ready, Mr. Coxwell weighed anchor, and a few moments later the
city of Wolverhampton, from which they rose, was almost lost in the vast
tract of country upon which their eyes rested.

It was the third ascent these gentlemen had made together, and the
wonders Mr. Glaisher had witnessed on the two previous occasions must
have been more than enough to lead him to seek for more. He had pierced
the densest rain-clouds, and had seen the shadow of the balloon on the
white upper surface of the clouds surrounded by lovely circular
rainbows. He had peeped through holes in these clouds on to the world
beneath, which looked more like a misty picture than real meadows and
towns and rivers. Such experiences were more beautiful than any tales of
fairyland--because they were true.

But to-day he was to have a new and strange journey. At five thousand
feet above ground the balloon entered a mass of rain-clouds, one
thousand feet thick, and four minutes later they broke through into
sunshine. Mr. Glaisher tried to take a photograph of these clouds from
above, but the balloon rose too rapidly and kept turning round. At
twenty-one thousand feet (or four miles high) Mr. Coxwell found it
difficult to breathe, while it needed a great effort to tilt more sand
over the edge of the car. Up and up they sailed--four and a half, five,
five and a half miles--and the sky grew more and more intensely blue
till it became, at last, almost black.

Even now, at a height of twenty-nine thousand feet, when hoar-frost was
forming on the sides of the balloon, and the daring travellers were
stung with a cold more severe than that of the coldest winter day, the
instruments went on observing the wonders of the atmosphere without
themselves being observed. Mr. Glaisher, who had for some minutes found
a difficulty in seeing the small marks on his instruments, lay back
quite insensible against the side of the car. He had not fainted
suddenly. First, he tells us, his arms refused to move when he tried to
reach the various instruments. Then, as his eyes fell on Mr. Coxwell,
who had climbed into the ring to reach the valve-rope, he tried to
speak; but the power of speech was gone, and a moment later he lost all
consciousness.

The balloon was still ascending, and, to Mr. Coxwell's horror, he found
that the terrible cold had turned his hands black, and robbed them of
all muscular power. His position was one of great danger, seated as he
was in that slender car miles above the earth, and so numbed by the cold
that he could not hold the ropes. He reached the valve-cord at last,
however, and, seizing it between his teeth, gave it two or three
vigorous jerks. The balloon stopped ascending. Hooking his numbed arms
over the ring, he dropped safely into the car. As he did so, he noticed
that the blue hand of the barometer stood perpendicular. _The balloon
had ceased to climb at seven miles high!_

His efforts to restore Mr. Glaisher were soon successful, and, by the
time the earth was again reached, no ill effects from the wonderful
adventure were to be felt.

We must mention six other passengers that took part in the journey:
these were pigeons. One was liberated at three miles high, but dropped
with wide-open wings like a sheet of paper until denser air was reached.
A second, at four miles, was evidently a stronger bird, for it flew
vigorously round and round, gradually descending. A third, dropped a
little higher, fell like a stone; and another, thrown out at four miles,
on the way down, took a comfortable perch on the top of the balloon.

This famous flight of Messrs. Coxwell and Glaisher is still a record. No
other balloon has ever ascended to so great a height, and, when a
similar attempt was made in France by three celebrated aeronauts, two of
them lost their lives at a height of five miles, owing to the rarity of
the atmosphere they had to breathe.

The illustration of the scene in the balloon, on page 265, is copied
from Mr. Glaisher's _Travels in the Air_, published by Messrs. Macmillan
& Co., Ltd., who have kindly given leave for its reproduction.

JOHN LEA.



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 259._)

CHAPTER IX.


When Charlie arrived at his home, in an unmistakably ill-fitting suit of
clothes and accompanied by a Chinaman, equally badly dressed, he caused
great surprise to his family. If he had returned dressed in
'fear-noughts' and a jersey, or even in 'oilies,' they would not have
been surprised, but there was nothing nautical about his present
attire.

'Well, my boy,' Charlie's father said to him, after Ping Wang had been
introduced, 'have you had a good time?'

'Well, not exactly,' Charlie answered, 'but I have discovered that
Skipper Drummond is an old rascal, and that he believes he will have no
difficulty in swindling you.'

'He is not the first person who has thought that and has lived to find
that he has made a mistake. However, you can tell me all about it after
dinner. You had better run upstairs and change your clothes.'

After dinner, Charlie related all that had happened to him, from the
time he met the bow-legged cook until he came back to Grimsby.

'I suspected that you would have a rough time,' Mr. Page said, when
Charlie had finished his story, 'but I never thought that you would meet
with so many unpleasant adventures. However, as you have discovered that
Skipper Drummond is a dishonourable man, I am not sorry that you went to
sea. I don't suppose you will be in a hurry to go again.'

'I want to go very soon,' Charlie replied. 'I want to go to China with
Ping Wang.'

'To settle there?'

'Oh, no; simply to recover Ping Wang's family riches.'

Mr. Page and Fred, not knowing whether Charlie was serious or not, made
no remark.

'I'm quite sane,' Charlie declared, seeing that they were surprised;
'Ping Wang will tell you about it.'

Ping Wang, thus called upon, repeated the story of his father's death
and the seizure of all his property by Chin Choo.

'But how do you know that Chin Choo still possesses the idol with the
secret drawer?' Mr. Page inquired, when Ping Wang finished speaking. 'He
may have sold it?'

'That is not at all likely,' Ping Wang declared. 'I know that he has had
it fixed up in his chief room, and there it will remain as long as the
house stands, or until Chin Choo moves somewhere else.'

'And you think that Chin Choo cannot discover that the idol contains
precious stones?'

'I am certain of it. My father was a richer man than Chin Choo imagined,
and the wealth that the murderer found in our house was more than he had
expected. He is quite certain that he has found all my father's wealth.
If he were not, he would never think of looking for it in the image.'

'But do you think it possible to get into Chin Choo's house and remove
the idol without being discovered?'

'I am certain of it; of course, I shall watch for a favourable
opportunity.'

'Well,' Mr. Page said, after a few moments' thought, 'I must think over
the matter for a few days before deciding whether I can permit Charlie
to accompany you.'

'I wish I could go with them,' Fred joined in. 'I don't desire a share
of the treasure. I simply want to go for the experience.'

'But how about your studies?' Mr. Page asked.

'I wouldn't neglect them. I would read hard on board, and as my next
examination does not come on for nearly two years, I shall have plenty
of time. And when I'm in China I shall be able to study tropical
diseases. Medical men are very keen on that, nowadays.'

'Well, if Charlie goes, I see no reason why you should not; but it
requires serious consideration.'

'I will share my portion of the treasure with you,' Charlie said to his
brother, but Ping Wang objected to that arrangement.

'We will each have a third of what the rubies realise,' he declared,
and, in spite of all protests, he insisted that the division of the
treasure, if they ever got it, should be made in that way.

Mr. Page listened in silence to their conversation. He was by no means
convinced that Ping Wang's story was not an Oriental fiction, invented
to arouse sympathy and obtain a free passage home. Now, as it happened,
Mr. Page had a friend who was the senior partner of a large firm of
Chinese merchants, and had himself resided in China for many years, and
he decided, therefore, to question him as to the probability of Ping
Wang's story. A day or two later Mr. Page went to London and had an
interview with this friend, who confirmed many details of Ping Wang's
story, and even came down to Lincolnshire to see the Chinaman in person.

Ping Wang was delighted when he found that the merchant had lived in his
country for many years, and could speak his language fluently.

'Ping Wang's story is, I am convinced, quite true,' the merchant said to
Mr. Page, when they were alone, 'but his plan is a very risky one.'

'I know, but that has only made them more anxious to go. It is another
case of "like father like son." If I had not travelled while young, I am
sure I should never have settled down. And the fact that in every place
I visited I found scores of Englishmen yearning to return home made me
feel that I was a fortunate man to see our distant possessions without
being doomed to pass my life in exile. I have sufficient money to keep a
home for my children, but I want my sons to be able to earn a living and
hold their own by themselves; and I think that, as I have the means to
permit them to travel before settling down, they will do well to learn
as much as they can of the world outside England. They shall go with
Ping Wang. If they help Ping Wang to secure his inheritance, I shall of
course be pleased, but I shall be glad for both the lads to gain
experience, and I hope they will return in good health.'

A little later Mr. Page told Charlie and Fred that he had decided to
allow them to go to China, an announcement which was received with great
delight. The next day he went to the shipping agent's, and finding that
a boat would start from Liverpool to Hong-kong in twelve days' time,
booked saloon passages for Fred, Charlie, and Ping Wang.

'To-morrow,' Mr. Page said to his sons and Ping Wang after he had
returned from the shipping agent's, 'you must see about your outfit. The
time is very short.'

[Illustration: "There was nothing nautical about Charlie's present
attire."]

'I think, sir,' Ping Wang said, 'that the clothes I have will be good
enough.'

'Would you not like to go in your native dress?'

Ping Wang's eyes brightened.

'Yes,' he answered, 'but you have paid my passage.'

'Don't let that thought trouble you. When you have got back your jewels,
you will be able to offer to repay me.'

'You are very generous, sir,' Ping Wang declared.

'Nonsense,' Mr. Page answered. 'You have been a good friend to my boy
and have had a rough time since you have been in England. If you carry
away a better impression of our country than you would otherwise have
done, I shall consider myself repaid for what I have been able to do for
you.'

(_Continued on page 277._)

[Illustration: A Scene in Regent's Park.]



THE PARKS OF LONDON.--III.


Happiest of little Londoners are those who are so fortunate as to live
near enough to the Regent's Park for it to form their daily playground.
To them the wooded shores of the winding lake, with its three long arms
crossed by bridges that rock delightfully, must seem like a little
world, with mountains, bays, capes, forests, and many more wonderful
things, just as in the great world itself. It is filled with so many
living things that dwell round the banks of the lake--the stately swans,
the many varieties of the duck family that swim and fly and chase each
other all day long, the gentle moorhens gliding in and out of the
rushes, and the mother vole or water-rat nibbling a juicy bit of grass
in the sunshine, or swimming to cover with her babies on her back; and
now and again the peace of this little world is rudely broken by the
distant roar of a real lion or the shriek of a hungry hyena, which
frightens all the smaller animals into silence.

Perhaps no greater benefit ever befell the good folk of London town than
when, early in the nineteenth century, it occurred to the authorities to
turn the old Royal Park of St. Mary-le-bone into a real people's park. A
great many plans were suggested for laying out the ground. One very
ornamental scheme was probably rejected because of its expense; in it a
fine church was to form a central point, with avenues running from it
like spokes of a wheel. The design which was accepted and carried out
consists of four oval drives lying like rings inside one another; in the
centre of the inside one are the Royal Botanical Gardens. Rare and
wonderful treasures of vegetable life are kept there--flowering plants
and shrubs, palms, ferns, mosses, water-plants, and trees from many
lands, each the object of deep thought and care. From time to time grand
floral fêtes are held in the gardens, and often on summer evenings
Shakespeare's plays are acted in the open air.

The northern side of the park is chiefly given up to the Zoological
Gardens; and, indeed, to the world at large, apart from Londoners,
Regent's Park often means nothing but 'the Zoo.' Probably it is safe to
say that no other park in the world annually attracts so many visitors.

The collection at the Zoological Gardens was begun in 1828, and amongst
the first arrivals were the lions from the Tower, for, from ancient
days, lions and bears kept the old royal fortress lively. Great sums of
money have been spent in securing fine specimens, and now Britons have
the satisfaction of knowing that our Zoo is second to none. Amongst
recent arrivals at the gardens were two young gorillas from Western
Africa, who reached the Zoo in apparent health, but, as has happened on
former occasions, after a few weeks the poor things sickened and died.
Whether they suffer from the effects of the voyage, or whether the shock
of their capture is too great for them, the fact remains that gorillas
seem unable to endure the altered conditions of life which most of the
other members of the great ape family can put up with.

But, with all the attractions of the Zoo, it would not do to be
dependent on it for amusement, for even on Monday, 'the people's day,'
it costs sixpence, and many of the park's most frequent visitors find
pennies hard to come by. Pleasure has to be sought and found on the
various recreation grounds, and, in fine weather, cricket and other
games are usually in full swing.

A very favourite walk with many visitors is to Primrose Hill, north-west
of the Zoo, which rises two hundred and nineteen feet above sea-level,
where the air is usually clear and bright, whilst the view over London
is very fine. The hill is the property of Eton College, and is separated
from the Zoo by the Regent's Canal, as well as by the Albert Road.
Beneath the slope is a fine gymnasium, which still further adds to the
attractions of the park, and many fine terraces of houses line the outer
circles.

The park takes its name from the Prince Regent, afterwards George IV.

HELENA HEATH.



NEVER CAUGHT IT.


'He is always very busy,' said one man to another.

'Yes,' answered a gentleman who knew the person in question. 'He is so
lazy in getting up that he loses an hour every morning, and spends all
the rest of the day in running after it.'

An hour lost means an hour which can only be regained by neglecting
other work.



RAT-SKINS.


The Japanese are a wonderful people, and their foresight in even the
smallest matters is really marvellous. Here is a case in point.

Late in 1904, when the time came to forward the winter outfits for their
soldiers fighting in Manchuria, amongst the wadded overcoats and thick
blankets were some hundreds of thousands of ear-protectors made out of
rats' skins.

Even the military authorities were surprised by these, and wondered
where the Government could have found so many rats as to be able to
supply their soldiers with such soft and comfortable coverings for their
ears.

It seems that two years ago plague was raging along the China coast,
and, to keep the disease out of Japan, the quarantine authorities made
war against the rats. In all the seaports and larger cities rewards were
offered for each rat brought; small boys found this a delightful way of
earning money, and the competition at once became very keen.

Every rat was duly registered, and the place where it was caught noted,
and if any suspicious germs were found, the building from which the rat
came was raided, all the rats in it hunted down, and the place
disinfected. So the plague was kept out of Japan.

Meanwhile the rat-skins had not been thrown away; war was even then
threatening, and ear-protectors _might_ be wanted.

So the rat-skins were all thoroughly cleansed and disinfected, and made
into ear-protectors, and now have proved a great blessing to the
soldiers in the field.



THE OLD CLOCK.


None of my early recollections of our pretty little home in England is
so clear as that of the old grandfather's clock that stood in the hall.
I remember that my mother and father were very fond of it, and when my
brother and I once grumbled, saying, 'That old clock is always slow,' my
mother reproved us with the words: 'Oh, children, you must not say that,
for the fact that it often goes slow when the big hand is going up
towards the hour was the very thing that once saved your
great-grandfather's life.'

That was the curious thing about the clock. Every now and then, for some
reason, the minute-hand seemed to work loose, soon after the half-hour,
and, before it reached the three-quarters, it lost five minutes. It
might manage to go a whole day without doing this; but sooner or later
it always happened, so that the clock could not be relied upon for time.

Of course, we were very eager to hear the story, and, as we sat round
the fire that evening, my mother told us the following tale:--

'You know, children, that we have not always lived in England; my
ancestors were French, and lived at Château Roquefort, in the province
of La Vendée. When the great insurrection broke out in the year 1792, my
grandfather, Philippe de Roquefort, was one of the leading insurgents
against the Republic. For a time the insurrection was successful, and
the Republican generals were driven across the Loire. But at last there
came a time when Philippe de Roquefort saw that to resist any longer was
hopeless, and, as he had a wife and a little son, he resolved that, for
their sakes, it was prudent to flee to England.

'They had abandoned Roquefort itself three days before, but the evening
before their leaving France, Philippe was obliged to ride over to the
château (five miles or so from the little town where he and his family,
with about a dozen trusty followers, had taken refuge) to fetch some
important papers.

'The whole neighbourhood swarmed with Republicans, but, with his
knowledge of the country, he reached the deserted château safely.

'The whole place had a forsaken air as Philippe entered the hall he knew
so well, where all his happy boyhood had been spent; but one familiar
object caught his eye--the old clock, which had been too cumbersome to
take with them in their flight, and which was still ticking in its
accustomed manner. Philippe secured his papers, and was just leaving the
château, taking a last fond look at his home, when a heavy hand pulled
him backwards, and, before he could reach his sword, he was bound hand
and foot.

'"We have caught the bird in his own nest," said a loud voice--and the
boisterous laughter of several men made the rafters in the old hall
ring.

'Philippe saw that he had been captured by five rough Republicans, who
dragged him into the middle of the hall and then sat round him,
consulting as to his fate. At last they decided that, at a quarter to
six by the old clock, he should be shot. They had some time to wait
before going back to their camp.

'Philippe gave himself up for lost. The ruffians soon began to jeer at
him, and asked if he had any messages for his friends. Then my
grandfather lost all his patience, and throwing aside all prudence,
cried: "Yes, you villains, if I had my faithful followers here, they
would soon make an end of you."

'The men laughed at this, but suddenly a cruel idea struck one of them.

'"Yes," he said, "Monsieur shall have his way"--and, looking up at the
clock, he continued: "It is now five o'clock; Pierre, the peasant's son,
who lives yonder, shall ride with a message to these devoted followers.
Monsieur shall be shot at a quarter to six; but he can write and tell
his friends to be here at ten minutes to the hour; they will come and
find Monsieur--five minutes too late. We can get away easily enough
before they arrive."

'His comrades agreed to this plan, which gave an adventurous tone to
their enterprise, and inflicted, as well, extra misery upon their
prisoner.

'A scrap of paper and a pencil were given to my grandfather; but, as he
was writing, Philippe remembered with joy that the old clock on which
his captors were relying had not yet lost its five minutes that day; he
had noticed this as he glanced round the hall before his capture; and,
therefore, at a quarter to six--the time when, by the clock, he was
going to be put to death--it _might_ be ten minutes to the hour by the
proper time--if the clock only went wrong for once at a convenient time!

'The peasant-boy, Pierre, was sent with the message, and the men settled
themselves down to ransacking the house, exulting over the trick they
were going to play.

'The time crept by. As a quarter to six drew near Philippe was bound to
a tree, and the men set to work to load their muskets! Had the clock
lost five minutes, or not? Every minute of waiting seemed like an hour,
and Philippe could not be sure whether the hand had stuck still too
long, or not. He thought it had, but could he trust his eyes in such a
terrible situation?

'You can imagine my grandfather's feelings during those last few awful
minutes! A hundred conjectures flashed through his mind. Suppose the boy
never gave the message! or suppose the men were late! or suppose the
clock was not slow after all!

'At last the Republicans were ready, and Philippe gave himself up for
lost. Suddenly the sound of horses' hoofs was heard breaking through the
undergrowth. The Republicans hesitated, and, as they stood undecided,
ten or a dozen men rode up hastily. They were only just in time; the
Republicans fought for a few minutes, but they were taken by surprise,
and soon surrendered. Philippe was saved!'

       *       *       *       *       *

'What a narrow escape, Mother,' we cried, 'and if it had not been for
the old clock's habit of losing time----'

'Well, my dear, the story would have ended very differently.'

[Illustration: "The men set to work to load their muskets."]

[Illustration: "''Tis the very man!'"]



HEROES AND HEROINES OF FAMOUS BOOKS.

III.--GARTH AND HIS FRIENDS.[4]


This striking story belongs to the days of the Great French Revolution
of 1792. The hero is a young Englishman, the son of Colonel Mainwaring,
of the 2nd Dragoon Guards, and at the time the story opens he is on a
visit to Paris to his uncle and aunt. Before we narrate one or two
striking incidents of his life in France, however, we must say
something, very briefly, about the French Revolution, during which so
many terrible things were done that it was known as the Reign of Terror.
One of the grievances of the people in France was that the power of the
nobles had greatly increased, so that they did as they liked. Though
they claimed unlimited privileges, yet they refused to take up the
responsibilities of their position, and even evaded the taxes which they
laid on the shoulders of the people. One unpopular tax was the
_gabelle_, or salt tax, which compelled every person to bring a fixed
quantity of salt every year, and made them buy it of certain people who
alone had the right to sell, and charged enormous prices. The peasants,
too, had to work on the roads for nothing, leaving their farms and
little plots of ground whenever they were ordered. They could not earn
enough to live on, and what with heavy dues to their lords, and the
State interference with trade, they were in a wretched plight, and
discontent was widespread. Then famous writers, moved by what was going
on around them, wrote strongly against the abuse of power by the nobles
and the King, teaching that kings were but the servants of the people.
The poor, ignorant, downtrodden peasantry, urged by the selfish trading
classes who used them for their own ends, united in a great movement to
take away the privileges of the nobles. The serfs flung off the heavy
yoke, and went to the worst excesses, burning and wrecking the palaces
of their former masters, utterly ruining them and driving them out of
the country.

The Commons, or National Assembly as they styled themselves, did not
stop when they had introduced reforms that were really needed, but did
just as their passion against the aristocrats and the rich dictated.
Things passed from bad to worse when the King, who had the right of
refusing the proposals of the National Assembly, exercised his right and
vetoed (from _veto_, I forbid) two of their decrees. This made the
people furious. All this was new to Garth Mainwaring, as also was the
procession of noisy people, marching through the streets to the beating
of drums, carrying banners, and howling and shouting at any well-dressed
people they met. Garth saw the mob battering at the doors of the King's
palace, calling for his Majesty to come out, and when the King, in quiet
dignity, stood before them, they ordered him to put on the red cap of
liberty, and grossly insulted him and his beautiful Queen and their
children.

Garth had felt his blood leap up as he witnessed this, and in his young
enthusiasm he longed to fight on the side of the royal prisoner and his
nobles. On the evening of one dreadful day, during which the mob had
done wild things, as Garth was passing on towards the Rue Saint Honoré,
he heard a faint voice on his left hand. It came from the figure of a
man huddled in a doorway, who had been mortally wounded and was rapidly
dying.

'Sir,' gasped the man, in English, 'Sir, save my daughter. Go to her,
sir, and give her her father's dying blessing.'

'I will go, sir,' said Garth. 'Will you tell me your name?'

'The Baron de Méricourt. I was in the palace. I got away as by a miracle,
but I fell among the ruffians here, and they have done for me. Waste no
more time, I implore you. Save my darling Lucile, and tell her her
father----' But here, with one more gasp, he died.

Another striking adventure befell our hero at Nantes. It was after he
had offered to throw in his lot with Bonchamps, a leader of the
loyalists, and donned the white cockade of those whose watch-word was
'for God and the King.' He was asked whether he would make an attempt,
as they were to attack Nantes, a stronghold of the 'Blues,' to find out
the enemy's position. Of course he agreed; there were no dangers in the
path of duty that could deter Garth. He was disguised in a peasant's
dress, and carried a basket full of live pigeons, which he was to offer
for sale as he journeyed. Nantes was a strong position, strongly
fortified and manned by the enemy, yet the brave peasants and loyalists
of the Vendée determined to endeavour to take it for the young King (for
the unhappy Louis XVI. and his beautiful Queen had been put to death by
the influence of the more savage leaders of the Revolutionary party). It
was late in the evening when Garth started. It would be nearly midnight
before he could reach the city. When he came within two miles of the
town he saw a barge, laden with wood, moving slowly down the river.
Hailing the old man on board, who was holding the rudder, and allowing
the laden craft to drift down with the tide, 'Holà,' cried Garth, 'Hé!
can you give me a lift down to the quay?'

'Who are you?' asked the bargeman, Jules Viard by name.

'A poor chap with a pair of pigeons to sell.'

The man agreed to the request, and Garth sprang on to the barge as soon
as it came within jumping distance, and it resumed its slow passage down
the river. Presently the vessel was steered alongside the quay, where
the good-natured boatman made her fast for the night, sleeping in her
himself to save the few sous he would otherwise have had to pay for his
bed; but Garth went along on the riverside, as he wished to look about
him to learn what he could of the strength and position of the enemy.

As his wooden shoes clicked on the stone paving, he stripped them off
and strung them round his neck. The cathedral clock struck the hour of
midnight. On and on he went, using his eyes well. He had reached the
Paris road, up which his friends of the Vendean army would probably
approach, when he saw an immense obstruction. Climbing a tree, the
better to look about him, he found that the obstruction was a big
redoubt, very solidly constructed. Scaling garden walls and getting
behind the redoubt, he satisfied himself that it could be taken from the
rear, and being by this time very tired, he lay down under a hedge to
sleep till daylight.

The next morning he sold his pigeons to a lieutenant of the National
Guard for forty sous, and spent the rest of the day walking about the
town with his friend, Viard the bargeman, leaving him at nightfall to
begin his return journey. Turning down a narrow passage leading to the
river, between two high warehouses, he saw three men, and, as it turned
out, men whom he had met before, all enemies to the King's cause. One of
them, the Mayor, stopped him.

'Well, my man, where are you going?'

Garth turned his head aside.

'Where are you going?' repeated the Mayor.

'Down to the river, citizen. Came in last night on a barge to sell
pigeons.'

'On a barge, eh? Were you molested by the brigands?'

'No, citizen; I joined the barge some two miles up, and saw nothing of
brigands.'

The man standing to the left of the Mayor started as he heard the tone
of Garth's voice. He looked closely into Garth's face, suddenly pulled
off his hat, and with a quick cry, ''Tis the very man!' tried to seize
him. Quick as thought, Garth slipped aside, then, before the other two
had recovered from their surprise at their companion's strange action,
he rushed at the Mayor, threw him over backwards, turned and flung his
basket in the face of the other, then wheeled round and ran as fast as
the clumsy sabots would allow him, clattering down the passage towards
the river, the man behind him shouting, 'Help! a spy--a brigand--help!'
Two of his enemies dashed after him, and the Mayor picked himself up and
toddled off as fast as his short legs would carry him to call up the
nearest guard, two hundred yards away. The National Guard was soon
aroused, and the whole garrison was under arms. The dauntless Englishman
reached the river. He did not hesitate; pulling off his shoes and
flinging them at his pursuers, now only ten yards away, he plunged into
the river. A soldier with his gun arrived, pointed his musket at Garth's
head, and fired; Garth twisted over and dived, and the bullet hit the
water just behind him. Others of the guard came up, fired at his bobbing
head, but missed it. On he swam boldly, determinedly; and now the firing
has ceased, although he can hear the clamour. His courage and presence
of mind had saved him; he was now in a friendly country, and the first
man he met was wearing the King's cockade!

But here we must leave our hero, proud that he was an Englishman, and
that he afterwards distinguished himself by many deeds of valour,
passing unhurt through many dangers, from the worst of which he was
rescued by his old friend, Viard the bargeman. How he presently married
Lucile de Méricourt, and accepted an appointment at Lisbon, and what
became of his friends and foes, is all told by Mr. Rendel in his fine
and stirring book, which every British boy who is ready to cheer pluck
should read for himself.

JAMES CASSIDY.

FOOTNOTE:

[4] _The King's Cockade_, by H. Rendel. (Wells Gardner, Darton, & Co.,
Limited, London.)



ANIMAL MAKESHIFTS.

True Anecdotes.

III.--TALKS WITHOUT WORDS.


Anybody watching a chance meeting in the street between two animals must
see that they hold some sort of conversation. By sounds, signs, or both,
they 'pass the time of day,' and make remarks. After settling affairs in
their own language, they part, either as the best of friends, or, more
frankly than politely, saying, 'Well, I hope I shall never see _you_
again!'

Out in the fields, what horse can bear to see another horse, or even a
donkey, turned into the next paddock without running up to have a chat
with him? Horses that work together are always on speaking terms. Much
rubbing of soft noses, pricking backwards and forwards of the ears, with
a snort, playful bite, or whinny, is their talk. After much talk of this
sort between two splendid cart-horses, standing in harness, I once saw a
fine plan carried out. They had been drawing a heavy load, and were
quietly enjoying their feed, each from the nosebag dangling at his head.
But the corn dwindled and the last grains of it were hard to reach. It
was then that a brilliant idea struck horse number one. He lifted his
bag to the middle pole, which he used as a prop; but then there was no
room for his companion's bag on it. Horse number two, apparently after
asking leave, hoisted his own bag even higher still, and, balancing it
on his friend's head, fed in comfort. The pair munched peacefully on,
and next day I saw them doing the same thing again.

All animals have a language of sound and sign, which they use as
intelligently as deaf and dumb men use the means of expressing thought
invented for them. Creatures that live in troops are always under the
control of a leader, who manages them by word of mouth or by gestures.

Lieutenant Shipp, in his memoirs, tells of a Cape baboon who was so
dishonest as to bring his companions to the barracks, to carry off the
soldiers' clothes. The thefts became serious, and a party of soldiers
were told off to march against the robbers, and to bring back the booty
hidden in the caves of the baboons. But the animal warriors were too
cunning. They sent out scouts, to watch the enemy's movements, told off
about fifty of their number to guard the entrance to the caves, and
posted the rest at various points. The soldiers saw the baboons
collecting large stones, and the old grey-headed rascal, who had been
ring-leader in raiding the camp, was seen giving orders like a real
general. At a scream from him they rolled down great stones upon the
men, who were forced to retreat.

Comic as the monkey-folk sometimes are, they can make very touching
appeals; they plead very earnestly in their wordless way for their own
lives, and still more tenderly on behalf of their helpless young. A
letter from Demarara thus describes a meeting between a mother baboon
and two men with guns. Mr. S---- levelled his gun to shoot her. The
animal seemed at once to understand what would probably take place, and
appealingly held out in each hand a baby baboon. His friend said, 'Don't
shoot.' 'No, I was not going to,' said Mr. S----. So Mrs. Baboon and her
family escaped unhurt, the mother showing, it will be agreed, something
greater than ordinary instinct.

[Illustration: "Balancing the bag on his friend's head."]

Something greater? Yes, love; the greatest of all instincts, higher than
reason itself. It is when filled with love for her defenceless babe that
the animal-mother learns, by many a wonderful makeshift, to appeal to
our pity, and forgets herself for its sake. A beautiful instance of this
was lately given in the _Daily News_.

A labourer, going along a lane, met a little robin redbreast. She flew
boldly within reach of his hand, almost dashing against his face, and as
he passed on tried to hinder him, uttering all the while piercing cries.
At last he stopped at a hole to which she kept flying, and found a rat
in the act of carrying off one of her nestlings. The labourer was able
to kill the enemy by a blow of his stick as it darted across the lane,
and the small mother, after hovering with a different and triumphant
note over the poor little dead bird, went gladly home.

In countries where snakes abound, the shriek of a bird whose nest is
threatened serves as a signal to its winged neighbours, who throng to
the spot and drive away, or often kill, the enemy. Sometimes the ways
in which creatures communicate are altogether mysterious. An old goose,
who had spent a fortnight hatching eggs in a farmer's kitchen, was
suddenly taken ill. She left her nest, waddled to a neighbouring
outhouse, and persuaded a young goose to go back with her. The young one
instantly scrambled into the vacant nest, and hatched and afterwards
brought up the brood. The old goose sat down by the side of the nest to
die. As the young goose had never reared a brood before, nor been inside
the kitchen, the elder must somehow have explained the duties to her,
and the younger have understood and accepted the charge.

[Illustration: "Mrs. Baboon and her family escaped unhurt."]

It seems, then, that want of understanding on our part, rather than
stupidity on theirs, prevents a closer understanding between ourselves
and the animal creation. Though we are not able to bridge over the gulf
separating speechless animals and men, we may at least take care that
the dumb prayers of the 'lower brethren' never fall on wilfully deaf
ears, or on unkind hearts.

EDITH CARRINGTON.

[Illustration: "'Good evening, skipper!'"]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 269._)

CHAPTER X.


The result of Mr. Page's generosity was that when Fred and Charlie went
to a tailor's, Ping Wang ordered a Chinese costume. A week later it was
sent home, and when Ping Wang put it on, and permitted his pigtail to
hang down, he looked quite a different man. That day the family were
sitting talking over the coming voyage when a maid came in.

'A man wants to see you, sir,' she said to Mr. Page. 'He says his name
is Skipper Drummond.'

'What a lark!' Charlie exclaimed to Ping Wang. 'Shall we carry him down
the garden, and pitch him in the duck-pond?'

'Show Skipper Drummond in,' Mr. Page said to the maid, and as she
departed he continued, 'Now, you boys and Ping Wang, go into the
conservatory, and wait there until I call you.'

Fred, Charlie, and Ping Wang stepped into the conservatory, and seated
themselves on a rustic bench, so that they could hear what the skipper
said without being seen by him.

'Skipper Drummond, sir,' the maid said, as she reopened the door.

The bullying little skipper had evidently made a strong effort to look
respectable. He was attired in a shiny black frock-coat, and had it not
been for his brightly-coloured tie, one would have imagined that he was
going to a funeral. In one hand he held a tall hat; in the other he
carried two stiff-looking black gloves.

'Good evening, sir,' he said, as he stepped gingerly across the room,
showing as much respect for the carpet as if it was newly-sown grass.

'Take a seat,' Mr. Page said, and he did so.

'I've come about the _Sparrow-hawk_, sir,' he said, endeavouring to
appear more comfortable than he felt.

'Yes.'

'We've had a grand time, sir. Every voyage the _Sparrow-hawk_ makes she
improves. There is not a trawler in the North Sea catches more fish than
the _Sparrow-hawk_. She's a beauty, sir; and every one in Grimsby and
Hull knows it. Two of the big fleet-owners want to buy her.'

'I suppose that they did not offer so much for her as you are asking
from me?'

'They offered more, sir.'

'Then why did you not accept one of the offers?'

'Because it wouldn't have been acting square with you, sir. I am a
straightforward man, I am; and having offered the _Sparrow-hawk_ to you
at a certain price, I bide by my word.'

'That is very good of you--very good, indeed. It is not often that I
meet with such an honourable business man.'

Skipper Drummond sighed deeply, as if he was sincerely sorry for the
fact that there were some men who were very dishonourable.

'My idea was,' Mr. Page said, after a few moments' silence, 'to purchase
the _Sparrow-hawk_ for my son, and start him in business as a
steam-trawler owner. Perhaps it would be well if I introduced you to him
at once.'

'I shall be proud to make the young gentleman's acquaintance. I am not a
man to boast, sir; but if any one can produce a man that knows more
about North Sea fishing than I do, I'm a Dutchman.'

'Charlie!' Mr. Page called out loudly, and in walked from the
conservatory Charlie, Ping Wang, and Fred.

'Good evening, skipper!' Charlie exclaimed, cheerfully.

'Good evening, skipper!' Ping Wang added, equally cheerfully.

Skipper Drummond dropped his hat and gloves, and almost started out of
his chair. Evidently he had never expected to see either Charlie or Ping
Wang again.

'Have you brought us the clothes which we left on the _Sparrow-hawk_?'
Charlie inquired.

'And the pay which you owe me?' Ping Wang added.

'I thought that you were both drowned,' the skipper gasped.

'And no doubt you are almost sorry that we were not,' Charlie remarked.
'However, we have told my father what a wretched old tub the
_Sparrow-hawk_ is. We have told him that she is rotten; that her boilers
are worn out; that her gear is not up-to-date; that she has the smallest
catches of any Grimsby trawler. We have told him also that you have been
keeping down expenses by half-starving your men, and that you are the
vilest little bully that ever held a captain's certificate.'

'And they also told me,' Mr. Page joined in, 'that you confessed to one
of your men that you were about to sell the _Sparrow-hawk_ for half as
much again as she was worth. Let me assure you that you will do nothing
of the kind. I would not give half the sum which you ask for her. From
the first I suspected that you were a swindler, and it was to obtain
proof of it that my son shipped with you as a cook. Have you anything
that you wish to say in your defence, or will you go at once?'

Skipper Drummond picked up his hat and gloves, and without uttering a
word walked out of the room. He was white with rage, but he dared not
express his anger in words such as he would have used on the
_Sparrow-hawk_, for Charlie accompanied him to the hall door, and stood
in the porch watching him until he had passed into the main road.

'We have seen the last of him, I think,' said Charlie, when the captain
was out of sight; 'and I hope that I never meet another man like him.'

On the following evening the Pages had a much more welcome visitor in
Lieutenant Williams, who availed himself of Charlie's earnest invitation
to come and see him and Ping Wang before they started for China. In
private life he was just as cheery, amusing, and good-tempered as on
board ship. He told many interesting stories of his work in
coper-catching and arrests for illegal fishing. He quite envied Fred,
Charlie, and Ping Wang their trip to China.

'Perhaps you will be sent to South Africa,' Charlie remarked. 'That
would be much better than going with us.'

'Certainly it would,' Williams declared. 'Active service is the best
thing that a man in the navy can desire, but I am afraid that there is
no chance of my getting to South Africa. At any rate, I shall go on
hoping for foreign service of some sort.'

'If he has an opportunity,' Fred declared, after Lieutenant Williams had
departed, 'he will make the most of it, I am sure. He is just the kind
of man to do something big, and then laugh and pretend that it was a
very easy thing to do. I wish that he was coming with us. However, it's
no good wishing. I'm going to have a good long sleep for my last night
in the old home. Good night, all.'

Charlie and Ping Wang followed Fred's example and went to bed as quickly
as possible. They awoke early, and later in the day reached Liverpool
and went aboard the _Twilight_, which was to be their home for five or
six weeks.

       *       *       *       *       *

The _Twilight_ was a cargo boat which had accommodation for twenty
saloon passengers, but she rarely carried that number, as, her speed
being but ten knots an hour, most people proceeding to China travelled
by a faster and, consequently, more expensive steamer.

Soon after she had left Liverpool, Fred, Charlie, and Ping Wang began to
wonder where the other passengers were.

'They can't possibly be sea-sick already,' Charlie declared, and then
seeing the chief steward he inquired how many passengers they had
aboard.

'Only you three gentlemen,' the steward answered.

Fred and Charlie looked at each other in amazement. They had fully
expected that there would be all sorts of amusements to break the
monotony of their long voyage, and their disappointment was great.
However, when they found that in consequence of their being the only
passengers each might have a cabin to himself, their discontent quickly
passed away. And when they got well out to sea they had plenty of
amusements, for the captain had the shuffle-board, deck quoits, and
other games brought out, and with the second officer and chief engineer
played the passengers.

When the three passengers wearied of deck games, they sat on the poop
reading some of the books which they had borrowed from the ship's
library. Fred sometimes brought out his medical books, but he obtained
more practical than theoretical knowledge that voyage, for the ship's
doctor--a young fellow who had been recently qualified and was taking a
sea voyage, and small pay in return for his medical services--was
completely prostrated by sea-sickness, and utterly useless as a doctor.
Fred attended to him, doctored such of the crew as needed it, and
successfully set a stoker's dislocated forefinger.

(_Continued on page 285._)



MICE ON A SUBMARINE.


The sailors in our submarines have found out a simple device to protect
their lives whilst on their 'under-sea' trips. Every submarine that goes
to sea takes out a couple of mice. If one of these mice shows symptoms
of distress, it is a sure sign that the time for coming to the surface
has arrived, and that the air of the closed box needs replenishing from
the fresh air.

X.



THE FATHER OF ALL.


    Little flower, in meadow bright,
    With thy raiment sweet and white,
    Knowest thou who set thee there,
    Gave to thee a dress so fair,
    Caused thee from the ground to spring,
    Such a sweet and tender thing,
    Sent the rain and sent the sun,
    Sent the stars when day is done?

    Little flower, dost thou not know
    It was God Who made thee grow,
    Gave to thee thy lovely dress,
    Such as kings can ne'er possess;
    Set thee in thy little bed,
    Gave thee petals, white and red;
    Sent for thee the dewdrop bright,
    Shuts thy blossom up at night?

    Little bird, high in the air,
    Flying here and everywhere,
    Dost thou know who made thy wing,
    Gave thee thy sweet song to sing;
    Brought thee o'er the ocean track,
    Guided thee in safety back,
    Caused thee with the spring to come
    To thy green and shady home?

    Little bird, God made thy wing,
    Gave thee all thy songs to sing;
    Set thee in the woods and trees,
    Fanned thy nest with gentle breeze.
    He it was who brought thee home,
    Safe across the ocean's foam,
    To the meadows green and bright,
    Gave thee songs of sweet delight.



ADVICE THAT SAVED A KING'S LIFE.


A certain Khan of Tartary, making a journey with his nobles, was met by
a dervish, who cried with a loud voice: 'If any one will give me a piece
of gold I will give him a piece of advice.' The Khan ordered the sum to
be given him, upon which the dervish said, 'Begin nothing of which thou
hast not well considered the end.'

The courtiers, upon hearing his plain sentence, smiled, and said with a
sneer, 'The dervish is well paid for his maxim.' But the king was so
well satisfied with the answer, that he ordered it to be written in
golden letters in several places of his palace, and engraved on all his
plate.

Not long after, the king's surgeon was bribed to kill him with a
poisoned lancet. One day, when the king needed bleeding, and the fatal
lancet was ready, the surgeon read on the bowl which was close by:
'Begin nothing of which thou hast not well considered the end.' He
started, and let the lancet fall out of his hand. The king observed his
confusion, and inquired the reason. The surgeon fell prostrate, and
confessed the whole affair. The Khan, turning to his courtiers, told
them: 'That counsel could not be too much valued which had saved the
life of your king.'

W. Y.

[Illustration: "He started, and let the lancet fall."]

[Illustration: "The women of Bohemia act as bricklayers' labourers."]



LIFE IN BOHEMIA.


Bohemia is a land of rugged mountains and towering pine-forests, with
other beauties of its own. Not many years ago it was, to most English
people, an unknown land; but in these days, when travelling is so easy
and rapid, year by year an ever-increasing number of our countrymen find
their way to this beautiful country in search of health and pleasure.
You have only to cross the strip of silver sea that rolls between our
little island and sunny France or misty Holland, and you may then rush
on, borne by the fastest of express trains, over the level plains that
greet you on landing, on through the beautiful Rhineland and the quaint
old towns of Bavaria, till at length you find yourself in this land of
enchantment.

Here, surrounded by the mighty forests, and shut in by the mountains,
stands the town of Marienbad. Not very long ago it was a lonely village,
inhabited during the summer months by peasants tending their flocks and
herds on the pasture of the table-land. In winter it was almost
deserted, given over to the wild storms that swept the mountain slopes
and to the wolves and bears that roamed through the forests.

Gradually the wonderful qualities of its mineral springs became known,
and now a crowd of fashionable folk pour into it during the summer, and
in every direction trees are being cut down to make way for villas, and
buildings of all kinds, which are springing up like mushrooms.

The peasant-life of the people continues wonderfully simple, and it is
very amusing to watch this mixing of modern fashionable life with the
primitive ways of the villagers.

English boys and girls would, perhaps, not care to go for a ride in the
Bohemian waggons, as they are so fond of doing in ours during
harvest-time. These waggons are made of a few long, wide planks, nailed
together so as to form a kind of huge trough, and strengthened on the
outside by cross-pieces of wood. This is placed upon the framework with
which the wheels are connected, and then roughly fastened to it. These
clumsy vehicles are drawn over the rough mountain roads by teams of
patient oxen. On _fête_ days the cattle look very gay, for then they are
decked out with ribbons of many colours.

The women of Bohemia work very hard indeed; they help their husbands in
all kinds of work. Among other occupations they act as bricklayers'
labourers. They run up and down the tall ladders with heavy loads of
bricks or mortar, chattering gaily all the while as if life were one
long holiday.

The houses are built in quite a different way from ours. First of all a
complete skeleton house is set up, made of wood, and, when this is
finished, the spaces between the wooden structure are filled in with
bricks and mortar. Before the roof is put on, a large green bush is
hoisted up as far as the eaves, and there tied to the scaffolding poles.
This is supposed to drive away the pixies or wicked fairies, and no one
would dare to put the roof on without the protection of the green bush.

The women also do the work of journeymen bakers. The loaves are of the
long kind, sometimes jokingly called 'half-yards of bread.' These are
carried on the backs of the women. They look very droll with their huge
burdens, the loaves poking out in all directions above their shoulders,
making a kind of background to their stooping figures.

Most of the people who visit Bohemia in order to take the mineral waters
are very stout. They drink them to make themselves thinner, and the
difference in their appearance when they arrive and when they leave is
very great. They have sometimes to take mud baths, and it is very
amusing to watch them going and returning from these. It does not seem
to be a very pleasant way of spending a fine summer morning, but they
appear to enjoy it all the same.

The Bohemians are very fond of music, and they never fail to greet any
new-comers of importance with a serenade on the evening of their
arrival.



HOW TOM DRESSES.

AT HOME.


    A grimy face,
      A muddy boot,
    A broken lace,
      And shabby suit;
    With threadbare knee,
      And dusty coat,
    And dirty collar
      Round his throat.


OUT VISITING.

    Now see! his face is
      All aglow;
    He's tied both laces
      In a bow;
    He's combed his hair,
      He's brushed his suit--
    There's not a speck
      On either boot;
    His collar now
      Is new and clean--
    A neater boy
      I've never seen.

    Yet Tom should be,
      Beyond a doubt,
    As clean at home
      As when he's out;
    For those who dress
      'Mid friends to roam,
    Should dress as well
      For those at home.

JOHN LEA.



READY!


'What is the use of fagging like that on a hot day?' asked Harold Lock
of his brother Frank, who came and flung himself panting on the grass
beside him.

'I must keep in training: a fellow so soon gets slack and out of
practice if he is lazy,' was the answer.

'Well, being lazy is good enough for me in the holidays,' the elder boy
said. 'I should think it pretty hard lines to have to run a mile in this
sun.'

'It makes all the difference, though, if you are keen,' Frank told him.
'I want to be the fastest runner in the school, and I don't want to go
back and find I am easily beaten in the sports.'

'I don't see the good of it myself,' said Harold, rather scornfully, but
Frank only laughed good-temperedly, and began to swing himself on a
branch of the tree for change of exercise. If there was one thing he
hated more than another, it was sitting still for too long a time.

The same evening the boys were on the platform of the little village
station, watching some trucks being shunted from the main line on to a
siding. Suddenly there was a loud cry from one of the men engaged in the
work as a heavy truck got off the rails, turned over, and dragged
another with it. No one was seriously hurt, but the station-master, who
was soon on the scene of the accident, turned pale as he saw the
obstruction on the line.

'Stop the down express!' he shouted. But the signal-box was a quarter of
a mile away, and precious minutes would have passed before he could be
near enough for his voice to reach the signal-man. By that time it might
be too late to stop the express.

Then, like an arrow, a nimble little figure flew past him. It was Frank,
his running powers put to some practical use at last. The station-master
followed as quickly as he could. But when at last he came up breathless,
he found that Frank had already done his work, and the signal was
against the train.

'It's touch-and-go whether we have caught her,' muttered the signal-man,
and they all held their breath as the rumble of the train was heard in
the distance.

'She's slowing down--she's safe!' gasped the station-master, and he
hurried down again, followed by Frank and the signal-man.

But it was only a few yards off the overturned trucks that the express
was finally brought to a standstill. The few seconds gained by Frank's
speed had saved her. Nothing could have prevented a terrible accident if
the signal had not caused the train to slow down just in time.

The passengers crowded round Frank, and thanked him warmly when they
heard the story, and a few days later came a more practical expression
of their gratitude in the shape of a handsome gold watch.

'So your running was some good after all,' Harold said, and he no longer
laughed at his small brother's hobby, but learned to admire the
nimbleness of body which, with his ready wit, made him of so much use in
an emergency.

M. H.



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

IX.--THE EARS AND NOSES OF INSECTS.


Most of us have a vague idea that what we call the 'ear' is only partly
concerned with the work of hearing; but only a few know exactly what a
complicated organ the ear, as a whole, really is. The external 'ear'
only serves as an aid to the collection of sounds, and the real work of
hearing is performed by a delicate organ inside the head. Seals, moles,
whales, and porpoises, birds, reptiles, and fishes have no visible ear;
yet we know that they are not deaf, though in many the hearing must be
dull. In all these creatures the sense of hearing lies inside the head.

But the ears of insects must be looked for in strange places indeed,
and, when found, they seem to bear no sort of likeness to what most of
us call ears. They may be on the antennæ, on the trunk, or on the legs!
In the grasshopper, for example (fig. 1), the ear is placed on the
abdomen, just above the base of the great hind-leg, so that this leg
must be pulled down before the ear can be seen. When this has been done,
there will be found an oval drumhead-like spot (figs. 2 and 3); this is
the outer surface of the ear. If you had sufficient skill to take away
this part of the body, so as to show the inside of this drum, you would
find two horn-like stalks, to each of which is fastened a small and very
delicate flask, with a long neck. This is filled with a clear fluid, and
corresponds to a similar structure within our own ears.

In the green grasshoppers--those delightful sprites of hot summer
days--'ears' of a precisely similar structure are found on the fore-leg
instead of on the body.

In a little gnat-like insect known as Corethra, common in England during
the summer months, the 'ear' takes the form of delicate hairs growing
out from the body on a stem, like the teeth of a comb; the base of what
corresponds to the back of the comb is connected with a delicate nerve,
and this, as in the case of the similar nerve in the grasshopper and
locust, makes hearing possible.

Only in some ants and bees, and in some mosquitoes, is the organ of
hearing placed on the head. We say _on_, rather than _in_, the head,
because it is formed by a modification of part of the antennæ. A German
naturalist, named Mayer, performed an experiment to prove that the hairs
on these antennæ can be made to vibrate by means of a tuning-fork. Only
those hairs which have to do with the production of sound answered to
the notes of the tuning-fork, and these vibrated at the rate of five
hundred and twelve vibrations per second. Other hairs vibrated to other
notes, which were those of the middle octave of the piano and the next
above it. Mayer also found that certain of these vibrations corresponded
with the notes produced by the 'song' of the female mosquito.
Consequently, when she begins to 'sing,' her tune, like the tuning-fork,
sets in motion those hairs on the antennæ of the male which are tuned to
these vibrations. Having once found, by the movement of his antennæ,
much as a horse moves his ears, from which direction the sound is
coming, the male is able to fly at once to his mate. From the accuracy
of this flight, Professor Mayer believes that the perception of sound in
these little creatures is more highly developed than in any other class
of animals.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Grasshopper, slightly magnified.]

In our illustration some of these curious 'ears' are shown. Fig. 2 shows
the ear of the grasshopper magnified. In fig. 3 this is further
magnified to show the V-shaped mark which represents the horny stalks to
which we referred, seen through the clear membrane of the drum. The dark
border (B) around the drum represents a raised ridge. In fig. 4 we have
the antennæ of a gnat, some of the hairs of which serve as
sound-conductors to delicate nerves lying at their base.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Ear of Grasshopper, drum at A, greatly
magnified.]

[Illustration: Fig. 3.--Drum of Grasshopper's Ear, greatly magnified.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The sense of smell in insects lies mainly in those wonderful organs, the
antennæ or 'horns.' Scents of various kinds are perceived either through
pits, or through peg- or spike-like teeth filled with fluid. The
leaf-like plates of the antennæ of the cockchafer (fig. 5) have these
pits very highly developed. On the outer surface of the first 'antennal'
leaf, as also on the edges of the other leaves, only scattered bristles
are seen; but on the inner surface of the first and seventh leaves, and
on both surfaces of all the other leaves, there are close rows of
shallow, irregularly shaped hollows. Their number is enormous--in the
males as many as thirty-nine thousand, and, in the female, thirty-five
thousand on each antenna. As some of the scent-laden air reaches the
surface of these pits, it causes the nerves of smell to be roused, and
so guides the beetle to its mate, or to its food, according to the
nature of the smell. These pits are so tiny that they cannot be shown on
the antennal leaves of the cockchafer shown in fig. 5, but they are
there. On fig. 6 a highly magnified section of one of these 'leaves' of
the antenna is shown: 'P' is the pit, 'N' is the nerve, and 'S. C.' the
sense-bulb of the nerve in which it terminates--the point at which the
smell is perceived.

[Illustration: Fig. 4.--Antenna of Gnat, greatly magnified.]

[Illustration: Fig. 5.--Antenna of Cockchafer, greatly magnified.]

[Illustration: Fig. 6.--Section of "leaf" of Cockchafer's Antenna,
greatly magnified.]

It has been proved that insects which have lost their antennæ have no
sense of smell.

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.

[Illustration: "The donkey-man caught hold of Krüger's tail with both
hands."]



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 279._)


Fourteen days after leaving Liverpool the _Twilight_ arrived at Port
Said, and Fred, Charlie, and Ping Wang at once went ashore. The Pages
thoroughly enjoyed their first glimpse of the East, for Ping Wang,
knowing the place, took care that they should see everything worth
seeing. After sitting for a time in a big _café_ which was crowded with
men of almost every European nation, they wandered through the shop
district, and out into the Arab portion of the town.

After they had looked at the sights for some little time, Ping Wang
suggested that they should have a donkey ride. They had noticed the
large, handsome donkeys soon after they landed, but as the passengers
from a big P. & O. vessel had come ashore just before they arrived, all
the animals were engaged. But when they returned to the busy part of the
town they found three donkeys on hire, and the donkey 'boys,' two of
whom were elderly men, at once shouted out the names of their animals.

A Port Said donkey sometimes has its name changed three or four times in
a year, in consequence of its proprietor's desire that it shall always
bear one which is just then popular with Englishmen. You may ride on
'W. G. Grace' in June, and on returning to Port Said in December will
discover that the same animal is now called 'Mr. Chamberlain,' or 'Lord
Charles Beresford.' The donkeys which Fred, Charlie, and Ping Wang found
on hire were named respectively 'Lord Roberts,' 'General Buller,' and
'Krüger.'

Charlie sprang on to 'Lord Roberts's' back; Fred made a rush for
'General Buller,' and left Ping Wang to mount 'Krüger.'

'Let us have a race,' Charlie suggested, when they were getting clear of
the crowded narrow streets, and immediately all three urged on their
donkeys; but, before they had gone many yards, 'Krüger' began to leave
his companions behind.

'This will never do,' Charlie declared, and touched up 'Lord Roberts'
with his stick. Fred tried to hurry up 'General Buller.' Neither of the
animals, however, appeared to be at all anxious to exert themselves, and
they would have lost the race had not the donkey-man, remembering that
his English patrons always seemed pleased when 'Krüger' was last, caught
hold of 'Krüger's' tail with both hands, and, throwing back his head,
pulled as if he were engaged in a tug of war. 'Krüger,' not liking this
strain upon his tail, slackened speed and stopped. 'Lord Roberts' and
'General Buller,' evidently fearing that if they continued running they
would be treated in the same way as 'Krüger' had been, stopped with such
suddenness that Fred was shot over his animal's head into the road, and
Charlie only just escaped a similar fate by throwing his arms round his
Jenny's neck.

'This is a nice thing!' Fred declared, ruefully, as he pointed to a big
tear in his trousers. 'To-day is the first time I have worn this suit.'

Ping Wang condoled with him, but Charlie, who always maintained that his
brother thought too much of dress, laughed at his mishap.

'If you had been wearing a serviceable suit like mine,' he said, 'your
trousers would not have been torn.'

'May the day never come,' Fred answered, solemnly, 'when I have to take
your advice on the matter of dress. And now I think it is about time
that we returned to the _Twilight_.'

'Shall we have another race?' Ping Wang asked eagerly, somewhat
disappointed at having been robbed of his victory.

'I've had quite enough racing, thank you,' Fred declared, placing his
hand over his knee to conceal the rent in his trousers.

'I haven't,' Charlie joined in. 'Come along, Ping Wang.'

Charlie and Ping Wang whipped up their donkeys, but no sooner had they
started than Fred's animal, in spite of its rider's efforts to restrain
it, bolted after them, and, overtaking them, ran a dead heat with 'Lord
Roberts.' 'Krüger' was last.

When, after a little further exploration of the town, they went back to
the _Twilight_, they were thoroughly delighted to find that she had
finished coaling, and that nearly all traces of that unpleasant job had
been removed.

They went down to dinner at once, and when they came on deck again they
were in the Suez Canal. Fred and Charlie found plenty to interest them
in the Canal. They saw several thin brown pariah dogs wandering about
the desert in search of food, and once a dead camel came floating by
them. Towards evening the _Twilight_ had to anchor for a time, and the
three passengers, with the captain's permission, went ashore and
gathered flowers and shells to send home.

In the Red Sea there was still more to see. All day long the
seagulls--brown with white breasts--hovered around the _Twilight_. Many
other birds came and rested on the ship for hours, and, as the weather
was intensely hot, Charlie, Fred, and Ping Wang found it very
entertaining to sit quietly in their long chairs and watch their pretty
little feathered visitors.



CHAPTER XI.

Three days after leaving Suez they saw, for the first time, the Southern
Cross, and, on the following morning, they steamed into what, at first
sight, Fred and Charlie thought was land, but was simply a wide streak
of floating sand which had been blown out to sea during a sand-storm.

At night they were now permitted to sleep on deck--a boon which all
three appreciated highly. They took their blankets and pillows on to the
poop, and slept with greater comfort than they had experienced for many
days, though one night they were caught in a heavy thunder-shower.

One morning, when they went on deck, they found it literally strewn with
flying fish. The ship's rats had evidently had a good feed, for many of
the fish were gnawed and bitten.

'Would you like some flying fish for breakfast, gentlemen?' the cook
said to the three passengers as they stood looking at the stranded fish.

'Are they good?' Charlie inquired, suspiciously.

'First class,' the cook declared; so Charlie, Fred, and Ping Wang had
flying fish for breakfast.

'I can't say that I consider them "first class,"' Fred said when he had
eaten two of them, 'but I am glad that I shall be able to say that I
have eaten one.'

'Eaten two,' Charlie said, but Fred ignored the interruption.

'I make a practice of tasting any new dish I come across,' he continued.

'When we get to China,' Charlie said, 'Ping Wang will have the pleasure
of offering you puppy-dog pie.'

Ping Wang smiled serenely.

'I don't think that you will find Chinese food so bad as you imagine,'
he said. 'Certainly it will be better than what we had to eat on the
_Sparrow-hawk_.'

While they were looking at a heap of dead fish, the captain shouted to
them to come over to the starboard side; and on doing so they beheld a
shoal of small fish being chased by big ones. To escape their pursuers
the small fish jumped out of the water, and were instantly seized by the
gulls, a flock of which were hovering around. The gulls had a splendid
feast, several hundred of small fish being eaten by them before the
_Twilight_ steamed away from the shoal.

It was not long before the _Twilight_ arrived at Aden, where they all
went ashore for a short time.

After they left Aden the days were extremely monotonous, for there was
nothing to be seen but the ocean.

'I shall be jolly glad when the voyage is at an end,' Charlie declared
when they had passed Ceylon without catching a glimpse of it.

'So shall I,' Fred answered, 'but it won't be much longer, and then the
fun will begin.'

'I hope,' Ping Wang said, 'that you will not mind being dressed as
Chinamen.'

'But, my dear fellow,' Fred replied, 'if we were dressed as Chinamen, we
should not deceive any one. Our faces are not at all Chinese.'

'I can alter that by shaving your eyebrows.'

'Very likely, but Chinamen without pigtails would be as absurd as a
wingless bird.'

'I will buy two pigtails,' Ping Wang declared, calmly.

'What! Surely Chinamen don't wear false pigtails?' Charlie exclaimed.

'Thousands of them do, but, of course they keep it as secret as do your
English ladies who wear false hair.'

'But how do they fix it to their head? Stick it on to their bald pates
with gum?'

'Oh, no! Chinamen are never quite bald--at least, I have never met any
who are--and the pigtail is fixed to what hair they have. My reason for
advising you not to have your hair cut in Port Said was that I wanted
you to have long hair by the time we reached Hongkong. I think that it
is already long enough for pigtails to be attached.'

Charlie was delighted at the prospect of having to don Chinese attire,
but Fred was far from pleased. He had provided himself with an excellent
khaki campaigning suit, and did not at all like the idea of its lying
idle. However, after some further conversation, Ping Wang succeeded in
convincing him that, for the success of their plans for recovering the
idol, it was necessary that he and Charlie should pass themselves off as
Chinese.

'We shall have to eat our food with chop-sticks I suppose?' Charlie
remarked.

'Certainly,' Ping Wang replied.

'Then lend me yours, and I'll start practising at once. I don't want to
be starved when I get to China.'

Ping Wang lent his chop-sticks willingly, and having obtained some
boiled rice from the cook, Charlie practised getting it into his mouth.
It was an easier task than he had imagined, and when he had become
proficient, he passed the chop-sticks on to Fred, who at once set to
work to become as accomplished as his brother. Long before they arrived
at Hongkong, Fred and Charlie found it as easy to eat with chop-sticks
as with a knife and fork.

(_Continued on page 291._)



ONE WAS MISSING.


Two men once stopped at a French inn, and gave in charge of the
landlady, who was a widow, a bag of money, telling her to give it up to
neither of them unless they were both together. A little while
afterwards one of the men came alone and asked the landlady to give up
the money under the pretence that his companion had to make an important
payment immediately. The widow had paid little attention to what had
been said to her before, and now, forgetting all about it, gave up the
bag. The rogue disappeared with it so quickly that the landlady asked
herself if she had not made a mistake.

The next day the other man turned up, and made the same request as his
comrade had done the previous day, and when the widow told him what had
happened, he went into a passion, and summoned her for the loss of his
money.

Some one who heard of the poor woman's plight advised her to say that
she was ready to bring forth the money on the original terms. She asked
the plaintiff to produce his comrade. The argument was found plausible
by the court, and as the thief took care not to come back, his comrade
had to give up his claim.

W. YARWOOD.



PUSSY'S PLAYMATE.


Many instances of curious animal friendships have been recorded, but not
many are stranger than that which a correspondent of the _Field_ relates
of a kitten and a peacock in his own grounds. The kitten was a half-wild
one, living in the shrubberies near the house. All its brothers and
sisters had been destroyed or taken away, and the kitten must have felt
very lonely when there were none of its own kind to play with. Being
very young and playful, it felt that it must have a friend and playmate
of some kind, and it looked round to find one. There was a handsome
peacock in the grounds, and pussy admired him very much, and thought she
would like to play with him. So she tried to form an acquaintance, and,
as the peacock was not half so vain as he looked, she succeeded very
well. They were soon so friendly that pussy could rub against him and
box his ears with impunity; she even tried to scramble upon his back. He
took all her play in good part, and seemed to enjoy it quite as much as
she did. Perhaps he was flattered by pussy's admiration, or perhaps he
felt a true friendship for his strange companion. Whichever it was, he
always looked out for his little playmate, and was evidently pleased to
see her.

W. A. A.

[Illustration: "The peacock took all her play in good part."]

[Illustration: "The cat washed the jackdaw in its turn."]



STRANGE CHILDREN.


We have all seen instances of the affection and care which most animals
give to their helpless or nearly helpless offspring. The cat spends
nearly all her day coiled up in some quiet, cosy corner with her family
of kittens, and when she leaves them for a few minutes, to stretch her
limbs and seek some refreshment for herself, the least squeak of one of
her children will bring her back to its side. The hen struts about the
farmyard surrounded by her chickens, and at the least appearance of
danger the brood runs for shelter under her wings. When the lamb in the
field strays from its mother's side she is soon alarmed, and shows her
fear by her anxious bleating, which does not cease until the lamb
returns to her. And thus it is with nearly every animal, tame or wild.
Each gives proofs, if we could only see and understand them, of a
wonderful and beautiful love for her young.

This motherly care is not quite like the ordinary friendship which one
animal may have for another. A cat and a dog may be good friends all
their lives. But, though the cat loves her kittens before all things
while they are young and weak, later on, when they are sufficiently
grown in size and strength to take good care of themselves, her
affection gradually dies away, and she becomes indifferent to their
wants. Sometimes she will even drive them away from her.

Another feature of this parental love is what might almost be called its
unthinking strength. The mother animal feels her affections so strong
that she cannot restrain them, and she often bestows them upon the
strangest animals, along with her own young ones, or when she has been
deprived of her own offspring. A hen will hatch ducks' eggs, and take
the same care of the ducklings which she would have taken of her own
chickens. I have heard of a hen taking charge of three young ferrets for
a fortnight. They were placed in her nest because their own mother had
died, and she took to them at once, and nestled down over them just as
if they had been chickens. They were too helpless to follow her about,
as chickens would have done, and she had to sit with them almost the
whole time. She combed out their hair with her bill, just as she would
have preened the feathers of chickens. The ferrets were fed by their
owner, and they were taken away from the nest before they were old
enough to do the hen any harm.

An even stranger instance of this misplaced affection on the part of a
parent has been seen at a railway station recently, according to the
newspapers. A cat in the goods shed had three kittens, which she was
bringing up in the usual way. Soon after the kittens were born, some of
the railwaymen found a young jackdaw, and put it with them. The cat made
no objection, but received the bird kindly, and gave just as much care
to it as to the kittens. The workmen fed the bird, while the cat took
every other care of it, and even washed it, in its turn, with the
kittens. The rearing was quite successful, and the bird grew up strong
and healthy.

W. A. ATKINSON.



A QUEER ADDRESS ON A POST-CARD.


On Coronation Day (August 9th, 1902), a number of balloons filled with
natural gas were sent off from Heathfield, near Tunbridge Wells. One of
these balloons was picked up on August 10th at Ulm, in Germany, having
travelled the six hundred miles in less than twenty-four hours.

Notice of this fact was sent in German by the finder on a post-card, but
he evidently did not understand English, for he copied the wording on
the little medal fastened to the balloon: '_Natural gas carried me from
Heathfield, Sussex._'

With these words for address, the post-card, after some delay, reached
Heathfield, and was delivered to the manager of the Natural Gas Works.

S. CLARENDON.



PUZZLERS FOR WISE HEADS.

14.--DECAPITATIONS.

1. Behead weak, and leave a bar.
2. Behead kept too long, and leave an interesting narrative.
3. Behead a firm hard animal substance, and leave a single number.
4. Behead to agitate, and leave a sea-fish.
5. Behead sudden terror, and leave what we should all do.
6. Behead to melt, and leave a berry.

C. J. B.

[_Answers on page 339._]



ANSWERS TO PUZZLES ON PAGE 263.

12.--1. Rigid.
     2. China.
     3. Shovel.
     4. Shrewd.
     5. Stage.
     6. Thanet.

13.--

    K
   NET
  STARE
 SCATTER
BLESSINGS



THE KING OF THE 'PEELERS.'


About the year 1845, a 'Ragged School,' as it was called, was started in
a very poor quarter of London, but so turbulent and noisy were the boys
that at last the teachers found themselves obliged to engage the
services of a policeman to keep order.

This policeman was himself a 'bit of a scholar,' and had also a love of
boys, and he suggested that if he took a class in the school it might be
the best way of maintaining order amongst the unruly crew.

The experiment was tried, and proved a great success. The worst and
noisiest boys were drafted into the policeman's class, and he somehow
tamed them all. More than that, his class was so popular that all the
boys wanted to belong to it, and they gave their constable the title of
'King of the Peelers.'

'Peelers,' a name which has been nearly ousted by our slang word
'Bobby.' was derived from Sir Robert Peel, who instituted the police.
'Bobby,' of course, comes from Peel's Christian name.

X.



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 287._)


It was early one morning when the _Twilight_ arrived at Hongkong, and
the Pages and Ping Wang at once went ashore in a _sampan_, or native
boat, to present a letter of introduction which they had brought from
England.

Although it was only half-past six when they arrived at the Hongkong
merchant's office, they found the manager, to whom their letter was
addressed, already hard at work. He had received, some days before, from
the head of the firm in London, notification of the Pages being on their
way to Hongkong, and greeted them very cordially.

'I had hoped,' he said, after a few minutes' conversation, 'that you
would have been here a day or two ago, for there is a very decent boat
starting for Tien-tsin this afternoon, on which you would have been very
comfortable. The next one will not be leaving until to-day three weeks.'

'Then let us start this afternoon,' Charlie exclaimed.

'I am quite willing,' Ping Wang said, 'if we can get you and Fred
disguised in time.--As we are going to my native village, which is a
very anti-foreign place,' he continued, addressing the manager, 'I think
that it will be wise to have my friends disguised as Chinamen.'

'If they can act up to their disguise the suggestion is an excellent
one,' the manager declared, 'for there are rumours that the Boxers or
Big Sword Society are threatening to drive out all the foreigners in the
land. If you wish to go on by this afternoon's boat there should be no
difficulty about getting your friends disguised in time. I will send for
my barber and tailor at once.'

The manager sent for the barber and tailor, and also dispatched a
message to the skipper of the boat which was sailing that afternoon, the
_Canton_. The Pages and Ping Wang had breakfast when these orders had
been given, and long before they had finished their meal the barber
arrived, the tailor following him very quickly. After breakfast the
manager took his guests up to his bedroom, and called to the barber and
the tailor to follow them. The latter had brought with him an excellent
assortment of Chinese garments, and from them Ping Wang speedily
selected suitable clothes for his English friends. He also chose, with
the aid of the barber, a couple of splendid pigtails. Charlie having
paid for the goods, the tailor departed, leaving the barber to begin
shaving the Englishmen's heads and eyebrows.

Fred was the first to be operated on, and Charlie laughed heartily when
he saw the alteration which the loss of eyebrows made in the appearance
of his brother. The barber was a quick worker, and turning his attention
to Fred's head, speedily removed with scissors and razor a large portion
of his hair. He found, however, that although Fred's hair had been
allowed to grow during the voyage, it was not sufficiently long for a
pigtail to be tied securely to it. Therefore he sewed the pigtail to the
inside of a skull-cap, and placed the cap on Fred's head.

'It is very well done,' Ping Wang admitted, when Fred was fully dressed
in Chinese garments. 'If I had glanced at you casually out of doors, I
should not have suspected that you were not a Chinaman.'

'But I don't like the idea of wearing this little cap,' Fred protested;
'I shall get sunstroke.'

'When you go into the sun you can wear a beehive,' Ping Wang replied,
pointing to several big Chinese hats which the tailor had left for
inspection.

Charlie's disguise was completed with even more speed than Fred's had
been.

'It's splendid,' Charlie declared, as he surveyed himself in the glass;
'don't you think so, Fred?'

A few minutes later the barber was dismissed, and the four of them
returned to the sitting-room, where the skipper of the _Canton_ was
awaiting them. He shook hands with the manager and greeted the other
three men in Chinese. Charlie was nearest to them, and feeling that
politeness demanded that he should say something, blurted out, '_Je ne
parle pas Chinese._'

The skipper looked puzzled, and the manager, who was already in a
laughing humour, roared, but Ping Wang was very serious.

'I say, Charlie,' he exclaimed, 'do remember that you are not to answer
any one who addresses you in Chinese, or we shall be discovered.'

The skipper looked at Charlie in surprise. It was the first time that he
had heard a Chinaman called Charlie.

'Two of these gentlemen are Englishmen,' the manager explained. 'What do
you think of their disguise?'

'It is excellent. If I had not heard you speak,' he added, addressing
Ping Wang, 'I should never have believed that you were an Englishman.'

'I'm not one,' Ping Wang declared merrily; 'I'm a Chinaman.'

'Well, who am I to believe?' the skipper exclaimed in bewilderment.

'They are the Englishmen,' the manager answered, pointing to Fred and
Charlie; 'the other gentleman is a Chinaman. But to come to the point, I
want you to take my three friends to Tien-tsin. They wish to be
undisturbed, and do not want it to be known that they are not Chinamen.
Therefore let every one--even the mate--fancy that they are Celestials.'

'I understand. I will have the saloon berths got ready at once. What
time will they come aboard? I shall sail about four.'

'Will half-past three be early enough?'

'Half-past three, sharp, will do.'

The skipper departed a few minutes later, leaving the three travellers
alone with the manager.

'Let us sit in the verandah,' the manager suggested, and for fully two
hours they sat in long chairs chatting together, and watching the busy
scene in the street below.

'Would it not be a good idea if we went for a short stroll?' Fred asked,
after a time. 'It would accustom us to appearing in public in our
Chinese garb.'

'That is a good suggestion,' Charlie declared. 'Don't you think so, Ping
Wang?'

'You would be safer here,' said Ping Wang, 'but if you wish to go out, I
will come with pleasure. We must not go far. We needn't wear our
beehives. We will keep in the shade.'

[Illustration: "Fred was the first to be operated on."]

'We mustn't walk three abreast, I suppose?' Fred remarked, as they
quitted the premises.

'No,' Ping Wang answered. 'It will be better to walk single file. I'll
walk in the rear, so that I can keep watch on you, and hurry forward if
any of my countrymen speak to you. Don't walk fast.'

Charlie stepped into the street, Fred followed, and Ping Wang brought up
the rear. At first Charlie and Fred felt decidedly uncomfortable, and
fancied that every one who glanced at them had discovered that they were
not Chinamen.

(_Continued on page 300._)

[Illustration: The Giant's Hall, Luray.]



WONDERFUL CAVERNS.

VIII.--THE CAVERNS OF LURAY.


The United States of America, forming such a huge country, seem to have
been provided by Nature with fittings on a similar scale. Niagara, the
Rocky Mountains, the big trees of the Yosemite Valley, the wonders of
Yellowstone Park and the Mammoth Cave are instances of this, and the
caverns of Luray, some eighty miles from Washington, are both in size
and beauty not unworthy of their mighty mother-land. They were only
brought to light in 1878, although the existence of several small
hollows in the neighbourhood had suggested that larger caverns might be
found, and it was when actually looking for another entrance into one of
the known grottoes that a Mr. Andrew Campbell accidentally came upon
this wonder of the world. With an eye to business, the find was without
delay turned to profit, and a Company formed which has lighted the
caverns with electricity and put staircases and paths for the
convenience of visitors, who flock there in great numbers. Some idea of
the vast size of the caves may be gained from the fact that the electric
wire is three and a half miles long, and that this only illuminates the
chief halls and galleries. Each visitor carries a tin reflector to
penetrate dark corners and smaller passages.

One curious cavern is called the Fish Market, from rows of fish-shaped
stalactites hanging from the roof, looking exactly like bass or catfish
hung on a string. Another is known as the Toyshop, from quantities of
stalactites twisted into all possible shapes, many of which suggest some
well-known plaything. In one place is a huge cascade of alabaster
resembling a frozen waterfall, and frequently the walls appear to be
hung with curtains and draperies of gleaming white, or tinted with all
shades of beautiful colours. In one cavern six curious blade-shaped
stalactites are called the Major Chimes. When struck by the hand they
give out sweet musical tones, the vibrations of which last from a minute
to a minute and a half, and resound to far-distant parts of the caverns.
One enormous stalagmite bears the name of the Hollow Column, and
measures one hundred feet round by forty feet high. This column shows
plainly the overwhelming force of a current of water, as it is pierced
from top to bottom, and visitors climb right up inside to explore the
great galleries above the Giant's Hall. Learned people say that some
time in the days of long ago, when the cave was filled with angry water
trying to find a way of escape, the flood forced a passage right through
the heart of this huge stalagmite, and on subsiding left a hollow column
where it had found a solid one. The 'Tower of Babel' is another
wonderful sight, with twenty-two rows of dwarf columns, and from it we
pass into the Giant's Hall, where the colossal stalagmites look like
monster chess kings and queens standing on pedestals. One of these is
particularly beautiful, being white below and changing above to a
delicate rose-pink, the colour of the inside of a shell.

One enormous stalactite was taken from the roof, and presented to the
Smithsonian Institution at Washington. It weighed a thousand pounds, and
was removed with great care. First it was wrapped all over in cotton
cloth, every little point being separately packed. Then bits of wood
were fitted exactly between the points, and, to prevent any jarring, a
wooden case was built round it while it was still hanging from the roof
of the cave. Then, resting on a scaffolding, it was sawn from the rock,
cautiously lowered, and sent off to its new home.

From marks of claws on the stalagmites, as well as of teeth, it is clear
that some of the caverns have been used by huge animals in former times,
and many impressions of smaller animals are also found, such as wolves,
panthers, rats, and rabbits. These marks are perfectly clear, and they
must be of great age, as the stalagmites on which they are found have
grown into huge pillars carrying the records of their visitors up with
them far out of reach.

In one cavern, known as the Round Room, arrow and spear heads have been
found, proving that human beings formerly made use of the caves.

One peculiar feature of these caves are what appear to be limpid pools,
though really they are quite dry now. An unfortunate traveller slipped
into one of these many years ago, when the pool was not fully hardened,
and the impression of his form is still quite clearly seen, whilst the
pool, in honour of him, is known as Chapman's Lake.



THE SONG OF THE BROOM.


    Dust! dust! dust! dust!
      Carpet, curtain, window, floor;
    Right, left, thrust, thrust--
      Clouds are rising more and more!
    Sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep--
      Kitchen, parlour, passage, stair;
    Sweep, sweep, sweep, sweep--
      That's what _I'm_ obliged to bear!
    Dust, dust, dust, dust,
      In the lofty attic found;
    Dust, dust, dust, dust,
      In the cellar underground.

    Cobwebs, spiders, beetles, flies,
      Nooks and corners dark and drear,
    That is where my pathway lies,
      Month by month and year by year;
    Buckets, boxes, brushes, boots,
      Near to me for ever dwell;
    No one lets me share the fruits
      Of the work I do so well;
    Boys and girls will often play
      In some clean and pleasant room,
    Making litter all the day,
      For the poor unhappy broom.

    No one shows me gratitude;
      No one cares a jot for me,
    For when work is done I'm stood
      In some gloomy scullery.
    But no matter! time will come--
      When my hair is worn away,
    I shall rest, while some new broom
      Does what I must do to-day.



ONE MORE CHANCE.


'I want you to look after the new boy, Angus,' said Mrs. Macdonald, the
wife of the head master, to her son.

'Oh, Mother, I know that means he is either a molly-coddle or a black
sheep. I remember the time I had when you set me on to look after young
Smith.'

'My boy, I want your help. I am sure you will not refuse it.'

'Well, fire away, Mother. Let me know the worst,' and Angus put on a
resigned look.

'It is Andrews, the boy who has been sent home from India,' Mrs.
Macdonald explained. 'He has been brought up so badly. His mother died
when he was a baby, and he has been quite neglected, and left to native
servants. His father writes that he hopes English school-life will break
him of the bad habits he has formed, but I am afraid it will be no easy
matter. Of course, I am telling you this in confidence, Angus, but I
cannot help thinking of the fight the poor boy has before him, and I
want you to understand it and to befriend him.'

'Well, this is a nice treat for me,' Angus said. 'But you know, Mother,
you always get your own way, and so I suppose I must do the best I can
for him.'

'Thank you, my boy; I knew I could count on you. I want Andrews to have
a real chance.'

'How about _me_, though?' asked Angus, with a smile. 'Perhaps I shall
learn his bad habits, instead of breaking him of them!'

'I am not afraid,' said his mother, proudly, as she left him.

A month later Angus Macdonald told himself he had not done much towards
fulfilling his promise, although he had faithfully tried.

Andrews was a most difficult boy to deal with. He was untruthful, and
seemed to have no idea of honour, and he had a hot, passionate temper.
On the other hand, he could evidently be led by his affections to some
extent. He liked Macdonald, who had taken his part once or twice when
the other boys were bullying him, and he would have done anything to
show his gratitude.

'But I cannot stick up for you if you are not straight, Andrews,'
Macdonald had told him plainly. 'And you will never get on here unless
you act on the square and tell the truth always.'

'Indeed, I will try,' Andrews would say, and within an hour or so he
would very likely be detected in some mean, deceitful act, which would
make Macdonald inclined to throw up his charge and let him go his own
way. Then he would remember he was the boy's only friend, and would make
up his mind to give him another chance.

Howard, one of the bigger boys, lost no opportunity of bullying Andrews.
He was no friend of Macdonald's, and so he took a delight in making the
younger boy show off his worst points.

'Hullo, nigger, keep your hair on!' he said tauntingly one day when
Andrews was beginning to get angry about some trick that had been played
on him. The words made Andrews furious.

'I am as English as you are; how dare you call me that name?' he cried,
and flew at his tormentor, who of course made short work of him. In a
moment Andrews was lying on the floor, with Howard ready to upset him if
he got up again. But after a time Howard let him go, and he walked away,
vowing vengeance in his heart.

The same evening he was in the play-room alone, and he remembered that
Howard had received a hamper the day before, the contents of which were
packed away in his cupboard.

The temptation was too great. First, there was his love of sweet things;
then his long-accustomed habit of never denying himself anything he
wanted, if he could get it by fair means or foul. And his lessons in
honour had been learnt such a little time that the disgrace and wrong of
stealing scarcely troubled him. Finally, he would be doing his enemy an
injury, and the thought of revenge was sweet to him.

He had cut some rich plum-cake, and was eagerly devouring it, when
Howard came suddenly into the room and caught him in the act.

'You young rascal!' he cried, catching hold of the younger boy and
tweaking his ear so unmercifully that he cried out with pain. 'I shall
just make you pay for this.'

At the same moment Macdonald appeared in the doorway.

'What's the row?' he asked.

'Why, your precious friend is the row,' Howard said. 'I hope you are
proud of him--the little thief! I will leave you to enjoy one another's
company,' and he turned away, not sorry to have such a story to tell the
other boys.

'Now you see what you have done!' Macdonald said to the culprit, who was
hanging his head, remorse having overtaken him. 'How can you hope to
keep your friends if you bring disgrace on them?'

'I didn't think,' murmured the unhappy boy. 'Oh, yes, I see now! Of
course, you can never speak again to a boy who is a thief. It doesn't
matter. I don't care what becomes of me now,' and he turned miserably
away.

There was such a forlorn look about him that Macdonald was touched in
spite of his anger. There flashed into his mind his mother's words, and
also those others from an even Higher Authority--'until seventy times
seven.'

'Hold hard, Andrews,' he said. 'I will give you one more chance.'

Then the boy broke down and promised he would never forget his friend's
kindness, but would fight hard to win the victory over his faults.

And although he did not succeed without some more falls, he did, to the
best of his ability, keep his word, and in the end took an honourable
place in the school.

[Illustration: "'You young rascal!'"]

[Illustration: Andrée's Departure for the North Pole.]



CRUISERS IN THE CLOUDS.

IX.--HERR ANDRÉE AND HIS BALLOON.


On the 7th June, 1896, the steam-ship _Virgo_ sailed from the port of
Gothenburg in Sweden with a very distinguished company on board. Rising
young engineers, students of the Stockholm Polytechnic, and gentlemen of
scientific fame, had engaged themselves as common sailors, so deep was
their interest in the object for which the _Virgo_ sailed. The principal
person on board was Herr Solomon Auguste Andrée, who, with two
companions, Dr. Erkholm and Dr. Strindberg, was bent on making an
adventurous attempt to reach the North Pole by means of a balloon. The
_Virgo_ was therefore steering for the lonely shores of Spitzbergen, six
hundred miles south of the Pole. Here the balloon would be inflated to
carry Herr Andrée and his companions (it was hoped) over the rest of
that pathless, snowbound journey. The balloon itself, at present, lay
carefully packed in its berth, together with the car and the apparatus
for making the necessary gas. It had been manufactured in France a month
before, and while on exhibition for four days at the Champ de Mars, had
been seen by thirty thousand visitors.

But the very finest balloon in the world could not sail against the
wind, and, though on the 27th July it was inflated and quite ready for
flight, the north wind blew steadily down from the Pole as though to
say, 'You are not wanted here! You are not wanted here!'

Herr Andrée and his friends waited patiently for three weeks, and then,
as it still blew from the north, he ordered the gas to be let out and
the silk bag packed for a return to the south. The captain of the
_Virgo_ said that he feared, if they stayed longer, his ship would be
frozen in. The shed which they had erected on Dane's Island was left
standing for use another time, together with the machinery for making
the gas.

Nine months later, on May 30th, 1897, the _Svensksund_ (a ship lent to
the expedition by the King of Sweden) landed Andrée once more at Dane's
Island, and once more he filled his air-ship with gas. This time it had
been considerably increased in size, and measured sixty-six feet in
diameter, with room for one hundred and seventy-six thousand cubic feet
of gas. The globe was made of bands of silk eighteen inches wide,
varying in thickness according to the strains it would have to bear. It
was provided with two additional valves and an arrangement called a
'rending flap.' This flap was intended to avoid bumping, when, at the
end of the voyage, the aeronauts would descend for the last time. A
rope, carrying a small grapnel at one end, was at the other end attached
to the 'flap.' The moment the grapnel was thrown out and caught in the
ground, the tightened rope would tear a large opening in the balloon
and let out all the gas instantaneously. If care in construction had
been all that was necessary to make Herr Andrée's journey a success,
then our story would surely have had a happier ending.

Again, as in 1896, the contrary wind delayed the start, but on July 11th
it veered round to the south, and though it was by no means a settled
wind, Herr Andrée decided to weigh anchor. All was ready. A hasty note
to the King of Sweden was written by the leader. Farewells were spoken,
and the captain leapt into his car.

'Strindberg! Frankel!'[5] he cried, 'we must be off!'

The next moment his two fellow-travellers stood at his side. Each held a
knife with which to cut loose three bags of ballast that kept the
balloon from rising. It was an impressive moment, and those who stood on
that lonely shore to wish Godspeed to the tiny expedition are not likely
to forget the smallest detail of the scene. The ballast fell, and the
'Ornen' (as the balloon was named) rose a little way, being still held
by three strong ropes. Near each of these a sailor stood with a knife
ready to cut the rope the moment Herr Andrée gave the word. A little
more delay, till the great globe swayed to a favourable puff of wind,
and then Herr Andrée called, 'One, two! Cut the ropes!'--and the balloon
rose into the air, while the quiet shores of the lonely little island
echoed the hearty cheers of the company left behind.

From the car of the balloon hung a long 'trailing' rope, which it was
Andrée's intention to keep always in contact with the earth or water,
and by so doing control the direction of the balloon. Between the car
and the balloon itself was an arrangement of three sails, which could be
trimmed to the wind against the resistance of the trailing rope. The
great difficulty in steering balloons has always been that since they
travel at exactly the same speed as the wind, there is nothing for sails
to react against; but by checking the speed of the balloon (just as the
speed of a ship is checked by the water) this difficulty may be got over
to _some_ extent.

So Herr Andrée dropped his trailing rope, and, as he left Dane's Island,
those who had gone to see him off watched the little bubbling wake that
was left behind by the rope. Narrower and narrower it grew in the
distance till it was no more than a silver line, and the vast balloon
above it moved like a grey shadow on the Arctic sky. The three explorers
in the car were soon beyond the reach of sight, but the crew of the
_Svensksund_ never took their eyes from the air-ship till, sailing in a
north-easterly direction at a height of about one hundred and fifty
feet, it disappeared behind a range of low hills.

Eleven days later a message was received by carrier pigeon (the fourth
dispatched by Herr Andrée). It stated that on July 13th, two days after
the departure, all was going well. On August 31st a floating buoy was
found in the Arctic seas, and contained another message, but as it was
dated July 11th it was of less interest than the first.

Since then the explorer and his companions have passed from our
knowledge as completely as the silver wake of his trailing rope has
faded from the Arctic sea. The efforts made to follow its mysterious
path have failed for eight years, and the traveller's fate is another
secret locked in these frozen regions.

JOHN LEA.

FOOTNOTE:

[5] Herr Frankel had taken the place of Dr. Erkholm, who had retired
from the enterprise.



A STRONG MOTIVE.


Robert Louis Stevenson tells of a Welsh blacksmith who, at the age of
twenty-five, could neither read nor write. He then heard a chapter of
_Robinson Crusoe_ read aloud. It was the scene of the wreck, and he was
so impressed by the thought of what he missed by his ignorance, that he
set to work that very day, and was not satisfied until he had learned to
read in Welsh. His disappointment was great when he found all his pains
had been thrown away, for he could only obtain an English copy of the
book. Nothing daunted, he began once more, and learned English, and at
last had the joy and triumph of being able to read the delightful story
for himself.

A strong motive and a steady purpose overcome the greatest difficulties.

M. H.



DIAMONDS.


A man named John O'Reilly died not long ago in a store near Taungs, in
the Kimberley district of South Africa. Few people, perhaps, remember or
know that this man began the great diamond trade of Africa.

The story is quite a romance. In 1867 the baby son of a Mrs. Jacobs
found 'a pretty pebble' near the Orange River, and brought it to his
mother. She showed it to a Boer, who offered to buy it. 'You may have it
as a gift,' laughed the woman; 'there is no value in it.'

The Boer thought otherwise, and showed it to O'Reilly, who was then a
travelling trader. He took it to Colesberg, and there cut his initials
with it on the window of an inn, proving the stone to be a diamond.

It was then shown to the Clerk of the Peace, and finally it reached the
Colonial Secretary, and was sent to the Paris Exhibition, where it was
sold for five hundred pounds, and established the fact that diamonds
could be found in the Colony.

But it was some years yet before people in Cape Colony at all realised
the wealth of diamonds which lay scattered at their very feet. A Boer,
living at Dutoitspan, found a diamond sticking in the mud walls of which
his house was built, and in July, 1871, a man scratched the soil near
Colesberg Kopje with his knife, and unearthed a diamond. A town was
built round it, which has grown into the modern Kimberley.

So, from John O'Reilly's first diamond of five hundred pounds has grown
a great trade, which last year produced diamonds valued at over four
million pounds sterling.

There is little doubt that though Cape diamonds were 'discovered' first
in 1867, they were known in Africa long ago. Stone and bronze
instruments found beside skeletons in the Orange Free State show that
pre-historic miners had been at work, and on an old map of 1750 the
words, 'Here be diamonds' are written across what is now Griqualand
West.



SAD COMPANY IN THE NURSERY.


    I found in a nursery corner,
      A pocket-knife, pen, and a ball,
    And this was the story they told me,
      If I can remember it all.

    'My beautiful handle was broken,'
      The pocket-knife mournfully cried,
    'When Alfred forced open the clock-face
      To see if old Time was inside.'

    'And look,' said the ball with a shudder,
      'I'm scratched in a horrible way,
    Because through the drawing-room window
      He carelessly flung me to-day.'

    'And worse,' cried the pen in a passion,
      'Worse, worse than their troubles a lot!
    I've been in disgrace, since he used me,
      For making a terrible blot.'

    And then they all cried in a chorus:
      'In sorrow we're ending our days,
    Because Master Alfred is careless,
      And walks in such mischievous ways.'



THE JUMPING MOUSE.


New Jersey, in the United States of America, still has the name given it
when British explorers paid their first visit, but it does not look new
at present, and we can hardly believe that a few hundred years ago
savages roamed in its forests and woods. Many of its old trees have been
cut down, yet some remain to make a pleasant shade, and some curious
wild animals are found in its woodlands, which are very plentiful; there
is the dull-coloured wood-mouse, which often escapes notice amongst the
herbage; the lively, more conspicuous white-footed species; and
especially the jumping mouse, the briskest and most amusing of all.

The jumping mouse is a lover of woods or copses, but it comes also to
the open ground, where, probably, it is in more peril from bird-foes;
and it will visit garden shrubberies, and build a nest for itself in the
corner of some zigzag fence. Some people who have watched this mouse
have told us how active it is by night, but it may often be seen on a
summer's day running home to the nest, with the pouches in its cheeks
full of food, to be hoarded up or given to the young ones. It can run
with great speed, as well as leap. Now and then a mother mouse may be
noticed basking in the sun, her little ones round her, generally keeping
near the nest.

Usually, it is only when in danger or frightened that the little
creature travels along in its peculiar jumping way. It appears that
wherever a jumping mouse is, be it field or woodland, it takes to the
thick grass or underbrush, probably because amongst these it finds the
food required. But in these places it is in peril from enemies coming
suddenly to seize it, and the mouse has a great advantage by being able
to leap, and not run through tangled grass.

[Illustration: The Jumping Mouse.]

People have disagreed as to the distance these mice can jump; five or
six feet has been stated, but that is beyond the fact. A gentleman who
had a tame specimen found that on his parlour carpet it would jump about
two feet, though very likely, if in danger, it would have covered a
greater distance.

When the sharp frosts of autumn have begun, the jumping mouse looks out
for a winter retreat. It is able to dig, and so it burrows down into the
earth, when it is not too hard, and scoops itself a nest. Away from
observation and sheltered from the cold, it curls round, head, tail, and
feet together, eating occasionally from its store, till the spring days
rouse it to fresh energy.

J. R. S. C.



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 293._)

CHAPTER XII.


Before the three adventurers had gone many yards, a Chinese beggar
sidled up to Charlie and begged his honourable brother to bestow a gift
upon the degraded dog who addressed him.

At first Charlie did not know whether the man was asking what the time
was, or whether he desired to be directed to some place. So he gave a
glance round, and discovering that the man was begging he shook his head
gravely. The beggar departed, and Charlie inwardly congratulated himself
on having done very well. His self-satisfaction was, however,
short-lived. He looked round to assure himself that Fred and Ping Wang
were following him, and just as he did so a European lady stepped out of
a shop, and her parasol, which she was in the act of opening, prodded
him in the back. He turned sharply, and the lady, believing him to be a
Chinaman, apologised in Chinese. Seeing that she was apologising Charlie
quite forgot his disguise, and seizing his skull-cap, raised it. Of
course the pigtail came off with it, to the amazement of the lady, who
stepped quickly into her trap and drove off.

[Illustration: "The pigtail came off with the skull-cap."]

Fred had the greatest difficulty in preventing himself from laughing
aloud, but Ping Wang hurried forward, and taking Charlie by the arm,
said in an undertone, 'Come into this shop: you have put your cap on
crooked.'

The Chinese shop assistant laughed heartily as he saw Ping Wang arrange
Charlie's skull-cap. He saw that Charlie was a European, but, as Ping
Wang said later, it was better that he should discover it than some of
the street loafers, who would probably have set to work to find out the
reason for an Englishman being disguised as a Chinaman.

'We had better go back at once,' Ping Wang said, as they quitted the
shop, and they walked to their temporary home without further adventure.

The manager was highly amused on hearing of Charlie's mishap, but when
his merriment had subsided he gave the brothers a few words of advice.

'You will have to be very careful indeed when you get away from the
treaty ports,' he said earnestly, 'for if people discovered you in
Chinese attire, they would think that you were disguised for some evil
purpose. Of course, there are some missionaries who wear Chinese dress,
but the people know them, and understand their reasons. But you, not
being missionaries, would naturally be regarded with great suspicion,
and would probably be punished severely--perhaps executed.'

'I will remember what you have said,' Fred answered, 'and I am very much
obliged to you.'

'And so am I,' Charlie declared. 'My brother and I will be very careful
after to-day.'

The conversation was now changed to home affairs, for the manager, being
a thorough-bred Englishman, was anxious to hear the latest news of
London.

Soon after lunch they went aboard the _Canton_, which they found to be a
small and poky vessel. The saloon placed at their disposal was very
similar to the after-saloons which Charlie and Ping had seen in the
North Sea steam trawlers; that is to say, the bunks were round the
table.

The trip to Tien-tsin occupied several days, and all on board, except
the skipper and his mate, being Chinamen, Charlie and Fred were
compelled to speak very little, and then only in an undertone, for fear
that they should be overheard. However, they managed to enjoy
themselves, as Ping Wang taught them several exciting Chinese games.

'In which direction do you intend to travel when we reach Tien-tsin?'
the skipper of the _Canton_ asked Ping Wang, shortly after they had
passed Taku.

'Up the Pei-ho,' Ping Wang answered. 'By-the-bye, I suppose you know
several boatmen who work up the river?'

'I have a slight acquaintance with a score or so of them, and if you
wish to get a passage on one of their boats I dare say that I can manage
to choose a fairly honest man.'

'That is just what I do want. Of course it can never do to let him know
that my friends are Englishmen. He might refuse to take them.'

'He would take them readily enough; but he would demand an absurdly
high price for it; and, possibly, when you reached your destination, he
would make known that they were foreigners.'

'That is highly probable,' Ping Wang admitted. 'I am afraid that some
one on board is certain to discover that our friends are not Chinamen.'

'Pretend that they are both ill, and that they must on no account be
disturbed. Then they will be able to escape being spoken to.'

'That is a very good idea,' Ping Wang declared; but when they arrived at
Tien-tsin, and he and the skipper started bargaining with a small
cargo-boat owner for passages, it was found that the idea was not so
good as he expected.

'I will not take them,' the boatman declared, when he heard that two of
his proposed passengers were invalids. 'They will die on my boat, and
then their spirits will haunt me.'

Neither Ping Wang nor the skipper of the _Canton_ had thought of this
objection--a very natural one from a Chinese point of view.

'But these men will not die,' the skipper declared, hurriedly. 'It is
only bad eyes that they are suffering from. They have come from Hongkong
with Ping Wang, and, if they are not worried, they will soon be well
again.'

For a moment the Chinese boatman was silent.

'I will take them,' he said, at length, 'if my honourable brother, Ping
Wang, will promise that if they become very ill he will throw them
overboard, so that they shall not die in my boat.'

'I promise,' Ping Wang said, and he had no qualms about making that vow,
for Fred and Charlie were in splendid health, and it was very unlikely
that they would become seriously ill during the two days' journey
up-river.

'It seems to me,' Charlie said, when he heard of the arrangement that
had been made, 'that I shall never make a really enjoyable trip on
water. My first voyage I made as a cook, and had a bullying skipper to
worry me. Then I escaped to what I thought was a mission ship, but it
turned out to be a rascally coper. On the _Canton_ I had to pretend that
I was a Chinaman, and now, if I get ill, I'm to be thrown overboard.'

'You have told the boatman that my brother and I are suffering from bad
eyes,' Fred remarked to Ping Wang; 'but he will see at a glance that
there is nothing the matter with them.'

'I have thought of that,' Ping Wang answered, 'and have bought a pair of
Chinese goggles for each of you. I wonder that I didn't think of them
when we were at Hongkong, for they will make your disguise much more
complete. At present your eyes do not look at all like Chinamen's.'

Charles and Fred at once put on the goggles which Ping Wang gave them,
and the skipper declared that now, if they did not speak aloud, no one
would guess that they were not Chinamen.

'We ought to go at once,' said Ping Wang; and, after shaking hands with
the skipper, the three travellers quitted the _Canton_, and made their
way towards the boat.

In less than five minutes the three travellers reached the spot where it
was moored. It was a long, heavy boat. The cargo was packed in the
middle of the boat, and near the stern was a roughly-made awning,
composed of mats and dirty-looking cloth, which had been erected for the
comfort of Ping Wang's invalids.

Charlie and Fred walked aboard in silence, and assumed invalids' airs
with so much success that the boatman, believing them to be seriously
ill, said to Ping Wang, as he passed him, 'Honourable brother, do not
forget the promise which you made to your worthless servant--that if the
honourable lords with sore eyes get worse you will throw them into the
river.'

'Have I not promised you?' Ping Wang asked, haughtily. 'Do you doubt my
word?'

The boatman protested, humbly, that Ping Wang's word could not possibly
be doubted by his disreputable servant, adding, moreover, that he lived
simply to obey him.

The wooden seats under the awning were hard and uncomfortable, and
Charlie, Fred, and Ping Wang were soon tired of sitting there,
especially as they dared not talk, for fear of being overheard. Once
Ping Wang caught the boatman peeping under the awning. He seized him
quickly, and demanded his reason for prying on the sick travellers.

'Noble brother,' the boatman answered, trembling with fear, 'I wanted to
see if they were dying.'

'They are getting better,' Ping Wang declared. 'It is a good thing for
you that they are not dying, for their father is as rich as a mandarin;
and if I had to throw them overboard he would certainly have you
executed.'

Ping Wang's romancing had the desired effect. The boatman shook with
fear, and, kowtowing before Ping Wang, groaned aloud.

'I shall be glad if they will die in my boat,' he declared, without the
slightest intention of intimating that he hoped that Charlie and Fred
would die. He was too excited to speak calmly: for, though he dreaded
the spirits, he had a greater fear of mandarins.

From that minute Charlie, Fred, and Ping Wang were left undisturbed. The
boatman's four assistants shunned the awning, as if it sheltered lepers,
and were apparently greatly relieved when an opportunity occurred for
them to go ashore and tow the boat. The boatman remained on board, but,
except when Ping Wang addressed him, kept at a respectful distance from
the passengers.

(_Continued on page 308._)



WHAT KATIE HEARD.


'How very annoying!'

'It is really too bad to have this noisy creature foisted on us just
now.'

Katie stood on the doorstep of her aunt's house in a very stiff, pink
frock. Her cheeks were red and rosy, for it was a warm summer day, and
her feelings were just those of any little girl who is paying her first
real visit to an aunt in the country.

The speakers were Katie's two cousins, Janet and Clare, and the words
came very clearly through the curtains and open windows, as Katie stood
there, wondering whether the bell had really rung, or whether she had
better give it another tug. She saw her own reflection in the shining
bell-handle, and it had gone crimson all at once.

Poor Katie! Mother had told her she would be expected, and this was what
her cousins thought about her!

Was it not a dreadful state of affairs for a small girl at the beginning
of her first visit? Katie shut her mouth tight, and clenched her small,
hot hands, in a desperate effort to look just ordinary. It was very hard
to be brave. She would have liked to run away, but she knew that would
be cowardly. Her cheeks kept growing hotter and hotter. It was mean, she
had always heard, to listen to things that were not intended for one.
Plainly, there was only one course: to go right on, and not let anybody
know that she had overheard those dreadful, unkind words.

The waiting and the silence was almost too much. The girls' voices died
away in the room; a bee was buzzing in a foxglove bell at her elbow, and
some cows went quietly up the lane past the green garden-gate. Then, all
at once, the door flew open, and tall Janet and fair-haired Clare stood
before her.

'You dear child, have you come all alone? How tired she looks, Clare!'

'Katie, Katie, haven't you got a kiss for your own Clare?'

There was quite a chorus of greetings as they ushered puzzled Katie into
a bright room where her invalid aunt, wrapped in a shawl, and rather
pale, lay on a couch, holding out both hands to welcome the visitor.

'Oh, dear,' thought Katie, 'I don't know how they can _pretend_ to be so
kind!'

She stood there in the midst of them all, awkward and silent, an
honest-hearted little girl, obliged to act a most untruthful part. Try
as she might, her kisses were but cold ones. She would have liked to
push them away, and to cry out: 'You don't love me, really; you said I
was a noisy creature! Let me go home.'

It was worse when her kind, suffering aunt took her in her arms, and
said she was 'Oh! so glad to have her to stay!' Katie felt such a mean,
horrid little girl. She did not know which way to look or where to hide
her hot cheeks.

In the middle of the window, a large green parrot was clawing at her
perch.

'This is Polly,' said Janet, passing a hand under the great creature's
wing. 'The people next door are going away, and they have sent her to us
till they come back.'

Here Polly interrupted with a long, loud screech, so that everybody had
to put their hands to their ears.

'We rather like her,' said Clare, when she had finished, 'but oh! she is
so noisy! Come and stroke her, Katie!'

So that was the 'noisy creature!' Katie's troubles all vanished at a
stroke; and before Clare and Janet could ask what was the matter, she
was sobbing out all about the silly mistake to her kind aunt.

[Illustration: "Katie stood on the doorstep."]

[Illustration: "'I am afraid I have no berth here for you, my lad.'"]



ONE GOOD TURN DESERVES ANOTHER.


Tim Sullivan started from the town with a heavy heart, but as he left
the smoke and noise behind him, the pleasant sunshine and fresh autumn
breeze soon began to work a change in his spirits. It was good to see
green fields again, and he wished he could walk on and on, and never
return to the town life he disliked so much.

After all, what was to prevent him? His uncle had been reproaching him
that very morning for his idleness at school, and had told him he would
never be worth anything in the office.

'It is high time you were beginning to be of some use,' he had said. 'I
did not bargain to keep you for nothing when I took you in on your
father's death.'

And poor Tim knew it was hard on his uncle to have this addition to his
large family. He really did try to get on at school, but it was no good.
He could not learn, and the harder he tried the more stupid he seemed to
grow.

Before the death of his parents, when he lived such a happy life on the
little farm in Ireland, it was not so noticeable that he was not quite
like other boys. Lessons were not held of much account there, and no boy
of his age could have been more useful than Tim in all farm, field, or
garden work; so that it was a new experience for the poor boy to be
taunted with his uselessness and stupidity, and it caused him great
unhappiness.

As he trudged along, a familiar grunt suddenly made him feel he must be
in old Ireland again. He looked round and saw a pig rooting in the ditch
by the side of the road.

'Has he got astray?' he asked a man who was breaking stones close by.

'Likely enough,' was the answer. 'Farmer Smale's man was driving home
pigs from market yesterday, and I thought as he passed he was getting a
bit old for work--and pigs are uncommon difficult to drive too.'

'Not if you know the right way to set about it,' said Tim. 'Instead of
holloing and shouting and beating it with a stick, you should just stoop
down and catch the eye of the cratur, and sure he will go the way you
want.'

The man grinned. 'You're from the Ould Counthry--no need to tell me
that, my broth of a boy!'

Tim nodded, with an answering twinkle in his eye.

'If you tell me where Farmer Smale lives, I will drive this pig there,'
he said.

The directions were given. Tim soon had the pig before him, and all his
troubles were forgotten in an occupation which reminded him of old
times.

'Perhaps doing the farmer and the pig a good turn will bring me
something good,' he thought.

There was a tremendous grunting in the farmyard when the wanderer
rejoined his companions. Farmer Smale came out, followed by his wife, to
see what was causing such a commotion.

'Well, you are a smart boy,' the farmer said. 'You must come in and rest
and have some tea, for pig-driving is a tiring business.'

'It's not tired I am, sir. I only wish I had a chance to drive pigs
every day. You will not be wanting a boy to help on your farm, will you,
sir?'

'Why, my lad, you don't look cut out for hard work,' the farmer said,
for Tim's stunted growth, and the large head, out of proportion to his
small body, made him look less strong than other boys.

'I can work hard with my hands,' he said. 'It is only lessons and
figures which bother me.'

'Well, I am afraid I have no berth here for you, my lad. Besides, I
could not take a boy I knew nothing about, even if he was kind enough to
bring home my pig.'

Tim's face fell. He looked bitterly disappointed.

'Have you no people of your own, my dear?' asked Mrs. Smale, and Tim
thought she had the kindest face he had ever seen.

'Now, missus, you go in and get tea ready for this little chap,' her
husband said.

He wanted to have her out of the way, for he knew how soft-hearted his
wife was. She never could turn away a tramp or a beggar from her door;
she gave food and shelter to all stray dogs and cats, and a blackbird in
a cage outside the window bore witness to her kind nature. She had
rescued a nest full of fledglings from some cruel boys and had tried to
bring them up by hand. Only one survived, and although she had set it
free when it was old enough to take care of itself, it often flew back
to its old home, the door of which was always left open.

While they were having tea, Mrs. Smale drew from the boy all his sad
little story, and of course she wanted the farmer to give him a home.

'Will Ford is getting old, and needs some help in attending to the
animals,' she said.

'I had a lot to do with cattle on Father's farm,' Tim broke in eagerly,
'and I know all there is to know about pigs, though I am no scholar.'

The farmer smiled. 'I suppose I shall have to give you a chance, sonny,
as the missus has set her heart on it. But I must see this uncle of
yours. Perhaps he may object.'

'He will be glad to get rid of me,' Tim said.

His words proved true, and before a week had passed Tim was settled in
his new home. He worked with a will, and liked his work, because he felt
he was at last of some use in the world instead of being a burden to
others.

And the pig that had led him to such a happy position received such a
special share of attention that he grew fatter and bigger than any of
his fellows.

'One good turn deserves another,' Tim would think. 'The pig got me this
job, and sure and I am paying him back for it.'



THE FOX'S SERENADE.


    Little Goose, I love thee, little Goose.
      All the stars are flinging
      Bright blue beams above me,
      As I'm sweetly singing
      How I dearly love thee.
    Here I'm waiting; is it any use?
      Little Goose,
    More than words can tell I love thee dearly,
    More than tongue can tell--or very nearly.

    Little Goose, I love thee, little Goose.
      The shadows cling together,
      The moonbeams give sweet kisses;
      How I wonder whether
      We shall know such blisses.
    To my mother you I'll introduce,
      Little Goose.
    She will greet you with a smile so cheery,
    Like a mother kind--or very nearly.

    Little Goose, I love thee, little Goose.
      Hark, the farmer's coming
      With his ugly rifle;
      So I must be roaming,
      For I dare not trifle:
    And the watch-dog he will now unloose,
      Little Goose.
    Some night in the future I'll come really,
    Make you all my own--or very nearly.



THE COW-TREE.


One of the very remarkable trees of South America--a region notable for
its natural-history wonders--is that called the cow-tree. It receives
that name, not because in its shape it is at all like a cow, but
because, at certain seasons, it yields an abundant supply of milk. It
grows in hilly districts, usually where very little moisture is to be
had for several months of the year. This makes it more singular that a
plentiful flow of milky fluid will come from the trunk, on boring into
it deeply, though the branches look dried. It is believed that most milk
is got when the tree is tapped about sunrise, or when the moon is nearly
full. If the milk is put aside for a time, a thick cake forms upon it,
under which is a clear liquid. Some of it kept in a bottle, well corked
up, was once preserved for several months. The cork, on being extracted,
came out with a loud report, followed by a bluish smoke; the milk was a
little acid, but not disagreeable to taste.

A grove of cow-trees is a grand sight, for the species grows to a great
height, and the trunk may be fifty or more feet without a branch; near
the top the branches cluster together, displaying tough and ribbed
leaves. Many of these leaves are ten or twelve inches long. The tree
bears fruits of moderate size, each containing one or two nuts, which
are said to have the flavour of strawberries and cream. From the bark of
the tree, soaked in water, a bread has been made, which proved nearly as
nourishing as wheaten bread.



INSECT WAYS AND MEANS.

X.--HOW INSECTS MAKE SILK.


Of all the marvellous things of which the lower creatures are capable,
certainly one of the most wonderful is their power of spinning threads
of the most beautiful fineness, some of which we know as 'silk,' while
for others we have no special name.

Though insects are--at least, from our point of view--the most important
of the world's spinners, yet they are not the only creatures who possess
this secret, for the spiders and mussels and the pearl oyster have also
shown themselves very wonderful spinners.

The purposes for which the fine thread is spun are very different.
Caterpillars use it chiefly as a means of providing a warm covering
while in the chrysalis stage: so also do some beetles. The spider uses
its silk to build cunning traps for unwary flies. The mussel lying below
the surface of the sea employs its power as a spinner to construct a
cable, which, being fastened to the rocks on the sea-bed, prevents the
otherwise helpless mussel from being washed away.

In the silkworm (fig. 1) the silk is produced by certain peculiar
structures, tube-like in shape, known as the silk-glands. The silk is
created in a liquid form in the inside of the silk-gland, and, becoming
mixed with a kind of gum, is forced through a sort of mechanical press,
from which it comes through the mouth in the form of the delicate
threads which we know as 'silk.'

This silk is used by caterpillars for various purposes, and varies much
in quality: that spun by silkworm caterpillars is much prized by man.
The caterpillar uses it to form a case for the protection of its body
when turning into a chrysalis, from which it will emerge later a
full-grown moth.

When spinning, the caterpillar begins by sending out the end of a thread
which is quite soft and sticky. This immediately sticks to the object to
which it is attached. This done, every movement of the caterpillar's
head draws a fresh piece of the silk thread from its mouth. When
spinning a cocoon, the thread is made to form a long, oval, egg-shaped
case around the body of the caterpillar. But sometimes, as in the case
of those caterpillars which live in companies, it is used to form a
sheet or tent within which the tent-makers dwell. Other caterpillars use
the power of weaving silk as a means of escape from enemies. When in
danger they let themselves down on to the ground by attaching the end of
a thread to a leaf or twig, and then dropping off, leaving the thread to
be drawn from the mouth by the weight of the body as it falls.

Under the microscope each thread of silk is seen to be double: the total
length of the thread when unwound from the cocoon is over a thousand
feet. Over four hundred different kinds of silk-producing caterpillars
are known.

The spinning glands of the spider are placed at the tail end of the
body, but the threads spun therefrom, though strong, are of little use
for commercial purposes. Silk fabrics have, however, been made from
spider webs, but these are only curiosities.

The silk, or, as we may call them, the spinning glands, consist of from
two to four pairs of organs, or 'spinnerets,' placed together in a small
cluster. The threads which they form are made, as in the case of the
silk of the caterpillar, of a sticky fluid, which, when drawn out
through the tiny holes of the spinnerets, and exposed to the air, form
fine threads, and these combining together form the silky thread with
which we are familiar.

One of the principal uses of the silk threads is to form nets to catch
small insects. These nets are often--as is the case of the garden
spider, for example--very beautiful. In their construction the greatest
skill is shown. The method is briefly as follows: First of all a large
five-sided frame is formed; then long threads, which are rather like the
spokes of a wheel, are added. These harden at once, and to them are
attached the cross-threads, which form the delicate network of the
complete web. But if the web be examined with a strong magnifying glass,
there will be found, among the network, a number of threads bearing
little drops of a sticky substance (fig. 2). These are made by special
glands, and differ from the ordinary threads in that they do not dry on
being exposed to the air. They serve the purpose of bird-lime--that is
to say, they are there to aid in entangling insects which fly up against
the web. Having spread his net, the spider returns to a little shelter
woven on the under side of a leaf. Here he waits for his victims,
holding in one of his claws a long, delicate thread attached to the web,
so as to serve as a means of communication with the trap, the vibrations
set up by the struggles of the captive giving warning by shaking the
communication cord! He then rushes out, if the victim be small, and
throwing himself upon the wretched prisoner, sucks him dry and cuts away
the web so as to release the empty carcase. Should a wasp or bee happen
to be caught, the proceedings are much more cautious, and the spider
himself often proves the victim.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.--Silkworm, natural size.]

Spiders when small often use their spinnerets much as the witches of old
were supposed to use a broom-stick--that is to say, as a means of
travelling through the air. Turning the end of the body upwards they
force out a few threads, which, caught by the breeze, are blown away,
and so a number of long threads are rapidly drawn out, sufficiently long
at last to carry the spider itself with them. When too heavy to fly,
they sometimes send a thread adrift and wait until it catches in some
projecting bough; this done, they make fast the end to the bough or leaf
on which they may be resting, and climb along this tight-rope to build a
new home.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.--Silk Threads of Spider's Web, highly magnified.]

The floating threads formed by broods of small spiders are sometimes
very numerous, and cover everything: they are especially noticeable in
hedges, and are one of the causes of what is called in the country
'Gossamer.'

W. P. PYCRAFT, F.Z.S., A.L.S.



AFLOAT ON THE DOGGER BANK.

A Story of Adventure on the North Sea and in China.

(_Continued from page 303._)

CHAPTER XIII.


The journey up-river was a very tedious one, and promised to be longer
than Ping Wang had expected, for, as soon as darkness came up, the boat
was moored for the night near a riverside village. The boatman declared,
in a very humble tone, that he dared not go any further until daybreak
for fear of being attacked by pirates.

On the following morning, at daybreak, the journey was resumed, but
before the travellers had covered two miles, while the mist was still
hanging over the river, Ping Wang noticed a boat rapidly overtaking
them. It was a long, narrow craft, paddled by eight men. Another man
knelt in the bows, and two more stood up in the stern. The latter were
armed with old-fashioned rifles.

'Pirates!' the boat-owner shouted in terror when he had glanced at the
pursuers, and instantly there was a panic among his men. One of them
dived into the river and swam towards the bank; but the other three,
who could not swim, ceased rowing, and hid themselves among the cargo.

[Illustration: "Fred took aim and fired."]

'Make the cowards row,' Ping Wang commanded the boat-owner, but without
any result, for the man was himself terror-stricken.

'Hasn't the wretched man got any weapons aboard?' Charlie said aloud.

Ping Wang translated Charlie's question, and the boat-owner answered
promptly, 'Your miserable slave has one gun, which does not belong to
him. He is taking it to a mandarin. Your wretched servant does not know
where it was bought.'

'Never mind about that,' Ping Wang declared, guessing at once that the
fellow had a rifle which had been stolen from some European. 'Bring it
here at once.'

The boat-owner produced quickly a long bundle of cloth, and from the
middle of it pulled out a rifle.

'A Lee-Metford,' Fred exclaimed, as he snatched the rifle out of the
man's hand. 'Where is the ammunition?'

'Here it is,' Ping Wang said, as he burst open a box and displayed
several packets of cartridges.

'That is splendid,' Fred declared, as he opened a packet. Like many
London medical students, he had become a Volunteer, and was, moreover, a
good shot. Having placed the open packet of cartridges beside him, he
took up the rifle, and, after loading it, raised it to his shoulder, but
did not yet fire. 'I won't shoot,' he said, 'until I am sure they mean
to attack us.'

He had not long to wait before receiving proof of the pirates'
intention. The boat was approaching fast, and when it was about a
hundred yards from them, the pirates fired. Their rifles made a
tremendous noise, and the travellers' boat was hit about an inch above
water.

'That is enough,' Fred declared, and, placing his left foot on a seat
and resting his left elbow on his knee, he took aim and fired.

'Good shot, Fred!' Charlie cried, as one of the pirates who had fired on
them fell forward, wounded, among his comrades. The pirates had
evidently not expected such a reception, and the result of Fred's shot
filled them with dismay. They ceased rowing, and took counsel for a few
moments.

'Look out, Fred,' Charlie said, 'there is a man in the bow with a
breechloader. He's aiming at you.'

Just as he spoke the man fired, and the bu