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Title: St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, May, 1878, No. 7. - Scribner's Illustrated
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, May, 1878, No. 7. - Scribner's Illustrated" ***

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[Illustration: MANDY AND BUB BY THE NETS. [See page 450.]]



ST. NICHOLAS.

VOL. V.
MAY, 1878.
No. 7.


[Copyright, 1878, by Scribner & Co.]



HOW MANDY WENT ROWING WITH THE "CAP'N."

BY MARY HALLOCK FOOTE.


It was the month of May--the season of fresh shad and apple-blossoms on
the Hudson River. "Bub" and "Mandy" Lewis knew more about the shad than
they did about the apple-blossoms, for their father was a fisherman,
and they lived in a little house built on a steep bank between the road
above and the river below. Sometimes, on cool, damp spring evenings,
the scent of the orchards came down to them from the hills above, but
the smell of shad was much stronger and nearer.

Just in front of the house was an old wharf, where fishing-boats were
moored, and nets spread for drying or mending. One morning, Bub and
Mandy were sitting on the log which guards the edge of the wharf,
watching their father and brother Jeff getting ready to spread the nets
for next night's "haul." Jeff was busy with the buoy lines and sinkers,
while the father bailed out the boat with an old tin pan. The children
were rather subdued--Bub wondering how long it would be before he could
"handle a boat" like Jeff and go out with his father? Mandy was
expecting every moment to hear her mother's voice calling from the
house. It was Monday morning, and Mandy knew her mother would soon be
starting for the Hillard's, where she "helped" on Mondays and
Saturdays.

These were the longest days of the week to Mandy, for then she had baby
to tend all by herself and he was "such a bother!"

Yes, there it was: "Mandy!--Mandy!--Mandy _Lewis_! don't you hear?"
Mandy kept her eyes gloomily fixed on the curve of her father's back,
as it bent and rose in the boat below, in time with the scra-a-a-pe,
swish, of the bailer.

"What's the use makin' b'l'eve you don't hear?" said Bub. "You know
you've got to go!"

"I just wish mother'd make _you_ tend baby once, and see how you'd like
it!"--and Mandy rose with an impatient jerk of her bonnet-strings and
slowly climbed the steep path to the house. Her mother, standing in the
door-way with baby on one arm, shaded her eyes from the sun as she
watched the cloudy face under the pink bonnet. It was always cloudy on
Mondays and Saturdays.

"Seems as if you didn't love your little brother, Mandy--such work as
you make of tendin' him! Just look how glad he is to see you," as baby
leaned forward and began pulling at the pink bonnet. "He's just had his
bread and milk, and if you set right there in the door, where he can
watch the chickens, I shouldn't wonder if he'd be real good for ever so
long. Father and Jeff wont be home to dinner, but there's plenty of
bread and butter and cold beans in the closet for you and Bub. You can
set the beans in the oven to warm, if you like--only be sure you put
'em on an old plate; and you can divide what's left of the ginger-bread
between you."

"Oh, mother! can't we eat it now?" said Bub, who had watched his father
and Jeff off in the boat, and, now returning to the house, didn't
quite know what to do next.

"Why, it aint an hour sence breakfast! But you can do as you like;
only, if Mandy eats hers, baby'll want it, sure. Better wait till he's
asleep."

"All right; Mandy can wait," said Bub, cheerfully, as his mother set
the plate of cake on the table before leaving the house.

"Oh, Bub, I'm awful hungry, too!" said Mandy. "You cut the cake in
halves,--mind you cut fair,--and hold my piece for me where baby can't
see it. Sit right here behind me."

So Mandy on the door-step, and Bub on the floor, with his back against
the door, which he gently tilted as he munched his cake, were very
silent and comfortable for a minute or two.

The hens crawed and cackled, with cozy, gossipy noises, in the sun
before the door; the baby blinked and cooed contentedly.

"Ready for another bite?" said Bub, holding out Mandy's cake close to
her left ear.

"In a min-ute," said Mandy, with her mouth full. "Bub Lewis, aint you
ashamed of yourself? You've been eatin' off my piece! I saw you just
now!"

"Aint, either! You can see great things with the back of your head!
Here's your piece 'n' here's mine. Yours is ever so much bigger!"

"Well, you've been gobbling yours's fast's you could, and I only had
two little bites off mine."

"_Little_ bites! I sh'd think so! Don't know what you call big ones,
then! So chuck full you couldn't speak half a minute ago. Here, hold
your own cake, and let baby grab it!"

"Well, I'd rather give it _all_ to him, than have you eat it up on the
sly!"

Bub walked down toward the water without deigning a reply, but thought
of several things on his way which would have been more withering than
silence.

Mandy did not enjoy the rest of her cake very much,--eating it
furtively, so baby should not want it, and dropping crumbs on his
little white head, which he kept twisting around, to see what she was
doing. She began to think that perhaps she had been rather hasty in
accusing Bub; but surely that was the right-hand piece, instead of the
left, he was biting from? Well, anyway, it didn't much matter now the
cake was all eaten. The old rooster had wandered round the corner of
the house, where he was presently heard calling to his favorite hen.
She ran, and all the others followed. Baby grew restless, and made
little impatient noises, and the sun was getting very hot and bright on
the door-step. What _was_ Bub doing down there among the nets on the
drying-ground? He had been very still, with his head bent down and his
hands moving about for ever so long.

Mandy felt that, after their late unpleasantness, it would be more
dignified to take no notice of Bub for a while; but curiosity, and
baby's restlessness, finally prevailed over pride, and rolling up her
troublesome little burden in an old red shawl, she trotted with him
down to the river.

"Bub," she said, after standing by him some time in silence, watching
him driving a row of small sticks into the ground, "_was_ it my piece
you was bitin' off?"

"I told you 't wasn't. If you don't b'l'eve me, what's the use o' my
sayin' so again?"

"Well, I'm sorry, Bub. I just caught a sight of you as I turned my
head, an' I thought--"

"Oh, well, never mind what you thought; we've heard enough 'bout that
cake! Shove your foot one side a little? I want to drive another spile
there. Them's the hitchin' spiles on the inside."

"What you buildin'?" asked Mandy.

"Can't you see for yourself? What's built on spiles, I'd like to know!
Meetinghouses, may be you think. This is Lewis's dock; all the day
boats and barges stop here!"

"Where's the water?" asked Mandy.

"Oh, you wait till high tide, 'bout four o'clock this afternoon, 'n'
you'll see water enough!"

Just then, a boy in a blue blouse, with a basket of fish over his
shoulder, came whistling along.

"Perry! Perry Kent! Where you goin'?" Bub called.

"Down to little cove, to clean fish."

"Oh, can't I go along and help? I can scale a herrin' first-rate;
father said so."

"Aint herrin'; they're shad; got to be cleaned very partic'lar, too.
But come along, if you want to."

"Bub," said Mandy, in an eager whisper, "oh, Bub, wait for me! Baby's
fast asleep. I'll lay him right down here, in his shawl; the nets'll
keep the sun off, 'n' he'll be real cozy 'n' nice till we get back."

"Why don't you take him up to the house?" said Perry, looking with some
interest at Mandy's bundle. "'Taint a very good place for him here.
You'll find us at the cove, all right."

"He'll wake up sure, if I try to carry him up the hill. See how nice he
lays; and I'll hang the end of the shawl over this net-pole. I can see
it plain enough from the cove. If he wakes up, he'll be tumblin' round
and pull it off, so I'll know when to come back for him."

"Well, it takes a girl for contrivance," Perry said; and it was
something in his manner rather than the words which made Mandy, as she
followed the two boys, vaguely feel she was disapproved of.

The cove was a half-circle of pebble beach, washed by the ripples of a
slowly rising tide, with a wall of gray slate rock at the back.
Hemlock-trees leaned from the steep wooded cliff above, the shadows of
their boughs moving with the wind across the sunny face of the rock.

It was very warm and still and bright. Mandy climbed to a perch high up
in the twisted roots of an old hemlock, who, having ventured too far
over the edge of the cliff, was clinging there, desperately driving his
tough toes into the crevices of the rock, and wildly waving his boughs
upward and backward as if imploring help from his comrades, safe in the
dark wood above.

The river spread broad and bright below her. Mandy listened, in happy
silence, to all the mysterious rustlings and twitterings and cracklings
in the wood above, and the sounds, far and near, from the river below.
Now and then she looked to see if the shawl still fluttered from the
net-pole. She was glad she came, and it seemed but a very little while
before the fish were all cleaned, and the boys, sitting on a rock,
skipping pebbles, and watching for Perry Kent's father, who was coming
in his boat to take the fish up to the hotel.

Perry's father was always called Cap'n Kent. He kept a kind of floating
restaurant. One end of his boat was boarded over into a closet, with
shelves filled with a supply of fresh fruit and berries in the season,
cider, cakes, pies, root-beer, lemons, crackers, etc. His customers
were chiefly the "hands" on board sloops becalmed opposite the landing,
or passing barges and canal-boats, slowly trailed in the wake of a
panting propeller, or escorted by dingy little "tugs," struggling along
like lively black beetles.

The "Cap'n" was a very tall man, and his arms were so long that, as he
rowed, he sat quite upright, only stretching his arms back and forth,
scarcely bending his body at all. This gave great dignity to his
appearance in a boat. His feet were very long too, and when he walked
he lifted the whole foot at once, and put it down flat. Of course he
could not walk very fast; but so important a person as the "Cap'n"
could never be in a hurry.

As he held his boat against a rock while Perry lifted in the basket of
fish, he saw the wistful faces of the children standing on the beach.
Now, the "Cap'n" considered himself a very good-natured man, and
good-natured men are always fond of children. So he called out in a
loud voice:

"Whose little folks are you?"

"Bub and Mandy Lewis," Mandy answered quickly.

Bub nudged her with his elbow.

"He spoke to _me_, Mandy!"

"Want to take a little row up to the hotel? Let's see--your folks live
by the old fishin' dock, don't they? Wal, I can leave ye there comin'
back. You can tell your Pa that Cap'n Kent took ye out rowin'."

"I'd like to go, if you please," said Bub, who was ready with an answer
this time; "but Mandy, she's got to tend to the baby."

"The baby! What baby?" said the "Cap'n," while Mandy whispered,
crossly, "Bub, I think you're real mean!"

"Oh, sir, baby's fast asleep up on the dryin'-ground, where the nets
are! I could go as far as that, if you'd let me get out there,--if it
wouldn't be too much trouble, sir."

"Course it would!" said Bub, emphatically.

But the "Cap'n," who was not so good-natured that he liked to have
small boys answer for him, gravely considered the matter while he
settled his oars in the rowlocks.

"Wal, it's some trouble, perhaps; but I don't mind puttin' myself out
once in a while for a nice little gal. Step lively now, young man! Come
along, sissy!"

Mandy sat radiant in the little bow-seat, as the boat pushed off. A
great Albany "tow" was passing,--a whole fleet of barges and
canal-boats lashed together,--with calves and sheep bellowing and
bleating, cables creaking, clothes flapping on the lines; a big
steamboat, with a freight-barge under each wing, plowing the water on
ahead, and sending the waves chasing each other in shore.

The little boat danced gayly on the "rollers." A fresh wind blew toward
them, and brought with it a shout of "Boat ahoy! Hello, Cap'n! Got any
good stuff aboard?"

"Got some good _cider_," the "Cap'n" called in reply, with strong
emphasis on the last word.

"Come alongside, then!"

The "Cap'n" condescended to lean a little on his oars in pursuit of a
bargain, and sent the little boat spinning over the water toward one of
the barges in the rear part of the "tow."

Some men in a row were lounging over the rail; one of them threw a
rope, which hissed and splashed close to the boat. Perry caught it, and
they were soon under the lee of the floating village.

While the store was unlocked, and its wares handed out, Mandy noticed,
on the deck above, a woman washing a little boy three or four years
old. He stood in an old wooden pail, with a rope tied to the
handle,--his little white body, all naked and slippery, shining in the
sun. One could hardly help noticing him, he screamed so lustily as the
water was dashed over his head and shoulders.

Mandy saw how his face showed red and flushed with crying, under the
dripping yellow locks.

She thought uneasily of the baby, lying all alone on the old dock;
wondered if the sun had got round so as to shine in his face, and how
long the "Cap'n" would stand there, talking with those men. She was
happy again when the boat dropped behind and the "Cap'n" turned toward
the shore.

"Perry," he said, "just look at my watch--there in my weskit-pocket on
the starn-seat. What time's it got to be?"

"Twenty minutes to one," said Perry.

"What time'd I say we'd have them shad up there? One o'clock? Wal, one
o'clock it'll be, then. Only we can't leave this little gal ashore till
we come back."

"Oh, please----" Mandy began, in great dismay as she saw they were
passing the fishing-dock. "The baby! He's there all alone, and--oh,
Bub, the shawl's gone! I _must_ go ashore, Cap'n Kent--please!"

"Never mind, sissy; baby's all right. Bless my soul! who'd want to
carry off a baby? There aint no wild beasts roamin' round, and most of
us's got babies enough o' our own to hum, without borryin of the
neighbors. You'll find him there all safe enough when we get back. Them
shad, ye see, was promised at one o'clock up to the hotel. Cap'n Kent,
ye know, he never breaks his word."

"But you said----?" Mandy began, in a distressed voice, when Bub
interrupted her.

"You'd better keep quiet, Mandy. You would come, 'n' now I hope you'll
get enough of it!"

That was a very long twenty minutes to Mandy, while they drew slowly
nearer and nearer to the steamboat-landing, and the little white and
brown houses of the fishermen, scattered along shore, one by one were
left behind.

"Now, Perry," the "Cap'n" said, as he unshipped his oars, while the
children clambered out of the boat, "just look at that ere watch again.
See if the Cap'n aint as good as his word. Five minutes to one, eh?
Didn't I tell ye? Hello, sissy! Where's that gal goin' to now? What's
your hurry? I'll take ye back in half an hour."

But Mandy was off, running like a young fox along the edge of the
wharf.

"Cap'n," said Bub, "we're much obliged to you, sir, and I guess I'll go
on too. Mandy's awful scared about the baby, and--"

"Lord, what a fuss 'bout a baby!" the "Cap'n" broke in with his loud
voice, "Babies aint so easy got rid of. Wal, may be you'll go rowin'
with the Cap'n again, some day. Tell yer Ma I've got some first-class
lemons, if she wants to make pies for Sunday. Can't get no such lemons
at the store."

But the "Cap'n's" last words were wasted, for Bub was already speeding
off after Mandy.

When he reached the fishing-dock, there she sat, a dismal little heap,
on the ground between the net-poles. She had lost her bonnet; she had
fallen down and rubbed dust in her hair. Now she sat rocking herself to
and fro, and sobbing.

"Oh, Bub! The baby!" was all she could say.

"Look here, Mandy! Stop cryin' a minute, will you?" said Bub. "It's
after one o'clock; may be mother had only half a day at Hillard's, and
come home 'n' found the baby down here; she could see the shawl from
the house."

Mandy jumped up, "Let's go see. Quick!" she cried. But the string of
one shoe was broken, and the shoe slipped at every step. She stooped to
fasten it. "Don't wait, Bub. Go on, please!" Then she felt so tired and
breathless with running and crying, that she dropped down on the ground
again to wait for Bub's return.

She heard his feet running down the hill, and wondered if they brought
good news.

No; the house was empty. No baby or mother there!

"I must go to Hillard's," said Bub. "You'd better stay, Mandy; you look
'most beat out."

His voice was very gentle, and Mandy could not bear it.

"Oh, Bub! don't be good to me. I'm a horrid wicked girl! What will
mother say? How _can_ I tell her?" Then she broke into sobs again.

It was dreadful, sitting there alone, after Bub's footsteps died away
in the distance, thinking and wondering hopelessly about the baby.
Mandy remembered how his little head, heavy with sleep, had drooped
lower and lower, and tired her arms. How gladly would she feel that
ache if she could only hold the warm little body in her arms again!

How still it was! She could hear the children at McNeal's, down the
road, laughing and calling after their father as he went away to his
work. There was fresh trouble in the thought of _her_ father coming
home at night. Would it not be better that she should go away and hide
herself, where no reproachful eyes could reach her? Would they miss
her, and feel sorry for poor little Mandy? Would her mother go about
looking pale and quiet, thinking of her gently?

Hark! What noise was that under the drooping curtain of nets? Now she
does not hear it; but presently it comes again--a soft, happy little
baby voice, cooing and talking to itself.

With joyful haste, Mandy lifted the heavy festoon of nets, and crawled
under. There, in the warm, sunny gloom, lying all rosy and tumbled,
with his clothes around his neck, and the old red shawl hopelessly
tangled round the bare and active legs, lay baby, cramming his fists in
his mouth or tossing them about, while he talked stories to the gleams
of sunlight that flickered down through the meshes of the nets.

How he had managed to roll so far, Mandy did not stop to wonder about.
She scooped him up into her arms, the bare legs kicking and struggling,
and crawled with him into the open air.

There she sat, hugging him close, with her cheek resting on his head,
when the tired, anxious mother, hurrying on ahead of Bub, came running
down the hill.

Many times after that, the baby was a "bother" to Mandy, but she was
never heard to call him so.



THE SILLY GOOSE.

_(An Old Story Re-told.)_

BY E.A. SMULLER.


[Illustration]


  There's a queer old story which you shall hear.
  It happened, once on a time, my dear,
  That a goose went swimming on a pond,
  A pleasure of which all geese are fond.
  She sailed about, and to and fro,
  The waves bent under her breast of snow,
  And her red feet paddled about below,
  But she wasn't a happy goose--oh no!

  It troubled her more than she could tell,
  That in the town where she chanced to dwell,
  The saying of "stupid as a goose,"
  Was one that was very much in use.
  For sneers and snubbing are hard to bear,
  Be he man or beast I do not care,
  Or pinioned fowl of the earth or air,
  We're all of the same opinion there.

  Now, as she pondered the matter o'er,
  A fox came walking along the shore;
  With a pleasant smile he bowed his head,
  "Good-evening, Mrs. Goose!" he said.
  "Good-evening, Mr. Fox!" quoth she,
  Looking across at him tremblingly,
  And, fearing he had not had his tea,
  Pushed a trifle farther out to sea.

  She had little harm to fear from him;
  For, with all his tricks, he could not swim,
  And, indeed, his voice was sweet and kind.
  "Dear Mrs. Goose, you've a troubled mind;
  I only wish I could help you through,
  There's nothing I would not gladly do
  For such a beautiful bird as you."
  Which sounded nice, and was really true.

  "Well, then, Mr. Fox," the goose replied,
  "It hurts my feelings, and wounds my pride,
  That in these days my sisters and I,
  Who saved old Rome by our warning cry,
  Should be called the _silly geese_. Ah, me!
  If I could learn something fine, you see,
  Like writing, or reading the A, B, C,
  What a happy, happy goose I'd be!"

  "Now, would you, indeed!" Renard replied
  As the floating fowl he slyly eyed;
  "I hardly know what 'tis best to say,
  Let's think about it a moment, pray,
  I may help you yet, my dear, who knows?"
  So he struck a meditative pose,
  And thoughtfully laid his small, red toes,
  Up by the side of his pointed nose.

  "Ah, yes!" he cried, "I have it at last:
  Your troubles, dear Mrs. Goose, are past;
  There is a school-master, wise and good,
  I know where he lives in yonder wood,
  To-morrow evening, you shall see
  In yon broad meadow his school will be,
  He'll bring you a book with the A, B, C,
  And he'll give his little lesson free."

  But now just listen, and you shall hear
  About that fox; he went off, my dear,
  And he bought a coat, and a beaver hat,
  And a pair of specs, and a black cravat.
  Next evening he came dressed up to charm,
  With the little "Reader" under his arm,
  Where the goose stood waiting without alarm,
  For, indeed, she hadn't a thought of harm.

  Had she looked at all, you would have thought
  She need not have been so quickly caught,
  For the long red bushy fox's tail,
  Swept over the meadow like a trail.
  But 'twas rather dark, for night was near,
  And another thing, I greatly fear.
  She felt too anxious to see quite clear;
  She was simply _a goose of one idea_.

  The school-master opens wide his book,
  The goose makes a long, long neck, to look,
  He opens his mouth, as if to cough,
  When, snippety-snap! her head flies off.
  Now, cackle loudly her sisters fond,
  Who are watching proudly from the pond,
  While off to the town that lies beyond,
  The whole of the frightened flock abscond.

  That day, the geese made a solemn vow,
  Which their faithful children keep till now,
  That, never shall goose or gosling look
  At any school-master or his book.
  So, if ever you should chance to hear
  Them talking of school, don't think it queer
  If they say some hard things, or appear
  To show a certain degree of fear;
  It is always so with geese, my dear.


[Illustration: "LADY-BIRD, FLY AWAY HOME!"]



PARISIAN CHILDREN.

BY HENRY BACON.


[Illustration]

Parisians adore the sunshine. On a sunny day the many squares and parks
are peopled by children dressed in gay costumes, always attended by
parents or nurses. The old gingerbread venders at the gates find a
ready sale for chunks of coarse bread (to be thrown to the sparrows and
swans), hoops, jump-ropes, and wooden shovels,--for the little ones are
allowed to dig in the public walks as if they were on private grounds
and heirs of the soil. Here the babies build their miniature forts,
while the sergents-de-ville (or policemen), who are old soldiers, look
kindly on, taking special care not to trample the fortifications as
they pass to and fro upon their rounds.

Here future captains and admirals sail their miniature fleet, and are
as helplessly horror-stricken when the graceful swans sally out and
attack their little vessels, as when from Fortress Monroe the
spectators watched the "Merrimac" steam down upon the shipping in the
roads.

[Illustration: EXTREMES MEET.]

Here the veterans, returned again to childhood, bask in the sun, and,
watching the fort-building, forget their terrible campaigns amidst
snows and burning sands, delighting to turn an end of the jumping rope
or to trot a long-robed heiress on, perhaps, the only knee they have
left.

[Illustration: THE STAFF OF LIFE.]

Parisians are very fond of uniforms, and so begin to employ them in the
dress of citizens as soon as they make their entry into the world, even
before they are registered at the mayor's office; for the caps and
cradles of a boy (or _citoyen_) are decorated with blue ribbons, and
the girl (or _citoyenne_) with pink.

Every boys' or girls' school of any pretension has a distinctive mark
in the dress, and so has each employment or trade,--the butcher's boy,
always bareheaded, with a large basket and white apron; the grocer's
apprentice, with calico over-sleeves and blue apron; and the
pastry-cook's boy, dressed in white with white linen cap, who despises
and ridicules the well-blacked chimney-sweep, keeping the while at a
respectful distance. And we must not forget the beggars, with their
carefully studied costumes of rags, or the little Italians, born in
Paris, but wearing their so-called native costume, which has been cut
and made within the city walls.

The little ones of the outskirts of the city are generally independent
and self-reliant youngsters, and sometimes, before they are quite
steady on their feet, we meet them already doing the family errands,
trudging along, hugging a loaf of bread taller than themselves. But the
rosy plumpness of the fields is wanting; for children are like
chameleons, and partake of the color of the locality they inhabit, so
these poor little ones are toned down by the smoke and dust of the
workshops. Their play-ground is under the dusty, dingy trees of the
wide avenues; but they have the same games of romps their peasant
mothers brought from their country homes, and above the noise of the
passing vehicles we often hear their voices as they dance round in a
circle, and sing verses of some old provincial song.

[Illustration: THE VETERAN AND HIS CHARGE.]

The delightful hours spent in boyhood, going to and from school, are
unknown in the gay French capital to children of well-to-do parents.
Instead of starting early and lingering on the way, they watch from the
window until a black one-horse omnibus arrives, when a sub-master takes
charge of the pupil, and the omnibus goes from house to house,
collecting all the scholars, who are brought home in the same manner,
the sub-master sitting next the door, giving no chance to slip out to
ride on top, or to beg the driver to trust a fellow with the reins; and
as it is the custom to obey all in authority, the master is respected.
Girls are either sent to boarding-school or go to a day-school; in the
latter case, always accompanied by one of their parents or a trusty
servant. But the parents, if their means will not permit them to send
their boys to schools that support a one-horse omnibus, or if they have
not a servant to go with them, perform that task themselves. In the
schools for the poorer classes, when teaching is over, the children
file out, two by two, the older children being appointed monitors, and
the little processions disappear in different directions; the teachers
standing at the gate until they are lost from sight, for they have not
far to go, as there is a free school in each quarter.

[Illustration: THE ENEMY.]

But I pity the charity-school girls. Although always neatly and cleanly
dressed, they are all alike, with white caps, and dresses which might
have been cut from the same piece. They file through the streets or
public gardens, under the charge of the "good sisters," and perhaps
they stop to play or rest sometimes, but I never saw them do so.
Perhaps there is no real reason to pity these charity-children, boys or
girls; but I remember my own free and happy school-days in America, and
so I pity them.

[Illustration]



THE PETERKINS ARE OBLIGED TO MOVE.

BY LUCRETIA P. HALE.


Agamemnon had long felt it an impropriety to live in a house that was
called a "semi-detached" house, when there was no other "semi" to it.
It had always remained wholly detached as the owner had never built the
other half. Mrs. Peterkin felt this was not a sufficient reason for
undertaking the terrible process of a move to another house, when they
were fully satisfied with the one they were in.

But a more powerful reason forced them to go. The track of a new
railroad had to be carried directly through the place, and a station
was to be built on that very spot.

Mrs. Peterkin so much dreaded moving that she questioned whether they
could not continue to live in the upper part of the house and give up
the lower part to the station. They could then dine at the restaurant,
and it would be very convenient about traveling, as there would be no
danger of missing the train, if one were sure of the direction.

But when the track was actually laid by the side of the house, and the
steam-engine of the construction train puffed and screamed under the
dining-room windows, and the engineer calmly looked in to see what the
family had for dinner, she felt indeed that they must move.

But where should they go? It was difficult to find a house that
satisfied the whole family. One was too far off, and looked into a
tan-pit, another was too much in the middle of the town, next door to
a machine shop. Elizabeth Eliza wanted a porch covered with vines, that
should face the sunset, while Mr. Peterkin thought it would not be
convenient to sit there looking toward the west in the late afternoon,
(which was his only leisure time) for the sun would shine in his face.
The little boys wanted a house with a great many doors, so that they
could go in and out often. But Mr. Peterkin did not like so much
slamming, and felt there was more danger of burglars with so many
doors. Agamemnon wanted an observatory, and Solomon John a shed for a
workshop. If he could have carpenters' tools and a work-bench, he could
build an observatory, if it were wanted.

But it was necessary to decide upon something, for they must leave
their house directly. So they were obliged to take Mr. Finch's at the
Corners. It satisfied none of the family. The porch was a piazza, and
was opposite a barn. There were three other doors,--too many to please
Mr. Peterkin, and not enough for the little boys. There was no
observatory, and nothing to observe, if there were one, as the house
was too low, and some high trees shut out any view. Elizabeth Eliza had
hoped for a view, but Mr. Peterkin consoled her by deciding it was more
healthy to have to walk for a view, and Mrs. Peterkin agreed that they
might get tired of the same every day.

And everybody was glad a selection was made, and the little boys
carried their India rubber boots the very first afternoon.

Elizabeth Eliza wanted to have some system in the moving, and spent the
evening in drawing up a plan. It would be easy to arrange everything
beforehand, so that there should not be the confusion that her mother
dreaded, and the discomfort they had in their last move. Mrs. Peterkin
shook her head, she did not think it possible to move with any comfort.
Agamemnon said a great deal could be done with a list and a programme.

Elizabeth Eliza declared if all were well arranged a programme would
make it perfectly easy. They were to have new parlor carpets, which
could be put down in the new house the first thing. Then the parlor
furniture could be moved in, and there would be two comfortable rooms,
in which Mr. and Mrs. Peterkin could sit, while the rest of the move
went on. Then the old parlor carpets could be taken up for the new
dining-room and the down-stairs bedroom, and the family could meanwhile
dine at the old house. Mr. Peterkin did not object to this, though the
distance was considerable, as he felt exercise would be good for them
all. Elizabeth Eliza's programme then arranged that the dining-room
furniture could be moved the third day, by which time one of the old
parlor carpets would be down in the new dining-room, and they could
still sleep in the old house. Thus there would always be a quiet,
comfortable place in one house or the other. Each night when Mr.
Peterkin came home, he would find some place for quiet thought and
rest, and each day there should be moved only the furniture needed for
a certain room. Great confusion would be avoided and nothing misplaced.
Elizabeth Eliza wrote these last words at the head of her
programme--"Misplace nothing." And Agamemnon made a copy of the
programme for each member of the family.

The first thing to be done was to buy the parlor carpets. Elizabeth
Eliza had already looked at some in Boston, and the next morning she
went by an early train, with her father, Agamemnon, and Solomon John,
to decide upon them.

They got home about eleven o'clock, and when they reached the house
were dismayed to find two furniture wagons, in front of the gate,
already partly filled! Mrs. Peterkin was walking in and out of the open
door, a large book in one hand, and a duster in the other, and she came
to meet them in an agony of anxiety. What should they do? The furniture
carts had appeared soon after the rest had left for Boston, and the men
had insisted upon beginning to move the things. In vain had she shown
Elizabeth Eliza's programme, in vain had she insisted they must take
only the parlor furniture. They had declared they must put the heavy
pieces in the bottom of the cart, and the lighter furniture on top. So
she had seen them go into every room in the house, and select one piece
of furniture after the other, without even looking at Elizabeth Eliza's
programme; she doubted if they could have read it, if they had looked
at it.

Mr. Peterkin had ordered the carters to come, but he had no idea they
would come so early, and supposed it would take them a long time to
fill the carts.

But they had taken the dining-room sideboard first,--a heavy piece of
furniture,--and all its contents were now on the dining-room tables.
Then, indeed, they selected the parlor book-case, but had set every
book on the floor. The men had told Mrs. Peterkin they would put the
books in the bottom of the cart, very much in the order they were taken
from the shelves. But by this time Mrs. Peterkin was considering the
carters as natural enemies, and dared not trust them; besides, the
books ought all to be dusted. So she was now holding one of the volumes
of Agamemnon's Encyclopedia, with difficulty in one hand, while she was
dusting it with the other. Elizabeth Eliza was in dismay. At this
moment, four men were bringing down a large chest of drawers from her
father's room and they called to her to stand out of the way. The
parlors were a scene of confusion. In dusting the books, Mrs. Peterkin
neglected to restore them to the careful rows in which they were left
by the men, and they lay in hopeless masses in different parts of the
room. Elizabeth Eliza sunk in despair upon the end of a sofa.

"It would have been better to buy the red and blue carpet," said
Solomon John.

"Is not the carpet bought?" exclaimed Mrs. Peterkin. And then they were
obliged to confess they had been unable to decide upon one, and had
come back to consult Mrs. Peterkin.

"What shall we do?" asked Mrs. Peterkin.

Elizabeth Eliza rose from the sofa and went to the door, saying, "I
shall be back in a moment."

Agamemnon slowly passed round the room, collecting the scattered
volumes of his Encyclopedia. Mr. Peterkin offered a helping hand to a
man lifting a wardrobe.

Elizabeth Eliza soon returned. "I did not like to go and ask her. But I
felt that I must in such an emergency. I explained to her the whole
matter and she thinks we should take the carpet at Makillan's."

"Makillan's" was a store in the village, and the carpet was the only
one all the family had liked without any doubt; but they had supposed
they might prefer one from Boston.

The moment was a critical one. Solomon John was sent directly to
Makillan's to order the carpet to be put down that very day. But where
should they dine? where should they have their supper? where was Mr.
Peterkin's "quiet hour?" Elizabeth Eliza, was frantic--the dining-room
floor and table were covered with things.

It was decided that Mr. and Mrs. Peterkin should dine at the
Bromwiches, who had been most neighborly in their offers, and the rest
should get something to eat at the baker's.

Agamemnon and Elizabeth Eliza hastened away to be ready to receive the
carts at the other house, and direct the furniture as they could. After
all, there was something exhilarating in this opening of the new house,
and in deciding where things should go. Gayly Elizabeth Eliza stepped
down the front garden of the new home, and across the piazza, and to
the door. But it was locked, and she had no keys!

"Agamemnon, did you bring the keys?" she exclaimed.

No, he had not seen them since the morning--when--ah--yes, the little
boys were allowed to go to the house for their India rubber boots, as
there was a threatening of rain. Perhaps they had left some door
unfastened--perhaps they had put the keys under the door-mat. No, each
door, each window was solidly closed, and there was no mat!

"I shall have to go to the school to see if they took the keys with
them," said Agamemnon; "or else go home to see if they left them
there." The school was in a different direction from the house, and far
at the other end of the town for Mr. Peterkin had not yet changed the
boys' school, as he proposed to do, after their move.

"That will be the only way," said Elizabeth Eliza; for it had been
arranged that the little boys should take their lunch to school and not
come home at noon.

She sat down on the steps to wait, but only for a moment, for the carts
soon appeared turning the corner. What should be done with the
furniture? Of course, the carters must wait for the keys, as she should
need them to set the furniture up in the right places. But they could
not stop for this. They put it down upon the piazza, on the steps, in
the garden, and Elizabeth Eliza saw how incongruous it was! There was
something from every room in the house! even the large family chest,
which had proved too heavy for them to travel with, had come down from
the attic, and stood against the front door.

And Solomon John appeared with the carpet woman, and a boy with a
wheelbarrow bringing the new carpet. And all stood and waited. Some
opposite neighbors appeared to offer advice, and look on, and Elizabeth
Eliza groaned inwardly that only the shabbiest of their furniture
appeared to be standing full in view.

It seemed ages before Agamemnon returned, and no wonder; for he had
been to the house, then to the school, then back to the house, for one
of the little boys had left at home the keys, in the pocket of his
clothes. Meanwhile, the carpet woman had waited, and the boy with the
wheelbarrow had waited, and when they got in they found the parlor must
be swept and cleaned. So the carpet woman went off in dudgeon, for she
was sure there would not be time enough to do anything.

And one of the carts came again, and in their hurry the men set the
furniture down anywhere. Elizabeth Eliza was hoping to make a little
place in the dining-room where they might have their supper and go home
to sleep. But she looked out, and there were the carters bringing the
bedsteads, and proceeding to carry them upstairs.

In despair Elizabeth Eliza went back to the old house. If she had been
there she might have prevented this. She found Mrs. Peterkin in an
agony about the entry oil-cloth. It had been made in the house, and how
could it be taken out of the house? Agamemnon made measurements; it
certainly could not go out of the front door! He suggested it might be
left till the house was pulled down, when it could easily be moved out
of one side. But Elizabeth Eliza reminded him that the whole house was
to be moved without being taken apart. Perhaps it could be cut in
strips narrow enough to go out. One of the men loading the remaining
cart disposed of the question by coming in and rolling up the oil-cloth
and carrying it off on top of his wagon.

Elizabeth Eliza felt she must hurry back to the new house. But what
should they do?--no beds here, no carpets there! The dining-room table
and sideboard were at the other house, the plates and forks and spoons
here. In vain she looked at her programme. It was all reversed,
everything was misplaced. Mr. Peterkin would suppose they were to eat
there and sleep here, and what had become of the little boys?

Meanwhile, the man with the first cart had returned. They fell to
packing the dining-room china. They were up in the attic, they were
down in the cellar. Even one of them suggested to take the tacks out of
the parlor carpets, as they should want to take them next. Mrs.
Peterkin sunk upon a kitchen chair.

"Oh, I wish we had decided to stay and be moved in the house!" she
exclaimed.

Solomon John urged his mother to go to the new house, for Mr. Peterkin
would be there for his "quiet hour." And when the carters at last
appeared carrying the parlor carpets on their shoulders she sighed and
said, "There is nothing left," and meekly consented to be led away.

They reached the new house to find Mr. Peterkin sitting calmly in a
rocking-chair on the piazza, watching the oxen coming into the opposite
barn. He was waiting for the keys, which Solomon John had taken back
with him. The little boys were in a horse-chestnut tree, at the side of
the house.

Agamemnon opened the door. The passages were crowded with furniture,
the floors were strewn with books, the bureau was upstairs that was to
stand in a lower bedroom, there was not a place to lay a table, there
was nothing to lay upon it; for the knives and plates and spoons had
not come, and although the tables were there, they were covered with
chairs and boxes.

At this moment came a covered basket from the lady from Philadelphia.
It contained a choice supper, and forks and spoons, and at the same
moment appeared a pot of hot tea from an opposite neighbor. They placed
all this on the back of a book-case lying upset, and sat around it.
Solomon John came rushing from the gate:

"The last load is coming. We are all moved!" he exclaimed, and the
little boys joined in a chorus, "We are moved, we are moved!"

Mrs. Peterkin looked sadly round; the kitchen utensils were lying on
the parlor lounge, and an old family gun on Elizabeth Eliza's hat-box.
The parlor clock stood on a barrel; some coal-scuttles had been placed
on the parlor table, a bust of Washington stood in the door-way, and
the looking-glasses leaned against the pillars of the piazza. But they
were moved! Mrs. Peterkin felt indeed that they were very much moved.



[Illustration: GET UP!]

[Illustration: GOT DOWN!]



THE SING-AWAY BIRD.

BY LUCY LARCOM.


[Illustration]


  O Say, have you heard of the sing-away bird,
    That sings where the Runaway River
  Runs down with its rills from the bald-headed hills
    That stand in the sunshine and shiver?
        "O sing! sing-away! sing-away!"
      How the pines and the birches are stirred
      By the trill of the sing-away bird!

  And the bald-headed hills, with their rocks and their rills,
    To the tune of his rapture are ringing.
  And their faces grow young, all their gray mists among,
    While the forests break forth into singing,
        "O sing! sing-away! sing-away!"
      And the river runs singing along;
      And the flying winds catch up the song.

  It was nothing but--hush! a wild white-throated thrush,
    That emptied his musical quiver
  With a charm and a spell over valley and dell
    On the banks of the Runaway River.
        "O sing! sing-away! sing-away!"
      Yet the song of the wild singer had
      The sound of a soul that is glad.

  And, beneath the glad sun, may a glad-hearted one
   Set the world to the tune of his gladness.
  The rivers shall sing it, the breezes shall wing it,
   Till life shall forget its long sadness.
        "O sing! sing-away! sing-away!"
      Sing, spirit, who knowest joy's Giver,--
      Sing on, by time's Runaway River!



OLD SOUP

BY MRS. E.W. LATIMER.


The following curious anecdote is from a book about elephants, written
by a French gentleman, named Jacolliot, and we will let the author tell
his own story:

In the autumn of 1876 I was living in the interior of Bengal, and I
went to spend Christmas with my friend, Major Daly. The major's
bungalow was on the banks of the Ganges near Cawnpore. He had lived
there a good many years, being chief of the quartermaster's department
at that station, and had a great many natives, elephants,
bullock-carts, and soldiers under his command.

On the morning after my arrival, after a cup of early tea (often taken
before daylight in India), I sat smoking with my friend in the veranda
of his bungalow, looking out upon the windings of the sacred river.
And, directly, I asked the major about his children (a boy and a girl),
whom I had not yet seen, and begged to know when I should see them.

"Soupramany has taken them out fishing," said their father.

"Why, isn't Soupramany your great war-elephant?" I cried.

"Exactly so. You cannot have forgotten Soupramany!"

"Of course not. I was here, you know, when he had that fight with the
elephant who went mad while loading a transport with bags of rice down
yonder. I saw the mad elephant when he suddenly began to fling the rice
into the river. His 'mahout' tried to stop him, and he killed the
mahout. The native sailors ran away to hide themselves, and the mad
elephant, trumpeting, charged into this inclosure. Old Soupramany was
here, and so were Jim and Bessy. When he saw the mad animal, he threw
himself between him and the children. The little ones and their nurses
had just time to get into the house when the fight commenced."

"Yes," said the major. "Old Soup was a hundred years old. He had been
trained to war, and to fight with the rhinoceros, but he was too old to
hunt then."

"And yet," said I, becoming animated by the recollections of that day,
"what a gallant fight it was! Do you remember how we all stood on this
porch and watched it, not daring to fire a shot lest we should hit Old
Soupramany? Do you remember too, his look when he drew off, after
fighting an hour and a half, leaving his adversary dying in the dust,
and walked straight to the 'corral,' shaking his great ears which had
been badly torn, with his head bruised, and a great piece broken from
one of his tusks?"

"Yes, indeed," said the major. "Well, since then, he is more devoted to
my dear little ones than ever. He takes them out whole days, and I am
perfectly content to have them under his charge. I don't like trusting
Christian children to the care of natives; but with Old Soup I know
they can come to no harm."

[Illustration: "BESIDE THE CHILDREN STOOD OLD SOUP WITH A LARGE BAMBOO
ROD IN HIS TRUNK."]

"What! you trust children under ten years of age to Soup, without any
other protection?"

"I do," replied the major. "Come along with me, if you doubt, and we
will surprise them at their fishing."

I followed Major Daly, and, after walking half a mile along the wooded
banks of the river, we came upon the little group. The two
children--Jim, the elder, being about ten--both sat still and silent,
for a wonder, each holding a rod, with line, cork, hook and bait,
anxiously watching the gay corks bobbing in the water. Beside them
stood Old Soup with an extremely large bamboo rod in his trunk, with
line, hook, bait, and cork, like the children's. I need not say I took
small notice of the children, but turned all my attention to their big
companion. I had not watched him long before he had a bite; for, as the
religion of the Hindoos forbids them to take life, the river swarms
with fishes.

The old fellow did not stir; his little eyes watched his line eagerly;
he was no novice in "the gentle craft." He was waiting till it was time
to draw in his prize.

At the end of his line, as he drew it up, was dangling one of those
golden tench so abundant in the Ganges.

When Soupramany perceived what a fine fish he had caught, he uttered
one of those long, low gurgling notes of satisfaction by which an
elephant expresses joy; and he waited patiently, expecting Jim to take
his prize off the hook and put on some more bait for him. But Jim, the
little rascal, sometimes liked to plague Old Soup. He nodded at us, as
much as to say, "Look out, and you'll see fun, now!" Then he took off
the fish, which he threw into a water-jar placed there for the purpose,
and went back to his place without putting any bait on Old Soup's
hook. The intelligent animal did not attempt to throw his line into the
water. He tried to move Jim by low, pleading cries. It was curious to
see what tender tones he seemed to try to give his voice.

Seeing that Jim paid no attention to his calls, but sat and laughed as
he handled his own line, Old Soup went up to him, and with his trunk
tried to turn his head in the direction of the bait-box. At last, when
he found that all he could do would not induce his willful friend to
help him, he turned round as if struck by a sudden thought, and,
snatching up in his trunk the box that held the bait, came and laid it
down at the major's feet; then picking up his rod, he held it out to
his master.

"What do you want me to do with this, Old Soup?" said the major.

The creature lifted one great foot after the other, and again began to
utter his plaintive cry. Out of mischief, I took Jimmy's part, and,
picking up the bait-box, pretended to run with it. The elephant was not
going to be teased by _me_. He dipped his trunk into the Ganges, and in
an instant squirted a stream of water over me with all the force and
precision of a fire-engine, to the immense amusement of the children.

The major at once made Soup a sign to stop, and, to make my peace with
the fine old fellow, I baited his hook myself. Quivering with joy, as a
baby does when it gets hold at last of a plaything some one has taken
from it, Old Soupramany hardly paused to thank me by a soft note of joy
for baiting his line for him, before he went back to his place, and was
again watching his cork as it trembled in the ripples of the river.



  Four little houses, blue and round,
  Hidden away from sight and sound.
  What is in them? The leaves never tell,
  But they know the secret very well.
  The daisies know, and the clover knows;
  So does the pretty, sweet wild rose.
  Don't be impatient, only wait
  Just outside, at the leafy gate;
  Soon a fairy will open the door,
  And let out birdies--one, two, three, four!



UNDER THE LILACS.

BY LOUISA M. ALCOTT.


CHAPTER XII.

GOOD TIMES.


Every one was very kind to Ben when his loss was known. The Squire
wrote to Mr. Smithers the boy had found friends and would stay where he
was. Mrs. Moss consoled him in her way, and the little girls did their
very best to "be good to poor Benny." But Miss Celia was his truest
comforter and completely won his heart, not only by the friendly words
she said and the pleasant things she did, but by the unspoken sympathy
which showed itself, just at the right minute, in a look, a touch, a
smile, more helpful than any amount of condolence. She called him "my
man," and Ben tried to be one, bearing his trouble so bravely that she
respected him, although he was only a little boy, because it promised
well for the future.

Then she was so happy herself, it was impossible for those about her to
be sad, and Ben soon grew cheerful again in spite of the very tender
memory of his father laid quietly away in the safest corner of his
heart. He would have been a very unboyish boy if he had _not_ been
happy, for the new place was such a pleasant one, he soon felt as if
for the first time he really had a home.

No more grubbing now, but daily tasks which never grew tiresome, they
were so varied and so light. No more cross Pats to try his temper, but
the sweetest mistress that ever was, since praise was oftener on her
lips than blame, and gratitude made willing service a delight.

At first it seemed as if there was going to be trouble between the two
boys, for Thorny was naturally masterful, and illness had left him weak
and nervous, so he was often both domineering and petulant. Ben had
been taught instant obedience to those older than himself, and if
Thorny had been a man Ben would have made no complaint; but it _was_
hard to be "ordered round" by a boy, and an unreasonable one into the
bargain.

A word from Miss Celia blew away the threatening cloud, however, and
for her sake her brother promised to try to be patient; for her sake
Ben declared he never would "get mad" if Mr. Thorny did fidget, and
both very soon forgot all about master and man and lived together like
two friendly lads, taking each other's ups and downs good-naturedly,
and finding mutual pleasure and profit in the new companionship.

The only point on which they never _could_ agree was legs, and many a
hearty laugh did they give Miss Celia by their warm and serious
discussion of this vexed question. Thorny insisted that Ben was
bow-legged; Ben resented the epithet, and declared that the legs of all
good horsemen must have a slight curve, and any one who knew anything
about the matter would acknowledge both its necessity and its beauty.
Then Thorny would observe that it might be all very well in the saddle,
but it made a man waddle like a duck when afoot; whereat Ben would
retort that for his part he would rather waddle like a duck than tumble
about like a horse with the staggers. He had his opponent there, for
poor Thorny did look very like a weak-kneed colt when he tried to walk;
but he would never own it, and came down upon Ben with crushing
allusions to centaurs, or the Greeks and Romans, who were famous both
for their horsemanship and fine limbs. Ben could not answer that,
except by proudly referring to the chariot-races copied from the
ancients in which _he_ had borne a part, which was more than _some
folks_ with long legs could say. Gentlemen never did that sort of
thing, nor did they twit their best friends with their misfortunes,
Thorny would remark, casting a pensive glance at his thin hands,
longing the while to give Ben a good shaking. This hint would remind
the other of his young master's late sufferings and all he owed his
dear mistress, and he usually ended the controversy by turning a few
lively somersaults as a vent for his swelling wrath, and come up with
his temper all right again. Or, if Thorny happened to be in the wheeled
chair, he would trot him round the garden at a pace which nearly took
his breath away, thereby proving that if "bow-legs" were not beautiful
to some benighted being, they _were_ "good to go."

Thorny liked that, and would drop the subject for the time by politely
introducing some more agreeable topic; so the impending quarrel would
end in a laugh over some boyish joke, and the word "legs" be avoided by
mutual consent till accident brought it up again.

The spirit of rivalry is hidden in the best of us, and is a helpful and
inspiring power if we know how to use it. Miss Celia knew this, and
tried to make the lads help one another by means of it,--not in
boastful or ungenerous comparison of each other's gifts, but by
interchanging them, giving and taking freely, kindly, and being glad to
love what was admirable wherever they found it. Thorny admired Ben's
strength, activity, and independence; Ben envied Thorny's learning,
good manners, and comfortable surroundings; and, when a wise word had
set the matter rightly before them, both enjoyed the feeling that there
was a certain equality between them, since money could not buy health;
and practical knowledge was as useful as any that can be found in
books. So they interchanged their small experiences, accomplishments,
and pleasures, and both were the better, as well as the happier, for
it, because in this way only can we truly love our neighbor as ourself
and get the real sweetness out of life.

There was no end to the new and pleasant things Ben had to do, from
keeping paths and flower-beds neat, feeding the pets, and running
errands, to waiting on Thorny and being right-hand man to Miss Celia.
He had a little room in the old house, newly papered with hunting
scenes, which he was never tired of admiring. In the closet hung
several out-grown suits of Thorny's, made over for his valet, and, what
Ben valued infinitely more, a pair of boots, well blacked and ready for
grand occasions when he rode abroad, with one old spur, found in the
attic, brightened up and merely worn for show, since nothing would have
induced him to prick beloved Lita with it.

Many pictures, cut from illustrated papers, of races, animals and
birds, were stuck round the room, giving it rather the air of a circus
and menagerie. This, however, made it only the more home-like to its
present owner, who felt exceedingly rich and respectable as he surveyed
his premises; almost like a retired showman who still fondly remembers
past successes, though now happy in the more private walks of life.

In one drawer of the quaint little bureau which he used, were kept the
relics of his father; very few and poor, and of no interest to any one
but himself,--only the letter telling of his death, a worn-out
watch-chain, and a photograph of Señor José Montebello, with his
youthful son standing on his head, both airily attired, and both
smiling with the calmly superior expression which gentlemen of their
profession usually wear in public. Ben's other treasures had been
stolen with his bundle; but these he cherished and often looked at when
he went to bed, wondering what heaven was like, since it was lovelier
than California, and usually fell asleep with a dreamy impression that
it must be something like America when Columbus found it,--"a pleasant
land, where were gay flowers and tall trees, with leaves and fruit such
as they had never seen before." And through this happy hunting-ground
"father" was forever riding on a beautiful white horse with wings, like
the one of which Miss Celia had a picture.

Nice times Ben had in his little room poring over his books, for he
soon had several of his own; but his favorites were Hammerton's
"Animals" and "Our Dumb Friends," both full of interesting pictures and
anecdotes such as boys love. Still nicer times working about the house,
helping get things in order; and best of all were the daily drives with
Miss Celia and Thorny, when weather permitted, or solitary rides to
town through the heaviest rain, for certain letters _must_ go and come,
no matter how the elements raged. The neighbors soon got used to the
"antics of that boy," but Ben knew that he was an object of interest as
he careered down the main street in a way that made old ladies cry out
and brought people flying to the window, sure that some one was being
run away with. Lita enjoyed the fun as much as he, and apparently did
her best to send him heels over head, having rapidly learned to
understand the signs he gave her by the touch of hand and foot, or the
tones of his voice.

These performances caused the boys to regard Ben Brown with intense
admiration, the girls with timid awe, all but Bab, who burned to
imitate him, and tried her best whenever she got a chance, much to the
anguish and dismay of poor Jack, for that long-suffering animal was the
only steed she was allowed to ride. Fortunately, neither she nor Betty
had much time for play just now, as school was about to close for the
long vacation, and all the little people were busy finishing up, that
they might go to play with free minds. So the "lilac-parties," as they
called them, were deferred till later, and the lads amused themselves
in their own way, with Miss Celia to suggest and advise.

It took Thorny a long time to arrange his possessions, for he could
only direct while Ben unpacked, wondering and admiring as he worked,
because he had never seen so many boyish treasures before. The little
printing-press was his especial delight, and leaving everything else in
confusion, Thorny taught him its use and planned a newspaper on the
spot, with Ben for printer, himself for editor, and "Sister" for chief
contributor, while Bab should be carrier and Betty office-boy. Next
came a postage-stamp book, and a rainy day was happily spent in pasting
a new collection where each particular one belonged, with copious
explanations from Thorny as they went along. Ben did not feel any great
interest in this amusement after one trial of it, but when a book
containing patterns of the flags of all nations turned up, he was
seized with a desire to copy them _all_, so that the house could be
fitly decorated on gala occasions. Finding that it amused her brother,
Miss Celia generously opened her piece-drawer and rag-bag, and as the
mania grew till her resources were exhausted, she bought bits of gay
cambric and many-colored papers, and startled the storekeeper by
purchasing several bottles of mucilage at once. Bab and Betty were
invited to sew the bright strips or stars, and pricked their little
fingers assiduously, finding this sort of needle-work much more
attractive than piecing bed-quilts.

Such a snipping and pasting, planning and stitching as went on in the
big back room, which was given up to them, and such a noble array of
banners and pennons as soon decorated its walls, would have caused the
dullest eye to brighten with amusement, if not with admiration. Of
course, the Stars and Stripes hung highest, with the English lion
ramping on the royal standard close by; then followed a regular
picture-gallery, for there was the white elephant of Siam, the splendid
peacock of Burmah, the double-headed Russian eagle and black dragon of
China, the winged lion of Venice, and the prancing pair on the red,
white and blue flag of Holland. The keys and miter of the Papal States
were a hard job, but up they went at last, with the yellow crescent of
Turkey on one side and the red full moon of Japan on the other; the
pretty blue and white flag of Greece hung below and the cross of free
Switzerland above. If materials had held out, the flags of all the
United States would have followed; but paste and patience were
exhausted, so the busy workers rested awhile before they "flung their
banner to the breeze," as the newspapers have it.

A spell of ship building and rigging followed the flag fit; for Thorny,
feeling too old now for such toys, made over his whole fleet to "the
children," condescending, however, to superintend a thorough repairing
of the same before he disposed of all but the big man-of-war, which
continued to ornament his own room, with all sail set and a little red
officer perpetually waving his sword on the quarter-deck.

These gifts led to out-of-door water-works, for the brook had to be
dammed up, that a shallow ocean might be made, where Ben's piratical
"Red Rover," with the black flag, might chase and capture Bab's smart
frigate, "Queen," while the "Bounding Betsey," laden with lumber,
safely sailed from Kennebunkport to Massachusetts Bay. Thorny, from his
chair, was chief-engineer, and directed his gang of one how to dig the
basin, throw up the embankment, and finally let in the water till the
mimic ocean was full; then regulate the little water-gate, lest it
should overflow and wreck the pretty squadron of ships, boats, canoes,
and rafts, which soon rode at anchor there.

Digging and paddling in mud and water proved such a delightful pastime
that the boys kept it up, till a series of water-wheels, little mills
and cataracts made the once quiet brook look as if a manufacturing
town was about to spring up where hitherto minnows had played in peace
and the retiring frog had chanted his serenade unmolested.

Miss Celia liked all this, for anything which would keep Thorny happy
out-of-doors in the sweet June weather found favor in her eyes, and
when the novelty had worn off from home affairs, she planned a series
of exploring expeditions which filled their boyish souls with delight.
As none of them knew much about the place, it really was quite exciting
to start off on a bright morning with a roll of wraps and cushions,
lunch, books, and drawing materials packed into the phaeton, and drive
at random about the shady roads and lanes, pausing when and where they
liked. Wonderful discoveries were made, pretty places were named, plans
were drawn, and all sorts of merry adventures befell the pilgrims.

Each day they camped in a new spot, and while Lita nibbled the fresh
grass at her ease, Miss Celia sketched under the big umbrella, Thorny
read or lounged or slept on his rubber blanket, and Ben made himself
generally useful. Unloading, filling the artist's water-bottle, piling
the invalid's cushions, setting out the lunch, running to and fro for a
flower or a butterfly, climbing a tree to report the view, reading,
chatting, or frolicking with Sancho,--any sort of duty was in Ben's
line, and he did them all well, for an out-of-door life was natural to
him and he liked it.

"Ben, I want an amanuensis," said Thorny, dropping book and pencil one
day, after a brief interval of silence, broken only by the whisper of
the young leaves overhead and the soft babble of the brook close by.

"A what?" asked Ben, pushing back his hat with such an air of amazement
that Thorny rather loftily inquired:

"Don't you know what an amanuensis is?"

"Well, no; not unless it's some relation to an anaconda. Shouldn't
think you'd want one of them, anyway."

Thorny rolled over with a hoot of derision, and his sister, who sat
close by, sketching an old gate, looked up to see what was going on.

"Well, you needn't laugh at a feller. _You_ didn't know what a wombat
was when I asked you, and _I_ didn't roar," said Ben, giving his hat a
slap, as nothing else was handy.

"The idea of wanting an anaconda tickled me so, I couldn't help it. I
dare say you'd have got me one if I _had_ asked for it, you are such an
obliging chap."

"Of course I would if I could. Shouldn't be surprised if you did some
day, you want such funny things," answered Ben, appeased by the
compliment.

"I'll try the amanuensis first. It's only some one to write for me; I
get so tired doing it without a table. You write well enough, and it
will be good for you to know something about botany. I intend to teach
you, Ben," said Thorny, as if conferring a great favor.

"It looks pretty hard," muttered Ben, with a doleful glance at the book
laid open upon a strew of torn leaves and flowers.

"No, it isn't; it's regularly jolly, and you'd be no end of a help if
you only knew a little. Now suppose I say, 'Bring me a "ranunculus
bulbosus,"' how would you know what I wanted?" demanded Thorny, waving
his microscope with a learned air.

"Shouldn't."

"There are quantities of them all round us, and I want to analyze one.
See if you can't guess."

Ben stared vaguely from earth to sky, and was about to give it up, when
a buttercup fell at his feet, and he caught sight of Miss Celia smiling
at him from behind her brother, who did not see the flower.

"S'pose you mean this? _I_ don't call 'em rhinocerus bulburses, so I
wasn't sure." And taking the hint as quickly as it was given, Ben
presented the buttercup as if he knew all about it.

"You guessed that remarkably well. Now bring me a 'leontodon
taraxacum,'" said Thorny, charmed with the quickness of his pupil and
glad to display his learning.

Again Ben gazed, but the field was full of early flowers, and if a long
pencil had not pointed to a dandelion close by he would have been lost.

"Here you are, sir," he answered with a chuckle, and Thorny took his
turn at being astonished now.

"How the dickens did you know that?"

"Try it again, and may be you'll find out," laughed Ben.

Diving hap-hazard into his book, Thorny demanded a "trifolium
pratense."

The clever pencil pointed, and Ben brought a red clover, mightily
enjoying the joke, and thinking that _this_ kind of botany wasn't bad
fun.

"Look here, no fooling!" and Thorny sat up to investigate the matter,
so quickly that his sister had not time to sober down. "Ah, I've caught
you! Not fair to tell, Celia. Now, Ben, you've _got_ to learn all about
this buttercup, to pay for cheating."

"Werry good, sir; bring on your rhinoceriouses," answered Ben, who
couldn't help imitating his old friend the clown when he felt
particularly jolly.

"Sit there and write what I tell you," ordered Thorny, with all the
severity of a strict schoolmaster.

Perching himself on the mossy stump, Ben obediently floundered through
the following analysis, with constant help in the spelling and much
private wonder what would come of it:

"Phænogamous. Exogenous. Angiosperm. Polypetalous. Stamens, more than
ten. Stamens on the receptacle. Pistils, more than one and separate.
Leaves without stipules. Crowfoot family. Genus ranunculus. Botanical
name, Ranunculus bulbosus."

"Jerusalem, what a flower! Pistols and crows' feet, and Polly put the
kettles on, and Angy sperms and all the rest of 'em! If that's your
botany I wont take any more, thank you," said Ben, as he paused as hot
and red as if he had been running a race.

"Yes, you will; you'll learn that all by heart, and then I shall give
you a dandelion to do. You'll like that, because it means _dent de
lion_ or lion's teeth, and I'll show them to you through my glass.
You've no idea how interesting it is, and what heaps of pretty things
you'll see," answered Thorny, who had already discovered how charming
the study was, and had found great satisfaction in it since he had been
forbidden more active pleasures.

"What's the good of it, any way?" asked Ben, who would rather have been
set to mowing the big field than to the task before him.

"It tells all about it in my book here--'Gray's Botany for Young
People.' But I can tell you what use it is to _us_," continued Thorny,
crossing his legs in the air and preparing to argue the matter,
comfortably lying flat on his back. "_We_ are a Scientific Exploration
Society, and we must keep an account of all the plants, animals,
minerals and so on, as we come across them. Then suppose we get lost
and have to hunt for food, how are we to know what is safe and what
isn't? Come, now, do you know the difference between a toad-stool and a
mushroom?"

"No, I don't."

"Then I'll teach you some day. There is sweet flag and poisonous flag,
and all sorts of berries and things, and you'd better look out when you
are in the woods or you'll touch ivy and dogwood, and have a horrid
time if you don't know your botany."

"Thorny learned much of his by sad experience and you will be wise to
take his advice," said Miss Celia, recalling her brother's various
mishaps before the new fancy came on.

"Didn't I have a time of it, though, when I had to go round for a week
with plantain leaves and cream stuck all over my face! Just picked some
pretty red dogwood, Ben, and then I was a regular guy, with a face like
a lobster and my eyes swelled out of sight. Come along and learn right
away, and never get into scrapes like most fellows."

Impressed by this warning, and attracted by Thorny's enthusiasm, Ben
cast himself down upon the blanket, and for an hour the two heads
bobbed to and fro from microscope to book, the teacher airing his small
knowledge, the pupil more and more interested in the new and curious
things he saw or heard,--though it must be confessed that Ben
infinitely preferred to watch ants and bugs, queer little worms and
gauzy-winged flies, rather than "putter" over plants with long names.
He did not dare to say so, however, but when Thorny asked him if it
wasn't capital fun, he dodged cleverly by proposing to hunt up the
flowers for his master to study, offering to learn about the dangerous
ones, but pleading want of time to investigate this pleasing science
very deeply.

As Thorny had talked himself hoarse, he was very ready to dismiss his
class of one to fish the milk-bottle out of the brook, and recess was
prolonged till next day. But both boys found a new pleasure in the
pretty pastime they made of it, for active Ben ranged the woods and
fields with a tin box slung over his shoulder, and feeble Thorny had a
little room fitted up for his own use where he pressed flowers in
newspaper books, dried herbs on the walls, had bottles and cups, pans
and platters for his treasures, and made as much litter as he liked.

Presently, Ben brought such lively accounts of the green nooks where
jacks-in-the-pulpit preached their little sermons, brooks beside which
grew blue violets and lovely ferns, rocks round which danced the
columbines like rosy elves, or the trees where birds built, squirrels
chattered and woodchucks burrowed, that Thorny was seized with a desire
to go and see these beauties for himself. So Jack was saddled and went,
plodding, scrambling and wandering into all manner of pleasant places,
always bringing home a stronger, browner rider than he carried away.

This delighted Miss Celia, and she gladly saw them ramble off together,
leaving her time to stitch happily at certain dainty bits of sewing,
write voluminous letters, or dream over others quite as long, swinging
in her hammock under the lilacs.



CHAPTER XIII.

SOMEBODY RUNS AWAY.


     "School is done,
      Now we'll have fun,"

sung Bab and Betty, slamming down their books as if they never meant to
take them up again, when they came home on the last day of June.

Tired teacher had dismissed them for eight whole weeks and gone away to
rest; the little school-house was shut up, lessons were over, spirits
rising fast, and vacation had begun. The quiet town seemed suddenly
inundated with children all in such a rampant state that busy mothers
wondered how they ever should be able to keep their frisky darlings out
of mischief; thrifty fathers planned how they could bribe the idle
hands to pick berries or rake hay; and the old folks, while wishing the
young folks well, secretly blessed the man who invented schools.

The girls immediately began to talk about picnics, and have them, too;
for little hats sprung up in the fields like a new sort of
mushroom,--every hill-side bloomed with gay gowns, looking as if the
flowers had gone out for a walk, and the woods were full of featherless
birds chirping away as blithely as the thrushes, robins, and wrens.

The boys took to base-ball like ducks to water, and the common was the
scene of tremendous battles waged with much tumult but little
bloodshed. To the uninitiated it appeared as if these young men had
lost their wits; for no matter how warm it was, there they were,
tearing about in the maddest manner, jackets off, sleeves rolled up,
queer caps flung on anyway, all batting shabby leather balls and
catching the same as if their lives depended on it. Every one talking
in his gruffest tone, bawling at the top of his voice, squabbling over
every point of the game, and seeming to enjoy himself immensely in
spite of the heat, dust, uproar, and imminent danger of getting eyes or
teeth knocked out.

Thorny was an excellent player, but not being strong enough to show his
prowess, he made Ben his proxy, and, sitting on the fence, acted as
umpire to his heart's content. Ben was a promising pupil and made rapid
progress, for eye, foot, and hand had been so well trained that they
did him good service now, and Brown was considered a first-rate
"catcher."

Sancho distinguished himself by his skill in hunting up stray balls,
and guarding jackets when not needed, with the air of one of the Old
Guard on duty at the tomb of Napoleon. Bab also longed to join in the
fun, which suited her better than "stupid picnics" or "fussing over
dolls;" but her heroes would not have her at any price, and she was
obliged to content herself with sitting by Thorny, and watching with
breathless interest the varying fortunes of "our side."

A grand match was planned for the Fourth of July; but when the club
met, things were found to be unpropitious. Thorny had gone out of town
with his sister to pass the day, two of the best players did not
appear, and the others were somewhat exhausted by the festivities,
which began at sunrise for them. So they lay about on the grass in the
shade of the big elm, languidly discussing their various wrongs and
disappointments.

"It's the meanest Fourth I ever saw. Can't have no crackers, because
somebody's horse got scared last year," growled Sam Kitteridge,
bitterly resenting the stern edict which forbade free-born citizens to
burn as much gunpowder as they liked on that glorious day.

"Last year Jimmy got his arm blown off when they fired the old cannon.
Didn't we have a lively time going for the doctors and getting him
home?" asked another boy, looking as if he felt defrauded of the most
interesting part of the anniversary, because no accident had occurred.

"Ain't going to be fire-works either, unless somebody's barn burns up.
Don't I just wish there would," gloomily responded another youth who
had so rashly indulged in pyrotechnics on a former occasion that a
neighbor's cow had been roasted whole.

"I wouldn't give two cents for such a slow old place as this. Why, last
Fourth at this time, I was rumbling through Boston streets up top of
our big car, all in my best toggery. Hot as pepper, but good fun
looking in at the upper windows and hearing the women scream when the
old thing waggled round and I made believe I was going to tumble off,"
said Ben, leaning on his bat with the air of a man who had seen the
world and felt some natural regret at descending from so lofty a
sphere.

"Catch me cutting away if I had such a chance as that!" answered Sam,
trying to balance _his_ bat on his chin and getting a smart rap across
the nose as he failed to perform the feat.

"Much you know about it, old chap. It's hard work, I can tell you, and
that wouldn't suit such a lazy bones. Then you are too big to begin,
though you might do for a fat boy if Smithers wanted one," said Ben,
surveying the stout youth with calm contempt.

"Let's go in swimming, not loaf round here, if we can't play," proposed
a red and shiny boy, panting for a game of leap-frog in Sandy pond.

"May as well; don't see much else to do," sighed Sam, rising like a
young elephant.

The others were about to follow, when a shrill "Hi, hi, boys, hold on!"
made them turn about to behold Billy Barton tearing down the street
like a runaway colt, waving a long strip of paper as he ran.

"Now, then, what's the matter?" demanded Ben, as the other came up
grinning and puffing, but full of great news.

"Look here, read it! I'm going; come along, the whole of you," panted
Billy, putting the paper into Sam's hand, and surveying the crowd with
a face as beaming as a full moon.

"Look out for the big show," read Sam. "Van Amburgh & Co.'s New Great
Golden Menagerie, Circus and Colosseum, will exhibit at Berryville,
July 4th, at 1 and 7 precisely. Admission 50 cents, children
half-price. Don't forget day and date. H. Frost, Manager."

While Sam read, the other boys had been gloating over the enticing
pictures which covered the bill. There was the golden car, filled with
noble beings in helmets, all playing on immense trumpets; the
twenty-four prancing steeds with manes, tails, and feathered heads
tossing in the breeze; the clowns, the tumblers, the strong men, and
the riders flying about in the air as if the laws of gravitation no
longer existed. But, best of all, was the grand conglomeration of
animals where the giraffe appears to stand on the elephant's back, the
zebra to be jumping over the seal, the hippopotamus to be lunching off
a couple of crocodiles, and lions and tigers to be raining down in all
directions with their mouths wide open and their tails as stiff as that
of the famous Northumberland House lion.

"Cricky! wouldn't I like to see that," said little Cyrus Fay, devoutly
hoping that the cage, in which this pleasing spectacle took place, was
a very strong one.

"You never would, it's only a picture! That, now, is something like,"
and Ben, who had pricked up his ears at the word "circus," laid his
finger on a smaller cut of a man hanging by the back of his neck with a
child in each hand, two men suspended from his feet, and the third
swinging forward to alight on his head.

"I'm going," said Sam, with calm decision, for this superb array of
unknown pleasures fired his soul and made him forget his weight.

"How will you fix it?" asked Ben, fingering the bill with a nervous
thrill all through his wiry limbs, just as he used to feel it when his
father caught him up to dash into the ring.

"Foot it with Billy. It's only four miles, and we've got lots of time,
so we can take it easy. Mother wont care, if I send word by Cy,"
answered Sam, producing half a dollar, as if such magnificent sums were
no strangers to his pocket.

"Come on, Brown; you'll be a first-rate fellow to show us round, as you
know all the dodges," said Billy, anxious to get his money's worth.

"Well, I don't know," began Ben, longing to go, but afraid Mrs. Moss
would say "No!" if he asked leave.

"He's afraid," sneered the red-faced boy, who felt bitterly toward all
mankind at that instant, because he knew there was no hope of _his_
going.

"Say that again, and I'll knock your head off," and Ben faced round
with a gesture which caused the other to skip out of reach
precipitately.

"Hasn't got any money, more likely," observed a shabby youth, whose
pockets never had anything in them but a pair of dirty hands.

Ben calmly produced a dollar bill and waved it defiantly before this
doubter, observing with dignity:

"I've got money enough to treat the whole crowd, if I choose to, which
I _don't_."

"Then come along and have a jolly time with Sam and me. We can buy some
dinner and get a ride home, as like as not," said the amiable Billy,
with a slap on the shoulder, and a cordial grin which made it
impossible for Ben to resist.

"What are you stopping for?" demanded Sam, ready to be off, that they
might "take it easy."

"Don't know what to do with Sancho. He'll get lost or stolen if I take
him, and it's too far to carry him home if you are in a hurry," began
Ben, persuading himself that this was the true reason for his delay.

"Let Cy take him back. He'll do it for a cent; wont you, Cy?" proposed
Billy, smoothing away all objections, for he liked Ben, and saw that he
wanted to go.

"No, I wont; I _don't_ like him. He winks at me, and growls when I
touch him," muttered naughty Cy, remembering how much reason poor Sanch
had to distrust his tormentor.

"There's Bab; she'll do it. Come here, sissy; Ben wants you," called
Sam, beckoning to a small figure just perching on the fence.

Down it jumped and came fluttering up, much elated at being summoned by
the captain of the sacred nine.

"I want you to take Sanch home, and tell your mother I'm going to walk,
and may be wont be back till sundown. Miss Celia said I might do what I
pleased, all day. You remember, now."

Ben spoke without looking up, and affected to be very busy buckling a
strap into Sanch's collar, for the two were so seldom parted that the
dog always rebelled. It was a mistake on Ben's part, for while his eyes
were on his work, Bab's were devouring the bill, which Sam still held,
and her suspicions were aroused by the boys' faces.

"Where are you going? Ma will want to know," she said, as curious as a
magpie all at once.

"Never you mind; girls can't know everything. You just catch hold of
this and run along home. Lock Sanch up for an hour, and tell your
mother I'm all right," answered Ben, bound to assert his manly
supremacy before his mates.

"He's going to the circus," whispered Fay, hoping to make mischief.

"Circus! Oh, Ben, _do_ take me!" cried Bab, falling into a state of
great excitement at the mere thought of such delight.

"You couldn't walk four miles," began Ben.

"Yes, I could, as easy as not."

"You haven't got any money."

"You have; I saw you showing your dollar, and you could pay for me,
and Ma would pay it back."

"Can't wait for you to get ready."

"I'll go as I am. I don't care if it is my old hat," and Bab jerked it
on to her head.

"Your mother wouldn't like it."

"She wont like your going, either."

"She isn't my missis now. Miss Celia wouldn't care, and I'm going,
anyway."

"Do, do take me, Ben! I'll be just as good as ever was, and I'll take
care of Sanch all the way," pleaded Bab, clasping her hands and looking
round for some sign of relenting in the faces of the boys.

"Don't you bother; we don't want any girls tagging after us," said Sam,
walking off to escape the annoyance.

"I'll bring you a roll of chickerberry lozengers, if you wont tease,"
whispered kind-hearted Billy, with a consoling pat on the crown of the
shabby straw hat.

"When the circus comes here you shall go, certain sure, and Betty too,"
said Ben, feeling mean while he proposed what he knew was a hollow
mockery.

"They never do come to such little towns; you said so, and I think you
are very cross, and I wont take care of Sanch, so, now!" cried Bab
getting into a passion, yet ready to cry, she was so disappointed.

"I suppose it wouldn't do--" hinted Billy, with a look from Ben to
the little girl, who stood winking hard to keep the tears back.

"Of course it wouldn't. I'd like to see _her_ walking eight miles. I
don't mind paying for her; it's getting her there and back. Girls are
such a bother when you want to knock round. No, Bab, you _can't_ go.
Travel right home and don't make a fuss. Come along, boys; it's most
eleven, and we don't want to walk fast."

Ben spoke very decidedly, and, taking Billy's arm, away they went,
leaving poor Bab and Sanch to watch them out of sight, one sobbing, the
other whining dismally.

Somehow those two figures seemed to go before Ben all along the
pleasant road, and half spoilt his fun, for though he laughed and
talked, cut canes, and seemed as merry as a grig, he could not help
feeling that he ought to have asked leave to go, and been kinder to
Bab.

"Perhaps Mrs. Moss would have planned somehow so we could _all_ go, if
I'd told her. I'd like to show her round, and she's been real good to
me. No use now. I'll take the girls a lot of candy and make it all
right."

He tried to settle it in that way and trudged gayly on, hoping Sancho
wouldn't feel hurt at being left, wondering if any of "Smither's lot"
would be round, and planning to do the honors handsomely to the boys.

It was very warm, and just outside of the town they passed by a wayside
watering-trough to wash their dusty faces and cool off before plunging
into the excitements of the afternoon. As they stood refreshing
themselves, a baker's cart came jingling by, and Sam proposed a hasty
lunch while they rested. A supply of gingerbread was soon bought, and,
climbing the green bank above, they lay on the grass under a wild
cherry-tree, munching luxuriously while they feasted their eyes at the
same time on the splendors awaiting them, for the great tent, with all
its flags flying, was visible from the hill.

[Illustration: "THERE STOOD BAB WAITING FOR SANCHO TO LAP HIS FILL OUT
OF THE OVERFLOWING TROUGH."]

"We'll cut across those fields,--it's shorter than going by the
road,--and then we can look round outside till it's time to go in. I
want to have a good go at everything, especially the lions," said Sam,
beginning on his last cookie.

"I heard 'em roar just now;" and Billy stood up to gaze with big eyes
at the flapping canvas which hid the king of beasts from his longing
sight.

"That was a cow mooing. Don't you be a donkey, Bill. When you hear a
real roar, you'll shake in your boots," said Ben, holding up his
handkerchief to dry after it had done double duty as towel and napkin.

"I wish you'd hurry up, Sam. Folks are going in now. I see 'em;" and
Billy pranced with impatience for this was his first circus, and he
firmly believed that he was going to behold all that the pictures
promised.

"Hold on a minute while I get one more drink. Buns are dry fodder,"
said Sam, rolling over to the edge of the bank and preparing to descend
with as little trouble as possible.

He nearly went down head first, however, for, as he looked before he
leaped, he beheld a sight which caused him to stare with all his might
for an instant, then turn and beckon, saying in an eager whisper: "Look
here, boys--quick!"

Ben and Billy peered over, and both suppressed an astonished "Hullo!"
for there stood Bab waiting for Sancho to lap his fill out of the
overflowing trough.

Such a shabby, tired-looking couple as they were! Bab with a face as
red as a lobster and streaked with tears, shoes white with dust,
play-frock torn at the gathers, something bundled up in her apron, and
one shoe down at the heel as if it hurt her. Sancho lapped eagerly,
with his eyes shut; all his ruffles were gray with dust, and his tail
hung wearily down, the tassel at half-mast, as if in mourning for the
master whom he had come to find. Bab still held the strap, intent on
keeping her charge safe though she lost herself; but her courage seemed
to be giving out, as she looked anxiously up and down the road, seeing
no sign of the three familiar figures she had been following as
steadily as a little Indian on the war-trail.

"Oh, Sanch, what _shall_ I do if they don't come along? We must have
gone by them somewhere, for I don't see any one that way, and there
isn't any other road to the circus, seems to me."

Bab spoke as if the dog could understand and answer, and Sancho looked
as if he did both, for he stopped drinking, pricked up his ears, and,
fixing his sharp eyes on the grass above him, gave a suspicious bark.

"It's only squirrels; don't mind, but come along and be good, for I'm
so tired I don't know what to do!" sighed Bab, trying to pull him after
her as she trudged on, bound to see the outside of that wonderful tent,
even if she never got in.

But Sancho had heard a soft chirrup, and with a sudden bound twitched
the strap away, sprang up the bank, and landed directly on Ben's back
as he lay peeping over. A peal of laughter greeted him, and having got
the better of his master in more ways than one, he made the most of the
advantage by playfully worrying him as he kept him down, licking his
face in spite of his struggles, burrowing in his neck with a ticklish
nose, snapping at his buttons, and yelping joyfully, as if it was the
best joke in the world to play hide-and-seek for four long miles.

Before Ben could quiet him, Bab came climbing up the bank with such a
funny mixture of fear, fatigue, determination, and relief in her dirty
little face that the boys could not look awful if they tried.

"How dared you come after us, miss?" demanded Sam, as she looked calmly
about her and took a seat before she was asked.

"Sanch _would_ come after Ben; I couldn't make him go home, so I had to
hold on till he was safe here, else he'd be lost, and then Ben would
feel bad."

The cleverness of that excuse tickled the boys immensely, and Sam tried
again, while Ben was getting the dog down and sitting on him.

"Now you expect to go to the circus, I suppose."

"Course I do. Ben said he didn't mind paying if I could get there
without bothering him, and I have, and I'll go home alone. I aint
afraid. Sanch will take care of me, if you wont," answered Bab,
stoutly.

"What do you suppose your mother will say to you?" asked Ben, feeling
much reproached by her last words.

"I guess she'll say you led me into mischief," and the sharp child
nodded as if she defied him to deny the truth of that.

"You'll catch it when you get home, Ben, so you'd better have a good
time while you can," advised Sam, thinking Bab great fun, since none of
the blame of her pranks would fall on him.

"What would you have done if you _hadn't_ found us?" asked Billy,
forgetting his impatience in his admiration for this plucky young lady.

"I'd have gone on and seen the circus, and then I'd have gone home
again and told Betty all about it," was the prompt answer.

"But you haven't any money."

"Oh, I'd ask somebody to pay for me. I'm so little, it wouldn't be
much."

"Nobody would do it, so you'd have to stay outside, you see."

"No, I wouldn't. I thought of that and planned how I'd fix it if I
didn't find Ben. I'd make Sanch do his tricks and get a quarter that
way, so now," answered Bab, undaunted by any obstacle.

"I do believe she would! You are a smart child, Bab, and if I had
enough I'd take you in myself," said Billy, heartily; for, having
sisters of his own, he kept a soft place in his heart for girls,
especially enterprising ones.

"I'll take care of her. It was very naughty to come, Bab, but so long
as you did, you needn't worry about anything. I'll see to you, and you
shall have a real good time," said Ben, accepting his responsibilities
without a murmur, and bound to do the handsome thing by his persistent
friend.

"I thought you would," and Bab folded her arms as if she had nothing
further to do but enjoy herself.

"Are you hungry?" asked Billy, fishing out several fragments of
gingerbread.

"Starving!" and Bab ate them with such a relish that Sam added a small
contribution, and Ben caught some water for her in his hand where the
little spring bubbled up beside a stone.

"Now, you go and wash your face and spat down your hair, and put your
hat on straight, and then we'll go," commanded Ben, giving Sanch a roll
on the grass to clean him.

Bab scrubbed her face till it shone, and pulling down her apron to wipe
it, scattered a load of treasures collected in her walk. Some of the
dead flowers, bits of moss and green twigs fell near Ben, and one
attracted his attention,--a spray of broad, smooth leaves, with a bunch
of whitish berries on it.

"Where did you get that?" he asked, poking it with his foot.

"In a swampy place, coming along. Sanch saw something down there, and I
went with him 'cause I thought may be it was a musk-rat and you'd like
one if we could get him."

"Was it?" asked the boys all at once and with intense interest.

"No, only a snake, and I don't care for snakes. I picked some of that,
it was so green and pretty. Thorny likes queer leaves and berries, you
know," answered Bab, "spatting" down her rough locks.

"Well, he wont like that, nor you either; it's poisonous, and I
shouldn't wonder if you'd got poisoned, Bab. Don't touch it;
swamp-sumach is horrid stuff, Miss Celia said so," and Ben looked
anxiously at Bab, who felt her chubby face all over and examined her
dingy hands with a solemn air, asking eagerly:

"Will it break out on me 'fore I get to the circus?"

"Not for a day or so, I guess; but it's bad when it does come."

"I don't care, if I see the animals first. Come quick and never mind
the old weeds and things," said Bab, much relieved, for present bliss
was all she had room for now in her happy little heart.

_(To be continued.)_

[Illustration: THE LITTLE ITALIAN FLOWER-MERCHANT.]



FATHER CHIRP.

BY S.C. STONE.


  Three little chirping crickets
  Came, one night, to our door;
        Tried all their keys,
        Then tried their knees.
  Till they could try no more.

  The biggest of the crickets
  Scratched hard his shiny head;
        And what to do,
        And what to do,
  He didn't know, he said.

[Illustration: "THEN TRIED THEIR KNEES."]

  The door, it would not open
  To comers so belated;
        Nobody heard,
        Nobody stirred,
  As still the crickets waited.

  And then, as on a sudden,
  By some new impulse bent,
        Their voices three
        'Rose shrill and free,
  To give their feelings vent!

[Illustration: "HIGH UPON THEIR TINY LEGS."]

  Then high upon their tiny legs
  They stretched, to peep and peer;
        While right behind
        The window-blind
  I crouched, to see and hear.

  Louder the crickets chirped and chirped,
  And, as I heard it then,
        The tale they sung
        In crickets' tongue
  I render with my pen.

  The tallest one was Father Chirp;
  Here was his early home;
        Here lived his mother
        And dearest brother,
  And hither had he come;

  And with him brought his two brave sons,
  Both skipping at his side,
        To show to her,
        Their grandmother,
  With true paternal pride.

  "There used to be," sang Father Chirp,
  "A little child about;
        And that door there
        Was free as air
  For going in or out.

  "But days have passed since I lived here,--
  It's like the folks are dead!
        My children, oh!
        My children, oh!
  I'm going to weep," he said.

  And then into his handkerchief
  His little head went bobbing,
        And his two heirs
        They pulled out theirs,
  And all three fell to sobbing.

[Illustration: "ALL THREE FELL TO SOBBING."]

  I lost no time in opening wide
  The door that had been fast;
        And I could see
        Those crickets three
  Like dusky ghosts flit past.

  And when I, listening, heard a chirp,
  Another, and another,
        I knew as well
        As words could tell
  They'd found the old grandmother!



WHERE MONEY IS MADE.

BY M.W.


"Ho!" I hear some New York boys say; "no need to tell us that.
Everybody knows that New York is the place to make money. Look at the
men in Wall street."

Indeed! And what will you say if I tell you that there is not a dollar
of money made in New York; nor in Chicago, neither; though I know my
young friends who live there are eager to speak up and claim the honor.
There are but three cities in all the Union where money is actually
made; that is, where metals are coined. The principal mint of the
United States is in Philadelphia. Here are made all the copper and
nickel coins--one, two and five cent pieces--and a large part of the
gold and silver coins used in the country. There are also branch mints
at San Francisco and Carson City. And at these places gold and silver
coins of every value are coined in great quantities.

Those of you who have been in Philadelphia will remember, on the north
side of Chestnut street, near Broad, a Grecian building of white
marble, somewhat gray from age, with a tall chimney rising from the
center, and the United States flag flying from the roof. This is the
mint. Let us climb the long flight of steps and enter the building. On
the door is a placard: "Visitors admitted from 9 to 12." The door opens
into a circular entrance hall, with seats around the wall. In a moment
a polite usher, who has grown gray in the service of the institution,
comes to show us all that visitors are allowed to see. He leads us
through a hall into an open court-yard in the middle of the building.
On the left is the weighing-room; and if you owned a gold mine, like
the boy I read of in a late number of ST. NICHOLAS, it is to this room
you would bring your gold to be weighed, so that you might know how
much money the mint must pay you for it. All the gold and silver
received in the mint is weighed in this room. Sometimes the gold is
brought in the form of fine dust; sometimes in the shape of grains from
the size of a pin's head to that of a pea; sometimes in plates and
bars, and sometimes it is old jewelry and table service. Visitors are
not allowed to enter the weighing-room; but, by looking through the
window you can see the scales, large and small, which are balanced with
wonderful delicacy, and the vault on the other side, where the treasure
is kept.

[Illustration: THE MINT AT PHILADELPHIA.]

"When the gold has been weighed," says our guide, "it is locked up in
iron boxes, and carried to the melting-room, where it is melted and
poured into molds."

A small piece is then cut off, and its fineness ascertained by a long
and delicate process called assaying. This decides the value of the
lot. The depositor is then paid, and the metal is handed over to the
melter and refiner, to be entirely freed from its impurities and made
fit for coinage.

And a hard time it has of it, to be sure. Nothing but pure gold and
silver could ever stand such treatment. It is melted again, dissolved
in nitric acid, squeezed under immense pressure, baked in a hot cellar,
and finally carried to this dingy-looking room, at the left of the
court-yard, where we have stood all this time. The metal is perfectly
pure now, but before the final melting one-tenth of its weight in
copper is added to it, to make it hard enough to bear the rough usage
which it will meet with in traveling about the world.

The room would be dark but for the fiery glow of the furnaces which
line one end of the place. On these are a number of small pots, filled
with red-hot liquid metal; and while we look, a workman lifts one after
another, with a pair of long tongs, and pours the glowing gold in
streams into narrow iron molds.

"This piece of gold," says the usher, taking up one of the yellow bars
from a cold mold, "is called an ingot, and is worth about 1,200
dollars."

One of the party asks why one end of the ingot is shaped like a wedge.

"That it may enter easily between the rollers," is the reply. "You will
see the rollers when we go upstairs."

The guide calls our attention to the curious false floor, made of iron
in a honey-comb pattern, and divided into small sections so that it can
be readily taken up to save the dust. He tells us that the sweepings of
these rooms have sometimes proved to be worth fifty thousand dollars in
a single year. The particles which adhere to the workmen's clothing are
also carefully saved, and there is an arrangement in the chimney for
arresting any light-minded atoms that may try to pass off in the smoke.

We would gladly remain longer, peering in at the glowing fires and the
swarthy figures of the workmen, but our guide is already half-way
across the court, and we reluctantly follow, stepping aside to make
room for a workman with his burden of silver bars, which he is carrying
to the next process.

This takes place in the rolling-room, where the short, thick ingots are
pressed between two steel rollers, again and again, till they are
rolled down into long thin ribbons of metal about the thickness of a
coin.

[Illustration: THE ROLLERS.]

The next step in the work is to draw the metal ribbons through a
"draw-plate," to bring them down to an exactly uniform thickness. This
pulling through a narrow slit in a steel plate hardens the metal, and
again and again it has to be put in the fire and brought to a light red
to make it soft and pliable. This drawing and annealing brings each
band of metal to just the right thickness and condition, and we may go
on and see the cutting-presses that stamp out the round pieces of metal
called "planchets." A workman takes a ribbon of gold and inserts the
end in the immense jaws of the press, and they bite, bite and bite, and
the round bits of gold drop in a shower into a box below.

[Illustration: POURING THE MELTED GOLD INTO THE MOLDS.]

"This press," says the usher, "is cutting double-eagles; and in the
single moment, by the watch, that we have been looking at it, it has
cut forty-five hundred dollars' worth. The same number of cuts would
make only two dollars and twenty cents if made in copper."

The machine goes on hastily biting out the round planchets to the end
of the ribbon, and then the guide holds up the long strip full of
holes, much as you have seen the dough after the cook has cut out her
ginger-snaps. These perforated bars go back to the furnace to be melted
over.

"The planchets," says the guide, "after being annealed in those
furnaces which you see at the rear of the room, are taken upstairs and
most carefully weighed."

None but women are employed in the weighing-room, and so delicate are
the scales that they will move with the weight of a hair. If a planchet
is found too light, it is thrown aside to be remelted; if only slightly
over the proper weight, a tiny particle is filed off from the edge; but
if the weight is much in excess, it is to go back to the furnace.
Nothing but perfection passes here, you see.

Now, one final washing in acid, then in water, and these much-enduring
bits of metal are admitted to the coining-room, there to receive the
stamp which testifies to their worth.

In the coining-room the planchets are first given to the
milling-machine. They are laid down flat between two steel rings, and
as the rings move one draws nearer to the other, and the planchets are
squeezed and crowded on every side, and finding no escape they turn up
about the edges and come out at the end of the sorry little journey
with a rim raised around the edges. Beyond the milling-machines stand
the ten coining-presses. These presses are attended by women. Watch
this one near us. At her right hand is a box containing silver
planchets, which are to be coined into fifty-cent pieces. On that round
"die," which you see in the center of the machine, are engraved the
letters and figures which are to appear on the back of the half-dollar.
Directly above the die, on the end of a rod, which works up and down
with the most exquisite accuracy, is the sunken impression of the face.

[Illustration: THE CUTTING PRESS.]

The woman gathers up a handful of the planchets and drops them one at a
time into a brass tube, which they just fit. They slip down in the
tube, and as the lowest planchet slides from under the tube, two small
steel arms spring out and grasp it and lay it on the die. At the same
instant, the upper die descends with a quick thump, and the silver
counter, stamped in a twinkling on both sides, falls into a box below.
In an instant, another takes its place, and thus they go on dropping
under the swiftly moving rod, and turning into coins in a flash.

[Illustration: "THE LONG STRIP FULL OF HOLES."]

Take up one of the coins and study it carefully. Every mark, letter,
number and bit of decoration is deeply cut in the metal. Even the
"reeding," or roughened edge, is stamped sharply, and we can tell just
what the coin is by feeling of it with the finger, even in the dark.
This last step finishes the work. The money is made, coined and ready
for exchange in the shop and market. Sometimes you may have noticed
that coins, like the nickel five-cent and the silver twenty-cent piece,
have smooth edges. In these coins the reeding is omitted. The dies in
the presses have only the letters and figures of the face and back of
the coin, and when the planchet is caught between them the metal is
squeezed up against the smooth sides of the die, and none of the little
reeding marks on the edge are formed.

"And now," says our kind conductor, "you have seen all the process of
making money. This next room is the cabinet, and here you can remain as
long as you please."

But I have not time to tell you half the curious and instructive things
you may see in this apartment. There are coins of all nations and ages.
Egyptian, Greek, and Roman, bearing effigies of forgotten kings and
emperors; curious oblong coins, of very fine workmanship, from China
and Japan, and others of a square shape with a hole in the middle, that
they may be strung on a string, instead of putting them into a purse.
Smallest of all, so small that you might overlook it, if your attention
was not especially drawn to it, is the "widow's mite." Perhaps----who
knows?--this may be the very coin which, dropped into the
trumpet-shaped mouth of the treasury, called forth the commendation of
the Savior upon the poor giver.

In other cases are the coins of England, France, Germany and other
modern nations; some more beautiful than our own, others far inferior
to them in design and workmanship. The cases around the wall are filled
with beautiful minerals, and, in particular, many fine specimens of
gold in its native state.

For so long a time have we been using paper money in this country that
it seemed almost useless to have mints to make coins, when ordinary
people never saw any of them, excepting those made of copper or nickel.

But our merchants, and others dealing with foreign countries, needed
gold, for our paper money could not be sent to Europe, or anywhere out
of the United States, to pay for goods; and so gold eagles and
double-eagles and half-eagles and quarter-eagles and gold dollars were
coined to be sent away, or to be used here to pay duties on imports.
Silver coins also were made, to be used in foreign countries, and among
these was the trade-dollar, which many of you may have seen.

[Illustration: THE COINING-PRESS.]

When silver small-change lately came into use again, there were many
boys and girls who had never seen a quarter or a half dollar. When they
spoke of fifty or twenty-five cents, they meant a piece of paper
currency, printed like a bank-note, of no value in itself, but only a
promise to pay.

But, since Congress has decided that we are to have not only silver
small-change, but also silver dollars, and now that these have became
again a part of the legal currency of the country; all three of our
mints have gone to work and are coining dollars as fast as they can,
for millions of them will be required, if we are all to use them.

I hope that you and I, dear reader, may be able to get as many of these
new dollars as we actually shall need, though perhaps none of us may
ever have as many of them, or of any other kind of money, as we think
we should like to have.



A SONG OF SPRING.

BY CAROLINE A. MASON.


  O the sweet spring days when the grasses grow.
        And the violets blow,
  And the lads and the lassies a-maying go!

  When the mosses cling in their velvet sheen,
        Like a fringe of green,
  To the rocks that o'er the deep pools lean;

  When the brooks wake up with a merry leap
        From their winter sleep,
  And the frogs in the meadows begin to peep;

  When the robin sings, thro' the long bright hours,
        Of his southern bowers,
  With a dream in his heart of the coming flowers;

  When the earth is full of delicious smells
        From the ferny dells,
  And the scent of the breeze quite plainly tells

  He has been with the apple-blooms! They fly
        From his kisses sly
  Like feathery snow-flakes scurrying by!

  O the saucy pranks of the madcap breeze
        In the blossoming trees!
  O the sounds that thrill, and the sights that please,

  And the nameless joys that the May days bring
        On their glad, glad wing!
  O the dear delights of the sweet, sweet spring!



SAM'S BIRTHDAY.

BY IRWIN RUSSELL.


On the nineteenth day of last month, Sam could and would have
testified, from information and belief, that he was "eight yeahs ol',
gwine on nine;" but on the morning of the twentieth, that interesting
infant of color was informed by his mother, as soon as he awoke, that
he was "nine yeahs ol', gwine on ten." When Aunt Phillis imparted this
surprising intelligence to her son, he was greatly amazed and
confounded; and he immediately began to speculate as to what
extraordinary combination of circumstances could have so suddenly
wrought this remarkable change.

"Hoo-_ee_!" he cried, "whut a pow'ful while I mus' ha' slep'! Or else I
grows wuss an' dat ar Jonus's gourd you tol' me 'bout, whut wuz only a
_teenchy_ leetle simblin at night, and got big as de hen-house afore
mornin'--early sun-up. Hm! hey! look heah, mammy, is I skipped any
Christmusses?"

"No, chile," replied his mother; "you aint skipped nuffin. Dis is yo'
buff-day: de 'fects ob which is, dat it's des so many yeahs sence you
wuz fust borned. I don't know how 't 'll be, Sam,--folks is sim'lar to
de cocoa-grass, whut grows up mighty peart, tell 'long come somebody
wid a hoe to slosh it down,--but ef you libs long enough, an' nuffin
happens, you'll keep on habbin a buff-day ebry yeah wunst a yeah till
you dies. An' ebry time you has one, son, you'll be one yeah older."

"Fine way to git gray-headed," said Sam.

At this moment a mighty crash resounded from the kitchen, down-stairs,
and Aunt Phillis descended the steps with great precipitation. Then Sam
heard her shouting, angrily:

"You, Bose! Oh, you _bettah_ git, you mean ole no-'count rascal! I do
'_spise_ a houn'-dog!"

Sam went on with his toilet, musing, the while, upon the probability of
his ever getting to be as old as Uncle "Afrikin Tommy," who was the
patriarch of the plantation, and popularly supposed to be "cluss onto"
two hundred years of age; and who was wont to aver that when _he_
arrived in that part of the country, when he was a boy, the squirrels
all had two tails apiece, and the Mississippi River was such a small
stream that people bridged it, on occasion, with a fence-rail. Thus
meditating upon the glorious possibilities of his future, Sam got ready
for breakfast, and went down. It was not until he had absorbed an
enormous quantity of fried pickled-pork and hot corn-cakes, and finally
with reluctance ceased to eat, that his mother told him what had caused
the noise a little while before,--how old Bose, the fox-hound, had with
felonious intent come into the kitchen, and surreptitiously "supped up"
the chicken-soup that had been prepared for Sam's birthday breakfast;
and further, how the said delinquent had added insult to injury, by
contemptuously smashing the bowl that he had emptied.

"I alluz did 'low," exclaimed Sam, in justifiable wrath, "as dat 'ar
ole houn' Bose wuz de triflin'est meanest dog in de whole State ob
Claiborne County!"

Sam, however, was too true a philosopher to cry long over spilt
milk--or soup. He reflected that the breakfast he had just taken would
prevent his eating any soup, even if he had it. "I isn't injy-rubber,"
said he to himself, with which beautiful and happy thought his frown
was superseded by a smile, the smile developed into his normal grin,
and he began to chant an appropriate stanza from one of his favorite
lyrics:

       "O-o-o-old Uncle John!
        A-a-a-aunt Sally Goodin!
      When you got enough corn-bread
        It's des as good as puddin'."

The excellent Aunt Phillis was much affected by this saint-like
conduct on the part of her son. She sighed; fearing that the boy was
too good to live.

"Nemmind, Sam," said she; "you needn't tote no wood to-day, or fetch no
water, or do nuffin. Go down to de quarters, an' git Pumble to play wid
you."

Pumble was a boy who in age and tastes corresponded closely with Sam,
as he did in complexion. His real name, at full length, was
Pumblechook,--he having been so christened at the instance of Mahs'r
George, in honor of the immortal corn-and-seedsman. Off went Sam in
search of this boy; and he found him at the back of the maternal
mansion splitting up pine-knots for kindlings. Sam approached him with
a very slow, dignified step, and a look of commiseration.

"Hey, nigger!" said Sam, "dat's all you fit for, is to work. Why don't
you be a gemman like me, whut aint a-gwine to do a lick o' work dis
whole day?"

"Done runned away, is you?" answered Pumble. "Well, I'll come 'round
dis ebenin, when de ole ooman gibs you a dose ob hickory-tea."

"Dat'll do, boy;" said Sam. "Let you know dis is my buff-day, an' _I_
wont work for _no_body, on _my_ buff-day. Go ax yo' mammy kin you come
up an' play wid me; tell her _my_ mammy sont word for you to come."

Pumble dropped the hatchet, stared ecstatically, and ran in to obtain
the desired permission. It was granted. Then this dialogue occurred:

"Be a good chile!"

"Yes'm."

"Don't forgit yo' manners!"

"Nome."

"'Member you's _my_ son!"

"Yes'm."

"Don't you git into no mischuf!"

"Nome."

"Ef you dose, I'll w'ar you out, sah! Now, go 'long!"

The boys trotted merrily away together. But they had not gone fifty
rods before they heard Pumble's mother calling him. They stopped to
listen.

"_Take--keer--ob yo'--clo'es!_" she shouted, and then went back into
her house.

Under a great pecan-tree, on the lawn before the "big house," Sam and
Pumble sat down to consider and consult, or, as they expressed it, "to
study up whut us gwine to do."

"Shill I tell a story?" asked Pumble.

"Does you know a good one?" inquired Sam.

"Dis story's gwine to be a new one," said Pumble "beakase I'll make it
up as I go 'long."

"Tell ahead," said Sam.

"Wunst apon a time--" began Pumble.

"What time?" interrupted Sam.

"Shut up! Wunst upon a time. Dey wuz a man. An' dis heah man lighted up
he pipe, an' started out on de big road. An' he went walkin' along.
Right stret along. An' walkin' along, an' walkin' along, _an'_ walkin'
along. An' _walkin'_ along. An' walkin' along, an' walkin' along--"

"Dat man wuz gwine all de way, wuzn't he?" interjected the listener.

[Illustration: "THE BOYS TROTTED MERRILY AWAY TOGETHER."]

"He hadn't got _no_ way, hardly, yit," said Pumble, "but he kep'
a-walkin' along. An' walkin' along, an' walkin' along, an' walkin'
along, an' walkin' along, an' walkin' along, an' walkin' along, an'
walkin' along, an' walkin' along--."

"Stop dat walkin' now," said Sam, "and tell whut he done when he _got
froo_ walkin'."

"He come to de place he wuz a-gwine to," said Pumble.

"Did he, sho' enough?" exclaimed Sam. "I wuz kinder skeered he wudn't
nebber git dar at all. Whut did he don nex'?"

"De nex' t'ing he done," said Pumble, impressively, "wuz to turn right
'round an' go back whar he come from. An' dat's all!"

As was his invariable custom when deeply impressed Sam began to sing,
Pumble joining in:

     "Jay-bird a-settin
        On a swingin' limb,
      He wink at Stephen,
        Stephen wink at him;
      Stephen pint de gun,
        Pull on de trigger,
      Off go de load--
        An' down come de nigger!"

Greatly refreshed and invigorated by the chanting of this touching
ballad, Sam and Pumble returned to the consideration of their day's
programme. A great many amusements were proposed, discussed, and
rejected in their respective turns. Almost any one of them would have
been held entirely satisfactory on any ordinary occasion, but Sam
thought none of them good enough for his birthday. He required
something extraordinary.

"Kaint you think up nuffin else?" he asked his friend, after a long
pause.

"I done thinked plumb to de back o' my head a'ready," replied Pumble.

"Den I tell you what," said Sam; "I heared my pappy say dis: when a
pusson want to think _rale strong_, he mus' lay down on de flat ob his
back and shet his eyes; an' den, putty soon, he kin think anything he
wants to. Let's try it."

This plan was immediately experimented on. Pumble instantly succeeded
in thinking; but he only thought that he wished he could have a
"buff-day" of his own. Very soon afterward, he ceased to think at all.
As for Sam, _his_ thoughts were for some time very ordinary--of too
commonplace a nature to be here recorded; but they gradually assumed
such an odd and remarkable shape that they may fairly be described as a
vision. It seemed to Sam that the whole country around, as far as one
could see, was transformed into one great field, in a perfect state of
cultivation. But the growing "crop" was not one of cotton, or corn, or
cow-peas, or sorghum, or anything else that he had ever before seen in
such a place. Coming up out of the ground were long rows of very
singular bushes, whereof the stalks were sticks of candy, and the
leaves were blackberry pies, and over the whole field was falling a
drenching rain of molasses. Sam, however, was most astonished at the
curious fruit that the bushes bore. The twigs of some of them supported
jew's-harps and tin trumpets; others bent beneath a wealth of
fire-crackers and Roman candles; others, again, were weighted with his
favorite sardines; and so on in endless variety. It is not at all
surprising that the idea occurred to him that this crop ought to be
"picked." He found himself becoming highly indignant at the negligence
of the planter--whoever he might be--in leaving all these good things
to spoil on the bushes; and he burned with a desire to have them
properly gathered, and to assist in that work himself. Accordingly, he
was just about to reach for a pie and a jew's-harp, by way of
beginning, when he found that this was made impossible, by the fact of
himself having been suddenly and incomprehensibly changed to a huge
water-melon. Over him grew one of the largest bushes, from whose
branches depended seven roasted 'possums. It was some consolation to
look at them, and imagine how good they would taste if he only _could_
taste them. Presently a little gingerbread bird flew down and began to
peck at him, and say, "Git up, Sam! You Sam! Sam!"

He woke up, and found that the wonderful field had vanished, and that
he was lying under the old pecan-tree instead of the 'possum-bush; and
there was his mother shouting in his ear:

"Sam! don't you heah me, you lazy--_S-a-m_! _Git_ up dis minnit an' go to
de well for a bucket ob water, sah, foah I _whoop_ you!"

Pumble sat up and stared.

"Why, mammy," said Sam, "you tol' me I needn't do no work, kase it's my
buff-day."

"I's ben countin' it up ag'in," said Aunt Phillis, "an' foun' out where
I made a mis-figger, de fust time, and tallied wrong altogedder.
'Cordin' to de _c'rect_ calkilation, yo' buff-day was one day _las'
month._ WALK arter dat water!"



WAIT

BY DORA READ GOODALE.


  When the icy snow is deep,
    Covering the frozen land,
  Do the little flowerets peep
    To be crushed by Winter's hand?

  No, they wait for brighter days,
    Wait for bees and butterflies;
  Then their dainty heads they raise
    To the sunny, sunny skies.

  When the cruel north winds sigh,
    When 'tis cold with wind and rain,
  Do the birdies homeward fly
    Only to go back again?

  No, they wait for spring to come,
    Wait for gladsome sun and showers;
  Then they seek their northern home,
    Seek its leafy, fragrant bowers.

  Trustful as the birds and flowers,
    Tho' our spring of joy be late,
  Tho' we long for brighter hours,
    We must ever learn to wait.



THE STORY OF MAY-DAY.

BY OLIVE THORNE.


Alas, children! the world is growing old. Not that dear old Mother
Earth begins to show her six thousand (more or less) years, by stiff
joints and clumsy movements, by clinging to her winter's rest and her
warm coverlet of snow, forgetting to push up the blue-eyed violets in
the spring, or neglecting to unpack the fresh green robes of the trees.
No, indeed! The blessed mother spins around the sun as gayly as she did
in her first year. She rises from her winter sleep fresh and young as
ever. Every new violet is as exquisitely tinted, as sweetly scented, as
its predecessors of a thousand years ago. Each new maple-leaf opens as
delicate and lovely as the first one that ever came out of its tightly
packed bud in the spring. Mother Nature never grows old.

But the human race changes in the same way that each one of us does.
The race had its childhood when men and women played the games that are
now left to you youngsters. We can even see the change in our own day.
Some of us--who are not grandmothers, either--can remember when youth
of fourteen and fifteen played many games which, nowadays, an
unfortunate damsel of six years--ruffled, embroidered, and white
gowned, with delicate shoes, and hips in the vice-like grasp of a
modern sash--feels are altogether too young for her. I dare say I shall
live to see the once-beloved dolls abandoned to babies; and I fear the
next generation will find a Latin grammar in the cradle instead of a
rattle-box, and baby cutting his teeth scientifically, with a surgical
instrument, instead of on a rubber ring.

Well, well! What _do_ you suppose our great-grandchildren will do?

We must not let these old-fashioned customs be forgotten, and I want to
tell you the story of May-day. A curious tale is told of the beginning
of the May-day celebration, which is of more venerable age than perhaps
you know. You shall hear it, and then you can believe as much as you
choose, as all the rest of the world takes the liberty of doing; for
although the grave old Roman writers put it in their books for truth,
it is very much doubted by our modern wiseheads, because it is so
unreasonable, and so inelegant (as our dainty critic says). As though
the world was always reasonable, forsooth! or undoubted historical
facts did not sometimes lack the important quality of elegance!

However it may be, here is the story: Many hundred years ago,--about
two hundred before Christ, in fact,--there lived in Rome a beautiful
woman named Flora. Had she lived in these luxurious days, she would
have enjoyed another name or two; but in those simple times she was
plain Flora.

Being human, this lady had a great dread of being forgotten when she
had left the world. So she devised a plan to keep her memory green. She
made a will giving her large fortune to the city of Rome, on condition
that a festival in her memory should be celebrated every year.

When the will came before the grave and reverend Roman senators, it
caused serious talk. To decline so rich a gift was not to be thought
of; yet to accept the condition they did not like, for it was a bold
request in Madam Flora, who had, to say the least, done nothing worthy
of celebrating. At last, according to the old story-tellers, a way out
of the difficulty was found, as there generally is; and the city
fathers decided to accept the terms, and make Flora worthy of the honor
by placing her among their minor deities, of which there were no less
than thirty thousand. She took her place as Goddess of Flowers, with a
celebration about the first of May, to be called Floralia, after her.

This little story may be a fable; but now I shall tell you some facts.
When the Romans came to Britain to live, many hundred years ago, they
brought, of course, their own customs and festivals, among which was
this one in memory of Flora. The heathen--our ancestors, you
know--adopted them with delight, being in the childhood of their race.
They became very popular; and when, some years later, a good priest,
Gregory, came (from Rome also) to convert the natives, he wisely took
advantage of their fondness for festivals, and not trying to suppress
them, he simply altered them from heathen feasts to Christian games, by
substituting the names of saints and martyrs for heathen gods and
goddesses. Thus the Floralia became May-day celebration, and lost none
of its popularity by the change. On the contrary, it was carried on all
over England for ages, till its origin would have been lost but for a
few pains-taking old writers, who "made notes" of everything.

The Floralia we care nothing for, but the May-day games have lasted
nearly to our day, and some relics of it still survive in our young
country. When you crown a May queen, or go with a May party, you are
simply following a custom that the Romans began, and that our remote
ancestors in England carried to such lengths, that not only ordinary
people, but lords and ladies, and even king and queen, laid aside their
state and went "a-Maying" early in the morning, to wash their faces in
May dew, and bring home fresh boughs and flowers to deck the May-pole,
which reared its flowery crown in every village.

Great were the doings around the May-pole, for which the tallest and
straightest of trees was selected. It was drawn to its place by as many
as thirty or forty yoke of oxen, their horns decorated with flowers,
followed by all the lads and lassies of the village. The pole was wound
or painted with gay colors, and trimmed with garlands, bright
handkerchiefs, and ribbon streamers, from top to bottom.

With great ceremonies, and shouts of joy, it was lifted to its place by
ropes and pulleys, and set up firmly in the ground; and then the people
joined hands and danced around it. The whole day was given up to
merriment, every one dressed in holiday clothes, doors and windows were
adorned with green boughs and flowers, the bells rang, processions of
people in grotesque dresses were arranged, and the famous Morris
dancers performed.

In this dance the people assumed certain characters. There was always
Robin Hood, the great hero of the rustics; Maid Marian, the queen, with
gilt crown on her head; Friar Tuck; a fool, with his fool's-cap and
bells; and, above all, the hobby-horse. This animal was made of
pasteboard, painted a sort of pink color, and propelled by a man
inside, who made him perform various tricks not common to horses, such
as threading a needle and holding a ladle in his mouth for pennies.

The various characters labored to support their parts. The friar gave
solemn advice, the queen imitated lady-like manners, the fool joked and
made fun, and the horse pranced in true horsey style.

This Morris dance is supposed to have been brought in early times from
Spain, where the Moors danced it, and where it still survives as the
"fandango."

All this May-day merriment came to an end when our grim Puritan fathers
had power in England. Dancing around the May-pole looked to them like
heathen adoration of an idol. Parliament made a law against it, and all
the May-poles in the island were laid in the dust. The common people
had their turn, when, a few years later, under a new king, the
prohibitory law was repealed and a new May-pole, the highest ever in
England (one hundred and thirty-four feet), was set up in the Strand,
London, with great pomp. But the English people were fast outgrowing
the sport, and the customs have been dying out ever since. Now, a very
few May-poles in obscure villages are all that can be found.

Though May-pole and Morris dancing were the most common, there were
other curious customs in different parts of the kingdom. In one place,
the Mayers went out very early to the woods, and gathering green
boughs, decorated every door with one. A house containing a sweetheart
had a branch of birch, the door of a scold was disgraced with alder,
and a slatternly person had the mortification to find a branch of a
nut-tree at hers, while the young people who overslept found their
doors closed by a nail over the latch.

In other places, wreaths were made on hoops, with a gayly dressed doll
in the middle of each, and carried about by girls, the little owners
singing a ballad which had been sung since the time of Queen Bess,--and
expecting a shower of pennies, of course.

In Dublin, the youths decorated a bush, four or five feet high, with
candles, which they lighted and danced around till burnt out. They then
lighted a huge bonfire, threw the bush on it, and continued their dance
around that. In other parts of Ireland, the boys had a mischievous
habit of running through the streets with bundles of nettles, with
which they struck the face and hands of every one they met. The sting
of nettle, perhaps you know, is a very uncomfortable pain. The same
people are very superstitious, and they believed that the power of the
Evil Eye was greater on the first of May than at any other time; and
they insured a good supply of milk for the year by putting a green
bough against the house, which is certainly an easy way. In old times,
the Druids drove all the cattle through the fire, to keep them from
diseases, and this custom still survives in parts of Ireland, where
many a peasant who owns a cow and a bit of straw is careful to do the
same.

In the Scottish Highlands, in the eighteenth century, the boys had a
curious custom. They would go to the moors outside of the town, make a
round table in the sod, by cutting a trench around it, deep enough for
them to sit down to their grassy table. On this table they would kindle
a fire and cook a custard of eggs and milk, and knead a cake of
oat-meal, which was toasted by the fire. After eating the custard, the
cake was cut into as many parts as there were boys; one piece was made
black with coal, and then all put into a cap. Each boy was in turn
blindfolded, and made to take a piece, and the one who selected the
black one was to be sacrificed to Baal, whose favor they wished to ask
for their harvest. The victim in that day had only to leap through the
fire; but there is little doubt that the whole thing was a survival
from the days when human beings were really sacrificed.

In the island of Lewis, in the west of Scotland, there prevails a
custom of sending a man very early on May-day to cross a certain river,
believing that if a woman crossed it first the salmon would not come
into the stream for a year.

May-day festivals were not confined to the British islands. They were
found, with variations suited to the different races, all over Europe.
In France, the day was consecrated to the Virgin, and young girls
celebrated it by dressing the prettiest one in white, crowning, and
decorating her with flowers, and throning her under a canopy of flowers
and greens, built beside the road. There she sat in state, while her
attendants begged of passers-by, for the "Lady of the May," money,
which was used in a feast later in the day.

In Toulouse, there was an ancient custom of giving a prize of a golden
violet for the best poem. This custom held its place for more than four
centuries. May-poles also flourished in France, and had gilt pendants.

The Dutch May-pole was still different, being surrounded by trees stuck
into flower-pots, and ornamented with gay-colored flags, and hoops with
garlands and gilt balls hanging. Another sort had wooden dolls made to
represent the figures of peasants, nailed against the pole by their
hands and knees, as though climbing it. There were also figures of
birds and people. In some parts of Germany it was the firm belief of
the common people that certain ill-disposed beings met on a high
mountain on May-day to dance and feast, with no good intentions to
their human neighbors. Accordingly on the day before, every family was
careful to have a thorn of a certain kind, which was stuck into the
door as a protection.

[Illustration: AN OLD-TIME MAY-DAY IN "MERRIE ENGLAND."]

The Scandinavians, whose first of May is not very balmy, had of old a
curious fight between Summer and Winter. Winter--or the man
representing him--was dressed in skins, armed with fire-forks, and
threw snow-balls and pieces of ice. Summer was dressed in green leaves
and summer dress. They had a mock fight which was called "Driving away
Winter and welcoming Summer," and in the Isle of Man, where Norwegians
had rule for many years, this custom lingered until very lately.

But, as the years went on, these merry games died out, and a few years
ago May-day was in London simply the festival of chimney-sweeps and
milk-maids, certainly a falling off from the times of King Henry VIII.
The only traces of the old custom of going a-Maying were the garlands
of the milk-maids and the Jack-in-the-green of the sweeps. The garland
(so called) was made of silver plate, borrowed for the day, and
fastened upon a sort of pyramid. Accompanying this droll garland were
the maids themselves in gay dress, with ribbons and flowers, and
attended by musicians who played for them to dance in the street.
Sometimes a cow was dressed in festive array, with bouquets and ribbons
on her horns, neck and tail, and over her back a net, stuck full of
flowers. Thus highly ornamented, the meek creature was led through the
streets.

The sweeps brought out the Jack-in-the-green, which was a tall cone
made of green boughs, decorated with flowers, gay streamers and a
flag, and carried by a man inside. Each of these structures was
followed by a band of sweeps who assumed certain characters, the
fashion of which had been handed down from the palmy times of May-day.

There were always a lord and lady who wore ridiculous imitations of
fashionable dress, and made ludicrous attempts to imitate elegant
manners. Mad Moll and her husband were another pair who flourished in
tawdry, gay-colored rags, and tatters, he brandishing a sweep's broom
and she a ladle. Jim Crow and a fancifully bedizened ballet-dancer in
white muslin, often swelled the ranks, and the rest of the party rigged
out in a profusion of gilt paper, flowers, tinsel and gewgaws, their
faces and legs colored with brick-dust, made up a comical crowd. But
even these mild remains of the great festival are almost entirely
banished to the rural districts, and are almost extinct there.

Poor Flora! (if there ever was such a person) she has her wish (if that
wish ever existed save in the imagination of the Romans); she is not
forgotten; her story survives in musty books, though her personality be
questioned; various marble statues bear her pretty name, and, after
running this declining scale through the ages, she and her May-day are
softened by time to a fragrant memory.



WILD GEESE.

BY CELIA THAXTER.


  The wind blows, the sun shines, the birds sing loud,
  The blue, blue sky is flecked with fleecy dappled cloud,
  Over earth's rejoicing fields the children dance and sing,
  And the frogs pipe in chorus, "It is spring! it is spring!"

  The grass comes, the flower laughs where lately lay the snow,
  O'er the breezy hill-top hoarsely calls the crow,
  By the flowing river the alder catkins swing,
  And the sweet song-sparrow cries, "Spring! it is spring!"

  Hark, what a clamor goes winging through the sky!
  Look, children! Listen to the sound so wild and high!
  Like a peal of broken bells,--kling, klang, kling,--
  Far and high the wild geese cry, "Spring! it is spring!"

  Bear the winter off with you, O wild geese dear!
  Carry all the cold away, far away from here;
  Chase the snow into the north, O strong of heart and wing,
  While we share the robin's rapture, crying, "Spring! it is spring!"



THE CHARCOAL-BURNERS' FIRE; OR, EASTER EVE AMONG THE COSSACKS.

(_A Russian Legend._)

BY DAVID KER.


"If you want me to tell you any wonderful stories, Barin, such as
_you've_ been telling us," says Ostap Mordenko, shaking his bushy
yellow beard, as he finished his cup of tea, "you're just looking for
corn upon a rock, as the saying is; for _I_ never had an adventure
since the day I was born, except that time when I slipped through a
hole in the ice, last winter. But, perhaps, it will do as well if I
tell you an old tale that I've heard many a time from my grandfather,
that's dead (may the kingdom of heaven be his!), and which will show
you how there may be hope for a man, even when everything seems to be
at the very worst.

"Many, many years ago, there lived in a village on the Don River, a
poor man. When I say he was poor, I don't mean that he had a few holes
in his coat at times, or that he had to go without a dinner every now
and then, for that's what we've all had to do in our time; but it
fairly seemed as if poverty were his brother, and had come to stay with
him for good and all. Many a cold day his stove was unlighted, because
he couldn't afford to buy wood; and he lived on black bread and cold
water from the New Year to the Nativity--it was no good talking to
_him_ about cabbage soup, or salted cucumber, or tea with lemon in
it.[A]

"Now, if he had only had himself to be troubled about, it wouldn't have
mattered a kopeck,[B] for a _man_ can always make shift for himself.
But, you see, this man had been married once upon a time, and, although
his wife was gone, his three children were left, and he had _them_ to
care for as well as himself. And, what was worse, instead of being
boys, who might have gone out and earned something for themselves, they
were all girls, who could do nothing but stay at home and cry for food,
and many a time it went to his heart so that he stopped his ears, and
ran out of the house that he mightn't hear them.

"However, as the saying is, 'Bear up, Cossack, and thou'll be Maman
(chief) some day;' so he struggled on somehow or other, till at last it
came to Easter Eve. And then all the village was up like a fair, some
lighting candles before the pictures of the saints; some baking cakes
and pies, and all sorts of good things; others running about in their
best clothes, greeting their friends and relations; and, as soon as it
came to midnight, such a kissing and embracing, such a shaking of hands
and exchanging of good wishes, as I daresay you've seen many a time in
our villages; and nothing to be heard all over the place but 'Christ is
risen!' 'He is risen indeed!'[C]

"But, as you may think, our poor Stepka (Stephen) had neither new
clothes nor rejoicings in _his_ hut--nor lighted candles either, for
that matter. The good old priest had left him a few tapers as he
passed, for _he_ was always a kind man to the poor; but he had quote
forgotten that the poor fellow would have nothing to kindle them with,
and so, though the candles were in their places, all ready for
lighting, there was not a glimmer of light to be seen! And that
troubled poor Stepka more than all his other griefs, for he was a true
Russian, and thought it a sore thing that he could not even do honor to
the day on which our Lord had arisen from the dead. Besides, he had
hoped that the sight of the pretty light would amuse his children, and
make them forget their hunger a little; and at the thought of their
disappointment his heart was very sore.

"However, as the proverb says, 'Sitting still won't make one's corn
grow.' So he got up and went out to beg a light from some of his
neighbors. But the people of the village (it's a pity to have to say
it), were a hard-hearted, cross-grained set, who had not a morsel of
compassion for a man in trouble; for they forgot that the tears of the
poor are God's thunder-bolts, and that every one of them will burn into
a man's soul at last, as good father Arkadi used to tell us. So, when
poor Stepka came up to one door after another, saying humbly, 'Give me
a light for my Easter candles, good neighbors, for the love of Heaven,'
some mocked at him, and others bade him begone, and others asked why he
didn't take better care of his own concerns, instead of coming
bothering _them_; and one or two laughed, and told him there was a fine
bright moon overhead, and all he had to do was to reach up a good long
stick and get as much light as he wanted. So, you see, the poor fellow
didn't get much by _that_ move; and what with the disappointment, and
what with grief at finding himself so shabbily treated by his own
neighbors, just because he happened to be poor, he was ready to go out
of his wits outright.

"Just then he happened to look down into the plain (for the village
stood on the slope of a hill), and behold! there were ever so many
lights twinkling all over it, as if a regiment were encamped there; and
Stepka thought that this must be a gang of charcoal-burners halting for
the night, as they often did in passing to and fro. So, then the
thought struck him, "Why shouldn't I go and beg a light from _them_;
they can't well be harder upon me than my own neighbors have been. I'll
try, at any rate!"

"And off he set, down the hill, right toward the encampment.

"The nearer he came to it, the brighter the fires seemed to burn; and
the sight of the cheery light, and all the people coming and going
around it, all so busy and happy, made him feel comforted without
knowing why. He went right up to the nearest fire, and took off his
cap.

"'Christ is risen!' said he.

"'He is risen indeed!' answered one of the black men, in such a clear,
sweet voice, that it sounded to Stepka just like his mother singing him
to sleep when he was a child.

"'Give me a light for my Easter candles, good people, I pray you.'

"'You are heartily welcome,' said the other, pointing to the glowing
fire; 'but how are you going to carry it home?'

[Illustration: STEPKA CARRIES THE FIRE IN HIS CLOAK.]

"'Oh, dear me!' cried poor Stepka, striking his forehead, 'I never
thought about that!'

"'Well, that shows that you were very much in earnest, my friend,' said
the other, laughing; 'but never mind; I think we can manage it for you.
Lay down your coat.'

Stepka pulled off his old patched coat and laid it on the ground,
wondering what was to come next; but what was his amazement when the
man coolly threw two great shovelfuls of blazing wood into the coat, as
coolly as if it were a charcoal bucket!

"'Hallo! hallo!' cried Stepka, seizing his arm, 'what on earth are you
about, burning my coat that way?'

"'Your coat will be none the worse, brother,' said the charcoal-burner,
with a curious smile. 'Look and see!'

"And, sure enough, the fire lay quietly in the hollow of the coat, and
never singed a thread of it! Stepka was so startled, that for a moment
he thought he had to do, not with charcoal-burners, but with something
worse; but, remembering how they had greeted him in the Holy Name, he
became easy again.

"'Good luck to you, my lad,' said the strange man, as the Cossack took
up his load. 'You'll get it home all right, never fear.'

"Away went Stepka like one in a dream, and never stopped till he got to
his own house. He lighted all his candles, and then awoke his children
(who had cried themselves to sleep) that they might enjoy the bonny
light; and, when they saw it they clapped their hands and shouted for
joy.

"Just then Stepka happened to look toward his coat, which he had laid
down on the table, with the burning wood still in it, and started as if
he had been stung. It was choke-full of _gold_--good, solid ducats[D]
as ever were coined, more than he could have counted in a whole hour.
Then he knew that his strange companions were no charcoal-burners, but
God's own angels sent to help him in his need; and he kneeled down and
gave thanks to God for his mercy.

"Now, just at that moment one of the neighbors happened to be passing,
and, hearing the children hurrahing and clapping their hands, he peeped
through the window, wondering what _they_ could find to be merry about.
But, when he saw the heap of gold on the table, everything else went
clean out of his head, and he opened the door and burst in, like a wolf
flying from the dogs.

"'I say,' cried he, without even stopping to give Stepka the greeting
of the day, 'where did you get this fine legacy from? It makes one's
eyes blink to look at it!'

"Now, Stepka was a good-hearted fellow, as I've said, and he never
thought of remembering how badly this very man had treated him an hour
or two before, but just told him the whole story right out, exactly as
I tell it you now. The other hardly waited to hear the end of it, but
set off full speed to find these wonderful charcoal-burners and try if
_he_ couldn't get some gold out of them, too. And, as there had been
more than a few listeners at the door while the tale was being told, it
ended with the whole village running like mad in the same direction.

"When they got to the burners' camp, the charcoal men looked at them
rather queerly, as well they might, to see such a procession come to
ask for a light all at once. However, they said nothing, but signed to
them to lay their coats on the ground, and served out two shovelfuls of
burning wood to each; and away went the roguish villagers, chuckling at
the thought of getting rich so easily, and thinking what they would do
with their money.

"But they had hardly gone a quarter of the way home, when the foremost
suddenly gave a terrible howl and let fall his load; and in another
moment all the rest joined in, till there was a chorus that you might
have heard a mile off. And they had good reason; for, although the fire
had lain in Stepka's coat, it wouldn't lie in theirs--it had burned
right through, and their holiday clothes were spoiled, and their hands
famously blistered, and all that was left of their riches was a smoke
and smell like the burning of fifty tar-barrels. And when they turned
to abuse the charcoal-burners, the charcoal-burners were gone; fires,
camp and men had all vanished like a dream!

"But as for Stepka, _his_ gold stuck by him, and he used it well. And
always, on the day of his visit to the charcoal-burners, he gave a good
dinner to as many poor folk as he could get together, saying that he
must be good to others, even as God had been good to _him_. And that's
the end of my story."


[Footnote A: The three great dainties of the Russian peasant.]

[Footnote B: One third of a penny; one hundred kopecks equal one
rouble.]

[Footnote C: The Easter greeting, and reply.]

[Footnote D: The Russian word is "tchervontzi"--gold pieces worth five
dollars each.]



PARLOR BALLOONING.

BY L. HOPKINS.


[Illustration]


There goes the toy balloon man!

Here, take this ten-cent piece; run after him as hard as ever you can,
and bring me one of those over-grown ripe-cherry-looking things, and I
will show you a few queer tricks the toy balloon can do, which, I'll
venture to say, the inventor of toy balloons himself never thought of.

Ah! I see you have picked out a fine plump one. Now for a bit of
paper--any kind will do. This, torn from an old newspaper at random,
will serve the purpose admirably.

Now, I crumple it up at one corner, and tie it to Mr. Balloon's half
yard or so of tail, and turn him loose in the room. He rises slowly for
a little, and then as slowly settles down to the floor. That won't do.
I want to see him exactly balanced between floor and ceiling; so, of
course, the paper must be of exactly the same weight as the balloon
itself. We soon can accomplish that. See! I tear off a bit more. Top
heavy yet? He rises higher this time, and settles down more slowly to
the floor. Tear again. Whew! I took off too much that time. He rises to
the ceiling, bumping his head against it a few times, and finally
remains there in a sullen manner as if determined he will have no more
of our nonsense.

[Illustration]

I recapture him, and this time I add to the weight of his tail, by
dividing in two the last bit which I tore off, and twisting it around
the string.

Now, then, sir, you may go! See! he rises slowly, slowly, until about
midway between floor and ceiling, where he stops and turns slowly
about, as if making up his mind what to do next.

[Illustration]

Presto! a current of air strikes him, and he begins dodging about in a
frantic manner, as if to escape from some invisible enemy. Presently he
becomes calmer, and proceeds to explore every nook and corner of the
room; now going up close to the clock on the mantel, as if to ascertain
the time of day; now taking a look at himself in the mirror; then,
turning suddenly away (as if in confusion to find you have caught him
at it), he moves toward the window, and pretends to be interested in
what is going on outside; but, a draught of air coming briskly in, he
hastens away as fast as ever he can, as if in fear of taking cold.
Skimming along close to the floor, he reaches the opposite side of the
room, and, slowly rising again, peers into the canary's cage. The
occupant resents the liberty with erect feathers, and our balloon
quickly descends, and takes refuge under the piano. Recovering his
presence of mind, presently he peeps cautiously out, and begins to
ascend again. Here he comes toward us--slowly, majestically! Strike at
him with a fan, and lo! he retreats in great disorder to a remote
corner of the room, dodging about in most eccentric fashion, when,
recovering his self-possession after a time, he goes about examining
the pictures on the wall with the air of a critic. You lie down on
your back, on the comfortable sofa in the corner, watching the balloon
as it sails slowly about, and wondering what it will do next,
until--until you fall asleep!

[Illustration]

You are awakened by something tickling your nose; and, looking up, you
suddenly discover the toy balloon hovering over you, with its tail in
your face, and apparently enjoying your surprise.

[Illustration]

All this, and much more indeed, will a toy balloon do, if treated in
the manner I have described.

Begin with a piece of paper rather heavier than the balloon, and tear
off bit by bit until the two exactly balance.



DRIFTED INTO PORT.

BY EDWIN HODDER.


CHAPTER IX.

AMONG THE FISHER FOLKS.


We cannot follow the holiday party through all their pleasant
wanderings, nor tell of the impressions made upon them by the scenes,
celebrated in history and romance, through which they traveled.

Their drives in the midday heat, their strolls in the cool evening,
their resting hours as they talked over the events of the day, all were
harmonious and gladsome.

If there was one part of the trip which gave them greater pleasure than
the rest, it was their visit to the Shetland Isles.

There was an indescribable pleasure to our young folks in wandering
under cliffs gaunt and bare, and hearing the stories of Vikings, who
fought and fell,--or fought and conquered in these isles.

Sometimes in their wanderings they would come upon a "fairy-ring," and
as they listened to the strange stories told by the islanders, they
seemed to be really in some bewitched and spell-bound place. Or,
perhaps a "kern," standing solitary upon some hill-top, would call
forth a whole series of Danish and Norwegian legends, which would give
them food for reflection for days.

Many a pleasant adventure they had as they rode together on their
sure-footed little "shelties," or climbed the crags and rocks to look
down upon the isles, "like so many stars reflected from the sky." And
many a pleasant talk they had with the hospitable inhabitants, who
rehearsed to them some of the dangers which assail the dwellers in
those solitary little islands. The narrow belts of sea, which divide
their ocean-girded homes, have constantly to be ferried across, and
many a boat which has gone out manned with a gallant crew has never
returned or sent a waif to tell its story.

It was partly to acquire a knowledge of the Shetland character, and to
see some phases of its home-life, that our friends, when they came at
last to one little village by the sea, where they had only intended to
make a flying visit, determined to halt there for a few days. It was a
charming spot; on the one side of the village there were to be seen
some of the finest specimens of the savage grandeur of cliff and crag,
and on the other the smiling, genial face of cultivation and quiet
beauty.

On the morning our friends arrived at the village they found three
fishermen at work beside their cottage door, on the margin of the sea.
They were brothers--Ole, Maurice, and Eric Hughson; all young men,
handsome, strong and intelligent. Howard and Martin made friends with
them at once, and as the morning was calm and bright, entered into
arrangements with them for their best boat to be launched, so that our
friends might have a long sail, to visit some of the caverns abounding
on the coast, and to see the homes of the wild sea-birds, and the
haunts of the fowlers.

When the hamper of provisions was safely on board, and the party for
the picnic had followed it, of course the sea air and the fine scenery
set every tongue loose, so that the solitary places rang again with the
merry laughter and the voice of song. And then, when the first
irrepressible pleasure had spent itself a little, the young folks
gathered round the three brothers, and listened with attentive interest
to the yarns they were spinning to Mr. Morton about some of the places
they were passing; for every spot in the Shetlands has its own story.

Madeleine noticed that beneath the mirth and apparent gayety of the
men, there seemed to be an under-current of deep feeling, probably born
of sorrow, and she determined, if possible, to find her way to the
hearts of the fine manly fellows, in whom she began to be interested.

It was not long before an opportunity occurred. The boat was steered
round a huge bluff, and before our friends were aware where they were
going, they found themselves in a vast cavern. There was something
awful in the half-darkness into which they passed, and the dreary
stillness, only broken by the splashing of the water against the sides
of the cave, enhanced the feeling. As the boat rested in the midst of
the cavern, they looked up, and saw as it were, stars shining through
the massive roof; they looked around, and the huge rocks seemed like
burnished metal. It was a curious sight, and the sounds were equally
curious for every word they spoke came back again to the speaker, with
a ghostly hollowness.

Madeleine, with Howard and Martin, sang a song together, which sounded
splendidly within this vaulted cave, with all its wild re-echoings.
When it ended, the boat glided slowly out of the cavern, and although
they had enjoyed the somber magnificence they had left, they were all
glad to be in the fresh air and cheerful sunshine again.

Madeleine watched her opportunity, and when she saw Eric alone in the
fore part of the boat, she quietly disengaged herself from the rest of
the party, and, sitting down beside him, said: "Eric, I believe you
have seen some great sorrow, though you are so young."

"I was only twenty-two last birthday, Miss, but I have had sorrow
enough."

"Would it pain you to tell me your story?" she said.

"No, Miss, it may do me good to tell it. It is a short and sad one. Two
years ago my two brothers, Robbie and Gideon, both younger than I am,
went away from here on a whaling expedition. There was a fine crew of
fifty, half of them Shetlanders and the rest English. There were one or
two gentlemen's sons amongst the crew, and as nice a set of fellows
altogether as a seaman could wish. They set sail in good spirits, and
it was from the headland yonder that we heard their cheers, as they
sailed out on their whaling expedition. From that day to this no word
has come of them, and we fear that all are lost. It has been a heavy
blow to us. When they went away it seemed as if the light had gone out
of the old home, for they were young and merry and clever. The long
waiting to hear from them has been as bad as the fear that they have
perished."

"God comfort you, Eric," said Madeleine, tenderly, as she wiped away
her tears. "God comfort you. No words of mine can help to heal this
wound."

"Thank you, Miss," said Eric. "I see you feel for us, and that
helps--better than words, sometimes."



CHAPTER X.

IN THE STORM.


The next morning, as Howard and Martin were coming up from the beach,
where they had been taking a swim, they saw Maurice and Eric standing
on the edge of a cliff looking out seaward, and they had not walked far
before Eric came hastily toward them.

"You've never seen a Shetland storm, young gentlemen," he said, "but
you may see one to-day and to-morrow, too, for I doubt if you will get
away from here as soon as you expected. I see the ladies coming out; it
might be well to go and tell them."

"Come along, Madeleine! Hurry, Ethel!" cried Martin; "you will soon see
the sight we have longed for--a storm at sea. Eric says there is one
brewing."

The ladies looked incredulous, and Mr. Morton put on his double
eye-glasses, and looked around with the air of one who more than half
suspects he is being taken in.

It was a still, lovely summer morning. The sea was as calm as a village
brook; the waves lazily played upon the shore, and the breeze scarcely
stirred the little flag which Eric had mounted on his boat in honor of
the visitors.

Presently, however, the dark clouds came up in rapid procession; the
surf began to sigh and moan; the sea-fowls caught the sound, and cried
as they only cry when the ocean is angry. The boats lying out hoisted
sail and scudded away for the nearest haven of shelter. Then a white
line of light rose up sharply against the black bank of clouds, and the
still sea became covered with white-crested waves. The quiet shore rang
again with the booming of waters, as they leapt against the rocks and
broke in foaming spray.

It was a grand sight. The whole aspect of sea and sky and land had
changed.

Ole, Maurice and Eric had withdrawn from the party of visitors and were
standing on an eminence, talking earnestly, and looking out to sea with
such evident anxiety, that Howard and Martin clambered up to them to
hear what was the matter.

"Well, sir, you see that ship out there, we can't make her out," said
Maurice. "We've watched her for an hour, and she hasn't shifted an inch
of sail."

"I don't see her at all," said Howard. "Do you, Martin?"

No, Martin could not, because he had not that wonderfully acute sight
which the discipline of constant experience gives to seamen.

However, with the aid of a glass he saw her clearly, and was seaman
enough to know that she was playing a dangerous game in carrying so
much canvas in such a gale.

"And what's the strangest part of all is, that she's making straight
for rocks, if she keeps the same course," said Ole.

"Can't you make out who or what she is?" asked Howard.

"I should say by her build she was a whaler," answered Maurice, taking
up the glass again and having a long look. Then he hastily passed it to
Ole and Ole to Eric.

"There's no time to be lost," said Ole, "the storm will be too heavy in
another hour for us to put off. She's in danger, there's no mistake,
and we must get to her. It seems to me there can't be any crew on
board, or if there is, they must be mad. It's the strangest thing I
ever saw."

In a few moments all was excitement; the news spread through the
village like wild-fire; every cottage was astir; old and young came out
to see and hear and speculate; while half a dozen stalwart fellows,
including the three brothers, made ready for the start. Howard and
Martin were among the first to volunteer to accompany them, but the
fishermen would not hear of it. There was no time to discuss the
matter; all was hurry and bustle.

See! the crew is ready; all hands are wanted for the launch. It is no
easy matter; the waves are beating in on the shore, and threaten to
swamp the boat almost before she starts on her perilous errand. Hurrah!
she rides! Ole is at the helm; a manly cheer comes to the now silent
watchers on the shore, and the little craft plunges through the waters,
now rising on a crested wave, now sinking into the valley of waters,
but speeding her devious way toward the mysterious ship.

Madeleine clings to the arm of Howard, pale with the excitement. Ethel
has hardly dared to speak, and Martin has not found it in his heart to
break the intense silence of those anxious moments as they watch the
departure.

But see! a group has gathered on the spot where Ole, Maurice and Eric
had stood. It is the favorite lookout. The glass is there, and an old
man has taken it in his steady hand, and is reporting the news by
little jerks of speech to the anxious throng around him. It is Ole
Hughson, the father of the three brothers.

"Can make out one man on board. He sees them. They've tacked again. It
aint so bad as it looked. Sea's quieter there. Hulloa! there goes a
sail to ribbons. They are tacking again. She has slackened sail. Good!
good!"

But other eyes can now make out the scene, for the ship draws nearer,
and the eyes that have gazed so long seem to have gained strength to
see further.

The Shetland boat nears the ship; it is near enough for the crew to
catch the cry that comes from the solitary man upon the deck.

See! the little boat tacks again, and is now close in the wake of the
ship. Good heavens! in that sea, with those waves running, will they
dare to attempt to board her?

Yes, a rope has been thrown to them. Thank God, it is caught! But the
little boat has sunk! No, she has but gone down in the great valley of
waters, and is riding safe and sound. Look! some one from the Shetland
boat has caught hold of the rudder-chains. He climbs the dangerous way.
He is on board. It is Eric--the brave, dauntless Eric. Another and
another follow, and all reach the ship in safety.

No sooner had the brave Shetlanders mounted the deck than they were at
work with a desperate will. A glance sufficed to show them that the
management of the vessel depended upon them; and in a moment they were
masters of the situation. Ole established himself at the wheel, and
thundered forth his orders.

As if by magic, the course of the vessel was altered; dangling spars
were cut away and thrown adrift, sail was taken in, and our friends on
the shore could see that they were endeavoring to bring the ship to
haven in the bay.

No time was to be lost with those who would witness the arrival and
disembarkation; for, although it would have been a comparatively short
distance if there had been a sea-coast and a calm sea, the haven was
cut off from the village by rugged rocks and headlands, which
necessitated a journey of some miles.

Howard and Martin, as soon as they saw that the ship was in the hands
of the fishermen, rushed off at the top of their speed to get ready the
first shelties they could lay their hands on, knowing, that in such a
time of excitement, everybody in the place being related, directly or
indirectly, to the six men who were on board, it was vain to put much
trust in the help of others.

That morning marked an epoch in the life of Mrs. Morton. She had always
been too languid to encounter any excitement of any sort, but she had
watched the events of this day with an interest which was as new to
herself as it was to all who knew her. And when the young folks
declared that they must see the end of the matter, come what might,
nothing could dissuade her, despite the fatigue, from making one of the
party.

There was a tedious delay in getting the ponies together and saddling
them for the journey. Those who had gone off on foot, and were
accustomed to fatigues, had gained a long march on the visitors, and
Howard had agreed with Martin that it would save time in the end if
they only took four ponies, for the ladies and Mr. Morton, and went
themselves on foot.

At last all was ready, and the start was made with the best speed
possible in the circumstances. But they labored under one or two great
disadvantages; the first was that they did not know the quickest route,
and the next was that they could not see the vessel, having to make an
inland journey to reach the haven.

When at last they came to the edge of a cliff, which they rightly
judged must overlook their destination, a scene broke upon their view
which staggered them.

The ship was at anchor; many people were upon the shore, and in little
knots they were kneeling round the bodies of men stretched upon the
strand, while boats were passing to and fro, freighted, as it would
seem, with the dying and the dead.

"This is no scene for you, my dears," said Mr. Morton, as he saw the
pallor on the faces of those around him, "we must return at once."

"Return?" cried Madeleine, "when perhaps the dead can be ministered
to, and the dying cheered. Oh! no, no!"

It was useless to resist such an appeal, nor was it necessary, for, as
she spoke, a woman, running, drew near to them.

"Tell me, what does it mean?" cried Howard to her.

"Near twenty men on board, dead and dying. The ship is half full of
water, and is sinking."

They urged their way along, passing groups in attendance on the
prostrate ones upon the shore. Howard and Martin led; the others
followed. The whole party gathered about a boat that had just come in,
and from which Eric was trying to lift the apparently lifeless body of
a young man.

All at once, Mrs. Morton threw up her arms, uttered a piercing cry, and
fell forward to the ground. Then, in quick succession, horror, surprise
and joy filled the hearts of the little group, as they, too, recognized
in Eric's burden the form and features of Digby Morton!

[IN THE ICE. [SEE PAGE 499.]]



CHAPTER XL.

A STRANGE STORY.


The wind is hushed now. The sea beats no longer with rude shocks
against the echoing cliffs. The sea-birds have gone to their nests, and
the moon, bright and beautiful, is flooding ocean and land with its
calm, clear light.

Howard and Martin walk together along the grassy way between their
cottage and the sea.

They look anxiously, from time to time, along the road, for they are
expecting the arrival of the doctor, and they make a start together as
they see a form in the distance. But it is not the doctor; it is Eric.

"Well, Eric, what news? How are your patients to-night?"

"Going on well, thank God!" he answered. "Gideon is sitting up in bed,
and has been talking a bit, but not much, for the doctor says it would
be the worst thing he could do. And Robbie is picking up strength, but
it's slowly--slowly, poor Robbie!"

"We must hope and pray, and use the best means we can. God helps those
who help themselves," said Howard.

"But He helps those most who cannot help themselves, it seems to me,"
said Martin, "when I think of all that has happened during the past few
days."

"It really does seems so, sir," said Eric; "and to think that Mr.
Digby, that you all thought was dead and gone years ago, should have
sailed in that same ship along with my two brothers whom we had given
up as lost, and that all should come back again together, and their
ship drift into the very port they started from! I feel as if I
couldn't believe it; I'm sure I shouldn't if I read it in a book."

"It is strange, very strange; yet there are stranger things happening
around us every day, Eric, than any man could invent. But, tell me, has
Gideon yet spoken of Mr. Digby in his talk?"

"Bless you, sir, he's talked of nothing else! From what I can make out,
Mr. Digby has been the life and soul of the party, and that everybody
loved him you may guess from the fact that almost the first question of
every one that has come to, has been about him. But I beg pardon for
not asking before, sir; how is Mr. Digby, to-night?"

"Better, we hope. Certainly better than he was yesterday. He has not as
yet shown any gleam of consciousness, but he has been able to take
plenty of nourishment, and it is upon this that we ground a good hope.
But see, yonder comes the doctor, and I hope he will report favorably
of all." Never could a medical man have shown a greater interest in a
patient than Dr. Henderson did in Digby. He had heard portions of his
strange story from others of his patients who had been saved from the
ill-fated ship, and the loving solicitude of all had drawn from him an
answering tenderness.

"I shall stay with him to-night," said he, "if you will allow me, for I
anticipate a change in him soon, and I am extremely anxious that at
first he should receive enough information to satisfy him, and at the
same time that he should have no clue as to where he is or by whom he
is surrounded. After his intense excitement and the almost superhuman
fatigue he has undergone,--for it was he who was the last to give up,
and then not until the Hughsons were safe aboard the ship,--the least
shock might prove fatal. So, you go away and leave me with him. But
stay," added the doctor to Mr. Morton, who had now joined them; "just
now one of the men gave me this book--a Bible--which he found on the
ship; and as it bears the name of Howard Pemberton in the fly-leaf, I
brought it with me, and with especial interest, for, inclosed in the
cover, is a packet addressed to you, Mr. Morton."

Mr. Morton took the book with trembling hands, and when he had reached
his own room he sat alone and read with deep emotion the strange story
of his son's life. It ran as follows:

    Baffin's Bay.

    I know not into whose hands this paper will fall, but it is my
    earnest, perhaps dying entreaty that it may be placed in the hands
    of my parents, my sister, Dr. Brier, or Howard Pemberton, all of
    whose addresses will be found elsewhere.

    I write this letter to the man whose name I bear and whom I have
    most deeply wronged.

    Much sorrow, and anxiety, my dear father, must have resulted from
    my cruel conduct, and I would confess, without a wish to conceal
    one single fact, the sins which wrought such mischief and have
    brought such strange punishments. I can only do so by telling the
    story of how one sin led to another, until all culminated in that
    fearful fraud, the pretense of death.

    For the first year that I was at Blackrock school I strove with all
    my strength to do and be what Dr. Brier and his kind, good wife
    would wish. Their influence over me was kind and gentle and good. I
    can never repay the debt of gratitude I owe them. But by degrees I
    grew to hate the restraints of school, and I was drifting,
    drifting, I knew not whither.

    My best friends at school were Howard Pemberton and Martin
    Venables. I loved them at the first with all the enthusiasm a boy
    feels when he thinks he has found his ideal friends. They supplied
    to me the lack of brothers; they were true, manly, high-minded
    friends. But as soon as I began to drift away from the good I had
    ceased to strive after, I loosened my hold on them.

    It was about a year before I left Blackrock school when my aversion
    to study and to all restraint became almost uncontrollable. During
    my holidays I once fell in with a young man, James Williams, who
    led a wild, reckless life. He had run away from home, had crossed
    the seas, and had raised money in various ways, which enabled him
    to indulge freely his wild fancies. His yarns about the sea, and
    the adventures he had met and dangers encountered, fired me with a
    mania to follow a similar career. The constant reading by stealth
    of pernicious books, of which smugglers and pirates were the
    heroes, stimulated the desire, and undermined the principle in
    which I had been educated; until, at length, when you informed me
    that I was to study under Mr. Vickers for the law, I determined to
    run away from school and seek my living by adventure. James
    Williams fostered the resolve, and often urged me to it; but my
    great difficulty was how to obtain money. By an accidental
    circumstance, Howard Pemberton became aware of my passion for the
    sea, and he upbraided me about it, kindly and honestly, but I could
    not brook it; my old friendship with him ceased, and I grew to hate
    him.

    About this time, the reception was given at Dr. Brier's of which
    you have heard. But you have not heard, and never can know, what
    that evening was to me. Satan seemed to have entered into me as he
    did into Judas.

    I took the miniature and snuff-box from the cabinet in which they
    were placed by Mrs. Brier, and resolved to cast the suspicion of
    the theft upon Howard.

    That night I placed the miniature in the hands of Williams, who
    gave me twenty pounds for it, and the snuff-box I placed in the
    ticking of Howard's bed.

    Need I tell you all the catalogue of wrong? You can almost guess
    the rest. Williams procured for me a suit of clothes which would
    disguise me, and these were placed ready for me by arrangement with
    him. The early morning was very cold, and as I intended to travel
    far I thought I would take my great coat. In the hurry and
    excitement of the moment, I mistook Howard's for mine.

    I left my clothes upon the river bank, and that afternoon I set
    sail for America.

    In America I spent a few months, the remembrance of which I would
    gladly blot from my memory. Money came to me fast from gambling,
    and as quickly went. All the time I was restless, fearful, ill at
    ease and sick at heart. I had never heard one single word of how my
    disappearance might have afflicted those I left behind. I knew not
    whether you really thought me dead, or whether my secret had oozed
    out. At length I determined, with tears of penitence, to return, to
    confess all, to purchase back the miniature from Williams with
    money I had won. And, with this resolve, I started back to England.
    On arriving, I took up a newspaper, and you may judge the terror I
    felt as I read the account of Williams's awful death with the
    miniature upon him. It staggered me, but it did not melt my heart.
    I interpreted it that my plans were frustrated, as I found that Dr.
    Brier had obtained possession of the miniature. I dared not remain
    in the country, for fear of discovery and of identification with
    the crime of Williams; but I could not tear myself away until I had
    once more visited the neighborhood of the dear old school-house.

    I cannot think without emotion of that moonlight night when I lay
    down beside the marble pillar which tender hearts had caused to be
    placed there, "In loving memory of D.M." Oh, my father, how true it
    is that "the way of transgressors is hard!" I thought my heart
    would break as I lay there on the cold earth and wept the bitterest
    tears I ever shed.

    If I could but have caught sight of Dr. Brier, or felt the
    motherly touch of Mrs. Brier's hand upon my shoulder,--if I could
    but have heard the ring of Howard's or Martin's voice in the
    play-ground, I felt as if the evil within me would have taken
    flight and I should have risen up a regenerated man.

    But I was alone. Dead! dead! And I went away with my heart cold and
    sad, and my future all dark and purposeless.

    A twelvemonth ago I fell in with some Shetlanders who were about to
    start on a whaling cruise, and, as the expedition promised plenty
    of adventure and excitement, I joined them.

    Three months after we left Shetland, we were fast in the ice. For
    nine months and more we have been almost starving, and have had to
    endure bodily suffering in other respects of a most severe kind.

    I have written the foregoing part of my story at intervals, and I
    would now bring it to a conclusion, for the ice is breaking up, and
    we have before us our last chance.

    Literature has been very scarce on board, and I had only brought
    one book with me. It was Howard Pemberton's Bible. I found it in
    the coat I had taken accidentally on the morning I left Blackrock
    school, and I never parted with it, hoping I might be able to
    restore it some day, for I found it was a sacred relic given to him
    by his father, and bearing in its cover his portrait and a copy of
    the dying words he spoke to Howard.

    That book became my friend, and it led me to recognize a friend in
    its Divine author. I had striven in vain to save myself from
    myself. This book pointed me the way. I should never have read it,
    however if it had not been for the kind sympathy of our captain. A
    nobler man, or a truer Christian, I never met.

    But our captain died, and my strength gradually failed from
    privation. I cannot tell you here all that happened, but I must
    refer you to a diary which I have daily kept posted, and that will
    explain more fully what I am unable to write now.

    We are free from the ice at last, and are drifting we know not
    whither! My strength is well-nigh gone. Not a man on board can move
    a hand to touch a sail. Perhaps these will be the last words I
    shall ever write.

    I crave from you, my dear father, and from all whom I have wronged,
    forgiveness for the sorrow, distress, and injury I have wrought.
    Return the Bible, please, if it ever comes into your possession, to
    Howard, and tell him how I thank God for its blessed teachings.

    Land is in sight; we fancy it must be the Orkneys. A storm is
    gathering. Nine men lie dead upon the deck. There appears to be
    certain death for us all.

As Mr. Morton finished reading the letter, he paced the room to and
fro, while the hot tears fell freely down his face; and his heart was
full of thanksgiving and praise as he cried, "This, my son, was dead
and is alive again; he was lost and is found."



CHAPTER XII.

A FAREWELL.


It was a fortnight before Digby was well enough to leave his room, and
then he had to be carried in the strong arms of Howard and Martin. So
weak--so utterly weak was he--that the strong man had become as a
little babe, and Dr. Henderson sometimes feared that he would never
know health again.

But he was bright and cheerful and happy. The joy he experienced in
finding so many dear ones around him, the relief in having unburdened
his mind, and being assured of a full and complete forgiveness; the
feeling of gratitude for the glad changes which had come to his father
and mother, and for his own happy deliverance from death, made him
think and talk so cheerily, that Ethel's heart rejoiced as she found in
the long-lost one more than her old ideal Digby.

Howard and Martin had exceeded the time of their leave from business
duties, but, in the circumstances of the case, they had been allowed
longer furlough, and were now waiting for the time when Digby would be
well enough to travel, so that they might superintend his journey home.

And the last day of the Shetland visit came. It was with a feeling of
sadness that our friends went round on the afternoon of that day to
call upon the cottagers and leave their little presents and say
farewell.

Not the least memorable event of the visit, was the gathering of the
villagers in the large room of the cottage, where our friends had taken
up their abode. It was the last night in Shetland, and it had been
Digby's earnest wish that, if he could bear it, the Hughsons and their
friends, and as many as were saved from the death-stricken ship, should
meet together to say farewell. Early in the evening, the villagers, in
their best Sunday clothes, began to assemble, and, before very long,
the room and the passage-way and the stair-way were crowded.

Dr. Henderson was there, too, and he reminded the folks present that
time was flying, and that the strength of his patients must not be
taxed too far. Then Mr. Morton rose. His face was very pale, and at
first his voice was tremulous.

"Good people all," he said, "a kind Providence brought me and mine to
this friendly island, and here we have seen and heard strange and happy
things. Curious circumstances have brought us all together; and, in
greater or less degree, we have been dependent upon one another; we
have shared suspense, joy and anxiety together; and we have received
mercies from the Great Father of us all more than we can trust our lips
to tell. You, my good sir," pointing to old Mr. Hughson, "have received
from the jaws of death two of your sons. Heaven bless them! You,"
pointing to a woman, "once more rest in the love of a husband; you, my
little ones, are rejoicing in a father's return; and I--I have received
safe and sound, my only son, whom I had long mourned as dead. Let us
thank God, all of us."

A fervent amen was uttered as if by one voice.

After this, with chat and with song, time stole away, and the happy
meeting would have been continued for an indefinite time, if Dr.
Henderson had not announced it as his opinion that it would be neither
wise nor kind to prolong it. And so with benedictions upon one another
the company separated, and the next morning our friends left the
island.

And now my story is done. I need only tell you that, after a long
time, Digby regained his strength; that he never studied law with Mr.
Vickers; but, having been started in business by his father, became a
successful merchant, with ships of his own, on which several of the
Hughson brothers found happy and profitable positions. Howard and
Martin grew to be prosperous men, and Madeleine and Ethel not only
rejoiced, but shared in their prosperity; for, of course, these two
young men could find no better wives than these two young women. But I
could not even begin to tell you of the happiness and thankfulness that
filled the heart of every person in this story, when thought arose of
that vessel which was so mercifully drifted into port.

THE END.

[Illustration]



JOHNNY'S LOST BALL.

BY LLOYD WYMAN.


Johnny had a silver dollar.

Johnny also had a good friend in the schoolmaster who, in various ways,
had so interested the boy in natural philosophy that he desired of all
things to possess a book on the subject, that he might study for
himself.

Therefore, on the very first spare afternoon Johnny had, he rolled up
his silver dollar in many folds of paper, tucked it snugly away in a
lonesome corner of an old castaway pocket-book, and started for the
village book-store; but, when he found the many nicely bound volumes
too dear for his pocket, he choked, and nearly cried for
disappointment.

"Hold on!" said the book-seller, as he slipped his lead-pencil behind
his ear, and stepped briskly to a little shelf of rusty-looking books.

"Here are some second-hand copies of Comstock, Parker and Steele, any
of which you can have for seventy-five cents,--have your pick for six
shillings. Comstock and Parker are in the best repair, and are finer
print; but for _me_, give me Steele! In buying second-hand books,
always choose the banged-up fellows. Comstock and Parker tell
everything that everybody knows or guesses. Steele biles his'n down.
But do just as you've a mind to: it wont make a bit o' difference to me
one way or the other."

Johnny took Steele, handed over his dollar, and received twenty-five
cents in change.

Before the money was fairly stowed away in his wallet his eye fell upon
a beautiful rubber ball, painted in various brilliant colors, which lay
in the show case. The book-seller tossed it upon the clean-swept floor,
and up it bounded to the ceiling.

"The last of the lot," said he; "filled with air; that's why it bounces
so; been selling at thirty cents; will close this out at twenty-five;
every boy ought to have one; children cry for 'em; just the thing for
'hand-ball,'--what d' y' say?"

"I'll take it," said Johnny; and he took his book and ball and hurried
home, "dead broke" financially, but happy, nevertheless.

Being open-hearted, he told his folks about his purchase, and they were
inclined to find fault with him, though I do not know why. He seemed
never to tire of his book and ball, but would change from one to the
other, and for some days was as happy as a king is supposed to be.

Then came his bad luck.

He was tossing his ball upon the roof of the house, and catching it as
it came down; but by and by it did not come down--it bounded into the
tin eave-trough and rolled slowly along till it came to the big pipe
that led to the cistern, and into this it dropped, and went whirring
down, and stopped somewhere with a faint plash.

For once in his life, Johnny felt as if the world had slipped from
under him.

For a few minutes he was bewildered; then came the joyful assurance
that his Steele would help him out of his trouble, and if Steele
couldn't, there was the schoolmaster.

The first thing he did was to lift the cover off the cistern, though
he knew well enough the ball was in the pipe, as he well remembered
that it ran nearly to the bottom of the cistern and then made a sharp
bend upward, "so that the water mightn't wear the cement," the mason
told him.

He found the water quite low, but not low enough to show the mouth of
the pipe. Of course, there was no ball in sight. He closed the cistern
with a groan, and got out his new book on natural philosophy. First he
glanced at optics; but that did not help him to see his way; then at
hydrostatics and hydraulics.

It was of no use; nothing seemed to hit the case. Then he gave it up,
put his book away, and went to consult the school-master. Johnny found
him among his books, and told him all about it.

"Have you tried to fish it out with a hook and line?"

Johnny's face brightened. "No, sir, I never thought of that."

"All right; you couldn't do it. Besides, if you could, it wouldn't be
scientific," said the school-master. "Now, go home, take a ten-foot
pole, and measure the distance from the eaves to the water in the
cistern, then find the diameter of the pipe, and on my way to school
to-morrow morning I will tell you the three things necessary for
recovering your ball."

Johnny fairly flew home, got a pole, measured the distance from eaves
to water and found it to be twelve feet; measured the pipe and found it
to be two inches and one-half. Then he put away the pole, did his
chores, ate a hearty supper, and went to bed.

He was up bright and early next morning, and got quickly through his
chores, so that when the school-master stopped, on his way to school,
he was ready to see about the ball.

"Good morning, Johnny! Glad to see you on hand. How long's the pipe?"

"Twelve feet, sir."

"Diameter?"

"Two inches and a half, sir."

"Ah! 2-1/2 square multiplied by .0034, and that product by twelve feet,
which is--"

"144 inches," Johnny quickly suggested.

"Will give the contents of the pipe in gallons," added the
schoolmaster. "You're quick at figures, tell me the answer."

Johnny groped among the odds and ends of his jacket pocket for a
minute, and then fished out a stubby lead-pencil, much chewed at one
end, and picking up a piece of smooth board, ciphered away swiftly and
carefully a few moments.

"3.06 is what I make it, sir."

"Very well; we'll call that right; that would be a little over a
pailful--say a pailful and a half. Now get a ladder to go up to the
roof with."

Johnny brought one in a jiffy.

"All right. Now, the three things necessary to get back your ball are,
a pailful and a half of water, a plug, and pluck."

Johnny looked as if he didn't quite understand.

"What sort of a plug, sir?" he asked.

"Oh, this will do," answered the school-master, picking up a pine stick
and beginning to whittle away vigorously. The plug was soon made. The
school-master lifted the plank cover from the cistern put the ladder
down, and said to Johnny: "Have you any pluck?"

"Lots of it," Johnny told him.

"Well, then, take this plug and stick it into the mouth of the pipe,
_snug_."

Johnny took the plug, went down the ladder into the cistern till he
reached the water, and then began feeling around for the pipe. By and
by he found it, and, inserting the plug in the opening, pushed it down
and screwed it firmly in place.

"All right!" he called out, and presently he came up the ladder.

"Now let's have the water--in two pails," the schoolmaster said, and he
saw by Johnny's face that he at last understood how the ball was to be
got out. Johnny ran to the barn, and soon came back with two pails of
water and a funnel.

"But what's the funnel for?" asked the schoolmaster as he drew the
ladder from the cistern and leaned it against the eaves.

"To pour the water into the pipe," answered Johnny, in a tone that
showed that he thought he had, for once, caught the school-master
napping.

"Ah, indeed! so you always put the funnel in when it rains?"

Johnny blushed, and did not attempt any answer.

"Now mount the ladder, and I'll hand you the water," said the
school-master.

Johnny ran up the ladder, and, when the school-master handed him the
pails, he said nothing about the funnel, but boldly dashed the water
upon the roof. When the flood began pouring into the cave-trough and
gurgling down the pipe, Johnny fixed his eyes upon the hole through
which his ball had taken its unlucky leap, and stared with anxious
expectation. The gurgle in the pipe crept steadily upward, the tone all
the while growing higher and clearer, till whish! came a dash of water
over the trough, nearly drenching the schoolmaster while the ball
bounded airily upon the eaves for an instant, before Johnny caught it
and cried out:

"Here she is!"

"Put things in shape, Johnny; I must hurry to the school-house," said
the school-master, going.



[Illustration: THE KING AND THE HARD BREAD.]


THE KING AND THE HARD BREAD.

BY J.L.


"When you want a thing done well, do it yourself," is an old saying,
and a very good one; but it is not always possible or desirable to
carry out this advice. Therefore it is sometimes better to adopt an
amendment to this proverb, and make it read thus: "When you want a
thing done well, do it yourself, or see it done."

So thought Louis IX. of France, sometimes called St. Louis, because he
was considered to be rather better than most people.

Among his good qualities was kindness to the poor. He would go about,
very plainly dressed, and attended by two or three courtiers, and visit
poor people in their houses. He took an interest in their personal
affairs, and when they were very needy, he would order bread and other
food to be supplied to them. Of course, this made him a great favorite
with the poorer classes of his subjects, and they were glad not only to
receive his bounty, but also to talk with him and tell him about their
many troubles.

One day, when he was making one of his customary rounds, an old woman,
leaning on a cane, and holding a loaf of bread in her hand, came out of
a door in a wall which led into a collection of wretched dwellings.

As this old woman stood awaiting his approach, the king could not help
feeling a little surprised. He did not often feel surprised at anything
he saw among these poor people. He had just been talking to a group of
strong, hearty fellows, who preferred sitting lazily about wherever
they could find a shelter from the rain and sun, and trusting in chance
charity for food and lodging, to working for an honest living; but he
was not surprised at them. Such men have always existed, and probably
always will exist.

He had seen all sorts of strange things among his poor people. He had
seen some who seemed to prefer to be poor; he had seen others who had
been rich, but who appeared to be happier now than when they had plenty
of money,--and perhaps plenty of anxiety with it; he had seen others
who were poor and did not know it; but this was the first time that he
had ever seen any one of them offer him bread or anything else to eat.
No wonder he was surprised when this old woman held out to him the loaf
of bread!

She did not wait for him to ask her what she meant, but immediately
commenced to explain. She told him that she and her sick old husband
were among those to whom he had ordered food to be furnished, but that
for some time all that his agents had given them was bread such as the
loaf in her hand; bread so hard that it was almost impossible for old
people to eat it, and yet they must eat it or starve.

The king listened with attention to her story, and then he took the
loaf in his hands, and broke off a small piece of it.

"It is rather hard bread," he said, thoughtfully, while his attendants
bent over to look at it, as if it were a matter of the greatest
interest to them, although it is probable that they did not care a snap
of their fingers whether or not the old woman ever had any bread.

"Yes," said the king, "it _is_ hard bread." And then he stood thinking
about it. The old woman thought he was thinking of the trouble she and
her husband had in eating it, but she was very much mistaken.

He was thinking that he had ordered that these people be well fed; that
he had supplied the money to buy them good and nourishing food. Now, if
his poor pensioners received nothing but dry bread, and very stale,
hard bread at that, while he paid for good food for them, somebody must
be making money out of him, to whom he had no idea of being charitable
in this way.

Therefore he thought that if he wanted a thing well done, he must do it
himself, or see it done. In this case he determined to see it done.

He went into the old woman's house, and he talked to her sick husband
and herself, and examined into their condition. The old people thought
he was very good to say so much about their hard fare, and so he was;
but if they could have heard what he said afterward to his dishonest
agents, when he went home to his palace, they might have been surprised
to know what an important thing a piece of hard bread may sometimes
become.

And they might have thought, too, that it was a good thing for them, as
well as for other poor people, that their bread had been so _very_ hard
that they were forced to complain of it to the king.



DISCONTENTED POLLY.


Polly ought to have been a very happy little girl, but she was not,
because she hadn't a doll. She had everything else: a beautiful
kitchen, a stove with everything to use on it, some pretty china
dishes, a table to put them on, and a neat little wicker chair to match
the table.

Only a little while ago she had three lovely dolls; but there was
another D to Polly's name--Destructive Polly; and now there was not a
bit of a dolly left, and mamma had determined to let her wait till she
wanted one so very much that when it did come she would be sure to take
care of it. But Aunt Alice said, one day, "That child shall have a doll
to-morrow." And sure enough! the next morning, in the little wicker
chair, Polly found the most beautiful doll she had ever seen.

It had fluffy, golden hair, and bright blue eyes, and a dress just like
Polly's best one with puffed sleeves. It could say "papa" and "mamma"
quite plainly, and could move its eyes.

Of course, the first thing to be done was to find a name for the new
treasure, and that made Polly discontented again. She wanted to call it
after herself, but she said, "Polly is such an every-day name, it would
never do; my doll must have a 'company' name." So she called her doll
"Rosalinda."

The next day, mamma said there might be a party in honor of the new
doll; so Polly carried Rosalinda into the play-room, put her in the
little chair, and began to get ready for the party. Rosalinda looked as
though she would like to help; so Polly filled one of her prettiest
cups with milk, and put it in the dolly's lap, while she went out for
three lumps of sugar.

Just then a dreadful thing happened. Puss, who had been hidden under a
chair, came out, jumped to Rosalinda's lap, and began to drink the milk
as fast as he could. Before it was half gone he heard Polly coming, so
he jumped down again in a hurry, and out of the window. But one hind
paw caught the cup by the handle, spilled the milk on dolly's dress,
dashed the cup to the floor, and broke it all to bits!

When Polly came in and saw this, what do you think she did? She just
looked at Rosalinda a moment, then she took her out of the chair and
shook her--shook her so hard, and sat her down again with such a bounce
that the pretty blue eyes shut up tight, and wouldn't come open.

Polly didn't mind that at first. She said, "Yes! you'd better shut
your eyes, you naughty thing! Don't tell me it was 'a accidence.' You
did it yourself, I know, and I don't love you one bit. You don't look
fit to be seen, and the party will be here before I'm ready. Oh, dear!
just open your eyes, and see what you've done."

But poor Rosalinda's eyes wouldn't open, and the more Polly shook her,
the tighter shut they stayed, till she ran, crying, to mamma, to ask
for help. Mamma had seen it all; so now she took Polly and Rosalinda
both on her lap, and gave what Polly called "a little preach."

[Illustration: "JUST OPEN YOUR EYES, AND SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE."]

It did her good, real good, and at last she said: "Dear mamma, if
Rosalinda will only open her eyes once more and look at me, I believe I
will never be so naughty again."

So mamma found a way to open the pretty blue eyes, and Polly kissed
them both, and then kissed mamma for helping her.

By the time the party came, everything was ready. Polly was very good,
and let the girls play with her beautiful Rosalinda the whole time. I
do not know how long the good will last. I hope till every one forgets
to call her Discontented Polly, and learns to call her Darling Polly
instead.



[Illustration]

JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT.


Well, my dears, spring is here at last, and it is very pleasant to see
the buds and flowers again. I begin to hear the voices of the children
more often, too; and now and then I catch a glimpse of bright faces and
new dresses.

By the way, talking of dresses puts me in mind of a paragram that came
the other day, about


TRIMMINGS FOR COWS.

Something quite new to you, I dare say, for which of you ever heard of
trimming cows with their own horns and ears? How should you like to see
a cow with her ears--poor thing!--cut to the shape of a leaf with
notched edges, and horns trained in some queer shape, twisted into
curls, or divided into four, with two meeting overhead, and two turned
down toward the ground? It would be a dreadful sight to me, I am sure;
but the Africans admire such things. They consider this trimming of
cows a sort of fine art. You don't see how they manage the horns? Well,
they begin when the horns are young; divide each into two, or more, and
gradually train them, while growing, in any way they choose. Of course
it must hurt the poor cows, and take a great deal of time; but the
people who train cows' horns have not very tender feelings, and they
are richer in spare time than in anything else. Besides, they do not
have to trim their own clothes much--they're savages.


FEET AND WINGS.

I have been told that flies have suckers on their feet, and climb up
window-panes by using them, much as boys lift smooth stones with a
piece of soaked leather and a string. Is this so, little folks?

By the way, while you are thinking of flies, I once heard some
schoolma'ams (I'm sure our _little_ one was not among them) disputing
about the number of wings that a house-fly ought to have. And they
said, though it's hard to believe, that over the door of the Masonic
Temple at Boston there are bees, cut in the stone, each with only wings
enough for a fly!

Perhaps the sculptor had been reading Virgil before carving those bees,
for, as I've heard, that ancient poet in one of his writings made a
mistake as to the number of a bee's wings.


CETUS, NOT CYGNUS.

One of my sharp eyed chicks, S.E.S., of Canandaigua, sends word that
the star Mira, of which I told you last month, is in the star-group
Cetus (the Whale), not in Cygnus (the Swan). S.E.S. is right, I find,
and I'm much obliged to her.


PRSVRYPRFCTMN
VRKPTHSPRCPTSTN.

Deacon Green says that these letters were found on a wall in a church
in Wales, painted, like a text, above an inscription of the ten
commandments.

Some of you may have seen it before, he thinks; but, if not, it will be
good fun for you to find out what it means. He adds that there is but
one letter of the alphabet wanting, to make sense; this is used over
and over, and, if you put it into the right places, the text will turn
into a rhymed couplet.


A REMEDY FOR HARD TIMES.

I have a message from a bird on the Sea Islands off the coast of South
Carolina.

"Here," says my friend, "I lately found a remedy for hard times.
Looking for food one day, I came close to the home of a silk-spider who
was about to make a new web. Now, what do you think I saw him doing?
Why, he was eating up the old web, so as to turn it into thread again,
and use it a second time! Another curious thing that I found out about
this economical old fellow is that, although he has a great many eyes,
he can see only just well enough to tell light from darkness."

Now, what in the world can be the use of that spider's eyes, I'd like
to know, if he can't see the things around him?


A QUEER CHURN.

    New Haven, Conn.

    Dear Jack: Last year in April you gave us a picture of a very small
    doll-churn that a little girl had made, and I thought it was very
    'cute. But I read the other day of another churn quite as odd. It
    is simply the skin of a goat, hung by a rope from the roof. It is
    used in Persia, and, when they want to churn, they fill the
    goat-skin with milk, and swing it forward and backward until the
    butter comes. The children do the swinging, and I think it must be
    better fun than turning a crank or working a plunger.--Yours
    affectionately, O.T.


CATS IN SPAIN.

Cats have a nice time in Spain, I hear. No dismal moonlight prowlings
over fences and back sheds for them! They have the roofs of the whole
country for their walks, and need never touch the ground unless they
choose. I'll tell you why. Grain is stored in the attics of Spain,
because they are too hot for anything else. But rats and mice delight
in attics, as well as in grain. So each owner cuts a small door from
the roof, big enough for puss, and any homeless cat is welcome to her
warm home, in return for which she keeps away rats. In a sudden rain
it must be funny to see dozens of cats scampering over the roofs to
their homes among the grain-bags.


"SINCERE" STATUES.

    Cambridge, Mass.

    DEAR LITTLE SCHOOLMA'AM: In ST. NICHOLAS for December, 1877,
    Jack-in-the-Pulpit says that "sincere" is made of the words
    _sine-cera_, meaning "honey without wax." I have been told that it
    refers also to the Greeks, who, when they found a crack in a
    statue, would sometimes fill the flaw with wax; and that hence a
    "sincere" statue, one "without wax," would have no flaw, but be a
    true and honest statue.

    I have not been able to find any authority for this, otherwise I
    should have written sooner.--Yours sincerely, F.B.J.


[Illustration: FOOLS'-CAPS FOR CROWS.]

FOOLS'-CAPS FOR CROWS.

My acquaintances the crows are very fond of corn, and have a way of
picking it out of the ground with their bills just after it has been
planted. So the farmers try all sorts of plans to keep them away. One
of these plans is shown in the picture.

Paper cones are set point downward in the ground, and baited with a few
corn kernels; then some bird-lime is smeared around the insides. When a
crow reaches down for the corn, the paper cone sticks to him, looking
rather like a fool's-cap, and he does not get rid of it in a hurry. I'm
told that it takes only a few of these cones to keep off a whole flock
of crows. They are afraid of making themselves ridiculous, I suppose.


ANCIENTS AND MODERNS.

Now then, my dears, here's a capital chance to show your knowledge of
history. Who can answer this question?

    Boston, Mass.

    DEAR JACK: Will you please ask some of your chicks to tell me when
    the ancients left off, and the moderns began?--and you will greatly
    oblige. F.


LUMBER AND TIMBER, AGAIN.

The Little Schoolma'am says that "timber" generally means "felled
trees," but is used sometimes to describe trees that are yet standing
and growing; "lumber" means timber that has been made ready for use, by
sawing, splitting, and so forth.

E.M. Ferguson, J. Harry Townsend, Lillie Stone, J. Dutton Steele, Jr.,
and N.Y.Z. all sent correct answers; but Virginia Waldo, G.V.D.F., and
"Max" were only almost right in their replies.



THE LETTER-BOX.


The answers to Mr. Cranch's poetical charades, published on page 406 of
the April number, are as follows: I., Carpet, car-pet. II., Bargain,
bar-gain. III., Pic-nic, pick-Nick. IV., Nightmare, night-mare.


       *       *       *       *       *


A large number of correspondents kindly point out that the poem
entitled "The Nightingale's Mistake," printed in the March
"Letter-Box," is also called "The Singing-Lesson," and was written by
Jean Ingelow.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Clayton, Iowa.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I thought I would write to you to tell you about
    our little town of Clayton. It is a beautiful little place, of
    about three hundred and eighty inhabitants, situated on the
    Mississippi River. There are two large flouring-mills, two
    saw-mills, and a large hoop factory here, where all kinds of straps
    and hoops are manufactured by machinery. First, the poles are sawed
    into certain lengths; then they are taken to the splitters, to be
    split. They are then taken to the planers. After going through this
    process, they are bunched into bunches of fifty each. Then they are
    ready for shipment. They are made of hickory, white oak, and birch.

    It is very pleasant to take a boat-ride on a summer eve, with the
    banks on either side of you covered with long green grass, and
    flowers of nearly all descriptions bending down into the water,
    while in the woods all kinds of birds are cluttering and
    chattering, and the ducks are quacking around you, all of which
    makes it very pleasant.--Your constant reader,

    H.R.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Baltimore, Md.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I would like to know why it is that the wife of
    General George Washington is called Lady Washington? I do not think
    that we have ever had any lords or ladies in our country; so if you
    know the reason why, I would like to know.

    E.M.

Can any of our boys and girls answer this question?


       *       *       *       *       *


    Somerville, N.J.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: As I wish to contribute a little to the
    "Letter-Box," I will send you a little poem written by my sister
    Allie when she was nine years old.

    OUR BABY.

    Little Bertha is my sister,
      And she is two years old,--
    A cunning little darling,
      Whom I love to hold.

    You ask her whom she loves best,
      And she'll say "Papa Lou."
    You ask her whom she loves next,
      And p'r'aps she will say "You."

    You ask her what her name is,
      And she'll say "Bertie Lou."
    But then, she's sometimes naughty,
      And sometimes so are you.

    Little Bertha is my sister,
      And she's as cunning as she can be;
    With a dimple in each cheek,
      And a dimple in each knee.

    And I guess most people love her,
      For she's as cunning as she can be;
    But then, sometimes she is naughty,
      And that's the way with you and me.

    My darling little sister
      Always sleeps at night with me;
    And, as I said before,
      She's as cunning as she can be.

    A.C.H.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Roseville, N.J.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: We thought perhaps you would like to hear about
    our pet sparrow "Bob." We have had him since last July, and he is
    just as cunning as he can be. He was so young at first, he could
    not fly, and slept in a little box, with a piece of flannel over
    him; but now he roosts on a nail in the sitting-room bay-window. We
    do not keep him in a cage, but he goes all over the house, and does
    just as he pleases. He has had plenty of chances to fly out, but
    seems to be happy and contented, and makes himself perfectly at
    home. When we are eating, he helps himself to anything he wants,
    and is not a bit bashful. He loves honey, and will eat all he
    wants, and then wipe his bill on any one's dress or on the
    table-cloth. He will jump on papa's whiskers, and pull mamma's
    hair-pins out of her hair, steal her needle, and do many other
    mischievous things. He has chosen one of the gas-globes for a
    nesting-place, and carries bits of cloth, strings, or any such
    thing that he can find, and puts them there. He tries to sing, and
    has learned several of the canary's notes. We catch him sometimes,
    and put him under a hat, to tease him. He then gets angry, pecks
    the hat, and scolds at the top of his voice. We have a rabbit and a
    guinea-pig, too; but if they come into the room where Bob is, he
    will fly at them and peck them till they run out. Every one who
    sees him thinks he is a wonderful bird, and we should feel very
    sorry if anything should happen to him.--Yours truly,

    ELLA AND EDWIN H.


       *       *       *       *       *


    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have a little sister named Pet, because we
    love her so. A few days ago our papa had a narrow escape from being
    burned, and Pet asked me if I thanked God for taking care of him. I
    said, "Yes." "And did God say, 'You're welcome'?" asked Pet.

    Now, don't you think that was a funny idea?--Your affectionate
    reader,

    R.L.P.


       *       *       *       *       *


GULLIVER'S TRAVELS AND THE MOONS OF MARS.--A correspondent writes that
in Gulliver's "Voyage to Laputa," an imaginary flying island, Dean
Swift, the author, describes some over-wise philosophers, and, among
other things, says:

    "They have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites,
    which revolve about Mars; whereof the innermost is distant from the
    center of the primary planet exactly three of his diameters, and
    the outer-most, five; the former revolves in the space of ten
    hours, and the latter in twenty-one and a half; so that the squares
    of their periodical times are very nearly in proportion with the
    cubes of their distance from the center of Mars."

Now, these two satellites were not discovered really until August 16th,
1877, but Dean Swift's book appeared it 1726, more than one hundred and
fifty years before! But, although the Dean's guesswork is not exactly
correct, he comes very near the truth when he states the time taken by
each moon in going around the primary. This you will see by comparing
his words with the following letter, which we have received from
Professor Asaph Hall, the actual discoverer of the moons:

    Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.,
    March 4th, 1878.

    EDITOR ST. NICHOLAS: The periods (of revolution) of the satellites
    of Mars are as follows,--Deimus being the outer satellite, and
    Phobus the inner one:

    Period of Deimus,  30 hours,  18 minutes,  0 seconds.
       "   "  Phobus,   7    "    39    "     16    "

    These values are very nearly correct, and will be changed in the
    final calculation only a few seconds, if at all.--Yours truly,

    A. HALL.


       *       *       *       *       *


The following are extracts from the letters of a young girl now
traveling in Europe:

    Berlin, 1877.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: We were in the Auer Cathedral, Munich, looking
    down the long nave, when troops of little children, boys and girls,
    each with a little knapsack strapped between the shoulders, leaving
    the hands and arms free for play, came hastening in by twos and
    threes, till the whole church seemed full. They all knelt down,
    whispered a few words of prayer, and remained for a brief space,
    silent and motionless, bowed down in devotion; then they quietly
    arose and went out. I shall not soon forget Auer Cathedral with its
    little worshipers.

    We have been settled at Berlin for a month. Being the residence of
    the Emperor and Court, it is very gay with balls, theaters, etc.,
    and the streets are bright and lively with fine uniforms, prancing
    horses, and carriages full of richly dressed ladies, their escorts
    riding on horseback at the side. It presents a lively contrast with
    Munich in these respects, but, as to sunlight, it is a gloomy
    place. Thus far we have had only four pleasant days, and on those
    the sun set between three and four in the afternoon. Some days we
    thought it did not rise at all! We realize now, for the first time,
    how far north Germany is.

    We improved one of our pleasant days by a trip to Potsdam, where is
    the summer palace of the kings of Prussia. Here are the rooms of
    Frederick the Great, just as he arranged them. His library is
    chiefly of French books, and fills the shelves, which are
    everywhere, from floor to ceiling--upon the doors, even, so that,
    when they are shut, one feels imprisoned in books!

    At the opposite end of the palace are the rooms once occupied by
    Voltaire. The walls are covered with painted wood carvings of cats,
    dogs, parrots, and peacocks, which Frederick caused to be placed
    there after his quarrel with Voltaire, to express his opinion of
    the Frenchman's traits of character.

    Directly under the walls of the palace stands an idle windmill, now
    owned by the Emperor. The noise of this windmill used to annoy the
    queen, so Frederick sent for the miller and said to him:

    "We two cannot live so near each other. One of us must buy the
    property of the other. Now, will you buy my palace?"

    "But my leige, I have not the money," replied the miller.

    "Then I must buy your mill," said the king.

    "You also have not money enough; I will not sell," was the miller's
    reply.

    When the king hinted his power to take possession by force, the
    sturdy miller said he could and would sue the king.

    "Well," said the monarch, "since you have so high an opinion of the
    justice to be found in my courts of law, I will not molest you."

    So the windmill continued to creak and whirr in the ears of the
    royal family for a long time.

    ADA.


       *       *       *       *       *


HERBERT J.--In answer to your request, we give a copy of the poem
entitled "The Little Boy who Went Out to Swim," published first in ST.
NICHOLAS for September, 1874. Several of our readers have asked to see
the poem printed, without its pictures, in the "Letter-Box," as the
interweaving of the illustrations with the text, as they first
appeared, hindered the meaning and beauty of the verses from being
fully understood.

  THE LITTLE BOY WHO WENT OUT TO SWIM.

  BY HENRY HOWLAND.


  A little boy went out to swim,
    One pleasant day in June,
  And the fish all came to talk to him,
    That summer afternoon.

  "Come down, dear little boy," they said,
    "And let us show to you
  The homes of fish, merman and maid.
   Under the waters blue.

  "We'll show you where the naiads sleep,
    And where the tritons dwell;
  The treasures of the unknown deep,
    The coral and the shell.

  "The siren's song shall charm your ears,
    And lull you into rest;
  No monster shall arouse your fears,
    Or agitate your breast."

  The little boy was glad to go;
    And all the company
  Of fish escorted him below,--
    A pageant brave to see!

  The pilot-fish swam on ahead,
    The shark was at his heels;
  The dolphin a procession led
    Of porpoise, whale, and eels.

  The trout, all brave in red and gold,
    Many a caper cut;
  And after them came crowds untold
    Of cod and halibut.

  The blue-fish with the black-fish swam;
    Who knows the joy each felt?
  The perch was escort to the clam,
    The oyster to the smelt.

  The muscalonge, from northern lake,
    That leaps the harbor bar,
  Swam closely in the sturgeon's wake,
    Famous for caviar!

  The haddock floated side by side
    With carp from foreign shore,
  And with them, through the seething tide,
    Went scollops by the score.

  The sword-fish, like a soldier brave,
    His saber flashing bare,
  Went o'er the swelling ocean wave,
    With bold and martial air.

  The jelly-fish went trembling down;
    The star-fish mildly beamed;
  And through the waves, like diamonds thrown,
    The sun-fish glanced and gleamed.

  The sea-bass, black-bass, pike and dace
    Went dashing on like mad;
  The sheep's-head, with his lamb-like face,
    Swam by the graceful shad.

  The pickerel leaped and danced along;
    The frog-fish puffed and blew;
  The herring in a countless throng
    Swam by, a merry crew.

  The turtles sailed a Dutch-built fleet,
    On port and starboard tack,
  While through their ranks, with caution meet,
    Darted the stickleback.

  The shrimp and lobster clawed along
    With others of their kin,
  And in their company a throng
    Of lively terrapin.

  The bull-pouts, dressed in black and drab,
    With horns and visage grim,
  Preceded the meandering crab;
    The mackerel followed him.

  Sea-spiders, in their coats of mail;
    Shiners, with silver vest;
  White-fish and weak-fish at their tail,
    Swam on with all the rest.

  The royal turbot, true and tried,
    Subject of England's queen,
  Sailed on in regal pump and pride,
    With whitebait and sardine.

  The knightly salmon, king of fish,
    Without reproach or fear,
  The noblest fish a man could wish,
    Came bringing up the rear.

  And thus they reached the mermaid's cave.
    Who, with a heart-felt joy,
  To her bright home beneath the wave,
    Welcomed the little boy!


       *       *       *       *       *


Here is a letter which we print just as it was written by the little
one who sent it to us:

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS I send you a little story to put in the letter
    Box.

    Once there was a little Boy His Name was Harry He lived with His
    Mother in a humble little Cottage) His Mothers Name was Mrs Jones
    she was a Widow) she and Harry lived all alone) one day Harry came
    Home from school and faced the Doctor at the Door young man said
    the Dr to the Boy your Mother is very sick) she was doing what you
    ought to of done for her) what is that sir said Harry choping Wood
    Bringing in Coal and all such work as that) she straned her self
    and is very ill) poor Harry hung down His head for His Mother had
    asked Him to chop the wood this Morning when He was mending his
    Ball) He said I will be there in a moment Mother) and like all Boy
    He forgot) oh how poor Harry felt When He thought of this) but
    Harry took good care of His Mother ever after) a Friend of Harries
    got Him a good Situation and Made a man of Him and He allways did
    what His Mother asked Him) ever after Harry said to the Dr one day)
    Dr I can take care of Mother now and I allways will

    So we hope Harry will take care of His Widow Mother, all the) rest
    of His days)

    M.J.W.


       *       *       *       *       *


Here is a nice letter that a little girl wrote to her mother nearly
thirty-three years ago. The little girl was away from her town home on
a visit to the country for the sake of her health; and all that she
wrote in the letter was true.

    Mr. McDonald's, October 1st, 1845.

    MY DEAR MOTHER: I wish my arms were long enough to reach two miles,
    I want to give you a good hug, I am so glad you let me come out
    here. I was a little bit afraid last night, the horse was so high,
    and it was so dark. I never rode on a horse in the dark before, you
    know. It was so dark in the woods I could not see anything, but my
    eyes would stay so wide open they hurt me. I held as tight to Mr.
    George as I could; I felt as though some big thing was just going
    to snatch me off the horse, all the time; my fingers felt like they
    were full of pins when I let go. Everything does taste so good out
    here, and the air is so clean. I stretched out my arms to it this
    morning, it felt so good. We have a play-house on the rocks; it has
    two fire-places. They are made out of flat stones, and inside of
    the big stones we set up two smaller stones, and lay a flat one
    across, and there we do our cooking. We are going to have a party
    to-night, and have been busy all day getting ready. All the good
    things are cooked, waiting till night, when Mac will be home. We
    have three splendid baked apples, and three eggs roasted in the
    ashes, but we have only two pies. We could only find two
    blacking-box lids, and as these are our pie-pans, we have only two
    pies. We washed and scoured the black all off, and they looked as
    nice as Sophia's tins, which she will never let us touch at home.
    Our biscuits are not as nice quite as hers, it was so hard to make
    them round, and our range don't bake on both sides, so we had to
    turn them over to get both sides cooked. Our things all look very
    good, and I am real hungry for them, but you know it would not do
    to eat the party before Mac comes. We have made wreaths of
    maple-leaves, to wear on our heads to-night, one for Mac, too. We
    thought it would do for a boy to wear a wreath as long as there are
    so few of us, and the leaves are so pretty; and as it is my
    birthday, I have some leaves basted all around my blue dress, and
    it looks lovely.

    I must stop now. Give my love to all. Take good care of Fideli, and
    kiss all around for your loving daughter,

    JULIA.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Clifton, Iroquois County, Ill.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: We want to tell the little boys and girls that
    read ST. NICHOLAS, how a greedy rooster got caught in a trap. We
    set the trap to catch rabbits, but didn't get any; so the corn was
    left, and the chickens were all walking around, and saw it, and
    tried to get in to eat it; but the selfish old rooster drove them
    all away, and crowded in himself, and began to eat the corn, when
    down came the trap, and he was fast, but all the others were
    free.--Yours truly,

    ARTHUR AND BROWNIE S.


       *       *       *       *       *


    South Boston, Mass.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I read the "Letter-Box" every month with much
    interest, and have often seen puzzles and "such things" in it, so I
    send you one, and hope that somebody will find it out:

    There was somebody born in England, on the 16th of July, 1723. He
    was the son of a clergyman, and his father was rather strict with
    him. He made a drawing of his father's school with so much accuracy
    of outline, and in such correct perspective, that the grave
    clergyman could no longer maintain his severity. He saw that his
    son would be a painter, and resolved to aid him. An anecdote
    related of the artist runs thus: One day, a man called to see some
    of his pictures, and asked him what he mixed his colors with. The
    painter answered, "With brains, sir--with brains!"--Yours,

    FRANK R.M.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Columbia, S.C.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Our schoolma'am told us the other day that it is
    generally best to use short words instead of long words in writing
    or speaking, and she gave us a verse to copy as a specimen. She
    said that it was written by a man who was perfect master of seven
    languages, knew six others very well, was at home with another
    eight, and read with a lexicon four more,--in all twenty-five
    different languages; and although he could use tremendously long
    words when he chose, yet he made a point of using short ones, even
    though they were old and odd and not in common use. I send you a
    copy of the verse, and I think he might have done much better if he
    had used longer and more forcible words.--Yours truly,

    STELLA G.

      "Think not that strength lies in the big round word,
        Or that the brief and plain must needs be weak.
      To whom can this be true that once has heard
        The cry for help, the tongue that all men speak
      When want or woe or fear is in the throat,
        So that each word gasped forth is like a shriek
      Pressed from the sore heart, or a strange wild note
        Sung by some foe or fiend. There is a strength
      Which dies if stretched too far or spun too fine,
        Which has more height than depth, more breadth than length.
      Let but this force of thought and speech be mine,
        And he that will may take the sleek fat phrase,
      Which glows and burns not, though it gleam and shine--
        Light but not heat--a flash, but not a blaze!"

Long words are not always the most "forcible," Stella,--nor, on the
other hand, are they always to be avoided. Sometimes the best word for
expressing our meaning may be long to spell, but easy to understand;
and, again, a word may be short and yet fail to tell exactly what we
wish to say. The verse you copy is not a convincing example of the
power of short words, although it shows that much may be done with
them. Frequently a word is chosen for its rhythmic quality--the
pleasantness and ease with which its sound fits in with the
context--rather than because it is long or short. Mr. Longfellow's
poem, "The Three Kings" published in the last Christmas number of ST.
NICHOLAS, is an example of a fine poem in simple and rhythmical
language, the study of which will improve your style of writing more
than any number of rules that we might give you.



THE RIDDLE-BOX.


HOUR-GLASS PUZZLE.

The central letters, read downward, name a fashionable and beautiful
pet.

1. A large reptile. 2. Idolizing. 3. A foe. 4. To stain. 5. A consonant.
6. A dandy. 7. To baffle. 8. Good news. 9. Capable of being made better.

G.H.W.


BLANK APOCOPES.

In each of the following sentences, the second blank is to be filled
with the first syllable of the word used in the first blank.

1. From some ---- we made a portion of our ----. 2. The ---- was
extinguished when we made a ---- for the door. 3. On the second shelf
of the ---- you will find some ----. 4. It was of a bright ---- color,
the ---- that he had.

C.D.


EASY BEHEADINGS.

1. Behead to strike, and leave what all must do. 2. Behead what
children like, and leave a man's nickname. 3. Behead two pronouns, and
leave two other pronouns. 4. Behead an article of furniture, and leave
capable. 5. Behead a color, and leave a writing material. 6. Behead
something belonging to flowers, and leave a coin. 7. Behead a part of
the head, and leave what comes from the clouds. 8. Behead another
color, and leave a kind of stove. 9. Behead a sport, and leave a girl's
name. 10. Behead a part of a ship, and leave a tree. 11. Behead a kind
of bird, and leave disturbance. 12. Behead an article of food, and
leave a kind of tree. 13. Behead a table utensil, and leave a bird. 14.
Behead to frighten, and leave anxiety. 15. Behead a toilet article, and
leave to crowd.

A.D.L. AND S.W.


EASY TRIPLE ACROSTIC.

The primals, read downward, name a bird; the centrals, an animal;
the finals, an insect.

1. Disentangling. 2. Echo. 3. A city in a Western State. 4. Can't
be worse.

ESOR.


FRAME PUZZLE.

      *     *
      *     *
  * * * * * * * *
      *     *
      *     *
  * * * * * * * *
      *     *
      *     *


Make the frame of four words of eight letters each, so that the letter
A shall come at each of the four corners where the words intersect. The
words mean: Sweet-smelling, to make a scale, a fillet, an ecclesiastic.

BESSIE AND HER COUSIN.


HIDDEN FRENCH SENTENCE.

Find in the following sentence the French words with which the Emperor
Alexander of Russia once described St. Petersburg:

Give him a good anvil, let him deal sound blows on the irons for the
pier, repeated and strong, and the work will last.

B.


PICTORIAL ANAGRAM PROVERB PUZZLE.

[Illustration]

The answer is a proverb of eight words. Each numeral beneath the
pictures represents a letter in that word of the proverb which is
indicated by that numeral--5 showing that the letter it designates
belongs to the fifth word of the proverb, 3 to the third word, and so
on.

Find a word that describes each picture and contains as many letters as
there are numerals beneath the picture itself. This is the first
process. Then put down, some distance apart, the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, 7, 8, to correspond with the words of the proverb. Group beneath
figure 6 all the letters designated by the numeral 6 in the numbering
beneath the pictures. You will thus have in a group all the letters
contained by the sixth word of the proverb, and you will then have only
to transpose those letters in order to form the word itself. Follow the
same process of grouping and transposition in forming each of the
remaining words of the proverb. Of course, the transposition need not
be begun until all the letters have been set apart in their proper
groups.

S.R.


THREE EASY SQUARE-WORDS.

    I.--1. A bard of fame.
        2. From mines I came.
        3. A fish's name.

   II.--1. The mountain's fringe.
        2. I make slaves cringe.
        3. A ruddy tinge.

  III.--1. What bad men hate.
        2. I blanch the pate.
        3. To join or mate.

N. AND VIOLET.


EASY ENIGMA.

  My first is in dark, but not in light;
    My second in girl, but not in boy;
  My third is in peace, but not in fight;
    My fourth in mourning, not in joy;
  My fifth is in flowers, but not in weeds;
    My sixth in kind, but not in cruel;
  My seventh is in drives, and also in leads;
    And my whole is a beautiful jewel.

N.K.K.


REVERSIBLE DOUBLE DIAMOND AND CONCEALED WORD-SQUARE.

      -
    - E -
  - E - E -
    - E -
      -

Fill the vacant places with letters to form a reversible double diamond
which shall inclose a reversible word-square.--Centrals: Perpendicular,
to make merry; horizontal, a mechanical power. Word-square: 1, a
number; 2, part of the day; 3, to knit.

H.H.D.


EASY SYNCOPATIONS.

1. Syncopate a composite metal, and leave a fish. 2. Syncopate an
article of food, and leave an ornament. 3. Syncopate a map, and
leave a vehicle. 4. Syncopate a pungent spice, and leave a small bay.
5. Syncopate a wading bird, and leave a reed. 6. Syncopate a short,
ludicrous play, and leave a part of the body. 7. Syncopate another part
of the body, and leave a wild animal. 8. Syncopate a domestic animal,
and leave articles of clothing. 9. Syncopate a small animal, and leave
to ponder. 10. Syncopate a flower, and leave a domestic animal.

ISOLA.


PICTORIAL TRANSPOSITION PUZZLES.

To solve these five puzzles: Find for each picture a word, or words,
that will correctly describe it, and then transpose the letters of the
descriptive word or words so as to form another word, which will answer
to the definition given below the picture.

B.

[Illustration: 1. Gives right 10.]

[Illustration: 2. A prince of Hindustan.]

[Illustration: 3. A token of victory.]

[Illustration: 4. A sylvan deity.]

[Illustration: 5. A creator.]


EASY SQUARE-WORD.

1. Soothing ointment. 2. A bitter-tasting plant. 3. Knowledge gained
from reading or study. 4. Mild of temper.

K.


EASY DIAMOND.

1. A consonant. 2. A lively animal. 3. To moisten or irrigate.
4. A jewel. 5. A consonant.

ISOLA.



ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN APRIL NUMBER.

NUMERICAL ENIGMA.--Victor Emanuel. 1. Rome; 2. Turin; 3. Venice;
4. Milan.

EASY DIAMOND PUZZLE.--G, bEt, GeNoa, tOe, A.

WORD SYNCOPATIONS.--1. Parsonage--arson, page. 2. Noticeable--ice,
notable. 3. Bewilder--wild, beer. 4. Devotee--vote, Dee.
5. Decanter--cant, deer.

ANAGRAMS.--1. Annoyance. 2. Combinations. 3. Conversion. 4. Dangerous.
5. Ceremonial. 6. Madrigal. 7. Unalterable. 8. Disengage.

DROP-LETTER PUZZLE.--"He doth much who doth well what he hath to do."

EASY RHOMBOID PUZZLE.--C A R E
                         N E A T
                           D R O P
                             L E A P

PICTORIAL ANAGRAM PUZZLE.--Frigates. Feast, stag, gate, seat, rats,
air, fist, tars, safe, stage.

SEXTUPLE WORD-CROSS.--Full perpendicular: Bobolink. Full horizontal:
Bayonet. Top limb: Bob. Bottom limb: Link. Left arm: Bay. Right arm:
Net.

PRESIDENTIAL DISCOVERIES.--1. Ant. 2. Washing. 3. Martin, tailor
(Taylor). 4. Ruth. 5. Birch (_Barch_ard). 6. Abraham, Zachary.
7. John, James, Andrew, Thomas. 8. Tin. 9. Lard, ham. 10. Mil. 11. Ton.
12. Frank. 13. Andre. 14. Rank. 15. Pier. 16. Aft. 17. Ford, dams.
18. Roe. 19. Ayes. 20. Franklin. 21. Ulysses. 22. Ash. 23. William Henry.
24. Grant. 25. Mi, la, re. 26. I Am. 27. Jam. 28. Hen. 29. Ada. 30. More.
31. Son.

EASY DOUBLE ACROSTIC.--America, England. 1. AgreeablE. 2. Main. 3. EgG.
4. RaiL. 5. IdeA. 6, ClaN. 7. AmuseD.

NUMERICAL PUZZLE--Madagascar. Dam, sag, car.

   S C
  D A M
   R G

A PROVERB AMONG PROVERBS.--"Love can neither be bought nor sold; its
only price is love."

A MEDLEY.---Scrape, crape, rape, ape. Capers, cape, cap. Pacers, pace,
ace. Casper, asp.

HALF WORD-SQUARE.--S E N A T O R
                   E X O G E N
                   N O V E L
                   A G E S
                   T E L
                   O R
                   R


Answers to puzzles in the March number were received, before March 18,
from R.T. McKeever, Eddie Vultee, Charles M. Jones, George J. Fiske,
Esther L. Fiske, "Guesser," Milly and Maude Adams, Jay B. Benton, Chas.
G. Todd, M.A. Newlands, "Mione and White Fawn," Leonie Giraud;
Unsigned, Philadelphia; Fred M. Pease, Katie Burnett, Mary C. Warren,
Jennie Dillingham and Frances V. Lord, M.W. Collet, Catherine Cowl,
Allie Bertram, Julia F. Allen, T.J. De la Hunt, G.L., Carrie Speiden
and Mary F. Speiden, "Bessie and her Cousin," Nettie I.G., Xerxes J.
Booren, "Nettie 722," "Queen Bess," E.C. Moss, Nellie Baker, A.L.S. and
L.R.P., Otto Dreier, "Prebo," "Prebo's Ma," Mary Belle Giddings, Nellie
Kellogg, Lillie Stone, Grace C. Raymond, J. Harty Townsend, C. Lothrop,
Robin Nelson, Ben Merrill, Bessie Cary, Edith Claypole Ewing, Nellie
Wooster, Rufus Clark, Nellie C. Graham, Harriet H. Doyle, Bertie E.
Bailey, May Odell, "Thorndale," Louie G. Hinsdale and Arnold Guyot
Cameron, Robert P. Christian, Belle W. Brown, Dellie Wilmarth, Emily
Morison, Frank Bowman, Fred Worthington, Walter Stockdale, Carroll B.
Carr, Eddie F. Worcester, Charley W. Sprague, Nellie Emerson; "Winnie,"
Brookline; Josie Morris Brown, Mary W. Ovington, Allie Armstrong,
Sidney S. Conger, Nellie J. Hutchings, S.N. Knapp, F. Armington, Austin
D. Mabie, Carrie and Sharlie King, Willie B. Deas, Bessie B. Whiting,
Nettie A. Ives, Richard Emmins, A. Gunther, H.B. Ayers, Frances Hunter,
Alice B. Moore, Percy Crenshaw, "Robin Redbreast," John V.L. Pierson,
Mattie S.J. Swallow, Gertrude V. Sharp, Harriet Etting, Mary H.
Stickney, Maggie J. Gemmill, Georgie B., B. McVay Allison, Jennie
Beach; Nellie T. Dozier and Julia T. Gardiner; Everett B. Clark, R.H.
Marr, Jr., Jennie O. Smith, Lillie Singich, Georgine C. Schnitzspahn,
F.D., Anna E. Mathewson, Edward C. Niles, R.W. Abert, Mollie W. Morris,
Sam V. Gilbert, Mary H. Bradley, William H. Atkinson, Alice N. Dunn,
Philip Cary, Fred Whittlesey, Bessie L. Barnes, "Nightingale," Grant
Squires, E.C., L.C.L.; Unsigned, Seymour, Conn.; Lafla Whitaker, Edna
C. Lewis, Jennie R. McClure, "Eagle;" Sadie Duffield and Constance
Grand-Pierre; Barton Longacre, Eva Doeblin, Belle M. Grier,
"Minnehaha," Emmie O. Johnson, "Sister Lizzie," Harry Haskell, Addison
F. Hunis; Kittie Hamilton Chapman and Carrie R. Heller; and Elmer
Dwiggins. Gladys H. Wilkinson and John P. Brewin, both of England, also
sent answers.

Correct answers to all puzzles were received From "King Wompster."





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, May, 1878, No. 7. - Scribner's Illustrated" ***

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