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Title: St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 5, March, 1878
Author: Various
Language: English
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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, Vol. 5, No. 5, March, 1878" ***

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[Illustration: A HORSE AT SEA. [See page 367.]]



ST. NICHOLAS.

VOL. V.
MARCH, 1878.
No. 5.


[Copyright, 1878, by Scribner & Co.]



HANSA, THE LITTLE LAPP MAIDEN.

BY KATHARINE LEE.


Once upon a time, in a very small village on the borders of one of the
great pine forests of Norway, there lived a wood-cutter, named Peder
Olsen. He had built himself a little log-house, in which he dwelt with
his twin boys, Olaf and Erik, and their little sister Olga.

Merry, happy children were these three, full of life and health, and
always ready for a frolic. Even during the long, cold, dark winter
months, they were joyous and contented. It was never too cold for these
hardy little Norse folk, and the ice and snow which for so many months
covered the land, they looked on as sent for their especial enjoyment.

The wood-cutter had made a sledge for the boys, just a rough box on
broad, wooden runners, to be sure, but it glided lightly and swiftly
over the hard, frozen surface of snow, and the daintiest silver-tipped
sledge could not have given them more pleasure.

They shared it, generously, with each other, as brothers should, and
gave Olga many a good swift ride; but it was cold work for the little
maid, sitting still, and, after a while, she chose rather to watch the
boys from the little window, as they took turns in playing "reindeer."

One day they both wanted to be "reindeer" at once, and begged Olga to
come and drive, but the chimney corner was bright and warm, and she
would not go.

"Of course," said Olaf; "what else could one expect? She is only a
girl! I would far rather take Krikel; he is always ready. Hi! Krikel!
come take a ride!" and he whistled to the clever little black Spitz dog
that Peder Olsen had brought from Tromsöe for the children.

Krikel really seemed to know what was said to him, and scampered to the
door, pushed it open with his paws and nose, then, jumping into the
little sledge, sat up straight and gave a quick little bark, as if to
say: "Come on, then: don't you see I am ready!"

"Come, Erik; Krikel is calling us," said Olaf. But Olga was crying
because she had vexed her brother, and Erik stayed to comfort her. So
Olaf went alone, and he and Krikel had such a good time that they
forgot all about everything, till it grew so very dark that only the
tracks on the pure, white snow, and a little twinkle of light from the
hut window helped them to find their way home again.

In the wood-cutter's home lived some one else whom the children loved
dearly. This was old grandmother Ingeborg, who was almost as good as
the dear mother who had gone to take their baby sister up to heaven,
and had never yet come back to them.

All day long, while the merry children played about the door, or
watched their father swing the bright swift ax that fairly made the
chips dance, Dame Ingeborg spun and knit and worked in the little hut,
that was as clean and bright and cheery as a hut with only one door and
a tiny window could be. But then it had such a grand, wide
chimney-place, where even in summer great logs and branches of fir and
pine blazed brightly, lighting up all the corners of the little room
that the sunbeams could not reach.

Here, when tired with play, the children would gather, and throwing
themselves down on the soft wolf-skins that lay on the floor before the
fire, beg dear grandmother Ingeborg for a story. And such stories as
she told them!

So the long winter went peacefully and happily by, and at last all
hearts were gladdened at sight of the glorious sun, as he slowly and
grandly rose above the snow-topped mountains, bringing to them sunshine
and flowers, and the golden summer days.

One bright day in July, father Peder went to the fair in Lyngen.

"Be good, my children," said he, as he kissed them good-bye, "and I
will bring you something nice from the fair."

But they were nearly always good, so he really need not have said that.

Now, it was a very wonderful thing indeed for the wood-cutter to go
from home in summer, and grandmother Ingeborg was quite disturbed.

"Ah!" said she, "something bad will happen, I know."

But the children comforted her, and ran about so merrily, bringing
fresh, fragrant birch-twigs for their beds, shaking out their blankets
of reindeer-skins, and helping her so kindly, that the good dame quite
forgot to be cross, and before she knew it, was telling them her very,
very best story, that she always kept for Sundays.

[Illustration]

So the hours went by, and the children almost wearied themselves
wondering what father Peder would bring from the fair.

"I should like a little reindeer for my sledge," said Olaf.

"I should like a fur coat and fur boots," said Erik; "I was cold last
winter."

You see, these children did not really know anything about toys, so
could not wish for them.

"_I_ should like a little sister," said Olga, wistfully. "There are two
of you boys for everything, and that is so nice; but there is only one
of me, ever, and that is _so_ lonely."

And the little maid sighed; for besides these three, there were no
children in the village. The brawny wood-cutters who lived in groups in
the huts around, and who came home at night-fall to cook their own
suppers and sleep on rude pallets before the fires, were the only
other persons whom the little maiden knew; and sometimes the two boys
(as boys will do to their sisters) teased and laughed at her, because
she was timid, and because her little legs were too short to climb up
on the great pile of logs where they loved to play. So it was no wonder
that she longed for a playmate like herself.

"Hi!" cried the boys, both together; "one might be sure you would wish
for something silly! What should we do with _two_ girls, indeed?"

"But father said he would bring 'something nice,' and _I_ think girls
are the very nicest things in the world," replied Olga, sturdily.

There would certainly have been more serious words, but just then good
grandmother Ingeborg called "supper," and away scampered the hungry
little party to their evening meal of brown bread and cream, to which
was added, as a treat that night, a bit of goat's-milk cheese.

During midsummer in Norway the sun does not set for nearly ten weeks,
and only when little heads nod, and bright eyes shut and refuse to
open, do children know that it is "sleep-time." So on this day, though
the little hearts longed to wait for father's coming, six heavy lids
said "no," and soon the tired children were sleeping soundly on their
sweet, fresh beds of birch-twigs.

[Illustration: OLAF GIVES KRIKEL A RIDE IN HIS SLED.]

A few miles beyond Lyngen, on the north, a little colony of wandering
Lapps had pitched their tents, some years before our story begins, and
finding there a pleasant resting-place, had made it their home,
bringing with them their herds of reindeer to feed on the abundant
lichens with which the stony fields and hill-side trees were covered.
Somewhat apart from the little cluster of tents stood one, quite
pretentious, where dwelt Haakon, the wealthiest Lapp of all the tribe.
He counted his reindeer by hundreds, and in his tent, half buried in
the ground for safe keeping, were two great chests filled with furs,
gay, bright-colored jackets and skirts, beautiful articles of carved
bone and wood, and, more valuable than all, a little iron-bound box
full of silver marks. For Haakon had married Gunilda, a rich maiden of
one of the richest Lapp families, and she had brought these to his
tent.

Here, for a while, Gunilda lived a peaceful, happy life. Haakon was
kind, and, when baby Niels came to share her love, the days were full
of joy and content. She made him a little cradle of green baize bound
with bright scarlet, filled with moss as soft and fine as velvet, and
covered with a dainty quilt of hare's-skin. This was hung by a cord to
one of the tent-poles, and here the baby rocked for hours, while his
mother sang to him quaint, weird songs, that yet were not sad because
of the joyous baby laugh that mingled with the notes.

But, alas! after a time Haakon fell into bad habits and grew cruel and
hard to Gunilda. Though she spoke no word, her meek eyes reproached him
when he let the strong drink, or "finkel," steal away his senses; and
because he could not bear this look, he gave his wife many an unkind
word and blow, so that at last her heart was broken. Even baby Hansa,
who had come to take Niels' place in the little cradle, could not
comfort her; and, one day, when Haakon was sleeping, stupidly, by the
tent-fire, Gunilda kissed her children,--then she, too, slept, but
never to waken.

When Haakon came to his senses, he was sad for a while; but he loved
his finkel more than either children or wealth, and many a long day he
would leave them and go to Lyngen, to drink with his companions there.

Ah! those were lonely days for Niels and little Hansa. The Lapp women
were kind, taking good care of the little ones in Haakon's absence, and
would have coaxed them away to their tents to play with the other
children; but Niels remembered his gentle-voiced mother, and would not
go with those women who spoke so harshly, though their words were kind.
Hansa and he were happy alone together. Each season brought its own
joys to their simple, childish hearts; but they loved best the soft,
balmy summer-time, when the harvests ripened quickly in the warm
sunshine, and they could wander away from their tent to the fields
where the reapers were at work, who had always a kindly word for the
gentle, quiet Lapp children. Here Hansa would sit for hours, weaving
garlands of the sweet yellow violets, pink heath, anemones, and dainty
harebells, that grew in such profusion along the borders of the fields
and among the grain, that the reapers, in cutting the wheat, laid the
flowers low before them as well. Niels liked to bind the sheaves, and
did his work so deftly that he was always welcome. He it was, too, who
made such a wonderful "scarecrow" that not a bird dared venture near.
But little Hansa laughed and said: "Silly birds! the old hat cannot
harm you. See! I will bring my flowers close beside it." Then the
reapers, laughing, called the ugly scarecrow "Hansa's guardian."

So the years went by, and the children lived their quiet life, happy
with each other. It seemed as though the tender mother-love that had
been theirs in their babyhood was around them still, guarding and
shielding them from harm. Niels was a wonderful boy, the neighbors
said, and little Hansa, by the time she was twelve years old, could
spin and weave, and embroider on tanned reindeer-skins (which are used
for boots and harness) better than many a Lapp woman. Besides, she was
so clever and good that every one loved her. Every one, alas! but
Haakon, her father. He was not openly cruel; with Gunilda's death the
blows had ceased, but Hansa seemed to look at him with her mother's
gentle, reproachful eyes, and so he dreaded and disliked her.

One summer's day he said, suddenly: "Hansa, to-day the great fair in
Lyngen is held; dress yourself in your best clothes, and I will take
you there."

"Oh, how kind, dear father!" said Hansa, whose tender little heart
warmed at even the semblance of a kind word. "That will be joyful! But,
may Niels go also? I _cannot_ go without him," she said, entreatingly,
as she saw her father's brow darken.

But Haakon said, gruffly: "No, Niels may _not_ go; he must stay at home
to guard the tent."

"Never mind, Hansa," whispered Niels; "I shall not be lonely, and you
will have so many things to tell me and to show me when you come home,
for father will surely buy us something at the fair; and perhaps," he
added, bravely, seeing that Hansa still lingered at his side, "perhaps
father will love you if you go gladly with him."

"Oh, Niels!" said Hansa, "do you really think so? Quick! help me, then,
that I may not keep him waiting."

Never was toilet more speedily made, and soon Hansa stepped shyly up to
Haakon, saying gently, "I am ready, father."

She was very pretty as she stood before him, so gayly dressed, and with
a real May-day face, all smiles and tears--tears for Niels, to whom for
the first time she must say "good-bye," smiles that perhaps might coax
her father to love her. But Haakon looked not at her, and only saying
"Come, then," walked quickly away.

"Good-bye, my Hansa," said Niels, for the last time. "_I_ love you.
Come back ready to tell me of all the beautiful things at the fair."

Then he went into the tent, and Hansa ran on beside her father, who
spoke not a word as they walked mile after mile till four were passed,
and Lyngen, with its tall church spires, its long rows of houses, and
many gayly decorated shops, was before them. Hansa, to whom everything
was new and wonderful, gazed curiously about her, and many a question
trembled on her tongue but found no voice, as Haakon strode moodily on,
till they reached the market-place, and there beside one of the many
drinking-booths sat himself down, while Hansa stood timidly behind him.
Soon he called for a mug of finkel, and drank it greedily; then another
and another followed, till Hansa grew frightened and said, "Oh, dear
father, do not drink any more!"

Then Haakon beat her till she cried bitterly.

"Oh, cry on!" said the cruel father, who we must hope hardly knew what
he was saying, "for never will I take you back to my tent and to Niels.
I brought you here to-day that some one else may have you. You shall be
my child no longer. I will give you for a pipe, that I may smoke and
drink my finkel in peace. Who'll buy?"

Just then, good Peder Olsen came by, and his kind heart ached for the
little maid.

"See!" said he to the angry Lapp. "Give me the child, and I will give
you a pipe and these thirty marks as well. They are my year's earnings,
but I give them gladly."

"Strike hands! She is yours!" said Haakon, who, without one look at his
weeping child, turned away; while the wood cutter led Hansa, all
trembling and frightened, toward his home.

At first, she longed to tell her kind protector of Niels, and beg him
to take her back. But she was a wise little maid, and curious withal.
So she said to herself: "Who knows? It may be a beautiful home, and the
kind people may send me back for Niels. I will go on now, for I have
never been but one road in all my life, and surely I can find it
again."

So she walked quietly on beside father Peder, till at last his little
cottage appeared in sight.

"This is your new home, dear child," said he, and they stepped quickly
up to the door, opened it softly, and entered the little room.

Grandmother Ingeborg was nodding in her big chair in the chimney
corner, but the soft footsteps aroused her, and, looking up, she said:

"Oh! _tak fur sidst_[A] good Peder. Hi, though! What is that you bring
with you?"

[Footnote A: Thanks for seeing you again.]

Before she could be answered, the children, whose first nap was nearly
over, awoke and saw their father with the little girl clinging to his
hand, and looking shyly at them from his sheltering arm.

"Oh!" cried Olga, "a little sister! _My_ wish has come true!"--and she
ran to the new-comer and gave her sweet kisses of welcome; at which
father Peder said, "That is my own good Olga."

But grandmother Ingeborg, who had put on her spectacles, said:

"Ah! I see now! A good-for-nothing Lapp child! She shall not stay here,
surely!"

"Listen," said Peder Olsen, "and I will tell you why I brought home the
little Hansa, for that is her name,"--and he told the story of the
father's drinking so much finkel, and offering to give his little girl
for a pipe, and how he himself had purchased her. "But see!" added the
worthy Peder, turning toward Hansa, "you are not bound but for as long
as the heart says stay."

Hansa looked about, and, meeting Olga's sweet, entreating glance, said,
"I will stay ever."

Then Olga cried, joyously, "Now, indeed, have I a sister!" and took her
to her own little bed, where soon they both were sleeping, side by
side.

As for Olaf and Erik, they were still silent, though now from anger,
and that was very bad.

Grandmother Ingeborg, I think, was angry, too, for said she to herself:

"Now I shall have to spin more cloth, and sew and knit, that when her
own clothes wear out we may clothe this miserable Lapp child" (for the
good dame was a true Norwegian, and despised the Lapps); "and our
little ones must divide their brown bread and milk with her, for we are
too poor to buy more, and it is very bad altogether. Ah! I was sure
something bad would happen,"--and grandmother fairly grumbled herself
into bed.

In the morning all were awake early, you may be sure, and gazing
curiously at the new-comer, whom they had been almost too sleepy to see
perfectly before; and this is how she appeared to their wondering eyes.

She seemed about twelve years old, but no taller than Olga, who was
just ten. She had beautiful soft, brown eyes; and fair, flaxen hair,
which hung in rich, wavy locks far down her back. She wore a short
skirt of dark blue cloth, with yellow stripes around it; a blue apron,
embroidered with bright-colored threads; a little scarlet jacket; a
jaunty cap, also of scarlet cloth, with a silver tassel; and neat,
short boots of tanned reindeer-skin, embroidered with scarlet and
white.

Soon grandmother Ingeborg, who had been out milking the cow, came in,
and almost dropped her great basin of milk, in her anger.

"What!" cried she to Hansa, "all your Sunday clothes on? That will
never do!"

"But I have no others," said the little maid.

"Then you shall have others," said grandmother, and she took from a
great chest in the corner an old blue skirt of Olga's, a jacket which
Olaf had outgrown, and a pair of Erik's wooden shoes.

[Illustration: "HANSA'S GUARDIAN."]

Meekly, Hansa donned the strange jacket and skirt; but her tiny feet,
accustomed to the soft boots of reindeer-skin, could not endure the
hard, clumsy wooden shoes.

"Ah!" said grandmother, who was watching her. "Then must you wear my
old cloth slippers," which were better, though they would come off
continually.

"Now bring me my big scissors, that I may cut off this troublesome
hair," cried Dame Ingeborg. "I do not like that long mane; Olga's head
is far neater!"

And, in spite of poor Hansa's entreaties, all her long, beautiful,
shining locks were cut short off.

But Hansa proved herself a merry little maid, who, after all, did not
care for such trifles. Besides, this, she was so helpful in straining
the milk, preparing the breakfast, and bringing fresh twigs for the
beds, that Dame Ingeborg quite relented toward her, and said:

"You are very nice indeed--for a Lapp child. If you could only spin,
I'd really like to keep you."

Then Hansa moved quickly toward the great spinning-wheel which stood
near the open door, and, before a word could be spoken, began to spin
so swiftly, yet carefully, that grandmother, in her surprise, forgot to
say "Ah," but kissed the clever little maid instead.

"She'll be proud," said the boys, "because she is so wise. Let us go by
ourselves and play,"--and away they ran.

"Come," said Olga to Hansa; "though they have run away, they will not
be happy without us,"--which wise remark showed that she knew boys
pretty well; and the two little maids went hand in hand, and sat down
beside the boys.

"We have no room for _two_ girls here," said Olaf, and he gave poor
Hansa a very rough push.

"What can you do to make us like you?" said Erik.

"I can tell stories," said Hansa. "Listen!"

And she told them a wonderful tale, far better than grandmother's
Sunday best one.

"That is a very good story," said Olaf, when it was finished, "and you
are not so bad--for a girl. But still, if my father had not bought you,
I should have owned a reindeer for my sledge to-day."

"And I should have had a fur coat and boots, to keep me warm next
winter," said Erik.

At this, Hansa opened her bright eyes very wide, and looked curiously
at the boys for a moment, then said: "Did you wish for those things?"

"We have wished for them all our lives," said Erik; while Olaf, too
sore at his disappointment to say a word, gave Hansa a rude slap
instead.

That night, when all were sleeping soundly, little Hansa arose,
dressed, and stole softly from the hut. The sun was shining brightly,
and it seemed as if the path over which father Peder had led her showed
itself, and said, "Come, follow me, and I will lead you home!" And so
it did, safely and surely, though the way seemed long, and her little
feet ached sorely before she had gone many miles. But she kept bravely
on, till at last her father's tent appeared in sight. Then her heart
failed her.

"I hope father is not home," said she, "else he will beat me again. I
only want my Niels."

And she gave a curious little whistle that Niels had taught her as a
signal; but no answer came back. So she crept gently up to the tent,
drew aside the scarlet curtain that hung before the opening, and looked
in.

Meanwhile, let us go back to Haakon at the fair.

As father Peder led Hansa away, he turned again to the booth, and being
soon joined by some friendly Lapps, spent the night, and far on into
the next day, in games and wild sports (such as abound at the fair)
with them.

At last, a thought of home seemed to come to him, and, heedless of all
cries and exclamations from his companions, he hurried away. The long
road was passed as in a kind of dream, and, almost ere he knew it, he
stood before his tent, with Niels' frightened eyes looking into his,
and Niels' eager voice crying:

"Oh, father! where is Hansa? What have you done with my sister?"

"Be silent, boy!" said Haakon, sternly. "Your sister is well, but--she
will never come back to the tent again!"

Then, as if suddenly a true knowledge of his crime flashed upon him, he
buried his face in his hands, and tears, that for many years had been
strangers to his eyes, trickled slowly down his rough brown cheeks, and
so, not daring to meet his boy's truthful questioning gaze, he told him
all.

"Oh, father, let us go for her! She will surely come back if you are
sorry," cried Niels, eagerly.

"You cannot, for, alas! I know neither her new master's name nor
whither he went," said Haakon.

Then Niels, in despair, threw himself down on his bed and wept
bitterly--wept, till at last, all exhausted with the force of his
grief, he slept. How long he knew not, for in the Lapp's tent was
nothing to mark the flight of the hours; but he awoke, finally, with a
start, sat up and rubbed his eyes, and looked wildly about, saying:

"Yes, there sits father, just where I left him, and there is no one
else here. But I am sure I heard Hansa whistle to me; no one else knows
our signal, and----Oh! there--_there_ she is at the door!" and he
sprang toward her and clasped her in his arms, crying, "Hansa, my
Hansa! I have had a dream--such an ugly dream! How joyful that I am
awake at last! See, father," he said, leading her to Haakon; "have you,
too, dreamed?"

"It was no dream, boy," said his father; and, turning to Hansa, he
asked, more gently than he had ever yet spoken to her, "How came you
back, my child?"

Then Hansa, clinging closely to Niels the while, told him all that had
befallen her, and of the pleasant home she had found, and added,
boldly;

"Father, let me take these kind friends some gifts; we have _so_ much,
and I wish to make them happy."

"Take what you want, child," said Haakon. "And see! here is a bag of
silver marks; give it to Peder Olsen, and say that each year I will
fill it anew for him, so that he shall never more want." Then, turning
to Niels, he added: "Go you, too, with Hansa. Surely those kind people
will give you a home as well. It is better for you both that you have a
happier home, and care; and I--can lead my life best alone."

In the wood-cutter's little hut, Olga was the first to discover Hansa's
absence.

"Ah, you naughty boys!" cried she. "You have driven my new sister
away!"--and she wept all day and would not be comforted.

Bed-time came, but brought no trace of Hansa. Poor, tender-hearted Olga
cried herself to sleep; while Olaf and Erik were really both frightened
and sorry, and whispered privately to each other, under their reindeer
blanket, that if Hansa should ever come back, they would be very good
to her.

"And I will give her my Sunday cap," said Erik, "since she cannot wear
my shoes."

Two, three, four days went by, and still Hansa came not; and father
Peder, who was the last to give up hope, said, finally:

"I fear we shall never see our little maid again."

The children gathered around him, sorrowing, while Dame Ingeborg threw
her apron over her head, and rocked to and fro in her big chair in the
chimney corner.

Just then came a gentle little tap on the door, which, as Olga sprang
toward it, softly opened, and there on the threshold stood little
Hansa, smiling at them; and--wonder of wonders!--behind her was a
little reindeer, gayly harnessed, with bright silver bells fastened to
the collar, which tinkled merrily as it tossed its pretty head. Beside
it stood a boy, somewhat taller than Olaf, balancing on his head a
great package.

"I have been far, far away to my own home," said Hansa, "and my brother
Niels has come back with me, bringing something for you."

Then Niels laid down the package, and gravely opening it, displayed to
the wondering eyes real gifts from fairy-land, it seemed.

There were the fur coat and boots, and a cap also, more beautiful than
Erik had ever dreamed of. A roll of soft, fine blue wool, for
grandmother, came next; then a beautifully embroidered dress, and
scarlet apron and jacket, for Olga; and last of all, a fat little
leather bag, which Hansa gave to father Peder, saying:

"There are many silver marks for you, and my father has promised that
it shall never more be empty, if you will give to Niels and me a home."
Then turning quickly to Olaf, she said: "And here is my own pet
reindeer 'Friska' for you."

So the children, in the gladness of their hearts, kissed the little
maid, and Olaf whispered, "Forgive me that slap, dear Hansa!"

Father Peder stood thoughtfully quiet a moment, then, turning to the
children, he said:

"See, little ones! I gave my last mark for Hansa, and knew not where I
should find bread for you all afterward; but the dear child has brought
only good to us since. I am getting old, and my arms grow too weak to
swing the heavy ax, and I thought, often, soon must my little ones go
hungry. But now we are rich, and my cares have all gone. So long as
they wish, therefore, shall Niels and Hansa be to me as my own
children; they shall live here with us, and we will love them well."

[Illustration: ON THE SPRING-BOARD.]

Then he kissed all the happy faces, and said: "Now go and play, little
ones, for grandmother and I must think quietly over these God-sent
gifts."

So the children, first putting Friska, the reindeer, carefully in the
little stable beside the cow (so that he should not run away from the
strange new home, Hansa said), hastened to their favorite
play-place,--a large pine board lying on the slope of the hill, whence
they could look far away across the fields and fjords to the Kilpis,
the great mountain peaks where, even in summer, the pure white snow lay
glistening in the sunlight.

"Ho!" cried Niels, "that is a fine board, but no good so; see what _I_
can do with it!" and lifted one end and put it across a great log that
lay near by.

"Now you little fellows," said he to Olaf and Erik, "I am strong as a
giant, but I cannot quite roll up this other log alone. Come you and
help."

So the boys together rolled the heavy log to its place, and put the
other end of the board upon it.

"Now jump!" cried Niels; and with one joyous "halloo" the children were
on the broad, springy plank, enjoying to the utmost this novel
pleasure.

Their shouts of delight brought the wood-cutter to the door of the
little hut, and grandmother Ingeborg following, caught the excitement,
and, pulling off her cap, she waved it wildly, crying: "Hurrah for the
Lapps! Hurrah!"

Then she and father Peder went back to their chairs in the chimney
corner; and Hansa, sitting on the spring-board, with the children
around her, told them such a wonderful, beautiful story, that they were
quite silent with delight.

At last said Olaf, contentedly, as he lay with his head on Hansa's
knee:

"After all, girls _are_ the nicest things in the world!"

"Except boys," said little Hansa, slyly.



[Illustration: JUNO'S WONDERFUL TROUBLES.]


JUNO'S WONDERFUL TROUBLES.

BY E. MULLER.


Juno lived in a great park, where there was a menagerie, and neither
the park nor the menagerie could have done without Juno. Now, who do
you think Juno was? She was a dear old black and brown dog, the
best-natured dog in the world. And this was the reason they could not
do without her in the park. A lioness died, and left two little
lion-cubs with no one to take care of them. The poor little lions
curled up in a corner of the cage, and seemed as if they would die.
Then the keeper of the menagerie brought Juno, and showed her the
little lion-cubs, and said: "Now, Juno, here are some puppies for you;
go and take care of them, that's a good dog." Juno's own puppies had
just been given away, and she was feeling very badly about it, and was
rather glad to take care of the two little lions. They were so pretty,
with their soft striped fur and yellow paws, that Juno soon loved them,
and she took the best of care of them till they grew old enough to live
by themselves. Many people used to come and stand near the big lion's
cage, and laugh to see only a quiet old dog, and two little bits of
lion-cubs shut in it.

[Illustration]

It was very pretty to see Juno playing with the cubs, and all the
children who came to the park wanted first to see "the doggie that
nursed the lion-puppies." But when they grew large enough they were
taken away from her, and sold to different menageries far away, and
poor Juno wondered what had become of her pretty adopted children. She
looked for them all about the menagerie, and asked all the animals if
they had seen her two pretty yellow-striped lion-puppies. No one had
seen them, and nearly every one was sorry, and had something kind to
say, for Juno was a favorite with many. To be sure, the wolf snarled at
her, and said it served her right for thinking that she, a miserable
tame dog, could bring up young lions. But Juno knew she had only done
as she was told, so she did not mind the wolf. The monkeys cracked
jokes, and teased her, saying they guessed she would be given another
family to take care of--sea lions, most likely, and she would have to
live in the water to keep them in order. This had not occurred to Juno
before, and it made her quite uneasy.

"It is not possible they would want me to nurse young sea-lions," said
she. "They are so very rude, and so very slippery, I never could make
them mind me."

[Illustration: JUNO IS WARNED BY THE PELICAN.]

"You may be thankful if you don't get those two young alligators in the
other tank," said a gruff-voiced adjutant.

"Good gracious!" exclaimed Juno. "You don't think it possible?"

"Of course it is possible," said a pelican, stretching his neck through
his cage-bars. "You'll see what comes of being too obliging."

"We all think you are a good creature, Juno," said a crane. "Indeed, I
should willingly trust you with my young crane children, but really, if
you _will_ do everything that is asked of you, there's no knowing whose
family you may have next."

Juno went and lay down in a sunshiny place near the elephant's house,
and thought over all these words. Very soon she grew sleepy, in spite
of her anxiety, and was just dropping off into a doze, when she heard
the keeper whistle for her. She ran to him and found him in the
hippopotamus's cage.

[Illustration: JUNO TAKES CARE OF THE YOUNG HIPPOPOTAMUS.]

"Juno," said he, "I guess you'll have to take charge of this young
hippopotamus, the poor little fellow has lost his mother."

"Dear, dear!" sighed Juno. "I was afraid it would come to this. I'm
thankful it isn't the young alligators."

So Juno took charge of the young hippo,--she called him hippo for
short, and only when he was naughty she called him: "Hip-po-pot-a-mus,
aren't you ashamed of yourself?" But he was a great trial. He was
awkward and clumsy, and not a bit like her graceful little
lion-puppies. When he got sick, and she had to give him peppermint, his
mouth was so large that she lost the spoon in it, and he swallowed
spoon and all, and was very ill afterward. But he grew up at last, and
just as Juno had made up her mind not to take care of other people's
families any more, the keeper came to her with two young giraffes, and
told her she really must be a mother to the poor little scraps of
misery, for their mother was gone, and they would die if they weren't
cared for immediately. These were a dreadful trouble, and besides, they
would keep trotting after her everywhere, till the pelican, and the
adjutant, and the cranes nearly killed themselves laughing at her. Poor
Juno felt worse and worse, till when one day she heard the keeper say
she certainly would have to take care of the young elephant, she felt
that she could stand it no longer, and made up her mind to run away. So
she said good-bye to all her friends, and ran to the wall of the park.
There she gave a great jump, and,--waked up, and found herself in the
sunshiny grass near the elephant's house.

"Oh, how glad I am!" said Juno.

"What in the world has been the matter?" asked the elephant. "You've
been kicking and growling in your sleep at a great rate. I've been
watching you this long time."

"Such dreadful dreams!" said Juno. "Lion-puppies are all very well, but
when it comes to hippopotamus, and giraffes, and elephant----"

"What _are_ you talking about?" said the elephant. "I guess you'd
better go to your supper; I heard the keeper call you long ago."

So Juno went to her supper very glad to find she had only dreamed her
troubles; but she made up her mind that if the old hippopotamus
_should_ die, she would run away that very night.



WISHES

BY MARY N. PRESCOTT.


  I wish that the grasses would learn to sprout,
  That the lilac and rose-bush would both leaf out;
  That the crocus would put on her gay green frill,
  And robins begin to whistle and trill!

  I wish that the wind-flower would grope its way
  Out of the darkness into the day;
  That the rain would fall and the sun would shine,
  And the rainbow hang in the sky for a sign.

  I wish that the silent brooks would shout,
  And the apple-blossoms begin to pout;
  And if I wish long enough, no doubt
  The fairy Spring will bring it about!



HOW MATCHES ARE MADE.

BY F.H.C.


[Illustration]


A match is a small thing. We seldom pause to think, after it has
performed its mission, and we have carelessly thrown it away, that it
has a history of its own, and that, like some more pretentious things,
its journey from the forest to the match-safe is full of changes. This
little bit of white pine lying before me came from far north, in the
Hudson Bay Territory, or perhaps from the great silent forests about
Lake Superior, and has been rushed and jammed and tossed in its long
course through rivers, over cataracts and rapids, and across the great
lakes.

We read that near the middle of the seventeenth century it was
discovered that phosphorus would ignite a splint of wood dipped in
sulphur; but this means of obtaining fire was not in common use until
nearly a hundred and fifty years later.

This, then, appears to have been the beginning of match-making. Not
that kind which some old gossips are said to indulge in, for that must
have had its origin much farther back, but the business of making those
little "strike-fires," found in every country store, in their familiar
boxes, with red and blue and yellow labels.

The matches of fifty years ago were very clumsy affairs compared with
the "parlor" and "safety" matches of to-day, but they were great
improvements upon the first in use. Those small sticks, dipped in
melted sulphur, and sold in a tin box with a small bottle of oxide of
phosphorus, were regarded by our forefathers as signs of "ten-leagued
progress." Later, a compound made of chlorate of potash and sulphur was
used on the splints. This ignited upon being dipped in sulphuric acid.
In 1829 an English chemist discovered that matches on which had been
placed chlorate of potash could be ignited by friction. Afterward, at
the suggestion of Professor Faraday, saltpeter was substituted for the
chlorate, and then the era of friction matches, or matches lighted by
rubbing, was fairly begun.

But the match of to-day has a story more interesting than that of the
old-fashioned match. As we have said, much of the timber used in the
manufacture comes from the immense tracts of forest in the Hudson Bay
Territory. It is floated down the water-courses to the lakes, through
which it is towed in great log-rafts. These rafts are divided; some
parts are pulled through the canals, and some by other means are taken
to market. When well through the seasoning process, which occupies from
one to two years, the pine is cut up into blocks twice as long as a
match, and about eight inches wide by two inches thick. These blocks
are passed through a machine which cuts them up into "splints," round
or square, of just the thickness of a match, but twice its length. This
machine is capable, as we are told, of making about 2,000,000 splints
in a day. This number seems immense when compared with the most that
could be made in the old way--by hand. The splints are then taken to
the "setting" machine, and this rolls them into bundles about eighteen
inches in diameter, every splint separated from its neighbors by little
spaces, so that there may be no sticking together after the "dipping."
In the operation of "setting," a ribbon of coarse stuff about an inch
and a half wide, and an eighth of an inch thick, is rolled up, the
splints being laid across the ribbon between each two courses, leaving
about a quarter of an inch between adjoining splints. From the
"setting" machine the bundles go to the "dipping" room.

After the ends of the splints have been pounded down to make them even,
the bundles are dipped--both ends---into the molten sulphur and then
into the phosphorus solution, which is spread over a large iron plate.
Next they are hung in a frame to dry. When dried they are placed in a
machine which, as it unrolls the ribbon, cuts the sticks in two across
the middle, thus making two complete matches of each splint.

The match is made. The towering pine which listened to the whisper of
the south wind and swayed in the cold northern blast, has been so
divided that we can take it bit by bit and lightly twirl it between two
fingers. But what it has lost in size it has gained in use. The little
flame it carries, and which looks so harmless, flashing into brief
existence, has a latent power more terrible than the whirlwind which
perhaps sent the tall pine-tree crashing to the ground.

But the story is not yet closed. From the machine which completed the
matches they are taken to the "boxers"--mostly girls and women--who
place them in little boxes. The speed with which this is done is
surprising. With one hand they pick up an empty case and remove the
cover, while with the other they seize just a sufficient number of
matches, and by a peculiar shuffling motion arrange them evenly,
then--'t is done!

The little packages of sleeping fire are taken to another room, where
on each one is placed a stamp certifying the payment to the government
of one cent revenue tax. Equipped with these passes the boxes are
placed in larger ones, and these again in wooden cases, which are to be
shipped to all parts of the country, and over seas.

All this trouble over such little things as matches! Yet on these
fire-tipped bits of wood millions of people depend for warmth, cooked
food and light. They have become a necessity, and the day of flint,
steel and tinder seems almost as far away in the past as are the bow
and fire-stick of the Indian.

Some idea of the number of matches used in North America during a year
may be gained from the fact that it is estimated by competent judges
that, on an average, six matches are used every day by each inhabitant;
this gives a grand total of 87,400,000,000 matches, without counting
those that are exported. Now, this would make a single line, were the
matches placed end to end, more than 2,750,000 miles in length! It
would take a railroad train almost eight years to go from one end to
the other, running forty miles an hour all the time.

How apt to our subject is that almost worn-out Latin phrase, "_multum
in parvo_"--much in little! Much labor, much skill, and much
usefulness, all in a little piece of wood scarcely one-eighth of an
inch through and about two inches long!

[Illustration: Finis]



[Illustration: WHERE AUNT ANN HID THE SUGAR]


WHERE AUNT ANN HID THE SUGAR

BY MARY L. BOLLES BRANCH.


Teddy was such a rogue, you see! If Aunt Ann sent him to the store for
raisins, the string on the package would be very loose, and the paper
very much lapped over, when he brought it home; if he went to the
baker's, the tempting end of the twist loaf was sure to be snapped off
in the street, and a dozen buns were never more than ten when they
reached the table. Boys are _so_ hungry! Teddy knew every corner of the
pantry: if half a pie were left over from dinner, it could not possibly
be hidden under any pan, bowl, pail, or cunningly folded towel, but he
would find it before supper. Pieces of cake disappeared as if by magic,
preserves were found strangely lowered in the crocks, pickles went by
the wholesale, gingerbread never could be reckoned on after the first
day, and once--only once--did Teddy's mamma succeed in hiding a whole
baking of apple tarts in the cellar for a day by setting them under a
tub. The cellar never was a safe place again; Aunt Ann tried it with
doughnuts, and the crock was empty in two days. She put her stick
cinnamon on the top shelf in the closet, behind her medicine bottles,
and when she wanted it a week after, there was not a sliver to be
found. Then the loaf sugar--I don't know but that was the worst of all.
Did he stuff his pockets with it? did he carry it away by the capful?
It seemed incredible that anything _could_ go so fast. One day, Aunt
Ann detected Teddy behind the window curtain with a tumbler so nearly
full of sugar that the water in it only made a thick syrup, and there
he was reading "Robinson Crusoe" and sipping this delightful mixture.
From that moment Aunt Ann made up her mind that he should "stop it."

"I'll tell him it's nothing more nor less than downright STEALING--so I
will," muttered the good soul to herself; "the poor child's never had
proper teaching on the subject from one of us; he's got all his pa's
appetite without the good principles of _our_ side of the family to
save him."

So, the next day, the sugar being out, she bought two dollars' worth
while Teddy was at school, and without even telling his mother, she
searched the house for a hiding-place. She shook her head at the pantry
and cellar, but she visited the garret, and the spare front chamber;
she looked into the camphor-chest, she contemplated a barrel of
potatoes, she moved about the things in her wardrobe, and at last she
hid the sugar! No danger of Teddy finding it this time! Aunt Ann could
not repress a smile of triumph as she sat down to her knitting.

Unconscious Teddy came home at noon, ate his dinner, and was off again.
His mother and Aunt Ann went out making calls that afternoon, and as
Aunt Ann closed the street door she thought to herself--

"I can really take comfort going out, I feel so safe in my mind, now
that sugar is hid."

But at tea-time she almost relented when she saw Teddy look into the
sugar-bowl, and turn away without taking a single lump.

"He is really honorable," she said to herself; "he thinks that is all
there is, and he wont touch it." And she passed the gingerbread to him
three times, as a reward of merit.

There was sugar enough in the bowl to sweeten all their tea the next
day, and so far all went well. But the third day, in the afternoon, up
drove a carry-all to the gate, with Uncle Wright, Aunt Wright, and two
stranger young ladies from the city--all come to take tea, have a good
time, and drive home again by moonlight.

Teddy's mother sat down in the front room to entertain them, and Aunt
Ann hurried out to see about supper. How lucky it was that she had
boiled a ham that very morning! Pink slices of ham, with nice biscuit
and butter, were not to be despised even by city guests. She had also a
golden comb of honey, brought to the house by a countryman a few hours
before; it looked really elegant as she set it on the table in a
cut-glass dish. Then there were,--oh, moment of suspense! would she
find any left?--yes; there _were_ enough sweet crisp seed-cakes to fill
a plate.

The table was set--the tea with its fine aroma, and the coffee,
amber-clear, were made. The cream was on, so was the sugar-bowl, and
Aunt Ann was just going to summon her guests, when she happened to
think to lift the sugar-bowl cover and peep in. Sure enough, there
wasn't a lump there!

"I must run and fill it!" exclaimed Aunt Ann, lifting it in a hurry,
and starting; but she had to stop to think in what direction to go.

"Where was it I put that sugar?" she asked herself.

In the camphor chest? No. In the potatoes? No; she remembered thinking
they were not clean enough. Was it anywhere up garret? If she went
there and looked around, maybe it would come into her mind. She did go
there, sugar-bowl in hand, and she did look around, but all in
vain--she could not think where she had put that two dollars' worth of
sugar!

And time was flying, the sun was setting--pretty soon the moon would be
up. How hungry the company must be, and they must wonder why supper
wasn't ready. It would never do to sit down to the table with an empty
sugar-bowl, for Aunt Wright always wanted her tea extra sweet, and
Uncle Wright never could drink coffee without his eight lumps in the
cup. Dear, dear! Aunt Ann was all in a flurry. _Why_ had she ever
undertaken to hide that sugar!

"I shall certainly have to send to the store for some more!" she said
to herself, "and that will take so long; but it can't be helped."

So she spoke to Teddy, who was sitting in the dining-room window
apparently studying his geography lesson, but in reality wondering what
in the world Aunt Ann was fluttering all over the house so uneasily
for.

"Run to the store, Teddy!" she said quickly; "get me half a dollar's
worth of loaf sugar as soon as ever you can."

"Why, Aunt Ann," he replied, "what for? I should think you had sugar
enough already."

"So I have!" she exclaimed, nervously. "I got two dollars' worth day
before yesterday, and I hid it away in a safe place to keep it from
you, and now, to save my life, I can't think where I put it, and I've
searched high and low. Hurry!"

Teddy smiled upon her benignly.

"You should have told me sooner what you were looking for," he said.
"That sugar is on the upper shelf of your wardrobe, in your muff-box in
the farther corner. It is _very_ nice sugar, Aunt Ann!"

"Sure enough!" she cried. "That is where I hid it, and covered it up
with my best bonnet and veil. And then, when I went calling, I wore my
bonnet and veil, and never once thought about the sugar. I suppose that
was when you found it, you bad boy."

"Yes 'm, I found it that time. I was looking for a string," he said;
"but I should have found it anyhow in a day or two, even if you hadn't
let sugar crumbs fall on the shelf, Aunt Ann!"

"I believe you, you terrible boy!" she rejoined. "Now go call the
company to tea."

And she did believe him, and would have given up the struggle from that
day, convinced that the fates were against her, but for her heroic
resolve to instill straightway into this young gentleman with his pa's
appetite the good principles of _her_ side of the family.



UNDER THE LILACS.

BY LOUISA M. ALCOTT.



CHAPTER IX.

A HAPPY TEA.


Exactly five minutes before six the party arrived in great state, for
Bab and Betty wore their best frocks and hair-ribbons, Ben had a new
blue shirt and his shoes on as full-dress, and Sancho's curls were
nicely brushed, his frills as white as if just done up.

No one was visible to receive them, but the low table stood in the
middle of the walk, with four chairs and a foot-stool around it. A
pretty set of green and white china caused the girls to cast admiring
looks upon the little cups and plates, while Ben eyed the feast
longingly, and Sancho with difficulty restrained himself from repeating
his former naughtiness. No wonder the dog sniffed and the children
smiled, for there was a noble display of little tarts and cakes, little
biscuits and sandwiches, a pretty milk-pitcher shaped like a white
calla rising out of its green leaves, and a jolly little tea-kettle
singing away over the spirit-lamp as cozily as you please.

"Isn't it perfectly lovely?" whispered Betty, who had never seen
anything like it before.

"I just wish Sally could see us _now_" answered Bab, who had not yet
forgiven her enemy.

"Wonder where the boy is," added Ben, feeling as good as any one, but
rather doubtful how others might regard him.

Here a rumbling sound caused the guests to look toward the garden, and
in a moment Miss Celia appeared, pushing a wheeled chair in which sat
her brother. A gay afghan covered the long legs, a broad-brimmed hat
half hid the big eyes, and a discontented expression made the thin face
as unattractive as the fretful voice which said, complainingly:

"If they make a noise, I'll go in. Don't see what you asked them for."

"To amuse you, dear. I know they will, if you will only try to like
them," whispered the sister, smiling and nodding over the chair-back as
she came on, adding aloud: "Such a punctual party! I am all ready,
however, and we will sit down at once. This is my brother Thornton, and
we are going to be very good friends by and by. Here's the droll dog,
Thorny; isn't he nice and curly?"

Now, Ben had heard what the other boy said, and made up his mind that
he shouldn't like him; and Thorny had decided beforehand that he
wouldn't play with a tramp, even if he _could_ cut capers; so both
looked decidedly cool and indifferent when Miss Celia introduced them.
But Sancho had better manners, and no foolish pride; he, therefore, set
them a good example by approaching the chair, with his tail waving like
a flag of truce, and politely presented his ruffled paw for a hearty
shake.

Thorny could not resist that appeal, and patted the white head, with a
friendly look into the affectionate eyes of the dog, saying to his
sister as he did so:

"What a wise old fellow he is! It seems as if he could almost speak,
doesn't it?"

"He can. Say 'How do you do,' Sanch," commanded Ben, relenting at once,
for he saw admiration in Thorny's face.

"Wow, wow, wow!" remarked Sancho, in a mild and conversational tone,
sitting up and touching one paw to his head, as if he saluted by taking
off his hat.

Thorny laughed in spite of himself, and Miss Celia, seeing that the ice
was broken, wheeled him to his place at the foot of the table. Then
seating the little girls on one side, Ben and the dog on the other,
took the head herself and told her guests to begin.

Bab and Betty were soon chattering away to their pleasant hostess as
freely as if they had known her for months; but the boys were still
rather shy, and made Sancho the medium through which they addressed one
another. The excellent beast behaved with wonderful propriety, sitting
upon his cushion in an attitude of such dignity that it seemed almost a
liberty to offer him food. A dish of thick sandwiches had been provided
for his especial refreshment, and as Ben from time to time laid one on
his plate, he affected entire unconsciousness of it till the word was
given, when it vanished at one gulp, and Sancho again appeared absorbed
in deep thought.

But having once tasted of this pleasing delicacy, it was very hard to
repress his longing for more, and, in spite of all his efforts, his
nose would work, his eye kept a keen watch upon that particular dish,
and his tail quivered with excitement as it lay like a train over the
red cushion. At last, a moment came when temptation proved too strong
for him. Ben was listening to something Miss Celia said, a tart lay
unguarded upon his plate, Sanch looked at Thorny, who was watching
him, Thorny nodded, Sanch gave one wink, bolted the tart, and then
gazed pensively up at a sparrow swinging on a twig overhead.

The slyness of the rascal tickled the boy so much that he pushed back
his hat, clapped his hands, and burst out laughing as he had not done
before for weeks. Every one looked around surprised, and Sancho
regarded him with a mildly inquiring air, as if he said, "Why this
unseemly mirth, my friend?"

[Illustration: MISS CELIA AND THORNY.]

Thorny forgot both sulks and shyness after that, and suddenly began to
talk. Ben was flattered by his interest in the dear dog, and opened out
so delightfully that he soon charmed the other by his lively tales of
circus-life. Then Miss Celia felt relieved, and everything went
splendidly, especially the food, for the plates were emptied several
times, the little tea-pot ran dry twice, and the hostess was just
wondering if she ought to stop her voracious guests, when something
occurred which spared her that painful task.

A small boy was suddenly discovered standing in the path behind them,
regarding the company with an air of solemn interest. A pretty, well
dressed child of six, with dark hair cut short across the brow, a rosy
face, a stout pair of legs, left bare by the socks which had slipped
down over the dusty little shoes. One end of a wide sash trailed behind
him, a straw hat hung at his back, while his right hand firmly grasped
a small turtle, and his left a choice collection of sticks. Before Miss
Celia could speak, the stranger calmly announced his mission.

"I have come to see the peacocks."

"You shall presently--" began Miss Celia, but got no further, for the
child added, coming a step nearer:

"And the wabbits."

"Yes, but first wont you--"

"And the curly dog," continued the small voice, as another step brought
the resolute young personage nearer.

"There he is."

A pause, a long look, then a new demand with the same solemn tone, the
same advance.

"I wish to hear the donkey bray."

"Certainly, if he will."

"And the peacocks scream."

"Anything more, sir?"

Having reached the table by this time, the insatiable infant surveyed
its ravaged surface, then pointed a fat little finger at the last cake,
left for manners, and said, commandingly;

"I will have some of that."

"Help yourself; and sit upon the step to eat it, while you tell me
whose boy you are," said Miss Celia, much amused at his proceedings.

Deliberately putting down his sticks, the child took the cake, and,
composing himself upon the step, answered with his rosy mouth full:

"I am papa's boy. He makes a paper. I help him a great deal."

"What is his name?"

"Mr. Barlow. We live in Springfield," volunteered the new guest,
unbending a trifle, thanks to the charms of the cake.

"Have you a mamma, dear?"

"She takes naps. I go to walk then."

"Without leave, I suspect. Have you no brothers or sisters to go with
you?" asked Miss Celia, wondering where the little runaway belonged.

"I have two brothers, Thomas Merton Barlow and Harry Sanford Barlow. I
am Alfred Tennyson Barlow. We don't have any girls in our house, only
Bridget."

"Don't you go to school?"

"The boys do. I don't learn any Greeks and Latins yet. I dig, and read
to mamma, and make poetrys for her."

"Couldn't you make some for me? I'm very fond of poetrys," proposed
Miss Celia, seeing that this prattle amused the children.

"I guess I couldn't make any now; I made some coming along. I will say
it to you."

And, crossing his short legs, the inspired babe half said, half sung
the following poem:[B]

     "Sweet are the flowers of life,
      Swept o'er my happy days at home;
      Sweet are the flowers of life
      When I was a little child.

     "Sweet are the flowers of life
      That I spent with my father at home;
      Sweet are the flowers of life
      When children played about the house.

     "Sweet are the flowers of life
      When the lamps are lighted at night;
      Sweet are the flowers of life
      When the flowers of summer bloomed.

     "Sweet are the flowers of life
      Dead with the snows of winter;
      Sweet are the flowers of life
      When the days of spring come on.

[Footnote B: These lines were actually composed by a six-year-old child.]

"That's all of that one. I made another one when I digged after the
turtle. I will say that. It is a very pretty one," observed the poet
with charming candor, and, taking a long breath, he tuned his little
lyre afresh:

     "Sweet, sweet days are passing
      O'er my happy home,
      Passing on swift wings through the valley of life.
      Cold are the days when winter comes again.
      When my sweet days were passing at my happy home,
      Sweet were the days on the rivulet's green brink;
      Sweet were the days when I read my father's books;
      Sweet were the winter days when bright fires are blazing."

"Bless the baby! where did he get all that?" exclaimed Miss Celia,
amazed, while the children giggled as Tennyson, Jr., took a bite at the
turtle instead of the half-eaten cake, and then, to prevent further
mistakes, crammed the unhappy creature into a diminutive pocket in the
most business-like way imaginable.

"It comes out of my head. I make lots of them," began the imperturbable
one, yielding more and more to the social influences of the hour.

"Here are the peacocks coming to be fed," interrupted Bab, as the
handsome birds appeared with their splendid plumage glittering in the
sun.

Young Barlow rose to admire, but his thirst for knowledge was not yet
quenched, and he was about to request a song from Juno and Jupiter,
when old Jack, pining for society, put his head over the garden wall
with a tremendous bray.

This unexpected sound startled the inquiring stranger half out of his
wits; for a moment the stout legs staggered and the solemn countenance
lost its composure, as he whispered, with an astonished air:

"Is that the way peacocks scream?"

The children were in fits of laughter, and Miss Celia could hardly make
herself heard as she answered, merrily:

"No, dear; that is the donkey asking you to come and see him. Will you
go?"

"I guess I couldn't stop now. Mamma might want me."

And, without another word, the discomfited poet precipitately retired,
leaving his cherished sticks behind him.

Ben ran after the child to see that he came to no harm, and presently
returned to report that Alfred had been met by a servant and gone away
chanting a new verse of his poem, in which peacocks, donkeys, and "the
flowers of life" were sweetly mingled.

"Now I'll show you my toys, and we'll have a little play before it gets
too late for Thorny to stay with us," said Miss Celia, as Randa carried
away the tea-things and brought back a large tray full of
picture-books, dissected maps, puzzles, games, and several pretty
models of animals, the whole crowned with a large doll dressed as a
baby.

At sight of that, Betty stretched out her arms to receive it with a cry
of delight. Bab seized the games, and Ben was lost in admiration of the
little Arab chief prancing on the white horse, "all saddled and bridled
and fit for the fight." Thorny poked about to find a certain curious
puzzle which he could put together without a mistake after long study.
Even Sancho found something to interest him, and standing on his
hind-legs thrust his head between the boys to paw at several red and
blue letters on square blocks.

"He looks as if he knew them," said Thorny, amused at the dog's eager
whine and scratch.

"He does. Spell your name, Sanch," and Ben put all the gay letters
down upon the flags with a chirrup which set the dog's tail to wagging
as he waited till the alphabet was spread before him. Then with great
deliberation he pushed the letters about till he had picked out six;
these he arranged with nose and paw till the word "Sancho" lay before
him correctly spelt.

"Isn't that clever? Can he do any more?" cried Thorny, delighted.

"Lots; that's the way he gets his livin' and mine too," answered Ben,
and proudly put his poodle through his well-learned lessons with such
success that even Miss Celia was surprised.

"He has been carefully trained. Do you know how it was done?" she
asked, when Sancho lay down to rest and be caressed by the children.

"No 'm, father did it when I was a little chap, and never told me how. I
used to help teach him to dance, and that was easy enough, he is so
smart. Father said the middle of the night was the best time to give
him his lessons, it was so still then and nothing disturbed Sanch and
made him forget. I can't do half the tricks, but I'm going to learn
when father comes back. He'd rather have me show off Sanch than ride,
till I'm older."

"I have a charming book about animals, and in it an interesting account
of some trained poodles who could do the most wonderful things. Would
you like to hear it while you put your maps and puzzles together?"
asked Miss Celia, glad to keep her brother interested in their
four-footed guest at least.

"Yes 'm, yes 'm," answered the children, and fetching the book she read
the pretty account, shortening and simplifying it here and there to
suit her hearers.

"'I invited the two dogs to dine and spend the evening, and they came
with their master, who was a Frenchman. He had been a teacher in a deaf
and dumb school, and thought he would try the same plan with dogs. He
had also been a conjurer, and now was supported by Blanche and her
daughter Lyda. These dogs behaved at dinner just like other dogs, but
when I gave Blanche a bit of cheese and asked if she knew the word for
it, her master said she could spell it. So a table was arranged with a
lamp on it, and round the table were laid the letters of the alphabet
painted on cards. Blanche sat in the middle waiting till her master told
her to spell cheese, which she at once did in French, F R O M A G E.
Then she translated a word for us very cleverly. Some one wrote
_pferd_, the German for horse, on a slate. Blanche looked at it and
pretended to read it, putting by the slate with her paw when she had
done. "Now give us the French for that word," said the man, and she
instantly brought C H E V A L. "Now, as you are at an Englishman's
house, give it to us in English," and she brought me H O R S E. Then we
spelt some words wrong and she corrected them with wonderful accuracy.
But she did not seem to like it, and whined and growled and looked so
worried that she was allowed to go and rest and eat cakes in a corner.

"'Then Lyda took her place on the table, and did sums on a slate with a
set of figures. Also mental arithmetic which was very pretty. "Now,
Lyda," said her master, "I want to see if you understand division.
Suppose you had ten bits of sugar and you met ten Prussian dogs, how
many lumps would you, a French dog, give to each of the Prussians?"
Lyda very decidedly replied to this with a cipher. "But, suppose you
divided your sugar with me, how many lumps would you give me?" Lyda
took up the figure five and politely presented it to her master.'"

[Illustration: ALFRED TENNYSON BARLOW.]

"Wasn't she smart? Sanch can't do that," exclaimed Ben, forced to own
that the French doggie beat his cherished pet.

"He is not too old to learn. Shall I go on?" asked Miss Celia, seeing
that the boys liked it though Betty was absorbed with the doll and Bab
deep in a puzzle.

"Oh yes! What else did they do?"

"'They played a game of dominoes together, sitting in chairs opposite
each other, and touched the dominoes that were wanted; but the man
placed them and kept telling how the game went, Lyda was beaten and hid
under the sofa, evidently feeling very badly about it. Blanche was
then surrounded with playing-cards, while her master held another pack
and told us to choose a card; then he asked her what one had been
chosen, and she always took up the right one in her teeth. I was asked
to go into another room, put a light on the floor with cards round it,
and leave the doors nearly shut. Then the man begged some one to
whisper in the dog's ear what card she was to bring, and she went at
once and fetched it, thus showing that she understood their names. Lyda
did many tricks with the numbers, so curious that no dog could possibly
understand them, yet what the secret sign was I could not discover, but
suppose it must have been in the tones of the master's voice, for he
certainly made none with either head or hands.'

"It took an hour a day for eighteen months to educate a dog enough to
appear in public, and (as you say, Ben) the night was the best time to
give the lessons. Soon after this visit the master died, and these
wonderful dogs were sold because their mistress did not know how to
exhibit them."

"Wouldn't I have liked to see 'em and find out how they were taught.
Sanch, you'll have to study up lively for I'm not going to have you
beaten by French dogs," said Ben, shaking his finger so sternly that
Sancho groveled at his feet and put both paws over his eyes in the most
abject manner.

"Is there a picture of those smart little poodles?" asked Ben, eying
the book, which Miss Celia left open before her.

"Not of them, but of other interesting creatures; also anecdotes about
horses, which will please you, I know," and she turned the pages for
him, neither guessing how much good Mr. Hamerton's charming "Chapters
on Animals" were to do the boy when he needed comfort for a sorrow
which was very near.



CHAPTER X.

A HEAVY TROUBLE.


"Thank you, ma'am, that's a tip-top book, 'specially the pictures. But
I can't bear to see these poor fellows," and Ben brooded over the fine
etching of the dead and dying horses on a battle-field, one past all
further pain, the other helpless but lifting his head from his dead
master to neigh a farewell to the comrades who go galloping away in a
cloud of dust.

"They ought to stop for him, some of 'em," muttered Ben, hastily
turning back to the cheerful picture of the three happy horses in the
field, standing knee-deep among the grass as they prepare to drink at
the wide stream.

"Aint that black one a beauty? Seems as if I could see his mane blow in
the wind, and hear him whinny to that small feller trotting down to
see if he can't get over and be sociable. How I'd like to take a
rousin' run round that meadow on the whole lot of 'em," and Ben swayed
about in his chair as if he was already doing it in imagination.

"You may take a turn round my field on Lita any day. She would like it,
and Thorny's saddle will be here next week," said Miss Celia, pleased
to see that the boy appreciated the fine pictures, and felt such hearty
sympathy with the noble animals whom she dearly loved herself.

"Needn't wait for that. I'd rather ride bare-back. Oh, I say, is this
the book you told about where the horses talked?" asked Ben, suddenly
recollecting the speech he had puzzled over ever since he heard it.

"No, I brought the book, but in the hurry of my tea-party forgot to
unpack it. I'll hunt it up to-night. Remind me, Thorny."

"There, now, I've forgotten something too! Squire sent you a letter,
and I'm having such a jolly time I never thought of it."

Ben rummaged out the note with remorseful haste, protesting that he was
in no hurry for Mr. Gulliver, and very glad to save him for another
day.

Leaving the young folks busy with their games, Miss Celia sat in the
porch to read her letters, for there were two, and as she read her face
grew so sober, then so sad, that if any one had been looking he would
have wondered what bad news had chased away the sunshine so suddenly.
No one did look, no one saw how pitifully her eyes rested on Ben's
happy face when the letters were put away, and no one minded the new
gentleness in her manner as she came back to the table. But Ben thought
there never was so sweet a lady as the one who leaned over him to show
him how the dissected map went together, and never smiled at his
mistakes.

So kind, so very kind was she to them all that when, after an hour of
merry play, she took her brother in to bed, the three who remained fell
to praising her enthusiastically as they put things to rights before
taking leave.

"She's like the good fairies in the books, and has all sorts of nice,
pretty things in her house," said Betty, enjoying a last hug of the
fascinating doll whose lids would shut so that it was a pleasure to
sing "Bye, sweet baby, bye," with no staring eyes to spoil the
illusion.

"What heaps she knows! More than Teacher, I do believe, and she doesn't
mind how many questions we ask. I like folks that will tell me things,"
added Bab, whose inquisitive mind was always hungry.

"I like that boy first-rate, and I guess he likes me, though I didn't
know where Nantucket ought to go. He wants me to teach him to ride when
he's on his pins again, and Miss Celia says I may. _She_ knows how to
make folks feel good, don't she?" and Ben gratefully surveyed the Arab
chief, now his own, though the best of all the collection.

"Wont we have splendid times? She says we may come over every night and
play with her and Thorny."

"And she's going to have the seats in the porch lift up so we can put
our things in there all dry, and have 'em handy."

"And I'm going to be her boy, and stay here all the time; I guess the
letter I brought was a recommend from the Squire."

"Yes, Ben: and if I had not already made up my mind to keep you before,
I certainly would now, my boy."

Something in Miss Celia's voice, as she said the last two words with
her hand on Ben's shoulder, made him look up quickly and turn red with
pleasure, wondering what the Squire had written about him.

"Mother must have some of the 'party,' so you shall take her these,
Bab, and Betty may carry baby home for the night. She is so nicely
asleep, it is a pity to wake her. Good-bye till to-morrow, little
neighbors," continued Miss Celia, and dismissed the girls with a kiss.

"Isn't Ben coming, too?" asked Bab, as Betty trotted off in a silent
rapture with the big darling bobbing over her shoulder.

"Not yet; I've several things to settle with my new man. Tell mother he
will come by and by."

Off rushed Bab with the plateful of goodies; and, drawing Ben down
beside her on the wide step, Miss Celia took out the letters, with a
shadow creeping over her face as softly as the twilight was stealing
over the world, while the dew fell and everything grew still and dim.

"Ben, dear, I've something to tell you," she began, slowly, and the boy
waited with a happy face, for no one had called him so since 'Melia
died.

"The Squire has heard about your father, and this is the letter Mr.
Smithers sends."

"Hooray! where is he, please?" cried Ben, wishing she would hurry up,
for Miss Celia did not even offer him the letter, but sat looking down
at Sancho on the lower step, as if she wanted him to come and help her.

"He went after the mustangs, and sent some home, but could not come
himself."

"Went further on? I s'pose. Yes, he said he might go as far as
California, and if he did he'd send for me. I'd like to go there; it's
a real splendid place, they say."

"He has gone further away than that, to a lovelier country than
California, I hope." And Miss Celia's eyes turned to the deep sky,
where early stars were shining.

"Didn't he send for me? Where's he gone? When's he coming back?" asked
Ben, quickly, for there was a quiver in her voice, the meaning of which
he felt before he understood.

Miss Celia put her arms about him, and answered very tenderly:

"Ben, dear, if I were to tell you that he was never coming back, could
you bear it?"

"I guess I could--but you don't mean it? Oh, ma'am, he isn't dead?"
cried Ben, with a cry that made her heart ache, and Sancho leap up with
a bark.

"My poor little boy, I _wish_ I could say no."

There was no need of any more words, no need of tears or kind arms
round him. He knew he was an orphan now, and turned instinctively to
the old friend who loved him best. Throwing himself down beside his
dog, Ben clung about the curly neck, sobbing bitterly:

"Oh, Sanch, he's never coming back again; never, never any more!"

Poor Sancho could only whine and lick away the tears that wet the
half-hidden face, questioning the new friend meantime with eyes so full
of dumb love and sympathy and sorrow that they seemed almost human.
Wiping away her own tears, Miss Celia stooped to pat the white head,
and to stroke the black one lying so near it that the dog's breast was
the boy's pillow. Presently the sobbing ceased, and Ben whispered,
without looking up:

"Tell me all about it; I'll be good."

Then, as kindly as she could, Miss Celia read the brief letter which
told the hard news bluntly, for Mr. Smithers was obliged to confess
that he had known the truth months before, and never told the boy lest
he should be unfitted for the work they gave him. Of Ben Brown the
elder's death there was little to tell, except that he was killed in
some wild place at the West, and a stranger wrote the fact to the only
person whose name was found in Ben's pocket-book. Mr. Smithers offered
to take the boy back and "do well by him," averring that the father
wished his son to remain where he left him, and follow the profession
to which he was trained.

"Will you go, Ben?" asked Miss Celia, hoping to distract his mind from
his grief by speaking of other things.

"No, no; I'd rather tramp and starve. He's awful hard to me and Sanch,
and he'll be worse now father's gone. Don't send me back! Let me stay
here; folks are good to me; there's nowhere else to go." And the head
Ben had lifted up with a desperate sort of look went down again on
Sancho's breast as if there was no other refuge left.

"You _shall_ stay here, and no one shall take you away against your
will. I called you 'my boy' in play, now you shall be my boy in
earnest; this shall be your home, and Thorny your brother. We are
orphans, too, and we will stand by one another till a stronger friend
comes to help us," cried Miss Celia, with such a mixture of resolution
and tenderness in her voice that Ben felt comforted at once, and
thanked her by laying his cheek against the pretty slipper that rested
on the step beside him, as if he had no words in which to swear loyalty
to the gentle mistress whom he meant henceforth to serve with grateful
fidelity.

Sancho felt that he must follow suit, and gravely put his paw upon her
knee, with a low whine, as if he said: "Count me in, and let me help to
pay my master's debt if I can."

Miss Celia shook the offered paw cordially, and the good creature
crouched at her feet like a small lion bound to guard her and her house
forever more.

"Don't lie on that cold stone, Ben; come here and let me try to comfort
you," she said, stooping to wipe away the great drops that kept
rolling down the brown cheek half hidden in her dress.

But Ben put his arm over his face, and sobbed out with a fresh burst of
grief:

"You can't; you didn't know him! Oh, daddy! daddy!--if I'd only seen
you jest once more!"

No one could grant that wish; but Miss Celia did comfort him, for
presently the sound of music floated out from the parlor--music so
soft, so sweet, that involuntarily the boy stopped his crying to
listen; then quieter tears dropped slowly, seeming to soothe his pain
as they fell, while the sense of loneliness passed away, and it grew
possible to wait till it was time to go to father in that far-off
country lovelier than golden California.

How long she played Miss Celia never minded, but when she stole out to
see if Ben had gone she found that other friends, even kinder than
herself, had taken the boy into their gentle keeping. The wind had sung
a lullaby among the rustling lilacs, the moon's mild face looked
through the leafy arch to kiss the heavy eyelids, and faithful Sancho
still kept guard beside his little master, who, with his head pillowed
on his arm, lay fast asleep, dreaming, happily, that "Daddy had come
home again."

(_To be continued._)



[Illustration: A TALK OVER THE HARD TIMES.]



COMMON SENSE IN THE HOUSEHOLD.

BY MARGARET VANDEGRIFT.


  When you're writing or reading or sewing, it's right
  To sit, if you can, with your back to the light;
  And then, it is patent to every beholder,
  The light will fall gracefully over your shoulder.

[Illustration]

  Now here is a family, sensible, wise,
  Who all have the greatest regard for their eyes;
  They first say, "Excuse me," which also is right,
  And then all sit down with their backs to the light.

  But their neighbors, most unhygienic, can't see
  Why they do it, and think that they cannot agree,
  And always decide they've been having a fight,
  When they merely are turning their backs to the light.



SECRETS OF THE ATLANTIC CABLE.

BY WILLIAM H. RIDEING.


I believe that the youngsters in our family consider my study a very
pleasant room. There are some books, pictures, and hunting implements
in it, and I have quite a large number of curious things stored in
little mahogany cabinets, including a variety of specimens of natural
history and articles of savage warfare, which have been given to me by
sailors and travelers. In one of these cabinets there are the silver
wings of a flying-fish, the poisoned arrows of South Sea cannibals,
sharks' and alligators' teeth, fragments of well-remembered wrecks, and
an inch or two of thick tarred rope.

The latter appears to be a common and useless object at the first
glance, but when examined closely it is not so uninteresting. It
measures one and one-eighth of an inch in diameter, and running through
the center are seven bright copper wires, surrounded by a hard, dark
brown substance, the nature of which you do not immediately recognize.
It is gutta-percha, the wonderful vegetable juice, which is as firm as
a rock while it is cold and as soft as dough when it is exposed to
heat. This is inclosed within several strands of Manilla hemp, with ten
iron wires woven among them. The hemp is saturated with tar to resist
water, and the wires are galvanized to prevent rust. You may judge,
then, how strong and durable the rope is, but I am not sure that you
can guess its use.

Near the southern extremity of the western coast of Ireland there is a
little harbor called Valentia, as you will see by referring to a map.
It faces the Atlantic Ocean, and the nearest point on the opposite
shore is a sheltered bay prettily named Heart's Content, in
Newfoundland. The waters between are the stormiest in the world, wrathy
with hurricanes and cyclones, and seldom smooth even in the calm months
of midsummer. The distance across is nearly two thousand miles, and the
depth gradually increases to a maximum of three miles. Between these
two points of land--Valentia in Ireland and Heart's Content in
Newfoundland--a magical rope is laid, binding America to Europe with a
firm bond, and enabling people in London to send instantaneous messages
to those in New York. It is the first successful Atlantic cable, and my
piece was cut from it before it was laid. Fig. 2 on the next page shows
how a section of it looks, and Fig. 3 shows a section of the shore
ends, which are larger.

Copper is one of the best conductors of electricity known, and hence
the wires in the center are made of that metal. Water, too, is an
excellent conductor, and if the wires were not closely protected, the
electricity would pass from them into the sea, instead of carrying its
message the whole length of the line. Therefore, the wires must be
encased or insulated in some material that will not admit water and is
not itself a conductor. Gutta-percha meets these needs, and the hemp
and galvanized wire are added for the strength and protection they
afford to the whole.

It was an American who first thought of laying such an electric cable
as this under the turbulent Atlantic. Some foolish people laughed at
the idea and declared it to be impracticable. How could a slender cord,
two thousand miles long, be lowered from an unsteady vessel to the
bottom of the ocean without break? It would part under the strain put
upon it, and it would be attacked by marine monsters, twisted and
broken by the currents. At one point the bed of the sea suddenly sinks
from a depth of two hundred and ten fathoms to a depth of two thousand
and fifty fathoms. Here the strain on the cable as it passed over the
ship's stern would be so great that it certainly must break. More than
this, the slightest flaw--a hole smaller than a pin's head--in the
gutta-percha insulator would spoil the entire work, and no remedy would
be possible. A great many people spoke in this way when the Atlantic
cable was first thought of, as others, years before, had spoken of Watt
and Stephenson. But Watt invented the steam-engine, Stephenson invented
the locomotive, and Cyrus Field bound Great Britain to the United
States by telegraph.

Early in 1854, Mr. Field's attention was drawn to the scheme for a
telegraph between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, in connection with a
line of fast steamships from Ireland to call at St. John's,
Newfoundland. The idea struck him that if a line were laid to Ireland,
lasting benefit would result to the world. So he called together some
of his intimate friends, including Peter Cooper, Moses Taylor, Chandler
White, and Marshall O. Roberts, and they joined him in organizing the
"New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company," which was the
pioneer in the movement to connect the two continents by a telegraph
cable, and without whose aid its consummation would have been
indefinitely delayed.

The work was costly and difficult. The first part consisted in
surveying the bottom of the sea for a route. This was done by taking
"soundings" and "dredgings." As some of you are aware, "sounding" is
an operation for ascertaining the depth of the sea, while "dredging"
reveals what plants and living creatures are at the bottom. After much
patient labor, a level space was found between Ireland and
Newfoundland, and it seemed to be so well adapted to the surveyor's
purposes that it was called the "Telegraphic Plateau."

[Illustration: THE GRAPNEL.]

Two or three large vessels were next equipped, and sent out with
several thousand miles of cable on board, which they proceeded to lay.
But the fragile cord--fragile compared with the boisterous power of the
waves--broke in twain, and could not be recovered. A second attempt was
made, and that failed, too. Brave men can overcome adversity, however,
and the little band of scientific men and capitalists were brave men
and were determined to succeed. Each heart suffered the acute anguish
of long-deferred hope, and each expedition cost many hundred thousands
of dollars. Nevertheless, the promoters of the Atlantic cable sent out
a third time, and when failure met them again, it seemed to common
minds that their scheme was a settled impossibility. Not so with the
heroes. Each failure showed them some faults in their plans or
machinery. These they amended. Thus, while they were left at a distance
from the object of their ambition, they were brought a little nearer to
its attainment.

Guided by the light of past experience, they equipped a fourth
expedition. The "Great Eastern" was selected, and her interior was
altered for the purpose. She was, and is still, the largest vessel
afloat. Her length is six hundred and ninety-five feet; her breadth
eighty-five feet, and her burthen twenty-two thousand tons. One of the
principal causes of failure in previous expeditions was the inability
of the cable to endure the severe strain put upon it in stormy weather
as it passed from an ordinarily unsteady vessel into the sea. The
"Great Eastern," from her immense size, promised to be steady in the
worst of gales. Her hold was fitted with three enormous iron tanks---a
"fore" tank, a "main" tank, and an "after" tank. The main tank was the
largest, and eight hundred and sixty-four miles of cable were coiled in
it. Eight hundred and thirty-nine miles in addition were coiled in the
after tank, and six hundred and seventy miles in the fore tank, making
in all two thousand three hundred and seventy-four miles of cable. The
food taken on board for the long voyage in prospect consisted of twenty
thousand pounds of butcher-meat, five hundred head of poultry, one
hundred and fourteen live sheep, eight bullocks, a milch cow, and
eighty tons of ice.

[Illustration: SECTION OF THE GRAPPLING LINE.]

What is called the shore-end of the cable--_i.e._, that part nearest
the shore, which is thicker than the rest--was first laid by a smaller
steamer. It extended from Valentia to a point twenty-eight miles at
sea. Here it was buoyed, until the great ship arrived. On a wet day in
July, 1866, it was joined with the main cable on board the "Great
Eastern," and on the same day that vessel started on her voyage to
Newfoundland.

[Illustration: SECTIONS OF CABLES (REDUCED). 1. Main cable of 1858.
1a. Shore end, abandoned cable of 1858. 2. Main cable of 1866.
2a. Shore-end, recovered cable of 1865. 3. Shore end of cable of 1866.]

It may seem a simple matter to distribute or "pay out" the cable, but
in practice it is exceedingly difficult. Twenty men are stationed in
the tank from which it is issuing, each dressed in a canvas suit,
without pockets, and in boots without nails. Their duty is to ease each
coil as it passes out of the tank, and to give notice of the marks
painted on the cable one mile apart. Near the entrance of the tank it
runs over a grooved wheel and along an iron trough until it reaches
that part of the deck where the "paying out" machine is placed. The
latter consists of six grooved wheels, each provided with a smaller
wheel, called a "jockey," placed against the upper side of the groove
so as to press against the cable as it goes through, and retard or help
its progress. These six wheels and their jockeys are themselves
controlled by brakes, and after it has been embraced by them the cable
winds round a "drum" four times. The drum is another wheel, four feet
in diameter and nine inches deep, which is also controlled by powerful
brakes; and from it the cable passes over another grooved wheel before
it gets to the "dynamometer" wheel. The dynamometer is an instrument
which shows the exact degree of the strain on the cable, and the wheel
attached to it rises and falls as the strain is greater or less. Thence
the cable is sent over another deeply grooved wheel into the sea.

You will remember what I said about insulation,--how a tiny hole in the
gutta-percha would allow the electricity to escape. On deck there is a
small house, which is filled with delicate scientific instruments. As
the cable is paid out, it is tested here. If a wire or a nail or a
smaller thing is driven through it, and the insulation is spoiled, an
instrument called the galvanometer instantly records the fact, and
warning is given at all parts of the ship. The man in charge touches a
small handle, and an electric bell rings violently in the tank and at
the paying-out machinery. At the same time a loud gong is struck, at
the sound of which the engines are stopped. Delay might cause much
trouble or total failure, as the injured section must be arrested and
repaired before it enters the water.

The great steamer went ahead at the rate of five nautical miles an
hour, and the cable passed smoothly overboard. Messages were sent to
England and answers received. The weather was bright, and all hands
were cheerful. On the third day after the "splicing" of the shore-end
with the main cable, that part of the ocean was reached where the water
suddenly increases in depth from two hundred and ten fathoms to two
thousand and fifty. One of the earlier cables broke at this place and
was lost forever. The electricians and engineers watched for it with
anxious eyes. It was reached and passed. The black cord still traveled
through the wheels unbroken, and the test applied by the galvanometer
proved the insulation to be perfect. The days wore away without mishap
until the evening of July 17, when the sound of the gong filled all
hearts with a sickening fear.

The rain was falling in torrents and pattering on the heavy oil-skin
clothing of the watchers. The wind blew in chilly gusts, and the sea
broke in white crests of foam. A dense and pitchy cloud issued from the
smoke-stacks. The vessel advanced in utter darkness. A few lights were
moving about, and shadows fell hither and thither as one of the hands
carried a lantern along the sloppy deck. The testing-room was occupied
by an electrician, who was quietly working with his magical instrument,
and the cable could be heard winding over the wheels astern, as the
tinkling of a little bell on the "drum" recorded its progress.

[Illustration: THE "GREAT EASTERN" ENTERING THE BAY OF HEART'S CONTENT.]

The electrician rose from his seat suddenly, and struck the alarum. The
next instant each person on board knew that an accident had happened.
The engines were stopped and reversed within two minutes. Blue-lights
were burned on the paddle-boxes, and showed a knot in the cable as it
lay in the trough.

Two remedies seemed possible. One was to cut the cable, and support one
end in the water by a buoy until the rest could be unraveled. The other
was to unravel the cable without cutting it.

[Illustration]

It is a very intricate knot that an old sailor cannot untie, and the
old sailors on the "Great Eastern" twisted and untwisted coil after
coil until they succeeded in untying this one. The insulation remained
perfect, and in a few hours all was right again. The accident caused
much ill foreboding, however, as it showed how slight an occurrence
might bring the expedition to a disastrous end.

On July 27, after a voyage of fifteen days, the "Great Eastern"
finished her work, and her part of the cable was attached to the
American shore-end, which had been laid by another vessel. Some of you
will remember the rejoicings in the United States over the event. It
surpassed all other achievements of the age, and equaled the invention
of the telegraph itself.

Thus, after infinite labor and repeated failures, the brave men who
undertook the work accomplished it. A year before, their third cable
had broken in mid-ocean, and it was now proposed to "grapple" for it.
The "Great Eastern" was fitted out with apparatus, which may be likened
to an enormous fishing-hook and line, and was sent to the spot where
the treasure had been lost. The line was of hemp interwoven with wire.
Page 328 shows a section of it. Twice the cable was seized and brought
almost to the surface. Twice it slipped from the disappointed
fishermen, but the third time it was secured. It was then united with
the cable on board, which was "paid out" until the great steamer again
reached Newfoundland, and a second telegraph-wire united the two
continents.

The scene on board as the black line appeared above water was exciting
beyond description. It was first taken to the testing-room, and a
signal intended for Valentia was sent over it, to prove whether or not
it was perfect throughout its whole length. If it had proved to be
imperfect, all the labor spent upon it would have been lost. The
electricians waited breathlessly for an answer. The clerk in the
signal-house at Valentia was drowsy when their message came, and
disbelieved his ears. Many disinterested people, and even some of the
promoters of the cable, did not think it possible to recover a wire
that had sunk in thousands of fathoms of water. But the clerk in the
little station connected with the shore-end of the cable of 1865
suddenly found himself in communication with a vessel situated in the
middle of the Atlantic.

The delay aggravated the anxious watchers on the ship, and a second
signal was sent. How astonished that simple-minded Irish
telegraph-operator was! Five minutes passed, and then the answer came.
The chief electrician gave a loud cheer, which was repeated by every
man on board, from the captain down to his servant.

There are now four cables in working order, and the cost of messages
has been reduced twenty-five per cent. The New York newspapers now
contain nearly as much European news as the London newspapers
themselves.



THE CANARY THAT TALKED TOO MUCH

BY MARGARET EYTINGE.


Annette's canary-bird's cage, with the canary in it, was brought into
the library and hung upon a hook beside the window.

Out popped a mouse from a hole behind the book-case.

"Why, what are _you_ doing here, canary?" she said. "I thought _your_
place was the bay-window in the dining-room."

"So it is--so it is!" beginning with a twitter, answered the canary;
"but they said I talked too much!"--ending with a trill.

"Talked!" repeated the mouse, sitting up on her hind-legs and looking
earnestly at him. "I thought _you_ only sang!"

"Well, singing and talking mean about the same thing in bird-language,"
said the canary. "But goodness g-r-r-racious!" he went on, swinging
rapidly to and fro in his little swing at the top of his cage, "'t was
they that talked so much--my mistress and the doctor's wife, and the
doctor's sister--not me. I said scarcely a word, and yet I am called a
chatterbox, and punished--before company, too! I feel mad enough to
pull out my yellowest feathers, or upset my bath-tub. Now, you look
like a sensible little thing, mouse, and I'll tell you all about
it--what they said and what I said--and you shall judge if I deserved
to be banished.

"The doctor's wife and the doctor's sister called.

"'It's a lovely day!' said they.

"'A lovely, lovely, lovely day!' sang I. 'The sun shines bright--the
sky is blue--the grass is green--yes, lovely, lovely, lovely--and I'm
happy, happy, happy, and glad, glad, glad!'

"They went right on talking, though I sang my very best, without paying
the slightest attention to me; and when I stopped, I caught the words
'So sweet' from my mistress, and then I sang again: 'Sweet, sweet,
sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet is the clover--sweet is the
rose--sweet the song of the bird--sweet the bird--sweet the
clover--sweet the rose--the rose--the clover--the bird--yes, yes,
yes--sweet, sweet, sweet!' And as I paused to take breath, I heard some
one say, 'What a noise that bird makes! how loudly he sings!' 'How
loudly he sings!' repeated I, 'how loudly he sings!--the bird, the
bird, the beautiful bird--sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet----' But suddenly
my song ended, for my mistress got up, unhooked my cage, saying,
'Canary, you're a chatterbox; you talk too much,' and brought me in
here.

"And really, mouse, as you must see, I didn't say more than a dozen or
so words. What do you think about it?"

"Well," said the mouse, stroking her whiskers and speaking slowly, "you
_didn't say_ much, but it strikes me you talked a great deal."

"Oh!" said the canary, putting his head on one side and looking
thoughtfully at her out of his right, bright, black, round eye. But
just then the mouse heard an approaching footstep, and, without even
saying "good-bye," she hurried away to the hole behind the book-case.



A NIGHT WITH A BEAR.

BY JANE G. AUSTIN.


"Tell you what, Roxie, I wish father and Jake had some of those hot
nut-cakes for their dinner; they didn't carry much of anything, and
these are proper nice."

Mrs. Beamish set her left hand upon her hip, leaned against the corner
of the dresser, and meditatively selected another nut-cake, dough-nut
or cruller, as you may call them, from the great brown pan piled up
with these dainties, and Roxie, who was curled up in a little heap on
the corner of the settle, knitting a blue woolen stocking, looked
brightly up and said:

"Let me go and carry them some, Ma. It's just as warm and nice as can
be out-of-doors, real springy, and I know the way to the wood lot. I'd
just love to go."

"Let's see--ten o'clock," said Mrs. Beamish, putting the last bit of
cake into her mouth, and wiping her fingers upon her apron. "It's a
matter of four miles there by the bridge, Jake says, though if you
cross the ford it takes off a mile or more. You'd better go round by
the bridge, anyway."

"Oh no, Ma; that isn't worth while, for Pa said only last night that
the ice was strong enough yet to sled over all the wood he'd been
cutting," said Roxie, earnestly, for the additional mile rather
terrified her.

"Did he? Well, if that's so, it is all right," replied her mother, in a
tone of relief, and then she filled a tin pail with nut-cakes, laid a
clean, brown napkin over them, and then shut in the cover and set it on
the dresser, saying:

"There, they've got cheese with them, and you'll reach camp before they
eat their noon lunch. Now, get on your leggin's and thick shoes, and
your coat and cap and mittens, and eat some cakes before you start, so
as not to take theirs when you get there."

"I wouldn't do that, neither; not if I never had any," replied Roxie, a
little resentfully, and then she pulled her squirrel-skin cap well over
her ears, tied her pretty scarlet tippet around her neck, and held up
her face for a good-bye kiss. The mother gave it with unusual fervor,
and said, kindly:

"Good-bye to you, little girl. Take good care of yourself, and come
safe home to mother."

"Yes, Ma. But I may wait and come with them, mayn't I? They'll let me
ride on old Rob, you know."

"Why, yes, you might as well, I suppose, though I'll be lonesome
without you all day, baby. But it would be better for you to ride home,
so stay."

It was a lovely day in the latter part of March, and although the
ground was covered with snow, and the brooks and rivers were still fast
bound in ice, there was something in the air that told of
spring,--something that set the sap in the maple-trees mounting through
its million little channels toward the buds, already beginning to
redden for their blooming, and sent the blood in little Roxie's veins
dancing upward too, until it blossomed in her cheeks and lips fairer
than in any maple-tree.

"How pleasant it is to be alive!" said the little girl aloud, while a
squirrel running up the old oak-tree overhead stopped, and curling his
bushy tail a little higher upon his back, chattered the same idea in
his own language. Roxie stopped to listen and laugh aloud, at which
sound the squirrel frisked away to his hole, and the little girl,
singing merrily, went on her way, crossed the river on the ice, and on
the other bank stopped and looked wistfully down a side path leading
into the denser forest away from her direct road.

"I really believe the checkerberries must have started, it is so
springy," she thought; "I've a mind to go down and look in what Jake
calls 'Bear-berry Pasture,' though I told him they were not
bear-berries, but real checkerberries." So, saying to herself Roxie ran
a few steps down the little path, stopped, stood still for a minute,
then slowly turned back, saying:

"No, I wont, either, for may be I wouldn't get to the camp with the
nut-cakes before noon, and then they would have eaten all their cheese.
No, I'll go right on, and not stay there any time at all, but come back
and get the checkerberries; besides, mother said she'd be lonesome
without me, so I'd better not stay, any way."

So Roxie, flattering herself like many an older person with the fancy
that she was giving up her selfish pleasure for that of another, while
really she was carrying out her own fancy, went singing on her way, and
reached the camp just as her father struck his ax deep into the log
where he meant to leave it for an hour, and Jake, her handsome elder
brother, took off his cap, pushed the curls back from his heated brow,
and shook out the hay and grain before old Rob, whose whinny had
already proclaimed dinner-time.

"Why, if here isn't sis with a tin kettle, and I'll be bound some of
ma'am's nut-cakes in it!" exclaimed Jake, who had rather mourned at the
said cakes not being ready before he left home, and then he caught the
little girl up in his arms, kissed her heartily, and put her on Rob's
back, whence she slid down, saying gravely:

"Jake, Ma says I'm getting too old for rough play. I'll be twelve years
old next June."

"All right, old lady; I'll get you a pair of specs and a new cap or two
for a birthday present," laughed Jake, uncovering the tin kettle, while
his father said:

"We wont have you an old woman before you're a young one, will we, Tib?
Come, sit down by me and have some dinner. You're good to bring us the
nut-cakes and get here in such good season."

The three were very happy and merry over their dinner, although Roxie
declined to eat anything except out of her own pocket, and the time
passed swiftly until Mr. Beamish glanced up at the sun, rose, took his
ax out of the cleft in the log, and, swinging it over his head, said:

"Come, Jake, nooning is over. Get to work."

"All right, sir. You can sit still as long as you like, sis, and by and
by I'll take you home on Rob."

"I'm going now, Jake," said Roxie, hesitating a little, and finally
concluding not to mention the checkerberries, lest her father or
brother should object to her going alone into the wilder part of the
forest. "Ma said she'd be lonesome," added she hurriedly, and then her
cheeks began to burn as if she had really told a lie instead of
suggesting one.

"Well, you're a right down good girl to come so far and then to think
of Ma instead of yourself, and next day we're working about home I'll
give you a good ride to pay for it."

And Jake kissed his little sister tenderly, her father nodded good-bye
with some pleasant word of thanks, and Roxie with the empty tin pail in
her hand set out upon her homeward journey, a little excitement in her
heart as she thought of her contemplated excursion, a little sting in
her conscience as she reflected that she had not been quite honest
about any part of it.

Did you ever notice, when a little troubled and agitated, how quickly
you seemed to pass over the ground, and how speedily you arrived at the
point whither you had not fairly decided to go?

It was so with Roxie, and while she was still considering whether after
all she would go straight home, she was already at the entrance of the
sunny southern glade where lay the patch of bright red berries whose
faint, wholesome perfume told of their vicinity even before they could
be seen. Throwing herself upon her knees, the little girl pushed aside
the glossy dark-green leaves, and with a low cry of delight stooped
down and kissed the clusters of fragrant berries as they lay fresh and
bright before her.

"O you dear, darling little things!" cried she, "how I love to see you
again, and know that all the rest of the pretty things are coming right
along!"

Then she began to pluck, and put them sometimes in her mouth, sometimes
in her pail, and so long did she linger over her pleasant task that the
sun was already in the tops of the pine-trees, when, returning from a
little excursion into the woods to get a sprig from a "shad-bush,"
Roxie halted just within the border of the little glade, and stood for
a moment transfixed with horror. Beside the pail she had left brim-full
of berries, sat a bear-cub, scooping out the treasure with his paw, and
greedily devouring it, apparently quite delighted that some one had
saved him the trouble of gathering his favorite berries for himself.

One moment of dumb terror, and then a feeling of anger and reckless
courage filled the heart of the woodsman's child, and, darting forward,
she made a snatch at her pail, at the same time dealing the young
robber a sharp blow over the face and eyes with the branch of shad-bush
in her hand, and exclaiming:

"You great, horrid thing! Every single berry is gone now, for I wont
eat them after you. So now!"

But, so far from being penitent or frightened, the bear took this
interference, and especially the blow, in very bad part, and after a
moment of blinking astonishment, he sat up on his haunches, growled a
little, showed his teeth, and intimated very plainly that unless that
pail of berries was restored at once, there would be trouble for some
one. But this was not the first bear-cub that Roxie had seen, and her
temper was up as well as the bear's. So, firmly grasping the pail, she
began to retreat backward, at first slowly, but as the bear dropped on
his feet and seemed inclined to follow her, or rather the pail of
berries, she lost courage, and turning, began to run, not caring or
noting in what direction, and still mechanically grasping the pail of
berries.

Suddenly, through the close crowding pines which had so nearly shut out
the daylight, appeared an open space, and Roxie hailed it with delight,
for it was the river, and once across the river she felt as if she
would be safe. Even in the brief glance she threw around as she burst
from the edge of the wood, she saw that here was neither the bridge nor
the ford which she had crossed in the morning; a point altogether
strange and new to her, and, as she judged, further down the river,
since the space from shore to shore was considerably wider. But the
bear was close behind, and neither time nor courage for deliberation
was at hand, and Roxie, after her moment's pause, sprung forward upon
the snowy ice, closely followed by the clumsy little beast.

At that very moment, a mile further up stream, Mr. Beamish and his son
Jake were cautiously driving Rob across the frozen ford, and the old
man was saying:

"I'm afraid we'll have to go round by the bridge after this, Jake. I
shouldn't wonder if the river broke up this very night. See that
crack."

[Illustration: THE RESCUE.]

"It wouldn't do for Roxie to come over here alone again," said Jake,
probing the ice-crack with his stick.

And Roxie,--poor little Roxie,--whom Jake was so glad to think of as
safe at home, was at that very moment stepping over a wide crack
between two great masses of ice, and staring forlornly about her, for a
little way in advance appeared another great gap, and the bear close
behind was whimpering with terror as he clung to the edge of the
floating mass upon which Roxie had only just leaped, and which he had
failed to jump upon. Shaking with cold and fright, the little girl
staggered forward across the ice until at its further edge she came
upon a narrow, swiftly rolling tide, increasing in width at every
moment--the current of the river suddenly set free from its winter's
bondage, and rapidly dashing away its chains.

Roxie turned back, but the crack that she had stepped over was already
far too wide for her to attempt to repass, and a gentle shaking
movement under her feet told that the block on which she stood was
already in motion, and that no escape was possible without more
strength and courage than a little girl could be expected to possess.
The bear had climbed up, and now crouched timidly to the edge of the
ice, moaning with fear, and seeming to take so little notice of Roxie
that she forgot all her fear of him, and these two, crouching upon the
rocking and slippery floor of their strange prison, went floating down
the turbulent stream.

The twilight deepened into dark, the stars came out bright and cold,
and so far away from human need and woe! Little Roxie ceased her
useless tears, and kneeling upon the ice put her hands together and
prayed, adding to the petition she had learned at her mother's knee
some simple words of her own great need.

A yet more piteous whine from the bear showed his terror as the
ice-block gave a sickening whirl, and crawling upon his stomach he
crept close up to the little girl, his whole air saying as plainly as
words could have spoken:

"Oh, I am so scared, little girl, aren't you? Let us protect each other
somehow, or at least, you protect me."

And Roxie, with a strange, light-hearted sense of security and peace
replacing her terror and doubt, let the shaggy creature creep close to
her side, and nestling down into his thick fur, warmed her freezing
fingers against his skin, and with a smile upon her lips went
peacefully to sleep.

She was awakened by a tremendous shock, and a struggle, and a fall into
the water, and before she could see or know what had happened to her,
two strong arms were round her, and she was drawn again upon the
ice-cake, and her brother was bending close above her, and he was
saying:

"Oh, Roxie! are you hurt?"

"No, Jake, I--I believe not. Why, why, what is it all? Where is this,
and--oh, I know. Oh, Jake, Jake, I was so frightened!" And, turning
suddenly, she hid her face in her brother's coat and burst into a
passion of tears. But Jake, with one hurried embrace and kiss, put her
away, saying:

"Wait just a minute, sis, till we finish the bear; father will shoot
him."

"No, no, no!" screamed Roxie, her tears dried as if by magic. "Don't
kill the bear, father! Jake, don't you touch the bear; he's my friend,
and we were both so scared last night, and then I prayed that he
wouldn't eat me, and he didn't, and you mustn't hurt him."

"Well, I'm beat now!" remarked Mr. Beamish, as with both hands buried
in the coarse hair by which he had dragged the bear to the surface,
for it had gone under when the ice-cake had been broken against the jam
of logs which had stopped it, he looked up at his little daughter's
pale face.

"You and the bear made friends, and said your prayers together, and he
can't be hurt, you say?"

"Yes, father. Oh, please don't hurt him!"

"We might take him home and keep him chained up for a sort of a pet, if
he will behave decent," suggested Jake, a little doubtfully.

"Well!--I suppose we could," replied the father, very slowly and
reluctantly. "He seems peaceable enough now."

"And see how good he is to me," said Roxie, eagerly, as she patted the
head of her strange new friend, who blinked amicably in reply. "Oh,
Jake, do go and get Rob and the sled, and carry him home, wont you?"

"Why, yes, if father says so, and the critter will let me tie his
legs."

The ox-sled was close at hand, for the father and brother had brought
it to the river before they began their weary search up and down its
banks, not knowing what mournful burden they might have to carry home
to the almost frantic mother.

And Bruin, a most intelligent beast, seemed to understand so well that
the handling, and ride, were all for his own good, that he bore the
humiliation of having his legs tied with considerable equanimity, and
in a short time developed so gentle and gentlemanly a character as to
become a valued and honored member of the family, remaining with it for
about a year, when, wishing, probably, to set up housekeeping on his
own account, he quietly snapped his chain one day and walked off into
the woods, where he was occasionally seen for several years, generally
near the checkerberry patch.



WESTMINSTER ABBEY.

BY CHARLES W. SQUIRES.


I have no doubt that most of the readers of ST. NICHOLAS have heard of
the grand old Abbey of Westminster, in London, and that they would be
glad to visit this famous historical place. I had often been there in
my thoughts and dreams, and had often wished that I might really walk
through its quiet aisles and chapels, when, at last, I should make a
trip to Europe. And my wish was granted.

It was on a November morning--one of those dark, gloomy mornings,
peculiar to London, that I started from my lodgings to walk to the
Abbey. As I said before, I had often been there in my imagination, and,
as I walked slowly along, I could hardly realize that I was actually
about to visit it in person. After a while I came in sight of
Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, and then, on my right,
I noticed two tall towers, and without the help of my guide-book I knew
that they must belong to the Abbey; so I quickened my steps until I
had gained the entrance door. What a change I experienced as I stepped
from the busy, crowded streets, into this old sepulcher, so celebrated
for its relics of the dead! It almost made me shudder, for the interior
of the building was dark and gloomy, and I saw many cold, white figures
towering high above me. The original Abbey was built many, many years
ago, and has been restored from time to time by the succeeding kings
and queens of England, until we find it in its present condition, safe
and sound, and one of the greatest, if not the greatest object of
interest in the city of London.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF WESTMINSTER ABBEY.]

[Illustration: SHRINE OF EDWARD THE CONFESSOR.]

Westminster Abbey may certainly be called a tomb, for we could spend a
whole day in simply counting its monuments. There were so many of these
that I hardly knew which to look at first, but I thought it best to
follow my own inclinations, and so, instead of procuring a guide (men
with long gowns, who take visitors around and point out the objects of
greatest interest), I roamed about at my will. The first monument that
attracted my attention was the venerable shrine of Edward the
Confessor, in the chapel of St. Edward, once the glory of the Abbey,
but which has been much defaced by persons who were desirous of
obtaining a bit of stone from this famous tomb. In this chapel I saw
also the old coronation chairs, in which all the reigning sovereigns of
England, since Edward I. have been crowned. They are queer,
old-fashioned chairs, made of wood, and not very comfortable, I
imagine. The older of the two chairs was built to inclose the stone
(which they call Jacob's pillar) brought from Scotland by Edward, and
placed in this chapel. Many other interesting tombs are to be seen
here, and the floor of the chapel is six hundred and fourteen years
old!

[Illustration: TOMB OF HANDEL.]

I next visited the chapel of Islip, built by the old Abbot of Islip,
who dedicated it to St. John the Baptist. One very interesting monument
there was to the memory of General Wolfe, who fell, you remember, at
the battle of Quebec. His monument is a very beautiful piece of art. It
represents him falling into the arms of one of his own soldiers, who is
pointing to Glory, which comes in the shape of an angel from the
clouds, holding a wreath with which to crown the hero. A Highland
sergeant looks sorrowfully on the dying warrior, while two lions sleep
at his feet. The inscription reads as follows: "To the memory of James
Wolfe, Major-General and Commander-in-Chief of the British land forces
on an expedition against Quebec, who, after surmounting, by ability and
valor, all obstacles of art and nature, was slain in the moment of
victory, on the 13th of September, 1759, the King and Parliament of
Great Britain dedicate this monument."

I now walked on to the north transept, and the first monument I noticed
was one erected to Sir Robert Peel, the great orator and statesman. I
seated myself on an old stone bench to rest, and looking around, saw a
magnificent statue of the great William Pitt, who, you may remember,
was also a great statesman, and accomplished more for the glory and
prosperity of England than any other statesman who ever lived. In this
transept there is a beautiful window, which represents our Savior, the
twelve apostles, and four evangelists. As I was sitting quietly in this
secluded spot, looking up at the window, strains of solemn music
reached my ear, which sounded as if they came from one of the gloomy
vaults around me. I walked on to discover, if possible, whence this
music came, and I saw, in the nave of the Abbey, the Dean of
Westminster conducting a service, assisted by his choir boys. I seated
myself until the ceremonies were over, and I thought it was a very odd
place to hold church--among so many graves.

After the Dean and his choir boys had disappeared I commenced my walk
again, and saw many fine old monuments. One of these was in memory of
Sir Isaac Newton, and I am sure I need not tell you who he was.
Prominent among the monuments in this part of the Abbey is that to
Major André, the fine young officer who was executed during our
Revolutionary War.

I next visited the south transept, better known as the "Poet's Corner,"
which I think is the most interesting part of Westminster. A hundred,
and more, monuments to the memory of great men can be seen here; but I
can only tell you of a few of the most important. The one I thought
most of is erected to the memory of William Shakspeare, although his
bones repose far away, in the little church at Stratford-on-Avon. Then
I saw the tombs of David Garrick, the great actor and delineator of
Shakspeare's characters; George Frederick Handel, the eminent composer,
the author of that beautiful anthem, "I know that my Redeemer liveth;"
the great Milton; rare old Ben Jonson; Edmund Spenser, author of the
"Faëry Queene;" and those of Southey, Dryden, Addison, Gray, Campbell,
and other well-known English poets.

Then, among the names of the dead of our own day, I saw those of
Dickens, Bulwer, Macaulay, and Dr. Livingstone.

Kings, queens, statesmen, soldiers, clergymen, authors and poets here
have equal station. Some may lie under richer tombs than others, but
all rest beneath the vaulted roof of Westminster Abbey, the place of
highest honor that England can offer her departed sons.



CRIP'S GARRET-DAY

BY SARAH J. PRICHARD.


Crip was having a dismal--a very dismal time of it. Crip was eleven, it
was his birthday, and Crip was in disgrace--in a garret.

Wasn't it dreadful?

It happened thus: Crip's father was a shoemaker. The bench where he
worked and the little bit of a shop, about eight feet every way, in
which he worked, stood on a street leading down to the town dock, and
the name of the town we will say was Barkhampstead, on Cape Cod Bay.

Now and then--that is, once or twice in the year--a whaling vessel set
sail from the dock, and sometimes, not always, the same vessels
returned to the dock.

The going and the coming of a "whaler" made Crip's father, Mr. John
Allen, glad. It was his busy season, for when the seamen went, they
always wanted stout new boots and shoes, and, when they came, they
always needed new coverings on their feet to go home in.

Two years before this dismal time that Crip was having, the ship "Sweet
Home" went away, and it had not been spoken or signaled or heard from
in any way, since four months from the time it left the dock at
Barkhampstead.

The fathers and mothers and wives and little children of the men who
went in the "Sweet Home" kept on hoping, and fearing, and feeling
terribly bad about everybody on board whom they loved, when, without
any warning whatever, right in the midst of a raging snow storm, the
"Sweet Home," all covered in ice from mast-head to prow, sailed, stiff
and cold, into Barkhampstead harbor.

Oh! wasn't there a great gladness over all the old town then! They rang
the meeting-house bell. It was a hoarse, creaking old bell, but there
was music in it that time, as it throbbed against the falling snow, and
made a most delicious concert of joy and gratitude in every house
within a mile and more of the dock.

Mr. John Allen rushed down to the "Sweet Home," as soon as ever it came
in. He hadn't anybody on board to care very particularly about, but how
he did rub his hands together as he went, letting the snow gather fast
on his long beard, as he thought of the thirty or forty pairs of feet
that _must_ have shoes!

Crip, you know, was to be eleven the next day, and his mother, in the
big red house next door to the little shop, had made him a cake for the
day, and, beside, plum-pudding was to be for dinner.

Before Crip's father had gone down to the dock he had said to Crip:
"Now, you must stay right here in the shop and not go near the dock,
until I come back;" and Crip had said "Yes, sir," although every bit of
his throbbing boy body wanted to take itself off to the "Sweet Home."

The snow kept on falling, and it began to grow dark in the little shop.
Crip had just lighted a candle, when the shop door opened, and a boy,
not much bigger than Crip himself, came in and shut the door behind
him.

Crip jumped up from the bench and said:

"What----?"

"You don't know me, Crip Allen," said the boy.

"Who be you?" questioned Crip.

"Don't wonder!" said the other, "for we've all come right out of the
jaws of ice and death. I'm Jo Jay."

"Jo Jay,--looking so!" said Crip.

"Never mind! Only give me a pair of shoes--old ones will do--to get
home in. It's three miles to go, and it's five months since I've had
shoes on my feet. Oh, Crip! we've had a _bad_ time on board, and no
cargo to speak of to bring home."

"You wont pay for the shoes?" asked Crip.

"No money," said Jo, thrusting forth a tied-up foot, wrapped in
sail-rags. "But, Crip, do hurry! I must get home to mother, if she's
alive."

"She's alive--saw her to meeting," said Crip, fumbling in a wooden box
to get forth a pair of half-worn shoes he remembered about.

He produced them. Jo Jay seized the shoes eagerly, and, taking off his
wrappings, quickly thrust his feet, that had so long been shoeless,
into them: and, with a "Bless you, Crip! I'll make it all right some
day." hobbled off, making tracks in the snow, just before Crip's father
came up from the dock.

Mr. John Allen returned in a despondent mood. There was not oil enough
on board the "Sweet Home" to buy shoes for the men.

"Who's been here, Crip? Socks in and shoes out, I see."

"Jo Jay, father."

"Where's the money, Crip?" and Mr. Allen turned his big, searching blue
eyes on Crip, and held forth his hand.

"Why, father," said Crip, "he hadn't any, and he wanted to go home.
It's three miles, you know, and snowing."

"Crip Allen! Do you know what you've done? You've _stolen_ a pair of
shoes."

"Oh, I haven't, father," cried Crip, "and 't was only the old,
half-worn shoes that you mended for George Hine, that he couldn't
wear."

"Christopher!" thundered forth Mr. Allen, in a voice that made the lad
shake in his boots, "go into the house and right upstairs to bed. You
have stolen a pair of shoes from your own father. You _knew_ they were
not yours to give away."

Poor Crip! Now he couldn't get a sight of the "Sweet Home" to-night,
even through the darkness and the snow.

His upper lip began to tremble and give way, but he went into the big
red house, up the front staircase to his own room, and, in the cold,
crept under the blankets into a big feather bed, and thought of Jo
plodding his way home.

About eight of the clock, when Crip was fast asleep, the door opened,
somebody walked in, and a hand touched the boy, and left a bit of cake
on his pillow; then the hand and the somebody went away, and Crip was
left alone until morning. He went down to breakfast when called. His
father's face was more stern than it had been the night before. Crip
could scarcely swallow the needful food. When breakfast was over, Mr.
Allen said:

"Christopher. Go into the garret and stay till I call you. I'll teach
you not to take what doesn't belong to you, even to give away."

"Father!" beseechingly said Crip's mother, "it is the boy's birthday."

"Go to the garret!" said Mr. Allen.

Crip went, and he was having the dismal time of it referred to in the
beginning of this story. Poor little chap! He stayed up there all the
morning, his mother's heart bleeding for him, and his sisters saying in
their hearts, "Father's awful cruel." It did seem so, but Mr.
Christopher Allen, the nation-known shipping merchant, said, fifty
years later, when relating the story to a party of friends on board one
of his fine steamships:

"That severe punishment was the greatest kindness my father ever
bestowed on my boyhood. Why, a hundred times in my life, when under the
power of a great temptation to use money in my hands that did not
belong to me, even for the best and highest uses, and when I _knew_
that I could replace it, I have been saved by the power of the stern,
hard words, the cold, flashing eyes, and the day in the garret. Yes,
yes, father was right. I ought to have taken off _my own shoes, and
gone without any_, to give to Jo Jay. That was his idea of giving."



[Illustration]


WHAT HAPPENED.

BY HOWELL FOSTER.


  A very respectable Kangaroo
  Died week before last in Timbuctoo;
  A remarkable accident happened to him:
  He was hung head down from a banyan-limb.
  The Royal Lion made proclamation
  For a day of fasting and lamentation,
  Which led to a curious demonstration:
  The Elephant acted as if he were drunk--
  He stood on his head, he trod on his trunk;
  An over-sensitive she-Gorilla
  Declared that the shock would surely kill her;
  A frisky, gay and frolicsome Ape
  Tied up his tail with a yard of crape;
  The Donkey wiped his eyes with his ears;
  The Crocodile shed a bucket of tears;
  The Rhinoceros gored a young Giraffe
  Who had the very bad taste to laugh;
  The Hippopotamus puffed and blew,
  To show his respect for the Kangaroo;
  And a sad but indignant Chimpanzee
  Gnawed all the bark from the banyan-tree.



DRIFTED INTO PORT.

BY EDWIN HODDER.



CHAPTER I.

THE BOYS OF BLACKROCK SCHOOL.


Dr. Brier considered himself the principal of Blackrock School, but the
boys in that establishment often used to say to each other that Mrs.
Brier was really the master.

Not that she intruded into any sphere which did not belong to her, but
she took such a deep interest in the school that she had the welfare of
every boy at heart, and Dr. Brier was one of those amiable men who
never act except in concert with their wives, and he had, moreover,
good sense enough to see that oftentimes her judgment was better than
his own.

At the time our story opens, the school was in a very flourishing
condition. It contained about eighty boys, the tutors were men of
unquestionable ability, and so successful had the Doctor been in
turning out good scholars that he had applications from various parts
of England, in which country our story is located, for the admission of
many more boys than he could possibly receive.

Among the institutions of the school was a weekly reception in the
Doctor's private drawing-room, when twenty boys at a time were invited
to tea, and to spend the evening hours in social enjoyment.

It was a very good thing, for it gave Mrs. Brier an opportunity of
becoming acquainted with the boys, and it enabled them to see the
Doctor, not in his professional character of principal, but as a kind
and gentle host.

At some schools, where a plan of this kind has been adopted, boys have
been inclined to look upon it as a great bore, and have dreaded the
return of the so-called social evening, when they would have to be, for
some hours, in a state of nervous anxiety, lest they should be
catechised in a corner, or be betrayed into something that they would
be sorry for afterward.

But, with one exception, this was not the case with the Blackrock boys;
the Tuesday reception was always a red-letter day with them, and if
ever, through misbehavior, an invitation was withheld, it was regarded
as one of the severest punishments inflicted in the school.

Several boys were one day standing in a group under the elms which
inclosed the play-ground, putting on their jackets to return to the
school-room, as the recreation hour was nearly over.

"Who's going to the house on Tuesday?" asked Howard Pemberton.

"I am," said Martin Venables.

"And I," added Alick Fraser.

"And I too, worse luck," said Digby Morton.

"Why worse luck?" asked Martin.

"Oh, it wouldn't do for me to enter into particulars with you," replied
Digby, rather testily. "You're the Doctor's nephew, and we all know
that we've got to be careful of what we say about the house before you.
The wind might carry it around."

Martin turned as red as a poppy, as he flashed up in honest anger that
such paltry meanness should be charged on him.

"I tell you what it is, Digby," he said, trying to keep himself cool,
"I can stand a joke as well as anybody, but there is no joking about
your ill-natured speeches. I tell you now, once for all, that I never
did and never shall blow upon any boy in this school. You know as well
as I do that the Doctor treats me as a scholar here, and not as a spy
or a relative, and if ever you charge me again with tale-bearing, I'll
answer you with my fists."

"Good!" cried several voices at once, while some of the small boys who
had gathered round seemed delighted at the rebuke administered to
Digby, who was by no means a favorite with them.

"And now let's drop it," said Howard, the boy who had asked the
question as to the invitations for Tuesday. "If Digby doesn't like the
receptions, it's a pity he doesn't stay away. I don't know another boy
in the school who would think with him."

"Nor I, and I can't make out why any one should," said Alick; "to my
mind they are the jolliest evenings we have."

"Oh yes, I should think they would just suit _you_" answered Digby,
with his accustomed sneer, "but they don't suit me. They are precious
slow affairs, and I don't care much for the society of Mrs. B. She
pries into the school affairs a sight too much as it is, and----"

What other objections Digby might have advanced will forever remain
unknown. He had committed high treason in speaking lightly of a name
dear to the heart of every boy there, and a storm of hissing and
hooting greeted his unfinished sentence.

He saw that he had trespassed on ground which was too dangerous for him
to tread any further, and so, with a defiant "Bah!" he threw his
jacket over his shoulder and walked sullenly away.

Many of the boys in Blackrock school would have found a difficulty in
stating the exact grounds of their regard for Mrs. Brier. To some of
them she was a comparative stranger; they could not trace one direct
act in which they were indebted to her. Perhaps the merest commonplaces
in conversation had passed between them, and yet they felt there was a
something in her presence which threw sunshine around them; they felt
that they were thought about, cared for and loved, and in any little
scrape into which, boy-like, they might get, they felt satisfied that
if the matter only came to her knowledge they would get an impartial
judgment on the case, and the best construction that could be put upon
their conduct would be sure to be suggested by her. But out of eighty
boys it would not be reasonable to suppose that all should share this
feeling alike,--we have seen already one exception; yet the disaffected
were in a very small minority, and the majority was so overwhelming,
and had amongst it all the best acknowledged strength and power of the
school, that no one dared to say above his breath one word against Mrs.
Brier, if he cared for a whole skin.

While Digby was returning to the school by one road, Howard and Martin
strolled leisurely along by another path under the trees.

"I can't understand Digby," said Martin; "he has altered so very much
lately that he hardly seems the same fellow he was. Have you noticed
that he cuts all his old chums now? What's happened to him?"

"I'm sure I don't know," answered Howard, "but he certainly has altered
very much. I wish we could be as friendly as we used to be, but it is
months since we have been on really good terms together."

"Two or three years ago we used to be the best of friends," said
Martin.

"Yes, but all that has been gradually altering. He seems to have taken
a dislike to me. I can't help thinking that Digby has some secret that
worries him."

"I shouldn't be surprised if he has," answered Martin; "and it will get
him into trouble, whatever it is. He has several times been 'out of
bounds' for a long time at a stretch, and if it hadn't been for Alick
Fraser and one or two others who have screened him, he would have come
to grief. Can you guess at all what is wrong with him?"

"No," replied Howard, hesitatingly; "the only thing I can think of is
that his father has told him that when he leaves school in September he
is to be articled to a lawyer, and I know he has made up his mind to go
to sea. He is crazy about pirates, and whale-hunts, and desolate
islands, and all that sort of stuff. And yet, sometimes, if you talk to
him about them he shuts you up so very sharply that you feel as if you
were prying into his secrets. Perhaps--"

And here Howard stopped.

"Well, perhaps what?" asked Martin.

"I don't know that it is right to talk about a mere notion that may not
have any truth in it at all, so let what I say be kept close between
us; but I have noticed him bring things home after he has been out of
bounds, and carefully put them in his big box, which he always keeps
locked, and I have sometimes thought--but mind, it is only a passing
thought, so don't let it go any further--that perhaps he has made up
his mind to run away to sea!"

"Howard, I have had this same thought in my mind many a time," said
Martin, "and I believe the reason why Digby dislikes me so much is
because something occurred about a month ago, which I would rather not
mention, but it led me to say to him that I hoped he would not be so
foolish as to think of throwing up all his prospects in life for the
sake of a mania about the sea, and he flashed up so angrily that I was
convinced I had touched him on a sore point."

Just then the school-bell rang. There was no time for further talk, and
it was not for many days that the subject was renewed.



CHAPTER II.

AN EVENING AT DR. BRIER'S.


Every expected day comes at last,--not always, however, to realize the
expectations formed of it: but the evening of the reception in which we
are interested bade fair to be a most satisfactory one. The weather was
unusually fine, and the Doctor and Mrs. Brier were in such good spirits
that some of the visitors made special note of the fact.

I hardly know where to begin in attempting to describe an evening in
the House at Blackrock school.

As to stiffness and formality, there was not a vestige of it. The
Doctor was a gentleman, every inch of him, and ease is an essential
quality of gentlemanly behavior. It is not always an easy thing to be
easy, and all the Doctor's pupils were not miniature doctors, but
whatever else a boy might not have learned at Blackrock, he certainly
had a chance to learn to be gentlemanly.

So conversation flowed freely; the boys were encouraged to indulge in
hearty, unrestrained enjoyment, and no one could have heard the buzz of
voices and the sounds of merry laughter, or seen the beaming faces,
without feeling that all were perfectly at home.

The Doctor was wise in his generation, and he did not invite any of the
tutors to meet the boys. He pretty shrewdly guessed that their meetings
were quite as frequent as could be desired on either side, but he
always invited a few lady friends to join the party.

The Doctor had often been heard to say that while he would not declare
that either Greek or Hebrew was absolutely necessary for an ordinary
education, he was prepared to assert that no boy was educated unless he
knew how to feel at home and to behave with propriety in the society of
ladies.

Moreover, the Doctor was a great lover of music. Many of the boys also
loved it, and, when ladies were invited, those were generally selected
who could contribute to the pleasure of the evening.

Among the guests was one who will meet us again in the course of this
story. It was Madeleine Greenwood, the Doctor's niece, and Martin
Venables' cousin. I should like to describe her, but I will only say
that she was a young and very pretty sunshiny girl, and that everybody
who knew her liked her.

After tea, there were portfolios to examine, and books to turn over;
there was a bagatelle board in one corner of the room, a little group
busy upon some game of guessing in another corner, and another group
eagerly arranging specimens in a microscope, while the Doctor seemed to
be at each group at once.

"Now, come here," said Mrs. Brier to a little knot of boys who could
not find room by the Doctor and his microscope. "I will show you some
of my curiosities."

And she produced a little case, containing a curious old watch, set in
pearls; a snuff-box which had been in the possession of the family for
ages, and a variety of similar treasures. Among them was a miniature
painting, on ivory, of exquisite workmanship, and set in a gold frame,
which was studded with precious stones. It was as beautiful as it was
costly. The portrait was that of a young and lovely girl.

"What a sweet face," said Howard to Martin; "and how marvelously like
your cousin, Miss Greenwood!" And with a boyish enthusiasm joined to
boyish fun, he turned aside, so that Mrs. Brier should not see him, and
pretended to clasp the image to his breast.

"Oh, I have caught you, have I?" said Digby Morton, with his
disagreeable sneer, as, turning away from the Doctor's group, he came
abruptly upon Howard.

If Alick Fraser, or Martin, or McDonald, or any one of half a dozen
boys near him had made this observation, Howard wouldn't have minded
the least in the world, but coming from Digby, it made him nervous and
confused, especially as it was almost certain Mrs. Brier must have
heard it.

"Please let me see it," said Alick, who had only caught a passing
glimpse of it. "Surely it must be meant for Miss Greenwood?" he said,
after he had duly admired it.

"You are not the first who has thought so," said Mrs. Brier, "but it is
really a portrait of her grandmother, taken in her young days. But look
at this; I think it will interest you all. It is a curious ivory
carving, and is a puzzle which I should like to challenge any one to
explain."

And so this uncomfortable episode, the only one that occurred during
the evening, passed quietly away.

Music was soon called for, and Madeleine sang a beautiful song of the
sea. Then there was a merry glee, and a duet on the piano and
violoncello, and the time passed so cheerily that when the trays with
refreshments came round, betokening that the time to go was fast
approaching, everybody instinctively looked at the clock to make sure
that there was not some mistake.

One or two of the boys, as they lay awake that night, trying to recall
some of its pleasant hours, little thought that as long as life lasted
the incidents of that reception evening would be stamped indelibly upon
their memories.

"Now, aunt," said Madeleine, after all the guests had departed, "sit
down and rest, and let me collect the things together."

Everybody knows how a drawing-room looks when the company has gone.
Music here, drawings there, musical instruments somewhere else, and a
certain amount of confusion not apparent before now apparent
everywhere.

But Mrs. Brier was one of those who never could sit still while
anything had to be done, and she began to arrange the cabinet which
held her curiosities, while Madeleine collected the music. They were
thus employed when Mrs. Brier suddenly exclaimed, "Oh! Madeleine!"

"What is the matter, aunt?" asked the young girl, running to her.

"Nothing, I hope, but I cannot find the miniature portrait or the old
snuff-box which were here."

"Then they must be on one of the tables!" said Madeleine.

"I fear not; I laid everything back in the case myself--at least, I
believe I did--before putting it in the cabinet."

A careful search in every probable and improbable place in the room was
made, but the missing articles could not be found. The Doctor was
hastily called, and inquiries were made of him.

"No, my dear, I have seen nothing of them," he said. "I was busy with
the microscopes, and never even saw the things during the evening. Let
us look about--we shall soon find them."

Search after search was made, but in vain, and there was but one
conclusion at which to arrive,--the miniature and the snuff-box had
been taken away.

[Illustration: "HOWARD PRETENDED TO CLASP THE IMAGE TO HIS BREAST."]

But by whom? It could not have been by the servants, for they had only
entered the room to bring the refreshments. It could not have been by
any of the lady guests, for they had not been near the curiosities;
being old friends, these had often been shown to them before.

It was, perhaps, the most trying hour that either the Doctor or Mrs.
Brier had ever spent. They were not grieved simply because they had
lost property, valuable as it was, but their deepest sorrow arose from
the fear that honor had been lost in the school.



CHAPTER III.

THE LOST MINIATURE.


The morning came, and the anxiety which the Doctor and Mrs. Brier had
felt the night before was not removed but rather increased. What to do
for the best was the question preying upon both minds. There was no
escape from the conviction that one of the boys, either by accident or
with evil intent, had taken the missing articles. If by accident, they
would be returned the first thing in the morning, although there would
be no excuse for not having returned them on the previous evening as
soon as the discovery was made; and if with evil intent who was the
culprit?

The Doctor was one of those men who could best bear anxiety
out-of-doors. If anything unusual troubled him, no matter what the
weather might be, he would pace the garden or wander through the
fields, while he thought or prayed himself out of the difficulty.

He was a God-fearing man. I do not mean in the sense in which many
apply this term, turning a good old phrase into a cant expression. He
believed in God, he believed in the Bible, and he believed in prayer.

So, after he had paced the garden in the early morning, long before any
others of the establishment were abroad, he turned into the
summer-house, and there, quiet and alone, he prayed for guidance in his
difficulty.

When breakfast was over the boys began to away to their several rooms
and occupations, but those who had been at the Doctor's on the
previous evening were told separately that he wished to speak with them
in his library. Each was rather startled on arriving to find others
there, and a vague feeling of discomfort prevailed at first. Mrs. Brier
was present, and this added to the mystery, as she was rarely seen in
the library.

"Now, my boys," said the Doctor, when all had assembled, "I want to
take you all into my confidence, and shall be glad, in the interest of
all, if what is now said is kept as much as possible to ourselves. The
matter about which I have called you together is one that has caused me
much anxiety, and I shall be thankful if you can allay my uneasiness.
You will remember that last night Mrs. Brier showed you a casket of
trinkets and curiosities, amongst them a valuable miniature painting
and an antique snuff-box. I am sorry to say that these are missing.
Careful and diligent search has been made for them, but they cannot be
found. Can any of you throw light on the subject? Is it possible that
by accident one of you may have mislaid them, or inadvertently have
carried them away?"

Anxious glances were exchanged from one to the other as each answered
in the negative. An awkward pause followed.

"And now," said the Doctor, "it is my painful duty to ask you
separately whether you know anything whatever about the matter. For the
sake of each, and the honor of all, I charge you to tell me truth as in
the sight of God. Herbert, do you know anything about it?"

"No, sir."

"Marsden, do you?"

"No, sir; nothing whatever. I saw the things and thought I saw Mrs.
Brier put them back in the box."

"Do you know anything, McDonald?"

"I do not, sir."

"Do you, Pemberton?"

"No, sir."

"Do you, Morton?"

Digby stammered and hesitated. The Doctor repeated his question.

"I know nothing for certain, sir. But I--I think--" and he held to the
back of a chair with a very determined clutch as he again hesitated,
and began to speak.

"What do you think, man? Speak out," said the Doctor.

"I think I ought to mention a circumstance, but I shall prefer speaking
to you alone."

"Does it relate to any one present?"

"It does."

"Then I must have it told here. But let me first continue my question
to each one present."

The question went round, and the answer in each case was in the
negative.

"Now, Morton, I must ask you to state what you know of this matter, or
rather what you suspect, and I leave it to your good sense to say only
that which you think it absolutely necessary for me to know."

There was a dead silence. Every eye was turned toward Digby with
intense interest, while he fixed his gaze steadily upon the floor.

"I saw Howard Pemberton putting the miniature in his breast coat-pocket
last evening, sir, when we were in your drawing-room. I said to him,
'I've caught you, have I.' He made no reply to me, but turned away,
very red in the face--"

"It is false--wickedly false," cried Howard, in a passionate burst of
feeling.

"He states it is false," continued Digby, "but I will appeal to Fraser
or McDonald, who saw it, or better still, to Martin Venables, who also
saw it, and made some remark in apology for him!"

"Do you know of anything else, directly or indirectly, that you think
should come to my knowledge?" asked the Doctor.

"Nothing more, sir, except that Pemberton, whose room adjoins mine,
seemed to have something on his mind last night, for he was walking
about in his room in the middle of the night, and I fancied he got out
of the window. This is all I have to say, sir. I said I knew nothing
for certain, and I hope I have not done wrong in telling you this
much."

And now all eyes turned to Howard Pemberton. He stood speechless. He
felt as in a horrible nightmare, and could neither move body nor mind
to break the spell. If he could have known that there was not one in
the room who believed him to be guilty, he would have easily recovered
from the blow; but with his peculiarly nervous temperament, although
conscious of perfect innocence in the matter, he felt that the terrible
insinuations which had been made against him had separated him from
those whom he loved and honored, and he was crushed beneath the weight
of implied dishonor.

Happy is the man who has a friend, and Howard had many, but perhaps
none greater than Martin Venables. Martin knew the peculiarities of
Howard's character better than any one present, and seeing the position
in which he was placed he came forward to vindicate him.

"Dr. Brier, there is not a boy in this school, except Digby, who does
not love and respect Howard Pemberton. I hate to be a tale-bearer, but
I know that for many months he has cherished a great animosity to
Howard, and has taken every opportunity of showing it. The story which
he has now invented is as clumsy as it is false. It is the worst kind
of falsehood, for it has just a shadow of truth in it as regards one
part of the story. When Mrs. Brier showed the miniature, it pleased
Howard, as it does everybody who sees it. He made a remark to me that
it was very much like my cousin, Miss Greenwood, and perhaps you know,
sir, that many boys in the school think her very lovely and amiable.
Howard thought so too, and when he attempted to put the miniature in
his pocket, as Digby untruthfully stated, he merely put it, in fun, to
the place where they say the heart is. It was what any of us might have
done, and, wise or not wise, we would certainly have meant no harm. But
I am quite certain that afterward the portrait passed into the hands of
Alick Fraser, and then into Digby's, and after that it was placed in
the case by Mrs. Brier. I do not say, sir, that Digby Morton has
willfully misrepresented facts for the purpose of getting one who was
once his most intimate school friend into trouble, but I say that if
Howard Pemberton is untruthful or dishonest, I do not believe an honest
boy lives."

The boys were quite excited over Martin's speech--the first set speech
he had ever made--and they greeted it with undisguised enthusiasm.

The Doctor seemed to think that somebody ought to say something
equivalent to "silence in the court" at this display of sentiment,
although in his heart of hearts he would have liked to step forward and
pat Martin on the back for his manly defense of his friend. But an
interruption was made to the proceedings by a tap at the door.

"Can I speak with Mrs. Brier?" said a servant, putting her head in at
the door.

"No, Mrs. Brier is engaged," answered the Doctor, rather sharply for
him.

Servants have a knack of knowing what is going on in a house, and this
servant seemed to be in the secret which had called the little assembly
together, for she would not take the rebuff, but said:

"If you please, sir, I _must_ speak to Mrs. Brier."

So Mrs. Brier left the room for a moment, to return again in company
with the servant.

"What is this all about?" asked the Doctor.

"If you please, sir, this morning, in making the bed Mr. Pemberton
sleeps in, I noticed the ticking loose, and I put my hand in, as I felt
something hard, and I found this snuff-box."

I have read in books about boys who, under some exciting necessity,
have started in an instant from boyhood to manhood, just as I have read
about people's hair in time of trouble turning from black to white in
the course of a night. Howard Pemberton did not spring from boyhood to
manhood at this strange discovery, nor did his hair turn white, but the
words of the servant had a sudden and powerful influence upon him. In a
moment he turned to his accuser and said:

"Digby, there is some vile secret underlying all this, and I don't know
what it is. But I declare to you, solemnly, that I am innocent of this
charge. If you have spoken against me to-day because you thought you
ought to do it, I can't blame you, but if you have done it from any
wrong motive, I hope you'll confess it before evil is added to evil."

But Digby merely shrugged his shoulders, and turning to the Doctor,
said: "Have you anything more you wish to ask me, sir?"

Dr. Brier was fairly nonplussed. The fog grew denser all around him.
Addressing a few words of caution to those who had been summoned to
this the strangest meeting that was ever held in Blackrock School, he
dismissed the boys, ordering Howard and Digby to be kept in separate
rooms until he should arrive at some judgment in the case.



CHAPTER IV.

THE VERDICT.


It was all very well for the Doctor to decide to keep the boys in two
separate rooms until he should form some judgment on the case, but
toward the close of the day, after the most searching inquiries had
been instituted, he was no nearer to a final decision than when he
started, and he feared they might have to remain where they were until
Doomsday, unless he could find out something positive about the matter.

Howard and Digby were missed from their accustomed places in the
school, and by the mid-day play-time the secret had oozed out, and
great discussions were being held as to the merits of the case. There
was not a boy in the school who in his heart believed that Howard was
really guilty, although the evidence seemed clearly against him. There
was not, on the other hand, one who felt justified in thinking that
Digby had willfully accused his friend falsely, and yet there was an
uncomfortable suspicion that it might be so.

All the next day inquiries went on, and nothing of importance was the
result. The Doctor had seen the prisoners, and talked to each
separately; he had taken counsel from those of the boys upon whose
judgment he could rely, and in the evening all those who had
constituted the preliminary meeting were again called together. The
first count in the indictment, namely, that Howard had attempted to
pocket the miniature, was discussed and dismissed as a misconstruction
of motive. The second charge as to his being about in his room during
the night was not so easily got rid of. Howard pleaded that he had gone
to sleep as usual, and slept soundly, but that he was aroused by
hearing, as he thought, some one in his room. He went to sleep again,
and was aroused a second time by the stumbling of some one over a box,
as it seemed to him, which was followed by the sudden closing of a
door. He got up, went into Digby's room, listened by his bedside, and
found he was breathing hard, and then, noticing that his window was not
fast, he opened it and looked out. The nightingales were singing, and
he sat up for a long time listening to them. Then, as he grew chilly,
he closed the window and turned into bed again, and slept till Digby
called him. Beyond this he knew nothing.

The Doctor summed up. There was guilt in the heart of one boy at least,
but which one there was no evidence at present to show. That the fact
of the snuff-box being found in Howard's bed had at first sight looked
like circumstantial evidence against him could not be denied, but as
the links in the chain had been broken in several places, he considered
that the whole had fallen to pieces, and he confessed that he did not
believe for a moment, from the facts before him, that Howard was
guilty. From his knowledge of Digby he must fully exonerate him from
the charge of willfully implicating his friend in the matter, as it
seemed evident that he was justified in expressing the suspicions he
entertained, considering the circumstances of the case. For the present
the matter must be dismissed, but he could not doubt that light would
soon shine through the darkness, and the true facts of the case would
yet be known. He would still urge that if anything should transpire in
the knowledge of any one present that it was important he should know,
no selfish motive should induce him to remain silent, while at the same
time he would deprecate suspicions of each other, and would remind them
that as the law judged those to be innocent who were not proved to be
guilty, so it must be in this case. With this the Doctor dismissed the
assembly.


       *       *       *       *       *


So far in our story we have confined ourselves to the characters in
whom we are immediately interested, without any reference to their
previous history or family connections. But I must pause here to take a
glance into two homesteads, a few days after the events just described.

In the breakfast-room at Ashley House Mr. Morton had laid aside his
newspaper, and was reading a letter from Dr. Brier. It was the second
or third time he had read it, and it seemed to disturb him. Mr. Morton
hated to be disturbed in any way. He was a hard man, who walked
straight through the world without hesitating or turning to the right
hand or to the left. He was a strong-minded man--at least, everybody
who got in his way had good reason to think so. But he had a rather
weak-minded wife. Poor Mrs. Morton was a flimsy woman, without much
stamina, mental or bodily. She stroked her cat, read her novel, lay
upon the sofa, or lolled in her carriage, and interested herself in
little that was really necessary to a true life. It was in such an
atmosphere as this that Ethel Morton lived and Digby had been reared.

Their mother had died when Ethel was a very little baby, and when the
new Mrs. Morton came home the children were old enough to feel that
they could not hope to find in her what they had lost in their true
mamma.

Ethel was a bright, pleasant girl, and, being left very much to
herself, she seemed to live in a world of her own. As a child she
peopled this world with dolls, and each doll had an individuality, a
history, and a set of ideas attached to it, which gave her almost a
human companionship in it. Then came the world of fairies and gnomes
and elves, amongst whom she held sway as queen, and many a plant and
shrub in the garden, and glade in the woodlands, was a part of her
fairy-land. And, now that she was nearly seventeen, a new world was
dawning upon her; human wants and human sympathies were demanding her
thought and care, and every day brought her into contact with those in
the villages round about, whose histories were educating her heart into
the true ideal of womanhood.

As Mr. Morton finished reading the letter he passed it to his wife,
merely remarking:

"You will see Digby has mixed himself up with some disagreeable piece
of business in the school. It is time he came home. I shall see Mr.
Vickers about him to-day, and write for him to return as soon as this
affair has blown over, instead of in September, in order that he may
commence his studies in the law at once."

Leaving Mrs. Morton to mourn that her anxieties and responsibilities
were to be increased by Digby's return, and Ethel to rejoice in the
fact that her brother was coming home to be again her companion, let us
now take a glance into a home in the suburbs of London.

It is a humbler home than that we have just visited, and a happier one.
The breakfast-room is elegantly furnished, but it is small; the garden
is well stocked with flowers, but the whole extent of it is not greater
than the lawn at Ashley House.

There are three people round the breakfast-table. Mrs. Pemberton, a
handsome woman, dressed in the neatest of black and lavender dresses,
and wearing a picturesque widow's-cap. Nellie, her daughter, a girl
about nine or ten years old, and Captain Arkwright, a retired naval
officer, the brother of Mrs. Pemberton.

There is anxiety on each face, and traces of recent tears mark that of
Mrs. Pemberton, as she nervously turns over and over in her hand a long
letter from Dr. Brier, and a still longer and more closely written one
from Howard.

"It is an extraordinary and distressing affair," she said, "and I am at
a loss to know what to do. What would you advise, Charles?"

"I should advise Dr. Brier to choose a lunatic asylum to go to. What a
wooden-headed old fellow he must be, to have got the affair into such a
mess. Do? I should do nothing. You certainly don't suppose Howard is
really concerned in the affair. Not he; that sort of thing isn't in his
line. It'll all come right enough by and by, so, don't fidget yourself,
my dear," he continued. "There's some vile plot laid against Howard,
but if he doesn't come clean out of it with flying colors, call me a
simpleton."

That day was spent in letter-writing, and the same post that brought to
Digby the intelligence that he was to leave school that term, and
commence work with Mr. Vickers, conveyed to Howard the loving sympathy
of true hearts, which clung to him through evil report and good report.

(_To be continued._)



THE NEWS-CARRIER.

BY CATHARINE S. BOYD.


[Illustration: "OH NO! IT IS NOT I!"]


  "How do you know?" "Who told you so?"
    These words you often hear;
  And then it often happens, too,
    This answer meets your ear:
  "A little bird has told the tale,
  And far it spreads o'er hill and dale."

  Now let us see if this can be.
    How can the birds find out so well,
  And give the news to all?
    Or, if they know, why need they tell?
  And which among the feathered tribe
  Must we to keep our secrets bribe?

  The busy crow? As all well know,
    He sometimes breaks the laws;
  We shall regret it, when he does,
    For he will give us cause.
  Though slyest of the feathered tribe,
  The crow would scorn to need a bribe;--

  Not robin red; he holds his head
    With such an honest air,
  And whistles bravely at his work,
    But has no time to spare.
  "I mind my own concerns," says he;
  "They're most important, all may see;"--

  Nor birdie blue, so leal and true;
    He never heeds the weather,
  But in the latest winter-days
    His fellows flock together;
  And then, indeed, glad news they bring
  Of early buds and blossoming.

  Might not each one beneath the sun
    Of all the race reply,
  If questioned who should wear the cap,
    "Oh no! it is not I?"
  For there are none who, every day,
  Are busier at work than they.

  They chatter too, as others do;
    But what it is about,
  The wisest sage in all the earth
    Might puzzle to make out.
  But I'm as sure as I can be,
  They never talk of you or me,

  We hear "They say,"--oh, every day!
    Are _they_ the birds, I wonder,
  That have such power with words to part
    The dearest friends asunder?
  Or must we search the wide world through
  To bring the culprits full in view?

  The birds, we see, though wild and free,
    Have something else to do;
  And, reader, don't you think the same
    Might well be said of you?
  It really seems to be a shame
  That _they_ should always bear the blame.



LIVING SILVER.

BY MARY H. SEYMOUR.


The ground was covered with snow, and now it had begun raining. There
was no prospect of a change in the weather, which made Fred's face
rather gloomy as he looked out of the window. Harry was turning over
the leaves of a story-book. You could see they were both disappointed
that the morning was stormy; for when they came to grandpapa's in the
winter, they expected bright days and plenty of fun.

"What shall we do?" said Fred.

"Let's go into the garret!" exclaimed Harry.

This plan evidently suited both of them, for they made a rush toward
the door; and the dog, awakening from his nap, entered into the idea,
too.

At this moment, Aunt Carrie came into the room. They wished it had been
grandmamma, for she never laid the least restriction on their sports,
but smiled on every request and allowed them to do exactly as they
pleased.

"Now, boys," said Aunt Carrie, "where are you going?"

"Only into the garret, auntie."

"Be sure to leave things exactly as you find them," she replied, with a
laugh and a little groan.

"We always do, Aunt Carrie."

Away they went, with Gyp at their heels, and every footstep resounded
through the old house until they reached the upper floor.

"It is no wonder that garret is never in order," said Aunt Carrie; "but
the children must enjoy themselves."

"Of course, they must, Carrie," replied grandma from the depths of her
heart.

First, the boys pulled out a box of old books and papers, and busied
themselves reading the queer names and advertisements of old times.
Soon they turned from these to a shelf of chemical instruments. Most of
them were in perfect order, and they knew they must keep their hands
off, for the bulbs and tubes of glass were too delicate to be touched
by unskilled fingers.

"Here is an old broken forrometer," exclaimed Harry. "Let's ask grandpa
if we can have it."

"You mean _thermometer_, don't you?" said Fred. "What can we do with
that?"

"Don't you see? There is a great deal of quicksilver in this glass
ball, and we can play with it. I'll show you how." And away they went
downstairs to find their grandfather.

"Grandpa, can we have this?"

Mr. Lenox looked up from his newspaper.

"Let me see it a moment. What do you wish to do with it?"

"We will break it and take out the quicksilver, and then I will show
you. Let me ask Ellen for a dish to catch the drops."

"Not quite so fast; wait a moment, Harry," replied Mr. Lenox. "I wish
you to notice something about it first. The top of the tube is slightly
broken, which makes it of no exact use, for to measure heat or cold the
quicksilver must be entirely protected from the air. If you had noticed
it when you first came in, you would see that the warmth of the room
has caused it to rise in the tube. This is shown by the marks on the
plate to which it is fastened. Now, if you hold it close to the stove,
the quicksilver will rise still higher. Let it stand outside the window
a moment, and it will sink."

By this time the boys were much interested.

"But what makes it do so, grandpa?" they asked.

"Quicksilver is very sensitive to heat and cold. If the weather is
warm, or if the room it is in is warm, it expands--swells out--and so
rises in the glass tube, as you have seen. The least coolness in the
air will cause it to contract, or draw itself into a smaller space;
then, of course, it sinks in the tube.

"The barometer is another instrument in which quicksilver is used. It
is intended to measure the weight of the air, therefore the quicksilver
in it must be exposed to the pressure of the air. Common barometers
have it inclosed in a small leather bag at the back of the instrument.
This we do not see, but only the tube which is connected with it. When
the weather is pleasant, the air, contrary to the general idea, being
heavier, presses against this little bag and the quicksilver rises in
the tube. When the atmosphere is damp, the pressure being less, the
metal sinks."

"Grandpa," said Harry, "when you think of it, isn't quicksilver a funny
word?"

"Yes; it was so named by people who lived many hundreds of years ago.
They called it _living silver_ also. It is the only metal found in a
liquid state; and so many strange changes did it pass through under
their experiments, that it seemed to them really a living thing. If
they tried to pick it up, it would slip out of their fingers. When
thoroughly shaken, it became a fine powder. They boasted that it had
the faculty of swallowing any other metal, while powerful heat caused
it to disappear entirely. It is now known among metals as mercury. Can
you tell me, Fred, some of the metals?"

"Oh yes, sir! There are gold, silver, iron, lead and copper."

"That is right. But, you know, all these are hard; some of them can be
chipped with a knife, but they cannot be dipped up in pails, unless
they have first been melted. Yet mercury can be frozen so hard that it
may be hammered out like lead, and sometimes it takes the form of
square crystals. Yet it can be made to boil, and then sends off a
colorless vapor."

"Grandpa." said Fred, who had scarcely listened to the last words, "if
mercury can be dipped up in pails, it must be very easy to get it. I
read somewhere that gold and silver are so mixed in with the rock that
it takes a great deal of time and money to separate them."

"That is true; but mercury is not always obtained easily. It forms part
of a soft, red rock called cinnabar, composed of mercury and sulphur.
The cinnabar is crushed and exposed to heat, when the metal, in the
form of vapor, passes into a vessel suited to the purpose, where it is
cooled. Then, being reduced to its liquid state, it is pure and fit for
use. When men working in the mines heat the rocks, the quicksilver will
sometimes roll out in drops as large as a pigeon's egg, and fall on the
ground in millions of sparkling globules. Think how very beautiful it
must be, the dark red rock glittering on every side with the living
silver, while every crack and crevice is filled with it!

"Visitors to the mines of Idria are shown an experiment that I think
would interest you boys. In large iron kettles filled with mercury are
placed huge stones, and these stones do not sink."

"Why, grandpa! how can that be?"

"Did you ever see wood floating on water?"

"Yes, sir, but that is different."

"But the principle is the same; can you tell me why?"

Both the boys looked puzzled.

"It is only because the wood does not weigh so much as water; neither
are the stones as heavy as mercury, therefore they cannot sink."

"I wish we could go into the mines. Can't you take us, sometime,
grandpa?" said Harry.

"That is asking rather too much, my child, for quicksilver is not a
common metal. There are in the world only four important localities
from which it is obtained. These are California, Peru, Austria, and
Almaden in Spain. The mines nearest us are in California. I think I
shall never go as far as that, but I hope you both may before you reach
my age.

"It is a curious story how the mines in Peru were discovered. Cinnabar,
when ground very fine, will make a beautiful red paint. The Indians
used this to ornament their bodies on grand occasions. This caused the
country where they lived to be examined, and the cinnabar was found.
The Romans used this paint hundreds of years ago in decorating their
images and in painting pictures. It is very highly valued now, and we
call it vermilion."

"Fred," continued Mr. Lenox, "you spoke of the difficulty of
separating gold and silver from the rock in which they are found. Did
you know that our wonderful mercury renders valuable aid in this? The
rock that contains the precious metal is crushed fine, sifted and
washed until as much as possible of the gold or silver is removed; then
it is placed in a vessel with the quicksilver, which seems immediately
to absorb it, thus separating it entirely from every particle of sand
or rock. If the metal to be cleansed is gold, you will see a pasty mass
or amalgam, as it is called, of a yellowish tinge. This is heated, and
the mercury flies away, leaving behind it the pure gold."

"How did people learn to do this?" asked Fred.

"They did not learn it all at once. It was only by years of patient
effort and frequent failure that they finally succeeded.

"You know there are many gold and silver mines in California,"
continued grandpa. "Near some of them large mines of quicksilver have
been discovered. You can imagine that this caused great rejoicing, for
all the quicksilver previously used was sent in ships to this part of
the world, which, of course, made it scarce and very expensive. Now, we
can send away quantities to other countries after supplying our own
wants.

"Notwithstanding that this strange metal renders such service to
mankind--for I could tell you of many other useful things it does--it
is a deadly poison. Its vapor is so dangerous that persons searching
for it often die from breathing the air where it is found. About
seventy years ago, the mines in Austria, took fire, and thirteen
hundred workmen were poisoned, and many of them died. The water that
was used to quench the fire being pumped into the river Idria, all the
fish died excepting the eels. Since that time, spiders and rats have
deserted the mines.

"Mercury is carried in sheepskin bags and cast-iron bottles. It is so
heavy that an ordinary cork would soon be forced out by it, therefore
an iron stopper must be screwed in.

"Once, some bags of mercury were stored in the hold of a foreign
vessel; unfortunately, a few of the bags were rotten and leaked. Every
person on board was poisoned, and every piece of metal connected with
the vessel received a silvery coating of mercury."

"It is dreadful! Fred, don't let us touch it," said Harry.

"Don't be frightened yet, Harry. Did you know that mercury is used as a
medicine? It is given in very small doses."

"I am sure I shall never take it," exclaimed Fred.

"Perhaps you may have done so already," replied their grandfather,
laughing. "Did you ever hear of blue-pill and calomel? They both are
preparations of mercury."

Just then the sun shone into the room so brightly that every one turned
to the windows. Such a sparkle! The evergreens were covered with
shining ice-drops, and the tall trees pointed their glistening branches
toward the few clouds that were hurrying over the blue sky.

"I am not sorry it rained, after all," said Fred. "I have enjoyed the
morning so much that I forgot the play we were going to have."

Two happy, tired boys went to sleep that night, and the next morning
they started for home. They both agreed in thinking they had never
enjoyed a more delightful visit at grandpapa's.



THE WOODS IN WINTER


There is scarcely any place so lonely as the depths of the woods in
winter. Everything is quiet, cold and solemn. Occasionally a rabbit may
go jumping over the snow, and if the woods are really wild woods, we
may sometimes get a sight of a deer. Now and then, too, some poor
person who has been picking up bits of fallen branches for firewood may
be met bending under his load, or pulling it along on a sled. In some
parts of the country, wood-cutters and hunters are sometimes seen, but
generally there are few persons who care to wander in the woods in
winter. The open roads for sleighing, and the firm ice for skating,
offer many more inducements to pleasure-seekers.

But young people who do not mind trudging through snow, and walking
where they must make their own path-way, may find among the great black
trunks of the forest trees, and under the naked branches stretching out
overhead, many phases of nature that will be both new and
interesting--especially to those whose lives have been spent in cities.


[Illustration: THE WOODS IN WINTER.]



CRUMBS FROM OLDER READING.

II.

BY JULIA E. SARGENT.


IRVING.


Washington Irving has so many things for us, and we have heard so much
that is pleasant of him, that a good time with him may be expected; and
you would not read far in Irving's books before learning that no one
believed in "good times" more than he. The name of his home on the
Hudson would tell you that. "Sunnyside" is not the name a gloomy man
would choose.

Perhaps you will like best to hear that many of you often stand where
Irving stood, and walk the streets he knew so well, for New York City
was Irving's birthplace, and there many of the seventy-six years of his
life were spent. One of his books is a funny description of his native
town in the days of its old Dutch governors. He does not call it
Irving's, but "Knickerbocker's History of New York." And as only Irving
knew anything of Diedrich Knickerbocker outside this book, we will let
him tell you that "the old gentleman died shortly after the publication
of his work." Of course, Irving can say what he chooses about
Knickerbocker's book, so he gives it as his opinion that, "To tell the
truth, it is not a whit better than it should be." But Sir Walter
Scott, in a letter to a friend, says of these funny papers of Irving's:
"I have been employed these few evenings in reading them aloud to Mrs.
S. and two ladies who are our guests, and our sides have been
absolutely sore with laughing." All Irving's histories are not
"make-believe," and some day you will read Irving's "Life of
Columbus," and "Life of Washington," completed just before his death in
1859, without thinking of them as histories. He wrote the "Life of
Columbus" in Spain. Can you tell me why that was the best place to
write it?

Would you like to know where the boy Irving might often have been seen
when he was not devouring the contents of some book of travels? "How
wistfully," he wrote, "would I wander about the pier-heads in fine
weather? and watch the parting ships, bound to distant climes!"

Not many years after, he wrote from England, "I saw the last blue line
of my native land fade away like a cloud in the horizon." He was then
in England, where he visited Westminster Abbey, Stratford-on-Avon, and
many other grand and famous places. Of these, and much that is neither
grand nor famous, he has written in the "Sketch-book," giving this
reason for so naming word-paintings: "As it is the fashion for modern
tourists to travel pencil in hand and bring home their portfolios
filled with sketches, I am disposed to get up a few for the
entertainment of my friends." Is it not as good as a picture to hear
this man, who had no little ones of his own, tell of "three fine,
rosy-cheeked boys," who chanced to be his companions in a stage-coach?
This is what he writes:

"They were returning home for the holidays in high glee and promising
themselves a world of enjoyment. It was delightful to hear the gigantic
plans of the little rogues. * * * They were full of anticipations of
the meeting with the family and household, down to the very cat and
dog, and of the joy they were to give their little sisters by the
presents with which their pockets were crammed; but the meeting to
which they seemed to look forward with the greatest impatience was with
Bantam, which I found to be a pony." When he had heard what a
remarkable animal this pony was said to be, Irving gave his attention
to other things until he heard a shout from the little travelers. Let
him tell the rest of the story.

"They had been looking out of the coach-windows for the last few miles,
recognizing every tree and cottage as they approached home, and now
there was a general burst of joy. 'There's John! and there's old Carlo!
and there's Bantam!' cried the happy little rogues, clapping their
hands. At the end of a lane there was an old, sober-looking servant in
livery waiting for them; he was accompanied by a superannuated pointer,
and by the redoubtable Bantam, a little old rat of a pony, with a
shaggy mane and long, rusty tail, who stood dozing quietly by the
roadside, little dreaming of the bustling times that awaited him. Off
they set at last, one on the pony, with the dog bounding and barking
before him, and the others holding John's hands, both talking at once.
* * * We stopped a few moments afterward to water the horses, and on
resuming our route a turn of the road brought us in sight of a neat
country-seat. I could just distinguish the forms of a lady and two
young girls in the portico, and I saw my little comrades with Bantam,
Carlo, and old John trooping along the carriage-road. I leaned out of
the coach window in hopes of witnessing the happy meeting, but a grove
of trees shut it from my sight."

"If ever love, as poets sing, delights to visit a cottage, it must be
the cottage of an English peasant," Irving thinks, and goes on to write
in his own pleasant fashion of many pleasant things in English country
life, saying: "Those who see the Englishman only in town are apt to
form an unfavorable opinion of his social character. * * * Wherever he
happens to be, he is on the point of going somewhere else; at the
moment when he is talking on one subject, his mind is wandering to
another; and while he is paying a friendly visit, he is calculating how
he shall economize time so as to pay the other visits allotted in the
morning."

The "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a genuine ghost story. It is not very
startling, but very, very funny, when you know what scared poor Ichabod
Crane on his midnight ride that last time he went courting Governor
Wouter Van Twiller's only daughter.

You must read for yourselves the famous story of Rip Van Winkle and the
nap he took. It is too long for me to give in Irving's words, and "Rip
Van Winkle" is just such a story as no one but Irving knows how to
tell.

In another of his interesting stories in the "Sketch Book," told, he
says, by a queer old traveler to as queer a company gathered in a great
inn-kitchen, Irving describes the busy making-ready for a wedding. The
bride's father, he says, "had in truth nothing exactly to do."

Do you suppose he was content to do nothing "when all the world was in
a hurry?"

This is the way in which he helped: "He worried from top to bottom of
the castle with an air of infinite anxiety; he continually called the
servants from their work to exhort them to be diligent, and buzzed
about every hall and chamber as idly restless and importunate as a
blue-bottle fly on a warm summer's day." The book of Irving's that some
of you will like best of all is "The Alhambra." The Alhambra is the
ancient and romantic palace of the Moors. When he was in Spain, Irving
spent many dreamy days amid its ruined splendors, whence the last of
the Moors was long since driven into exile. We have good reason to be
glad that Irving saw the Alhambra, for this book is what came of it. We
shall all want to go where Irving went, after reading what he says of
the Alhambra by moonlight. "The garden beneath my window is gently
lighted up, the orange and citron trees are tipped with silver, the
fountain sparkles in the moonbeams, and even the blush of the rose is
faintly visible. * * * The whole edifice reminds one of the enchanted
palace of an Arabian tale."

These, you know, are only crumbs, and crumbs which show Irving's "warm
heart" more, perhaps, than his "fine brain."

To learn of his literary talent and well-deserved fame, of his rich
fancy and his wonderful ability for story-telling, you can better
afford to wait than to miss knowing how healthy, happy, and truly
lovable was this man's nature. Now, with only one of the many sober,
earnest thoughts, we must lay aside his books.

"If thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul, or a
furrow to the silvered brow of an affectionate parent; if thou art a
friend and hast ever wronged in thought, or word, or deed, the spirit
that generously confided in thee, then be sure that every unkind look,
every ungracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back
upon thy memory."


[Illustration]



THE BOY IN THE BOX.

BY HELEN C. BARNARD.


"You haven't any more ambition than a snail, Joe Somerby!" said
energetic Mrs. Somerby to her husband, as, with sleeves rolled to the
elbow, she scoured the kitchen paint.

Joe, who was smoking behind the stove, slowly removed his pipe to
reply:

"Wal, if I haint, I haint; and that's the end on 't!"

"What would become of us if I was easy, too?" continued his spicy
partner. "Why can't you have a little grit?"

Joe puffed away silently.

"Now, you pretend to carry on the rag business, you spend all your
money a-buying and a-storing of 'em away; the back room's full, the
attic's full, the barn's full,--I can't stir hand or foot for them
rags! Why on earth don't you sell 'em?"

"Waiting for 'em to rise, marm!"

"Always a-waiting!" retorted Mrs. Somerby, thrusting her
scrubbing-brush and pail into a closet, and slamming the door upon her
finger. "Before you get through, the chance goes by. Joe," in a coaxing
tone, "I've had a presentiment."

Joe evinced no interest, but removed his pipe to say:

"Now, wife, don't get uneasy. Let's be comfortable."

"Yes, I feel a presentiment about those rags;" the little woman whisked
into a chair beside her lord. "They say the paper manufacturers are
giving a big price now, husband. Why can't you take a load to the city
to-day? I've been thinking of it all the morning."

"I'll do my own thinking, marm," said Joe, with dignity. He rose,
however, and laid his pipe away.

Mrs. Somerby said no more, sure that she had roused him from his torpid
condition. She wound Joe up to the starting-point, just as she did her
kitchen-clock, and he kept upon his course as steadily as that ancient
time-piece. She was just the wife for ease-loving Joe, whom her brisk
ways never wounded, for he knew her heart was full of tenderness for
him.

An hour later Joe drove into the yard. Mrs. Somerby flew out with a
lump of sugar for a jaded-looking horse, bought by Joe to speculate
upon, and who ate everything he could get, including his bedding, and
never grew fat.

"I'll make a trotter of him in a month, and sell him to some of the
grandees!" Joe said, but his system failed or the material was
poor,--old Jack slouched along as if each step was likely to be his
last. But despite this, Jack had become very dear to the childless
couple, and they were as blind as doating parents to his defects.

"Bless his heart!" cried Mrs. Somerby, as Jack whinnied at her
approach, and thrust his ugly nose into her hand.

Mr. Somerby felt of Jack's ribs with a professional air, and said:

"I'm trying a new system with this 'ere beast; I think he's picking up
a grain."

"He'll pick up the grain, no doubt," playfully retorted his wife. "Now
then, I'll help you off. Those paper men'll have all they want if
you're not on hand. I'm glad I put you up to sorting the stuff last
week."

"You'll 'put me up' till I'm clean gone," said Joe, winking to himself,
as he followed his lively wife. "Let them bags alone, marm. You can be
putting me up a big lunch."

"It's all ready, under the wagon-seat. By good rights, Joe, you'd ought
to have a boy to help you."

"It isn't a woman's work, I know," said he, kindly. "You just sit here
and look on."

Joe swung her up on a bale as if she had been a child. Inspired by her
bright eyes he worked with a will. The wagon was soon loaded. Mrs. Joe
ran for his overcoat and best hat, gave him a wifely kiss, and watched
him depart from the low brown door-way.

"She's the best bargain I ever made," thought Joe, as he jogged toward
the city. "I'm not quite up to her time, I know," continued he, and
there was a tender look in his sleepy eyes. "Howsomedever, I'll make a
lucky hit yet!"

The prospect was so cheering that Joe actually snapped the whip at the
"trotter" who was meditating with his head between his knees. Jack,
however, did not increase his gait, but plodded on. It was bitter cold,
and Joe had to exercise himself to keep warm. It was afternoon when the
laden cart entered the city. Hungry Jack had stopped twice, and gazed
around at his master in dumb reproach. Joe was hungry, too; so he
hurried into a square, in the business part of the city, covered his
pet with an old quilt, and giving him his food, went to dispose of his
cargo. But Joe's purchasers had gone to dinner, so he returned, mounted
the cart, and began upon his own lunch.

"Now, if they don't want my stuff, my wife's 'presentiment' 's gone
up," said the elegant Joe, "and I've had this cold trip for nothing."

Just here a remarkable event occurred. Jack suddenly threw up his
meditative head, shied, and stood upon his hind-legs.

[Illustration: "THE BOY WAS ON HIS KNEES."]

"Hey there!" cried his master, delighted at this token of life. "Yer a
trotter, after all?"

"Yer old nag scart, mister?" asked several small boys, who hovered
about.

"He's a leetle lively!" said Joe, proudly. "Keep clear of his heels,
boys."

Jack subsided, but eyed a pile of boxes in a court on the left.

"What ails ye, Jack?"

"It's the hermit ails him!" cried one, pointing toward a huge box from
one side of which somebody's head and shoulders protruded.

"Quit scaring my horse!" cried Joe.

The face was startlingly pale, and the eyes had a troubled, eager
look--the look of anxious care; but Joe knew their owner was a boy,
although he quickly disappeared in the box. Mr. Somerby resumed his
lunch, but kept the reins in case Jack should be startled when the boy
came out. But he did not appear; there was no sign of life in the box.
Joe thought he was either up to some more mischief or afraid; the
latter seemed most likely, as he recalled the white, still face.

Joe got down from his cart and quietly peeped in. He was somewhat
astonished at first, for the boy was on his knees. The sight stirred
his sympathies strangely. The pallid lips were moving; soon, low words
came forth:

"I don't know how to speak to you, dear Lord; but please help me.
Mother prayed to you, and you helped her. Oh! help me, I pray, for
Jesus' sake. Amen."

The listener drew back to brush the tears from his eyes.

"'Minds me o' Parson Willoughby's sermon--'Help, Lord, or I perish!' I
wish my wife was here. I declare I do. The little chap must be in
trouble!"

Joe peeped in again. The boy did not see him as he was partly turned
from the opening. He threaded a rusty needle, and proceeded to patch
his coat. Joe could see the anxious puckers in his face as he bent over
the task.

"I do wish she was here!" Joe cried, aloud.

The boy turned quickly.

"Why don't you go home, lad? You'll freeze to death here."

"This is my home."

"Sho! Do you mean to say you _live_ here?"

"Yes." The lad hesitated, then asked, "Are you from the country, sir?"

"Wal, yes, I be. Though folks don't generally mistrust it when I'm
slicked up. But I don't stand no quizzing."

The boy appeared surprised at this sudden outburst, and said, with a
frank, manly air that appeased Joe:

"I thought if you lived a long way off I wouldn't mind answering your
questions. I'm English, and my name's John Harper. I don't mix with the
street boys, so they call me the hermit!"

"Don't you 'mix' with your own folks, neither!"

"They were lost at sea in our passage to this country," was the low
reply. "Sometimes I wish I'd died with them, and not been saved for
such a miserable life. Can't get work, though I've tried hard enough,
and I'd rather starve than beg. I can't beg!" he cried, despairingly.
"I'm ordered off for a vagrant if I warm myself in the depots, and I
don't suppose the city o' Boston'll let me stay here long."

"Don't get down at the mouth--don't!" said honest Joe, in a choking
voice, as the extent of this misery dawned upon him.

"There, you know all," said the boy, bitterly. "I scared your horse, or
I wouldn't tell so much. Besides, you look kinder than the men I meet.
Perhaps they're not so hard on such as me where you live?"

But Joe had gone, his face twitching with suppressed emotion.

"I'll take the hunger out o' them eyes, anyhow!" He grasped the
six-quart lunch pail, and, hastening back, cried, as he brandished it
about the lad's head, "Just you help a feller eat that, old chap. My
wife 'ud rave at me if I brought any of it home. Help ye'self!"

Hunger got the better of John Harper's pride. He ate gladly. There
wasn't a crumb left when he returned the pail. The light of hope began
to dawn in his sad eyes,--who could be brave while famishing!

Meantime, Joe had been puzzling his wits and wishing his wife was there
to devise some plan for the wayfarer.

"I wonder if you'd mind my horse a spell, while I go about my
business?"

So the pale hermit crept out of his box, and mounted the wagon, well
protected by an extra coat that comfort-loving Joe always carried.

"He'll think he's earned it, if I give him money," was Joe's kind
thought. "He's proud, and don't want no favors. I'll give the lad a
lift, and then--"

After "the lift," what was before the homeless boy? Somehow he had
crept into Joe's sympathies wonderfully. He couldn't bear to look
forward to the hour when Jack and he must leave him to his fate. A
chance word from the paper manufacturer put a new idea into Joe's
brain. He bought all the cargo at a good price, and engaged the stock
at home.

"I'll bring it in soon," said Joe, putting his purse in a safe place.
"I don't keep no help to sort my stuff, or I'd be on hand to-morrow."

"Ah," said the bland dealer, little thinking what a train of events he
was starting. "You are doing a good business; why don't you keep a boy?
I know one who is faithful and needy!"

"Yes, yes, he's in my cart, done up in my coat!" cried Joe, suddenly.
He beamed upon the bewildered dealer, and rushed for the door, almost
crazy with the new idea.

"My wife said I'd ought to have a boy, too," he thought, almost running
toward the spot where he had left the cart, Jack, and the solitary
figure in the great coat. Joe grasped the boy. "I've got a plan for
you, John Harper. I want a boy to help me; the dealer says so, my wife
says so, and I say so. You must go home with me to-night. We'll carry
this load to the store-house; then pitch in your baggage and start for
a better place than this, my lad!"

It was, indeed, "a better place" for "the boy in the box,"--a place
where he found rest and food and shelter. After a little, he grew into
the hearts of the childless couple that they called him their own.
John went to school winters, and helped Mr. Somerby summers, and got
ahead so fast in his happy surroundings that ambitious Mrs. Somerby had
him educated. He is now a prosperous merchant, and a text for old Joe
to enlarge upon when his wife gets too spicy.

"You wan't nowheres around when I found our John," he often says, "and
he's the best bargain I ever made, next to you!"



THE COCK AND THE SUN.

BY J.P.B.


[Illustration]


  A cock sees the sun as he climbs up the east;
    "Good-morning, Sir Sun, it's high time you appear;
  I've been calling you up for an hour at least;
    I'm ashamed of your slowness at this time of year!"

  The sun, as he quietly rose into view,
    Looked down on the cock with a show of fine scorn;
  "You may not be aware, my young friend, but it's true,
    That I rose once or twice before you, sir, were born!"



[Illustration: "GRUN-SEL, GRUN-SEL, GRUN-SEL!"]



THE LONDON CHICK-WEED MAN.

BY ALEXANDER WAINWRIGHT.


Birds and flowers do much to enliven the dusky house-windows of the
London streets, and both are attended to with great care. The birds are
treated to some luxuries which our American pets scarcely know of at
all, in their domestic state, and among these are two small plants
called chick-weed and groundsel, which grow abundantly along the hedges
and in the fields on the outskirts of the smoky city. Both chick-weed
and groundsel are insignificant little things, but the epicurean lark,
canary, or goldfinch finds in it a most agreeable and beneficial
article of diet, quite as much superior to other green stuff as--in the
minds of some boys and girls--ice-cream and sponge-cake are superior to
roast-beef and potatoes.

On Sunday afternoons and holidays, the lanes where the groundsel and
chick-weed grow are frequented by the citizens of the laboring class,
who, although the city is quite near and its smoke blackens the leaves,
call this the country and enjoy it as such. It is a pretty sight to see
them, when they are well behaved; and should one notice the boys and
girls, many of them would be found hunting under the hawthorn
hedge-rows for chick-weed and groundsel to be taken home for the pet
birds.

But all the birds of London do not depend on the industry of their
owners for these luxuries. Some men make a trade of gathering and
selling the plants, and the picture which is opposite this page will
give the reader a good idea of how they look. Their business has one
decided advantage. It needs no capital or tools, and a strong pair of
legs and a knife are all that its followers really want. Perhaps it is
on this account that the groundsel and chick-weed sellers are all very
poor, and the raggedness of some is pitiable in the extreme, as the
picture shows. Their shoes are shockingly dilapidated, owing to their
long daily marches into the country, and the rest of their clothes are
nearly as bad.

The one that we have illustrated is a fair example, but despite his
poverty-stricken appearance, his torn, loose sleeves and useless boots,
he is not at all repulsive. His face tells of want and toil; he has
slung a shabby old basket over his shoulders, in which he carries his
load, and, with a bunch in his hand, he saunters along the street,
proclaiming his trade, "Grun-sel, grun-sel, grun-sel!" Besides the
groundsel and the chick-weed, he has small pieces of turf for sale, of
which larks are very fond.

The birds in their cages at the open windows chirp and put their pretty
little heads aside when they hear him coming; they know perfectly well
who he is and what he brings, and their twitter shapes itself into a
greeting. The old raven perched on the edge of the basket feels like a
superior being, and wonders why other birds make such a fuss over a
little green stuff, but that is only because he has coarser tastes.



JOHNNY.

BY SARGENT FLINT.


Johnny was in disgrace. "Drandma" had set him down uncomfortably hard
in his little wooden chair by the fire-place, and told him not to move
one inch right or left till she came back; she also told him to think
over how naughty he had been all day; but some way it seemed easier
just then to think of his grandma's short-comings.

He looked through his tears at the candle in the tall silver
candlestick, and by half shutting his eyes he could make three candles,
and by blinking a little he could see pretty colors; but amusement
tends to dry tears, and Johnny wanted to cry.

He caught the old cat and watched his tears slide off her smooth fur,
but when he held her head on one side and let a large round tear run
into her ear, she left him in indignation. Then he looked out of the
window. The snow was falling fast, as it had been all day.

"Drandma!" he called, but the old lady was busy in the next room, and
could not, or would not hear him, so he walked to the door and said:
"Drandma, may I sweep a path for drandpa?"

This time "drandma" did hear and see him too. He was brought back and
reseated, with marks of flour here and there on his little checked
apron.

We must not blame grandma too much; it was a very long time since she
was a child, and Johnny, to use her own words, "had almost worn her
soul out of her."

When Johnny's mother died, his home was in New York, and while Johnny
sat in his little chair by the fire-place, he was thinking of New York,
wondering if he ever should see it again,--the great stores with their
bright windows,--and, above all, hear the never-ending bustle and hum
that would drown the noise of twenty great clocks like grandpa's. Then
he thought how he had been deluded in coming to Plowfield; stories of
bright green fields, butterflies, hay-carts piled high with hay, and
'way up on the top a little boy named Johnny.

A horse would be there, a cow (wrongly supposed by city people to mean
always a plentiful supply of milk), and a blue checked apron; but no
one mentioned the apron, and no one said that winter came in Plowfield;
not that they meant to deceive Johnny--they couldn't remember
everything, but it came all the same, and the bright green fields were
brown and bare; then Johnny didn't like them at all, and when the snow
came, grandma said if he went out he'd have the croup.

The butterflies forgot Johnny.

He did have _one_ ride on the hay, but grandpa didn't have much hay.

The horse was not such a great comfort after all; he never drove except
taking hold of what reins grandpa didn't use, and the cow--yes, Johnny
did like the cow--she was a very good cow, but, if Johnny could have
expressed himself, he would have said that she was a little
_monotonous_.

Johnny couldn't remember his mother, which was fortunate then, or he
would have cried for her. He saw his father only once a month; he was
making money very fast in the dingy little office away down town in New
York, and spending it almost as fast in a house away up town for
Johnny's new mamma, and, with Plowfield so far away, it was no wonder
Johnny's father was always on the move. He ought to have been there
that very day; the heavy snow perhaps had prevented; that was one
reason why Johnny had been so naughty.

He sat quite still after he was brought back. He was too indignant to
cry; he felt as if there was no such thing as justice or generosity in
grandmothers.

After a while he felt that he had thought of something that would do
justice to his feelings.

"Drandma," he cried, "I wish I'd smashed the bowl to-day when I spilt
the cream!"

Grandma didn't say anything for fear Johnny would know she was
laughing.

He grew more and more indignant; he never in his life had felt so
naughty. He thought of all the rebellious things he had ever heard of,
and making a few choice selections, mentioned them to his grandmother,
and she, laughing, stored them away, to tell grandpa, consoling herself
with the idea that if he was bad he wasn't stupid.

Suddenly, among other brilliant ideas, came the thought that sometimes
boys ran away; Mike's boy Jerry ran away (Mike was the man who worked
for grandpa), and he didn't have any money, and Johnny had fifteen
cents; besides, when he got on the cars he could tell the conductor to
charge it to his father; of course, he knew his father; he came from
New York every month.

He listened till he heard grandma go to the shed for wood, and before
she came back her small grandson was some distance from the house in
the deep snow, putting on his coat and tying his comforter over his
ears.

As he looked back and saw the shadow of grandma as she put down the
wood, he said: "I guess I'll make _her_ cry pretty soon."

After the wood, grandma seemed to find quite a number of things either
to take up or put down, so for a little while Johnny was forgotten. Did
you ever notice that grandmothers, and mothers too, are always begging
for a little quiet, yet, if they ever get a bit, nothing seems to make
them more uneasy?

Grandma thought Johnny was unusually still--she thought, "and is asleep
on the lounge." So she was not alarmed when she saw the little empty
chair, but when no Johnny appeared on the lounge or anywhere in the
room, she felt worried.

"Johnny!" she called all through the house and wood-shed. Then she
missed the little coat, cap, and comforter.

"If he has gone to meet his grandpa, he'll freeze to death. Oh, why
didn't I amuse him till his grandpa came," she thought. She opened the
door and tried to call, but a cloud of snow beat her back. Wrapping
herself comfortably, she started down the white road she thought Johnny
had taken.

She called and called his name, and in her excitement expected every
moment to find him frozen. She promised the wind and snow that, if they
would only spare her Johnny, her dead daughter's baby, that in place of
his impatient old grandma there should be one as patient as Job!

She had nearly reached the depot. She heard the evening train, she saw
the glare of the great lamp on the engine though the glass that covered
it was half hidden by the blinding snow. She heard a sleigh coming
toward her, and said to herself, "No matter who it is, I will stop him,
and he shall help me." The bells came nearer and nearer, and the sleigh
stopped. "Where are you going, my good woman? It is a rough night,
isn't it, for a woman to be out?"

Any other time, how grandma would have laughed!--grandpa didn't know
his own wife!

"Take her in, father," said another voice. Poor grandma! It was
Johnny's father who spoke.

[Illustration: JOHNNY STARTS TO RUN AWAY.]

"Oh, Johnny's lost!" she cried, as she tottered into the sleigh. "He
will freeze before we can find him."

The old lady was taken home, and grandpa and Johnny's father started
off, quite naturally in the wrong direction, for Johnny.


       *       *       *       *       *


For a while, Johnny went on manfully; but soon his little fingers and
toes began to beg him to go back. He refused to notice their petition,
and wished grandma could see him, as the wind whirled him round and
round and almost buried him in the snow. He thought he had gone about
ten miles, when he heard bells. He turned to one side for the sleigh to
pass, when he heard a voice he knew.

"Oh, Jerry," he cried, "please take me in!"

Jerry stopped, and asked, "Who are ye?"

"I'm Johnny," said our small hero, quite meekly.

"And where may ye be bound to, Johnny?" said Jerry.

"To the depot. I'm going to New York," said Johnny, who thought this a
mild way to tell Jerry he was running away.

"This road niver took any one to the depot, Jacky. If I hadn't come
this way, yer'd been froze stiff in the mornin'."

Here Jerry rolled his eyes in a dreadful manner, and trembled like one
terribly frightened. Johnny would have cried hard, but he remembered
how brave Jerry was when he ran away, so he winked hard to keep back
the tears, and said:

"Do you think I shall 'froze' now, Jerry?"

Jerry thought not, if he minded him. So he lifted him into the sleigh,
and they drove on.

"Is this the depot?" asked Johnny, when they stopped.

"Ye be hard on the depot. This is my house." said Jerry.

As he opened the door, his mother said, "I've looked afther yez since
the dark, and what have ye there?" as she saw Johnny.

Mike, Jerry's father, sat by the stove, and there was a baby on the
floor. Johnny thought he never had seen such a funny place.

He liked the baby best, although its yellow flannel night-dress was
dirty; but it wasn't quite his idea of a baby.

"What shall we do wid him, Mike?" said the lady of the house, as she
saw Johnny's head bobbing and his eyes closing.

"I thought ye'd kape him here till the next train for New York," said
Jerry, laughing.

Mike laid down his pipe, and began to put on his coat.

"Is it to go out again that yez will, this arful night, Mike?" said
Maggie.

"Lay him out on the bed; lave him to slape here to-night, Maggie. I'll
go and make it aisy wid the old folks," said Mike.

He found grandma sitting before the fire-place. Bottles of all sizes
stood on the table, and blankets hung on chairs by the fire. The old
lady's face was pale, and Mike afterward told Maggie, "The hands of her
shook like a lafe, and she had the same look on her that she had when
they tould her Johnny's mother was dead. And when I tould her the boy
was safe wid yez here--Ah, Maggie, she's a leddy!" said Mike, lowering
his voice.

"Well, what did she say?" said Maggie.

"She said I betther sit down an' ate some supper, to warm meself," said
Mike.

Poor grandma! She declared afterward she didn't know Mike was such a
good-looking man, and so kind-hearted, too. But she didn't keep him
long to praise him, but hurried him off to find grandpa.

Mike found the brilliant pair, going over and over the same ground. You
need not laugh, little reader; that's just what your father would do,
if you were lost.

Five minutes after they had learned where Johnny was, they were
standing over him in Mike's house--standing over him, and the baby in
the yellow flannel night-dress, for they were both in one bed, and
Johnny's father saw them about as clearly as Johnny had seen the
candle.

The family were thanked individually and collectively, from Mike down
to the baby, who, when Johnny left, was covered with sweetmeats and
toys, brought from New York to Johnny.

The next morning, at breakfast, Johnny learned many things, among them
that it was very wrong to run away, and he must be punished, and
grandma should decide how severely.

"I will punish him myself," said grandma, "by removing all temptation
to do so again."

Johnny is too young now to appreciate his pleasant sentence, but in
after years, when his sins are heavier, he will miss his gentle judge.

He was to leave Plowfield the next day for New York; but he was to come
back again with the summer, and many were the promises he made of good
behavior.

When the time came for him to go, he clung so to his grandma that his
father said:

"You need not go, Johnny, if you would rather stay."

"No," said Johnny, "I want to go; but why don't they have drandmas and
fathers live in the same house?"

At last, he was all tucked in the sleigh, and grandpa had started.

"Stop! wait!" said Johnny, "I forgot something."

He jumped out of the sleigh, ran back to grandma, clasped his arms
around her neck, and whispered in her ear:

"I'm sorry, drandma, 'cause I spilt the cream, and I'm awfil glad I
didn't smash the bowl."



A MONUMENT WITH A STORY.

BY FANNIE ROPER FEUDGE.


Many times have I heard English people say, as if they really pitied
us: "Your country has no monuments yet; but then she is so young--only
two hundred years old--and, of course, cannot be expected to have
either monuments or a history." Yet we have some monuments, and a
chapter or two of history, that the mother-country does not too fondly
or frequently remember. But I am not going to write now of the Bunker
Hill Monument, nor of the achievement at New Orleans, nor of the
surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. I want to tell of another
land nearer its infancy than ours, with a history scarcely
three-quarters of a century old, but with one monument, at least, that
is well worth seeing, and that cannot be thought of without emotions of
loving admiration and reverence. The memorial is of bronze, and tells a
story of privation and suffering, but of glorious heroism, and victory
even in death.

Everybody knows something of the great island, Australia, the largest
in the world, reckoned by some geographers as the fifth continent. I
might almost have said its age is less than one-quarter of a century,
instead of three. It was visited by the great adventurer, William
Dampier, about the year 1690, and again, eighty years after, by Cook,
on his first voyage around the world. It is only within the present
generation that we have come to know it well. England's penal colony
there, and Cook's stories of the marvelous beauty and fertility of the
land, were never wholly forgotten; but almost nothing was done in the
way of exploration, especially of the interior, and the world remained
ignorant of both its extent and its resources until 1860, in August of
which year two brave-hearted young men, by name Burke and Wills,
determined to find out all that they could of the unknown central
regions. It is in memory of these men that Australia's first monument
has been erected. Let me tell you their story.

Burke was in the prime of life, a strong, brave man, who delighted in
daring and even dangerous exploits. Wills, an astronomer, was younger,
and not so ardent, but prudent, wise, sagacious, and thus well fitted
to be the companion of the adventurous Burke. Their object was to trace
a course from south to north of Australia, and explore the interior,
where hitherto no European had set foot.

Fifteen hardy adventurers were induced to form the little company;
twenty-seven camels were imported from India, for carrying the tents,
provisions and implements needed upon such a journey, a fifteen-months'
supply of provisions was laid in, and large vessels were provided for
holding ample stores of water, whenever the route should lie through
arid regions.

Thus burdened with baggage and equipments, the explorers started out.
Their progress was necessarily slow, but the greatest difficulty with
which the leaders had to contend was a spirit of envy and discontent
among their followers. This led to an entire change in Burke's plans,
and perhaps also to the sad catastrophe which ended them.

Instead of keeping his men together, as at first intended, he divided
the company into three squads. Assigning the command of two of these to
Lieutenants Wright and Brahe, and leaving them behind at an early stage
of the journey, together with most of the baggage and provisions, Burke
took Wills, with two others of the most resolute of his company, and
pushed boldly forward, determined to reach the northern coast if
possible, but, at any rate, not to return unless the want of water and
provisions should compel him.

A place called Cooper's Creek, about the center of the Australian
continent, was to serve as a rendezvous for the entire company; one of
the squads was directed to remain at this point for three months, and
longer if practicable; another squad was told to rest a while at
Menindie, and then join the first; while Burke, Wills, Gray and King
were to prosecute their journey northward, do their utmost to
accomplish the main object of the expedition, and return to Cooper's
Creek. Had this plan been faithfully executed, all might have gone
well. But hardly had Burke taken his departure when quarrels for
pre-eminence broke out among the men he had left behind; then sickness
and death thinned the ranks and disheartened the survivors, and they
failed to carry out the programme Burke had laid down. Wright stayed at
Menindie until the last of January before setting out for the
rendezvous; while Brahe, who had charge of most of the provisions,
instead of remaining for three months at Cooper's Creek, deserted that
post long before the time arranged, and left behind neither water nor
provisions.

In two months Burke and his companions reached the borders of the Gulf
of Carpentaria, at the extreme north of the continent, having solved
the problem, and found a pathway to the North Pacific. Then, worn and
weary, they set out to return. Their forward march had been
exhausting, as the frequent attacks of bands of savage natives and the
many deadly serpents had made it dangerous to halt for rest either by
day or night. The heat, too, was excessive, and sometimes for days
together the travelers were almost without water, while but sparing use
could be made of the few provisions they had been able to carry.
Feeling sure of relief at Cooper's Creek, however, and jubilant at
their success, the four almost starving men turned about and pressed
bravely on, but they arrived only to find the post deserted, and
neither water nor provisions left to fill their pressing need.

In utter dismay, they sat down to consider what could be done, when one
of the party happened to see the word "dig" cut on the bark of a tree,
and digging below it, they found a casket containing a letter from
Brahe, which showed that he had left the post that very morning, and
that our travelers had arrived just _seven hours too late_!

Imagine, if you can, how terribly tantalizing was this news, and how
hard it must have seemed to these heroic men, after having suffered so
much, braved so many dangers, and tasted the first sweets of success,
to die of starvation just at the time when they had hoped relief would
be at hand--to be so nearly saved, and to miss the certainty of rescue
by only a few hours! Eagerly they searched in every direction for some
trace of their comrades, and called loudly their names, but the echo of
their own voices was the only answer. As a last effort for relief, they
attempted to reach Mount Despair, a cattle station one hundred and
fifty leagues away, but they finally gave up in complete
discouragement, when one more day's march might have brought them to
the summit and saved their lives.

For several weeks these brave fellows fought off their terrible fate,
sometimes hoping, oftener despairing, and at last, one after another,
they lay down far apart in the dreary solitude of the wilderness, to
die of starvation.

All this and more was learned by Captain Howitt, who commanded an
expedition of search sent out from Melbourne, some nine months after
the departure of Burke and his company, not a word of news having been
received concerning them, and many fears being felt for the safety of
the little band. On Howitt's arrival at Cooper's Creek he, too, found
the word "dig," where the four despairing men had seen it; and beneath
the tree was buried, not only the paper left by Brahe, but Burke's
journal, giving the details of the journey to the coast, discoveries
made, and the terrible last scenes.

At every step of Burke's pathway new objects of interest had elicited
his surprise and admiration. Not only were there fertile plains and
beautiful, flower-dotted prairies, but lagoons of salt water, hills of
red sand, and vast mounds that seemed to tell of a time when the region
was thickly populated, though now it was all but untrod by man. A range
of lofty mountains, discovered by Burke in the north, he called the
Standish Mountains, and a lovely valley outspread at their foot he
named the Land of Promise.

But alas! Great portions of Burke's journey had to be made through
rugged and barren regions, destitute of water, and with nothing that
could serve as food for man or beast. Driven to extremities by hunger,
the pioneers devoured the venomous reptiles they killed, and on one
occasion Burke came near dying from the poison of a snake he had eaten.
All their horses were killed for food, and all their camels but two.
Perhaps these also went at a later day, for toward the last the records
in the journal became short, and were written at long intervals.

Once the party was obliged to halt with poor Gray, and wait till he had
breathed his last, when the three mourning survivors went on in silence
without their comrade.

A letter from young Wills, addressed to his father, is dated June 29th.
The words are few, but they are full of meaning.

"My death here, within a few hours, is certain, but my soul is calm,"
he wrote.

The next day he died, as was supposed by the last record; though the
precise time could not be known, as he had gone forth alone to make one
more search for relief, and had met his solitary fate calmly, as a hero
should. Howitt, after long search, found the remains of his friend
stretched on the sand, and nearly covered with leaves.

The closing sentence in Burke's journal is dated one day earlier than
young Wills's letter. It runs:

"We have gained the shores of the ocean, but we have been aband--"

It is not, of course, known why the last word was never finished. It
may have been that he felt too keenly the cruelty of his companions'
desertion of him to bring himself to write the word; or perhaps the
death agony overtook him before he could finish it. At any rate, it
speaks a whole crushing world of reproach to those whose disregard of
duty cost their noble leader's life. It has its lessons for us all.

Burke's skeleton also was found, covered with leaves and boughs that
had been placed there, it is supposed, by the pitying natives, who
found the dead hero where, in bitter loneliness, he heaved his dying
sigh, unflinching to the last.

Howitt wrapped the remains in the flag of his country, and left them in
their resting-place. Then he returned to Melbourne, and made
preparations for their removal and subsequent burial. They rest now in
that beautiful city near the sea, beneath the great bronze monument.
There are two figures, rather larger than life, Burke standing, Wills
in a sitting posture. On the pedestal are three bass-reliefs, one
showing the return to Cooper's Creek, another the death of Burke, and
the third the finding of his remains. This is a fitting tribute to the
memory of the brave explorers, but a far nobler and more enduring
memorial exists in the rapid growth and present prosperous condition of
that vast island, results that are largely the fruit of their labors
and devotion.

King survived, but he was wasted almost to a skeleton, and it was
months before he could tell the story of suffering he alone knew.



TWO WAYS.

BY MARY C. BARTLETT.


  "If I had a fortune," quoth bright little Win,
    "I'd spend it in Sunday-schools. Then, don't you see,
  Wicked boys would be taught that to steal is a sin,
    And would leave all our apples for you and for me."

  "If _I_ had a fortune," quoth twin-brother Will,
    "I'd spend it in fruit-orchards. Then, don't you see,
  Wicked boys should all pick till they'd eaten their fill,
    And they wouldn't _want_ apples from you or from me."



A HORSE AT SEA.

[SEE FRONTISPIECE.]


His name is Charley. A common name for a horse, and yet he was a most
uncommon horse, of a sweet and cheerful disposition, and celebrated for
his travels over the sea. This is his portrait, taken the day before he
left America, for the benefit of sorrowing friends. He looks as if he
thought he was going abroad. There is something in his eye and the
expressive flirt of his tail that seems to suggest strange doings.
Charley is going to Scotland, over the sea, and he is having his feet
cared for by the Doctor. He stands very steady now, even on three legs.
When he afterward went aboard the good steamship "California" it was as
much as he could do to keep steady on all four.

[Illustration]

Poor Charley! He was dreadfully sick on the voyage. He had a fine
state-room, but the motion of the ship was too much for his nerves, and
he was very ill. So they had to bring him, bed and all, on deck. The
steamer was rolling from side to side, for the waves ran high, and the
tall masts swayed this way and that with a slow and solemn motion. Poor
Charley didn't appreciate the beauty of the sea, and thought the whole
voyage a most unhappy experience. Then he had to be hoisted out of the
hatchway in a most undignified manner. The frontispiece shows you how
this was done. They put him in his box and put a rope round it and
fastened the rope to the donkey engine, a little steam-engine which is
used for hoisting and such purposes. How humiliating for a horse to be
dragged aloft by a donkey engine! The captain stood near to give the
signal when the steamer rested for a moment on a level keel. The donkey
engine puffed, and the sailors stood ready to steer the patient upward,
just as you see in the picture.

Charley grew very serious as he rose higher and higher, but a man held
him by the head and whispered comfort in his ear. At last, he reached
the deck in safety, and they gave him a place in a breezy nook beside
some other four-footed passengers, and he immediately recovered.



TIDY AND VIOLET; OR, THE TWO DONKEYS.


There was once a little boy who was not very strong, and it was thought
right that he should be a great deal in the open air, and therefore it
was also thought right that he should have a donkey.

The plan was for this little boy to take long rides, and for his mamma
to ride on another donkey, and for his papa to walk by the side of
both.

The two donkeys that were procured for this purpose had belonged to
poor people, and had lived hard lives lately, out upon the common,
because the poor people had no employment for them, and so could get no
money to give the donkeys better food. They were glad, therefore, when
the gentleman said that he wanted to buy a donkey for his little boy,
and that he would try these two for a time, and then take the one he
liked best.

So the gentleman and the lady and the boy took their excursion day
after day with the two donkeys.

Now, one of these was a thin-looking white donkey, and the other was a
stout black donkey; and one was called "Violet" and the other "Tidy."

The little boy liked the black donkey best, because he was bigger and
handsomer, "I like Tidy," he said; "dear papa, I like Tidy."

"Stop!" said his papa. "Let us wait a bit; let us try them a little
longer."

The party did not go out every day; sometimes the gentleman and lady
were engaged, and the donkeys remained idly in the gentleman's field.

And then, when they had done eating, they used sometimes to talk.

"Is not this happiness?" said the meek white donkey. "Instead of the
dry grass of the common, to have this rich, green, juicy grass, and
this clear stream of water, and these shady trees; and then, instead of
doing hard work and being beaten, to go out only now and then with a
kind lady and gentleman, and a dear little boy, for a quiet walk:--is
it not a happy change, Tidy?"

"Yes," said Tidy, flinging his hind-legs high in the air.

"Oh!" said Violet, "I hope you will not do that when the young
gentleman is on your back."

"Why not?" said Tidy.

"Because," said Violet, "you may throw him off, and perhaps kill him;
and consider how cruel that would be, after all his kindness to us."

"Oh," said Tidy, "people always call us donkeys stupid and lazy and
slow, and they praise the horse for being spirited and lively; and so
the horses get corn and hay and everything that is good, and we get
nothing but grass. But I intend to be lively and spirited and get
corn."

"Take care what you do, Tidy," said Violet. "The gentleman wishes to
buy a quiet donkey, to carry his little boy gently. If we do not behave
ourselves well, he surely will send us back to the common."

But Tidy was foolish and proud, and, the next time he went out, he
began to frisk about very gayly.

"I fear," said the gentleman, "that the good grass has spoiled Tidy."

[Illustration]

Tidy heard this, but, like other young and foolish things, he would not
learn. Soon, the little dog Grip passed by, and Tidy laid his ears back
on his neck and rushed at Grip to bite him.

"Really," said the gentleman, "Tidy is getting quite vicious. When we
get home, we will send Tidy away, and we will keep Violet."

Tidy, as you may believe, was sorry enough then. But it was too late.
He was sent away to the bare common. But Violet still lives in the
gentleman's field, eats nice grass, goes easy journeys, and is plump
and happy.



[Illustration]


JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT.


Poets have a great deal to answer for, and they should be careful what
they say, for they've no idea what an influence they have. Now, I'm
told that about one hundred and fifty years ago, one by the name of
Thomson (Thomson without a _p_) sang:

      "Hail, gentle Spring! Ethereal mildness, hail!"

and made no end of trouble, of course. March being the first spring
month, was the first to hear the command, and so, ever since, she has
been trying her best to hail. Failing in this, as she nearly always
does, her only recourse is to blow; and blow she does, with a will. So
don't blame her, my chicks, if she deals roughly with you this year,
blows your hair into your eyes, and nearly takes you off your feet.
It's all the fault of that poet Thomson.

I suppose if he had sung to our great American cataract, he would have
told it to trickle, or drip, or something of that sort; and then what
would have become of all the wedding tours? Mrs. Sigourney, my birds
tell me, was a poet of the right sort. She sang, "Roll on,
Niagara!"--and it has rolled on ever since.

Talking of fluids, here's a letter telling


HOW CHERRY PLAYED WITH WATER.

A good friend sends Jack this true horse-story:

    At my summer home, the very coolest and pleasantest spot to be
    found on a hot day is a grassy knoll, shaded by a great tree. Close
    by is the horse-trough, which is supplied with water from the well
    a few rods off. One sultry day, my little boy and I went to play
    under the shade of this tree. The trough was full of clean,
    sparkling water, and I lingered there even after the two horses,
    "Cherry" and "Dash," had been brought out and tied to the tree; for
    they, too, had found their house uncomfortable, and had begged with
    their expressive eyes to be taken out-of-doors.

    Now, the water in the trough looked very tempting, and soon my boy
    Willy put his little hand in, and then rolling up his sleeve,
    plunged in his arm and began to splash the water, throwing it
    around, wetting us all, horses included. We left the tree, and were
    going into the house, when we heard a loud thumping, and splashing;
    turning round, we saw Cherry, with his fore-leg in the trough,
    knocking his great iron shoe against the side of it, sending the
    water flying in all directions, and making the water in the trough
    all black and muddy. Now, these horses had drunk from this trough
    three times a day for two months, and spent many a morning under
    that very tree, and it had never occurred to either of them to play
    such a trick until they had seen Willy do it.

    Willy was so much pleased that he gave Cherry several lumps of
    sugar to reward him for his naughtiness; but James, the coachman,
    took a different view, and gave him a sound scolding, and I am
    afraid whipped him; although I protested that Willy was more to
    blame than poor Cherry, who had only imitated his little master.

    C.C.B.


THREE SPIDERS.

Another enemy to my friends the birds! This time it's a spider. He
lives near the Amazon River, they tell me, builds a strong web across a
deep hole in a tree, and waits at the back of the hole until a bird or
a lizard is caught in the meshes. Then out he pounces, and kills his
prey by poison. And yet this dreadful creature has a body only an inch
and a half in length!

Then there's a spider named Kara-Kurt, who lives in Turkestan; and,
though he is no bigger than a finger-nail, he can jump several feet. He
hides in the grass, and his bite is poisonous; but I'm glad to say he
doesn't kill birds.

In the same country is a long-legged spider, who has long hair and a
body as big as a hen's egg. When he walks he seems as large as a man's
double fists. What a fellow to meet on a narrow pathway! I think most
people would be polite enough to let him have the whole of the walk.
Little Miss Muffett would have been scared out of her senses if such a
huge spider had "sat down beside her."


SPECIAL DISPATCH.

The Little Schoolma'am says Thomson didn't say "_Hail_, gentle Spring!"
He said, "Come, gentle Spring!" Dear, dear! I beg his pardon. But, like
as not, some other poet said it, if Thomson didn't. Or perhaps they've
sung so much about Spring that March, taking it all to herself, thinks
she may as well blow her own trumpet, too.

Poor March! In old times she used to be the first month of the
year,--and now she is only the third. May be, that is what troubles
her. Nobody likes to be put back in that way.


ABOUT PARROTS.

Deacon Green was talking about parrots the other day. He said he once
knew a parrot that was not as polite as "Pippity," the one mentioned in
a story called "Tower-Mountain." The parrot that he knew would swear
whenever he opened his bill. It had been taught by the sailors on board
the ship in which it had come from South America. When the deacon knew
it, it belonged to the widow of a very strict minister. It had been
brought to her by her nephew, a midshipman, as a Christmas present. It
was lucky for him, just then, that the old lady was stone deaf. She was
very cross with the neighbors when they told her what wicked words the
bird used. It was a great pet, and she would not believe anything bad
about it. But at last it swore at a visitor who was a bishop, and soon
after, it was no more.

Since the Deacon told that story I have had a paragram about another
parrot; one that lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, five years ago. This one
could laugh, weep, sing songs, make a noise like "smacking the lips,"
and talk. His talking was not merely by rote; he would speak at the
right times, and say what was just right to be said then and there. He
spoke the words plainly, bowed, nodded, shook his head, winked, rolled
from side to side, or made other motions suited to the sense of what he
was saying. His voice was full and clear, and he could pitch it high or
low, and make it seem joyful or sad. Many curious tales, are told of
him, but the most remarkable thing about him is that he actually lived
and really did the things named.

That's what the paragram says. Stop--let me think a moment. May be that
parrot himself sent it? But no; he wasn't smart enough for _that_; I
remember, now, the signature was "Chambers."


THE WRITING OF THE PULSE.

Did you ever hear of a sphygmograph? Of course not. Well, in its
present improved state, it is something new and very wonderful. It
takes its name from two Greek words, _sphugmos_, the pulse, and
_grapho_, I describe. It is an implement to be used by physicians, and
forces the patient's pulse to tell its own story, or, in other words,
make a full confession of all its ups and downs and irregularities. Not
only make a confession, my beloveds, but actually _write_ it down in
plain black and white!

So you see that a man's pulse in Maine may write a letter to a
physician in Mexico, telling him just what it's about, and precisely in
what manner its owner's heart beats--how fast or slow, and, in fact,
ever so much more.

Now, isn't that queer? Should you like to see some specimens of
pulse-writing? Here they are:

[Illustration: 1.]

[Illustration: 2.]

[Illustration: 3.]

[Illustration: 4.]

No. 1, according to the doctors, writes that he is the pulse of a
strong, healthy boy, and that his owner is getting on admirably. No. 2
writes that his proprietor has trouble with his heart. No. 3 tells a
sad story of typhoid fever; and No. 4 says that his owner is dying.

I am only a Jack-in-the-Pulpit, you know, quite dependent upon what
the birds and other bipeds tell me, so you cannot expect a full
description and explanation of the sphygmograph here. Ask your papas
and friends about it.

There's a great deal going on in the world that you and I know very
little about; but such things as the sphygmograph give us a hint of the
achievements of science in its efforts to help God's children out of
their many ills and pains.

The deacon says that, wonderful as the sphygmograph is, the pulse
itself is more wonderful still--a fact which no good ST. NICHOLAS child
will deny.


A PERUVIAN BONANZA.

You've heard, I suppose, that they expect soon to open up a new and
wonderfully rich deposit of silver in the mines of Peru? No! Well,
then, it's high time you were warned about it. Take your Jack's advice,
my youngsters, and be very careful about things. Why, if they go on
finding big bonanzas in this reckless way, silver will be too cheap for
use as money! And then what will they do? They'll have to use something
in place of it, of course; but there's no telling what it will be. Only
think, they might choose double-almonds, or something of that kind!

But don't allow yourselves to be cast down about it, my dears. Try to
keep up your spirits, and remember that, if the worst comes to the
worst, good children will never be so plenty that people will cease to
appreciate a good child. That's a bit of solid comfort for you, any
way.


LUMBER AND TIMBER.

Which of you can state the exact distinction, if there is any, between
lumber and timber, without consulting the dictionary?


QUEER NAMES FOR TOWNS.

Now, what am I to do with this? If the Little Schoolma'am sees it, she
may want to give the boys and girls of the Red School-house a new sort
of geography lesson, or perhaps a spelling task to her dictation. That
would be a little hard on them: so perhaps I'd better turn over the
letter to you just as it is, my chicks.

    Washington, D.C.

    DEAR JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT: Here are the names of some towns in the
    United States. They are so funny that I send them to you, and I
    hope you will like it. Do you think the Little Schoolma'am would
    know where all these places are?

    Toby Guzzle, Ouray, Kickapoo, T.B., Ono, O.Z., Doe Gully Run, Omio,
    Nippenose, Eau Gallie, Need More, Kandiyohi, Nobob, Cob Moo Sa, We
    Wo Ka, Ty Ty, Osakis, Why Not, Happy Jack, U Bet, Choptack,
    Fussville, Good Thunder's Ford, Apopka, Burnt Ordinary, Crum Elbow,
    Busti, Cheektowaga, Yuba Dam, Dycusburgh, Chuckatuck, Ni Wot, Buck
    Snort, What Cheer, Forks of Little Sandy, Towash, Sopchoppy, Thiry
    Daems, Vicar's Switch, Omph Ghent, Peculiar.

    I have found a great many more, but these are the queerest I could
    pick out.--Yours truly,

    WILLIAM B.


ANSWERS TO RIDDLES.

Here are two answers, out of the three, to the riddles I gave you last
month: TOBACCO, and CARES (Caress). The archbishop's puzzle has been
too much for you, I'm afraid, my dears. I'll give you until next month.
Then we'll see.



THE LETTER-BOX.


    Washington, D.C.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Not long ago I read in your delightful magazine
    a poem, entitled "Red Riding Hood," by John G. Whittier. It
    recalled to me some visits which I made to the great and good poet,
    my friend of many years.

    My acquaintance with him began when I was a school-girl in Salem.
    Then he lived in Amesbury, on the "shining Merrimack," as he calls
    it, with his sister, a most beautiful and lovable person.

    I remember distinctly my first visit to them. The little white
    house, with green blinds, on Friend street, looked very quiet and
    home-like, and when I received the warm welcome of the poet and his
    sister I felt that peace dwelt there. At one side of the house
    there was a little vine-wreathed porch, upon which opened the
    glass-door of the "garden room," the poet's favorite sitting room,
    the windows of which looked out upon a pleasant, old-fashioned
    garden. Against the walls were books and some pictures, among which
    were "Whittier's Birthplace in Haverhill," and "The Barefoot Boy,"
    the latter illustrating the sweet little poem of that name.

    In the parlor hung a picture of the loved and cherished mother, who
    had died some years before, a lovely, aged face, full of strength
    and sweet repose. In a case were some specimens of the bird
    referred to in "The Cry of a Lost Soul," a poem which so pleased
    the Emperor of Brazil that he sent these birds to the poet.

    At the head of the staircase hung a pictured cluster of pansies,
    painted by a lady, a friend of the poet. He called my attention to
    their wonderful resemblance to human faces. In the chamber assigned
    to me hung a large portrait of Whittier, painted in his youth. It
    was just as I had heard him described in my childhood. There were
    the clustering curls, the smooth brow, the brilliant dark eyes, the
    firm, resolute mouth.

    We spent a very pleasant evening in the little garden room, in
    quiet, cheerful conversation. The poet and his sister talked of
    their life on the old farm, which Whittier has described in "Snow
    Bound," and he showed me a quaint old book written by Thomas
    Elwood, a friend of Milton. It was the only book of poetry that
    Whittier had been able to get to read when a boy.

    Like all distinguished writers, Whittier has a large number of
    letters from persons whom he does not know, and many strangers go
    to see him. Miss Whittier said that one evening the bell rang, and
    Whittier went to the door. A young man in officer's uniform stood
    there. "Is this Mr. Whittier?" he asked. "Yes," was the answer. "I
    only wanted to shake hands with you, sir," and grasping the poet's
    hand he shook it warmly, and hastened away.

    Some years after my first visit a great sorrow befell Whittier in
    the loss of his sister. After that, a niece kept house for him. She
    is now married, and he spends most of his time with some cousins at
    "Oak Knoll," a delightful place near Danvers. It was there that I
    last had the pleasure of seeing him, one golden day in October. The
    house is situated on an eminence, surrounded by fine trees, which
    were then clad in their richest robes of crimson and bronze and
    gold. Through the glowing leaves we caught glimpses of the deep
    blue sky and the distant hills. We had a pleasant walk through the
    orchard, in which lay heaps of rosy apples, and across fields and
    meadows, where we gathered grasses and wild flowers. And we saw the
    pigs and cows and horses, and had the company of three splendid
    dogs, great favorites of the host. We had also for a companion a
    dear, bright little girl, a cousin of the poet. She is the "little
    lass," the "Red Riding Hood" of his poem.

    After a most enjoyable day I came away reluctantly, but happy at
    leaving my friend in such a pleasant home, and among the charming
    and refreshing country scenes that he loves so well.--Yours truly,

    C.L.F.


       *       *       *       *       *


AGNES'S MOTHER, whose letter was printed in the "Letter-Box" for
January last, will oblige the Editors by sending them Agnes's address.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Uxbridge, Mass.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Last summer, we stayed a week on Prudence
    Island, in Narragansett Bay, where the blackberries sprinkle
    thickly the ground, and mosquitoes, in some parts of the island,
    sprinkle thickly the air. Prudence, Patience, Hope, and Despair are
    four islands near together; they were named by the owner after his
    daughters. Prudence has some twelve or fifteen houses; but in
    Revolutionary times there were, it is said, seventy families on the
    island. The British set fire to everything, and the island was
    devastated. One old hornbeam-tree is pointed out as the only tree
    that escaped destruction. The wood of this kind of tree is so hard
    that it does not burn easily. This tree is sometimes called "iron
    wood," and "lever wood," as the wood is used to make levers. This
    old tree has all its branches at the top, umbrella-wise, as if the
    lower branches had been destroyed in some way, for it is not the
    nature of the tree to grow in this fashion. I could barely reach
    one little twig of pale, discolored leaves, to bring home as a
    memento. Prudence is the largest of the four islands, Patience,
    next in size, lies a little north of it. Hope, on the west side, is
    a picturesque mass of rock; and Despair lies just north of Hope, a
    solid rock, nearly or quite covered at high tide.

    ADDY L. FARNUM.


       *       *       *       *       *


    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have a question to ask you, and if you will
    answer it you will greatly oblige me. This is the question: May
    leaves be of any size to make a folio or quarto?--Yours truly, K.

A sheet of paper of any size, folded in two equal parts, makes two
leaves of folio size; folded evenly once more, four leaves of quarto
size. But book-publishers use these words arbitrarily. With them a
sheet about 19 by 24 inches is supposed to be the proper size, unless
otherwise specified. A folio leaf is, consequently, about 12 by 19
inches; a quarto leaf, about 9 by 12 inches: an octavo leaf, about 6 by
9 inches.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Fordham, N. Y.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have a Polish rooster, I wonder if you have
    ever seen one? If not, I will describe it. It has a very large
    top-knot, very much larger than a duck's, although it is not at all
    like it.

    WILLIE A. RICHARDSON.


       *       *       *       *       *


Here is a letter that was sent to Santa Claus, last Christmas:

    MR. SANTA CLAUSES,
    NEW YORK CITY.

    I don't know your number, but I gest you will get it.

    MY DEAR OLD SANTA CLAUSES: I know you are awful poor for Mama sed
    so but I do want so Many things and when I Commence to Writting to
    you I feel like crying. Cause you know my papa is dead and mama is
    auful poor to but I do want a Dolly so bad not like they give of
    the Christmas tree but a real Dolly that open and shut it eyes but
    O I want so many other things but I wont ask for them for you will
    Think I am auful selfage and want to Take evythink from others
    little Girls but when you ben all around if you have one picture
    Book left pleas send it to me. Dear Santa Clauses plese don't
    forget me because I live in Perth Amboy.

    From

    GRACE L.T.


       *       *       *       *       *


    New York City.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I am reading a history of the late Civil War,
    and often come across names of different parts of an army. I would
    like to ask you two questions:

    1. How many men usually are there in a corps, division, brigade,
    and company?

    2. How many guns are there in a field-battery?

    If you will answer these, you will greatly oblige your friend and
    reader,

    GRANT SQUIRES.

In the United States service, the "company," in time of war, contains
98 non-commissioned officers and privates, and 3 officers; total, 101.
The regiment consists of ten companies. A brigade usually consists of
four regiments, and, if the ranks are full, should contain about 4,000
men. It sometimes happens that five or six regiments may be comprised
in one brigade. A division contains usually three, sometimes four,
brigades, and with full ranks would number from 12,000 to 15,000 men. A
corps contains three divisions, and should number, say, 45,000 men. In
actual conflict, these figures will, of course, widely vary; regiments
being reduced by losses to, perhaps, an average of 300 men each, and
the brigades, divisions, etc., to numbers correspondingly smaller. A
field-battery has either four or six guns, in the United States service
usually the latter number, and from 150 to 250 men. The English and
French Armies are not very dissimilar from our own in the matter of
organization; but in the German army the company contains 250 men, and
the regiment 3,000, and they have but two regiments in a brigade.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Pittsburg, Pa.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I want to tell you What a nice time I had on
    vacation. I enjoyed the holidays so much that it makes me happy to
    tell everybody. Our Sunday-school gave a treat on Christmas night,
    and the church was very handsomely decorated. Above the center, in
    amongst the evergreen wreaths, was a shining star made by jets of
    gas. The pastor, Mr. Vincent, said this was to represent the Star
    of Bethlehem. Then the large Christmas-tree was loaded with gifts,
    and when lighted up I pretty near thought I was going to see
    Aladdin's wonderful lamp and Cinderella from fairy-land. I am sure
    every one felt happy, and we sang the Christmas carols louder than
    ever, so loudly that the church trembled. But may be it was the
    organ made it tremble.

    LILLIE S.


       *       *       *       *       *


MR. EDWIN HODDER, the author of the new serial, "Drifted into Port,"
which begins in this number, is an English gentleman, and he wrote this
story, not only to tell the adventures of his heroes and his heroines,
but to give American boys and girls an idea of life at an English
school. We think that the doings of Howard, Digby, Madelaine, and the
rest, will be greatly interesting to our readers, especially as these
young people leave the school after a while, and have adventures of a
novel kind in some romantic, sea-girt islands.


       *       *       *       *       *


BESSIE G.--Your letter is not such a one as we are apt to answer in the
"Letter-Box." But the best possible message we can send you, and one
that you will understand, and apply to your own case, is a beautiful
little poem which will interest all readers. We shall give it to you
entire. We take it from a treasured old newspaper slip, and regret that
we do not know the author's name.


THE SINGING-LESSON.

  A nightingale made a mistake;
    She sang a few notes out of tune,
  Her heart was ready to break,
    And she hid from the moon.
  She wrung her claws, poor thing,
    But was far too proud to speak.
  She tucked her head under her wing,
    And pretended to be asleep.

  A lark, arm-in-arm with a thrush,
    Came sauntering up to the place;
  The nightingale felt herself blush,
    Though feathers hid her face.
  She knew they had heard her song,
    She FELT them snicker and sneer,
  She thought this life was too long,
    And wished she could skip a year.

  "O nightingale!" cooed a dove,
    "O nightingale, what's the use,
  You bird of beauty and love,
    Why behave like a goose?
  Don't skulk away from our sight,
    Like a common, contemptible fowl:
  You bird of joy and delight,
    Why behave like an owl?

  "Only think of all you have done;
    Only think of all you can do;
  A false note is really fun,
    From such a bird as you!
  Lift up your proud little crest;
    Open your musical beak;
  Other birds have to do their best,
    You need only SPEAK."

  The nightingale shyly took
    Her head from under her wing,
  And, giving the dove a look,
    Straightway began to sing.
  There was never a bird could pass;
    The night was divinely calm;
  And the people stood on the grass
    To hear that wonderful psalm!

  The nightingale did not care,
    She only sang to the skies;
  Her song ascended there,
    And there she fixed her eyes.
  The people that stood below
    She knew but little about;
  And this story's a moral, I know,
    If you'll try to find it out!


       *       *       *       *       *


    Northern Vermont.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: "Little Joanna" is only three years and a half
    old, but her father and mother take the ST. NICHOLAS for her; and
    although she is so very young, she enjoys it as much as the older
    ones. She liked the little poem called "Cricket on the Hearth," and
    has learned to repeat some of it. In the December number she liked
    the poem about the tea-kettle; she cries every time she hears
    about poor "Little Tweet," and laughs at the "Magician and his
    Bee," and at Polly's stopping the horses with the big green
    umbrella. But she laughs the hardest at the picture of the little
    girl who was so afraid of the turtle, and Edna, the kitchen-girl,
    told her if the turtle should get hold of the little girl's toe, he
    wouldn't let go till it thundered. After "Little Joanna" has seen
    the pictures and heard the stories she can understand, her mamma
    sends the ST. NICHOLAS to some little cousins in Massachusetts, who
    in their turn forward it to some more cousins in far away Iowa. So
    we all feel the ST. NICHOLAS merits the heartiest welcome of any
    magazine.--Yours,

    "LITTLE JOANNA'S" AUNTIE.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Dayton, O.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I like your "Letter-Box" so much, and I always
    read it first. My brother and I fight which shall read ST. NICHOLAS
    first. He always speaks for it the month before. Then sister reads
    it out loud to keep us quiet. I wish we had had more of the
    Pattikins. I liked them real well.

    The biggest thing in Dayton is the Soldiers' Home, three miles from
    town. It is the largest of all the Homes, though they have a small
    one at Milwaukee, Wis., and several others. They have three
    thousand disabled soldiers here, and a big hospital, a church built
    of stone, barracks, stores, dining-room, library, and everything
    just like a little town. Then lovely lawns, gardens, lakes,
    fountains, rustic bridges, etc. Lots of people say it is much
    prettier than Central Park, and I think so, too. The soldiers have
    most all of them lost their legs or arms, and some both. Lots of
    blind ones lost their sight in battle, from the powder. They get
    tipsy, too,--I guess because they get tired and feel sick. Nobody
    cares, only they get locked up and fined. Papa says he don't
    believe blue ribbon will keep them sober. Everybody wears blue
    ribbon here, but I don't, because I don't want to get tipsy anyhow.

    General Butler is the big boss of the Home. He comes every fall,
    and walks around. They always have an arch for him. Colonel Brown
    is Governor. He only has one arm, and was in Libby Prison. I wish
    the boys and girls could all come and spend the day here. They have
    a big deer-park, and lots of animals of all kinds, as good as a
    show, and a splendid band that gives concerts, and they have dress
    parades by the Brown Guards. I asked Papa how much it cost to run
    it a year, and he wrote down for me, so I would not forget,
    $360,740.81, last year. Hope you will find room to publish this.
    Harry says you wont. Harry is my brother.--Your friend,

    CLARENCE SNYDER.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Trenton, N.J.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have read a great many letters in your ST.
    NICHOLAS, and I always like to read them, for they are so funny. So
    I thought I would write you a letter and tell you about my poor
    little cat. It was given me when two weeks old, and I only had it a
    month before it died--and, do you believe, I saw it die! It was
    taken sick, and I cried awful. I don't know what was the matter
    with it, but I think it had the colic, for it lay as quiet as a
    mouse; and then it died. Oh, how sorry I was! My friend got a
    little box and buried it right under my window, so I could often
    think of it. So I hope you will all wish me better luck with my
    cats. Be sure and give my love to Jack.--From your little friend,

    JENNIE H.


       *       *       *       *       *


    San Francisco, Cal.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I have often read in the "Letter-Box" some other
    little stories which boys and girls have written.

    I will now write about the wire-cable railroads of this city. The
    first one constructed was on Clay street, between Kearney street
    and Leavenworth street. The road has now been continued out to Van
    Ness avenue.

    The second was constructed by the Sutter Street R.R. Company from
    Sansom street to Larkin street, a distance of one mile.

    The best of all the railroads in the city is on California street,
    between Kearney and Fillmore streets, a distance of two miles. It
    is considered the best built wire-cable road in the United States,
    and is owned by the great railroad king of California, Leland
    Stanford.

    I have a little railroad track seven and a half feet long, with
    fifteen feet of string, which I call a cable. The invention of the
    gripping attachment is my own.

    R.H. BASFORD.


       *       *       *       *       *


    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: Will you please, for a few moments, imagine
    yourself blind, deaf and dumb, so that you may have a fair idea of
    the boy about whom I want to tell you?

    His name is James Caton. He is fifteen years old and lives in the
    Deaf Mute Institution, on the Hudson River, near New York. He was
    born deaf and dumb, and two years ago a severe sickness left him
    blind. Before this he had learned to read and write, and talk with
    his fingers. He uses a pencil and his fingers to ask for what he
    wants, and tell you how he feels. People can talk to him by
    spelling words with their fingers against the palm of his hand, and
    he is so bright and quick that they cannot spell too fast for him.
    He is fond of his lessons, but sometimes, in adding a long column
    of figures, he makes mistakes that vex him sadly. Only think how
    hard it must be to add twenty or thirty large numbers that you
    cannot see! But when James finds his temper rising he puts it right
    down, calls back his patience, and goes to work more strenuously
    than ever. One day, his teacher, a lady, told him the Bible story
    of Cain, who killed his brother and became a wanderer. Some time
    after, she asked him "Who was Cain?" and he answered, "Cain was a
    tramp!" She takes pains to tell him about the great events of the
    day, such as the dreadful war between Russia and Turkey, and he
    understands this so well that he can describe it with wonderful
    effect. He stands out on the floor like an orator, and with the
    most graceful, animated and expressive signs and gestures, gives
    the positions of the armies, their meeting, the beating of the
    drums, the waving of the flags, and the firing of the cannon.
    Watching him, one can see the battle-field and all its pomp and
    horror.

    James was in the country during the summer, and there he lay on the
    soft grass, smelled the sweet flowers, and tried to remember their
    forms and colors. He leaned against the strong tree trunks and
    measured them with his arms, and the sweet, cool breezes from the
    river came to refresh and strengthen him.

    James has a chum, Charles McCormick, who is almost as badly off as
    himself--perhaps you will think him worse off. He was born deaf and
    dumb, and when three years old he fell on the railroad track and
    the cars cut off both his arms! These two boys love each other
    dearly. They go into the woods together to gather flowers. Charles
    goes first because he has the eyes, and when he finds the flowers
    he stoops down and touches them with the stump of his arm, while
    James passes his hand down his friend's shoulder and picks them! So
    they do together what neither could do alone, and both are as happy
    as birds!--Your friend,

    E.S. MILLER.


       *       *       *       *       *


    Hampstead, England.

    DEAR ST. NICHOLAS: I am eleven years old, and this is the first
    time I have ever written to you, so I am going to tell you about my
    dear little squirrel, "Bob." He is beautifully soft, and his back
    and head are gray, but his legs and tail are red; he has four long
    teeth, and he bites very much, if we vex him. He eats nuts and
    fruit, and he is very fond of bread and milk. When we had him
    first, he used to run up the curtains and bite them all into holes.
    Every Sunday he would be brought downstairs while we were at
    dinner, and papa would give him nuts; but he got so cross that papa
    would not let him come down again. In the summer, we brought out
    his cage into the garden; but one Sunday papa opened the cage door,
    and out jumped Bob. He ran to the wall (which was all covered with
    ivy), and began to climb it; but papa caught him by his hind-leg
    and stopped him, and he gave papa such a bite on his hand. So I
    would not let him go out again. Last summer, mamma took us all down
    to Wales; but it was too far to take Bob, so we left him to my
    governess, who took him home with her. But one unlucky day she let
    him out in the conservatory, and did not shut the window; so he got
    a chance and ran away out into the road, and he did not come back.
    She offered a reward, and two days afterward he was found outside
    the window of an empty house. Soon after that we all came home,
    and I was very glad to see Bob again, naughty as he was. There is a
    very funny thing which I ought to have told about first; it is that
    my Bob was brought up by a cat, and not in the woods at all. I do
    not think there is anything more to tell you about him.--I am your
    little reader,

    LAURA B. LEWIS.


       *       *       *       *       *


    HOW TO MAKE A FAIRY FOREST.

    In the first place, you must live in the country, where you can
    find that early spring flower, the blood-root or _sanguinaria_.
    Wherever it grows it generally is seen in great
    abundance--flowering in the Middle States about the first of April.
    The roots are tuberous, resembling Madeira vines, and they do not
    penetrate very deeply into the earth. Therefore, when the ground is
    not frozen on its surface, these tubers can be quite easily
    procured. In the latter part of March, after removing a layer of
    dead leaves, or a light covering of leaf mold, the plants may be
    found, and, at that time will have large brown or greenish brown
    buds in great abundance, all very neatly wrapped up in conical
    rolls. A basket should be carefully filled with these tubers,
    without shaking all the earth from them, and some of the flakiest
    and greenest pieces of moss that can be found adhering to the rocks
    must also be put into the basket.

    When you reach home, take a large dish or pan and dispose these
    tubers upon it, first having sprinkled it ever so lightly with the
    earth found in the bottom of the basket. Place the roots quite
    close together, taking care to keep the large, pointed,
    live-looking buds on the top, pack them closely; side by side,
    until the dish is full, then lay your bits of moss daintily over
    them, or between them when the beds are large, set them in the
    sweet spring sunshine, in a south or east window, sprinkle them
    daily with slightly tepid water, and on some fine morning you will
    find a little bed of pure white flowers, that will tell you a tale
    of the woods which will charm your young souls.

    Sanguinaria treated in this way will generally so far anticipate
    its natural time of flowering as to present you the smiling,
    perfumed faces of its blossoms while the fields may yet be covered
    with snow.

    But this is not the end. After these snowy blossoms have performed
    their mission of beauty, they will drop off upon the carpet of
    moss, and, in a short time, will be succeeded by the leaves of the
    plant, which are large and irregular, but very beautiful, and each
    leaf is supported by a stem which comes directly from the ground,
    giving the impression of a miniature tree. A large dish of these
    little trees springing from the moss makes the Fairy Forest, and an
    imaginative girl, or possibly boy, well steeped in fairy lore, may
    imagine many wonderful things to happen herein.

    If you have little friends; or relatives who live in the city and
    cannot go into the woods to look for the sanguinaria, you can
    easily pack a pasteboard box full of the roots and moss, and send
    it to them by express, or, if it is not too heavy, by mail.

    GRANDMOTHER GREY.



THE RIDDLE-BOX.


A COMMON ADAGE.

[Illustration.]


LITERARY ENIGMA.

 1. MY 26 39 66 55 40 48 44 11 12 is a poet of ancient Greece.

 2. My 25 24 33 8 42 is a poet of ancient Italy.

 3. My 69 36 14 50 18 3 41 is a poet of England.

 4. My 22 58 65 37 9 by 59 21 53 23 47 28 is a German poem.

 5. My 47 62 64 38 is a historian of England.

 6. My 30 46 54 48 15 32 is a popular American writer.

 7. My 34 7 46 57 41 50 70 is a Scottish writer.

 8. My 6 13 67 16 1 17 68 63 5 52 is an English poet.

 9. My 47 24 2 23 10 68 63 43 4 is an American writer of fiction.

10. My 49 41 19 56 35 is an eminent geologist.

11. My 16 24 27 41 is a scientist of England.

12. My 45 61 60 67 37 13 31 is one of America's living writers.

13. My 61 7 20 29 is another American writer.

The whole is an extract of two lines (seventy letters) from a noted
English poem.

F.H.R.


TRANSPOSITIONS.

In each of the following sentences fill the blank or blanks in the
first part with words whose letters, when transposed, will suitably
fill the remaining blank or blanks.

1. ---- ---- ---- words with a man in a ----. 2. Did you see the
tiger ---- on me with his ---- eyes? 3. McDonald said: "---- ----
ragged ---- remind you of Scotland." 4. The knots may be ----
more easily than ----. 5. ---- ---- told me an ---- which amused
all in his tent. 6. I hung the ---- on the ---- round of the rack.
7. The witness is of small value if he can ---- ---- information
that is more ---- than this. 8. The ---- ---- as they look over
the precipices in their steep ----.


EASY REVERSALS.

1. Reverse a color, and give a poet. 2. Reverse a musical pipe, and
give an animal. 3. Reverse an entrance, and give a measure of surface.
4. Reverse an inclosure, and give a vehicle. 5. Reverse part of a ship,
and give an edible plant. 6. Reverse a noose, and give a small pond.
7. Reverse a kind of rail, and give a place of public sale. 8. Reverse
sentence passed, and give temper of mind. 9. Reverse a portion, and
give an igneous rock. 10. Reverse an apartment, and give an upland.

ISOLA.


DOUBLE DIAMOND.

The first and ninth words, together, make vegetables that grow in the
second upon the third in the fourth; the eighth, a girl, after
performing the fifth upon the first and ninth in the fourth, pulling
the second the while, did the sixth to get them into the house; here
the eighth soon had them upon the seventh, cooking for dinner.

Perpendicular, heavy; horizontal, picking.

G.L.C.


CURTAILMENTS AND BEHEADINGS.

  To the name of a gifted man,
  Affix a letter, if you can,
  And find his avocation.

  Curtail a piece of work he did,
  You'll find a word that now is hid,--
  A madman's occupation.

  Behead another, you will find
  Measures of a certain kind
  Used by the English nation.

G.L.C.


EASY NUMERICAL ENIGMA.

The whole, composed of fourteen letters, names the hero of a well-known
book. The 1 7 3 4 8 is a singing-bird of America. The 9 10 2 6 12 is a
religious emblem. The 13 11 5 9 14 is an Oriental animal.

ISOLA.


PICTORIAL ANAGRAM PROVERB-PUZZLE.

[Illustration]

The answer is a proverb of five words. Each numeral beneath the
pictures represents a letter in the word of the proverb indicated by
that numeral,--4 showing that the letter it designates belongs to the
fourth 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, to
correspond with the words of the proverb. Group beneath figure 4 all
the letters designated by the numeral 4 in the numbering beneath the
pictures (since, as already stated, all the letters there designated by
the numeral 4 belong to the fourth word of the proverb). You will thus
have in a group all the letters that the fourth word contains, and you
then will 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 are set apart in
their proper groups.

J.B.


AN OLD MAXIM.

BEHEADED AND CURTAILED.

--IGH-- --are-- --pea--. --rea-- --ne-- --r-- --um--.

C.D.


EASY UNIONS.

1. Join ease and an ornament, by a vowel, and make recovering--thus:
rest-o-ring (restoring). 2. Join pleasant to the taste to a boy's
nickname, by a vowel, and make honeyed. 3. Join to bury to a bite of an
insect, by a vowel, and make what pleasant stories are.

C.D.


RHOMBOID PUZZLE.

ACROSS: 1. Portion of an ode. 2. A musical drama. 3. Soon. 4. Marked.
5. Flowers.

DOWN: 1. In a cave. 2. A river. 3. To unclose. 4. The second dignitary
of a diocese. 5. A mistake. 6. High. 7. An affirmative. 8. A prefix.
9. In a shop.

CYRIL DEANE.


DOUBLE CROSS-WORD ACROSTIC.

THE WHOLE.

  Brothers are we, alike in form and mien,
  Sometimes apart, but oft together seen.
  One labors on, and toils beneath his load;
  The other idly follows on the road.
  One parts the sleeping infant's rosy lips;
  The other veils the sun in dark eclipse.
  One rises on the breath of morn, with scent
  Of leaf and flower in fragrant incense blent;
  The other's wavering aspiration dies
  And falls where still the murky shadow lies.
  At hospitable boards my first attends,
  And greets well pleased the social group of friends;
  But if my second his grim face shall show,
  How dire the maledictions sent below!
  Yet there are those who deem his presence blest,
  A fitting joy to crown the social feast,
  And make for him a quiet, calm retreat,
  Where friends with friends in loving concourse meet.

CROSS-WORDS.

  1. Two brothers ever keeping side by side,
     The closer they are pressed the more do they divide

  2. Brothers again unite their ponderous strength,
     Toiling all day throughout its tedious length.

  3. I never met my sister; while she flies
     I can but follow, calling out replies.

  4. A casket fair, whose closely covered lid
     A mother's hope, a nation's promise, hid.

  5. A plant once used to drive sharp pain away,
     Not valued greatly in this later day,
     Except by those who fly when they are ill
     To test the virtues of a patent pill.

S.A.B.


EASY DIAMOND PUZZLE.

In fruit, but not in flower; a period of time, a fresh-water fish; a
sea-bird; in strength, but not in power.

ISOLA.


MALTESE-CROSS PUZZLE.

       * * * * *
   *     * * *     *
   * *     *     * *
   * * *   E   * * *
   * *     *     * *
   *     * * *     *
       * * * * *

The middle letter, E, is given in the diagram. The centrals form two
words, and are read from top to bottom and from side to side, including
the middle letter. The words that form the limbs of the cross are read
from the outside toward the center, those forming the top and bottom
limbs being read horizontally, and those that form the arms, downward.

CENTRAL PERPENDICULAR: Perfume.
CENTRAL HORIZONTAL: Strained.
TOP LIMB: 1. New. 2. A boy's name. 3. A consonant.
BOTTOM LIMB: 1. Plain. 2. A deed. 3. A consonant.
LEFT ARM: 1. Existence. 2. A tavern. 3. A consonant.
RIGHT ARM: 1. Unready. 2. A tree. 3. A consonant.

A.C. CRETT.


POETICAL REBUS.

The answer is a couplet in Sir Walter Scott's poem "Marmion."

[Illustration]


NUMERICAL ENIGMA.

The whole, eleven letters, is a songster. The 1 2 3 4 is adjacent.
The 5 6 7 is a metal. The 8 9 10 11 is a current of air.

ISOLA.


DOUBLE ACROSTIC.

1. What wood is sometimes called. 2. A character in "Hamlet."
3. Customary. 4. An underling of Satan's. 5. A common shrub. 6. A boy's
name meaning "manly." 7. An animal. 8. A place of security. 9. A body
of water. 10. A large bird of the vulture family. 11. The home of the
gods in Greek mythology. 12. A preposition. 13. A spelled number.

The initials name a female author, and the finals a male author.

S.M.P.


WORD SYNCOPATIONS.

1. Take a bird from a saint's name, and leave something ladies wear.
2. Take the present from understanding, and leave a chief. 3. Take part
of a fish from explained, and leave a will. 4. Take a forfeit from
cultivated, and leave a color. 5. Take an insect from needed, and leave
joined. 6. Take a vessel from to supply, and leave to angle.

CYRIL DEANE.


CHARADE.

  My first may be made of my last,
    And carries mechanical force.
  My last both lives and dyes for man,
    May often be seen as a horse,
  And serves him by day and by night
    In ways very widely apart.
  My whole is the name, well renowned,
    Of a chief in the potter's art.

L.W.H.


ABBREVIATIONS.

1. Syncopate and curtail a greenish mineral, and leave a Turkish
officer. 2. Syncopate and curtail a royal ornament, and leave a
domestic animal. 3. Syncopate and curtail a fabled spirit, and leave a
coniferous tree. 4. Syncopate and curtail a small fruit, and leave an
opening. 5. Syncopate and curtail a motive power, and leave a body of
water. 6. Syncopate and curtail colorless, and leave a humorous man.
7. Syncopate and curtail stops, and leave a head-covering. 8. Syncopate
and curtail a sweet substance, and leave an agricultural implement.
9. Syncopate and curtail a carpenter's tool, and leave an insect.
10. Syncopate and curtail coins, and leave an inclosure.

I.



ANSWERS TO PUZZLES IN FEBRUARY NUMBER.


EASY DOUBLE CROSS-WORD ACROSTIC.--Initials, Birch; finals, Maple;
horizontals, BeaM, IdA, RomP, CorraL, HousE.

SQUARE-WORD.--Ruler, Unite, Lithe, Ethel, Reels.

NUMERICAL PUZZLE.--Vivid.

HIDDEN ACROSTIC.--Minnehaha.

EASY DECAPITATIONS.--1. Foil, oil. 2. Spear, pear. 3. Feel, eel.
4. Sledge, ledge. 5. Stag, tag. 6. Mace, ace. 7. Goats, oats.
8. Draw, raw. 9. Galley, alley.

TRANSPOSITIONS.--1. Subtle, bustle. 2. Shah, hash. 3. Shearer, hearers.
4. Sharper, harpers. 5. Resorted, restored. 6. Negus, genus.

CHARADE.--Manhattan (Man-hat-tan).

GEOGRAPHICAL PUZZLE.--Queen Charlotte (1) went to Cork (2) to attend a
ball. She there met Three Sisters (3), named as follows; Alexandria
(4), Augusta (5), and Adelaide (6), in whom she was much interested.
Her dress was Cashmere (7), and though elegantly trimmed with Brussels
(8), it was, unfortunately, Toulon and Toulouse [too long and too
loose] (9). As she felt chilly [Chili] (10), she wore around her
shoulders a Paisley (11) shawl. Her jewelry was exclusively a Diamond
(12). Her shoes were of Morocco (13), and her handkerchief was perfumed
with Cologne (14). Being a Superior (15) dancer, she had distinguished
partners, whose names were Washington (16), Columbus (17), Madison
(18), Montgomery (19), Jackson (20), and Raleigh (21). Having boldly
said that she was hungry [Hungary] (22), she was escorted by La Fayette
(23) to a Table (24), where she freely partook of Salmon (25), some
Sandwich[es] (26), Orange (27), Champagne (28), and some Madeira (29).
After passing a Pleasant (30) evening, she bade Farewell (31) to her
hostess and was escorted home by Prince Edward (32).

NUMERICAL ENIGMA.--Chinamen (chin-amen).

ILLUSTRATED PUZZLE.--1. Hare (hair). 2. Beholder (bee-holder, the
hive). 3. Ear. 4. Clause (claws). 5. Wings. 6. Comb (honeycomb on the
ground). 7. Branch. 8. Leaves. 9 and 10. B I (bee-eye). 11. Tongue.
12. Pause (paws).

CURTAILMENTS.--1. Teasel, tease, teas. 2. Planet, plane, plan.
3. Marsh, Mars, mar, ma. 4. Panel, pane, pan, pa.

COMPLETE DIAGONAL.--Diagonals from left to right downward:
1. L. 2. Ed. 3. Sir. 4. Aver, 5. Eager. 6. Dale. 7. Law. 8. Po.
9. L. Horizontals: E A S E L
                   D A V I D
                   L A G E R
                   P A L E R
                   L O W E R

EASY NUMERICAL ENIGMA.--Helen's Babies.

SQUARE-WORD.--Czar, Zero, Arms, Rose.

ANAGRAM DOUBLE-DIAMOND AND CONCEALED DOUBLE-SQUARE.

Double Diamond:      S
                   A T E
                 S P A R E
                   E R A
                     E

Concealed Square:  A T E
                   P A R
                   E R A

PICTORIAL PROVERB PUZZLE.--"Let Hercules himself do what he may, The
cat will mew, the dog will have his day."



ANSWERS TO PUZZLES in the January number were received, before January
18, from Jas. J. Ormsbee, Fred M. Pease, Morris H. Turk, Susie
Hermance, M.W. Collet, Eddie Vultee, A.B.C., "M'sieur B.M.", Alice and
Mamie Taylor, Constance Grandpierre and Sadie Duffield, Winnie
Brookline, Charlie and Carrie Moyses, O.A.D., Baron P. Smith, F.U.,
Mary B. Smith, Milly E. Adams and Perry Adams, W.H.C, Anita O. Ball,
"Bessie and her Cousin," Georgie Law, K.L. McD., Mary Wharton
Wadsworth, Nessie E. Stevens, Inez Okey, Nellie Baker, E. Farnham Todd,
Daisy Breaux, Lillie B. Dear, Mary C. Warren, Georgietta N. Congdon,
"King Wompster," Nellie Emerson; 255 Indiana street, Chicago; Bessie
Cary, Henry D. Todd, Jr., Finda Lippen, Jennie Beach, Mary Todd, Anna
E. Mathewson, Nellie Kellogg, Lucy E. Johnson, Charles Behrens, Clara
H. Hollis, Nellie Dennis, E.S.P., Bessie and Houghton Gilman, May C.
Woodruff, George Herbert White, H. Howell, Lizzie B. Clark; Bessie T.B.
Benedict, of Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England; B.M., and Jennie Wilson.

"Oriole" answered all the puzzles in the January number.





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