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Title: Eric - or, Under the Sea
Author: Samuels, S. B. C. (Susan Blagge Caldwell), 1848-1931
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Eric - or, Under the Sea" ***

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[Illustration: Froll's Antics.--Page 54.]

[Illustrated title plate: Springdale Stories. Illustrated. ERIC. Lee &
Shepard; BOSTON.]







Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Electrotyped at the
Boston Stereotype Foundry.






2. ERIC.


The story of the travels of Eric and his friends on the continent of
Europe will, I trust, be interesting to my young readers. Many of the
incidents described are actual facts, and the descent of Eric, in diving
armor, to the bottom of the sea, will be found to possess some items which
will be worth remembering.

The sights, sounds, and sensations which I have described, are such as any
submarine diver of experience has seen, heard, and felt, and therefore
will be instructive in a certain way.

The finding a box of gold by the divers is not of often occurrence,
although valuables are reclaimed from the ocean in this manner

The lesson taught by Eric's honesty in trying to find the owner of the
money, and its influence on his accusers, when he is unjustly accused of
theft, will be worthy of attention to all my young friends who have a name
to make.


CHAPTER                                          PAGE
     I.  Leaving the Castle.                        9
    II.  "The Hague."                              23
   III.  The City.                                 30
    IV.  Allan's Story.                            39
     V.  "Seeing the Elephant."                    50
    VI.  A Dutch City.                             62
   VII.  Under the Sea.                            70
  VIII.  Thrilling Experience.                     92
    IX.  Uncle John.                              106
     X.  Strasbourg.                              120
    XI.  Eric in Trouble.                         135
   XII.  "A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed."   145
  XIII.  The Real Thief.                          153
   XIV.  Percy, Beauty, and Jack.                 159
    XV.  The Last.                                167




Olendorf is not far from Hamburg. The broad and sparkling Elbe washes it
on the western side, and with the rugged mountains and the weird grand,
old forests upon the north and east, seem to shut the little town quite in
from the outer world; yet Olendorf had been an important place and on
account of its grand old fortress, Castle Wernier, was a bone of
contention throughout the French and German wars; and between the French,
who were resolute to hold the fortress, and the barons of Wernier, who
were equally resolute to regain it, the castle suffered severely; and
when, long years after, peace was declared, the last baron of Wernier
died, and the castle came into the possession of Adele Stanley, his great
granddaughter, it was merely a grand old ruin.

Adele's father rebuilt the tower and a couple of wings, and furnished all
the habitable rooms, intending to have his little Adele and Herbert spend
their childhood there. But while Adele was yet almost a baby, her kind
father died. Then she lost her mother, and was for a long time a wanderer
among strangers in a foreign land; and the old castle had been
uninhabited, except by Gretchen, the gardener's wife, and the owls in its
dark turrets. Now, however, the long windows were thrown open to the fresh
breezes and sunshine; merry laughter rang up from the garden; children's
voices echoed among the ruins, and children's feet danced through the long
corridors, keeping time to the music of the happy voices.

Adele and Herbert Stanley were at the castle with their young guests from
New York--Eric and Nettie Hyde. They had spent the summer months there;
"the happiest months in their lives," they all declared. Now, alas! the
merry season was drawing to a close. Adele was to go to her grandfather's
home in England, Herbert to school at Eton, Nettie with her mother to New
York, and Eric was to travel in Holland and the German states with his
uncle, Dr. Ward, and his cousin, Johnny Van Rasseulger.

Such a busy day as it was to be! But just now all care was forgotten, even
to the regret at parting, in watching the absurd freaks of little Froll,
the monkey. Her real name was Frolic; but who ever heard children call a
pet by its real name?

Mrs. Hyde called to Nettie, requesting her to do an errand. At the sound
of her voice Nettie ran towards her, exclaiming,--

"O, mamma! Adele has given us such a splendid present, to take home with

"What is it, my dear?"

"I love it so dearly! It's--it's--"--here Nettie's voice trembled a
little, and her heart knew its own misgivings--"it's--Froll, mamma, the
little darling!"

"And who _is_ Froll, the little darling!"

"That dear little monkey," answered Nettie, pointing to Froll, now close
at hand.

"O," exclaimed Mrs. Hyde, retreating hastily, "I dislike monkeys, and I
cannot have one travelling with me."

"But, mamma--" said Nettie, piteously.

"You need not think of it, my dear; it is quite impossible," was the
decided reply, to Nettie's disappointment.

"But may not Eric take her?"

"Uncle Charlie must decide that question: if he has no objections to
travelling with an animal that is never out of mischief, I suppose Eric
may take charge of her."

"But then, mamma, Eric will be gone a whole long year--"

"And as you have lived nine whole long years," interrupted her mother,
smiling, "without a monkey, or a desire for one, don't you think you could
survive the separation?"

Nettie didn't then think she could; but a while after, when Froll chased
her with a paint-brush dripping wet with red paint, and then completely
spoiled a pretty landscape view that Herbert was painting for her, she
changed her mind, and decided that a voyage from Hamburg to New York with
such an uncontrollable creature would be, to say the least, inconvenient.

To be sure, papa was to meet them at the Hague, and he might be willing to
look to her safe transportation across the Atlantic; but she had not much
faith in this argument, and, making a virtue of necessity, resigned
herself with becoming grace to her mother's wishes.

Looking back upon the pleasant summer months at Castle Wernier, the
children thought time had never gone so quickly. They were soon to be
parted from each other, and their pleasant German home and every object
took a new interest to them.

"The value of a thing is never known till we have lost it," Herbert said,
sorrowfully, thinking how lonely Adele and he would become when parted
from their companions.

"Nor how dear a place an old castle is, until we are forced to leave it,"
said Eric.

"I remember thinking once," said Nettie, "that this place was horrible. It
was when we were all so frightened about the ghost."

"And all the time I was the ghost," Adele added; "and I used to think it
very hard that I couldn't speak to you, not knowing that I was frightening
you all out of your wits."

"I suppose more than half the ghosts we read about are only people walking
in their sleep, as Adele did," said Herbert.

"Of course," said Nettie; "but if we stay here all day, talking about
ghosts, what will become of our pets and toys?"

As Herbert and Adele were to start for their home in England when Mrs.
Hyde and her children left the castle, all their pets were to be disposed
of among the gardener's children, that is, all but Froll, for Eric was
sure that uncle Charlie would not object to having the little creature for
a travelling companion; and as Mrs. Hyde would not allow Nettie to take
her with her, Froll was to make the tour of Germany with Dr. Ward and the

There were the pony, and the rabbits, and the canary bird, of all which
Gretchen's children were to take the utmost care, until the dear
_Fraulien_ and the young _Herr_ should come again. And many and loud were
the expressions of affectionate regret at the children's departure, oddly
intermingled with exclamations of delight at the appearance of numerous
toys, which Mrs. Nichols and Mrs. Hyde had decided must be left over from
the packing.

Then the garden must be visited in every nook and corner. Particular
directions must be left with Hans concerning their choice flowers and
favorite plants.

And then there was the grand event of the day--the packing up of their own
individual treasures, in the shape of books and toys. They worked hard all
day, and were very proud of their work when all was accomplished; but, in
the dead of night, when they were fast in the "Land o' Nod," old mauma,
who was prowling around the trunks and hampers to see if all were secure,
seemed rather suspicious of one, and knelt down on the floor to examine
it, giving it a little shake, by way of test.

"Dear heart alive!" she exclaimed; "just you look here, missis, please.
All those little flimpsy toys and things to bottom, an' the heavy book
stuck in any ways to top, an' all of 'em jolting roun' like anything!"

Poor tired Mrs. Hyde could not help smiling, as she leaned wearily over
the two hampers the children had filled, and gave directions to mauma and
Gretchen about repacking them.

The two women soon accomplished what it had taken the children all day to
perform; and to their faithful exertions was owing the safe arrival at
Fifth Avenue and Ennisfellen of the toys.

Early in the morning the children were aroused to prepare for their
journey. They were all in high spirits, and thought dressing and
breakfasting by candle-light the "greatest fun in the world;" though it is
doubtful if they would have held to their opinion had the practice been
continued permanently.

"Nobody wants breakfast so early," Nettie said, as she laughed and talked
in excitement.

"I'm sure nobody wants to lunch on the train," shouted Eric, across the

"The train, indeed! Why, we shall be aboard the steamer at noon. I like to
travel on these European steamers," Nettie called back.

"I am so glad we are all to travel together to the Hague," said Adele's
sweet voice. "How quickly you dress, Nettie! But where _can_ my other boot

"I'm sure I don't know; let's look for it. Here 'tis."

"No; that's your own."

"Sure enough; and I've been all this time doing up yours. Shouldn't wonder
if we did miss the train. And it's in a knot, and I can't untie it. Mauma,
mauma, bring another light here, quick! and you'd better hurry, Adele."

"Nettie, did you mean the train was in a knot?" called Herbert.

"No, it's _not_," said Nettie, quickly; and then they all laughed merrily.
For, though Nettie's remark was not particularly brilliant, there was
enough in it to amuse the happy, excited hearts around her.

The breakfast received a very slight share of attention. The boys were
constantly running below to "see after the horses," and Nettie was dancing
about, in everybody's way, assuring them all that they would certainly
lose the train, and begging Adele, for her own safety, to keep close to
her, and not to be nervous on any account.

"I know somebody will forget something!" she exclaimed for the fiftieth
time. "Be sure, all of you, to remember."

"Not to forget," interrupted Eric, mischievously.

"The carriage has come to the door, Herr Von Nichols!" Gretchen announced,
through her tears.

All the Werniers, the ancient holders of the castle, had been Herr Vons;
and as Mrs. Nichols was a Wernier, Gretchen had adopted the villagers'
fashion of bestowing the title upon the husband.

The servants were in the hall, sorrowfully awaiting the departure of their
kind patrons.

"Good by! Good by!" the children shouted; while the mournful group bade
them "God speed."

"Who's forgotten anything?" said Nettie, crowding into a corner of the

"I think you have, my dear," answered her mother. "Where is your sacque?"

Nettie looked quite dismayed.

"O, I packed it, mamma. I forgot I was to wear this dress."

There was a general consternation at this confession, until mauma drew the
missing article from under her shawl.

"Here 'tis, Miss Nettie. I 'spects you'd want it."

"I'm ever so much obliged to you, mauma," said Nettie, eagerly seizing the
sacque, and putting herself into it, while Mrs. Hyde rewarded the faithful
old colored woman with a grateful smile.

"I was so busy remembering for the others, mamma," Nettie said,

"Perhaps it would be as well for you to attend more particularly to
yourself, my dear," was her mother's mild rebuke.

Mr. Nichols and the boys were busy stowing boxes and parcels in various
hidden compartments of the carriage. Just as Mr. Nichols announced that
they were ready to start, Eric thrust his head in at the door, exclaiming,

"Mamma, Nettie is so anxious, suppose you all just feel inside your
bonnets, to make sure that your heads are here?"

"Don't detain us, Eric," his mother said, smiling at the frank, joyous

"All right, mamma. This is my load: let me see,--Mrs. Hyde, Adele, Nettie,
and mauma. Go ahead, Carl."

The coachman drew up his reins, and the spirited horses, after curvetting
and prancing for an instant, dashed down the avenue, Adele's and Nettie's
white handkerchiefs floating on the breeze, in a last adieu to Wernier.

They were followed immediately by another carriage, containing Mr. and
Mrs. Nichols and the boys; and, except for the group of sorrowing
servants, watching the fast-disappearing carriages, Castle Wernier was
left alone.



                "The sun rode high, the breeze was free,
                  High dashed the diamond spray,
                And proudly o'er the dark blue sea
                  The steamer ploughed her way."

Aboard of the Hague, the children, watching the distant spires and domes
of Hamburg "melt into air" as the vessel bore, with almost imperceptible
motion rapidly towards the North Sea, began to realize that they would see
no more of Wernier. And though their sorrow but faintly came home to them,
they were sad and thoughtful.

Adele whispered mournfully to Herbert, "O, let us go below! It is so like
going out in the Europa, with dear mamma, before she died in the wreck. O,
Herbie, I cannot bear the cruel, cruel sea. Take me below."

So Herbert and Adele went to the cabin, and Eric suggested to Nettie that
they should follow.

"No," said Nettie, "I like to stay here. Eric, see that boy look at you; I
think he wants to speak."

Eric looked around, and saw a boy of his own age steadfastly regarding
him. When he caught Eric's eye, he bowed and hastened forward, holding out
his hand.

"Eric Hyde?" he said.

"Yes," said Eric. "Do you know me?"

"I never _saw_ you before; but I know you, for all that," said the boy.

"How?" said Eric, astonished, and interested, too.

"I knew you by your voice. I used to live next door to you in New York. I
was blind then, and auntie sent me out to Hamburg, to the famous oculist
Dr. Francis. He has given me my sight, and I am going home alone. Auntie
doesn't know about it yet; she only knows that the operation was performed
two months ago, and that Dr. Francis had no doubt of its success. Won't
she be surprised to see me walk into the parlor, and to hear the whole
story from me?"

"Hurrah!" cried Eric, excitedly, tossing his cap high in the air.

"I remember you well," said Nettie; "I am Nettie Hyde. Don't you, Eric?"

"Yes," said Eric. "I used to pity you so! Isn't it just jolly!"

"Do you know," said the boy, whose name was Allan Ramsdell, "I never saw a
steamer before to-day! I have been blind so long, ever since I was four
years old. I've got the key of my state-room here, but I don't know where
to go to look for the room."

"I'll show you," volunteered Eric. "And, Nettie, if you will go down for
Adele and Herbie, we'll go all over the steamer."

Nettie ran quickly into the cabin, eager to impart the news of their new
acquaintance. Mrs. Hyde was glad of anything that would interest Adele,
and urged her to go upon deck with Herbert. Mr. Nichols was resting from
the fatigue of the ride. Mrs. Nichols, always feeble, did not feel equal
to the exertion of climbing the companion way, the stairs from the upper
deck to the cabin, and Mrs. Hyde wished to remain with her; so the
children began their exploring expedition alone.

The great steamship was now out in the blue sea. The wide decks were
gradually being cleared of passengers as they sought their narrow
state-rooms, and as the children were quiet and orderly, no one interfered
with them.

"This is the dining-hall," announced Eric, as the five heads peered in at
the door of a long saloon, where tables were ranged for the accommodation
of the passengers.

Behind this saloon was the kitchen, a hot, steaming place, where men,
mostly cooks, in dirty white jackets, rushed helter-skelter into each
other and around the room.

"Too many cooks spoil the broth," said Herbert, in an undertone, which
remark so tickled the others that they all ran off laughing, till they met
a stout, dignified "yellow man," holding the store-room keys, and wearing
a cleaner jacket than the others. He was the steward, and, being cross,
scolded the children roundly for getting in his way. In the lower cabin
were the steerage passengers. These had no saloon with tables arranged for
their accommodation. They ate plain bean soup from tin mugs, and hard ship
biscuit from their hands, and their table was a long board, let down from
above by ropes. They stood around the board while eating, and when the
meal was finished, the temporary table was drawn up out of the way.

By the time these observations had been made Mrs. Hyde joined them; and
after speaking kind congratulations to Allan, and inviting him to attach
himself to their party, she warned the children of the approach of dinner,
and requested them to prepare for it.

Allan was very grateful to Mrs. Hyde for her kindness, and thanked her
politely. He travelled with her to his aunt's door, and was such a
gentlemanly, companionable boy that they all became very much attached to
him. It would be pleasant to take the trip from Hamburg to the western
coast with our party; but that is impossible, as Eric has considerable
journeying to do in another direction, and we are to accompany him. But
the voyage was a pleasant one, and the children saw and learned many new
and wonderful things before they reached their destination. We must not
forget that little Froll left Hamburg snugly packed in a cage, and
intrusted to mauma's care for the voyage. She was quite a favorite aboard
the vessel, and made much merriment by her absurd pranks, and at Hague was
safely landed, and transported to the hotel.

At Hague, too, the Hydes and Allan Ramsdell left the vessel, after a
sorrowful parting with Mr. and Mrs. Nichols and Herbert and Adele.



It would seem strange to us to hear our native city called "the Boston,"
and stranger still to hear the staid old capital called by more names than

Eric, and Allan, and Nettie were quite confused in the capital of Holland
by the variety of names given it.

"Hague," "The Hague," and "La Haye" they had heard, but upon their arrival
they found its inhabitants calling it "_Gravenhaag_," which, Mrs. Hyde
explained, meant "The Count's Meadow."

"What a comical place!" Nettie exclaimed, as they glided along through
"canal streets" to the hotel. "Mamma, if our streets were like these,
wouldn't you fret for our precious necks every time we looked out of a
window? And I don't suppose you would ever let us go out to play, for fear
we'd drown."

"Still, it is very pleasant gliding under these shady trees; and if you
look about, my dear, you will see there are also carriage roads, with

"Yes," said Eric; "we've passed several."

"I like these boat roads best," said Allan, "they are so novel."

"Where are we going, mamma?" asked Nettie, "and how far?"

"To the _Vyverberg House_, my dear. I do not know the distance."

"Is it a mile?" asked Eric, of the boatman.

He shook his head, saying, "_Nein_."

But you are not to think that he meant nine miles, for "_nein_" is German
for "no."

The Vyverberg House was at the north end of Gravenhaag; so our friends had
a fine view of the town, and learned much of its history from the sober
old boatman, who, very fortunately for them, spoke English well.

He pointed out the moat, which surrounded the city and formed its
principal defense, and the drawbridges which crossed the moat.

"How different from Hamburg!" said Eric. "There, a strong wall fortified
the town, and most of its streets are now built upon its old walls of

"The canals were similar to these," said his mother. "You did not notice
those particularly, because you always rode in Mr. Nichols's carriage."

"But this is a much better looking town than Hamburg, mamma."

"Yes, indeed; the buildings are much handsomer here," she assented.

"O, how lovely!" "How splendid!" cried Nettie and Allan in a breath, as
they came upon a fine open space, ornamented with a lake, and wooded
island in its centre.

"This is the Vyverberg," the boatman said.

"Mamma, how good of you to bring us here!" cried the children; "it is
perfectly splendid!"

Well might they say so. The square containing the lovely lake and island
was surrounded by the handsomest and chief public edifices of the city,
the finest one of them all being the former palace of Prince Maurice, now
the National Museum, celebrated for its gallery of pictures.

The Royal Museum and other famous buildings were there; but that to which
our party's attention was most closely drawn was the hotel.

It stood facing the lake, a broad, comfortable-looking brick building,
with heavy balconies, and frowning eaves and ornamental stucco work
surrounded its doorways and windows. Between it and the avenue lay a
beautiful garden, and just beyond the building was a small shady grove.

"Mamma," exclaimed Nettie, "I _do_ think the Germans and Dutch have the
most exquisite gardens in the world."

"They are certainly very beautiful," said Mrs. Hyde. "Here in Holland
great attention is paid to the culture of flowers. Indeed, some of the
finest varieties are raised here, and Holland bulbs are among our choicest

"Mrs. Hyde, I suppose I am very stupid," said Allan, blushing, "but I do
not know what 'bulbs' are."

"No, indeed, Allan; you show great good sense in asking about whatever you
do not understand. That is the way to learn. Bulbous plants are those
which have a round root, and produce very few leaves; they are such as the
tulip, hyacinth, crocus, and others. They are nearly all ornamental and
beautiful from the very large size and brilliant color of their flowers.
Holland tulips were once so much in demand as to bring almost fabulous
prices. A gentleman in Syracuse gave a valuable span of horses, and
another exchanged his farm, for a bed of the tulip bulbs."

"Thank you, ma'am," said Allan. "It is very interesting. When I am a man I
think I will be a florist. I am very fond of flowers; they were a great
comfort to me when I was blind."

As Allan ceased speaking, the boat stopped, and they were landed upon a
short flight of stone steps. Eric gave directions for the baggage, and
then all proceeded to the hotel.

A carriage was approaching them quite rapidly, and Nettie suddenly, with a
cry of joy, sprang forward, directly in the way of the horses. If Allan
had not, at the risk of serious injury to himself, immediately sprung
after her and drawn her back, she would have been run over.

"Let go of me, Allan; O, let me go! It is papa!" cried Nettie.

A gentleman in the carriage stopped the horses, and leaned anxiously

"Is the little girl hurt?" he asked of Allan, in German.

Poor Allan did not understand him, and could not answer. But there was no
need, for in another instant, exclaiming, "Why, 'tis my own little girl!"
the gentleman leaped from the carriage, and Nettie was in her father's

Meanwhile Mrs. Hyde and Eric, who had been separated by carriages from
them, and had only seen Nettie spring before the horses, and Allan go
after her, were very much frightened. They now appeared upon the scene,
and finding the child sobbing in a gentleman's arms, concluded, of course,
that she was hurt.

"My darling!" cried poor Mrs. Hyde, in agony, "O, is she hurt, sir?"

"No, ma'am," said Allan, "she is not hurt, at all!"

"Alice!" said Mr. Hyde to his wife.

He had but just landed from the American steamer, and was on his way to
the hotel, not knowing of the arrival of "The Hague," when he first saw
Nettie and Allan. He was overjoyed to find his family thus unexpectedly.

"O, Eric, Eric! I am so glad!" she exclaimed, in relief; "but Nettie!"

"My little rash, excitable Nettie is safe and sound in papa's arms," he
said. But the tremor in his voice showed how nearly Nettie had escaped
severe injury. "Eric, my boy," he added, "have you no word for papa?"

Eric, white and faint, could not speak a word, but clasped his father's
hand convulsively.

"And where is my daughter's brave protector and deliverer?" Mr. Hyde
asked, looking around for Allan.

The boy, who had bashfully retreated behind Mrs. Hyde, was brought forward
and introduced as "our neighbor the blind boy, whose sight is now

"He is travelling home with us," Mrs. Hyde added, when her husband had
warmly thanked him.

Quite a crowd had collected around our travellers, and so eagerly and
sympathetically inquired what had happened, that Mr. Hyde was obliged to
tell them, briefly, the incident, as he led the way to the Vyverberg

It was but a few steps, and they were soon in the hotel, where the words
of congratulation floated after them from the crowd; and presently a
hearty cheer followed, when the good Hollanders understood that the little
American _Fraulien_ had found her father.



Poor Nettie was mortified enough by the result of her impulsive act. She
was quite frightened by the crowd, and their joyous cheering filled her
with terror, for she did not understand that these honest, kindly people
were filled with joy because a little girl's heart was made happy.

Her parents talked to her kindly and seriously of the necessity of
learning to govern her impulsiveness, and Nettie promised; but, alas! the
promise was broken again and again, until she learned by hard and terrible
experience to be a careful, thoughtful child. She now found that she had
spoiled every one's pleasure for the day.

Her mother suffered from a nervous headache, brought on by the fright and
excitement. Her father was obliged to leave, when they were comfortably
established in the hotel, in order to transact some important business,
and had taken Eric with him, starting immediately after their dinner.

When he went off with Eric, Mrs. Hyde went to her room to lie down,
forbidding Nettie to leave the parlor, that she might feel assured of the
child's safety.

Allan had a letter to write to Dr. Francis and his friends in Hamburg; so
Nettie was obliged to amuse herself.

She obtained permission from her mamma to take Froll out upon the balcony,
and played with her for a little while quite happily. But by and by Froll
spoiled all the fun; for she _would_ climb up the blinds and mouldings to
the utmost limit of her chain, which was just long enough to admit of her
reaching the window-sill and thrusting her head into the room where Mrs.
Hyde lay. Now, Mrs. Hyde was really afraid of Froll, and these
performances were not calculated to cure her headache. She spoke to Nettie
once or twice from the room; but finding the monkey's visits repeated, she
sent Allan down to tell Nettie that, if Froll came up to her window again,
she must return to her cage, and Nettie to the parlor.

"I won't let her go up again," said Nettie. "Now, Froll, be good; _do_
climb down the other way, after this cake. See, Frolic, see!" and she
threw a little fruit cake over the railing.

Quick as a flash, Froll went after it; so very quickly, as to pull the end
of the chain from Nettie's hand.

Before the child had time to think, the mischievous monkey had seized the
cake, and was travelling quickly up the blinds and moulding, over the
sill, and, as Nettie drew a frightened breath, in at the window.

"O, dear!" said Nettie; "now I'll have to be punished. It's silly of mamma
to be so easily frightened."

Her mamma, meanwhile, had just fallen into a doze. The rattling of the
chain startled her; she opened her eyes, and saw the ugly little black
monkey perched close beside her. She was quite startled, and very angry
with Nettie, of course: after securing the monkey safely in her cage, she
called Nettie to her, and speaking quite severely, told her to return to
the parlor, to sit down on the lounge, and neither to rise from it, nor
touch anything, until her father and Eric came home. Poor Nettie! It was
very dull indeed for her, and before long she was sobbing quite bitterly.

Meanwhile Allan finished his letter, and took up his cap, meaning to take
a walk around the square. Looking into the parlor, and seeing Nettie's
distress, he resolved to give up his walk and to comfort Nettie.

"I wouldn't cry, Nettie," he said, so softly and kindly that she stopped
crying, and looked up at him. "I will stay with you now. I've written my

Nettie's face lighted up instantly, but fell again as she exclaimed,--

"But it is not fair, Allan: you told Eric you should take a walk; mamma is
very unkind and unjust, too! I could not help Froll's going up that

"O, Nettie," said Allan, "don't ever speak so of your mother, so kind and
good. My mamma is dead, Nettie; and if yours should ever be laid away in
the cold, cold ground, you would feel so dreadfully to think you had
wronged her!"

Nettie was crying again.

"I _do_ love mamma, and it was very bad of me to speak so; but, O, dear! I
never _do_ do anything right. I don't see why I can't be good, like

"I know what makes Adele so good and gentle," said Allan. "She loves the
Lord, and tries to please him."

"But _I can't_!" said Nettie, piteously.

"O, yes, you can, Nettie. Every one can."

"Grown-up people can, I know."

"And children too," said Allan, earnestly. "Let me tell you a story auntie
used to tell me, when I was blind."

Nettie assented, and Allan repeated the story of "Little Cristelle,"
unconscious, the while, that he was fulfilling the teaching of song in
ministering to Nettie.

         "Slowly forth from the village church,
           The voice of the choristers hushed overhead,
         Came little Cristelle. She paused in the porch,
           Pondering what the preacher had said.

         "'_Even the youngest, humblest child_
           _Something may do to please the Lord._'
         'Now what,' thought she, and half sadly smiled,
           'Can I, so little and poor, afford?'

         "'_Never, never a day should pass,_
           _Without some kindness kindly shown_,'
         The preacher said. Then down to the grass
           A skylark dropped, like a brown-winged stone.

         "'Well, a day is before me now;
           Yet what,' thought she, 'can I do, if I try?
         If an angel of God would show me how!
           But silly am I, and the hours they fly.'

         "Then the lark sprang, singing, up from the sod,
           And the maiden thought, as he rose to the blue,
         'He says he will carry my prayer to God;
           But who would have thought the little lark knew?'

         "Now she entered the village street
           With book in hand and face demure;
         And soon she came, with sober feet,
           To a crying babe at a cottage door.

         "It wept at a windmill that would not move,
           It puffed with its round red cheeks in vain;
         One sail stuck fast in a puzzling groove,
           And baby's breath could not stir it again.

         "So baby beat the sail, and cried,
           While no one came from the cottage door;
         But little Cristelle knelt down by its side,
           And set the windmill going once more.

         "Then baby was pleased, and the little girl
           Was glad, when she heard it laugh and crow,
         Thinking, 'Happy windmill that has but to whirl
           To please the pretty young creature so!'

         "No thought of herself was in her head,
           As she passed out at the end of the street,
         And came to a rose tree, tall and red,
           Drooping and faint with summer heat.

         "She ran to a brook that was flowing by,
           She made of her two hands a nice round cup,
         And washed the roots of the rose tree high,
           Till it lifted its languid blossoms up.

         "'O, happy brook!' thought little Cristelle;
           'You have done some good this summer's day:
         You have made the flowers look fresh and well.'
           Then she rose, and went on her way.

         "But she saw, as she walked by the side of the brook,
           Some great rough stones, that troubled its course,
         And the gurgling water seemed to say, 'Look!
           I struggle, and tumble, and murmur hoarse.

         "'How these stones obstruct my road!
           How I wish they were off and gone!
         Then I would flow, as once I flowed,
           Singing in silvery undertone.'

         "Then little Cristelle, as bright as a bird,
           Put off the shoes from her young, white feet;
         She moves two stones, she comes to the third;
           The brook already sings, 'Thanks! Sweet! Sweet!'

         "O, then she hears the lark in the skies,
           And thinks, 'What is it to God he says?'
         And she tumbles and falls, and cannot rise,
           For the water stifles her downward face.

         "The little brook flows on as before,
           The little lark sings with as sweet a sound,
         The little babe crows at the cottage door,
           And the red rose blooms; but Cristelle lies drowned!

         "Come in softly; this is the room.
           Is not that an innocent face?
         Yes, those flowers give a faint perfume:
           Think, child, of heaven, and our Lord his grace.

         "Three at the right, and three at the left,
           Two at the feet, and two at the head,
         The tapers burn; the friends bereft
           Have cried till their eyes are swollen and red.

         "Who would have thought it, when little Cristelle
           Pondered on what the preacher had told?
         But the wise God does all things well,
           And the fair young creature lies dead and cold!

         "Then the little stream crept into the place,
           And rippled up to the coffin's side,
         And touched the corpse on its pale round face,
           And kissed the eyes till they trembled wide,--

         "Saying, 'I am a river of joy from Heaven;
           You helped the brook, and I help you;
         I sprinkle your brows with life-drops seven;
           I bathe your eyes with healing dew.'

         "Then a rose branch in through the window came,
           And colored her lips and cheeks with red;
         'I remember, and Heaven does the same,'
           Was all that the faithful rose branch said.

         "Then a bright, small form to her cold neck clung;
           It breathed on her till her breast did fill,
         Saying, 'I am a cherub fond and young,
           And I saw who breathed on the baby's mill.'

         "Then little Cristelle sat up and smiled,
           And said, 'Who put these flowers in my hand?'
         And rubbed her eyes--poor innocent child--
           Not being able to understand.

         "But soon she heard the big bell of the church
           Give the hour; which made her say,
         'Ah! I have slept and dreamt in this porch.
           It is a very drowsy day!'"

"O," said Nettie, drawing a long, deep breath, "I think, Allan, that it's
the most beautiful story I ever heard. Do you know who wrote it?"

"No," said Allan. "I used to think it was auntie's own; but I asked her
once, and she said, 'O, no, indeed!' and that she did not know who wrote
it, but thought it was a translation from the German."

"Adele would have liked that so much!" said Nettie thoughtfully, "and she
would have been just like little Cristelle, too."

"Yes," said Allan, "I think she would; and that would have been because
both of them were trying to please the Lord. Don't you see, Nettie?"

"But after all, Allan, it is not a true story."

"It's an allegory," said Allan. "It means that if we do every little
simple kindness for the sake of helping others and pleasing the Lord, that
we shall be children of the Lord, and live in heaven with him."

"Then, Allan, you are one of the 'children of the Lord;' for you do kind,
generous things all the time, and--"

"No, no, Nettie," said Allan, hastily interrupting her. "I am very
selfish, and I have to try very hard, and pray to the Lord Jesus to help
me to be good."

"But you _do_ give up for the sake of others, you know; now this

"I am having a delightful time, and enjoying myself hugely," said Allan,
interrupting her again, and laughing merrily. "I'll go and get my
checker-board, and we'll have a game."

Thus, thanks to the kind-hearted Allan, the afternoon wore pleasantly
away, and when Mrs. Hyde and Eric returned, Allan and Nettie were both
very happy, and in the midst of an exciting game. Mrs. Hyde had slept off
her headache, and was giving orders for tea on the balcony, to the
children's intense satisfaction.



"'You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear,'" sang
Nettie, as she leaned over the balcony railing, gazing out upon the lovely
lake and island before them; for Mr. Hyde had explained that, as his time
was exceedingly limited, he could allow them only three days to explore
Havenhaag, and at the end of that time they must leave for New York.

"So we will begin with the Royal Museum to-morrow morning," he added; "and
all who are up in good season can take a trip with me, in one of those
shallops, around the lake."

After the children had retired, Mr. and Mrs. Hyde held a consultation
about Eric. They expected the arrival of Dr. Ward and their nephew daily,
and were in hopes of seeing them before the steamer should sail. But there
was just a chance that the doctor might be delayed at Paris; and if it
should so happen, what would Eric do?

His parents were unwilling to disappoint him by taking him to New York
without making the desired tour of Germany; and they disliked the idea of
leaving him, a young boy of thirteen, alone in a strange place.

But his father at length decided to let him remain at the Vyverberg House,
in case the doctor should be detained until after they had sailed.

Eric was a thoughtful, reliable boy, and old enough, his father said, to
learn to depend upon himself.

Mrs. Hyde felt some misgivings as to this course at first; but her
confidence in Eric was so great, that she soon consented to it, and having
once decided in favor of the plan, she would let no thought of it trouble

You may be sure that the three children did not need an "early call" in
the morning, for they were up and dressed with the daylight, having a romp
on their balcony with Froll, who frightened several of the occupants of
adjacent rooms by trying to get in at their windows.

Nettie told Eric how Froll had got her into disgrace, the day before, by
the same trick.

"I think," said Eric, "that she must once have belonged to an
organ-grinder, and have been taught to climb up for money."

"Very likely," said Allan. "But you had better break her of the trick.
People, as a general thing, are not fond of the sudden appearance of a
black monkey at their chamber windows."

"Here's papa!" cried Nettie. "Now for our sail!"

"Isn't Mrs. Hyde coming?" Allan asked.

"Here she is! Good morning, mamma, and--O, Eric, mind Froll!" cried
Nettie; but too late, for Froll had darted from him, and gone in at an
open window above.

There was a breathless silence.

Mr. and Mrs. Hyde were very much annoyed, and the children were alarmed
for the safety of their pet.

While they were momentarily expecting a scream of terror from the occupant
of the room, Froll reappeared at the window, and, with a grin and chatter
of defiance, tumbled out, and clambered down towards the children, with a
pair of gold-rimmed eye-glasses in her hand. A night-capped head, thrust
out after her, was withdrawn again hastily, as its owner's eyes
encountered those of Mrs. Hyde.

Saucy Froll perched herself upon the top of the parlor blind, stuck the
glasses upon her nose, and peered down at the children, who greeted this
manoeuvre with an irresistible burst of laughter, in which their father
and mother joined.

The owner of the glasses again thrust his head out at the window, minus
the nightcap this time, and seeing the monkey, laughed as heartily as the

Leaning forward, he could reach the chain, which he caught; and then Froll
was made to surrender her plunder; after which she was committed to her
cage in disgrace.

The sail on the lake was delightful. The water was as smooth as glass, the
air fresh and cool, and the little island in the lake's centre was crowded
with song birds, whose sweet, merry notes rang musically over the water,
and were echoed back from the shore.

After breakfast they prepared to visit the places of interest in

Mr. Hyde led the way to the National Museum, occupying the Prince Maurice
palace--an elegant building of the seventeenth century. Numerous guides
offered their services, and when one had been engaged, our party followed
him up a broad, solid stairway to the famous picture gallery. Most of the
paintings were old pieces of the German masters, and did not interest the
children so much as their parents, for they were too young to appreciate
them. But in one of the rooms almost entirely covering one end, was a
grand picture, so vivid and natural that Nettie was quite startled by it
at first. It was a picture of a young bull spotted white and brown, a cow
lazily resting on the grass before it, a few sheep in different attitudes,
and an aged cowherd leaning upon a fence. The background of the picture
was a distant landscape, and all the objects were life-size.

"That picture is Paul Potter's Bull--a highly prized work of art," said
Mr. Hyde. "When the French invaded Holland, Napoleon ordered it to Paris,
to be hung in the Louvre."

"I suppose it didn't go, as it's here now," remarked Allan.

"Yes, it was carried there, and excited much admiration. But when Holland
was free of the French, and Germany victorious, the painting was

The children could have staid, gazing with delight upon it, for a much
longer time than was allowed them. The guide soon led the way to the Royal
Museum of Curiosities, and they reluctantly followed. The collection of
curiosities was in the lower part of the building, and here they saw all
kinds of Chinese and Japanese articles, which, the guide informed them,
was the largest and best collection of the kind in the world.

There was enough here to interest our young folks, and old folks, too.

All kinds of merchandise and manufactures, and most interesting and
complicated toys, model cities, barges gayly-colored and filled with tiny
men at work on tinier oars, pagodas, shops, temples, huts, houses,
vehicles, and men, women, and children in every variety of costume,
engaged in every conceivable employment.

So fascinating was this Museum that the entire morning was most agreeably
spent in it; and there was but just time, before leaving it, to look into
the historical department, where were many objects of interest, and among
other things the armor and weapons of De Ruyter, the famous admiral. At
any other time these would have possessed great interest for the boys; but
now they rather slighted them for the unique toys of China and Japan.

After their dinner and a half hour's rest, the children paid a visit to
the king's palace; for Gravenhaag, you must know, is the favorite
residence of the king and court.

Nettie and the boys walked very carefully, and held themselves very
properly, such a thing as a visit to the king's palace not being a daily
event with them. Although she would not have missed going for anything,
Nettie was a little alarmed at their situation, as they drew near to the
palace, a large Grecian building, with two wings, forming three sides of a
square. She had an idea that whenever kings were displeased with people,
they ordered their heads to be cut off; and she wondered if he _would_ be
pleased to have their party looking at his possessions. Her fears were
groundless, however.

As they reached the square, they saw, near the entrance to the palace, a
fine-looking man, well dressed and gentlemanly, who smiled kindly at the
children, and, seeing their eager scrutiny of the palace, politely invited
them to enter it.

The boys were delighted, but Nettie declared that she was afraid of the

"O, the king will not trouble you, my little maid," said the stranger, in
excellent English: "walk in, walk in!"

He held out his hand to Nettie, and was such a kind, pleasant-looking man,
that Nettie's fears vanished. She gave him her hand, and the two boys
followed her into the palace. Yes, actually _into_ it, when, a few minutes
before, she had hardly dared venture a terrified glance at the outside,
and was momentarily expecting the stern command,--

"Off with their heads!"

Their new friend led them to a lovely garden, gave them flowers and fruit,
and chatted gayly with them all the time. Then he took them to several
apartments of the palace, and finally into the drawing-room.

The children noticed that every one made a respectful bow to their kind
escort, and concluded that he must be some great nobleman; but judge of
their surprise, when they found themselves being presented by him to a
beautiful, pale lady, quietly dressed in black.

"Alicia, my dear," said their nobleman, still speaking in English, "I have
brought these young American travellers to see you. My little friends," to
the children, "yonder lady is the _Queen of Holland_."

Wasn't _that_ enough to confuse the best bred child in the world?

Poor Eric had a faint idea that he must kiss the queen's toe, as a mark of
courtesy, and stepped forward, with a dizzy singing in his ears, to do so.
But he was saved from such a ridiculous situation by the gentle queen, who
smiled and extended her hand; then Eric thankfully remembered that it was
the queen's hand and the pope's toe. So he bent gracefully forward and
kissed Queen Alicia's white fingers.

Allan, of course, did the same. And Nettie had no time to consider what
she must do, for the queen had kissed her quite warmly at first, and their
strange guide had drawn her to his knee.

"Why did you fear the king, little maid?" he asked, so kindly that Nettie
confessed her idea of majestic temperaments. How he laughed! and how the
queen laughed, too!

"Now, I suppose you will want to go to mamma," he said, soon afterwards;
and giving them each a gold coin, added, "Keep these to remember me by,
and you can tell your friends that the _King of Holland_ gave them to

The children were perfectly amazed, and could not speak their thanks
properly; but of this the king took no notice. He led them to the entrance
on the street, and then kindly said, "Good by."

Mr. and Mrs. Hyde, who had become quite anxious over their long delay,
were much relieved to see the children come safely home just before
tea-time. They were quite as much astonished, by the account of the visit,
as our young folks had supposed they would be.

Tea, on the balcony, and some quiet music in the evening, finished up the
day; and when the tired children sought their pillows, they quickly fell



It would take too long to mention all the sights seen and famous places
visited by the travellers in Gravenhaag.

They were admitted to the palace of the Prince of Orange, and saw his
famous collection of paintings and chalk drawings. They went over the
_Binnenhof_, which is a collection of ancient stone buildings, containing
a handsome Gothic hall, and the prison in which Grotius and Barneveldt
were confined, the churches, synagogues, and the royal library, and walked
on the _Voorhout_, a beautiful promenade, with a fine, wide road lined
with shade trees and furnished with benches, to the _Bosch_, a finely
wooded park belonging to the King of Holland. In its centre, reached by
winding walks among the trees and beautiful lakes, stands the _Huys in den
Bosch_--house in the wood--the king's summer palace.

After visiting all these places, and the printing establishments and iron
foundery, Mr. Hyde, finding he had another day before the steamer sailed,
took them all to Rotterdam. They went by railway to the city, and drove
around it in an open carriage, like a barouche, which was waiting at the
depot. Mr. Hyde, who had been there before, was quite familiar with the
place. He ordered the coachman to drive through the High Street; and soon
the children found themselves on a street considerably higher than the
others, lined with shops, and looking very pleasant and busy. Mr. Hyde
told them it was built upon the dam which prevented the Maas River from

"And this is the only street in Rotterdam," said he, "which has not a
canal in its centre."

[Illustration: The Queen of Holland.--Page 61.]

When they had gone the length of High Street, they came to street after
street, each having a canal in the middle, lined with trees on both sides,
and exhibiting a medley of high gable fronts of houses, trees, and masts
of shipping.

"Dear me!" cried Nettie; "I wouldn't live in such a place for the world.
It's pretty to look at; but think of having those ships going by right
under the drawing-room windows. They make me giddy."

"How many canals!" cried Allan. "They go lengthwise and crosswise through
every street but the High."

"And these clumsy bridges," said Nettie again, pointing to the drawbridges
of white painted wood which they saw at every little distance; they were
made of large, heavy beams overhead, and lifted by chains for the vessels
to pass through.

Under the trees, beside the canals, were yellow brick "sidewalks," as
Nettie called them; but they were really quays, for the landing of goods.

Between the trees and the houses, on a coarse, rough pavement, among
carts, drays, and carriages, walked the foot passengers quite frequently.
For though there were sidewalks close to the houses, little outbuildings
and flights of steps to doorways were continually in the way, and it was
"impossible for one to walk straight along, or at all fast, on any of
them," as the children said.

"Mamma," said Nettie, "I should think they would break their necks every
minute. Just look at those canals, right in the street, and nothing to
keep people from falling into them. What do they do in dark nights?"

"How do they light the streets, papa?" asked Eric.

"By oil lamps, hung on ropes from the houses to the trees," said Mr. Hyde.
"They have gas on the High Street."

Allan's attention had been attracted by some curious little structures
outside the lower windows of several of the houses.

"What are they?" he asked.

"Looking-glasses," said Mr. Hyde.

"Looking-glasses, papa! _Outside_ their windows?" exclaimed Nettie.

"Yes, dear; they are hung so as to reflect the passing objects to the
people inside."

"Then they can see whatever is going on in the streets below, without
coming to the windows," said Eric.

"What a funny custom!" exclaimed Nettie, again.

The only building they visited was the Church of St. Lawrence, where they
saw the famous great organ, a splendid structure, larger than the great
organs of Haarlem and Boston. It is one hundred and fifty feet high,
mounted upon a colonnade fifty feet high, and has five thousand five
hundred pipes.

In the market-place they saw a statue of the great scholar Erasmus, and
"the house where he was born," which is now, alas! a gin-shop. From the
_Boomptjes_, a fine quay, planted with rows of beautiful trees, and
surrounded by elegant, dark brick mansions, our party chartered a little
sail boat, and went out upon the Maas.

The beautiful, quiet Maas, with Rotterdam's green, woody banks in view;
the blue, blue sky, seen clearly in the limpid waters; the steamers coming
and going, and birds flying around, adding their sweet notes to nature's
harmony--this beautiful picture was one remembered by the children all
their lives. To-morrow's parting hung its shadow over them, and softened
their hearts to the true beauty everywhere expressed.

The sun had set when they reached the Vyverberg for the last time.

"Mamma," said Eric, regretfully, "I almost wish I was going home with you

"Uncle Charlie may come to-night," said his mother, cheerfully. "At any
rate, he will soon come. You would then wish you had staid."

"Yes, I know," said Eric. "But it is very hard to let you all go home
without me, for all that."

Very careful directions were given to Eric, and he was placed under the
care of the landlord until he should hear from his uncle.

The evening was very short to Eric, who lingered by his mother, and could
not bear to leave her side, knowing he should see her no more for a long,
long year.

Long after Nettie and Allan had left them, he staid with his parents,
listening to their last kind advice, and sending little loving messages to
his cousins and schoolmates.

In the morning he saw them off with a heavy heart. His father's last kind
words, Allan's affectionate greeting, Nettie's tears, and his promise to
his mother that he would remember his prayers and daily chapter in the
Bible, and would try to make his travels a useful, profitable study, and
to keep himself truthful, honest, and kind, were mixed up with a hearty,
homesick longing to go after them. His eyes filled with tears as the
stretch of water between him and his dear ones rapidly widened; he turned
from the wharf with a sorrowful face, slowly and sadly retracing his steps
to the hotel.

"How dismal it will be! how lonely and dismal without them!" He thought
and murmured sorrowfully,--

                    "Alone, alone, all, all alone!"



Eric had been but a few minutes in the parlor at the hotel, and was trying
to amuse himself with little Froll, when there came a tap upon the door,
and the servant entered with a card.

Eric read the name,

                             EMIL LACELLE,

and written underneath,

                       _No. 365 Vyverberg House._

"Who in the world," thought Eric, "is Emil Lacelle? and what did he send
this to me for?"

The waiter explained that the gentleman was waiting, in his room, up
stairs; and Eric, with Froll on his shoulder, started for No. 365.

The door stood open, disclosing a pleasant room, with various kinds of
odd-looking armor lying around: seated by a table was a gentleman dressed
in black, whom Eric recognized at once as the one whose glasses Froll had

This gentleman was looking for Eric, and said at once, when he entered the

"I am pleased to see you, monsieur," and politely requested him to be

"Do you speak French?" he asked.

"Not very well, sir," answered Eric.

"German?" inquired the stranger.

"Yes, sir," said Eric.

"And English?"

"Yes, sir; I am an American."

"I am a Frenchman," said Mr. Lacelle. "I want you, if you please, to do me
a little service."

"I will do anything that I can for you," said Eric. "I am very much
obliged to you already for being so good-natured about your glasses."

"Do not mention it!" Mr. Lacelle exclaimed, with the natural politeness of
a Frenchman. "I have taken quite a fancy to your playful little beast."
And he coaxed the monkey to him, and gently stroked her soft hair.

"What is it that I can do for you, sir?" asked Eric. He was beginning to
like Mr. Lacelle very much.

"I have a letter to write to America, and am not enough of an English
scholar to undertake it. Now, therefore, if I tell to you that which I
want written, would you be so very kind, if you please, as to write for
me, it?"

"Yes, indeed; with much pleasure," said Eric; thinking the while, "No
wonder he does not like to undertake a letter in English, when he speaks
the language so clumsily."

Mr. Lacelle, still holding Froll, brought forward a traveller's
writing-desk, filled with perfumed French paper, and then placing it
before Eric, and saying politely, "At your convenience, _monsieur_," he
reseated himself.

Eric arranged the paper, took up a pen, and after writing the date, sat
waiting for his instructions.

"For example, what do you say to two gentlemen?" asked Mr. Lacelle.

Eric was completely puzzled, and could only say, "Sir?"

"Pardon me!" exclaimed the Frenchman, "to _one_ you would say 'sir;' but
to two, would you say 'sirs'?"

"Yes," answered Eric, but, recollecting some letters he had copied for his
father, added, "O, no: it's _Messrs._"

"Exactly!" said Mr. Lacelle. "I thank you. That is fine."

He appeared quite relieved, and began dictating.

                                     "The Vyverberg, at the Hague,
                                          Holland, October 21, 186-.

  "Messrs. Brown and Lang:

  "I have given to myself the pleasure of examining the sunken yacht in
  the Zuyder Zee; and my opinion it is, that that vessel is injured not
  in the least, and that I can right her for the sum of two hundred

                               "Most respectfully to you, Messrs.,
                                                     Emil Lacelle,
                                                  _Submarine Diver._

  "To Messrs. Brown and Lang,
    New York City."

"Is it quite correct English?" he asked, anxiously.

Eric rewrote it, transposing some of the words. Mr. Lacelle was very
grateful for the boy's assistance. He was by no means ignorant, but his
knowledge of English was rather limited, and he was too sensitive to be
willing to send off a peculiar letter.

Mr. Lacelle's history would be very interesting, had we time to give it
minutely; but there is only space to say that he was the younger son of a
noble French family, whose circumstances during his youth were so
unfortunate that he was thrown upon his own resources at a tender age, and
had, by great energy and perseverance, become a wealthy and famous man.

Eric knew that "sub" meant under, and "marine" the sea, but he did not
understand exactly what it all meant; so he asked Mr. Lacelle, whose
explanation and subsequent conversation, we will render in readable

"A submarine diver is one who goes beneath the water of the sea:
professionally he examines and clears harbors, removing obstructions, such
as rocks, &c.; draws up sunken vessels, examines wrecks, and brings up
from the depths of the ocean money, jewels, and articles of value."

"But tell me," cried Eric, eagerly, "how does he breathe? what protects
him in the water? how--"

"I will tell you all about it," said Mr. Lacelle. "There are several
divers here in the house. We are going to the Zuyder Zee, near Amsterdam,
to-morrow, and you shall go too, if you wish."

"O, thank you, sir," said Eric. "I would like to."

"Meanwhile I will tell you," proceeded the diver. "We wear an armor such
as this," he explained, pointing out the several pieces to Eric, as he
noticed them. "In the first place an India-rubber suit like this. You will
observe that it is made entirely water-proof, by being cemented down in
the seams, wherever it is sewed."

Eric looked with interest upon the clumsy-looking dress, which was made
entirely whole, except the opening at the sleeves and neck, and was cut
away above the shoulders, like a girl's low-necked dress, to admit the
body of the wearer; the legs were footed off like stockings, and the
wrists of the sleeves were terminated by tight, elastic rubber bands; a
similar band surrounded the neck, which was also finished with a flap of
white rubber facing.

"You see," continued Mr. Lacelle, "we put ourselves into this suit,
drawing it on from the top. It is perfectly water-tight. Upon our feet we
wear shoes such as these," pointing to a pair of heavy leather shoes, with
broad, high straps and buckles, and lead soles half an inch thick. "They
weigh twenty-five pounds."

"Why!" exclaimed Eric; "I should call that something of a load."

"The weight is imperceptible in the water," the diver explained, and,
showing Eric a couple of box-shaped canvas bags, added, "We wear these
also, filled with weights, just above the waist, one before and one

"But you haven't told me yet how you breathe in the water," said Eric.

"I am coming to that shortly. Upon our heads we wear a helmet, made of
copper, completely covering head, face, and neck, and firmly inserted
between the rubber facing and the tight band about the neck of the dress,
just above the shoulders. To the back of the helmet is fastened a rubber
hose, attached, above the water, to the pump, which keeps the diver
supplied with air; and there is a glass window in the front. A half-inch
rope, called the life-line, is securely adjusted to the diver, and by it
he is lowered into or drawn from the water; and by it, also, he signals to
those above for more air, for withdrawal, or anything he may require."

"This helmet is heavy enough," said Eric, lifting and examining the
curious structure. "There is a valve inside: what is that for?"

"To let the air, which the diver breathes from his lungs, into the water,"
Mr. Lacelle replied. "This machine in the case," pointing to a high
black-walnut case, "is a three-cylinder air-pump; two men in the vessel,
or on the shore, keep the pumps constantly in motion by means of the crank
attached to the wheel."

"Why do they have more than one pump?" Eric inquired.

"One pump," answered Mr. Lacelle, "would not supply enough air; it would
work like a water-pump, sending down the air by jerks, and the receiver
would be exhausted between the supplies of air. Two pumps would send down
the air puff-puff, like the pumps of a steam engine; but three pumps,
constantly in motion, send down, through the hose, a steady and continuous
stream of air, enabling the diver to breathe freely and fully."

"And can you go down into any depth of water?" Eric asked, with intense

"Not lower than one hundred feet, usually, the pressure of the water is so
great. I have been down one hundred and fifty-six feet below the surface;
but that was something very remarkable."

"And did you never have any hair-breadth escapes, or thrilling
adventures?" inquired Eric.

"No," answered the diver, with a slight laugh and shrug of the shoulders,
"I never did, and never knew any one who did, although I have read of many
such incidents, altogether too marvellous for belief. You see," he
continued, "we know that the least carelessness would probably cost us our
lives, and we are minutely accurate about all our equipments. And,"
lowering his voice and speaking reverentially, "I always commit myself to
the guidance and tender care of the good Shepherd.

"'They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great

"'These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.

"'They cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of
their distress.'"

Eric listened, and his respect and esteem for the diver grew tenfold

Mr. Lacelle continued:--

"It is a strange business. The danger fascinates some, but the peril is
never lost sight of. I put on the helmet, for the first time, more than
ten years ago; and yet I never resume it without a feeling that it may be
the last time I shall ever go down. Of course one has more confidence
after a while; but there is something in being shut up in an armor weighed
down with a hundred pounds, and knowing that a little leak in your
life-pipe is your death, that no diver can get rid of. And I do not know
that I should care to banish the feeling, for the sight of the clear blue
sky, the genial sun, and the face of a fellow-man after long hours among
the fishes, makes you feel like one who has suddenly been drawn away from
the grasp of death."

"Were you ever in great danger?" asked Eric.

"I think the most dangerous place I ever got into was going down to
examine the propeller Comet, sunk off Toledo. In working about her bottom,
I got my air-pipe coiled over a large sliver from the stoven hole, and
could not reach it with my hands. Every time I sprang up to remove the
hose, my tender would give me the 'slack' of the line, thus letting me
fall back again. He did not understand his duties, and did not know what
my signals on the life-line meant. It was two hours and a half before I
was relieved, and there was not a moment that I was not looking to see the
hose cut by the ragged wood. It's a strange feeling you have down there.
You go walking over a vessel, clambering up her sides, peering here and
there, and the feeling that you are alone makes you nervous and uneasy.

"Sometimes a vessel sinks down so fairly, that she stands up on the bottom
as trim and neat as if she rode upon the surface. Then you can go down
into the cabin, up the shrouds, walk all over her, just as easy as a
sailor could if she were still dashing away before the breeze. Only it
seems quiet, so tomb-like; there are no waves down there--only a swaying
back and forth of the waters, and a see-sawing of the ship. You hear
nothing from above. The great fishes will come swimming about, rubbing
their noses against your glass, and staring with a wonderful look into
your eyes. The very stillness sometimes gives life a chill. You hear just
a moaning, wailing sound, like the last notes of an organ, and you cannot
help thinking of dead men floating over and around you.

"A diver does not like to go down more than a hundred and twenty feet; at
that depth the pressure is painful, and there is danger of internal
injury. I can stay down, for five or six hours at a time, at a hundred and
fifteen or twenty feet, and do a good deal of hard work. In the waters of
Lake Huron the diver can see thirty or forty feet away, but the other
lakes will screen a vessel not ten feet from you.

"Up here you seldom think of accident or death, but a hundred feet of
water washing over your head would set you to thinking. A little stoppage
of the air-pump, a leak in your hose, a careless action on the part of
your tender, and a weight of a mountain would press the life out of you
before you could make a move. And you may 'foul' your pipe or line
yourself, and in your haste bring on what you dread. I often get my hose
around a stair or rail, and generally release it without much trouble; the
bare idea of what a slender thing holds back the clutch of death off my
throat makes a cold sweat start from every pore."

"I suppose you find many beautiful things," said Eric.

"I wish I could describe half the wonderful and beautiful things I find,"
cried Mr. Lacelle.

"There are flowers, the most exquisite that can be imagined; groves of
coral, beautiful caverns, with floors of silver sand, spiral caves winding
down, down, down, covered with beautiful, delicate plants, and leading to
beds of smooth, hard sand, which shine like gold. Feathery ferns turn
silver and crimson beneath your hand, and beautiful fish glide around you,
or rest in the water, with no motion save the gentle pulsation of their
gills as they breathe.

"I have stood upon the bottom of the ocean, and gazed up, awe-stricken and
bewildered, at the wonderful masses of coral above my head, resembling
forests of monstrous trees, with gnarled and twisted branches intertwined;
and when I have considered that it was all the work of insects so tiny
that millions of them were working at my feet, and I could not see them, I
have compared my own littleness in the universe with the wonderful work of
the least of them, and have felt my own insignificance.

"And curious things have happened, too. I was once examining an old wreck
off South America. It was an old Spanish frigate, supposed to have
valuable jewels and a large amount of money aboard.

"I was walking over the wreck one day, and, being disappointed in not
finding any treasure, was about returning, when I observed a curious heap
of shells, close to one of the stanchions. I picked off a handful from the
top of the heap, which was about two feet high, and regularly piled in a
conical form, and seeing the shells were of a most beautiful pink color,
and very delicate, I filled my pockets with them, and then, touching the
life-lines, was pulled up.

"The divers in my employ were delighted with them, and as they were just
the right size for buttons, one of the boys went down, with a large bag,
to bring off the rest.

"I told him just where to find them; but when he came up, he declared
there were none to be seen anywhere.

"I was sure he had not followed my directions; so I went down again; and
judge my surprise when I found he had spoken truly. _There was not one to
be seen._ The little wretches, disgusted with the disturbance I created,
had all crawled away."

"How curious!" exclaimed Eric. "Could you not find any of them?"

"Not a vestige of them."

"It was singular--wasn't it?"

"Yes. I have learned many singular things since I have gone under the sea.
For instance, water is a very powerful conductor of sound, much more so
than air. We often blast rocks under the water--"

"How can you?" interrupted Eric. "What keeps the powder dry?"

"We have water-proof charges prepared."

"But how can you fire them under the water?" persisted Eric.

"By electricity," responded Mr. Lacelle. "A report of blasting rock a
little distance off, will scarcely disturb us upon the land; but under the
water it is very different. We were once blasting rocks near the coast,
and another party were at work three quarters of a mile from us.

"Our charge was set, and ready to go off; I sent word to our distant
neighbors that we were about to blast, and they had better come up until
it was over. My courtesy was repaid by a very profane answer, accompanied
with a request to 'blast away.'

"So the charge was set off; and the unfortunate divers in the distance
were hauled out of the water more dead than alive. I afterwards learned
from them that the shock was tremendous."

"When you blow up the rocks, do you place the charges under them?"
inquired Eric.

"O, no; that would have no effect: holes are drilled in the rock, and the
charges placed within them."

"And when the rocks are blown, what do you do with the pieces that come
off?" asked Eric.

"We grapple them with hooks and chains, and draw them to the surface."

"It is very interesting, and I am very much obliged to you for telling me
so much," said Eric. "I wish I could learn _all_ about it."

"Well, my boy, you shall go with me to-morrow; and, if you're not afraid
to venture, I'll take you down beneath the sea with me. It is quite safe
near Amsterdam."

"O, thank you, sir," said Eric, eagerly, grasping the kind Frenchman's

"I must go now to the palace," said Mr. Lacelle. "I have an engagement
there. Will you do me the honor to amuse yourself here until I return?"

"Thank you," said Eric again, with a joyous smile; for Mr. Lacelle's room
was stored with 'curios' from the bottom of the sea, and Eric knew he
could spend a long time very comfortably there.

He was careful to secure Froll in her cage, that she might do no mischief;
and then he had a thoroughly good time, examining the sea things; and as
they were all labelled with name and date, and the place from which they
were taken, he gained much useful information.

Before night a letter came from his uncle, saying that Johnny was quite
ill, and had been unable to travel to the Hague; but he was now so much
better, that they would probably join Eric in a day or two.

"I shan't mind waiting," said Eric to himself; "and there's nothing now to
prevent my going to Amsterdam to-morrow; but I wish uncle Charlie could be
with me too."

Then he remembered that he had been left under the landlord's care, and
must obtain his permission. So he sought him out, and made known his

The landlord of the Vyverberg was a kind-hearted German. He was quite fond
of his little American guest, and readily consented to his plan for the
morrow, telling Eric that Monsieur Lacelle was a remarkable man, and he
could not be in better hands.

"I think this is just the jolliest country, and full of the jolliest
people in the world," was Eric's mental comment before he fell asleep that
night. Indeed, there are few people more kind-hearted, thoughtful, or
hospitable than the Dutch and Germans.

Eric's parents were anxiously wondering how their boy fared alone in

Could they have seen him as he read his promised chapter, and knelt to
commit himself to God, or afterwards, falling asleep, his last thought of
the kindness of the people around him, their own sleep would have been far
lighter, and their prayers would have blessed the good foreigners.



Early in the morning they went to Amsterdam, or Amsteldamme, as the
Germans call it, because it controls the tides of the Amstel River.

The city of Amsteldamme is situated on a marsh, and all its houses and
buildings are erected on piles, which are driven from forty to fifty feet
into the earth.

"How many canals!" was Eric's first remark, when he obtained a good view
of the city.

"Yes," said Mr. Lacelle. "When I was a boy, I counted the bridges across
the canals, and there were two hundred and fifty. The city is divided by
the canals into ninety islands. Those high walls were once ramparts, but
have since been converted into public walks. They are planted with trees,
and make excellent promenades."

"But suppose there should be another war," said Eric; "what would their
defence be?"

"They could easily flood the surrounding country."

"What splendid streets these are!" said Eric, as they passed through one
and another with rows of beautiful shade trees, handsome little stone
bridges, broad, clean pavements, and long lines of elegant mansions.

They were indeed very beautiful streets, not easily to be surpassed in all

"I should think," said Eric, thoughtfully, "that there would be danger to
the people here in having so much water in their town. Do the dikes ever
give way?"

"Very seldom. The people watch them very faithfully, and whenever a break
is discovered it is instantly repaired. There is a very interesting story
connected with the dikes of Holland, which I will tell you, to show you
what great service a little boy did his country.

"The little hero, Peter Daik, was on his way home, one night, from a
village to which he had been sent by his father on an errand, when he
noticed the water trickling through a narrow opening in the dike, built up
to keep out the sea.

"He stopped, and thought of what would happen if the hole were not

"He knew--for he had often heard his father tell of the sad disasters
which had come from small beginnings--how, in a few hours, the opening
would become bigger, and let in the mighty mass of water pressing on the
dike, until, the whole defence being washed away, the rolling, dashing,
angry sea would sweep on to the next village, destroying life and
property, and everything in its way. Should he run home and alarm the
villagers? It would be dark before they could arrive; and the hole, even
then, might be so large as to defy all attempts to close it. What could he
do to prevent such terrible ruin--he, only a little boy?

"I will tell what he did. He sat down on the bank of the canal, stopped
the opening with his hand, and patiently awaited the passing of a
villager. But no one came.

"Hour after hour rolled slowly by; yet there sat the heroic boy in the
cold and darkness, shivering, wet, and tired, but stoutly pressing his
hand against the water that tried to pass the dangerous breach.

"All night he staid at his post. At last morning broke, when a clergyman,
walking up the canal, heard a groan, and looking around to see where it
came from, seeing the boy, and surprised at his strange position,
exclaimed with astonishment,--

"'Why are you there, my child?'

"'I am keeping back the water, sir, and saving the village from being
drowned,' answered little Peter, with lips so benumbed with cold that he
could hardly speak.

"The astonished minister at once relieved him of his hard duty, and the
poor little fellow had but just strength enough left to alarm the
villagers, who flocked to the dike, and repaired the breach.

"Heroic boy! What a noble spirit of self-devotion he had shown! resolving
to brave all the fatigue, the danger, the cold and darkness, rather than
permit the ruin which would come if he deserted his post.

"There is a beautiful poem on the subject by Miss Carey. I will repeat a
few of the last verses."

Then Mr. Lacelle repeated in a clear, mellow voice, whose slight foreign
accent lent it an additional charm to Eric's ear,--

             "So faintly calling and crying
               Till the sun is under the sea,--
             Crying and moaning till the stars
               Come out for company.
             He thinks of his brother and sister,
               Asleep in their safe, warm bed;
             He thinks of his father and mother;
               Of himself as dying--and dead;
             And of how, when the night is over,
               They must come and find him at last;
             But he never thinks he can leave the place
               Where duty holds him fast.

             "The good dame in the cottage
               Is up and astir with the light,
             For the thought of her little Peter
               Has been with her all the night.
             And now she watches the pathway,
               As yestereve she had done;
             But what does she see so strange and black
               Against the rising sun?
             Her neighbors are bearing between them
               Something straight to her door;
             Her child is coming home, but not
               As ever he came before.

             "'He is dead!' she cries; 'my darling!'
               And the startled father hears,
             And comes and looks the way she looks,
               And fears the thing she fears;
             Till a glad shout from the bearers
               Thrills the stricken man and wife--
             'Give thanks, for your son has saved our land,
               And God has saved his life!'
             So there in the morning sunshine
               They knelt about the boy,
             And every head was bared and bent
               In tearful, reverent joy.

             "'Tis many a day since then; but still,
               When the sea roars like a flood,
             Their boys are taught what a boy can do
               Who is brave, and true, and good;
             For every man in that country
               Takes his son by the hand,
             And tells him of little Peter,
               Whose courage saved the land.
             They have many a valiant hero
               Remembered through the years,
             But never one whose name so oft
               Is named with loving tears.
             And his deed shall be sung by the cradle,
               And told to the child on the knee,
             So long as the dikes of Holland
               Divide the land from the sea."

They had now come to the Y, an inlet of the Zuyder Zee, where several of
the men under Mr. Lacelle were at work.

"Here we are," said Eric, gladly. "Here we are! Now for my 'thrilling
experience,' as the newspapers say."

There was a tent close by, into which they stepped to change their dress
for the diver's costume.

"Nobody would know me now, I am sure," said Eric to himself, when, with
much difficulty, and considerable help from the attendants, he emerged
from the tent arrayed in the suit. "I can hardly drag my feet along, they
are so heavy; and I'm decidedly glad that my every-day hat is not like
this helmet."

Mr. Lacelle had given him particular directions about diving, and now the
life-line and air-hose were adjusted, and the brave boy stood beside the
professional diver, waiting for the descent.

The signal was given, and soon Eric was going down underneath the blue,
cold waves. He could not see Mr. Lacelle; it seemed as if he were never to
stop going down: the water sang around his ears; and seeing nothing but
water made him giddy and faint. He thought he must certainly smother, and,
for an instant, was thoroughly afraid.

Then he remembered that, at a single touch of the life-line, the men above
would instantly draw him up, and, feeling quite at his ease again, began
to look about him. To his great joy he saw the bottom, and was presently
upon it, and walking towards Mr. Lacelle.

Suddenly a sound like heavy peals of thunder reverberated through the
water. At a motion from Mr. Lacelle, Eric looked quickly upward, and saw a
school of tiny fish, darting with great velocity towards them, and several
large fishes in pursuit of the little ones.

On they came, straight towards Eric and Mr. Lacelle; but just before
reaching them, they turned sharply off in the opposite direction; as they
turned, the noise increased to a heavy peal, and ceased as they passed
from sight.

"How wonderful!" exclaimed Eric, involuntarily; and his voice sounded like
roaring and screaming, though he had spoken quite softly.

Mr. Lacelle then held at arm's length a small cartridge, which he
signalled, by the lines, for the men above to ignite. Almost instantly it
exploded. Eric was perfectly astounded by the effects of the report.

It seemed as if huge rocks had fallen upon his helmet; and such a
crashing, rending sound as accompanied the shock! It was quite as much as
he was able to bear in the way of noise. Mr. Lacelle told him afterwards,
that the noise of the report in the air would be no louder than that of a
common fire-cracker.

Eric hoped that Mr. Lacelle would make no more experiments in sound, and
the diver did not seem at all anxious to do so.

It was rather awe-inspiring, Eric thought, to be walking easily about at
the bottom of the sea, knowing that around and above him lay the mighty
element of death. And there, under the water, the eighth psalm came into
his mind, and he realized its beauty as he had never been able to before.

He walked around, picking up shells and curious plants, and being careful
to keep near Mr. Lacelle, who was making some calculations about the
building of a huge bridge, contemplated by the king. Several large fish
swam lazily up to Eric, eyed him curiously, and let themselves be patted
upon the back.

"How amused Nettie would be!" he thought, and wished the huge fish were
less inquisitive, as he did not particularly fancy them. He was quite
interested in the flowers, which were as brilliant and beautiful as any
upon the land, when suddenly he discovered a heap of shells quite similar
to those which Mr. Lacelle had described the day before. He put several
handfuls of them into his diver's basket, and then, moving off a few
steps, he watched to see what they would do.

When all was quiet, they moved slowly at first, then more rapidly, and all
crawled away in the same direction.

"That is very curious," thought Eric to himself. "I wish I knew what they

When he moved again, something struck his foot. Looking quickly down
through the window in his helmet, he saw a small, square box, made of tin,
and fastened with a padlock. A key was in the lock, and Eric turned it and
opened the box, wondering what it could contain. The lid flew back, and
disclosed an inner cover, on which was painted a coat of arms, with the
name "Arthur Montgomery" engraved beneath. A spring was visible, and,
pressing it, Eric disclosed to his astonished vision a number of English
sovereigns--gold coins worth about five dollars apiece.

His first impulse was to show the prize to Mr. Lacelle, but he could not
readily attract his attention. So, putting the box in his basket after
safely locking it, he busied himself with gathering the beautiful flowers
within his reach, and storing them in his basket to press for his mother.

Suddenly he felt himself being drawn up slowly towards the surface, and,
turning his head, saw that Mr. Lacelle was also ascending.

He knew that they were being drawn up because Mr. Lacelle wished him to
catch the return train to Gravenhaag, and had cautioned the men at the
pumps not to let them remain under water more than half an hour; but he
was extremely surprised to find that the time had passed.

On reaching "terra firma," so much hurrying had to be done in changing his
armor for more convenient land apparel, that he entirely forgot the box of
money until seated beside Mr. Lacelle in the carriage. Then he showed it
to him.

"That _was_ a find, for so young a submarinist," said Mr. Lacelle. "It is
yours, my boy; divers consider themselves entitled to all such
unexpectedly discovered valuables."

"But," said Eric, eagerly, "the owner's name is upon the box; and see!
here is a letter addressed to 'Arthur Montgomery, Bart., Clone, Lancaster
County, England.' I think I ought to return it."

"Yes," said Mr. Lacelle, pleased with Eric's honesty, "conscientiously you
ought; but you are not obliged to by law."

"I would much rather," said Eric, earnestly. "Will you please to inquire
about it, and see that it reaches the owner?" Mr. Lacelle promised, and,
seeing Eric safely aboard the cars, bade him good by, and left for



When Eric returned to Gravenhaag, whom should he see but his uncle, Mr.
Van Rasseulger? And he being the last person in the world that Eric would
have thought of meeting there, of course he was decidedly surprised.

"Uncle John!" he exclaimed, joyfully. "Who would have thought of seeing
you here?"

"You wouldn't, I'll wager, young man, or you'd not have gone wild goosing
it over the water at Amsterdam."

"I've had a glorious time!" exclaimed Eric. "I've been walking upon the
bottom of the Zuyder Zee."

"It's high time somebody arrived to look after you."

"But, uncle John, it was perfectly safe. Mr. Lacelle is an experienced
diver; and the landlord under whose care papa left me gave me permission.
Besides, nothing happened--"

"How stout and healthy you have grown!" exclaimed Mr. Van Rasseulger,
interrupting Eric. "If Johnny has improved as much as you have, I shall
send him abroad frequently."

"How is Johnny? He was ill when uncle Charlie wrote to me."

"Ill!" exclaimed Johnny's fond papa, instantly growing anxious. "What did
the doctor say, Eric?"

"Only that I must wait here a day or two, until Johnny was well enough to
come on."

"And where were they when he wrote?"

"At Paris," said Eric.

"I meant to stay with you to-night," said his uncle; "but I believe I
shall take the boat to Antwerp to-night, and catch the Express to Paris. I
must look after my boy."

"O, please take me with you," pleaded Eric. "Mr. Lacelle is going to stay
at Amsterdam, and I shall be terribly lonesome here, all alone again."

"Well, get your things together. Can you be ready in two hours?"

"In ten minutes," cried Eric, gayly: "mamma did all my packing before she
left. I've only to tumble a few things into my travelling-bag, and to feed
myself and Froll."

"The little monkey? I've made her acquaintance. We're quite good

"Uncle John, if you haven't seen the doctor or Johnny, how _did_ you find
me?" said Eric, who had been puzzling himself with this question for some

"Entirely by accident," replied his uncle. "I arrived here about two hours
since, and, finding all your names on the register, supposed I had stepped
right into a family party; but then I learned that your father and mother,
and that bundle of mischief called Nettie, had gone home, and that
_Mynheer_ Eric had gone to Amsteldamme to explore the mysteries of the
bottom of the sea. I was so frightened that if there had been a chance of
hitting you, I should have gone directly after you."

"I wish you had," said Eric, "in time to have gone down into the water."

Mr. Van Rasseulger, for all his talk about Eric's expedition, was heartily
pleased with his brave little nephew, and was thinking to himself such an
honest, energetic, courageous boy would make his way well in the world.

Eric had no idea that he was a particularly interesting boy. He was large
and strong for his age, easy in his manners, and had a frank, joyous
countenance, surmounted by thick, brown, curly hair. His eyes were very
honest eyes indeed, often opening wide in a surprised way, when they saw
anything not quite right, and blazing and flashing upon the aggressor when
they witnessed wrong, cruelty, or injustice. He had been brought up upon
the creed, "First of all, _do right_; and _be a gentleman_." And being
thoughtful, careful, and obedient, he was trusted and respected as few
boys of his age rarely deserve to be.

Of course he had his faults. No young lad is without them. But the
difference between Eric and other boys was, that when he became conscious
of a fault in his character, he immediately set about overcoming it, and
therefore soon got rid of it. But he was obliged to keep a very careful
watch over himself, for little faults creep into one's character faster
than the little weeds spring up in the flower garden, and, like the weeds,
too, if at once removed are almost harmless, but if allowed to spread and
flourish they soon spoil the entire character, as the weeds spoil the

While we have been moralizing, Eric has eaten his supper, neatly packed up
the few things left about, and, with Froll and his travelling-bag, starts
from the Vyverberg for Paris.

A very common-looking steamboat took them to Antwerp. There is not much to
relate of their journey, for Eric's adventures had so tired him that he
slept all the way, only awakening to take the cars at Antwerp, and rousing
once again to know they were passing through Brussels, and to hear his
uncle say that the finest altar in the world was in the cathedral there.
They arrived at Paris about noon of the next day, and, after considerable
trouble, found that Dr. Ward had taken rooms in a hotel in the _Place
Vendôme_, whither they at once repaired.

Eric wanted to give his uncle and cousin a surprise. So Mr. Van Rasseulger
did not send up their names, but they stole softly up the stairs, and
opened the door.

Johnny was alone, lying upon the floor, with a very fretful, discontented
expression upon his countenance.

He turned his head towards the door, and there, upon the threshold,
blushing and laughing, stood Eric; and, better still, behind him was papa.
The child uttered a joyful cry, and sprang into his father's arms, who
hurried to meet him, exclaiming,--

"My boy, my Johnny-boy, what is the matter?"

"It's only the mumps," said Johnny, reassuringly, and holding out his hand
to Eric. "O, ain't I glad you've come!" he added. "It's awful dull here,
uncle Charlie is away at the hospital so much."

"Well, how have you been, excepting the mumps?" inquired his father,
relieved enough to find nothing serious the matter with his petted boy.

"Bully!" exclaimed John, very improperly. "See how strong I'm getting,
papa!" and he threw out his fist suddenly, giving his father a very
uncomfortable punch in the side.

"I'm glad you didn't illustrate on me," said Eric, laughing. "Uncle John,
are you a tester?"

"I'm an _at_testor, certainly," replied his uncle. "Johnny, if you
demonstrate your power of strength so forcibly and practically, some one
will apply oil of birch to you."

"Then I'll be in first-rate running order," retorted Johnny, "and you'll
have to take me to Strasbourg."

"Indeed," said his father, "I think so."

As they all sat, merrily talking, Dr. Ward returned, and was pleased and
surprised enough to find his unexpected guests. His greeting was very

Eric he was particularly glad to see; he had been worried about leaving
him so long, alone, at the Hague; and Johnny had been too ill to travel or
to be left with strangers, and Eric was too inexperienced, his uncle
thought, to go from the Hague to Paris alone. So it was quite a relief to
find him safely at hand.

"And now," he said, after talking about home affairs for quite a while, "I
see my way out of a dilemma. I have been anxious to attend two or three
medical lectures at Heidelberg, and if you will look after the boys for a
day or two, I can have my desire."

"Certainly; I will for a day or two. At the end of that time I must go
home. Here's this dutiful boy of mine, with never a word for mamma, Annie,
or Adolphe.

"Well," said Johnny, remonstrating, "you took me so by surprise, papa,
that I forgot all about them."

"Your filial affection must be strong," said his father, laughing at him.

Johnny did not like this, and proposed to Eric to take a walk, and "see

While they were gone, Mr. Van Rasseulger arranged with the doctor to meet
them again at Heidelberg; meanwhile he would keep the boys with him for a
week. They would leave Paris the next day, if John was well enough.

Dr. Ward thought he would be.

Mr. Van Rasseulger explained that he had been obliged to visit Rotterdam
and Hague suddenly on business, and must go to Vienna, in Austria, and
start for home, within a fortnight.

"Don't neglect to take the boy to Munich, and show him to his grandfather;
and don't forget your promise to 'make him as hearty and strong as Eric,'"
he said.

Poor little Johnny, in the interval between his own birth and that of his
baby brother,--a space of seven years,--had been petted and pampered, and
almost thoroughly spoiled. His temper had suffered with his constitution,
and he became a delicate, sickly child. His parents, while living in New
York, had lost three boys, and fearing to lose Johnny, too, had sent him
to travel abroad, under Dr. Ward's care. Mr. Van Rasseulger was a native
of Germany, and thought there was no air so invigorating as that breathed
in on German soil. He had great hopes of its curing John's delicacy; and
Dr. Ward thought that a strange country and traveller's hardships would be
excellent aids in restoring the boy's natural health and good-nature.

Meanwhile, Eric was seeing Paris under Johnny's guidance. To be sure, he
could not see much in a day; but he took a look at the war column in the
_Place Vendôme_, saw the _Palace of the Tuileries_, the _Jardin des
Plantes_, and entertained his little cousin with an account of his visit
to the King of Holland, and his submarine diving, both of which Johnny
thought very wonderful. Eric was not much concerned at seeing so little of
Paris at the time, for he knew that the doctor intended to spend a month
there, after visiting Munich. He bought a guide-book while out with
Johnny, and then they returned to their rooms in time to see the doctor
start for Heidelberg.

"Eric," said Johnny, when Dr. Ward had gone, "I must show you the American
railway here."

"Why?" said Eric; "I'm sure that is the last thing I came to Paris to

"Now," said Johnny, importantly, "I suppose you think you know just what
it is; but you're quite as mistaken as if you were a donkey without

"John!" said his father, reprovingly.

"That was only a 'simile,' papa," answered Johnny, roguishly, as he led
Eric out again.

Sure enough, when they reached the railway, Eric found that his idea of it
had been far from correct.

"It is nothing at all but an omnibus running upon rails," he said: "I
don't see why they call it American."

"It isn't anything like as nice as our street cars--is it?" answered
Johnny, with a flourish of national pride quite pardonable in so young an

Just then the conductor, supposing the two boys wished to be passengers,
saluted them politely, exclaiming, "_Complete, complete!_" and the omnibus
rolled off along the rails.

"What did he mean?" asked Eric, quite puzzled.

"He said the coach was full," Johnny replied. "They are never allowed to
carry more passengers than there are seats for."

"That is still less and less like an American railway," said Eric,
laughing, and thinking of the crowded cars and overstrained horses he had
so often seen and pitied, wearily perambulating the streets of New York.

"Let's have some cake and coffee," Johnny proposed, as they were strolling
towards home. "I think French coffee is hard to beat."

"When I was your age," remarked Eric, "mamma almost decided to live in
Paris; but I am very glad she did not, for I think New York a great deal

Johnny led the way to a café--that is, a coffee-house,--and here they
regaled themselves with rolls and delicious coffee.

Eric was shocked to see Johnny appropriate a couple of cakes and two lumps
of sugar, left over from their repast, and convey them to his pocket.

"Why, Johnny!" he exclaimed, in a tone of mortification.

"They all do so," said John, laughing. "A Frenchman thinks he has a right
to everything that he pays for. Watch the others."

Eric looked around and saw several Frenchmen, who had finished their
lunch, following John's example.

"Well," said he, "if I should do that at Millard's, how they _would_ all

Johnny was quite pleased with his own importance in being able to show
Eric around the city, and proposed several places that they "ought to
see." But the afternoon was waning, and a damp, chilly breeze sprang up,
which Eric knew, from experience, was not at all good for the mumps. So he
very prudently hurried Johnny home, holding forth Froll's loneliness as an
additional inducement.



"Uncle John," said Eric, the next morning, "do you think of going through
Strasbourg, when we leave for Munich?"

"No," said his uncle; "I have business to attend to on another route."

"But, papa," expostulated Johnny, "we want to see the great clock in the
Strasbourg Cathedral."

"It will be impossible for me to go," Mr. Van Rasseulger said, very
decidedly; but seeing that both the boys were greatly disappointed, he
added, "If you could be a sober boy, Johnny, I might trust you alone with
Eric, and you might go to Switzerland by the Strasbourg route, meeting me
at Lucerne."

"By ourselves? O, how jolly!" Johnny exclaimed, turning a somersault upon
the floor.

"But the question is, my boy, _Can_ I trust you?"

"O, papa!"

"I will consider it, John. I can trust Eric, but your inclinations are apt
to be rather unsteady."

That was certainly true, for Johnny's inclination just then was, back
parallel with the floor, heels at a right angle with his head.

"But I think I will try you," continued his father. "I shall put you under
Eric's care, and require you to obey and refer to him. You may start
to-morrow morning, which will give you time to spend a day and night at
Strasbourg, and to meet me at Lucerne, on the evening of the day after

"Hurrah! hurrah!" screamed Johnny, leaping to his feet, "hurrah for
Strasbourg and its wonderful clock! Three cheers for--Good gracious!"

The excited boy's exuberant spirits went up with Eric's guide-book to the
ceiling of the room, and returned in bewilderment as the unfortunate book
came down in a basin of water in which he had been sailing his magnetic

"An encouraging beginning that," remarked his father, gravely.

"I didn't mean to, Eric," Johnny said quite meekly; "I guess 'twill dry in
the sun."

"Then you had better put it there," said Mr. Van Rasseulger; "you are
tearing the leaves by holding the book in your wet hands." Johnny spread
the guide-book upon a sunny window-seat, listening with interest to Eric's

"I must study the route on the map down stairs; and if you are willing,
uncle John, I will go out now with Johnny and get the tickets."

"Certainly," said his uncle; "but my advice would be to study a dry
guide-book and the map before getting the tickets; there may be a choice
of routes."

This was excellent advice, as the boys soon found. There were three
routes, and some time elapsed before they decided upon one.

At length they chose the shortest of all, as their time was limited and
they wanted it all for Strasbourg. Their choice, therefore, fell upon the
most direct route, it being straight across the country of France, and for
a distance of about two hundred and fifty miles traversed by rail.

They consulted with Monsieur Richarte, the landlord, and their uncle, and
decided to take an early train on the following morning. A ride of eight
hours would suffice for the journey, and their early start would enable
them to have a few hours for sight-seeing in the day and twilight.

But tourists should always allow for detention. For although Mr. Van
Rasseulger saw them safely aboard the early train in the morning, an
accident detained them at Vitry, and when they reached Strasbourg it was
night--a dark, rainy, dismal night.

They rode directly to the principal hotel, a large, roomy,
comfortable-looking place, and immediately after supper proceeded to their
room for the night.

Before retiring, Johnny looked out from between the crimson window
curtains, to see what he could of the city; but little was visible.
Opposite the window was a little two-story house, with queer stagings
about the chimneys. He called Eric to look at them, saying he guessed the
chimneys were being rebuilt.

"No, Johnny," said Eric. "You will find those stagings upon almost every
house here. They are erected by the house-owners for the especial
accommodation of storks that build in the chimneys and are the street
scavengers of Strasbourg."

"Are they?" said Johnny, sleepily; "well, let's go to bed." They were both
very tired and sleepy boys, and prepared for a good night's rest.

"I think I shall sleep well," Johnny remarked.

"And I'm sure I shall," said Eric. "I've travelled nearly six hundred
miles since night before last."

But they were destined to disappointment, for from the large, open
fireplace in the room there issued, all night long, a continuous wailing,
moaning, rustling sound, caused by the wind; added to which were the
dismal groanings of the old storks and piping of the young ones.

It seemed to Eric that he had but just fallen asleep, when Johnny was
shaking him and hallooing in his ear.

"Eric! Eric! it's a splendid morning! Get up quick. I want to go out and
see the sights. Hurry up!"

"Yes," said Eric.

Johnny scampered down stairs, and before long Eric joined him in the hall,
where the impatient boy was walking on his hands, with his heels in the
air, by way of diversion.

"All ready?" he cried, and resumed a position more convenient and becoming
for a promenade, as they started.

They had a fine, breezy walk.

Strasbourg is not far from the Rhine; and one of its tributaries, the
graceful, sparkling _Ill_ River, which, as Johnny suggested, is a very
_good_ stream, washes the city's walls and supplies it with water.

This city is famous for its immense fortifications, its Minster, or
Cathedral, and the Astronomical Clock of the Three Sages.

Its form is triangular, and the entire city is enclosed by a bastioned
line of ramparts and several outworks.

There are seven entrance gates, and on the east side is a strong
pentagonal or five-sided tower.

There is a network of sluices, by which the surrounding country can be
inundated. Strasbourg is one of the most important fortresses and arsenals
of France, besides being its principal depot of artillery. It is
pleasantly situated, but most of its streets are narrow, with lofty
eaves-drooping houses.

The boys were surprised to hear its inhabitants speaking German instead of
French, but learned that the town was originally German, and was ceded to
France in one of the Louis XIV. wars, when it became the capital of _Bas
Rhin_, a division of France, on the eastern frontier.

In many of the streets of Strasbourg are little wooden bridges, similar to
canal bridges. These are built over the Ill, which intersects the city in
all directions.

When Eric and Johnny took their stroll, it was market-day, and, even at
that early hour, the streets presented a lively scene.

Carts and drays were the stalls in the open street, and people were buying
and selling at a great rate.

The fish stalls were surrounded by storks; but the people seemed to mind
them no more than the birds minded the people. These storks are great
favorites with Germans. In Strasbourg they are as tame as our domestic
hens, and it is very comical to see them strutting importantly about, as
if they had as good a right to the sidewalk as the other citizens.

The boys returned to the hotel with ravenous appetites, but, hungry as
they were, could not appreciate the described daintiness of a most
apparently unpalatable pie, called _pâté de foie gras_; so they were
obliged to content themselves with other edibles and fragrant French

"Now for the minster!" said Eric, as they arose from the table.

"The _minister_?" exclaimed Johnny; "what for?"

Eric laughed.

"Not _minister_, but _minster_. A minster is a cathedral church."

"I don't care much about the minster, then," said Johnny, running up
stairs on all fours. "I've seen cathedrals till I'm sick of them. But this
clock _is_ curious, and I'm anxious to see it."

"Johnny," expostulated Eric, "walk properly. You ought to have been a
monkey.--And that reminds me," he added, "I must feed Froll and fasten
her, that she may do no mischief while we're at the cathedral."

Little Froll received an ample breakfast, and her silver chain was
securely fastened. Then the boys left her.

When they had been gone a while, and her breakfast had disappeared, Froll
became lonesome, and cast her eyes about to see with what mischief she
might best employ herself. But thoughtful Eric had placed every temptation
out of her reach.

Meanwhile Eric and Johnny were viewing the wonders of the famous
astronomical clock.

This clock is in the Strasbourg Cathedral. It was built in the cathedral,
before its completion, in the year 1439, and was invented by Isaac
Habrecht, a Jewish astrologer.

European clocks were first invented in the eleventh century, by the
Saracens, and used principally for monasteries. They were very rude,
simple affairs, and sometimes would only "go" when somebody pushed the
pendulum, which was rather inconvenient than otherwise.

So wise mathematicians tried to make improvements; and some succeeded,
among whom was Isaac Habrecht, who, in the fourteenth century, invented
the most wonderful clock in the world, and called it the "Clock of the
Three Sages," because once in every hour the figures of the Three Kings of
the Orient came out from a niche in its side, and made a reverential bow
before an image of the Virgin Mary, seated just above the dial-plate, on
the front of the clock.

It is built of dark wood, gilded and carved, and is sixty feet high. In
shape it is somewhat similar to a church, with a tower on either side of
the entrance; and these towers of the clock are encircled by spiral
staircases, which are used when repairs are necessary.

When Isaac Habrecht invented this wonderful clock, he meant it to run
forever, always displaying to the good people of Strasbourg the days of
the month, places of the sun and moon, and other celestial phenomena; and
while he lived it worked admirably: but when he had been dead a while, the
clock stopped; and as nobody else understood its machinery, it had quite a

After a while, however, the good people of Strasbourg took it in hand, and
it was repaired and set going--only to stop again. Thus it went on until
Napoleon's time.

Strasbourg, originally a German town, was ceded to Louis XIV. in 1681; so
the clock was French property, and Napoleon decided it must be brought to
life again. Under the most skilful French and German machinists this
repairing took place. It was eminently successful _this_ time, and, when
completed, was a great improvement on the old clock.

It will now give not only the time of Strasbourg, but of every principal
city in the world; also the day of the week and month, the course of the
sun and planets, and all the eclipses of the sun and moon, in their
regular order.

In an alcove, above the dial, is an image of the Saviour; and every day,
at noon, figures of the twelve apostles march round it and bow, while the
holy image, with uplifted hands, administers a silent blessing. A cock, on
the highest point of the right hand tower, flaps his wings and crows three
times; and when he stops, a beautiful chime of bells rings out familiar
and very musical tunes.

A figure of Time, in a niche on one side, strikes the quarter hours from
twelve to one; and four figures--Childhood, Youth, Manhood, and Old
Age--pass slowly before him. In a niche, on the other side is an angel
turning an hour-glass. The clock is in the south transept of the

Persons travelling abroad usually take Strasbourg on their route, to visit
its cathedral,--the spire of which is the highest in the world, being four
hundred and sixty feet high,--and to see its wonderful astronomical

Eric and Johnny were very much pleased with the famous clock. The guide
who explained and told its history to them was very good-natured, and even
allowed them to ascend the tower of the cathedral, which, usually, is not

Here they had a most magnificent view, which I cannot attempt to describe,
and only advise you to go and see it for yourself.

Before leaving the cathedral, they bought two photographs of the wonderful
clock, intending to send them home, with a description of their visit to

By the time their explorations were finished, Johnny declared that he was
so hungry, he could almost eat one of those goose pies. The morning was
quite gone. It would soon be time to take the train for Lucerne, and they
must have dinner.

"Won't Froll be glad to see us back!" exclaimed Johnny, as they reached
their room; "she doesn't like to be left alone."

Eric had bought some nuts for the little creature, and went with them
straightway to her cage.

The cage was just as he left it; the silver chain was there, too, fastened
to one of the bars and to the tiny collar; but the collar hung dangling at
the end of the chain, and Froll was nowhere to be seen.



A thorough search was instantly made; but neither around the room, nor
behind the furniture, nor upon the gallery roof, were any traces to be
found of the lost Frolic.

"It is too bad," cried Eric, in perplexity, while Johnny looked ready to
cry. "We must speak to the landlord, and ask him what we are to do."

Eric's German was by no means perfect; but he managed to make the
good-natured landlord understand their trouble. He made inquiries of all,
directly; but no one had seen the little monkey since the boys had left
her. He did not think it at all likely that she had been stolen, for no
one could get to the boys' room without being noticed by some of the
servants, and he was quite sure that she would return safely to her
comfortable quarters; so he advised the boys to leave the window open for
her, and to go at once to the dinner he had been for some time keeping for

His sensible advice was unwillingly followed; but Froll took no advantage
of the window left open for her benefit.

Eric and Johnny waited and watched impatiently, until it was almost time
to start for the train. Then Eric left directions with the landlord, in
case the monkey should be found and captured; promising to send for her.
He was just going to call Johnny, when he heard his voice, crying,
excitedly, "Eric, Eric!" and hoping Froll had returned, ran quickly up the

"See there, what I found on the floor," exclaimed Johnny, as he entered
the room, and held up before Eric's astonished gaze a jewelled ring, that
flashed and sparkled in the sunlight.

"Good gracious!" exclaimed Eric; "on the floor of _this_ room?"

"Yes," answered Johnny, "on the floor, just where you're standing. It's a
mercy we haven't stepped on it. Don't you think so?"

"We must find the owner at once. Isn't it splendid!" said Eric,
admiringly; "three diamonds and an emerald; it must have cost a fortune."

Just at this juncture the door opened, and the landlord, followed by a
French officer and a civilian, entered the room. The landlord exclaimed,
in German,--

"I beg your pardon, young gentlemen, but a serious loss has occurred in
the house, and as you are about leaving it, perhaps you will be kind
enough to let us inspect--"

"_Ah! mon Dieu! il y ait!_"[1] screamed the French civilian, darting
towards Eric and John, and, snatching the ring from Johnny's hand,
displayed it triumphantly before the landlord and the officer.

"I found it on the floor," said Johnny. "Is it yours?"

"A likely story!" muttered the Frenchman.

"I'm very glad you've got it," said Eric, with dignity. "My cousin found
it on the floor a minute ago, and we were on the point of taking it to the
landlord when you came in."

Eric spoke slowly and distinctly, and with an air of honest truth that at
once convinced the landlord. But the excitable little Frenchman, who had
been clasping the precious ring, and murmuring, "_Ciel, ciel! ah, ciel!_"
in an incoherent way, now sprang at Eric, and grasping him by the collar,
exclaimed, angrily, "O, you fine fellow! you wicked one! where is my--my
gold?--my gold? where is it?" and he gave the boy a series of shakes.

Eric's anger was fully aroused. With flashing eyes, "How dare you!" he
said, indignantly, and, turning upon the Frenchman, flung him with some
violence against the wall.

This made the little Frenchman still more furious; he would have sprung
again upon Eric, but the officer interfered. Johnny, with his eyes almost
starting from his head, had terrifiedly regarded this little scene,
doubling his fists to aid in Eric's rescue.

Eric turned indignantly to the landlord,--

"What is the meaning of all this? Are two defenceless American boys, your
guests, to be openly insulted in your presence without protection?"

"Count D'Orsay has been robbed of his diamond ring and a sum of money,"
explained the landlord. "He insisted that no person should leave the hotel
without examination. That is why we came to you. He has found the ring in
your hands, which is very astonishing, and he now suspects you of having
the gold."

The landlord spoke gently, and seemed grieved to be obliged to hurt their
feelings, as he knew his implied meaning must.

Poor Eric's face flushed hotly with shame and anger, while Johnny cried,
furiously, "Eric, Eric, for pity's sake send for papa! He will teach that
hateful Frenchman what it is to call us thieves."

"Be quiet, John!" said Eric, imperiously. "Come here."

"Now, sir," turning to the landlord, "please to let your officer search
us, and then our baggage. Do it at once, for we are to leave Strasbourg

"Indeed!" sneered Count D'Orsay. "Perhaps you will not leave Strasbourg
for the present. Search them, officer."

The officer advanced reluctantly, and, by his expression of sympathy,
showed himself much more a gentleman than the titled count, whose habitual
politeness had been driven away by Eric's powerful thrust.

The landlord, although deeply sympathetic, and convinced of their honesty,
was powerless to resist Count D'Orsay. He was a German innholder, and the
count a wealthy, influential French nobleman, with a proper warrant for
searching his house. So he could in no way protect the boys from the
indignity put upon them. But he hailed with joy Johnny's suggestion to
send for his father, deciding to do so at once, if they should be

Of course no gold was found upon either of them, except that given to Eric
for tickets and hotel expenses, and none was found in their baggage.

But just as they were preparing to leave the place, having been released
by the officer, Count D'Orsay uttered an exclamation, and pointed to a
_fauteuil_--an easy chair--by the window.


The officer stepped to the chair, and found, tucked between the cushion
and the arm, a silk purse, full of gold pieces.

Eric and Johnny were horror-stricken, and the good landlord was dumb with

The French count held up the purse triumphantly, and jingled the gold
before Eric's eyes, exclaiming, tauntingly,--

"It is mine, and I have it. The _prison_ is yours, and you shall have

"Eric, Eric," cried Johnny, in agony of terror, "they _can't_ send us to
prison. We haven't done anything. We didn't know the money was there, or
the ring. O, what shall we do? Send for papa!"

Eric's face was very white, and his hand trembled visibly, as he wrote his
uncle's address on a card, and requested the landlord to send for him.

Count D'Orsay wished them to be at once conducted to prison: but this the
landlord would not allow, and the officer declared was unnecessarily
severe. They might remain in their room, with a guard, and the landlord
would be responsible for their remaining.

As soon as the detestable Frenchman had gone, Johnny threw himself at full
length upon the floor, crying violently. Eric could not comfort him, but
sat at the window, with a proud, defiant face and swelling heart.

Presently the kind landlord came again to them.

He had sent word by telegraph to Johnny's father, and received a return
message. Mr. Van Rasseulger would be with them by night.

This was comforting. And gradually the boys thought less and less of their
trouble, and became quite interested in making conjectures with the
landlord as to when and how the money and jewels came into their room, and
if Froll's disappearance could be owing to the same cause, or in any way
connected with it, and if she would probably return at night.

"It's an ill wind that blows nobody good," said Eric; "and perhaps, by
being detained here, we shall find her."

[Illustration: Eric and the French Count.--Page 143.]

"I don't care what they do when papa gets here," said Johnny, whose faith
in his father's power was limitless. "He'll just _fix_ that Count

Meanwhile Mr. Van Rasseulger was whizzing rapidly towards them in the
afternoon train, and another powerful friend was coming from an opposite


  [1]  O Heaven! he has it!



One, two, three, four, five, six, sounded a deep-throated bell upon the
evening air, and then a chime of bells played Luther's Chant.

"O, dear!" groaned Johnny; "that's the wonderful clock; I wish we had let
it alone."

"Hark!" exclaimed Eric.

His quick ear had caught the sound of footsteps upon the stairway leading
to their room, and he fancied them to be his uncle's. He was right. The
door opened presently, and Mr. Van Rasseulger was with them.

"Well, what is all this nonsense?" he exclaimed, grasping Eric's hand, and
drawing Johnny into his lap. "A good-natured guardian lets you off for a
good time, and you get into trouble the first thing."

Eric related all that had occurred, a little embarrassed at Johnny's
admiring remark,--

"You ought to have seen him spin that little dancing Frenchman against the
wall, papa. I wish I'd been big enough! I'd have thrashed him!"

"Hush, Johnny," said his father. "Go on, Eric. You say he found the money
in the fauteuil. How in the world did the things get into this room?"

"That is just what puzzles everybody," answered Eric, earnestly. "Uncle
John, how _could_ it have got there? and the ring, too?"

"Where did you find the ring, Johnny?"

"Right here, sir, upon the floor, by Froll's cage;" answered Johnny,
getting up and standing in the place.

"It is very mysterious, certainly," Mr. Van Rasseulger said, "and the
strange circumstances give the man strong grounds for suspicion against
you. Of course, it is absurd to think that two little boys would have
committed such a robbery; yet the ring was found in your hands, and the
money concealed in your room, and therefore you are accused."

"But, papa, can't you take us away? We didn't do it."

"You silly boy, I _know_ you did not do it. But would you not rather stay
and prove satisfactorily to all that you did not? I should not wish to
take you from here while the faintest shadow of a suspicion lingered that
you were guilty."

"Nor would I wish to go," said Eric, proudly.

"Well, then we'll stay," said Johnny, dolefully; "but I think it is
dreadfully unjust to spoil all our good time. We Americans wouldn't do so
to a Frenchman."

"I'm afraid we would, under such suspicious evidences," said his uncle.
"But you needn't worry about it, boys; every cloud has a silver lining."

"It isn't pleasant to know we can't go out of our room," said Eric.

"No: I must arrange about that," Mr. Van Rasseulger answered. "I will
write a note to the American consul, and get you released."

Eric started suddenly to his feet.

"I am sure I heard Mr. Lacelle's voice," he said.

"You couldn't have," said Johnny. "You left him at Amsterdam."

"I did, I know I did!" persisted Eric. "There it is again: that is he! O,
Uncle John, go out and tell him about it."

His uncle left them, and before long returned, actually bringing Mr.
Lacelle with him.

The diver was surprised beyond measure to find his favorite Eric in
Strasbourg, and highly indignant at the circumstance which detained him.

"You are the most honest boy that ever lived," he cried, and told Mr. Van
Rasseulger about the box of sovereigns. "But come, tell me all about
this," he added.

Eric again related the incident, beginning with his discovery of Froll's
disappearance, and ending with the charge of theft and threat of prison.

Johnny, who despite his dislike of Frenchmen in general, cordially liked
Mr. Lacelle, was surprised to see his gradually increasing excitement as
Eric's story progressed. At its termination, he started to his feet, and
rapidly pacing the floor, exclaimed, joyfully,--

"_Ha! a bon chat, bon rat!_"[2]

"What have cats and rats to do with it?" thought Eric.

"He is crazy!" thought Johnny.

"Ah!" thought Mr. Van Rasseulger, "can he see through the millstone?"

"Eric, your good name shall be cleared of all suspicion. Give me your
hand!" exclaimed Mr. Lacelle. "I congratulate you, lad! I know who did the

"Do you?" exclaimed the astonished boy.

"Yes, my friend," answered the Frenchman, and darted from the room.

"Here's a go!" cried Johnny, thrusting his hands into his pockets and
striking an attitude; "he knows, and he hasn't told us what he knows, and
I think _his_ nose ought to be pulled."

"Do be still, Johnny," said Eric, "it's no time for jokes. Uncle John,
what could he have meant?"

"I am totally in the dark," replied his uncle.

"I wish Froll would come back," murmured Johnny.

"I have it!" cried Eric, suddenly, rushing from the room, by the guard at
the door, and after Mr. Lacelle.

"Well," said Johnny, "I wish I had!"

Count D'Orsay's conscience was not quite easy in regard to the manner in
which he had persecuted the two friendless American boys. His suspicions
had been aroused merely by the fact that they were about to leave
Strasbourg; and the discovery of the missing articles in their possession
had seemed at the time to prove their guilt conclusively. But upon
reflection, the honest surprise expressed in little Johnny's eyes, and
Eric's look of proud, indignant disdain, haunted him with suggestions of
their innocence.

Might it not have been just possible that they did find the ring upon the
floor, and did not know of the money's concealment? But, then--how could
it be so? How could the ring and money have happened in their room, and
for what purposes? Yet, again, if they did intend to steal, they had given
up everything. He had lost nothing; and the French government would not
thank him for quarrelling with an American just at that time. He would
send word to the landlord to dismiss the policeman and let the boys have
their liberty.

Just as this conclusion was reached, there came a tap at the door, and the
waiter entered with Mr. Lacelle's card, followed closely by Mr. Lacelle.

Count D'Orsay expressed great pleasure at the unexpected visit; but Mr.
Lacelle, waiving all ceremony, explained that he had come to clear his
dear American friends from the disgraceful charge against them.

He then spoke rapidly, in French, to the count, who appeared at first
surprised, then credulous, then convinced.

With sincere regret, he asked to be allowed to apologize at once, and
begged Mr. Lacelle to tell him of some way in which he could make some
amends for his unjust accusation.

"I wish you to be thoroughly convinced," said Mr. Lacelle. "Place the
articles upon the table, open the window, and conceal yourself behind the

Mr. Lacelle did so.


  [2]  "To a good cat, a good rat!"



Eric, when he reached the hall, was called by the landlord, who said,--

"I am having the rooms searched, at Monsieur Lacelle's request, for your
little monkey. Will you come with me? We may catch her more easily."

Eric was very glad to assist in the search. When nearly all the front
rooms had been thoroughly examined, to no purpose, the little truant was
found at last in the upper story asleep, on a soft cushion, in the
sunlight. Eric stole up softly and took possession of her.

She awoke with a loud chatter of defiance, and tried to escape, but Eric
held her fast.

The landlord then ordered a servant to close all the windows in the front
of the hotel, excepting those of Count D'Orsay, whose room was above that
of the two boys.

Eric hastened, at his request, for Froll's collar and chain, which were
fastened upon her, and then she was released upon the balcony under the
window of the boy's room, the landlord, Eric, Johnny, and Mr. Van
Rasseulger watching her movements with intense interest.

Meanwhile the count and Mr. Lacelle were stationed behind the window
curtains, on the lookout for the marauder.

Presently there was a sliding, scrambling, shuffling noise, and the thief
came in through the window--not Eric, nor Johnny, but a being very
insufficiently attired, and possessed of a long black tail; no less a
personage than the little monkey, Froll.

She walked straight to the table, climbed upon it, seized the ring, purse,
and a gold pencil which Mr. Lacelle had laid there. Then she withdrew to
the window, but to her rage and disappointment it was shut tight, and the
two gentlemen confronted her.

The little beast recognized Mr. Lacelle, and coolly handed him her stolen
freight, which was quickly restored to its rightful owner.

Thoroughly convinced of his unjust cruelty to Eric and Johnny, Count
D'Orsay descended to the balcony, offering sincere and earnest apologies.

Eric and Johnny, by turns hugging and scolding Froll, freely forgave the
indignity put upon them, and shook hands cordially with the mortified

Mr. Lacelle was in his glory. He shook hands with the monkey, stroked the
boys' heads, and called Mr. Van Rasseulger "my dear" in his excitement;
telling everybody how he had instantly surmised the true offender, on
hearing of Froll's disappearance, and recalling the scene at Gravenhaag,
when she had stolen his glasses, climbing in then through the open window.
Finally he expressed an opinion that Froll had formerly belonged to an
unprincipled master, who had trained her to climb in at windows and take
away valuables.

And here we will take an opportunity to remark that this was really the
case, and that Eric subsequently learned that the man of whom Mr. Nichols
bought her was arrested and imprisoned for practising with another monkey
the same trick.

Count D'Orsay could not be pacified until Mr. Van Rasseulger promised that
the boys should visit him at the _Hôtel D'Orsay_, on their return to

His conscience smote him for his unjust severity and unkindness, all the
more for the frank, confiding way in which the two little heroes begged
him to forget the incident.

When they shook hands cordially with him, a glad cheer ascended from the
throng of servants and spectators, whose honest hearts took a lively
interest in the affair.

The boys and Froll were made much of; and Mr. Lacelle delighted Johnny for
hours with accounts of the wonders of the sea, so that the young
gentleman, completely fascinated, made up his mind to be a submarine diver
when he grew up.

Froll's collar was tightened, and she was fastened to her cage, after
having a bountiful feast of nuts.

When the evening was about half spent, a waiter brought a large parcel to
the door. It was addressed to "The Two Young Gentlemen at Room No. 37,"
and contained books, toys, games, and confectionery, of which the count
begged their acceptance.

"This has been a day of adventures," said Eric, as he and Johnny were
retiring late at night.

"Yes," answered Johnny, sleepily, nestling between the sheets, "it has
been a day of adventures, beginning with the wonderful clock, and ending
with--Froll's--Froll's--the count--" and with a little more indistinct
muttering, Johnny was fast asleep. Eric had read his chapter, and said his
prayers with Johnny; but now, as he looked at his little cousin asleep, a
sudden impulse seized him, and falling upon his knees by the bedside, he
prayed that his influence over Johnny might always be for good, and that
God would bless the bright, loving little boy, and make him a lamb of His
fold for the good Shepherd's sake.



Mr. Van Rasseulger decided to take the boys to Heidelberg, and there await
Dr. Ward. It was inconvenient for him to do this, but he was unwilling to
let them travel alone with the monkey again, for Froll was certainly a
serious trouble.

So on the morning of the following day they took the steamer for an eighty
mile sail down the Rhine.

The landlord, Mr. Lacelle, and Count D'Orsay bade them an affectionate
adieu, after the two former had been sincerely thanked for their kindness
to the young strangers, and the latter had begged them to renew their
promise of a visit before they returned to America. To Mr. Van Rasseulger
he extended an urgent invitation to visit him, whenever it should be
convenient to him.

Just before they left, Mr. Lacelle requested Eric's address, saying that
he had written to Mr. Montgomery about the box of money, and would forward
his reply to Eric.

The boys were not sorry to leave Strasbourg, because Mr. Van Rasseulger
had told them he should propose to the doctor to obtain horses there, and
travel on horseback through the Black Forest, and over the mountains, to
Munich, in Bavaria.

They were enchanted with this idea, and during their sail down the Rhine
lost much of the beautiful scenery about them in mutual conjectures as to
whether uncle Charlie would like the proposition. When they reached
Heidelberg, the doctor was already there, waiting for them.

He was quite well satisfied with the plan, and said he would give the boys
two days to explore Heidelberg, and would meantime be making the necessary

The boys did not like Heidelberg particularly, and Eric's shoulders were
shrugged expressively when his uncle told him he was to be a student in
the university, after his school course was completed.

The only building of which they took any notice was the Church of the Holy
Ghost--a large structure with a very high steeple, divided so that
Protestant and Roman Catholic services were held in it at the same time.

But perhaps the picturesque old town might have had more attraction for
them, had not Dr. Ward and Mr. Van Rasseulger been looking up good horses
to purchase for the journey.

They soon found just what they wanted--a large, powerful horse for the
doctor, and a couple of small horses, almost ponies, for the two boys.

It was amusing to see the different evidences of delight manifested by
Eric and Johnny.

Eric's face flushed with glad emotion, and a quiet "Uncle John, how good
you are!" was all that he said.

But Johnny danced around the horses, wild with delight, throwing his cap
in the air, dancing and hurrahing with all his might, and bestowing kisses
indiscriminately upon his good papa and the dumb animals.

One of the horses was coal black, with a white star upon his forehead, and
one white foot; he was for Eric.

Johnny's was a bright bay, with four white feet and a white nose: and the
doctor's was a chestnut-colored horse, with a darker mane and tail.

Of course the first great question was, what they were to be called.

"I have named my horse 'Perseus,'" said the doctor, "in honor of the
illustrious slayer of the Gorgon Medusa, and the deliverer of Andromeda."

"I'll call mine 'Jack,' in honor of papa," said roguish Johnny.

"And mine," exclaimed Eric, "shall be Bucephalus."

Eric had just finished reading a classical history, and was greatly
interested in the account of Alexander's power over Bucephalus.

These names were soon abbreviated to "Percy," "Beauty," and "Jack."

After the horses had been duly admired, Mr. Van Rasseulger took the boys
with him, selected saddles, with travellers' saddle-bags, rubber cloaks, a
couple of blankets, and two tin boxes for provisions, with an inside
compartment for matches. The rubber cloaks were made with hoods, which
could be drawn over the head, completely protecting it.

Dr. Ward provided himself with similar apparel, and numerous little things
which the boys had no idea would be necessary, and even Mr. Van Rasseulger

The next morning everything was in readiness. The blankets, light
overcoats, rubber cloaks, and a change of clothing, were made into a roll,
and strapped behind the saddles. The tin cases were filled for luncheon,
and deposited in the saddle-bags, and the boys declared themselves in

But when the doctor presented them each with a light knapsack, a tiny
compass to wear upon their watch chains, and a pocket drinking cup, they
instantly discovered that they could never in the world have got along
without them.

The horses were pawing the ground, impatient to be off, their long manes
and tails floating in the cool morning breeze, their noble forms quivering
with life and excitement.

Johnny, divided between regret at parting with his father, and delight at
the novel excursion; Eric, eager and excited, with mischievous Froll,
demure enough just now, seated composedly upon his shoulder; the doctor
coolly testing the saddle girths, and Mr. Van Rasseulger seeing them off,
happy in their pleasure.

"Be good and kind to my boy, as you have always been, Eric," he said,
bidding his nephew "good by."

"You mean, uncle John, as you have always been to me," Eric replied, with
gratitude beaming in his eyes. "And Johnny is a dear little fellow; no one
could help being good to him."

"I hope he will grow like his cousin," said Mr. Van Rasseulger, with a
hearty smile; "and, Johnny-boy, you must be very obedient to uncle
Charlie. Do right, be a gentleman, and grow stout and healthy for papa."

"We will write from Baden and Ulm," said the doctor. "We ought to get
there by next week."

After a few more words of parting they set off, and were soon out of

Three hours later, as Mr. Van Rasseulger, on his way to Vienna by rail,
passed a turn in the road, the three travellers were in sight for an
instant, apparently in good spirits and prime condition.

He was extremely pleased with this unexpected view of them, and for some
time after they had again disappeared the wealthy New York merchant lay
back in his cushioned seat, building hopes of high promise upon the future
of Johnny's life.

Poor Johnny! he had been almost spoiled at home, but under the doctor's
firm guidance and Eric's good influence, was wonderfully improved. The
bright, merry little fellow was exhibiting his true character, long hidden
by ill-advised indulgence.



Up the banks of the beautiful Rhine, through picturesque hamlets, over
high, rugged mountains, and in the glory and grandeur of the forests, our
horseback travellers sought and found the best of all treasures--health
and happiness.

The Swabian Mountains, and the Schwarz Wold, or Black Forest,--a group of
mountains covered with forests,--through which they rode thirty-seven
miles, required from them the greatest endurance.

Nevertheless, upon the woody mountains, steep and difficult to climb as
they were, they found several thriving villages, where they were kindly
received, and where all their wants were generously supplied.

But on one occasion, when a violent storm arose, and they were near no
village, they were obliged to take shelter in an empty barn, and there
remained through the night, sleeping, with their horses, upon the hard,
board floor, with their knapsacks for pillows.

And Johnny had one thrilling adventure.

They had encamped for the night upon a small plateau, and, before
dismounting, Johnny rode back to the edge, and was looking down upon the
plains beneath, when suddenly he felt the ground give way from above where
his horse was standing, and in an instant horse and rider, covered by a
bank of sand, were sliding helplessly down the mountain. The shower of
sand smothered their cries, and neither the doctor nor Eric noticed their
disappearance at first. But presently Eric, turning to speak to him,

"Where in the world is Johnny?"

The doctor looked hastily up. Seeing the fresh earth at the edge of the
plateau, he rushed to the spot, examined it, and exclaiming, "Heavens! the
child has fallen down a slide!" prepared to descend in the same place.

"Eric, stay up there, and take care of the horses," he said, and was soon
out of sight.

Eric secured the horses, and then crept to the place from which the doctor
had disappeared. He found, just beneath him, a long line of large troughs,
open at both ends, and overlapping each other like shingles. It extended
entirely down the side of the mountain, and to his horror Eric saw at its
foot a lake.

"O, Johnny, Johnny! my dear little cousin! And uncle Charlie, too--they
will surely be killed!" he cried, in agony. For he knew at once that they
had gone down a timber slide, and was afraid they would be drowned in the

And now I suppose I must tell you what a timber slide is.

The Black Forest Mountains are covered with large and valuable trees,
which are felled and sold by their owners; and as it would be decidedly
inconvenient to take horses and carts up the mountain, and utterly
impossible to get them down with a heavy load of those giant trees with
sound necks, an ingenious Swiss invented the cheap and rapid way of
getting the trees off the mountain by means of a slide, formed of immense
troughs lapped together, and terminating in the lake, where the heavy logs
are chained together and floated to a railway or wharf, just as they are
done in our own country by the loggers of the Maine forests and other
woody regions.

Of course a descent in one of these slides, under ordinary circumstances,
would be extremely dangerous to human life and limb. But it fortunately
happened that neither the doctor, Johnny, nor Jack were seriously injured,
for the slide had been disused for some time, and in consequence of an
accident, somewhat similar to Johnny's, had been partially removed, and a
high, soft bank of sand lay at its new terminus.

Johnny and Jack were pitched violently into this, and rescued from their
very uncomfortable position by a party of English travellers encamped near

Many were the exclamations uttered at the marvellous and sudden entrance
of our young friend upon the quiet beauties of the twilight scene, and
bewildered Johnny scarcely knew whether to laugh or cry.

His first anxiety was for Jack, but the English gentleman who drew him
from the sand-bank would pay no attention to the horse until he was
convinced that Johnny was unhurt. Assured about this, he patted and
soothed poor frightened Jack, and walked him carefully over the soft
greensward, to see if he appeared at all lame; and then Johnny was
delighted enough to hear the horse pronounced all right.

Johnny had several pretty bad bruises, which the Englishman, who was a
physician, dressed for him.

By the time this was done Dr. Ward, whose descent had been much slower and
more careful than Johnny's, reached them, and his anxieties were at once
quieted by Johnny's assurance that it was

"Just the jolliest coast I ever had."

After examining both Johnny and Jack, to assure himself of their
well-being, and heartily thanking the Englishman for his kind assistance,
the doctor asked permission to leave Johnny under his care until he could
get Eric and the horses from the top of the mountain.

The new friend willingly undertook the care of Johnny, and the doctor
hastened up the mountain to relieve Eric's anxiety.

Johnny seated himself near the door of the tent, and a young man of the
party brought him some grapes. Jack neighed wistfully for his share, for
Johnny had made a great pet of him, always dividing his fruit with him.

"I'll give you some, Jack," he said, walking towards the horse. "Gracious,
how stiff and sore I feel."

While Jack was champing his feast with great satisfaction, an English boy,
of Johnny's size, came towards them.

"Is that your horse?" said he.

"Yes," answered Johnny; "isn't he a good one?"

"_Is_ he a good one?" asked the boy.

"I guess he is," said Johnny, hotly; "there isn't a better horse

"But papa's groom told me," persisted the English lad, "that a horse with
four white feet and a white nose was worthless. He says,--

            'One white foot, buy him,
            Two white feet, try him,
            Three white feet, deny him,
            Four white feet and a white nose,
            Take off his skin and throw him to the crows.'"

Johnny detected a roguish glitter in his companion's blue eyes, and with a
corresponding twinkle in his own, merely answered,--

"My old nurse says,--

              'There was an old woman went up in a basket
              Seventy times as high as the moon.'

I suppose you believe that, too."

This ready answer pleased the other, and they were soon fast friends.

"What is your name?" Johnny asked.

"Arthur Montgomery," was the reply.

Johnny wondered where he had heard the name before; but though he was sure
he had heard it, he could not remember where.

He began to feel quite tired and sleepy before the doctor returned for
him, and his bruises ached badly. Once he would have cried and worried
every one about him, if in such an uncomfortable state; but now he bore
the pain like a Spartan.

The doctor came at last, and after thanking the Englishman again, he led
the tired horse, with weary Johnny upon his back, to a wood-cutter's
cottage near at hand, where they were to pass the night.

Eric welcomed them with tears of joy in his eyes.

"O, Johnny, what a narrow escape you have had!"

"We ought to be very thankful," said the doctor.

"Yes," said Johnny, sleepily, "I am thankful!"

He woke up just before Eric went to bed, and said,--

"That boy said his name was Arthur Montgomery. Where have I heard that
name, Eric?"

"Why," exclaimed Eric, "that was the name on the box of money I found!"

"I knew I'd heard it somewhere," murmured Johnny, dropping off to sleep

Eric ran to tell his uncle.

"Ah," said the doctor, quite pleased to be able to return a good deed, "we
will see them in the morning."

But in the morning the English travellers had disappeared, and our party
could find no trace of them.

Eric was much disappointed. Now he would be obliged to wait patiently for
Mr. Lacelle's letter.

Johnny and Jack were not injured by their descent of the mountain, whose
only effects were some pretty sore bruises, which Johnny tried not to
mind, and an obstinacy in Jack's disposition that no human powers of
persuasion could ever remove. He could never, after that memorable slide,
be induced to go near the edge of any kind of an embankment; and he always
declined going aboard a steamer, until Beauty and Percy had gone safely
over the gangway.


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