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Title: Harper's Young People, December 9, 1879 - An Illustrated Weekly
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's Young People, December 9, 1879 - An Illustrated Weekly" ***

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[Illustration: HARPER'S



       *       *       *       *       *


Tuesday, December 9, 1879. Copyright, 1879, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: ON THE ICE-HILL.]


It was the 6th of January, that great holiday in Russia, when the river
Neva is consecrated with pomp and ceremony, when soldiers parade and
priests say mass, and the Emperor is visible, and the cannon roar. And
it was a gloriously bright and beautiful day; but Ivan and Olga, looking
out on the broad street and the glittering pinnacles of the palace
chapel, watching the sledges fly by with people all muffled in furs,
were two very disconsolate children. They had an English governess--for
Russian children have to study English as Americans do French--and they
had been so unruly, so impatient, and indifferent to lessons, that Miss
Stanley had forbidden their going out to see the sights. This was hard
indeed, but it was needful: that the children could not understand, and
they walked from the great porcelain stove, which reached to the
ceiling, over to the double windows, all packed with sand, and having
curious little paper cornucopias of salt stuck in it to keep the frost
from making pictures on the glass, to and fro, to and fro, in great
unhappiness. Outside, the thermometer was away below zero, but inside,
thanks to the stoves and the great copper heaters, it was as warm as

"Now, Olga," said Ivan, after an hour or two of this tiresome way of
spending time, "I am not going to stand this any longer; if I can not go
to the Neva, I am going to have a ride on one of the ice mountains, and
if you want to, you may go with me."

"Oh, Ivan, how would you dare? You know we are not allowed to go alone,
and Marie is at church, and we have no sledges."

"Tut, tut! have I not fifty kopeks [about fifty cents], and can I not
hire an isvochtchik [driver] to take us? and we can be home again before
they come from chapel. Come, Olga, let us have some fun."

Olga's conscience said "no," but the temptation was overpowering, and
after repeated urging from Ivan they both crept down softly to the
little apartment in the large hall where were kept their fur cloaks and
bashlyks, or cloth hoods, which are put over hats and ears. No one saw
them. Every one was at church, and the dvornik, or porter who guarded
the front door, was snoozing soundly, wrapped up in his sheep-skins,
near the heater. They got their fur mittens and tippets and cloaks down
from the pegs where they were hanging in the heated air, and put them on
in silence. In silence, too, they lifted the huge bolts, and slipped out
into the street. It was too cold to speak, for the air would have frozen
on their lips, and they hurried to a corner where usually there were to
be found sledges, whose drivers can endure any amount of cold, and who
even sleep out at night at theatre and opera while waiting for their
masters. Here Ivan found what he wanted, though the man's dull gaze
seemed to question the propriety of taking two children to the
pleasure-garden which Ivan indicated. The kopeks, however, were
forth-coming, and that was all he cared about; so in they jumped, and
tucked the furs about them, and away they went over the broad street,
flying past troiskas, with their three horses, and gay little sledges of
every description. Their route took them away from the Neva, where was
the greatest crowd, and they soon reached the entrance of the
pleasure-garden, climbed the great flight of wooden stairs to the
pavilion on top, where Ivan hired a sled, and paid for a glass of tea
hot from the big brass samovar, which is always boiling and ready for
use. Olga had scarcely time to think what she was about before she was
seated behind Ivan, and away they flew down the side of the frozen
mountain, all as hard as glass. But now it began to snow fast, thick,
and furious, and the people could not keep it off the ice. Ivan was
getting tired, too, and his hands were cold. This fun of going twenty
miles an hour had filled him with glee; but Olga lost her bashlyk, and
he found it hard to guide his sled. Suddenly he made a swerve to the
left, and, with a fearful jerk, over they went. It was a dreadful blow,
and had it not been for the kindness of the people in charge, both might
have been badly injured; but they were picked up and carried to the
pavilion, rubbed with snow on their noses and ears, and finally packed
in a sledge and driven home. How differently they looked at the
glittering crowd, and watched the animated scene! They had gone out full
of excitement and daring; resolved as Ivan was to resist authority, he
now was full of shame that he had gotten himself into a scrape. His
fingers ached, and Olga was crying and complaining of her ears. As they
neared their home a troiska drove up with ladies wrapped in sables, and
their mother and Miss Stanley alighted.

"Ivan! Olga! where have you been? what have you been doing?"

They told their story when they got in-doors, and Ivan had begged some
kopeks with which to pay the waiting isvochtchik--for his money had been
exhausted; and it was settled that they had been sufficiently punished
when it was discovered that Ivan's fingers and Olga's ears were

Both were sent to bed for fear of further harm from the cold, which is
considered by Russians the root of all evil in the way of disease; and
as they sipped their hot tea again, and nibbled the slice of lemon which
floated on the surface, Ivan said to Olga: "It is great fun to go twenty
miles an hour, but it don't pay to be bad. I'm going to work to-morrow
at those old English verbs, and I'll conquer or die."

       *       *       *       *       *

=The Trap-door Spider.=--One of the most singular specimens of insect
life is the trap-door spider of Jamaica. His burrow is lined with silk,
and closed by a trap-door with a hinge. The door exactly fits the
entrance to the burrow, and when closed, so precisely corresponds with
the surrounding earth that it can hardly be distinguished, even when
its position is known. It is a strange sight to see the earth open, a
little lid raised, some hairy legs protrude, and gradually, the whole
form of the spider show itself. These spiders generally hunt for food by
night, and in the daytime they are very chary of opening the door of
their domicile, and if the trap be raised from the outside, they run to
the spot, hitch the claws of their fore-feet in the lining of the
burrow, and so resist with all their might. The strength of the spider
is wonderfully great in proportion to its size.


    Upon a time--I do not know
  Exactly when, but long ago--
  A man whose riches were untold,
  Silver and precious stones and gold.
  Within an Eastern city dwelt;
  But not a moment's peace he felt,
  For fear that thieves should force his door,
  And rob him of his treasured store.
  In spite of armèd slaves on guard,
  And doors and windows locked and barred,
  His life was one continual fright;
  He hardly slept a wink by night,
  And had so little rest by day
  That he grew prematurely gray.

    At last he dug a monstrous pit
  To hold his wealth, and buried it
  By night, alone; then smoothed the ground
  So that the spot could not be found.
  But he gained nothing by his labor:
  A curious, prying, envious neighbor,
  Who marked the hiding, went and told
  The Sultan where to find the gold.
  A troop of soldiers came next day,
  And bore the hoarded wealth away.

    Some precious jewels still remained,
  For which a goodly price he gained,
  Then left the city, quite by stealth,
  To save the remnant of his wealth;
  But now, by hard experience taught,
  A better way to keep it sought.
  Broad lands he bought, and wisely tilled;
  With fruits and grain his barns he filled;
  He used his wealth with liberal hand;
  His plenty flowed through all the land;
  And, hid no longer under-ground,
  Spread honest comfort all around.

    Thus calm and prosperous pass the years,
  Till on a fated day he hears
  The Sultan's mandate, short and dread,
  "Present thyself, or lose thy head!"
  Fearful and trembling, he obeys,
  For Sultans have their little ways,
  And wretches who affront their lord
  Brave bastinado, sack, or cord.

    Before the dreaded throne he bowed
  Where sat the Sultan, grim and proud,
  And thought, "My head must surely fall,
  And then my master will seize all
  My wealth again." But from the throne
  There came a calm and kindly tone:
  "My son, well pleased am I to see
  Thy dealings in prosperity;
  May Allah keep thee in good health!
  Well hast thou learned the use of wealth.
  No longer buried under-ground,
  Its comforts spread to all around.
  The poor man's blessings on thy name
  Are better far than worldly fame.
  I called thee hither. Now, behold,
  Here are the silver, gems, and gold
  I took from thee in other days;
  Receive them back, and go thy ways,
  For thou hast learned this truth at last--
  Would that it might be sown broadcast!--
  That riches are but worthless pelf
  When hoarded only for one's self."

  S. S. C.

[Begun in No. 1 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, Nov. 4.]



Toni Hirzel recovered but slowly from the injuries he had suffered, and
the entire winter passed away before he found himself able to make use
of his limbs again. But the doctor's fears that he would never be able
to resume the life of a mountaineer were unfortunately confirmed. He
never properly recovered the use of his foot; and Toni often cast a
sorrowful glance at the gun now hanging useless on the wall. To this
cause of regret there was added anxiety for the future. The chase, which
had hitherto so materially assisted in supplying his wants, could no
longer be followed; and although Walter had grown tall and strong, he
was not experienced enough to take his father's place. In addition to
this, Hirzel had expressly forbidden his boy to have anything more to do
with hunting, which sooner or later would be sure to lead to a violent
and dreadful death; and in order to remove temptation as much as
possible from him, he sold his gun to one of his neighbors.

"Now, Watty," said he, putting the eighty francs which he had received
into a drawer, "we have got nearly money enough for another cow, and we
must see if we can't raise the remainder, that we may have at least milk
and butter."

"We have got plenty of money, father," replied Watty. "There is the
hundred francs that Mr. Seymour gave me lying useless in the desk, and I
insist upon your taking the half of it at least, to replenish the byre.
But," added he, with a sigh, "without chamois-hunting I do not see how
matters are to go with us. Do you know, father, I have been thinking
that I might do something to earn my living."

"In what way, Watty?"

"Well, I might go down to the inn every day, and offer my services to
the visitors as a guide. I know all the roads, and can show the people
the way to the Blue Grotto, or conduct them to the peaks of the Wellhorn
and Engelhorn; and as the landlord is always so friendly, I'm sure he
would recommend me."

"Not a bad idea," replied Hirzel. "To be sure, it is only for the
summer; but as there are always a good many travellers, you might be
able to save enough to carry you through the winter. Turn guide, then,
Watty," he added, after a little more consideration, "and I will stay at
home and attend to the house and the cow. Let us be thankful I'm strong
enough for that, at any rate."

The plan of operations which was thus arranged was not, however,
destined to be carried into effect, for the next day Frieshardt came to
pay a visit to the cottage, with a proposal of quite a different kind.
He had shown himself very attentive and neighborly since Hirzel's
accident, and had given him proofs of kindly feeling during the period
of his convalescence. The old friendship had therefore been fully
restored, and the affair of the cow and the borrowed money had been long
since forgotten. Hirzel rose as Frieshardt entered, and gave him a
hearty welcome, in which he was cordially joined by Walter.

"I have got a suggestion to make to you, neighbor," said the well-to-do
farmer, seating himself near the fire.

"To me!" exclaimed Hirzel. "What can a poor man like me do to serve

"I don't mean you so much as Watty," continued Frieshardt. "He has grown
a tall, sensible fellow now, and I know he is honest, every inch of

"Ah! you are right there, neighbor, although I say it to his face,"
replied Hirzel.--"You don't need to blush, boy. It is nothing more than
your duty to behave honestly.--But what can Watty do for you?"

"Well, the long and the short of the matter is this," said the farmer.
"I've got sixty head of cattle down in Meyringen, which I am going to
send to France to sell. A drover has been recommended to me who
understands the business, but I should like to send some reliable person
with him to look after the money, and see that everything is properly
attended to. I think Walter would be the man for me, if he will agree to
it. He shall have good wages, and everything done to make him

Father and son exchanged looks, and each saw in the countenance of the
other that the proposal was a good one. "If my father is satisfied,"
said the youth, "I shall be delighted to go."

"Well said," replied Frieshardt, evidently pleased. "Now let's hear what
you want for the journey."

"I would rather you would say what you will give," answered Walter. "I
don't understand such things very well."

"Well, then, I'll pay all your expenses there and back, and give you a
hundred francs into the bargain. Are you satisfied with that?"

"Yes, more than satisfied," replied the boy. "But I should like it
better if you would give father a cow now, instead of giving me the
money afterward. I should be glad indeed if he could get one before I go

"But what would you want for yourself when you come back?"

"Nothing, neighbor. If you will only grant my request I shall be quite
contented and thankful."

"Well," said Frieshardt, "you are a dutiful and kind-hearted son, and
I'm sure you will be a faithful servant. You shall have my cow Black
Elsy, and your father can fetch her whenever he chooses. Meanwhile, you
must be ready to go to Meyringen to-morrow morning," continued
Frieshardt. "I will go with you, and give you all the instructions you
will require. It won't be a difficult affair, and I'm sure you will
manage it easily. Adieu, till morning."

With these cheering words the farmer left Walter and his father to talk
over the unexpected change in their fortunes.

Shortly afterward Walter repaired to Frieshardt's farm, and came back
leading Black Elsy in triumph; and after taking farewell of his father,
returned to Frieshardt's house on the following morning. The route which
Walter's employer chose led them past the splendid waterfalls of the
Reichenbach to the charming village of Meyringen, where the cattle were
collected. When they reached the village they found a drover of the name
of Seppi waiting for them; and to the latter, as well as to Walter, the
farmer gave the necessary instructions regarding the treatment of the
herd during the ensuing journey.

Our young hero entered upon the journey actuated by the best of motives,
the duty of looking after the cattle absorbing so much of his attention
that he had very little opportunity for increasing his acquaintance with
his travelling companion. The fact was, however, that he did not feel
himself much drawn toward Seppi, from whom he had received anything but
a very friendly welcome when they first met; the drover had, moreover, a
rough and uncultivated manner, which was somewhat repulsive. His
treatment of the animals was unduly harsh when any of them became
restive and obstinate, and he seemed angry when Walter checked his cruel
behavior, and pointed out to him that the dumb animals intrusted to his
care should be treated with kindness and patience. But by degrees the
young men became more reconciled to each other; and as Walter accustomed
himself to the ungainly appearance of his companion, he came to the
generous conclusion that Seppi had an honest and well-meaning heart in
spite of his rough and unpolished ways.

They soon reached the French frontier, and after a long journey found
themselves in the outskirts of Paris. Walter had arranged the stages so
well that the animals were in admirable condition, and warranted the
expectation of a good and prompt sale. Seppi was of the same opinion,
and said he thought they would sell for even more than the price
Frieshardt had named.

"I think they will," assented Walter, cheerfully. "The cattle are in
splendid order, and we'll see if we can't astonish Mr. Frieshardt when
we get home."

"Ay, ay; we shall see," echoed Seppi, with a peculiar expression of

The cattle were all sold at high prices within three days, and Walter
decided to start for home the next morning.

"But why need we be in such a hurry?" inquired Seppi.

"Because we've nothing more to stay for, and the longer we stay here,
the more expense we shall cause to Mr. Frieshardt, and that would be
very wrong."

The drover shrugged his shoulders, and after a long interval added,
cautiously, "You must be very soft, Walter. If you were only a little
more wide-awake, we might make a good thing for ourselves out of this
affair, and no one be any the wiser."

"In what way?"

"Don't you see what I mean?" continued Seppi, with a cunning smile.
"You've got about one-third more cash than Frieshardt expects. What is
there to hinder us from dividing it between us? It would be a good thing
for us, and nobody could ever find it out, because we should both keep
it dark."

"I hope you are only joking," said Walter, with a serious look. "Do you
think I am going to swindle my master because he has put so much
confidence in me? You can't surely be in earnest, Seppi. You only want
to test my honesty."

"Bother your honesty," returned Seppi. "Sharpness is better than honesty
nowadays. You've got more than thirty thousand francs in that belt round
your waist; we've only got to divide it between us, and then we could
lead a glorious life in Paris. No one could ever find us out, for the
city is so large that Frieshardt might search for weeks before getting
on our track. Look at that, Walter! You'll perhaps never have such a
splendid chance again as long as you live. What have you to lose at
home? Nothing. You'll only be a poor half-starved fellow if you go back.
Now's your time. Seize the opportunity at once, like a man."

Walter refused, with great indignation, to heed this infamous advice.
His earnest words were followed by a loud burst of laughter from his
companion. "Don't fly into a rage, comrade, and excite yourself that
way," said Seppi. "You don't seem to know what a joke is. Just as if we
could pocket all that money without the police being at our heels
directly. Why, we should get at least ten years' imprisonment without
any manner of doubt. No, no; I merely wanted to see whether you were
really as honest and straightforward as Frieshardt made you out to be,
and I see he didn't praise you more than you deserve. Give me your hand,
old fellow, and believe me when I tell you that you shall never be tried
this way again. If you like, I will leave Paris with you this very
night, to prove to you that I was only making fun."

Walter drew a long breath. "Thank God that it was only a joke!" said he,
returning the friendly grasp of Seppi, of whose thorough sincerity he
seemed to entertain no longer any doubt. "I am quite agreeable to start
to-night, for so much money makes me feel anxious, and I sha'n't be
comfortable till it is in the hands of our master."

"Well, we can get off at once," assented Seppi, "and then we shall get
to Boissy before nightfall. I know a cheap and comfortable inn there; so
the sooner we're off the better."

Much pleased that his companion should agree so readily to leave Paris,
Walter felt sorry that he had entertained any doubts of his character,
even for a moment. Their simple preparations were speedily made, and
half an hour afterward they set out upon their return, and took the road
to Boissy.

It was dark by the time they reached their destination; but as Seppi
knew the village well, he had no difficulty in finding the inn, which
was about ten minutes' walk from the high-road. The house was old and
uncomfortable in its appearance, and produced a very unfavorable
impression upon Walter; but the welcome they received from the landlord
was so cordial that the impression was at once removed. An old married
couple and a young and powerfully built fellow seemed to be the only
occupants of the large building. At Seppi's order a bottle of wine was
brought, and Walter, being somewhat fatigued with the journey, was
easily persuaded to take more than his usual allowance. Overpowered with
drowsiness, his head sunk down upon the table, and in a few seconds the
unsuspecting youth was in a profound slumber.

"There's a snorer for you!" said Seppi to the man who had waited upon
them. "Lend me a hand to get him to bed, André."

Whereupon they carried him up stairs, and along a passage, to a small
room at the farther end, and laid him on a bed just as he was. Having
struck a light, André was about to leave the room, when he was detained
by the other.

"Look here," said Seppi, taking some money from his pocket. "I am going
away again to-morrow morning before daybreak, and may not be back until
the day after. Here is payment for our supper and night's lodging. My
friend will stay here, and you must not on any account allow him to go
away till I come back. Give him anything he asks for; but keep an eye on
him, for he is not right in his head, and must either have some one
always with him, or be locked in his room. I can't take him with me in
the morning, and so I have brought him here, where I know he will be in
good hands. You will promise to attend to what I have told you, André?"

"Your instructions shall be attended to," replied the other, slipping
the gold coin which Seppi tendered him into his pocket. "You shall have
no reason to complain."

"That's well. When I come back you shall have another gold piece if I
find everything right. And look here: only bolt the outer door to-night
instead of locking it, or else leave the key in the lock, so that I can
get away in the morning without waking anybody."

The man promised to attend to that also, and quitted the apartment. When
he was gone, Seppi bolted the room door, and gazed at his unconscious
companion with a malicious scowl.

"Fool!" said he, "I made you a fair offer when I proposed to go halves
with the money; but as you were idiot enough to decline, so much the
better for me. When you wake in the morning you'll be sorry you let the
chance slip."


Thus muttering to himself, he unbuckled the money-belt that was round
the waist of the sleeping man, and fastened it securely round his own.
He then abstracted Walter's passport and the other papers that were in
his pockets, without arousing him.

"He lies there like a dead dog," thought the drover; "and, with the dose
I gave him, is not likely to trouble any one till morning."

Waiting impatiently for more than an hour, until every one was in bed
and the house silent, Seppi quitted the room on tiptoe, locked the door
on the outside, and crept noiselessly along the passage and down the
stairs. André had not forgotten to leave the outer door unlocked, and
pushing back the bolt with the greatest caution, the ruffian slipped
out, and as soon as he had got clear of the village hurried away at the
top of his speed.

The Swiss drover had shown great cunning in his scheme to get possession
of the money from Walter, and he carried it out with equal boldness. He
had often helped to drive cattle to Paris before, and knew the roads
well. He had frequently been at the inn at Boissy, and its distance from
Paris, and the character of the man who attended to the business,
recommended it as well suited to his purpose. André, like many others of
his kind, was greedy of money, and the golden bribe quieted all his
doubts as to the truth of the story about his companion. Seppi, on his
side, knowing that the sleeping powder which he had secretly mixed with
Walter's wine was sufficient to prevent him waking for nearly a whole
day, gave himself no further trouble as to what might happen in the way
of pursuit. It was enough for him that his stratagem had been
successful, and he hastened along the well-known by-paths until he had
left Boissy far behind.



[Illustration: STRANGE GOLD-FISHES.]

Some time during the seventeenth century, about two hundred years ago,
Portuguese sailors saw swimming in the lakes and rivers of China and
Japan a very beautiful variety of fish, which glistened like gold. They
captured some specimens, and brought them to Portugal. The little fish
found the lakes of Europe as pleasant to live in as the lakes of China,
and they at once domesticated themselves, and raised their little
families, until the European streams became well stocked with these
beautiful creatures. They are also found in many brooks and streams in
the United States.

The glistening gold-color of these fishes made them much sought for as
household ornaments, and the demand for them became so general that
establishments were opened for raising them for the market. One of the
largest and most celebrated of these places for gold-fish breeding is in
Oldenburg, Germany, where more than a hundred small ponds contain the
fish in all stages of growth, from the tiniest baby to the big stout
fellow eight and even ten inches long. The little ones are carefully
kept apart from larger ones, for the gold-fish is a wicked cannibal, and
devours its little brothers and sisters, and even its own children,
whenever it has an opportunity. At the same time it is a great coward,
and will hide away from fish much smaller than itself that have the
spirit to attack it. A gentleman who possessed an aquarium in which were
several large gold-fish, once placed a tiny "pumpkin-seed," or sunfish,
about the size of a silver half dollar, in the water. Watching anxiously
to see that the gold-fish did not injure it, what was his astonishment
to see the "pumpkin-seed" dart furiously at the larger fish, which
huddled themselves in a corner, or scurried hastily through the water to
hide among the stones and mimic grottoes of the aquarium! From that
moment the "pumpkin-seed" remained lord of the field, scarcely allowing
his companions to come to the surface, as they are fond of doing, or to
take a mouthful of food until he had satisfied his own hunger. Finally
he had to be removed from the aquarium, to save the gold-fish from dying
of fright.

The enormous demand for gold-fish is shown by the fact that from the
establishment at Oldenburg alone over three hundred thousand fish are
sent to market every year. Their price varies according to their size
and beauty, for there are grades of beauty in gold-fish as well as in
all other things. They are very pretty household ornaments, and by
caring for them and carefully watching their habits, boys and girls may
learn their first lesson in natural history. If kept in a glass globe,
nothing can be more interesting than to watch them, for, as Mr. White
says, in _Selborne_, "The double refraction of the glass and water
represents them, when moving, in a shifting and changeable variety of
dimensions, shades, and colors, while the two mediums, assisted by the
concavo-convex shape of the vessel, magnify and distort them vastly."
Still, the fish may be healthier if kept in an aquarium, as it allows
more surface to the water, and consequently more air and ventilation. In
any case, fresh water should be given the fish at least every other day,
and if the globe or aquarium be ornamented with rocks and water-grasses,
the fish should be carefully dipped out once a week, and the rocks
thoroughly cleansed from all impurities.

Although the fish draw nourishment from animalcules supplied by the
water, and will live a long time without other food, it is advisable to
feed them by throwing bread-crumbs, or flies and other small insects, on
the surface of the water. The eagerness with which they dart for them
proves them to be welcome. Care should be taken not to scatter more
bread-crumbs than will be immediately eaten, for bread sours very
quickly, and renders the water impure. In changing the water the fish
should never be subjected to any sudden variation of temperature, as the
shock produced by a violent change from water of medium temperature,
which is always best, to ice-cold, might ruin the whole stock of an
aquarium in an instant.

The ingenious Chinese make great pets of their gold-fish, and with
patience teach them many tricks, such as eating from their hands, or
rushing to be fed at the tinkle of a bell.

The gold-fish belongs to the genus _Cyprinus_, or the great carp family,
and is sometimes called the golden carp.

[Begun in No. 5 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, Dec. 2]


A Day and Night Mährchen.



Watho having given orders, took it for granted they were obeyed, and
that Falca was all night long with Nycteris, whose day it was. But Falca
could not get into the habit of sleeping through the day, and would
often leave her alone half the night. Then it seemed to Nycteris that
the white lamp was watching over her. As it was never permitted to go
out--while she was awake at least--Nycteris, except by shutting her
eyes, knew less about darkness than she did about light. Also, the lamp
being fixed high overhead, and in the centre of everything, she did not
know much about shadows either. The few there were fell almost entirely
on the floor, or kept like mice about the foot of the walls.

Once, when she was thus alone, there came the noise of a far-off
rumbling: she had never before heard a sound of which she did not know
the origin, and here, therefore, was a new sign of something beyond
these chambers. Then came a trembling, then a shaking; the lamp dropped
from the ceiling to the floor with a great crash, and she felt as if
both her eyes were hard shut and both her hands over them. She concluded
that it was the darkness that had made the rumbling and the shaking, and
rushing into the room, had thrown down the lamp. She sat trembling. The
noise and the shaking ceased, but the light did not return. The darkness
had eaten it up!

Her lamp gone, the desire at once awoke to get out of her prison. She
scarcely knew what out meant; out of one room into another, where there
was not even a dividing door, only an open arch, was all she knew of the
world. But suddenly she remembered that she had heard Falca speak of the
lamp _going out_: this must be what she had meant. And if the lamp had
gone out, where had it gone? Surely where Falca went, and like her it
would come again. But she could not wait. The desire to go out grew
irresistible. She must follow her beautiful lamp! She must find it! She
must see what it was about!

Now there was a curtain covering a recess in the wall, where some of her
toys and gymnastic things were kept; and from behind that curtain Watho
and Falca always appeared, and behind it they vanished. How they came
out of solid wall, she had not an idea; all up to the wall was open
space, and all beyond it seemed wall; but clearly the first and only
thing she could do was to feel her way behind the curtain. It was so
dark that a cat could not have caught the largest of mice. Nycteris
could see better than any cat, but now her great eyes were not of the
smallest use to her. As she went she trod upon a piece of the broken
lamp. She had never worn shoes or stockings, and the fragment, though,
being of soft alabaster, it did not cut, yet hurt her foot. She did not
know what it was, but, as it had not been there before the darkness
came, she suspected that it had to do with the lamp. She knelt,
therefore, and searched with her hands, and bringing two large pieces
together, recognized the shape of the lamp. Therewith it flashed upon
her that the lamp was dead, that this brokenness was the death of which
she had read without understanding, that the darkness had killed the
lamp. What, then, could Falca have meant when she spoke of the lamp
_going out_? There was the lamp--dead, indeed, and so changed that she
would never have taken it for a lamp but for the shape. No, it was not
the lamp any more now it was dead, for all that made it a lamp was gone,
namely, the bright shining of it. Then it must be the shine, the light,
that had gone out! That must be what Falca meant--and it must be
somewhere in the other place in the wall. She started afresh after it,
and groped her way to the curtain.

Now she had never in her life tried to get out, and did not know how;
but instinctively she began to move her hands about over one of the
walls behind the curtain, half expecting them to go into it, as she
supposed Watho and Falca did. But the wall repelled her with inexorable
hardness, and she turned to the one opposite. In so doing she set her
foot upon an ivory die, and as it met sharply the same spot the broken
alabaster had already hurt, she fell forward with her outstretched hands
against the wall. Something gave way, and she tumbled out of the cavern.


But, alas! _out_ was very much like _in_, for the same enemy, the
darkness, was here also. The next moment, however, came a great
gladness--a fire-fly, which had wandered in from the garden. She saw the
tiny spark in the distance. With slow pulsing ebb and throb of light, it
came pushing itself through the air, drawing nearer and nearer, with
that motion which more resembles swimming than flying, and the light
seemed the source of its own motion.

"My lamp! my lamp!" cried Nycteris. "It is the shiningness of my lamp,
which the cruel darkness drove out. My good lamp has been waiting for me
here all the time! It knew I would come after it, and waited to take me
with it."

She followed the fire-fly, which, like herself, was seeking the way out.
If it did not know the way, it was yet light; and because all light is
one, any light may serve to guide to more light. If she was mistaken in
thinking it the spirit of her lamp, it was of the same spirit as her
lamp--and had wings. The gold-green jet boat, driven by light, went
throbbing before her through a long narrow passage. Suddenly it rose
higher, and the same moment Nycteris fell upon an ascending stair. She
had never seen a stair before, and found going up a curious sensation.
Just as she reached what seemed the top, the fire-fly ceased to shine,
and so disappeared. She was in utter darkness once more. But when we are
following the light, even its extinction is a guide. If the fire-fly had
gone on shining, Nycteris would have seen the stair turn, and would have
gone up to Watho's bedroom; whereas now, feeling straight before her,
she came to a latched door, which after a good deal of trying she
managed to open--and stood in a maze of wondering perplexity, awe, and
delight. What was it? Was it outside of her, or something taking place
in her head? Before her was a very long and very narrow passage, broken
up she could not tell how, and spreading out above and on all sides to
an infinite height and breadth and distance--as if space itself were
growing out of a trough. It was brighter than her rooms had ever been,
brighter than if six alabaster lamps had been burning in them. There was
a quantity of strange streaking and mottling about it, very different
from the shapes on her walls. She was in a dream of pleasant perplexity,
of delightful bewilderment. She could not tell whether she was upon her
feet or drifting about like the fire-fly, driven by the pulses of an
inward bliss. But she knew little as yet of her inheritance.
Unconsciously she took one step forward from the threshold, and the girl
who had been from her very birth a troglodyte stood in the ravishing
glory of a Southern night, lit by a perfect moon--not the moon of our
Northern clime, but a moon like silver glowing in a furnace--a moon one
could see to be a globe--not far off, a mere flat disk on the face of
the blue, but hanging down half way, and looking as if one could see all
round it by a mere bending of the neck.

"It is my lamp!" she said, and stood dumb with parted lips. She looked
and felt as if she had been standing there in silent ecstasy from the

"No, it is not my lamp," she said, after a while; "it is the mother of
all the lamps."

And with that she fell on her knees, and spread out her hands to the
moon. She could not in the least have told what was in her mind, but the
action was in reality just a begging of the moon to be what she
was--that precise incredible splendor hung in the far-off roof, that
very glory essential to the being of poor girls born and bred in
caverns. It was a resurrection--nay, a birth itself--to Nycteris. What
the vast blue sky, studded with tiny sparks like the heads of diamond
nails, could be; what the moon, looking so absolutely content with
light--why, she knew less about them than you and I! but the greatest of
astronomers might envy the rapture of such a first impression at the age
of sixteen. Immeasurably imperfect it was, but false the impression
could not be, for she saw with the eyes made for seeing, and saw indeed
what many men are too wise to see.

As she knelt, something softly flapped her, embraced her, stroked her,
fondled her. She rose to her feet, but saw nothing, did not know what it
was. It was likest a woman's breath. For she knew nothing of the air
even, had never breathed the still new-born freshness of the world. Her
breath had come to her only through long passages and spirals in the
rock. Still less did she know of the air alive with motion--of that
thrice blessed thing, the wind of a summer night. It was like a
spiritual wine, filling her whole being with an intoxication of purest
joy. To breathe was a perfect existence. It seemed to her the light
itself she drew into her lungs. Possessed by the power of the gorgeous
night, she seemed at one and the same moment annihilated and glorified.

She was in the open passage or gallery that ran round the top of the
garden walls, between the cleft battlements, but she did not once look
down to see what lay beneath. Her soul was drawn to the vault above her,
with its lamp and its endless room. At last she burst into tears, and
her heart was relieved, as the night itself is relieved by its lightning
and rain.

And now she grew thoughtful. She must hoard this splendor. What a little
ignorance her jailers had made of her! Life was a mighty bliss, and they
had scraped hers to the bare bone. They must not know that she knew. She
must hide her knowledge--hide it even from her own eyes, keeping it
close in her bosom, content to know that she had it, even when she could
not brood on its presence, feasting her eyes with its glory. She turned
from the vision, therefore, with a sigh of utter bliss, and with soft
quiet steps and groping hands stole back into the darkness of the rock.
What was darkness or the laziness of Time's feet to one who had seen
what she had that night seen? She was lifted above all weariness, above
all wrong.

When Falca entered, she uttered a cry of terror. But Nycteris called to
her not to be afraid, and told her how there had come a rumbling and a
shaking, and the lamp had fallen. Then Falca went and told her mistress,
and within an hour a new globe hung in the place of the old one.
Nycteris thought it did not look so bright and clear as the former, but
she made no lamentation over the change; she was far too rich to heed
it. For now, prisoner as she knew herself, her heart was full of glory
and gladness; at times she had to hold herself from jumping up and going
dancing and singing about the room. When she slept, instead of dull
dreams, she had splendid visions. There were times, it is true, when she
became restless, and impatient to look upon her riches, but then she
would reason with herself, saying, "What does it matter if I sit here
for ages with my poor pale lamp, when out there a lamp is burning at
which ten thousand little lamps are glowing with wonder?"

She never doubted she had looked upon the day and the sun, of which she
had read; and always when she read of the day and the sun, she had the
night and the moon in her mind; and when she read of the night and the
moon, she thought only of the cave and the lamp that hung there.



It was some time before she had a second opportunity of going out, for
Falca, since the fall of the lamp, had been a little more careful, and
seldom left her for long. But one night, having a little headache,
Nycteris lay down upon her bed, and was lying with her eyes closed, when
she heard Falca come to her, and felt she was bending over her.
Disinclined to talk, she did not open her eyes, and lay quite still.
Satisfied that she was asleep, Falca left her, moving so softly that her
very caution made Nycteris open her eyes and look after her--just in
time to see her vanish--through a picture, as it seemed, that hung on
the wall a long way from the usual place of issue. She jumped up, her
headache forgotten, and ran in the opposite direction; got out, groped
her way to the stair, climbed, and reached the top of the wall.--Alas!
the great room was not so light as the little one she had left. Why?
Sorrow of sorrows! the great lamp was gone! Had its globe fallen? and
its lovely light gone out upon great wings, a resplendent fire-fly,
soaring itself through a yet grander and lovelier room? She looked down
to see if it lay anywhere broken to pieces on the carpet below, but she
could not even see the carpet. But surely nothing very dreadful could
have happened--no rumbling or shaking, for there were all the little
lamps shining brighter than before, not one of them looking as if any
unusual matter had befallen. What if each of those little lamps was
growing into a big lamp, and after being a big lamp for a while, had to
go out and grow a bigger lamp still--out there, beyond this _out_?--Ah!
here was the living thing that would not be seen, come to her
again--bigger to-night!--with such loving kisses, and such liquid
strokings of her cheeks and forehead, gently tossing her hair, and
delicately toying with it! But it ceased, and all was still. Had it gone
out? What would happen next? Perhaps the little lamps had not to grow
great lamps, but to fall one by one and go out first?--With that came
from below a sweet scent, then another, and another. Ah, how delicious!
Perhaps they were all coming to her only on their way out after the
great lamp!--Then came the music of the river, which she had been too
absorbed in the sky to note the first time. What was it? Alas! alas!
another sweet living thing on its way out. They were all marching slowly
out in long lovely file, one after the other, each taking its leave of
her as it passed! It must be so: here were more and more sweet sounds,
following and fading! The whole of the _Out_ was going out again; it was
all going after the great lovely lamp! She would be left the only
creature in the solitary day! Was there nobody to hang up a new lamp for
the old one, and keep the creatures from going?--She crept back to her
rock very sad. She tried to comfort herself by saying that anyhow there
would be room out there; but as she said it she shuddered at the thought
of _empty_ room.

When next she succeeded in getting out, a half-moon hung in the east: a
new lamp had come, she thought, and all would be well.

It would be endless to describe the phases of feeling through which
Nycteris passed, more numerous and delicate than those of a thousand
changing moons. A fresh bliss bloomed in her soul with every varying
aspect of infinite nature. Ere long she began to suspect that the new
moon was the old moon, gone out and come in again, like herself; also
that, unlike herself, it wasted and grew again; that it was indeed a
live thing, subject like herself to caverns, and keepers, and solitudes,
escaping and shining when it could. Was it a prison like hers it was
shut in? and did it grow dark when the lamp left it? Where could be the
way into it?--With that, first she began to look below, as well as above
and around her, and then first noted the tops of the trees between her
and the floor. There were palms with their red-fingered hands full of
fruit, eucalyptus-trees crowded with little boxes of powder puffs,
oleanders with their half-caste roses, and orange-trees with their
clouds of young silver stars and their aged balls of gold. Her eyes
could see colors invisible to ours in the moonlight, and all these she
could distinguish well, though at first she took them for the shapes and
colors of the carpet of the great room. She longed to get down among
them, now she saw they were real creatures, but she did not know how.
She went along the whole length of the wall to the end that crossed the
river, but found no way of going down. Above the river she stopped to
gaze with awe upon the rushing water. She knew nothing of water but from
what she drank and what she bathed in; and as the moon shone on the
dark, swift stream, singing lustily as it flowed, she did not doubt the
river was alive, a swift rushing serpent of life, going--out?--whither?
And then she wondered if what was brought into her rooms had been killed
that she might drink it, and have her bath in it.

Once when she stepped out upon the wall, it was into the midst of a
fierce wind. The trees were all roaring. Great clouds were rushing along
the skies, and tumbling over the little lamps: the great lamp had not
come yet. All was in tumult. The wind seized her garments and hair, and
shook them as if it would tear them from her. What could she have done
to make the gentle creature so angry? Or was this another creature
altogether--of the same kind, but hugely bigger, and of a very different
temper and behavior? But the whole place was angry! Or was it that the
creatures dwelling in it, the wind, and the trees, and the clouds, and
the river, had all quarrelled, each with all the rest? Would the whole
come to confusion and disorder? But as she gazed, wondering and
disquieted, the moon, larger than ever she had seen her, came lifting
herself above the horizon to look, broad and red as if she too were
swollen with anger that she had been roused from her rest by their
noise, and compelled to hurry up to see what her children were about,
thus rioting in her absence, lest they should rack the whole frame of
things. And as she rose, the loud wind grew quieter, and scolded less
fiercely, the trees grew stiller, and moaned with a lower complaint, and
the clouds hunted and hurled themselves less wildly across the sky. And
as if she were pleased that her children obeyed her very presence, the
moon grew smaller as she ascended the heavenly stair; her puffed cheeks
sank, her complexion grew clearer, and a sweet smile spread over her
countenance, as peacefully she rose and rose. But there was treason and
rebellion in her court; for ere she reached the top of her great stairs
the clouds had assembled, forgetting their late wars, and very still
they were as they laid their heads together and conspired. Then
combining, and lying silently in wait until she came near, they threw
themselves upon her, and swallowed her up. Down from the roof came spots
of wet, faster and faster, and they wetted the cheeks of Nycteris; and
what could they be but the tears of the moon, crying because her
children were smothering her? Nycteris wept too, and not knowing what to
think, stole back in dismay to her room.

The next time she came out in fear and trembling. There was the moon
still! away in the west--poor, indeed, and old, and looking dreadfully
worn, as if all the wild beasts in the sky had been gnawing at her; but
there she was, alive still, and able to shine.


       *       *       *       *       *

=The Royal Fern.=--A legend has been handed down from the time of the
Danish invasions of Britain, explanatory of the generic name of
Osmunda--an island, covered with large specimens of this fern, figuring
prominently in the story. Osmund, the ferryman of Loch Tyne, had a
beautiful child, who was the pride of his life and the joy of his heart.
In those days, when the merciless Danes were making their terrible
descents upon the coasts of Great Britain, slaughtering the peaceful
inhabitants, and pillaging wherever they went, no man could say how long
he would be free from molestation and outrage. But Osmund, throughout
the troublous times, had lived quietly in his country home with his wife
and beautiful daughter.

The peaceful calm of his life was, however, destined to be broken. One
evening the ferryman was sitting, with his wife and child, on the margin
of the lake, after his day's work. The setting sun was tingeing with
roseate glory the fleecy banks of cloud, piled up against the horizon,
silvering the surface of the rippling lake, and adding a richer hue to
the golden locks of Osmund's darling child. Suddenly the sound of
hurrying footsteps startled the quiet group. Men, women, and children
came hastening from the neighboring village, and breathlessly, as they
passed, they told the ferryman that the terrible Danes were coming.
Quick as thought Osmund sprang to his feet, seized his wife and child,
and hurried them into his ferry-boat. Away he rowed with them pulling
for very life--in the direction of a small island in the loch, densely
covered with the tall and stately fronds of the royal fern. He quickly
hid his precious charges amongst the clustering fronds, and then rowed
rapidly back to his ferry place. He had rightly divined that the Danes
needed his assistance, and would not hurt him.

For many hours of the ensuing night he worked with might and main to
carry the fierce invaders across the ferry. When they had all
disappeared on the opposite bank, Osmund returned to his trembling wife
and child, and brought them safely back to his cottage. In
commemoration, it is said, of this event, the fair daughter of Osmund
gave the great island fern her father's name. Those who care not to
accept this fanciful origin of the name Osmunda, will perhaps incline to
another suggestion which has been made, that the generic name had been
derived from an old Saxon word signifying strength, the specific name
indicating its royal or stately habit of growth.



Little girls who like to carry their pets with them on a journey will be
glad to know how to make this pretty and convenient bag, by means of
which Fido and Mutt can travel like princes. The bag is made of black
leather, and is closed on the side with a lock and key and clamps. The
pocket for holding the dog is fifteen inches wide and nine inches and a
half high. The front is cut out, leaving a margin on the edges an inch
and a half wide, and the opening is filled with a wire screen, through
which the little prisoner can see and breathe freely. For protection,
the screen is covered by two leather flaps, fastened one at the bottom
and one at the top of the bag, which overlap each other, and are secured
by steel clasps.

[Illustration: OUR POST-OFFICE BOX.]

We do not print all letters received, as some are too long, and others
simply ask a question, to which we give an answer. Here is a pretty
letter which needs no comments:

     I am a little boy eleven years old, and have been living in South
     Carolina, but last summer I got hurt while playing with the boys,
     and have been sick ever since. I have not walked for five months.
     My parents have brought me to Salem, Massachusetts, where I could
     have good doctor's care. My cousin, who lives in New York, very
     kindly sends me _Harper's Young People_, and I want to tell you how
     much I enjoy it. I am very lonely lying still all the time, but the
     boys come to see me, and one of them has two rabbits for me when I
     am able to take care of them. I wish all the little boys and girls
     could have your paper, it is so nice.


       *       *       *       *       *

"FRED," of Montclair, New Jersey, writes:

     I have a handsome yellow cat named Goldy. My cousins Howard and
     Charlie have a cat named Blacky, and a dog named Jack. Papa reads
     us _Harper's Young People_ every Sunday, and I like it very much.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here are some very pleasant words from J. E. Woodbridge, Duluth,

     I wish to tell you how I like your paper. I do really like it. I
     wish you would put boys' pieces in the paper for speaking in
     school. I live in Duluth, on the shore of a very big lake--the
     biggest in the world, I think. I am seven years old. I have a
     little yellow dog, and he grins when he is pleased.

       *       *       *       *       *

JAMES LONG.--The examinations for admission to the school-ship _St.
Mary's_ are easily passed by any school-boy of moderate ability, but it
is indispensable that the applicant be physically sound, and of good
moral character. Neither money nor influence is needed to gain
admission, and the expense on entering is confined to the cost of outfit
and uniform. You can make fuller inquiries of David R. Wetmore, Esq.,
chairman of the Committee on Nautical School, of the New York City Board
of Education, or on board the _St. Mary's_, which is now in
winter-quarters at the foot of East Twenty-third Street, New York city.

       *       *       *       *       *

C. D. F.--The measurement of glasses for "Boy's Telescope" refers to the
focus, not to the size of glass. Any reliable optician will supply you
with the lenses.

       *       *       *       *       *

AGNES P.--Your answers to puzzles are correct. We do not know the
address of Lulu W., but will print it if she will send it to us.

       *       *       *       *       *

"LOUISE," Dubuque.--Your account of Sir Rowland Hill is correct, and
very neatly written, but as it is almost the same as those we have
already printed, we do not give it.

       *       *       *       *       *

"MAX."--Your numerical charade is very good, but contains too many
repetitions of the same letter to be perfect; therefore we do not print

       *       *       *       *       *

Answers sent by R. Dunlop Foster, Chicago, to mathematical puzzles are
correct, with the exception of No. 2, which is not carried back to the
original amount possessed by the poor old man when the water-spirit made
his first offer.

       *       *       *       *       *

M. A. C., Rochester, writes: I have commenced taking your little paper,
and I write now to tell you that I am delighted with it. I read it to my
brothers and sisters, who are very much interested in the story of "The
Brave Swiss Boy."

       *       *       *       *       *

J. E. B., another bright little girl, gives us a scolding, which we hope
she will retract before long.

       *       *       *       *       *

H. A. T.--We can not give any puzzles not accompanied by full name and
address of the sender, as well as the answers.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following communication from a youthful reader in Washington, D. C.,
will be of interest to young bicyclists in other cities:

     Here in the City of Magnificent Distances, where many of the
     streets are 100 feet wide and the avenues 160, the speed of the
     bicycle surpasses even that of the horse.

     Many of the streets are "concrete," and a run over them is sure to
     be attended with boundless pleasure, and often a race.

     There are about thirty bicyclists in the city, twenty of whom have
     formed a club. To see them, with their blue caps and leather
     leggings, six abreast, coming down the Avenue with their arms
     folded, causes many an equestrian to spur up his horse in vain.

     Through the surrounding villages it is a common occurrence to see
     eight or ten bicyclists pass, especially on public holidays.

     Many riders have a small bell attached to the handle, which is rung
     as an alarm to pedestrians, for the approach of the bicycle is as
     devoid of noise as that of the tiger. In the evening a lantern also
     is hung on the axle of the driving-wheel between the spokes, and
     the noiseless and rapid approach of such a red light might suggest
     to a stranger thoughts of the infernal regions.

     In conclusion, I will say that bicycling is the most exhilarating
     and invigorating pastime for boys ever yet discovered.

  N. L. C.




"Yes, next month comes that old, everlasting Thanksgiving-day. I wonder
why we have to spend more than half of it at the dinner table!"

"Suppose we don't? Let us strike out on a new lead."

"What can we do? Grandmother's pumpkin pies must be eaten, and
grandfather's great turkey must be carved."

"Well, Charlie, I like originality."

"What is that, Sue?--anything in the candy shop?"

"You dreadful boy! You are just too--"

"Sweet for anything," put in Charlie.

Sue jumped up and tried to box his ears; but she chased him out into the
hall, and tripped over the mats, and away he went up the stairs, and
stood laughing at her as she gathered up her worsted-work.

"If _I_ were a gentleman," said Sue, in her haughtiest manner, "I would
assist my friends when misfortune overtook them."

"Hear! hear!" cried Charlie.

"I had the nicest little plan to propose," she went on.

"What was it, Sue?" said Charlie, whose curiosity was aroused.

"Not a word more to one so ungallant, so very rude."

"Ah, Sue dear," coaxed Charlie, coming down and putting his arm around
her, "you are the nicest little sister in the world, if you did want to
box my ears. Now tell us the plan, that's a darling."

"Well, it isn't much, after all; it is only that I want to make
Thanksgiving a little more of a reality, and I thought--now, Charlie,
don't laugh at me--that if we could do something for somebody, which
would make him thankful, wouldn't it be nicer."

"And who did you think of?"

"I thought of old black Betsey and her husband, they both are so old and
so poor. Suppose we give them a dinner?"

"All by ourselves? Where would we get the money?"

"We will have an exhibition of cats. I will borrow Aunt May's old tabby,
and John's big Tom, and Lulie Bell's five white kittens, and we have our
own, and you can get others, and we will rig up a room in the barn, and
put placards up, and I will tie bright ribbons on all their necks, and
we'll charge ten cents for grown people and five cents for children,
and--oh, I don't know what else."


The idea suited Charlie, and no time must be lost. Every day was
valuable. Mother was consulted, and had no objections. Father gave
permission to use the harness-room. The cats were borrowed: big cats and
little cats, sleepy old pussies and lively young kits, gray cats, white
cats, and "cherry-colored cats," as the placard read. "For one day
only," was also on the placard. Charlie was door-keeper, and a busy time
had Sue in keeping peace among the pussies. They screamed and scratched,
and kept up a perfect _Pinafore_ chorus, until the child wished she was
deaf, or could give them all opium; but the day wore on, and all the
children of their acquaintance enjoyed the sport, and not a few of the
elders looked in upon them. By evening Charlie was rejoicing in the
possession of a full money-box, but his face grew long as he counted the
pennies. In reply to Sue's eager query of "How much?"

"Only two dollars and a half," was his dejected reply.

"Well, we can buy lots of things with that," said Sue, whose knowledge
of marketing was limited.

"I am afraid it will take all for the turkey."

"Then we'll get chickens," said Sue.

"And how about cranberry jelly?"

"Mother will give us apples from her barrel."

"And celery, and sweet-potatoes, and all the other goodies?"

"We must make it all do. I will go to Mr. Scott, the grocer, and tell
him we want everything at the very lowest price."

"Well, I leave it all to you," said Charlie, with masculine disdain of
details, and scorn for so small a sum.

"That is right. You'll see how I will manage," said Sue, confidently.

And manage she did.

Thanksgiving was a cold, bleak day, and old black Betsey had no idea of
leaving her fireside for church.

"I can give my tanks jist as well one place as anodder," said she, in
reply to a sweet coaxing voice which was urging her to go out.

"Now please just go to oblige me, Aunt Betsey," said Sue; "Charlie and I
want you and Uncle Jake to go to church for a very particular reason.
You can not refuse me, I am sure."

The old woman grumbled and scolded and shuffled about in a discontented
way, but the pleading little Sue stood firm, and gave an exulting shout
as she finally closed the door upon both of them.

"Hurrah!" exclaimed Charlie, and then they both went to work.

The poor little cabin had to be swept and dusted, and all the cracked
crockery well wiped, but Sue had tied on a great big apron, and Charlie
pinned on a huge towel, and declared himself head waiter. Then the
market-basket, carefully concealed in the wood-shed, had to be unpacked,
and Sue's mother had given a bright red table-cover, and all sorts of
nice little things to fill up corners; and when at last everything was
set out, and green boughs hung over the doors, and the ready-cooked
turkey was fizzing over again in the oven, and the dinner was ready, Sue
and Charlie hid themselves behind a door and waited for Aunt Betsey and
Uncle Jake. Slowly the old people came grumbling home as they had
grumbled out. They were old and stiff and poor, and what was there to be
thankful for? For the rheumatism? Yes, if God willed it, said Aunt
Betsey, who, however, was far from cheerful.

They pushed open the door, and the savory smell of cooking saluted them.

"Hi, Uncle Jake, what you tink o' dis? what's de meanin' of all dis
yer?" said Aunt Betsey.

Uncle Jake's mouth opened wide, as if the better to inhale the rich


"Who's bin hiyar? What dose chillen bin about? Good gracious me! if dis
ain't a dinner fit fur a king."

Uncle Jake's grin burst into a laugh.

"Oh my! dey meant we should hab a Tanksgivin' in yearnest;" and the two
old souls shook their sides with laughter.

"De good Lord bress dose chillen, an' give 'em as tankful hearts as we
hab dis day!" said Aunt Betsey.

Sue and Charlie had meant to give a glorious war-whoop and shout, but
their voices would not come, and when they looked at each other the
tears came welling up from their tender little hearts.

"Come, Sue," said Charlie, "let us get away without their seeing us. Who
ever thought a cat show would make two people so glad!"

They went home to their own dinner with a new idea of Thanksgiving-day;
it seemed a better and a fresher feast; and after the day was done and
the stars came out twinkling their thanks, and the children, tired with
play and glad to rest, laid down their sleepy heads on their pillows,
their angels whispered softly dreams of peace and joy.

       *       *       *       *       *

=The Hottest Spot on Earth.=--One of the hottest regions on earth is
along the Persian Gulf, where little or no rain falls. At Bahrein the
arid shore has no fresh water, yet a comparatively numerous population
contrive to live there, thanks to the copious springs which break forth
from the bottom of the sea. The fresh water is got by diving. The diver,
sitting in his boat, winds a great goat-skin bag around his left arm,
the hand grasping its mouth; then takes in his right hand a heavy stone,
to which is attached a strong line, and thus equipped he plunges in, and
quickly reaches the bottom. Instantly opening the bag over the strong
jet of fresh water, he springs up the ascending current, at the same
time closing the bag, and is helped aboard. The stone is then hauled up,
and the diver, after taking a breath, plunges again. The source of the
copious submarine springs is thought to be in the green hills of Osman,
some 500 or 600 miles distant.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Acres of Perfume.=--Some idea of the magnitude of the business of
raising sweet-scented flowers for their perfume may be gathered from the
fact that Europe and British India alone consume about 150,000 gallons
of handkerchief perfume yearly. There is one great perfume distillery at
Cannes, in France, which uses yearly about 100,000 pounds of acacia
flowers, 140,000 pounds of rare flower leaves, 32,000 pounds of jasmine
blossoms, and 20,000 pounds of tuberose blossoms, together with an
immense quantity of other material used for perfume. Victoria, in New
South Wales, is a noted place for the production of perfume-yielding
plants, because such plants as the mignonette, sweet verbena, jasmine,
rose, lavender, acacia, heliotrope, rosemary, wallflower, laurel,
orange, and the sweet-scented geraniums grow there in greater perfection
than in any other part of the world. South Australia, it is believed,
would also be a good place for the growing of perfume-producing plants,
though at present not much cultivated.

       *       *       *       *       *



The other evening, seated around the table as usual, we had a hearty
laugh over a new idea that Bob had learned from one of his school-mates.

"Now you all take a pencil and piece of paper," he directed, "and try to
draw a pig with your eyes shut."

"I can't draw a pig with my eyes open," said Mamie.

"That's just the reason," said Bob. "Now look here: begin at the ears,
then draw the nose, and go on drawing the legs and the back, and when
you think you've got round to the ears again, put in the eye, and then
the tail; but you must keep your eyes shut tight."

So we each tried a pig, and--well, I would never eat roast pork or fried
ham again if I thought real pigs were shaped like ours.

Just try making one some dull evening, and see if you do not have a good
laugh, that is all.

       *       *       *       *       *

=Face-Painting.=--Chinese men do not paint their faces, either on the
stage or elsewhere, but in Japan actors in certain plays are painted on
the face with bright streaks of red paint, put on usually on each side
of the eyes. The kind of painting is exactly that of savages. It is a
curious fact that this form of painting, surviving in adults on the
stage, is still used elsewhere for the decoration of young children. It
is quite common to see children on festive occasions, when elaborately
dressed by their parents, further adorned with one or two transverse
narrow streaks of bright red paint, leading outward from the outer
corner of their eyes, or placed near that position. Such a form of
painting possibly existed in ancient times in China--perhaps to
distinguish fighting men.

       *       *       *       *       *


No. 1.--The first man had 7 sheep; the second man had 5 sheep.

No. 2.--The old man had 21 cents when the water-spirit first appeared to

No. 3.--The grocer had 31 eggs; the first woman bought 16, the second
woman bought 8, the third 4, and the fourth 2.

No. 4.--Each son received $7000.

       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: "HI! MISTISS, IS DESE YOURN?"]

_Harper's Young People._

HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at
the following rates:

Four cents a number.

Single subscriptions for one year, $1.50; five subscriptions, one year,
$7.00: payable in advance. Postage free.

Subscriptions may begin with any number. When no time is specified, it
will be understood that the subscriber desires to commence with the
number issued after the receipt of order.

Remittances should be made by Post-office Money Order, or Draft, to
avoid risk of loss.

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.


HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE _and_ HARPER'S WEEKLY _will be sent to any address
for one year, commencing with the first number of_ HARPER'S WEEKLY _for
January, 1880, on receipt of $5.00 for the two Periodicals_.

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