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Title: Harper's Young People, October 12, 1880 - 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, October 12, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: HARPER'S



       *       *       *       *       *


Tuesday, October 12, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50
per Year, in Advance.

       *       *       *       *       *




The first time I ever saw Coachy she was scratching about on the garden
walk, kicking the dirt out in two ways behind her, and then nimbly
hitching back a step or two and staring and pecking at the hole that she
had made. Every little while she said something to herself in a comical
drawling tone, standing on one foot, and looking up at me with curious
eye, as if wondering who I was, and what in the world I was there for.
But who was Coachy?--an old yellowish-brown _hen_, all tousled and sort
of round-shouldered. As I was laughing quietly at this old hen
scratching, and kicking, and pecking, and crooning about on the garden
walk, it occurred to me to toss the least bit of a stone at her. So
picking one up, I took aim, when, click! click! upon the porch I heard a
pair of slippers. They were down the steps in no time, with their
cunning toes pointing straight toward mine. I put that stone into my
pocket, and took off my hat to "little slippers." They were blue as the
softest blue sky--little slippers--and ever and ever so small. Mine had
purple worsted flowers all over them, big flat heels, and were ever and
ever so large. Inside those little slippers stood the sweetest mite of a
lady the world ever saw; while inside old "flat heels" was the fattest
and fondest Uncle John.

Bessie Rathbun's cheeks were about the color of an oleander blossom, her
small red mouth was about the color of a cranberry, and her two
wide-open eyes about the color of her slippers. Her hair hung in yellow
fuzzy curls away down to the strings of her apron; and it always seemed
to me there must be a gold dollar rolling off the end of each curl, each
end was so round and gold yellow. Dainty Bessie!--and what do you
suppose? Why, she was deep in love with that old brown hen. Many and
many a time she had sent me scraps of news about her wonderful Coachy,
and had wished and wished that I would come and see her for myself. So
when, one day, a letter came from Bessie's father, asking me if I would
please hurry over to Featherdale to take charge of his house, and his
silver spoons, and his little daughter, while he took a journey with his
wife to visit a sick friend, I just threw my papers and pens into my
valise (I was writing a lecture then), jumped aboard the first train,
and went. So here we were together, on a breezy bright June
morning--Bessie and Coachy and I.

"There she is, uncle--there's my Coachy!" cried Bessie, as she slipped
from my arms. "Come, darling, come;" and Coachy spread out her wings,
and rushed toward her little mistress, who eagerly bent down and took
her. She kissed her brown back, and from a snowy apron pocket gave her
corn, and even while eating, this funny old hen brokenly hummed a tune.

"Let's go on the porch with her," said Bessie at last. So we settled on
the porch, with Coachy nestling between us.

"She isn't what you may call a very handsome hen--now is she, Bessie?"
laughed I.

But Bessie scarcely smiled. "If you knew something that I know," said
she, "you wouldn't make fun of her."


"Why, she was a poor orphan chicken--an' a dog killed her mother--an'
she had a _dreadful_ hard time getting grown up as big as she is now.
She's fallen into the well, an' had two of her toes froze off--"

"What! in the well?"

"No; in the winter," said Bessie, gravely. "And she's been so lonesome
down here, without any other hens to talk to, that papa says she'll have
to go out to the farm, where the other hens are, real soon, or she'll

"Is that so?" said I, feeling sorry and a trifle awkward.

The little maid smoothed the rumpled feathers this way and that. "Yes,
that's so," she sighed. "Our farm is more'n a mile from here, but I'm
going to let her go."

"You can see her very often, can't you?" I asked.

"Yes; but, oh dear!" and there was another kiss put upon the brown back.
Perhaps that is what made Coachy look round-shouldered--carrying such a
load of sweet kisses on her back.

Just at this moment Bridget came out, and picked up the door-mat. I have
never known for certain what Bridget did to the door-mat. Maybe it was
taken off somewhere, like a bad child, for a shaking. Anyway, she picked
it up quickly, and went back to the kitchen. And right where the mat had
lain--so near that we could reach out and take it--was a letter; and the
letter was addressed, in big scrawling characters that looked very much
indeed like "hen tracks," to

  _Miss Bessie Rathbun_,

The little lady's eyes and mouth grew perfectly round; she gave a little
scream, and Coachy, half scared, went hopping down the steps. I opened
the letter, and this is what we found:

     "MY DEAR MISTRESS,--You can't guess how sad I am at the thought of
     leaving you, even for a few short months; but I do believe my
     general health and spirits would be much improved if you would
     kindly take me out to the farm to spend the balance of the summer.
     I miss the Brahmas, and the Shanghais, and the Plymouth Rocks, and
     even the pert little Bantams, more than I can tell. I get very
     downhearted somehow, thinking of the merry times they must be
     having all together in the fields or on the old barn floor. You
     are very, very good to me, and I love you dearly; but oh! _please_
     take me back to the farm. I shall be so happy whenever you come
     out there to see me, and will thank you as long as I live. Answer

     "With one peck at your sweet lips,


    "P. S.--Please don't ever hug me again as you did on the lawn last
    Sunday. I thought I should choke."

Bessie was smiling; still in the same moment she had to put up her hand
and whisk something away from her cheek. I knew what it was--a tear.

"Uncle," she said, putting both hands into her apron pockets, "let's
take Coachy to the farm to-morrow;" and we did.

Early next morning we drove out of town, the dear old hen in Bessie's
arms, and Bessie and I in the phaeton. Bessie talked softly to her
favorite all the way; and when we reached the farm, I have an idea that,
in spite of the request in the postscript, Coachy was hugged as hard as
she ever was hugged in her life. Down the lane we went toward a group of
noisy fowls. The nearer we came to them, the harder was Coachy hugged. I
began to be anxious. Her mouth was open, and each particular toe was
standing out stiff and straight. Bessie's nose and lips were out of
sight in the ruffled back, and Coachy had closed her eyes.

"Darling," said the little girl, steadily, "good-by," and she bravely
dropped her pet beside the old companions.

We saw her shake herself, eye the others a moment, and walk quietly into
the crowd.

The man who lived on Bessie's papa's farm was named Beck. We hunted all
over for Mr. Beck to tell him there was a guest among the poultry; but
he was not to be found. So we got into the carriage and started for

My little niece was silent during nearly all of our drive back to
Featherdale. Her mind was still filled full of Coachy.

By-and-by, though, the cherry lips opened.

"Uncle John," she said, "do you s'pose there'll be room?"

"On the roost?"


"Why, plenty of it--plenty!" said the reckless Uncle John.

I was out of bed an hour before Bessie next morning to take a horseback
ride. "Guess I'll go over to the farm," said I to myself, "and see how
Coachy is doing." So off to the farm I cantered.

I hitched my horse to a post by the farm-house door, and walked out
where the chickens were picking up a breakfast. I looked them all over,
and--and--well, Coachy was not there.

Seeing a man coming down the path, and feeling quite sure it was Mr.
Beck, I waited. A narrow-faced, fair-haired, frail-looking man--not at
all like a farmer, I thought.

"Good-morning, Mr. Beck," said I.

"Morning," said Mr. Beck, looking puzzled.

"My name is Rathbun. I was just looking around for a hen I brought up
from my brother's house yesterday. I don't seem to find her," I said,
still peering about.

"Did you bring that hen?" asked the man.

I turned and looked at him then.

"That old yellowish-brown hen?" he went on.

"Yes," said I, sharply. "Why?"

"Why, _I_ didn't know where she come from," he drawled. "She was
cluckin' round the cows' heels while I was milkin', an' I took 'er an'
chopped 'er head off."

It seems to me that for one whole minute I never drew a breath. I just
stood there, dumb and glaring, till I was conscious the man was
shrinking away from my eyes and clinched hands.

"What's the fuss?" said he.

"What's the fuss?" I roared. "Why, you confounded idiot, do you know
what you've done? Do you know that you've killed Bessie Rathbun's pet

"Wa'al," he growled, with his hands in his pockets, "_I_ didn't know
whose hen it was."

"Well, that's a fine excuse, isn't it?--a fine excuse, Mr. Beck," I went
on, hotly.

"Why, I wouldn't have touched 'er 'f I'd known 'er," argued Mr. Beck.
"_I_ didn't know where she come from."

"And that's your way, I take it--to lay hold and kill a thing when you
don't know where it comes from. I wonder if you killed a horse as you
came along. I tied one at your door ten minutes ago."

I walked off a few steps to calm myself a little. I thought of poor
Bessie. Mr. Beck mumbled something, and started for the barn.

"Mr. Beck," I called after him, "what have you done with her?"

"How say!"

"Where is she--Coachy--the hen?"

He pointed with his thumb toward the barn, and went in.

I thought he would be out in a minute. As he did not appear, I followed
to the door, and looked in. I could neither see nor hear the man: he had

It was a hint for me to go, certainly. With a troubled heart I rode
slowly back to town, and as I rode I pondered, asking myself what I
should say to Bessie. Should I tell her Coachy was lost? "Get on, pony,"
I said at length; "we must tell her the truth."

Upon entering the driveway I noticed Bessie in the garden picking
flowers. She saw me, and beckoned; but I could not go to her then. I
unsaddled the horse, led him into his stall, and fed him, and then I
stole into the house. A box was standing at one corner of the porch,
with a perch, and a nest, and a little trough for corn, and a little cup
for water. It was waiting to go to the farm.

I was drinking a cup of coffee when Bessie came skipping into the
breakfast-room. When she saw trouble in my face she put away her smile,
and crept softly up to me. She told me she had been hunting and hunting
for me. She rubbed her pink cheek against my whiskers, declaring that
she couldn't make me out at all. She said it was time now to go to the

"Bessie dear," I said, as I took her hand, "I wouldn't go up to the farm

Surprise came over her face; then trouble with surprise. "Why, uncle?"
she said, softly.

"It isn't nice at the farm," I went on, vaguely; "don't go. I just came
from there. Don't go, Bessie."

"Why, uncle?" she said again, softly--"why, uncle?" Then all in a breath
her fingers bound themselves tight about mine. "Did you see my
Coachy?--did you see her?" she hurriedly asked.

I stooped and held the little form just one moment, then said, "No," and
then, somehow, I told her.

I did not have a great deal to tell; she guessed over half; and then
what a shivering, sobbing little burden it was that I held in my arms!

I don't believe I will try to tell you how she cried, or all she said,
as we sat in the parlor that forenoon; it might make _me_ cry to talk it
over. Her tiny pocket-handkerchief soon got wet through, and she had to
have my great big purple silk one; and more than once did I hear her
moan, "Oh, Coachy is dead! my Coachy is dead!" When at last she strove
to dry her eyes--poor, swollen eyes--it was truly a difficult matter. At
first it seemed of no use to try, for again and again they would fill
up, and spill the tears over her cheeks. We had to go and bathe them
finally, and then Bessie walked into the kitchen and brokenly told
Bridget the news.

A moment later I found her in the hall, tying on her hat. "I must go and
bring her home," she said, hurriedly.

She was out of the house, and had called on Dennis to harness the horse,
before I had time to consider.

"Dear Bessie, won't you stay here, and let me bring her home alone?" I

"No! no! no!" she cried; and so we started together.

"Don't cry, dear," I was saying, as we drove into the farm-yard--her
cheeks were all wet again--"don't cry, dear."

When I knocked at Mr. Beck's door, a voice called out, "Come in."

I opened the door, and found Mrs. Beck. I told her we had come to take
Coachy home.

Mrs. Beck walked a little toward her hot cook-stove before she spoke:

"Well, we'll give her a live one to take home. I'm certain she can't
take the dead one."

"Can't take her!--why?"

"I've got her a-boiling," answered Mrs. Beck.

Boiling!-- Coachy boiling! I had been there all this while and hadn't
smelled chicken. I felt like talking to Mrs. Beck; but I didn't. I shut
my teeth, made her a slight bow, and went out to Bessie.

"I haven't got her, darling."

She was back among the cushions, with her hands over her eyes.

"Haven't got her?"

"No, and I can't get her."

"Why, we _must_ get her!" she cried, straightening up. "_Why_ can't we
get her?"

"Why," said I, gently as I could--"why, they are--cooking her."

Bessie's cheeks flamed. In less time than it takes to tell it she sprang
from the carriage, burst open the kitchen door, ran against a toddling
boy, blindly knocked him over, and faced Mrs. Beck.

"How did you _dare_ do such a thing!" she almost screamed, seizing the
astonished woman by her dress skirt. "She's mine! my own Coachy! and
I'll carry her home in a pail!"

Jumping on a stool, she reached up to a shelf of tin-ware. Grasping a
good-sized pail, she pulled it from its place in such a hurry that half
a dozen milk-pans were dragged off with it. Clattering like crazy things
they whirled to the floor.

"Put my Coachy in there!--put her in!" she commanded, setting the pail
down hard on the stove, and twisting the cover off.

Such a din I never heard. Those tin pans banged and rattled, Bessie's
voice piped high, the boy on the floor broke into a hoarse scream, and
our horse shied and started for home.

"Whoa! whoa!" I shouted, leaping off the steps, and bringing him round
into place again.

Turning to go back to the tragedy in the house, I nearly collided with
Bessie. She was running out with the pail in her hand, and with all the
Beck children following. Thrusting it upon me, she hurried into the
carriage; then reaching after it, she wrapped it in the lap-robe, and
leaned back with a sigh of relief.

During the few minutes that it took us to rattle home I wondered what
was to be done with poor Coachy. I didn't have long to wait. I led the
horse into the stable, and as I was returning I discovered my little
girl sitting on the grass by a rose-bush, with what we had brought at
her feet.

In a trembling voice she asked me if I would please find a shovel. I
found one, and soon stood obedient beside Bessie and the pail.

"Right here, Uncle John," she whispered, flattening the tender grass
beneath the rose-bush with her two dimpled hands--"right here where the
sun shines."

So we dug a grave, and poured in that hot dinner. In it went, gravy and
all--white meat, dark meat, legs, wings, and wish-bone!

       *       *       *       *       *

Some months went by, and Uncle John came to Featherdale again. As he
strolled through the garden in his purple-flowered flat-heeled slippers
the morning after his arrival, he came to a little lonely mound. A small
white board with scraggly letters on it stood there now. Uncle John
stooped down, held aside the grass, and read, "Coachy," and "Forgive us
our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us."



You have often witnessed the ceremony of infant baptism, when some sweet
baby friend of yours has been brought forward to be christened, and have
thought it a beautiful sight, as it indeed is; but the babies that I am
going to tell you about now were less fortunate in their birth, for they
were born of Egyptian parents--children of the Nile.

Would you like to hear of the strange ceremony?

We had been sailing all day, and at twilight had moored our diahbieh to
the bank near a Coptic village. The Copts are said to be the native
Egyptians, and pride themselves very much on their antiquity. As we
looked out through the brilliant sunset tints that were flushing all the
Nile Valley, the walls of an ancient convent rose before us, sharp and
well defined in the clear atmosphere, its usual gloom banished by the
bright and gorgeous coloring of the Egyptian sunset.

Somebody said, "There is to be a service in the old convent to-night;
shall we go?"

It had been a monotonous day, and the walk and change looked attractive;
so we were soon scrambling up the steep bank, and walking swiftly toward
the old convent walls. The town consisted of a collection of square
brown huts, their flat roofs covered with the nests of countless pigeons
that are always swarming and cooing around every Egyptian
dwelling-place. Quantities of water-jugs lay piled together by the side
of the road, waiting to be sent down the river. As we came out into the
open field, and on to the narrow beaten path which is raised slightly
above the level to keep in the water of the inundation, we threw back
our hats, and turned our faces to the glory of the sky and the cool
refreshing breeze. All the air was sweet with growing grain. Away in the
west the Libyan hills seemed quivering with the flush of the sunset, and
the whole plain was wrapped in a glow of light. A short walk brought us
to the church, and following the crowd which was rapidly assembling, we
mingled with them and obtained seats.

The convent is a lofty inclosure, the roof formed by numerous small
domes numbering nearly two hundred. Within is a small open court, an
ordinary-sized church surrounded with many small chapels, and the
apartments of the monks. Cleanliness is not one of the virtues of the
Copts, so we may expect to find everything dirty and in need of repair.

I shall not tire you with a long account of the general services, of the
clashing of cymbals and the loud voices of the priests, of the Coptic
prayers and long masses, of the blessing of the water when the priest
stirred it with a long stick as he prayed, then, dipping a cloth into
it, applying it to the wrists, insteps, and foreheads of all the men who
came forward to receive it. Time would not permit me to describe this in
detail; but the baptism of the children, which immediately followed in
another part of the church, was a novel though pitiful sight, and one
that will make you realize what a blessing it is to be born in an
enlightened land.

The women's department is separated from that of the men; they are never
allowed to enter the upper places, and in the ceremony of baptism of
children the fathers do not appear.


When all was ready, three little creatures were brought in, their dark
eyes looking wonderingly around. Turning to the west, and holding her
child, the mother promised to renounce the devil and all his works;
then, facing the east, she held it forth to signify her acceptance of
Christ for the child, after which it was sprinkled by the priest. But
the ceremony did not end here, for the poor babes were taken to a font,
and in the midst of long Coptic prayers they were disrobed and immersed
three times. Then came the anointing with holy oil, the priest roughly
and awkwardly--for he was very old--rubbing it over all the members and
joints of the child from its wrist.

It was a cruel sight, for the church was quite cold, and as at last the
poor little victims were dressed and handed back to their mothers, we
hurried away. I lay for some time in my narrow berth that night unable
to sleep and thinking of the ceremony I had just witnessed. At last I
fell asleep, but only to see the faces of countless babies calling to me
in vain for help, and when I awoke from my troubled dreams it was with a
firm determination never again to see a Coptic baptism.

[Begun in No. 46 of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE, September 14.]






Although the people of Laketon could not forgive Mr. Morton and Paul
Grayson for not talking more about themselves and their past lives, they
could not deny that both the teacher and his pupil were of decided value
to the town. All the boys, whether in Mr. Morton's school or the public
school, seemed to like Paul Grayson when they became acquainted with
him, and the parents of the boys sensibly argued that there could not be
anything very bad about a boy who was so popular. Besides, the other
boys in talking about Paul declared that he never swore and never lied;
and as lying and swearing were the two vices most common among the
Laketon boys, and therefore most hated by the parents, they felt that
there was, at least, no occasion to regard the new-comer with suspicion.

As for Mr. Morton, he rapidly made his way among the more solid
citizens. He was willing to work, whether his services were required by
church, Sunday-school, or society, and he did not care to hold office of
any sort, so his sincerity was cheerfully admitted by all. When,
however, he had one day, soon after his arrival, asked several prominent
men why the town had no society or even person to visit the very poor
and the persons who might be in prison, he ran some risk of being
considered meddlesome.

"We know our own people best," said Sam Wardwell's father. "The only
people here who suffer from poverty are those who won't work, while the
few people who get into our jail are hard cases; half of them wouldn't
listen to you if you talked to them, and the others would listen only to
have an excuse to beg tobacco or something. There's a man in the jail
now for passing counterfeit money; he's committed for trial when the
County Court sits in September; that man is just as smart as you or I.
He is as fine a looking fellow as you would wish to see, talks like a
straightforward business man, and yet he passed counterfeit bills at
four different places in this town. What would talk do for such a

"No one knows, until some one tries it," replied the teacher, quietly.

"Well, all I have to say is," remarked Mr. Wardwell, in a tone that was
intended to be very sarcastic, "those who have plenty of time to waste
must do the trying. If you want such work done, why don't you do it

"I would cheerfully do it if it did not seem to be presumptuous on the
part of a stranger."

"Don't trouble your mind about that," said the store keeper, with a
laugh; "the counterfeiter is a stranger too, so matters will be even.
There's the sheriff, in front of the post-office; do you know him? No?
Let us step over, and I'll introduce you. And I'll wish you more luck
than you'll have in the jail, if that will be of any consolation."

Mr. Morton found Sheriff Towler quite a pleasant man to talk to, and
perfectly willing to have his prisoners improve in body and mind by any
method except that of getting out of jail before their respective terms
of imprisonment had expired, or before they were by superior authority
ordered to some other place of confinement, as he, the sheriff, wished
might at once be the case with John Doe, the man who was awaiting trial
for passing bad bank-notes. All this the sheriff said as he walked with
Mr. Morton from the post-office to the jail. Arrived at the last-named
building, the sheriff instructed his deputy, who had charge of the
place, to admit Mr. Morton at any time that gentleman might care to
converse with any of the prisoners.

The teacher walked first through the upper rooms, where a small but
choice assortment of habitual drunkards and petty thieves were confined;
these, as Sam Wardwell's father had predicted, either declined to
converse or talked stupidly for a moment or two, and then begged either
tobacco or money to buy it with. Still, Mr. Morton thought he saw in
these wretched fellows some material to work upon, when time allowed.
Then he went below, and the deputy took him to the small grated window
in the door of the strong cell for desperate offenders, and said to John
Doe that a gentleman who was visiting the prisoners would like to speak
with him. The deputy went away immediately after saying this, and Mr.
Morton quickly put his face to the grated window, a face appeared on the
other side of the grating, and then, as Mr. Morton placed his hand
between the bars, which were barely wide enough apart to admit it, he
felt his fingers grasped most earnestly by the hand of the prisoner. If
Mr. Wardwell could have felt that grasp and seen the prisoner's face, he
might have greatly changed his opinion of smart prisoners in general.

Somehow John Doe preferred to restrict his remarks to whispers, and for
some reason Mr. Morton humored him. The interview lasted but a few
moments, and ended with a plea and a promise that another call should be
made. Meanwhile, Mr. Wardwell had stood on a corner that commanded the
jail, and when the teacher re-appeared the merchant asked, "Well?"

"They are a sad set," Mr. Morton admitted.

"I told you so," said Wardwell, rubbing his hands as if he were glad
rather than sorry that the prisoners were as bad as he had thought them.
"And how did you find that rascally counterfeiter? I'll warrant he
didn't care to see you?"

"On the contrary," replied the teacher, gravely, "he was very glad to
see me. He begged me to come again. He was so glad to see some one not a
jailer that he cried."

"Well, I never!" exclaimed the merchant. And he told the truth.

It was soon after this first visit of a series that lasted as long as
Mr. Morton remained in the village that the boys changed their base-ball
ground. They had generally played in some open ground on the edge of the
town, but the teacher one day asked why they should go so far, when the
entire square on which the court-house and jail stood was vacant, except
for those two buildings. The boys spent a whole recess in considering
this suggestion; then they reported it favorably to the other boys of
the town, and it was adopted almost unanimously that very week; and
Canning Forbes could always remember even the day of the month on which
the first game was played, for he as a "fielder" caught the ball exactly
on the tip of the longest finger of his left hand, and he staid home
with that finger, and woke up nights with it, for a full week afterward.

Paul Grayson had not attended Mr. Morton's school a fortnight before
every one knew that ball was his favorite game. This preference on the
part of the new boy did not entirely please Benny Mallow, who preferred
to have his new friend play marbles, and with him alone, because then he
could talk to him a great deal, whereas at ball, even "town-ball," which
needed but four boys to a game, there was not much opportunity for
talking, while at base-ball the chances were less, even were Benny not
so generally out of breath when he met Grayson on a "base" that
conversation was impossible.

But Grayson clung to ball; he did not seem to care much for it in the
school-yard, which, indeed, was rather small for such games, but after
school was dismissed in the afternoons he always tried to get up a game
on the new grounds, and he generally succeeded. Even boys who did not
care particularly for the sport had been told by Mr. Morton that about
the only diversion of the wretched men in the jail was to look out the
window while ball-playing was going on; and as Mr. Morton had begun to
attain special popularity through his work among the prisoners, the boys
who liked him, as most of them did, were glad to help him to the small
extent they were able.

"I really can't see why Grayson should be so fond of ball," said Canning
Forbes one afternoon, as he and several other boys lay under the big
elm-tree behind the court-house and criticised the boys who were
playing. "He isn't much of a pitcher, he doesn't bat very well, and he
often loses splendid chances, while he's catcher, by not seeming to see
the ball when it's coming. I wonder if his eyes can be bad?"

"I don't believe they are," said Will Palmer; "he is keen-sighted enough
about everything else. Absent-mindedness is his great trouble; every
once in a while he gets his eyes fixed on something as if he couldn't
move them."

"He gets into a brown-study, you mean," suggested Forbes.

"That's it," assented Will.

"He's thinking about the splendors of the royal home that he is being
kept away from," said Napoleon Nott. "You just ought to read what sort
of place a royal home is," continued Notty. "I'll bring up the book some
day and read it aloud to all of you fellows."

"No you won't, Notty," said Canning Forbes; "not if we have any legs
left to run away with."

Some internal hints that supper-time was approaching broke up the game,
and the boys moved off the ground, by twos and threes, until only Paul
and Benny remained. Paul seemed in no particular hurry to start, and as
Benny never seemed to imagine that Paul could see himself safely home
from any place, he remained too.

"Benny," said Paul, suddenly, "did you ever see any one in jail?"

"No," said Benny, "I never did."

"Neither did I," said Paul, "but I'm curious to do so now. You needn't
go with me; the sight might pain you too much."

"What? Just to go to the jail, and look up at the windows? Oh no; _that_
won't hurt me. I've done that lots of times."


"Very well," said Paul, moving toward the jail. He looked up at the
windows as he walked; finally he stopped where he could look fairly at
the small window of the cell where the counterfeiter was. The sun was
not shining upon that side of the jail, so Benny could barely see there
was a face behind the window. Evidently the prisoner was standing on a
chair, for the little window was quite high. Paul's eyes seemed better
than Benny's, however, for he continued looking at that window for some
moments. When he finally turned away, it was because he could not see
any longer, for his eyes were full of tears.

"Why, you're crying!" exclaimed Benny, in some astonishment. "What is
the matter?"

"I'm so sorry for the poor fellow," replied Paul.

"I am too," said Benny, "awfully sorry. I wish I could cry about it, but
somehow my eyes don't work right to-day. Some days I can cry real
easily. Next time one of those days comes, I'll come over here with you,
and let you see what I can do."



Sandy Hook is one of the striking features in the scenery of New York.
It is a low point of sand projecting from below the Highlands into the
sea. Before its extreme end runs the channel of deep water through which
passes all the commerce of the port--the most important of all the
world's seats of trade. Beyond the deep channel the bar rises, covered
with white breakers, and extends to the distant Rockaway shore. Around
Sandy Hook all the interest of the scene centres, and its bare point,
now marked by the new fortifications, has witnessed some of the most
wonderful voyages of the past. It saw Verazzani in his antique
craft--the most awkward and dangerous of vessels--make his way slowly,
with lead and line, into the wide-spreading harbor, and trace for the
first time the unknown shore. What a wild and lonely scene it was!--the
home of a few savages and of wild beasts and birds. But Verazzani never
came back, and the next ship that sailed by Sandy Hook into the tranquil
bay was that of Hendrick Hudson.

His vessel, the _Half-Moon_, was a Dutch galliot, strongly built, as
were all the Dutch ships of the time, but so small, heavy, and slow that
it seems almost incredible that it should ever outlive a storm or make
any headway on the sea. The stern and prow were high and broad, the bow
round, the hull unwieldy, the masts and sails too small for such a
vessel, and the rudder almost unmanageable. Compared with the modern
sailing ship, nothing could seem more inconvenient or unfit for
navigating stormy seas than these vessels of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. Yet with them Barentz broke into the icy ocean of
the North, and defied the arctic cold. Great fleets of them, sometimes
numbering several hundred, sailed from Amsterdam around the Cape of Good
Hope to the East Indies, drove off the Portuguese, and came back laden
with the precious products of the East--gems, gold, and spices. The
immense quantity of cloves and cinnamon used by our ancestors is
startling. But the slow ships sailed safely along the African shore on
both sides, and in the midst of pirates, privateers, storms, and
cyclones made profitable voyages that gave Holland a wonderful

The _Half-Moon_ crossed the bar, anchored in the lower bay, and the
Dutch navigators proceeded cautiously to survey the hostile shore of
Coney Island, where now the countless visitors of Manhattan or Brighton
Beach gather on summer evenings, and at length ventured to sail up
through the Narrows, drew near to Manhattan Island, and saw some of its
early inhabitants. The first New-Yorkers were very indifferently clad;
but the young ladies--squaws, as they were called--were well acquainted
with paint and powder, and had an inexhaustible appetite for feathers,
beads, and other finery. Shells were the money of the country; and fur
robes, rich with embroidery, were worn by the chiefs.

After a pleasant voyage in September, 1609, up the Hudson River to
Albany, the famous navigator passed through the harbor out to sea, and
then sailed away, never to return--unless we accept Irving's legend, and
hear with Rip Van Winkle the roar of the balls of the Dutch sailors as
they play their weird games amongst the Catskills, while the lightning
flashes and the thunder peals in the dismal night. But Sandy Hook now
became a well-known scene to the Dutch sailors. Immigrants came over; a
few houses were built at first on New York Island; Albany was settled in
1614, and the same year Adrian Block, when his own ship was burned,
built a new one on the Manhattan shore. It was the first vessel produced
in this centre of the world's trade. It was not quite as broad as it was
long; but its length of keel was thirty-eight feet, on deck it was
nearly forty-five feet, and its breadth about eleven and a half. On this
peculiar craft the gallant explorer set out to survey the great East
River. He passed safely the perils of both Hell Gates, coasted the
unknown shores to Block Island, and left an imperishable name on that
pleasant summer resort. New Amsterdam became a famous seat of trade. Fur
and tobacco were its chief commodities. A fine tobacco plantation
stretched along the East River at Corlaer's Hook, and at Albany the Van
Rensselaers and Schuylers contended for the fur trade of the savages,
sometimes coming to blows. Many Dutch galliots now sailed leisurely over
from old Amsterdam to the new. New York Island was covered with rich
farms. In 1679 peaches were so plenty that they were fed to the swine;
strawberries covered the ground in rare profusion. Sheltered within the
protecting arm of Sandy Hook, the little city nourished and grew great.
It had no idle hands. Its burgomasters all either kept shops, taverns,
or worked on farms, and scorned sloth. All was prosperous growth, under
the famous Governor Stuyvesant, when suddenly, in August, 1664, for the
first time, a hostile English fleet sailed up the great harbor, and
anchored in Gravesend Bay. It was composed of two fifty-gun ships and
one of forty, with six hundred soldiers. The consternation in the city
was great; but Governor Stuyvesant ordered the guns to be run out on the
fort at the end of Broadway, called out the militia, and prepared for a
desperate contest.



When Master Noble was appointed to take charge of the Oak Bridge
schools, he found, much to his surprise, that in every grade, from the
Primary to the High Schools, there were many pupils who had frequently
been promoted to higher classes, but, failing to get their lessons
during the first term, had, at examination, been sent back to a lower
grade again.

This had become such a common occurrence in the schools in Oak Bridge
that the spirit of honest and praiseworthy emulation was lost, and the
pupils felt it to be no humiliation or disgrace to be dropped from a
higher class to a lower one.

"Something must be done to impress upon them the disgrace of such
indifference, and to arouse their ambition," thought the new master, and
he forthwith invited all the young folks in the community to meet him
the next Saturday afternoon at the Town-hall to listen to a story that
he would tell.

Of course the promise of a story from the popular new master, and the
fact that he had recently returned from extensive travels, called the
children and young people all out, and this is what they heard:

"It is said that years ago a beautiful little brown sparrow made her
home in the garden of a certain great and renowned magician. She built
her nest in the grass, and was content to hop and chirp about in the
rose thicket, and to keep very near the ground indeed.

"She might have been happy enough had she not allowed herself to be
afraid of the robin-redbreast that had a nest in the golden sweet
apple-tree, and was always fluttering down and hop-hop-hopping across
the grass-plot, and pecking this way and that at the smaller birds.

"The wise and tender-hearted magician, who had been closely watching
proceedings, had so much sympathy for the timid, trembling little
sparrow that he said, 'She shall have a chance in the world,' and he
forthwith changed her into a robin.

"No sooner had she got over the novelty of her new situation than she
began to be afraid of the pigeon-hawk that came sailing down from the
wood near by in search of prey. So the magician, still thinking to make
something of the timorsome little bird which was his pet, now changed
her into a pigeon-hawk.

"Immediately she cast affrighted glances at the big gray owl that lived
in a hollow tree farther back toward the edge of the forest, and who
came out on a dead branch at night-fall, and hooted until the hill-side
rang again with the unearthly screeches, and all the smaller birds
tucked their heads under their wings, and put their claws over their
ears to shut out the sound.

"'I will persevere,' said the tender-hearted magician; 'I may make
something of her yet;' and straightway the pigeon-hawk became an owl,
with a voice equal to any of the owls' in all that forest.

"But now, instead of making the most of her opportunity, and _being_ a
real, vigorous owl, she backed into the old hollow tree, her great
staring eyes round with terror, as she tremblingly listened to the
terrific screams of a monstrous eagle whose eyrie was on the
mountain-side facing the sunrise.

"'You shall be a sparrow again!' angrily cried the magician. 'You have
only the life and heart and spirit of a sparrow after all. What is the
use of my trying to make anything else of you? Had you asserted and kept
your position as an owl, I would soon have made you an eagle, and you
could have proudly soared above all the birds of the air. I have done my
best to help you along, but you have not made one effort in your own

"It is the same with a boy or a girl," continued Master Noble. "If
pupils have only the heart and the will and the intellect of a sparrow,
they will remain sparrows in spite of all their teachers may do to help
them on and to encourage them. _Study_ and _will_ are the magicians that
help them to maintain their promotion, and the public examination is the
great magician that assigns them their advanced positions.

"The world over, sparrow-hearted people are getting into eagles' nests,
but keen-eyed public opinion is the great magician who says, 'Go back to
the thicket and to the grass-plot again! You have only the heart and the
brain of a sparrow; there is no use in trying to make eagles of you.'"

That is why to this day the names of those birds are the symbols of the
different grades in the Oak Bridge schools, and Master Noble has never
once been obliged to say, "_Go back and be a sparrow again._"

[Illustration: THE STORM-PETREL.]


Ages ago this little web-footed fellow was named Petrel, after the
Apostle Peter, because he is most often seen walking on the waves--never
in them, but just daintily skimming their surface.

To sailors they are "Mother Carey's chickens," and their presence is
dreaded, because with them generally come storms and bad weather. They
revel in storms, and the fiercer the gale and the higher the waves, the
more merry are they. This preference of the petrel is explained by the
fact that he is more than half nocturnal in his habits, and greatly
dislikes the glare of sunshine. But when black clouds and gloomy mists
hang low over the ocean, the semi-darkness just suits him, and through
it may he be seen skimming the angry billows many leagues from the
nearest land.

The inhabitants of some of the outlying Scotch islands make a peculiar
use of the young petrels, which are always as fat as butter, and much
more easy to catch than the old birds. The young bird is caught, killed,
and a wick is passed through his body until it projects from the bill.
When this wick is lighted it gradually draws every drop of oil out of
the well-supplied little reservoir, and thus a lamp is formed, very
cheaply and easily, that lasts and gives a good light for the whole of a
long winter's evening.



William Shakespeare was born at Stratford, on the Avon, April 23, 1564,
and was baptized on the 26th. Two months after his birth the plague
swept over the pleasant village, carrying off a large part of the
inhabitants. The danger that hung over the marvellous infant passed
away, and he grew up healthy and strong. His mother, Mary Arden,
inherited a large farm at Wilmecote, a mile from Stratford; and his
father, John Shakespeare, who held several other pieces of land, was
probably an active farmer, raising sheep, and perhaps cattle. The house
in which it is said Shakespeare was born is still shown in Henley
Street, Stratford--a plain building of timber and plaster, covered with
the names of those who have come from every part of the world to visit
the dark, narrow room made memorable by the poet's birth.

He had several younger brothers--Gilbert, Richard, Edmund, and a sister
Joan--all of whom he aided in his prosperity. The family in Henley
Street was a happy one; and the young Shakespeares and their sister
probably wandered in the flowery fields around the Avon, or lived on the
farm at Wilmecote, saw the cows milked, and the cattle pastured, and all
the changes of rural life. Shakespeare lived among the flowers he
describes so well; and in the fine park of Fulbroke, not far off, saw
the magnificent oaks, the herds of deer, and the gay troops of huntsmen
chasing the poor stag along the forest glade. He must have been a
precocious boy, seeing everything around him even in childhood. He is
described or painted in later life as having a fair, melancholy,
sensitive face, his eyes apparently dark, his hair brown and flowing.
His disposition was gentle and benevolent; he won the love even of his

As the son of a farmer he probably had little education. He went for
several years to the grammar school at Stratford, and was then perhaps
employed on his father's farm. Like Virgil, Horace, Burns, and many
other poets, he grew up in the country. Nothing is certainly known of
his youth. He was fond of rural sports, and amidst his early labors went
no doubt to the country fairs, joined in the Christmas games and May-day
dances, and probably when the Earl of Leicester gave the magnificent
reception to Queen Elizabeth at Kenilworth, described in Scott's novel,
Shakespeare was there among the spectators. He was then a boy of twelve.
He could enjoy the plays, games, the pomp and glitter, of that famous

He must have read romances and tales early, like Dickens; he may have
amused his little brothers and his sister Joan by repeating to them on
winter evenings in the low room in Henley Street the story of the wild
castle of Elsinore, or of the venerable Lear and the gentle Cordelia. He
was all imagination, and precocious in knowledge; he must have studied
when his companions played, and read everything that came in his way. At
eighteen he fell in love and married Anne Hathaway, a young lady eight
years older than himself. Before he was twenty-one he had three children
to maintain, and went up to London to find employment. He remained in
obscurity for some years; but at last appears, about 1590, the finest
poet and dramatist of all ages.

Shakespeare pursued his career in London as author and theatrical
manager for nearly twenty-five years. He was very industrious; he was
prudent, but generous; he saved money, and grew wealthy. About 1612 or
1613 he returned to Stratford, where he lived in the best house of the
little village, called "New Place." Here he gave a home to his father
and mother, and provided liberally for his younger brothers. To his
sister Joan he gave the house in Henley Street, which remained in the
possession of her descendants until 1820. He may have looked forward to
a long and honorable old age, but died in 1616, it is said, on the same
day of the year on which he was born. His son Hamnet died long before
him. He left two daughters.

His writings teach men to be kind and gentle.



I had a dreadful time after that accident with Mr. Martin's eye. He
wrote a letter to father and said that "the conduct of that atrocious
young ruffian was such," and that he hoped he would never have a son
like me. As soon as father said "My son I want to see you up stairs
bring me my new rattan cane," I knew what was going to happen. I will
draw some veils over the terrible scene, and will only say that for the
next week I did not feel able to hold a pen unless I stood up all the

Last week I got a beautiful dog. Father had gone away for a few days and
I heard mother say that she wished she had a nice little dog to stay in
the house and drive robbers away. The very next day a lovely dog that
didn't belong to anybody came into our yard and I made a dog-house for
him out of a barrel, and got some beefsteak out of the closet for him,
and got a cat for him to chase, and made him comfortable. He is part
bull-dog, and his ears and tail are gone and he hasn't but one eye and
he's lame in one of his hind-legs and the hair has been scalded off part
of him, and he's just lovely. If you saw him after a cat you'd say he
was a perfect beauty. Mother won't let me bring him into the house, and
says she never saw such a horrid brute, but some women haven't any taste
about dogs anyway.

His name is Sitting Bull, though most of the time when he isn't chasing
cats he's lying down. He knows pretty near everything. Some dogs know
more than folks. Mr. Travers had a dog once that knew Chinese. Every
time that dog heard a man speak Chinese he would lie down and howl and
then he would get up and bite the man. You might talk English or French
or Latin or German to him and he wouldn't pay any attention to it, but
just say three words in Chinese and he'd take a piece out of you. Mr.
Travers says that once when he was a puppy a Chinaman tried to catch him
for a stew; so whenever he heard anybody speak Chinese he remembered
that time and went and bit the man to let him know that he didn't
approve of the way Chinamen treated puppies. The dog never made a
mistake but once. A man came to the house who had lost his pilate and
couldn't speak plain, and the dog thought he was speaking Chinese and so
he had his regular fit and bit the man worse than he had ever bit
anybody before.

Sitting Bull don't know Chinese but Mr. Travers says he's a "specialist
in cats," which means that he knows the whole science of cats. The very
first night I let him loose he chased a cat up the pear-tree and he sat
under that tree and danced around it and howled all night. The neighbors
next door threw most all their things at him but they couldn't
discourage him. I had to tie him up after breakfast and let the cat get
down and run away before I let him loose again, or he'd have barked all

The only trouble with him is that he can't see very well and keeps
running against things. If he starts to run out of the gate he is just
as likely to run head first into the fence, and when he chases a cat
round a corner he will sometimes mistake a stick of wood, or the
lawn-mower for the cat and try to shake it to death. This was the way he
came to get me into trouble with Mr. Martin.

He hadn't been at our house for so long (Mr. Martin, I mean) that we all
thought he never would come again. Father sometimes said that his friend
Martin had been driven out of the house because my conduct was such and
he expected I would separate him from all his friends. Of course I was
sorry that father felt bad about it but if I was his age I would have
friends that were made more substantial than Mr. Martin is.

Night before last I was out in the back yard with Sitting Bull looking
for a stray cat that sometimes comes around the house after dark and
steals the strawberries and takes the apples out of the cellar. At least
I suppose it is this particular cat that steals the apples for the cook
says a cat does it and we haven't any private cat of our own. After a
while I saw the cat coming along by the side of the fence looking wicked
enough to steal anything and to tell stories about it afterward. I was
sitting on the ground holding Sitting Bull's head in my lap and telling
him that I did wish he'd take to rat-hunting like Sam McGinnis's
terrier, but no sooner had I seen the cat and whispered to Sitting Bull
that she was in sight than he jumped up and went for her.

He chased her along the fence into the front yard where she made a dive
under the front piazza. Sitting Bull came round the corner of the house
just flying, and I close after him. It happened that Mr. Martin was at
that identicular moment going up the steps of the piazza and Sitting
Bull mistaking one of his legs for the cat jumped for it and had it in
his teeth before I could say a word.

When that dog once gets hold of a thing there is no use in reasoning
with him, for he won't listen to anything. Mr. Martin howled and said
"Take him off my gracious the dog's mad," and I said "Come here sir.
Good dog. Leave him alone" but Sitting Bull hung on to the leg as if he
was deaf and Mr. Martin hung on to the railing of the piazza and made
twice as much noise as the dog. I didn't know whether I'd better run for
the doctor or the police, but after shaking the leg for about a minute
Sitting Bull gave it an awful pull and pulled it off just at the
knee-joint. When I saw the dog rushing round the yard with the leg in
his mouth I ran into the house and told Sue and begged her to cut a hole
in the wall and hide me behind the plastering where the police couldn't
find me. When she went down to help Mr. Martin she saw him just going
out of the yard on a wheelbarrow with a man wheeling him on a broad

If he ever comes to this house again I'm going to run away. It turns out
that his leg was made of cork and I suppose the rest of him is either
cork or glass. Some day he'll drop apart on our piazza then the whole
blame will be put on me.



  A dear little fellow named Noah
  Had made up his mind that he'd go a--
    Sailing alone
    In a boat of his own,
  For he was a champion rower.

  This dear little fellow named Noah
  Hadn't gone very far before--oh! ah!--
    His boat was upset,
    And he got very wet,
  Did this little numskull of a Noah.



Last winter my health gave out, and the doctor said I must go South.
What a mourning there was among our little boys at the thought of losing
Aunt Kate and her "beautiful stories"!

Just before the train started, little Jamie begged to be held up to the
car window to give me a good-by kiss. Poor little fellow! his eyes
streamed with tears, and not even the promise of a pound of candy could
console him.

I was not going to Florida, where fashionable invalids spend their
winters, but to the home of an old friend of mine on an Alabama
plantation. How glad I was to find that she too had a little boy! He was
not much like the nephews I had left behind, but I soon found him to be
a good-hearted, brave little lad.

His mamma and I were sitting one rainy morning with our work before a
great wood fire, when Frankie and his bosom companion, Abe, a young
darky, came in with an armful of long dry corn stalks, a handful of
chicken feathers, and two kitchen knives.

"Now, Frankie, you are going to make a mess, so get some papers and put
them down on the floor," said Frankie's mamma. Abe ran to get the
papers, and very soon the two boys were down on their knees, peeling the

I noticed that the stalks were old and brittle, and that the boys
preserved the hull. After watching them for some minutes, I began to
make inquiries as to what the stalks were for.

"Dese is fur cattle," said Abe, grinning.

I then asked how they made cattle. Frankie did not seem communicative,
so Abe again answered my question.

"Wa'al, we jest cuts 'em. If yer waits a minute I'll show yer."

He cut off a piece of the peeled stalk about four inches long, then
split the hull into four pieces about a quarter of an inch wide and two
inches long. He stuck two of these pieces near one end of the stalk for
hind-legs, and the two others at a quarter of an inch from the other end
for front ones. He then cut a piece of the stalk about an inch long for
the head, a niche for the mouth, two pins for eyes, and narrow bits of
hull for horns; another little strip of hull was stuck first into the
head and then into the body to form the neck, a chicken feather put in
for the tail, and the job was finished.

"Now, den," said Abe, triumphantly, holding it up, "don't yer see dat's
a cow?"

I smiled, but Abe was too good-natured to notice it. This animal I
found, with slight variations, was made to represent horses, cows,
mules, sheep, dogs, and pigs, and even chickens, which, of course, were
much smaller, and had only two legs. In the course of the morning
Frankie and Abe manufactured a sow with seven little pigs, two cows, a
mule, and a horse.

It had stopped raining, so the boys asked if I would not like to go out
and see their farms. Under a shed in the yard were these two farms,
arranged as nearly as possible like Frankie's father's. Barns, stables,
wagon-houses, and pig-pens were made of bricks on a very small scale,
and inhabited by corn-stalk cattle.

A wagon made of a chip tied to two spools was hitched up with two
corn-stalk oxen, their feather tails standing up in the air.

I thought my little friends would like this new breed of cattle. They
struck me as being much easier to manage than those of Noah's ark, for
there is hardly a boy who has not had all manner of trouble in making
Father Noah's cows and horses stand up. Gather together some corn stalks
this autumn, let them dry, and stock a farm for yourself.

[Illustration: A MODERN ORPHEUS.]



  CAMBRIDGE, _September, 1880_.

MY DEAREST CLYTIE,--When I sent my last letter from Bar Harbor I thought
it would be the _very_ last I should write you for a long time, but I
shall not see you for two whole weeks more, and I can not wait till then
to tell you all the fine things I am precipitating for next winter.

We left Mount Desert last Monday, and have been with grandma and Auntie
Belle here in Cambridge ever since, except when we go flying back and
forth from Boston. We are very busy, Clytie, and have heaps of shopping
to do; for what do you think?--we are all going to Europe, and are to
sail one month from to-day. I am awfully glad, of course, but I don't
know how I can live all winter long without you. Don't tell the rest of
the dolls, Clytie, but I do a little bit believe that you are going too!
Now that is a very great secret, so you will keep it close down in your
own little heart, and not let the others even respect a thing about it,
because it might make them feel bad that I chose you and left them
behind; and one thing I never would do, and that is to let my children
think I had a _favorite_ among them. You know I love every one of them
dearly, but of course I can not take them all to Europe, and as you are
the largest, it is more your _place_ to go.

Now for another piece of news: Cousin Frank and Miss Carleton are
engaged! Yes, Clytie, they really are, and they are going to be married
this very month, and go to Europe when we do. If this isn't news enough,
here is some more: Randolph Peyton has gone home with his mamma, and
they are all coming to our house in New York the week before we sail,
and go with our party! Won't it be lovely? There will be Mr. and Mrs.
Peyton, Randolph and his sister Helen, and Miss Rogers, their governess.
I have never seen Helen, but Randolph says she is "awfully jolly,
considering she is only a girl," so I guess I shall like her. Then there
will be papa and mamma and me (and you, if we take you), Cousin Frank
and Miss Carleton, only she won't be Miss Carleton then--she will be
_Mrs. Howard_, and I am to call her Cousin Carrie: indeed, I call her so
now, for Cousin Frank asked me to, and I would do anything to please
him. I have forgiven him for sending me away one night when they were
talking about little pitchers. When I asked him about it afterward, and
if it was really deckerativeart they meant, he tried to exclaim to me,
but he laughed so hard all the time, I couldn't make out anything at all
except that _I_ was the very funniest little pitcher in the whole world!
Did you ever know such a comical thing as to call _me_, a girl ten years
old, a _pitcher_? I'm sure he didn't know what he was talking about.

Mamma says I may give them anything I choose for a wedding present, and
I have presided on a silver pitcher. I am going to send it with a card
tied on the handle marked, "_This is me_," and I guess they will wonder
what it means. Don't you?

I have told Cousin Carrie so much about you that she seems to love you
already, even though she has never seen you, and she says she shall
invite you to her wedding. Won't that be fun? She is going to send you
her cards, and you will go with me. I shall get home in time to have
your dress made. Mine is to be a bomination dress of white cashmere and
silk, and I think yours will be of the same kind in rose-color.

I will tell you one more adventure that befell us at Bar Harbor, and
then I shall not write any more letters unless you are left at home when
I go to Europe. Of course, if you are, I shall write as often as I
possibly can, and I shall have so many new and strange appearances in
crossing the ocean and in visiting forran lands that the reading of them
will make up in some agree for being left at home.

Randolph and I went down to the beach, the evening before we came away,
to launch his ship--a beautiful one, with sails all set, "full-rigged,"
as the sailors say, that his uncle in Philadelphia had sent him that
very day.

The Stars and Stripes waved from the prow or stern--I never know which
is which--and on the top of one of the masts he fastened a "pennon," as
he called it, with the name of the ship in big blue letters. (He printed
it himself with his blue pencil, and it looked real cunning blowing
round in the wind, and flapping up and down.) What do you suppose the
name was? _Bessie_, to be sure. He says he thinks it is an "awfully
jolly" name for a ship, or for a girl either.

Well, the wind blew just the right way for a splendid launch. I held the
cord, letting it out as fast as he told me to, and he gave it a push,
and off it sailed, straight and lovely as a duck. I was so delighted I
couldn't possibly help clapping my hands, and, oh, Clytie! I dropped the
cord, and away it went, up and down over the waves as if it was alive.
Randolph muttered something that sounded like, "Bother! that's just like
a girl!" and scowled awfully at me, and then ran out into the water
after it. I screamed as loud as I could, for I was afraid he would
drown; and then I remembered how he had saved my life, and I said to
myself, He is my friend now, and I will save him, for he saved _me_ when
we were emernies. So, as the story-books say, I "dashed into the foaming
billows" after him, and just as I caught him by his jacket I thought I
heard him say again, "Bother!" and then came a great rushing noise in my
ears, my mouth was full of water, and the next thing I knew I was lying
in mamma's bed, and she and two or three other people were rubbing me! I
was almost drowned, Clytie; and so it was Randolph who saved _my_ life a
second time, and I never saved _his_ at all.

When I pulled him by his jacket, a wave broke over us; but he was
stronger and bigger than I, and a _boy_ besides (and truly, Clytie, boys
_do_ know more than girls about _some_ things), and so he caught me, and
sort of pulled and rolled and pushed me out of the water; and just then
Cousin Frank and Miss Carleton came round the point in their boat, and
Cousin Frank took me in his arms, and ran up to the hotel as fast as he
could go.

Poor mamma was most subtracted when she saw me, and Randolph was so
scared he forgot all about his lovely new ship, that long before that
time had gone sailing out to sea all by itself.

Wasn't it awful, Clytie? If I had minded what Solomon says, "Look before
you leap," I should have seen that Randolph had his hand on the ship at
the very moment I seized him, and he could have got back safe to the
shore without any of my help.

Good-by for a little while. I shall see you and the rest of the dolls
week after next.

  Your loving mamma,


[Illustration: OUR POST-OFFICE BOX.]


     I am a little boy only six years old, and can not write very well,
     but I want to say how much I like YOUNG PEOPLE. My mamma and papa
     have taken HARPER'S WEEKLY and HARPER'S MONTHLY more years than I
     can remember.

     I like so much to hear all about the pets of the other children. I
     have not any, but I have a dear little sister called Myra, and she
     is my pet.

     I liked the story "Across the Ocean" very much, but I think "The
     Moral Pirates" was the best.

     My governess is writing this, but soon I hope to be able to write
     myself, as I have nearly finished my second copy-book. One year
     ago I could not speak any English, but now I can read short
     stories, and I am always so happy when YOUNG PEOPLE comes.

  C. D. P.

       *       *       *       *       *


     I am twelve years old. I have a little colt, but it is not gentle,
     it is very wild. I also have a roan horse, named Sabine. Whenever
     horses are gathered I help to herd them. I like to do it very
     much. We generally have about three hundred head to herd. I have
     no pets now, for my little dog died.

     I visited Captain H----'s plantation last winter, and I had a very
     nice time. I saw the men gin cotton, and I drove the horses round
     in the gin.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I have wanted to write to the Post-office Box for a long time for
     I like YOUNG PEOPLE so much, but I thought as there were so many
     children writing perhaps my letter would not be printed.

     I live in a very lonely country. There are no little girls here at
     all, but I have a good many pets. I have two colts, named Nellie
     and Dollie, and a puppy named Carlo. Then I have a cat and four
     little kittens, and six pigeons, and lots of little chickens. I am
     going to get a pair of canaries very soon.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I am eleven years old. I live in the Genesee Valley, which I have
     heard is the nicest valley in the world. We have not many pets,
     because there are seven of us children, and mamma thinks those are
     pets enough for one house.

     We have a black dog named Shot, but he is real old. We raised him
     from a puppy. Once he was in a soap box, with three other puppies,
     and mamma heard an awful squealing. There was a knot-hole in the
     box, and the puppy's tail stuck out. My little brother Jim crept
     up and grabbed hold of it, and was trying to pull the poor puppy
     through the knot-hole.

     We had a yellow cat named Moses. He would let us dress him and put
     him to bed like a baby, and when my little sister sat down on the
     floor, he would come and put his paws around her neck. He died
     last spring, and we had a funeral. My brother Manta made a
     head-stone for him, and painted it white, and put poor Moses's
     name and age on it.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I have just returned home from Maiden Rock, a little town in
     Wisconsin. It is a funny name for a town, and I will tell you why
     it is called so. There was once an Indian maiden who wanted to
     marry a young brave, but the other Indians were not willing. One
     day she went to the top of a high rock, as high as the bluffs on
     the shore of Lake Pepin. The Indians called to her to come down,
     and they would give her permission to marry her lover; but she
     knew very well that if she went down they would kill her, so she
     jumped from the rock and killed herself. I am eleven years old.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I got HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE for a birthday present, and I like to
     read the Post-office Box.

     In August I went on a mountain trip. We slept in tents. The roads
     over the mountains are very rough, but we thought it splendid fun
     to ride in the baggage-wagon.

     I have a small museum. Last year when my father came home from
     Europe he brought me some stones from Rome and from the Alps, and
     also some pressed flowers.

  H. E. R.

       *       *       *       *       *


     I am nine years old. I have a twin sister Ina, and a little
     brother Herbert, who is very cunning and full of mischief. We have
     only two pets besides Herbert--a dog named Dick and a cat named
     Jack. We have lots of fun. We have a croquet set in the yard, and
     sometimes we have a tent too. Every time Dick comes into the house
     Herbert calls out, "Dit, here, Dit."

     Papa owns a share in a cabin, and every summer we all go up to the
     lake, and stay about two weeks. Herbert likes to play in the
     water, and throw stones in it. One day he crawled right in, and
     got all wet. He does not like to ride in the boat, because he has
     to sit still. He wants to be in mischief all the time, and he is a
     little wide-awake, and will not go to sleep when he can help it.
     He is nineteen months old.

  ADA E.

       *       *       *       *       *


     I want to tell you about some fun I had the other day. We have a
     barrel sunk in the yard with water-lilies in it. There was a
     lizard in it too. I made a noose and caught it, and put it into
     mamma's big dish pan, which I filled with water. Then I caught two
     little toads; one was a little brown fellow about an inch long,
     and the other a little larger. I put a little piece of board in
     the water, and fastened it to the end of the string that was round
     the lizard's neck. Then I put the little toads on the board, and
     the lizard drew them all around.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I am five and a half years old. I can not read, but I can write
     letters, although mamma says nobody can read them, so she is
     writing this for me. Mamma and sister read me the stories in YOUNG
     PEOPLE. I liked "The Moral Pirates" best of all, but I was afraid
     Jim would get shot when he took the borrowed boat back.

     I have a cat that eats milk and everything with its paw. And I
     have three rabbits.

     Yesterday I took mamma and papa over to the depot, a mile away,
     and drove home all alone.

     I go fishing with papa, and have caught a good many fish.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I wish to ask a favor of some of the Southern correspondents of
     the Post-office Box. My sister planted a cotton seed, and the
     plant that came up bears white blossoms which afterward turn red
     and drop off. Now I would like very much to know whether it is
     cotton or not. I would also be glad for all information about the
     cotton-plant that any correspondent will give.


       *       *       *       *       *

     I am a little boy seven years old. I live at Ingleton, Alabama,
     two miles from Dickson. My papa owns a large stone quarry. I have
     two little brothers and one little sister, and we take YOUNG
     PEOPLE. I like Bessie Maynard's letters to her dollie the best of


       *       *       *       *       *


     Papa takes HARPER'S MAGAZINE and WEEKLY, the BAZAR for mamma, and
     YOUNG PEOPLE for my brothers and sister and myself. I like to read
     the stories, and the letters in the Post-office Box.

     We live right in the woods. Buffalo Creek runs around our house,
     almost forming an island. I do not go to school. Mamma teaches us
     at home. We say our lessons every evening.

     I have a pet hen. She is black, and so tame that she comes in the
     house every evening for me to put her to roost. Then we have lots
     of pigs, goats, calves, chickens, and pigeons, and each of my five
     brothers has a colt.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I have no father nor mother. I live with my uncle and aunt, who
     are very good to me. In vacation I work in uncle's
     printing-office, and when there is school I go.

     My uncle takes HARPER'S WEEKLY, and my aunt takes the BAZAR, and I
     take YOUNG PEOPLE. I think it is one of the best papers published.

     I have a pet chicken named Mary. She will walk a rope, and swing
     in a little swing I made for her.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and I like to read the letters from the
     little folks. I am ten years old, and am in the fourth room and
     "A" class at school.

     I had a velocipede, but it is broken. I have a horse and a saddle
     and bridle, and I ride a good deal.

     My little sister is three years old, and I am making a play-house
     for her. She bit my ear so hard I had to cry. Mamma asked her what
     made her bite brother's ear. She said, "Brother hurt his ear on my


       *       *       *       *       *


     In the hot weather we keep our doors open at night, and one night
     a little opossum got in, and in the morning we found it curled up
     in papa's hat. I kept it for a few days, but once when I went away
     it ran off. I am seven years old.


       *       *       *       *       *


     YOUNG PEOPLE comes every week, and I assure you it receives a warm

     We have two little pets. Their names are Roly and Poly. Roly is a
     little Skye terrier, and Poly is a kitten, which travelled here
     from "down East." They eat, drink, sleep, and, I am sorry to say,
     cry together, for they are both very sensitive. They object
     strongly to being shut up at night, and protest against it loudly.

     I am thirteen years old, and I wear spectacles.

  J. O.

       *       *       *       *       *


     I have taken YOUNG PEOPLE ever since the first number, and I find
     it very interesting. I was born in this Territory, but I have been
     to San Francisco and down the Pacific coast as far as Santa
     Barbara, where I remained six months with my mother and brother
     and sister. Sometimes in warm weather we take a trip to the Blue
     Mountains, and we have picnics and fishing parties. I am eleven
     years old.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I am ten years old. I live in the country, near a beautiful lake
     called Lake Pleasant. I often have a boat-ride on it. The hills
     are quite high around the lake.

     I live with my grandpa and grandma, and I go to school in an old
     yellow school-house that has stood for thirty years. We are going
     to have a nice new brick school-house soon, but I do not like to
     have the dear old house torn down, as it is the same one my mamma
     went to school in.

     We have two hundred sheep. I have a pet lamb that will leave the
     flock when I call it. Its name is Dickie.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I am eleven years old. I have not any pets now, but I had two. One
     was a little dog named Fanny. It would draw a little sleigh with a
     milk-pail on it, and pull me on the ice when I had my skates on.
     The other was a little kitten that would jump and take a piece of
     meat out of my hand when I held it over my head.


       *       *       *       *       *


     I am eleven years old. I like YOUNG PEOPLE very much. I often go
     out to the Spanish fort. There is a band of music there every
     evening, and every Saturday it is there all day. There are two
     cannon which have been in the fort ever since 1718. I have two pet
     kittens that follow me everywhere.


       *       *       *       *       *

     I have a collection of stamps, and would gladly exchange with some
     of the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.

  EDDIE DE LIMA, care of D. A. de Lima & Co.,
  68 William St., New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I would like to exchange postmarks of the United States or Canada
     with any readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.

  A. W. RUSSELL, P. O. Box 109,
  Brookfield, Madison County, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I would be glad to exchange postage stamps with any readers of

  HARRY GUSTIN, Bay City, Michigan.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I have a few foreign coins which I should like to exchange for
     rare postage stamps. They are small French coins, Swiss, English,
     Prussian, German, and Italian, copper and nickel. Some of them I
     do not know. They look like silver, but I think they are only
     German silver.

  11 Prospect Street, Fall River, Massachusetts.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I have a collection of shells, minerals, postmarks, coins, and
     woods. I have also a collection of about eleven hundred and
     twenty-five stamps, all different kinds, and I would like to
     exchange stamps with any of the readers of YOUNG PEOPLE.

     I am twelve years old. I have a canary, and my brother and I had
     a pair of squirrels, but one died.

  109 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I have a collection of stamps, and would gladly exchange with any
     correspondents. I have stamps from Colombia, Venezuela, Germany,
     England, and other countries.

  162 East Sixtieth Street, New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I would like to exchange flower seeds with any little girl in
     California or Florida. I have verbenas, mixed phlox,
     four-o'clocks, sweet-williams, balsams, alyssum, salvia,
     mignonette, and red and white petunias.

  1099 Wilson Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I have a collection of postmarks, and would like to exchange with
     any correspondents of this nice paper. I am eleven years old.

  "EXCHANGE," 939 Main Street,
  Buffalo, Erie County, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

     If any correspondents will send me a list of the stamps they
     require, and also of those they have to spare, I will like to
     exchange with them.

  JOHN R. BEDFORD, 5 Spencer Place,
  Fourth Street, New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I would like to exchange some revenue stamps for postage stamps.
     Among those I wish to exchange are two varieties of one-dollar
     stamps and a forty-cent stamp.

  Wellsville, Alleghany County, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I take YOUNG PEOPLE, and I think it is splendid.

     I have a great many French, Italian, English, and German postage
     stamps which I would like to exchange for others.

  P. O. Box 4574, New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I am collecting postage stamps, and would like to exchange.
     Correspondents will please state the number of stamps in their
     collection, and send me their list. I have twelve hundred stamps,
     and I am thirteen years old. I would like to know the age of my

  13 West Thirty-second Street, New York City.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I would like to exchange postmarks with any boy readers of YOUNG
     PEOPLE in the West. I am twelve years old.

  40 Third Place, Brooklyn, New York.

       *       *       *       *       *

     I would like to exchange postage stamps with any correspondent.

  P. O. Box 327, Lynchburg, Virginia.

       *       *       *       *       *

LOUISE.--Your question, "Is the mosquito of any use in the great economy
of nature?" has often been asked by many older and wiser than you, for
it is not generally known that in their larval state mosquitoes form an
important branch of nature's army of tiny scavengers. The larvæ live in
the water of stagnant pools and marshes, and feed upon particles of
decaying matter, and as their number is so very large, the amount they
devour is considerable. By thus purifying the water they destroy the
miasma which would otherwise arise and pollute the atmosphere to such an
extent that no human being could breathe it with safety. The value of
the work accomplished in tropical countries by these tiny scavengers is
very great. It is estimated that the air of certain marshy regions would
be so poisonous that no animal higher than a reptile could breathe it
and live, were their purifying influence removed. We do not know that
mosquitoes in the winged state have any useful mission beyond that of
depositing the eggs which produce the larvæ, but that alone saves them
from being "nothing but a nuisance."

       *       *       *       *       *

F. A. REILLY.--The subscription price for HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE for 1881
will remain one dollar and fifty cents, the same low figure as for the
first volume.

       *       *       *       *       *

BRIAN B.--The large green worm that feeds on carrot, caraway, parsley,
and some other common garden plants is the caterpillar of the _Papilio
asterias_, a large black butterfly which is seen in great numbers at
midsummer, hovering about the flowers in gardens. It is especially fond
of the sweet-scented phlox. This butterfly is very handsomely marked
with rows of yellow spots near the margin of its wings, and on the hind
wings, which are tailed, there is also a row of blue spots, and near the
lower angle an orange-colored eye with a black dot in the centre. The
wings of this handsome insect expand from three to four inches.

       *       *       *       *       *

"THISTLE."--It is not easy to say why such great numbers of potato-bugs
are found crawling on the sea-beaches. These striped cantharides are so
numerous in all parts of the country that they are probably blown
seaward by the wind, and naturally sail ashore on the tide.

You will find simple directions for pressing flowers and leaves in the
Post-office Boxes of YOUNG PEOPLE Nos. 34 and 46.

       *       *       *       *       *

F. B. W.--Write again to your correspondent. There are so many possible
reasons why he has not answered you that it would not be fair to him to
print your notice. Possibly he has misdirected the letter to you.

       *       *       *       *       *

Favors are acknowledged from Fred P. Herron, Albert C. B., Jessie R.
Ellerby, E. N., Richard F. Morgan, Willie C. Chapman, S. B., Frank
Davis, S. Donald Newton, Gertrude B. Duffee, Frank Haid, John R.
Bancroft, H. S. G.

       *       *       *       *       *

Correct answers to puzzles are received from Eddie S. Hequembourg, Mary
Tiddy, "Chiquot," William H. Dobson, Dana D. Stanton, "Milwaukee," Percy
McGeorge, "Nellie Bly," E. D. W. R. Garden, George Volckhausen, James H.
Beddow, Howard A. Esterly, "Ivanhoe."

       *       *       *       *       *

John H. Bartlett, A. O., and J. C. Locher have sent neat specimens of
the five-pointed star, which were received too late for acknowledgment
with the others.

       *       *       *       *       *


No. 1.


1. In strawberry. By way of. A fabulous woman. A unit. In huckleberry.
2. In peach. An article very useful to travellers. A color. A jewel. In
plum. Centrals of diamonds read across give the name of a common shrub.


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 2.


1. First, mountains in Switzerland. Second, mountains in Asia. Third, a
river in Hungary. Fourth, a town in Piedmont, once an ancient Roman


2. First, a part of the body. Second, a disease. Third, invalid. Fourth,
a hollow.


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 3.


My first is needed to make my second, and should always be in my whole.


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 4.


1. A fanciful character in one of Shakspeare's plays composed of 11
  My 3, 10, 5, 1 is agony to weary fingers.
  My 8, 2, 1 is a problem.
  My 6, 9, 5, 11 is done by every school-boy.
  My 7, 2, 8, 4 is fine powder.


2. An inhabitant of Africa composed of 10 letters.
  My 2, 7, 8, 5, 4 is a bird.
  My 6, 9, 3, 4 is a piece of money.
  My 1, 5, 10, 7 is a beautiful flower.


       *       *       *       *       *

No. 5.


  My first is in board, but not in plank.
  My second is in hoard, but not in bank.
  My third is in sin, but not in good.
  My fourth is in tin, but not in wood.
  My fifth is in sword, but not in arms.
  My sixth is in town, but not in farms.
  My whole its forehead proudly rears,
  Crowned by two hundred and fifty years.


       *       *       *       *       *


No. 1.

      B         F
    U R N     A R M
  B R E A D-F R U I T
    N A G     M I X
      D         T

No. 2.


No. 3.

1. Hipparchus. 2. Epicharmus. 3. Herodotus.

No. 4.

  F O A M    A R G O
  O H I O    R E A P
  A I M S    G A L A
  M O S S    O P A L

       *       *       *       *       *

Charade on page 696--Salt-Petre.



HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE will be issued every Tuesday, and may be had at
the following rates--_payable in advance, postage free_:

  SINGLE COPIES                     $0.04
  ONE SUBSCRIPTION, _one year_       1.50
  FIVE SUBSCRIPTIONS, _one year_     7.00

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.


The extent and character of the circulation of HARPER'S YOUNG PEOPLE
will render it a first-class medium for advertising. A limited number of
approved advertisements will be inserted on two inside pages at 75 cents
per line.

  Franklin Square, N. Y.

Harper's New and Enlarged Catalogue,


Sent by mail on receipt of Nine Cents.




Bicycle riding is the best as well as the healthiest of out-door sports;
is easily learned and never forgotten. Send 3c. stamp for 24-page
Illustrated Catalogue, containing Price-Lists and full information.


79 Summer St., Boston, Mass.

=COINS AND STAMPS.= My revised catalogue of coins, showing _buying
prices_, just out--price 10c. No. 20, of the St. Louis _Philatelist_,
the best stamp paper in America, is now ready, and will be mailed free
for stamp. E. F. GAMBS, Coin and Stamp Dealer, 621 South 5th St., St.
Louis, Mo. Established 1872.




       *       *       *       *       *

=THE ADVENTURES OF REUBEN DAVIDGER;= Seventeen Years and Four Months
Captive among the Dyaks of Borneo. By JAMES GREENWOOD. 8vo, Cloth,
$1.25; 4to, Paper, 15 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

This is a book which will be devoured by youth with much the same
engrossing interest that made the perusal of "Robinson Crusoe" so
delightful. The author has the power of literally enchaining the
attention of the reader, whether of larger or smaller growth.--_Brooklyn

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

HARPER & BROTHERS _will send the above work by mail, postage prepaid, to
any part of the United States, on receipt of the price_.



     Square 4to, about 300 pages each, beautifully printed on Tinted
     Paper, embellished with many Illustrations, bound in Cloth, $1.50
     per volume.

The Children's Picture-Book of Sagacity of Animals.

     With Sixty Illustrations by HARRISON WEIR.

The Children's Bible Picture-Book.

     With Eighty Illustrations, from Designs by STEINLE, OVERBECK,
     VEIT, SCHNORR, &c.

The Children's Picture Fable-Book.

     Containing One Hundred and Sixty Fables. With Sixty Illustrations

The Children's Picture-Book of Birds.

     With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.

The Children's Picture-Book of Quadrupeds and other Mammalia.

     With Sixty-one Illustrations by W. HARVEY.

       *       *       *       *       *

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

_Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on
receipt of the price._

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]


Divide the piece of plank described in the Mariner's Puzzle, published
in No. 47, into five squares, as represented in Fig. 1; then draw a line
from A to B, and from B to C. Cut off the two triangular pieces marked X
X, and re-arrange them as represented in Fig. 2, and you will have a
piece of plank of the shape and size required by the mariner to stop the
leak in his ship.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]



[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

Here is a simple little thing of my own invention, from which I have
derived a good deal of fun from time to time, and from which the readers
of YOUNG PEOPLE may extract some amusement. It is an imitation of the
common screw-head, and is made in this wise: Take a piece of common
tin-foil, and mark on it with a pair of compasses or a small thimble a
number of circles; then, with a broad pen or small brush and black ink,
rule across each a broad line, as represented in Fig. 1. Then, when your
ink is dry, cut out the little circular pieces very neatly with a pair
of scissors. They resemble so exactly the head of a real screw as to
deceive the most acute observer. Once I made a box for conjuring tricks,
with a side swung on hinges, and fixed the sides of the box with these
screw-heads in such a way as to impress the spectator with the idea that
it was a piece of workmanship that could not be trifled with.

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

On one occasion a much-loved relative of mine had left me alone in her
house while she drove over to the station to meet her husband. I did
not wish to waste my time while she was away, and having nothing else
to do, I cast my eye round for material. At last it lighted on an
article of furniture: this was a bureau, highly prized by my much-loved
relative. I have attempted, feebly, in the subjoined sketch to convey
an idea of it, but am fully conscious that I am far from doing it
justice. But this bureau was of solid mahogany, and had belonged to her
grandmother--qualities enough to make anything dear to the heart of a
true woman. On the side of this solid mahogany bureau I scrawled a
ragged line with the sharp corner of a piece of soap, and gummed some of
my screw-beads down each side of the mark, as in Fig. 2. Then I waited
until my much-loved relative returned.

"Aunt," I said, in solemn tones, "look at the end of your mahogany
bureau. It is all my fault, and I am as sorry as I can be. I know how
you value it, and realize the extent of the disaster; but I've fixed it
up as well as I can, and I guess it won't show much."

My aunt rushed to the bureau, and there she saw the patched and botched

"Oh dear!" cried she, "to think--just to think--how could you be so-- I
knew something would come of swinging those vile clubs. I'd rather have
given a hundred dollars. It's too bad. And such a mess! Why didn't you
wait till I could send for a proper man--a cabinet-maker or
something--to mend it?"

Then she ran into the garden, and called to her husband: "Oh, George, do
come here, and see what that boy has been doing! My dear mahogany
grandmother's bureau all knocked to pieces, and patched together with
big screws. Such a sight!"

As soon as my aunt left the room I seized a wet towel, and quickly
removed all the appearance of damage, so that when she returned with her
husband, and with averted face, bade him look upon the wreck, the mild
old gentleman, after putting on his specs, and making a careful
examination, reported that he could see nothing the matter.

"For pity's sake!--the man must be getting blind and foolish," cried my
aunt. "It's as plain as Charley Meeker's nose on his face."

A discussion of some length here followed between my aunt and her
husband, which was terminated by the lady stepping up to the bureau,
with an air of triumph, to point out the broken places. Never before was
seen such a perplexed woman. She looked and looked, and felt all over
the precious piece of furniture with her finger, and, I believe, would
have fairly gone demented had I not broken the spell by a roar of
laughter. When I explained the trick I had played, she too laughed
heartily, and boxed my ears, saying it was just like me, and that I was
always up to some prank or another.

And so ended my first practical joke with the screw-heads.


MAJOR ANDRÉ. "Look here, fellers, there ain't a-goin' to be no hanging,
yer know."

JOHN PAULDING. "No hangin'! W'at er yer talkin' 'bout? D'yer s'pose
we're a-goin' back onter history and Gineral Washington? Get out! Course
yer've got to be hanged; and ef yer don't like it, we'll get some feller
as does. That's all there is to it."]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Harper's Young People, October 12, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly" ***

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