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Title: Pappina, the Little Wanderer - A Story of Southern Italy
Author: Davis, Katherine Wallace
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Pappina Pierno]


PAPPINA
THE LITTLE WANDERER

A Story of Southern Italy

by

KATHERINE WALLACE DAVIS

Author of "Cradle Songs of All Nations," Etc.



A. Flanagan Company
Chicago

Copyright, 1908
By
A. Flanagan Company



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                          PAGE

     I PAPPINA PIERNO                                 7

    II THE CONQUEST OF GUISEPPE                      29

   III FESTE DAY AT NAPLES                           46

    IV IN THE VALLEY OF POMPEII                      58

     V AT CAVA                                       77

    VI HARDSHIPS AT SALERNO                          97

   VII THE RECONCILIATION                           116

  VIII ADVENTURES ALONG THE COAST AND IN AMALFI     127

    IX SORRENTO, WHERE HARDSHIPS END                151

     X NAPLES AND A NEW LIFE                        162



                           THE PUNCHINELLOS



                               CHAPTER I

                            PAPPINA PIERNO


It was away up in that part of Naples called San Lucia, where clothes
seem forever hanging out to dry, that Pappina lived with the rest of
the Pierno family, a tribe too large to enumerate.

Pappina was only seven years of age, but she was different from
every other child living in dingy, dirty San Lucia. Few even of the
grown people of the neighborhood cared to be clean, and as for their
hair--why, they paid no attention to that, but let it go as it found
itself. But Pappina took delight in combing her silky black hair and in
washing her beautiful face and dimpled hands.

This was a wonder to all who lived near.

"The one who washes! _Per bacco_ [Great heavens]!" they said when they
saw her. But their amazement did not disturb Pappina. She went about
her play in the sordid old tenement-court like a sunbeam astray.

[Illustration: Doing the family washing in Italy]

Only when she sang and danced and the people gathered around her did
she seem to take much notice of her neighbors.

"Such a voice in one so small! It is from the angels!" the women would
say, as, charmed by her singing and her grace, they would toss her _un
soldo_ (a half-penny).

The other children would run with every _soldo_ to buy macaroni, for
the children were always hungry in San Lucia, where even _soldi_ are
scarce; but Pappina, a true little Neapolitan, loved dress and display.
She spent her money for trinkets with which to adorn her bewitching,
graceful self.

Pappina's love of beauty sprang from her eager little heart like a
sweet flower from a patch of rich earth on a rocky hillside.

It grew with very little nourishment from without, for in all her
seven years she had hardly been out of sight of the hivelike tenement
where her hard-working father himself had been born. On rare days she
was taken to a near-by street where for generations the women of the
neighborhood had gone to do their family washing at a free fountain;
and of course, as all little girls in Italy do, she went to a gray old
church regularly with her mother. Down the narrow street, past the
mean shops, to church was the longest journey out into the world the
bright-eyed little maiden had ever taken.

[Illustration: In San Lucia]

Her brothers, however, were great travelers. Sometimes at night they
came home with tales of the wonderful foreigners who thronged the
Toledo, of the splendid shops where all the treasures of the earth were
gathered--jewels that sparkled like the sun; flowers that smelled like
a breath of heaven; rich and gay clothes! Pappina sat with shining
eyes and listened to these amazing tales until her heart was full of a
longing to go and see for herself the wonders described.

On some mornings after drinking in news of the unknown world to which
her brothers journeyed every day, Pappina would follow them down the
stairs, through the court, out upon the cobble-stoned street, with
outstretched hands, crying:

"Take me, Filippo, Vittorio!"

"_Non oggi, sorella_ [Not to-day, sister]," they laughed as they dodged
between the people in the street.

Sometimes she would follow her brothers for some distance, only to be
taken back into the courtyard of the tenement when they discovered
her running after them. Pappina, who had a temper of her own, returned
more often in anger than in tears.

One day a great resolve came to her as she stood watching them go away.

"I've staved at home long enough," she said to herself. "They won't
take me, but I'm going; I'm surely going."

Pappina spent all the morning in adorning herself for the journey. Time
and again her mother called to her:

"Pappina, _bambina_ [baby], what are you doing?"

But Pappina, standing before a bit of looking-glass, never heard the
call, she was so busy pinning on a bit of lace or a ribbon, or combing
and curling her tresses.

Soon after noon a grotesque little figure darted out of the tenement
and down the street. Without looking to right or left it ran swiftly
for a short distance, and then it stopped and looked back to see if any
one were following. Then Pappina--for it was she--moved on, bound for
the Toledo.

She held her head up proudly, and all the bits of lace and ribbon that
she had fastened to her faded little frock fluttered about her as she
hurried on--toward the Toledo she thought, but, in truth, over the
bridge that leads to the Marina or wharf at Castle dell'Ovo.

The place had no historic interest for her. Pappina knew nothing of
history; she was just a poor little Neapolitan girl. Only foreign
tourists visited the oval-shaped castle because it was the place where
Cicero met Brutus bloody-handed from the murder of Cæsar; where kings
and queens had dwelt and been imprisoned. She saw only the crowds of
people--the divine people who made the wonderland her brothers told
about.

Some of the people were waving their arms toward the water and
laughing. Pappina approached the edge of the wharf, that she might see
everything that was going on.

Well-dressed men were throwing money into the waves.

"What wealth they must have!" exclaimed Pappina to herself. "Such queer
words they speak, too! These must be the foreigners Vittorio tells
about!"

She drew still nearer and saw that the people were laughing at the way
a mob of half-naked boys were diving for the _soldi_ the foreigners
threw into the water, bringing the coins up in their mouths.

"Oh, the foreigners are not crazy; they are only kind," she thought.

She turned at a burst of laughter behind her, and there were more
foreigners throwing _soldi_ to more boys who were standing on their
heads, turning hand-springs, and crying: "_Date_ [give] _un soldo_."

Pappina was astonished. There were blond-haired Englishmen, blue-eyed
Germans, black-whiskered Russians, generous Americans; and such
wonderful ladies everywhere!

"Where do all the _soldi_ come from?" she murmured as she stood gazing
about her in amazement.

Suddenly a group of light-hearted tourists, bent on discovering all the
treasures of a foreign land, swept around Pappina.

"What a quaint little beauty!" one lady exclaimed. "See how she has
decked herself out in all her finery! What cherubic eyes!"

Pappina clasped her hands to her breast and shrank back from the
gaze of the eyes fastened upon her. She was such a little girl, and
never before had she been so far away from home; no wonder the sudden
attention of all these finely dressed ladies and gentlemen frightened
her.

"I must go home," she exclaimed; "I must run home and tell them all
about it. Oh, what a grand time I've had!" She laughed aloud as she
broke through the crowd and darted away.

On ran Pappina until she spied the statues of La Villa, and then,
although the beauty of the park was before her eyes, she was
frightened. Where was her home--her dear, dear home? where were her
brothers and sisters? Pappina was lost.

Suddenly her lips stopped quivering: forgotten were her home and her
fright. Her little feet paused.

A band! Wonder of wonders! For the first time in her life Pappina
heard the whole air aquiver. Streams of sweet sound swept around her.
Her whole body tingled, down to her feet. She began to dance with the
unconsciousness of a music-mad little child. Tapping her toes on the
pavement, gliding and swaying to and fro with the music, keeping time
with her arms, dancing with truly wonderful grace, she had drawn a
large group of people about her by the time the waltz had ceased.

"Bravo! Bravo!" the people cried as they showered _soldi_ upon the
surprised little girl.

She drew back, frightened.

"Yours, all yours!" called some voices.

She began picking up the coins as she laughed her thanks. Her chubby
little hands were soon so full that she dropped some _soldi_ every
time she picked up one. She gave a perplexed sigh, then suddenly made
a purse of her apron and filled it with the jingling money. How the
people laughed at her cleverness!

Rich little Pappina! The luxuries of the world--her world--were now
within her reach. What should she buy? For a moment her bright eyes
rested on the strings of macaroni some boys near her were eating. She
felt a sudden hunger, but she had wanted a coral necklace too long to
spend her money for the mere pleasure of eating, so she started off to
hunt for a shop filled with jewels such as Filippo had often told about.

[Illustration: Eating macaroni]

Pappina had not gone a hundred feet when she spied Filippo himself,
sitting with a group of twinkling-eyed, barefooted boys of his
age, playing "Mora," the Italians' favorite game of chance. The
boys--shouting, disputing, quarreling, eager to win--were all so intent
on the game that not one of them noticed Pappina's approach. Slipping
up behind her brother, she clasped one hand over his eyes, asking:
"_Chi e_ [Who is it]?" and laughing merrily when she saw his surprise.

Filippo turned sharply toward her and gruffly demanded: "What are you
doing here?" In her joy she ignored both his anger and his question.
With dancing eyes she jingled her coins.

"See," she cried, "I've been dancing. Come quickly, Filippo; I want a
coral necklace; take me where I can buy one."

"Sit down, you simpleton," he growled.

Words proved useless. Pappina must wait, so she sat down close beside
Filippo, watching the game patiently for some time. Tired of this, she
opened her apron, trying to count her wealth.

Luck certainly was against Filippo. His day's profits from the sale of
cigarettes were slowly but surely dwindling away. To lose his earnings
usually meant to remain away from home all night, for to return without
money brought worse hardships than sleeping supperless on the street.
Alas, to-day there was no way out of it! He must make good his losses.
Great beads of perspiration stood on his brow as he recklessly risked
his last _soldo_. Lost! Muttering an oath, he turned toward Pappina,
who still sat at his elbow absorbed in her efforts to count her _soldi_.

[Illustration: Playing mora]

At another time Filippo would have laughed at his favorite sister as
she counted softly to herself, "One, two, six, four," but to-day he
heard nothing, saw nothing but her tempting _soldi_. He reached into
her apron for funds with which to make another play. Pappina looked
up, surprised, but said nothing.

The second time she jumped quickly to her feet, her eyes and cheeks
aflame. The third time she gave him a vigorous slap.

"Let my money alone! You're a mean, horrid boy!"

The boys laughed loudly, then took up the game, shouting as before,
"_Uno_, _quattro_, _tre_ [One, four, three]," etc. So boisterous were
they that Pappina began to cry. The necklace was forgotten.

"I'm so hungry, Filippo, and I'm tired, too. Take me home." He made no
move. "Don't you hear me? I want to go home at once, Filippo," and she
stamped her little foot imperiously.

The game thus interrupted, the boys arose and moved on.

Filippo shook Pappina as he demanded: "What business have you down here
bothering me. I'd like to know! You'd better stay home after this."

Pappina paid no attention to his anger.

"Oh, Filippo," she cried, "it's lots of fun to come down here to the
Toledo. I'm coming every day."

"'Tain't the Toledo," said Filippo, still out of sorts.

"'Tis, too! I know it is, for I saw all the fine people in carriages.
Didn't the foreigners throw _soldi_ at me?"

"Don't try to tell me. I tell you, 'tain't the Toledo."

"Then take me there," pleaded Pappina, "I won't go home till--"

She stopped at a burst of applause.

"What is it, Filippo?" she asked, eyeing a crowd of people they had
reached.

"Come along; it's only the Punchinellos."

"The Punchinellos? What's that?"

"Were you born yesterday? Live in Naples and don't know the
Punchinellos?"

Filippo stopped to laugh at so absurd an idea, for Punchinellos are as
common in Italy as hand-organs in America.

Taking advantage of his laughter, Pappina pulled Filippo into the crowd.

"Filippo, I cannot see," she cried.

She could hear voices carrying on a conversation, but as for seeing,
she was lost in a wilderness of legs. Dragging her unwilling brother
by the arm, elbowing her way through the crowd, she took her place
directly in front of the Punchinellos.

The first part of the puppet performance was just ended. Then came the
most popular of all puppet plays, in which a splendid puppet fully ten
inches high, with fixed, staring expression, began good-naturedly to
deceive the smaller puppets.

As the first simple-minded puppet gave his wealth to the arch deceiver,
Pappina cried out:

"Don't give it to him! Don't, I say! He is bad."

The crowd roared. Filippo pinched her.

"Shut up, you baby!" he whispered. "They're only puppets."

Pappina turned her flashing eyes for a moment toward Filippo, who
expected his saucy sister to give his hair a vigorous pull, but she was
too interested in the play to stop now even for this satisfaction.

Several times Filippo had to hold her by the arm, to prevent her from
running to the rescue of the abused puppets. He was ashamed of her
ignorance. He wanted her to go home, but she refused to move, and he
knew her willfulness too well to insist.

The play continued. A puppet who refused to give up his money was
beaten on the back till dead.

"Stop him! Stop him!" screamed Pappina in her excitement.

Filippo placed his hand over Pappina's mouth.

"Let her alone!" cried several persons in the crowd, so he stopped
trying to repress her and joined in the merriment over her enthusiasm.

The play ends with the murder of the villain, an event which never
fails to bring forth the laughter and applause of the audience, with
shouts of "Hurrah! Hurrah!" This time, however, the crowd failed to
show its approval in a more substantial way.

The hat was passed. Nothing was given.

The owner of the Punchinellos stood expectantly awaiting the returns.
Timidly the pale woman took him the empty hat. He scowled. Turning
toward the dispersing crowd, he cried:

"What! You give me no money? Sons of dogs, I play no more to you"--this
being a rebuke all Punchinello owners use.

No one seemed to care except Pappina and the woman. The latter shrank
back from the showman's wrath.

The rowdies and hoodlums, observing his disappointment, remained. They
were waiting to be called "figure of a pig," which to an Italian is a
deadly insult and means trouble. They were hoping, longing for a fight,
and it would have come but for Pappina.

She saw the brown-haired woman trembling at the rage of the
disappointed man, and down she dug into her apron and passed a handful
of _soldi_ to the poor creature, who smiled her thanks.

Pappina sealed her fate by this act of generosity, for her beauty and
grace attracted the swarthy Punchinello man's notice.

As Filippo led Pappina away, the owner of the puppet show muttered
something to the pale-faced woman who had passed the hat, and thrusting
the little stage toward her, darted off after the homeward-bound
children.

Down the street they went, hunter and hunted, through the crowds, up
highways and down byways, to the humble home in San Lucia.

"I have brought home the little runaway She was--" A knock at the door
interrupted Filippo's speech.

All the Pierno family were within the poor home. They looked at one
another and grew still. Pietro, the father, went to the door and opened
it.

"It's the Punchinello man!" exclaimed Filippo.

"I am Guiseppe Capasso, signor," said the dark-browed man, bowing and
stepping inside the doorway, "and if you are the father of yonder
little girl I have business with you."

The children whispered together and drew away from Pappina, who ran to
her mother.

Guiseppe Capasso began at once to bargain for the little girl.

In spite of his poverty and his desire for money, Pietro was loath to
part with his child. He sat with bowed head, looking neither to right
nor to left, apparently uninterested.

Guiseppe leaned forward and touched Pietro on the shoulder.

"Come, come," he said, "can you keep so beautiful a child a prisoner in
this dingy San Lucia when--"

"_Vieni, bambina_ [come, baby]," Pietro interrupted him, holding out
his arms to Pappina. She ran to him and climbed upon his knee.

"_Si_ [yes], signor," Pietro began, as he took one of Pappina's curls
in his hand, "_bella_, _bella_ [Beautiful, beautiful], but she has a
temper of her own at times. She ain't always sweet and gentle as she
looks; are you, _bambina_? You, signor, don't know her or her ways. She
ain't like any of the others. We love her best of all. No, signor, we
can't give up Pappina." He looked at the child with love and pride.

Then Guiseppe with his glib tongue started all over again. He was ready
with many arguments why it would be best for Pietro to hire Pappina to
him.

"I will be good to her and educate her. Marta, my wife, and I will take
her traveling over Italy like the daughter of a lord."

Still Pietro shook his head.

"Such advantages--can you refuse them? And the money--" Guiseppe
leaned toward Pietro, slyly watching him as he repeated slowly,
"and--the--money--".

Pietro raised his head a trifle, looking into the cunning eyes of the
other man.

"Think how much it will do to feed and clothe the others," Guiseppe
urged. "I pay you money for the right to give your child splendid
advantages. _Per bacco!_ What more do you ask?"

Pietro began to waver, and Guiseppe, seeing this, continued his
arguments.

It was a case of a shrewd man bargaining with a poor, ignorant one.
Guiseppe--smiling, shrugging his shoulders--met every objection, and at
last Pietro consented to let him take Pappina for a year.

"Well, get the child ready," said Guiseppe, changing his tone from
coaxing to command as soon as the bargain was closed and the money paid.

"But I don't want to go," Pappina cried, running to her mother in whose
apron she fairly buried her frightened little self.

"_Su, su_ [Come, come]!" exclaimed Guiseppe. "There's many would be
glad of your chance."

"Oh, signor," said Elisa, throwing her arm about her child, "let us
have her one night more! She is tired. One night more! I will send her
to you with Filippo in the morning."

Guiseppe shook his head.

"The bargain's closed. Quick, get her clothes, we must be off."

"She is ready as she stands," said Pietro, pointing to Pappina, who
stood holding tightly to her mother.

"What, no clothes!" cried Guiseppe harshly.

Elisa looked angrily at him.

Guiseppe, anxious to get away, went to Pappina and rested his hand on
her head with a show of tenderness.

"Come, little one, come," he said, "and to-morrow you shall buy a
splendid dress, bright and new."

Pappina was interested.

"Will you take me to the Toledo, where all the lords and ladies are?"
she asked.

"_Si, si, carina_ [yes, yes, little dear]," said Guiseppe guilefully.

"Go with him, _bambina_. It is best," said Pietro, trying to disguise
his fears and hide his sorrow.

Pappina, taught always to obey her parents, hesitated no longer.

"I'm ready," she said, leaving her mother's side.

There were no preparations to make for the child's departure, no
clothes to fold and pack. All she owned she was wearing. She had
only to bid adieu to the loved ones before starting out with Guiseppe
Capasso into the street, into a new life.

Elisa, wringing her hands and with tears raining down her cheeks,
watched her most beautiful child disappear into the dusk. Her grief
would have been wilder still had she known the truth--for Pappina was
leaving San Lucia forever.

          On thy dear head my hands I lay
          In solemn, fervent prayer,
          Praying that God may keep thee
          Thus pure and sweet and fair.
                                   --_Heine._



                              CHAPTER II

                       THE CONQUEST OF GUISEPPE


When Pappina awoke the next morning, the little east room where she lay
was flooded with sunshine. She looked about her wonderingly.

"Where am I? Is this a dream?" she asked herself softly.

For a few moments she lay with half-closed, sleepy eyes looking in the
golden light at the white curtains draped at the window.

"Pretty, pretty," she murmured. Her little hand took up the coverlet.
It was white! She turned over quickly: there was a white covering on
her pillow! Surely this was not home! She sat up, rubbing her eyes, and
there was brown-haired Marta smiling at her from the other side of the
room.

Marta was an Englishwoman. While traveling through Italy as maid to
the Countess Filota, she had met and fallen in love with the handsome
professional story-teller, Guiseppe Capasso. After their marriage he
had turned his stock of stories to account by setting up as a puppet
showman.

Marta knew how to take care of a child. Her English face shone with
pleasure as she washed Pappina, combed her hair, and dressed her, clean
and rested, for breakfast.

This home was poor. The furnishings were little better than those of
Pappina's own, but it was clean. Pappina looked about the room.

"I like it," she said.

She had just finished the simple breakfast Marta served when Guiseppe
appeared, frowning, in the doorway.

The gladness went out of Marta's eyes as though a cloud had passed
before the sun.

Pappina noticed his scowl and was half frightened for a moment. She
clung close to Marta, waiting for Guiseppe to speak.

From under his heavy, shaggy eyebrows he stood silently studying the
face of the black-eyed child. Pappina flushed under his scrutiny. She
wanted to cry, but she was not lacking in spirit and she did not mean
to let him know that he frightened her.

"Signor, why don't you say good-morning to Pappina?" she asked. "I
shan't like you if you look so cross."

Guiseppe was surprised at the speech and pleased at her courage. Most
children ran away from him when he scowled and looked fiercely at them,
as he knew he had looked at Pappina. To Maria's astonishment he burst
into a hearty laugh.

"I'm good and I'm cross, _bambina_. I'm clouds and I'm sunshine.
Sometimes I'll be kind. Sometimes, maybe, I'll beat you."

"No, you won't," retorted Pappina, darting from Marta's side. "Oh, no,
signor! If you should dare, I'd run away from you."

Guiseppe believed her when he saw her small clenched fists and the fire
of indignation in her eyes. He knew she meant what she said.

"_Hola_, the sauce box! I'll break her in! I'll curb her spirit by
degrees," he told himself, smiling as though he enjoyed the prospect.
Bowing with great courtliness, he said aloud: "Ah, a very beautiful
morning to you, Madamigella Pappina."

Pappina stood still a moment, watching him; then, with a shrug of her
shoulders, she replied

"_Ebbene_ [Well]! But you have not told me, signor--"

"Call me, Guiseppe," the man interrupted. "We're just old Guiseppe and
Marta to every one."

"Well, then, old Guiseppe--"

"Guiseppe, without the old, if you please, signorina." He bowed
mockingly, but he smiled as though the child's independence and
fearlessness had charmed his surliness away.

"Signor Guiseppe, you have not told me at what time you will take me to
the Toledo. I want the new dress you promised to buy me to-day."

Marta held her breath. Would Guiseppe, who had led her such a hard life
for years, permit this child to look boldly into his face and command
him to do her bidding? Would he suddenly burst into a rage and rain
blows upon her?

To her relief she saw a half-concealed smile on his lips as he took
from his pocket a handful of money. He counted out a few pieces and
laid them on the table.

"Marta, buy the minx stuff for a dress--and shoes, too, I suppose. We
can't have her toes sticking out as they are now," he said.

"And stockings?" asked Marta with a courage she could never have
summoned had she been asking for money for herself.

"She'll do without them," Guiseppe replied grimly. "If her feet are
covered she'll get along. I'll go alone with the Punchinellos this
morning. This afternoon I'll keep my promise and take the child to the
Toledo, although why she's so crazy to go there is more than I know."

Taking up his Punchinello box, he left the room.

Pappina danced about, radiantly happy over the prospect of a new frock.

"You'll let me go with you, won't you, Marta? I want so to go, and if
there's money enough. Marta--dear, good Marta--may I have some of that
stuff that smells like flowers? I smelt it on those foreign ladies when
they took out their handkerchiefs at the Marina."

"There'll be only enough for the dress and the shoes to-day, _carina_."
Marta was sorry to deny the child.

Pappina took the woman's hand.

"_Vieni_, Marta. We must hurry or everything will be sold to the
foreigners. They have so much money they even throw it away. My dress
must be red, and red is so beautiful! If we don't hurry. I'm sure
they'll have it all. Please, Marta, aren't you ready?"

Marta had not the heart to keep the eager child waiting, and they
started at once.

[Illustration: It was not they]

Pappina walked as though on air, by Marta's side, looking at
everything, prattling in her inimitable way. Marta was beginning to
feel that even for herself life still held some charm.

The child had not once thought of home. She had been too absorbed in
the newness of everything. Suddenly she caught sight of two ragged boys
asleep on the ground, with their empty baskets over their faces. She
stopped beside them.

"Marta, wait!" she commanded. "Maybe it's Vittorio or Filippo.
Sometimes they don't come home at night. I must see if it is my
brothers."

A passer-by, hearing her cry, uncovered the boys' heads. Eagerly
Pappina peered into their faces. It was not they. She burst into tears.

"_Padre_--_madre_ [Father--mother]!--I want to see them all! Take me
home," she cried.

"First the pretty red dress, _carina_." Shrewd Marta! She knew perhaps
the one thing to make the child forget.

The tears were dried, and hand in hand they hurried to a shop. Pappina
wanted everything she saw in the store that was bright and pretty.

"Mayn't I have that shawl for my head? Please, Marta, buy it for me!"

"No, _carina_--just the dress and shoes to-day. There is money only for
them."

Pappina's request was hardly made before she had forgotten it because
of the wonders she beheld in the great store--show-cases filled with
ribbons of all the colors and tints of the rainbow; cases of spools of
silk; bright-colored fashion plates, and a dazzling array of fabrics in
prints, cheesecloth, merinos, and silks. With exclamations of delight
the child danced about like a butterfly from one thing to another,
smiling Marta following her.

When they started from the shop, Pappina refused to let Marta carry
either the shoes or the dressgoods. She hugged them close in her
arms, every other minute peeping through the tear she had made in the
wrapping-paper.

"_Che bella, Marta, che bella_ [How beautiful, Marta, how beautiful]!"
she exclaimed softly, again and again.

"Are we going to make the dress right away, the minute we get home,
Marta?"

"_Si, si, carina._"

"You will let me help?"

"Can you sew, _carina_?"

"My sister Angela knit when she was only four, and I can sew, I'm sure
I can. You'll let me, won't you, Marta?--so it will be done before I go
with Signor Guiseppe?"

"You shall wear it this afternoon, _carina_."

"He'll be sure to like the color of the dress. He can't help it, can
he? Shan't I be grand, Marta, when I have on my splendid new dress and
shoes!"

Marta, looking at the eager little upturned face, forgot she had ever
had a sorrow or a hardship.

It did not take long to sew up the simple little frock, but it would
certainly have been finished quite an hour before had not Pappina
insisted upon sewing this and that. Marta, good soul, in her keen
enjoyment of the child's pleasure, considered it no trouble to stop
sewing and hold up the little dress to be admired, to try it on some
six or seven times, and while Pappina was absorbed in her new shoes,
secretly to take out the big stitches put in by this wild little child
who would help.

At noon Guiseppe came home, out of sorts and cross. His coming was like
a shadow on the happiness that Marta and Pappina felt.

"No money," he growled as he rattled the Punchinellos into a corner. "I
might as well have stayed at home. I'm sick of playing to such dogs."
Pappina and Marta were silent. "Is it done?" he asked, noticing the red
dress in Marta's hands.

"Yes."

"I'll try what youth and beauty will do. I'll take her to the Toledo
with the Punchinellos. Can you sing, girl?" he asked turning his
glowering eyes on Pappina.

"_Si_, signor."

"Get up and give us a song; dance if you can. I feed and clothe no one
who can't earn what I give."

He waited a moment, watching Pappina's flashing eyes. She made no move
to obey him, but, looking at Marta who sat with downcast lids, she
followed her example of silence. In all the poverty of her home no such
crossness had ever been shown Pappina, and she was not quick to submit
to tyranny.

"Why don't you do as I tell you, girl?" exclaimed Guiseppe
threateningly.

"Because, Signor Guiseppe, I couldn't sing for you when you are so
cross and mean. When we go this afternoon to the Toledo, if you're good
to me, I will sing and dance, and they'll give me money, lots of it."

"_Per bacco!_ The minx has courage!" Guiseppe muttered, then added
gruffly: "Dress, then, at once. We'll go and see what stuff you're made
of."

It was a small matter to put on the new shoes and don the simple little
frock. As Pappina was putting on the bright dress she could hardly
stand still. It was so fine to her that she could scarcely believe it
was her own.

Suddenly remembering who had given her the money with which to buy the
gorgeous garment, she ran to Guiseppe. Climbing upon his knee, she
threw her arms about his neck.

"Oh, Signor Guiseppe," she exclaimed, all her anger forgotten, "look at
me, quickly! I am Pappina Pierno. You wouldn't know it, but I am really
and truly the same little girl. Do I look well? Are you proud of me?
Do you like my red dress? Will every one know it is new--and my shoes,
too?"

She plied him with a hundred questions all at once, it seemed to
Guiseppe, who had never before had a child in his home. He did not
even like children, and yet he felt a delight in having this impetuous
little beauty dash at him and in her excitement nearly knock him off
his chair.

"_Bella bambina!_" he exclaimed involuntarily, while good Marta smiled
at the sight.

All was now in readiness. Guiseppe, Marta and Pappina, with the
Punchinellos, were off.

For years Guiseppe and Maria had not walked side by side. Guiseppe had
a way of going ahead, letting Marta follow like a faithful dog after
his master. To-day, as usual, Guiseppe took the lead, striding through
the network of lanes and streets certain that Marta with Pappina was
close at his heels. But everything was so new to Pappina that progress
was slow.

Every minute she would beg Marta to stop while she feasted her eyes on
the wonders of the shop windows; and Marta was torn between her desire
to please the child, who had already brought so much pleasure into her
hard life, and her desire to avoid angering Guiseppe.

"Oh, Marta, can't you wait just a minute to see these pretty things?"
Pappina would exclaim, stopping at a jeweler's.

"Not to-day, _carina_--another day. Now we must hurry."

"But just to see these pictures--"

"No, _carina_, look! Guiseppe is far ahead. It is there at the bend of
the street by that statue that he always stops when he plays on the
Toledo."

At the mention of the Toledo, Pappina was only too ready to hurry along
with Marta. So, half running, they reached Guiseppe's side just as he
set up the Punchinellos.

Pappina, looking with disappointment up and down the street, asked:
"Marta, is this the Toledo?"

"Yes."

"Then where are all the grand people in their fine carriages?"

"The grand people have nearly all gone away from Naples, away to the
coast, where it is cool," Marta replied.

The crowd was now considered large enough to warrant a performance of
the show.

Pappina was the most interested of the spectators. When she had seen
the show with Filippo she had been so absorbed in the puppets' actions
that she had not noticed it was Guiseppe who moved them, spoke for
them with a change of voice, and lived through all their passions
for them. To-day, standing close to him, she understood. She looked
wonderingly, first at him, then at the puppets, and knowing that it was
all make-believe, she did not cry out against the villain's actions.

When the play was finished, both Pappina and Marta passed through the
crowd to collect the pay for the performance, but there were only a
few _soldi_ from the sprinkling of soldiers--nothing more.

Guiseppe was on the point of bursting out in angry abuse when he
bethought himself.

"Try your luck, girl," he said roughly to Pappina. "Sing, dance, give
us a gay one."

Pappina hesitated, then she looked at her new dress and shoes, took up
her tambourine, and began to sing.

The liquid notes poured forth as from the throat of a nightingale. She
forgot the people and where she was, forgot everything but her song.
Her voice rang out so clear and pure that even the lazy, loafing boys
threw away their cigarettes and joined the crowd that was holding its
breath to catch the silvery sweetness of the tiny singer's song.

The last notes were unheard, so loud were the cheers they gave her.

Guiseppe, the money-lover, was chuckling with pleasure and anticipation.

"Pass your tambourine," he commanded.

The ragged boys dived into their pockets to see if there was even _un
soldo_ to give. Young black-haired, bareheaded women found a small
coin or two. Pale-faced Neapolitan loafers with the drapery of their
cloaks thrown over their shoulders, having nothing to offer but shouts
of approval, slunk away before the tambourine reached them. Old women
all rags and fangs, weak little girls supporting big babies, eager to
hear another song, tried in vain to find something for the singer.

What little there was in the tambourine Guiseppe soon had in his pocket.

"The girl's too good for such beggars," he said as he took up the
Punchinellos and started down the street.

Pappina, pleased with his praise, walked proudly beside him, prattling,
humming, laughing, pointing here and there, enthusiastic over every new
thing she saw.

"Guiseppe, where are we going now?" she inquired.

It was a question Marta had longed to ask, but had not dared. The
change in Guiseppe was too recent for Marta to believe he would
continue good-tempered long.

Certainly since hearing Pappina sing, Guiseppe had seemed in good
spirits. The visions of much money cheered him so that he was gracious
even to Marta.

"We are going now to Porta Capuana, songstress," he laughingly replied.
Noticing Marta's surprised look, he added kindly to her: "I've never
done well there myself, but if all those others can make a living there
I guess Pappina can draw the money with her voice."

Porta Capuana is a quarter of Naples where street singers congregate.
Here, also, one may find public readers who follow in the footsteps of
ancient poets like Homer and tell their stories to the public in person
instead of through the cold type of the printer.

Pappina, proud of Guiseppe's praise, smiled happily into his face and
walked close by his side, in her childish way holding with one hand a
corner of his coat.

The almost deafening shouts of the quack doctors trying to sell their
cure-alls, and stopping occasionally to pull teeth, frightened Pappina.
She clung so tightly to Guiseppe's coat that he turned to look at her.
Her bright, happy expression had changed to one of fear. Guiseppe took
hold of her trembling hand, reassured her, and leading her to a place
where the quacks and their victims were out of sight, he said in the
kindest tone he had ever used:

"_Canta_ [Sing], _bambina_."

Away from the din, with loving Marta on one side, protecting Guiseppe
on the other, Pappina quickly forgot her fear. She sang and danced;
money was given freely. She was happy. She and Guiseppe were the best
of friends, and they were having a glorious time.

Such noise and such bustle! Such scenes and such macaroni!

Guiseppe apparently was really enjoying Pappina's happiness. He looked
pleased when she smiled into his face, patted his sleeve, pulled his
coat or squeezed his big hand, always willing to sing and do his
bidding.

It was a good day for them all. It passed only too quickly for Pappina,
who did not wish to go home, and begged to stay to see the lights and
hear the band. She gave in sweetly when she was refused, however, and
was taken home and put to bed, too tired after the exciting day to
think once of the loved ones in San Lucia.



                              CHAPTER III

                          FESTE DAY IN NAPLES


Italy, the land of sunshine! Its hills and valleys, churches and
palaces are famous for their historic treasures. But when the
sightseers arrive to view this birthplace of history they are annoyed
on every hand by hoards of _lazzaroni_ (beggars). Every one seems
hungry for money.

Now that Guiseppe had possession of Pappina he felt himself in a fair
way to appease his hunger, for, with all the poverty surrounding the
splendid churches and palaces, the people of Italy are joyous and
mirthloving, and give freely to those who amuse them.

For a couple of weeks after securing control of Pappina, Guiseppe
reaped a harvest such as had never before been his fortune, while
Pappina was having the very gayest time of her little life.

Every day she was quite as eager as Guiseppe to set forth, although
they were in search of different things--Pappina coveting the smiles
and applause of the lords and ladies who seemed to her like beings
from another world, Guiseppe eager for gold.

Every morning they would start out for some new quarter of the city
which was visited by tourists and held mysteries for Pappina. It meant
money to have these foreigners admire the child. Every one stopped
to listen to her. She was kept singing, dancing, here, there, and
everywhere, it seemed to her. Many times she was willful, and would
stubbornly refuse to obey Guiseppe.

[Illustration: A wine cart of Naples]

"I'm tired of singing and dancing and being stared at," she would say,
with a determined look on her little face that warned the man not to
force her. "I've earned enough for to-day."

The child would always assert her independence when among people, and
at a time quite impossible for Guiseppe to discipline her.

It is well that these two high-tempered people had Marta always with
them. Often she was able to keep the peace when an outbreak threatened.
Pappina loved her, and would listen to and obey her when no threats
from Guiseppe could move her.

As the first Sunday in June drew near, preparations were begun for the
Festival of the Constitution, the Italian Fourth of July; and to the
nearness of this fete day Marta was indebted for many an opportunity to
make the child forget Guiseppe when he showed an ugly temper.

Stores were draped with bunting. On all the principal streets arches
were erected, and every man, woman, and child seemed to be preparing
for it. Even Guiseppe made ready for the fete. Late one forenoon he
took a sudden turn into the Corso Garibaldi and hurried down its broad
walk at such a pace that even Pappina was almost breathless in trying
to keep up with him.

"Where are you going now, Guiseppe?" she asked, seizing hold of him.
"Is there a crowd some place, that you hurry so?"

Marta listened eagerly for a reply. It was a never-ending source of
astonishment to her that Guiseppe would answer the child's questions
without impatience; she, herself, rarely received a pleasant word from
him.

"You see, _bambina_," the heavy-browed man graciously replied with a
good-natured twinkle in his bright black eyes, "you are so fine since
you have your red dress, old Guiseppe thinks he must get a new coat,
and so we're on our way to Porta Nolana."

"But Marta bought my new dress over there in the shops, where there is
everything in the world," exclaimed Pappina, waving her little hand
over her shoulder.

"Ah, but I don't buy, I trade, little one. It's Rag Fair day."

"Rag Fair day," Pappina repeated, wrinkling her forehead. There were
so many things to wonder about these days that she did not question
him further, but trotted along by his side, until suddenly she found
herself among a throng of chattering, bartering men and women, who were
offering all kinds of garments for sale or exchange.

Guiseppe stopped and, handing the Punchinellos to Marta, stripped
off his coat. Pappina stood with wide-open eyes and lips parted
in amazement to see him offer his coat for a better one, with one
franc--two--three--then five--and the exchange was made.

When at last Guiseppe donned his good coat, Pappina told him over and
over again, to his amusement: "Guiseppe, you look just lovely."

"You like my coat, _bambina_?" he said. "Then come along. It takes
money to buy good coats and bright red dresses."

Taking Pappina's hand, he strolled buoyantly away from the noisy
Rag Fair, toward the Observatory, beyond which some of the wealthy
Neapolitans have their homes.

Up the hilly streets they climbed. Pappina, darting ahead on
explorations, would stop at each corner as she came to it and wait for
Guiseppe and Marta.

"Keep your eyes open for a likely house where they will pay for
entertainment," urged Guiseppe, who was as much a stranger in this new
quest for money as was Marta.

At the two or three places at which they stopped the voice of the
little girl rose through the heated afternoon air, but only a few
_soldi_ tinkled on the pavement.

If Guiseppe was disappointed he did not show any signs of it. He smiled
calmly upon Pappina.

"We'll save your voice and strength for to-morrow, _bambina_. Not
another song to-day. Come along, Marta. Old Guiseppe's getting to be a
kind master, eh, Pappina?"

His was a selfish kindness. He knew the morrow's fete would prove a
harvest to him, and since no one gave to-day, he thought best to let
Pappina rest for the fete day's strain.

When the bright, beautiful fete morning dawned, Guiseppe was early
astir.

"Come, Marta! Up, little one!" he exclaimed. "The day can neither begin
too soon nor last too long for me."

"Nor for me," declared Pappina.

First they, with every one else, must go to mass in the handsome church
San Francesco di Paola.

The thunder of guns from the vessels of war and the harbor batteries
frightened Pappina. She held Marta's hand tightly and sometimes in her
fear even Guiseppe's, but when she saw the militia she forgot the noise.

"Oh, I like the soldiers," she cried happily. It was the first military
parade she had ever seen, and she wanted to follow the marching troops
down the street and lend her cheers to those of the crowd.

How grand the carriages were! How gay the people looked, tricked out
in all the magnificence they could command! Pappina, looking at the
surging mass of holiday-makers, asked: "Marta, is the whole world here
to-day?"

Days before the fete Pappina had been taught to sing the Garibaldi.
Guiseppe knew well the effect the song would have upon the people. For
years he had sung it himself on fete day, but that was before he had
his Punchinellos, before his voice had grown thin and cracked. Time and
again he had scolded Marta because neither she nor the puppets could
sing the Garibaldi.

Now he had a child with voice and beauty. As they paused at a crowded
corner where he thought it would be well to have her sing, he looked
at her with satisfaction. He had talked to her so much of the applause
and _soldi_ she would win that she could scarcely curb her impatience
to begin. Like a high-bred, prancing horse eager to run, she stood with
her gayly decorated tambourine ready, anxiously waiting for Guiseppe to
bid her sing. When he said, "_Canta_," she needed no second bidding.
Wildly she struck her tambourine. Her voice rang out:

"_Viva! Viva! Viva!_ Garibaldi!"

Such a din of applause! She could scarcely hear her own voice, but
loudly she continued: "_Viva! Viva!_ Victor Emanuel!"

She need not pass her tambourine to-day. She need not even stop to pick
up the _soldi_ as they rained upon her. That was Marta and Guiseppe's
pleasant task.

"Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore!" the crowd shouted, and Pappina sang the
song over and over again.

As one throng left for new sights and amusements another took its
place, and so the tambourine was filled again and again. Yet Guiseppe
kept her singing and dancing, dancing and singing. Never, it seemed to
Marta, would he be satisfied to let the child rest.

The woman noticed with anxiety and pain the bright, feverish spots
burning on Pappina's cheeks, and the unusual brilliancy of her great
black eyes. Several times she made bold to ask Guiseppe if she might
not take the child home, but Guiseppe replied only with glances of
contempt and indignation at her interference.

Even the buoyancy of youth must give way to fatigue after a time, and
Pappina's little limbs began to ache. She sat down to rest.

"Get up, girl. We must be moving," said Guiseppe.

Pappina arose.

"Take me home, Guiseppe," she begged, "I'm so tired." The request was
ignored.

"There's a crowd up the street; come," was all the man said.

Pappina's bright eyes spied an empty carriage on the thoroughfare. All
her little life since she could remember, she had longed for a ride in
a carriage; here was her first chance for one and she grasped it.

"I'm too tired to walk, Guiseppe," she said quietly. "I'm going home
now, and I'm going to ride, for I've earned lots of money to-day."

Guiseppe took no notice of the remark.

"Come on, I say!" he growled. "Don't you see that crowd? Come!"

"Guiseppe, I'm going home, and I'm going to ride, for I've earned lots
of money to-day." Pappina repeated, stepping, as she spoke, into the
carriage.

What was Guiseppe to do? They were still among a crowd of people who
had poured _soldi_ and _soldi_, even francs, into her tambourine.
Should he attempt to discipline her and have a scene on this public,
crowded thoroughfare? He looked savagely at Pappina seated in the
carriage, her proud little head resting against the cushions like that
of a princess. He could not doubt that she intended to ride. Should he
humor her? He stood a moment in deep study. The people were smiling
admiringly at the dainty child. Guiseppe knew their sympathy was with
Pappina. He could not hide his anger.

"Confound her!" he muttered. "Get in, Marta," he commanded with an oath.

There is no knowing what, in his rage, Guiseppe would not have said
and done had not Pappina fallen asleep almost immediately. It was poor
Marta who was destined to feel the fury of his rage.

"She always takes advantage of me when I can't help myself," he began.
"The upstart! Am I, Guiseppe, to give in to her, an imp raised in
poverty and dirt?" He beat his hand on his breast. "Marta, I'll show
her. I'll teach her who is master. I'll curb her temper. I'll conquer
her or I'll die. Bah! Do you hear me? I say I'll conquer her or I'll
die."

Marta certainly heard him and believed him as well. He had made her
life a hard one, insisting upon having his own selfish way always. She
was expected to know no wish that differed from his. No wonder he felt
galled to find himself defied, forced to give in to a child who in
years was scarcely more than a baby.

Marta was in constant fear that the little girl might awaken and that
Guiseppe would be eager to fulfill his threat to show Pappina who was
master. But Pappina slept on, even after the carriage had stopped in
front of their home.

Marta took the tired little girl quickly and tenderly in her arms and
put her to bed, her heart overflowing with a great motherly love
as though Pappina were her very own. For a long time she sat by the
child's side, to guard her from Guiseppe's anger. She could hear him
in the adjoining room, pacing the floor like a lion in his cage. Then
there was silence.

What now! Marta held her breath as she tiptoed to the door and peered
through a crack to see what Guiseppe was doing. He had his money bag in
his hand.

"Full! Full!" he exclaimed softly. He smiled grimly as he counted
the coins. "_Diavolo!_ she brings the money! Ten--twenty.--She's
a gold mine, the vixen!--Thirty--forty.--I can afford to give in
a little.--Fifty.--What spirit she has!--Sixty.--I could kill
her at times, but--seventy-five--I'll be hanged if I don't like
her!--Eighty.--Yes, I like her--temper and all."



                              CHAPTER IV

                       IN THE VALLEY OF POMPEII


Marta was awake early the morning after the fete. She hurried to
Pappina's cot and found the child ill. It was as she had feared: the
excitement had proved too much for the little one. The wonder-child lay
pale and listless. Her black eyes were drowsy.

Marta was bathing the feverish brow and hands when Guiseppe, returning
from an errand, angrily asked why they were not ready to start on the
day's rounds.

"Ready to start!" Marta cried. "Have you no eyes except for money? Look
at her! Do you not see that it is impossible to keep the child always
singing and dancing?"

Only for the sake of Pappina had Marta dared be so brave. Guiseppe was
astonished. This was a new Marta to him. That his wife, who had so
patiently borne with him for so long a time, should turn on him, was
more than he was prepared for.

"_Basta, basta_ [Enough, enough]!" he said, raising his hand to silence
Marta. Then he glanced toward the cot. He could see how pale and still
Pappina lay. "It's early yet. An hour in bed will put her right."

"An hour!" Marta exclaimed, darting up to him in her indignation at his
heartlessness. "Do you wish to kill the hen that lays the golden eggs?"

"She laid many yesterday," he replied, taking out his money-bag. "They
are all in here, francs and _soldi_, and there are many of them." He
patted the bag affectionately, looked again at Pappina, and added:
"I'll let her rest. It's quiet after the fete, and I can't lose much
to-day."

"To-day! Guiseppe, she shall not leave the house till she is quite
well. You know how high-strung and sensitive she is, like a golden
lute that responds to the slightest touch of any breeze, no matter how
mild and soft. You must let her rest. You must, Guiseppe." Marta had
gone close to her husband and was looking earnestly and pleadingly into
his face.

"I'll not break her down and lose her," Guiseppe replied. "She did well
at the fete. After all, what will a few days matter?" He walked to the
little cot and continued: "I know you, _bambina_, I know you. If you
don't feel right you may as well stay at home, for you can't sing and
you won't dance."

He turned with a shrug of his shoulders, picked up the Punchinello
stage, and left the house.

Pappina dozed all through the long day, with Marta keeping close watch
by her side.

Late that evening Guiseppe came in stealthily. He found his supper
waiting him.

"All right again, Marta?" he questioned.

"A few days' rest is all she needs," Marta answered, thankful that he
was not ill-natured, and pleased that he had inquired about the child.

For several days Guiseppe went out alone with the Punchinellos. He
missed Pappina, and the money he earned was not worth the time and
trouble it cost him to give the show.

"It's no use," he said to Marta one evening as he came in. "The
foreigners have sought the cool resorts. The wealth of Naples is
leaving also. It's along the coast they go to enjoy the fresh breezes
of the Bay of Naples, and we may as well follow them and their money."

This announcement surprised Marta, for since her marriage she had never
been away from Naples.

"You really mean we are going away?--away from Naples?--away from home?"

"What's the use of staying in Naples?" he growled. "It's money I
want--money, I say. Old Parisotti goes down the coast every year. His
old guitar isn't fit to listen to; neither can that girl of his sing.
We have Pappina, and as soon as she's able we'll go."

Marta carried the news to Pappina, who was sitting up. She clapped her
hands softly.

"Can we go soon, Marta?" she cried.

"As soon as you are well enough, _carina_. It is beautiful along the
coast. You will like to be away from the crowded city--away, _carina_,
where the birds sing, the flowers grow, the grass and trees are green,
and the air is cool and fresh."

Before the end of the week Pappina came to breakfast and announced:
"I'm ready to start, and I want to go at once."

All dimples and smiles, she went to Guiseppe and sat uninvited on his
knee. Looking into his eyes, she asked:

"Guiseppe, are you angry with me?"

He was surprised and pleased. If there was a warm spot in Guiseppe's
heart she had touched it. He took Pappina's face between his rough,
broad hands.

"There, there, _carina_," he said, "Guiseppe's a bear--old and often
crabbed. Just forget his faults and try to like him."

He pushed her almost roughly off his lap and began his morning repast.
Guiseppe admitted to himself that he had missed the little elf while
she was ill, more than he would like any one to know. He considered the
feeling a weakness, and would not permit Pappina and Marta to see how
glad, even happy he was to have the child well again.

"She must not know how angry my heart has been against her. She must
not know how I have missed her, with her moods, her storms, her
sunshine, and her prattle," he said to himself as he sat stolidly
trying to conceal his pleasure.

Pappina, having little appetite, was soon away from the table,
imitating the tarantella dancers, to the great amusement of both Marta
and Guiseppe. Tiring of this, she ran first to Marta, whom she gave a
big squeeze, then around the table to Guiseppe, about whose neck she
put both arms.

"Guiseppe, dear Guiseppe," she cried, "I'm so glad we're going away!
I'm tired of being shut up in the house. When shall we go? To-day, good
Guiseppe?"

Guiseppe laid down his knife and fork. His face lighted up with
pleasure as he took Pappina's two little hands caressingly in his.

"Marta!" he exclaimed, "do you hear what she calls me? 'Good Guiseppe!'
_Per bacco_, I have never before been called good! Do you mean it,
_bambina_?"

"I do, Guiseppe; truly I do!"

"Then, if I'm good, I'll see that my little one is quite strong before
she is taken on a long, hard tramp, with plenty of singing and dancing
wherever we meet people."

He kept his word. In spite of Pappina's impatience to be off, it was
several days before he would consent to start.

As the wardrobe of the three consisted principally of the clothes on
their backs, there was little to do but lock the door of their humble
two-roomed home, take the Punchinellos, and start out of Naples,
through the noisy, bustling east suburb.

Along the busy streets Guiseppe marched, as though walking for a
wager--past various markets, with fish, vegetables, and carts of
oranges standing outside; past houses where women sat in the sun
mending fish-nets or spinning from distaffs; through crowds of
unwashed, ragged children, beggars, carts, red-capped fishermen and
sailors; on through the wild confusion of horses, donkeys, drivers, and
people such as one sees nowhere in the world but in this part of Naples.

Guiseppe had promised himself to stop at the villas, but here he was
going past villas and palaces, gardens and vineyards, down the country
roads that lead to Vesuvius and Pompeii, without any apparent notice
of anything they were passing. He looked neither to right nor left,
but with bowed head walked mechanically on. Marta and Pappina followed
close behind their stolid leader. No one spoke.

Just at the outskirts of the city, they passed the macaroni factories,
where Pappina saw long strips and strings of macaroni hung out on poles
in the street to dry. She gazed longingly at the food.

"I want some, Marta. Tell Guiseppe I want some macaroni," she said, but
before Marta could reply, they turned a bend in the road and Pappina
saw for the first time Vesuvius, puffing out great volumes of smoke
against the clear blue sky. Visible as this mountain is from some parts
of Naples, Pappina had not seen it before. The tall tenements of gloomy
San Lucia, with lines upon lines of garments everlastingly hanging out
to dry between the balconies or from poles thrust out, completely hide
the volcano from the view of those living where the Piernos had their
home.

"O--oh, Marta!" Pappina exclaimed, pausing abruptly. "Marta! Look! See!
What is it?" she cried, pointing to attract Marta's attention.

Marta was hastening along to keep up with Guiseppe and hardly glanced
at the smoke-crowned mountain, which was an old sight to her.

"What is it, Marta?" Pappina persisted as she caught up with the woman.

"Vesuvius, _carina_."

"Where does all the smoke come from? Where's the fire?"

Marta told Pappina all she knew about it:

"Travelers from all parts of the world come and climb the volcano to
look down into the crater, the mouth from which the smoke comes. I went
up once with Countess Filota. People melt coins in the lava--that's the
melted rock that comes out with the smoke. Sometimes the guides boil
eggs over the lava to show how hot it is."

"Marta, can't we go up? Weren't you afraid to look down into the mouth?"

"No, _carina_. They tell the story of an Englishman who went too close
and fell in, but that was because of his own carelessness. There is no
danger. Perhaps sometime we shall be able to go, so you can see for
yourself."

On and on they marched, with the pillar of smoke ever before them.
Pappina could not overcome the awe she felt at first sight of this
great furnace of Nature.

The walk down the dusty road through Posilipo awakened memories in
Marta's heart. She spoke, more to herself than to Pappina:

"How long it is since I came here with my dear Countess Filota! She
and her friends spoke of Cicero and Virgil, their homes beneath this
hillside. We turned and went--let me see, which way was it? It is so
long ago I have almost forgotten. Oh! this way, to the left and we
visited the tomb of Virgil; we--"

"Who were they, Marta?" Pappina interrupted her, "friends of your
Countess Filota?"

Marta was too deep in her memories to be amused at the child's question.

"No, no, _carina_. They were great poets. I wish you might--" She left
the sentence unfinished, for glancing toward Guiseppe, plodding ahead,
she noticed something queer in his gait. She ran forward, calling:
"Guiseppe! What's the matter, Guiseppe?"

Guiseppe turned at the call and stopped, facing them. As they drew
near, Marta saw that he was breathing hard and that his face was drawn
and white.

"I'm not well, Marta," he gasped as they reached him. "My legs and
breath shouldn't give out like this. It won't do. I tell you. I'm not
well."

He flung himself down on the ground. This was the first complaint of
illness Marta had ever heard him make. She was alarmed, and she showed
it. Guiseppe reassured her.

"We'll stop at the Valley of Pompeii. We'll go to the church Santa
Maria dell Rosario [Saint Mary of the Rosary]. It will do us all good
to pray. The blessed Virgin makes the blind see and the lame walk. She
cured Genario's boy who had been sick two years. She'll make me well."

He crossed himself, and lay back, closing his eyes. Marta and Pappina
sat watching the sick man. For some time he lay as though sleeping,
then suddenly he sat up.

"Marta," he cried, "we need food. I can't move on to-night. Go, bring
us something."

Marta hesitated a moment, wondering if it were best to leave him. He
commanded her again to go for food.

"I'm faint," he said, "and the girl's tired and hungry--but she has
grit; she don't whimper and snivel as any other child would do. Get
something for us to eat. We'll stay here. Where are we, Marta? Do you
know?"

"The town is called Resina," Marta replied, as she tried to make him
comfortable before obeying his command. Before she started she bade
Pappina watch over Guiseppe carefully while she was away, but there was
nothing for the child to do but sit quiet and await Marta's return.

The woman was soon back with the food bought in the near-by village.
Guiseppe only grunted when Marta sought to make him partake of the
food. Little enough she had been able to buy with the few coins given
her; but both Pappina and Marta were used to this. They took what they
could get, and expected nothing more.

The three were soon asleep under the calm starlight and awoke only
when the morning sun, peeping through the branches of the trees, shone
brightly into their faces. After eating a little breakfast, they
started down the road toward the Valley of Pompeii, with slow steps to
accommodate the sick man. Undoubtedly Guiseppe felt himself very ill.

"Hasten, so that I can get to the Virgin of Santa Rosario before I
die," he kept exclaiming, as they helped him along.

After many stops to rest Guiseppe, they arrived at the chateau of
"La Favorita," with its fine park. As soon as she saw the great iron
gateway Pappina darted away without a word. Guiseppe smiled as he
watched her disappear and heard the rattle of her tambourine--always
music in his ears because it meant to him the jingle of money as well
as of bells.

[Illustration: La Favorita]

Marta, looking up the avenue of fine trees that led to the chateau, saw
a group of ladies and gentlemen, sitting on the lawn. Before them the
little red-dressed figure was swaying in its dance, and she heard the
sweet voice singing.

"Oh, Guiseppe," she exclaimed, "live, live, for we have her, the
wonder-child! Rest while she sings and listen to her angel voice. It
will bring you strength to reach the Holy Virgin's church, where you
surely will be healed."

Guiseppe was glad to rest. Without a reply to Marta he sat down and
listened to the strains of the song that floated to them.

"_Cara bambina!_" he murmured softly. His sickness seemed to be
changing, softening him. His eyes almost sparkled with pleasure when he
saw Pappina running toward him.

"Guiseppe, they were splendid to me!" she cried. "A grand gentleman
gave me this," showing a franc. "He told me to keep it myself, that it
was all for me, but it's yours, Guiseppe. Oh, I can't bear to have you
sick," said the child, smiling through her tears.

Guiseppe patted her little hand as he took the proffered coin.

The sight of money turned his thoughts to getting on, and soon they
arrived as one little party of a hundred thousand yearly seekers of
health at the gray old church of Santa Maria del Rosario.

"Shall I sing?" asked Pappina as soon as she saw the crowds.

"First we must pray," Marta answered, taking the child's hand.

As soon as they entered the broad portals of the church, Guiseppe
dropped to his knees, and thus he crept, with many others who were
especially seeking health, toward the altar, mumbling his prayers as he
counted his beads. Reaching the altar, he flung himself down before the
dull, dim image of the Virgin, praying for the blessing of health.

Pappina and Marta, after saying a short prayer, stopped for a few
minutes to look at the medallions covering the walls, then followed
other visitors to the place in the church where the offerings of the
healed are exhibited--a motley collection of baby dresses, shawls,
dolls, jewels, and other articles of every kind and description.

Pappina, after a time, grew tired of looking at this display, and
begged Marta to go outside to wait for Guiseppe.

They sat down near the church and watched the crowds of pilgrims going
in and coming out. For a long time there was silence.

"So long ago," murmured Marta.

"Yes," answered Pappina, "he's been praying hours, hasn't he?"

"I was not speaking of Guiseppe, Pappina, but of my life so long ago,
when I was maid to the Countess Filota. We took this same trip, but we
rode in carriages. We did not come to this church. We stopped at the
ruins of Pompeii."

"Where are they, Marta?"

"There, _carina_. You can see them dimly in the distance," she said,
pointing toward them, "perhaps half a mile from here. How I should like
to see them again! I wish we had time to go."

The woman was silent. She seemed to be dreaming of by-gone days.
Pappina waited for a time for Marta to speak, then she gently laid her
hand on that of her friend, saying: "Go on Marta, tell me about them."

"You are such a child, _carina_. You wish to know about the ruins?
Every one who visits Italy comes to Vesuvius and Pompeii--Vesuvius the
mountain, and Pompeii the city that once waked and slept at the foot
of the mountain. One day the sky grew dark, completely hidden by the
volumes of smoke that rose like a huge pine tree from Vesuvius. The
stones, lava and ashes entirely buried the city and the people, and now
when men dig in the ruins they find--"

"I'm well, Marta! I'm well, Pappina! Praise the Santa Maria del
Rosario! Come."

It was Guiseppe who was hurrying toward them. He led the way to a spot
a short distance from the church. He set up the Punchinellos; the light
of money hunger again burned in his eyes, and until the worshipers
thinned out he kept playing the puppets at intervals between Pappina's
songs and dances. In the good spirits due to the miracles performed in
the healing, the healed gave generously to the showman.

"Come," he commanded Marta and the child late in the afternoon. "We
must move on to Cava. To-morrow is fete day there and we must reach
the place to-night."

Guiseppe was himself again.

He took no notice of Pappina's lagging footsteps, showed no
appreciation of her thoughtfulness during his illness, being absorbed
in visions of her tambourine full of coins on the morrow. He walked so
rapidly that Marta and Pappina could hardly keep up with him.

Reaching Pagani, he stopped near the main road of the little hamlet.

"Sing," he commanded in an ugly tone.

Pappina was tired. Guiseppe had been so cross all the way from Pompeii
that she did not care to please him.

"I won't!" she answered in quite as ugly a tone as the man had used to
her.

"Won't sing, eh? No songs, no supper," he muttered, half tempted to
shake her in his rage.

Pappina was even more hungry than tired, so she sang and danced,
without any spirit, to the few people who gathered around them just a
very tired, dusty little girl singing for her supper.

The smallness of the sum collected enraged Guiseppe, and as soon as
the people left he began to upbraid her.

"You're a disgrace to me and yourself," he said. "I might as well have
let my puppets dance. You did no better." With that he made his way to
a little shop near by.

Pappina bit her lips.

"If I were not so hungry," she whispered to Marta, her eyes blazing as
she gazed after Guiseppe, "I'd show him, but I'm so hungry!"

"Come on," growled the man as he emerged from the shop and gave them
their share of the food he had purchased. "It's six miles to Cava, and
we must get there to-night, so eat as you go. Come on, I say, and don't
go to sleep as you walk, you two."

So, worn and footsore, they moved on toward Cava.



                               CHAPTER V

                                AT CAVA


Pappina was unaccustomed to long walks. She felt lame, her flesh was
sore, and furthermore she could not forget Guiseppe's unkindness. It
hurt her that he had forced her to sing and dance for her food, and
then had scolded her for her lack of animation.

"He said I was no better than his puppets. I hate him!" she muttered
to herself as she trudged along in the growing dusk. "That franc was
mine; that fine gentleman gave it to me. I wish I hadn't given it to
Guiseppe. It was mine. If any one gives me money again I'll keep it
for myself. I'll hide it away for Marta and me. Guiseppe may starve--I
shan't care. I hate him."

So the little girl was thinking all the way from Pagani to Cava. The
road was hard and rough. Occasionally Pappina, her aching feet hurt
by a sharp stone, would utter a little cry, "_Olà_ [Oh]!" as she
jumped aside, but except for these few exclamations there was complete
silence. Marta, in deep study, again and again stretched out her bony
hand and laid it caressingly on the head of the tired little girl
trudging uncomplainingly yet sullenly along the deserted road.

Guiseppe was determined to reach Cava that night. His snapping black
eyes looked keenly ahead for the spires and the lights of the village.

As he saw them dimly in the distance he inwardly rejoiced that the
day's tramp was almost over. A half-mile from the village he halted
beneath a large tree which protectingly spread its branches beside the
road.

He leaned the Punchinello box against the trunk of the tree and, still
without speaking, threw himself on the ground.

In spite of her fatigue, Pappina stood with her hands clasped, looking
at the distant lights of Cava. Marta, rolling together her apron and
her shawl as a pillow for Pappina's head, watched the child and waited
for her to speak or move. Pappina did neither.

"She is such a tired little girl," Marta said after a few moments, as
she took Pappina gently by the hand. "_Vieni, carina, resta_ [rest]."

For a moment Pappina hung back, then she clung to Marta in the dark and
whispered: "For you, Marta, for you, because you are good to me."

Marta took the child in her arms and carried her to a resting-place.
She kissed the little hand, her whole heart going out to Pappina
in love and compassion as she blessed her with the words "_Dio vi
benedica. Buona notte, carissima_ [God bless you. Good-night, dearest]."

Only Guiseppe rested well. Marta felt too keenly the wrong done Pappina
to sleep at all.

"He'll kill the baby," her thoughts ran. "He shows her no mercy. Oh!
what can I do? There'll be trouble--I feel it, I know it. I must
protect her. How sweet, how patient, how gentle she is when he is good
to her!"

Marta heard the deep breathing of Guiseppe sleeping, heard Pappina
muttering in her disturbed slumber: "I hate him! I hate him!"

Guiseppe was awake at the first peep of day. Seeing Marta bending over
Pappina, he commanded her: "Shake the willful child; bid her get up at
once. It's fete day."

Marta during her night's revery had determined to protect Pappina at
any cost to herself, so she pleaded for the child:

"Yes, Guiseppe, it is fete day, and for that reason you had better let
Pappina rest for a little while. She is exhausted from her long tramp
yesterday. She will have much excitement, singing and dancing all day,
even late in the evening. We can find our breakfast and I will bring
Pappina's to her. Let her rest, I pray you, Guiseppe; let her rest."

Marta stood before her husband, her worn face shining with earnestness.
Guiseppe looked at her in surprise; then laughed brutally.

"Bravo, Marta!" he cried. "I didn't know you had it in you. You want
the child to sleep, eh?" Then closing his eyes just a little, like a
tiger before he springs, he went on: "So you will not awaken her? Then
it is Guiseppe, the tyrant--eh, Marta?--who must rudely arouse the
sleeping princess from her morning slumber."

As he finished speaking he moved toward Pappina, who was tossing
restlessly on her hard couch, but Marta sprang between him and the
child.

"Guiseppe, I have always obeyed you, have I not?" she entreated in a
low voice. "Look at Pappina: her restlessness shows how tired she is.
Guiseppe, hear me! I beg you to let her sleep and be rested for her
hard day's work." Marta leaned forward and placed her hands on the
man's arm as she went on: "I have asked few favors, demanded none, but
now for this once, Guiseppe, I pray you grant me my request! Let her
rest!"

Guiseppe, hesitating, ran his hand several times through his black hair
as he looked from Marta to Pappina, still asleep on the ground. He knit
his brow, struggling with himself as though it were a hardship to grant
his wife a favor.

"Guiseppe," Marta bravely began again, but he interrupted her.

"Come on," he said roughly. "I'll humor you this time. I'll let her
sleep."

So it came about that Pappina awoke under the big tree in the early
morning sun to find herself alone. Suddenly a great fear seized her.
Perhaps Marta and Guiseppe had gone off and left her. She sprang up
and ran to the road, looking wildly about for them. In her terror she
did not notice the Punchinello box leaning against the tree, and she
started toward the village, crying aloud: "Marta, Marta!"

Her tears flowed freely, and between her sobs she continued to cry
for Marta and occasionally for Guiseppe. It was with Guiseppe's name
half-spoken on her lips that the little frightened child stopped
crying.

"Guiseppe! Gui--oh! I hate him! I hate him more than I did last night!"
The memory of how he had treated her the day before came over her like
a flood. "It is fete day at Cava; he said so. All I earn is mine, and
when I sing the Garibaldi I shall have my tambourine full of money. Oh,
how glad I am! Then I can go home."

As she hurried on, her plan grew clearer. She would strike out for
herself. Then suddenly she stopped again, like a butterfly halted and
shifted in its course by a vagrant wind.

"Oh, Marta! If you were only with me, I should not care," she sobbed.

Buffeted by conflicting feelings, Pappina sped on toward the village of
Cava.

Marta ate but little. She started back to find Pappina, leaving
Guiseppe to finish his breakfast alone.

"She'll like what I have brought her," she took pleasure in thinking as
she approached the spot where they had camped for the night. She saw no
signs of Pappina astir. "She's still asleep, tired out, poor baby! I'm
so glad Guiseppe let her rest."

She smiled on the friendly tree as she neared its welcome shade. She
peeped around the trunk; no one was there. Down went the bowl of milk
with a crash to the ground.

"Pappina gone!" She stood speechless and terrified. Recovering herself,
she ran through the bushes, crying: "Pappina, Pappina, Pappina! Where
are you, _carina_?"

No answer came to her cries.

"Oh, what shall I do? What shall I do?" she moaned as she ran to and
fro, wringing her hands. "What will Guiseppe say? How can I tell him
Pappina is gone? He'll say it is all my fault. How can I endure his
rage and disappointment? And my Pappina!--oh, I should not care for
Guiseppe's anger if I knew she was safe."

Poor Marta! For the first time in years she gave way to tears. Her
whole frame shook with sobs.

Guiseppe, meanwhile, having finished his meal, was growing impatient at
Marta's delay. The streets were filling with people.

"What detains them?" he asked himself. Then the thought occurred to
him that perhaps Marta's warning had come true and the child was sick
again. "God forbid that she is ill!" the man ejaculated as he piously
crossed himself.

He heard the sound of the bugle calling the soldiers for drill. Priests
and children were assembling for the march into church. Women and men
in festival garb were hastening to mass. Bands, boys, and venders
were everywhere. Guiseppe paced impatiently up and down, growing more
nervous every moment. Then another thought came to him:

"Perhaps they've forgotten I'm waiting. Marta may have forgotten. She's
getting to be a bigger fool every day over that headstrong child. Well,
the minx certainly has grit, and such spirit! _Per bacco!_ She's lamb
and tigress combined. If she were like other children I could beat her,
but--well, I'll be hanged if I could beat Pappina!"

Guiseppe's anxiety was increasing every second. "The crowds are even
now going to mass," he muttered. "I'll go and meet them." He started
with rapid strides toward the spot where the three of them had spent
the night. He halted on hearing Marta's sobs. A great fear overcame
him; then, recovering himself, he rushed on like a madman toward the
tree where Marta sat, sobbing in her grief and fear. He took in the
situation at once.

"What!" he exclaimed, "Pappina not here! Where is she?"

He stood dazed. The calamity of losing Pappina on fete day crushed him.
Then, arousing himself, he shook Marta roughly by the shoulder and
showered imprecations upon her.

"You fool! You dog! And to-day is fete day. You're in league with the
little imp against me."

"Oh, Guiseppe--"

"Don't speak to me! I humored you, and what do I get in return? You
rob me of my living. Thief! Snake!" In his anger he kicked over the
Punchinello box. "And I've only these poor puppets left," he cried.

"Guiseppe, have pity!" Marta begged, shrinking as far away from him as
she could. "The crowd may be great, but we shall find her. I will rest
neither night nor day till we have found Pappina."

In the meantime Pappina had darted through different lanes and streets
seeking the center of the town, but such a little girl could not find
her way about alone, and her freedom began to frighten her. Also, she
was growing very hungry, for she had had no breakfast.

Just as she was beginning to be sorry she had not Marta to turn to in
time of need, she saw a milk-seller milking her cow in front of a house.

The milk-sellers in Italy, especially in small towns, use their cows as
milk wagons. They halt the animals before the doors of their customers,
and milk what the purchasers want.

Pappina approached the rosy-cheeked woman who sat milking.

"I am hungry," she said, eyeing the milk wistfully. "If I sing for you,
will you give me a drink of milk?"

The milk-vender had many children of her own. She looked kindly into
Pappina's eager, flushed face as she replied:

"You need not sing to earn the milk. All Betty's milk is sold, but she
will give an extra glass for a hungry little girl; won't you, Betty?"
She stroked her cow as she spoke.

Pappina drank the milk, sang a little song, and, refreshed, moved
happily on.

"First I will go to mass," she promised herself as she pursued her way.
"Then the crowd will fill my tambourine and I can go home to my mother.
Oh, I want so to see them all!"

In her confusion she retraced her steps. Suddenly she caught sight of
Guiseppe, who was gesticulating wildly.

"Oh," she cried, "I hate him! Perhaps he remembered that it is fete day
and went back for me. I won't let him find me. I must run and hide."

She turned and fled, looking back occasionally to see if she had been
followed.

It is impossible to tell where or how long she would have run, had not
her attention been attracted to a strangely dressed man. He was clad
in a long robe of sackcloth, and around his waist was a girdle of rope
from which hung a wooden cross. A crown of thorns was on his head and a
heavy cross was strapped to his back. He carried a bundle from which
he took little crosses now and then. These crosses he nailed to every
door where no one objected--a warning lest the gayeties of the fete
celebration should make people forget the welfare of their souls.

Pappina was so absorbed in watching him that she did not notice Marta's
approach.

"_Carina, carina!_" the woman cried, clasping the child to her.

Pappina began to cry.

"I don't want to go back to Guiseppe," she sobbed. "I love you, Marta,
but I hate Guiseppe. If you take me back he'll try to beat me."

It took Marta some time to calm Pappina, to make her understand that it
was all a mistake that she had been (as she thought) deserted.

"Look at my eyes, _carina_. Are they not still red from weeping? There
is no happiness for me away from the little one who holds my heart."

They went to join Guiseppe and the throng moving to the church. As they
approached the showman, Pappina clung tightly to Marta's hand; her
steps grew slower. She looked into Marta's face.

"Must we go to him?" she asked plaintively. "He looks so cross, Marta."

"Yes, yes, we must go, but you must not fear. Guiseppe will be glad to
have you back."

Being thus reassured, Pappina smiled at Guiseppe as he came to meet
them, but her smile was met by a cold stare from the man.

"So you found her," he said curtly to Marta. "It is well for you both.
Come on."

"I know I shall always hate Guiseppe," Pappina said softly to Marta.
"If he's bad to me I won't sing."

All along the way to church they passed booths filled with tempting
viands. When Pappina caught sight of a fine big pig hanging on a stick
she stopped.

"Guiseppe, I'm starved for a piece of pig."

Guiseppe scowled. "I've already had trouble enough with you for one
day," he said. "You are here to sing, to dance, to earn money; do you
hear? Come at once."

"Yes, Guiseppe, I hear you, but you know I can't sing when I'm hungry.
I do no better than your puppets. You said so yourself."

She waited a moment for his reply. He made none. Lifting her dark
eyes, Pappina looked pleadingly into Guiseppe's face.

"Buy me some," she begged. "I'll sing, then, the very best I can. Won't
you, please, Guiseppe?"

Guiseppe was in no mood for trifling. He stretched forth his hand and
took Pappina roughly by the arm. As they started to leave the booth the
vender called: "_Un soldo! Un soldo!_" The child stopped.

"Guiseppe, do you hear? Only a penny."

"_Un soldo! Un soldo!_" again cried the vender.

"Only a _soldo_, dear Guiseppe," Pappina pleaded, "and I do so want
some! Let me sing for some."

"Stop now and sing for a half-penny's worth of pig! Simpleton! If
you must have some, here--" He took a _soldo_ from his money-bag. So
Pappina got her piece of pig.

Guiseppe, Marta and Pappina joined the worshipers, leaving before
mass was over in order to find a good place in which to begin the
Punchinello show as soon as the throng had finished its devotions.

As the people began to leave the church, Guiseppe started the show.
One play was over by the time the priests, bearing bright banners, had
marched from the sanctuary. Guiseppe was preparing to begin the second
play when Pappina sprang suddenly to his side.

"Stop, Guiseppe, I beg you! Let me sing for them." She pointed to the
hundred children dressed in white who were marching out of the church.
Without waiting for permission to sing Pappina laid her tambourine
on her breast, clasped her hands over it as if in prayer, raised
heavenward her eyes and sang:

"_Ave Maria, gratia plena._"

As though an angel's voice had reached them, the priests and children
halted in their march, the motley crowd stood spellbound with bowed
heads. Even Guiseppe, after his first surprise, crossed himself. The
tears were streaming down Marta's face.

"_Ave Maria, gratia plena._" Clear and sweet rang the child's voice.
"_Ave Maria_, Amen."

From the lips of the priests and the white-robed children came
spontaneously in response, "Amen," and the crowd gathered about the
diminutive singer murmured softly, "Amen."

For a moment there was a deep silence, then one by one, as though
moving to an altar, those who had listened to her singing, almost
reverently deposited their offerings in Pappina's tambourine.

The spirit of devotion awakened on the street, made it seem almost a
sacrilege to continue with the Punchinellos.

The music of drums and fifes came faintly from the distance. Nearer
and nearer the slender _carabinieri_ approached, the silver trimmings
on their black uniforms glistening in the sun. On horseback and on
foot they came, and passed. Round the corner with rapid tramp came the
_bersaglieri_ (sharpshooters). They drew up in two lines and executed
with precision the orders of their lieutenant, the cock's plumes on
their stiff black hats fluttering in the light breeze. Confetti,
serpentine, even bon-bons, were thrown about in profusion.

So began fete day in Cava, and so it passed as other fete days
throughout the land of Italy, differing from them only in the
gloriously beautiful illuminated cross at the very summit of Monte
Castello. On the peak of this mountain lives the "Hermit of Monte
Castello." Each year he begs funds sufficient to illuminate grandly his
mountain home on fete day.

[Illustration: The Bersaglieri]

Guiseppe had kept Pappina singing and dancing all day, till it would
seem her throat and feet must surely both give out. Marta dared not
interfere. "Will the day never end?" she kept asking herself. She
rejoiced when the festivities began to wane, when the streets became
deserted, when one by one the lights went out.

"Well," said Guiseppe, looking about him, "seems as if every one but
us has gone. I suppose we shall have to get along and find a place to
sleep."

"Is there not money enough--can we not afford to remain in Cava over
night, to have beds?" Marta timidly asked. "The ground is so hard for
the child," she added.

"Marta, you have less sense every day," was Guiseppe's angry reply.
"Bed for the child, eh? Next thing you'll be wanting me to carry around
a cradle for her to sleep in. You'll want her to ride in a carriage.
Aren't the nights warm and pleasant? The ground is good enough for me
to sleep on; it's good enough for you; and it's good enough for the
child."

Marta made no further appeal, but taking Pappina in her arms carried
her where Guiseppe led.

"I've had a happy day. Oh, I liked the lights, the music and the
people, but I'm so tired," Pappina told Marta as she laid her head on
her improvised pillow and went at once to sleep.

Guiseppe took out his greasy pouch, and chuckled as he counted time and
again his gains.

"It's been a good day, Marta, the best I've ever had. _Per bacco_, how
she sang the Ave Maria! A good day." He patted his money bag. "A good
day. Good-night, Marta."

Guiseppe, too, was soon asleep. And Marta? She shared neither
Guiseppe's joy nor Pappina's happiness. She longed to be back in
Naples, to take the child away from the applauding public. She kept
saying to herself:

"It's a crime to make her the object of so much attention. It may spoil
her, ruin her. What can I do? If only together we might run away to
England, to America!"

In her fear of Guiseppe even the thought frightened her. She hated her
weakness in not refusing to let the child continue such a life. Years
of servitude to her tyrannical husband had made her afraid to express
any wish or will of her own.

"I will pray," she said softly. "I will ask God to save my baby Pappina
from this strain, these hardships, and the wrong we are doing her."

She knelt by Pappina's side. Taking one of the child's hands in hers,
she prayed fervently for God's blessing on the little one and for the
realization of her heart's desire--to see Pappina free from Guiseppe's
selfish tyranny.

Because of her great faith in prayer, a peace stole upon her, a
confidence that Pappina would be protected and liberated in some way
best for all.

"We will wait," she murmured to herself. "A prevision will be made. We
will wait."



                              CHAPTER VI

                         HARDSHIPS AT SALERNO


Guiseppe was barely awake on the morning after the fete when he took
out his money-bag to recount his gains.

"I'll sell these old puppets," he said to himself. "What do the few
_soldi_ they bring in amount to, compared with Pappina? If the minx
only remains as bewitching as she is now, I'll not complain. Hang it
all! Why can't every day be fete day!"

He glanced at the child, curled up on the ground, asleep.

"I may as well let her rest. It isn't much of a trip to Salerno, and
I don't suppose it matters much when we get there; nothing special
on hand there that I know of. I hope we'll find plenty of foreigners
everywhere we go. They appreciate Pappina."

Guiseppe filled his pipe and as he smoked he wove a bright dream of
wealth. Happy thought! He smiled broadly and joyfully rubbed his hands
together.

"I'll take her to America!" he chuckled to himself. "Why not? The
Punchinellos too!" His countenance fell. "No, no," he muttered, "I
can't talk in English for the puppets. How, how am I to manage that?"

He became so absorbed in his thoughts that he forgot the pipe he was
smoking. It dropped from his mouth as he exclaimed gleefully:

"Aha! I have it! A hand-organ in America with my beautiful Pappina!
She'll make our fortune."

He picked up his pipe and jumped quickly to his feet, calling to Marta.

"Get up, Marta, and wake the beauty! Up, I say! Let's be off. Make
haste, Marta. We'll soon be rich; do you hear?"

Pappina, hearing his loud call, sprang up at once. She rubbed her eyes,
trying to make sure she was awake.

"Was I dreaming, Guiseppe, or did you--did I really hear you say we'll
soon be rich?" she asked.

Guiseppe hesitated a moment before replying: "_Si, si, carina._ If
you'll always sing and dance as you did yesterday, we will go to
America where there is no end of money."

"Oh, I'd like that!" and Pappina clapped her hands.

Something in her movements reminded Guiseppe of a song he used to sing.

"Come, girl," he said cheerfully, "here's a song--a new one that just
suits you. Funny I never thought of it before! Listen, my beauty, and
see how quickly you can learn it. It will bring gold, and gold brings
everything. It will take us across the ocean to America. Come--stand
up--so!"

Pappina needed no second bidding. She took her position opposite
Guiseppe, alert to follow every tone, word, and gesture. Many times the
man stopped to laugh at and applaud Pappina for her wonderful aptness,
and his praises made her more keen to imitate him perfectly.

The child's dark hair hung in disorder about her animated face, her
great black eyes were aglow as she sang, danced and recited, going over
the song again and again, she and Guiseppe both so interested that
neither realized the flight of time.

Marta dared not interrupt them. She watched Pappina with pain in her
heart, saying almost continually to herself:

"_Grand dio! Quando, quando_ [Great God! When, when]?"

Gold! Riches! They meant nothing to her. Her one desire was to see
Pappina liberated from this life she felt sure would destroy her
health, innocence, and beauty.

Hark! "_Le parlete d'amore_," that beautiful air from "Faust," came
floating to their ears. The fresh, clear voice rang through the morning
air.

"_Odi, chi e_ [Listen, who is it]?" Pappina exclaimed, peering down the
winding road. A young girl came around a bend, leading a small pig, and
the child darted toward her. A few yards from the singer she paused,
uncertain whether to continue or not, but being reassured by a bright
smile from the girl, she hastened on. Reaching the maiden, she stopped,
and looked wonderingly at the pig.

"What is it you have?" she asked timidly, for it is only in the country
that girls have pet pigs, and Pappina had never seen one.

"What have I? Why, don't you know, little one? It is my pet pig." The
young girl laid her hand caressingly on the animal's head as she spoke.

Tender little Pappina had never in her short life had anything to pet,
not even a doll. She took hold of the ribbon around the pig's neck.

"How pretty!" she exclaimed. "He won't hurt me, will he? What's his
name?"

"I named him Savio, because he is so wise."

"Isn't he beautiful! May I pet him?"

Pappina had not waited for permission, but was patting the pig's head.
As she stroked his bristles she prattled to the girl.

"You see," she said confidingly, "we are poor now, but we are going
to America, and we are going to get rich. Guiseppe said so this very
morning. When we come back I want to buy Savio. You'll let me have
him, won't you? I'll be good to him. I'll buy him a new ribbon every
day, and a necklace, too--that is, if there's money enough," she added
thoughtfully.

The girl, Susanna, laughed heartily as she replied:

"When you come back from America, you shall have my dear Savio. Now I
must be going. Good-by." She waved her hand to Pappina as she moved on.

Guiseppe and Marta stood watching Pappina with amusement, but as
she started to follow Susanna and Savio, Guiseppe called: "Pappina,
Pappina."

Pappina either did not or would not hear. Louder and louder Guiseppe
shouted her name. Susanna stopped.

"Is it not you he calls?" she asked. "Are you not Pappina?"

"Yes, yes, but I want to walk just a little way with you and Savio.
You'll let me, won't you?"

"Pappina!" Guiseppe's voice sounded harsh and angry.

"You had better go back, little one. _Addio._"

For a moment Pappina stood looking after Susanna, then with a burst
of song turned and ran back to Marta and Guiseppe. She did not heed
Guiseppe's scowl, but smiled into his face.

"Guiseppe," she cried, "I must learn the new song at once. I want to
earn lots of money, so we can go to America, and get rich, and have pet
pigs. Wasn't he just beautiful? His name is Savio, and she says I may
have him when we come back from America. Oh, you don't know how much I
want a pig like Savio!"

Guiseppe could not help smiling at Pappina's prattle. He put his hand
under her chin and lifting her radiant little face toward his, he
teasingly asked:

"Wouldn't you rather have Savio cooked like the piece of pig you had at
Cava? _Ebbene!_ Now for the song. Where did we stop?"

"I have been thinking," Marta timidly interrupted, "that perhaps, if
we are going to America, and if--if you both wish me to do so, I could
teach Pappina an English song." She glanced at Guiseppe as though
fearful he might laugh at the idea, but to her relief he looked pleased.

"How about it, little one?" he asked, turning to Pappina. "Would you
like to learn to sing an English song?"

Pappina always showed her greatest delight by clapping her hands. She
clapped them now.

"_Che gioia_ [What joy]!" she cried. "Oh, Guiseppe, let me learn it
now, this very minute! won't you please, Guiseppe? Because you know we
are sure to need it in America. Come, quickly, Marta."

Marta grew nervous.

"I cannot sing," she cried, "I have no music in my voice, but I--"

"Never mind your voice! Pappina will do the singing. Are you both
ready? Then why don't you begin?" Guiseppe spoke impatiently.

Marta tremblingly began. The words were barely out of her mouth when
Pappina repeated them eagerly, but always with an "ah" at the end
making them all like Italian words. Marta smiled at the pronunciation,
but Guiseppe was delighted.

"Bravo, bravo!" he cried. "Teach it well, Marta! She can sing it here
for all the English and Americans we meet. It will charm them to hear
her sing in their own tongue; it will mean money, and it's money that
will take us to America."

Childlike, Pappina soon grew tired of trying to learn the song. She
wanted to be journeying on to new people, sights, and scenes. Guiseppe,
too, became impatient to be off in quest of that which would take them
to "the land of money," as he called America again and again.

He was walking, as usual, with bowed head, his eyes on the ground,
when he suddenly sprang to the side of the road and with the toe of his
boot pushed back the dry grass that was partially concealing a string
of gold beads. He picked them up.

"Aha!" he cried, holding them up for view, "they are gold! Luck is with
us. Gold! I can sell them." He put them into a pocket of his coat.

"Guiseppe, I want them. Give them to me." Pappina dug her little
sun-browned hand into his pocket and brought up the bright beads.
Guiseppe snatched them from her. Pappina stamped her foot. "Guiseppe, I
want those beads!"

"You can't have them."

"Guiseppe, give them to me! Please, dear Guiseppe!"

She begged, threatened and cried, but all in vain.

"Enough, enough, I say! Come on," Guiseppe commanded, as he started
forward.

"I'll not stir till you give me those beads," the child declared.

Guiseppe came back to her and raised his hand threateningly, but
stubborn Pappina declared again:

"I'll not sing for you ever, Guiseppe, if you keep those pretty beads.
I'll never, never sing for you again, and then we can never go to
America. I'd sooner give up the pet pig than those gold beads."

Marta grew bold. "Oh, please let her have them," she pleaded.

"Hold your tongue!" her husband answered roughly. "You'd have me give
her my head if she asked for it."

Guiseppe again lifted his hand threateningly and had started toward
Pappina when a carriage drove up. The merry party in it--foreigners on
their way from Cava to Salerno--had already noted his menacing air,
Marta's pained look, and the beautiful child pouting by the wayside.

They stopped. Only Marta understood their English words.

"Poor little thing, she looks ready to cry. Do find out about them,"
begged one of the ladies of the party.

"Do you understand English?" her husband asked Guiseppe.

"Yes, sir," Marta answered for her husband.

"What have you to entertain us?"

"We have the Punchinellos, and we have the child, who sings and dances."

"We had enough of the Punchinellos in Naples. Let the little girl give
us a song," cried an Englishman, taking a coin from his pocket. Others
did the same. "A song, a song!" they cried.

Marta translated to Guiseppe.

"Pappina, sing," he commanded.

"No."

Guiseppe felt an anger he dared not show.

"Pappina, sing for America," he begged.

The obstinate little girl shook her head.

"I told you, Guiseppe," she answered, "I'll never sing till you give me
those beads."

Guiseppe stood for a moment with his hand on the beads, irresolute. He
heard the jingle of coins waiting to be paid for the song.

Pappina was quick to notice that his hand was in his pocket.

"Guiseppe, won't you give me the beads?" she pleaded. "I want them so
much. Please, dear Guiseppe!"

She stretched out her hand for them just as the gentleman who was
driving took up the lines to continue the drive.

"Stop, we are ready," cried Guiseppe, handing the beads to Pappina. She
fastened the string around her neck, took up her tambourine, and sang.

True little Neapolitan, in her delight over the new necklace she sang
and danced with such spirit that even Guiseppe was surprised. The
tourists, having paid well for Pappina's songs, went on their way.

"That pretty lady in blue," said Marta as the travelers departed, "was
wondering if we treat you well, Pappina. She said she wished she could
speak Italian and find out if you are our own child, and if you are
happy in your life, or only singing to keep from being beaten, as so
many little singers have to do."

Pappina laughed merrily.

"Why didn't you tell her that I always love you, Marta?" she cried.
"And sometimes I love Guiseppe."

She went to Guiseppe and reaching up on her tiptoes, patted his cheek.

"_Caro_ Guiseppe," she said, "I love you to-day because you gave me the
beads. Perhaps to-morrow I shall hate you, and--really, Guiseppe--I
can't help it. Sometimes you're so mean I could kill you, but to-day,
Guiseppe," fondling her beads, "I love you almost as well as I do
Marta."

Pappina's words and little caress pleased Guiseppe, but he let neither
her nor Marta see his pleasure. He took up the Punchinellos, merely
saying: "I guess we'll be moving."

It was a happy little group that continued its way toward Salerno.
Pappina took off her beads every few minutes to admire them.

"How good you are, Guiseppe!" she repeatedly said to him. Her happiness
brought a smile to Guiseppe's hard face.

Marta likened her to a humming-bird, as she flitted in song from flower
to flower, plucking first one for Marta, then one for Guiseppe.

Pappina was too full of life and joy to-day to plod along with Marta
behind Guiseppe. She kept running ahead of the two. Something unusual
attracted her notice and as she did not have the patience to stand and
wait for them, she ran back to meet them, exclaiming as she seized
their hands:

"Hurry! There's the cutest little church down the road. Come quickly!
We must all pray."

"It's a wayside shrine," Marta told her.

"Not a church? Then can't we go there and pray?" Pappina said with a
disappointed look.

"Yes, dear. Everywhere through this country we find these shrines. They
are built for just such wanderers as we, that we may always remember to
pray."

"There's a light. See, Marta."

"There is always a candle or a little lamp burning at the altar, where
we pray to either a picture or a statuette of the Madonna."

By this time they were at the entrance. Pappina turned to Guiseppe and
took his hand.

"If you hadn't given me the beads," she said, "I shouldn't want to
pray."

After their devotions were over the three continued their journey
to Salerno, so prettily situated in a cozy little corner of Salerno
Bay, and backed by gigantic mountains which remind one of a father
protecting his child. They walked into the town, down the narrow,
irregular streets.

As they paused at a corner Pappina struck her tambourine, ready to
start her song.

"No, no, not yet, little one," Guiseppe said. "This is not the place
for you. You and Marta sit down and wait for me here. I'll look about a
bit and find out what is going on in the town."

They watched him as he walked briskly down the street. Once he looked
back and waved his hand to Pappina, who in turn threw him a kiss.

"I just love Guiseppe when he is good!" cried the child. "I hope he
won't be gone long," she added, as her eyes followed his retreating
figure.

Stern and forbidding as Guiseppe usually looked, when he wished to
be agreeable he had an air that charmed all whom he met. He had
bright stories at his command and could tell them as became a man of
his former calling. To-day he chose to be a hail fellow well met as
he walked about Salerno seeking information that would lead to his
financial interest.

By chance he met an old friend from Naples.

"Aha, Guiseppe Capasso!" the man cried. "What good fate leads me to
you, or you to me, as it may be?"

"The luck is mine, signor," with a hearty hand-shake Guiseppe replied.
"Out of Naples, where I was born and bred, I feel indeed a stranger in
a strange land."

"Come, Guiseppe, let's celebrate our fortunate meeting. A game or
two--what do you say, my friend?"

Together they visited a wine shop and there they drank and gambled at
"Mora." Guiseppe lost.

"I'll drink and forget," he cried. So he went from one wine shop to
another, drinking, losing, cursing his losses, drinking again to forget
his ill-luck.

When Marta saw him coming toward herself and Pappina, she knew at once
what the trouble was. She knew also that too much wine put him in an
ugly mood. She placed her arm about Pappina and kissed her brow.

"Oh, _carissima_," she whispered, "if you love me, be patient with
Guiseppe! He may abuse you, but remember that I love you."

Even before Marta had finished, Guiseppe was speaking.

"There's no fete day here till September, St. Matthew's Day," he said.
Turning to Pappina, he continued: "Look here, girl, we are going where
there will be a crowd of people promenading to-night. We are going
to the Quay--they call it Corso Garibaldi. I'll have none of your
impudence in that crowd to-night--none of your stubbornness; do you
understand? When I say sing, you will sing. When I say dance, you will
dance. Do you hear?"

"_Si_, signor," came faintly from Pappina's white lips. As she spoke
she glanced at Marta, stifling her anger for the sake of the woman she
loved.

"Then remember." He shook his fist in her face. She flushed scarlet,
but said nothing. Guiseppe evidently was expecting a reply. He waited
a moment, then continued his tirade: "Why don't you speak, girl? You
stand there, red in the face, ready to kill me, and say nothing. Have
out with it; what you've got to say I want to hear right now. I'll have
none of your impudence to-night."

There was no reply from the child, who stood looking in amazement at
Guiseppe, as she tightly held Marta's bony hand.

"Oh, afraid of me for once, are you?" he sneered. "Marta, the minx is
afraid of me. Bravo! Bravo! I'll drink to her health as soon as we find
a wine-shop. Ha, ha, Marta! She's a coward, after all."

He stooped to pick up a coin he had dropped. Pappina, unable longer
to control herself, sprang at him in a furious rage. She gave him one
fierce slap across the cheek. With a cry of pain, he turned on the
child. Marta caught hold of him.

"Guiseppe, Guiseppe," she cried, "you'll lose her if you strike her."

Still he attempted to reach Pappina, blind in his drunken fury. Marta
held him with an iron grip.

"Don't!" she screamed. "Don't! You shan't! She'll run away. Stop,
Guiseppe! You know you can't strike her and keep her."

Guiseppe shook Marta fiercely. Her sparse brown locks loosened and
fell about her livid face, but still she held him, and the drunken man
was no match for her. He struggled to break away, but Marta seemed to
possess superhuman strength. Her grip on his arm was so strong that it
pained him.

"Let go, you fiend!" he cried.

"Never, Guiseppe, till you promise you will not harm her. She is only a
child."

"You hurt me! Let go, I say!"

"Then promise."

"Fiend, let go! I promise."

Guiseppe broke away from Marta. He glared at Pappina, who stood facing
him defiantly her head thrown back, her eyes blazing, her arms folded.

"You little vixen!" Guiseppe shouted, "I'll make you rue this day!
You shall pay dearly for this!" Smothering his anger, he took up the
Punchinellos. "Come," he commanded, "we will play to the crowds--all
night, if I will it. Come on, I say."



                              CHAPTER VII

                        ANOTHER RECONCILIATION


Guiseppe, his cheek still smarting from Pappina's blow, strode along
toward the Quay and its beautiful walk, Corso Garibaldi.

In spite of his intoxication, Guiseppe was conscious of a new respect
for Marta, awakened by her fearless defence of the child she loved.

"They are both against me," he muttered. "Marta--staid, timid
Marta--she becomes a lioness when she fights for Pappina. Who would
believe it? But she is right, Marta's right. I can't beat the minx and
keep her. They are two against me, two against me."

Time and again he turned his head and glared fiercely from under his
shaggy eyebrows at Pappina, and without his usual bullying look at
Marta. His gaze was met unflinchingly by both, who, as he said, seemed
banded against him.

Pappina would not admit, even to herself, that she was afraid of
Guiseppe in his drunken, quarrelsome condition, but Marta noticed that
the little hand in hers trembled and held her own more tightly whenever
Guiseppe turned toward them.

Worn and tired from the long tramp, Pappina inquired of Marta: "Where
is he going? I can't walk much farther. I feel weak, Marta."

"_Poverina_ [poor little one], I do not know, but we are together and
you are safe with me," Marta replied as they followed Guiseppe through
the merry crowd that was enjoying the pleasures of the walk and the
beauties of the moonlit bay.

When he reached the theater, he stopped and put down the Punchinellos.
Assuming a bravado air, he ordered Pappina to sing.

"You remember what I said?" he asked. "You shall sing all night if I
will it so. Marta knows me. She can tell you that I say what I mean and
mean what I say. It is not the Punchinellos to-night, it is you." He
shook his fist in Pappina's face.

Rebellious, tired, and hungry, she quickly lifted her clenched fist to
strike again, but Marta enfolded the little doubled-up hand in hers.

"It is best to obey to-night," she whispered. "Sing for me, my bird,
for I love you."

Marta's loving words appealed to Pappina as nothing else would have
done. She rose quickly and sang the best she could. The poor little
girl put no animation in the vivacious song she tried to sing; it might
have passed for a funeral dirge.

After the long tramp it was hard for the child to stand and sing; to
dance was impossible. There was a plaintiveness in her voice and in her
manner. She was but a baby, forced beyond her strength; made to sing
for her food.

Her face looked drawn and white, even her lips were colorless. At times
her voice could scarcely be heard. When she staggered in her efforts to
dance, as she did many times, she looked helplessly and appealingly at
Marta.

Guiseppe's eyes were on the crowd only. He noticed their interest
in the singer, and nothing more. When Pappina finished the song, he
shouted: "Give! Give! Here, little one, pass your tambourine."

Marta knew and the people knew. The tambourine was passed.

"Fill, so the brute will take her home." Only Marta of our three
wanderers understood these words, spoken in English.

Guiseppe quickly took possession of the money. "I am thirsty. Wine,
wine!" he exclaimed, "I must have wine. Who wouldn't drink, with her--"
He pointed to Pappina and left the sentence unfinished. "Wait for me
here, and don't move or I'll kill you both."

He was out of sight in a moment, disappearing into a wine shop. They
heard his boisterous laugh within. Marta took Pappina's hand in hers.

"_Carissima_," she said, "you are so hungry and so tired! Guiseppe is
not himself. He forgets."

A new light shone in Pappina's eyes. She was given new strength. This
time she would sing, not from fear of Guiseppe, perhaps not from love
of Marta. She was just a worn-out, tired little child whose tender age
should have ensured her protection at home--only seven years old, but
forced to battle with the world, seeking refuge through her songs from
storms and hunger, a weatherbeaten bird. For her there was now no place
called home, no place to lay her tired little head. She knew that to
sing and dance meant money, and that she and Marta were hungry and in
need of money for supper. She took her tambourine from Marta, threw it
high in the air, caught it, and began to dance.

The gaping crowd that had watched her efforts before stood almost
aghast as she swayed and tipped and toed, till one would have thought
her little feet would refuse to take another step. Then, pausing a
moment to take breath, she started to sing the rollicking song Guiseppe
had just taught her--with gestures and grimaces, stopping to speak,
dashing into song, now laughing so infectiously that every bystander
joined with her.

She finished the song in an uproar of laughter, applause, and shouts of
"Bravo, bravo!"

The enthusiastic listeners fairly threw _soldi_ at her. Pappina wanted
them for supper for Marta and herself. They had tramped all day with
but a bite of bread in the early morning. Pappina's haggard little face
glowed with pleasure as she took the well-filled tambourine to Marta.

"See, Marta, yours to-night--not Guiseppe's--yours!"

"No, not mine; it is yours alone, _carissima_."

"Then it is yours and mine. Come, let's go. Macaroni, Marta! Hurry,
dear Marta."

"Pappina, _mia carissima_, Pappina!" Marta walked a few steps then
stopped. "Should Guiseppe return and find us gone!" Even as she spoke
she did not feel her usual fear.

"But I am starved, Marta. I must eat, unless, dear, good Marta, you who
love me say I mustn't."

Marta hesitated for a moment, looking down the street to see if her
husband was returning. He was nowhere in sight. Her love for Pappina
conquered her fear of Guiseppe's displeasure.

"Wait for me here," she said. "I will go and bring us food."

With all haste it was purchased and eaten. It was long after they had
finished their simple meal that Guiseppe returned from his revelry.

His mood was changed. He had drank so much wine he could scarcely stand
up. He loved the little girl who had filled his purse. He laid his hand
caressingly on her head. She shuddered at his touch, and clung close to
Marta, who looked fearlessly into Guiseppe's face and said sternly:

"I am used to your thoughtlessness, used even to cruelty; but Pappina
is worn out, and she must have her rest."

"Eh! What's that you say? She's tired? Macaroni and a bottle of wine
will build her up. Come on, sweet one." Stretching out his hand to
Pappina, he continued: "Throughout the town those who have seen you
and heard you to-night sing your praises. They believe you are mine.
_Ebbene!_ So you are, sweet one--so you are."

"Guiseppe," and Pappina looked pleadingly into his half-closed eyes,
"Guiseppe, if you love me so much, take me where we shall sleep
to-night. I'm not hungry, Guiseppe, but I'm so tired. I want to go to
sleep."

Worn out, Pappina began to cry. Marta quickly gathered the child into
her arms and carried her to a place Guiseppe selected as suitable to
spend the night.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sabbath morning! So beautiful it dawned that it seemed to be wooing
man, woman and child to worship the God who could give to his children
so perfect a day. Flowers, grass, birds and sky, with the bright Bay of
Salerno in the glint of the morning sun, all attested to the wonders of
a marvelous world with its perfection in every phase of nature as it
appeared this Sunday in Salerno.

Guiseppe slept in a drunken stupor. Marta was afraid to speak, even
in a whisper, for fear of disturbing his slumber. Pappina, harboring
a feeling of hatred stronger than ever, grew tired of waiting for
Guiseppe to awaken.

"Marta," she said softly.

"Sh!" Marta raised her finger to silence Pappina, who for a time sat
quiet. Then the stillness began to irritate her.

"Marta," she began again and once more Marta tried to silence her, but
this time in vain. "I won't 'sh,' for it must be time to go to church,
and surely he," (pointing to Guiseppe), "ought to pray."

Guiseppe, hearing her voice, sat up and looked about him in a dazed way
out of his bleary eyes. Pappina, seeing him thus, needed courage to
speak at all, but with her characteristic fearlessness she said:

"Come, Guiseppe, it's Sunday. We must go to church."

"Sunday! Let me sleep. Sunday, did you say? There's nothing to do on
Sunday except pray. I'll sleep. If you two simpletons want to pray, go
on to church and let me alone. Get along, I'll wait." He fell over on
the ground and was soon snoring loudly.

Hand in hand Marta and Pappina walked away.

"I dared not ask Guiseppe for money. You saw, _carina_, he is not yet
himself."

Pappina's face was wreathed in smiles as she stooped down to bring up
_soldi_ she had hidden in her shoe the night before. It was not the
cleanest hand in the world that handed the money to Marta, but the
little grime on it did not prevent Marta from seizing it and covering
it with kisses.

"I am so glad, so glad, _carina_!" she exclaimed. "Now you need not go
hungry to church."

After a hasty breakfast they were soon in the celebrated St. Matthew's
Cathedral. Marta, fearful of Guiseppe's displeasure if he were to
awaken and be kept waiting too long, wished to say a short prayer and
return at once, but Pappina was anxious to follow the people and see
the things that interested them. She suddenly seized Marta by the arm
and almost dragged her out of the church. There was a look of terror on
the child's face.

"_Carina_, what is it?"

"Those ladies--you saw them, Marta! The man with them--you said he was
a guide--didn't you hear what he was telling them?" She covered her
face with her hands. "Oh, I cannot bear to think of it!"

"No, I did not hear. Tell me, what did he say that frightened you?
Perhaps you didn't understand."

"Oh. I did. I heard every word. He told them that three saints' heads
had been cut off right by that column where we were standing. It scared
me so that now I am afraid to go back, and I wanted so much to go to
the tomb of the Pope. The guide said one is buried in the church. You
have seen so much, Marta--have you ever seen a Pope's tomb?"

"No, _carina_, but we must go back now, at once, to Guiseppe."

"Back to Guiseppe," Pappina repeated slowly, "back to Guiseppe." She
grew thoughtful. "Marta, must we go back to Guiseppe? May we not run a
way?"

"Oh, my sweet baby, we must--we must go back to Guiseppe!"

They met him walking to meet them. He smiled kindly as they approached
him. He even held out his hand to Pappina, but she paid no attention to
his overture for friendship and forgiveness.

"Have you already said your prayers?" he asked, looking at Marta.

"Our prayers were short," she replied. "We thought you would not like
to be kept waiting."

"And Pappina! She has no use for Guiseppe this morning." He took one of
her curls in his hand as he spoke.

"You were bad yesterday, Guiseppe," Pappina answered with a jerk of her
head that snatched the curl from his hand.

"You are right, _bambina_, you are right. Forgive me. Guiseppe was a
regular brute yesterday; wasn't he?" he asked in a tone that seemed to
crave denial from the child.

"You were, Guiseppe," she replied with a sunny smile as she took hold
of his hand, "you really were; but if you are sorry, I'll forgive you."



                             CHAPTER VIII

                     ALONG THE COAST AND IN AMALFI


They were all sitting on the ground under a broad spreading tree;
Guiseppe was smoking and Marta teaching Pappina the alphabet. Little
sticks and bits of grass were brought into use for the construction of
the letters.

Pappina was much interested for a while, but she was altogether too
impatient a child to keep at one thing for any length of time.

"I'm sure I've learned enough for one day, Marta." With her foot she
scattered the letters to the four winds. Then, turning to Guiseppe, she
asked: "Where are we going next? I want to go where there are people to
sing to."

"You'll find plenty at Amalfi."

"Amalfi? Is that the name of the town we are going to?" Guiseppe
nodded. "Why, I thought this road was called Amalfi--something or
other--what is it, Marta?"

"It is called the Amalfi Coast, but there also is a town called
Amalfi. That is where we are going next."

[Illustration: The Amalfi coast]

Pappina arose, and brushed off the loose grass clinging to her dress.
She stood for a moment in front of Guiseppe, looking about as though
uncertain what to do with herself. As he smiled kindly upon her she
ventured to ask:

"Come, Guiseppe, aren't you tired of sitting here so long, just smoking
that old pipe? Mayn't we go now?" Seeing no move on his part, she
added, "Please, Guiseppe," as she stretched out her hands to assist him
to rise.

He playfully blew a cloud of smoke in her face.

"Don't be so impatient, little one," he answered. "No hurry. Here,
Marta, take her down to the water and show her how to skip stones."

Joyously Pappina took Marta by the hand and together they almost ran
to the promontory. It was some time before the child wearied of this
new recreation. Marta, remembering that the English song was still
unlearned, improved this opportunity to sing it again and again as
she skipped the stones. Soon Pappina was singing it with her, and the
little song was learned.

When Pappina ran back and sang it for Guiseppe, he laughed heartily,
which evidence of good humor gave Pappina the courage to plead:

"Come, Guiseppe, do! Marta says it is beautiful along the coast, and
that there are great rocks with the sweetest violet flowers growing out
of them. Come, Guiseppe, I want to pick some of those flowers."

"But, _carina_," Marta reminded her, "did I not tell you that these
blossoms live only on the rocks and die if plucked? Besides, you cannot
reach--"

"Sit down, _bambina_," interrupted Guiseppe. "When I finish this pipe,
we will trudge along to Amalfi."

Pappina was reluctant to wait, but she sat down beside Guiseppe, and
amused herself trying to catch the curls of smoke which he was puffing
from his pipe.

"Hold up your foot, little one." Guiseppe took up her foot as he spoke.
"See, Marta, the girl has nearly tramped and danced her shoes off. I
suppose that means new ones again, _bambina_."

It took little kindness to make Pappina forget ill usage, little to
make her happy. She moved close to Guiseppe's side in her impetuous
way, and leaned her head against his arm. He saw the tears in her eyes.
Again taking one of her feet in his hand, he said with gentleness:

"Marta, think of the miles this child has walked There's not much sole
left, and the leather--look at it! Well, what do you think. Marta? Do
you suppose we can find shoes in Amalfi to fit such little feet?"

"Why, Guiseppe," exclaimed Pappina, "you don't really mean I shall have
another new pair! I've been so bad, too. You know I've been horrid, but
so have you, Guiseppe, and its only Marta who's been good, and we--"
She took one of Guiseppe's hands in hers, kissed it, and began to cry.

"There, there, _bambina_, we've both been bad. We'll start all over
again. Don't cry. Here, Marta, suppose you take her down to the water
again. See, a little way down there the children are in bathing. You
may as well let Pappina go in. It will do her good and rest her. She
doesn't complain, for she's not the whimpering kind, but she looks
tired out."

Pappina dried her tears and Marta soon had her in the bright water.
This was the first time Pappina had ever been in bathing, and at first
she was afraid. Marta quickly calmed her fears, and her merry laughter
reached Guiseppe's ears, luring him to the shore.

When Pappina was called, much to Marta and Guiseppe's surprise, there
was no teasing to stay in longer; just a big splash. She came up half
strangling, shook herself, and was out of the water refreshed and
bubbling with happiness. When dressed, she ran to Guiseppe and seized
his two hands.

"Let's dance, Guiseppe," she cried.

Before he realized it, Pappina was gleefully whirling him round and
round. Guiseppe found himself quite out of breath from laughter and
dancing. Soon, however, he pantingly released himself.

"I feel so fine after my bath that I could run all the way to Amalfi,"
the child cried, "I'm sure I could! Guiseppe, because you let me go in
the water, I love you enough to eat you this very minute. Come, mayn't
we go now?"

Guiseppe, lighting his pipe, made playful answer:

"There's a little lady I know who made a stiff old man dance till he
was all out of breath, and now he has to rest a bit before he starts to
tramp again."

Pappina heaved a little sigh as she sat down by Marta and began to make
pictures out of the white clouds in the bright blue Italian sky.

"Do you see that animal?" she asked, pointing to the clouds. "There's
the head, and over there--see--doesn't that look like the tail? What is
it, Marta?"

Marta studied the cloud a moment before replying: "It looks more like a
crocodile than anything else."

"Please, Marta, tell me again about that awful crocodile."

Guiseppe looked questioningly at Marta.

"I was telling her yesterday that we should go through Maori," she
explained. "I went there years ago with Countess Filota."

"What has that to do with the crocodile?"

"Tell him, Marta," Pappina begged. "He'll like the story."

"Once upon a time, so the story goes, there lived an immense crocodile
in the cave near Maori. It was said and believed that he who dared
kill the crocodile would immediately turn into a fierce dragon. People
preferred to chance being eaten rather than to kill him at such a risk.
He was said to feed only upon Christians."

"Why didn't he eat the bad people?" asked the child.

Guiseppe laughed.

"Just as you were going to eat me a few minutes ago," he said, "because
I let you go in the water! Well, we may as well tramp along. We've lots
of places to go and plenty of rough roads to travel. No matter where
we go, there'll be people to amuse. The more money we get the sooner
we'll go to America. Come, Marta; come, Pappina. Where are the puppets?
Here's the whole show now, and all of us are happy--eh, _bambina_?"

Marta hastily tied up the few effects into a small, neat bundle.
Guiseppe picked up the Punchinellos, while Pappina, as usual, had only
her tambourine.

They sauntered contentedly along up the rising road, across the bridge
over the valley, reaching Vietri at sunset. There, under one of the
beautiful terraces that abound on this coast, they remained over night.

Pappina was the first to awaken. For some time she took pleasure in
watching the many colors of the water and the boats coming and going.
She saw in the distance a throng of early bathers--men and women
swimming in the clear bright bay, or basking on the beach in the early
morning sun. The bright hues of the bathing-suits first attracted
Pappina's attention. As soon as she saw the gay colors she wished to go
and watch the bathers.

"I'm going to watch them," she whispered softly to Marta. "I'll be back
soon, Marta."

Marta shook her head.

"You had better not go, _carina_," she answered. "Guiseppe may not like
it if he awakens and finds you gone."

"I won't run away," the child persisted. "Truly, Marta, I'll be back
soon. I'm happy now, Marta; tell Guiseppe so, and that I'll surely be
back in a little while. Perhaps I'll be back before he wakes up. It's
all right for me to go, isn't it, Marta?"

"Go, but don't stay long, _carina_."

Pappina was so accustomed to carry her tambourine everywhere she went
that from force of habit she took it with her this morning. Her dress
was shabby from hard wear, but her eyes were gloriously bright as she
lifted them to smile into the faces of the fine ladies and gentlemen
down for their early morning swim.

They noted the abundant life that shone from her eyes, the
unconsciousness of her manner. The worn frock only added charm to her
looks, contrasting with her loveliness as she stood near the throng,
not daring to approach.

It was her shyness that brought to her the attention of these
foreigners, who had grown accustomed to being followed by children
begging for money or ready to sing for _soldi_. A group on the beach
watched her, lost in admiration.

"Have you ever in all your life seen such eyes?" It was an American
lady who spoke. "Talk to her; see what she is here for. She has her
tambourine; is she a wandering minstrel, do you think? Or don't they
have such things in Italy?"

Pappina little thought they were talking about her as she stood
laughing at the pranks of the people in the water. She was interested
in them all--the dark and the fair; the slight and the stout; those
coming and those going; all seemingly satisfied with life as they found
it in the brilliant season's height at Vietri.

"There's the sweetest sight I've seen in all Italy!" exclaimed one of
the bathers. "Let's ask for a song."

Pappina, when she saw one of the gentlemen approaching her, turned
to run, half-afraid of the big man in his striped bathing-suit, but
hearing a lady's voice calling her, she looked back. She saw that
the gentleman was closely followed by some half-dozen ladies, so she
smilingly and timidly approached them.

"Will you give us a song?" the gentleman asked her in English.

Pappina shook her head as she said in her own tongue:

"I am Italian and I do not understand what you say."

He struck her tambourine.

"_Si, si_, signor." Pappina guessed what they wanted. She sang a song.
They begged for another, so she gave them the little song in English
which Marta had taught her. Her accent amused them, and they laughed
heartily as they gave her money.

[Illustration: Amalfi]

"It's mine, all mine!" she cried as she left the foreigners. "But
Guiseppe is so good he may have it all. I'll put it in my shoe and take
it out piece by piece. He must guess what each one is. Oh, won't it be
fun, and how glad he'll be!"

She laughed aloud as she hid her money. Her heart was so light that her
joy broke from her lips in snatches of song as she tripped blithely
back to Marta and Guiseppe.

Meanwhile Guiseppe had awakened in unusual ill-humor.

"Marta," he growled, "those confounded sticks hurt my back all night!
Why didn't you clear them away? You must have seen them. I notice there
are none where your idol slept."

He looked around. "Where is she, anyway?"

"She went, only for a moment, to watch the bathers."

"Watch the bathers? She has run away: that's what she has done."

Stopping to tie her shoe, Pappina heard Guiseppe's gruff voice swearing
at Marta. He was standing in front of his wife, so neither could see
the child coming down the road.

Marta's voice, perfectly calm, reached Pappina.

"Too bad she doesn't run away," the woman said, "but she'll return."

For days Marta had been growing braver, less fearful of Guiseppe. There
was no sign of fright on her face even when Guiseppe shook his fist at
her.

"You grow a bigger fool every day," he was saying. "You let her go.
When I find her I'll beat her. If I'm good to her one day she walks
over me the next. I'll beat you both, you fool, do you hear?"

"_Sono qui_ [I am here], Guiseppe," came faintly from Pappina's
trembling lips. "Don't be cross, Guiseppe. I didn't think you would
care."

Guiseppe turned toward her fiercely; he started to upbraid her, but
there was such an expression of submissive beauty on her face, that he
stopped and wheeled suddenly about.

"Get along," he muttered. "I'll walk behind to-day for a change."

Pappina forgot about the money, even that she had it, until it hurt her
foot as she walked.

"I'll never tell," she vowed to herself. "It's mine, and some day when
he's so mean and horrid that we can't stand him any longer, Marta and I
will run away."

Several times, in a forgiving spirit, Pappina went back to Guiseppe and
walked by his side, trying to be friendly with him. Her efforts each
time were met with a scowl that sent her again to Marta, who always
gave her a welcoming smile.

Guiseppe grumbled almost constantly to himself. Marta, fearing trouble,
said to Pappina:

"Won't you try once more, _carina_? It is best for us all to have no
discord."

"I want to be friends with Guiseppe," replied Pappina.

She waited again for the man. This time she look hold of his hand and,
looking archly into his face, asked: "Is he going to be cross all day?"

He pulled his hand away.

"Don't you like me this morning?" There was no reply. "Not a bit,
Guiseppe?"

No one but such a bear as Guiseppe was just then could have resisted
this fairy, who smiled so steadfastly into his face.

"_Basta_," he said sternly. This rebuff was sufficient for Pappina.
She took her place by Marta's side and they walked on in silence,
trudging over four and a half miles to the little fishing village of
Cetara.

On the beach was a group of fishermen, with their wives and
children--the women busily mending their fishing-nets, the men smoking
and chatting; all enjoying life together.

As soon as Guiseppe saw them he hastened his footsteps, overtook Marta
and Pappina, and was soon far ahead of them, down on the beach with the
fishermen.

When Marta and Pappina reached the group they stopped and stood
hesitating whether or not to join Guiseppe. There was no sign from him.

"Perhaps he is waiting for you," Marta said to Pappina.

The child went toward Guiseppe, but as soon as she reached him he
turned from her as though her presence annoyed him. Thinking to please
him, she began to sing, but he raised his hand and silenced her.

"Stop!" he growled. "This is the place for the puppets, not you."

His bad temper showed even in the puppet performance. The little he
received from the fishermen did not improve his mood. Without a word
to any one he took up the Punchinellos and, muttering to himself,
walked doggedly, on, passing without a stop through Majori, Minori and
Altrani, angry at the whole beautiful world.

There were so many things to interest Pappina that she forgot
Guiseppe's unkindness. The orange trees and lemon plantations were a
beautiful picture that called forth constant exclamations of admiration
and delight.

By-and-by, however, the money hurt her foot so severely that she could
not enjoy anything. She was glad when the long tramp was over and they
were at last at Amalfi.

Guiseppe threw himself down exhausted. Marta sat down beside him,
and Pappina behind both. She wanted to take off her shoe and she was
determined Guiseppe should not see the money. Her little foot was
blistered from the rubbing of the coins.

"Oh, what shall I do with them? They hurt me so! He'll surely see them
and take them from me if I don't put them back in my shoe." So she
replaced them, ate her supper, went to sleep, and dreamed all night
that she was walking on thistles.

The following morning, Guiseppe did not seem at all inclined to move
on. Neither Marta nor Pappina cared to speak to him, nor he to them.
Along in the afternoon, the silence began to be distressing to Pappina.

"What do you suppose he is going to do?" she asked Marta. "I won't ask
him; he's so cross I won't speak to him."

Marta shook her head.

"We shall just have to wait," she whispered. "Try to be patient."

Not far away, boys were coming from a large building, bearing on their
heads long boxes or boards. Pappina watched them for a time; then she
asked Marta what they were doing.

"They are bringing out _paste_ [letter noodles]," Marta explained. "Do
you see how they spread it out in the sun? That is so it will dry."

"I wish we were nearer, so I could see them better. May I go?"

"No, _carina_; I am sure Guiseppe will not let you, and I--no, I am
sorry, _carina_, but I dare not let you go."

"But I want to go much so, Marta. Won't you please ask him?"

"It will only make him crosser, _carina_."

"I dare not ask him, for he will not even look at me," the child went
on. "If you only knew how much I want to go, you would ask him. Please,
please ask him, Marta!"

Pappina had been losing her courage and Marta steadily growing braver.
When she decided to grant Pappina's request, she felt quite fearless of
Guiseppe as she went to his side.

"Guiseppe, have you noticed those boys?"

"I couldn't help noticing them, could I? They've been doing the same
thing all day."

"Shall we walk over there and watch them?"

"Watch them! What for?"

By this time, Pappina had found courage to join Marta, who continued:

"I thought perhaps you would like to go. Pappina is interested in what
they are doing; would you care if she goes for a while?"

Guiseppe made no reply. "I'll come back, Guiseppe," Pappina pleaded. "I
know I'm bad and cross, but I have never told you a lie, never one."
There was no reply. "I want so much to go. Oh, won't you please let
me, Guiseppe?"

Pappina's earnest little face was raised appealingly toward his, but he
did not even glance at her as he replied:

"Get along. I'll be glad to be rid of you for an hour. One hour--no
longer--or there'll be trouble; do you hear?"

"_Si_, signor, I'll be back."

Guiseppe's consent was hardly given before she was off. For some time
she watched the boys bringing out the paste, but it made her hungry.

"I'm starved," she said to herself. "I will spend one of my _soldi_ for
macaroni."

After she had eaten the macaroni she decided that she had much time to
see the town in the hour Guiseppe had allowed her.

She came to St. Andrew's Cathedral.

"Maybe if I pray, Guiseppe will stop being so cross. Maybe I'm cross,
too," she said to herself as she ran up the long flight of stairs
leading to the entrance.

Children were playing in the church. An American lady gave them _soldi_
to say prayers for her son. There were ladies near Pappina who were
speaking in her own tongue. She heard them say they were going to
visit St. Andrew's tomb. Pappina followed them.

At the tomb she knelt, and, bowing her head, began to say her prayers.
As she prayed her tired eyelids gradually closed; she lost herself.
Starting up, she remembered she was in church, praying; so she began
again, "Santa Maria." The little head drooped. She opened her eyes.
"S-a-n-t-a M-a-r-i-a--" The weary child had knelt, prayed, and fallen
asleep, beside the tomb of St. Andrew.

It was late at night that the sexton, going his rounds, was startled to
see what appeared to be a bundle of something red lying by the tomb.
Throwing the full rays of the lantern upon the object, he discovered
that it was a little child. Many times before he had found children
sleeping in the church, but never one by this sacred tomb.

"_Poverina!_" he exclaimed, awakening her as gently as possible.
"_Poverina_, you cannot sleep here. I am sorry, but it is against the
rules. You must run home. Come." He took her by the arm, led her to the
door and put her out in the darkness.

Pappina, scarcely awake, was dazed when left alone. She heard the door
close, heard the key turn. For a moment she could not think where she
was, or what had happened. She only knew that it was very dark, that
she was alone and afraid. She pounded on the church door.

[Illustration: A street in Amalfi]

"Let me in, let me in," she begged. "I'm afraid."

No one came to her call; she peered up and down the street. There was
no one in sight.

"I shall lose my way if I try to go back alone in the dark," she
thought. Then she crouched down on the church steps and cried herself
to sleep.

Early next morning, Guiseppe and Marta started to search for Pappina.
As they neared St. Andrew's Cathedral Marta spied something red at the
top of the steps.

"Wait, Guiseppe! I think--" she left the sentence unfinished as she
dashed up the steps and snatched Pappina in her arms, uttering tender,
loving words. Guiseppe followed, with scowls and mutterings.

Pappina, being thus awakened, threw her arms about Marta's neck, and
cried from sheer joy at finding herself safe.

"Oh, oh, I was lost, and so frightened I dared not move! I meant to
come back in an hour, Guiseppe, truly I did, but it was dark, and I
could not find my way."

The sexton, hearing voices, opened the door.

"I found your little girl last night," he said. "You see, she was
sleeping by the sacred tomb of St.--"

"_Diavolo!_" interrupted Guiseppe harshly. "Why didn't you kick her
down the steps?"

"Guiseppe, for shame! The poor little dear!" Marta cried, as she hugged
Pappina close to her.

"Don't be hard on the child," begged the sexton. "She was tired and
sleepy. I'd have let her sleep inside, but it's against the rules, so I
had to put her out. _Poverina_," he said, laying his hand on Pappina's
head.

"_Poverina!_ Bah! Put her down, Marta." Guiseppe took Pappina roughly
by the arm as he continued: "I'm sick of your behavior. You must
understand you are bound to me--to me. I paid money for you, and what
do I get? Trouble, trouble, nothing else."

"I know it, Guiseppe. I'm sorry, but this time I couldn't help it."



                              CHAPTER IX

                     SORRENTO, WHERE HARDSHIPS END


"Fifteen miles to Sorrento. As near as I can find out, there'll be
no money for us along the way," Guiseppe muttered as they left St.
Andrew's Cathedral.

"There's Positano," said Marta, "and the villas. You have passed so
many and stopped at none."

Guiseppe looked surprised.

"So I have, fool that I am! Why didn't you speak of it before?"

Marta made no reply and the three walked on in silence. Guiseppe
evidently was brooding over the money he had missed, for after some
half hour's tramp he turned to Marta.

"Why didn't you speak?" he growled. "Lords and ladies in the villas we
have passed, and no money for me! Do you think we've done so well we
can afford to lose a chance? Marta, you seem to have a way of keeping
your mouth shut when you should open it, but you have been free enough
with your tongue lately when you should have held it."

Guiseppe was growing almost unbearable. He grumbled at everybody and
everything.

When they met women carrying wood to town, wine-venders and
occasionally foreigners, he received their greetings with a scowl. Once
or twice tourists had tossed Pappina a few _soldi_, but no one wanted
the Punchinellos.

The three visited a few villas, going up the alley, as it would be
called in America, by the side of the house. The Punchinellos played,
and Pappina sang and was paid and fed, but nothing satisfied Guiseppe.
He grumbled continually. The harvest made on fete days had spoiled him
for small gains.

"I'm sick of picking up meals wherever we can find them, and of
sleeping on the hard ground," he said repeatedly to Marta, as though it
were her fault that he was enduring discomforts. Guiseppe had been too
many years in his home not to miss it. "Some people may like to tramp
all over the country and pick up a living like dogs in an alley, but
I'm sick of it, I tell you."

It was first Marta, then Pappina who was made to feel his ill-humor.
Neither cared to speak either to him or each other as hand in hand they
followed Guiseppe. Once in a while he would turn to look behind, with
ugly words to one or both.

They made few stops. When told to sing, Pappina made every effort to
please Guiseppe, but no matter how well she sang and danced he found
fault with her.

They were two days on the road from Amalfi to Sorrento; Guiseppe never
once softened toward either Marta or Pappina. It was not to be expected
that his wife should resent his treatment, for she was used to it; but
Marta was in constant fear that Pappina would lose her temper and there
would be trouble. The poor woman was relieved each night when the two
were asleep and there had been no outbreak from the child.

Nothing on the road interested Pappina; the luxuriant lemon and orange
groves were passed unnoticed as she trudged, worn and footsore, along
the hot, dusty road between the high garden walls.

As they neared Sorrento, Marta tried to interest the child.

"Look, _carina_," she said, "these deep places are called ravines.
Years ago when people believed in fairies, they used to say dwarfs
lived all about Sorrento in these deep ravines that enclose it."

Pappina made no reply. She seemed tired of everything except Marta. She
held her good friend's hand tight and drew closer to her every time
Guiseppe turned to look at them.

As soon as the town was reached Guiseppe began his growling anew.

"Sorrento! So this is the town old Genaro talks about. Crowing over me!
Seems to think he knows such a lot. Bah! Tasso! Tasso--bah, I say!"

"Is that where I am to sing, Guiseppe?" Pappina asked timidly as she
shook the dust from her frayed little frock.

"I'm not talking to you. You had better learn to mind you own business.
Marta, I'll not leave this town till I see where the sister of that man
Tasso lived, and I'll see his statue, too."

"Tasso." Marta spoke the name softly, not daring to question.

"Yes, Tasso. You don't know anything about him, and you don't need to
know. If old Genaro thinks we haven't seen scenery since we've been
traveling around the country, he's fooled."

Pappina looked shyly into Guiseppe's set, hard face. Her curiosity was
aroused and she wanted to know about Tasso.

"Signor Genaro might ask me about Tasso," she suggested, "and I don't
know anything about him, do I?"

Guiseppe looked at Pappina for a moment as though it were on his lips
to rebuke her, turned on his heel and started to walk away, then came
back.

"You're right for once, girl," he said, grudgingly. "Genaro might ask
you, and I want you both to let him see you know about Tasso. It won't
hurt either of you to learn something. Tasso was a famous poet. Well,
let me see--what was it old Genaro told me? Oh, yes; I remember. He was
very wild and ran away from home. The house where he was born and the
rock on which it stood were swallowed by the sea, but his sister's
house is here and the thing to do is to see that and to go to the
Piazza and see his statue."

"Now I remember," said Marta. "I went with the countess. She told me
that he came back to his sister's house disguised as a shepherd, and
that is why her home is of interest to tourists."

"Bah! What do they care--what do I care--about a poet who has been dead
over three hundred years? I'll go--I'll go. I'll give old Genaro to
understand that I saw everything worth seeing. Marta, keep your eye on
the upstart, or she'll be going too. Mind what I tell you."

He mopped his brow, handed the Punchinellos to Marta, and was off.
Pappina heaved a sigh of relief as she watched him go down the street.
When he was quite out of sight, she took off her shoe and showed Marta
the money she had hidden away. There were two francs and small coins in
plenty.

"Don't tell Guiseppe; will you, Marta? It's for you and me to run away
with to America when Guiseppe gets too bad. Take it, Marta, and keep it
for us."

[Illustration: Tarantella dancers]

The tears came to Marta's eyes and her voice shook as she replied:

"No, no, it's yours, _bambina_. Hide it back in your shoe. Marta likes
to know her little one has money snugged away where she can use it if
she needs it."

Guiseppe soon returned in the same bad humor in which he had been all
the way to Sorrento.

"Those Americans have sent for the Tarantella dancers to come to the
Vittoria Hotel to-night to dance the Tarantella for them. They say they
dance it better here than in Naples. We will take the upstart there and
see what she is worth. Fix her up. There'll be a crowd."

He looked at Pappina. Her face was drawn and white, her hair
disordered, her frock soiled, wrinkled and torn.

"What's the matter with the girl?" he asked. "She looks like a hungry
beggar. See her shoes, her dress all dirt and stains. Confound you,
Pappina, where's your beauty gone? You are all eyes to-day, when you
ought to look like something." He grabbed her fiercely by the arm and
shook her. Pappina's hot Italian blood boiled.

"You coward!" she hissed the words. She doubled up her little fist and
raised it to strike him. Guiseppe grabbed her hand and shook her again
in his fury. Marta sprang to Pappina's rescue with a savage look on
her face no one had ever seen there before. Guiseppe loosened his hold
on Pappina and pushed her away from him with such force she would have
fallen to the ground had not Marta caught her.

"Coward! Fiend! Coward!" the child hissed through her set teeth.

"Coward, eh! Call me names, will you? We'll see after to-night. Marta,
wash her impudent face; comb her hair; for heaven's sake do something!
They'll think she is no more than a beggar, and they are sick of
beggars. We found that out at Amalfi, where the whole town begs."

Marta washed Pappina, combed her hair, and tried to smooth out her
dress and make her acceptable to Guiseppe; but he seemed determined not
to be pleased.

"Can't you keep your eyelids down a little?" he said to the child. "I
tell you, you are all eyes to-day--great big, black, staring eyes!
Pinch up her cheeks, Marta; see if you can't get some color in them."

Pappina looked pleadingly first at Marta then at Guiseppe, then burst
into tears.

"Stop your crying, you wild-eyed beggar! Lost your spirit, too? What
are you good for, I'd like to know, with beauty and spirit both gone!"

Pappina dried her tears and choked back her sobs, while Marta stood as
if paralyzed. She longed to soothe the child, yet dared not, her old
fear of Guiseppe upon her again.

"There'll be great dancing at the Vittoria to-night. Get up and show
me what you can do. You needn't sing; I want to see your dancing."

Pappina did not move.

"Are you deaf, too? Didn't you hear me? I say dance!"

"Guiseppe," came faintly from the frightened child, "I will try to
please you to-night, but I cannot dance now. Be good to me; then I
shall be happy and dance all night if you wish me to."

"Oh, it's your own way you want again, is it? For once I want mine and
I'll have it, too. Dance now--at once!"

"I'll try."

She tried. Her body was quivering from excitement and fear. Her little
blistered foot pained her. She couldn't dance. Guiseppe watched her
angrily, Marta tearfully, as she lifted her tambourine, struck it and
danced one step--two--then dropped on her knees.

"_Pieta, pieta_ [pity, pity], signor," she cried. "I cannot dance now.
To-night--with the music, the people and the dancers--I will dance well
then; not now, Guiseppe. I pray you, dear Marta, tell him I cannot."

Guiseppe took up a big stick that was lying near him. He struck Pappina
once--twice. She was on her feet like a flash. She started to run,
Guiseppe seized her by her dress; it slipped through his fingers and
before he had time to collect himself she was gone, speeding like a
deer down the street. She was running away from Guiseppe, she neither
knew nor cared where.

Down the street, turning one corner after another, on, on to the
_marina_, where she was soon lost in the throng of boys and tourists.
She jumped into a row-boat just as the oarsman was starting with his
load of passengers for the steamer leaving Sorrento for Naples.

There were a few moments of suspense; then she was hurried aboard the
steamer with the others. She was safe!

Guiseppe, as he sprang after Pappina, stumbled on his own cruel stick.
When he got to his feet the child was turning a corner. He saw the
little red dress and its owner disappear from his view forever. He
glared in a frenzy at Marta.

"Curse her! Curse her!" he shrieked. "To-day of all days to get
away from me! Marta, have you turned to stone? Why don't you move?
Why didn't you run after her, instead of standing there staring
like a mummy? We must have her before dark. Go--search everywhere.
Move!--Don't stop till you find her."



                               CHAPTER X

                        NAPLES, AND A NEW LIFE


Pappina stood on the deck, holding fast to the railing for support. Her
face was livid, her body shook. She looked anxiously toward the shore
to see if she had been followed. There were no signs of Guiseppe!

She kept her eyes riveted on the boys splashing in the water until they
appeared mere specks in the distance. Then, worn out with excitement,
she sank down and burst into tears. Stifling her sobs, presently the
child fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.

The captain, passing that way, saw Pappina curled up on the deck. He
could not see her winsome, beautiful face, for it was buried in her
arms as she lay there sleeping. He saw just a child with a tattered,
dirty dress and ragged little shoes. He gave her a kick.

"Get up," he said. "What are you doing here? This is no place for
beggars; move on."

Pappina jumped up quickly. He had called her a beggar. She looked at
him with flashing eyes.

"Beggar!" cried she. "No, signor, I'm not a beggar. You want money?
I have it, I can pay." She began to unfasten one of her little worn
shoes. The captain stood watching her, perplexed.

"What does it mean?" he asked himself. "She has such beauty and pride,
and her clothes are so poor! She is alone and has money in her shoe. I
am puzzled this time, for sure."

He tugged fiercely at his long black mustache, waiting to see what she
would offer him from her store. She brought up coins and handed him a
franc.

"Is that enough, signor?" she asked. "I have more."

Looking into the unfathomable depths of those great velvet eyes, the
captain would have refused the wealth of Croesus had she offered it.
Her beauty and her independence conquered him.

"Keep your money, child. As long as I run the boat you ride free."

"_Grazie, buono signor_ [Thanks, good sir]. May I go inside? The boat
rocks so. I feel--may I lie down just a little while, signor? I have
my tambourine and I can sing and dance for you by-and-by when my
head--when I am not so dizzy."

"Go inside, child, and lie down. I will look after you soon."

Pappina, catching hold of chairs and benches to steady herself,
staggered inside and lay down, dizzy and faint. She was too sick even
to think or to wonder where the boat was taking her.

The steamer was filled with people returning from Capri and the
wonderful Blue Grotto. Among the tourists was Mrs. Elinor Thurston, a
childless American widow traveling abroad with friends, seeking some
new interest from day to day--anything to make her forget the loss of
her husband and her only child. She noticed Pappina's pale, beautiful
face and her glorious eyes. There was something about the child that
reminded Mrs. Thurston of her boy. She watched Pappina intently as the
little girl threw herself on the floor. The forlorn figure interested
her, lying with her tambourine tightly clasped in her hands.

"Poor child!" she murmured softly.

"Such a picture!" exclaimed one of the tourists. "I must take a
snap-shot of this typical little Italian beauty."

Pappina, hearing voices near her, opened her eyes. Her glance fell upon
the sweet face of Mrs. Thurston, who sat looking kindly at her. The
child smiled faintly, closed her eyes again, and was asleep.

That smile won Mrs. Thurston. She watched to see who was with the
little girl, and seeing no one she inquired of the captain:

"Tell me, who is with that beautiful child?" Her face was diffused with
tender, earnest solicitude as she gazed at the little figure lying at
their feet.

"No one, apparently; she seems to be alone."

The captain then related to Mrs. Thurston how the little girl had taken
money from her shoe and offered it to him for her fare.

Pappina began to talk in her sleep.

"He struck me," she murmured. "It hurt me so!" They tried to make out
her words, so jumbled at first, then clearer and louder, till she
fairly screamed: "Guiseppe, how dare you strike me? Marta, hold him. I
hate him! I wish he were dead--I do, for I hate him!"

Mrs. Thurston stooped and took hold of the child's hot little hand.

"See how flushed her face is!" she whispered. "Her pulse is too quick;
she is feverish, poor child," she said with pity as she gently picked
her up and placed her on a sofa.

"She is my charge and I'll stay with her," she told the friends who
urged her to go on deck and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

"Scenery!" she exclaimed as she took Pappina's hand in hers. "There
is nothing so beautiful as this child. I am almost hoping no one will
claim her when we land at Naples, for I need her. Her eyes are like my
Harold's, so--" She could not finish the sentence for the tears that
welled to her eyes and the sorrow that choked her.

At Naples no one came for Pappina, alone and sick, still tossing her
head in pain and fever.

"I cannot leave her," her new friend declared. "She must be cared for.
Oh, how glad I am that I can do everything for her!"

Pappina, still unconscious, was carried to a carriage and taken to the
International Hospital.

"See that every attention is given her," Mrs. Thurston said. "Leave
nothing undone. Here is my card, and I am responsible for her. I will
be back in the morning."

It was hard for Mrs. Thurston to leave Pappina, but friends were
waiting for her and there was an engagement to fulfill.

The nurse put Pappina to bed, dressed in a little white nightgown, the
first she had ever worn.

Early the following day Mrs. Thurston called.

"How is she?" she inquired eagerly. "Still unconscious? Take me to her.
All night I have thought and dreamed of her. Her eyes have haunted me
even in my sleep. Take me to her."

She asked anxiously if any one had sought the child.

"No one? Oh, joy! Perhaps I may have her for my own."

Enrichetta, the nurse, showed the welts on the child's body--two red
marks from Guiseppe's stick.

"_Povera figlietta_ [Poor little girl]," she said. "It is now quite
certain she will have a run of fever."

The excitement and strain of the past few weeks had proved too much
for Pappina. In her delirium it was always of Guiseppe she spoke.
She would beg, plead and defy him, start to sing, then cry: "The
tambourine will make no music. It is broken. I cannot sing or dance
now, Guiseppe, for my head hurts and the sun is so hot."

It was easy to gather from her delirious talk some idea of the hard
life she had led.

No artist's dream could have appeared more beautiful than she, as she
lay in her bed. Mrs. Thurston came every day, sometimes twice, to see
her. In Pappina she had found a real interest in life; and her motherly
heart warmed toward this lovely, abused child.

True love for Pappina sprang up in her heart in the days of the child's
convalescence. In the long talks the two had together there was never a
word of complaint against Guiseppe. The physician and nurse in charge
with Mrs. Thurston questioned her and she willingly told them all, but
never with complaints.

"I think I was as bad as I could be, because, you see, Guiseppe paid
money for me, and sometimes when I was tired I did not want to sing and
dance. Oh, please don't make me go back to him!"

"I will find Guiseppe," declared Mrs. Thurston. "I will pay him back
with interest all he paid for you, and you may be my little girl if you
will."

"Your little girl! I the little girl of such a lady!" The bright look
on the child's face changed as she continued:

"You haven't seen my clothes. The red dress was splendid before I
spoiled it and my shoes were new once."

"Never mind the clothes. New clothes go with your new life, dear."

All the time Pappina was recovering, Mrs. Thurston was having search
made for Guiseppe. Two days before Pappina left the hospital, he was
found on the Toledo with his Punchinellos. Those employed to find him
were looking for a Punchinello showman with a brown-haired, pale-faced
English wife. All about Naples they searched, but in vain.

Finding, one day, a man who exactly answered the description given
of Guiseppe, the detective stopped, watched his show a while, then
accosted him.

"I seek," he said, "for Guiseppe Capasso."

"I am he," replied Guiseppe.

"I have passed you many times," continued the detective. "I sought a
man with a wife, an Englishwoman who passes the hat."

"_Ohime_ [Ah, me]!" exclaimed Guiseppe. "I had a wife, but she is no
more. A sudden illness took her from me. Poor Marta!" Guiseppe bowed
his head in sorrow.

"I came to speak of the child."

"Pappina!" cried Guiseppe. "Where is she? Poor Marta, _sposa mia_ [my
wife]--she died with Pappina's name on her lips." Guiseppe sobbed in
sincere grief.

For a time he seemed to forget everything but the loss of his patient,
long-suffering wife. Gradually it was made known to him that there was
money awaiting him if he would give up all claim to Pappina. Guiseppe
never paid for Pappina what Mrs. Thurston paid Guiseppe. She wanted
Pappina and money was no object to her.

They thought best not to speak to Pappina of her home, but let her
forget about it as soon as possible. Pietro was proud to give his child
to so grand a lady, who would educate and do for her as her very own.
So it came about that Mrs. Elinor Thurston adopted Pappina Pierno.

Nothing could have been sweeter than Pappina when she was dressed for
the first time after her illness. Those who were with her laughed and
cried to see her fondle her clothes. Such wonderful underwear, so sheer
and dainty, with ribbon and lace! Her delight was almost pathetic. If
Mrs. Thurston was hungry for affection she certainly found all she
desired in Pappina, with her impulsive, appreciative nature.

Mrs. Thurston seemed to live only in and for the child. Such shopping
days as they had! Such a trunk full of clothes as they bought--dresses,
hats, coats, gloves, handkerchiefs--and perfume too, if you please!

They were a month in Naples and Switzerland; then Mrs. Thurston decided
she would go home, back to America to have Pappina learn English and
begin her education.

"I'm really going to America to live, and not just to run away from
Guiseppe? Sometimes, mamma," shyly she said to Mrs. Thurston, "I think
I must be dreaming, but if I am, I never want to awaken."

"We will keep your tambourine for our souvenir, _carissima_, and when
you think you are only dreaming, just strike your tambourine."



                         BUNNY and BEAR BOOKS

                                  By

                         LAURA ROUNTREE SMITH

                           For Grades 2-3

Few books for little folks have attained the popularity that has been
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THE TALE OF BUNNY COTTON-TAIL

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        95 pages. 16 illustrations and frontispiece in colors.
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       112 pages. 36 illustrations and frontispiece in colors.
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        98 pages. 16 illustrations and frontispiece in colors.
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        98 pages. 13 illustrations and frontispiece in colors.
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       126 pages. 30 illustrations and frontispiece in colors.
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128 pages. 21 illustrations and frontispiece in colors. Price, 30
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         A. FLANAGAN COMPANY                           CHICAGO


                       GREAT AMERICAN INDUSTRIES

                                  By
                            F. W. ROCHELEAU
                   In Four Volumes. For Grades 5-8.

The study of industry and commerce is receiving more and more attention
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 Treats of Coal, Petroleum, Natural Gas, Iron, Marble, Granite, Slate,
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  _With sixty-four illustrations. 213 pages. Cloth. Price, 50 cents._

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 _With fifty-seven illustrations. 194 pages. Cloth. Price, 50 cents._

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 _With forty-eight illustrations. 222 pages. Cloth. Price, 50 cents._

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  _With colored map and sixty-seven illustrations. 263 pages. Cloth.
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                          A LIBRARY OF TRAVEL

                     The Little Journeys Series

        For Grades 5-8.          Nineteen uniform volumes.

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  Our Western Wonderland (California)
  Throughout the Great Southwest (of U.S.)
  Some Strange Places and Peoples in Our
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         A. FLANAGAN COMPANY                           CHICAGO


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THE CORN LADY: The Story of a Country Teacher's Work. By (Miss)
Jessie Field, Co. Supt. of Schools, Page County, Iowa. "The Corn
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DAILY LESSON PLANS IN LANGUAGE: For Second and Third Grades of
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SMITH AND RIEGE SONG BOOK, No. 1. By L. Rountree Smith and Clarence
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         A. FLANAGAN COMPANY                           CHICAGO


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         A. FLANAGAN COMPANY                           CHICAGO



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

Plain print and punctuation errors were corrected.

"X CHAPTER" is shown in the original, it has been changed to "CHAPTER
X" for consistency.

In the Table of Contents, at "CHAPTER III", the original reads "Fete
Day at Naples"; it has been changed in "Feste Day at Naples" as in
other places in the book.

Many of Italian words used in this book are incorrect; they have been
left as in original.





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