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Title: Elsie's Winter Trip
Author: Finley, Martha
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Elsie's Winter Trip" ***

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[Illustration: ELSIE'S CABIN.]



  ELSIE'S WINTER TRIP.



  BY
  MARTHA FINLEY,
  AUTHOR OF
  "ELSIE DINSMORE," "ELSIE'S GIRLHOOD," "MILDRED KEITH,"
  etc., etc.



  NEW YORK:
  DODD, MEAD & COMPANY,
  1902.



  COPYRIGHT, 1902,

  BY

  DODD, MEAD & COMPANY.



  _First edition published October, 1902._



ELSIE'S WINTER TRIP.



CHAPTER I.


"Lu, dear, can you give me an early breakfast to-morrow morning?" asked
Chester, as they made their preparations for retiring that first night
in their new home.

"I think so," she returned, giving him an affectionate look and smile.
"How early would you like to have it?"

"About seven, I think. I have told our coachman, Jack, that I want the
carriage at eight. He will drive me into town and then return, so that
carriage and horses will be ready at a reasonably early hour for the
other three owners--our brother and sister and yourself."

"It was certainly very kind and thoughtful in you to give such an
order," she said with a smile, "but we would much prefer to have your
company in all our drives and visits."

"And I should very much like to give it to you; but there is business
that should have been attended to some time ago, and must not be longer
delayed."

"If it is, it shall not be your wife's fault," she replied. "The
cook is still in the kitchen, and I will go and give my order for a
seven-o'clock breakfast."

"Lu, dear," Chester said, on her return, "it will not be at all
necessary for you to rise in time for so early a breakfast, I can pour
my own coffee and eat alone."

"No, you can't have that privilege while I'm your wife;" she responded,
with a saucy look and smile. "I intend to pour your coffee, and see
that you have an appetizing breakfast and do justice to it."

"Your presence will make it doubly enjoyable, dearest," he returned,
putting an arm about her, and giving her a look of loving admiration,
"but you must not be robbed of needed rest and sleep."

"Thank you, my dear husband," she replied; "but I am accustomed to
early rising and it agrees with me. Oh, I think I shall greatly enjoy
taking early breakfast with you. Isn't it delightful to begin our
married life in so lovely a home of our very own?"

"It is, indeed! and we owe it to your good, kind, and most generous
father."

"He is that, most emphatically," responded Lucilla. "The dearest, best,
and kindest father in the world."

Seven o'clock the next morning found them cosily seated at a little
round table in their pretty dining-room, enjoying a delicious breakfast
of fresh fruits, broiled fowl, hot muffins and coffee. These, added to
good health, cheerful spirits, and a fondness for each other's society,
made them a happy couple.

The meal was enlivened with cheerful chat.

"I am sorry you have to hurry so," Lucilla said, as she filled her
husband's cup for the second time. "I really think you ought to have at
least a little longer holiday."

"I expect to take it piecemeal, nights and mornings, in the society of
my wife," returned Chester, with affectionate look and smile. "I was
very glad to get this case," he added, "for if I succeed with it it
will bring me in some thousands."

"I shall be glad of that for your sake," said Lucilla; "but don't work
too hard. You know you are not very strong; therefore you need to take
good care of yourself."

"Ah, my dear, be careful how you encourage me in self-indulgence,"
laughed Chester. "I am too much inclined that way as it is."

"Are you?" she exclaimed with mirthful look and tone. "I really had not
found it out, but thought you one of the foolishly industrious people
who will even throw away health in order to get on rapidly with their
work."

"And I," laughed Chester, "took you for a woman of such discernment
that you must have found out before this what a lazy, incompetent
fellow you have thrown yourself away upon."

"No; with all my discernment I have yet to make that discovery. I did
not marry the fellow yon describe--but a bright, talented, industrious
young man. And I wont have him slandered."

At that moment a servant came in with the announcement that the
carriage was at the door.

"Ah! Jack is quite punctual, and I am just ready," said Chester,
pushing back his chair, getting up and going round to his wife's side
of the table. "I will now take away the slanderer of your bright,
talented, industrious young man," he remarked in sportive tone; "you
shall be relieved of his presence until perhaps five o'clock this
afternoon."

Before he had finished, Lucilla was standing by his side, her hand in
his.

"Oh, dear! I wish you didn't have to go," she sighed. "We have been
together all the time for weeks past and now I hardly know how I can do
without you."

"Suppose you come along then. There is plenty of room in the carriage,
and in the office, and I could find you something to read, or some
work on the typewriter, if you prefer that."

"Any time that I am needed there I shall be ready to go," she returned
with merry look and tone; "but to-day I have matters to attend to
about the house, and perhaps father and Mamma Vi may want some little
assistance from me in their preparations for to-night."

"Yes, I daresay. What a round of parties we are likely to have to
go through as part of the penalty for venturing into the state of
matrimony."

"Yes," laughed Lucilla, "but I hope you think it pays."

"Most assuredly. But now good-bye, dearest, for some hours--when we
shall have the pleasure of meeting to atone to us for the present pain
of parting." Lucilla followed him to the veranda, where they exchanged
a parting caress, then watched as he entered the carriage and it drove
swiftly through the grounds and out into the highway. Her eyes were
still following it when a pleasant, manly voice near at hand said
"Good morning Mrs. Dinsmore."

She turned quickly and sprang down the steps to meet the speaker.

"Father, dear father!" she cried, springing into his outstretched arms,
and putting hers about his neck, "Oh, how glad I am to see you! How
good in you to come! Chester has just done eating his breakfast and
gone off to his business, and I haven't quite finished my meal. Wont
you come in and eat with me?"

"Ah, that would hardly do, daughter," was the smiling reply. "You know
I am expected to take that meal with wife and children at Woodburn. But
I will go in with you and we will have a chat while you finish your
breakfast."

"And you can take a cup of coffee and a little fruit, can't you,
father?"

"Yes, thank you, daughter. That would hardly interfere with the
Woodburn breakfast. And shall we not take a little stroll about your
grounds when we leave the breakfast-room?"

"I should greatly enjoy doing so along with my dear father," she
answered with a smiling look up into his face, as they took their
places at the inviting-looking table. She poured his coffee, then they
ate and chatted pleasantly the while about family matters and the
entertainment to be given at Woodburn that evening.

"How are Max and Eva this morning?" the Captain asked at length.

"I don't know whether they are up yet or not," replied Lucilla. "You
know, papa, they had not the same occasion for early rising that
Chester and I had."

"True enough and Max is fully entitled to take his ease for the
present. Don't you think so?"

"Yes, indeed, papa. I am very glad the dear fellow is having a good
holiday after all he has gone through. Oh, I wish he had chosen some
business that would allow him to stay at home with us!"

"That would be pleasanter for us, but our country must have a navy and
officers to command it."

"Yes, sir; and so it is well that some men fancy that kind of life and
employment."

"And no doubt Max inherits the taste for a seafaring life from me and
my forebears."

"Father," said Lulu, "you will let me be your amanuensis again, will
you not?"

"Thank you for your willingness to serve me in that, daughter," the
Captain returned pleasantly, "but you will find quite enough to do here
in your own house, and both your Mamma Vi and your Sister Grace have
taken up your work in that line--sometimes one and sometimes the other
following my dictation upon the typewriter."

"Oh, I am glad that they can and will, for your sake, father, but I
hope I shall be permitted to do a little of my old work for you once in
a while."

"That is altogether likely," he said. "But now as we have finished
eating and drinking shall we not take our stroll about the grounds?"

They did so, chatting pleasantly as was their wont; then returning to
the veranda they found Max and Evelyn there.

Morning greetings were exchanged, then Evelyn, saying that their
breakfast was just ready, invited the Captain to come in and share
it. But he declined, giving the same reason as before to Lucilla's
invitation.

"I am going home now to breakfast with wife and children," he said,
"and I hope you older ones of my flock will join us a little later."

"We will all be glad to do that, father," said Max. "At least I can
speak for myself and think I can for these two daughters of yours.
Woodburn is to me a dear old home where some of the happiest hours of
my life have been spent."

"And you can't love it much better than Lu and I do," added Evelyn.

"No, he can't," assented Lucilla. "Lovely as is this Sunnyside of ours,
its chief attraction to me is its near neighborhood to Woodburn--the
home where I have passed such happy years under my father's loving
care." The bright, dark eyes she lifted to his face as she spoke were
full of daughterly love and reverence.

"I am very glad you can look back upon them as happy years, daughter,"
he said, his eyes shining with pleasure and parental affection; "and
that Max is with you in that. I am glad, too, that you all appreciate
this new home that I have taken so much pleasure in preparing for you."

"We'd be the basest of ingrates, if we didn't, father dear!" exclaimed
Lucilla. "I for one, feel that you have done, and are doing far more
for me than I deserve."

"Which is nothing new for our father," remarked Max with a smile and
look into his father's face that spoke volumes of filial regard,
respect and devotion.

"And I am fortunate indeed in having children so dutiful, affectionate
and appreciative," returned the Captain feelingly.

He then took leave and went back to Woodburn, Lucilla accompanying him
part of the way, then returning to Sunnyside to give her orders for
the day. That attended to, she joined Max and Eva upon the veranda.

"The carriage is coming, Lu," said Eva; "are you ready for a drive? and
have you decided where you wish to go?"

"Yes," was the reply, "I want to go over to Woodburn for a bit of a
chat with Mamma Vi about the preparations for this evening, in which I
suppose you and Max will join me; and then wouldn't you like to drive
over to Fairview for a call upon Aunt Elsie?"

"Yes, indeed! I think she and uncle are entitled to the first call from
me, much as I want to see all the near and dear ones."

"I perfectly agree with you in that, Eva," said Max. "They have filled
the place of parents to you, and I for one," he added with a very
loverlike smile, "am grateful to them for it."

"As I am with still more reason," added Evelyn.

A few moments later found them on their way to Woodburn. There was a
glad welcome there followed by a few minutes' lively chat, principally
in regard to the coming event of the evening--the expected gathering of
invited guests, relatives, neighbours and friends to welcome the return
of the newly-married couples from their bridal trip.

"Is there anything I can do to help with your preparations, Mamma Vi?"
asked Lucilla.

"Thank you, Lu, but they are almost all made now, except what the
servants will do," returned Violet, adding laughingly. "And if they
were not, it would surely hardly be the correct thing to let one of our
brides be at the trouble of assisting with them."

"Both of them would be very glad to give their help, if it were desired
or needed," said Evelyn. "We feel privileged to offer assistance,
because it is our father's house," she concluded with a smiling,
affectionate look at the Captain.

"That is right, daughter," he said, both his tone and the expression of
his countenance showing that he was pleased with her remark.

"Oh, Lu, I have been making some changes in the rooms that were yours,
but are mine now," said Grace. "Papa has provided some new pieces of
furniture both there and in our little sitting-room and I want to show
them to you, Eva and Max." She rose as she spoke, the others following
her example.

"Are the rest of us invited, Gracie?" asked Violet, in an amused tone.

"Oh, yes, indeed!" was the gay rejoinder, "father and you, Elsie and
Ned. Company that is always acceptable to me wherever I go."

"And to all of us," added Lucilla.

"Most especially so to one who has often sighed in vain for it," said
Max.

"Have you wanted us sometimes when you were far away on the sea,
Brother Max?" asked Ned with a look of loving sympathy up into his
brother's face.

"Yes, indeed, Ned; and expect to do so again before very long."

They were passing through the hall and up the stairway as they talked.

"Oh, the dear old rooms look lovely, lovely!" exclaimed Lucilla, as
they passed into the little sitting-room she had formerly shared with
her sister Grace, glanced around it and through the open doors into the
two bedrooms. "It almost makes me homesick to be living in them again."

"Well, daughter, you may come back whenever you choose," her father
said, with a look of mingled amusement and affection.

"Why, Lu, I thought you loved that pretty new home papa has taken such
pains to make ready for you and Eva and Max and Chester," exclaimed
Elsie.

"Yes, so I do; but this old home has the added charm of being papa's
also."

"Yes; but the other is so near that you can see him every day, and
oftener, if you choose."

"And talk to him at any moment through the telephone, if she prefers
that to coming over here," said the Captain.

"Oh, yes! how nice it is that our houses are all connected by
telephone," exclaimed Evelyn. "Father, if I may, I think I'll go to
yours and speak to Aunt Elsie now."

"Certainly, daughter," he returned, promptly leading the way.

"I do so like that name from you, father dear," she said softly and
smiling up into his face as they reached the instrument.

"And I am glad my boy Max has given me the right," he returned, bending
down to kiss the ruby lips and smooth the shining hair.

"Shall I ring and call for you?" he asked.

"If you please."

It was Mrs. Leland who answered it.

"Hello, what is it?"

"It is I, Aunt Elsie," returned Evelyn. "I just called to know if you
were in; because if you are, we are coming over directly to make you a
call."

"I think I shall be by the time you can get here," was the reply in a
tone of amusement. "But please don't delay, as we were about to start
for Sunnyside in a few minutes."

"Oh, were you! Then we will drive over at once and accompany you on the
trip."

"Thank you; that will be most pleasant."

Eva stepped aside and Lucilla took her place.

"Yes, Aunt Elsie, you will be a most welcome visitor in both divisions
of Sunnyside. Please don't neglect mine."

"I certainly do not intend to," was the cheerily-spoken response, "for
your half of the dwelling is doubtless quite as well worth seeing as
the other, and its occupants seem very near and dear."

"Thank you. Good-bye now till we arrive at Fairview."

"We would better start for that place presently," said Max. "We can
view the beauties of this any day. Wont you go with us, Grace? There is
a vacant seat in the carriage."

"Yes, do; we'd be glad to have you," urged both Eva and Lucilla, the
latter adding, "You have hardly yet taken a look at our new homes with
us in them."

"Yes, go, daughter; I think you will enjoy it," her father said in
reply to a questioning glance from her beautiful blue eyes, directed to
him.

"Thank you all three," she said. "I will go if I may have ten minutes
in which to get ready."

"Fifteen, if necessary," replied Max, in sportive tone. "Even that
great loss of time will be well paid for by the pleasure of your good
company."

"A well-turned compliment, brother mine," returned Grace, as she
tripped away in search of hat and wrap; for the air was cool in driving.

"Why shouldn't Elsie go too? There is plenty of room for her; and
Ned can ride alongside on his pony, which I see is down yonder ready
saddled and bridled," said Max, putting an arm round his little sister,
as she stood by his side, and looking smilingly at her, then at Ned.
"Can't they go, father and Mamma Vi?"

Both parents gave a ready consent, the children were delighted with
the invitation, and presently the party set out on their way to
Fairview.

It was a short and pleasant drive, and they were greeted with a joyous
welcome on their arrival at Evelyn's old home, Mr. and Mrs. Leland and
their four children meeting them on the veranda with smiles, pleasant
words and caresses for Grace, Eva, Lucilla and Elsie. Then they were
taken within and to the dining-room, where a delicate and appetizing
lunch was awaiting them.

"It is a little early for lunch," said Mrs. Leland, "but we knew you
would be wanting to get back to Sunnyside soon, in order not to miss
the numerous calls about to be made you by friends and connections who
are all anxious to see the pretty new home and its loved occupants."

"We will be glad to see them, Aunt Elsie," said Evelyn, "and to show
our lovely homes; and I can assure you that no one can be more welcome
there than you and uncle and these dear cousins of mine."

"And please understand that Eva has expressed my sentiments as fully as
her own," added Lucilla in a sprightly tone.

"Mine also," said Max.

"But don't any one of you feel that this meal is to be taken in haste,"
said Mr. Leland, hospitably, "that is very bad for digestion and we may
take plenty of time, even at the risk of having some of your callers
get to Sunnyside ahead of us."

His advice was taken and much pleasant chat indulged in while they ate.

"You and uncle, of course, expect to be at Woodburn to-night, Aunt
Elsie?" said Evelyn.

"Oh, yes; and expect to have you all here to-morrow night. There is
to be quite a round of parties--as doubtless you know--to celebrate
the great event of your and Lu's entrance into the bonds of matrimony.
There will be none Saturday night, but the round will begin again
Monday evening by a party at Ion given by mamma, Edward and Zoe.
Tuesday evening we are all to go to the Oaks; then after that will be
the Laurel's, Roselands, Beechwood, Pinegrove, Ashlands and others."

"Don't forget Aunt Rosie's at Riverside, mamma," prompted Allie, her
nine-year-old daughter.

"No," returned her mother, "that would be quite too bad, for there is
no one more ready to do honor to these dear friends of ours; especially
now when they have just begun married life."

"Ah, Aunt Elsie, that sounds as though you considered it something to
one's credit to have left a life of single blessedness for one in the
married state," laughed Lucilla.

"A state which I have found so pleasant that I think no one deserves
any credit for entering it," was Mrs. Leland's smiling rejoinder.

"And I have noticed," said Max, "that as a rule those who have tried it
once are very ready to try it again--widows and widowers seem in more
haste to marry than bachelors and maids."

"'Marry in haste and repent at leisure,'" quoted Grace, laughingly.
"Father takes care that his children don't do the first, perhaps to
secure them from the second."

"And we all have great confidence in our father's wisdom; as well as
his strong affection for us, his children," remarked Max.

A sentiment which the others--his wife and sisters--promptly and
cordially endorsed.



CHAPTER II.


Immediately on leaving the table, they all--entertainers and
entertained--set out on the short drive to Sunnyside, where, on
arriving, they found their relatives and friends from Beechwood and the
Oaks waiting to offer their congratulations and wish them happiness and
prosperity in their married life.

Being all acquaintances and friends of so long standing, they
were shown over the whole house by the happy owners, and cordial
congratulations were freely bestowed.

"In view of the comforts, conveniences and beauties of the
establishment, I should like to see Chester and offer my
congratulations on his success in winning a lovely wife, and having so
delightful a home to share with her," remarked Mrs. Horace Dinsmore, as
she was about leaving. "But I can't stay longer if I am to make due
preparation for attending the party at Woodburn to-night," she added.

"And you wouldn't miss that for something, would you?" laughed Mrs.
Hugh Lilburn. "I am sure I wouldn't."

"No; for I daresay we will have a delightful time. I know no better
entertainers than the Captain and Vi."

"Nor do I," said Mrs. Leland; "and this being so extra an occasion they
will doubtless do their best."

"I think they will, and I hope no invited guest will stay away or be
disappointed," said Grace, with a merry look and smile.

"No danger of either calamity, Gracie," said Mrs. Dinsmore. "Ah,
there's our carriage at the door," and with a hasty good-bye and a
cordial invitation to all present to make frequent visits at the Oaks,
she and her husband and daughter departed.

The Beechwood friends lingered a little longer, as did those from
Fairview and Woodburn. But at length Grace said she thought it time to
go home for, of course, there were some matters she ought to attend to
in preparation for the evening.

"Shall I send you in the carriage?" asked Lucilla.

"Oh, no, thank you, sister dear; the short walk will be good for me,"
returned Grace gaily, "for Elsie, too, I think, and for Ned; though he,
I suppose, will prefer to ride his pony."

"Yes, of course I will," said Ned. "He needs to be taken home, anyway."

They made their adieus and passed out on the veranda.

A servant brought the pony up, and Ned was about to mount when the
little steed remarked, "I think a young gentleman might feel ashamed to
ride while his lady sisters must go afoot."

"You do!" exclaimed Ned, drawing back with a look of mingled surprise
and chagrin. "Well, they said they wanted to walk--preferred it to
riding; and--and besides they couldn't both ride on your back at once."

"Two do ride the same horse at once sometimes," seemed to come very
distinctly from the pony's lips.

"Who is making you talk, I wonder?" cried Ned, turning to look about
him. "Oh, Brother Max, it was you, wasn't it?" as he caught sight of
his brother and sisters standing near.

"What was?" asked Max quietly.

"The person making the pony talk. I almost thought for a minute it
really was the pony; though, of course, ponies can't talk. And I didn't
mean to be selfish. Gracie won't you ride him home? Elsie and I can
walk just as well as not."

"Yes, of course we can; it's a very short and very pleasant walk,"
returned Elsie, with prompt cheerfulness. "So Gracie dear, you ride the
pony."

"Thank you both," said Grace, "but I really prefer to walk, as I have
had very little exercise to-day."

"There, you silly little pony, see what a mistake you made!" cried Ned
gleefully, as he mounted his steed.

"Well, little master, didn't you make a mistake, too?" the pony seemed
to ask.

"Oh, Brother Max, I know it's you, so only good fun," laughed Ned.
"Good-bye all. I'll get home first and tell papa and mamma you are
coming, Gracie and Elsie."

With the last words, he galloped down the avenue, leaving Max and his
sisters standing on the veranda looking after him.

"Doesn't he ride well?" exclaimed Grace, in a tone that spoke much
sisterly pride and affection. The others gave a hearty assent, Max
adding, "He is a dear little, bright little chap. I am decidedly proud
of my only brother."

"As I am of my little one; but still more so of my older one," said
Lucilla. "But I must go back to my remaining guests. Good-bye, my two
dear sisters. I shall expect and hope to see you both over here every
day."

"It is very likely you will see us here at least that often," laughed
Grace, "and we will expect an honest return of each and every visit."

"We'll get it, too," cried Elsie; "Lu could never stay away a whole day
from papa."

"It would certainly take very strong compulsion to make me do so," said
Lucilla. "Good-bye again. I hope to see you both in my old home a few
hours hence, and here some time to-morrow."

With that she passed into the house while her sisters hastened away in
the direction of Woodburn.

"It will soon be time to send the carriage for Chester," said Max,
accompanying her, "Suppose I give the order now."

"Yes, do," she replied, "I'd like to have him here as soon as possible;
and if he should not be quite ready, Jack and the carriage can be kept
waiting."

"Certainly. I'll go and give the order, then rejoin you and our guests
in the drawing-room."

As Max stepped out upon the veranda again two carriages came driving
up the avenue--one bringing Mr. and Mrs. Lacey from the Laurels, the
other Mr. and Mrs. Croly from Riverside.

"Oh, Max, how glad I am to see you again!" exclaimed Rosie, as he
assisted her to alight. "It seems an age since you went away, and you
have been exposed to such perils I hope I shall have a chance to hear
the story of your experiences in that fight at Manila. Such a chance as
I couldn't get at any of the late parties."

"Thank you, I hope we will have time and opportunity for a number of
talks," he replied, releasing the hand she had put into his and turning
to greet Mrs. Lacey, whom he addressed as Aunt Rose, and whose greeting
was quite as cordial as her niece's had been.

"You have the Fairview and Beechwood folks here now I see," remarked
Mrs. Croly, glancing toward their waiting vehicles.

"Yes; walk in and let us have you all together," returned Max. "We
will make a small party in anticipation of the large one to be held at
Woodburn some hours hence."

"Yes," assented Rosie, "we are all relatives and friends, and I for one
can never see too much of Sister Elsie or Cousin Ronald, to speak of
only one of each family."

Hearty greetings were exchanged, a short time spent in cheerful chat,
then one set of visitors after another took their departure till at
length Max, Evelyn and Lucilla were left alone, though looking almost
momentarily for Chester's homecoming.

"It has probably been a hard day with him. I fear he will be too weary
for much enjoyment to-night," sighed Lucilla.

"I hope not," said Max. "The meeting with so many relatives and friends
will probably be restful. Ah, there's the carriage now, just coming up
the driveway."

It brought Chester, and he showed himself to be in excellent spirits,
though somewhat weary with the labors of the day. He reported that
all seemed to be going right with the business in hand, and he had
little doubt that he should gain his hoped-for reward. His audience of
three listened with keen interest to all he had to say. When he had
finished Eva rose saying, "I must go now and attend to housekeeping
matters so that Max and I may be ready in good season for our Woodburn
festivities."

"Stay, Eva," said Lucilla, "I have ordered an early light tea for the
four of us. We wont want a very hearty meal to spoil our appetites for
the refreshments to be served at Woodburn."

"No, certainly not; it is very kind in you to provide for us as well as
for yourselves," returned Evelyn; Max adding, "It is, indeed, sister
mine."

"Well, really," laughed Lucilla, "it was for my own pleasure quite as
much as for yours." And tears came into the eyes gazing with sisterly
affection into those of Max. "I want to entertain you while I can,"
she added, "for there is no knowing when Uncle Sam may be ordering you
quite out of reach."

"Oh, don't let us talk of that!" exclaimed Eva. "Let us banish it from
our thoughts for the present."

"That is good advice," said Max, his voice a trifle husky; "it's what
I'm trying to do for the present; for however much a man may love the
service--a little wife such as mine must be far nearer and dearer."

"Yes," said Chester; "if you had only chosen the law, we might now be
partners in my office, as well as in this house."

"And I perhaps might ruin the business by my stupidity," returned Max,
with playful look and tone.

"Hark! there's the tea-bell," said Lucilla. "I invite you all out to
the dining-room."

After a pleasant social half hour spent at the tea-table, each couple
retired to their own apartments to dress for the evening entertainment
at Woodburn.

"This is one of the occasions for the wearing of the wedding-gown,
is it not?" Max said inquiringly to Evelyn, as they passed into her
dressing-room.

"Yes," she said lightly. "You will not mind seeing me in it for the
second time, will you?"

"I shall be very glad to. It is both beautiful and becoming," he
returned, with a fond look and smile. "Ah, my Eva, I think no one ever
had a sweeter bride than mine," he added, passing his arm about her and
drawing her into a close embrace.

"They say love is blind and it must be that which makes me look so
lovely in your eyes; for my features are by no means so good and
regular as those of some others--your sisters Lu and Grace, for
instance," returned Evelyn, with a pleased little laugh.

"Those sisters of mine are both beautiful in my eyes, but there is
something--to me--still sweeter in this dear face," he answered to
that, giving her a fond caress as he spoke.

"And your love is so sweet to me, I am so glad to belong to you," she
returned low and feelingly, laying her head on his breast while glad
tears shone in her eyes. "I have only one cause for grief left," she
went on presently--"that we cannot live together all the time, as Lu
and Chester may; yet spite of that I would not change with her or
anybody else."

"I hope not, darling," he said, laughingly. "Nor would I any more than
you. I think we were made for each other."

"So do I; and when compelled to part for a season we will console
ourselves by looking forward to the joy of the reunion."

"So we will, dear one; and in the meantime we will have the pleasure of
correspondence."

"Yes, indeed! a letter from my husband will be a great treasure and
delight to me."

"Not more than will be one from my wife to me," he returned, giving her
a gleeful caress.

Meantime, Chester and his Lucilla were similarly engaged. Chester was
very proud and fond of his bride and anxious to show her to neighbours
and friends in her wedding dress; so expressed his satisfaction when he
saw it laid out in readiness for the occasion.

"I am glad it pleases you," said Lucilla, "and I own to liking it right
well myself. Eva is going to wear hers, too. So it will seem something
like a repetition of our wedding day."

"Which makes it very suitable for your father's house. It was a
disappointment to him, I know, not to have his daughter and son married
in his own house."

"Yes, I suppose so; but dear father is so unselfish that he preferred
to let us have our own way, especially on Eva's account."

"I know it, and mean to try to copy his example in that--seeking to
please others rather than myself."

"As I do; I should like to resemble him in character and conduct as
much as some persons tell me I do in features and expression."

"Yes; you are very like him in both," Chester said, with an
affectionate and admiring look and smile; "in character and conduct
also, if your admiring husband be any judge."

The Sunnyside couples were the first of the guests to reach
Woodburn--though, in fact, they hardly considered themselves guests,
or were deemed such by the family there; it was but going home to their
father's house, where they had an hour of keen enjoyment before other
relatives and guests began to arrive.

Everything went smoothly; the company was made up of congenial spirits,
the entertainment was fine and evidently enjoyed, and when they bade
good-night and scattered to their homes it was with the expectation
of meeting again the next evening at Fairview. The Dinsmores of the
Oaks had planned to give the second entertainment, but Mr. and Mrs.
Leland claimed it as their right, because of their near relationship to
Evelyn, and the fact that Fairview had been her home for so many years.

They were now nearing the end of the week; this was Thursday, the
Fairview party would be held on Friday evening and Saturday all
preferred to spend quietly in their own homes or with the nearest and
dearest. And that was the plan carried out. The Fairview party passed
off as successfully as had the Woodburn one, and Saturday and Sunday
brought a rest from festivities which was welcome to all.



CHAPTER III.


Lucilla could never stay long away from her old home in her father's
house; she was there every day and often two or three times a day.

"Father," she said, on that first Saturday after taking possession of
the new home, "mayn't we Sunnyside folks come over here and join your
Bible class to-morrow evening?"

"My dear child, it is just what I would have you do," he returned, with
a gratified and loving smile. "Don't forget that Woodburn is still your
home--one of your homes at least--and that you are always welcome and
more than welcome to join us when you will. You are my own daughter as
truly as ever you were."

"And just as glad to be as ever I was," she exclaimed, with a bright,
loving look and smile. "And to do your bidding at all times, father
dear," she added.

"Provided it does not interfere with Chester's," Max, who happened to
be present, suggested a little mischievously.

"Hardly any danger of that, I think," remarked his father, with a
slightly amused look; "Chester is a reasonable fellow, and I have no
intention of interfering with his rights."

"And he thinks almost as highly of my father's wisdom as I do," said
Lucilla.

"But not more than Max and I do," said Evelyn, giving the Captain a
very filial and admiring look; "and you will take us in as members of
your class, too, wont you father?"

"It is just what I desire to do," was the pleased reply. "Max has
always been a member when at home; and you, you know, are now his
better half."

Eva shook her head and with a merry, laughing look at Max, said, "Not
just that, father; I should say the smaller partner in the firm."

"That will do, too," smiled the Captain, "since the most costly goods
are apt to be done up in the smallest packages."

"Ah, Eva, my dear, you are answered," laughed Max.

"What is to be the subject of to-morrow's lesson, Captain?" asked Mrs.
Elsie Travilla, sitting near.

"I have not decided that question yet, mother, and should be glad of a
suggestion from you," he replied in a kindly, respectful tone.

"I have been thinking a good deal lately of the signs of the times,"
she said, "and whether they do not show that we are nearing the end of
this dispensation. That might perhaps be a profitable and interesting
question to take up and endeavor to solve."

"No doubt it would be," he replied, "and I hope you will come prepared
to give us some information as to what the Scriptures say on the
subject, and what are the views of Biblical scholars who have been
giving it particular attention."

"I will do what I can in that line, and hope you, Captain, and others
will come prepared to take part in considering the subject."

"Certainly a most interesting one," said Violet.

"And one which must lead to great searching of the Scriptures as the
only infallible source of information," added the Captain.

"Yes," said Grandma Elsie, "they are the only authority on that
subject. And how thankful we should be that we have them."

Sabbath afternoon proved bright and clear, and brought to Woodburn
quite a gathering of the relatives and friends; for all loved the Bible
studies they had for years taken together.

Mr. Lilburn, as the eldest, was persuaded to take the lead.

"I understand," he said, "that to-day we are to take up the question
whether the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ may, or may not, be
near. The Scriptures are our sole authority, and you are all invited
to bring forward anything from them which may seem to you to have a
bearing on the subject." Then turning to Mrs. Travilla, "Cousin Elsie,"
he said, "you are, probably, the one among us the most thoroughly
prepared to do so; please let us hear from you."

"I doubt if I am better prepared than some of the rest of you,"
she replied, "but I have been very much interested in the subject;
particularly of late, and have searched the Bible for texts bearing
upon it, some of which I will read. Here in the first chapter of Acts
we read that the disciples asked, 'Lord, wilt thou at this time restore
again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you
to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own
power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in
all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up
and the clouds received him out of their sight. And while they looked
steadfastly toward Heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by
them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Gallilee, why stand
ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you
into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into
Heaven.' And," continued Grandma Elsie, "the Apostle John gives us the
same promise here in the first chapter of the Revelation," turning to
the passage as she spoke, then reading it aloud, "'Behold, he cometh
with clouds; and every eye shall see him.'"

"I have heard the idea advanced that death is the coming of Christ to
the dying one," remarked Chester, in a tone of inquiry.

"But we are told," said Mrs. Travilla, "that 'as the lightning cometh
out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the
coming of the Son of Man be.' That description certainly could not
apply to the death hour of any Christian, nor to the conversion of any
sinner."

"And his second coming is spoken of in the same way in a number of
places in the different gospels," said Evelyn. "Here, in Luke, we
have Christ's own words, 'Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My
words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He shall come in
His glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.' And again
in Matthew 16:27, 'For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His
Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to
his works.'"

"The disciples wanted to know when that second coming would be,"
remarked Violet; "here in Matthew 24:3, we are told, 'And as He sat
upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately,
saying, "Tell us when shall these things be and what shall be the sign
of Thy coming and of the end of the world?" And Jesus answered and
said unto them, "Take heed that no man deceive you."'

"I shall not read the whole chapter, for I know it is familiar to you
all; but in the 27th verse he says, 'For as the lightning cometh out
of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming
of the Son of Man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the
eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those
days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
and the stars shall fall from Heaven, and the powers of the Heavens
shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in
Heaven: And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they
shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power
and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a
trumpet, and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one
end of Heaven to the other.'"

"Many persons," remarked Grandma Elsie, "tell us it is not worth while
to consider at all the question of the time when Christ will come
again; quoting the text, 'But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no,
not the angels in Heaven, but my Father only.' But again and again our
Saviour repeated his warning, 'Watch, therefore; for ye know not what
hour your Lord doth come.... Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an
hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh.'"

"I do not quite understand this," said Grace. "Luke says, here in
the 21st chapter, 20th verse--quoting the words of the Master--'And
when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the
desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to
the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out.'
How could they depart out of the city while it was compassed with
armies?"

"There is a satisfactory explanation," replied her father, "in the
twelfth year of Nero, Cestius Gallus, the president of Syria, came
against Jerusalem with a powerful army. Josephus says of him: 'He
might have assaulted and taken the city, and thereby put an end to the
war; but without any just reason, and contrary to the expectation of
all, he raised the siege and departed.' The historians, Epiphanius and
Eusebius, tell us that immediately after the departure of the armies
of Cestius Gallus, and while Vespasian was approaching with his army,
all who believed in Christ left Jerusalem and fled to Pella and other
places beyond the river Jordan."

"Every one of them, papa?" asked Ned.

"Yes; Dr. Adam Clarke says 'It is very remarkable that not a single
Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, though there were
many there when Cestius Gallus invested the city.'"

"Papa," asked Elsie, "don't you think God put it in the heart of that
Cestius Gallus to go away with his troops before Vespasian got there;
so that the Christians had an opportunity to escape?"

"I certainly do, daughter," was the Captain's emphatic reply.

"Had not the earlier prophets foretold the destruction of Jerusalem?"
asked Lucilla.

"Yes," said Mr. Lilburn; "even as early a one as Moses. Here in the
28th chapter of Deuteronomy he says 'The Lord shall bring a nation
against thee from far, from the east of the earth, as swift as the
eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand.'"

"The Romans?" Elsie said, inquiringly.

"Yes; their ensign was an eagle and their language the Latin, which the
Jews did not understand. The prophesy of Moses continues. In the 52d
verse he says, 'And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy
high and fenced walls come down; wherein thou trustedst, throughout all
thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout thy
land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the
fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters,
which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege and in the
straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee.'"

"Oh, how dreadful!" exclaimed Elsie. "And did all that happen at the
siege of Jerusalem?"

"Yes; it lasted so long that famine was added to all the other
sufferings of the besieged. So dreadful was it that mothers would
snatch the food from their children in their distress, and many houses
were found full of women and children who had died of starvation.
Josephus tells of human flesh being eaten; particularly of a lady of
rank who killed, roasted and ate her own son. And so the prophecy of
Moses was fulfilled."

"Oh, how dreadful, how dreadful!" sighed Elsie.

"Yes," said Mr. Lilburn, "it was the fulfillment of our Saviour's
prophecy as he beheld Jerusalem and wept over it, saying, 'If thou
hadst known, even thou at least in this thy day, the things which
belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the
days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about
thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall
lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they
shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest
not the time of thy visitation.' That is told us in the 19th chapter
of Luke. In the 21st we read, 'And they shall fall by the edge of the
sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem
shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles
be fulfilled.'"

"Have those times been fulfilled yet?" asked Ned.

"No, not yet," replied Mr. Lilburn; "the Turks still have possession of
Jerusalem, though the Jews have begun to return to Palestine and the
Turkish power grows weaker. But the time of the Gentiles will not be
fulfilled until the work of the Gospel is finished."

"And when will that be, Cousin Ronald?" asked Ned.

"I cannot say exactly," answered the old gentleman, "but the trend
of events does seem to show that we are nearing that time--such a
feeling of unrest all over the world, some men--comparatively a
few--accumulating enormous quantities of wealth by paying their
laborers a mere pittance for their work, while the cost of living goes
higher and higher. This is a land of plenty, and but for the grasping
selfishness of some, none need lack for abundance of the necessaries of
life."

"I wish nobody did lack for plenty to eat and drink, and wear," said
Elsie, "and I want to do all I can to help those who haven't enough."

"I hope you will, daughter," the Captain said, in a tone of pleased
approval. "And now the important thing for us to consider is what is
our duty, in view of the very possible nearness of Christ's second
coming."

"He has told us again and again to watch and be ready," said Grandma
Elsie; "yet we are not to be idle, but to work while it is called
to-day; to occupy till he comes; to be not slothful in business,
fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."



CHAPTER IV.


For the next week or two, family parties for the honor and
entertainment of the newly-married ones were frequent. Life seemed to
them bright and joyous, except when they remembered that Max would
probably soon be ordered away, perhaps to some distant quarter of
the globe. An unwelcome anticipation not to them only, but to his
father and the others at Woodburn, and in a slighter degree to all the
connection. But orders had not come yet, and they still hoped they
might be delayed for weeks, giving opportunity for many quiet home
pleasures. Yet there were drawbacks to even those, in the fact that
several of the near connection were ailing from colds caught during
their round of festivities--Grandma Elsie and Chester Dinsmore being
of those most seriously affected. Chester was confined to the house
for several days, under the doctor's care, and it was against medical
advice that he then returned to his labors at his office. Lucilla was
troubled and anxious, and, as usual, went to her father for sympathy
and advice. They had a chat together in the library at Woodburn.

"I feel for you, daughter," Captain Raymond said, "but keep up your
courage; 'all is not lost that is in danger.' I have been thinking that
a southerly trip in the yacht might prove of benefit to both Grandma
Elsie and Chester, and quite agreeable to the members of my family and
other friends for whom we could find room."

"Oh, father, that would be delightful!" she exclaimed, her eyes
sparkling with pleasure. "And I hope you will persuade Harold to make
one of the company, for Grace's sake, and so that we will not be
without a physician."

"Yes, that is a part of my plan, and I have little doubt of its
acceptance, Grace's companionship being a great attraction to my young
brother-in-law."

"'Speak of angels and you will hear the flutter of their wings,'"
laughed Lucilla, as at that moment Harold appeared in the doorway.

"Am I the angel, and may I fly in?" he asked, joining in the laugh.

"Certainly, you are just in the nick of time to advise us in a matter
of importance which we were discussing," replied the Captain, inviting
him by a gesture to an easy chair near at hand, then repeating to him
the substance of what he had been saying to Lucilla, finishing with a
request for his opinion in regard to the plan.

"I like it extremely," Harold said. "I think nothing could be better
for either mother or Chester, and the sooner we make ready and start
the better for both, if they will be persuaded to go; of which I have
little doubt."

"I am somewhat afraid Chester may refuse for business reasons," sighed
Lucilla.

"I think we can persuade him of the folly of that," said her father.
"It would be far wiser and better to give up business for a time for
the gaining of health, than to so wreck that by overtaxing strength of
body and mind as to shorten his days or make himself an invalid for
life."

"It certainly would," said Harold, "and I hope that among us we can
convince him that duty, as well as pleasure, calls him to make one of
our party."

"Duty to his wife as well as to himself," said Lucilla, in a lively
tone; "for I should neither willingly go without him or stay behind
with him."

"Where are Vi, Grace and the children?" asked Harold. "I have not seen
or heard anything of them since I came in."

"Max and Eva have taken them driving in our fine new carriage--father's
wedding gift," replied Lucilla, with a smiling glance into her father's
eyes. "That is, all but Ned who rides his pony alongside."

"Ah, and here they come now!" exclaimed Harold, glancing from the
window, "the carriage has just turned in at the gates."

And with that the three arose and hastened out to the veranda, to greet
and assist them to alight. But the moment the carriage drew up before
the entrance the door was thrown open and Max, then Chester, sprang out
and turned to hand out the ladies--Grandma Elsie, Eva, Violet, Grace
and her sister Elsie, while at the same time Ned was dismounting from
his pony.

Warm greetings were exchanged, and as the weather was now too cool for
comfortable sitting upon the veranda the Captain led the way to the
library--a favorite resort with them all.

"Your call is an agreeable surprise, mother," he said to Grandma Elsie,
as he drew forward an easy chair for her; "Harold had just been telling
us that you were almost ill with a cold."

"I have a rather bad one, but thought a drive through the bracing air,
and in such pleasant company, might prove beneficial rather than
otherwise," she answered in cheery tones, adding "And I knew Harold was
here and could take me home in his conveyance."

"Certainly, mother, and will be very glad of your good company," said
Harold, while at the same time Violet exclaimed, "But why go at all
to-night, mother? Why not stay here with us?"

"Thank you, daughter," was the smiling reply; "that would be pleasant,
but there are some things to be attended to at home."

"And not being well, she would better have her doctor close at hand,"
remarked Harold, in playful tone. "Mother, we have been contriving a
plan to help you and Chester to get the better of your colds."

"Ah, what is that?" she asked, and Harold, turning to the Captain,
said, "Let mother hear it from you, Brother Levis, if you please."

"We are thinking of taking a southward trip in the 'Dolphin,'
mother--visiting the Bermudas, Bahamas and other of the West Indies
and the coast of Brazil."

"Why, that would be a lovely trip!" she exclaimed. "Many thanks to you,
Captain, for including me among your invited guests."

"Many thanks to you, mother, if you consent to make one of our party,"
he returned, looking greatly pleased to find her so ready to approve of
and share their plans.

Eager, excited remarks and queries now followed in rapid succession
from the others present--"When was the start to be made? Who besides
Grandma Elsie and the Captain were to compose the party?"

"All who are here now are invited and expected to go; some others of
our friends also," replied the Captain, "and I hope no one will refuse."

"Thanks, warm thanks," said Chester. "I should be delighted to go, but
fear business will prevent."

"As your physician, Ches, I strongly advise you not to let it," said
Harold. "A good rest now in a warm climate may restore you to vigorous
health, while if you stay at home and stick to business you are likely
to either cut your life short or make yourself a confirmed invalid for
the rest of it."

"Do you really think so, cousin doctor?" was Chester's rejoinder in a
troubled voice.

"I do most emphatically," returned Harold. "You may be very thankful,
cousin, that this good opportunity offers."

"I am," said Chester. Then turning to the Captain. "Thank you very
much, sir, for the invitation, which I accept, if my wife will go with
me."

"You needn't doubt that," laughed Lucilla. "There is nothing I like
better than a trip on my father's yacht, with him and all my dear ones
about me."

"And it's just the same with all the rest of us," said Grace.

"And how is it with Max and Eva?" asked the Captain.

"I know of nothing more enjoyable than that--a trip on the 'Dolphin'
taken in the company of one's dear ones," replied Evelyn with a loving
look into the eyes of her young husband.

"Just my opinion," he said, with a smile; "the only question with me
is, Will Uncle Sam allow me a sufficiently long leave of absence."

"Your leave of absence has nearly expired?" his father said,
inquiringly.

"Yes, sir; so nearly that I should hardly feel surprised to receive
orders any day."

"Well, I hope, instead, you may get another leave, allowing you time to
make one of our party."

"It would be a very great pleasure to me, sir," said Max. "But I have
had so long a one already that I can hardly hope for another very soon."

"Oh, Max!" exclaimed Grace, "do write at once asking to have it
extended; it would double our pleasure to have you along."

"Yes, Max, do," said Lucilla. "I can hardly bear the thought of going
without you."

Evelyn, sitting close at his side, looked her entreaties, while Violet
said, "Yes, Max, do; it will double our enjoyment to have you and Eva
along."

Then Chester, Grandma Elsie, Harold and the children added their
entreaties, expressing their desire for his company on the trip and Ned
exclaimed, "Yes, Brother Max, do get leave to go along; we'll want you
to make fun for us with your ventriloquism."

"Is that all you want me for, Neddie boy?" laughed Max. "If so, Cousin
Ronald will answer your purpose quite as well, if not better."

"But two can make more fun than one; and I want you besides, because I
am really fond of you--the only brother I've got."

"Ah, that sounds better," said Max; "but I really can't go without
Uncle Sam's permission."

"Then please do ask him to give it."

"Yes, do, Max," said Grace; "I really think he might give it,
considering what good service you did at Manila."

"It was not very much that I accomplished personally," returned Max
modestly, "and the two months' rest I have had is probably quite as
much as I may be supposed to have earned. Especially as it gave me the
opportunity to secure my wife," he added, with a very affectionate look
at Evelyn.

"I wish you might be able to go with us, Max, my son," said the
Captain, "for leaving ventriloquism entirely out of the account, I
should be very glad to have your company. But the service, of course,
has the first claim on you."

"So I think, sir; and as for the ventriloquism, my little brother is so
hungry for, Cousin Ronald can supply it should you take him as one of
your passengers."

"And that we will, if he and his wife can be persuaded to go," returned
the Captain, heartily.

"Oh, good, papa!" cried Ned, clapping his hands in glee, "then we'll
have at least one ventriloquist, if we can't have two."

"And, after all, the ventriloquism was really all you wanted me for,
eh?" said Max, assuming a tone and look of chagrin.

"Oh, no! no! Brother Max," cried Ned, with a look of distress. "I
didn't mean that! you know you're the only brother I have and I'm
really fond of you."

"As I am of you, little brother, and have been ever since you were
born," said Max, regarding the little fellow with an affectionate smile.

"Oh, Max, I wish you hadn't gone into the navy," sighed Lucilla.

"I don't," he returned, cheerfully, "though I acknowledge that it is
hard parting with home and dear ones."

"That is bad, as I know by experience," said their father, "but then we
have the compensating joy of the many reunions."

"Yes, sir; and a great joy it is," responded Max. "How soon, father, do
you think of starting on your southward trip?"

"Just as soon as all necessary arrangements can be made, which, I
suppose, will not be more than a week from this, at farthest. I can
have the yacht made ready in less time than that, and for the sake of
our invalids it would be well to go as promptly as possible."

"Couldn't you make use of the telephone now, to give your invitations,
my dear?" queried Violet.

"Why, yes; that is a wise suggestion. I will do so at once," he
replied, and hastily left the room, promising to return presently with
the reply from Beechwood to which he would call first.

The invitation was accepted promptly and with evident pleasure, as the
Captain presently reported in the library.

"Now, mother, shall I give my invitation in the same way to our own
friends?" he asked, turning to Grandma Elsie.

"Perhaps it would be as well to send it by Harold and me," she said,
"as that will delay it very little, and I can perhaps help them to
perceive what a delightful trip it is likely to prove."

"And then, mamma, you can give us their view by the 'phone," said
Violet.

"I, or some one of the family will," she said. "And now, Harold, we
will go and attend to the matter at once."



CHAPTER V.


Captain Raymond's invitation proved scarcely less agreeable to Mr. and
Mrs. Dinsmore than to their younger friends and relatives, and their
acceptance was telephoned to Woodburn before the Sunnyside party had
left for their homes. All heard it with satisfaction, for Grandpa and
Grandma Dinsmore were pleasant traveling companions. Some lively chat
followed, in regard to needed preparations for the trip, and in the
midst of it a servant came in with the afternoon mail.

The Captain distributed it and among Max's portion was a document of
official appearance. Evelyn noted it with a look of apprehension, and
drew nearer to her young husband's side.

"Orders, my son?" asked the Captain, when Max had opened it and
glanced over the contents.

"Yes, sir; I am to go immediately to Washington, upon the expiration of
my leave which will be about the time the rest of you set sail in the
'Dolphin.'"

The announcement seemed quite a damper upon the previous high
spirits of the little company, and there were many expressions of
disappointment and regret.

"Well," said Chester, getting on his feet as he spoke, "I must go home
now; there is a little matter in regard to one of my cases that must
be attended to at once, since I am likely to leave the neighborhood so
soon."

"And if my husband goes, I must go, too," said Lucilla, in a lively
tone, rising and taking up the wrap she had thrown off on coming into
the warm room.

"It is near the dinner hour; you would better stay, all of you, and
dine with us," said the Captain.

All thanked him, but declined, each having some special reason for
wishing to go home at that particular time.

"Well, come in and share a meal with us whenever you will," said the
Captain. "I think you know, one and all, that you are heartily welcome."

"Yes, father, we do," said Max, "and we are always glad when you care
to breakfast, dine, or sup with us."

"Any of us but papa?" asked Ned.

"Yes, indeed; all of you from Mamma Vi down," laughed Max, giving the
little fellow an affectionate clap on the shoulder as he passed him on
his way out to the hall.

"Yes, Ned, each one of you will always be a most welcome visitor," said
Chester.

"Indeed you will, you may be very sure of that," added Lucilla and Eva.

"So sure are we of that, that you need not be surprised to see any of
us at any time," laughed Violet. "Nor will we be surprised or grieved
to see any or all of you at any time."

"No, indeed! I want my daughters--and sons also--all to feel entirely
at home always in their father's house," the Captain said, with his
genial smile.

"Thank you, father dear, and don't forget that Sunnyside is one of your
homes, and we are always ever so glad to open its doors to you," said
Lucilla, going to him and holding up her face for a kiss, which he gave
with warmth of affection.

"And not Lu's side only, but ours as well," added Evelyn, holding out
her hand and looking up lovingly into his face.

He took the hand, drew her closer to him and gave her a caress as
affectionate as that he had just bestowed upon Lucilla.

The rest of the good-byes were quickly said, and both young couples
were wending their homeward way. They were all in thoughtful mood, and
the short walk was taken in almost unbroken silence.

Eva's heart was full at thought of the approaching separation from her
young husband. How could she bear it? He seemed almost all the world to
her, now that they had been for weeks such close companions, and life
without his presence would be lonely and desolate indeed. She passed
up the stairway to their bedroom, while he paused in the hall below
to remove his overcoat and hat. Her eyes were full of tears, as she
disposed of her wraps, then crossed the room to her mirror to see that
dress and hair were in perfect order.

"No improvement needed, my own love, my darling," Max said, coming up
behind her and passing an arm about her waist.

At that she turned and hid her face upon his breast.

"Oh, Max, my husband, my dear, dear husband," she sobbed, "how can I
live away from you? You are now more than all the world to me."

"As you are to me, dear love. It is hard to part, but we will hope to
meet again soon; and in the meantime let us write to each other every
day. And as there is no war now you need not feel that your husband is
in any special danger."

"Yes, thank God for that," she said, "and that we may know that we are
both in his kind care and keeping wherever we are."

"And surely you will be less lonely than you were before our
marriage--father claims you as his daughter, Chester and little Ned are
your brothers, Lu and Grace your sisters."

"Yes, oh yes; I have a great deal to be thankful for, but you are to me
a greater blessing than all the world."

"As you are to me, dearest," was his response, as he held her close to
his heart, pressing warm kisses on cheek and brow and lip.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the hall, Chester and Lucilla were
chatting about the Captain's plan for a winter trip.

"I think it will be just delightful, Chester," she said, "since I am
to have you along. I am so glad you are going, sorry as I am that
ill-health makes it necessary."

"Yes, my dear," he returned with a smile, "I am fortunate, indeed, in
having so loving a wife and so kind and able a father-in-law. I am
truly sorry that I must leave some important business matters to which
I should like to give attention promptly and in person, but I intend
to put that care aside and enjoy our holiday as fully as possible. I
heartily wish Max could go with us. I think it would almost double the
pleasure of the trip."

"As I do," responded Lucilla, with a sigh; "but it seems one can never
have all one wants in this world. I doubt if it would be good for us if
we could."

"No, it assuredly would not. Now, my dear, I am going down to the
library to look at some papers connected with one of my cases, and
shall probably be busy over them until the call to dinner."

The next few days were busy ones with those who were to have a part in
the southern trip of the "Dolphin." Woodburn and Sunnyside were to be
left in the care of Christine and Alma, with a sufficient number of
servants under them to keep everything in order.

Max went with the others to the yacht, spent a half hour there,
then bade good-bye, went ashore and took a train for Washington. It
was Eva's first parting from her husband, and she shut herself into
her stateroom for a cry to relieve her pent-up feelings of grief and
loneliness. But presently there was a gentle little tap at the door
and Elsie Raymond's sweet voice asked, "Sister Eva, dear, don't you
want to come on deck with me and see them lift the anchor and start the
'Dolphin' on her way?"

"Yes, dear little sister; thank you for coming for me," replied Evelyn,
opening the door.

"All the rest of us were there and I thought you would like to be
there, too," continued the little girl, as they passed through the
saloon and on up the stairway.

"Yes, little sister, it was very kind in you to think of me."

"But I wasn't the only one; everybody seemed to be thinking of you and
looking round for you. So I asked papa if I should come for you, and he
said yes."

"It was very kind in both him and you, little sister Elsie," Eva said,
with a smile. "Our dear father is always kind, and I am very glad to be
his daughter."

"So am I," returned Elsie, with a happy little laugh. "I think he's the
dearest, kindest father that ever was made."

They had just reached the deck at that moment, and as they stepped
upon it they caught sight of Harold and Grace standing near, looking
smilingly at them, pleased with Elsie's tribute to her father, which
they had accidentally overheard.

"Oh, Uncle Harold, you'll take Sister Eva to a good place to see
everything from, wont you?" exclaimed Elsie.

"Yes, little niece, the everything you mean," he returned, laughingly.
"There is room for us all. Come this way," he added, and led them to
that part of the deck where the other passengers were grouped.

There they were greeted with kindness and given a good place for
seeing all the preparations for starting the vessel on her way to the
Bermudas. She was soon moving swiftly in that direction, and, a cool
breeze having sprung up, her passengers left the deck for the warmer
and more comfortable saloon.

"Elsie and Ned wouldn't you like your grandma to tell you something
about the islands we are going to?" asked Mrs. Travilla; the two little
ones being, as usual, quite near her.

"Yes, indeed! grandma," both answered, in eager tones, seating
themselves one on each side of her. "I heard papa say it wouldn't be a
very long voyage we would take at the start, because the Bermudas were
only about six hundred miles away from our coast," said Elsie. "They
belong to England, don't they, grandma?"

"Yes; but they were named for a Spaniard, Bermudez, who first sighted
them in 1527; they are also called Somers's Isles from Sir George
Somers, an Englishman, who was shipwrecked there in 1609. That was what
led to their colonization from Virginia--two years later when it was
itself only four years old.

"Are they big islands, grandma? and are there many of them?" asked Ned.

"No, there are perhaps five hundred of them, but the whole group
measures only about twelve thousand acres in all. They occupy a space
only about twenty miles long by six broad."

"Then the group isn't worth very much, I suppose."

"Yes, because its situation makes it a natural fortress which can
hardly be overrated. They form a bond of union between two great
divisions of British America; on each side of them is a highway between
the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic. There are many picturesque
creeks and bays, large and deep, the water so clear as to reveal, even
to its lowest depths, the many varieties of fish sporting among the
coral rocks, and the beautifully variegated shells."

"And it has a warm climate, hasn't it, grandma?" asked Elsie. "I think
that is why we are going there."

"Yes, the climate is said to be like that of Persia, with the addition
of a constant sea-breeze."

"I shall like that," responded the little girl with satisfaction. "But
what kind of people live there, grandma?"

"A good many whites and still more colored people."

"Slaves, grandma?" asked Ned.

"No; the islands belong to England, and years ago she abolished slavery
in all her dominions."

"What are the names of some of them, grandma? the islands, I mean."

"The largest, which is fifteen miles long, is called Bermuda; St.
George is three and a half miles long and is the military station of
the colony; it commands the entrance of the only passage for large
vessels. Its land-locked haven and the narrow and intricate channel
leading into it are defended by strong batteries."

"You have been there, haven't you, grandma?"

"Yes; years ago," she said, with a sigh, thinking of the loved partner
of her life who had been with her then and there.

"And your Grandpa Dinsmore and I were there at the same time," remarked
Grandma Dinsmore, sitting near; and she went on to give a graphic
account of scenes they had witnessed there, Mr. Dinsmore presently
joining in a way to make it very interesting to the children.



CHAPTER VI.


Grandpa Dinsmore had hardly finished relating his reminiscences of
his former visits to the Bermudas when a sailor-lad came down the
companionway with a message from the Captain--an invitation to any
or all his passengers to come up on deck, as there was something he
wished to show them. It was promptly and eagerly accepted by the young
folks,--somewhat more slowly and sedately by the older ones.

"What is it, papa? Have you something to show us?" queried Ned, as he
gained his father's side.

"Something lying yonder in the sea, my son, the like of which you have
never seen before," replied the Captain, pointing to a large object in
the water at some little distance.

"Ah, a whale!" exclaimed Dr. Travilla, who had come up on Ned's other
side. "To what genus does he belong, Captain?"

"He is a bottlenose; a migratory species, confined to the North
Atlantic. It ranges far northward in the summer, southward in the
winter. In the early spring they may be found around Iceland and
Greenland, Western Spitzbergen, in Davis Strait and probably about
Novaia Zemlia."

"Oh, do they like to live right in among the icebergs, papa?" asked
Elsie.

"No, they do not venture in among the ice itself, but frequent open
bays along its margin, as in that way they are sheltered from the open
sea."

"The group gathered about the Captain on the deck now comprised all his
cabin passengers, not one of whom failed to be interested in the whale,
or to have some remark to make or question to ask.

"This one seems to be alone," remarked Lucilla. "Do they usually go
alone, papa?"

"No; they are generally found in herds of from four to ten; and many
different herds may be found in sight at the same time. The old males,
however, are frequently solitary; though sometimes one of them may be
seen leading a herd. These whales don't seem to be afraid of ships,
swimming around them and underneath the boats till their curiosity is
satisfied."

"I suppose they take them--the ships--for a kind of big fish," laughed
Ned.

"Why is this kind of whale called bottlenosed, papa?" asked Elsie.

"That name is given it because of the elevation of the upper surface of
the head above the rather short beak and in front of the blow hole into
a rounded abrupt prominence."

"Blow hole," repeated Ned, wonderingly; "what's that, papa?"

"The blow holes are their nostrils through which they blow out the
water collected in them while they are down below the waves. They
cannot breath under the water, but must come up frequently to take in
a fresh supply of air. But first they must expel the air remaining in
their lungs, before taking in a fresh supply. They send that air out
with great force, so that it rises to a considerable height above the
water, and as it is saturated with water-vapor at a high temperature,
the contact with the cold outside air condenses the vapor which forms a
column of steam or spray. Often, however, a whale begins to blow before
its nostrils are quite above the surface, and then some sea-water is
forced up with the column of air."

They were watching the whale while they talked; for it followed the
yacht with seeming curiosity. At this moment it rolled over nearly on
its side, then threw its ponderous tail high into the air, so that for
an instant it was perpendicular to the water, then vanished from sight
beneath the waves.

"Oh, dear," cried Ned, "he's gone! I wish he'd stayed longer."

"Perhaps he will come back and give us the pleasure of seeing him
spout," said the Captain.

"Do you mean throw the water up out of its nostrils, papa?" asked Ned.
"Oh, I'd like that!"

"Ah, there's the call to supper," said his father, as the summons came
at that moment. "You wouldn't like to miss that?"

"No, sir," returned Ned, in a dubious tone. "But couldn't we let the
supper wait till the whale comes up and gets done spouting?"

"Perhaps some of the older people may be too hungry to wait
comfortably," returned his father; "and the supper might be spoiled
by waiting. But cheer up, my son; the whale is not likely to come up
to the surface again before we can finish our meal and come back to
witness his performance."

That assurance was quite a relief to Ned's mind, so that he went very
cheerfully to the table with the others, and there did full justice to
the viands.

No one hurried with the meal, but when they left the table it was to go
upon deck again and watch for the reappearance of the whale. They had
been there for but a moment when, to the delight of all, it came up,
not too far away to be distinctly seen, and at once began spouting--or
blowing; discharging the air from its lungs in preparation for taking
in a fresh supply; the air was sent out with great force, making a
sound that could be heard at quite a distance, while the water-vapor
accompanying the air was so condensed as to form a column of spray.
It made five or six respirations, then swam away and was soon lost to
sight.

Then the company returned to the cabin as the more comfortable place,
the evening air being decidedly cool. Ned seated himself close to his
father, and, in coaxing tones, asked for something more about whales.

"Are there many kinds, papa?" he queried.

"Yes, my son, a good many; more than you could remember. Would you like
me to tell you about some of the more interesting ones?"

"Oh, yes, indeed, papa!" was the emphatic and pleased response, and
the Captain began at once.

"There are the whalebone or true whales, which constitute a single
family. They have no teeth, but, instead, horny plates of baleen or
whalebone, which strain from the water the small animals upon which the
whale feeds."

"Oh, yes, I know about whalebones," said Ned. "Mamma and sisters have
it in their dresses. And it comes out of the whale's mouth, does it,
papa?"

"Yes; it is composed of many flattened, horny plates placed crosswise
on either side of the palate, and separated from one another by an open
space in the middle line. They are smooth on the outer side, but the
inner edge of each plate is frayed out into a kind of fringe, giving a
hairy appearance to the whole of the inside of the mouth when viewed
from below."

"Whalebone or baleen is black, isn't it, papa?" asked Ned.

"Not always; the color may vary from black to creamy white; and
sometimes it is striped dark and light."

"Is there much of it in one whale, papa?"

"Yes, a great deal on each side of the jaw; there are more than three
hundred of the plates, which, in a fine specimen, are about ten or
twelve feet long and eleven inches wide at their base; and so much as a
ton's weight has been taken from a large whale."

"And is the baleen all they kill the whales for, papa?"

"Oh, no, my son! the oil is very valuable, and there is a great deal
of it in a large whale. One has been told of which yielded eighty-five
barrels of oil."

"Oh, my! that's a great deal," cried Ned. "What a big fellow he must
have been to hold so much as that."

"The whale is very valuable to the people of the polar regions,"
continued the Captain. "They eat the flesh, and drink the oil."

"Oh, papa! drink oil!" cried little Elsie, with a shudder of disgust.

"It seems very disgusting to us," he said, with a smile, "but in that
very cold climate it is an absolute necessity--needful, in order to
keep up the heat of the body by a bountiful supply of carbon."

"Whales are so big and strong it must be very dangerous to go near
them, I suppose," said Elsie, with an inquiring look at her father.

"That is the case with some of the species," he said, "but not with
all. The Greenland whale, for instance, is inoffensive and timorous,
and will always flee from the presence of man, unless roused by the
pain of a wound or the sight of its offspring in danger. In that case,
it will sometimes turn fiercely upon the boat in which the harpooners
are who launched the weapon, and, with its enormous tail, strike it a
blow that will shatter it and drive men, ropes and oars high into the
air. That Greenland whale shows great affection for both its mate and
its young. When this whale is undisturbed, it usually remains at the
surface of the water for ten minutes and spouts eight or nine times;
then it goes down for from five to twenty minutes, then comes back to
the surface to breathe again. But when harpooned, it dives to a great
depth and does not come up again for half an hour. By noticing the
direction of the line attached to the harpoon, the whalers judge of the
spot in which it will rise and generally contrive to be so near it when
it shows itself again, that they can insert another harpoon, or strike
it with a lance before it can go down again."

"Poor thing!" sighed little Elsie, "I don't know how men can have the
heart to be so cruel to animals that are not dangerous."

"It is because the oil, whalebone and so forth, are so valuable," said
her father. "It sometimes happens that a stray whale blunders into the
shallow waters of the Bermudas, and not being able to find the passage
through which it entered, cannot get out again; so is caught like a
mouse in a trap. It is soon discovered by the people, and there is a
great excitement; full of delight, they quickly launch their boats
filled with men armed with guns, lances and other weapons which would
be of little use in the open sea, but answer their purpose in these
shoal waters.

"As soon as the whale feels the sharp lance in its body it dives as it
would in the open sea; but the water is so shallow that it strikes its
head against the rocky bed of the sea with such force that it rises to
the surface again half stunned.

"The hunters then take advantage of its bewildered condition to come
close and use their deadly weapons till they have killed it. The fat
and ivory are divided among the hunters who took part in the killing,
but the flesh is given to any one who asks for it."

"Is it really good to eat, papa?" asked Ned.

"Those who are judges of whale flesh say there are three qualities of
meat in every whale, the best resembling mutton, the second similar to
pork, and the third resembling beef."

"The whales are so big and strong; don't they ever fight back when men
try to kill them, papa?" asked Elsie.

"Yes," he replied, "sometimes a large whale will become belligerent,
and is then a fearful antagonist, using its immense tail and huge jaws
with fearful effect. I have heard of one driving its lower jaw entirely
through the plankings of a stout whaling boat, and of another that
destroyed nine boats in succession. Not only boats, but even ships
have been sunk by the attack of an infuriated old bull cachalot. And
an American ship, the 'Essex' was destroyed by the vengeful fury of a
cachalot, which accidentally struck itself against the keel. Probably
it thought the ship was a rival whale; it retired to a short distance,
then charged full at the vessel, striking it one side of the bows,
and crushing beams and planks like straws. There were only a few men
on board at the time, most of the crew being in the boats engaged in
chasing whales; and when they returned to their ship they found her
fast sinking, so that they had barely time to secure a scanty stock of
provisions and water. Using these provisions as economically as they
could, they made for the coast of Peru, but only three lived to reach
there, and they were found lying senseless in their boat, which was
drifting at large in the ocean."

"I wonder any one is willing to go whaling when they may meet with such
dreadful accidents," said Evelyn.

"I suppose it must be very profitable to tempt them to take such
risks," remarked Chester.

"It is quite profitable," said the Captain; "a single whale often
yields whalebone and blubber to the value of thirty-five hundred or
four thousand dollars."

"I should think that might pay very well, particularly if they took a
number."

"Our whale fishing is done mostly by the New Englanders, isn't it,
papa?" asked Grace.

"Yes," he said, "they went into it largely at a very early date; at
first on their own coasts, but they were deserted by the whales before
the middle of the eighteenth century; then ships were fitted out for
the northern seas. But for a number of years the American whale-fishery
has been declining, because of the scarcity of whales and the
substitutes for whale oil and whalebone that have been found. However,
New Bedford, Massachusetts, is the greatest whaling port in the world.

"Now it is nearing your bedtime, my boy, and I think you have had
enough about the whale and his habits for one lesson."

"Yes, papa; and I thank you very much for telling it all to me,"
replied Ned, with a loving, grateful look up into his father's face.



CHAPTER VII.


Some two hours later the Captain was taking his usual evening walk upon
the deck, when Lucilla and Evelyn joined him.

"We feel like taking a little stroll, father, and hope you will not
object to our company," remarked Evelyn, as they reached his side.

"I could not, with truth, say it was unpleasant to me, daughter," he
returned, with a smile, and passing a hand caressingly over her hair,
as she stood close at his side. "The fact is, I am very glad of the
companionship of you both."

"And we are both thankful to hear you say it, I am sure," returned
Lucilla, in a sprightly tone, and with a bright, loving look up into
his eyes. "I'd be heart-broken if I thought my father didn't love me
enough to care to have me near him."

"And I should be much distressed if I had reason to believe my daughter
didn't care to be near me. If Grace were as strong and healthy as you
are, it would double the pleasure to have her with us. She has gone to
her stateroom, I suppose."

"Yes, papa, and most of the others have retired to their rooms, too.
Dr. Harold and Chester are playing a game of chess, and so will hardly
miss Eva and me."

"Perhaps not; so we will take our promenade undisturbed by anxiety
about them," laughed the Captain, offering an arm to each.

It was a beautiful evening; the moon was shining in a clear sky and
making a silvery pathway upon the waters.

"Where do you suppose Max is now, father?" asked Evelyn, with a slight
sigh.

"Probably in Washington; though it is possible he may have received his
orders and gone aboard his vessel."

"And doubtless he is thinking of you, Eva, as you are of him," said
Lucilla, speaking in low, tender tones.

"No doubt of it," said their father, "for he is very fond of his sweet,
young wife. As we all are, daughter dear," he added, softly patting the
small, white hand resting upon his arm.

"Dear father," she said, with emotion, "it is so kind in you to give me
the fatherly affection I have so missed and longed for in years past."

"And daughterly affection from you is an adequate return," he said
pleasantly. "I expect to enjoy that in all this winter's wanderings by
sea and land."

"Wanderings which I am very glad to be allowed to share," she said; and
then they talked of the various places they expected to visit while on
this winter trip.

At length Evelyn, saying it was high time for her to join Grace in the
stateroom they shared together, said good-night and returned to the
cabin, but Lucilla delayed her departure a little longer--it was so
pleasant to have her father all to herself for a bit of private chat
before retiring for the night.

They paced the deck silently for a few moments, then she said: "Father,
I have thought a good deal of that talk we had in our Bible lesson
some time ago, about the second coming of Christ. Do you think it--his
coming--is very near?"

"It may be, daughter. The signs of the times seem to indicate its
approach. Jesus said, 'Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the
angels of heaven, but My Father only.' He has given us signs, however,
by which we may know that it is near; and judging by them we may, I
think, know that it is not very far off now."

"Then, papa, doesn't it seem as if we ought to be busied with religious
duties all the time?"

"I think whatever duties the Lord gives us in His Providence may, in
some sense, be called religious duties--for me, for instance, the care
of wife, children and dependents. We are to go on with household and
family duties, those to the poor and needy in our neighborhood; also
to take such part as we can in the work of the church at home and for
foreign missions, and so forth; all this, remembering his command,
'Occupy till I come,' and endeavoring to be ready to meet him with joy
when he comes."

"And isn't it a very important part trying to win souls to Christ?"

"It is, indeed, and 'he that winneth souls is wise.' Leading a truly
Christlike life may often win them to join us in being his disciples,
even though we refrain from any word of exhortation; though there are
times when we should not refrain from giving that also."

"As you did to me, father," she said, with a loving look up into his
face. "Oh, I shall try to be a winner of souls. The Bible makes the
way clear, again and again, in a very few words. You know it tells us
Jesus said to Nicodemus, 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but
have everlasting life.'"

"Yes; and Peter said to Cornelius and his kinsmen and friends, after
telling them of Jesus, 'To Him give all the prophets witness, that
through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission
of sins.' And Paul and Silas, when asked by the jailor, 'Sirs, what
must I do to be saved?' replied, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved.' Salvation is God's free gift, without money
and without price. One must believe in His divinity, His ability and
willingness to save, taking salvation at His hands as a free, unmerited
gift. But now, dear child," he added, taking her in his arms, with a
fond caress, "it is time for you and that not very strong husband of
yours to be seeking your nest for the night. 'The Lord bless thee, and
keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious
unto thee; the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee
peace.'" he added in solemn tones, laying a hand tenderly upon her head
as he spoke.

"Thank you, dear father," she said, in tones half tremulous with
emotion, "I do so love that blessing from your lips. And Chester and I
both think I have the best father in the world."

"It is pleasant to have you think that," he returned, with a smile
and another caress, "but no doubt there are many fathers in the world
quite as good, kind and affectionate as yours; perhaps if my daughters
were less affectionate and obedient than they are, they might find
their father more stern and severe. Now, good-night--and may you have
peaceful sleep undisturbed by troubled dreams."



CHAPTER VIII.


The next morning was bright and clear, the air so much warmer than
that which had been left behind on their own shores, that one and all
repaired to the deck after breakfast, and preferred to remain there
during the greater part of the day. Mr. Horace Dinsmore, his wife and
daughter were sitting near together, the ladies occupied with some
crocheting, and Mr. Dinsmore with a book in hand, which he did not
seem to be reading, when Elsie and Ned Raymond, who had been gamboling
about the deck, came dancing up to them with a request for "more about
Bermuda."

"You don't want to be surprised by the pretty things you will see
there, eh?" queried their grandpa.

"No, sir; we want to hear about them first and see them afterward; if
it isn't troubling you too much," said Elsie, with a coaxing look up
into his face.

"Well, considering that you are my great-grandchildren, I think I
must search my memory for something interesting on the subject. There
are many picturesque creeks and bays. There are four pretty large
islands--Bermuda, the largest, being fifteen miles long. The strange
shapes of the islands and the number of spacious lagoons make it
necessary to travel about them almost entirely in boats; which is very
pleasant, as you glide along under a beautiful blue sky and through
waters so clear that you can see even to their lowest depths, where the
fish sport among the coral rocks, and exquisitely variegated shells
abound."

"Oh, I shall like that!" exclaimed Elsie. "Are the fish handsome, too,
grandpa?"

"Some of them are strikingly so," he replied. "One called the
parrot-fish is of a green color as brilliant as that of his bird
namesake. His scales are as green as the fresh grass of spring-time,
and each one is bordered by a pale brown line. His tail is banded with
nearly every color of the rainbow, and his fins are pink."

"Is he good to eat, grandpa?" asked Ned.

"No, his flesh is bitter and poisonous to man and probably to other
fishes. So they let him well alone."

"Well, I suppose he's glad of that," laughed Ned. "The more I hear
about Bermuda, grandpa, the gladder I am that we are going there."

"Yes; and you may well be thankful that you have so good and kind a
father, and that he owns this fine yacht."

"Yes, sir, I am that; but I'd rather be his son than anybody else's if
he didn't own anything but me."

"And I'm just as pleased to be his daughter," said Elsie.

"And I to be his grandfather-in-law," added Mr. Dinsmore, with
comically grave look and tone.

"Yes, sir; Grandpa Travilla would have been his--papa's--father-in-law
if he had lived, wouldn't he?"

"Yes; and almost as old as I am. He was my dear, good friend, and I
gave him my daughter to be his wife."

"That was you, grandma, wasn't it?" asked Ned, turning to Mrs. Travilla.

"Yes, dear," she said, with a smile and a sigh, "and if he had stayed
with us until now you would have loved him as you do Grandpa Dinsmore."

"Yes, indeed, grandma," came softly and sweetly from the lips of both
children.

There was a moment of subdued silence, then Grandpa Dinsmore went on.

"There are many pretty creatures to be seen in the waters about
Bermuda. There is a kind of fish called angels, that look very bright
and pretty. They have a beautiful blue stripe along the back, and long
streamers of golden yellow, and they swim very gracefully about. But
they are not so good as they are pretty. They pester the other fishes
by nibbling at them, and so, often, get into a quarrel, fighting with
a long, sharp spine which they have on each gill-cover, making ugly
wounds with it on those they are fighting.

"Among the outer reefs we will, perhaps, see a speckled moray. He looks
like a common eel, except that his body is dark-green flecked with
bright yellow spots, which makes him quite a handsome fellow. There is
a fish the Bermuda fishermen call the 'Spanish hogfish,' and when asked
why they give it that name they say, 'Why, sir, you see it lazes around
just like a hog, and carries the Spanish colors.'"

"Spanish colors? What are they, grandpa?" queried Ned.

"The fish," said Mr. Dinsmore, "is brownish red from his head to the
middle of his body, and from there to the end of his tail a bright
yellow; and those are the colors of the Spanish flag."

"I'm glad we are going to Bermuda," remarked Elsie, with a happy little
sigh, "for I'm sure there must be a great deal there worth seeing."

"And your father is just the kind of man to help you to a sight of all
such things," responded Mr. Dinsmore.

"Yes, sir," said Elsie, "papa never seems to think it too much trouble
to do anything to give us pleasure."

"Ah, what father would, if he had such a dear little girl and boy as
mine?" queried a manly voice just behind them, while a gentle hand was
laid caressingly on Elsie's head.

"Oh, papa, I didn't know you were so near," she exclaimed, with a laugh
and a blush. "Wont you sit down with us? Grandpa Dinsmore has been
telling us very interesting things about Bermuda."

"And papa can probably tell some that will be more interesting,"
remarked Mr. Dinsmore, as the Captain took possession of Elsie's seat
and drew her to one upon his knee.

That suited the little maid exactly; in her opinion no seat was more
desirable than "papa's knee."

"Now, papa, we're ready to hear all you know about Bermuda," said Ned,
with a look of eager interest.

"Perhaps you are more ready to hear than I to tell," the Captain
answered, with an amused smile. "At any rate, I want, first, to hear
what you have been told, lest I should waste my time and strength in
repeating it."

The children eagerly repeated what had been told them, the Captain
added a few more facts about the beautiful things to be seen in the
clear Bermuda waters--the coral reefs and the plants and animals that
cover them; then the call to dinner came, and all left the deck for the
dining-saloon.

Almost the whole party were on deck again immediately upon leaving
the table. The older ones were scattered here and there in couples or
groups, but Elsie and Ned sauntered along together chatting in low
tones, as if not wanting to be overheard by the older people.

"Yes, I am sorry," sighed Elsie, in reply to something her brother had
said; "Christmas is such a delightful time at home, and, of course, we
can't expect to have one here on the yacht."

"No," said Ned, brightening, "but, of course, we can give Christmas
gifts to each other, if--if we get to Bermuda in time to buy things. I
s'pose there must be stores there."

"Surely, I should think. I'll ask mamma or papa about it."

"Have you any money?"

"Yes; I have two dollars I've been saving up to buy Christmas gifts.
How much have you?"

"Fifty cents. It isn't much, but it will buy some little things, I
guess."

"Yes, of course it will. But, oh, Ned, Christmas comes Monday.
To-morrow is Sunday; so we couldn't do any shopping, even if we were on
the land; and we may as well give it up."

"Yes, but we are having a very good time here on the 'Dolphin,' aren't
we, Elsie?"

"Yes, indeed! and it would be really shameful for us to fret and worry
over missing the usual Christmas gifts and pleasures."

The two had been so absorbed in the subject they were discussing that
they had not noticed an approaching step, but now a hand was laid on
a shoulder of each, and their father's loved voice asked, in tender
tones: "What is troubling my little son and daughter? Tell papa, and
perhaps he may find a way out of the woods."

"Yes, papa; they are not very thick woods," laughed Elsie. "It is only
that we are sorry we can't have any Christmas times this winter, or
remember anybody with gifts, because we can't go to any stores to buy
anything."

"Are you quite sure of all that, daughter?" he asked, with a smile,
smoothing her hair caressingly as he spoke.

"I thought I was, but perhaps my father knows better," she answered,
with a pleased little laugh.

"Well, I think a man of my age ought to know more than a little girl of
yours. Don't you?"

"Oh, yes, indeed! and I know my father knows many, many times more than
I do. Is there any way for us to get gifts for all these dear folks on
the yacht with us, or for any of them, papa?"

"Yes, I remembered Christmas when we were getting ready to leave home,
and provided such gifts as seemed desirable for each one of my family
to give to others. I will give you each your share to-night before you
go to your berths, and you can decide how you will distribute them--to
whom you will give each one."

"But, papa, I----" Elsie paused, blushing and confused.

"Well, dear child, what is it?" asked her father, in gentle,
affectionate tones.

"I was thinking, papa, that they could hardly be our gifts when you
bought them and with your own money, not ours."

"But I give them to you, daughter, and you may keep or give them away,
just as you like. That makes them your gift quite as truly as if they
had been bought with your own pocket money. Does it not?"

"Oh, yes, papa, so it seems to me, and I know it does since you say
so," exclaimed Elsie joyously; Ned joining in with, "Oh, that's just
splendid, papa! You are the best father in the world! Elsie and I both
think so."

"Well, it is very pleasant to have my children think so, however
mistaken they may be," his father said, with a smile and an
affectionate pat on the little boy's shoulder. "Well, my dears, suppose
we go down at once and attend to these matters. It will be better now
than later, I think, and not so likely to keep you from getting to
sleep in good season to-night."

The children gave an eager, joyful assent, and their father led them
down to the stateroom occupied by Violet and himself, and opening a
trunk there, brought to light a quantity of pretty things--ribbons,
laces, jewelry, books and pictures; also cards with the names of the
intended recipients to be attached to the gifts, as the young givers
might see fit.

That work was undertaken at once, their father helping them in their
selection and attaching the cards for them. It did not take very long,
and they returned to the deck in gay spirits.

"For what purpose did you two children take papa down below? or was it
he who took you?" asked Lucilla, laughingly.

"I think it was papa who took us," said Elsie, smiling up into his face
as she spoke. "Wasn't it, papa?"

"Yes," he said, "and whoever asks about it may be told it was father's
secret conference."

"Oh," cried Lucilla, "it is a secret then, is it? I don't want to pry
into other people's affairs; so I withdraw my question."

"Perhaps papa intends to take his other children--you and me, Lu--down
in their turn," remarked Grace, laughingly, for she was sitting near
her father, and had overheard the bit of chat.

"I really had not thought of doing so," said the Captain, "but it is
a good idea. Come, now, both of you," he added, leading the way. "I
suppose you two have not forgotten that to-morrow will be Sunday and
the next day Christmas?" he said, inquiringly, as they reached the
saloon.

"Oh, no, papa; you know you helped us, before we left home, in
selecting gifts for Mamma Vi and the children and others," said Grace.
"But how are we going to keep Christmas here on the yacht?"

"Pretty much as if we were at home on the land," he answered, with a
smile. "There is a Christmas tree lying down in the hold. I intend
having it set up here early Monday morning, and some of the early
risers will perhaps trim it before the late ones are out of bed. Then
it can be viewed, and the gifts distributed when all are ready to
take part in the work and fun. Now, if you wish I will show you the
gifts I have prepared for my family--not including yourselves," he
interpolated, with a smile. "Our guests and servants here and the crew
of the vessel."

The offer was gladly accepted, the gifts viewed with great interest and
pleasure, the girls chatting meanwhile with affectionate and respectful
familiarity with their loved father.

"I like your plan, father, very much indeed," said Lucilla; "and as it
is easy and natural for me to wake and rise early, I should like to
help with the trimming of the tree, if you are willing."

"Certainly, daughter, I shall be glad to have you help--and to put the
gifts intended for you on afterward," he added, with a smile.

"Yes, sir; and perhaps your daughters may treat you in the same way,"
she returned demurely. "I suppose you would hardly blame them for
following your example?"

"I ought not to, since example is said to be better than precept. We
will put these things away now, go back to our friends on deck, and try
to forget gifts until Christmas morning."



CHAPTER IX.


As on former voyages on the "Dolphin," Sabbath day was kept religiously
by all on board the vessel. Religious services--prayer, praise and the
reading of a sermon--were held on deck, for the benefit of all, after
which there was a Bible lesson led by Mr. Milburn, the subject being
the birth of Jesus and the visits of the wise men from the east; also
the story of Bethlehem's shepherds and their angel visitants followed
by their visit to the infant Saviour.

The children went to bed early that night that--as they said--Christmas
might come the sooner. Then the Captain, his older daughters, Chester,
and Harold, had a little chat about what should be done in the morning.
The young men were urgent that their assistance should be accepted in
the matter of setting up and trimming the tree; the girls also put in
a petition for the privilege of helping with the work.

To Lucilla their father answered, "You may, as I have said, for you
are naturally an early bird, so that I think it cannot hurt you." Then
turning to Grace, "I hardly think it would do for you, daughter dear;
but we will let your doctor decide it," turning inquiringly to Harold.

"If her doctor is to decide it, he says emphatically No," said Harold,
with a very loverlike look down into the sweet face of his betrothed;
"she will enjoy the rest of the day much better for taking her usual
morning nap."

"You and papa are very kind; almost too kind," returned Grace, between
a smile and a sigh. "But I think you are a good doctor, so I will
follow your advice and papa's wishes."

"That is right, my darling," responded her father, "and I hope you will
have your reward in feeling well through the day."

"If she doesn't, she can discharge her doctor," said Lucilla in a
mirthful tone.

"You seem inclined to be hard upon doctors, Lu," remarked Harold,
gravely; "but one of these days you may be glad of the services of even
such an one as I."

"Yes, that is quite possible; and even now I am right glad to have my
husband under your care; and I'm free to say that if your patients
don't improve, I don't think it will be fair to blame it--their
failure--on the doctor."

"Thank you," he said; "should you need doctoring on this trip of ours,
just call upon me and I'll do the best for you that I can."

"I have no doubt you would," laughed Lucilla, "but I'll do my best to
keep out of your hands."

"That being your intention, let me advise you to go at once to your
bed," returned Harold, glancing at his watch. Then all said good-night
and dispersed to their rooms.

At early dawn the three gentlemen were again in the saloon overseeing
the setting up of the Christmas tree, then arranging upon it a
multitude of gifts from one to another of the "Dolphin's" passengers,
and some token of remembrance for each one of the crew; for it was not
in the kind heart of the Captain ever to forget or neglect any one in
his employ.

The other passengers, older and younger, except Lucilla, who was with
them in time to help with the trimming of the tree, did not emerge from
their staterooms until the sun was up, shining gloriously upon the sea,
in which the waves were gently rising and falling. All were fond of
gazing upon the sea, but this morning their first attention was given
to the tree, which seemed to have grown up in a night in the saloon,
where they were used to congregate mornings, evenings and stormy days.
All gathered round it and viewed its treasures with appreciative
remarks; then the Captain, with Chester's and Harold's assistance,
distributed the gifts.

Every one had several and seemed well pleased with them. The one that
gave Eva the greatest pleasure had been left for her by her young
husband; it was an excellent miniature likeness of himself set in gold
and diamonds. She appreciated the beautiful setting, but the correct
and speaking likeness was far more to her.

Near the tree stood a table loaded with fruits and confections of
various kinds, very tempting in appearance. Ned hailed it with an
expression of pleasure, but his father bade him let the sweets alone
until after he had eaten his breakfast.

The words had scarcely left the Captain's lips when a voice was heard,
apparently coming from the skylight overhead: "Say, Pete, d'ye see
them goodies piled up on that thar table down thar? My, but they looks
temptin'."

"Yes," seemed to come from another voice, "wouldn't I like to git in
thar and help myself? It's odd and real mean how some folks has all the
good things and other folks none."

"Course it is. But, oh, I'll tell you. They'll be goin' out to
breakfast presently, then let's go down thar where the goodies is, and
help, ourselves."

"Yes, let's."

Everybody in the saloon had stopped talking and seemed to be listening
in surprise to the colloquy of the two stowaways--for such they
apparently were--but now Ned broke the silence: "Why, how did they get
on board? Must be stowaways and have been in the hold all this time.
Oh, I guess they are hungry enough by this time; so no wonder they want
the candies and things."

"Perhaps Cousin Ronald can tell us something about them," laughed
Lucilla.

"Acquaintances of mine, you think, lassie?" sniffed the old gentleman.
"Truly, you are most complimentary. But I have no more fancy for such
trash than have you."

"Ah, well, now, cousin, I really don't imagine those remarks were made
by any very bad or objectionable fellows," remarked Captain Raymond, in
a tone of amusement.

"No," said Mr. Dinsmore, "we certainly should not be hard on them if
they are poor and hungry."

"Which they must be if they have been living in the hold ever since we
left our native shores," laughed Violet.

"Oh, now, I know, it was just Cousin Ronald, and not any real person,"
cried Ned, dancing about in delight.

"And so I'm not a real person?" said Mr. Lilburn, in a deeply hurt tone.

"Oh, Cousin Ronald, I didn't mean that," said Ned, penitently, "only
that you weren't two boys, but just pretending to be."

At that everybody laughed, and Mr. Lilburn said: "Very true; I never
was two boys and am no longer even one. Well, I think you and all of us
may feel safe in leaving the good things on the table there when we are
called to breakfast, for I am sure those fellows will not meddle with
them."

The summons to the table had just sounded, and now was obeyed by all
with cheerful alacrity. Everybody was in fine spirits, the meal an
excellent one, and all partook of it with appetite, while the flow of
conversation was steady, bright and mirthful.

They had their morning service directly after the meal, then went upon
deck and to their surprise found they were in sight of Bermuda. They
were glad to see it, though the voyage had been a pleasant one to all
and really beneficial to the ailing ones, for whose benefit it was
undertaken more particularly than for the enjoyment of the others. Also
it was hoped and expected that their sojourn in and about the islands
would be still more helpful and delightful; and so indeed it proved.

They tarried in that neighborhood several weeks, spending most of their
time on the vessel, or in her small boats--many of the water-ways being
too narrow and shallow to be traversed by the yacht, but going from
place to place on the land in a way to see all that was interesting
there.



CHAPTER X.


It was a lovely moonlight evening; the "Dolphin's" Captain and all his
family and passengers were gathered together upon the deck. It had
been a day of sight-seeing and wandering from place to place about the
islands, and they were weary enough to fully enjoy the rest and quiet
now vouchsafed them.

Captain Raymond broke a momentary silence by saying: "I hope, my
friends, that you can all feel that you have had a pleasant sojourn in
and about these islands?"

"Indeed we have," replied several voices.

"I am glad to hear it," returned the Captain, heartily; "and now the
question is, Shall we tarry here longer or go on our southward way to
visit other places, where we will escape the rigors of winter in our
more northern homes?"

No one spoke for a moment; then Mr. Dinsmore said: "Let the majority
decide. I am perfectly satisfied to go on or to stay here, as you,
Captain, and they may wish."

"And I echo my husband's sentiments and feelings," remarked Mrs. Rose
Dinsmore, pleasantly.

"And you, mother?" asked the Captain, turning to Mrs. Travilla.

"I, too, am entirely willing to go or stay, as others may wish," she
replied, in her own sweet voice.

"And you, Evelyn?" asked the Captain, turning to her.

"I feel that it would be delightful either to go or stay, father," she
answered, with a smile and a blush.

The others were quite as non-committal, but after some further chat
on the subject it was decided that they would leave Bermuda the next
morning, and, taking a southerly course, probably make Porto Rico their
next halting place.

As usual, Lucilla woke at an early hour. Evidently the vessel was
still stationary, and anxious to see it start she rose and made her
toilet very quietly, lest she should disturb her still sleeping
husband, then left the room and stole noiselessly through the saloon up
to the deck, where she found her father overseeing the lifting of the
anchor.

"Ah, good-morning, daughter," he said, with a smile, as she reached
his side. "You are an early bird as usual," ending his sentence with a
clasp of his arm about her waist and a kiss upon her lips.

"Yes, papa," she laughed, "who wouldn't be an early bird to get such a
token of love from such a father as mine?"

"And what father wouldn't be ready and glad to bestow it upon such a
daughter as mine?" he responded, repeating his loving caress. "You have
enjoyed your trip thus far, daughter, have you not?"

"Yes, indeed, papa. We are bound for Porto Rico now, are we not?"

"Yes, I think that will be our first stopping place; though perhaps we
may not land at all, but merely sail round it, viewing it from the sea."

"And perhaps you may treat Cuba in the same way?"

"Very possibly. I shall act in regard to both as the majority of my
passengers may wish."

The anchor was now up, and the vessel gliding through the water. The
Captain and Lucilla paced the deck to and fro, taking a farewell look
at the receding islands and talking of the pleasure they had found in
visiting them, particularly in exploring the many creeks and bays, with
their clear waters so full of beautiful shells and fish, so different
from those to be found in their land.

"I shall always look back with pleasure upon this visit to Bermuda,
father," Lucilla said, with a grateful smile up into his eyes.

"I am very glad you have enjoyed it, daughter," he replied; "as I
think every one of our party has. And I am hoping that our wanderings
further to the south may prove not less interesting and enjoyable."

"Yes, sir, I hope so. I shall feel great interest in looking upon Cuba
and Porto Rico--particularly the first--because of what our men did and
endured there in the late war with Spain. How pleasant it was that the
Porto Ricans were so ready and glad to be freed from the domination of
Spain and taken into our Union."

Just then Harold joined them, and with him came little Ned. Pleasant
good-mornings were exchanged. Then others of their party followed, two
or three at a time, till all were on deck enjoying the sweet morning
air and the view of the fast-receding islands. Then came the call to
breakfast, followed by the morning service of prayer and praise, and
after that they returned to the deck.

As usual, the children were soon beside their loved grandmother, Mrs.
Elsie Travilla.

"Well, dears, we have had a very good time at Bermuda, haven't we?" she
said, smiling lovingly upon them.

"Yes, ma'am," said Elsie. "Do you think we will have as good a time
where we are going now?"

"I hope so, my dear. I believe Porto Rico is to be the first land we
touch at. Would you like me to tell you something of its beauties and
its history?"

"Yes, indeed, grandma," both children answered, in a tone of eager
assent, and she began at once.

"The name--Porto Rico--was given it by the Spaniards, and means 'The
Gateway of Wealth.' It was discovered by Columbus in 1493. It is about
half as large as New Jersey. Through its center is a range of mountains
called the Luquillo. The highest peak, Yunque, can be seen from a
distance of sixty-eight miles. Porto Rico is a beautiful island. The
higher parts of the hills are covered by forests; immense herds of
cattle are pastured on the plains. The land is fertile and they raise
cotton, corn, rice and almost every kind of tropical fruit."

"Are there any rivers, grandma?" asked Ned.

"Nine small ones," she answered.

"Are there any towns?"

"Oh yes, quite a good many; large ones. Ponce, the capital, has a good
many thousands of inhabitants, and some fine buildings. San Juan,
too, is quite a large place; it stands on Morro Island, which forms
the north side of the harbor and is separated from the mainland by a
narrow creek called the Channel of San Antonio. At the entrance to San
Juan's harbors is a lighthouse on Morro Point. It is one hundred and
seventy-one feet above the sea, and its fixed light is visible for
eighteen miles over the waters."

"Oh," cried Ned, "let's watch out for it when we are coming that near."

"It will be very well for you to do so," his grandma said, with a
smile; then went on with her account of Porto Rico.

"The island has much to recommend it; the climate is salubrious,
and there are no snakes or reptiles. It has valuable minerals,
too--gold, copper, lead; also coal. San Juan is lighted by both gas and
electricity.

"The Spaniards were very cruel to the poor Indians who inhabited Porto
Rico when Columbus discovered it. It is said that in a hundred years
they had killed five hundred thousand of men, women and children."

"Oh, how dreadful!" exclaimed Elsie. "And they killed so, _so_ many of
the poor natives in Peru and in Mexico. I don't wonder that God has let
their nation grow so poor and weak."

"The Porto Ricans were tired of being governed by them when we began
our war with Spain to help the poor Cubans to get free," continued
Grandma Elsie. "Our government and people did not know that, but
thought Porto Rico should be taken from Spain, as well as Cuba. So as
soon as Santiago was taken, a strong force was sent against Ponce.

"The 'Wasp' was the first vessel to arrive. It had been expected that
they would have to shell the city, but as the 'Wasp' steamed close to
the shore a great crowd of citizens could be seen gathered there. They
were not behaving like enemies, and the troops on the 'Wasp' were at a
loss to understand what it meant; therefore, the gunners stood ready
to fire at an instant's warning, when Ensign Rowland Curtin was sent
ashore bearing a flag of truce, four men with him.

"The citizens were cheering as if frantic with joy over their coming,
and as soon as they landed overwhelmed them with gifts of tobacco,
cigars, cigarettes, bananas, and other good things."

"Oh, wasn't that nice!" exclaimed Elsie. "I think they showed their
good sense in preferring to be ruled by our people rather than by the
Spaniards."

"As soon as the people could be calm enough to listen," continued
Grandma Elsie, "Ensign Curtin announced that he had come to demand the
surrender of the city and port, and asked to see the civil or military
authorities.

"Some of the civil officials were there, but they could not surrender
the city, as that must be the act of the military powers. There was a
telephone at hand, and the ensign ordered a message sent to Colonel San
Martin, the commandant, telling him that if he did not come forward and
surrender the city in the course of half an hour, it would be bombarded.

"The garrison had been, and still were, debating among themselves
what they should do, but as soon as they heard of this message they
began looting the stores and shops, cramming underwear and clothing
upon their backs and in their trousers, to check and hold the bullets
which they were certain the Americans would send after them, as they
scampered off.

"Ensign Curtin went back to his vessel, and, soon after, Commander C.
H. Davis, of the 'Dixie,' was rowed ashore. There a note was handed
him from Colonel San Martin, asking on what terms he demanded the
surrender of the city. He answered that it must be unconditional. At
the request of the commandant, however, he made the terms a little
different. Then the padded men of the garrison waddled out of town,
leaving one hundred and fifty rifles and fourteen thousand rounds of
ammunition behind.

"Lieutenant Haines, commanding the marines of the 'Dixie,' landed and
hoisted the Stars and Stripes over the custom-house at the port of
Ponce, the onlookers cheering most heartily. After that, Lieutenant
Murdoch and Surgeon Heiskell rode to the city, three miles distant,
where the people fairly went wild with joy, dancing and shouting,
'_Viva los Americanos. Viva Puerto Rico libre._'"

"Sensible folks I think they were to be so glad to get away from Spain
and into the United States," remarked Ned, with a pleased smile.

"Yes, I think they were," said Grandma Elsie, "for it was gaining
liberty--freedom from most oppressive tyranny."

She had begun her talk to the two children alone, but now quite a group
had gathered about them--Dr. Harold Travilla and Grace Raymond, Chester
and Lucilla Dinsmore and Mrs. Evelyn Raymond.

"I am very desirous to see Porto Rico," said Harold. "It must be a
garden spot--fertile and beautiful. As we draw near it I mean to be on
the lookout for El Yunque."

"What's that, uncle?" asked Ned.

"The highest point of land on the island, nearly four thousand feet
high. The meaning of the name is the anvil."

"Porto Rico being in the torrid zone, it must have a very hot climate.
The weather must have been very oppressive for our troops--taking it in
the height of summer," remarked Grace.

"Yes," said Grandma Elsie; "but the climate is more agreeable than that
of Cuba or of many places farther north, because of the land breezes
that prevail, coming from both north and south."

"It is a beautiful and delightful island," remarked Harold. "I have
often thought I should, some day, pay it a visit."

"Are we likely to land there?" asked his mother.

"I do not know, mother," he answered; "but I presume the Captain will
say that shall be just as his passengers wish."

"Yes, I am sure father will say we may all do exactly as we please,"
said Lucilla; "go ashore, or stay quietly on the yacht while others go
and return."

"It cannot be now the delightful place to visit that it was before the
hurricane of last August," remarked Chester.

"No," said Grandma Elsie, "and I think I, for one, do not care to land
on the island until they have had more time to recover from the fearful
effects of that terrible storm."

"What mischief did it do, grandma?" asked Ned; "were there houses
destroyed and people killed?"

"Yes; a great many," she answered, with a sigh. "I have read that in
one district it was estimated that the damage done to houses and crops
would reach nine hundred thousand in gold, and that in the valley
of the Rio de Grande over a thousand persons disappeared, and were
supposed to have been drowned by the sudden rise and overflow of the
river."

"And you, mother, I know gave liberally to help repair the damages,"
said Harold.

"I was better able than many others who may have been quite as
willing," she responded, "and I think I can do still more, if I find
the need is still urgent."

"Yes, mother dear, you seem always ready and glad to help any one
who needs it," said Harold, giving her a look full of proud, loving
admiration.

Captain Raymond had drawn near the group just in time to hear Harold's
last remark.

"Quite true, Harold," he said, "but who is to be the happy recipient of
mother's bounty this time?"

"We were talking of the losses of the unfortunate Porto Ricans in last
August's fearful storm," replied Harold. "Mother, as you know, has
already given help, and expresses herself as ready to do more if it is
needed."

"And will do it, I know," said the Captain.

"I hope, though, that my dear grandma wont give everything away and
have nothing left for herself," said Elsie Raymond, with a loving look
up into Grandma Elsie's face.

"I should not like to have her do that either," the Captain said, with
a smile. "But the Bible tells us, 'He that hath pity upon the poor,
lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given will he pay him
again.'"

"A promise that none of us need be afraid to trust," said Grandma
Elsie, with a happy look and smile. "Do you think of visiting any part
of the island, Captain?"

"That shall be as my passengers wish," he replied; "we can consider the
matter and talk it over while on our way there. My present plan is to
go directly to San Juan. We may stay some hours or days there, those
going ashore who wish, the others remaining on the vessel. We may make
the circuit of the island, entirely or in part, keeping near enough to
the land to get a pretty good view of its beauties."

"Will this be your first visit to Porto Rico, Captain?" queried Chester.

"No, I paid it a flying visit some years ago; and then went up the
mountains to Caguas and visited the dark cave of Aguas Buenas."

"Did it pay?" asked Chester.

"Hardly. The outside journey, though difficult, did pay, but the
darkness of the cave, the multitudes of bats flying in your face, and
the danger of the guides' torches going out, leaving you unable to
find your way to the opening, make the expedition anything but safe or
pleasant. I shall never venture in there again or advise any friend to
do so."

"Are you going to take us to Cuba, too, papa?" asked Elsie.

"If my passengers wish to go there."

"Oh, I think they will; this one does, anyhow," laughed the little girl.

"Don't you think it would be pleasanter to visit it after it has had
time to recover from the war?" asked Lucilla.

"Perhaps papa will bring us a second time after that?" Elsie said, with
a smile up into his face.

"That is quite possible," he answered, returning the smile.

"Please, papa, tell us something about Cuba now, won't you?" pleaded
Ned.

"Very willingly, if you all care to hear it," returned the Captain, and
a general assent being given, he went on: "I think much of it you will
all understand better, if told you while looking upon the scenes where
it occurred. However, since you wish it, I shall tell at least a part
of the story now.

"Doubtless, you all know that Cuba was discovered by Columbus on
October 28, 1492. He said of it at one time: 'It is the most beautiful
land that eyes ever beheld'; at another: 'Its waters are filled with
excellent ports, its rivers are magnificent and profound'; and yet
again, 'As far as the day surpasses night in brightness and splendor,
it surpasses all other countries.'

"He found it beautiful not only along the shore where he first landed,
but in the interior also; flowers, fruits, maize and cotton in their
abundance showed the fertility of the soil. And it was inhabited by a
peaceful people who gave him and his men a glad welcome, imagining them
to be superior beings, and little dreaming how they were to suffer at
their hands. Columbus describes them as tall and straight, like the
natives of North America, of tawny complexion, and gentle disposition,
being easy to influence by their masters. They were a naturally
indolent race, which was not strange, considering how easy it was for
them to have a comfortable living with very little exertion; there
were abundance of wild fruits, and corn and cotton could be raised with
little exertion; abundance of fish could be easily obtained from the
waters, and if they wanted meat, a little animal resembling a rat in
appearance, but tasting like a rabbit, could be had for the hunting. So
it would seem they lived easy, contented and peaceful lives; and why
should the Spaniards think they had a right to rob and enslave them."

"Why indeed," exclaimed Lucilla. "The Indians--if able to do so--would
have had just as good a right to go over to Spain and enslave them."

"But with the Spaniards might made right," said Chester.

"But there were only a few Spaniards with Columbus and a very great
many natives on these islands," remarked little Elsie, in a puzzled
tone. "I wonder they didn't kill the Spaniards as soon as they began
trying to make slaves of them."

"At first," said her father, "they took the Spaniards to be a race of
superior beings, and gladly welcomed them to their shores. It would,
doubtless, have been easy for them to crush that handful of worn-out
men, and no doubt they would if they could have foreseen what their
conduct toward them would be; but they mistook them for friends, and
treated them as such. One cazique gave them a grand reception and
feasted them amid songs and their rude music. Games, dancing and
singing followed, then they were conducted to separate lodges and each
provided with a cotton hammock, that proved a delightful couch to pass
the night upon."

"And the Spaniards took all that kindness at the hands of those poor
things and repaid them with the basest robbery and cruelty," exclaimed
Elsie.

"Yes," said her father; "they even repaid that most generous
hospitality by seizing some of the youngest, strongest and most
beautiful of their entertainers and carrying them to Spain, where they
were paraded before the vulgar gaze of the jeering crowd, then sold
into slavery.

"One of their venerable caziques gave to Columbus, when he came the
second time to the island, a basket of luscious fruit, saying to him,
as he did so: 'Whether you are divinities or mortal men, we know not.
You have come into these countries with a force, against which, were we
inclined to resist, it would be folly. We are all, therefore, at your
mercy; but if you are men, subject to morality, like ourselves, you
cannot be unapprised that after this life there is another, wherein a
very different portion is allotted to good and bad men. If, then, you
expect to die, and believe, with us, that every one is to be rewarded
in a future state according to his conduct in the present, you will do
no hurt to those who do none to you.'"

"That old chief was certainly a very wise man for a heathen," remarked
Chester.

"And how strange that the Spaniards could treat so shamefully such
innocent and friendly people," said Evelyn.

"Yes," exclaimed Lucilla, "I think we may all be thankful that there is
no Spanish blood in us."

"Which fact makes us the more to be blamed if we indulge in oppression
and cruelty," said her father.

"Papa, did that old king live long enough to see how very cruel the
Spaniards were to his people?" asked Elsie.

"That I cannot tell," replied the Captain, "but by the time another
ten years had passed by, the natives of Cuba had learned that the love
of the Spaniards for gold was too great ever to be satisfied, and
that they themselves could not be safe with the Spaniards there; they
were so alarmed that when Diego Columbus sent an armed force of three
hundred men to begin to colonize Cuba, they resisted their landing. But
they, the Indians, were only naked savages with frail spears and wooden
swords, while the invading foes were old-world warriors who had been
trained on many a hard-fought battlefield, armed with deadly weapons,
protected by plate armor, and having bloodhounds to help in their
cruel attempt to rob and subjugate the rightful owners of the soil. So
they succeeded in their wicked designs; hundreds of those poor Indians
were killed in cold blood, others spared to slavery worse than death.
From being free men they became slaves to one of the most cruel and
tyrannical races of the world. And they were not only abused there on
their own island, but hundreds of them were taken to Europe and sold
for slaves in the markets of Seville. That was to raise money to pay
the expenses of their captors."

"Why," exclaimed Ned, "the Spaniards treated them as if they were just
animals, instead of people."

"Papa, were they--the Indians--heathen?" asked Elsie.

"They had no images or altars, no temples, but they believed in a
future existence and in a god living above the blue-domed sky," replied
the Captain. "But they knew nothing of Jesus and the way of salvation,
and it seems the Spaniards did not tell them of Him or give them the
Bible."

"No," said Grandma Elsie, "Rome did not allow them the Bible for
themselves."

"Are there a good many wild flowers in Cuba, papa?" asked Elsie.

"Yes; a great many, and of every color and tint imaginable--flowers
growing wild in the woods. The foliage of the trees is scarcely less
beautiful, and their tops are alive with birds of gayly-colored
plumage. I have been speaking of wild, uncultivated land. The scene is
even more inviting where man has been at work transforming the wildwood
into cultivated fields; he has fenced them off with stone walls, which
have warm russet-brown tints and are covered here and there with vines
and creepers bearing bright flowers. The walks and avenues are bordered
with orange-trees in blossom and fruit at the same time, both looking
lovely in their setting of deep green leaves. But you have seen such in
Louisiana."

"Yes, papa, and they are beautiful," said Elsie. "There must be a
great deal worth seeing in Cuba, but I'll not care to land on it if you
older people don't want to."

"Well, we will leave that question to be decided in the future," the
Captain said, smiling down into the bright little face.

"I think I have read," said Evelyn, "that Columbus at first thought
Cuba not an island but a part of the mainland?"

"Yes," replied the Captain, "but the natives assured him that it was
an island; on his second trip, however, in 1494, he reiterated his
previous belief and called the land Juana, after Juan, the son of
Ferdinand and Isabella. Afterward he changed it to Fernandina, in honor
of Ferdinand; still later to Santiago, the name of the patron saint of
Spain, after that to Ave Maria. But the name Cuba clung to the island
and was never lost.

"The Indians there were a peaceable race. They called themselves
Ciboneyes. They had nine independent caciques, and, as I believe I have
already told you, they believed in a supreme being and the immortality
of the soul."

"Really, they seem to me to have been more Christian than the Spaniards
who came and robbed them of their lands and their liberty," said
Evelyn.



CHAPTER XI.


The "Dolphin" and her passengers and crew reached Porto Rico in safety,
having made the voyage without detention or mishap. The yacht lay in
the harbor of San Juan for nearly a week, while its passengers made
various little excursions here and there to points of interest upon
the island. Then the yacht made its circuit, keeping near enough to
the shore for a good view of the land, in which all were greatly
interested--especially in those parts where there had been some
fighting with the Spaniards in the late war.

"Now, father, you are going to take us to Santiago next, are you not?"
asked Lucilla, as they steamed away from the Porto Rican coast.

"Yes," he replied, "I am satisfied that you all take a particular
interest in that place, feeling that you would like to see the scene
of the naval battle and perhaps to look from a distance upon some of
the places where there was fighting on land."

"It will be interesting," said little Elsie, "but, oh, how glad I am
that the fighting is all over!"

"As I am," said her father; "but if it wasn't, I should not think of
taking my family and friends to the scene."

"That was a big battle," said Ned. "I'm glad I'm going to see the place
of the fight; though I'd rather see Manila and its bay, because Brother
Max had a share in that fight. Uncle Harold, you came pretty near
having a share in the Santiago one, didn't you?"

"I was near enough to be in sight of some of it," said Harold; "though
not so near as to some of the fighting on the land."

"That must have been a very exciting time for you and your fellows,"
remarked Mr. Lilburn.

"It was, indeed; there was slaughter enough on land," said Harold; "and
though we were pretty confident that victory would perch upon our
banners in the sea fight, we could not hope it would prove so nearly
bloodless for our side."

"The sea fight?"

"Yes; that on the land was harder on our fellows, particularly because
our unreasonable Congressmen had failed to furnish for them the
smokeless powder and Mauser bullets that gave so great an advantage to
the Spaniards."

"Yes, indeed," said the Captain, "that absolute freedom from smoke made
it impossible to tell exactly whence came those stinging darts that
struck men down, and the great penetrating power of the Mauser bullet
made them doubly deadly. They would cut through a palm-tree without
losing anything of their force, and, in several instances, two or more
men were struck down by one and the same missile."

"It was very sad that that gallant young soldier, Captain Capron, was
killed by that first volley," remarked Violet.

"Yes," said her mother, "I remember reading the account of his death,
and that he came of a family of soldiers; that his father, engaged with
his battery before the Spanish lines, left it for a brief time and came
over to where the body of his son lay on the rank grass, and, looking
for a moment on the still features, stooped and kissed the dead face,
saying, 'Well done, boy, well done.' That was all, and he went back to
the battle."

"Yes, mother," said Harold, in moved tones, "my heart aches yet when I
think of that poor, bereaved but brave father. Ah, war is a dreadful
thing, even when undertaken from the good motive which influenced our
people, who felt so much sympathy for the poor, abused Cubans."

"The Americans are, as a rule, kind-hearted folk," remarked Mr.
Lilburn, "and I doubt if there are any troops in the world superior to
them in action; not even those of my own land."

"No," said the Captain, "they were brave fellows and good fighters,
having seen service in our Northwest and Southwest, on the prairies,
among the mountains and on the Mexican frontier, so that war was no new
thing to them, and they went about it calmly even in so unaccustomed a
place as a tropical forest."

"Papa, that Captain Capron wasn't instantly killed by that Mauser
bullet, was he?" asked Grace.

"No; he was struck down early in the action and knew that his wound
was mortal, but he called to a man near him to give him the rifle that
lay by the side of a dead soldier; then, propped up against a tree,
he fired at the enemy with it until his strength failed, when he fell
forward to die."

"What a brave fellow! It is dreadful to have such men killed," said
Grace, her voice trembling with emotion.

"Another man, Private Heffener, also fought leaning against a tree
until he bled to death," said Harold. "Then there was Trooper Rowland,
a cowboy from New Mexico, who was shot through the lungs early in that
fight. He said nothing about it, but kept his place on the firing-line
till Roosevelt noticed the blood on his shirt and sent him to the
hospital. He was soon back again and seeing him Colonel Roosevelt said,
'I thought I sent you to the hospital.' 'Yes, sir; you did,' replied
Rowland, 'but I didn't see that they could do much for me there, so I
came back.' He stayed there until the fight ended. Then he went again
to the hospital. Upon examining him the doctors decided that he must be
sent back to the States, with which decision he was greatly disgusted.
That night he got possession of his rifle and pack, slipped out of the
hospital, made his way back to his command and stayed there."

"Perhaps," said Grandma Elsie, "you have not all read Marshall's
experiences then and there. It happens that I have just been re-reading
an extract which has interested me greatly. Let me read it aloud that
you may all have the benefit of it. It is a description of the scene
in the field hospital where badly wounded men lay crowded together
awaiting their turns under the surgeon's knife. Shall I read it?"

There was a universal note of assent from her hearers, and she began.

"There is one incident of the day which shines out in my memory
above all others now, as I lie in a New York hospital, writing.
It occurred at the field hospital. About a dozen of us were lying
there. A continual chorus of moans rose through the tree-branches
overhead. The surgeons, with hands and bared arms dripping, and clothes
literally saturated, with blood, were straining every nerve to prepare
the wounded for the journey down to Siboney. Behind me lay Captain
McClintock, with his lower leg-bones literally ground to powder. He
bore his pain as gallantly as he had led his men, and that is saying
much. I think Major Brodie was also there. It was a doleful group.
Amputation and death stared its members in their gloomy faces.

"Suddenly, a voice started softly:

    'My country, 'tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,
      Of thee I sing.'

"Other voices took it up:

    'Land where my fathers died,
    Land of the Pilgrims' pride----'

"The quivering, quavering chorus, punctuated by groans and made
spasmodic by pain, trembled up from that little group of wounded
Americans in the midst of the Cuban solitude--the pluckiest, most
heartfelt song that human beings ever sang. There was one voice that
did not quite keep up with the others. It was so weak that I did not
hear it until all the rest had finished with the line:

    'Let Freedom ring.'

"Then, halting, struggling, faint, it repeated slowly:

    'Land--of--the--Pilgrims'--pride,
          Let Freedom----'

"The last word was a woeful cry. One more son had died as died the
fathers."

There was a moment's pause when Grandma Elsie had finished reading, and
there were tears in the eyes of many of her hearers.

It was Harold who broke the silence.

"That battle of Guasimas was a complete victory for our forces, but
dearly paid for," he said; "of the nine hundred and sixty-four men
engaged, sixteen were killed and fifty-two wounded; thirty-four of the
wounded and eight of the killed were Rough Riders."

"And a scarcity of doctors seems to have caused great suffering to our
wounded men," Grandma Elsie said, with a sigh.

"Yes; there were too few of us," said Harold, "and, through somebody's
blundering, needed supplies were also scarce. I think our men were
wonderfully patient, and it is hard to forgive those whose carelessness
and inefficiency caused them so much unnecessary suffering."

"Yes, it is," said his mother; "war is a dreadful thing. How the
people of beleaguered Santiago suffered during the siege, and
especially when they were sent out of it that they might escape the
bombardment. Think of eighteen to twenty thousand having to take refuge
in that little town, El Caney, foul with the effluvium from unburied
mules and horses, and even human victims of the battle; houses so
crowded that they could not even lie down on the floors, but had to
pass their nights sitting on them; and food so scarce that one small
biscuit sold for two dollars, and seven dollars was refused for a
chicken."

"It was dreadful, dreadful indeed!" said Mrs. Lilburn.

"Yet not so bad as it would have been to let Spain continue her
outrageous cruelty to the poor Cubans," said Evelyn.

"No," said Lucilla, "I should be sorry, indeed, to have to render up
the account that Weyler and the rest of them will in the Judgment Day."

"I think he is worse than a savage," sighed Mrs. Lilburn. "I should
think if he had any heart or conscience he would never be able to enjoy
a morsel of food for thinking of the multitude of poor creatures--men,
women and children--he has starved to death."



CHAPTER XII.


Our friends were favored with pleasant weather on their voyage from
Porto Rico to Cuba. All were gathered upon deck when they came in sight
of "The Pearl (or Queen) of the Antillies," "The Ever-faithful Isle,"
as the Spaniards were wont to call it, and they gazed upon it with keen
interest; an interest that deepened as they drew near the scene of
Schley's victory over the Spanish fleet.

Captain Raymond and Dr. Harold Travilla, being the only ones of their
number who had visited the locality before, explained the whereabouts
of each American vessel, when, on that Sunday morning of July third,
that cloud of smoke told the watchers on the American ships that the
enemy was coming out.

Every one in the little company had heard the battle described;
therefore, a very brief account, accompanying the pointing out of the
progress of different vessels during the fight, and where each of the
Spanish ones came to her end, was all that was needed.

While they looked and talked, the "Dolphin" moved slowly along that
they might get a view of every part of the scene of action on that day
of naval victory in the cause of the down-trodden and oppressed Cubans.

That accomplished, they returned to the neighborhood of Santiago, and
entering the narrow channel which gives entrance to its bay, passed on
into and around that, gazing on the steep hills that come down to the
water's edge, on Morro and the remains of earthworks and batteries.

They did not care to go into the city, but steamed out into the sea
again and made the circuit of the island, keeping near enough to the
shore to get a pretty good view of most of the places they cared to
see--traveling by day and anchoring at night.

"Having completed the circuit of Cuba, where do we go next, Captain?"
asked Mr. Dinsmore, as the party sat on deck in the evening of the day
on which they had completed their trip around the island.

"If it suits the wishes of all my passengers, we will go down to
Jamaica, pay a little visit there, pass on in a southeasterly direction
to Trinidad, then perhaps to Brazil," Captain Raymond said, in reply,
then asked to hear what each one present thought of the plan.

Every one seemed well pleased, and it was decided that they should
start the next morning for Jamaica. The vessel was moving the next
morning before many of her passengers were out of their berths. Elsie
Raymond noticed it as soon as she woke, and hastened with her toilet
that she might join her father on deck. She was always glad to be
with him, and she wanted to see whatever they might pass on their way
across the sea to Jamaica. The sun was shining, but it was still early
when she reached the deck, where she found both her father and eldest
sister. Both greeted her with smiles and caresses.

"Almost as early a bird as your sister Lu," the Captain said, patting
the rosy cheek and smiling down into the bright eyes looking up so
lovingly into his.

"Yes, papa, I want to see all I can on the way to Jamaica. Will we get
there to-day?"

"I think we will if the 'Dolphin' does her work according to her usual
fashion. But what do you know about Jamaica, the island we are bound
for?"

"Not so very much, papa--only--she belongs to England, doesn't she,
papa?"

"Yes. Her name means 'land of wood and water,' and she lies about
ninety miles to the south of Cuba."

"Is she a very big island, papa?"

"Nearly as large as our State of Tennessee. Crossing it from east to
west is a heavily-timbered ridge called the Blue Mountains, and there
are many streams of water which flow from them down to the shores. None
of them is navigable, however, except the Black River, which affords a
passage for small craft for thirty miles into the interior."

"Shall we find a good harbor for our 'Dolphin,' father?" asked Lucilla.

"Yes, indeed! Excellent harbors are everywhere to be found. The best
is a deep, capacious basin in the southeast quarter of the island. It
washes the most spacious and fertile of the plains between the hill
country and the coast. Around this inlet and within a few miles of each
other are all the towns of any considerable size--Spanish Town, Port
Royal, and Kingston."

"Is it a very hot place, papa?" asked the little girl.

"On the coast; but much cooler up on those mountains I spoke of. The
climate is said to be very healthful, and many invalids go there from
our United States."

"They have earthquakes there sometimes, have they not, father?" asked
Lucilla.

"They are not quite unheard of," he replied; "in 1692 there was one
which almost overwhelmed Port Royal; but that being more than two
hundred years ago, need not, I think, add much to our anxieties in
visiting the island."

"That's a long, long time," said Elsie, thoughtfully, "so I hope they
won't have one while we are there. Is it a fertile island, papa? I hope
they have plenty of good fruits."

"They have fruits of both tropical and temperate climates; they have
spices, vanilla and many kinds of food plants; they have sugar and
coffee; they export sugar, rum, pineapples and other fruits; also
cocoa, ginger, pimento and logwood and cochineal."

"It does seem to be very fruitful," said Elsie. "Have they railroads
and telegraphs, papa?"

"Two hundred miles of railroad and seven hundred of telegraph. There
are coast batteries, a volunteer force and a British garrison; and
there are churches and schools."

"Oh, all that seems very nice! I hope we will have as good a time there
as we had at Bermuda."

"I hope so, daughter," he said. "Ah, here come the rest of our little
family and your Uncle Harold."

Affectionate good-mornings were exchanged; then the talk ran on the
subject uppermost in all their minds--Jamaica, and what its attractions
were likely to be for them.

"I have been thinking," said Harold, "that some spot on the central
heights may prove a pleasant and beneficial place for some weeks'
sojourn for all of us, the ailing ones in particular."

At that moment his mother joined them and he broached the same idea to
her.

"If we find a pleasant and comfortable lodging place I am willing to
try it," she replied, in her usual cheery tones.

At that moment came the call to breakfast; speedily responded to by all
the passengers. Appetites and viands were alike good and the chat was
cheerful and lively.

The weather was clear and warm enough to make the deck, where a gentle
breeze could be felt, the most agreeable lounging-place, as well as the
best, for enjoying the view of the sea and any passing vessel.

As usual, the children presently found their way to their Grandma
Elsie's side and asked for a story or some information concerning the
island toward which they were journeying.

"You know something about it, I suppose?" she said, inquiringly.

"Yes, ma'am; papa was telling me this morning about the mountains and
towns, and harbors, and fruits and other things that they raise," said
Elsie; "but there wasn't time for him to tell everything; so won't you
please tell us something of its history?"

"Yes, dear; grandma is always glad to give you both pleasure and
information. Jamaica was discovered by Columbus during his second
voyage, in 1494. The Spaniards took possession of it in 1509."

"Had they any right to, grandma?" asked Ned.

"No, no more than the Indians would have had to cross the ocean to
Europe and take possession of their country. And the Spaniards not
only robbed the Indians of their lands but abused them so cruelly that
it is said that in fifty years the native population had entirely
disappeared. In 1655 the British took the island from Spain, and some
years later it was ceded to England by the treaty of Madrid in 1670."

"And does England own it yet, grandma?" asked Elsie.

"Yes; there has been some fighting on the island--trouble between the
whites and the negroes--but things are going smoothly now."

"So that we may hope to have a good time there, I suppose," said Ned.

"Yes, I think we may," replied his grandma. "But haven't we had a good
time in all our journeying about old ocean and her islands?"

To that question both children answered with a hearty, "Yes indeed,
grandma."



CHAPTER XIII.


The next morning found the "Dolphin" lying quietly at anchor in the
harbor in the inlet around which are the principal towns of the
island--Spanish Town, Port Royal and Kingston.

All were well enough to enjoy little excursions about the island, in
carriages or cars, and some weeks were spent by them in the mountains,
all finding the air there very pleasant and the invalids evidently
gaining in health and strength.

The change had been a rest to them all, but early in March they were
glad to return to the yacht and set sail for Trinidad, which they had
decided should be their next halting place. It was a pleasant morning
and, as usual, old and young were gathered upon the deck, the two
children near their grandmother.

"Grandma," said Elsie, "I suppose you know all about Trinidad, where
papa is taking us now, and if it won't trouble you to do so, I'd like
very much to have you tell Ned and me about it."

"I shall not feel it any trouble to do so, little granddaughter," was
the smiling rejoinder, "and if you and Ned grow weary of the subject
before I am through, you have only to say so and I will stop.

"Trinidad is the most southerly of the West India Islands and belongs
to Great Britain. It was first discovered by Columbus in 1498 and given
the name of Trinidad by him, because three mountain summits were first
seen from the masthead. But it was not until 1532 that a permanent
settlement was made there. In 1595 its chief town, San Josede Oruha,
was burned by Sir Walter Raleigh; but the island continued in Spain's
possession till 1797, when it fell into the hands of the British and it
was made theirs by treaty in 1802."

"How large is it, grandma?" asked Ned.

"About fifty miles long and from thirty to thirty-five wide. It is
very near to Venezuela, separated from it by the Gulf of Paria, and
the extreme points on the west coast are only the one thirteen and
the other nine miles from it. The channel to the north is called the
Dragon's Mouth; it is the deepest; the southern channel is shallow,
owing to the deposits brought down by the Orinoco, and the gulf, too,
is growing more shallow from the same cause."

"Are there mountains, grandma?" asked Ned.

"Yes; mountains not so high as those on some of the other Caribbean
islands; they extend along the northern coast from east to west; they
have forests of stately trees and along their lower edges overhanging
mangroves, dipping into the sea. There is a double-peaked mountain
called Tamana, and from it one can look down upon the lovely and
fertile valleys and plains of the other part of the island. There are
some tolerably large rivers and several good harbors."

"Are there towns on it, grandma?" asked Ned.

"Yes; the chief one, called Port of Spain, is one of the finest towns
in the West Indies. It was first built of wood, and was burned down in
1808, but has since been rebuilt of stone found in the neighborhood.
The streets are long, wide, clean, well paved and shaded with trees.

"San Fernando is the name of another town, and there are, besides, two
or three pretty villages. Near one of them, called La Brea, is a pitch
lake composed of bituminous matter floating on fresh water."

"I don't think I'd want to take a sail on it," said Elsie. "Trinidad is
a warm place, isn't it, grandma?"

"Yes; the climate is hot and moist; it is said to be the hottest of the
West India islands."

"Then I'm glad it is winter now when we are going there."

"Yes; I think winter is the best season for paying a visit there," said
her grandma.

"I suppose we are going to one of the towns," said Ned. "Aren't we,
papa?" as his father drew near.

"Yes, to the capital, called Port of Spain. I was there some years ago.
Shall I tell you about it?"

"Oh, yes sir! please do," answered both children, and a number of the
grown people drew near to listen.

"It is a rather large place, having some thirty or forty thousand
inhabitants. Outside of the town is a large park, where there are
villas belonging to people in good circumstances. They are pleasant,
comfortable-looking dwellings with porches and porticoes, gardens in
front or lawns with many varieties of trees--bread-fruit, oranges,
mangoes, pawpaws--making a pleasant shade and bearing delightful
fruits; and there is a great abundance of flowers."

"All that sounds very pleasant, Captain," said Mr. Lilburn, "but I fear
there must be some unpleasant things to encounter."

"Mosquitoes, for instance?" queried the Captain. "Yes, I remember
Froude's description of one that he says he killed and examined through
a glass. Bewick, with the inspiration of genius, had drawn his exact
likeness as the devil--a long black stroke for a body, a nick for a
neck, horns on the head, and a beak for a mouth, spindle arms, and
longer spindle legs, two pointed wings and a tail. He goes on to say
that he had been warned to be on the lookout for scorpions, centipedes,
jiggers, and land crabs, which would bite him if he walked slipperless
over the floor in the dark. Of those he met none; but the mosquito of
Trinidad was enough by himself, being, for malice, mockery, and venom
of tooth and trumpet, without a match in the world."

"Dear me, papa, how can anybody live there?" exclaimed Grace.

"Froude speaks of seeking safety in tobacco-smoke," replied her father,
with a quizzical smile. "You might do that; or try the only other means
of safety mentioned by him--hiding behind the lace curtains with which
every bed is provided."

"But we can't stay in bed all the time, papa," exclaimed Elsie.

"No, but most of the time when you are out of bed you keep off the
mosquitoes with a fan."

"And if we find them quite unendurable we can sail away from Trinidad,"
said Violet.

"Perhaps we are coming to the island at a better time of the year than
Froude did, as regards the mosquito plague," remarked Grandma Elsie.

"Ah, mother, I am afraid they are bad and troublesome all the year
round in these warm regions," said Harold.

"But we can take refuge behind nets a great deal of the time while we
are in the mosquito country, and hurry home when we tire of that,"
remarked Violet.

"Ah, that is a comfortable thought," said Mr. Lilburn. "And we are
fortunate people in having such homes as ours to return to."

"Yes, we can all say amen to that," said Chester, and Lucilla started
the singing of "Home, Sweet Home," all the others joining in with
feeling.

The next morning found the "Dolphin" lying quietly in the harbor of the
Port of Spain in the great shallow lake known as the Gulf of Paria, and
soon after breakfast all went ashore to visit the city.

They enjoyed walking about the wide, shaded streets, and park, gazing
with great interest upon the strange and beautiful trees, shrubs and
flowers; there were bread-fruit trees, pawpaws, mangoes and oranges,
and large and beautiful flowers of many colors. Some of our friends had
read Froude's account of the place and wanted to visit it.

From there they went to the Botanical Gardens and were delighted with
the variety of trees and plants entirely new to them.

Before entering the place, the young people were warned not to taste
any of the strange fruits, and Grandma Elsie and the Captain kept
watch over them lest the warning should be forgotten or unheeded;
though Elsie was never known to disobey father or mother, and it was
a rare thing, indeed, for Ned to do so. They were much interested
in all they saw, the glen full of nutmeg trees among the rest; they
were from thirty to forty feet high, with leaves of brilliant green,
something like the leaves of an orange, folded one over the other, and
their lowest branches swept the ground. There were so many strange and
beautiful trees, plants and flowers to be seen and admired that our
friends spent more than an hour in those gardens.

Then they hired conveyances and drove about wherever they thought the
most attractive scenes were to be found. They were interested in the
cabins of the negroes spread along the road on either side and overhung
with trees--tamarinds, bread-fruit, orange, limes, citrons, plantains
and calabash trees; out of the last named they make their cups and
water-jugs.

There were cocoa-bushes, too, loaded with purple or yellow pods;
there were yams in the garden, cows in the paddocks also; so that it
was evident that abundance of good, nourishing, appetizing food was
provided them with very little exertion on their part.

Captain Raymond and his party spent some weeks in Trinidad and its
harbor--usually passing the night aboard the "Dolphin"--traveling about
the island in cars or carriages, visiting all the interesting spots,
going up into the mountains and enjoying the view from thence of the
lovely, fertile valleys and plains. Then they sailed around the island
and anchored again in the harbor of Port of Spain for the night and to
consider and decide upon their next movement.

"Shall we go up the Orinoco?" asked the Captain, addressing the
company, as all sat together on the deck.

There was a moment of silence, each waiting for the others to speak,
then Mr. Dinsmore said: "Give us your views on the subject, Captain. Is
there much to attract us there? To interest and instruct? I am really
afraid that is a part of my geography in which I am rather rusty."

"It is one of the great rivers of South America," said the Captain. "It
rises in one of the chief mountain chains of Guiana. It is a crooked
stream--flowing west-south-west, then south-west, then north-west, then
north-north-east and after that in an eastward direction to its mouth.
The head of uninterrupted navigation is seven hundred and seventy-seven
miles from its mouth. Above that point there are cataracts.

"It has a great many branches, being joined, it is said, by four
hundred and thirty-six rivers and upward of two thousand streams; so it
drains an area of from two hundred and fifty thousand to six hundred
and fifty thousand square miles, as variously estimated. It begins to
form its delta one hundred and thirty miles from its mouth, by throwing
off a branch which flows northward into the Atlantic. It has several
navigable mouths, and the main stream is divided by a line of islands,
into two channels, each two miles wide. The river is four miles wide at
Bolivar, a town more than two hundred and fifty miles from the mouth of
the river, which is there three hundred and ninety feet deep."

"Why, it's a grand, big river," said Chester. "Much obliged for the
information, Captain. I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that it was so
large, and with its many tributaries drained so large a territory."

"And do you wish to visit it--or a part of it?" queried the Captain.
"How is it with you, Cousins Annis and Ronald?"

"I am willing--indeed, should prefer--to leave the decision to other
members of our party," replied Mrs. Lilburn, and her husband expressed
the same wish to let others decide the question.

"What do you say, Grandma Dinsmore?" asked Violet. "I think you look as
if you would rather not go."

"And that is how I feel--thinking of the mosquitoes," returned the old
lady, with a slight laugh.

"They certainly are very objectionable," said the Captain. "I can't
say that I am at all desirous to try them myself. And I doubt if they
are more scarce on the Amazon than on the Orinoco. One traveler there
tells us, 'At night it was quite impossible to sleep for mosquitoes;
they fell upon us by myriads, and without much piping came straight to
our faces as thick as raindrops in a shower. The men crowded into the
cabins and tried to expel them by smoke from burnt rags, but it was of
little avail, though we were half suffocated by the operation.'"

"That certainly does not sound very encouraging, my dear," said Violet.

"The Amazon is a grand river, I know," said Harold, "but it would not
pay to visit it under so great a drawback to one's comfort; and I am
very sure encountering such pests would be by no means beneficial to
any one of my patients."

"And this one of your patients would not be willing to encounter them,
even if such were the prescription of her physician," remarked Grace,
in a lively tone.

"Nor would this older one," added Grandma Elsie, in playful tones.

"Then we will consider the Orinoco as tabooed," said the Captain; "and
I suppose we shall have to treat the Amazon in the same way, as it was
at a place upon its banks that one of the writers I just quoted had his
most unpleasant experience with the mosquitoes."

"Well, my dear, if there is a difference of opinion and choice among
us--some preferring scenery even with mosquitoes, others no scenery
unless it could be had without mosquitoes--suppose we divide our
forces--one set land and the other remain on board and journey on up
the river."

"Ah! and which set will you join, little wife?" he asked, with playful
look and tone.

"Whichever one my husband belongs to," she answered. "Man and wife are
not to be separated."

"Suppose we take a vote on the question and settle it at once," said
Lucilla.

"A good plan, I think," said Harold.

"Yes," assented the Captain. "Cousins Annis and Ronald, please give us
your wishes in regard to rivers and mosquitoes."

"I admire the rivers, but not the mosquitoes, and would rather do
without both than have both," laughed Annis, and her husband added,
"And my sentiments on the subject coincide exactly with those of my
wife."

Then the question went round the circle, and it appeared that every
one thought a sight of the great rivers and the scenery on their banks
would be too dearly purchased by venturing in among the clouds of
blood-thirsty mosquitoes.

"I'm glad," exclaimed Ned; "for I'm not a bit fond of mosquitoes;
especially not of having them take their meals off me. But I'd like
to see those big rivers. Papa, won't you tell us something about the
Amazon?"

"Yes," said the Captain; "it has two other names--Maranon and
Orellana. It is a very large river and has a big mouth--one hundred and
fifty miles wide, and the tide enters there and goes up the stream five
hundred miles.

"From the wide mouth of the Amazon, where it empties into the ocean,
its water can be distinguished from the other--that of the ocean--for
fifty leagues. The Amazon is so large and has so many tributaries that
it drains two million, five hundred square miles of country. The Amazon
is the king of rivers. It rises in the western range of the Andes, and
is little better than a mountain torrent till it has burst through
the gorges of the eastern range of the chain, where it is overhung by
peaks that tower thousands of feet above its bed. But within three
hundred miles from the Pacific is a branch, Huallagais, large enough
and deep enough for steamers, and a few miles farther down the Amazon
is navigable for vessels drawing five feet; and it grows deeper and
deeper and more and more available for large vessels as it rolls on
toward the ocean. The outlet of this mighty river is a feeder of the
Gulf Stream. It is only since 1867 that the navigation of the Amazon
has been open, but now regular lines of steamers ply between its mouth
and Yurimaguas on the Huallaga."

"Are there not many and important exports sent down the Amazon?" asked
Mr. Dinsmore.

"There are, indeed," replied the Captain, "and the fauna of the waters
have proved wonderful. Agassiz found there, in five months, thirteen
hundred species of fish, nearly a thousand of them new, and about
twenty new genera. The Vacca marina, the largest fish inhabiting fresh
waters, and the Acara, which carries its young in its mouth, when there
is danger, are the denizens of the Amazon."

"Oh," exclaimed Elsie, "I'd like to see that fish with its babies in
its mouth."

"And I should be very sorry to have to carry my children in that
way--even if the relative sizes of my mouth and children made it
possible," said her mother.

"Brazil's a big country, isn't it, papa?" asked Ned.

"Yes," said his father; "about as large as the United States would be
without Alaska."

"Did Columbus discover it, and the Spaniards settle it, papa?" he asked.

"In the year 1500 a companion of Columbus landed at Cape Augustine,
near Pernambuco, and from there sailed along the coast as far as the
Orinoco," replied the Captain. "In the same year another Portuguese
commander, driven to the Brazilian coast by adverse winds, landed, and
taking possession in the name of his monarch named the country Terra da
Vera Crux. The first permanent settlement was made by the Portuguese
in 1531 on the island of St. Vincent. Many settlements were made and
abandoned, because of the hostility of the natives and the lack of
means, and a Huguenot colony, established on the bay of Rio de Janeiro,
in 1555, was broken up by the Portuguese in 1567 when they founded the
present capital, Rio de Janeiro.

"But it is hardly worth while to rehearse all the history of the
various attempts to take possession of Brazil--attempts made by Dutch,
Portuguese and Spanish. French invasion of Portugal, in 1807, caused
the royal family to flee to Brazil, and it became the royal seat of
government until 1821, when Dom John VI. went back to Portugal, leaving
his eldest son, Dom Pedro, as Prince Regent.

"The independence of Brazil was proclaimed September 7, 1822; and on
October 12th, he was crowned emperor as Dom Pedro I. He was arbitrary,
and that made him so unpopular that he found it best to abdicate, which
he did in 1831 in favor of his son, then only a child. That boy was
crowned in 1841, at the age of fifteen, as Dom Pedro II."

"Gold is to be found in Brazil, is it not, papa?" asked Grace.

"Yes," he said, "that country is rich in minerals and precious
stones. Gold, always accompanied with silver, is found in many of the
provinces, and in Minas-Geraes is especially abundant, and in that and
two other of the provinces, diamonds are found; and the opal, amethyst,
emerald, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, topaz and other precious stones
are more or less common."

"Petroleum also is obtained in one or two of the provinces, and there
are valuable phosphate deposits on some of the islands," remarked Mr.
Dinsmore, as the Captain paused, as if he had finished what he had to
say in reply to Grace's question.

"Papa," asked Ned, "are there lions and tigers and monkeys in the
woods?"

"There are dangerous wild beasts--the jaguar being the most common
and formidable. And there are other wild, some of them dangerous,
beasts--the tiger cat, red wolf, tapir, wild hog, Brazilian dog,
or wild fox, capybara or water hog, paca, three species of deer,
armadillos, sloths, ant-eaters, oppossums, coatis, water-rats, otters
and porcupines. Squirrels, hares and rabbits are plentiful. There
are many species of monkeys, too, and several kinds of bats--vampires
among them. On the southern plains, large herds of wild horses are to
be found. Indeed, Brazil can boast a long list of animals. One writer
says that he found five hundred species of birds in the Amazon valley
alone, about thirty distinct species of parrots and twenty varieties
of humming-birds. The largest birds are the ouira, a large eagle; the
rhea, or American ostrich; and the cariama. Along the coasts or in the
forest are to be found frigate birds, snowy herons, toucans, ducks,
wild peacocks, turkeys, geese and pigeons. Among the smaller birds are
the oriole, whippoorwill and the uraponga, or bell bird."

"Those would be pleasant enough to meet," said Violet, "but there are
plenty of most unpleasant creatures--snakes, for instance."

"Yes," assented the Captain; "there are many serpents; the most
venomous are the jararaca and the rattlesnake. The boa-constrictor and
anaconda grow very large, and there are at least three species of cobra
noted as dangerous. There are many alligators, turtles and lizards. The
rivers, lakes and coast-waters literally swarm with fish. Agassiz found
nearly two thousand species, many of them such as are highly esteemed
for food."

"And they have big mosquitoes, too, you have told us, papa," said
Elsie. "Many other bugs, too, I suppose?"

"Yes; big beetles, scorpions and spiders, many kinds of bees,
sand-flies and musical crickets, destructive ants, the cochineal insect
and the pium, a tiny insect whose bite is poisonous and sometimes
dangerous."

"Please tell us about the woods, papa," said Ned.

"Yes; the forests of the Amazon valley are said to be the largest in
the world, having fully four hundred species of trees. In marshy places
and along streams reeds, grasses and water plants grow in tangled
masses, and in the forests the trees crowd each other and are draped
with parasitic vines. Along the coasts mangroves, mangoes, cocoas,
dwarf palms, and the Brazil-wood are noticeable. In one of the southern
provinces more than forty different kinds of trees are valuable for
timber. On the Amazon and its branches there are an almost innumerable
variety of valuable trees; among them the itauba or stonewood, so named
for its durability; the cassia, the cinnamon-tree, the banana, the
lime, the myrtle, the guava, the jacaranda or rosewood, the Brazilian
bread-fruit, whose large seeds are used for food, and many others too
numerous to mention; among them the large and lofty cotton-tree, the
tall white-trunked seringa or rubber-tree, which furnishes the gum of
commerce, and the three or four hundred species of palms. One of those
is called the carnaubu palm; it is probably the most valuable, for
every part of it is useful, from the wax of its leaves to its edible
pith. Another is the piassaba palm, whose bark is clothed with a loose
fiber used for coarse textile fabrics and for brooms."

"Why, papa, that's a very useful tree," was little Elsie's comment
upon that bit of information. "Are there fruits and flowers in those
forests, papa?" she asked.

"Yes; those I have already mentioned, with figs, custard-apples and
oranges. Some European fruits--olives, grapes and water-melons of fine
flavor are cultivated in Brazil."

"If it wasn't for the fierce wild animals and snakes, it would be a
nice country to live in, I think," she said; "but taking everything
into consideration I very much prefer our own country."

"Ah, is that so? Who shall say that you won't change your mind after a
few weeks spent in Brazil?" returned her father, with an amused look.

"You wouldn't want me to, I know, papa," she returned, with a pleasant
little laugh, "for I am very sure you want your children to love their
own country better than any other in the world."

"Yes, my child, I do," he said. Then turning to his older passengers
and addressing them in general, "I think," he said, "if it is agreeable
to you all, we will make a little stop at Pará, the maritime emporium
of the Amazon. I presume you would all like to see that city?"

All seemed pleased with the idea, and it was presently settled that
that should be their next stopping-place. They all enjoyed their life
upon the yacht, but an occasional halt and visit to the shore made an
agreeable variety.



CHAPTER XIV.


Their sail about the mouth of the Amazon was very interesting to them
all, and that up the Pará River to the city of the same name, not
less so. They found the city evidently a busy and thriving place; its
harbor, formed by a curve of the River Pará, here twenty miles wide,
had at anchor in it a number of large vessels of various nationalities.
The "Dolphin" anchored among them, and after a little her passengers
went ashore for a drive about the city.

They found the streets paved and macadamized, the houses with white
walls and red-tiled roofs. There were some large and imposing
buildings--a cathedral, churches and the President's palace were the
principal ones. They visited the public square and beautiful botanic
garden.

It was not very late in the day when they returned to their yacht, but
they--especially Dr. Harold's patients--were weary enough to enjoy the
quiet rest to be found in their ocean home.

"What a busy place it is," remarked Grandma Elsie, as they sat together
upon the deck, gazing out upon the city and its harbor.

"Yes," said the Captain, "Pará is the mart through which passes the
whole commerce of the Amazon and its affluents."

"And that must, of course, make it a place of importance," said Violet.

"It was the seat of revolution in 1833," remarked her grandfather;
"houses were destroyed, lives lost--a great many of them--and grass
grew in streets which before that had been the center of business."

"Papa," exclaimed Ned, "there's a little boat coming, and a man in it
with some little animals."

"Ah, yes; small monkeys, I think they are," Captain Raymond said,
taking a view over the side of the vessel.

Then he called to a sailor that he wanted the man allowed to come
aboard with whatever he had for sale. In a few moments he was at hand
carrying two little monkeys in his arms. He approached the Captain and
bowing low, hat in hand, addressed him in Portuguese, first saying,
"Good-evening," then going on to tell that these were fine little
monkeys--tee-tees--which he had brought for sale, and he went on to
talk fluently in praise of the little creatures, which were about the
size of a squirrel, of a greyish-olive as to the hair of body and
limbs, a rich golden hue on the latter; on the under surface of the
body a whitish grey, and the tip of the tail black.

"Oh, how pretty, how very pretty!" exclaimed little Elsie. "Papa, won't
you buy me one?"

"Yes, daughter, if you want it," returned the Captain, "for I know you
will be kind to it and that it will be a safe and pretty pet for you."

"And Oh, papa, I'd like to have the other one, if I may!" cried Ned,
fairly dancing with delight at the thought of owning the pretty little
creature.

The Captain smiled and said something to the man, speaking in
Portuguese, a language spoken and understood by themselves only of all
on board the vessel.

The man answered, saying, as the Captain afterward told the others,
that he was very glad to sell both to one person, because the little
fellows were brothers and would be company for each other.

Then a tee-tee was handed to each of the children, the Captain gave the
man some money, which seemed to please him, and he went away, while
Elsie and Ned rejoiced over and exhibited their pets, fed them and gave
them a comfortable sleeping-place for the night.

"What lovely, engaging little things they are!" said Grandma Elsie, as
the children carried them away, "the very prettiest monkeys I ever saw."

"Yes," said the Captain, "they are of a very pretty and engaging genus
of monkeys; we all noticed the beauty of their fur, from which they
are called callithrix or 'beautiful hair.' Sometimes they are called
squirrel monkeys, partly on account of their shape and size, and
partly from their squirrel-like activity. They are light, graceful
little creatures. I am hoping my children will have great pleasure
with theirs. They are said to attach themselves very strongly to their
possessors, and behave with a gentle intelligence that lifts them far
above the greater part of the monkey race."

"I think I have read that they are good-tempered," said Grandma Elsie.

"Yes; they are said to be very amiable, anger seeming to be almost
unknown to them. Did you not notice the almost infantile innocence in
the expression of their countenances?"

"Yes, I did," she replied; "it was very touching, and made me feel an
affection for them at once."

"I have read," said Evelyn, "that that is very strong when the little
creatures are alarmed. That sudden tears will come into their clear
hazel eyes, and that they will make a little imploring, shrinking
gesture quite irresistible to kind-hearted, sympathetic people."

"I was reading about the tee-tees not long ago," said Mrs. Lilburn;
"and one thing I learned was that they had a curious habit of watching
the lips of those who speak to them, just as if they could understand
the words spoken, and that when they become quite familiar, they are
fond of sitting on their friend's shoulder, and laying their tiny
fingers on his lips; as if they thought in that way they might discover
the mysteries of speech."

"Poor little darlings! I wish they could talk," exclaimed Grace. "I
daresay they would make quite as good use of the power of speech as
parrots do."

"Possibly even better," said her father. "They seem to be more
affectionate."

"Do they live in flocks in their own forests, papa?" Grace asked.

"Yes," he replied, "so the traveler, Mr. Bates, tells us, and that when
on the move they take flying leaps from tree to tree."

"I am very glad you bought those, papa," she said. "I think they will
be a pleasure and amusement to us all."

"So do I," said Lucilla, "they are so pretty and graceful that I think
we will all be inclined to pet them."

"So I think," said her father, "they seem to me decidedly the prettiest
and most interesting species of monkey I have ever met with."

"And it is really pleasant to see how delighted the children are with
their new pets," said Grandma Elsie.

"Yes," the Captain responded, with a pleased smile, "and I have no fear
that they will ill-use them."

"I am sure they will be kind to them," said Violet. "They were much
interested in the monkeys we saw in going about the city. I saw quite a
number of various species--some pretty large, but most of them small;
some at the doors or windows of houses, some in canoes on the river."

"Yes, I think we all noticed them," said her mother.

"Yes," said the Captain, "I saw several of the _midas ursulus_, a small
monkey which I have read is often to be found here in Pará. It is, when
full grown, only about nine inches long, exclusive of the tail, which
is fifteen inches. It has thick black fur with a reddish brown streak
down the middle of the back. It is said to be a timid little thing, but
when treated kindly becomes very tame and familiar."

"What do monkeys eat, papa?" asked Grace.

"I have been told the little fellows are generally fed on sweet fruits,
such as the banana, and that they are also fond of grasshoppers and
soft-bodied spiders."

"They have some very large and busy ants in this country, haven't they,
father?" asked Evelyn.

"Yes," replied the Captain. "Bates tells of some an inch and a quarter
long and stout in proportion, marching in single file through the
thickets. They, however, have nothing peculiar or attractive in their
habits, though they are giants among ants. But he speaks of another and
far more interesting species. It is a great scourge to the Brazilians,
from its habit of despoiling the most valuable of their cultivated
trees of their foliage. In some districts it is such a pest that
agriculture is almost impossible. He goes on to say that in their first
walks they were puzzled to account for mounds of earth of a different
color from the surrounding soil; mounds, some of them very extensive,
some forty yards in circumference, but not more than two feet high. But
on making inquiries they learned that those mounds were the work of the
saubas--the outworks and domes which overlie and protect the entrances
to their vast subterranean galleries. On close examination, Bates found
the earth of which they were made to consist of very minute granules
heaped together with cement so as to form many rows of little ridges
and turrets. And he learned that the difference in color from the earth
around was because of the undersoil having been brought up from a
considerable depth to form these mounds."

"I should like to see the ants at work upon them," said Grace.

"It is very rarely that one has the opportunity to do so," said her
father. "Mr. Bates tells us that the entrances are generally closed
galleries, opened only now and then when some particular work is going
on. He says he succeeded in removing portions of the dome in smaller
hillocks, and found that the minor entrances converged, at the depth of
about two feet, to one broad, elaborately-worked gallery or mine, which
was four or five inches in diameter."

"Isn't it the ant that clips and carries away leaves?" asked Evelyn.

"Yes, Bates speaks of that; says it has long been recorded in books on
natural history, and that when employed on that work their procession
looks like a multitude of animated leaves on the march. In some places
he found an accumulation of such leaves, all circular pieces about the
size of sixpence, lying on the pathway, no ants near it, and at some
distance from the colony. 'Such heaps,' he says, 'are always found to
have been removed when the place is revisited the next day. The ants
mount the trees in multitudes. Each one is a working miner, places
itself on the surface of a leaf, and cuts with its sharp, scissors-like
jaws, and by a sharp jerk detaches the leaf piece. Sometimes they let
the leaf drop to the ground, where a little heap accumulates until
carried away by another relay of workers; but generally each marches
off with the piece he has detached. All take the same road to their
colony and the path they follow becomes, in a short time, smooth and
bare, looking like the impression of a cart-wheel through the herbage.'"

"I am sorry the children have missed all this interesting information,"
said Violet.

"Never mind, my dear," said her husband, "it can be repeated to them
to-morrow. I think there is a storm gathering, and that we are likely
to have to stay at home here for a day or two."

"Should it prove a storm of any violence we may be thankful that we are
in this good, safe harbor," remarked Mr. Dinsmore.

"And that we have abundance of good company and good reading matter,"
added Grandma Elsie.

"Yes," responded her father, "those are truly additional causes for
thankfulness."

"The little monkeys are another," laughed Lucilla. "I think we will
have some fun with them; and certainly the children are delighted with
their new pets."

"They certainly are engaging little creatures--very different
from those we are accustomed to see going about our streets with
organ-grinders," said Grandma Dinsmore.

The children were on deck unusually early the next morning, their pets
with them. They found their father, mother, Eva and Lucilla there. The
usual affectionate morning greetings were exchanged; then, smiling down
upon Elsie and her pet, the Captain said, "I think you have not yet
tired of your new pet, daughter?"

"No, indeed, papa," was the quick, earnest rejoinder, "I'm growing
fonder of him every hour. Oh, he's just the dearest little fellow!"

"And so is mine," added Ned. "I think I'll name him Tee-tee; and as
Elsie's is a little smaller than this, she is going to call him Tiny."

"If papa approves," added Elsie.

"I am well satisfied," returned their father. "You have begun your day
rather earlier than usual," Captain Raymond went on, addressing the two
children, "and I am well pleased that it is so, because now you can
take some exercise about the deck, which may be prevented later by a
storm," and he glanced up at the sky, where black clouds were gathering.

"Yes, papa, we will," they answered, and set off at once upon a race
round the deck, carrying their pets with them.

The storm had begun when the summons to breakfast came, but the faces
that gathered about the table were cheerful and bright, the talk also.
All agreed that it would be no hardship to have to remain on board for
some days with plenty of books and periodicals to read, the pleasant
company which they were to each other, and the abundance of fruits and
other dainties which the Captain always provided.

When they were done eating, they repaired to the saloon, held their
usual morning service, then sat about singly or in groups, talking,
reading, writing, or, if a lady, busied with some fancy work.

The children were much taken up with their new pets, fondling them and
letting them climb about their shoulders.

Cousin Ronald watched them with interest and pleasure. Elsie was
standing near, her Tiny on her shoulder, gazing into her eyes with
a look that seemed to say, "You are so kind to me that I love you
already." Elsie stroked and patted him, saying, "You dear little pet! I
love you already, and mean to take the very best care of you."

"Thanks, dear little mistress. I am glad to belong to you and mean to
be always the best little tee-tee that ever was seen." The words seemed
to come from the tee-tee's lips, and its pretty eyes were looking right
into Elsie's own.

"Why, you little dear!" she said, with a pleased little laugh, stroking
and patting him, then glancing round at Cousin Ronald, "How well you
talk. In English, too, though I don't believe you ever heard the
language before you came aboard the 'Dolphin.'"

"No, we didn't, though we can speak it now as well as any other," Ned's
pet seemed to say, lifting its head from his shoulder and glancing
around at its brother.

That brought a merry laugh from its little master. "Speak it as much as
you please, Tee-tee," he said, fondling his pet, "or talk Portuguese
or any other language you're acquainted with."

"I'm afraid they will never be able to talk unless Cousin Ronald
is in the company," said Elsie; "or Brother Max," she added, as an
after-thought.

"Yes, Brother Max could make them talk just as well," said Ned. "Oh,
here come the letters and papers!" as a sailor came in carrying the
mailbag.

Its contents gave employment to every one for a time, but, after a
little, Violet, having finished the perusal of her share, called the
children to her and gave them an interesting account of the talk of the
night before about the strange doings of South American ants. They were
much interested, and asked a good many questions. When that subject was
exhausted, Elsie asked to be told something about Rio de Janeiro.

"There is a maritime province of that name in the south-east part of
Brazil," her mother said. "I have read that in the southern part
of it the scenery is very beautiful. The middle of the province is
mountainous. About the city I will read you from the "New International
Encyclopedia," which your father keeps on board whenever we are using
the yacht."

She took down the book, opened and read: "'Rio de Janeiro, generally
called Rio, the capital of the Brazilian empire, and the largest and
most important commercial emporium of South America, stands on a
magnificent harbor, seventy-five miles west of Cape Frio. The harbor
or bay of Rio de Janeiro, said, and apparently with justice, to be the
most beautiful, secure, and spacious bay in the world, is land-locked,
being entered from the south by a passage about a mile in width. It
extends inland seventeen miles, and has an extreme breadth of about
twelve miles. Of its numerous islands, the largest, Governor's Island,
is six miles long. The entrance of the bay, guarded on either side
by granite mountains, is deep, and is so safe that the harbor is
made without the aid of pilots. On the left of the entrance rises
the peak called, from its peculiar shape, Sugarloaf Mountain; and
all round the bay the blue waters are girdled with mountains and
lofty hills of every variety of picturesque and fantastic outline.
The harbor is protected by a number of fortresses. The city stands
on the west shore of the bay, about four miles from its mouth. Seven
green and mound-like hills diversify its site; and the white-walled
and vermillion-roofed houses cluster in the intervening valleys, and
climb the eminences in long lines. From the central portion of the
city, lines of houses extend four miles in three principal directions.
The old town, nearest the bay, is laid out in squares; the streets
cross at right angles, are narrow, and are paved and flagged; and
the houses, often built of granite, are commonly two stories high.
West of it is the elegantly-built new town; and the two districts are
separated by the Campo de Santa Anna, an immense square or park, on
different parts of which stand an extensive garrison, the town-hall,
the national museum, the palace of the senate, the foreign office, a
large opera house, etc. From a number of springs which rise on and
around Mount Corcovado (three thousand feet high, and situated three
and a half miles southwest of the city) water is conveyed to Rio de
Janeiro by a splendid aqueduct, and supplies the fountains with which
the numerous squares are furnished. Great municipal improvements
have, within recent years, been introduced; most of the streets are
now as well paved as those of the finest European capitals; the city
is abundantly lighted with gas; and commodious wharfs and quays are
built along the water edge. Rio de Janeiro contains several excellent
hospitals and infirmaries, asylums for foundlings and female orphans,
and other charitable institutions, some richly endowed; about fifty
chapels and churches, generally costly and imposing structures, with
rich internal decorations, and several convents and nunneries. In the
College of Pedro II., founded in 1837, the various branches of a
liberal education are efficiently taught by a staff of eight or nine
professors; the Imperial Academy of Medicine, with a full corps of
professors, is attended by upward of three hundred students; there is
also a theological seminary. The national library contains one hundred
thousand volumes.'

"There, my dears, I think that is all that will interest you,"
concluded Violet, closing the book.



CHAPTER XV.


The storm continued for some days, during which the "Dolphin" lay
quietly at anchor in the bay of Pará. It was a quiet, uneventful time
for her passengers, but they enjoyed themselves well in each other's
society and waited patiently for a change of weather.

Finally it came; the sun shone, the waves had quieted down and a gentle
breeze taken the place of the boisterous wind of the last few days.

Just as the sun rose, the anchor was lifted and, to the joy of all on
board, the yacht went on her way, steaming out of the harbor and then
down the coast of Brazil; a long voyage, but, under the circumstances,
by no means unpleasant to the "Dolphin's" passengers, so fond as they
were of each other's society.

At length they arrived at Rio de Janeiro. They stayed there long
enough to acquaint themselves with its beauties and all that might
interest a stranger.

All that accomplished, they left for the north, as it was getting near
the time when even the invalids might safely return to the cooler
climate of that region.

It was evening; the children had retired for the night, and all the
older ones were together on the deck. A silence that had lasted for
some moments was broken by Lucilla. "You are taking us home now, I
suppose, father?"

"I don't remember to have said so," replied the Captain, pleasantly,
"though very likely I may do so if you all wish it."

Then Violet spoke up in her quick, lively way, "Mamma, if you would
give us all an invitation to visit Viamede, I think it would be just
delightful to go there for a week or two; and then Chester could see
his sisters and their children."

"I should be glad to help him to do so; and very glad to have you all
my guests at Viamede," was the reply, in Grandma Elsie's own sweet
tones.

Then came a chorus of thanks for her invitation; all seeming much
pleased with the idea.

"It will be quite a journey," remarked Lucilla, in a tone of
satisfaction.

"You are not weary of life on shipboard, daughter?" her father queried,
with a pleased little laugh.

"No, indeed, father; I am very fond of life on the 'Dolphin.' I suppose
that's because of the sailor-blood in me inherited from you."

"Some of which I have also," said Grace; "for I dearly love a voyage in
the 'Dolphin.'"

"Which some of the rest of us do without having the excuse of inherited
sailor-blood," said Harold.

"No; that inheritance isn't at all necessary to the enjoyment of life
on the 'Dolphin,'" remarked Chester.

"Indeed, it is not," said Evelyn. "I am a landsman's daughter, but
life on this vessel with the dear friends always to be found on it is
delightful to me."

"And the rest of us can give a like testimony," said Mrs. Lilburn, and
those who had not already spoken gave a hearty assent.

"Up this South American coast, through the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf
of Mexico--it will be quite a voyage," remarked Lucilla, reflectively.
"It is well, indeed, that we are all fond of life on the 'Dolphin.'"

"Yes; you will have had a good deal of it by the time we get home,"
said her father.

"To-morrow is Sunday," remarked Grandma Elsie. "I am very glad we can
have services on board. I often find them quite as helpful as those I
attend on shore."

"Yes; I don't know why we shouldn't have services, though there is no
licensed preacher among us," said the Captain. "Certainly, we may all
read God's Word, talk of it to others, and address to him both prayers
and praises."

The next morning after breakfast all assembled upon deck, united in
prayer and praise, the Captain read a sermon, and then Mr. Lilburn, by
request of the others, led them in their Bible lesson.

"Let us take parts of the 13th and 14th chapters of Numbers for our
lesson to-day," he said, reading the passages aloud, then asked, "Can
you tell me, Cousin Elsie, where the children of Israel were encamped
just at that time?"

"At Kadesh, in what was called the wilderness of Paran. It was at a
little distance to the southwest of the southern end of the Dead Sea."

"They went and searched the land, as Moses directed, and cut down and
brought back with them a cluster of grapes, a very large one, it must
have been, for they bare it between two upon a staff; also they brought
pomegranates and figs. Do you know, Neddie, what Eshcol means?" asked
Cousin Ronald.

"No, sir; papa hasn't taught me that yet," replied the little boy.

"It means a bunch of grapes," said Cousin Ronald, smiling kindly on
the little fellow. "Grace, do you think the spies were truthful?"

"They seem to have been, so far as the facts about the country they
had just visited were concerned," Grace answered, then read, "And they
told him, and said, 'We came unto the land whither thou sentest us,
and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of
it. Nevertheless, the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the
cities are walled, and very great; and, moreover, we saw the children
of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the
Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains:
and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.'"

"Truly, a very discouraging report," said Mr. Lilburn; "for though
they described the land as very good and desirable, they evidently
considered its inhabitants too strong to be overcome."

He then read, "And they brought up an evil report of the land which
they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, 'The land,
through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the
inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of
a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which
come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and
so we were in their sight.' And what effect had their report upon the
people, Cousin Violet?" he asked.

In reply, Violet read, "And all the congregation lifted up their
voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children
of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole
congregation said unto them, 'Would God that we had died in the land
of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore
hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that
our wives and our children should be a prey? Were it not better for us
to return into Egypt?' And they said, one to another, 'Let us make a
captain, and let us return into Egypt.'"

It seemed to be Mr. Dinsmore's turn, and he read, "And Joshua, the
son of Nun; and Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that
searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the
company of the children of Israel, saying, 'The land, which we passed
through to search it, is exceeding good land. If the Lord delight
in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land
which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord,
neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us:
their defense is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them
not.'"

Then Mrs. Dinsmore read, "But all the congregation bade stone them with
stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the
congregation before all the children of Israel. And the Lord said unto
Moses, 'How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be
ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?
I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will
make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.'"

"How very childish they were," remarked Violet. "Why should they
wish they had died in the land of Egypt, or in the wilderness? That
would have been no better than dying where they were. And it does
seem strange they could not trust in God when he had given them such
wonderful deliverances."

"And they said, one to another, 'Let us make a captain, and let us
return into Egypt,'" read Harold, adding, "It does seem as though they
felt that Moses would not do anything so wicked and foolish as going
back into Egypt."

"And they might well feel so," said the Captain. "Moses was not the man
to be discouraged by such difficulties after all the wonders God had
shown him and them in Egypt and the wilderness."

"That is true," said Mr. Lilburn. "But let us go on to the end of the
story. We have read that the Lord threatened to smite them with the
pestilence, and disinherit them, and make of Moses a greater nation and
mightier than they. Chester, what did Moses say in reply?"

"And Moses said unto the Lord, 'Then the Egyptians shall hear it (for
Thou broughtest up this people in Thy might from among them); and they
will tell it to the inhabitants of this land; for they have heard that
Thou, Lord, art among this people, that Thou, Lord, art seen face to
face, and that Thy cloud standeth over them, and that Thou goest before
them, by daytime in the pillar of cloud, and in a pillar of fire by
night. Now if Thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the
nations which have heard the fame of Thee will speak, saying, Because
the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which He sware
unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness. And now,
I beseech Thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as Thou
hast spoken, saying, The Lord is long-suffering, and of great mercy,
forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the
guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the
third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech Thee, the iniquity of
this people according unto the greatness of Thy mercy, and as Thou hast
forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.'"

Chester paused, and Mrs. Dinsmore took up the story where he dropped
it, reading from her Bible, "And the Lord said, 'I have pardoned
according to thy word: but as truly as I live, all the earth shall
be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which
have seen My glory and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the
wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not
hearkened to My voice. Surely they shall not see the land which I
sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked Me
see it: But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him,
and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto
he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the
Canaanites dwelt in the valley). To-morrow, turn you, and get you into
the wilderness by the Red Sea.'"

"Papa, did all those people lose their souls?" asked Elsie.

"I hope not," he replied. "If they repented and turned to the Lord,
they were forgiven and reached Heaven at last. Jesus says, 'Come unto
Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in
heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.'"



CHAPTER XVI.


"Are we going to stop at any of these South American countries, papa?"
asked Elsie the next day, standing by her father's side on the deck.

"I hardly think so," he replied. "It is rather too nearly time to go
home."

"Oh, papa, I'd like ever so much to see our other home,
Viamede--grandma lets me call it one of my homes--if there is time, and
it isn't too far away."

"Well, daughter," her father said, with a smile, "I think there
is time, and the place not too far away--the 'Dolphin' being a
good-natured yacht that never complains of her long journeys."

"Oh, papa, are we really going there?" cried the little girl, fairly
dancing with delight. "I'll be so glad to see the Keith cousins at the
cottage, and those at Magnolia Hall, and the others at Torriswood. And
I'll show Tiny to them, and they'll be sure to be pleased to see him,"
she added, hugging her pet, which, as usual, she had in her arms.

"Probably they will," said her father. "Do you think of giving him to
any one of them?"

"Give my little pet Tiny away? Why, papa! no indeed! I couldn't think
of such a thing!" she cried, hugging her pet still closer. "I'm fond
of him, papa, and I'm pretty sure he's fond of me; he seems to want to
snuggle up close to me all the time."

"Yes; I think he is fond of you and won't want to leave you, except for
a little while now and then to run up and down the trees and round the
grounds. That will be his play; and when he gets hungry he will go back
to you for something to eat."

Ned, with his pet in his arms, had joined them just in time to hear his
father's last sentence.

"Are you talking about Elsie's Tiny, papa?" he asked.

"Yes, my son, and what I said will apply to your Tee-tee just as well.
I think if my children are good and kind to the little fellows they
will not want to run away."

"I have been good to him so far," said Ned, patting and stroking his
pet as he spoke, "and I mean to keep on. Papa, where are we going now?
Elsie and I were talking about it a while ago, and we wondered if we
were now on the way home."

"Would you like to be?" asked his father.

"Yes, papa; or to go somewhere else first; just as pleases you."

"What would you say as to visiting Viamede?"

"Oh, papa, that I'd like it ever so much!"

"Well, your grandma has given us all an invitation to go there, and we
are very likely to accept it. It will make us a little later in getting
home than I had intended, but it will be so great a pleasure that I
think we will all feel paid."

"Yes, indeed!" cried Ned, dancing up and down in delight, "I think it's
just splendid that we can go there. I don't know any lovelier or more
delightful place to go to; do you, papa?"

"And I'm as glad as you are, Ned," said Elsie. "Let's go and thank
grandma. Yonder she is in her usual seat under the awning."

"Yes," said their father, "you owe her thanks, and it would be well to
give them at once," and they hastened to do his bidding.

Grandma Elsie was seated with the other ladies of their party in that
pleasant spot under the awning, where there were plenty of comfortable
seats, and they were protected from sun and shower. The gentlemen were
there, too. Some were reading and some--the younger ones--chatting and
laughing merrily among themselves. Into this group the children came
rushing, full of excitement and glee.

"Oh grandma," they cried, talking both at once, "we're so glad we're
going to Viamede, so much obliged to you for inviting us, because it's
such a dear, beautiful place and seems to be one of our homes."

"Yes, you must consider it so, my dears; because it is mine, and I
consider my dear grandchildren as mine, too," was grandma's smiling,
affectionate rejoinder.

"As I do, mamma," said Violet, "and I am sure no children ever had a
better, kinder grandmother."

"No, indeed," said Elsie. "And I think Tiny and Tee-tee will enjoy
being at Viamede, too, and climbing up the beautiful trees. Papa says
they will, but will be glad to come back to us when they get hungry;
because we feed them with such things as they like to eat."

"It will be a long journey before we get to Viamede, won't it, mamma?"
asked Ned.

"Yes; a good many miles up this coast of South America, then through
the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans, then through
Teche Bayou to Viamede. I think it will be a long, pleasant journey.
Don't you?"

"Yes, mamma, it is very pleasant to be on our yacht with you and papa
and grandma and so many other kind friends."

Just then the Captain joined them.

"How long will it take us to get to Viamede, papa?" asked Ned.

"About as long as it would to cross the ocean from our country to
Europe. And should storms compel us to seek refuge for a time in some
harbor, it will, of course, take longer."

"Will we go back to Trinidad?"

"Hardly, I think; though we will probably pass in sight of the island."

"And we are on the coast of Brazil now?"

"Yes; and will be for a week or more."

"We are trying life in the 'Dolphin' for a good while this winter,"
said Violet.

"You are not wearying of it, I hope, my dear?" asked the Captain,
giving her a rather anxious and troubled look.

"Oh, no, not at all!" she replied, giving him an affectionate smile,
"this winter trip has been a real enjoyment to me thus far."

"As it has to all of us, I think," said her mother; and all within
hearing joined in with their expressions of pleasure in all they had
experienced on the sea or on the land since sailing away from their
homes in the "Dolphin."

"I am half afraid that you gentlemen will find your homes but dull
places when you get back to them," remarked Lucilla, in a tone of
feigned melancholy, sighing deeply as she spoke.

"Well, for business reasons I shall be glad to get back to my office,"
said Chester. "So it will not be altogether a trying thing to return,
even if my home is to be but dull and wearisome."

"I don't believe it will be," laughed Grace. "Lu is never half so hard
and disagreeable as she pretends. She has always been the nicest of
sisters to me, and I have an idea that she is quite as good a wife."

"So have I," said Chester. "I know I wouldn't swap wives with any man."

"Nor I husbands with any woman," laughed Lucilla. "I took this man for
better or for worse, but there's no worse about it."

A merry laugh from little Elsie turned all eyes upon her. Tiny was
curled up on her shoulder, his hazel eyes fixed inquiringly upon her
face and one of his fingers gently laid upon her lips.

"I think your Tiny is wanting to learn to talk," her father said. "He
seems to be trying to see how you do it."

"Oh, do you think he can learn, papa?" she asked, in eager tones. "I
don't see why monkeys shouldn't talk as well as parrots."

"I do not, either, my child; I only know that they do not."

At that instant Tiny lifted his head and turned his eyes upon the
Captain, and some words seemed to come rapidly and in rather an
indignant tone from his lips. "I can talk and I will when I want to. My
little mistress is very kind and good to me, and I'm growing very fond
of her."

Everybody laughed and Elsie said, "I wish it were really his talk. But
I know it was Cousin Ronald who spoke."

"Ah, little cousin, how much fun you miss by knowing too much," laughed
Mr. Lilburn.

Then Ned's Tee-tee seemed to speak. "You needn't make a fuss over my
brother. I can talk quite as well as he can."

"Why, so you can!" exclaimed Ned, stroking and patting him. "And I'm
glad to have you talk just as much as you will."

"Thank you, little master; you're very good to me," was the reply.

"Now, Tiny, it is your turn," said Elsie to her pet. "I hope you think
you are having a good time here on this yacht?"

"Yes, indeed I do," was the reply. "But where are we going?"

"To Viamede; a beautiful place in Louisiana. And you shall run about
over the velvety, flower-spangled lawn, and climb the trees, if you
want to, and pick some oranges and bananas for yourself, and have ever
such a good time."

"That's nice! Shall my brother Tee-tee have a good time with me, too?"

"Yes, if you both promise not to run away and leave us."

"We'd be very foolish tee-tees if we did."

"So I think," laughed Elsie, affectionately stroking and patting Tiny.

"Come, Tee-tee; it's your turn to talk a little," said Ned, patting and
stroking his pet.

"Am I going to that good place Tiny's mistress tells about, where they
have fine trees to climb and oranges and bananas and other good things
to eat?" Tee-tee seemed to ask.

"Yes," replied Ned, "if you keep on being a good little fellow you
shall go there and have a good time playing about and feasting on the
fruits, nuts and other nice things."

"Then I mean to be good--as good as I know how."

"Cousin Ronald, you do make them talk very nicely," remarked Elsie,
with satisfaction, adding, "But I do wish they could do it themselves."

"I presume they would be glad if they could," said Lucilla. "Yours
watches the movements of your lips, as if he wanted very much to
imitate them with his."

"And I believe he does," said Elsie. "It makes me feel more thankful
for the gift of speech than I ever did before."

"Then it has a good effect," said her father.

"So they are useful little creatures, after all," said Grace, "though I
had thought them only playthings."

"I think Tiny is the very best plaything that ever I had," said Elsie,
again stroking and patting the little fellow. "Cousin Ronald, won't you
please make him talk a little more?"

"Why do you want me to talk so much, little mistress?" Tiny seemed to
ask.

"Oh, because I like to hear you and you really mean what you seem to
say. Do you like to be with us on this nice big yacht?"

"Pretty well, though I'd rather be among the big trees in the woods
where I was born."

"I think that must be because you are not quite civilized," laughed
Elsie.

"I'd rather be in those woods, too," Tee-tee seemed to say. "Let's run
away to the woods, Tiny, when we get a chance."

"Ho, ho!" cried Ned, "if that's the way you talk you shan't have a
chance."

"Now, Ned, you surely wouldn't be so cruel as to keep him if he wants
to go back to his native woods," said Lucilla. "How would you like to
be carried off to a strange place, away from papa and mamma?"

"But I ain't a monkey," said Ned. "And I don't believe he cares about
his father and mother as I do about mine. Do you care very much about
them, Tee-tee?"

"Not so very much; and I think they've been caught or killed."

The words seemed to come from Tee-tee's lips and Ned exclaimed,
triumphantly: "There; he doesn't care a bit."

"But it wasn't he that answered; it was Cousin Ronald."

"Well, maybe Cousin Ronald knows how he feels. Don't you, Cousin
Ronald?"

"Ah, I must acknowledge that it is all guess-work, sonny boy," laughed
the old gentleman.

"Well," said Ned, reflectively, "I've heard there are some folks who
are good at guessing, and I believe you are one of them, Cousin Ronald."

"But I'm not a Yankee, you know, and I've heard that they are the folks
who are good at guessing," laughed Cousin Ronald.

"But I don't believe they do all the guessing; I think other folks must
do some of it," said Ned.

"Quite likely," said Cousin Ronald; "most folks like to engage in that
business once in awhile."

"Tee-tee," said Ned, "I wish you and Tiny would talk a little more."

"What about little master?" seemed to come in quick response from
Tiny's lips.

"Oh, anything you please. All I want is the fun of hearing you talk,"
said Ned.

"It wouldn't be polite for us to do all the talking," he seemed to
respond; and Ned returned, "You needn't mind about the politeness of
it. We folks all want to hear you talk, whatever you may say."

"But I don't want to talk unless I have something to say," was Tiny's
answer.

"That's right, Tiny; you seem to be a sensible fellow," laughed Lucilla.

"Papa, are monkeys mischievous?" asked Elsie.

"They have that reputation, and certainly some have shown themselves
so; therefore, you would better not put temptation in the way of Tiny
or Tee-tee."

"And better not trust them too far," said Violet. "I'd be sorry to have
any of your clothes torn up while we are so far from home."

"Oh mamma, do you think they would do that?" cried Elsie.

"I don't know; but I have heard of monkeys meddling with their
mistress's clothes, and perhaps Tiny doesn't know how much too large
even yours would be for her--no for him."

"Well, mamma, I'll try to keep things out of his way, and I hope
he'll realize that a girl's garments are not suitable for a boy
monkey," laughed Elsie. "Do you hear that? and will you remember?" she
asked, giving him a little shake and tap which he seemed to take very
unconcernedly.

"And I'll try to keep my clothes out of Tee-tee's way; for I shouldn't
like to make trouble for you, mamma, or to wear either holey or patched
clothes," said Ned.

"No," said his father; "so we will hope the little fellows will be
honest enough to refrain from meddling with your clothes; at least till
we get home."

"And I think you will find these pretty little fellows honest, and
not meddlesome," said Mr. Dinsmore. "I have read that they are most
engaging little creatures, and from what I have seen of these, I
think that is true; they seem to behave with gentle intelligence
quite superior to that of any other monkey I ever saw; to have
amiable tempers, too, and there is an innocent expression in their
countenances, which is very pleasing. I do not think they have as
yet had anything to frighten them here, but I have read that when
alarmed, sudden tears fill their clear hazel eyes, and they make little
imploring, shrinking gestures that excite the sympathy of those to whom
they are appealing for protection."

"Yes, grandpa, I think they do look good, enough better and pleasanter
than any other monkey that ever I saw," said Ned.

"Yes," said his father, "it is certainly the most engaging specimen of
the monkey family that ever I came across."

"Children," said Violet, "the call to dinner will come in about five
minutes. So put away your pets for the present and make yourselves neat
for the table."



CHAPTER XVII.


The "Dolphin" sped on her way, and her passengers enjoyed their voyage
whether the sun shone or the decks were swept by wind and rain; for the
saloon was always a comfortable place of refuge in stormy weather, and
by no means an unpleasant one at any time. They were all gathered on
the deck one bright, breezy morning, chatting cheerily, the children
amusing themselves with their tee-tee pets.

"Father," said Lucilla, "are we not nearing the Caribbean Sea?"

"Yes; if all goes well we will be in it by this time to-morrow," was
Captain Raymond's reply. "It is a body of water worth seeing; separated
from the Gulf of Mexico by Yucatan, and from the Atlantic Ocean by the
great arch of the Antilles, between Cuba and Trinidad. It forms the
turning point in the vast cycle of waters known as the Gulf Stream
that wheels round regularly from Southern Africa to Northern Europe.
The Caribbean Sea pours its waters into the Gulf of Mexico on the west,
which shoots forth on the east the Florida stream with the computed
volume of three thousand Mississippis."

"But, papa, where does it get so much water to pour out?" asked Elsie.
"I wonder it didn't get empty long ago."

"Ah, that is prevented by its taking in as well as pouring out. It
gathers water from the Atlantic Ocean and the Amazon and Orinoco
rivers."

"Papa, why do they call it by that name--Caribbean Sea?" asked Ned.

"It takes its name from the Caribs, the people who were living there
when Columbus discovered the islands," said the Captain.

"The Gulf Stream is very important, isn't it, papa?" asked Elsie.

"The most important and best known of the great ocean currents," he
replied. "It flows out of the Gulf of Mexico, between the coast of
Florida on one side and the Cuba and Bahama islands and shoals on the
other."

"The Stream is very broad, isn't it, papa?" asked Grace.

"About fifty miles in the narrowest portion, and it has a velocity of
five miles an hour; pouring along like an immense torrent."

"But where does it run to, papa?" asked Ned.

"First in a northeasterly direction, along the American coast, the
current gradually growing wider and less swift, until it reaches the
island and banks of Newfoundland; then it sweeps across the Atlantic,
and divides into two portions, one turning eastward toward the
Azores and coast of Morocco, while the other laves the shores of the
British islands and Norway, also the southern borders of Iceland and
Spitsbergen, nearly as far east as Nova Zembla."

"But how can they tell where it goes when it mixes in with other
waters, papa?" asked Elsie.

"Its waters are of a deep indigo blue, while those of the sea are light
green," replied her father. "And as it pours out of the Gulf of Mexico
its waters are very warm and full of fish and seaweed in great masses.
Its waters are so warm that in mid-winter, off the cold coasts of
America between Cape Hatteras and Newfoundland, ships beaten back from
their harbors by fierce northwesters until loaded down with ice and in
danger of foundering, turn their prows to the east and seek relief and
comfort in the Gulf Stream."

"Don't they have some difficulty in finding it, father?" asked Lucilla.

"A bank of fog rising like a wall, caused by the condensation of warm
vapors meeting a colder atmosphere, marks the edge of the Stream,"
replied the Captain. "Also the water suddenly changes from green to
blue, the climate from winter to summer, and this change is so sudden
that when a ship is crossing the line, a difference of thirty degrees
of temperature has been marked between the bow and the stern."

"Papa, I know there used to be pirates in the West Indies; was it there
that Kidd committed his crimes?"

"I think not," replied her father. "In his day, piracy on the high
seas prevailed to an alarming extent, especially in the Indian Ocean.
It was said that many of the freebooters came from America, and that
they found a ready market here for their stolen goods. The King of
England--then King of this country, also--wished to put an end to
piracy, and instructed the governors of New York and Massachusetts to
put down these abuses.

"It was soon known in New York that the new governor was bent on
suppressing piracy. Then some men of influence, who knew of Kidd as a
successful, bold and skilful captain, who had fought against the French
and performed some daring exploits, recommended him as commander of the
expedition against the pirates. They said he had all the requisite
qualifications--skill, courage, large and widely-extended naval
experience, and thorough knowledge of the haunts of the pirates 'who
prowled between the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Malacca.'

"A private company was organized, a vessel bought, called the
'Adventure,' equipped with thirty guns, and Kidd given command. He
sailed to New York, and on his way captured a French ship off the coast
of Newfoundland. He sailed from the Hudson River in January, 1697,
crossed the ocean and reached the coast of Madagascar, then the great
rendezvous of the buccaneers."

"And how soon did he begin his piracy, papa?"

"I can't tell you exactly, but it soon began to be reported that he
was doing so, and in November, 1698, orders were sent to all the
governors of English colonies to apprehend him if he came within their
jurisdiction.

"In April, 1699, he arrived in the West Indies in a vessel called
'Quidah Merchant,' secured her in a lagoon on the Island of Samoa,
southeast of Hayti, and then, in a sloop called 'San Antonio,' sailed
for the north, up the coast into Delaware Bay, afterward to Long Island
Sound, and into Oyster Bay. He was soon arrested, charged with piracy,
sent to England, tried, found guilty and hung."

"There were other charges, were there not, Captain?" asked Mr. Dinsmore.

"Yes, sir; burning houses, massacring peasantry, brutally treating
prisoners, and particularly with murdering one of his men, William
Moore. He had called Moore a dog, to which Moore replied, 'Yes, I am
a dog, but it is you that have made me so.' At that, Kidd, in a fury
of rage, struck him down with a bucket, killing him instantly. It was
found impossible to prove piracy against Kidd, but he was found guilty
of the murder of Moore, and on the twenty-fourth of May, 1701, he was
hanged with nine of his accomplices."

"Did he own that he was guilty, papa?" asked Grace.

"No," replied the Captain, "he protested his innocence to the last;
said he had been coerced by his men, and that Moore was mutinous when
he struck him; and there are many who think his trial was high-handed
and unfair."

"Then I hope he didn't deserve quite all that has been said against
him," said Grace.

"I hope not," said her father.



CHAPTER XVIII.


Elsie and Ned were on deck with their pet tee-tees, which seemed to be
in even more than usually playful mood, running round and round the
deck and up and down the masts. Ned chased after them, trying to catch
them, but failing again and again. He grew more and more excited and
less careful to avoid mishap in the struggle to capture the little
runaways. Elsie called after him to "let them have their fun for
awhile, and then they would come back to be petted and fed," but he
paid no attention to her. He called and whistled to Tee-tee, who was
high up on a mast. The little fellow stood still for a time, regarding
his young master as if he would say, "I'll come when I please, but you
can't make me come sooner." So Ned read the look, and called up to him,
"Come down this minute, you little rascal, or I'll be apt to make you
sorry you didn't."

That did not seem to have any effect, and Ned looked about for some one
to send up after the little runaway.

"Have patience, master Ned, he'll come down after a bit," said a sailor
standing near. "Ah, do you see? There he comes now," and turning
quickly, Ned saw his tee-tee running swiftly down the mast, then along
the top of the gunwale, then down on the outside. He rushed to catch
him, leaned too far over, and, with a cry of terror, felt himself
falling down, down into the sea.

A scream from Elsie echoed his cry. The sailor who had spoken to Ned
a moment before, instantly tore off his coat and plunged in after the
child, caught him as he rose to the surface, held him with his head out
of water, and called for a boat which was already being launched by the
other sailors.

Neither the Captain nor any of his older passengers were on deck at the
moment; but the cries of the children, the sailor's plunge into the
water, and the hurrying of the others to launch the boat were heard in
the saloon.

"Something is wrong!" exclaimed the Captain, hurrying to the deck,
closely followed by Violet, whose cry was, "Oh, my children! What has
happened to them?"

The other members of the party came hurrying after all in great
excitement.

"Don't be alarmed, my dear," said the Captain, soothingly, "whatever
is wrong can doubtless be set right in a few moments." Then, catching
sight of his little girl as he gained the deck, and seeing that she was
crying bitterly, "Elsie daughter, what is it?" he asked.

"Oh, papa," sobbed the child, "Neddie has fallen into the sea, and I'm
afraid he's drowned!"

Before her father could answer, a sailor approached and, bowing
respectfully, said:

"I think it will be all right, sir, in a few minutes. Master Ned fell
into the water, but Tom Jones happened to be close at hand, and sprang
in right after him and caught him as he came up the first time. Then he
called to us to lower the boat, and you see it's in the water already,
and they're starting after Master Ned and Tom--left considerable behind
now by the forward movement of the yacht."

"Ah, yes; I see them," returned the Captain; "the boat, too. Violet,
my dear, Neddie seems to be quite safe, and we will have him on board
again in a few minutes."

All on the deck watched, in almost breathless suspense, the progress
of the small boat through the water, saw it reach and pick up the
half-drowning man and boy, and then return to the yacht. In a few
moments more Ned was in his mother's arms, her tears falling on his
face, as she clasped him to her bosom, kissing him over and over again
with passionate fondness.

"There, Vi, dear, you would better give him into my care for a little,"
said Harold. "He wants a good rubbing, dry garments, a dose of
something hot and then a good nap."

"There, go with Uncle Harold, dear," said his mother, releasing him.

"And papa," said Ned, looking up at his father, entreatingly.

"Yes, little son, papa will go with you," returned the Captain, in
moved tones.

"Oh, is my tee-tee drowned?" exclaimed the little fellow, with sudden
recollection, and glancing around as he spoke.

"No," said Harold; "I see him now running around the deck. He's all
right." And with that the two gentlemen hurried down into the cabin,
taking Ned with them.

"Well, it is a very good plan to always take a doctor along when we go
sailing about the world," remarked Lucilla, looking after them as they
passed down the stairway.

"Yes; especially when you can find one as skilful, kind and agreeable
as our Doctor Harold," said Evelyn.

"Thank you, my dear," said Mrs. Travilla, regarding Evelyn with a
pleased smile, "he seems to me both an excellent physician and a
polished gentleman; but mothers are apt to be partial judges; so I am
glad to find that your opinion is much the same as mine."

Grace looked gratified, and Violet said: "It seems to be the opinion of
all on board."

"Mine as well as the rest," added Lucilla. "Chester has improved
wonderfully since we set sail on the 'Dolphin.'"

"Quite true," said Chester's voice close at hand, he having just
returned from a talk with the sailors who had picked up the
half-drowning man and boy, "quite true; and I give credit to my doctor,
Cousin Harold; for his advice at least, which I have endeavored to
follow carefully. He's a fine, competent physician, if it is a relative
who says it. Violet, you need have no fear that he won't bring your boy
through this thing all right."

"I am not at all afraid to trust him--my dear, skilful brother and
physician--and I believe he will be able to bring my little son through
this trouble," said Violet.

"No doubt of it," returned Chester; "by to-morrow morning little Ned
will be in usual health and spirits; none the worse for his sudden sea
bath."

"I can never be thankful enough to Tom Jones," said Violet, with
emotion. "He saved the life of my darling boy; for he surely would
have drowned before any one else could have got to him."

"Yes," said Chester; "I think he deserves all the praise you can give
him."

"And something more than praise," said Violet and her mother, both
speaking at once. "He is not, by any means, a rich man," added Violet,
"and my husband will certainly find a way to help him into better
circumstances."

"Something in which I shall be glad to assist," added her mother.
"Neddie is your son, but he is my dear little grandson."

"And my great-grandson," added Mr. Dinsmore, joining the group. "I am
truly thankful that Tom Jones was so near when he fell, and so ready to
go to the rescue."

"And the engineer to slacken the speed of the vessel, the other sailors
to lower and man the boat and go to the rescue," said Violet.

"Yes; they must all be rewarded," said her mother. "It will be a
pleasure to me to give them a substantial evidence of the gratitude I
feel."

"That is just like you, mamma," said Violet, with emotion; "but I am
sure his father is able, and will be more than willing to do all that
is necessary."

"Yes, indeed!" exclaimed Lucilla, "there is no more just or generous
person than my father! And he is abundantly able to do all that can be
desired to reward any or all who took any part in the saving of my dear
little brother."

"My dear girl," said Grandma Elsie, "no one who knows your father can
have the least doubt of his generosity and kindness of heart; I am very
sure that all the men we were speaking of will have abundant proof of
it."

"As we all are," said Mr. Dinsmore.

"I'm sure papa will do just what is right; he always does," said little
Elsie. "And oh, mamma, don't you think that he and Uncle Harold will
soon get dear Neddie well of his dreadful dip in the sea?"

"I do, daughter," answered Violet; "and oh, here come your papa and
uncle now!"

For at that moment the two gentlemen stepped upon the deck and came
swiftly toward them.

"Oh? how is he--my darling little son?" cried Violet, almost breathless
with excitement and anxiety.

"Doing as well as possible," answered her brother, in cheery tone. "He
has had a good rubbing down, a hot, soothing potion, been covered up in
his berth, and fallen into a sound sleep."

"Yes," said the Captain, "I think he is doing as well as possible, and
to-morrow will show himself no worse for his involuntary dip in the
sea."

"Oh, I am so glad, so thankful!" exclaimed Violet, tears of joy filling
her eyes.

"As I am," said his father, his voice trembling with emotion; "we have
great cause for thankfulness to the Giver of All Good. I am very glad
your mind is relieved, dearest. But I must go now and thank the men,
whose prompt action saved us from a heavy loss and bitter sorrow."

He had seated himself by Violet's side and put his arm about her, but
he rose with those last words, and went forward to where a group of
sailors were talking over the episode and rejoicing that it had ended
so satisfactorily. They lifted their hats and saluted the Captain
respectfully as he neared them.

"How is the little lad, sir?" asked Jones, as he neared them. "No worse
for his ducking, I hope."

"Thank you, Jones. I think he will not be any the worse by to-morrow
morning," replied the Captain. "He is sleeping now, which, I think, is
the best thing he could do. Jones, he owes his life to you, and I can
never cease to be grateful to you for your prompt action in springing
instantly to his rescue when he fell into the water."

"Oh, sir," stammered Jones, looking both pleased and embarrassed,
"it--it wasn't a bit more than almost any other fellow would have
done in my place. And I'm mighty glad I did it, for he's one o' the
likeliest little chaps ever I saw!"

"He is a very dear one to his father and mother, brother and sisters,
and I should like to give to each of you fellows who helped in this
thing, some little token of my appreciation of your kindly efforts. I
will think it over and have a talk with you again, and you may consider
what return I could make that would be the most agreeable and helpful
to you."

"About how much do you suppose that means?" asked one man of his mates,
when the Captain had walked away.

"Perhaps five dollars apiece," chuckled one of the others, "for the
Captain is pretty generous; and likely Jones's share will be twice as
much."

"Nonsense! who wants to be paid for saving that cute little chap from
drowning?" growled Jones. "I'd have been a coward if I'd indulged in a
minute's hesitation."

"I s'pose so," returned one of the others, "but you risked your life to
save his, so deserve a big reward, and I hope and believe you'll get
it."

On leaving the group of sailors, the Captain went to the pilot-house
and gave warm thanks there for the prompt slowing of the "Dolphin's"
speed the instant the alarm of Ned's fall was given.

"It was no more than any other man would have done in my place,
Captain," replied the pilot, with a smile of gratification.

"No," returned Captain Raymond, "some men would have been less prompt
and the probable consequence, the loss of my little son's life, which
would have been a great loss to his mother and me," he added, with
emotion. "I think you are worthy of an increase of pay, Mr. Clark, and
you won't object to it, I suppose?"

"No, sir; seeing I have a family to support, I won't refuse your
kindness, and I thank you very much for the kind offer."

At that moment Violet drew near and stood at her husband's side. She
spoke in tones trembling with emotion. "I have come to thank you,
Clark, for the saving of my darling boy's life; for I know that but
for the slowing of the engine both Jones and he might have lost their
lives--sinking before help could reach them."

"You are very kind to look at it in that way, Mrs. Raymond," returned
Clark, in tones that spoke his appreciation of her grateful feeling,
"but it was very little that I did--cost hardly any exertion and no
risk. Jones is, I think, the only one deserving much, if any, credit
for the rescue of the little lad."

He paused a moment, then added, "But the Captain here has most
generously offered me an increase of pay; for which I thank him most
heartily."

"Oh, my dear, I am very glad to hear that!" exclaimed Violet,
addressing her husband.

With the last word, her hand was slipped into his arm, and, with a
parting nod to Clark, they turned and went back to the family group
still gathered upon the deck under the awning.

They found Elsie with Tiny on her shoulder and Tee-tee on her lap.

"I must take care of them both now for awhile till Ned gets over that
dreadful sea bath," she said, looking up smilingly at her parents as
they drew near.

"Yes, daughter, that is right," replied her father, "it was no fault of
little Tee-tee that his young master fell into the sea."

That evening Violet and the Captain had a quiet promenade on the deck
together, in which they talked of those who had any share in the rescue
of their little Ned, and what reward might be appropriate for each one.

"I have heard there is a mortgage on the farm which is the home of Tom
Jones and his mother," said the Captain. "I will pay that off as my
gift to Tom, in recognition of his bravery and kindness in risking his
own life in the effort to save that of our little son."

"Do," said Violet, joyfully; "he certainly deserves it, and probably
there is nothing he would like better."

"He is certainly entitled to the largest reward I give," said the
Captain, "though I daresay almost any of the others would have acted
just as he did, if they had had the same opportunity."

Ned slept well under his uncle's care that night, and the next morning
appeared at the breakfast table looking much as usual, and saying, in
answer to loving inquiries, that he felt as if nothing had happened to
him; not a bit the worse for his bath in the sea.

Nor was he disposed to blame Tee-tee for his involuntary plunge into
the water; the two were evidently as fast friends as ever.

After breakfast the Captain had a talk, first with Jones, then with
the other men, in which each learned what his reward was to be. Jones
was almost too much moved for speech when told of his, but expressed
his gratitude more fully afterward, saying, "It is a blessed thing to
have a home of one's own; especially when it can be shared with one's
mother. Dear me, but won't she be glad!"

And the others were highly pleased with the ten dollars apiece which
fell to their shares.



CHAPTER XIX.


The yacht had now passed from the Caribbean Sea into the Gulf of Mexico
and was headed for New Orleans, where they arrived safely and in due
season.

They did not care to visit the city--most of them having been there
several times, and all wanting to spend at Viamede the few days they
could spare for rest and pleasure before returning to their more
northern homes. So they tarried but a few hours at the Crescent City,
then pursued their way along the gulf, up the bay into Teche Bayou and
beyond through lake and lakelet, past plantation and swamp, plain and
forest; enjoying the scenery as of old--the beautiful velvety green
lawns, shaded by their magnificent oaks and magnolias, cool shady
dells carpeted with a rich growth of flowers; tall white sugar-houses
and long rows of cabins for the laborers; and lordly villas peering
through groves of orange trees.

A pleasant surprise awaited them as they rounded at the wharf--at
Viamede; a great gathering of friends and relatives--not only from
the immediate neighborhood, but from that of their more northern
homes--Edward Travilla and his family, Elsie Leland and hers, Rose
Croly with her little one. It was a glad surprise to Violet, for her
mother had not told her they had all been invited to spend the winter
at Viamede, and had accepted the invitation.

The cousins from Magnolia Hall, Torriswood and the cottage were all
there. It seemed a joyful meeting to all; to none more so than to
Chester and his sisters. It was their first meeting since his marriage,
and they seemed glad to call Lucilla sister.

"You must be our guest at Torriswood, Lu; you and Brother Chester,"
said Maud, when greetings were over, and the new arrivals were removing
their hats in one of the dressing-rooms.

"Thank you, Maud, of course we will spend a part--probably most of our
time with you," replied Lucilla. "I expect to have a delightful time
both there and here."

"You shall there, if I can bring it about," laughed Maud. "I want you
also, young Mrs. Raymond," she added, in playful tones, turning to
Evelyn. "You will come, won't you?"

"Thank you, I think I shall," was Eva's pleased reply.

"You are wanted, too, Gracie," continued Maud. "And Dr. Harold is to
be invited, and I hope will accept, for he is a great favorite with us
ever since he saved Dick's life."

"I think it entirely right that he should be," returned Grace,
demurely, "and his presence will be no serious objection to me; in
fact, as he is my physician, it might be very well to have him close at
hand, in case I should be taken suddenly ill."

"Very true," said Maud, bridling playfully, "though if he were not
there, Dr. Percival might possibly prove an efficient substitute."

There was a general laugh at that, and all hastened to join the rest of
the company who were gathered upon the front veranda.

Elsie and Ned were there with their new pets, which seemed to be
attracting a good deal of attention. Elsie was sitting by her mother's
side, with Tiny on her shoulder, and Ned stood near them with Tee-tee
in his arms, stroking and patting him while he told how the little
fellow had frightened him in his gambols about the yacht till, in
trying to save him from falling into the sea, he had tumbled in himself.

"Very foolish in you to risk your life for me, little master," Tee-tee
seemed to say, as Ned reached that part of his story. Ned laughed,
saying, "So you think, do you?"

"Oh, it can talk! It can talk!" cried several of the children in
astonishment and delight, while their elders turned with amused,
inquiring looks to Cousin Ronald, the known ventriloquist of the
family.

"Yes, little master, so don't you do it ever again," seemed to come
from Tee-tee's lips.

"No, indeed, I think I won't," laughed Ned.

"I can talk, too; quite as well as my brother can," seemed to come from
Tiny's lips.

"Yes, so you can, my pretty pet," laughed Elsie, giving him an
approving pat.

"Oh, oh! They can both talk!" exclaimed several of the children.

"And speak good English, too, though they come from a land where it is
not commonly spoken," laughed Chester.

"But we heard English on the yacht, and we can learn fast," was
Tee-tee's answering remark.

"Especially when you can get Cousin Ronald to help you," laughed Ned.

"There, Ned, I'm afraid you've let the cat out of the bag," laughed
Lucilla.

"I don't see either cat or bag," sniffed Ned, after an inquiring look
around.

"Your sister means that you are letting out a secret," said his father.

"Oh, was I? I hope not," exclaimed the little fellow, looking rather
crestfallen.

"How does Cousin Ronald help him?" asked one of the little cousins.

"I don't know," said Ned; "I couldn't do it."

The call to the supper-table just at that moment saved Cousin Ronald
the trouble of answering the inquiring looks directed at him.

After the meal, all resorted again to the veranda, and the little
tee-tees, having had their supper in the kitchen, were again a source
of amusement, especially to the children.

"Did the folks give you plenty to eat, Tee-tee?" asked Ned.

"All we wanted, and very nice, too," the little fellow seemed to say in
reply.

"And he ate like--like a hungry bear; a great deal more than I did,"
Tiny seemed to say.

"Well, I'm bigger than you," was Tee-tee's answering remark.

"And both of you are very, very little; too little to eat much, I
should think," laughed one of the children.

"I've heard that they put the best goods in the smallest packages,"
Tee-tee seemed to say; then suddenly he sprang out of Ned's arms,
jumped over the veranda railing, ran swiftly across the lawn and up an
orange tree, Tiny leaving Elsie and racing after him.

"Oh, dear, dear! What shall we do? Will they ever come back?" cried
Elsie, tears filling her eyes as she spoke.

"I think they will, daughter," said the Captain, soothingly. "Do you
forget that I told you they would run up the trees? You and Ned have
been so kind to them, petted them and fed them so well that they'll be
glad, I think, to continue in your care, but now, like children, they
want a little fun, such as they have been accustomed to in their forest
life."

That assurance comforted the young owners somewhat, and they chatted
pleasantly with the other children until it was time for them to
leave, but kept watching the tee-tees frisking about in that tree and
others on the lawn, hoping they would weary of their fun and come back
to them. But they had not done so when the guests took leave, nor
when bedtime came, but the Captain comforted the children again with
the hope that the tee-tees would finish their frolic and return the
next day; which they did, to the great joy of their young master and
mistress.

Maud's invitation was accepted by all to whom she or Dick had given it.
Magnolia Hall and the Parsonage claimed several of the others, and the
rest were easily and well accommodated at Viamede. All felt themselves
heartily welcome, and greatly enjoyed their sojourn of some weeks in
that hospitable neighborhood and among near and dear relatives.

Fortunately for Ned, his remark about Cousin Ronald helping the
tee-tees with their talk, did not have the bad effect that he feared,
and the older friends did not explain; so there was more fun of the
same kind when the children were together and the kind old gentleman
with them.

As the stay of Grandma Elsie and her party was to be short, there
was a constant interchange of visits between them and the relatives
resident in the neighborhood, and much to the delight of the children,
the little tee-tees were on constant exhibition. Sometimes they were
to be seen darting here and there over the lawn, running up and down
the trees or springing from one to another; but often, to the greater
pleasure of the young folks, they were on the veranda, chasing each
other round and round, or sitting on the shoulder of Elsie or Ned. Then
if Cousin Ronald happened to be present, they seemed to be in the mood
for conversation.

"I like this place, Tiny, don't you?" Tee-tee seemed to ask one day,
when they had just returned from a scamper over the lawn and up and
down the trees.

"Yes, indeed!" was the reply. "It's nicer than that vessel we came in.
Let's stay here."

"Oh, we can't. I heard the Captain talking about going back, and
they'll certainly want to take us along."

"But don't let us go. We can hide in the woods where they can't find
us."

"I think not," laughed Elsie; "we value you too much not to hunt you up
before we go."

"Dear me! I'd take good care they didn't get a chance to play that
game," exclaimed one of the little cousins.

"I think the best plan will be to pet them so much that they won't be
willing to be left behind," said Elsie.

"And that's what we'll do," said Ned.

Just then there was an arrival from Torriswood and that put a stop, for
the time, to the chatter of the Tee-tees.

Dr. Percival and his Maud, with their guests from the north, were of
the party, and all remained until near bedtime that night, when they
went away with the pleasant assurance that the whole connection at
that time in that neighborhood would spend the following day with them
in their lovely Torriswood home, should nothing occur to prevent.

Nothing did; the day was bright and beautiful, and not one of the
relatives was missing from the pleasant gathering. To the joy of
Elsie and Ned Raymond, not even the tee-tees were neglected in the
invitation, and with some assistance from Cousin Ronald they made a
good deal of fun, for at least the younger part of the company.

The next day was spent by the same company at Magnolia Hall, and a few
days later most of them gathered at the pretty Parsonage, where dwelt
Cyril and Isadore Keith. Cyril was a much-loved and successful pastor,
an excellent preacher, whose sermons were greatly enjoyed by those of
the "Dolphin" party who were old enough to appreciate them.

The Parsonage and its grounds made a lovely home for the pastor, his
wife and the children with which Providence had blessed them, and the
family party held there, the last of the series, was found by all quite
as enjoyable as any that had preceded it.

After that the old pastimes--rides, drives, boating and fishing
excursions--were resumed, also the quiet home pleasures and rambles
through the woods and fields; for they found they could not tear
themselves away as quickly as they had intended when they planned
to end their winter trip--leaving the return journey out of the
calculation--with a short visit to Viamede. That neighborhood, with
its pleasant companionship, was too delightful to be left until the
increasing heat of the advancing spring should make it less comfortable
and healthful for them than their more northern homes. So there let us
leave them for the present.


THE END.



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE:

Obvious printer errors have been corrected. Otherwise, the author's
original spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been left intact.





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